I've been in a great mood this week, feeling very optimistic about the present and future; radiant, cheerful, and impossibly gregarious. But a wave of anxiety swept over me this afternoon. I felt knots in my stomach, tension in my jaw, and had a sad expression on my face. I was grateful to be headed to yoga class because I knew it would force me to breathe, and to let go of this unnecessary weight.
Traveling lightly, I left my purse at home and tucked my credit card, metro card and $10 cash into my vest pocket.
Side note that will be relevant shortly: I taught my first official Geek Yoga class in NYC last night (yay!), and one person paid in cash. A lightly worn $10 bill.
Mood a little low, I headed down into the subway with the thick, warm air that I fell in love with as a kid, and I was immediately taken by two women singing their hearts out into a portable mic and speaker system, in what sounded like a cross between Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin.
They were smiling, dancing, and singing with soul. So I started smiling back at them.
Bigger, bigger, bigger still. They literally turned my frown upside down.
They snapped me out of my sadness and brought me pure joy. What could be more worth $10 than that? My $10 came from teaching a yoga class, and it felt right to use that same money to spread a little more love and happiness in the world, as these women had just done for me.
Into their hat it went before I stepped onto the subway car.
My word of the year is Light.
I am pouring my focus into being a shining beacon of light in the world, to bring joy and positive energy to others, uplifting them in the process. To practice, I've been smiling at people, complimenting strangers and generally going out of my way to be friendly and strike up conversations.
Though I am succeeding at uplifting others, the more surprising realization has been that it is working on me.
For the next ten minutes after giving the two women my cash, I felt filled with love. Joy. Bliss.
"Yoga Money," I laughed to myself while walking to class. Of course it should stay in circulation!
And then I proceeded to have an entirely transformative yoga practice.
During class I focused my gaze on the lights outside. I smiled as I pictured them being put there just for me.
By the end of class, I found myself in a yoga pose that I had never done before; one that I thought I would never be able to do in my lifetime. I didn't even know the name of it until I researched it for this post (a near miracle that I could even figure it out!).
Being in that yoga pose was the most open I've ever been . . . and they say that open hips are the way to an open heart.
As I left class, I started typing a reminder to myself on my phone:
Every light is for . . . but before I could type "you," the word "for" auto-corrected to God. I'm not religious, but that certainly got my attention.
Every light is God. Every light is for you. Every light -- streetlight, sunlight, night light, invisible light -- is a reminder to shine our lights more brightly in the world.