When I step onto my mat, I take myself on a journey inward. Yoga is not just a way to move my body; it is also my spiritual practice. I reconnect to myself deeply, and most of the time, if you watched me practice, you would see that my eyes are closed. This helps me to keep the focus on what’s going on for me internally – What am I feeling? Where do I want to create more space? What connections can I make between my body and my mind?
Recently, I have been practicing in two spaces that have mirrors, and this was a first for me. In the beginning, it threw me off balance – literally. I’d be searching for a drishti (a focal point), the small hole in the window blinds at my old studio now gone, and I’d see moving parts of the other people in the class, and sometimes, if I was close enough, I’d see me. As I’ve gotten used to it, my own eye is my best drishti for poses like eagle, wrapped up in myself, focusing on the one eye that is visible, a reminder to myself that I will always be there.
I’ve been thinking about mirrors a lot lately, not just because they are becoming part of my practice. I’ve been thinking about how we are not only mirrors for ourselves, but about how we are mirrors for others.
I’ve spent days trying to find the words to explain this, because in my heart I feel it so deeply.
It is so easy for each one of us to feel incredibly alone in our life – in our day-to-day struggles and triumphs, both big and small. It is so easy to tell ourselves that no one else could possibly understand, that no one else has experienced something quite like this, that no one else is like us, and therefore that something must be wrong with us.
We are so good at weaving these stories for ourselves, at closing our eyes and bringing our practice inward, that sometimes it’s not until we feel so off balance that we’re about to topple over that we open our eyes. When we do, what do we see?
When we have been lucky enough to find our community, our tribe, we open our eyes and see that we are surrounded by love and support, and that we are absolutely not alone. We reach out, we find the courage to speak our fears, our desires, our deepest hurts, and we find that we are not alone.
Being a mirror for another can be a powerful act of community and spiritual communion. We can do this in each and every action and reaction that we have, with ourselves and with others. Holding space for one another so that we all come to learn that we are not alone is what gives us the strength to take the next step, and the next, and the next, on this journey that at times feels painful and overwhelming but is always, no matter what, a blessing.
Some questions to think about as your journey through your day…
How am I a mirror for myself?
How am I a mirror for others?
What makes me feel most alone?
Where can I go to find my community, my tribe?
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
I love this. It’s so true. I think in this day and age it’s too easy to isolate ourselves in the busy-ness of it all and barely have any meaningful and prolonged contact with other people.
What a beautiful post, Xandra. Mirrors were a huge theme for me over the past year and how others are a reflection of the best parts of ourselves – and sometimes the worst parts of ourselves – but they always help us to learn about ourselves. Thanks for sharing… xoxo
Beautiful post Xandra! I can so relate the the idea of falling into a trap of feeling alone – but reaching out isn’t always easy – it’s a practice, and I love how you explored this here. I will be sharing this 🙂
Great article Xandra! We are reflection of our environment on many levels. In Nichiren Buddhism, we talk about “polishing our mirror” and there are many images of how mirrors play in our lives.
Below, is an article explaining these principles further.
I honestly have chills right now. I just took a break from writing about “holding presence” for other people and putting ourselves in close proximity to others when I came to this post. We are not alone and community is so powerful in learning that and learning to be vulnerable. Wonderful post/lesson!
Love it Shannon!! Feel free to link to your post here.