October 20, 2010

Girl, You Look Damn Good Today!

So you’re probably wondering about the title. It’s a smacker, isn’t it?

Well, here’s a clue – I’m Southern, so us Southern ladies like to tell it how it is (albeit with a little sweetness, of course). We’re also pretty confident, and I think that type of glittering self confidence is hard to teach. It’s got to come from this glittering place inside you…a seed that grows huge – so that others around can’t help but notice.

It really all stems from a great story from Joel Osteen’s It’s Your Time, a great read. He had a parishioner named Sally who was sick with cancer and had every reason to feel sorry for herself. She was a beautiful woman, yet she was in the clutches of disease during treatment – losing hair and weight; and having a pallor on her otherwise gorgeous complexion. Not one to be deterred, Sally woke up every single morning and looked in the mirror and said with fervor,

“Girl, you look DAMN good today.”

Every time she hit a mirror, that was her mantra – walking out the door; in a restaurant or airport bathroom; in a changing room.

“Girl, you look DAMN good today.”

Sally fought her battle courageously for over two years, and she’s successfully in remission now. She credits a positive attitude, as well as telling herself that despite the treatment wracking her body, she was gorgeous – as a major keystone to her recovery. Her beauty was not only on the inside, but it planted a seed of health in her heart and her brain to radiate out to others.

As yoga teachers, we have to be “the Sallys.” It’s our jobs not only to teach, but to radiate peace, love and self-confidence to our students at every class. They deserve our “A game,” not a tired yogi; nor a sick yogi; nor a problem-riddled yogi. When I say self-confidence, of course I don’t mean to the point of arrogance or boastfulness. It’s one thing to be content and mindful—it’s another to start your class with, “I look damn good today!” I think my students might be a little afraid!

Who hasn’t been there on the self-confidence trip though? I know I’ve certainly woken up on some days and just felt bleeacch—as in, please God, give me the strength to see the gifts you are going to bring across my path today. When I hit the mirror though, I remember Sally—no makeup, bald head, yellow skin, feeling just sick inside—saying, “Girl, you look damn good today.” Then I remember that it’s my responsibility, having been put on this earth, not just to be present and walk through the day, but to inspire others.

It’s my job and duty, as well as other yogis (and just human beings, quite frankly)…to inspire and ignite passion within others. I can be that mirror for someone else, who might be feeling worn down by stress, jobs, lack of finances, sickness or worry. When they hit the mat, I have to radiate confidence in not only myself, but in them as being part of a greater community for wellness.

So the next time you hit my class, I promise to be your mirror. Because after all, “Girl (or guy)— you look DAMN good today!”

Go spread that beauty out into the world and let someone else know that they do, too.

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