**Warning: Some adult-ish language ahead!
My mom took me to my first yoga class back in 2004, and I could not get out of there fast enough.
I thought yoga was silly, and I could not stand listening to my mom’s thick breath in that small room any longer. It sounded like we were in a hospital room, and I was positive all these people around me were dying.
The only thoughts I had after that class were that I didn’t want to do it again, and that I really liked the smell of lavender.
However, fast forward several years later and, voila! Now, I love yoga!
I know a little sanskrit, I love all the props, and I know that it can feel goddamn yummy to lay on my mat for 30 minutes, doing nothing else.
I love yoga, and how it makes me feel, so I decided I wanted to deepen my practice. So, in 2013, I completed a 200-hour training in Baja, Mexico over the course of 18 days.
For one of our training exercises, we would ask different things we’d see, “What is your secret?”
We would ask this of literally anything we saw—a person, tree, a trashcan—anything.
The idea behind this exercise is that it should help us realize things we need to work on. It’s supposed to help us become aware of things within ourselves, or perhaps reveal a bit of advice we need to hear. (Try it, sometime!)
One of the last days of our training, we each did a “silent vision quest.” I chose to sit on the beach, with an umbrella and some water. (I probably looked like some 18-year-old “spring-breaker” passed out on the beach.) I wasn’t supposed to move from the spot. It was an big, long, empty beach.
As I’m sitting out there, a woman walks by with her dog.
I love dogs. I seriously can’t get enough of them.
So, I got super excited about this woman’s dog—I wanted him to come up to me and be my new best friend. We were going to bond, I knew we were!
But, that didn’t happen.
Instead, it took a shit just a few feet away from my spot on the sand.
The woman didn’t even look at me. She was on her phone, talking quite loudly, and she just casually covered up this huge pile of dog shit with beautiful sand.
She didn’t use enough sand, in my opinion! I could still smell it. I mean, I’m talking about some mighty Great Dane shit, not that Miniature-Poodle pebble stuff.
I sat there, just sort of thinking, “Well, that’s a bit rude!”
I try to stay open to new learning experiences, so I decided to ask the nearby shit, “Dog shit covered in sand, what’s your secret?”
And, wouldn’t you know—I got the best response ever, from that stinky shit!
It said to me, “Mari, stop covering up your shit!”
Thank you, dog shit!
See, here’s the thing—I’m a master of white lies.
My husband hates it. My best friends are used to it. I keep telling these little, white lies—I just can’t stop. (Well, I am trying to now!)
Instead of just saying the truth—about seriously stupid things—I lie. Sometimes it’s to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Other times, it might be get out of doing something I don’t want to do.
None of these white lies would ever hurt anyone—it’s just a psychological for me. I know I need to knock it off with the white lies—they are bound to get me in trouble at some point, and I will take responsibility for that.
But that day, when the dog shit “said” that to me— it just really made sense.
I need to stop covering up my shit.
I just need to be open and real with people, and if they can’t handle something I say or do, then they can just move on and go on their merry way.
Or—they can cross my shitty, sandy path, and we can get some vino.
Either way, I encourage everyone to take a look at whatever is they are covering up—really see what’s there—whatever you may be trying to “bury in the sand.”
Ask yourself some honest questions, and live your beautiful, stinky lives freely.
Author: Mariel Reardon
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina