After a weekend of seeing myself through others eyes, clarity has been found...if only briefly.
What I observe, or think I observe is a function of the eyes I'm using to to do the seeing.
My teacher and the friend I traveled to the workshop with both have a particular talent for making me feel very loved just as I am...
...with all my eccentricities, odd habits and my tendency to either rant loudly about the things I am most emotional about or not talk at all...a happy medium is not something I do well.
When I look through their eyes, I don't so much see good or bad or loud or quiet, just the complexity inherent in anyone worth getting to know...that is everyone. They've made space for all the idiosyncrasies that I often don't make space for myself.
A friend asked if, after all these years of practice, I had noticed any particular physical changes in my body....was anything different? His hypothesis: you could see differences just from the past couple years of practice in my shoulders.
so I went on a quest to track down some photos and find out...observation time! I started looking at childhood photos, followed it through the teenage years and then looked again at photos taken after about 4 years practice. I was startled. You can read my life in my shoulders...if you're looking...
Childhood: shoulders strong and relaxed...confident
Early high school: shoulders in and down...a sort of miserable hopelessness
Senior year high school: shoulders not as far curled in, but more tense...angry, defiant
After 4 years practice: shoulders stronger, starting to settle into the back, less tension...starting to find a way into balance
It's amazing what I see when I really look.