Ok, so the title I came up with may not necessarily be the most creative to describe this topic but it is the most accurate. So I went with it.
Seriously though, have you ever tried to fit in? And have you ever enjoyed the process?
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!”
I doubt it but if you’re someone that has, I admit, you’d be the first I’ve heard of.
The words “to fit in” are a dumb down expression for “stripping away your YOU”.
Take a look at that guy, in the picture. I took this picture while waiting to board my plane. He clearly has his priorities straight when it comes to getting his workout in. Everyone around him is sitting but not him, he’s on the floor doing push ups.
Does he look strange? Yup. Does he care? Nope. Why should we?
Remember in high school, the different groups? The nerdy ones, the jocks, the popular ones, the ESL group, etc.
See what they all have in common?
That’s all they are. Labels placed on a group of people and carried through to endless years.
Just yesterday I was having a conversation about a weekend retreat I’m hosting in the summer – which you will all be invited to.
In it, I’d like to have a BBQ intro night – with a much prettier name for marketing purposes
But the conversation took me a little by surprise. See, this is a yoga retreat and I’m pumped to put it together but I was asked, why a BBQ? Yogis don’t eat (red) meat.
Who came up with that rule? And is it a requirement to teach or practice yoga?
Personally, I don’t eat it either but I made this decision waaaay before I started practicing yoga plus I wouldn’t expect “all” yogis to not eat meat.
If you think about it though, it makes sense and why “meat eaters” make assumptions that yogis are tree-hugging, vegans.
See what I’m doing there, labeling everything. To some, I’m sure this is getting under your skin but bear with me.
Labels are what run this world now.
There’s this Parable of the Poisoned Well:
“There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast city. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now in the heart of the city, there was a well whose waters were pure and crystalline from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, an enemy entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. And he said that henceforth all who drink this water shall become mad.
All the people drank of the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, “The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned.”
The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. So one evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason.”
“A time will come when the whole world will go mad. And to anyone who is not mad they will say: ‘You are mad, for you are not like us.'” – attributed to St. Anthony the Great
Who’s to say a yoga teacher actually enjoys a good steak or an Olympic athlete follows a vegetarian diet (oh wait, there are many of those!)?
Or a latina not knowing how to dance salsa – hellooo?
It’s ridiculous to me that these set rules are widely accepted and if you don’t fit into those labels, you’re cast as different. But aren’t we all different and unique?
You hear it on the news over and over again about how a teenager has given up their life because of bullying and not fitting in.
It’s sad and very disturbing. This teenager couldn’t find a way out that didn’t involve ending their life.
A yoga instructor shouldn’t have to be classified as a “hippie” to teach a yoga practice. Or wear stretchy black tights. Or be thin for that matter.
Or an aspiring yogi shouldn’t have to feel the pressure to fit into those “standards”.
You now see people that have gone against the grain to take a stand against these labels. Because, a part from you wanting to fit in, it causes turmoil for those behind you. And, in all honesty, it’s not fair. So I applaud them. Going against what’s popularly accepted takes courage!
Even to the point of being curious about that other person and how they’re so unique.
If you’re a vegan, good on you! If you eat meat, sure, good on you too (ideally organic but for far greater reasons)! Yoga instructor? Eat whatever you want. You know to eat based on your constitution and what makes you feel your best.
As for the labels used in this post, see if you’ve ever identified yourself as such and ask yourself why? Did that label ever make you feel good?
And as for the retreat, heck yeah, I’ll be having a BBQ with meat and non-meat options!
Comments will be approved before showing up.