As a high school graduation present, my best friends mother gave me a silver faux-bamboo framed picture of some Chinese characters with their translation, Reach For The Stars, on it. I’ve carried this around with me to all of my bedrooms since then. That’s nine years now with this message burned into my brain “reach for the stars”. Yep, it’s a super cheesy cliche message of inspiration. But it’s a sentimental piece to me, a supportive message from someone who knew me from kindergarten. Looking at it now, while I’m learning Chinese medicine- it seems somewhat prophetic. And the words – keep reaching – keep going are comforting to me as I grow further away from my younger life. But actually, if it wasn’t for the nature of this gift – I’d never keep something like that around, it would annoy me with its bubbly statement- because there’s no end to reaching for the stars and gravity is always against you..so it’s impossible you’re basically wasting your time, dumb human.
In all seriousness though – this message has a stretching effect. Stretches can feel good and bubbly and maybe like its not that significant except for the moment. But what the practice of yoga (and life) teaches my mind and body is that stretches and poses into places of pleasure and uncomfort are for more than the moment. Once in a certain asana (yoga pose)- hold it, reach, reach, (for the star), release- you’re training and changing yourself. Go back a couple days and tries later, do the same thing and be amazed with how different it feels, how much further you can get into a twist, stand in a balance or lift in the arms. So each stretch, hold or lift is productive and brings a new level each time, however subtle. A few weeks ago during yoga I got my knee over my shoulder, which I’d never tried before really, but after some warming up it was fairly easy. Like, oh – I’ve just neglected to explore the capabilities of my body, what other capabilities of potential am I neglecting to explore in life?
The same characteristics can be said of the brain, our words, and everyday actions. What we do continuously, the places we stretch into, the thoughts we think – we become. When I created this blog in late summer of 2009, I wrote my main entries, “write for me.” & “the ‘real world'” which are in some ways the mission statements of my pilgrimage. It’s interesting to go back and read them now and see how much of my views are still the same and that I’m actually accomplishing what I set out to do. The initial writings stand true, but I see where my life and vision has stretched/surpassed my initial claims.
This Spring is an important one. I’m closing out my time in Seattle, which has been so good to me, and moving to a whole new chapter in Colorado. I’ve got about a month left here and then I’m off. Things on my agenda include work on knocking things of the lists of homework assignments I have, studying for end of the year final (which I have 4 days after arriving in CO in May!), Spring cleaning/packing up life, enjoying Seattle, working a little bit at Miro (my beloved job of about 2 years), do a BUNCH of yoga, update my resume(if i must…), spend some time with my friends here, show my favorite friends from home (one whose mother gave me the “reach for the stars” picture) around who are coming to visit me (Ah-mazing), appreciate the culture, music ,scenes and water that makes Seattle one of my favorite places on earth! And then ROAD TRIP with my DAD!
Life is packed.
It dawned on me that along with all the change of season in all sense of the word – it was time to update my initial mission statements, of sorts. So today I added/updated on the “write for me.” and “the ‘real world'” entries here. There’s something in me that wants a lot out of this life and sometimes I’m intimidated by my own dreams. There are things I want to accomplish, some are still unclear, but the feeling is there and I’ve been unconsciously fearful to state them for risk of being a failure. Like – writing a book. That’s a big one, but I stated it today. It was so hard for me to type and press publish, on this blog, “I will write a book…”. But I did it, it felt weird, but its there.
However futile it feels to reach for the stars, our dreams and wildest expectations and potential for ourselves- I KNOW that things are changing and expanding within us in that position enabling us to keep defying gravity. The other option, metaphorically, I guess- is to reach for apples, fruit on trees. People reach for fruit that’s attainable or just out of reach, because they can see it and know its there. If they don’t get it – well the fruit falls down anyway and they can pick the squishy half-rotten fruit off the ground, hunched over.
The point is, I’m NOT settling for squishy fruit or low hanging shady apples. If I don’t ever reach the stars then ultimately the constant stretching will allow me, at the very least, to reach the plethora of fresh fruit from the trees with ease. Don’t worry, I’ll share 🙂
On your marks, get set, SPRING!