Inside a hard, yet fragile egg grows a baby chick. Cozy and nurtured; little feet begin to reach to the bottom; little wings push against the sides and a little beak begins to yearn for air. Instinctively, this baby wants to stretch and breathe so begins the arduous process of breaking free. She begins to peck, peck, peck with her new tool to eventually crack, and break apart the walls of her old protection. She would have suffocated and died If she stayed safe inside.
I was told this powerful story in a stealth way. This woman I admired through work sat me down, and began in a sweet voice describing this egg and cute baby chick, with so much light and vast potential. Then dramatically illustrated fighting against the hardness around her, as she finished with the punch line, “or choose to curl up and die,” and I finally got it.
She saw that I was suffocating, grasping for air in small sips through any little crack already broken for me. Yet, I needed to be empowered, and she gave me permission to use my own beak. To be curious about the strength I already possessed, that would enable me to explore beyond the walls that confined me. I couldn’t do what I was meant to do inside, yet I was the only one capable of opening myself up to life.
To escape our familiar, cozy, safe space is a painful process. Even if we understand by staying we die, it takes strength, tenacity and grit to leave. The first few pecks fail to pierce though, yet as we continue we create structure and routine to validate each effort and even begin to appreciate the rhythm of our struggle. After the process has started there is absolutely no going back. We preserver with a mantra, focused thought or repetitious movement to break us from the mold that already served its purpose.
Many of us awaken inside a shell of existence several times in this life. Or often we ignore the signs, and the universe breaks it for us, forcing a dangerous escape. In this story, I was uncomfortable enough to hear my angel whispering that I had the courage inside to set myself free.
Just like the baby chick we yearn to stretch and breathe bigger than life in an egg allows. Yoga is an awesome opportunity to practice exploring our edges, welcoming changes of personal growth. Not just through physical movement, we also stretch our minds beyond daily ‘to dos’ and our emotions rebound back to our center. In our center we all find yoke, inside. To yoke, is the definition of yoga.
In yoga class we retell the story of beginning in a safe space, as we start to breathe and move bigger, we challenge ourselves to open in many ways, closing together with Namaste, ‘When I am in that place in me and you are in that place in you, together we are one.” One yoke, one light, one baby chick to another.
Happy Easter! “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11