Pay It Forward
“You amaze me.”
“You look amazing, and most importantly - happy.”
“What an inspiring accomplishment!”
“That's a really spectacular accomplishment! I really admire your hard work this year, really truly.”
All of these things, along with several others, were said to me in the past 72 hours. Full disclosure: I posted a picture of a milestone in my journey, the loss of fifty pounds. While I wish compliments freely rained down upon me, that isn’t the case, social media helped a lot on this one. In all of the words of kindness and support I realized people have noticed the mental journey just as much as the physical.
I don’t share a lot about my physical journey, it doesn’t feel natural to do so for me. Recently more people have been asking me, so I decided to celebrate a ‘big’ success moment. I do, however, frequently share about my yoga journey. Being able to express my struggles, triumphs, moments of acceptance, and moments of growth feel more meaningful than sharing numbers on a scale or sizes printed on tags. I share because I hope that my happiness can inspire someone to start their own journey.
Throughout July my studio is hosting a 20/30 Challenge with the goal of attending twenty classes in thirty days. The theme around it is “Pay It Forward,” a portion of each class is donated to one of three amazing charities. More important than number of classes attended the challenge is about the ripple effect every small, kind action can take. Reflecting on my journey I tried to understand why this one has been different, why the changes I’ve made have stuck, felt empowering rather than daunting; most simply it’s because I found a community that drives me to be the best version of myself on and off my mat.
And that brings us to the tree. Last summer I had started Weight Watchers again, was bouncing all around the scale; good weeks were good, bad weeks were….VERY bad. I had no consistency, no driving force. Then a close friend suggested I try Power Life Yoga. NOPE! Not my thing, no thank you. But a free week of fitness classes will sucker me in every time, after my first day at Power Life I was hooked. The more I went to class the more I wanted to tell EVERYONE about it. The community, the instructors, the classes, the feeling, we’re addictive and I needed to talk about it. Anyone who asked I would insist they try a week. Every person a new little branch on the yoga tree, each one sharing their journey and encouraging another person. Our little tree just keeps growing.
The most rewarding thing is someone telling me they tried yoga because I suggested it or because they see the changes it’s made for me. I woke up this morning to get to sculpt at 545 and had received a message overnight:
“So, maybe you’ve changed my life.”
A friend tried her second yoga class, it was hard but she kept going because I encouraged her. I was completely overcome with emotion, I still am. I found a practice that helped change my inside, and that’s reflecting out. If me sharing that can create a positive ripple effect, I’ll keep sharing.
Today, and forever, I choose to pay it forward.