Upside Down

I've become a hippie. At least my friend Caitlin thinks so.

I tried to protest with her on the phone tonight, but the following are acknowledged facts:

I practice yoga.

I shop at Whole Foods.

I'm in touch with my feelings.

When running, I now prefer the rhythm of my breathing to actual music.

I have vegan products in my condo. (sitting next to leftover steak, so that's kind of a wash...)

I voted for Obama.

This from a kid who grew up in Reagan country, Simi Valley.  Not exactly a liberal stronghold.

The entire reason this discussion occurred was because I successfully executed my first headstand in yoga class tonight, which I proudly shared with Caitlin (an aspiring yoga instructor). My triumph happened in a class with a format I've never tried before: Anasura yoga.  Although I needed a wall to do it, I managed to kick up and hold the headstand pose with my hands interlaced behind my head for support.  It was a bit scary -- I'd like to avoid paralyzing myself if at all possible -- and exhilarating (maybe that was just the sensation of blood rushing to my head) all at the same time.

In the brief few seconds I was able to focus on something besides not toppling down the wall like a busted Jenga puzzle, I realized how different the room looked being upside down.  Lights seemed brighter.  People were harder to distinguish from one another.  That dude in the corner was working out with no shirt on (c'mon man, seriously?).

I also realized this might be the first time in my life where I was truly ecstatic about everything being turned upside down.  (I'm not much of a roller coaster guy.)

Considering the topsy-turvy nature of the past several weeks, this was an especially welcome insight.  In order to see and appreciate the world differently, sometimes we have to shake things up dramatically.  Sometimes we have to turn something on its head, in this case literally, to gain a different vantage point.  Painful as it might be, it's a part of the growing process.

A lesson learned only by extending beyond my comfort zone.  Even if I needed a wall for support.

Don't we all though?

288 days and counting.