Make Yourself as Big As Possible

As I went from room to room this morning gathering my keys, wallet, and water bottle before heading out to my first yoga class ever, I told my husband, “I don’t know what’s been going on with me, but I’m at a place where I’m not going to apologize for taking up space in this world. I’m not going to apologize for my body, for my goals, for my writing, for my business. I mean, I’ll apologize if I do something wrong, but other than that I’m done apologizing. I’m done being small and afraid of being myself.”

If you knew me more than a month and a half ago, you might be surprised by the transition I’ve gone through since the middle of August. The woman who sat on the couch and merely dreamed has risen from the couch and started doing. The woman who relished comfort above nearly all else has contorted herself into all sorts of uncomfortable positions in order to go to bed at night (for fewer hours than she’d really like) feeling like her actions and purpose are beginning to finally align with each other.

I have committed to plans and haven’t cancelled. I have taken on multiple new challenges and haven’t backed out when I’ve inevitably felt out of my element or doubted my skill and wanted to run back to safety. I’ve returned phone calls, emails, messages in a timely manner instead of avoiding people. I have shown up every single day for the life that I want even when the only thing I know to do is the next right thing and I’m not sure what lies beyond that.

This is all so unlike me that I’ve actually asked Brian if he thinks something is wrong with me, if this all might be a manifestation of some other mental health issue now that my depression and anxiety are under control. He laughs at (with?) me, but this fulfillment, this joy (but not necessarily happiness) in living, this adventuring feels so unfamiliar to me. I’ve spent so many years hobbled by fear of what others will say or think or do or fear that I will be depleted by one thing or another and hit rock bottom again or fear that I will fall apart, maybe even die, if I allow myself to get too far from comfort and ease and security that this bravery in being feels a bit suspect. But I feel my fear in my racing thoughts, in my shaking hands, in the roiling of my stomach, and in the intense desire to avoid avoid avoid and keep being brave and bold anyway.

I went to my first yoga class ever today after years of talking about wanting to do yoga but being too afraid to show up to a class without knowing all I think I need to know to do yoga. It was challenging. It was beautiful. And it made me cry. Because as we entered a pose I cannot yet name, my yoga teacher said, “Plant yourself on the ground, spread out your toes, and make yourself as big as possible. Stretch. Get big. Free yourself up to breathe. As big as possible.”

Yes, I thought, yes. This is what I’m doing. This is why I’m here. This is the transition. I’m becoming big. As big as possible.


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