“Make the most of yourself, because that’s all there is of you.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I recently started yoga again after an extended period of time away from my mat. People once knew me for my flexibility and my passion for downward dog; but over the past couple of years, I somehow reduced my practice from six days per week, to four, to two, to sporadically deep breathing while touching my toes.
When I learned my new apartment community offers classes by the pool, I decided to jump back in. I felt excited to start again, but I imagined I’d feel frustrated in realizing my core had weakened, my balance had become shaky, and my overall endurance had decreased.
Yet, when I moved into warrior two and felt my legs trembling, I found myself thinking, “Thank you.”
In that moment, I remembered all the things my legs have allowed me to do over the years. I thought about how miraculous it is that every day, I am mobile—I can stand, and walk, and bring myself to places I enjoy, and run toward people I love, even when I haven’t exercised regularly.
From there, I felt grateful for my mind. As a lifelong pusher who once exhausted and dehydrated myself into the ER, I appreciated that I’d somehow developed the mental capacity to value my body for what it does for me instead of always berating it for how it fails me.
We live in a world that often promotes unrealistic physical standards while simultaneously encouraging the type of busyness that can leave little room for self-care.
Sometimes it can feel near impossible to be satisfied with ourselves in mind and body. It can feel like there isn’t enough time to fit everything in—to do the work we love, spend time with the people we cherish, and do what we need to do to feel healthy and comfortable in our skin.
We’re always going to want to stretch a little further and do more with the time we have. But maybe making the most of ourselves isn’t about how much we do or how well we do it.
Maybe it’s about allowing ourselves to feel good about where we’re at and what we’ve done. When we honor ourselves, we don’t need to push quite as hard, because we’re motivated less by dissatisfaction and more by a deep self-love that reminds us just how much is possible.
Photo by collegekid