Pieces of Us | Day Four

posted in: Pieces of Us, Projects, Self-Portraits | 0

Last week I participated in a self-portrait challenge extended by Ali Edwards called Pieces of Us. The idea was that each day of the week, there was a different prompt to follow as a lens for taking self-portraits. The goal of this project is to get the community thinking about stories related to our bodies, increasing self-love and appreciation for various parts of bodies, and getting more of ourselves in the story. You can learn all about it over on Ali’s blog.

Pieces of Us | Eyes Closed

For some reason I have zero problem with face forward photos, I take those often. But photos of my eyes closed feels exceptionally vulnerable. Pushing outside my comfort zone today to try to capture some photos I normally would avoid.

photo of me laying on yoga mat with eyes closed

One way that I know I’ve grown in my yoga practice is that I now work through most of a session with my eyes closed. A sign of trust. A sign of calm. A sign of surrender. A sign of balance. These all things that I certainly didn’t have when I first started practicing yoga last year. These are all certainly things I am grateful for and pay close attention to during my yoga sessions. As I am writing this, I have realized that they are also things that have shown up in my every day life off the mat as well. I am more calm as I’ve worked through a lot of my anxiety over the years through therapy and application of the tools I have at my disposal. I trust myself more than ever. I have really good instincts and the voice in my head has become more of a friend than foe. I am able to pinpoint areas of surrender that feel like a gift and sometimes a much needed respite from my eagerness to plan and control things. I always thought that surrender would feel negative and just increase my anxiety, but that was before I experienced loving and careful surrender and trust other people to take the wheel. As I follow the path of life after my intense, life-altering nonprofit job of the last 7 years, I am finding more balance; more happiness and grace among all my different roles. I find moments of rest, with my eyes closed, trusting myself that I know what is right and best, without everything falling down around me. I am grateful for all of this and so much more that an almost daily at-home yoga practice has manifested in my life and in my heart. 

photo of me with eyes scrunched closed, smiling

That feeling when you are * this close * to finishing a major project you’ve been working on for months! This is why I have such deep wrinkles in my brown and cheeks, from making this scrunchy face when I’m happy, excited, nervous, or thinking deeply.

photo of me in bed with eyes closed

The sweet surrender of climbing into bed each and every night. I am strongly both a night owl and a morning person. I don’t know how or why. Some nights it definitely feels like an argument with myself to make my way to bed. I don’t often regret that choice, even if I think I will from my cozy post on the loveseat. Climbing into our awesome, comfy bed with my two loves snuggled up with me, under the weight of a nice comforter, re-runs of a favorite comedy playing quietly on the television, reflecting on the good parts of the day, and making silent plans for the next day  – these are treasured minutes. The moments just before falling into a deep slumber where, even if just for a few minutes, everything is right in the world.

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