We're All Up On Our Toes
At a yoga class, the instructor has us do a pose up on our toes.
I position my legs, feet, toes. It's harder than it looks. Much harder.
I check around me. Everybody seems to be holding it easily.
Must be me, I think. Okay, Whelan, dig in deep here.
So, I dig and dig and the pose is getting harder and harder, and I'm thinking there must be something really wrong with my toes if I can barely hold this pose that everyone else looks so fine with.
But right when I'm about to throw up the white flag, the instructor says, Let's come off our toes. That's pretty tough, isn't it?
Everyone in the class exhales with relief, slumps out of the pose.
Wait, I think, it wasn't just me. We were all struggling. But we hide it so well, don't we?
I settle onto the mat, having seen this basic human truth: When we’re struggling and everyone else seems fine, the true story is that out beyond how things appear, most of us are up on our toes. And it is often hard.
But here's the other part of this truth: the struggle lightens when someone risks coming off the mat and saying, This is hard, isn't it?
We are, after all, in this class together.