A few years ago I spent an idyllic day filming a video for my Xen Strength program. My husband and old friends from MTV came to direct and produce, and my new friends came to count my reps and tell me when my face was shiny. I felt extremely loved, and lucky to be in a position to move forward and share my enthusiasm for the new program I developed. I went to bed, exhausted from 8 hours of hard-core shooting, but with a smile on my face nonetheless.
What happens the next morning? The ONE thing I was praying not to happen- (no, my kids hadn’t eaten the last gluten-free brownie……) I woke up and opened my in-box to find my daily dose of fitness from Vital Juice- with a title post that read: “You’ve Never Done Yoga Like This Before..” and below the title- a blurb about a new yoga video that combined yoga with weights! ARGGGGHHH….
I immediately called my husband, half laughing and half crying at the uncanny timing of this post- I mean, really, what are the chances that post was going to show up on my screen the day after my project was recorded? (or was that the point, dear universe?) As I rambled on to him about my disappointment, my husband finally interrupted me to say: “look at your arm.” At first I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about, but then: “Your tattoo, honey- what does that mean to you?”
I glanced down, catching a glimpse of the pink lotus flower I got inked on my forearm years ago. Despite my father insisting it looks like a pink artichoke, my tattoo is there for a reason. I’ve lived through some pretty awful circumstances, and thankfully I’m a stronger person for it all. As you can read below, the lotus flower is a symbol for all things “beautiful” that come from “ugly” surroundings.
I REALLY try to practice what I preach, and in that moment I knew I couldn’t let this get me down- it was there for a reason, and that reason was probably to get me fired up about making my video even better…As Oprah says, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” I realized that I might not be the first one to combine yoga with weights in the world, but I can be the first to bring it into the mainstream with a unique twist over the competition- and that’s what I intended to do.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my favorite reading about the lotus, from a wonderful book that my mentor gave me when I graduated from my teacher training;
Live Like A Lotus In The Water
by Sri Swami Satchidananda
The lotus is considered to he a very holy and divine flower. Not just because of its beauty, but also because of its qualities. A lotus flower grows in very shallow water, usually in a muddy area. Though it comes out of the mud and mire, it rises as a beautiful flower that lives in the water without being affected by it. The lotus flower is always given as an example for one who wants to live spiritually in the world. It is said, “Live like a lotus in the water.” The lotus leaf is right in the water, hut it’s never moistened by the water When you pick it up, it’s completely dry. It never gets wet. If you throw a little water over it, the water will roll off and scatter around like pearls.
A person should live like the lotus, being in the world but not affected by it. You should always express your natural beauty, though you may grow in a dirty place. Nothing from outside should affect you.
The lotus flower turns its head towards the sun always. That means it always turns towards the light; it receives the light constantly. So you can say it’s an ever-enlightened flower.
I sincerely hope that each and every one of you find strength and inspiration to overcome any struggle you currently may be facing- I personally know what it’s like to stand in the middle of a S*#T storm and come to realize that the lessons learned, and character built, were worth every stinkin’ second!
Looking for more yoga inspiration off the mat? Learn the #1 yoga mistake you’re making that has nothing to do with alignment HERE