Monday, January 10, 2011

Riding My Bike Naked & Just Generally Being Brave

At the end of Kundalini yoga classes, like any yoga class, I lead meditations. Sometimes they are very simple and other times they are more involved. They are always spontaneous. I never plan them, but instead, I trust that they will come to me based on what happens in class and what I am feeling from students and the needs they are projecting.

Lately, I find myself leading a lot of meditations about our younger selves.  Specifically, I am leading meditations asking people to see that essential, perfect self...the one that has no baggage, has no blocks, has not been altered (in negative ways) by time and experience.

This has profoundly affected some students.

And the other night, I realized how deeply it was and is affecting me.  I had a memory pop up and I saw different things in it than I usually do.

This is one of those stories that families tell.  There are photos that document it.  And the story is told with great humor (because it is funny!). But I never looked beyond the funny...not in this way.

This is one of those memories that feels like it is actually happening each time I think of it.

I was only about 2.5 years old.  I woke up in my crib and the sun was coming in the small window above my head.  It was early morning and there was not a sound coming from inside the house or outside.  I very much wanted to be riding my bike but I also did not want to wait for my parents or wake them.

I sat up and looked around.  I crawled up and over the railing of the crib, which was only set at the halfway point.  I stood up in the middle of the small room.  I removed my night time diaper and walked out of the house.


I got my red tricycle and proceeded to ride up and down the block.


Some neighbors called my parents, who came out and took photos, in which I am so happy and triumphant.

Like I said, usually when I think of this or tell this, it is just for laughs.

But after leading all these meditations about our essential selves, I have come to see so much in this memory about the confident, adventurous, open, happy little person I was. She knew what she liked and she never stopped to question her right to just do it.

I was daring.  I was self assured.  I had NO SHAME.

I love this little person.  Love her.

To honor her, it is time to fulfill her innocent, dynamic, GIANT YES idea of life.

I may not be riding my bike naked any time soon (ouch! and OH MY GOD), but there have to be other ways to explore this idea that my "nakedness" is nothing to be ashamed of, right?


Tess said...

When I read the glorious title of this post, I too thought "ouch and OMG", but what a wonderful story, movingly told.

I think those moments of childhood freedom can be prophetic for our lives as adults, but only if we allow them to be.

svasti said...

Not quite the same story, but... I was older than 2.5. Still riding a tricycle though, but I can't place my age.

I remember having this imperative that I had to work out where I was in relation to other things. And so one day I rode my tricycle about three or four blocks from home. Down to the end of the street, a left turn, another left, then a right and waaay up past the milk bar (corner store) to the house of one of my mum's friends.

I remember her being very surprised to see me and pretty much telling me I should go home again.

There I was, feeling proud of myself for figuring out how to get from point A to point B but nope, no love from my audience! It was a bit of a let down, but hey... I still DID IT and even now I feel the pride that little version of me felt.

I think though, it's that same sense of self-reliance and love of freedom/knowing what you want, that you're talking about here. Sans the nudity! ;)

Emma said...


And great story!

Bob Weisenberg said...

What a great story, Christine. We just had a wonderful article on Elephant about the meaning of dreams, lucid dreaming, and the importance of dreams in ancient Yoga. I'm sure you would enjoy it:

Plus, the author, Linda, is always looking for more interesting dream stories like yours. I'm going to send her your blog.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Oh, but wasn't a dream. This really happened. :) I wish I had dreams this pleasant...

Lisa Marie Tsering said...

I love it!

And my son is 2.5 years old... ;)

Lisa @ Thrive Style said...

This is great---it's funny how awesome we could be emotionally if we hadn't lost those instinctive feelings by being in the world :)

Brigid said...

What a classic story! It made me laugh.

You've put into words so well the way I feel about my yoga practice. I feel like it's slowly stripping back all of the things I've learned since I was young about trying to fit in and trying to impress some imaginary judge out there. The last couple of years I've felt so much more like that girl who did what she want and didn't give a damn.

StorytellERdoc said...

What an awesome post, C! A pleasure to read and, I too, was extremely intrigued by the title. It lived up to what I was hoping and expecting from your awesome writing.

Brandi Reynolds said...

I love this story. a lot.

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