I finally started looking at myself
I talk a lot about “being happy” and “learning to be happy,” which implies my life has a lot of sadness. This is not my day-to-day experience. Happiness versus sadness is not what I’m thinking when I’m saying that. What I’m thinking is the difference between surviving and thriving, between living and being truly alive.
The pandemic has forced me to spend so much time alone. Last year, I started taking yoga two or three days a week. In doing my yoga practice, I became physically stronger, as well as more aware of my body and aware of my breathing and I paid attention to myself in a way that I hadn’t before. I learned how to stand up straight. I used to brush my teeth and wash my face every day, but I did not look at myself. I finally started looking at myself... Me spending time with me and my body and learning how to stand up straight and learning how to see what other people see when they look at me — that’s how it began to happen.
— Melva James, 42, is a cybersecurity consultant who grew up in Jackson, Miss., and lives in Massachusetts. The tumult of the past year inspired a dramatic life change. From Emerging From the Coronavirus” in The New York Times, April 5, 2021
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