Last night I wrote an entire blog while sweating and pretending to breathe in a yoga class.
Not my proudest 75 minutes of attention and awareness.
Blogging is not yoga.
The story in my mind went like this:
I’m devastated. Yesterday I left my favorite black pumps at the yoga studio and this afternoon they were donated to the Salvation Army.
I don’t know how to recover.
I find a mantra and keep repeating it: “It’s just a pair of shoes. Just an ordinary, everyday, totally replaceable, pair of black pumps.”
It’s not working.
I fight the new mantra creeping in: “It’s not just a pair of shoes. It’s my favorite pair of shoes. Not just ordinary black pumps. The perfect, most exquisite pair of heeled footwear I’ve ever owned. My go-to pumps. My run with the grace of a gazelle up the courthouse stairs pumps. My look sophisticated in a suit but feel like I’m wearing sweatpants pumps. My ‘damn it, I’ll never find another pair like them,’ pumps.”
It’s still not working.
My mind says, “let them go.” But I all over my body I can feel myself clinging. Tight.
I try a different approach.
I make a list of all my other well-loved shoes. The ones I didn’t absent-mindedly abandon in the Zuda lobby. The brave foot soldiers who will take up the battle of lady lawyer wardrobing without their humble, fearless leader.
The red patent leather pumps. The ones I always put on with my slim-fitting black dress pants. The ones I always take off before I make it out the door in them. “Red patent, leather? Most of my clients still poop their pants for god’s sake!”
The purple stilletos. The most recent purchase in a long line of vibrant wardrobe additions I’ve acquired since losing Heather. Damn could she rock a hot pair of shoes!
The snake skin peep-toes my dad bought me. I’m pretty sure my underwear is still stained from the moment he picked them out.
The five inch black ones. The ones I put on to experience what it feels like to be tall and beautiful. The ones that make it hard to feel grateful for the body I was born with. The ones I take off or risk serious bodily injury after my second drink.
My new black flats with the big bow, the shoes I danced in at Barrister’s Ball the night Whitney Houston died, the cream colored Mona Pumps and their natural leather counterparts.
It becomes clear the list is practically endless. Immediately I feel greedy, spoiled, and humiliated.
My frustrated edginess starts to soften into gratitude and a sense of abundance.
The softness brings acceptance.
“Goodbye my loyal servants, I wish you a long and prosperous second life of stylish comfort and killer job interviews.”
When I emerge triumphant from the studio, my black pumps are staring at me from the front desk. My incredible yoga friends rescued them from the back of a mini-van en route to the donation center.
So many lessons in a single night.
I grab them between my fingers and kiss the top of the pointy, leather toes.
I make one, final, mental note:
I owe myself a yoga class.