I recently posted a question on my FB page, “What one piece of advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?” The responses were quite moving (with the exception of the odd-man-out who unabashedly stated, “Hit on more girls.” Oy. Clearly not one of my peeps. A good reminder to check out all friend requests.) There were some wonderfully practical and humorous weigh-ins like “Floss.” and “Wear sunscreen.” Most, though, spoke of trying to assure their vulnerable pre-pubescent selves that, essentially, “Everything will be okay. You’re ok just as you are.”
The lie of buyable happiness
I saw an ad recently for a miracle beauty fix of some kind – the kind that costs money but requires zero effort; that promises a significant change in your physical appearance, which will then, undoubtedly, make everything better. When I was 13, I was a sucker for these solutions. Every month I would dutifully comb through Seventeen Magazine, believing that if I could just get the right outfit, shoes, hairstyle, skin, figure, make-up, “look”, my geeky pre-teen life would surely shift from surviving to thriving in the hard knocks world of adolescence.
Real change comes from within
If I were to offer one piece of wisdom to my 13-year-old self it would be the same reminder that I give to my 54-year-old self now: Real change comes from within. It can’t be bought in a bottle or a store. It takes time and commitment and rigor and compassion. It comes from changing the inside not the outside. This is, paradoxically, why I’m a little fanatical about going to the gym these days. I love the strong woman that’s being revealed to me as I get a little more robust every day. I love the determination that comes out in me; the palpable connection to my own fire and vitality.
The inner makeover
I started going to the gym two months ago with the goal of losing a few pounds. They haven’t been lost yet. But I have found a renewed sense of myself, a new community, laughter, courage and enthusiasm. I love these parts of myself. So, despite the fact that my outer self hasn’t changed in any remarkable way, I will continue this devotion, at least for now, because the real change… is happening within.
Want to experience a joyful, funky, sacred and inspirational fusion of yoga and dance, and find yourself in the process? Join Jurian Hughes for Let Your Yoga Dance® at the Art of Living Retreat Center from August 2nd-4th, 2019.
Jurian Hughs, E-RYT 500, MFA, is founder of the Yoga of Voice; co-founder of A Wild Life Sanctuary™; co-creator of The Yoga of Yes; a Let Your Yoga Dance® teacher trainer; voice coach; personal mentor; writer; speaker; and theatre performer known for her passionate, playful, and engaging teaching style. As a senior faculty member of the Kripalu School of Yoga since 2006, Hughes has led thousands of workshops and programs and trained more than 1,000 Kripalu yoga teachers.