I started doing yoga last March. My beloved dog Dieter unexpectedly passed away and I needed something to do. My aching heart, my two arms and my two legs were feeling very lost without massive Dieter petting, hugging, snuggling, burying my nose into his fur and walking.

Yoga seemed like good medicine. And I found a little neighborhood yoga studio that I love. It’s a brisk fifteen minute walk each way. The studio is bright yet zen and the people that attend (sorry, I just can’t get myself to call them “yogis”) are sweet, outgoing and respectful of yoga mat boundaries. Give me some space, people, especially if you refuse to wear deodorant.

I’ll admit, I’m not that awesome at yoga—as in, it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s sort of a hard pill to swallow because I’ve always considered myself in the range of naturally athletic. But yoga requires a whole cadre of skills, strength and focus that may look easy but damn, it’s seriously challenging!

That’s why, just this week, I was thrilled when I had a yoga “in the zone” moment. I was just THERE. I magically synced up with the instructions coming from my yoga teacher and was feeling flowful and in tune with the movements coming from MY body. It was like I was truly one with the experience. Maybe I was even smiling. “This is why people are so obsessed with yoga!” I thought. I was blissed OUT.

THEN, something happened. The yoga instructor simply asked that we move into a sitting position. Well, that’s the easiest thing ever, right? I mean, that’s not even a yoga pose, that’s just SITTING. So I dipped down, and as my rear met my yoga mat, my left hand somehow managed to graze my water bottle, as it smacked loudly onto the wooden floor.

“F#@K!” I groaned under my breathe. Then I noticed that the lid on my water bottle must not have been firmly closed because now water was spilling out onto the floor.

“F$*#K!” I said again (quietly, it’s yoga after all). I looked around for something to sop up the water and grabbed my two socks.This didn’t work so well, so I threw my yoga blanket on top of the mess. By now, the rest of the class was getting ready for my FAVORITE yoga pose, shavasana. Friends, I tell you no lies, shavasana is where you get to LAY DOWN like a corpse! How awesome is that? It’s an actual pose!

But, I wasn’t feeling awesome at all. I was totally upset. One moment I’m doing yoga and I’M IN THE ZONE and the next, out of nowhere, I’m making a big ‘ol mess and have completely lost my yoga mojo.

Maybe (hopefully) you’re remembering a time when you were learning something new and can relate. This is how it is when we’re learning anything new, right? We make messes. We realize we’re not experts. We do silly things. We have to improvise when we don’t have the exact right tools we need right then. We get off track and feel behind. We get embarrassed.

A few weeks ago a guy reached out to me, interested in Stuffology. We had a good exchange about the process, and from what he shared, he definitely needed some help. It felt like we were at the point where we were going to schedule but then, he disappeared.

A few day later, he wrote and admitted, he just couldn’t do it. He said his place was too messy and he was too embarrassed to have me (or anyone) see it. I was bummed and yet, I get it! I know how it feels. It’s so hard to have others see our messes, to see our insides. It’s hard to be vulnerable that way.

I went back to yoga and a few days later. I couldn’t get into the “zone” but I showed up, unrolled my mat and then twisted, downward dogged, warrior posed and shavasana’d. As I waved goodbye to my fellow yoga peeps, I smiled.

On my way home I thought about how it’s so hard to show up, to risk being messy. At the same time, I was relishing the feeling of connection, like I could be just a little bit more vulnerable having made a mess. We all need a little bit of that from time to time, right?

There is never ever a time when I have worked with a client where it hasn’t gotten messy. That’s part of the beauty of seeing who we are, through our stuff. I cherish those private moments when I get to spend time with people, one on one, sorting things out, making a mess, finding our way.

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