She is not smiling. Her arms are down and her hands face me, palms wide open. I see all of her deep openings and the rivers that have woven through each wound and cracked place within her. Where the rivers merge, a pool of light radiates from within her.⁠

We face each other.⁠

But why won’t she smile at me? Am I not welcome? Does she not want to see me in this space? Am I taking too long to become. Is she impatient with my “hanging back” at the threshold? Are her palms open to push me across? ⁠

I want her to welcome me. To approve of my presence. To tell me I am good. That I made the right choices. To congratulate me on my ambition and drive. I am waiting for her to smile at me. Her smile will tell me all of those things.⁠

She looks at me. ⁠

I am skin. bone. vessels. and a fabric of sheer tissues in her presence. Her gaze goes clear through my body to soul. She moves in closer to me. I see her eyes open into mirrors. She exhales. I soften. I feel her breath in my mouth. ⁠

And I realize, she is me.⁠

She is me, in our future. She is not smiling because she is waiting for me to honor all of my wisdom, to defy every condition and bond that no longer serves her, me, us. She is waiting for me to fully recognize the light that I see in her, is my own.⁠

She is my future and reflection.⁠

I can stay hidden, small and stuck. I can stand here and hold on to all of my stuff. It’s heavy, yet so comfortable and known. ⁠

There is no way forward unless I put this shit down.⁠

It takes a while. One by one I let the things go. Her light allows me to see in the dark as I fumble through all of the things. To surrender the conditions I’ve been clinging to so long that I’ve mistaken them for identity. To let go of ambition and ideas about “success.” Who am I without this armor? Those definitions? That mask? That costume? That belief? ⁠

This is not easy. Weightlessness is uncomfortable when you’ve carried yours and everybody else’s stuff so long. ⁠

I lift my feet to cross the threshold. She offers her hand as compass and guide. Then, she smiles.⁠

The way forward is boundless, when I let go.⁠

I am held.⁠

-Empowered Wisdom Yoga Nidra Reflections⁠