: a trite phrase or expression; also : the idea expressed by it
: a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation
: something (as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace
— cliché adjective
I am a female, vegan, yoga teacher living in Los Angeles. How come, my description on paper sounds so....unoriginal? I'm no statistician, but I think it's fair to assume that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of women in this city that fit that exact description as well.
These adjectives gathered on a page, may apply to many others, but I must admit, I'm often surprised at how they gather around my identity, my "me-ness". My journey to collect these adjectives has been at turns surprising and new, and at other times felt like a homecoming of a sorts, a finding my way back to myself.
All of these thoughts spinning around and bumping into one another, of course, lead me back to yoga and in particular, that third definition of cliche - something that has become overly familiar or commonplace. Yoga is nothing new in North America anymore, in fact you could say it is now commonplace, certainly in urban areas. Which leads me to......
What is wrong with something being commonplace or familiar? Are those traits in and of themselves "bad", or is our reaction to those traits really quite telling? Is it that we, as a culture, are always looking for the next shiny bauble, the next big thing? Especially in North America, we seem to suffer a dis-connect from the lessons of our own mistakes and history. We live in a disposable society, and as such, we are in a constant state of discarding, re-inventing, and seeking. Ugh, just writing that and reading it back, exhausted me - how disconnected are we from the qualities of contentment and commitment?
Truly, I am so grateful for and contented with my lifestyle choices. My veganism has not only given me increased health and vitality but it has allowed me to discard the cognitive dissonance I struggled with for years on and off on my winding journey from omnivore to herbivore.
My commitment to my yoga practice and the deepening of that practice through taking yoga teacher training, honestly surprised me. Before we moved to L.A. I had a strong practice, but like many, I yo-yo'ed in and out of classes, was not aware of the underlying philosophical principles of the practice and had zero interest in teaching yoga. When I got here, something in me shifted, and suddenly, this idea that seemed so foreign to me (becoming a yoga teacher), felt like an instinct to be acted on.
Ultimately, I'm so glad I followed my heart towards this life and lifestyle that I have the great good fortune to call my own. Even if hundreds or even thousands more are described buy these same adjectives, here's what's important....are you contented? are you healthy? are you open to learning new things and experiencing wonder? Because if the answer is yes to those questions, I see absolutely NOTHING cliche about leading a full, functioning, fabulous life!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman
Namaste and Much Love,