Posted in young then older


With mixed emotions I pick up a DWR catalog that showed up on my doorstep.  It’s like a test, can I look in the pages?  Do I still get enveloped by the same old longing for a beautiful home on a plantation in South Carolina?  Or a flat in New York?  What will happen?  Instead of being enlightened, I am dragged down by the same old heavy disappointment that is Desire.  Want want want.  A life of luxury, veiled in simplicity…stuff that is cool…enough money to look like you don’t care about money.

Sigh.  It distracts me, it saddens me…this Desire.

Yoga?  Study?  What’s the point?

I think about Emerson Human Captial and I silently pray, please GOD, let me get this job, I need this validation.  Am I just a dork?  Am I so hopelessly far gone I cannot be employed?  Then I hear myself wish it:  I want to be DISCOVERED.  Found out for how great I am.

Just like the old Lana Turner Sitting at a Soda Fountain in Hollywood story.  Discovered.

As if the universe rewards you for just sitting there.  But I do believe in being in the right place at the right time.  Lining up all the ducks in a row and being ready to wade into the pond…I’d like to think the dumpster story could go down in history…


The letter to Bettina Rousos:

Dear Ms Rousos:

Thank you for the generous opportunity to introduce myself to you today.
As discussed, I came home and reviewed the program you described online.  I am extremely confident that I can hit the ground running using this software, it seems quite user-friendly compared to learning how to manage HTML code.
As for the other position, I assume I will hear by tomorrow evening, and if I am offered the position I will ask for an extension as discussed.
Finally, as expected, after we hung up I did think of an example of my greatest failure, and it resonates with the feeling I described to you.  After I received my B.A. in English, I had applied to graduate school.  In the meantime, I started to date a fellow who was a comedy writer for a big studio in Hollywood.  It was, as you’d imagine, a really fun time and I met a lot of really funny people.  Turns out they all went to Harvard and had worked as writers for the National Lampoon Magazine.  Upon graduation, each in turn would migrate to New York (Saturday Night Live) or Hollywood.  The joke was “When we hire each other it’s not quitenepotism.”
I watched as people “schmoozed” at parties and deals were made.  In my heart, I wanted to speak up and ask for a job, any job.  A “Production Secretary”?  Sounds like fun.  A “Runner”?  I bet could do that.  Anything on the long line of credits at the end of the movie?  Probably could do that.  But, I didn’t.  I didn’t have official office experience at that time, and I didn’t even know where to start.  In my mind I kept thinking the opportunity would come up, someone would ask but that day never came.
Later, when I was breaking up with that fellow, I mentioned wishing I could have worked in that industry, it seemed so exciting.  He was shocked that I was even interested (I guess I had kept it to myself pretty well).  He said it would have been so easy,  “you could have just walked in and asked, everyone likes you, someone would have found you work”.
I was stunned.  I was in the middle of something amazing and I let my self doubt hold me back:  My greatest failure.
As I reviewed our interview today in my mind, I realize that my honesty about my current skills might lessen my chances.  I am a very honest and straightforward person.  But I am also an extremely flexible, capable, and diligent person in body and spirit.  I know I can master any task set before me, so I want to assure you that I am a very viable and desirable candidate.
I appreciate that you will forward my information to the CFO.  I hope that my stability, enthusiasm, and desire to improve my skill set and succeed can be weighted appropriately.
My best regards, I had a great time speaking with you today.

Here’s the essay I sent:

Why Change is So Hard

When considering why change is hard, look at your bare feet.  Imagine changing your feet.  Not by pedicure or by fancy socks but by reshaping the actual bones in your feet.  It seems impossible but it is possible.  Real change is momentous–like restructuring the bones in your feet–and that’s why it is hard.  Change requires trust and trust requires insight into very deeply private things like the bones in your feet and why they look they way they do.

Let’s begin at the bottom.  Feet are literally at the opposite end of your brain.  Feet are usually stuffed into shoes and forgotten for an entire day.  For some cultures feet are considered dirty and suspicious and elevating the feet above the head is a perversion of the natural order of the universe.  But feet are the foundation and the humble workhorses of the body.  They also reveal a lot about their owner.

Because locomotion is imperative to survival, the bones of the feet evolved to heal quickly and respond dramatically to stress.  If you have pain or irregular bumps, you might have bone spurs or bunions.  These bony outgrowths are the body’s response to chronic tightness. These usually develop when a ligament (or the plantar fascia) pulls on bone.  This pull on the bone encourages the bone to create more bone.  More bone in the foot impinges on nerves, restricts proper movement, and causes pain.

Feet, therefore, are a great living example of how personal habits (such as exercise) and seemingly inconsequential daily choices (such as shoes) grow into very solid and visible monuments to accumulated conscious and unconscious decisions.

Once a bone spur or a bunion develops in earnest, it’s hard to reverse the damage.  The quick fix is to shave off the extra bone.  Surgery is a drastic, icky, and not always successful solution.   Remember, bone responds to stress by laying down more bone, so unless you change the habits that got you there in the first place, you won’t improve.

But there’s good news:  bone is not hard and solid, it is soft and swishy and it can be re-molded.  The less invasive solution is to trust and accept the prognosis and to learn the proper use and care of your feet.  Like a fabric tag, these instructions only work if you follow them.   Foot surgery may seem easier than giving up your sexy pointy-toed heels or your sedentary lifestyle, but even surgery requires giving up those shoes and exercising your feet, so you must trust, accept, and get onboard.

Change is hard because once onboard you open yourself to insight and insight may lead to uncomfortable feelings such as self-loathing.  This type of reflection demands you now not only mourn the loss of your shoe collection and leisurely lifestyle but also, let’s face it, mourn the loss of your youthful ignorance about what is required versus what is an option and what a satisfying life in this body demands.



Maria Young Ace Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (500) Independent Contractor providing the following services: Office Management, Bookkeeping, Web Design, Marketing and Instruction in Yoga and Martial Arts for children and adults. Black Belt, 4 year program, LockBoxing. Maria studied under Erik Lee and won Grand Champion at the Kuk Sool Tri-State Tournament in 2006. Experience Certified Yoga Instructor: 700 hour level. At Piedmont Yoga, Maria’s main instructors were Richard Rosen, Rodney Yee, and Clare Finn. To them she is eternally grateful. Richard Rosen, founder Piedmont Yoga Studio & editor of Yoga Journal says: “Among the 30...students Maria was always among the more assiduous and adept.  If you’re thinking of adding Yoga instruction to your program, then I highly recommend Maria for the job.” College: CSULB: B.A. English Literature, UC Berkeley: M.A. Comparative Literature