At the start of every yoga class we’re urged to set an intention for the practice. The intention is set as something to grasp onto when the practice gets tough. When your muscles are aching and sweat is dripping down your forehead you can come back to your intention for strength and motivation.
Recently I made my second trip to an advanced yoga practice. The first one had been a miserable experience. Overwhelmed and unable to follow along with the instructor I spent most of the class lying on my mat. It had taken a few months before I braved the advanced class again, yet the memory of my failure was still in my mind.
I knew that the class was going to be just as hard, and I would feel overwhelmed, tired and frustrated. So I chose my intention carefully. This practice I was going to focus on one thought:
Be Encouraged By What You Learn
Be encouraged by learning, not by perfection. Even if I try a pose and fail, my muscles become stronger, I learn more about the technique. Even if I’m too tired to stand up, I watch others and learn from them.
Throughout the practice I felt encouraged by my frustrations. I felt encouraged when I couldn’t do a pose. I felt encouraged when my muscles ached and my body quivered. I felt encouraged by what I was learning in every moment.
Crossdress and Be Encouraged
Sometimes crossdressing is like the most difficult yoga practice. You’re frustrated because you can’t seem to get your makeup right. Your clothes don’t fit properly, you struggle to walk in heels and you ladder your stockings. Every step you take as a crossdresser seems manly, clumsy and awkward. You may even have people laugh at you, or stare with intense interest. Your feet might be hurting, sweat ruining your makeup and the teller calls you, ‘sir’.
Despite being excited at the prospect of a wonderful day spent en femme you end your day in despair. Cursing your transgendered misfortune.
But Be Encouraged By What You Learn
It’s easy to get caught in the perfection trap. Always striving for perfect, yet never achieving it. Each failure chipping away at your pride until you barely feel like wearing anything at all. Don’t let your own judgments stop you from crossdressing.
Wear those clothes, do your makeup, put on that wig. Do your feminine best, and be encouraged by what you learn. Even if all you learn is how ill suited that red sweater is for your figure, have fun being awfully gorgeous.
We’re all just practicing our femininity, some of us have been at it a while longer, that’s all.
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