Keep it Real

By Beth Wolfe

I've recently been made aware of a trend among teens who maintain multiple online identities by managing two separate Instagram accounts. One is highly curated, displaying only beautifully staged, filtered, and aspirational moments. A second account, the so-called "finstagram" (for "fake instagram") showcases less savory events. The "fake" photos (kept hidden to all but a few close friends) are considered to be silly, embarrassing, or unflattering.

As spiritual beings living in human (imperfect) shells, we hide the most embarrassing or shameful parts of ourselves, while presenting an outward facade of what we believe to be our more "socially acceptable" selves. This feeling that the less-than-perfect side of us should be kept hidden creates obstacles to making authentic connections with one another, and with ourselves. The photo above was taken on an unusually frigid spring morning. As I was balancing myself on the edge of the fountain to get into "flying lizard" pose, I slipped, almost falling into the water, drawing blood from my knee, and ripping a hole in the knee of my yoga pants. Of the many images captured that day, the one above is the one I chose to represent me in the digital world, but my everyday life isn't particularly aspirational, and it certainly isn't perfect. That fall, the blood, and the torn pants represent my real life AND my real yoga practice, just as much, probably more, than the polished photo. Our yoga practice invites us to find our authentic selves and to become comfortable with who we really are. It encourages us to embrace our "imperfections," and to realize that each one of us carries our own unpleasant "stuff" that we'd prefer not to confront. Once we find that clarity, we can share it with others, unapologetically.

Will you #keepitreal with us? If you're willing to share a story or part of yourself that you generally keep under wraps, we would love to share it with our Ease community. Speaking about these less-than-perfect moments is a radical act of vulnerability, but the rewards of being open are profound. To share your #keepitreal moment, please get in touch with us.