Everyone is a different version of you.

A man I didn’t know spoke to me as I waited to cross the street.  “Great class, wasn’t it?” I looked to my left and he was looking ahead, and the light changed, and we began to walk together.  We talked about yoga, which we had in common.  I mentioned a recent break-up that had left me reeling.  He said he understood.  He’d had a similar experience last winter.  I told him I was going to Bali in the fall.  He stopped and pulled a Lonely Travel guide to Bali out of his backpack.  He was going to Bali in 10 days.  I started laughing.  “It’s like you’re a different version of me!”

Kindred spirits.  You know when you meet them.  There’s a certain click and comfort of familiarity, even though you’ve just met.  There might be uncanny similarities, or simply a feeling in the gut and heart that says I know you even though the mind can’t explain it.

I learn so much from others.  I’m happy for their happiness, and I want to hold a safe space for their pain.

We are all creative expressions of Life.  It is very important to practice compassion and unconditional love towards yourself.  It’s like practicing scales or going through drills or rehearsal.  Build the fundamentals into your muscles.  Being able to love your whole self makes it so much easier to love others, who are really just different versions of you.  If there is a part of you that you deny or detest or reject, it is easy — like muscle memory — to deny and detest and reject others when we perceive those same characteristics in them.

So love this version of you.

Be curious.  Savor all of it.