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60 to 60: The Middle Finger

Yes, I know. Nice people aren’t supposed to flip people off. It’s not polite. It’s indecent.

Unrefined! Vulgar.

Oh, but sometimes it’s so satisfying.

Giving someone the finger is a really old gesture. Really old. History informs us that people in ancient Greece and Rome were aggressively gesturing with this long finger. Originally sexual in nature, today it’s become customary of Hollywood celebrities to flip the bird to well, everyone.

The one-finger salute can be used as a playful, humorous gesture between friends. Quite often there is no malicious intent behind giving someone the middle finger. It’s a way to be silly and cheeky with friends.

Sometimes giving someone the middle finger will bond you for life. On Day 1 of a weeklong yoga training workshop, I found myself using the double-bird gesture to demonstrate how I felt about a certain situation in my life. My inner rebellious teenager is still, apparently, alive and well!

On Day 2, I took a series of quick overhead photos but didn’t look at them right away. Sarah and I had enjoyed a great connection the afternoon before, sharing all sorts of stuff with each other that really only happens in a retreat setting. You get to know people fast and deep. This is both fabulous and terrifying. I laughed really hard when I saw this photo afterwards. It makes me love her forever.

Later in the week, she snapped this one of me. Like I said, how rude! An almost 60-year old woman. What will people think?

Well…I study a lineage of yogic teachings that not only allows but encourages us as students and teachers to be genuine. Show up real, show up big. Don’t try to be anyone else, ever.

When I had my third scary cancerous spot removed, a hole was cut out of my hand. I was scared but it’s easier to show anger, isn’t it? I posted this photo of me and my bandage. This is what I say to skin cancer. An old boyfriend (yes, that one) admonished me on my Facebook page. He intimated that words and gestures are powerful, suggesting I “should” be more careful with my choices.

I responded, days later after working through a teeny-weeny resentment. “Context is everything,” I wrote, thinking he might have missed the point. I suggested we each stay in our own lanes.

In my heart, I’ll always have a special place for him.

In my mind, I flipped him off.


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