I’ve realized something strange about myself.

In the pursuit of doing things authentic to my soul, I often find myself trying to be like everyone else.

When I started pursuing yoga, I really loved it. The breath, the movement – the way progress WAS the journey and perfecting didn’t even exist. Yoga looks different on everyone, and I love that. But then I started realizing, most of us were trying to look the same.

We insist on using certain yoga mats, recommended by the yogis, to give us all equal support and experience. We wear the same Lululemon attire, because you know, that’s what serious yogi’s do. We want to achieve every asana, perfectly and quickly, like everyone else.

And then this little thing called comparison crept in. In my pursuit of something totally for me, I wanted to look the same as everyone else.

The same was true for my quiet time with God. Some of the most influential women I know, site their success in balancing life, to getting up early every morning. They make coffee, do their devotions, spend time in prayer, and work out before anyone else gets up. In my head, I picture Mary Poppins, just bee-bopping along, all cheery and crap.

For years, I have wanted to be this person. Wake up, hear the birds singing with the sun streaming through the windows and perch quietly in my big chair. Except there was always one minor problem: I really love my sleep. And waking up early has this weird way of ending my sleep. So it never worked for me. The mornings I tried, I would usually fall back asleep in my chair. So I stopped trying the morning thing, which turned into not trying at all.

Ridiculous, right? But actually, pretty common. When we decide to incorporate more life-giving rhythms in our life, it’s usually because someone has inspired us to do so. We try to mimic what wellness looks like for them, forgetting that a life-giving routine has to be our own.

If we’re set on what wellness has to look like, we’ll never embrace what it can look like.

It can look like a 10 minute meditation in the morning, in between brushing teeth and preparing food (and by preparing, I mean throwing things in a half-zipped bag.)

It can look like praying in the car to circumvent road rage.

It can look like yoga class wearing clothes you dug out of the hamper. And by the way, Target is my Lululemon.

It can look like little bits of wellness throughout the course of an entire day, not isolated into one sit down event in the morning or evening.

It can look like whatever it has to, in order to exist.

Same is the decision to be well, different is the journey.

Same is the decision to choose better, different is how it looks.

There’s grace in living well.