When you see me glowing with happiness under the full moon, please don’t assume that I feel this way all the time. Like anyone’s life, there are moments of happiness and moments of grief. In my case, depression and anxiety have been the default since early childhood. We don’t transform our essential nature, but we learn, through our yoga practice and through healthy healing relationships, that we are not alone in the way we feel, and that we are so much more than any particular feeling.

Because I walk the Cliff Walk at sunrise often while I’m in Rhode Island, the great beauty of nature—the changing cloud formations, the bird song, the placid or crashing waves, the sun obscured or radiant in its rising—could be lost on me if I’m busy ruminating about my story. So, I take uttarabhodi mudra as I leave the house and ask that I be in awe, that I receive the gifts of the day with an open heart, that I allow the feelings of the morning to wash through me.

Asking helps. Ask that your mood or your story take a backseat as you drive into the day with an open mind, a soft heart, ready to receive what life brings you with a welcoming fearlessness.