Dear Homegrown Yogis,

My 3-year-old daughter Freida and I were roaming the aisles of Target looking for an art project to bring home with us.   Her most recent obsession – coloring – has taken over every part of our house and of her.  We have random scribbles on our walls and furniture, and Freida’s hands and clothes are constantly stained with whatever markers and paints she used that day. 

While at Target, we both noticed that every single coloring kit they had was “mess-free.”  These “magical” markers write absolutely clear unless applied to a specific kind of paper.  That means no more drawing on the walls or furniture and no more walking around with marker stains on hands and clothes.  Remarkably, that was all they had available to purchase in the kid’s art section and although maybe I should consider that a stroke of luck, it also made me worry about what message this is sending to my child.  Is making a mess bad?  And if so, should we all be working towards a “mess-free” environment?       

As a human being, yoga teacher and mom, I know my answer is a loud and clear “NO.”  The times in my life where I have experienced the most personal growth have inevitably been some of the messiest – the times where everything seemed to be falling apart.  The strongest yoga practices I have had usually ended up with me a sweaty mess on my mat.  And the happiest memories I have with Freida don’t ever include a clean house or unstained clothes. 

I haven’t always been so “pro-mess” but as I began to realize how much of my energy was going into maintaining a mess-free environment, I realized it wasn’t worth it for me.  So now I embrace it all – messy yoga, messy art and yes, a messy life.

With love,