Strong Girl: Siri

Meet Siri. Siri Smithback.

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It started on colored mats – where toes touch pillowed plastic, palms pressed for downward dog.

We styled our hair in a twirled-up, sweat-streaked fashion, or as you like to call us, the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.

It may seem like we are the girls who find identity in things physical. And at some point in our lives, this was unarguably true.

But things are different, now.

In all of the bending and twisting, the stillness and movement we experience on mats, our spirits are strengthened more than muscles.

We’ve become students of silencing chaos.

We have chosen to grab hold of inner beauty, even when we feel it isn’t true.

We have learned the art of surrender, trusting in His plans as we embrace all things unknown.

I don’t know of a target weight or muscle mass or race time that can accomplish these things.

But I do believe that a heart of Faith can.

There is much that the world does not know of us girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.

And for the last few months, we have been able to celebrate victories that most cannot understand – victories of empty bowls, keeping grounded, closing the agenda and forgetting about time.

We’re those kind of friends.

The kind that rejoice.
The kind that get real.
The kind that know how a hug can communicate more than words. And sometimes you just need a hug, or a few.

Siri is a friend who has taught me so much and I am very thankful that she is sharing part of her story with us today.

To my friend with messy hair and a thirsty heart, a beautiful thirsty heart, cheers!

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How does the word “movement” fit into your life? How does it relate to what you are currently doing?

I have this love of covering ground. The notion of moving through space is an amazing thing to experience. I will be on a walk, or biking, or riding in a car, and begin to take in the terrain and life all around me. It is catharsis.

To balance the movement and to truly enjoy it, I do need grounding and connection. This has been particularly hard for me the past two years, covering ground from Minnesota to Wisconsin and now Oregon.

Currently, I am on the move, in search of where to plant the roots. (And trusting the journey.)

How does “stillness” fit into your life? How does that word sit with you?

I would be lying if I said this question was easy to answer. I guess, right now, I do not know how stillness fits into my life or how it should fit into my life…

Often, I’ll pause to breathe and, by default, my attention turns to my fears. This becomes overwhelming and I immediately want to run. To find complete stillness would be a gift…maybe.

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What is one goal you have this year?

Keep letting light and love in.

As of lately, this has been really inspiring to me:

This Sky by Hafiz

This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings. So love, love, love.

Currently, who/what do you draw inspiration from?

Being in nature stirs everything inside of me. On the coast or in the forest, I get lost. As I get out of my head, I become an observer of something more. My senses ignite: the damp, earthy smell and a breeze that hits my face. It makes me look up, out, in awe and I get this rush of life; that spirit moving through me.

What is one thing you know to be true? What is your statement of faith that drives you to keep doing what you’re doing?

I know that life is a beautifully overwhelming and messy journey. But I need to remind myself that I am not alone. This is what I know to be true.

It scares me to think that I am on a solo adventure, 2000 miles from home, without family nearby. But, I can find connection so easily if I just open my eyes and heart. A smile from a stranger, a hug from a yogi, snuggles from my kitty, long chats with my dearest friends; these are what get me through those times when I feel insecure and remind me that I am not alone.

What is something new that brings Joy to your life?

Yoga is not necessarily new to me, but every day when I come to my mat, it is a new moment, full of new sensations and a lot of joy.

I literally crave this form of bodily expression. And I love how difficult it can be! I constantly have to check in with my ego and flow from a place where I am kind to my body yet grant myself the opportunity to grow and build strength.

I seek and find refuge in my yoga mat. My mat takes care of me every asana practice I get. And after a lot of movement in a practice, I find stillness, laying there on my back, eyes closed and heart open. In those moments, it’s bliss.

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Thank you so much, Siri, for sharing part of your story with us. You are so right – this journey is a messy one, but knowing that we are not alone makes all the difference. Through the gunk and through the bliss, we stand arm in arm, celebrating all of life; yes, even the messy parts.

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