9 January 2017 - 6:42pm
I rolled my yoga mat out for the first time in a long time. It felt as if a horrible blessing. Horrible at the fact that I went this long without practicing, and then horrible for judging myself for going this long without practicing.
Deep Breath: Feeling the stiffness in my hamstrings, upper back, and facial muscles.
What a blessing, to feel sensation. I have arrived again. I am back. I remember, I am human experiencing the now, now, now, now… now.
2016 was a year of growth. This time last year I was in the dance company of my dreams called FALL, a Nashville, Tennessee based dance company that used aerial silks, modern dance, contemporary dance, and ballet to portray a specific thematic concept. We performed repertoire about three times a year for a specific show. We performed monthly for art crawls, festivals, or local events. This gig was perfect, only I was too clouded to see the paradise right in front of me.
I was living in a quaint two-bedroom apartment right outside of Nashville with my best friend at the time, but still mourning the loss of my relationship to this wonderful human whom I thought was my everything, all while serving at a restaurant that I hated.
I was letting my hatred and sadness infiltrate my life. I was over-critical towards myself in dance classes and rehearsals to the point where I was not even enjoying dancing anymore. Dancing became a task rather than my life-breathing passion.
I had to quit everything. My lease was over at the end of January. I was not going to stay in the apartment that reminded me of a lost love. Everything in the city reminded me of the lost love. I can't focus.
Off to Florida I go. After living on my own, I go back to my parents' house in Jupiter, Florida. I need love. Since I don't know how to love myself, I need my parents to do it for me. I feel like a failure. Here I am, a college graduate with anxiety and depression so bad that I have to crawl back to my parents house. For a few weeks, I reject doing anything productive at all. I'm just floating around, tagging along with my parents, and resisting my emotions or feeling anything at all. I distract myself by hanging out with this guy I met on a yacht, and later working on the yacht with my newfound boyfriend.
On a whim, I apply for a yoga teacher training program. I've been practicing yoga since the fifth grade with my mom. I'd rather teach yoga than go back to serving tables. I apply, I get in. I am forced wake up and stop acting out of autopilot. I'm faced with all the things that I have been avoiding. It's like I am standing in front of a mirror. Instead of seeing my actual reflection, I was seeing what I wanted to see through an imaginary filter. I was a constant victim, not taking responsibility for my actions, feelings, education, or emotions. The blame was always on someone other than myself. Now, I am seeing the real, authentic, painful events and situations that I have pushed to the back of my subconscious. I am open, raw, uncomfortable, and aware. It is all me. All of my samskaras are being revealed to me. My lost love was my fault and I accept that.
I am forced to look at myself with compassion and growth, something that I don't think I ever have done until now. Kula Yoga Shala taught me how to love myself and take responsibility for my own life. The four months of yoga teacher training were the hardest four months of my life. So many mental shifts. I am ready. I am ready to live my light.
After ytt I have the courage to move out with the money I saved from working on the yacht. I have the courage to move to Colorado.
I arrive. I am again forced into a new way of life. I am intimidated by the immense yoga community out here. There is so much yoga. How can I even compare to all of these yogis that have traveled, been to india multiple times, studied under profound gurus, and teach daily classes? Yes, I have practiced for over ten years, I have read the ancient texts, I have this gift of connecting authentically with people, but I am completely crippled by fear and anxiety of not being good enough.
I advert from going for it and getting my hands dirty. I apply for serving jobs again. I party. I learn to snowboard. I distract myself from my dream, because it's too hard and scary. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing all of this live music and art. Exploring the mountains, seeing new territory, learning a new sport are all things that bring me great happiness. Fully aware that I am distracting myself, I keep partying and exploring.
I'm not exactly sure how it happens, but i feel a shift. A yearning for something deeper. My dream is pulling at my heart strings. I can pursue my dream and have fun at the same time. Life is deep. It is possible to have it all. I just have to go for it. So here it is. Here is the new year. I am ready to dive in, to experience the life that I know is there, waiting for me.
I say it is hard to pursue a dream. I feel it is harder not to pursue the dream. It's 2017. 2016 was a year of immense growth. I am still a server. I am taking dance classes again, now without the harsh judgement. I am re-introduced to my yoga practice. I am still partying. I am still exploring. I am still learning. This go around, I am fully aware of my paradise, this luscious life that I have the privilege of experiencing.
There is a burning, fiery sensation in my chest. My heart is on fire to live yoga. I am here, in front of my dusty yoga mat, accepting the dirt, grime, fear, and anxiety that I feel fully. I am bringing all of these things with me to my practice, because they are real, authentic emotions. I embrace these emotions with love, knowing that they make me who I am. I breathe oxygen into my body. I breathe oxygen into my samskaras. I breathe oxygen into my mental blocks. I breathe oxygen into the process. I breathe.
I will succeed. I will fail. I will grow. I will succeed.