Recently at breakfast with Halle, our conversation turned a bit deep (as we often bounce between laughing at farts and/or falling and unpacking our psychology behaviors). The topic of life decisions came about. It got my mind moving through the on-paper big milestones: my parents divorce, moving to Spain, relationships, heartbreak, Cincinnati. So it surprised me when prompted about the biggest one, and out popped “when I decided to heal”. Halle thought for a minute, and said “i noticed when that shifted.”
It started with the yoga room; 75 minutes a day, 30 days in a row; discipline, boundaries. Then it wandered off my mat, out of the studio doors. I made little decisions to put my own life first, which wasn’t a habit or practice of mine. This showed up in small ways, like telling a friend i couldn’t meet until 7 instead of 430. I said no to some things, yes to others. Then it showed up in big ways, like ending something because it wasn’t healthy.
Over the next six months, the mirrors in the studio where i practiced changed. My body, my weight, started to look different. Although the scale didn’t necessarily change dramatically, i started to see myself differently. The little voice of constant comparison got quieter. Leaving the house didn’t require 5 outfit changes; body dysmorphia faded. I stayed in on a Friday to practice Saturday morning. If work was stressful, i made sure i got to class. I noticed I wasn’t so angry anymore. I was learning, I was healing.
And my life changed.
In truth, the real work was about to start. This work - self-work - shows up. It’s been eye-opening and raw, and embarrassing, powerful, and barf-city. It’s led me to fantastic therapists, deep connections with friends - old and new, workshops, teacher trainings. I’ve healed and re-built old and new relationships with family and friends. Temptation has shown up during this practice and this process. I’ve failed. I’ve fallen back into habits of obsessing about my weight. I’ve ended up continuing old relationships that not only don’t serve me, but hurt me. Because I am human, and 32. But time and time again, my mat doesn’t judge. It just hits re-set. We begin again.
This work is endless. Life will continue to challenge, amaze, betray, and love us. I have a deep, deep gratitude for it all. I feel humbled to teach this practice that impacted me so greatly. i feel lucky to share this path with friends, students, family, my sisters. There is so much left to learn.
"there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do--determined to save the only life you could save." - Mary Oliver