It is natural to presume once we embark on a journey towards self-improvement life should be easy peasy. We can put on our rose-coloured glasses, hit cruise control, grab a Pina-colada, while listening to our favourite song.
The more realistic experience towards self-improvement, can leave one feeling like they are running through an obstacle course barefoot, naked, while alarms go off, with no assistance in sight.
Changing who we are can be one of the most difficult tasks we embrace.
We live in a society that tell us to “keep calm and carry on”. Distracting ourselves and avoiding pain, is the only way to “get by”. We developing self-soothe coping mechanisms, that normally do not serve us. This can be anything from drinking, to not standing up for ourselves.
At the beginning of this year, I decided to get intimate with myself, as well as a few behaviours that I felt were holding me back. I wanted to create a space I could sit in my truth, further my own awareness, and cultivate self-expression. Yoga has always been a space of healing for me. So I decided to give up my evenings and weekends, lock myself in a yoga studio, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Today as the sun hits my face, and I write this, I can take a deep breath, and say… It was worth it. But it wasn’t easy…
Over the course of three months I witnessed my fellow yogi’s uncontrollably crying, scream, everyone got sick, we questioned everything.
I battled with my own anxiety, insomnia, and often opted to spend my spare time alone. When I tried to talk about it with those closest to me, I felt like I was speaking a foreign language.
By the end of the rollercoaster ride, part of me was dizzy, weak in the knees. Another part of me elated, like I was seeing the world with new eyes.
We all have things about ourselves or our life that we would like to see improve. To move forward, we must break up with the past. Like any break-up, this brings all the emotions of grieving, isolation, and crazy.
It is normal to feel or even try to go back to the way things were. Nostalgia and faded bad memories might entice you. I tried to go back to the old version of myself many times, but you cannot go backwards with new eyes.
I will never claim to know everything, but I will say this: If you are on a path, learning to love or accept yourself, it is completely normal to feel lonely, lost, and even worse than you normally feel. You are digging into yourself deeply, so be gentle. Maybe my Elephant Journal article on your inner child would help.
I do believe self-care can change the world. If we all looked at that part of us we do not like, it would be easier to not act from ego and pain.
One of teachers said:
“When people react, they are showing you their pain. You can react, and show them your pain, or come into your heart, and show them love.”
As the tulips start to bloom, myself and 40 yogi’s complete this part of the journey. I can sense there is a little more peace in each one of us. We embody the wisdom of a warrior that has turned inward, both surrendering and finding strength. We all had to leave a little of ourselves behind, to move forward into who we have become. It wasn’t a pretty road, but it brought us to a better place.
The journey is never over, but with the right tools, support, and attitude, it get’s easier.
Yoga is a beautiful healing tool, but it can be intense for some. Not every person has this experience. My goal today, was to simply share with you, that healing can be hard, and you are not alone in this experience. My goal for the future, is to share with you more of the beautiful tools I have learnt during my recent yoga journey. Stay tuned, support yourself.