When we shun our own darkness (the sadness, the anger, the pain, the frustration and its depths), we feel disconnected from the universe. Isolated. I know how this feels.
Out of my whole journey to date, last year from October 2018 until about January 2019, it’s probably the worst I have ever felt. For some reason, my immune system and body was in complete shut down. And for the first time in my life, I didn’t know how to deal with it. Usually proactive, I just stopped caring. I felt a despair. I felt like quitting and giving up on everything. I was despondent and I really didn’t know what to do.
But fast forward to March 2019 and I truly feel the light as a feather again. And to keep it real, I’m not bouncing off walls with a false sense of happiness. Of course I have days, where I just feel emotionally crappy. Everyone has those. However most days, I have a sense of gratitude, more content and happier for the little things.
The path to this has been coming back to realising that we are not just light, we are not just darkness. We are everything. And that is when we can truly feel healed and whole again. I also took ownership of many areas in my life where I felt needed to be improved. This included changing my career, moving somewhere that I knew was special in my heart and finally embarking on a path that would embrace my passion- yoga.
And as soon as I did this, 6 months later and within the space of 4 weeks of active effort, I got a new job, new home and qualified as a yoga teacher in Portugal! My time doing intensive training as a yoga teacher was more special than I ever imagined. Firstly, I wasn’t even sure if my mind and body could cope with the training requirements, given how ‘weak’ my body had been in the weeks running up to it. But I mentally prepared myself and trained my body (within my limits) to cope with it. Nutrition and making sure I had enough weight and energy was really important. My teachers knew of my condition and reminded me that yoga isn’t just a physical practice. In fact, it’s more spiritual than physical. And all about breathing. Moving that life force and pranic energy. The asanas (poses) are directed by the breathing in every way and they can be considered a practice of moving meditation. They are only one limb of yoga, meaning that we tap into the other limbs of yoga, more areas of our mind, body, heart and inner-verse. This can be more demanding than lifting weights. People can be so afraid to address everything from the inside, yet it takes an incredible amount of courage and is indeed, an ongoing journey.
I write this on Spring Equinox, which, according to foreverconscious.com is where we experience equal hours of light and dark. The start of a new cycle and astrological new year. Where everything comes into bloom, new growth and a fresh start in our lives.
As testament to how strong the mind and body can grow and how much it can recover, even after a horrible or bad period, I experienced strength in many ways in my yoga teaching journey. I felt amazing, I connected with so many like-minded souls and felt like I was flying (hence the feature pic hehe) and impressed I was able to let someone plank on top of my own plank!
A wonderful message I got from one of my teachers, who inspired me greatly:
‘It is not the critic who counts: not the one who points out how the strong competitor stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again, because there is no effort, without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends themselves for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if they fail, at least they fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat’
I cried at this message. Because I really felt it. Understood it. And was in awe of his empathy, experience of pain and wisdom of how to transform it all. He cared and wanted to help me. It is also why you need supportive, caring, healthy and compassionate individuals by your side. And don’t get me wrong- he kicked my ass too! Challenged me because he didn’t actually view me as weak at all, he viewed me with a lot of strength and gusto! He pushed me, encouraged me and showed me the way.
And as an act of paying it forward, I want to help and SHOW others- miracles can happen. When you plunge yourself into discovering everything that is beautiful about who you are (regardless of how you may think of yourself right now), indulging in your passions, you take time away from ruminating, worrying, being anxious and actually start to live life 🙂
And that doesn’t mean you have to go do yoga or plank 🙂 You just have to do what lights your soul on fire, what makes you happy and discover what encourages you to keep going.