I thought I knew how my life was going. I thought I had a plan. In a moment it changed. It shifted along a fault line when I packed a bag, called a friend and left, son in tow, in the middle of the night. It was a good choice in the moment. A necessary choice with tough fall out. So here I am. I’m 44. I just upended my life. I’m figuring it all out all over again. I’m scared. I’m also free.
It’s been a tough month. I left with $21 in my wallet. I thought I had nowhere to go and didn’t know what I was going to do. But friends showed up. Friends took care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. Friends are still doing a lot for me. I was scared and feeling alone, stupid and embarrassed,.
Today, I’m feeling grateful. Today I’m still scared because I haven’t had a lot of open roads in my life. I got married young and while I don’t regret any of my life, I’ve spent a lot of it thinking about other people. Now, it’s time to think about me.
This lesson pops up for me over and over. I believe that your lessons keep poking you until you really get them. This time the lesson is pretty hard to ignore.
When my life has gone astray, as it has so often in the past five years, I examine what yoga has taught me.
Yoga has taught me to sit still, to be open, and to listen. The next step? I don’t know quite yet, but my experience and the experiences of so many before me says that the answer will come. I will know it by the flutter in my heart and the peace in my belly. It will resemble that feeling I have when I come to the mat, but it will come from an idea, a word, a thought.
Yoga has taught me self-care. It doesn’t come naturally, but yoga has taught me how precious my mind, body and spirit are, collectively and singularly. So laying on the couch indulging in Halloween candy and a Nikita marathon might seem attractive, but it’s not good self-care for me right now. Self-care is a concept that eluded me for a long time. I was very used to seeing in black and white and the concept that sometimes walks and meditation and practice and herbal tea are good self-care and other days Nikita is called for was hard for me to accept.
But yoga has taught me to see the grays.
So once again I find my life in disarray and finally, I think the lesson is clear. I’ve lived my life too long for others. For spouse, kids, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents, friends. Each time there was a detour I thought that I was making choices for me. Each time I was deluding myself. In all honestly, I’m not sure that I know how make choices just for me.
So it’s not pretty. It’s embarrassing that I find myself here again. I feel too old to be starting over and too old to be learning this lesson. Yoga has taught me to be human. I’m slowly learning what that means. I’m slowly allowing myself kindness for making mistakes and even making the same mistakes again and again. I’m actually listening to the words that I’ve been teaching for years. It’s about the journey. It’s about the choice I make in this moment and not necessarily where I end up with it. I’m letting go, opening up, accepting and loving.
It’s scary, but it’s freeing.