When Yoga Can’t Fix Everything

yoga2

“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” -Aesop

We all have heard it, “Yoga is the cure-all for any and everything.” I will be the first to admit, that yoga does indeed help with a lot. It helps with stress, posture, improves cognitive function, helps with sleep, makes you aware of your body, and so on and so forth. It isn’t just the postures, but the mind set that is created while partaking in the practice. However… no one system is perfect. Every individual is different, and sometimes yoga just doesn’t cut it.

I am not bashing yoga in any way, but from my own personal experience, sometimes an hour on that mat just does not make me calm, cool, and collected. Sometimes I feel worse off after a class than I did before. I have to be aware of my body and how I feel, not let my emotions get in the way of my postures and use them as fuel to move through it, and all that breath work stirs up hidden emotions and issues I have been holding onto. Have you ever seen someone cry in the middle of class while doing certain poses? I have and I have also been that person. I have fallen apart on the mat all due to anxiety, fear, hate, pain, and sadness.

The best way to put it is I am like a glass window, people read me really well with what is going on in my head and I am not one to hide my emotions very well at all. Granted, it takes a lot for me to have a full on meltdown or cry in public, but none-the-less, my face tells all. So, what happens when the anxiety monster comes creeping in and I am trying to bang out even a few minutes of practice? Sometimes, nothing…and I can let it go. Other times, I turn into a giant mess and just curl up in a ball mid practice. I guess it is a part of life and we all have something to work on, but lately it has been awful. It is harder for me to pay attention to my body and stay focused for a full practice than it is for me to go for a long walk…so I go for a walk.

It is not that I am ignoring my practice, but actually listening to what my body needs and wants. Some days, I want to do a deep asana practice with lots of bends and folds, other days I only want to go slow and do a few easy postures, and other days I just don’t fool with it at all and just try to do something else that is good for me. Yes, the emotions are still there and I try my best to deal with them, but I do think it is rather foolish for someone to think that yoga is the ONLY thing that can help out. I have met people in the past who have scoffed at my outlook and said, “You should practice more, you aren’t serious, you’re missing something, why would you say such a thing?” Truth is, my practice might indeed be deeper than theirs for that reason, but I am not one to judge. We all have our own path in life, so I am just going to do what feels right for me and let the haters sip on that hater-aid.

So, what is your body telling you? Namaste.

Advertisements

Love Actually

love-actually-0

       “Distance is just a test to see how far love can travel…”

Love, it is a funny thing. It comes when you least expect it and it stays when you need it most. Love is the meeting of two souls, fully accepting the dark and the light within each other bound by the courage to grow through struggle into bliss. It is more than just a word or material things…love is, well… multifaceted, delightfully complicated yet simple, and above all it is wonderful. You know that moment when someone is trying to tell you something, but you don’t know what it is? Where you think you aren’t going to ever be able to have that certain thing you have been looking for so you just give up and say fuck it? Then all of a sudden it just…well happens? That basically describes this whole situation, at least basically.

I have had a rough time in the dating world. Unlike most of the population that is focused on external things and not much for rocking the boat, I on the other hand have a more old fashioned way of seeing things…with a dash of a modern twist, of course. I love deeply, I think deeply (and often), I feel deeply, and I have a more grand understanding of what is going on around me than most of the people I have come into contact with. I do understand that having a brain, plus being relatively attractive does make me a bit intimidating. I have scared the shit out of many men, I have made many a man mad, and I also have caused many a man to turn into a beast and make a total ass of himself (not on purpose, mind you). I hate to say it, but I kinda gave up on love for that very reason…almost. Not completely, but I was rather fed up, to say the least.

How did it happen? Well, it goes a little something like this… I received a message from someone who was in town for furniture market and wanted to hang out. Needless to say, I bit for a moment, but decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get involved with someone who wasn’t going to be around for very long. So, I went about my business as usual. Then, one fine day while I was working a very handsome man decided to show up to the store. I admired his ensemble and thought he looked rather dashing in his “where’s waldo” like hat. Once I got a good look at him though, I realized i had seen this man before…but not in person. I watched as he looked about puzzled through the store, occasionally giving me glances with the same thought I had rolling around in my head. “Who are you and why do I know you?” He walked up to the register and I was blunt and said, “Are you here for furniture market?”

He replyed, “Yes, I am.” “Are you a photographer?” “Yessss…I am.” he said puzzled. “I think you messaged me.” “Yes, I think I did…” “Hi….my name is Michelle and it’s nice to meet you.” I waved my hand in a slow circle. “Hi, my name is Jeffery and it’s nice to meet you.” We both laugh a little bit at the situation, make idle chitchat about kombucha, and then said we should talk more. then he left. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback at the randomness and highly unlikely situation that just occurred in the past 10 minutes. I received a message a little bit later saying, “Well, now that we have met in person, would you like to hang out tomorrow?” Of course I said yes…and so we met for crepes the next day.

I wore my hair curly and donned my favorite sweater-dress that had a fox on it, along with cowgirl boots because I just got off of work. He just being off work as well wore a very nice red plaid aztecy button down and jeans. We talked over a vegan crepe. He had coffee and I had Le Croix. We decided to take my car to head to the “big city” of Winston and I took the back roads. I showed him around a few of my favorite spots, grabbed a cup of coffee that was a bit too hot so I made it into ice coffee, then settled on having drinks at a few of my favorite bars. He let me try his scotch while I had an old fashioned. We talked the night away, laughed and shared stories. Later a girl came by and he bought me a rose, which he said were his favorite. We kissed…and in that very moment I knew this was different than anything I had ever experienced in my entire life. I had fireworks, my heart lit up like a Christmas tree, and I felt a warmth that I had never imagined was possible. Everything just stopped…and the rest is history.

We have been talking ever since and even though we don’t live very close, the passion is still there. We message, talk on the phone, send random e-mails and pictures of what we are doing, share songs that we think the other would like, and even watch movies together (at the same time at least). If distance makes the heart grow fonder, I will go ahead and say that is a damn true statement. I honestly cannot wait to see him again and the feeling is mutual. I don’t know where this road is going to lead me, but I am going to go with it because I feel like there is some higher forces in the cosmos at work here. Love is an amazing thing and I am glad it happened over kombucha in a small town during furniture market with a one in a billion chance. My dreams are leading me there, so lets see how it goes. Namaste.

Embracing Uncertainty

uncertainty1

“I know nothing with certainty, but the site of the stars makes me dream.” –Van Gogh

As I mentioned in my last post, I am planning on moving to New York. For me, this is a huge step because I have never lived anywhere else other than the small town of Winston-Salem. Granted, I have traveled a lot and I get asked all the time why I am still here. But you know what? I am ready for this…mostly. I still have a lot to plan and have to hammer out all the details in the process. The good news is I have the support emotionally to be able to do this. I think the biggest challenge for me is…well, myself.

We all do it, we hold ourselves back. Sometimes more often than others. Why? It is the whole, “I have no idea what is going to happen, so I am just going to play it safe and keep all my I’s dotted and T’s crossed.” This whole year has basically turned my view point on its head. From changing jobs, meeting new people, new relationships, traveling like crazy, the way I eat, and deciding what to do with myself I basically have no other choice but to let go and embrace the unknown. I can’t play it safe anymore, I just cannot do it. I am meant for greener pastures and have the ability to do whatever I choose to do. I don’t care what anyone else has to say, I have to believe it for myself. So, I am making it a point to actually do that.

When you embrace what scares you the most, then you have no choice but to surrender and let go. For me, it is embracing failure. If I don’t try, then I don’t fail, but in the end I did fail because I never tried at all. I want to be a yoga instructor and guru. I want to help people though the ancient practice of Yoga and Ayurveda. I want to travel the world doing what I love and I can and will do it, dammit. If your dreams don’t scare you, then they are not big enough…or so the saying goes. So, if I fail to do that then that is perfectly okay. I am sure that something better will arise if it does not happen, but I am going after my dreams regardless.

So, ask yourself, what scares you the most and why? What are you holding yourself back from? Make it a point to recognize it, accept that it is fear, and then take the steps to let it go. After all, most fears are not based in reality and it is pointless to hold onto them. Namaste.