Who says people don’t change?
Life changes us. Experiences change us. Aging changes us. The people we surround ourselves with, changes us.
Or is it that we learn to accept who we are, and how things are – and that just feels different?
I’ve said many times in my yoga classes, that “we teach best, what we most need to learn” (Richard Bach) My journey into yoga has been nothing less than therapeutic for me. The younger me did not like to say “no” or ask for help, never admitted she was tired, didn’t accept she could be wrong, wanted to please everyone, and wanted everything she touched to be “just so”.
Until I had a burnout about 20 ago; suffered from anxiety, several panic attacks where I couldn’t breathe, and for a short while, a dark depression. Thankfully I got help. For me, that consisted of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I was made aware of how much “baggage” we all carry with us, even those of us blessed with wonderful loving families. I learned that there was nothing wrong with me that I couldn’t change, with a change in how I spoke to myself and how I view myself and the world. I learned that some of my beliefs weren’t really mine at all, just some passed on notion of what I’m supposed to believe. I learned that insecurity scares all of us, and that it’s ok to “not know” how things will work out. I learned to believe that no matter how they work out, I would be ok. (Sidebar: this by no means implies that we can always handle things on our own or through CBT; for some, other medical help and even medications are necessary; I am referring only to my personal experience here. Every. Body. Is. Different.)
Over the past 20 years, I have continued the work on myself. And the fears, the insecurity, the negative self-talk still rears its ugly head sometimes. I’ve learned to recognize it, name it, know that it’s a part of me, and then, create some space, some distance from it. It is a part of me. It isn’t “me”.
And then, as time went on … yoga found me.
And I heard in yoga, what I needed to hear, and what I’d been whispering to myself for years;
It’s OK to say no.
It’s OK to be tired.
It’s OK to be wrong.
It’s OK to apologize.
It’s OK to be angry.
It’s OK to be scared.
It’s OK to feel whatever you’re feeling.
It’s OK to be imperfect.
It’s OK to struggle.
It’s OK to love yourself.
First and foremost, breathe.
My personal experiences, my passion for yoga and my studies are coming together as I prepare for my next step; my certification in Yoga Therapy. I plan to serve others with mental health issues using all the tools of yoga therapy, helping them find peace of mind, ease and comfort in their bodies, and an overall sense of well-being. This of course, alongside any other professional help the client might require for their healing.
This April, I return to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health to complete my 300 hour training begun in 2017. I approach this learning with excitement, and with great respect and responsibility.
Having “been there”, I take this next step very seriously.