A few years ago I began a journey of self-reflection that led me to make some really significant changes in my life.
I've been teaching yoga for over 10 years. Like most American yogis my practice and teaching were pretty much just physical. I taught group fitness classes and I liked the balance of yoga for slowing down and linking my movement with my breath, and increased flexibility and learning to listen to my body helped me exercise smart without getting hurt.
As I continued teaching and opened my own personal training and yoga studio, the stress of life, kids, relationships, and business ownership started to catch up with me. It wasn't immediately obvious to me. I wouldn't have defined myself as stressed, but I felt a constant sense of unfulfillment, of being stuck, like I wasn't able to be and show up as the person God made me to be. I kept finding myself asking, "so this is it?".
I started attending more yoga teacher trainings and I began to open up to the other, non-physical practices of yoga, like mindfulness, meditation, and self-study, and began to unpack some of the stories about my worth that I'd been told by people in my life and believed for most of my life. The limiting thoughts and beliefs that were holding me back from the life I was made for and the work I have been put here to do.
Meditation and journaling helped open up space for me to consider if these stories were even true. I learned to trust that I don't have all the answers, and that's ok. That I can trust that I am on the path I am meant to be on. That I haven't taken any wrong turns, but that the path ahead of me might look very different than I thought it would.
Most importantly I learned that I get to choose who I want to show up as in any situation. That I could choose the relationships in my life, how to find peace within them and that if they didn't serve me I could choose to end them. These practices helped me find comfort and peace in trusting that I was and had always been doing the best that I could with the knowledge that I had at the time and that any obstacles in my path have just been there to help me learn and grow.
I am living my life now from a place that feels 100% authentically me. Fully accepted and loved exactly as I am. The peace that this brings to every moment in my life is something that I wish for everyone. Life is far from perfect. I'm a single mom with two teenagers! But I feel confident that we will all find our way; that worrying about our future or dwelling on our past won't help us on the path.
It's not a one and done job. It's a daily practice and some days it's really hard, but with these tools I know I have a way, that if I use my tools and take care of my mind and my thoughts that everything will go exactly the way it's supposed to, not always my way, but the way it's meant to.