abundance is my theme for the month. it's harvest season, the season of reaping the rewards of months and years of hard work, and of celebrating those rewards. I've been working toward abundance in all areas, for myself, for others, and the world.
everywhere I go, people ask me what I'm doing with my life. today is 11/1, and over the next 30 days, I'm going to open the doors of my work and my journey to whoever is curious.
today, I'm grieving the loss of my grandmother, but also celebrating her life and honoring the transition of her journey. I wrote this piece about how I found yoga and why I'm now teaching a few days ago. somewhat different mood, but appropriately raw.
yoga's the central core of the abundance in my life, and to make sense of where I am, it helps to understand where I've been.
today's the day that I start telling my story
yoga saved my life twice.
not my physical life, but it saved my well-being, in a huge way, twice. I started practicing as far back as 2005, but it was a broken engagement in 2009 that sent me looking for relief. not enlightenment, just a respite from the madness. I was a broke-ass grad student, so I got some groupons around town, and even started volunteering then working at the desk of a local hot yoga studio so I could practice daily. I know not everyone loves hot yoga, but when I got in there, I swear bullshit just melted off me. out my pores and away. and in that insanely hot room, I often found emotion move, pain dissipate, and in the end, quiet. every single time I walked out of a class I felt immense relief, lightness, and a sense that shit was ok. and eventually it came clear that I was leaving each class with a sense of something bigger; bigger than the ups and downs of life, even bigger than a fucked up breakup, and whatever it was, was so awesomely big that all the other shit seemed small. and that was ok by me.
I did a lot of other types of classes, and even ventured into the world of Kundalini (again, via a groupon). Kundalini is honestly kind of nuts for anyone who has never done it. you do all kinds of crazy stuff, standing on one leg doing breath exercises and then jumping all around like a weirdo and god knows what else. but I swear, when I walked out of that room, and even while I was in there, this sense of expansiveness just overtook me. any day that I took a Kundalini class, I felt like I was totally connected to all beings. in peace and harmony, for real. like nothing could touch me.
I was like, I don't give a fuck what it is, I'll stand on my head and bark like a dog if it makes me feel like this.
one day I went surfing after Kundalini and I swear I was one with the ocean, sky, sun, and all the fucking dolphins. it was really something.
I always loved the teachers that had something to say. like some really legit nugget of wisdom. it would carry me for days while I was otherwise bent over a computer, pounding away at some crazy academic thing. and that was it for quite some time, although somewhere in my brain I logged the idea of yoga teacher training. which is fitting, being the eternal student that I was. I figured at some point I would like to know what an Om is, and what the "real" history of the practice is. one day I met a real character of a teacher, an ex-figure skater who cursed while she taught with a heart of gold. she trained at a place called yoga barn in bali. years later, two different friends came back from non-yoga related trips to bali, and said, "you should really check out this place called Yoga Barn. you'd love it." so that was three, and duly noted.
but I imagined I'd go some day after making my riches from some job that emerged from somewhere post-PhD. after I'd handled my serious shit. so I kept practicing, and kept finishing the PhD, and finished the PhD, and kept practicing, and thank god, because otherwise I would have lost my damn mind. PhD's are gnarly. and getting birthed out into the world with a full head and no idea what the fuck you're doing is also gnarly. and then many things happened, and I finally decided to pull the trigger and go to the magical place called Bali. actually, weirdly, with no expectations of anything. I'd been so stripped down by all the things by that point, I didn't give I shit. I wanted only to do a lot of yoga and learn some stuff and be in some delicious other place.
so I went. and yoga saved my life for the second time.
it was like, "hey, dickhead. you think you know. you think you know, but you have no idea." and then I shedded layers and layers, happily. well, in a ragged puddle, but gratefully and almost gleefully in a twisted way. it was a safe place to let it rip. oh hello, family expectations. hi there, masks we wear. what's that you're storing in your thigh muscles? immense grief and anger from whateverthehell? let it go. let it rip. and I learned what it means to ground. and I learned what it means to center. and I learned what it means to hold space for myself and hold space for someone else. and I learned that we're all afraid. and when given the space we weep, intensely, on the floor. and I learned that while each one of us can only walk our own path, we can help each other along.
I learned how to both surrender and how to support my own weight. it was really something.
and I found a way to start to find a way toward actual, for real, self-love. self-love is a squirrely, elusive fucker. as soon as we think we have it nailed, it's off somewhere else and we're giving ourselves a hard time for no apparent reason. it's the worst. because everything good flows from it and it's almost impossible as a human to keep a handle on. but it's worth the try. because trying makes everything better. it makes ev-ery-thing better. and the simplest thing like breathing can help get us there. that's what I now teach. I'm far from an expert in anything, but I've done enough of this work and had enough good come from it for myself, that I feel completely compelled to share the wealth. so here I am.
and today, with a grieving heart, I turn to my practice again, this time as both teacher and student. the healing that I do transforms into helping others heal. and I now have a service to provide that brings real value into people's lives, and abundance into my own: financial, spiritual, and emotional.
abundance in all things, I believe, flows from nourishing the body and the soul.