Two Years Ago
April 29th, 2013: the first day I walked into a Bikram yoga class. The first day I met Loren Jay Cherrstrom, teacher extraordinaire. I walked into that class one thing and walked out another. My life has changed so much in the past two years. I could talk about the physical, about the amazing backbends, about so much of that, but I’ve done that before.
Today I’d like to tell you how much courage and bravery and strength I’ve gained. I’m not sure I can ever adequately express it in words, but I’m actually coming to a point of more strength than I ever imagined. I used to care more about what other people thought of me. I used to worry more about how others perceived my actions. I would actually make choices based on how I anticipated others would react. As a consequence I lost part of myself.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve never been a shy weak individual. But I would spend hours worrying about whether or not others accepted me. I don’t do that so much anymore. I feel freer and happier than I can remember. Words can not, by their very nature, convey the feeling of flying free, knowing the universe will catch me, yet, conversely, knowing I will never fall.
I’ve been co-dependent too in some of my relationships, even the one I have with food. I’m learning to let go of that as well. I’m becoming the free agent I always envisioned myself to be. To make it clear, the only thing every holding me back was me. I blame no one else. I accept responsibility.
That means I don’t scope out my past for judgment of how others may or may not have treated me. Going through the trash just gets one dirtier and dirtier. I don’t need that. I don’t need the blame game.
I’m free you see. One moment at a time. That’s the other thing. I spend too much time in the future and/or the past. I’m much more in the moment now than I was two years ago.
This moment. This now. That inspires me. That allows breath to flow through me.
They say hot yoga sweats the toxins out of you. People seem to focus on physical toxins. My experience involves emotional toxins. With all the sweat that has fallen off my skin in the past two years, I’ve shed a lot of baggage. A lot.
When I started out, I practiced more obsessively. Granted at the time my father was ill, and then he died. I sought and looked for some emotional hold and am just now realizing I had it right inside me all along. All along. I just didn’t want to see it because I wanted fulfillment from the outside. Outer fulfillment never lasts. Never. So says the woman who used to find love in a chocolate chip cookie or, more likely, a dozen chocolate chip cookies.
I practice more in moderation now. I’m in this for life, one moment at a time creating the life I’m meant to live. Moderation feels nice. It feels like the self-love everyone talks about. I get this now. Moderation in all areas feels nice. Just nice.
I’m much more forgiving of myself too. Self-judgment just keeps me from moving forward. I’ve moved backwards enough. I might move forward slowly now, but, in this moment I feel calmer, kinder, stronger, and the list goes on. I feel more like me.
That’s the gift I’ve been given these past two years. The gift I’ve given myself, one drop of sweat at a time.
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