It all started the day I emerged from the Sahara desert....March 31, 2018. I'm typing that sentence to catch your eye, because it sounds like the start of a truly epic tale, and that, I guess is what this is. It's the day that my life started to unravel.....and the day my light started to shine tremendously. Funny how sometimes those things go hand-in-hand.
So, as I was saying, I'd just emerged from three days in the Sahara with a group of travelers, hooked up to WiFi, and got a message that my partner was in the hospital with a serious condition. The next three days are kind of a blur, I remember crying a lot, trying to still be available for the travelers I was co-leading (leaned into Meghan, my co-leader something fierce those final days in Morocco) and then as soon as I got off the plane....went straight to the hospital and helped to check him out and bring him home.
The following weeks were some of the most challenging thus far in my life.....juggling multiple teaching/training/travel commitments that I had to show up fully for, teaching my regular classes, adjusting from major jet-lag, and stepping into a new role....that of a caretaker and support for someone I deeply cared for. I felt like superwoman and was surprised at how I was able to navigate this challenging time without losing my shit. I was strong, stable, high-functioning, caring, compassionate, juggling a thousand hats, and doing it with what felt like ease.
And then a comment about a soap wrapper I'd left in the shower (y'all have had this sort of thing happen, yes? where it's NOT REALLY ABOUT THE SOAP) was the beginning of the end with my man. He said something that broke my heart and when those words were uttered, I knew I was done. Eight years of partnership unraveling before our eyes. It was mutual and mostly kind, but still deeply upsetting and sad. I decided to leave our home of four years and move back into the arms of Philadelphia....into a beautiful home with most amazing friends. In the interim, I was leading three international retreats and two reiki trainings. My plate was overflowing and somehow I was handling it all with grace and lots of deep breaths.
My mantra this year has become, "I can absolutely do this." And I have. I moved the day after I returned from leading a retreat in Italy....talk about deeply unsettling....try moving your entire life and leaving your partner of eight years the day after you return from another country. I wouldn't recommend it. The first few weeks in my new home, it felt like I was in shock. I had to remind myself, "This is your new home. This is your new walk to work," as my nervous system adjusted to everything new. I think I cried enough tears to flood the Ganges river. If I wasn't teaching a yoga class, I was crying: on the subway, at the Abbaye with my friend Jill, in my new room, at the coffee shop, wandering around the city. I basically left a path of tears behind me for two months. The weight of those past seven months hit me like a truck, and I had no choice but to let things flow. It was beautiful and painful, and NECESSARY. The entire time, I felt the presence of the Divine so strongly. In my darkest moments, Her tender whispering in my ear, "I'm here, everything is unfolding exactly as it should, just keep trusting."
So back to the part about my light shining tremendously during this time. I have never had so many compliments in my life about how radiant I've been looking than in the past four months. In the midst of turmoil, sadness, and stress, I appear to be thriving, and in a way, I am. I'm finally getting to experience the blessings from my years of dedicated practice. See, we practice to develop resilience, courage, and wisdom. As my friend Judy reflected, "You're standing in the fire, burning off what's no longer needed, and you're GLOWING because of that." I feel more alive than ever. More trusting of myself, my practice, and my relationship with the Divine. A creative force has awakened in me that I've never experienced before (more on that in the next musing, as I want to help you awaken and work with your creative energy tooooo!) and I am ready for what is to come, ready to create this new life for myself.
My life thus far has been a series of sit/wait/ponder/deeply listen usually followed by a terrifying leap into the unknown. I share this with you because I want you to know that you have such wisdom inside of you and the work is to access that and then TRUST IT. The path isn't always neatly laid out, it's definitely not always comfortable to navigate, but when you do....something powerful begins to take place. I am constantly inspired by these words by Caroline Myss, "Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to help you grow."
I wish you strength and courage on your path of real living. I encourage you to keep saying YES to the beautiful experiences of life, some painful, some joyful....the path of Tantra invites them all in. I send you love on your journey and please know I'm always here to support you with a hug, a yoga practice, an ear to listen, and a cup of tea.
Real Living Yoga
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