Katie always says to me that life has given us two options.
When I came to yoga, I thought I was healed from the hurt heart I harboured in my chest. As many of you know, I suffered a serious mental health setback in October.
The beginning of my journey was nasty. I tore myself apart, criticised brutally every single inch of who I was. I took words and phrases out of my vocabulary, and cringed whenever I started to fall back into old patterns of behaviour that no longer served me. Anything I did, I looked over and replayed with a magnifying glass. I aimed for perfection in myself.
At that point, I started to read self-help books, I enrolled in counselling, and I took up all my hobbies again. I started writing the Growth posts. I dedicated myself to getting better. In order to thrive, I had to understand why I was the way I was. I had to forgive.
At that time, when I looked in the mirror, I knew who was staring back at me, but she was someone I wanted to get to know. I wanted to ask her questions, and work her out, the same way I always wanted to with everyone else.
When I entered into 2021, I knew I was doing so much better. I was close to being the girl who laughs hard by herself, or sings and dances when no one is around. It was like there was a lag between who I was and who I could be.
My body started to feel heavy and cumbersome. My shoulders felt like lumps of iron, and no amount of kneading, prodding and gentle massages would help. I sat down on the floor and pressed play on a yoga video dedicated to anxiety.
I was clumsy, and constantly slipped and fell. I swore at my unmalleable body, and grew frustrated that I couldn’t twist with grace and ease. After that first video, I swore off of it.
But one thing I didn’t realise would happen: I decided I enjoyed being bad at yoga. Of course, I was bad at yoga. I’m a clumsy girl. Yoga is reserved for a different type of elegance, one I can’t even begin to harbour.
I started a playlist of 30 Days of Yoga. I smiled to myself knowing I wouldn’t commit to 30 days. Until Adriene politely and kindly said “See you tomorrow.” I couldn’t turn down such a polite request.
And so, I unwrapped a new gift of life. A gift of movement that discretely snuck into my lap when I wasn’t looking. Movement which has released tears, endorphins, anger and most of all: peace.
You see, all this time I was striving for perfection. A human who made no mistakes. Now I realize I strive for peace. A peaceful human.
Peace brings with it forgiveness and understanding. Hot blood is diluted and calmed, and one unwittingly becomes the best version of themselves.
The Breath Journey helped to ease my anxiety to a place where it is so small, I rarely think of it nowadays. My mental health has swelled, but not in the way of a wave, where it is doomed to crash, but it has swelled in the way of a breath; swelling, giving life, releasing, falling into swell again.
Whilst in November I dedicated myself to being “better”, in January, I dedicated myself to peace. February was a month for letting go.
Through finding peace in myself, I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter whether people see me as a disruptive or peaceful human. If one brands you as disruptive or peaceful, it is hard to shift their opinion. Whatever you do, it will be seen through that gaze. You could kindly walk into a room, yet someone will always see it as a storm.
So most of all we must let go of what we cannot change. Trees still grow if one person tells it to stop, and if someone else contemplates its existence.
Wishing you peace also, friend, on your journey.