This was our newsletter from August 2018… I had so many replies and responses from students across the country sharing their own personal stories. We wanted to share this here in case anyone else ever feels the same. Know you are not alone.
Sometimes you are waiting for life to change, but all it really takes is a shift in perception. I believe the shift has been occurring in me for a while now, and apparently, it’s time for it to come forward into the light.
I have two BIG triggers that can send me “down the rabbit hole” (as my friends and I call it)- loneliness andunlovability. These are things I’ve spent a lot of time trying to hide- from myself and from the people that surround me. Some of you may experience this too- the deep loneliness that can feel like a dark hole or that feeling that no matter how good you are or how fast you dance, you are never enough to be loved. Sometimes in my life those voices are quiet and still. Other times they rage with a roar as loud as the ocean pounding against the shore. As long as I can remember, these pieces have lived with me and have always been there. It’s been about three years since I’ve had these land mines triggered, so this summer was a little surprise when I was reunited with the loud, booming voices of lonely and unlovable. I knew I had the potential to spiral down. For me that means isolating, skipping yoga, not eating, and a lot of sleep. But this time something different happened.
First, I let myself feel what I was feeling, but I didn’t let it pull me under and I didn’t make the story bigger in my head. I used the tools I have learned to rely on from my Vipassana meditation practice to sit with, label and breathe. I had to do this for an entire month, but it kept my mind in check.
Second, I became very aware of self-care. I got my favorite healthy foods. I stayed with my yoga mat- mostly yin and a little bit of flow. (Yin is particularly useful when your energy is low and you want to hide.) I also spent a lot of time in nature- hiking, digging in the dirt, cleaning flower beds and planting plants. I took / made time for all the things that make me feel happy and alive. For once, I didn’t let myself or my body down!
Third, when my head would speak loud and tell me I wasn’t loved, I would look around the yoga community and see all the ways this isn’t or can’t be true. I really thought about this- if I say I am unlovable, doesn’t that discount the people that show up each day for class, that offer hugs, advice, care and friendship? Clearly, I must be worthy of love or I wouldn’t have this amazing community of Greenville Yogis around me! So, I reached out and asked students and friends to dinner and lunch and opened myself to connect more fully to the community and care that is already here. I finally let myself soak up the kindness and care that each of you offer when you step into our school. That voice that used to be so loud was quieted to a whisper that is barely audible. I didn’t even realize what was happening until I got to the other side.
My message to you is this- sometimes we have to show up for ourselves. We have to love ourselves into wholeness and be the ones we have been waiting for. Other times we have to see ourselves through the eyes of others. We have to trust the care they are offering is genuine and true and not discount or overlook this for one moment. This summer, I didn’t go down the rabbit hole! I stayed, I showed up, I felt every feeling and let it come and let it go, I honored the people around me by letting them in a little more and it worked! Life is going to come. It always does. But my perception of the events at hand has changed. It takes time. Sometimes it takes work. Sometimes it takes letting go. Most of all it just means continuing to show up- for yourself and for everyone around you.
The timing of all of this doesn’t surprise me. We are on the eve of our GY anniversary and I am letting myself soak up the love and care of our yoga family that is right here! So this year, it is time to celebrate YOU and all you share with us each day. Whether you know it or not, the kind words, the hugs, the smiles, the openness each of you brings makes a huge impact. This impact is not only on me, but on each of the teachers here and on each student here as well. I have no doubt that the kindness and care we all have for one another within these walls ripples far and wide into the greater Greenville community as well. As summer rolls out the door and we roll into year number 14… THANK YOU and Welcome to Greenville Yoga. You Belong Here!