I was watching a documentary on Hank Williams last night, and one of the commentators said that when an artist aligns with their own truth, everyone around them is better for it.
These past few months I re-entered Yoga Path acknowledging that this business was not only something I signed up for, (literally signed on the dotted line), but it is a way to align with my truth. With the help of so many honest, strong, wise, and beautiful students, teachers, friends, family…and yes, especially the ones who really challenged me, it was up to me to honor that responsibility.
Getting to this point has at times felt like I was clawing my way up a painfully slippery sIope of doubt and endless mistakes. I created more conflict and chaos by looking for answers everywhere but inside of me. Ask this FINALLY conscious, co-dependent and I will say; nothing angered me more than being told I did something wrong. I would immediately go to, ”but don’t you know how much of myself I have sacrificed just to keep you happy?! And you dare to not be?!” Ugh. Blek!
I have an Irish temper, (or maybe just my dad’s), and I will react in a heartbeat. I do not always carry myself the way I would like. My very private and personal, internal, and eventually external chaos came from my firmly held belief that apologies and forgiveness weren’t enough. I also was supposed to let the energy of a person and situation back into my life in an attempt to “keep the peace”. And guess what? I EXPECTED that in return! There is no one in that relationship who can move forward in peace.
I couldn’t give myself permission to forgive myself. Mistakes, pain, they meant I failed when they really just meant I was human and I was trying. I couldn’t sit with the pain I caused or was done to me. If I couldn’t sit with it, I couldn’t learn from it either. I ignored my own healing. I needed to keep whoever upset me, or I them, close by so there could be reassurance that “we” were okay. When you live for external validation there is no “I”, just a big goopy mess of “we”. Ugh. Blek!
I was missing all that “good” stuff that really feels terrible and really feeds our growth. Its taken a long time to see that sitting with the pain of the situation and letting it be a painful situation was my work. And to be very clear, there are definitely relationships I have fought for, and have been rewarded by years of intimacy through the surviving of good times and bad. There are definitely times to stick it out because there are relationships that are monumental in accepting ourselves for all of our parts and pieces. Discernment and forgiveness have guided me to wise and nurturing relationships and began to fill the toxic way I approached heartache. There has been a lot of time just floating in the space between letting go of habitual responses and not knowing what the new response is.
Yoga Path has been a place that holds many relationships for me that are extremely challenging because I am exposed to interactions and confrontations that I can avoid from the safety of my close network of intimate friendships. Yoga Path holds people like Beth. She helps me protect myself and others from my sharp tongue and quick reactions. It holds people like Becky, who is unrelenting in her teachings of breathing into that pause we are gifted with BEFORE or even INSTEAD OF reacting.
I have made decisions that really angered some people, that created a nest of gossip, that caused uneasiness and triggered that familiar fear of “now what?!” I’ve been given more two cents than I ever asked for, and unasked for two cents can tie my belly into a million knots. Discernment, forgiveness, hasn’t taken away the gut wrenching I feel in conflict. It pulls me out of it.
So, Yoga Path has been one of those relationships I have fought for. It has been very validating for me to have stuck with it through the good and bad times. Every time I take a step with Yoga Path in a direction that aligns with what I’m supposed to be doing on this earth, I can feel the shift of energy. It gives me the strength to deal with the fall out. My decisions are made to help define my direction, and not to take away from someone else's. As I become more defined, it opens the door for others to see that maybe they need something else, and maybe they are the one to provide it in their own unique way.
I can’t yet spell out what this purpose is because it is ever evolving. What I am doing is trusting the stillness that comes when I step into my truth. It has opened me to a storehouse of inner strength, that even when I’m shaking to my bones in the face of conflict, I can still own my truth. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this before.
No one is good at conflict. No one likes it. No one I know, that is. But I know I’m growing because it no longer overwhelms me when I walk in the door of Yoga Path. I’m no longer carrying the weight of the junk that wasn’t mine to carry. I’m finding a strength within myself as I see that I can accomplish certain roles in running this business that I never thought I was capable of handling. I’ve stopped giving up on myself. I’ve stopped handing over my responsibilities to others because I lacked the faith in myself to put one foot in front of the other.
A yogic lifestyle absolutely honors the duties and responsibilities of running a business, paying your bills, honoring the space you are holding for others through your work. Yes, you can still get in my face and make me shake to my core. But what I have stopped giving permission to, is allowing it to change me to fit another’s view of me. Yes, I check in with people when I know I’m not staying in my own lane. Yes, when I get “hit” I reach out for help, and yes, if I’m screwing up I will eat my humble pie.
It’s about time I gave myself permission to be ok, to make mistakes, to learn, to do well, and to let others be who they are too. Pretty sure this is a ride for a lifetime.