The world tries to tell us who to be, how to think, and what we should look like. "You're an adult now, you should have outgrown liking that by now." "You're a wife now you should think this way." "You're a mom now you should look this way."
I tried for years to be who I was 'supposed' to be. It made me insecure, indecisive, and I became depressed. I had so many great things and people in my life and my soul was unhappy. I didn't know why, I thought something was wrong with me.
I used to read self help, personal growth and development books...parenting books...anything that told me how to BE, and I tried on every tactic, suggestion, and rule. Just none of them ever fit. I always felt like a failure. .
My soul felt caged, I felt like I had a mask over my face and tape over my mouth...I was not 'me'. Yoga helped me dive deep into my soul to meet ME again, because the real me was buried deep. I peeled back layer by layer and dug my soul out from under the rubble.
It started with my personal yoga practice, but it was Yoga Teacher Training that really started to change my life. My current and continued yoga studies are polishing up the work I did then.
True yoga practice (not just flowing through poses) takes us on a journey of deep self reflection. It was a tearing down and deconstructing of everything I was told to believe, everything I thought I should be, and rebuilding slowly. Picking back up the pieces that still resonated with me, by my own choice and with my own boundaries and beliefs around those pieces.
Next was the addition of new pieces, it was a discovery process of asking hard questions of myself and not rushing into the answers.
Questions like, what do I truly think about this? what do I truly believe? what do I like and enjoy? And allowing myself to have my own answers without anyone else's input.
Finally it was learning to see all beings through love to the best of my ability. To understand my connection with everyone and everything.
I am grateful to have met some wildly authentic amazing women along this journey who showed me I could let my true self show, I could speak for myself even if it wasn't what someone hoped I was going to say, and that I was enough.
It was, and continues to be, a process. It had to be done by me, mostly alone, in quiet moments and intimate spaces of surrender.
I have learned to love myself for the first time. I have learned to accept myself even when I don't look like the rest. I have learned to respect myself even when I have a difference in opinion. I peeled off the tape, took off the mask, and broke out of the cage.
Most people in my life stood by me as I transformed before their eyes! They don't always understand me, sometimes they chuckle a bit at my craziness, but overwhelmingly they accept me and truly love ME!!
Friends, let your own light shine, be your truest self, and you will find that inner peace and joy you have longed for. You were made for this!