I return to blog-land after a lengthy hiatus! It has been a journey since my last post and has taken me some time to find the headspace to write another one. But, as we practice on the mat: each breath, each pose, each moment and each day is a new beginning. No matter what came before, now is the perfect chance to begin again! Applying the concept that Yoga is the Union of All, I would like to share with you some reflections that represent the coming together of pieces of my Journey of Life, as I celebrate my NewYorkiversary.
Today marks five years since I arrived in this city, full of anxiety but also anticipation of mysterious adventures to unfold. I thought I was staying for a month, to investigate options, network, and hopefully return to Baton Rouge with inspiration for how to possibly make a life for myself in the Big Apple down the road. During my first couple weeks here, my friend Jane helped me realize that I had permission to stay here indefinitely, if I wanted to, and that I didn’t have to go back to Baton Rouge. I stayed.
As expressed by Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, “…Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” This book was one of my guiding lights throughout my transition into my new life and into my next few years here. And its words speak such truth:
This journey has been full of challenges, soul searching, doubt, fear, frustration, periods of feeling stuck and lost, weariness, disappointment and tears. But it has also been full of adventure, phenomenal community, support, growth, discovery, inspiration, beauty, cultivation of my voice, friendship, exquisite art, bountiful fun, increased awareness, cultural exploration, diversity, opportunities to explore movement in many forms, to speak my truth, to shed stigmas, to come to terms with myself and my worth, to take risks, to be brave, to deepen and expand, and to give and receive love.
What have I learned?
Some of the fears I had before coming here did indeed manifest. But I survived. And I learned valuable lessons from them. I also realized I don’t have to let them stop me from continuing along my path. My soul has the power to rise above. My body has the power to heal. I have the power to change my life and recreate, over and over again. Moments when I have felt the most broken and the most vulnerable, have served as guiding forces showing me what patterns to work to release, what shifts to begin to make. They have been powerful reminders shouting so loudly that I have had no choice but to listen, and remember where I want to go, how I want to spend my time and energy, who I want to spend it with, and what I want to move toward. They have pushed me to connect more with my Purpose. The painful experiences have helped me better understand the human condition, as well perceive myself more deeply as a Spiritual Being. They have helped me develop more compassion and empathy, release judgment, relate to others more, and continue to flow with and sculpt this ever evolving work in progress called Life.
I have learned not to put anyone on a pedestal, that no one is above me, and I am above no one. While humility is essential, so is having confidence in my own truth. Although I may look up to someone tremendously, I recognize that we are all working through our “stuff” and figuring things out. I must listen to my intuition and not hold anyone’s truth above my own.
I have realized how adaptable I am. I have learned how to let myself be more vulnerable for the sake of healing, growth and deeper connection with others. I have learned how to be more independent, as well as truly live in community. I have realized that it is ok to ask for help, and that when I allow myself to do so, my village comes together in support and amazing miracles happen.
I have learned that it is truly never too late to begin again. Never. While windows of opportunity do pass when we don’t take them, today is always a chance to make a positive shift. I realized that I have to constantly release criticism of my past in order to set myself free to embrace my now.
I have learned that my body never lies, and always speaks volumes about what is going on in every area of my life. My physical body, emotions, energy, mind and spirit are inextricably connected and I must heed the messages my body offers me.
I have learned that it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that I do what makes me happy. PERIOD. The illusion that only some folks get to do that, or that I must have permission to do so, or that I have to wait “until the conditions are right” is a lie. Following these suffocating ideas opens the door to gradual death of the spirit, body and mind. Accepting my REQUIREMENT to DO ME —-TODAY — opens the door to new life and to the conspiring of the Universe in my favor. It’s a huge challenge to navigate this, and by no means have I mastered it. Rather, it is a truth that I come back to time and time again.
I give thanks for the many threads that have become a part of my tapestry over the past five years, in NYC, Louisiana, Brazil, Guam, across the country, and across the globe. I celebrate the fact that I made it this far here, and all of the growth I have experienced along the way. I cherish all who have become part of my Tribe, who have communed with me, held me, wiped the tears from my eyes, encouraged me, made me laugh, lifted me up, helped me lift myself up, inspired me, provided me a home, helped me to see myself and realize my worth, taught me valuable lessons, challenged me, listened, expanded my awareness, trusted, shared, opened doors of possibility, and enriched my life in countless ways. I celebrate all Forces that serve the Highest Good who have had my back, even when I didn’t know it, including my Ancestors, Deities, Guardian Angels, Ascended Masters, and the Universe at large. I celebrate my Body, my sacred temple, and everything that it has been able to do, as well as all that it teaches me. I celebrate the hunger still present in my heart to keep striving to realize my dreams, and that the flame of desire never became extinguished.
Thank you for reading. May you find encouragement as you navigate your journey, especially as challenges arise. I wish you clarity, passion, motivation, hope, self love, supportive and stimulating community, a sense of permission to Do You, opportunities to live your dreams, an abundance of food for the soul, and a deep knowing of your tremendous worth.