So, today I got to visit a Barn (for the first time in years) and I went to yoga (for the first time in almost a year). I'd call that a successful day. #success
Let's rewind for a minute...
This morning, I got myself and my youngest daughter ready, and drove out to Rockaby Farms in Yaphank where I'll be holding my event in two weeks. While I waited for the studio owner to show up, my daughter and I stood outside, the sun blazing, the horses neighing, the chickens doing whatever it is chickens do (she was just delighted by one chicken nearby)... it was so peaceful, so beautiful. I spent much of my childhood horseback riding, on and off, and the Barn and its scents and sensations still resonates deeply with me. We hung around for a while, met with the Studio owner, dropped off some flyers for the event, met one of her instructors and saw the Reiki practitioner, spent a few more moments outside observing the animals and went back home.
My daughter loved the farm just as much as I did. It was a really quiet, beautiful hour. I was in my childhood glory and still happy for hours after.
Later on, I committed to going back to yoga for the first time since last summer when I had to stop after only going three times (after almost a decade of being pretty sedentary, with the later years pregnant or nursing, then again) due to undiagnosed medical conditions. I've recently had some new medical issues and am waiting on an MRI (I don't often go to the doctors and when I do it usually ends up a mystery to all and I carry on with life as if it never happened), but really felt called to go back to yoga even despite my possible limitations. I called the studio and spoke to a man on the phone that reassured me that starting is what was important, and to go at my own pace. Just be where you are. If I treated it that way, and not a competition, just the fact I was going would be a great step. This validated how I already felt. I reserved my spot.
At 415, I arrived at the yoga studio.
The class begin shortly after, and we set our intentions for the next 75 minutes. My intention was to have the strength to get through the class, sent some love to people close to me, and asked that I also be given the strength to carry myself through the current transition to the next phase of my life.
I'm not sure if it was the heat (hot Vinyasa yoga), the music ("Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones) or the simple but absolutely profound message the instructor gave, but towards the end of class I found myself crying on the mat (I've only heard of this happening to a select few, and wondered how and why it did). The movement, the message, the music was all reaching me in an intense way. I was deeply moved. She said, quite frequently throughout class, that being on the mat prepared us for life. That pain, and struggle, never lasted. It always ends. It passes. The pain goes away... it never stays. If you hold on, it will move through you and pass.
I was amazed by what my body was able to do after such a long reprieve when I simply focused intently on the moment and quieted the chatter of my mind. I was so much stronger than I realized. I was able to do way more than I imagined I would be able to. I didn't focus on what the others were doing. I just paid close attention to the instructions and my own body. And how powerful is this, when applied to life? When we are not consumed by thoughts of the past, future or present, to comparing ourselves to everyone and everything else, and when we quiet the mind and its chatter and self-limiting beliefs, we can do so much more than we anticipated. We have strength we didn't even realize we had. We have what it takes to get through the pain until it passes, because it never lasts.
As you hold a yoga pose (go through a phase of life), if you stay ever-present and fully experience all that is going on in the Now, you gain the strength to get through the suffering and then it ends... just the same way it came.
Albeit emotional for me, and a challenge, this was exactly what I needed (there are no coincidences). I felt compelled to share this story, and instill a sense of hope and determination in you. Whatever you are going through right now, know that the pain will pass. You can get through it, and you will.
The instructor also said, whenever we are having difficult in life, "return to the mat." Be with yourself. Quiet your mind, tune into your body, and come back to your original intention(s). Stay intently focused in the present moment and know that you have what it takes. You are strong enough. You are beautiful enough. You are worthy and priceless. The pain comes and goes, but your everlasting, magnificent Self shines on and carries on.
With so much gratitude and love in my heart, I left class... to return to life. Knowing that I have what it takes to get through the challenges and extend love outward, and that one day the pain will be gone. And all I will remember is the beauty of the experience and journey.
Sending so much love and light to carry you through anything you may be going through right now, any suffering or pain, and to lift you and bring you hope during the challenging times. I'll see you on the other side, my friend.