Monday, September 5, 2011

It's not Goodbye.

Yesterday was my last full day in St. Augustine, this beautiful little city that I was quite fortunate to spend 3-plus years of my life here. Looking back to when I first moved here, when I was 19-years-old, is mind-blowing. I was in such a different place- in my mind, body, and spirit. I struggled during the end of my high school years... And coming here enabled me to really and completely be myself. One of the best decisions I made for myself was joining the cross-country team-I became connected with ladies I will never ever fall out of touch with, I know for a fact- they know me almost as well as my very own mother. They have seen me at my very worst, and at my absolute best. 

Like two book-ends of the story of my life here in St. Augustine, cross-country and yoga teacher training were two choices that I believe helped to shape me into the person I am today. Although they are so different, both helped me to grow in extraordinary ways, helped discipline me, helped me to realize my innate joy, helped me to connect with genuinely good people, kept me grounded, and helped me to reach out to other people. 

This is the place where I truly began my evolution into a woman, as korny as that sounds, it's very true. I have learned life lessons here that will continue to guide me throughout the rest of my time here on earth. When I begin to think about all of the people who have helped me here, helped guide me, taught me, and even made mistakes with me, I am overwhelmed with gratefulness and disbelief. How could I have met so many people who have impacted me this much in just a few years? I guess you could say it's the age---19 to nearly 23 is a commonly transformative time period in a females' life, so they say. But I know I am lucky and I feel overwhelmingly blessed for every single experience- good or bad- and everyone who has shared their love with me. 

I spent yesterday morning in one of my favorite places in the world- Discovery Yoga's main studio. I had the pleasure to teach the Sunday morning community class-- I couldn't have chosen a better way to spend my morning on my last day here. I was anticipating nerves, but they never came. Even as the 22nd person filed in the room, I stayed calm and incredibly happy to have that opportunity. That was the same room where I was trained as a yoga teacher--- and I was finally sharing my love, hard work, and passion for the practice of yoga with a real class at Discovery! It was a great success, and to make things even better, some of my best friends- old and new- were in the front row. 

Laura, one of my very first friends, who I never thought would want to go to a yoga class, was there for me. Phil, who is a brand new, but dear friend of just a couple of months came. Christy, one of the most compassionate and kindest women I know- my cross-country coach and life coach- sat cross-legged directly in front of me. And Kelley, fellow yogi and one of the strongest and most hilarious ladies I have ever came across-- another life coach of mine-- who has helped to pick me up when I was at the lowest of my lows, was there to support me and to catch me if I needed her. 

Lately, I have been telling people, "It's not Goodbye, it's see you later!" And I am not just saying those words to make my departure less painful. It's true. I will inevitably- whether it's months, years, or decades from now- see them later. And the relationships and connections I have made with people will not die simply because my life is changing. They will just be different, and that is simply the way life is- always evolving, changing, never staying the same for very long. 

See you later!

And, Namaste! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love yourself.

It was the weekly Wednesday class that my dear friend Kelley teaches. Sometimes, I step in and teach parts of the class, but I believe it was an unspoken understanding that I was not in the mood to teach. I was needing to go on a trip inside of myself to find out what is really going on. I have spent the past couple of weeks on a rollercoaster ride of emotions- sadness, love, joy, anger, resentment, insecurity, doubt, glimpses of hope-- all of these things that normally come with life on the side. Well, at least that's what it seems like to me sometimes when I am having a rough time with a situation in my life- and it's always with the people I love the most. It seems like that's all there is- these emotions- they just take over and seem to want to take control.

Well, they can't.. The only way they win is if we allow them to. What I have found is that when you dissect each one, you can find its seed-- what triggered it? Why is it there? What is it really all about? Is it really about another person or is it about YOU? Does it really have the power to take your own peace away? I sometimes think to myself-- I wish I could just watch my life's events from an objective point of view and react like this : "Oh, okay, that happened. Okay, I'm still peaceful, I am still joyful, I am still laughing." But you know what? That's not real life. I realize that is maybe what the few enlightened ones say they experience, but I don't plan on reaching enlightenment in this lifetime.

So, I am going to take it all in-- each emotion, for just what it is- an emotion, nothing more. Sure, depending on its weight, it'll consume me for a period of time- I am only human.  But, I also realize that many of the negative emotions I feel come from something missing deep inside of myself.  I have learned at a young age that it is okay to love- in fact, is very okay to love, with everything you have inside of yourself. But I have also learned that it is equally, if not more important to be able to fill yourself up alone- Whole. Complete. By Yourself.

So, when I have spent many hours in the past couple of weeks feeling "unloved," I was naively believing that I cannot feel expounding amounts of love all on my own-- with God's help. No wonder I felt so ungrounded, so far away from the real me. I was allowing insecurities, and experiences from the past to block my heart. And without a clear passage way to my heart, how can I love myself.. or anybody else? So, I guess I could go as far to say after a relatively short period of neglect, that I'm beginning to fall back in love with myself- not in an egotistical way- but in a healthy, necessary way.

That is what I reminded myself of last night-- and will probably have to over and over in my lifetime-- as I lay in Shavasana (relaxation), as I allowed my physical body to float away for a few minutes and tuned into my spirit. I have to show myself the love, or no matter what, no matter who I am with or how I am in relationships, I will never feel fulfilled. So, with a new connection to my heart, I believe I can share real, forgiving, compassionate love with the entire world.