I really expected to have a spiritual experience going to Thailand. Something to contrast the absolute mess and heartbreak I had before I left. I expected to heal.
But the truth is, I was shifting between spiralling emotionally and trying my best to be present and happy. Closing my business - for the second time within 5 months - was absolutely not a part of my plan.
I honestly thought I was going to “bounce back” immediately - as if it was a sign of my ✨inner strength✨. Forging ahead, right? Besides: I have a responsibility as a yoga teacher! My students need me! I planned to get straight back into offering yoga classes, I promised to host online challenges, and facilitate workshops... but I can see now how damaging it was to put myself under that pressure and judgement.
On the better days, I tried my best to redirect my energy and attention into something different: I studied and achieved 2 more yoga certificates, I took 2 massage courses, AND got my advanced level in scuba diving!
On worse days, I stayed in bed all day, unable to move, overcome with grief and shame.
"...Being geographically distanced from a situation is not the same thing as being unattached from it. I’m exploring beautiful and warm pockets of this earth, yet I’m still processing the loss of Luna. I’m still so angry. I’m still so heartbroken, and disappointed, and sad. I'm trying to be happy and be right here. But I can't fake it anymore. I’m just not ready yet. This pain is eclipsing my creativity and motivation - and I know the only way to heal it is to feel it. I know it’s gonna take some time..."
At some point I reached out to my Shaman for support (my experience with plant medicines is a different blog post for another time). Of course he spit a whole lot of wisdom. I knew he would.
He sat and listened to me with patience, he held my pain with great understanding, and then he smiled. He reminded me that I'm in a healing process and there's never any timeline or map for these kinds of things. "You've got to experience it and let it go. Process it and let it go. Over and over again. Never allow it to accumulate."
He reminded me the importance of my spiritual practice - whether that's movement, or reading, or crying, or making a cup of tea - and to approach it with openness, and with the intention to be present to whatever shows up. No rushing, no forcing. He says that with each practice, you move closer and closer to forgiveness - to yourself and those who wronged you, no matter how intentional. He shrugged with love as he told me to hold on to the faith that it's all going to pass - as all things do, good and bad. He reminded me of the growth that comes from pain, and then he urged me to go outside:
“Go to nature. Go be with her, reconnect with her.”
“But it’s so f***ing frozen out there!”
“Wow! How beautiful is that? So go. Be frozen. Be still. And be with her.”
This was easily one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard. I cried A LOT during and after that check in LOL.
The reality is that I'm still cycling through those emotions. I'm sad, I'm heartbroken. The amount of anger living in me feels impossible. So much of my blood sweat and tears went into that project, and it ended so suddenly; its growth stunted. I feel like a failure, I'm embarrassed that I was so naive, and I sometimes notice this narrative: "I'm weak for allowing this to continue to consume me."
I'm grateful a dream of mine was realized. I poured so much love into something I love and believe in so dearly. I felt the love and support of a community. I'm leaning onto those who support me, paying attention to things that energize me, and noting the things that do not. I'm thankful to still feel so passionate and excited about yoga despite this experience. I'm catching glimpses of hope, creativity, motivation. Of self-forgiveness, self-compassion. I trust I'm going to be okay even if some days it doesn't feel like it.
In my classes I often say: "Take all the time you need. There's no rush." I’m gonna take my own advice, and take good care of myself however I show up these days. And I'll share yoga again with you all the second I'm ready to.
Lots of love,
The TL;DR (too long; didn't read): I've been quiet, I've been in pain, and I've been processing a whole lot of stuff, but I've also been working on some other things alongside my self - which I'm so excited to share with you soon! I'm just going to take some time. Oh! and also: There is never a map or a timeline for healing. Take all the time you need.