It all started with yoga.
I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for maybe a year or so, but over the past few months, I decided to make a commitment to myself of practicing every day. I started getting addicted to feeling good and pushing myself past my limits, into new poses, and noticing my growth on and off of my mat. Today, I showed up for myself tired, my body still aching from last night and, I was still prepared to show up and go hard again.
Our flow today ended up being slower, which at first felt weird, but in turn was a pleasant surprise in how slowing down actually allowed me to become more present, feel my breath and my body and notice how that carried with me even after leaving my mat.
I came home and I drew a nice, hot, bubble bath. Over quarantine, it has become somewhat of a ritual to bathe myself this way because I’ve been sitting around with so much time on my hands. Today I started to wonder what the real reason is that I really enjoy doing this. At first, I thought it was the initial feeling of release and the hot water washing over me, or the aroma, or the bubbles, but after months and months of doing this, I realized that it’s more than just a ritual.
This is my meditation.
I haven’t worked in a while, and no it’s not the first time I’ve been here on my journey so I’ve become familiar with the process. The first month, I feel elation and freedom. Even the second month I might feel that but, by month four I’m growing tired of being stagnant, and the urgency of finding another job is creeping through my patience. I might even feel like giving up, or that I don’t have anything to offer and it gets so bad that I really have to squint really hard to catch a glimpse of light. Then I remember all of the days when I was in Virginia struggling to try to support myself and an unemployed man-child, when I sometimes had to do whatever it took, when I had no money or even negative money or how even when I was dead broke I could still wake up and be grateful and joyous. I could still live. I could still be alive, I could still laugh, I could still love, I could still have fun and I could still breathe.
I hadn’t cried in a while, and yay, but nay, because deep down somewhere I could feel emotion yet every time I wanted to cry I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. I thought finally my tears had dried, but it wasn’t until today that I realized that I’ve been numbing myself with yoga. Every time I felt anything unpleasant creeping into my subconscious I told myself I’d just go practice so I’d be in space where it was just me on my mat, where nothing else would matter. It was my way of doing something during this time where it feels like I’ve been doing nothing.
By slowing down today, I felt the release I’ve been longing for. I forced myself to immerse myself into my bath, to not worry about the sweat pouring down my face, or the faulty drain slowing letting the water seep out, or my cat staring into my soul as I lay there, but to just close my eyes and sink deeper than I’ve ever been and allow myself to just let go of my body. Shavasana, alone.
And I cry.
I cry for a lot of things.
I cry, because no matter what it’s always hard. Life is always hard. We lose ourselves, and we find ourselves, we level-up just to find ourselves back where we once started. Growing is messy, we cry, we fall, we hurt, and we lose in love. I cry because we’re always in a cycle of doing things we don’t want to do to move forward, that it’s holiday time and yet again I’m guilty that I can’t afford to buy presents for the ones that I love. I cry because I keep wanting everything in life to happen so fast, that I just want to get the process over with. That I’ve been on this journey of trauma, and awakening, and healing, and after almost a decade, I’m finally starting to unravel myself and find me and my reflection in those around me again.
I cry because I’m emotional.
Now, I’m no stranger to emotion, I’m pretty much a sad song even. My favorite songs are ones of heartbreak or loneliness, and when I can’t bring myself to cry sometimes the music cries for me. I welcome emotions, it doesn’t hurt me to be met at my depths or to sit alone with what I’m feeling. That’s where the growth occurs. In the moments where I let go, I get to know myself.
I’m thankful today for yoga and for the people and spaces in my life that are safe. Where it’s okay to let my hair down and be vulnerable, where I don’t have to hold my tongue. Where they don’t call me a burden or say that I’m too much, or too emotional. Where I’m not crazy if I need to cry, and where I always have permission to do nothing but just breathe and feel.