Life is an unpredictable roller coaster ride and the only constant is change. We have very little control over the external factors in our world. What we do have control over is the internal state that we cultivate from moment to moment. You have a choice to C.JOY ~ this is actually your birthright. With all the chaos in this day and age, you may be skeptical and that is okay. Before I started practicing yoga I did not subscribe to the beliefs that I currently hold. My yoga journey over the last three years has helped me evolve into someone I would have never predicted I would become. Everything we witness and encounter shapes our thought systems and beliefs.
As a young adult, I am still just finding myself each day. All my memories are the puzzle pieces that come together to form the person I was before yoga. Every block I put up to the outside world was there for a reason – they feel like they protect us – but the blocks we create can creep into our minds until one day we are trapped by how they control the way we live. Part of my journey has been turning my past blocks into new affirmations.
I am not normal-
Remember when you were young and you thought that everyone was “normal” except you- that was a blast right?! Well being a typical kid I was sure I was as abnormal as humanly possible. Allergies were extremely uncommon when I was younger and I was basically a walking talking food allergy. Unfortunately after many trips to the hospital in eighth grade the school district decided to homeschool me; at first I was devastated, heartbroken, and angry. As if my food allergies were not enough, I also struggled with a learning disability that ended up being ADD.
I must overcompensate for all that I lack-
I’m sure you can relate that feeling like you need to make up for the parts of you that society does not approve of is exhausting. My perfectionism started innocently with dance; the one activity that allowed me to express myself in an environment where food and numbers (other than 5-6-7-8) were never involved. I am grateful for the lessons I learned from my involvement; healthy competition, determination, beautiful posture, confidence, wonderful friendships and countless life skills. However it was also the subtle start of my obsession with achieving. The way I used my body to compete and create art was completely different from the way I use my body now.
I need to be perfect-
Late in my high school career I decided to start taking Adderall, especially because I knew that to get out of the living situation I was in (messy family troubles- which lead to deep sadness, overeating and depression) I needed to go to college. When I took Adderall, I got more done than I ever thought was possible and it kept my hunger at bay. It seemed like a win-win, but it ended up enabling me to create unhealthy habits along the way. Screw compensating for what I lacked, my super pill could elevate me to new levels of greatness. During my first year in college my need to achieve and accomplish things got out of control and I became obsessed with perfection. I maintained a 3.9+ GPA and took on every opportunity I was offered. In order to get everything done I rarely slept, my drive and willpower consumed me.
Letting go of what no longer serves me…and recognizing what never truly served me to begin with
You are exactly where you are meant to be-
I met my mentor and friend Heather Martin (the owner of Tranquil Souls Yoga) by chance and made her studio my second home by choice. I initially took classes for the fitness benefit (not interested in the spiritual aspect at all). After practicing for a while I started to notice that I was becoming more centered; although I was unaware this was the beginning of my journey. Gradually I released the responsibilities that did not bring me joy to focus my attention on my yoga practice and teacher training.
Devote yourself to your passion-
As a business major I knew I had tons of opportunities to make my passion my part of my education; personalizing my degree program was a blast. My independent studies Anatomy & Pedagogy of Yoga and Mindfulness & Yoga were two of my favorite learning opportunities. When asked to pick a topic for my History course… you guessed it: History of Yoga. Business plans ~ I wrote two: Joy JYM (Joy Yoga Massage and More) and Interfuse Fitness (Fusing Fitness & Wellness). If you need a Corporate Wellness or a Mindfulness Communication program to foster a healthy and happy work culture, I got you covered. Not to mention the countless other assignments I twisted (deeper than my Supta Matsyendrasana a.k.a. Reclined Spinal Twist Posture).
Remember your truth-
Yoga is profound because it reminds you what you know to be true deep inside, but have forgotten over time. Often we search for external things to make us happy (awards, pills, food, shoes, etc.) when all we need to do is turn our attention inward. Personally I started to realize the negative affects the medicine I was taking had on my body and mind, which is why I currently rely on my yoga and meditation practice as my medicine. As for my food allergies, they are still around but much less severe. Gratitude fills my heart when I think about how becoming more balanced has allowed me to grow out of many of my allergies.
Looking back now it is clear that my perfectionism came from feeling imperfect. Yoga changed my life in more ways than I can explain or even fully understand. My practice helped me to see that my joy and self-worth cannot be measured by external “success” because it is what is inside that truly matters. Each time I step on my mat I can clear my mind and live life with mindful intention instead of aimlessly pushing for perfection.
Are you ready to start your journey?
Join Our Tribe
Subscribe to receive your FREE Intro to Yoga Poster!