Be like a lotus. Let the beauty of your heart speak. Be grateful to the mud, water, air and the light.― Amit Ray
Recently, I had a realization. It wasn't a strike of lightning, "ah ha" kind of realization but instead the result of looking back over the last few years of trainings, readings and practical experience that comprised my journey towards achieving my 140 Hour YogaFit for Warriors Certification, completed just a few weeks ago at an intensive conference in Orlando. This is the trauma sensitive yoga instructor specialty certification that helps me to better understand how to help clients dealing with PTSD, addiction, chronic pain, depression and traumatic brain injuries to find a way to begin their own healing.
Although I thought that my PTSD symptoms just came on in the last few years, in my post September 11th life, the reality is that many of the past 20 years I've been engaging in coping mechanisms to avoid feeling the sensations that I wasn't ready to deal with yet. Whatever set off the most recent onset of symptoms; whether it was my repeated physical on the job injuries, the emotionally stunting friendship that I FINALLY ended after almost 15 years or the buildup of sympathetic nervous system arousal at my job, the fact is I was in a flown blown episode. This time though, I not only had a name for what was happening in and around my world but I'd reached a point in my life, my emotional journey, my intellectual capacity and my physical ability to tolerate the mental & emotional turmoil. In other words, I was finally confident and feeling safe enough to begin to heal.
Hiding behind my boldness, my cockiness, my need to be the center of attention was no longer an option. I got quiet and started to really hear the whispers my body had been making for a long time. I'd long ago let go of the need to control my sexuality through an environment of casual sex and purposeful emotional detachment. Now, I embraced the need to be loved and began to feel anxiety yet also hopeful at the idea of learning to love me. The fearlessness I'd always prized in myself became more organic in that I got brave enough to dip below the surface and see how I'd been hiding not just from the world but from myself.
Although I'd found and been in a loving relationship for seven years, there was still a deep wound inside of me that had been opened and was gnawing away at me. My flying job often left me feeling intellectually lazy and in the past, I learned a language and sought out more formal education to fill those voids not having any other ideas on what to do. Once I began my journey towards my RYT (yoga teacher certification), I became so much more concerned about understanding myself and that sparked a whole new direction of learning for me. Now my passion for healing, helping and transforming lives has taken on a whole new energy and I couldn't be happier to have dragged myself through the dark, mucky, oftentimes incredibly uncomfortable journey to discovering ME! This lotus flower is beginning to spread out my petals and find the beauty emerging from within.
Choosing to face my own demons, allowing myself to hurt without numbing or tuning out and diving head first into my own issues resulted in more emotional growth and change over the last two years than probably the last 15 years combined! It's been a process filled with terror and triumph and lots more emotions in between. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. Today, I am incredibly enthusiastic about how much more I can and will learn. Every day, I'm so grateful that I opened up my heart, mind and soul to see the wonder that was hiding deep inside.
(originally posted Dec 8, 2015)