Having recently experienced a month of tuning into my heart, discovering my spirit, intense yoga practice and self-enquiry through the Forrest Yoga Foundation Teacher Training, I found myself in a place of questioning this week.
What happens when we land back in our own versions of reality? What are we committed to? How do we embrace what we experienced and share it with loved ones? How do we take the steps to move forward in life pursuing the visions we had without any guarantees or expectations?
In the comfort of our tribe it feels free, exciting and that everything is possible. What happens when that feeling is dimmed by day-to-day life and reality?
In 2009 when I came back from training with Baron Baptiste I sank deep into a cesspit of my own darkness. I came away from the experience full of possibility, wonder and ready to take on the world. I experienced a huge shift in my relationship with my family and I had had so many breakthroughs I didn’t know where to start when sharing them or how to follow through on the new commitments I had made to myself. A little under a month later and the feeling of possibility was a flickering light bulb that was fading fast, the wonder was no longer present and I was falling into fear and doubt. It was the first time I experienced my dark side in a way where I was aware of it and didn’t know how to move through it. So I did what I do very well and I went into victim mode. I became resigned, fearful, angry and consumed with blame towards my teacher and the training I had just taken.
I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
I travelled to Ireland for Christmas and my mother dragged me out for a walk to our local forest park with her and her friend. On that walk I talked and vented and let all of what was inside of me out. They simply listened and once I had finished my rant they gently and compassionately challenged me. While I didn’t let go of my darkness in one walk, it gave me a sense of what I was resisting in my life and what I was fearful of. The biggest realization for me was that I was afraid of being on my own through this journey.
Roll on five years and I find myself on a plane to Houston, Texas and not really clear in why I was taking another yoga training only this time with Ana Forrest. In the first few days we shared why we were there. I remember sitting cross-legged and not knowing what I was going to say. I couldn’t plan my words because I truly didn’t know my reasons for going to Houston. When I did speak, I connected to my breath and the words flowed from me. I felt really connected to my heart and the intention for me being there poured from my spirit.
It was in that moment I realized I was exactly where I was meant to be and whatever the experience there would be a lot of learning and breakthroughs.
I was not disappointed. The training unshielded my heart; it shifted old fears and hurts, healed injuries and allowed me to connect to my spirit in a powerful way. I met a tribe of amazing people and I connected with my own beauty on a level that was deeper than I ever experienced. It was truly amazing.
Its three weeks since the training ended; I am in Ireland and this week I am aware that the training has not ended it has only just begun. The real test of what we experienced is in the work that comes when we leave the safe space of training and the support systems we created. The real test is in our own versions of reality and how we share that with those we love.
The real test is in the transition!
Just as when we are in our yoga practice and we move from one pose to another, the test of presence is in staying with our breath through the transition. Do we hold it and clench our jaw as we move into the next pose? I know I do when I am not present. I focus on getting into the pose and reconnecting to my breath when I am there. The fear I experienced during the Baptiste training was present for me on the Forrest training and it reared its lovely head again this week. I was fearful of not having the support I need to move through this transition time. I was fearful of not being understood when sharing my learning’s. I was fearful of being judged when I shared my vision.
And then what I feared most happened. This week my vision was judged.
In the moment I felt angry, sad and disappointed. Following it I can recognize it is the other person’s fear. It is also a part of myself voicing my own doubts and concerns. Taking a big picture view it’s a test from the universe.
It’s my spirit asking me the questions to allow me to truly voice and embody what I am committed to creating in my life. And I am grateful.
I acknowledged in the moment that this time around I am aware of the tests. I recognize them and while I may slip into my darkness I have learned ways to deal with and move through my darkness. These are my tips and tricks and sometimes it may take doing a few of them:
· BREATHE. One of the most important gifts I took away from the Forrest training was the power of connecting to my own deep breath.
· CONNECT. I take the time to connect with a person from the training or indeed someone in my life who I can speak openly and vulnerably about what is coming up for me.
· PRACTICE YOGA. I take time to get on my mat. I connect to my body and give myself the space to be on my mat and dive into what is behind the triggers.
· JOURNAL. I write. Writing is very cathartic for me and when I write, it takes my over active imagination and allows me to release the stories I have created around it.
· NATURE. I walk in nature. I put on my trainers and I head to my local woodland. The beauty in the earth is that it doesn’t judge our emotions; it doesn’t question us when we are working out what we need. It allows us to be in whatever shape that takes.
· MUSIC. I listen to music. I have songs that anchor me and help me to re-connect to my essence and my truth. A few of my favourites that really help me: Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd; Wonder by Emeli Sande; Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding
· SUPPORT. I book a coaching session. This is helpful as it allows me to process with compassionate challenge and gives me the gift of space to heal.
· DELIGHT MY SPIRIT. I tune into my heart and ask my spirit what it needs. It can be anything from a bath to spending time with my nephews or cooking yummy food.
While the transition following transformation brings us challenges, it also brings us nuggets of insight if we are prepared to listen and embrace them.
The path we chose has twists and turns and its remembering to not judge ourselves if we fall off the wagon. It is better for us to be kind and forgiving to our spirits, recognizing that it takes practice to become familiar with our patterns and even more practice in learning how best to work through them.
It is trusting in the universe to know that everything happens for a reason and while in the moment that reason may not be obvious it is to bring us closer to our higher purpose, our life mission.
I would love to hear your ways of moving through transition... please do share :)
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