The great lyric from Nahko and Medicine for the People often brings me to reflect on what brought me to this moment, my “here and now”. It would take a million books to encompass the vast array of events which lead to beginning this journey. There were several journeys that I travelled which ultimately lead to this moment and my practice. Like I have been known to say, “It isn’t a light switch…it’s a process”. Throughout this process, I had a musically spiritually guide, which was Nahko and Medicine for the People. I am forever grateful to them for their “musical medicine”.
I began seeing signs. I viewed them as “strange coincidence” at first, but after the universe kept throwing them my direction, I was forced to sit back and reflect. “Okay, what is going on here?” So I followed them…not without a lot of questioning and self-doubt…not without trying to back out of this terrifying journey several times…not without extreme hardship. There was something pulling me and it was too strong to ignore.
Most often, there is a huge change or event which forces you to look inside and make other changes in your life. The initial, most drastic change in my case was divorce, but can be anything in your life: a job change, a move, an accident or near-accident, etc. I needed a change from my environment, my circumstances, and my current situation. I didn’t know what would happen; I couldn’t control how it would play out; I felt like I had no idea what the hell I was doing. It was terrifying! And it didn’t come without great cost to those whom I love and myself. It was not easy.
There was a lot of back and forth. I wasn’t sure that I was making the “right” decision. One day, I was overcome by this internal knowing that I was leaving my marriage. There was no giant fight, no crazy sign, I just knew. After my separation, there was a lot of uncertainty. Everything was different. It took so much from me before making the final decision to leave that I didn’t think much further than the leaving part. I didn’t know where to go from there. The next few months consisted a lot of me trying to heal forcibly. I did everything but allow the process to occur naturally.
I always dabbled in mental and physical fitness, only ever really committing to running. Throughout the process of coming to terms with my decision to leave my marriage, I went to some yoga classes, starting meditating some again, started to connect to crystals again, and was running fairly often. After losing my marriage commitment, I lost commitment to pretty much everything. I struggled to get myself together. Some people speak of an “aha moment”. I feel I had many, I just didn’t have the mental or physical strength to carry them out at that moment. I pushed myself to get some routine together to get back into fitness. I thought if I could just get back into running everyday, I would be fine. If I just surrounded myself with people, I would be okay. If I went to a yoga class every week, I would be more grounded. If I immersed myself in work, I would be better. It was causing more stress and it was exhausting. That was not my intention at all. In fact, it was the exact opposite of my intention.
Don’t get me wrong, getting out for a run, being around friends and family, going to yoga classes, and losing myself in work helped, but trying to commit my broken self to anything was not going to happen. I was all over the place, trying to find my center and settle into the newness of being on my own. I began playing guitar and singing again. It was the first thing that I did with no agenda. I sang what I wanted, when I wanted, and however long I wanted. I had no restrictions or commitments to my guitar. The freedom and ease allowed for my healing. I played for hours at night, after the kids were in bed. I needed to get it out in a way that focused only on my mind and emotions. Such is the process. You must head in a direction, hold onto your intention, however, allow the process to happen naturally.
One day, I woke up and said to myself, “I need to get on the yoga mat today. I don’t care how, where, when, or with who, but it needs to happen.” This was different than the other times when I had said that I needed to because I felt I should. I had an internal knowing that the mat was where I felt I needed to be that day, so I followed that intuition. This “internal knowing” was not the only one besides my decision to leave my marriage that I had felt. In fact, they were coming more frequently now that I had opened myself up to the possibility that they meant something. Or perhaps I was just listening more closely. I was not reluctant at all to follow it and attended a great yoga class that day.
I ended up doing yoga and/or running almost everyday since that day on the mat. Initially, there was the process of integrating the things that I knew would help, yet didn't have the energy to commit to yet. This process lead to my process of allowing yoga, meditation, running (my “moving meditation”), yoga philosophy, and holistic healing into my life. It transformed my life. Slowly…because it is a process, not a light switch.