I went to yoga for the first time tonight.
Maybe it changed my life. I’m not sure yet.
I don’t know if it was the fact that all I had to do was breathe. That all I had to do was stay on my mat and try out my body.
Maybe it was that the lights were dim and there was a voice floating around the room re-assuring me that all I had to do was to do my best in that very moment.
This voice from our teacher — who may as well have been God himself — this voice who soothed and said:
“When I tell you that all you have to do is your best, there is no comparison involved in that. You don’t have to be the best you were a month ago. You don’t have to be the best you might be a year from now. Just be your best in this moment.”
It was the permission I’ve been searching for over the past few months while I’ve studied and worked and saved and tried.
It was the permission I’ve been looking for since I moved to Ottawa just over a year ago to have an adventure and tie up some loose ends.
The second chapter of my healing, changing journey, if you will. Chapter one surely being the coming home, the crashing down, the emptying.
This part now being testing out, taking baby steps, the morphing and the putting back together, old pieces in new ways.
And now, the next chapter.
It started over the past couple months. My chest got tighter, the nights more restless, the feelings that always come, came and they welled up inside bigger and bigger like a ripple that spreads out touching everything until you get to that knowing place.
The tidal wave is building and building and soon it comes crashing down. I think about leaving. I don’t even have to pack my bags because they are already packed from the last time I left, sitting in the middle of the floor. Ready. Knowing.
This time, there are slight differences. This time when the wave comes, I have all of the past 32 years to look back on. I have my history and my patterns and I have a therapist that I see weekly, who teaches me how to untie the knots and to still feel anchored.
Tonight on that mat, a thought came to me. A voice, my intuition, my spirit, my healer. It said, Maybe this is exactly where you are supposed to be.
That’s been a long time coming.
In the middle of breathing and grounding and opening my palms to the sky and bowing with my forehead meeting the blush pink mat, Maybe this is exactly where you are supposed to be.
In a class of mostly strangers, my sister in front of me.
In my hometown, the place of so many tears and yet so much growth.
On the cusp of 33, an evening that smells like autumn and a chill that says everything is changing and a broken heart that is healed and seeping all at once. With a dwindling bank account and plans that feel too big and too small at the same time. With accomplishments and diplomas just arriving in the mail. With new souls reaching out to check in and past loves being the shoulder that I need. With confusion and perfection and permission being the words of the week.
With shooting stars in the sky on those late night walks in the country and kittens chasing behind me in the yard. With letters written to my 10 year old self asking her to come forward and trust me, that I’ll keep her safe and that it’s better here now.
With thoughts towards what is the right choice and what is the wrong choice and relief that maybe my choices are really just mine and no one else truly cares either way. Breaths coming just enough so that I don’t die and other days breathing to live.
Maybe this is exactly where you are supposed to be.
Lying on a mat, being told that being kind to myself is important and that trying my best is all I need to do.