On Friday, my birthday, we had to cancel the Bolivia sponsor tour I’ve been working on for months. The political climate in Bolivia is unstable at the moment. It is not safe to travel and Compassion International made the hard, but necessary decision to cancel the tour.
For this Type A Doer, it was a hard thing to let go of. I had poured myself into that tour, creating a brand new itinerary to new places and new experiences. I felt like I failed. The work and time spent was just wiped away with one decision.
This past weekend has been hard for me. I’ve taken that feeling of failure inward. I’ve told myself a story that is not true but feels true. I’ve told myself that everything I touch seems to fail, that somehow I was the one who could have prevented this from happening.
Yes, it makes no sense. But negative self talk rarely does.
I headed back to the mat Saturday morning. When we lived in Florida, I found yoga. I found it to be the place where I was new and unfamiliar. I had to relinquish all my past accomplishments – the marathons I ran, the races I was good at. On that mat, from day 1, I realized that I was human. I was tight and tired, I was furious and sad, I was happy and I was all those things tied up with my present and past memories.
In yoga you often hear that once you start doing hip opener exercises, beware as your emotions often come out. How in the world does our body hold emotions? Seriously I thought?!
Yet as I began to give into my body, to let myself settle into poses for longer than 5 seconds, I began to feel not only physical discomfort but soul pain. See when you are in one position, breathing in and out, holding that pose for minutes, you begin to fight with yourself. Why the heck am I doing this yoga thing? Why am I here?
Then your brain begins to listen to your heart. That’s where the work begins. Because in the middle of the physical discomfort, the heart begins to feel the need to step in.
When I headed back to the mat on Saturday, I brought with me all my insecurities. “I’m not good enough as a mom. I wish I was less selfish. Why do I judge people? I’m not good enough for that full time job, that’s why I didn’t get it.” The list of negativity kept pouring out of me.
Then we started moving. So many wheels (upside down inversion). So many chaturangas (basically yoga push ups). My body was protesting from the moment we started with a basic mountain pose. I was mad. I was mad at my body because I felt deficient. I wasn’t performing like I used to. I was mad at my mind for thinking this was a good idea. I was mad at the instructor for continuing to call out “one more time.” How many inversions can you expect me to do in a 100 degree, humid room?
At minute 65 of the class we hit the hip openers. All that emotional stuff they say we hold in our hips; you know the BS I thought it was? Well, as I sank into a half pigeon, my heart exploded. I began to mourn all the things I had thought would happen. I mourned the trip I planned but wasn’t able to go on. I mourned the birthday accolades I didn’t get from my youngest. I mourned the fractured insides of me that are slowly piecing together.
Maybe you say yoga isn’t your thing. I know the Christian community has so many stereotypes about yoga; convictions about what it is or isn’t.
I know for me, I need to be reminded daily that I am enough. That I have been given a strong body that is made to breath hard, to work hard as well as think hard, feel deep emotions and come out, on the other side, a more healed version of what the brokenness of this world tried to take out of me.
As my yoga studio’s board reminded me yesterday, “Be Willing to Come Apart.” There is healing in facing your deepest wounds and breathing through them.