Hey there my friends....
How have you been?
It has been over 155 days since the studio closed for the second round of Covid quarantine. I need to tell you how much I miss all of your faces and your presence in my sacred space. If there is anything that I have truly learned throughout this past year and pandemic in general is to never take for granted the sacred space that is shared between people you care about. Before the pandemic I used to take for granted being able hug or stand closely to someone, to walk into someones home and sit close enough to them I could smell their perfume, to stand at the store and chat to an old friend and sleepovers with friends after a great nights party. OHHHHH to think of having a party now, could you imagine how great that would be?
Did you take anything for granted? no judgement, I am just admitting my truth.
There has been so much loss in my life (varying degrees) since Covid began and much of it I was not expecting. With loss comes lessons and more blessings.
Where to start....
Where I would really like to start is by counting my blessings first!!!!
Even with all the loss I am blessed!!!!
I am blessed to have my physical mental and emotions health.
For so many years I believed my back "made me broken". Stopped me from living a life free of pain. Before Covid, I had Physio (Janet from Womens Health Associates -Eramosa Physio) and Osteopathy (Stephen Lobsinger- Guelph Naturalpathic Med clinic), massage and personal training (Syd Vaughan-Sydvrmt) and cupping (Valerie Becking) all keeping this Humpty Dumpty together on a weekly basis....yes I need to give a little plug for my favourite peeps they are incredible. So, you can imagine my panic attack when I couldn't access all of my glue partners....
However during Covid, I found that I could do it on my own after all. I had the time to dedicate my actions, thoughts and energy to healing myself in different ways. So powerful. I had all of you 5-6 days a week doing my free classes on Facebook which filled my cup every day.... for which I am so grateful. I had Denise Reid and her crazy HIIT workouts on Facebook that I followed religiously....for which I am grateful. I had my sister (always so grateful beyond words for her) and friends that I walked with religiously.....of which I am grateful. I listened to countless books from Brene Brown helping me deal with my emotional dramas....of which I am grateful. I had the app Insight Timer where I found the most profound meditations to help me release the pain from the sadness....of which I am grateful. I have also had the privilege to work through my next 300hr of yoga certification, for without the time Covid granted me I may not have done it.....for which I am grateful.
And the best blessing is the love and support from my family (my husband and sons, parents, sister nephews brother in law) and my friends, they kept me on track and held me when my mental and emotional health was struggling. So blessed!
I learned that sadness and loss can exist in the same moment with gratitude.
When I look back on this past year and account for all of the things I have lost or witnessed leaving my life, I am deeply saddened. The worst sadness and grief comes with the loss of my father Karl, after 80 beautiful years of his gracious energy on this planet. That one was tough and will continue to be tough for time. This type of loss does not really follow the same guidelines that other losses follow. However, I am grateful that he is no longer suffering in his earthly body and mind and grateful for the 48years I was blessed as his daughter. The best blessing that I feel I had was the time I had with him in his final days and months. The pandemic gifted me to time with him, time to comfort him, to lie with him in his hospital bed and snuggle, to laugh with him, to help him leave this world in peace was immeasurable and was truly the best gift. I love you dad you are and always will be my hero.
Sadness comes with the reality that things or relationships are gone. Sad that things had to come to an end during a time where we were losing so much already. As I have spoken in previous blogs there was much darkness in my life in 2020 and I know I didn't stand alone. You all were here in the storm with me but battling your own demons. When I think of the friendships that fizzled or the connections that disappeared, I couldn't help but blame myself at first. Thinking what did I do or what didn't I do?? What took me a while to learn (thanks to my newest yoga training) is that I am only responsible for myself and not the wellbeing or behaviours of others. That I am enough on my own without an army behind and around me all the times. I can only control how I am with my words and my actions and that is good enough. However, I am truly grateful for the years I did have with these beautiful humans and am blessed to have shared so many wonderful memories. The ending of something doesn't always have to discredit the beautiful pieces that existed when that piece is alive and well.
I also learned about suffering or Dukkha (in Sanskrit).
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a optional" by Haruki Murakami and Dalai Lama
It wasn't until I found this reference/quote through my study with Ashley Turner (LMFT, Yoga-Meditation Teacher, Licensed Psychotherapist) did I truly learn how to deal with suffering. There are many kinds of suffering in life (for deeper interest into suffering investigate the 4 Noble Truths in Buddhism). There is ordinary suffering which reflect the normal ups and downs of life. This type of suffering comes and goes and is usually quite manageable. There is suffering of change which is inevitable....this is the one that took me a great deal of time to understand and absorb as truth. This is where all things are subject to change and end. For example great parties, life circumstances, jobs, body weight, friendships or relationships. Some things that inevitably end are manageable and you can move on. However, when attachment is great then suffering is not so easily managed. When we attach deeply to things or relationships, or attach our sense of self worth to these things, suffering is great and tragic. My lesson.... I had been attaching my sense of self to relationships and people, that I was good enough if I had people in my life that needed me. The more people I had meant I was a good enough person.
However, when we turn inward and know our worth and know that we are enough on our own, when we rise in our own glory and energy (Shakti Prana) we can truly find peace.
We cannot chose to never experience pain, that will arise in some way in our lives. Inevitable. However, we do have a choice in how we suffer as a result of that pain. We can chose to stay stuck in that pain or we can rise from that place and grow and learn from it. To suffer is your option, it is not who you are.
Your choice entirely!
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!
Below I offer you a tool that has really made a profound impact on my state of peace. These attitudes are guidelines to follow when meditating, however, I literally use them when I look at life in general, not just on the mat or in a meditation, but when interacting and living life. (my perspective highlighted IN CAPS)
The 8 Attitudes of Mindfulness (by Jon Kabat-Zinn)
1. Beginners mind.
*see each meditation as if its your first time (free of expectation)/
*SEE EACH EXPERIENCE IN LIFE AS IF ITS YOUR FIRST TIME, FREE OF EXPECTATION
*be an impartial witness to your experience, just observe without judgemental thoughts, just atune with what arises without reacting to it, and meet whatever arises with gentle kindness
*SAME IS TRUE WITH EXPERIENCING LIFE
*be yourself, be fully present and don't try to hurry or to get anywhere
*SAME IS TRUE WITH EXPERIENCING LIFE, SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY THE PROCESS
*see things as they are, be kind to yourself
*SEE THINGS AT FACE VALUE AND DO NOT ATTACH YOUR WORTH TO OTHERS BEHAVIOURS, BE KIND TO YOURSELF AS YOU ARE JUST DOING YOUR BEST
5. Let Be
*let be what comes up, do not try and get rid of the thought or feeling or sensation, let the thought take up space without your reaction to it, do not disengage or detatch from it
*WHEN SOMETHING PAINFUL COMES UP AND IT ILLICITES AN EMOTION OR SENSATION LET IT COME UP, WITNESS IT AND FEEL WHERE IT IS IN YOUR BODY....FROM THIS PLACE YOU CAN LEARN TO LET IT BE, IT WILL PASS, ALL PAIN AND SENSATION WILL PASS
6. Trust in yourself
*learn to be self reliant
*LEARN TO TRUST YOU, YOU KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU WHEN YOU LISTEN TO YOUR HEART AND YOUR BODY.
*To be patient is to be completely in each moment, and accepting each moment for what it is.
*PATIENCE HAS NEVER BEEN MY STRONG SUIT HOWEVER FOR ME LEARNING PATIENCE HAS MORE TO DO WITH ME NOT EXERCISING #5 ABOVE...I NEVER WANT TO EXPERIENCE OR SIT WITH EMOTIONAL PAIN OR SUFFERING SO I ACT IMPUSLIVELY AND REACT. LEARNING TO BE PATIENT MEANS TO SIT WITH THE PAIN AND LETTING IT BE.
8. Self Compassion
* to always forgive your self, feel that you are doing your best, love yourself first and act, speak and hear with your heart
*EXACTLY TRUE IN LIFE....YOU DO NOT NEED TO BLAME YOURSELF FIRST...YOU ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND WORDS
Well there you have it my friends.....my words from life this past 5 months. I would love to hear from you, over the past 5 months or longer what have been your biggest blessings and lessons, your biggest challenges, and your proudest accomplishments?
Shanti Shanti Shanti
Peace Peace Peace