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In January, I began the year with a focused intention – to become the better (dare I say best?) version of myself.  I see in my life, in my practice, and in my teaching many opportunities to really step into who I am and to own it.  Strength for me is a word that keeps popping up and I’m never really sure how it’s defined or why (if) I have it.  But this month, with shit happening in my life, being stronger is the only option I have.

I don’t talk much anymore about the death that started me on this path.  At least, I don’t think I do.  But I think it’s important to note that from that death, the shock of it, the growth from it, and the return to life, I built my strength.  When you lose someone close to you suddenly, the repercussions are felt in everything.  When that death happens with no warning, the feeling of loss is so huge.  But this month, I’m on the verge of another death.  Maybe.  If you keep up with my blog, you know my bulldog Baxter is dying.  I don’t know when it’ll happen.  But it will.  And I somehow have to build up the strength and courage to wake up the day after.

A conversation that has come up a lot in the past few days has revolved around my strength.  Friends and family are concerned.  Baxter is my best friend, my boy, and he holds my heart. But I know I can survive this one and I know I’m stronger than most even realize.  It’s in that strength that stand.  That strength comes with breath and grounding and all of the other amazing things yoga has taught me.

But it also comes for me from friends and family.  I’m inspired to be stronger by those close to me that have PTSD and are learning to cope and fight back from the trauma that caused it; I’m inspired by students with significant health issues that get curious about breath and how they can use it to heal; I gain strength from the students and teachers that let go and just play on the mat, because that spark of joy is a powerful ally; I’m in love with that bulldog, who’s currently snoring away on the couch.  It’s his love that pushed me out of bed a few years ago and it’s his love that I’m taking in as much as I can right now because someday, sooner, maybe later, he won’t be here to love anymore.