As I move through my Yoga Teacher Training, I realize this kind of mindfulness has been a part of my work for many years already, personally, creatively, professionally, foundationally. The alignment is spot on, and this work seems to have arrived (as big shifts tend to do), right on time.
I'd say by the time I was 17, I completely abandoned my body.
Blowing out my knee for the second time and losing one of the oldest loves of my life, gymnastics, sealed the deal. It was one of the few ways, from a pretty young age, that I knew how to find joy in my body. Flipping through the air, I could always feel where I existed in time and space, beneath all the chaos and noise, every time I stepped onto the mat. I was lost without it (though didn't know it at the time), because it drastically changed my physical and energetic orientation in the world. Then it was time to head off to college to become a Physical Therapist, no longer an athlete, no longer the version of myself I once knew, struggling wth my identity as an adoptee on a much deeper and hidden level, and barreling headfirst into one of the most spectacular break-downs (break-throughs?) of my life. I have so much compassion and love for that young version of myself, now. I see her so clearly, how lost and scared and alone she was, and what she had to come through...
... through thick layers of trauma and loss of my own bodily autonomy and safety; the injuries, sexual assault, abandonment...
... through all the healing and self-(re)discovery; learning to be brave through my creativity, then meeting my body again through exploring my sexuality, and finally the integration of it all, mind body, and spirit.
The fact that I've made it back to the mat feels like nothing short of a miracle.
What I know now as I've almost come completely full-circle, is, that I had to become sovereign in my own body to become sovereign in my own life. There was so much to shake loose, re-story and re-integrate, and I've spent the better part of the last couple of years nose-deep in that inquiry. I can see how all that's coming to fruition in my life right now is absolutely because I am on the other side of some old core believe (wound) that had me aligning to my life from the outside in. Somewhere along the way this has flipped, and more often than not I am now able to walk through the world calibrated to my own heart. It will always be a practice and an ongoing a process of self discovery. Every bit uncovered, matters.
Keep seeking. Keep becoming. Keep turning towards yourself.
Your life, truly, depends on it.