Yogis and spiritual teachers have their shit together, right?
This post contains references to suicide and mental health struggles.
I often see posts on social media saying something along the lines of mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of, share to show someone is always listening, etc etc. A general increase of awareness around mental health issues is a damn fine thing.
What does it actually mean for the people who are having a big old moment? Are we to log on to Facebook and scroll through to see which friend posted that and contact them out of the blue in our most vulnerable moments? I appreciate the intention in sharing such things but that has never occurred to me to be a safe option. Safe connections for me come first and foremost from knowing and being known.
I would like to offer a language that has worked and is working for me and my circle. We call it March, April, MAYDAY
I spent a weekend in December unpacking my own shame with The Daring Way facilitators Ade Adeniji & Darren Brady who have been trained by Brené Brown. On the last day, they asked us all to create something to share at the end of the workshop. After much ferocious resistance, this is what came out.
I'm including these photos because I can see my freshly shattered heart so clearly in my eyes in the first one. I can see my grief worn, utterly broken self in the grips of PTSD 16 months later in the second one, and I can see my light back so strongly 8 months later in the third.
I made it. Should you ever find yourself on such a journey, so will you.
I am intensely interested in who people really are. I want to be known deeply by my small circle of friends, and I want to know each of them deeply too. I want to confess my innermost thoughts and be seen as I really am. I want to see people this way too.
Is there anything so liberating as living an authentic life?
Two years 3 months and 25 days since I had left Koh Phangan from this same beach, that the sand kissed and the water bathed my feet again for the first time.
A few weeks prior to leaving, the in turns peculiar, baffling, bamboozling, enraging, heartbreaking, grief engulfing, and horrifying series of events that would unravel my life as I’d known it began their work.
Picking a TTC is easier if you know what you are looking for. In all truth I didn’t- I knew what I didn’t want after some previous negative experiences. Everyone told me “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” which I didn’t really believe. And then Emma Warmington popped into my inbox with a wee hello. Clearly the universe thought I was ready.
I decided this was the year to start the life long journey of yoga teaching by completing my yoga teacher training certificate and go on a journey of self-discovery, which has started in Central America. Panama was the first stop- this was the perfect soft landing for my round the world trip. 10 days with the “seniors” – aka my parents and aunt and uncle.
Heartbreak when you have loved so deeply is devastating. For weeks you might be a barely held together semblance of sobbing, tormented grief. Not a bad day or 2 or 3 but weeks of paralyzing, crippling despair. For a full week you might not wash, change clothes or leave the house. You might not eat for days at a time. You might be beyond comfort, completely inconsolable. You might not want to tell anyone what is happening because you fear misrepresenting yourself, or them. Or because it might make it more real and you’d do anything right now for it not to be real.
10 years and 7 weeks ago today the structure of my life began to crumble when after a series of ever-worsening drunken fights throughout the darkest most drunken and depressed days of my life, my 200lb alcoholic boyfriend flipped over the bed I was lying in, smashed it up then grabbed me and threw me across our bedroom against the wall leaving me with a severe back injury. It was the last time I ever saw him and the end of the most destructive and gnarly relationship I ever had.