Over the past 6 months – I’ve been working so, so much. I didn’t realize it because 40+ hours a week was normal for me in the corporate world. I also added in my RYT 500 training which is also pretty time-consuming because.. why not? I thought I could handle it. I’m incredibly passionate about what I’m doing – I now manage a thriving yoga & fitness program for adults with special needs. My days are filled with love, teaching, and helping these wonderful adults learn about their bodies and how to take care of them. It’s easy to throw yourself in and allow yourself to be stretched thin, especially in a new job where you are trying to prove yourself. I was moving in full Yang energy
Although I am professional and friendly when I need to be, I’m also deeply sensitive and introverted. I keep a lot of things to myself, and I sometimes get anxious interacting with people. Sometimes this causes me to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself in regards to my work. What I didn’t take into account, is what that does to your body when you are in a physical profession vs. sitting in a cubicle. The success in my program kept me running, and I was adding a lot of intense cardio & weightlifting classes to my schedule while I was slowly & unknowingly draining my tank to E again. Straying away from my yoga under self-imposed pressure to please. So how did I allow myself to fall into this cycle of workaholic energy again? Stress.. plain and simple. I haven’t been sure if i was going to write about this, but I feel like it’s blocking my writing.. so I’m going to share it. I need to address my elephant.
My mom was in Canada with my sister. I was a little bummed because I couldn’t swing the trip with them, things just didn’t line up. But maybe things are meant to be. My mom called me that something was wrong, and asked me to go to check on my grandmother. She was texting the family in a group chat essentially saying that she felt deeply depressed but that no one understood her. She had a beautiful and loving soul, but my grandma has a history of mental health issues, as well as a list of other health issues including liver, kidney etc. It wasn’t always that way but after two gastric bypass surgeries she still struggled to loose weight, battling depression and food addiction for years. It slowly wore her down in kidney stones and other health declines. Hopping from illness to illness while she was prescribed into a full on opiod addiction. I highly object to certain practices in the traditional medical community. I’m not sure what the proper answer is but more doctors need training in nutrition and disease prevention. Insurance needs to support alternative and preventative forms of healing to reduce long term costs. A pill is not always the solution to the ailment. Had my grandmother lived in another state or country – I sometimes imagine her fate could have been much different if she had access to a more nurturing and genuine system of treatment.
I went to check on her – and she was barely coherent in bed. She eventually started to wake up, and I could tell that something wasn’t right with her. She was telling me about all the pain she had been in, and I asked her why she was texting mom, and expressed that she was worrying everyone. I asked her about her medicine, and if she was taking it properly. She told me she was taking double of what the Doctor prescribed her and when she handed me the bottle I noticed there were far less pills then there should have been. I told her I couldn’t let her have them if she wasn’t going to take them properly… She flipped. Started screaming and pulled my hair until we were face to face. Her voice screeched out from the top of her lungs. The drugs in her had dulled her personality and let out a desperate and panic-stricken pained woman. I took her hands off me. I was in shock.. then she went in her bedside drawer and pulled out the gun.”Give me my pills, or I’ll shoot you” she screamed. I froze. I calmly set down the pills, then backed out of the room.
It’s strange to mourn the loss of someone while they are still alive. What made it harder was the heartache this caused my mother. The instinct of a mother is to protect her children and my mom was heartbroken and stricken with guilt, sadness and anger – guilt that was never hers to hold. For me, I knew the prescription Opiod medication had changed her mind and her body. I did my best to find peace with this, but it was hard. While I understood why it had happened (her pain and addiction) I just, didn’t know what to do. I decided eventually, that I could do nothing. So I partially mourned the strange loss all the while carrying this deep pain in my heart chakra. I threw myself deeply into working and pushing. The more I accomplished the more lifted I felt, but it was all extrinsic. I was losing weight, and my abs were finally showing. My classes were full, and I thought I was happy, but I was always a little tired. I thought I could manage and I kept going.
Eventually, I collapsed. Right in the middle of a restaurant from malnutrition. I was working so hard I was burning more than my body had in it. I had to be taken to the ER – You think that I would have slowed down after that? No, I kept going – thought I would just focus on adding more meals and stop forgetting to eat. All the while ignoring the pain in my heart chakra. Knowing it was there, but doing nothing.
Eventually the pain in my shoulder became so bad I couldn’t sleep. I finally got the MRI. I had an over-training injury.. Strained Rotator cuff and was in a sling for 5 weeks. I’m still healing now as I write this. I’ve got about 4 weeks of physical therapy left. I wouldn’t back off – so my body forced me. I finally scaled back. I had a lot of time to think about what direction I was heading in, what shifts I needed to take in life, and what I want the rest of my life to look like. I was working toward healing my own heart, using my knowledge of yoga and healing… and also my body using rest and adequate self-care. Finding that the love I needed was right in my heart, an abundant source If I could only slow down and feel it. I was also so lucky to have support around me during this difficult time. In my heart I was learning forgiveness, fostering gentleness, slowing down and learning to love my body. I started to focus on my meditation as I healed. I started to melt in to this yin feminine energy that was dying to be expressed. In my heart, I’m not the firm, aggressive all business character I’ve forced myself to be. I lead with love… creativity, calm gentle energy. I want to spread healing and peace in my yoga and life practice. I found this space and new vibration of love and forgiveness and light within myself and this is where I will strive to stay.
Six months after the incident I got the call. My grandma was dying and I had to make the decision if I was going to go see her off. After she had pointed a gun to me, no apologies. When I heard the news, In my heart, I had already forgiven. I knew it was time to support my mom. I expected her not to be conscious or awake when I went to see her – and at first, that’s how it was. I walked in with my mom – she was in tears, gently talking to her, but eventually she opened her eyes. She heard my mother say my name and she suddenly had an awareness about her. She had waited for me. She coughed and coughed through the oxygen mask. Then she looked me straight in the eyes – and said “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Those are her words that I will hold dear. Everything else wasn’t serving me anymore, any attachment, any anger, and even the sadness… I feel it, acknowledge it, allow it be and I let it go. I chose love and forgiveness – and I’m glad. It feels so good and opened the door to healing for my heart.
I fought against this for a long time, but I’ve come to accept and embrace this loving myself fully. I love myself enough to set boundaries, take rest, and heal my mind and spirit. I love those around me enough to know I cannot help them unless I follow the truth in my heart and live with life and love and abundance. Yoga teaches you to let go friends, and to love is also to let go. Yin and Yang.