I thought it would get easier. That was incorrect.
I assumed the first blog would be the most challenging to write. My writing style is rusty if not totally unknown. My sentence structure is a mess. Do not even ask about paragraph arrangement. Apprehension layered with the utter vulnerability of sharing my ideas. When I finished I thought I had broken the writing seal and every piece to follow would flow. Day after day passed this month, including the deadline, and no final product in sight. With each day feeling defeated I closed my laptop with a blank document on the screen. The realization took hold that sharing my personal experience may not flow as easily as anticipated. My subject matter and words come from the center of my personal experience. This space is Me. My inability to describe my experience indicated one thing. I am struggling with my story.
July marked the half waypoint of this year. Which triggered me to examine my progress. 6 months in 6 months to go. 2019 was the beginning of a new path. Moving rapidly away from that which did not serve me. My inquiry led to this conclusion, “I am not where I thought I would be.” Hello half-year harsh reality. I looked in the mirror and asked, “Where the hell do you think you are suppose to be?” There was no answer. Just the question on repeat like a record stuck on a track day in and out. I felt dark. My good habits fought to stay in place, while more indulgent ones begged for attention and often got it.
This place was not unfamiliar. I have been here before. In the middle of personal struggle. There was a drastic difference this time. I was aware of it. I knew it was happening. I just did not know the why. Countless times in the past I let heavy emotion consume me. I held my breath tight. I let emotional fatigue become physical. Not this time, not anymore. I am learning to observe emotions. They are what I am experiencing. They are not defining me. I allowed the question to keep repeating and did my best to hold space for the answer. I stopped trying to qualify the feelings as “good” or “bad”. I worked to view them objectively. What am I supposed to get from this? It was then I realized that I was in my practice. The place I remind my students to be. To acknowledge what they are experiencing in their physical body, to not judge it, to not force what is not available, but to observe. To know when to go deeper and when to pull back. Nowhere near my yoga mat and everything I do on that mat was serving me in this moment of dark.
Bear in mind while all this may read like some perfectly executed self-inquiry journey, it was not 100% perfect and linear. Every time Netflix asked, “Are you still watching?” I would beat myself up as I clicked yes and continued to make my way through the early seasons of Frasier. I swear my gluten free cookie dough has emotionally soothing ingredients. The work of examining your life experience, is just that work. Hard work. You may not like what you find. It is often messy. Knowing oneself is a hard process to organize. There were moments I felt like I was facing it fully, moments that I felt like was shutting down. But I kept coming back. Just like we return to the mat, time and again. To practice. To try. To observe. To learn. To be present with what we are.
Did I find where I am supposed to be?
I maintain an ambitious list of goals. When I set out on this path I made plans not fully recognizing the personal work I needed to do. Just as many students enter the studio with the assumption that they will be able to place their body in whatever poses that are offered simply because they want to. I discovered my spirit was behind schedule. My prior educational and professional endeavors embedded in me the idea that external effort and visible results alone equal accomplishment. That discomfort, stress and inconvenience mean you are working hard. That shutting off emotions and not listening to your body is how you stay the course of success. By no means do I think success is not often accompanied by sacrifice and going out of ones comfort zones. However, if the price to pay is continuous loss of self then that price is too high and I have learned I cannot afford it.
I am the foundation on which every goal will be built. What exists in me will inspire the movement and carry the progress. It would be reckless and careless if I did not take the time to rework the pieces of me that have been leveraged, lessened and ultimately harmed over the years so I could travel the path I was on.
Where am I supposed to be? Exactly where the hell I am, as I am. Ever evolving. Ever questioning. Eyes opened to what was once unseen. Comfortable in my discomfort. Inviting others to see what I once hid away. I am asking what serves me and what no longer does. I am learning in a way I never have, fully, on all levels, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. I am finally learning how I have always needed. This depth of learning is not to be rushed.
May you take the time to look within. May you summon the bravery to embrace all you find. May you celebrate your evolution, where you’ve been, where you are now and where you desire to go. The work is not easy, but it is worth it.
Ring Wild & Unique
Amanda Borghi, MM
Certified Yoga Instructor, RYT-200
Certified Schwin Cycle Instructor
For more Wild & Unique Life Vibes follow Amanda on Instagram @amandameredith333