“My parents divorced when I was 20. In the long run it turned out to be for the best, but there was a whole lot of anger and angst and other emotions built up that came up from that. A couple years ago I started really taking yoga seriously, as more than just the physical practice and my mentality has totally transformed. There have been times where I’ve started practice in our first child’s pose and I find myself sobbing; releasing and trying to let go of my ‘issue’ of control. I try so very hard to control every aspect of my life, and when I find I’m dropping all the balls of which attempting to juggle I get more frustrated.
“Just say, ‘screw it’ — let it all go and let things happen the way they happen and don’t try to control everything” was one of our instructor’s nuggets of wisdom from my first 40 Days to Personal Revolution — a program many of us went through together. I knew if I wanted to move forward in my life, I had to take a good hard long look at myself. I really had to look in the mirror. Up until that point, I had attempted to do the yoga and ‘the work’ without actually facing myself. I learned you can’t do that as obvious as it may sound.
The reoccurring things are going to show up, and that was the eye-opening experience of: “I can’t avoid this.” I had been avoiding my emotions and I wasn’t getting anywhere.
It was a stark look in the mirror of how I react to my life by trying to control everything and because I couldn’t control everything and have it the way I wanted it to be, I came to the conclusion and decided that, I was not good enough. I took this mentality into every area of my life.
The 40 Days program was definitely a catalyst to believing that I am good enough, but then taking 20 steps back… I’ll never forget the first time I opened the 40 Days book, and in the introduction, Baron said, “You didn’t open this book at this time by accident. You’re here at this time for a reason.” That to me was just like, WOAH. I had endless waves of chills. I burst out laughing. I just recently finished his book, Perfectly Imperfect as well, and it talked about the cosmic joke, and made me realize mine: I took a situation in which my perception was that I wasn’t good enough, and made it into something it wasn’t — and then it became my whole story. I’ve been hearing people say “doubt your doubts” and “don’t believe your lies that you tell yourself”, and I finally got it. It finally clicked with me.
I used to be a highly reactionary person and didn’t really tend to stop to think and breathe. Meditation was, at the beginning very, very hard for me. I would just be telling my mind to shut up during most of the five minutes I set for myself to sit still. Now, I have good days and bad days but those days don’t define me. I’ve also started to take this into my classroom at work where my students recognize meditation as a way to pause and hit the reset button.
I have grown so much through the practice of yoga that what it’s all come to, is that I’ve learned to love myself. This is the first necessary step before you can learn to truly love and accept another person. Learning so much about myself, how to become less reactive, learning my own value and that it’s okay to ask for help was a huge lesson and turning point for me.
I’m really excited that I was asked to be a part of The Self Stories. I think it’s a really cool idea because everybody has these breakthroughs at different times, and it gives us a place where we can share those stories for others to read. I’ve been doing this practice for seven years and it really just landed with me a few years ago.
I have learned that I am strong in mind, in body and in spirit. I’ve been able to move forward and I’ve realized we are all much stronger than we think we are. I’ve also learned that the first person you need to love is yourself. With that truth and knowledge, there are no limits; the whole world is open for you.” — Caitlin