Yoga found me, lured me, with a gravitational pull. It was divine timing, it was fate, it was whatever angel or mystical creature you believe in. Never been to a class. No idea what I was doing. Four years have passed since my yoga journey began, and I look back with an “ohhh I get it.” A clarity from connecting of dots which only make sense when you look back from the place they lead you to.
Have you ever found yourself in a place of chaos, where it feels like you’re living in a snow globe that has been shaken up so aggressively you cannot perceive up from down or left from right? The worst part is you really do not grasp how blinded you are until you see a glimpse of clarity. You’re living in a blizzard, but the realization of being in a blizzard is inconceivable because you’re totally absorbed. This is the place where removing oneself from your situation is next impossible. Absent from the driver’s seat, you are making decisions similar to flunking out of college like it’s “no biggie,” or working 40 hours a week yet having approximately 38 cents in your bank account, OR getting tattoos????? MOM WHERE WERE YOU ON THAT ONE. Life is happening to you and through you, while you have glazed over eyes with no intention of participation.
My snow globe started to shake because of my spiraling alcoholic dad. By the end of my senior year of high school, family life sunk into dark places. After being there for a while, I became so accustomed to living in these dark places, my comfort was the familiarity of pain. Pain is where I resided, my home. I desired, begged for it to end, but the truth is, outside pain’s grasp what is left is unknown. Unknown is not knowing if your next step forward presents danger or safety. Unknown is risky and scary. Unknown will keep levelheaded people in unhealthy relationships, from quitting miserable jobs, from growing.
A week after my dad was arrested and sent to jail, I was on my way to college. The white chaos in my snow globe started to settle, revealing a whole lot of unknown. Unfamiliarity of life without a dad, unfamiliarity of life at school, away from friends, family and home. Yet, the biggest unknown stared me straight in the eyes when I stood in front of the mirror. I was stripped from my identity of “child of an alcoholic” and was left with just Lyndsay. I knew more about Beyonce than Lyndsay. Panicked, empty and so vulnerable, I resorted back to chaos, started to stir up my own snow. I became fake. Made of plastic malleable enough to conform to whatever I thought other people wanted to see. On the outside I was happy, a partier, a gym-goer, a friend maker. Always moving, always having a mission. Never slowing for long enough to let the snow settle. Homework was hard. It forced me to slow down, to be alone. I would wait until the last minute so I knew I would be racing the clock. No time for slow, or for thinking, only time for homeworking. At first I would succeed, but I became riskier, gave myself less and less time. My GPA eventually dropped below a 1.0. Then I dropped out.
I really am not sure how or when I said yes to doing this, but there I was at Yoga Teacher Training. Had I ever taken a yoga class before? No. Did this feel right? It felt better than not doing it. Did I want to quit? Every freaking day.
I want to tell you that spiritual transformation looks like sunshine, rainbows and a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. It was hard. I sat there and cried every Thursday night, an alarming amount of tears. I was convinced I had blown a gasket and I needed medical attention. But every time I cried, I felt myself becoming lighter. I had started the training with a heavy dark cloud looming above my head, holding this huge secret and all the pain associated with it. My dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic. The words were right there, but stuck. My dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic. I watched the pain that had been trapped inside him his whole life spiral out of control. My heart hurt, physically hurt, with pain for him, for myself and the rest of my family.
Once I released my secret, it slowly start to lighten its grip around me. By sharing my secret, I had opened the cloud, releasing the rain, the tears, and every time I allowed the cloud to open and allowed myself to cry, the cloud became less heavy. The burden became easier to bare. Now I can share my story without crying. I can forgive my dad.
Enrolling in yoga teacher training was at first a means to fill my time after quitting school, but in reality it was exactly where I was supposed to be. The universe set me up with a safe space to feel the pain, let it go and fully heal. I was in a loving, caring, compassionate environment where I could heal and grow as a human. An environment helping me understand I was not alone or isolate. I was not plastic. To help me realize I was meant to embody, learn and experience this pain in order to truly understand the pain and suffering of others. To know that behind every single persons eyes is a story they have lived through and in that story they too probably learned pain. To know a lack of kindness is a defensive mechanism to protect oneself from vulnerability and pain. To know everyone deserves to be met with compassion. And to know, to truly know, the kindest and most generous people are usually the ones who have endured the most.
So, what I want to thank the universe for today:
For the story I have lived through this far.
For allowing me to find my way out of pain and stand here with a grateful heart for the experience.
For allowing me to find yoga and allow my snow globe to settle.
For having a heart radiating with compassion.
Thank you UNI!