Well Read: The Swamp

This is why we yoga.
Leeann asked me if I would be interested in writing something about my experience this past year.  After immediately thinking “No way, I can’t write!”, I took a breath and said, “Sure”.  I was just going to use my most recent journal entry, until I read it.  It sounded so cliché and not really like me. I felt like I was just quoting other people’s words (amazing words, but not truly mine).
I have always loved to read (I read Shonda Rhimes’ book twice LAST WEEK!) and find that I fall in love with other people’s words. So how do I know what words are truly mine? What do Ihave to say? What words do Ihave to offer? What have Ilearned? I want to bare my soul, but how?
Well, here goes
If I dig deep, this past year felt like the time I was lost in the woods in Maine.
No really, terrifyingly lost!  I had no cell phone and my family didn’t even know I was out there (yep, I was THAT guy!!). After walking for an hour and just getting more lost, I stopped and looked around.  Everywhere looked the same, dark and scary!  I realized that I only had 1 choice, PANIC!!!  And once I did that and was still lost, I knew I had to pick a direction, put my head down, and trudge through the scary, dark swampy, briarful (just made that one up) woods. So that’s what I did.  All the while praying out loud for God to guide me.  Finally, I came out to a path. But, I still didn’t know which way to go! So I closed my eyes and asked. Listening to my gut, I turned and kept walking. All the while being terrified knowing that I couldn’t stop now.  It was then that I saw the light. Not like an epiphany, I actually saw the sun. I knew I had found my way out!
Many times in my life, in fact most of my life, instead of praying and listening to my gut, I would do what I thought would make everyone else happy, and proud of me. To the point of ignoring my gut, even when it was screaming at me to go the other way. I was always trying to be perfect in the eyes of everyone else, but never feeling good enough.  This just kept me “walking in circles in the dark, wooded swamp” (oh and bryerful, can’t forget the bryers, those suckers hurt!). For some reason, I had become so accustomed to walking in circles it felt comfortable and safe in my little swamp. “Just keep walking and you’ll be fine. They won’t realize that you’re not perfect!”
That was until the universe caught on and caught up to me. It was then that I was forced to stop and look at myself (I don’t know if you’ve had to do that, but it’s so NOT FUN!). Not having a choice, I looked around and realized that I had just redecorated my swamp, convincing myself that it was a beautiful place of lightness and love.  Instead of helping me to peel away the layers, I had wrapped myself in the words and the practice. Reading and studying about how to fix myself and be a better, more perfect me. I just built more layers cocooning myself in it all until I could no longer see any light or feel any lightness.  Physically and emotionally exhausted, I found myself again having only one choice….I had to pray and listen.  So, that’s what I did. And these are the questions that I asked God “Where do I go from here? What do I do? What if I let people down?”
And I heard….
You are perfect as you are.  You don’t need to prove it, they already know. It’s ok to be still. No one will be disappointed, that’s only you.  You are your biggest critic. Stop trying to prove your worth. Be truly you and LOVE HER!!!
Well this all began a year ago, almost to the day. Some days I wanted to run back into my comfy swamp, but I didn’t I just keep moving forward. Some days only crawling, but always moving.  And I can honestly say that I feel the most me EVER! I now feel that I can let my soul shine happily and unapologetically.
Here I am in all of my Badassary!!
Ok, I stole Badassary from Shonda Rhimes (how could I not?!?!?),but all of the other words are mine!
THIS is why we yoga.

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