I used to be one of those people that laughed when my friends or, pretty much anybody, talked about meditation and yoga. I never took it seriously. All that chanting new age crap was definitely not for me.
I grew up an athlete. So working out to me, was playing sports. Everything that I was told meditation does for you, I got that from my passions and sports. Being an athlete was my life. That is where I went to escape. Believe it or not, all I knew how to be was this tough, strong, New Yorker. We live in a city where everybody is usually stressed out, working a bazillion hours a day, and getting a few hours sleep.
The Beginning of My Practice
Then I had my LA friends, and I just never understood it. That was until I connected with yoga teacher Jennifer Pastiloff, who introduced me to what actual meditation and yoga entailed.
I began to find it interesting. What could I lose by trying something new to heal and get over my past traumas and anger? I needed something, because what I was doing was not only not good for me, but I was holding everything deep down inside and walking around with a smile on my face pretending everything was fine. That is what I always told everybody, I am fine. I really wasn’t, but my trust level had gone down so dramatically, that it was the best answer I could muster. I was the person who helped everybody and made people laugh. That is what made me happy, but at the same time, I was dying inside and full of intense pain.
I began trying small things at home with yoga and meditation. I enrolled in Deepak Chopra’s 21-day free meditations, but my first true experience was in Jennifer’s yoga workshop in NYC. It was right after I lost one of the most important and strong women in my life, my grandmother. I was completely lost and numb.
It wasn’t until that class that I truly realized how bad of a position I had put myself in. All this time, I had no idea how much pain I was actually holding onto, stemming from my childhood years. It wasn’t just a yoga workshop. It was eye-opening. It was yoga, meditating, laughing, crying, which I never do, or at least not in public. It was journaling, dancing, relaxing, and just pure joy. We also got to hold each other’s feet, which is a whole other story.
I found that meditation was not only an incredible tool, but one I needed to incorporate into my life on a daily basis. I found out things about myself I never knew. I learned that my anger was so much deeper than I every thought. I pushed every emotion down, along with people. I felt I was a burden. I am not even sure I truly forgave the people in my past that hurt me. Basically, I was living much of my life with my eyes closed.
I tried so hard not to burst into tears in that class, but I did when I got home. I left that class feeling like an entirely different person.
Starting to Heal
The healing had begun, and it was only the beginning of the major work I needed to do. I needed to move on and let go of all the hurt and pain I was holding onto. It was not only holding me back from living, but I lost my passion, myself, and who I was meant to be in the process. My mind was always so cluttered and spinning that I could not even think straight most of the time. I acted without thinking. I took the easy way of out just blaming who I felt made me like this. It was their fault I wasn’t happy, and though that might have been true in the past, I now held that power to change my story.
It was no longer their fault. It was mine. I am the author of my story. I am the one who makes the decisions and choices.
All those intense moments in my life as an adult, I was blinded by resentment. I could not see what was right in front of me. The life I longed for that nobody was holding me back from anymore. What happened to me in my past did not have to control my present and my future. I was ready to step out of the dark and into the light.
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