30 Days To Find Yourself
Day 1 wasn’t day 1. Or, I should say, the real first day was the day I decided that I needed to make a change. My life hadn’t run aground, but it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing either. I was a single mom of 2, working for myself, and leaving in my wake a past littered with heartache. I didn’t need to find myself as much as I needed to remember myself, who I was before my life’s choices took me so far off course.
The first day, I decided. I chose to take a decisive action to change up my life. I would start with something small, and I would make time in my schedule to find my way back to me. In that same week, I found a way to start. I rolled out the bright orange yoga mat I’ve had since college, and every day I showed up for a free, online daily yoga practice in my home.
SEE ALSO: Are You Practicing Yoga Mindfully?
Starting a Daily Yoga Practice
If that doesn’t seem life-changing, perhaps you’ve never maintained a daily yoga practice. I certainly never had. I took my first class in college, and my practice for most of my life has been weekly, not daily. There have been times when I haven’t even had that. But I needed to make contact with my soul, and nothing sends out a homing signal like a yoga practice. I needed to find my center, and I knew that I could always find it on my mat if I just showed up there.
I selected the True series on YouTube and began to do Yoga with Adriene on the recommendation of a close friend. For 30 days, I showed up ready to be present with myself. I showed up to find my way home. I was there even on days when I was tired or sad. I showed up on the bad days and the good ones, on days of period cramps and headaches, and even on the days when all I wanted to do was roll into bed and not roll out the mat.
For 30 days, I made that time my time. I gave myself over to being mindfully aware of my own breath, of the way my body was feeling, and the way I was changing with the daily practice. I went from trembling arms and strain in plank to holding that position with comfort and ease. I found myself going through the motions smoothly, feeling stronger than I ever have. I did this for 30 days. Then 31. Then 41. Then 50. I kept going. I went out of town for a family funeral, and I packed my yoga mat to use at the hotel. I did yoga in the morning or at night or while my kids were napping. I made the time. I went from one of her videos to the next, customizing it based on what I needed that day. Then, there came a day when I chose to go it alone, formatting my own practice as it came to me.
Shift in Attitude
I’d love to tell a story of how I won the lottery during this month or fell in love with the greatest man or had some kind of spectacular epiphany. Life doesn’t really work that day. But for a month solid, I showed up for myself. I took 20 to 40 minutes just for me. I became stronger and more centered, and I will say that I was incredibly productive during that period of time. I had a little more energy than I was used to, and I seemed to balance everything I had to do with an ease I hadn’t expected. My life didn’t miraculously change. I just began to get stronger, more balanced, and more centered because I made room in my life to touch the home base of my soul.
I began to pay more attention to my body – not just what it needed in a physical sense but the way I sometimes put it down, feeding it trash talk rather than soul food. I began to notice the way I give up my power to others, and I began to take some of that power back for myself. I took up space in my own life, declaring this special time each evening as my own. I began to remember who I am at my core and remember that helped me create the shifts that I needed. I didn’t change because there was nothing wrong with who I was or how I was living. But I did shift into a different attitude, one with a little more perspective and balance. I began to love my life again, and I began to show up each day for all the moments and not just the ones on the mat.
In a way, it took 30 days to find myself. But from another perspective, it only took the one: the day I decided to take decisive action to make a change. It started there. I’m going into 2 months of a new daily routine, and for me, it was the best way back to my soul. Maybe for you, the best route involves a daily walk or a gratitude practice. Maybe you need to meditate or pray or sit down and draw a picture. But every day, we deserve to show up for ourselves to say that we matter, too. And if we do this, maybe we’ll never again lose sight of who we are and what we need. Maybe every day will feel like the precious gift that it is.
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