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Rebecca Carpenter Photography Vicky-56.j

Breaking down or breaking through?

I’m currently existing through the longest extended period of ill health that I have experienced in my entire life, and dealing with the guilt and self-doubt that naturally comes alongside of it.

For the first few weeks I felt frustrated with my body, fighting against the call to stop and generally resisting the truth that I was being overcome by illness. Eventually, I succumbed and was able to rest enough to begin to recover, but then I allowed myself to be picked up and transported through fear of loss of income and instability of service provision for my clients to take myself back to work too soon. And now I am ill once more.

I’m starting to think that this battle with myself - to align healthiness of spirit, mind AND body - may be the start of my next and greatest yet unravelling.

Throughout the course of my journey into yoga over the past 9 years of my life, I have been slowly and steadily peeling back the layers of armour that I have built over my heart since I was a scared and broken child attempting to survive my parents’ divorce. Each time I meet a crisis point in my life, I believe it is a chance to remove another layer of armour, to confront the inadequate methods for coping that I employed as a child and to get a little bit closer to the perfect version of myself who was born into this world thirty years ago.

When I went through my teacher training journey in 2019, I experienced one of the biggest periods of unravelling I have ever been through in my life. It was so profound that I rather foolishly thought it might be the end of my unravelling journey, that I had finally reconnected with myself… but of course I didn’t realise the year that was waiting for me around the next corner!

Over the two years since then, I have been through a great many battles. I am making daily steps towards my next unfurling and it feels to me that 2022 might be the next great hurdle for me to overcome. I must remember that my body is not fighting against me but fighting for me; these bodies of ours are but vessels for our beautiful souls. Here to carry us safely through all the lessons of life that we are here to learn. There are going to be many opportunities for growth and unravelling next year and I am determined to dive right into their path with optimism and self-belief. That starts with accepting that when my body is run down and demanding a break, it is my duty to stop and listen.

I am not broken down. I am on the cusp of breaking through another layer of armour.

I am fighting to get closer to myself and my truest purpose.

I am not weak for getting ill, I am strong for allowing myself to rest.

I am not here in service of others, in spite of myself.

I am here to grow closer to the divine wisdom of the universe, through the gift of connection to and with myself.

As I write I am reminded of one of my favourite poems by Erin Hanson:

I’m here to share a secret;

I am not who I’ve always been,

The world that lies outstretched before me,

Is not the only one I’ve seen,

I’ve traveled on the tails of comets,

I’ve burned up in the hearts of stars,

I’ve been spat out of supernovas,

That left me scattered near and far,

I have dined in distant galaxies,

And taught the birds to sing,

I’ve danced for a whole lifetime,

Upon Saturn’s dusty rings,

I’ve been here for long enough,

To learn what makes the willow weep,

I’ve sung celestial lullabies,

That sent the moon to sleep,

I’ve been both the flowing water,

And the stone that blocks its way,

I’ve been frozen, I’ve been molten,

And I’ll be again someday,

Though I’ve been a billion things,

This is the first one that can smile,

I’m pieces of the universe,

Living as human for a while.

As we prepare for this new year, let’s choose to lean into the unravelling that awaits us, to see the challenges that undeniably lie before us as blessings and to let go of disappointment in ourselves and others.

We are our own biggest critics and greatest saviours. Let’s paint a more beautiful story for ourselves by letting go of the old narratives and allowing the truth of our own magic and beauty to sing loudly in our hearts.

With love,