Monday, March 2, 2015
Hip Openers, Chia Seeds, and the Ghost in the Mirror
I meant to write this a couple weeks ago, although conversly, I tend to avoid activities that force me to confront my emotions. But this blog pushes me to be brutally honest-- honest with those whom dare read the inner workings of a pizza-crazed, lost little girl up in Canada, and of course, honest with myself.
I had a complete breakdown in a yoga session.
I've never considered myself a spiritual person. I only started doing yoga just over a year ago for strength training, and to help heal a broken heart by focusing my energy on exercise, rather than--you know--jerk faces . Each Sunday at the YMCA in East Boston I attended class with two of my best friends, followed by our ritual of shoveling down pasta and/or pizza together. I never even considered the mind/body connection, or the emotional implications yoga has on an individual, when I started this routine. I purely regarded yoga as a form of exercise, and a distraction. And a necessary step prior to a weekly Jeveli's trip.
This may come as a shock to most, but, despite my reclusive behaviour as of late, I managed to actually make a new friend up here in Airdrie. My new amiga happens to be a certified yoga instructor, and has generously offered to provide guided yoga classes. The yoga session in which the breakdown occurred, focused predominately on hip openers, and in the middle of a pose I felt overwhelming dizzy, nauseated, and my methodical breathing turned erratic. After several minutes in child's pose focusing on regaining control of my breathing and my composure, I returned to another hip opening sequence. The aforementioned symptoms returned swiftly, with the addition of deeply rooted streams of tears. Despite this, I finished my session fighting to keep tears back, but bawled uncontrollably the entire way home. The subsequent 48 hours included several rounds of crying in parking lots, while driving, during my shower, in bed, while watching Arrested Development, and perusing Target. It took me a good 16 hours to get out of bed that next day and I felt completely drained attempting to complete rudimentary tasks.
Turns out the hips are your "emotional junk drawer." All those negative things you're just not dealing with, yeah... they don't disappear, they lodge themselves inside your body and will find a way to resurface. Although extremely painful, and obviously overwhelming to deal with, yoga--my body--forced those emotions to the surface. Though I spend the majority of my time trying to find a new job, (which every lead has ended with me being incredibly insulted, or creeped out) I'm starting my life over, and I focus almost entirely on securing employment. Super fun to do during an economic recession. What I haven't dedicated much attention or care towards: my poor, little soul. The introspection that occurred after my body forced an emotional confrontation, was overwhelming, and terrifying. And necessary.
Being forced out of your life is traumatic. My spirit is in trouble, and I have neglected her demonstrably.
As I've mentioned in a previous post I go to great lengths to avoid looking at myself. Nonetheless, I spent some time in front of the mirror after this particular yoga session, and truly inspected my face. I forced myself to take a look in the mirror both figuratively and literally.
I look drained. I look exhausted. I look weathered. I look like I've been broken. The spark is gone.
The bags under my eyes are significantly more pronounced than ever before, including graduate school. My skin is dull, lifeless. I don't recognize the person looking back at me.
I've battled this immigration nightmare for 8 years. The last round, in which I horribly lost, started around the new year, and the realization that I would have to leave the life I created in the USA came into full play in April of 2014. I have yet to see any security, or stability. I really never had much to begin with, but the little I did have, I cherished. I earned it. Now its gone, and I am emotionally exhausted and worn out. I knew starting over again would be a lot of work, and a fuck ton of anguish in the short term. I know things will eventually turn around, but that doesn't extinguish the torture of getting through each day. Each day with fresh reminders of how much you miss your city, your friends, your country, your way of life, your favorite diner with your favorite coffee.
Yoga forces me to fully feel these losses. Yoga forces me to put away the stiff upper lip, the "I'm Fine", and sort through my emotional junk drawer. But now I want to heal, feel healthier, move forward, versus just knowing it's what I should do. The slight change in mindset has made an impact on my every day life, from eating healthier, exercising daily, taking vitamins, and most importantly, truly focusing on healing these emotional wounds. I've become so focused on my resume, and how my life on paper is being repaired, rather than repairing the giant internal lesions.
I have no idea when my life will finally turnaround. When luck will finally be on my side. But for now, I do take great comfort in knowing that each day I attend yoga class, burn through some interval cardio, and eat chia seeds, I'm still moving forward. You just can't see my progress on LinkedOn.