“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”
― J.D. Stroube
For most of my life, I searched to “find myself” I was truly born a seeker.
Asking the WHY .WHY. WHY of life.
As a teen, I suffered with this question. I tried to fit in. I “looked” normal. I drank a lot. I tested the boundaries between good and evil. I flirted with danger and drugs, and I did NOT want to have these questions in my mind, all the time. WHY. I was an observer. I watched everyone. I noticed everything. I just wanted to be “normal.”
I tried to be a dead head in high school wearing tie dye and spending a whole summer barefoot.
In college, I tried to be a little more edgy and went to the urban street look, wearing huge Tommy Hillfiger sweats, labels on everything and fell in love with the latest sneaker trends.
I watched groups of people and I wanted to be at ease like they were (or so I thought). I was looking for me. I was trying it all on.. and what I found surprised me.
“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”
Somehow, through motherhood, through movement and through facing my fears…I found me. The true- messy pony tail, slightly soft, always comfortable, ME. I did not have to wear anything to prove anything, I did not have to be anyone to get noticed. I could follow my heart, my passions and spent time listening to my soul. ( dreaming, visioning, wishing, wondering) And taking small baby steps along the way, offering this and that- creating this- asking that… all within unknown territory ( no biz degree or experience, no clue if DC would want a family yoga center, no idea how childcare would work..)
Eventually, I created a yoga studio where we could ALL just show up, as we were- teachers or students – no yogalebrities here. And we are beautiful.
The REAL humans of Washington, DC. With stains and stretchy pants, aging parents, sick children… here we are.
And this week, as our classes end- and I’m sitting at my grandmother’s dining room table at home in CT while life continues on in DC.. while our community in DC mourns the loss of our family center, while I get emails from mamas who share stories with me about their lives, some apologize for not being around more, some wanting to know what they can do to keep us open ( find a new space! crowdfunding! increase prices!) and all I know, is that following my heart by creating the studio, led to the most authentic connections a person could ask for. Real. Deeply Personal. Loving. Painful… The kind that saves lives.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brené Brown
I FOUND MY WHY. THIS IS IT. There is no magical formula, no easy way, no one true thing, NOTHING that lasts forever. All we have is this moment of truth, this class, this song, this hug and this day. My mind is like a slideshow of pictures and people and children and smiles and tears from the past 7 years. And it’s all REAL. It all felt so incredibly alive & honest & meaningful in ways in ways I had been searching for my entire life. I learned I am not a fan of small talk. I learned that a hug can help the darkest of days and that yoga really can bring us together. In the most primal, beautiful, breathtaking ways. Simple. Simple. Simple.
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
And once it all happened, it just flowed. It became it’s own creative project, it’s own being, it’s own inspiration to us all. The multi-generational environment we had created, became this magical silent gift to the littles and the bigs. We are all in this together.
Being home feels incredibly relevant to me right now- coming back again AS ME. Showing up as I am now, not trying to pretend or change.. and now it’s about the letting go.. the practice of listening.. the art of life and loss and love. It’s just part of the bigger story, our story. our lives here together. This is where we met, we fell in love, we shared our selves. No one can take that.
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
― John Lennon
I’m trying a lot of new things on for 2016. I’m not sure what will stick. I’m quite scared again, but this time, I don’t need to wear different clothes to find the way ( and I’m not trading in my yoga pants)… That showing up, and doing the work ( which is sitting still) & asking the questions will bring the meaningful, intentional life I want to keep living. I can’t even predict what’s around the corner.
“I don’t get it,’ Caroline said, bemused. ‘She’s the only one with wings. Why is that?’ There were so many questions in life. You couldn’t ever have all the answers. But I knew this one. It’s so she can fly,’ I said. Then I started to run.”
― Sarah Dessen,