A couple of years ago, yoga found me, I felt inspired, shaved my head, signed up for yoga teacher training and went to India. I stopped drinking, made a promise to stop gossiping, and made goals to better myself and to live authentically true.
Two years ago never felt so far.
I have since then come back from India with fond memories and rooted knowledge about yoga, my hair has grown out for the most part, I started drinking again, gossiping, my personal practice has suffered, became short sighted and a little lost.
It feels like the progress I made two years ago barely happened. Like I’ve taken a few steps backwards. Sort of like I’m back to the person I wasn’t super happy with. However, that’s not entirely true either. I have so many things to be thankful for: my daughter, my husband, and my studio. And I am so thankful…But I’m disappointed in myself for slipping back into old habits.
I recall one day in my yoga teacher training when my teacher, Roshan, discussed this very thing. He said that we search for things to make us happy, we find a path to happiness and then we fall off the path because it’s hard or for whatever other reason and then we find that we are back to searching for happiness again.
Happiness cannot be bought but we often trick ourselves into believing it can.
I was telling my husband about all of this and the idea that when I shaved my head, I was bare. I didn’t have my armor, if you will. I was forced to see myself for who I was without my mane. I was forced to find beauty in myself when one of the things that defined my femininity was gone. It was a humbling and empowering experience. Yet, as my hair grew back, I started to resort to old habits. I regained my armor.
Like I mentioned, I started to drink again, gossip, and let my personal practice become non existent. I also started to shop. A lot. I don’t mind my Goodwill trips but I don’t need to shop so much at other stores. I started searching for happiness in things again.
I feel like I a kick start to my journey two years ago was when I shaved my head.
I do not intend to shave my head again. But I do intend to get back to the person I was when I didn’t have hair. I liked her. I like where she was going and I want my daughter to know her because I think she’ll like her too.
So what can I do? How do I start up again without taking an electric razor to my hair?
When it comes to drinking, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. I love the taste of wine and beer. Drinking for enjoyment is fine. My problem is that I have started to drink to become social/less awkward/have a good time. I do not like relying on a substance to make me more fun or relaxed. I do not want to need to take a drink to be social or friendly. And that’s how it feels lately. I do not intend to never have a drink again. I just want to get to a point where drinking isn’t the only way I’m able to let loose. So no more drinking for a month. I still want to go out and be social, just minus my crutch.
As for gossiping? It’s a hard habit to break. Yet I believe in my heart that my words should reflect who I am. And they haven’t lately. I plan to stop cold turkey. If what I want to say doesn’t fill the air with positive energy or isn’t constructive conversation, it doesn’t need to be said. Simple.
I plan to make my practice a priority again. It was easy to be all about yoga when I was in India and didn’t have any distractions around me. It’s more challenging to make time for something that makes me happy during busy days. Waking up early, meditating, and connecting breath with movement must happen. Daily.
Shopping. I don’t plan on giving up my thrift store finds because reusing clothes and items is a beautiful thing. But I don’t want to spend anymore money on new things for awhile. I want to go a month of no shopping (even Goodwill) excluding grocery shopping. I have cleared my closet and have quite a few things to donate. I think that’s a start.
The journey is never ending. Sometimes you gotta take a step back and realize you’ve been at a standstill. And you have to be okay with picking up the pieces and starting up again.