Dear Beautiful Yogi,
It’s December and my mom died exactly 10 years ago this month. It’s natural to be reflective this time of the year, not only because of the darker & colder days but also because the year is coming to an end. Everything, including the holidays, seems to lend itself to personal reflection, slowing down, taking stock, and setting intentions for the new year.
I find myself thinking about a vow I made to myself when my mom passed away. My mom was 60 when she died, way too young. It was a life cut off early. I remember one specific day when we were in a waiting room at Kaiser, about to get a chemo treatment. She suddenly began pouring out all of her life’s regrets. She said really surprising things I had never heard her say before: “I wish I had followed my desire to write a book. I would have been a great writer”. And from a woman whose self-worth was intertwined with her weight for as long as I could remember: “I shouldn’t have been drinking coffee on an empty stomach all those years, it really wasn’t good for me”. There was more, but what was so striking to me at that time and still now, is that as she was facing death and clearly time had run out, she realized all the things she hadn’t done and wished she had. She was full of regrets.
I knew her well since we basically grew up together. She had me at 23 and was a single mom from the time I was 6 onward. The reason she had so many regrets was that fear had kept her from fulfilling so many of her dreams and desires. Fear seemed to paralyze her and as she got older it got worse.
She was amazingly forward thinking and progressive in her desire to live a more conscious life. She read tons of self-help books. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra titles were sprinkled all throughout my childhood. But my mom didn’t have a practice. My mom didn’t have practical, real-life tools to help her. Reading about being more conscious and having an actual way to practice being more conscious are two very different things. All the yoga & Ayurveda texts say this, “it’s not about intellectual knowledge, it’s about doing the practice.”
I made a vow to myself soon after she passed. I promised myself I would not get to the end of my life and make a list of all the things I wished I had done but didn’t. I promised myself I would not let fear guide my life choices.
My dad died a few years after my mom, he was also in his 60’s. While he was a very different person and personality, I think it’s fair to say he died with a lot of regrets and unfulfilled potential. Alcohol was his constant life challenge. It’s the reason my mom left him. It stunted him in so many ways and ultimately ended his life.
So being the offspring of two people whose legacies were similar in that they weren’t able to move beyond their biggest personal challenges, I again vowed to face my own. It’s not an easy path. Personal growth, accountability and creating the life you want takes real courage, grit and determination. It’s easier to trod the familiar, albeit dis-functional path. It’s easier to do the known versus embrace the unknown. It’s easier to stay safe than it is to risk failure or loss.
As this year comes to an end, I am reflecting again on the vow I made to myself. I noticed the fear crop up a number of times over the year. I noticed the stories in my head that were really my parent’s and not my own. I took a deep breath, saw it for what it was and took a giant step forward anyway. Not letting fear run your life doesn’t mean you don’t ever get scared. It means you see it, feel it, and keep on going. I think shoving down unwanted emotions is what got both of my parents in trouble. My mom stuffed it inside her body. My dad drank his pain away.
Thank goodness for the practices of Yoga & Ayurveda. They are the real-life tools and practical applications of how to live a life of alignment and fulfillment. Because I know how to take care of my body (the 1st pillar of yoga), my energy (the 2nd pillar of yoga), my mind (the 3rd pillar of yoga) and what I eat (the 4th pillar of yoga), I can support my well being and continue to grow and bust through the family patterns that could have held me down. Really, they are big patterns that have been passed on from generation to generation and it takes a lot of daily practice to clear a new pathway.
My question to you as the year comes to an end is, are you living the life you want to live? Are you moving away from fear and towards more love, freedom, awareness, clarity and authenticity? Are you taking care of your precious self in the best ways possible?
If you are feeling disconnected, struggling with an inconsistent yoga/meditation practice or bad eating habits and really want to feel better and rock 2020, set up a free call with me. You have to actively create the life you want to life. I would love to support you with a comprehensive and seasonal yoga practice that addresses you holistically (body, breath, mind & Diet) and individually… You deserve it. My call schedule is here
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season however you celebrate.