That one time after Yoga Class when I did Coke off my Beth Moore Bible Study Workbook.

Via on Apr 24, 2011

It is always the innocent ones, isn’t it?

www.americanpievideo.com

So, as I was saying, this one time after yoga class… I did lines of cocaine off of my Beth Moore Bible study workbook.

Beth Moore - www.lproof.org

When I was little, I was always the kid with manners.  I was always the one who was my friends’ parents favorite.  I always made good grades. I could never get away with anything, and got caught doing everything.

I will never forget when I was about 14 years old, I was smoking cigarettes and drinking beer with a group of girlfriends at a lake party in my hometown of Waterford, NY and this guy who I totally had a crush on (who also smoked cigarettes and drank beer, amongst other things), walked up to me and was like, “You look too innocent to be doing that.”  And later on that night – that innocence apparently paid off, and we made out.  When I look back now, I can see the samskara forming in my consciousness – almost in slow motion (it’s good to be bad and it’s even better when you look good doing it.) It pissed me off when people thought I was this “little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes” all sweet and chaste. And, for you psycho-analyzers out there,  I was also a theatre major in college and quit to go be a missionary and live in Haiti.  I was more confused about who I was than anyone else, that was for sure.

I lived this existence of extremes and kept a lot of it hidden from myself and the people I hung around.

I’ll never forget this one time (here we go again…), I was singing a solo in the choir at the Presbyterian Church I attended, and the night before our dress rehearsal I drank so much tequila that when I woke up, I had no idea where I was and had to have a friend drive me to church for practice, asking him to stop at the gas station so I could buy a toothbrush and toothpaste so no one would smell the alcohol and cigarettes on my breath.

When I was embraced the different sides of myself…  I embraced them, fully. When I was a party girl, I was tons of fun and I had tons of fun.  And, when I was angelic and pure, well… I embraced that too, with all of my heart, and I relished in the attention I got from it as well.  I enjoyed those early encounters with the Divine and remember sensing that there was something much bigger, that I wasn’t ready to understand, beneath the surface.

Yoga, at first, was just another mask.  It was another “distraction” if you will, from finding an inner stillness and being able to abide in that peace. It was cool that I was a yoga teacher and it allowed me to hide from some serious suffering.  I was afraid of what the Buddhists call, The Middle Way.  It petrified me to not either be blissed out, fucked up, having an anxiety attack, or feeling sorry for myself.

“The Buddha describes the middle way as a path of moderation between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification.”

THIS SCARED ME.

So, things usually get worse before they get better, right?  Could you call me snorting coke off Beth Moore’s teachings of John, Luke, Matthew or whatever the hell class I was in “my rock bottom?”  To be honest, I don’t look back at the memory now and feel shame or guilt. My girlfriend, who was with me at the time also getting high, and I laugh our heads off at this memory. Looking back we take full responsibility that it was totally inappropriate, but for the record, it was the only flat surface I had in my car! But, still… most people with whom I share this with look at me like I did just tell them I stuck a flute up my pussy.  Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?

www.uniquephotographyanddesign.com

I wish I could say that my practice has changed everything and now I can sit in meditation for hours at a time, achieving

www.americanpievideo.com

unimaginable states of bliss.

The truth is, my practice HAS changed everything and I want to become aware of my conditioning so I can cultivate the tools necessary to know my true Self.

Over time, my practice has changed my perspective on life to one that used to live for the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride with the steep climbs and the “stomach in your throat” drops.

What gets me off today is the steady, consistent climb along the path, the challenge of refining my awareness to become one pointed and the delight that brings.

Where and when this happened, I cannot exactly say – but what I can say is that by “pretending” those crazy nights with Beth Moore and an eight ball didn’t happen, well, that sure as hell is not going to get me anywhere.  I don’t want to hold up these memories as an idol either, worshiping my attachment to them and giving them credit for who I am today, but I do want to look at the choices I have made, the good and the bad, and learn about myself by honestly examining who, what and where I was during different times of my life.  I also want to make plenty of time for the present, because, well – that is what it is all about, right?  And, if I can learn to bring all of these “extremes” closer to the center, then maybe I am touching just a bit upon when the Buddha first learned about the Middle Way:

“The Buddha realized the meaning of the Middle Way when he sat by a river and heard a lute player in a passing boat and understood that the lute string must be tuned neither too tight nor too loose to produce a harmonious sound.”

Maybe he saw American Pie, too.

About Jessica Durivage

Whether in a business suit, on a yoga mat or a meditation cushion, Jessica will follow her Dharma to the ends of the earth and work to bridge the gap with the world and the light that dwells within each being.  Grateful for the wealth of experiences, teachers and mentors who have guided her along her path as a yogi, a business woman, a non-profiteer and an improv comedian; she cultivates mindful, savvy and innovative approaches to make the world a better place each day and lead with compassion, from the heart (and trying not to take herself too seriously). / Jessica is the founder and owner of Where is My Guru - an ever evolving work of life that encompasses writing, art, community, leadership, consulting and a weekly radio show where you can find her contemplating Purusha, Prakriti, the Yoga Sutras and why all Yogis are crazy mo fo's. Check in with the Where is My Guru Blog and the radio show on Fridays at 11am EST - www.whereismygurunow.com

2,686 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal—but don't worry—you don't need an account with PayPal.)

Elephriends - Mindful Affiliates

14 Responses to “That one time after Yoga Class when I did Coke off my Beth Moore Bible Study Workbook.”

  1. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  2. Jessica says:

    Thank you, Bob!

  3. From Facebook:

    Linda E Shaefer and what did you laern at "Band camp?"
    7 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    elephantjournal.com She learnt that the middle way is kinda cool, even though she was always scared feckless of it….? ~Tobye.
    6 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Linda E Shaefer ‎:) ME<<<<<sitting eagerly awaiting a story!!
    6 hours ago · Like

    Jennifer Hillman great piece… sharing. I can so relate to this article.
    4 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Jane Coleman Cameron I find the use of capitalization odd – particularly "Coke"
    4 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Jennifer Kossmann Warren ‎"When I was a party girl, I was tons of fun … And, when I was angelic and pure, well… I embraced that too, with all of my heart, and I relished in the attention I got from it as well…
    Yoga, at first, was just another mask. It was another “distraction” if you will, from finding an inner stillness and being able to abide in that peace. It was cool that I was a yoga teacher…"

    It's interesting, the first two behaviors seem utterly identical to me – being either a party girl or a 'good girl' primarily for the attention, external appearance, and approval of others. These are not 'opposite actions' but identical actions, it seems, since the intent and purpose was identical (to live up to expectations of, and gain approval of others.) It sounds like being a Yoga instructor may have at first also been the same – but fortunately led to self-examination and discovery!
    3 hours ago · Like

    Jennifer Kossmann Warren ‎"Could you call me snorting coke off Beth Moore’s teachings of John, Luke, Matthew or whatever the hell class I was in “my rock bottom?” To be honest, I don’t look back at the memory now and feel shame or guilt. My girlfriend, who was with me at the time also getting high, and I laugh our heads off at this memory."

    Actually, it doesn't sound a bit like 'rock bottom,' more like a teenager who is trying to rebel against parental/local societal rules, and is simply acting in a knee-jerk opposite way, to create an artificial sense of 'independence,' and to 'feel cool' for being 'bad' when there is nothing inherently 'bad' there. Why would anyone feel 'shame or guilt' for that memory, unless they still accepted the rules and expectations against which they were rebelling?
    3 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Bill Ferrin Cuz doing coke is great when I am mocking another religion. As long as its not those crazy evangelicals making fun of buddha.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Jessica Durivage Thanks so much, Tobeye for your post – and to all the EJ readers, much gratitude for your open thoughts and honesty. That is why we are a part of this community, is it not? I appreciate being able to share so candidly about the journey, the ups and the downs, the crazy of it all and the beauty that ultimately shines through.
    about an hour ago · Like

    elephantjournal.com Bill, make fun away! And btw I don't think of 99% of Christians as "crazy evangelicals"—they're just among the loudest of that community. Christians care about kindness, family, love, compassion just as much as the rest of us. ~ W.

  4. YesuDas says:

    "It petrified me to not either be blissed out, fucked up, having an anxiety attack, or feeling sorry for myself." Nice, nice stuff, Jessica!

    My wife *loves* Rachel Simmons' book, "The Curse of the Good Girl." (I haven't read it yet, but I've read other books of hers, and she's great.) She sees our seven-year-old daughter going down the same always-the-good-girl path that she went down, and needles her about relaxing a little. Let's hope it works!

    • Jessica says:

      Right on YesuDas! Thanks so much for the book suggestion. I actually tagged my own mother on this post on Facebook – and her reply was "The apple didn't fall far from the tree…" lol
      All the love and advice in the world could not have stopped me from my own path of self-exploration… but I imagine that your daughter, being blessed to have parents with awareness will always be able to share with you both, the ups and downs of her journey.
      Peace to you and your family!

  5. Jen says:

    Love this! I think we all have the same struggle (or should) regarding the duality of our lives. Finding a peaceful middle ground is hard, hillarious and painful.

  6. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  7. jen says:

    " It petrified me to not either be blissed out, fucked up, having an anxiety attack, or feeling sorry for myself." I think this is exactly what so many people are going through! I certainly know I was, and to a certain extent, still am. Thank you for your honesty!

  8. [...] That one time after Yoga Class when I did Coke off my Beth Moore Bible Study Workbook. [...]

  9. [...] That one time after Yoga Class when I did Coke off my Beth Moore Bible Study Workbook. [...]

  10. [...] of addiction, sure, but they also promote the idea that when youʼre ready (you hit your “rock bottom“) you get a shiny rehab center in Palm Springs where you can rehab in luxury, all paid for by [...]

Leave a Reply