The last eight months have been extremely challenging.
If you follow my blog, you know these have been months of turmoil for me, both physically and emotionally.
As is always the case, I come out stronger and more self-aware after big moments of struggle. I am now on the other side and looking back at the lessons, because there are always lessons in everything. Well, at least if you are paying attention and care to continue to learn and evolve. I always opt for that path.
I tend to write when I am in or have recently gone through some great pain. In recent weeks, I have been approached all over town and through email, thanking me for continuing to write about things that people don’t feel comfortable talking about, like depression.
I am not sure why I feel able to hit publish after those posts, except I do try very hard to live honestly. That said, I wondered if I could write without the pain because I am no longer living in the hell of depression. I thought it seemed only fair to round out the picture.
I grew up a dancer. For twelve years I danced. When I moved to Colorado, I tried many sports. As I always say, I do everything and am pretty mediocre at it all. I’m okay with that. I do things for fun, not competition.
I remember once having this discussion after mountain biking with a girlfriend. I commented that I have incredible balance, until you add an apparatus, like a mountain bike. When I am on the ground, like in dance, I am strong and balanced.
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I returned to my yoga practice recently. My life was completely out of balance along with my mind. Anxiety and fear had taken control.
I had allowed worries about my health and financial future to dominate my mind and take my balance away—therefore, my power.
Upon returning to my mat, I realized how little I had been breathing in my daily life. Literally. I had so many moments of holding my breath because I was worried or taking in more information that I perceived to be negative. I realized how lost in my head I had become, making happiness in the moment nearly impossible. I was worrying so much about what my health would look like in a year or more and what would happen that I was unable to enjoy the immediate.
The man I had been dating had pointed out that I wasn’t able to live in the moment for a while, but it didn’t register just how right he was about that until I returned to yoga. Once there, able to create space to breathe and to get out of my head, I realized just how out of balance things were.
There is a physical grounding that comes with the practice of yoga that then enables an emotional grounding. If you are really focused on your breathing, really doing your practice, you cannot help but leave the monkey mind behind. When that happens clarity is possible.
Breathing is possible. Anything then becomes possible.
The other day, an old friend sent me the following poem. He said that every time he saw it, he thought of me and how I live my life. I read it over and over and I was so touched this is how he saw me living my life.
“Go now and live. Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong every once in a while, and don’t be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be bold. Be fierce. Be grateful. Be wild, crazy and gloriously free. Be you. Go now and live.” ~ Jeanette Leblanc
At first, I laughed because I was embarrassed by such a compliment really, but when I read it over again, I realized I do live this way, with one exception.
Discover the beauty of uncertainty.
Yep. Same lesson. I was not comfortable with not having answers and surrendering to the lack of control. Fear of uncertainty had taken over, as I mentioned above, and as it did, I lost my balance and was left with the inability to let go of trying to know what would happen. It all began to smack me in the face.
Another friend, who had been held hostage to an evening with me earlier in the week driving to and from Denver, allowing me time to catch him up on my professional, medical and dating life, said I must read a book he had read. The next morning he texted me the title, and I began to read it and see the same message in a different form.
Let go. Surrender to lack of control of things in the future. Worry about them tomorrow and continue to practice that and tomorrow the same, and eventually you learn to not worry about what you cannot control.
Liberating to say the least.
Oh, and “everything is happening perfectly.” That sounded ridiculous given all the events that unfolded in my life, but if I live true to myself, knowing that I never come away from any experience without something learned, something gained, a more complete version of myself, then this must be so.
Yesterday while back in yoga, I noticed a shift. I was in a pose I had done a lot recently. It’s not a difficult one at all, but it requires really engaging a specific group of muscles to hold it.
I couldn’t. Not because I was distracted, but because I could feel a weird sensation and weakness in these particular muscles. Something I had described to my doctors several months ago and tests showed muscle weakening. They are currently trying to determine whether this is due to my medication used to treat symptoms of Lupus or neurological involvement due to Lupus itself.
A month ago, this moment of awareness that my body was not cooperating, would have sent me into panic and probably tears worrying about what the cause was and outcome would be. Yesterday, I found myself giggling slightly, as I heard myself say internally, “that’s interesting, your quads aren’t working.” I adjusted the pose to another and kept breathing.
I had an amazing practice anyway. I left grounded. Rooted. Strong.
As I said, I realized that when my balance is lost, so is my power. I have regained my balance through meditation, yoga and re-rooting my feet on my mat and on the mountains I love. Strong and happy, I am nothing if not resilient.
I also see the lesson and new practice ahead of me. Really learning to discover the beauty of uncertainty, letting go of that need for control and surrendering to it, because that too is where anything is possible.
Deb Caplin is an “entrepreneur.” Your guess of what that means is as good as hers. A Miami native, deeply unable to shake her love of all teams Miami and University of Florida—go Gators! Deb has lived in Boulder for 11 years, where she is currently working on the reinvention of her lingerie business: The T*Bar 3.0. She not only thinks that everyone deserves hot lingerie, but believes deeply in the power of women, feels it’s perfectly okay to carry a cape in your purse and maintains that Scorpios are a grossly misunderstood bunch. “Passionate, dynamic and loyal,” Deb writes, “we are an emotional check-in for the rest of the planet.” When she’s not hiking, skiing or fishing, Deb is indulging in a not-so-secret love affair with her road bike. You can follow Deb or the progress of The T*Bar and upcoming Talk project or just go find her at Snooze eating pancakes most mornings.
Editor: Jamie Morgan
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