The journey from heartbreaking detachment to a light-bringing life.
Less than five years ago I was a mess. I had been battling cyclothymia since the age of 10, an eating disorder since the age of 16, and was living a life of chronic extremes. I thought this was just who I was, that I was going to have to learn to take the lows with the highs.
I became an avid meditation-practitioner at the age of 16, which gave me the chance to step out and see the big picture once in a while, but it wasn’t enough. From the moment I opened my eyes I was stepping back into the battleground of emotions—I hadn’t learned how to properly embody the wisdom that I was coming into contact with. Because of this, I was still unable to function properly in relationships with people. It was too intense of a reflection of all of my moods, insecurities and fears. I thought I was the type of person who would never be able to be in a relationship, that I would ultimately go live in a monastery.
I accepted this wholeheartedly. This became my dream. It broke my heart, but in a beautiful way. I tried to convince myself that it was OK, because the levels and intensity of emotions gave me such great insight on life that it all balanced out, that I would be able to use this insight to help people…as long as I was at a distance from them.
At a certain point, I had become so withdrawn in my head with the meditation thing that I had severely detached myself from my body. Though the place that I was dwelling in was incredibly beautiful, it was also a defense mechanism that left me isolated and empty in the long run. I forgot how to let myself feel.
My desire to love began to overwhelm me. But because I was committed to being alone, I decided to give my love, all of it, every ounce of it, to the universe. To help those who needed help and to love those who needed love…at a distance or course. I would write books, or secretly help people then disappear. The thought of these things allowed my heart to open, and it felt…good.
Then I met my future husband.
I resisted, and resisted, and resisted some more. I had finally found someone whom I connected spiritually with, but I still thought that this was just a distraction from my personal life path.
Until it dawned on me:
The love I sought to give, was returned to me by the universe (or God, or whatever/whoever you want to call it )…in human form!
Sometimes the universe has bigger plans for you than you do for yourself.
This was the opportunity to ground the beautiful and strong spirit that I had cultivated into the physical Earth. This was the opportunity to experience real, close, human love. I didn’t have to give up my dream, and I didn’t have to do it alone anymore either.
But it wasn’t going to be that easy.
William had fallen in love with my soul, and now I needed to fuse my soul with my mind and body.
I may have had a beautiful soul, but boy could I be grumpy!
I realized that I needed a way to ground my insights into physical reality fast, to embody them, so that they could stop being wisdom and start being characteristics. To bring the non-tangible to the tangible.
I needed a new approach to find real harmony in my life. I was missing a component, and that component was physicality. It took the realization and acceptance of the interconnectedness between mind, body and spirit, and with this the realization that my mental mood swings may be the result of a physical imbalance. This being said, the only way to approach this was by physical means, not by purely meditating it all away.
When I say “physicality”, I don’t mean running or going to the gym. I did all that. And 90% of the time I was in my head while I was doing it. Mulling over past and future events, imagining that I was the rock star singing the song on my ipod, you know the drill.
By physicality, I mean finding a way to merge my meditation with my day-to-day life.
And boom. There was yoga.
Yoga is much more than a physical practice. It is the mental development of balance, strength and flexibility, which are then expressed through asanas.
As I mentioned, I did some research and I felt that this could really help me. But still, when I first started practicing, there was a lot of resistance—a lot. I would practice one day and then not go back for weeks. Emotions would come out of me that were incredibly irritating, and because I did no yet understand that this was part of the process of cleansing emotional blockages, I began to associate negative feelings with yoga. There was a period that I literally abandoned the whole thing for about two months, and during those two months I hit another low. It was during this last low that I realized I had to do something now, that I could not take this feeling for a second longer.
So I did some yoga.
The instant relief that I experienced on that day was so incredible that I have not gone more than five days without practicing since.
With time my moods stabilized, my appetite stabilized, and my body has undergone a detoxification of emotions and toxins like I can’t believe. I have never felt so young in all my life. Today I can literally feel when I have missed a few practices: my moods change, my appetite changes, my sleeping patterns change. Because I am a super-sensitive person, I may be an extreme example of this, but it’s an example nonetheless.
The practice of yoga is designed to cleanse and balance the chakra system. Because the chakra system is directly correlated with the endocrine system, yoga essentially cleanses and nourishes the endocrine glands, which balances the hormones and helps the body rid itself of toxins. Physiologically, toxins can cause us a lot of mental and emotional pain, and we all know that crazy hormones can as well!
For some of us, yoga is simply a necessity for well being. I’m glad I’m one of those people.
What’s best is that the feeling of energy calming and balancing out inside of your body is so conducive to meditation that it is easy to just slip into it during the practice. It is a way to learn to meditate with the body, not just away from it. And after all, we are all here…in these bodies, aren’t we? It taught me to harmonize my breath, mind, spirit and structure into one living, breathing, moving being.
An invaluable tool. And it saved my life.
Brittany Jade Trubridge is a little traveling and freediving yogini and the creator of B-Tru Yoga. She is an avid Ashtanga practitioner, vegan foodie, crystal collector, and people-lover. Currently she spends the summers traveling throughout Europe teaching yoga, meditation and advanced pranayama to freedivers, while offering online personal consultations and tailored sequence at her website, BrittanyTrubridge.com. She spends the remainder of the year living on a tiny island in the Caribbean with her husband, William, and cat, Piper, where they run a freediving/yoga school called Vertical Blue. You can also find her on twitter @BTruYoga.