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October 29, 2013

3 Little Words: An Unimagined Gift. ~ Laura Grace Ford

 Transformation:  With Help From My Friend

A really good friend sent me an email the other day which meant the world to me. It contained three little words that I had never, ever, heard directed at me before. I was bowled over.

Ashtanga Yoga has been the hardest thing that I have ever done, yet also the best. It has taught me so very much about the body, about the mind, about life, and most of all: about myself.

They call it a transformational journey and my oh my, it is.

It transforms you slowly, steadily, painfully at times, but all in all, it transforms you for the better.

It rips you apart, it breaks you down, makes you examine yourself so closely that sometimes you don’t like what you see. It enables you to remove the negative parts of yourself. It teaches you how to dissect your behavior until left with only the bits that you like. It enables you to soften the hard parts and harden the soft parts of yourself. It balances you on so many levels.

In order to do this, first the practice must rip you apart, break you, in order to make you wide open. To get into those places that have been in darkness for so long. To get the bits about yourself that you have hidden away back into view. To get the pain that you have suppressed back out. To clean and purify you from the inside out.

It must break you in order to fix you.

This very good friend of mine stood by me as I fell apart, in fact we met just as my world was crumbling. A fellow yoga teacher and a girl with a massive heart, she listened patiently to my complaints, she offered advice when I felt weak, she laughed when I could find it within myself to make light of my situation and she shone like a torch into the dark cave that I put myself in.

She watched, she waited, she listened, she loved.

She was there for me. Really and truly there for me. She was my rock. She offered me compassion, she offered me silence, she offered me kindness. She hugged me when all I needed was comfort. She smiled when all I needed was happiness.

Slowly as my world began to rebuild itself, I began to show her my ‘better’ side. I managed to not cry every time I saw her.  I managed to laugh more and smile more. I even managed to be strong enough to offer her a shoulder to cry on when she needed it.

Life is not about what we achieve, but about the friendships that we build along the way.

As I rebuilt my life, my path took me off on a nomadic yogic adventure. I packed up my house, I quit my job, I sold my bed…I moved on. Yet I took my friendship with me……Going off on Yogic travels around the world, following my yoga teacher Nancy Gilgoff, following my heart, listening to my ambitions and dreams, using intuition as my guide and going where the energy was. Choosing only decisions that felt 100 percent right, the ones that made every cell in my body vibrate in a positive way.

The choices that filled me with excitement and made me tingle. It’s the best advice that I can give to anyone. When making a decision about anything at all… just go where the energy is. You will know because you can feel it. If you can’t decide between option A and option B, then maybe it is because Option C has not appeared yet. Just wait patiently for the option that makes you tingle.

And so, in a far away land, up a mountain, I receive an email from this very dear friend, which contained these three little words. As I say, I had never received them before.

I have worked harder at my practice than anything that I have ever worked on before. Blood sweat and tears have been involved in the process and it has been arduous to say the least. Yoga is the first thing that I have done in my life that has made me feel proud of myself. Yoga has softened me—it has made me talk to myself in a nicer tone of voice. It has stopped me from beating myself up continually. It has taught me how to be compassionate to myself.  It has made me feel better about myself from the inside out. I have learnt self discipline and gained self worth and I have finally found self love. I have finally learnt what it really means to love oneself.

I have gained this little inner smile that no one can take away from me.

 “As you step out onto the way… the way appears.” Rumi

And so I walk my path, one baby step at a time. Feeling like a child. In awe of the magic and beauty all around me. With faith that I am exactly where I need to be right now and trusting 100 percent in the process. Everything happens for a reason. I am enjoying the journey, loving the fact that I don’t know where it will take me next. Fluttering like a butterfly, enjoying each and every moment as it happens.

And the three little words. The words that I have never heard before. The words that knocked me over and took me for six-years old. The words that a year ago I never thought this dear friend would be throwing my way…

You Inspire me

 

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Assist Ed: Edith Lazenby/Ed: Sara Crolick

 

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Laura Grace Ford