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December 1, 2013

Back From the Dead. ~ Caitlin Hatch

Since I can remember, I have had a plan.

I have never been the type to “wing it” or take risks. I was always so wrapped up in the past and worried about the future that I never fully lived in the present. Fortunately, through yoga I found the balance I have been in search of my entire life.

I graduated from college about three months ago and realized that I didn’t really know myself. In fact, I knew myself as a student and nothing more. All of a sudden, I felt anxious and everything seemed to have a dark cloud over it.

Just a month before, I had school to fall back on. I had a plan. Once I realized this might end the second I received my diploma, I became extremely depressed and hard on myself. I started looking back at my past, wondering what I could’ve done differently, what I could’ve done to make this transitional period more bearable. I found myself comparing myself to friends, family, celebrities, dogs, cat, you name it. I could list the ways they/it were better than me.

I became a floating blob of insecurity and it was not cute. But I did have one outlet for all my frustration—yoga.

It was the only thing I liked doing while feeling so unstable. I was envious of my instructors and how at peace they were, how comfortable they were with themselves. After a lot of contemplating about what I liked doing (besides laying in bed watching Netflix), I decided to enroll in an eight-week program to become a certified yoga instructor.

The program started in early September and ended in late October, giving me eight weeks of lessons, love, and companionship.

I swear it brought me back to life.

Before training started I was a pessimistic brat who made jokes that I would never understand the “hippy stuff” that goes with being a yoga instructor; I just liked the physical aspect of it, and blah, blah, blah. Thankfully, I didn’t know myself well and my assumption was completely wrong.

We began training with the book, “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz. This book quite literally changed my life. Reading an honest guide to living life made me realize that I was living in a constant worried state that left me feeling insecure, unaware, and completely exhausted. Reading “The Four Agreements” gave me the courage to open myself up to the yoga training and life around me. As the training progressed, I not only became physically stronger, but emotionally, and mentally tougher. I was brought back from the hole I had dug myself into. It’s still a journey, but I honestly have never felt so confident and sure of myself than I do now.

The philosophical side of yoga has taught me how to let go, be light, and appreciate the present.

We tend to hold on to the past, while worrying about the future. It’s unhealthy. Now I know how to remove myself from attachments whether they are from the past or impending future. Moving on from toxic friendships, relationships and drama has been hard, but letting go of the things and people that I could not change was one of my most liberating feelings. It is an everyday struggle to live in the present, but once I became aware of the power the present has, worrying about the future seemed silly.

The universe has a plan, and we can either sit and wait around for things to happen, or live the life we have been given.

Embrace each moment and enjoy the ride. Once I recognized that I am here for a reason, life has become less stressful and I feel less guilty about not having a plan.

If we spend all our time planning ahead and dwelling about the past, who are we right now? If there is one thing that I try and keep in mind everyday, it is that life changes, and most of the time we cannot control that change. Nothing is permanent, including anxiety about the future or regrets from the past. I can comfort myself and know that although I feel this way right now, I won’t forever, and that allows me to be more aware of my surroundings and appreciate where I am now, because ultimately all we truly have is the here and the now.

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Assistant Editor: Zenna James/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Tom Mooring}

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