July 25, 2014

Flawed, Imperfect, Emotional…but Alive. ~ Danielle Vinson


Do I do yoga “every damn day”?

Not quite, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. Sometimes, the most yoga I do in a day is a couple conscious forward folds while picking up my son’s toys off the floor, but you know what? It still counts.

Want to know why? Because any time I take a moment to tune my awareness inward, to consciously do something to serve my self, it’s still a body-mind-soul experience.

There’s an incessant voice in my head that gives me all sorts of ideas. It’s a good voice—a real problem solver. It’s the voice that is constantly chattering to-do lists, convincing me the latest and greatest ideas will be the key to making my life less stressful, more productive, less busy, or more enjoyable.

The only bone I have to pick with that voice is that it lives for the future. As a person who copes with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, living in the future can often trigger unnecessary panic, stress and worry. Yoga is my therapy of choice. It brings me back to the present moment, it keeps me going, and it helps me redirect my focus to the truth and reality of any given moment.

Sometimes my reality is that I hold the power to reorganize priorities and manage my time better. Life feels good when I am conscious and open with myself. It’s in that zone, that element of honesty, that I grow. Being truthful with oneself is one of the most powerful attributes one can possess. It’s not always pretty,there have been many struggles with being in this zone.

This is the place where I have acknowledged my wrong doings, my bad attitudes, my poor communication. This is the place I feel most human. Flawed, imperfect, emotional, but alive. With these moments come such impactful leaps of humility that inspire me to apologize, have a better attitude, and think a few seconds longer before I speak.

{Relative quote off the top of my head: “Be impeccable with your word,” one of the Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Wise beyond measure.}

Sometimes my reality is that I have zero control over the situation. It is this place that I struggle so deeply with. I can’t control my son’s ear-drum shattering screaming phase. I can’t change a mistake that was already made with work. I can’t make someone like me as a person. I can’t change my family. I can’t force someone not to flake on plans. I can’t take away illness or pain.

That’s a lot of can’ts. I don’t like that word. I don’t think many people do. But it is still prevalent, and it can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and grief. When I’m in this zone, it initially feels overwhelmingly dark and disparaging. Feeling out of control is where most, if not all, of my anxiety stems. This place offers growth too, although it can be a bit more abstract and difficult to attain.

Sometimes all this moment gives me is a chance to recollect my marbles and be the faintest bit more calm. And that’s okay. That’s awesome, even. The ability to have a little bit more patience than you did moments before can be a powerful stride in your own happiness. It is in this space where I have learned to forgive myself for mistakes (these particular moments slingshot me into the other place, because once I forgive myself I can support myself in making an effort to avoid that mistake again…something I have some control over).

This space brings up immense pain; this is where my tears live. It’s as though this awareness of reality can exist as both asylum and dismissal. Sometimes the only remedy that relieves the pain is to forfeit the idyllic dreaming for things to be better or different, and just sit in the moment with unconditional acceptance for what everything is and is not.

We all have a million things we could be thinking about or doing, but it’s important to let the “we” take a rest so the “I” can return to neutral, evolve, and grow from the experiences of life. Sometimes, in these moments, you have to take yourself in your arms and hug your heart and soul ever so tightly and remind yourself that you are not the assumed opinions of others, you are not your loved ones’ problems, you are not your misgivings or flaws, and you are not your past.

I allow myself this practice of feeling it all. Before I know it I can smile again. The stress fades, I can breathe a little easier, work more efficiently, love on my boy a little more, be more present in my relationship with my husband, and empathize with my family and friends.

I realize what’s truly important, what can wait, and what doesn’t deserve my energy. And it is because of all of this that my hope for our planet is reinforced, and my love, compassion, acceptance and tolerance for everything on it deepens.

And, that is why I do yoga. <3



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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wiki Commons

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