I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself.
I had myself all figured out, but in reality, I was so deep into the unknown that I was simply just blinded by my own ignorance.
When I felt the most detached from my façade on life is when I was able to glance inward and notice how out of place I truly was.
When life threw me into a whirlwind, one thing helped me to better understand how to peacefully persevere—yoga.
Yoga taught me simply to flow through life. Then, and only then, was life’s meaning crystal clear.
As I sat bedside at a cancer center, watching my father, the only man I had ever given my heart to, brave through the anguish of chemotherapy, I wrote my future self a reminder of how to conquer the darkness:
Flow through life with a sense of fluidity, taking shape to the circumstances that create the person you are meant to be.
Be solid and stand your ground. Stay strong but allow yourself to melt with a gentle touch.
Be an ever flowing river and dance through life, flowing beautifully from one place to another. Glide to the destination of life that awaits.
Lift yourself up and be a cloud. Float through the skies, light as air, then shower love onto others allowing them to be nurtured and grow.
Allow life to take you places and allow yourself to withstand its forces.
Be a vast ocean; a rain drop; a puddle for one to glance at her reflection.
Be a thunderstorm. If ever you need to relinquish your inner struggles, allow them to surface and leave behind nothing but the colorful spectrum of light and hope that so often occurs after the storm has passed.
Be a stream passing over rocky areas with grace.
Be a teardrop falling from beautiful eyes, holding truth and wisdom.
Be refreshing. Be clear. Be reflective. Be a force of nature.
Show strength with vicious rapids. Show peace as a quiet creek. Glisten and listen to the world around you.
Through life, we must be water.
Through yoga, we must be water.
At times, we need to treat our yoga practice and our life like we are river rapids, strong and powerful. Other times, we must know when to paddle gently through a slow-moving stream. Wherever you are in your present practice and life, be mindful as to what fluidity your mind and body is craving.
Be still. Be strong. Be ever flowing. Be the water that you need to be.
Life’s message is never crystal clear, but the person we wish to be can be. In times of tarnished doubt; in times of dark discouragement—remember to be crystal clear.”
I had been in Europe when I received the news of my father’s terminal diagnosis.
I came home to Florida immediately and watched a man with little hope of recovery embrace his life’s end with humor and a light heart.
I did my yoga (whenever I could) to allow myself to embrace what the universe had planned. My father told me stories that I grew up listening to whenever he had the strength.
The doctor had given him weeks to live. He said his goodbyes and shared his life stories with the numerous kind souls that came to celebrate his life.
He is now in remission. He is at home and we believe our positivity, our hope and our faith is to thank for this miracle.
I now see life a little more clearly.
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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman