Breathe in your Truth: How the Voice I Heard on a Yoga Mat Changed Me.

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Years ago, after my divorce, and while I was in my own wasteland, I kept compromising.

Every time I compromised—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot—on how I truly wanted to feel in a relationship, I conceded my own heart’s greatest desires.

Compromise had become a familiar entity in me, and the residue of its energy lies deep within me. I placed a priority on sacrificing what I truly wanted while in my 22-year marriage—so extremely, that I became a first-class martyr. Hidden within me, this martyrdom lie dormant to my awareness, yet ever ready to erupt.

For a lot of my life, I believed that the relationship I truly desired was not available to me. Looking back, it is no surprise that I looped in a pattern of choosing relationships that were not wholly what I wanted. One difficult relationship I was in back then could have been a B-grade movie script, whose leading-character sketches would go something like this:

Divorcée, early 40s; successful sales professional traveling on business each week to a particular Midwestern city; meets man while having dinner at hotel bar.

Distinguished gentleman with Ivy-league degree; 20 years older than divorcée; wealthy; residing in a fabulous urban condo in same Midwestern city for a year; interim chief executive of large corporation; married, with a “certain understanding” between he and his wife.

Gratefully, something always happened to awaken me from the difficulty I’d created, like the time I literally heard a voice speak to me in a yoga class—in said Midwestern city. The class was not unlike so many others I’d been in before—a typical studio and teacher, filled with mats and mostly women—yet the teacher’s words that day pierced my heart. When your heart is tender, it’s more susceptible to sapient gifts. I felt exhausted from playing the martyr which is, as far as I can tell, the fastest path to being powerless.

The theme of the yoga practice was “Truth,” and the teacher’s repeated invitation was, “Find your truth. Breathe in your truth. Breathe out your truth.” We moved in particular ways to activate the third chakra, the body’s energy center responsible for emotions such as self-worth, self-esteem, and personal power.

That’s when magic happened in the form of a voice. A freakin’ voice that came from inside of me said, “You know what to do.” Those were the only words.

I knew exactly what the voice meant and exactly what my next action would be.

By the time I left the studio, resistance arrived, swiftly and stealthily, and girded within me before I could stop it. The internal battle raged as I felt a tremendous urge to run far away, so I drove to a familiar running trail nearby. I ran. Three miles out, then I turned around. Along the trail back, I collapsed in a heap of tears, the loud and sloppy kind, with passersby kindly checking on me to be sure I wasn’t injured. With each inquiry, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?” I heard my inner voice answer back.

“I am not okay right now, but I will be. I am claiming myself right now. Give me a few minutes. You can’t do this for me, but thank you,” the voice inside steadily spoke.

I returned to the fabulous urban condo, where I wrote this letter.

I know this is a crummy way to exit. I don’t end relationships well. It is time, however. I’m reinstating the rule I abandoned in March in order to overcome this intense cynicism that I’ve developed about love, relationships, marriage, and men.

I committed to myself quite a while ago that when our being together brought more negative than positive energy into my life, I would honor and follow that clear sign. So I am.

Thoughts of us make me smile. I am grateful to you, my kind and attentive lover. I do treasure you.

I see how much you love your boys. I know that you will continue to watch Jared flourish and will grip hard to hold James in a good place. I’ll miss hearing you talk about them. 

Seek happiness in all you do.

That day marked a shift in me. As I drove away, I released the parts of me willing to compromise, and I began to hold myself tighter. I claimed clear boundaries—places that I could not go again. Such profound shifts can feel like magic, like a door into yourself is opened in a way that shows you something you’ve not been able to see before.

When doors open into yourself, open them all the way. Don’t just peek in. Run inside to the you that is awaiting your return. See what’s in there. Cozy up with the new parts of you that you find.

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Author: Anella Wetter
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May
Copy & Social Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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Anella Wetter Mar 18, 2018 2:51pm

Thank you for reading & offering this comment. Truly grateful.

Carol Gilliland Jordan Mar 17, 2018 11:05pm

Thank you for your vulnerability and your strength (even when it didn't feel like strength) in this piece. Refusing to compromise anymore is a significant moment; moving into the unknown. Thanks for inspiration for me to continue to 'open the doors within myself.'

Anella Wetter Mar 10, 2018 9:50pm

"We always know." Yes! Trusting ourselves, too, in what we know strengthens our power. Thanks for reading. <3

Lois Harvie Mar 10, 2018 12:21am

Love this! Sounds like one of my own experiences. We always know. Its just listening to the voice that speaks and walking away sooner rather than later. Thank you for the reminder.

Anella Wetter Mar 7, 2018 2:19am

So grateful for your words. Thank you!

Anella Wetter Mar 7, 2018 2:18am

Ah, thank you for cheering me on. Grateful!

Anella Wetter Mar 7, 2018 2:18am

Wow. Courage is fear walking. I get that. Thank you. <3

Anella Wetter Mar 7, 2018 2:16am

Thank you for reading and offering this comment. Grateful. Truly.

Barbara Burnside Paine Mar 6, 2018 7:29pm

Beautifully written article! Articulate, well written, “real” on your experience of reclaiming THE REAL YOU! Moving, powerful. The strength it took you to listen to that still, small inner voice, inner knowing. The strength it took to actually ACT on it, DO IT, was inspiring.

Nicole DiCristofaro Mar 6, 2018 7:20pm

This story of your truth is so inspiring. So many people find themselves in similar situations compromising their boundaries and values. Your voice of truth reached you in that moment when you were ready and willing to hear it. Your courage and strength were rewarded in ways you probably didn’t even know were possible. So proud of you for standing in your power!

Cecilia Acuna Mar 6, 2018 5:56pm

After reading this piece a quote from a book I'm reading about (and called) Emotional Agility came to mind, “Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is fear walking.” This story represents that kind of courage to me and what it can look like; messy, painful, and on the other end, beautiful, magical and worthwhile.

Ashley Sibille Mar 6, 2018 5:29pm

Anella this was a beautiful piece about a topic thats not so beautiful when you are in it. I appreciated your beautiful narration of what its like when you are feeling your way through and ready to embrace change. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Anella Wetter Mar 6, 2018 5:16pm

Thank you for reading and sharing this comment.

Lem Fatale Mar 6, 2018 2:46pm

As someone who has sometimes struggled to hear my inner voice, this piece really spoke to me. It's reassuring to read another woman's experience finding hers.

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Anella Wetter

Anella Wetter is a writer, speaker, empowerment coach, and registered yoga teacher. She has helped women from around the world to declare that they are worthy of the life of their dreams, to embrace all their past lessons, and to claim their hearts’ desires. Connect with Anella on her websiteblogFacebook, and Goodreads.