It never fails that when I am feeling depleted or going through
something (feeling scattered, emotional, or something with my health) someone enters my path and reminds me that I am not alone! This always gives me a since of relief. It allows me to let go and surrender. I am then able to take a step back to look at the bigger picture and take the steps I need to take to move forward.
Do you ever feel like you are going it alone?
The good news is you don't have to! There is a way out! Read more to hear a true store about me and my journey.
Summer 2010, I volunteered at Kripalu a Yoga Retreat Center in MA, that summer I learned the value of community and unconditional support. One of the things I reflected on that summer was the importance of giving and receiving.
I was a giver:
My health, eventually humbled me and lead me to realized that my whole life I had been giving: in my friendships, relationship, school, even at my jobs. Most of my relationships were one sided, I was a people pleaser, and peace with any price person. I saw the good in everyone and wanted to help them see the good too! So I tried to comfort them, support them, and make them happy. There were days when I felt extremely tired, depressed, depleted, and eventually this lead to my body hurting (my stomach hurt, my back hurt, and my entire right side hurt). I was giving to all those around me but I wasn’t giving to the most important person of all MYSELF!!!
What about receiving?
I was very uncomfortable receiving from others. If someone gave me a gift I felt like I had to repay them. I hated asking people for support or to listen if I was going through something it would leave me feel anxious and needy. After about two weeks of volunteering, my stomach started to hurt and bloat. It was pretty much constant. And I quickly gained weight 20 lbs. I was so uncomfortable with my body and myself. This caused me to withdraw from others and my community. I didn’t want them to see that way, think I needed help, or appear weak. Deep down I was physically and emotionally EXAUSTED and I wanted a safe place to hide - and that's exactly what my body was creating through the weight and pain (a place for me to hide)!
What did I do? Finding compassion for myself
Yoga is all about self observation without judgment. How could I take that off the mat? I decided to take a step back and started observe my body/ myself and stopped judging it.
What did I really need?
What was this pain and weight really about?
Why is it there, why is it serving me?
It was fear! My body processing all the new things around me and I didn't know if I would be liked, accepted, or how I would fit in. I was trying so hard to hold everything together because I didn’t want people to see me as weak, but what I was really doing was pushing everyone else away. Closing myself off and trying to “protect myself”.
Finally, allowed myself to fall apart, be vulnerable, and be unperfected. I decided to use the gift of the community that I was surrounded by and I started asking for help. I asked the people around me for support, to listen, and I practiced accepting the love and compassion that they had to offer me. This is not an easy task for someone who has been going it alone for most of their life but it is so worth it. I still have to remind myself at times that it is ok to ask for help and it is ok to be unperfected!
A mantra that I often use is: Be compassionate with yourself and treat yourself like you would treat a friend!
1. Where in your life do you feel like you over give?
2. What is one way you can be more compassionate with yourself?
3. What is one way you can receive more from others?
Please share your stories because you are not alone! "You are a gift to be given and each time you share you are giving a gift" (John Powel). Your story may help some going through the exact same thing!
MUCH LOVE and thank you for being part of my community :0)