When I was in Grade Six, I switched schools. Along with the social awkwardness of being the new girl and trying to make friends, I was introduced to the anxiety producing world of exams.
One of the main reasons - there are too many to count - that I feel called to share yoga with the world is because of what it's done for me. My practice was the first thing that gave me the tools to notice what was happening in my head, the perspective to see how this was impacting my life and the wisdom to know that the power to change was actually within me. It taught me that I always have a choice.
Here's the catch though. That choice is only available to me and you when we are able to recognize that something needs to change. We have to have the self-awareness to connect the dots between what we're thinking and how we're feeling.
I want you to be completely honest with yourself for a moment.
Do you spend more time appreciating your life or complaining about it?
I'd say a lot of us, even if we don't like to admit it, are complainers. We focus on what we think needs to change for us to finally accept ourselves. We set our sights on what we think we need to do to one day be happy. But as the saying goes, happiness is an inside job. It doesn't come from out there, we have to create it for ourselves.
"I'VE LIVED THROUGH SOME TERRIBLE THINGS IN MY LIFE,
SOME OF WHICH ACTUALLY HAPPENED"
- MARK TWAIN
I remember so clearly the first time I read this quote. I was living at home, a few months into the start of actually getting help with my anxiety. I had just started doing yoga. I was soaking up all the mental health information that I could and was specifically drawn to the stories of people who had been through something similar. It was comforting to hear that I wasn't the only one with a mind that ran wild.