Thursday, May 19, 2011

Becoming a Yogini

Seven months ago I started a journey that seven years ago I couldn't have possibly imagined. In the wake of my recent breakup, I wanted to do something to take my mind off the pain, to help me heal, and to prove to myself I was strong enough on my own. And I did just that.

I walked into my first yoga teacher training session with apprehension and excitement. I didn't know what to expect exactly, but I was certain my life was going to change in big ways. A little over a month ago I finished the training portion of the program and I can say without a doubt that I was right. I've learned so much over the last seven months that it's hard to even put the lessons into words. For the sake of summary, I'm going to give it a try though.

1. I'm stronger than I think. Whether it was making it through 108 sun salutations or getting over a failed relationship, I realized that I am physically, mentally and emotionally stronger than I've ever given myself credit for.

2. I can do anything I put my mind to, as long as I just keep breathing. The teacher training program I chose was not easy. It was time consuming, and emotionally and physically demanding. It required a serious commitment for an extended period of time. There were the classes I had to take every week, the weekends I had to dedicate almost entirely, not to mention all the studying and reading that I had to squeeze into my already tight schedule. And yet I managed to get through it all by reminding myself to breath, focus and keep moving. I made the time for it all because it was something I wanted.

3. It's important to have a tribe. After ending my relationship, I realized that I didn't have much of a support system in my area. Sure, I had friends and family who loved me, but most of them were out of town or state. I found myself reaching out to nearby friends more, and I discovered that they were more than happy to help me through a tough time. I also discovered a brand new group of loving and supportive friends through the teacher training. While these friendships are just beginning to bloom, I feel a deep and powerful connection to my fellow trainees and know that connection will last a lifetime.

4. Taking chances opens doors. When I started the yoga teacher training, I didn't really know if I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, my intention was to explore yoga more deeply and "maybe teach some day". But by the time the training was over, I was already built up a small private class that met a couple times a month, and was committed to teaching two classes a week in the studio. Sometimes when we take the first step, opportunity meets us half-way.

5. I will always be becoming. The thing that strikes me most about finishing the teacher training program is that I still don't feel like a teacher. I am not yet a yogini in my eyes. Even though I stand in front of classes of students and lead them in their practice every week, I still feel like a student myself. And I don't know if that will ever change. I've realized that even when I've finally arrived at a what I thought would be the end point, there will always be another lesson to learn. I will always be becoming a yogini.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tales from the Dating Trenches

It's been 11 months since I broke up with The Ex, and I haven't really written much about how I've been dealing with the end of that relationship. I've had my reasons, mainly that I've been busy processing it and growing from it. But now that I'm well over it, I'd like to start filling you in on what's been going on in my social life.

I've never really dated, even prior to my relationship with The Ex. I was either in a relationship or I wasn't. There was no in-between for me. Not to mention that I wasn't particularly confident and didn't think guys wanted to date me anyway. With that attitude, it's needless to say the men weren't really busting down my door.

After the breakup, though, I decided it was important to see what was out there, to experience the dating world and discover what it was I really wanted. Since I had no idea how to go about meeting men in the real world, I figured online dating was a safe bet. And it was. I signed up for an online dating site and during the first few months I went out on several dates. I met some interesting people and learned some lessons about how to open up, or not, in a dating situation. I also learned quite a bit about what I want, and don't want, in a relationship.

My dates weren't all bad, but bad ones make the best (and funniest) stories. I'll be sharing some of them here. Being a single, thirty-something in the dating trenches ain't pretty, people. Trust me.

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