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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Letting Go

Let's face it, we all struggle with letting go. As humans, we resist change. Therefore it is our human nature to resist letting go. 

I personally struggle with this a lot. But I wanted to write this blog to inspire a good friend of mine and you know who you are. :-) I recently spoke with this friend and she seemed to be going through a very similar situation I had. She has a guy in her life that she needs to let go of. 

No one ever said letting go was easy, if it was, I believe that we would not resist it as much as we do. However, letting go is part of life. It is something we all must learn to go. Letting go means change, but change for the better. 

So to my good friend, letting go is a process. Letting go is something that we must practice each and every day, sometimes more than once a day. Letting go is hard and hurts like hell. But if you refuse to lose faith in yourself, letting go will continue to get easier and you will eventually be able to let go.

To let go isn't to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn't leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn't about winning or losing. It's not about pride and it's not about how you appear, and it's not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn't blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn't leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It's not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn't about loss and it's not about defeat. To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It's about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gainLetting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It is realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy. To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.

Never forget this: When you let someone or something go, you are setting yourself free.

Thinking back on my own experience, here's what I have to offer for you. Go ahead and write an "I love you" or "Fuck you" letter. You may never send it, or maybe you will, but whatever you choose to do with it, it's nice to get it all out there. 

When I was younger, I wrote the story of a me and a guy I was with after we broke up. After I wrote it, I packed it away until I decided it was time. You just know when it's time to pull it back out. When I was ready, I pulled it out and threw it away in the trash. That was me letting go of him. 

In a more recent experience, one of which you know very well (see my Broken Heart blog), I wrote the story down online. I put it all out there so anyone who wants to read it can. I did it as a way of starting to let go. 

After visiting him this summer, I decided that it was really time to let go. I had been slowly letting go, but after visiting him, I knew it was time to really let go. So I wrote a "letting go" letter and sent it to him. 

I never received a response back and that's ok. I know that if he read it, then he knows how I feel. I opened my heart, let myself be incredibly vulnerable and put it all out there. If he chose not to read it, then it's his loss. 

I refuse to stop living my life because someone shattered my heart in a million pieces. If I did, I would be missing out on so many other opportunities. I would be closing my heart to the possibility of meeting the man that I am truly supposed to be with. I am not saying that I deserve better than him, but I am saying that I, at the very least, deserve someone who wants to be with me. Someone who isn't chasing someone else except me. Someone who will treat me like I am more than just an option. 

My wish for you is that you can let go so you can open yourself up to the possibility of better, something you've never even dreamed of because it is so wonderful. I know that letting go hurts like hell and is a process. But I have all the faith in the world that you can do it. And I certainly know that if I can do it, you can too. :-)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Very First Yoga Class

I had the opportunity to teach my very first yoga class yesterday. Center for Yoga was named Lululemon Athletica's Studio of the Month and they had asked a few of the recent teacher training graduates if they would teach on behalf of CFY. I jumped on the opportunity.

If you know me, you know that I like to plan things and be as organized as possible (as my fellow JKYTT classmates would tell you, I like "systems" :-P). While I had all my flows in my head and a general idea of the playlist, I had not had the chance to sit down and actually write them down and create a playlist. This was Thursday night. I thought I would have the chance in between meetings to do so, but unexpectedly, things ran late and I went from one meeting to the next. I was exhausted by the end of the night so I decided to wake up early and review the flows and create my playlist.

I wake up on my own, no alarm. It looks awfully bright outside to be earlier than 7:30am, which is what I set my alarm for. I frantically grab my phone and a wave of relief comes over me. It's 7:22am. So I get up and begin to get ready for my day. I ended having a doctor's appointment that morning so I go ahead and get to that. I get out around 8:30am. Later than I expected and I still haven't made a playlist for my 10am class or reviewed the flows. AND I still have to drive back up to Ann Arbor. 

I jump in my car and speed to Ann Arbor. By speed, I really mean that I made a usually 40-minute drive in 20 minutes. Breakfast? No time for breakfast! I throw my things down in my apartment, whip my computer out, and start making my playlist. I write down the flows on a piece of paper (writing things out helps me remember them). I hook my iPhone up to my laptop and while it's syncing, I run through the flows a few times. I begin to get things together for my class, except I can't find my keys to unlock my bedroom that has almost everything I need for my class. It's 9:25am at this point. I wanted to be at Lululemon at 9:30am. You'd think I would only need my iPhone, but I wanted to bring my yoga bag with all of it's yoga fixings in it. I'm frantically searching for my keys. Stop and breathe. That's what I should have done. I eventually find my keys sitting on a countertop and get my things from my room. I grab a banana and run out the door. 

I arrive in the parking garage near Lululemon. It's 9:37am. A great song is playing in my car. So I turned up the volume, closed my eyes, sat in my car, and just breathed

I walk to Lululemon feeling much more relaxed and grounded. I get to Lululemon and begin setting everything up. Shit! I don't have a theme! I didn't make a theme! What am I going to say? Great, my rather last minute planning didn't work out so well. 

Students begin showing up and setting up their mats. What am I going to say? Ok, just stop and breathe. Wait, that's it! That's my theme! Why such a rush? Why not stop, slow down, and breathe? And BAM! There's was my theme.

I was very nervous, like so nervous I thought I was going to cry. Being the great best friend that she is, Nina attended my class and it made me feel much more at ease. :-) Class seemed to go very smoothly and I wasn't at a lack for words. Sure, I made a few mistakes, but who doesn't? 

After closing the class and thanking everyone for coming, I asked for some feedback, both good and constructive. I had a few students come up and ask me when and where I taught classes. I had others tell me that it was the best yoga class I've been to. I had a young man tell me that my yoga class was "clutch." I had a few girls tell me that they've never sweat that much before and it was a great class.

All the comments made me feel really great, but I wasn't getting any constructive feedback. Perhaps they were afraid of hurting my feelings and that was nice of them. I decided to sit down and give myself some constructive feedback from my point of view. I need to slow down just a little bit, and stop walking around so much. I came up with a list of other things, but I won't bore you to death. 

Looking back on the class, it was a great experience, and I am honored to be one of the teachers representing Center for Yoga at Lululemon. But I couldn't have done it without each and every one of my fellow JKYTT classmates as well as those who have helped me along the way. I said this when during our graduation ceremony and I will say it again: Each and every one of you is an inspiration to me and I have learned so much from all of you. Each and every one of you has a light of greatness that I hope you share with others like you have shared it with me. Each and every one of you has helped me grow not only into a yoga teacher, but also a person. I cannot possibly thank all of you enough. Words cannot express the place each and every one of you hold in my heart. With all my heart, thank you!