“I’ve had a rough couple of years.”
The calendar year of 2013 was a slog, from beginning to end. As I’ve written about recently, it started with one of the hardest and most unsettling decisions I’ve ever made and went deeper into the muck from there. Every day was an exercise in putting one foot in front of the other, and some days I remember actually having the thought, If I can just get through the next hour, I’ll probably be okay. If there was ever a year I white-knuckled through, it was that year.
But I made it. And the year closed with extraordinary optimism. By December 2013, I felt like things were coming together. I looked ahead to a future that felt bright and full of all the things I’d always wanted in my life. January 2014 dawned cloudless and exciting. Things were looking up.
The thing about a roller coaster is that the view is always best right before the most terrifying drop. And 2014 has been exactly that: an energetic roller coaster that I don’t remember getting in line for. Early in 2014, I had a radical shift forced upon me that challenged my very concept of self. If I didn’t have this thing as a component of the future I envisioned for myself, who was I? Was that future even possible? Was there any love left in my Universe, and if the answer was no, what did that mean?
All free falls end eventually, and I bottomed out in late Spring, challenged by an opportunity to re-group and examine who I was in this new-found void. I found myself again in a daily plod, one foot in front of the other, trusting the Divine to point me in the right direction. I declared the Summer of Fun and made enjoyment of life my daily practice. One day I woke up and realized I loved my life again, and for perhaps the first time, I loved myself in it.
Late Summer brought yet another exhilarating climb, followed in the Fall by another unexpected drop. Another void, another opportunity to introspect. This time, when I looked within, I realized, deep down, I was pissed. I got angry at the Divine. What the hell, Universe? Haven’t I paid my dues in the last two years? What are you trying to prove, kicking me around like this? When do I get a break?
But of course, I know what the Universe was trying to prove to me, because the words come out of my own mouth often: “You’re stronger than you think you are.” It’s my Core Message to my students, and I say it because I know it’s what I need to hear most. The Universe was trying to prove to me that I don’t need anyone but myself to be whole and complete and have the life I dream of.
As 2014 closes, I recognize I’ve finally internalized that lesson. I love the freedom of being on my own, a freedom that was forced upon me over and over until I finally learned to be grateful for it. I love the nights I venture out on my own to meet friends for downtown adventures or heartfelt, laughter-filled conversations. I love waking up on my own, excited and curious about what the day holds. I’m grateful for the strength and contentment I’ve found in the space created around me, a space I’ve filled with work and love and things that bring me joy.
In between the slogs and the ups and the downs and the days it was hard to get out of bed, amazing things happened this year. I traveled as much as I ever have in my life, going on what I affectionately refer to as my “Great American Cities Tour.” I led my first-ever 200-hour teacher training, and graduated 21 amazing new yoga teachers, an experience that reduces me to grateful tears just thinking about it. I did yoga on mountain tops on two different sides of the country. I flew on more airplanes and met more people and laughed more and went on more first dates than I even care to stop and count. I’ve proven to myself that I can truly take care of myself and connected to a sense of independence as deep as I ever imagined.
Has it been a good year? It’s been an intense one, with many lessons and opportunities for growth. And I’m moving into 2015 with as much gratitude and excitement as I’ve ever felt in my life. If I’ve learned anything–and especially in the last two years–it’s that another day always appears, and another year is always on the horizon. All I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. And whether I’m at the top of a crest or the bottom of the deepest valley, I can always take a moment to look around and appreciate the view.
Deep gratitude to those who make every year of my life better and better. Especially: my family (most especially my father Ron and brother Ben); the Frack to my Frick, Connie Couch; my favorite libertine, Jacob Pigott; my yoga mom, Kim Bulloch; my amazing Sacred Glow Yoga trainees, who taught me more than they could ever know; my incredible teacher, Sadie Nardini, whose wisdom blesses me every day; my CSV tribe; my Birmingham yoga community; and the dozens upon dozens of friends who fill me with joy and love on the daily. I can’t wait to share the new year with you all.Lessons, Life, Mediation, Personal Growth, yoga