I spent my entire life trying to be strong.
I tried to be enough; I tried to be someone else. I struggled with eating disorders and depression. I suffered through severe panic attacks. I felt powerless and inadequate.
I didn’t know how to ask for help and when I did ask, I didn’t understand how to receive it without condition.
Every day felt like a fight to survive. I hated my weakness and could barely look at the girl in the mirror. My emotions overwhelmed me; I was told, time and time again, that my sensitivity was something to be ashamed of. The person who claimed to “love” me was the one who spent countless hours berating me for my feelings, thoughts, intentions, fears and dreams.
I was falling apart. I began to believe that I was too fragile for this world; too easy to break and toss to the curb with yesterday’s scraps.
I was in a relationship, but the abuse left me very much alone – caught in a web of lies that I told to save face and present some twisted version of life that met expectations.
The only two things I had to my name were a broken heart and an empty wallet. Finally, it became too much. I sat in my little Manhattan apartment and decided to surrender to the universe.
And in that moment of complete and utter release, something shifted inside of me.
In the deep, wide silence of my own cathartic release, I discovered the primordial rhythm of my heartbeat. I started to breath with the beat. I rediscovered my vulnerability, my fragility, my infinite feminine power.
My heart and my breath empowered me to finally break the pattern of abuse that trapped me for so long. I channeled the strength of a survivor – a forceful, fierce fire burning in the center of my core, the seat of my soul. I found the key to existence in that space.
My sensitivity became my superpower.
I found yoga and through it, a home within myself. The practice grounded me, allowing me to see the reflection of my most authentic, genuine self in every asana I embraced.
My mat became my foundation, built on all the broken pieces of my past – without shame.
That is the key. No shame. Never again.
Yoga taught me to live in the present moment, with a simple intention to show up as my best self with love for all that I am. The body I once hated became my greatest tool for discovering my full potential.
Strength is not measured by how many hardships we’ve endured. Pain is not a necessary component of being worthy or worthwhile. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle.
What matters is how we rise after a fall.
Fight for your light, but never forget to embrace the darkness. The duality of light and dark within us all is a truly great feminine power. The ability to be both Sun and Moon, fire and water, air and substance. The ability to carry the weight of life without shame, through laughter, tears and everything in between.
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