Change, change and change again...
I used to be a huge resister of change, like dig my heels in fight it tooth and nail and convince myself that I was happy, safe and secure right where I was... Ah but the Universe, she don't fall for any of the horseshit.... Nope, no way. And if you continue to ignore and/or fight it, well it will go on for a long damn time. Just saying. Learning how to navigate and move through change without losing your mind takes practice (there's that word again) and determination and a little bit of blind faith and trust that once you get past the change that something better is there, right there waiting for you. The trick is to try and stay open while you are going through whatever it is that you going through.
I've been through some shitstorms in my time here on earth. Like hold on Bessie the ride is going to scare the bejeebus out of you, so buckle up bitch. A big one when I was young and an even bigger one when I was so not so young... This picture above is from June 2009. I was still hobbling my way through that "holy shit" big change. You know they say that certain events in life can create elevated stress levels if one of them happens. Well in the matter of 3 short weeks I had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR major life changes and my boat wasn't rocked that fucker sank. A lot of the reason I made it through is that woman sitting next to me on that bench in a lovely little town in Italy.
Suffice it to say that meeting her changed my life. I flew across the country to meet her after talking on the phone and stayed with her in her home in Brooklyn for a few days. Then I signed up for her yoga and wine retreat in Italy and flew across the world all by myself to a country where I didn't speak the language and didn't really know where the hell I was going other than Italy. After being up for over 32 hours and finally making it to my room for the night, I promptly sat on the bed in that really nice room and had myself a big ole panic attack. Then I tried to lay down and get some rest before showering and going off to meet another woman who was coming to the retreat, whom I had never met before. Sadie, my friend in the picture, connected us up ahead of time, we chatted via email for a bit and then scheduled a meet up for a little walk and some food. She had been to Rome before thankfully because that city is one big circular hot mess. The streets don't connect, there aren't many street signs and I was panicked I would lose my way and not be able to speak to anyone who could understand me. We ended up having a great time talking and walking and taking pictures of all the sites and finding the little hole in the wall place that the woman in my building recommended. It set the tone for the rest of the trip. She even helped me find my way back to my room for the night, I never would have found it alone.
I was dealing with a very unhappy SI joint for a couple of weeks before I left so I was still in a bit of pain, but this was a life changing trip for me. The first time I had ever flown internationally by myself, the first yoga retreat I had ever been on and I was way outside my comfort zone. I met the most amazing people, had a tremendous time, had one of the most interesting massages I have ever had and experienced the confusion of toilets that are not uniformly created to flush ever. It was a mystery in every bathroom we went to in Italy how to flush, how to turn on the water and the bidet's, don't even get me started. I flew into Germany twice on that trip and I have to love the German's and their efficiency, even with their toilet flushing....
I came back from this trip to more uncertainty than I wanted but something shifted while I was there and I knew without a doubt I would be okay, it might take a bit but I would make it through. I would love to tell you that things were steady after this and while that would be neat and tidy, that certainly isn't the case. My life since has been in flux, not all of the time always, but in a lot of ways not settled for the most part. While I have adjusted to the waves of the last nine years, I still haven't felt like I have come to the place of "arriving". I am still a work in progress, still asking all the questions and especially the last 3.5 years dealing with multiple health crises has been all about survival more than anything else. I have learned to be okay with not having all of the answers, leaping off the cliff and trusting I will find my wings on the way and to trust in myself above all else.
As my health has stabilized, I have found a sense of calm, found a care provider that has empowered me rather than treated me like a child or just thrown one pharmaceutical after the next in an attempt to heal me. My day job while not what I would say is my dream job, it is filled with people that I truly like and enjoy working with in an environment that I feel comfortable in. My yoga still after 15 years gives me a sense of purpose and service to others and I feel that I am still engaged to keep learning and growing as an instructor. My passion project that I am slowly creating and morphing over time is creating a space for my creativity, continued learning and forming a connection that I haven't had in a very long time. I am excited about where it will lead and I find myself in a much different space than I ever anticipated I would be, slow and steady... I am soooo not the slow and steady girl, as my friend Cyn said years ago, "your slow and steady is most people's warp speed!", but I am working at a much slower pace for me. It has taught me all sorts of things along the way and I feel, if not lucky to have been through the fire of hell and back with change, at least a sense of peace and knowing that whatever it is that comes along next, I will do my best to handle it with grace, grit, acceptance and as much peace as I can muster. And some really salty language when I'm having a rough moment in time.
Accept the change, be the change, flow with the change, be one with the change grasshopper. Or just buckle up and hold on with all your might and ride it out and learn something along the way.