What a Yogini Looks Like

“So often, the inability to write is a sign that we are not yet ready to be honest, or reckless in our pursuit of subject matter. In the face of such a tall order, the only thing I know to do is to resign myself to the unpleasant experience of waiting patiently at the gates. To pass the time, and to build up courage, I return to Kafka, Nietzsche, Nabokov, Lispector. Eventually, I’ll read a sentence like, ‘Now I know how, have the know-how, to reverse perspectives….’ Suddenly, I’m reminded of how alien the world feels to me, and, before I know it, I am writing again. All I had to do was suffer long enough to remember that I am only spying on this strange and sublime world momentarily, and that I don’t have any time to waste.”  Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

I haven’t waited patiently at the gate. It’s been months and I’ve found only scraps–breadcrumbs of relief in literature and in my own writing. Exhaustion has set in from trying to force the gate open. I’ve been searching for the right combination that unlocks/releases me from myself–from my patterns and from my inability to write because the things inside me that are chewing and clawing their way to the surface leave me feeling vulnerable and exposed. To deter them from the light I created other blogs–that talked about other things–but not these things. Not eating disorders or how I’ve avoided writing about  my unending hunger that isn’t just attached to food but shows up consistently in other areas of my life. Sometimes it propels me forward in a positive way but often its ends up shape-shifting into a weapon that I use against myself.

For whatever reason–I tend to write raw–not always refined and often with my veins open. My writing process begins with identifying what is happening inside my body–how I feel about what I am writing. I have to experience how the words and images feel inside me before I engage my mind. This experience component is my jumping off place. It’s what provides the juice–the energy.  But when the writing threatens to reveal my hidden corners–the things I keep sealed, that’s when I bring out the lasso and impose a gag order on myself. This has happened repeatedly with the birth of new blogs. They never last long enough to se the light of day.

Loss of weight is one of my goals  for this year but I don’t want to approach it from a place of numbers. I don’t want to be chained to the scale or form an attachment to a specific amount of weight loss in a specific amount of time.  What I desire is to heal. To stop the endless cycle of feeling shame for not measuring up. I’ve been keeping myself under wraps   for a very long time. And though my inner wild-woman has been gagged and silenced she has s finally figured out how to make herself heard–and her voice is rising above the others–above the self judgments and voices from the past.

I am a little late to the table but I am learning how to properly nourish myself–care for myself–even put myself first so that I am whole and healthy and able to give back to my community and to those I love. I never learned to truly care for myself. There is still a lot of worn out patterns from my childhood that continue to inform my adulthood. I am in the process of letting them go–especially the voices that tell me I have no business writing about yoga or the Divine Feminine or spiritual practices of any sort–or writing–or anything that I am knowledgeable about because to date I have not been successful at healing this aspect of my life. Yes, I know–it’s ridiculous. And I’m done.

This unhealed way of being has caused me to hide my gifts, downplay my wisdom and it has been successful at keeping the wild-woman- creative part of me under lock and key so that I don’t draw attention to myself.

I am drawing on Kali’s strength and I am walking directly into the fire–She is the fire. I am going to start where I am. Which is right here. Now. In the Present Moment. No more hiding.

Maybe it was the grace of my Guru, or perhaps a Deity took pity on me or maybe my mantra practice ripened but something shifted internally. I have started to engage with gentle yoga poses. This hasn’t been a smooth process. I am much more comfortable with yogic philosophy, meditation and learning about ritual and The Divine Feminine. I know that landscape–the internal one. Sadly the external landscape of my own body is still foreign to me but I am committed to learning to live inside my body instead of hovering around it. I have started the process of slowing down and listening to its wisdom. I am engaged with root chakra work–the floorboards to my foundation have buckled.

My intent/sankalpa for my journey is to nurture/grow a healthy lifestyle that is filled with foods, exercises, practices, books, writing, rituals and relationships that nourish on all levels. This will be the focus of this blog–of this new path, which isn’t really new–it’s my awareness and perspective that has shifted and provided me with a sense of newness. I am surprised by how freeing  and liberating it is to finally engage with myself in this way.

In closing I want to state that I honor and respect all shapes and sizes. And I firmly believe that Yoga is for every body–including my own body, despite what the glossy yoga magazines mirror back. I am what a Yogini looks like.