The best gift sobriety has given me is the ability to be ME. Whatever that is at the moment. And it is ALWAYS changing as I live, learn and grow. A daily process. A few weeks ago, I was looking at my “professional” bio online and it made me laugh so hard. I’ll spare you the complete bio, but the sentence “Shannon started her yoga journey in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the way it nurtured her body, mind and spirit” really jumped out at me. Anyone who knows anything about me KNOWS that I did NOT instantly fall in love with yoga. I hated it so much. Every time I got on my mat I cried. I had no idea why and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. In the beginning, there were often times when I stayed in child’s pose for the entire class. Because yoga sucked so bad. I was sure everyone thought I was a freak as much as I thought that about myself. I hated yoga for a long time. The only reason I kept going back was because it was a wholesome way to spend an hour that kept me from drinking and because I had that therapist who was sure it would be good for me. Slowly I began to come around and hate yoga less and less. “Instantly fell in love with yoga” is just not true. I am sure I thought that’s what the world wanted to hear and who I thought I was supposed to be. I’ll eventually get around to changing that part. I doubt I’ll edit the bio to say that I fucking hated yoga, but you never know.
I am getting quite comfortable in my skin as of late and it’s something that is still new to me. I’m not always there, but it feels amazing when I am. Opening Rebel Soul Yoga and creating a space that is exactly what I need for my own healing has been a HUGE part of that process. I am constantly amazed by the amount of people who show up on their own journeys with their hearts open every day. People who are getting exactly what they need and pouring their love into the place. That space is FULL of love and healing energy for sure. I am comfortable being myself in that space. I don’t worry if people like me. It’s OK if they don’t. I am not for everyone. I get to show up, every day and be exactly who I am. Awkward. Hilarious. Overly excited about things. Unfiltered. Weird. Whatever. It’s all good because it’s all ME.
This little blog right here has quite possibly been the BIGGEST catalyst in making me comfortable in my skin. I started writing here as a way to share my recovery journey. That recovery journey has turned into a journey of healing and to wholeness. I had no idea how much my words would touch people and how many people would relate to me. I live in a small town and it seems that everyone knows me. It always blows my mind when someone stops and introduces themselves to me and tells me they read everything I write. I probably shouldn’t be surprised since I do share everything on social media, but I still am. And every time it happens, it feels as if I am standing in front of said stranger completely naked and completely vulnerable. Because this person knows so much about me. WOW. It’s very humbling and overwhelming. I struggle for a moment and then I find my breath. I say thank you because I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read my words. I appreciate every single person who goes out of their way to tell me how they can relate to my words or how my words have helped them in some way. Being vulnerable is a beautiful thing. I am learning to embrace vulnerability and allow it to strengthen me. Blogging has helped me to find my voice in so many ways.
Recently I have found something else that is helping me find my voice. Kirtan! I was first introduced to this during my yoga teacher training and just like everything that is new to me, I resisted it and thought it was weird. Today I am in love with this beautiful form of Bhakti Yoga. Chanting. Singing. Praying. It’s absolutely beautiful and I have turned into the girl who rides around in her car singing all the sacred songs. Loudly. It fills my soul. (I doubt the days of gangster rap are completely behind me.) Sunday morning I went to the beach for my morning meditation practice. I sat in silence for 30 minutes. I had my blue tooth speaker with me and thought it would be nice to sing a little while I was there. So I did. People walked by while I sat on the beach singing in Sanskrit swaying and moving to the music. I might have looked (and sounded) weird to the people on the beach, but I honestly did not care. Nobody stopped to talk to me, which I absolutely loved. I might have discovered the best way ever to keep the creepers away AND I enjoyed every minute of my time. Completely comfortable in my skin and also completely aware that it’s still a very new way for me to feel. It felt like joy. It felt like freedom. One day, maybe I’ll be there all the time. For now, I’ll take the moments as they come with a heart full of gratitude. Little by little, all of the pieces are falling into place. And by “falling into place” I really mean coming together for me because I’ve been working my ass off, on myself, for myself.