Today we’re having a moment of real talk. Listen, we know it’s not always easy to hear. But I am committed to being honest, and being real with you, always. This is the act of love we give you here at BTL.
Last week we sent out a survey. And your candid answers were beautiful, and touching, and so telling for where we are both individually and collectively.
We asked you what your wellness goals were when you started with us. We asked what your goals are now.
Friend, I’m going to be real: a lot of us are struggling. So now I’m going to tell you a personal story. And I’ll make it as short as I can.
A personal story
When I was 8 years old, my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He was a union electrician and spent years working in asbestos-filled tight spaces, running wires and rebuilding aging infrastructure in Boston.
That work lead him to some adverse conditions. And he developed lung disease in his 30s.
The first few years were filled with fear, uncertainty, and hope. As he aged, the medicines that were keeping him alive started to erode his health and wellbeing.
He was lonely. He was constantly dealing with dynamic health situations that landed him in the emergency room for days, and sometimes weeks. He nearly died a dozen times.
Nothing was ever certain. Everything was precious. My father, for all of his strength, fell into bouts of debilitating depression and sadness. Which was entirely understandable, given what he had lost.
As the oldest of three, I was his confidant and support through some really challenging times. I encouraged and cared for him. I did everything I could to provide color and joy to his life, even though we lived hundreds of miles apart.
As a young adult, and as a mom, I also struggled with debilitating depression and sadness. There were some dark days.
I learned through those experiences one undeniable truth: No one can do it for you.
No one can inspire you out of what you’re feeling. No one can be joyful enough to compensate for what you are feeling. No one can make you show up. No one can get you out of the state you’re in.
The only way to get out of it, yogi, is for you to decide you’ve had enough. And for you to make the choices, take action, and get the support you need to get to the other side of it.
And I’m sharing this with you, yogi, because I saw those survey results, and I read your stories, and my big empathic heart is having that familiar aching feeling. What you are sharing, while personal to you, is also the same as what so many of us are feeling.
It’s the same things over and over again:
You’re struggling to show up on the mat.
You feel like you have no time.
You feel like you have no mental space.
You feel like virtual classes are too hard to get to.
You feel like it’s hard to practice at home.
You feel like it will be better when we can practice in person.
You feel like.. well, eventually, you’ll go to outdoor classes.
You feel like it’s just so hard to concentrate.
You feel like someday it will be better and more perfect.
Short version: it’s not perfect, so you’re not doing anything at all.
Here’s the thing – you really need this.
You need the benefits of yoga.
You need the mental space.
You need to feel good again.
You need to be able to concentrate.
You need the joy, the elevated mood, the connection.
You want all the things that yoga offers: improved executive function, more mental space, the belief that things are POSSIBLE for you, the community, the uplifting feeling, the encouragement, the affirmation.
And when you’re in that frame of mind, and you actually do the practice, the need for perfect disappears.
I know, because I’ve been there. In fact, if you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have told you that’s exactly where I was. Denying myself the benefits of practice because it just wasn’t perfect.
And when I finally just got out of my own way and started showing up, you know what happened?
I stopped caring if I had a yoga mat, or the right spot, or the right device.
I started waking up every morning and just …moving my body every day. And you know what? I am starting to feel really happy.
Sure, I still have moments where things are hard. But I keep showing up. And every time I show up, I feel better. And now I’m making better, healthier choices for myself. And now I’m showing up in my life at an entirely new level. And you can too.
Starting Sunday 4/18, we’re doing a 5-day daily yoga challenge to get back into the habit of practice, and start showing up on the mat in a real, authentic way. And you can still join.
It’s TOTALLY FREE. You can practice AT ANY TIME. And the classes are just 15 minutes.
In other words, we’ve taken all the barriers out of this. So that you can start showing up for yourself.
I’m here to support you, just as I have in the past. But you, yogi, you have to show up for yourself.
If you want to hear more encouraging words, and a little extra motivation and support, check out the facebook live video I did the other day.
We can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS. All you have to do is show up.