Quite simply, this winter, learning to practice yoga and meditation as a regular practice are saving my life.
I’m learning to be still, to breathe deeply, to be present to this moment, which is a gift I so often look past.
At this place in my healing journey, I expected my life to become faster-more health, more vitality, more relationships, more things on my calendar. And yes, I can do so much more than two years ago.
And yet the transforming parts of this season are in the stillness, often on my yoga mat. My life is getting slower yet.
My prayers are quieter. There’s just not as much to say. I’m less reactionary in my conversations with God-not because I’m lessening my honesty or the intensity of emotions. But instead, because if I’m actually present to a moment of solitude, not much is happening. Through meditation, my brain is changing (and if you’re a doubter, read this), and I’m practicing paying attention to my body and my breath. I’m re-teaching myself, that my true self is not necessarily the thoughts I think.
What may be more true about myself is how I breathe and the messages my body is telling me.
It’s not been an easy process (what process is?!). When I started, I could not touch my toes, and my mind would wander constantly. After six weeks though, I’m seeing small changes. I come to a place of stillness more easily. I’m gaining more flexibility and my posture is improving. But I’m not practicing yoga for the quick changes.
The most powerful, subtle change has happened in my mind. Yoga and meditation has helped reduce anxiety. It has allowed me to take a more receptive approach to life.
I’m learning to see more kindness, rather than threat.
More safety, rather than violence.
More love, rather than hate.
More acceptance, rather than self-destruction.
More friendship, rather than exclusion.
More inclusiveness, rather than competition.
I want to be someone who views myself and the world from a place of compassion.
A person who can be still enough to see reality for what it actually is.
A person who is gentle and empathetic, and yet isn’t afraid to speak honestly.
My life is being saved in the daily moments, and I’m grateful.
What is saving your life this winter?