[Photo by: Giuseppe Chirico]
My life was limp. Soggy and scraggly with a fleeting scent of the last granule of success I had. I settled for food that was beneath me because it was all I could afford. My weights at home collected dust because the last thing I cared about was my body.
Being a victim is something everyone wags their fingers at. But every once in a while, sucking up attention and pity felt great. I finally knew what it was like to be immersed in a pool of my own shit. It’s like I learned a whole new language. Negativity, anxiety, fatalistic. I was becoming fluent.
Besides experiencing a miracle, I only had two saving graces. The first one being yoga. And thankfully I paid for a full year of unlimited yoga when things were still good. The second one, espressos. Oh thank the Italian gods for espressos.
When I mustered up whatever will I had left for my own self care, I dragged my ass over to the studio. Faked my way through chance encounters with a cheap smile, small talk and some leftover charm. They had no idea but I did them all a favour by not consciously leeching their energy or bringing down their day with my sob stories. So, you’re welcome.
But once I got changed into my overpriced yoga shorts and stepped into that hot room… I left the weight of the world at the door. I’d close my eyes before class started. And for those ten minutes, I imagined I was in another country. A tropical island. Sun on my face. The sound of ocean waves. Fresh, salty air at my nostrils.
And when my teacher, Soni, invited us to deepen our breath, my problems were miles away and I arrived on my mat. The next 60 minutes there was nothing to worry about except for the present moment. Beads of sweat fell to the earth as we flowed gracefully from asana to freaking asana. It was glorious.
When savasana was over, and I hated when it was over, I washed up and put on fresh clothes. As soon as my ass hit the seat of my car, the bliss evaporated and was replaced with the horrors of my reality. My gas tank was empty. My phone could be disconnected soon. What the hell am I going to do?
And in an instant, I’m back in my own personal hell.
Like a junkie craving the next hit, I looked forward to my next class. Tomorrow. The day after that. And so on. Until eventually I was practicing 5-6 times a week.
Not long after, in that room, on my mat, through my clothes, was not just sweat pouring out of me. It was everything else. The victim. The ‘poor me’ attitude. The scarcity.
I wrung it out like a wet towel and twisted it all out until there was nothing left for me to squeeze. The physical, mental, and emotional healing I gained probably saved my life. Reaching the edge of my comfort zone and challenging myself on my mat translated to the same thing in my life.
I gathered up the balls to make significant changes. I reclaimed control over my life.
It was like coming home and speaking English again. Power, possibility and presence. It’s my native tongue.
And BOOM! I was back.
Well no, not really. It was probably more gradual than I remember. Like a steam engine on the tracks I slowly gained momentum.
It translated outward into better food choices, sleep habits, and so on. I was able to get back on my feet after a long time thinking I was down for the count. To me, at least, getting physically healthy first, was the big catalyst.
One day at a time growing in confidence, clarity and courage. Slowly my energy was through the roof. Add a shot of espresso to that and nothing could stop me.
What happened next made me believe in miracles again. In fact, it was me. I was the miracle maker.
No fairy dust, no unicorns, and not at the snap of a finger. Just me and my body, shattering countless barriers, mental, physical, and emotional.
Every day. Leaving it all on the mat.
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About the Author
Oliver coaches and guides people in their personal awareness, growth and transformation. He is the founder of Integrated Self, a workshop series for self-explorers, a singer-songwriter as well as a certified yoga instructor. In between writing, coaching sessions and making music, Oliver spends the rest of his time enjoying the good life with his love Janet, eating gorgeous food, sipping espressos and travelling.
For more, go to: www.olivermanalese.comliermanalese.comwww.olivermanalese.com