Shifting

Anyone who knows me, knows that the past two years have been a roller-coaster ride for my family and me, both financially and personally. We’ve gone from making a very comfortable living, to worrying about foreclosure, from buying anything we wanted, to having to borrow money from friends to put gas in the car. We went from taking at least two airplane-trip vacations a year, to barely being able to afford a two-night camping trip. And it’s been a blessing.

Huh? Sure doesn’t sound like it. Have you ever heard a cancer-survivor or victim of some other terrible tragedy say just that? I always thought that they were just saying that to make themselves, and others, feel better about their situation. But now, I kind of get it. When I look at the profound shifts that I have gone through, and am continuing to go through, since my job loss in 2008, I am actually grateful for all that has happened.

When my career with my former employer ended abruptly in April of 2008, I did not know who I was. I had completely lost myself to the job, and the stress that came with it. I spent a few months just sitting in my office, because I didn’t know what else to do. I had recently gotten my yoga teaching certification, so I started teaching yoga. But, it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t ready emotionally, physically or spiritually. My heart wasn’t into it, I was still carrying around the 30 extra stress-pounds that came on in the last few years of my job, and my relationship with my husband was not good. I didn’t see how I could teach people to live a life of balance, when I was completely unbalanced myself. So, I stopped. And I sat around some more.

Then some changes started to slowly happen. I began to feel joy in the fact that I was able to spend more time with my daughter. Since I wasn’t travelling anymore, my husband and I were forced to look each other in the eye and begin to deal with our problems. (It’s easy to ignore problems at home when you are never home – not so easy when you’re home all the time!) My yoga practice began to deepen, and I met my kula (community) of Anusara yogi friends. I got a job with a start-up company, and although I make very little money, and the success or failure of said company is yet to be determined, I don’t live with the agonizing stress of my former job. I am also not attached to this job, the way I was with my old job. I am not defined by my position with the company. If it doesn’t work out, something else will.

We have learned to live on (much) less. Even when we are back on our financial feet – which I know we will be – we will never go back to our old spending ways. Just last Sunday, Brian and I were watching the Broncos game and reminiscing about how we used to go to a game every year, then go to the Palm for dinner, drop $300, and then spend the night in a nice hotel. It seems completely foreign to me now, to spend so much money on entertainment for one day.

As my yoga practice has deepened, so has my passion for living a healthy life. I started teaching again, and it is now one of my greatest joys. I lead 32 people in a cleanse last month, and they, and I got so much out of it. I am taking a course in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life. I feel that with yoga and Ayurveda, I am finding my “it”, my dharma, the true meaning of my life. For more on Ayurveda and the amazing course I’m taking, please visit Cate Stillman’s website, Yogahealer.

None of this would be happening if I hadn’t lost my job.

So while we still struggle, and the future is uncertain, I am grateful for the experiences we’ve been through. I’ll leave you today with a poem, from the blog, Aligning with Grace, by Olga Rasmussen, certified Anusara yoga teacher:

                                                                         See everything as a blessing.
                                                                      Turn everything into a blessing.
                                                                          Send everyone a blessing.
                                                                                    BE a blessing!

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1 comment so far

  1. Whitney Wogan on

    I love the sweet, calm feeling this post radiates. Reminds me to slow down and breathe… Thanks also for the Blessing poem, a grace note in my day.


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