Changing my world, one step at a time

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Four things I've learnt in 2016

I'm not going to lie....this has been a very hard year. I suffered a complete breakdown (physically, mentally and emotionally) at the end of January. It had been a very long time coming, literally years in the making. The first few months of 2016 I could barely function. There were times when I couldn't leave the bedroom for days on end. As hard as this year has been though, I've learnt a few things.

1. I love yoga
It makes me feel strong. It makes me feel like I know what I'm doing in this life. I've been doing yoga on and off for almost 30 years but going on a yoga retreat last summer made me fall in love. I learnt that I could do two 1 1/2 hour sessions a day and not die. That I could meditate for an hour and not jump up screaming. When I'm stressed beyond words and tight in every nook and cranny of my body I know that I need yoga. I need the physical release. I need the peace I feel when I'm moving in rhythm with my breath. I need the surrender.

2. I'm braver than I thought
I've moved way out of my comfort zone this year in so many ways. I can do hard things. Admitting to standing in the depths of depression and contemplating suicide, talking to people about it. Not hiding my scars. Those are brave things. Even admitting that is hard! After years of low/no self-esteem, I feel as though I've turned a corner. Being vulnerable because I have to show myself exactly as I am is a difficult thing, but the rewards are great. I've learnt that I have more people in my corner than I realized. That by speaking my truth I can be real and authentic and not the shadow of the person who I once was. True growth lies here.

3. I enjoy self-care
Who knew? I spent 29 years looking after other people, never putting myself first. As a parent, especially as a single parent I got into the habit of always putting myself last. Yes there are times when this is necessary but I could have nurtured myself in countless, small ways if only I'd thought to do so. I'm finally learning how, at the age of 49, to nurture myself. I've discovered that I love occasional massages, painting my nails, getting my hair cut and coloured consistently. These things make me feel pampered and cared for, And why shouldn't I feel that way?

4. I'm more adventurous than I thought
I checked so many things off my bucket list this year! Driving to Ithica to go to Moosewood restaurant and see live theater. Going on a road trip to Stratford and seeing "As you Like it". Reconnecting with a long lost cousin and stepping into her world. First yoga retreat. Going back to school (again!). Kayaking. House sitting in Montreal. Letting people close. Relearning the guitar. Asking for what I need. The trend started in 2015 though with an epic road trip to New Orleans. Feel the fear and do it's worth it.

What are some of the things you've learnt in 2016?