We remember everything from our birth, we just may not remember it in the way we remember what we had for dinner last night. Our tissue holds every story we've ever experienced. From our literal birth, to our first birthday, the first time we were scared, the first time we felt true love. Remembering, once you learn how (which, surprise, you've always known how, it's just a fact of if you've asked yourself to heal) is impossible to stop. I knew going through the training to be a yoga teacher was going to be physically challenging as I do not come from intense asana (posture) practice. I knew it would be emotionally demanding, as I found yoga in one of the deepest emotional places I've ever been in this life. I had no clue how exhausting remembering was going to be, and simultaneously how duly grateful I would be for that exhaustion.
Exhaustion exists in two forms. One being that you've exhausted yourself (emotionally or physically) so much that you must rest, sleep, and rejuvenate. The other kind of exhaustion comes when you've been dragging your heels in the ground for so long that eventually you must pick them up and rid yourself of this heel dragging habit to be able to functionally get along with life. Unknowingly, I have been experiencing the latter. Today I didn't just pick my heels up off the ground, but it felt as if someone welded wings of light from my heart to my brain, and back again.
I set intentions for myself every day, and today's intention was compassion. I have near always had a problem with over eating, or binge eating as the medical world would interject. As a society we are problematic in the world of 'binging'- Netflix, cell phones, food, drugs, travel- you name it and this American society has a hand in it. Unlearning this with food has been a slow and meandering road for me. Today I chose to show myself compassion whenever I felt the need to go and stuff my face. It worked, I ate 'normally' today, whatever that means- what's important is there was no over eating habit that I engaged in. On a deeper level though, this intention of compassion opened the floodgates of past suffering. When I say floodgates, I mean I might as well have been Noah and built an ark to sail away on the sea of my own tears- I opened the flood gates.
Childhood trauma, what a touchy subject- no pun intended. We all have childhood trauma to some degree, and we let it dictate so much of what we do without realization or second thought. So much pleasure can turn to so much pain, and so quickly, for a child. Remember the body of your child self, and all the pains it's endured is taxing, liberating, and most of all rewarding in freedom. Unpacking childhood trauma has allowed me to release so many fears, of myself and the live I've chosen to live, of others, of relationships, of living. We all have chosen to live this life, and every moment we continue to choose that as we continue living. Having tried to kill myself, I realized it's from a rational (a completely brain form based) way of dealing with these childhood traumas- of not remembering.
As we remember, we wash ourselves clean. I see an acrylic mold of a person, with dirt caked on the walls on the inside. This dirt is collected over a lifetime, everyone holding different amounts of dirt. These past two weeks I have slowly pouring water into this human mold caked with internal dirt, and gently shaking it around. Today, I poured a few gallons into this human mold and said 'fuck it' I'm done waiting to be clean. *shakes my acrylic human vigorously until dirt decides to be mud and drain back to the Earth* I cried, sobbed, and released an incredible amount of pain that was no longer mine to hold or to experience. Dirt is heavy, let it go.
Remember that it's okay to remember, in whatever way your body decides to remember. Most of our memories are not stored in the brain, they are stored in our senses- our senses just so happen to be collected in the brain, so we think of memory as strictly brain happenings. I thought, before I came to yoga teacher training, that I had been washing myself clean. Really I had just been putting on makeup to cover up the dirt that was still inside me human. I've become so free in my body. Pain I didn't even realize I knew is now gone. My human form has transformed in magnitude, and my energy now has more room to shine through my vessel. As one of my teachers (who has nick named me Wisdom, how fitting) would say- let your inner body be bright.
I cannot truly express the amount of gratitude I have undergone in the past three weeks, or today, or even in this moment. I have been washed with gratitude again and again, and then again. I feel as if I no longer know sin, I no longer attach to love, or the absence there of. I no longer attach to people, to places, to material things, to my body or to the memories it holds. I no longer attach to these things and have instead embraced them, and this is what has truly granted me liberation. Being liberated is just being free of a limit. We have the opportunity to liberate ourself in every moment we are alive. In fact, if you wanted to argue about it (which I don't, but for lack of better terms) I would say the reason we are put here is to continuously choose liberation, until one day the tool of liberation is something we don't need because we are liberated- Patanjali's Yoga Sutra book 4, sutra 33. Use the tools you have in your toolbox to transcend ever needing to use those tools again. In fact, become those tools. It is only by becoming the form of that tool that we no longer need the tool for our survival. Grateful to have such a big toolbox of healing, and grateful to finally be embracing the forms of some of the tools I've learned for my survival. Returning home within, what a wonderful way to begin.
*If any of my classmates are reading this right now- thank you. From the bottom of my heart, from everything I am, thank you for taking this journey of healing in your own way alongside me. Thank you for your presence today as my dirt shell cracked. Thank you, truly, for you. Namaste.