The app TimeHop reminded me the other day that it has officially been two years since I fully began the journey into yoga.
Yes, I “yoga’d” before. Yes, I did it far more regularly in the second half of my pregnancy. But really, it wasn’t until I had my first flow at the mat, my son not quite three months old, that my journey really began.
In two years, so much has changed.
Not just in how much better I’ve gotten with my flows or poses (or how about those photos? What a difference!), but with everything.
Through inward reflection during my solo flows, I’ve looked back on my years and realized that who I thought I was before, who I had painted myself as on my life canvas – is definitely who I was not. In an interesting twist, my friends closest to me, when I tell them of this revelation, laugh at me. They knew it all along, I just couldn’t see it for myself.
I used to think I was angry, short tempered, a conflict seeker. Fights with my ex-fiance bring that to the surface. In reality, I was fighting for my life with him. It was defense of my mind, body and soul. His abuse was killing me, and I was trapped in a cycle of thinking I was terrible person and deserved every bit that he threw at me.
I’ve realized how calm and reflective I actually am. Just how often I look at things realistically, sometimes even optimistically (I used to think I was the biggest pessimist in existence).
I’ve discovered that I’m truly an old soul, but my mind is young, spriteful and happy.
How heart-filled I am.
I’m passionate, I’m driven. Ambitious and proud. I am strong. Of mind, of body. Of opinion and voice.
As I adventure deeper into my practice, and continue to reflect inward, I realize just how beneficial my shift in focus and site from the mindfulness and meditation through yoga has been as a parent.
My son knows only of a mother who is confident in who she is, and who she is discovering herself to really be. And with that, I am able to be a better mother than I could have ever been thinking and continuing to project outwardly a person to the world that I, in fact, was not.
I can give my son better tools on his own path to discovery. I can guide him more confidently towards his own confidence in self.
While I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, and never let anyone outside force me into something I am not, I didn’t fully hear the sound of that drum until I started taking just ten minutes (because as a toddler mom, sometimes you’re lucky to even get just that) to lose myself inside of, well, myself.
And yes, I’m self-reflecting, discovering, and realizing that I’m not in fact a negative person like I once thought I was – but that doesn’t mean I don’t swear (I cuss like a pirate, not sorry), I get frustrated, I cry when dinner takes an extra 20-minutes to cook and I’m already running at least 30-minutes behind. I still grip the car steering wheel in construction traffic and mutter under my breath how I wish all of that black magic I “dabbled” in way back in middle school actually DID something so I could make everything go up in a puff of smoke.
I’m human. I experience emotions. Just like we all do. I’ve just realized that the angry emotions that I do feel from time to time don’t make me an angry, hateful, spiteful person.