Stop, look, and listen.
No, I am not talking about how to safely cross the road, but what I am referring to can have just as dramatic an effect on your life as being hit by a car, if you do not practice it regularly.
Yesterday evening I attended my second yoga class. Although I have tried to incorporate some yoga into my boxing training routine, I have not always been successful. Having practiced it regularly ten years ago and experienced some of its healing benefits, I wanted to create some time and space in my life now, so that I could begin to experience those benefits again.
As luck would have it, I happened across an advert two weeks ago for a yoga class that was only a few miles away from my home. The advert said that the classes were for all levels and welcomed newcomers. It also said that the classes were held on the very evening, of the day that I discovered the advert.
I believe that the universe offers us opportunities, and not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I immediately contacted the yoga instructor and before I knew it, I was sat on a yoga mat, reconnecting with my soul.
Now here I am today, writing about this experience, for you.
After my first class I went home feeling elated. Even my food tasted better! A week later I was looking forward to my next class, but hours before I was due to attend I experienced some distressing symptoms related to PTSD. I put this down to an unpleasant nightmare I had the night before, about the abuse I endured as a child.
Although I was feeling anxious, and disconnected from everything and everyone around me, I was determined to attend my second class, and I did, however, I did not find it easy.
I tried my best to focus and relax, but the more I tried the harder it became. It was only towards the end of the class that I found myself able to give my attention to my breath and let my body release the tension I was carrying.
As my body relaxed I began to experience some surprisingly intense emotions, that were as uplifting as they were upsetting, and as I lay on the yoga mat I cried. Who knew that you could cry with your eyes closed! The yoga teacher was very good about it but I found myself automatically apologising to her for showing my emotions, when what I really wanted to say was thank you.
I could not find the words to describe what I was experiencing at the time. In my mind I had an image of myself emerging from a dark wood, only to be faced by a mountain. The mountain was imposing and just as impressive. I stood at the foot of it, admiring the sparkling, snow-capped peak that was surrounded by a clear blue sky, and I knew that I was not lost anymore.
I realised that I hadn’t been able to ‘see the wood for the trees’, but the real surprise was that actually, none of that mattered anyway. I had been lost in the wood and it was only now that I was being introduced to the truth of my situation. And although I knew I had a mountain to climb, I felt a huge sense of relief because I had seen the truth. I had felt it in my heart and I knew that by acknowledging it, I could find the peace I was looking for.
The tears I cried on the yoga mat were tears of sadness and tears of joy. Although it grieved me to think about all of the unnecessary suffering I have experienced, I was also immensely grateful to have been shown the truth of my situation. As I lay on the yoga mat, I felt at ease and completely supported by the universe. I had never felt more supported in my life and it was a revelation to know that I had that power to connect to the universe, within me all this time, and that I didn’t have to be feeling good to experience it.
The yoga class finished with the sound of three chimes, and as had happened at my first class, the sounds made me uniquely aware of my heart beat and the life force within me. I recognised that what I was experiencing was the result of a conscious effort on my part, to stop, look to, and listen to my heart.
I would encourage everyone to take the time to stop and listen to their heart as often as possible.
Switching off from all distractions, both the external and the internal, take the time to sit with yourself; get to know yourself, and then just be yourself.
Make being yourself your primary goal in life; you are unique, and whatever you decide to do in life whilst you are truly being you, will most likely be what is best for you.
And when you seek what is best for you from the inside out, you will attract what is best for you from the outside in, thus making the tiny area you occupy on this planet a happy one, and succeeding in making the world a better place, in a way that only you ever could!