A lesson on intimacy

First of all, hi.

Unedited photo of what the beach looked like after we got off our boat.

Unedited photo of what the beach looked like after we got off our boat.

My evening is beginning its end. I’m sitting on a bamboo couch next to an open door. The steady sounds of the ocean have become to feel engrained in my body. There’s no place I can’t hear the waves from this area. Right now I feel calm and grounded. Today has been physically exhausting and mentally and emotionally draining.

Let me expand on what exactly I’m doing here.

As mentioned in my About page, I have recently gone through a thousand different changes within a couple weeks, and it has been a bit of a shock. I decided earlier in the fall to end it with one huge change- to go to Nicaragua to be trained to become a yoga instructor. The program is directed by a widely known yoga instructor named Meghan Currie and lasts for a month. Some programs can be broken into year-long courses, meeting much less often than this one. This is an intensive. This one in particular has three different workshops a day, six days a week. Each one focuses on expanding on the proper physical practices of yoga as well as the history, theories and emotional sides of it. At the completion of the program, I will be able to direct my very own classes as well as have grown in my own practice as well as in myself.

Annabelle in the practice space where we spend approximately 8 hours a day.

Annabelle in the practice space where we spend approximately 8 hours a day.

Alexa in a workshop with our teacher, Meghan Currie.

Alexa in a workshop with our teacher, Meghan Currie.

Today is day 3 and literally every single one of us cried in our afternoon class. Every. Single. Person.

Every single person that spoke found himself or herself getting emotional and soon it began a domino effect. It was beautiful and freeing and raw and a bit uncomfortable. Some of us don’t know all of our names yet, but we have found that we can relate so well to the demons inside all of us. Moreover, we have realized that we all have demons that we face every day.

Last night in our readings I read one particular part that resonated throughout my whole body. I saw how could relate it to this point in my life. The term is “ahimsa”. It’s a discipline from one of the eight limbs of yoga. You don’t have to understand what this means to understand what I’m going to say. Basically, this term means “non-violence”.

Non-violence. 

When I first read the word, I interpreted it as sure, be kind to others as well as yourself. As I read further, I realized it meant something so much deeper and something I really needed to work on within myself. (Or as we learned today, ‘something I am working on…’) In addition to non-violence, it means the lack of fear, something I have already mentioned, but something I am finding I’ll be learning about every day. Whether it be fear of pressing into handstand with someone assisting me or whether it is speaking about the fears rooted deep in my heart in front of a class of 30 other people. Or whether it be about having the courage to unlock the cage I have formed around my heavy heart and letting out what I have trapped in and letting in what’s been banging on the chambers’ doors.

Alexa <3

Alexa ❤

Today when I began speaking in front of these people, I began to hear my voice shake and I could feel my chest flutter. I paused. I continued. I acknowledged that I was beginning to get emotional. But when I looked around, the (fabricated self-)awkwardness faded, and I could see so many eyes looking back at me listening with compassion. I felt lighter. I felt stronger. I felt like I was letting go of weights I had been carrying for too long that were hurting me and that I was finally acknowledging the weights that do make me stronger, that I should hold onto. My teacher said I gave her goosebumps and told me how lucky I was. How lucky I am to be able to realize these demons I have and how lucky I am to have the ability to work with them. How lucky I am to have chosen to let go. I laughed in the middle of my tears and said that I know that I’m lucky. I am so goddamn lucky. I am so goddamn lucky that I get to work on this so I become less violent and destructive to myself and in turn, be less violent and destructive to others, especially those who really mean the most to me. Ahimsa means non-violence, but in turn, it means love. It means loving yourself so you can love others.

Tonight’s lessons ended with meditation on the beach. We laid down in a circle with our heads in the center. The ocean was loud and the breeze was cool and strong. When we closed our eyes, the sky was still full of warm colors; when we opened our eyes, the sky was dark, and the moon was glowing. So yes, tonight I feel exhausted. But I can’t stop thinking about how the moon is still glowing. It’s glowing for you too, wherever you are.

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2 responses to “A lesson on intimacy

  1. Hey Natalie!
    This is super inspiring. Is this whole experience seeming surreal to you? I don’t know how I would cope with so many things happening at once. This is a great post about strength and “ahimsa” and optimism. Can’t wait to read more of your journey!
    🙂

  2. “It’s glowing for you too, wherever you are.”
    – wonderful, nat. it’s been an exhausting week, and i’m so glad i decided to take a peek at your writings. so glad you seem to be learning the power and potential of vulnerability. keep searching (i probably don’t need to tell you that.) love love love, rachel

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