on Letting Go & Being Present

Tonight is my last night here.

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So much has happened within this last week. I got to see all my amazing friends here teach their first class, and I got to see the true person behind their physical bodies shine through. Everyone is so fucking different. It honestly baffles me. On a simple and sweet note, it has made me step back from myself and embrace the fact that I am who I am, and I am no one else. I don’t need to try to be like someone else or wish I looked a different way. I simply, am.
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Teaching my first class ever! Photo by girlnamedshawn.

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put a few yogis in the sea, and they’re sure to take off their clothes and do this.

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Sally. One of the most influencial people in my life.

At this exact moment, I don’t really feel like explaining everything about this week. It was downright beautiful to see all these people grow so much and see how much they’ve all began to see the beauty in themselves. I love this people so goddamn much I could scream and have screamed. And have laughed so hard. And have cried so much. They have made me realize, truly- I mean truly realize how beautiful life is and how capable I am of loving it. I will forever be grateful for them.

But as I was saying, I’m having a lot of other feelings right now. Ones that are now harder for me to acknowledge- even when I thought loving was the hardest thing. For a long time now, I’ve been trying to deal with a few of my close friends dying. For a long time I’ve been destructive toward myself for the ways that I’ve mourned them. Or the lackthereof. For a long time I didn’t cry, I didn’t talk too much about it, and I honestly didn’t feel anything. I came to terms with it every time it happened, but I never came to terms with how I reacted and how I dealt with it. I hated myself. I hated every second I would be living my life normally, knowing I should be sad that someone, and later some people, close to me had passed.

Tonight I thought I wouldn’t have time between meetings here to be by myself to leave Emily’s ashes in the sea. I went up to my teacher to ask her if I could have this alone time. When I began to speak, I broke down. I have cried literally every day since I’ve been here, but it was not the same as that. And she knew. I truly have felt a lack of connection with her this entire time, but in that moment, I knew there was more. I naturally caved when I spoke to her. It just happened. It took me until the last day to realize she actually has been my teacher. And she has tapped into some serious places that I could never find in myself.

Tonight I put Emily’s ashes in the sea. I walked to a specific place where some of the girls here have really connected to- we call it manifestation rock. It’s absolutely beautiful and powerful. I sat and cried, a lot. It took me until that last moment to realize how much I had built up inside. How much I had been carrying for so long. When the sun was just about to pass the horizon, I climbed down the rock right next to the water. I held her in my hands for the first time, and I let her go for the last time.

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Before I left, I cried to my roommates about how I was terrified to do it. How I never thought about the actually physical letting go practice- that it would finalize the process of moving on. They all surrounded me immediately, reassuring me with all profound views because they’re all fucking brilliant. In short, Emily is not gone. She is now only in my heart, and that’s more powerful than carrying her with me and associating her with that form.

I felt my chest release, and I felt the release of the break down. I felt the perfection in the moment. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. She was finally exactly where she was supposed to be, from me. I can breathe lighter now. She can be free now. I now realize that loving life is not just for me anymore, but it is in honor of her as well. The energy that I put into loving my life is strong enough to warm her, wherever she is. And  I can be sad that she’s gone, but I can be full of contentment knowing that I’m doing everything, simply, right. I think she’d be proud of me. I think she’d be happy for me. That’s all I need now.

I walked back, trying to really focus on the sand underneath my toes, the water brushing my ankles sweetly, the sky turning orange behind the clouds. I walked so slow. I wanted to feel it all. I wanted to take it all in. So I decided to take off all my clothes and get in the water while the sky fell darker and the light was only the shimmer on the top of the sea. I let myself be completely intoxicated with my surroundings. I let myself go completely in that moment, and I don’t think I have ever done that before.

So, now I’m finishing this post a couple days later. I did leave the island. I did go to the airport, but I got in a taxi instead. I have too much to do, but no idea what it all is. All I know is that I’m on the Pacific side now, and I’m exactly where I need to be.

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Managua.

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Hola San Juan del Sur. So nice to meet you.

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Pacific Sunset with some of the most badass ladies I know.

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In case you forgot who I am.

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4 responses to “on Letting Go & Being Present

  1. I can’t wait to here more about your experience when you get back to WV– it sounded so beautiful. Please, fill me in! A few weeks ago, I had a little bump–I was in headstand, lowering my legs (to kind of a staff pose), and my neck got a sharp pain. 2-3 weeks later, I can still feel the muscles hurting. I have never had a yoga injury before and it was so scary. Now I can’t do the headstands for awhile, and thus I am having difficulty “going easy” with it and listening to my body. Any wisdom you can share about the appropriate times to push our limits would be helpful. Yoga injuries suck!

    • Jenna,

      HI!! How are you other than the injury?

      My practice has completely shifted now. It’s slower & somehow more powerful. Though it’s simple and obvious advice, I really recommend doing your own practice, moving so slow to feel literally, but maybe not quite, every muscle activating through the movement of getting INTO a “pose”. Not the pose itself. Think of the peak of the pose as waiting for a door to be open. I have to think about this so much for pigeon pose. Move a little deeper into it over the course of many minutes. Feel your body sink deeper, naturally release a little more every moment. And then, most times, a door opens, and you gently and easily slide into the pose. I know you know this, but it’s all about breath and listening to your body. Not your mind. Don’t let your ego and your desires to press into something get the best of you. The steps of getting into a pose are the most important- the foundations. You have to build a stable foundation in order for anything to be fully integrated.

      As far as specifically your neck, where exactly is the pain? I can definitely recommend something to do depending on where it is. But in the meantime, of course listen to your body and avoid anything that strains the neck. maybe take the time to focus on your other inversions like handstand preps, dolphin, forearm balances, feet up the wall, waterfall (my favorite ever).

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