When I ended my marriage over two years ago, over time I found freedom. I could make my own choices without consulting anyone else and could set new goals and challenges for myself. One of those goals was to do yoga.
I used to be a gym rat with my ex-husband. We would go to the gym every morning before work and that was our time together. Once the marriage suddenly imploded I found I couldn’t go to the gym without being pummeled by memories. So I stopped. Everything. I fell into my easy chair or my bed and didn’t get out of it.
About six months into being single I discovered a YouTube channel called @YogaWithAdriene and she had this series called 30 Days of Yoga that she uploaded every January, as well as a treasure trove of other free yoga videos in her online library. I’ve started and stopped yoga several times over the past two years but for the first time, I can say I’ve (as of tomorrow) completed my very first 30 Days of Yoga and it feels fantastic.
I have been annoying the heck out of my Snapchat friends with daily photos of my yoga mat from Yoga Day 1 all the way to today, Yoga Day 29. Tomorrow I will complete the final day of these 30 days with Adriene and I will continue after that, finding flexibility, coordination, balance and yes – time to care for myself. I’ve come to discover that 30-ish minutes every day on the yoga mat to be a time for just me. I don’t think about what I have to do next, or what I could be doing with that time instead of spending it on myself. That has been a constant problem for me for years – quieting my oh, so busy mind. Yoga does it for me most days.
I’m not the most flexible person in the world and to be honest, I struggle with constant, daily pain in my right hip and leg. Along with the yoga, I’ve committed to fixing this problem – that boils down to a wonky sacrum, combined with a tight muscle imbalance – with the help of a chiropractor. So this year I wanted to not only set the goal of doing my first 30 consecutive days of yoga, but also find a fix for this chronic pain and get to living an active life again. So far, the chiropractic care is helping get my sacrum and hips back in alignment and the yoga is helping to tame those over active muscles that pull my hips out of whack in the first place.
I am really proud of myself, guys! I set a goal, met the goal and plan on setting another goal of continuing the yoga for another 30 days. I did something for myself that feels good, is good for my body and is going to be so healthy for me in the long run. Not to mention, it’s a really wonderfully Zen way to start my day or finish my day, depending on when I do my practice. As long as I get it done each day I can be flexible about the scheduling.
I was like so many Mom’s, Wives, Women and didn’t allow much time to focus on myself. Once I got divorced and my youngest was out of High School and decided to enter the work force, I found self-care was a little easier to justify and pull off. I’ll admit, up until recently, I was still bad a self care. I still put others expectations before my own wants and needs. It wasn’t until recently – and I credit the speed dating that I did for the last few months – that I really asked myself, ‘what do I want?’
I had never really been able to answer that before. I have always been influenced by external expectation or stimuli that usually made my choices for me. The serial dating that I did, some great dates, some bad ones and some fantastic connections, really helped me hone in on what I wanted. I could ask myself quickly if I liked the person I was with, if I wanted to see more of them or if I wanted to pull the Abort rip-cord and get my ass out of there (which I actually used once). It helped in other areas of my life as well, learning to be unapologetic about choices I made. Did I fall on my face and show my ass a time or two? Oh yes…in a big way. Would I do some things over or not at all? Yes to that too, but the choice was still mine and a lesson was still learned.
The last six months have taught me the most about myself since I made the decision to end my marriage. I really like who I am right now and how independent I am, how strong I am, how capable I am and how true to myself I am.
I also like the quality of people who are attracted to that independence. I especially like the qualities in one particular person who is attracted to my independence, strength and capabilities, but more on him in a future blog post.
You gotta love a good teaser, eh? It will be worth the wait though.