My Lesson In Vulnerability

I was recently advised I needed two things to help build my new venture, Be Wild + Free. These two things were:

1.      Content, content, content including lots of photos of me (these are coming, I promise)

2.      I needed to tell my story.

To put into words how the last few years have guided me to where I am today and what I learnt along the way. This blog and the next, will tell you the truth in black and white about how my life has recently unfolded and how its led me right here, to the creation of this website, to me being a yoga teacher and to rebuilding my life at the age of 33.

In 2017 my heart was broken. A relationship broke apart and left me devastated, a very dear friend – one of the funniest goofs I have ever had the pleasure of loving died, ending his own life and then shortly after my Gran passed away. My Gran (Granny to me) is my role model and one of my dearest friends, my partner in crime and loves of my life. Shortly after her death my Grandma (Margaret), passed too. Life seemed a very painful reality with so much loss all at once. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself, submerged in feelings of loss, pain, anger and resentment. My emotions took over and I let them.

Processing all the trauma meant that, unwillingly at first, I had no choice but to stop and pause my every day life. I needed to retreat somewhere safe and most importantly allow myself to ask for help. I’ve always been a stubborn soul, brought up an only child by a single parent I’ve been told repeatedly I’m overly independent, determined to fix everything alone and to save everyone else. Bad habits built on the wrong ideas!

Well this time I couldn’t. I had to learn to pause and find my breath. To take life 10 seconds at a time. My heart crumbled, I found myself under medical supervision and in need of some time to allow myself to breakdown. I retreated to the safety of those I loved and did some serious soul searching, trying to find out how I could move my life forward, as and when I felt strong enough. One step at a time I got there…. I started to think about the future and how I could start building a life I had always dreamt of living, full of gratitude and happiness.

Somehow, as my life came to a complete stand still, one new thread of hope appeared as a theme to keep me motivated and that was my yoga teacher training. I’m not saying this alone was my anchor that would be seriously diminishing the astonishing amount of unconditional love from friends and family that kept me here.

My yoga training took place over the course of one year, I became part of a group of inspiring and budding yoga teachers, each of us on our own journey and yet, always there to support each other. The safety of our training group, the friends we made and keep in touch with now we’ve all graduated, allowed me to be completely myself and bring all my sadness and heartbreak onto my matt. It provided me with a safe space to sit with my fears and for me to be curious, to learn, being open to my vulnerability, letting go of shame and any anger that arose. It gave me this constant bookmark to each month, something to work towards as I slowly started to feel faith and hope, even gratitude.

I was allowing myself to heal, to let go of how I was feeling and just come back to my breath. I found through my training this beautiful ability to heal myself, to let go of my need to numb the pain, and instead learn to surrender to, accept it and: to face headfirst my fears whilst being kind and patient.

I think in a truly miraculous way, my training; the people I met and my students taught and continue to teach me far more than I ever thought possible. I learnt who I was and am today, what I am truly grateful for in my life and what I associate happiness with. And then I realised: if yoga and a little yogic philosophy could help me through my own traumas, perhaps I could use my new skills and my own experience to help others.

So from the depths of my sadness came this idea. To be the type of yoga teacher who taught with real passion. To be there to guide people through their postures, connecting movement with breath and introducing little snippets of yoga philosophy and mindfulness to plant seeds of contentment (Santosha), encourage concentration on one thing at a time (Dharana) and to create a safe space to teach where I could invite my students a little more time to pause and reconnect to themselves and to each other.

And that’s why I’m where I am today, building Be Wild + Free, training to be a Yoga Nidra teacher, teaching vinyasa flow to complete beginners (those who have never attempted yoga before) and taking my classes slowly. I hope to guide my students to build more strength, focusing on alignment whilst encouraging a sense of lightness, balance and curiosity as together my students and I willingly face our fears and try new things.

This is who I am and I’ll be honest, if any of the above taught me anything, it’s that we truly connect with others and ourselves when we learn to be vulnerable.

Finally, this post is dedicated to my Gran ~ the picture is us and smiling is how I always remember her.

Love always & Namaste.

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