"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
The words “Dream Big” serve as the dedication to her children in my sister’s book. I don’t know how many times I have told her what an inspiration she is. I have told her what a wonderful message it is for her children and all of the other young people who will read her words, but, until now, I didn't realize that she was also inspiring me.
I have never been a dreamer. I am a planner, an organizer, a realist. I have always had a sensible goal in mind. In Jenni Schaefer’s book Life Without Ed, she asks the following question: “What is your vision of freedom from Ed [eating disorder]?” In July of 2013, I couldn’t answer this question. The page in the book remains blank even today. I realistically knew that freedom from my eating disorder would free up my life and leave me with time to follow my dreams, but there was a problem...I had no idea what my dreams were.
I thought of the wise question “Where does your mind go when it wanders?” As I child, it was always dance. I had dreamt of being a dancer. I had choreographed every song that played on the radio and rehearsed for countless hours in my childhood bedroom. But for a long time, my mind has only wandered to a place of self-doubt and it is hard for any dreams to grow in a dark place like that.
When I couldn’t answer the big question of what my life would be like after recovery, I started with a small step I could focus on. I wanted to help one person. I thought if I could help one person struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues that my recovery would have a sense of greater meaning. This gave me the inspiration to organize an event in our small town. While preparing for the event, I decided to launch my blog and website (www.ohhowsheblooms.com). I quickly realized that I had already helped more than one person. So the next logical question was...what now? Again, I had no answer...no dream.
In February of 2014, I had a conversation about yoga teacher training with my yoga teacher and dear friend, Laura of Abi Yoga. I hesitantly said that maybe it would be a cool thing to accomplish one day...a dream. She told me how she believed in me and knew it was something I could accomplish. My eyes filled with tears and I remember saying, “I don’t think I have ever let myself dream that big.” What was holding me back? I had let my old thought patterns convince me that this wasn’t even a possibility for me. I had allowed the eating disorder to squash yet another dream and I hadn’t even seen it happening.
As I thought all of this over, this quote by Marianne Williamson came to mind: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” It is one of my favorite and least favorite quotes at the same time. Its raw truth terrifies me because it speaks directly to me. Fear of failure has always held me back. I decided it was time for my dreams to cast a shadow over my fears and I began researching yoga teacher training programs.
Yesterday, I graduated from Bhumi's Yoga and today I can officially call myself a 200 hour registered yoga teacher. My head is still spinning from the weekend, but the thought that keeps replaying over and over in my mind is "YOU did this!" Yoga teacher training is the first thing I have ever done solely because I wanted to do it. No one suggested it to me. No one hinted that I should give it a try. It was a calling from my soul. And yesterday, as I sat meditating, gazing into my own eyes in a mirror perched in front of me, I couldn't help but smile.
So my dream now is this: to be powerful beyond measure! Not in a greedy-power-kind-of-way, but in a saving-myself-while-saving-others-kind-of-way. If I ask myself where my mind goes when it wanders now, I see yoga and smiling faces and hugs and healing. And, for the first time in my life, I believe that these dreams will all come true.
Me, after graduation yesterday...you can't fake a smile like that!
I have learned a lot in 2013. I have learned to let go of insecurities and perfectionism and judgement. I have learned that I am stronger than I think. I have learned that the quieter you become, the more you can hear. I have learned to be kind to myself and face my fears. Above all, I have learned to love me - every little part of me!
I will admit that some days are better than others. But today is the first New Year's Eve in almost all of my life that I am not planning which diet I will be starting tomorrow. Instead, I am planning what I will do every day to take care of myself and nourish my mind, body and soul. And I am planning how to spread the word that we should all spend more time loving ourselves than hating ourselves. We should take today to have a grateful heart for all that happened in 2013. We should take a deep breath and count our blessings and realize that we are ENOUGH. There is no need to change ourselves, only to care for ourselves. So as the media goes crazy telling us how we should do anything and everything to look like the photoshopped models in the magazines that don't even recognize themselves after all the touch ups, look in the mirror and smile. Because you are beautiful!
I am so happy today to officially announce oh, how she blooms! My hope is that it will be an avenue for me to share what I have learned so far on my journey toward recovery from binge eating disorder. Welcome!
"If it's both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it." - erada
We moved into reverse warrior pose with one hand sliding down our back leg and one reaching high above. My dear yoga teacher, in her spanish accent that somehow soothes my soul, said we had the choice to look down at our achilles tendon and acknowledge our weaknesses or turn our gaze upward and face our fears. Wow. My eyes had been down, helping me to find my balance. I glanced at my achilles and realized that what I have been doing this past year in recovery has been acknowledging my weakness and, without a pause, I turned my gaze upward toward my outstretched hand and decided it was time to face my fears. How powerful this felt...how terrifying and exhilarating and freeing all at once. If I am going to move toward being fully recovered, I must simply face my fears. All the answers lie in yoga. It has become such an integral part of my journey. And had I been simply doing this pose it would have never occurred to me that shifting my gaze could shift something deep within me. I am so grateful to my yoga teacher for posing the question within the pose that brought me exactly where I needed to be. Namaste.