I love and honor that, but, I’ve never been one of those people. My very earliest memories are of wanting to be my very best, to express the most perfect version of myself during this lifetime, no matter what I’m doing.
When people indicate that change isn’t possible for them for x, y, and z reason, I say, NOT TRUE. Change is always a choice. No matter what your circumstance.
In my late 20’s, I was working my ass off in corporate accounting. A job I was good at, but didn’t really like. I worked long hours and was constantly anxious about my performance.
My favorite stress reduction technique during that time was getting drunk at the local bar and smoking cigarettes until my throat hurt. Alcohol abuse is putting it mildly. Coming from a long line of alcoholics, I knew better – but it didn’t stop me.
My relationships were a disaster the men I dated were, at best, poor choices and my friendships were all based on drinking – not healthy at all. I felt isolated, I hid my drinking, and it was getting harder to do so. I was also overweight from all the drinking. Drinking isn’t cheap, either (not the way I did it, anyway) so I was in debt (even though I made a very good living). I blamed others and my past for all of my problems.
Of course, all this time, all through the drinking, I had continued to study and practice yoga and meditation – with very little benefit, but little did I know, these practices were working their magic on my mind.
It arrived as the sun was setting one evening. I had finished a 6-pack already and was feeling ZERO effects from the beer. I was reading a book about buddhism and the precept about steering clear of intoxicants as a way to clear away the cobwebs and experience life fully. As a way to really love yourself and grow from, and into, your life.
I looked up, and in my mind, I clearly saw a huge chasm.
Way over to the left was my current life: drunk, lonely, bad relationships, overweight, in debt, dissatisfied at work, no prospects in sight.
Way over to the right, was the life I knew I was meant to live: clear and happy, connecting to wonderful people in great relationships, healthy, a yoga teacher, doing work I love, helping others, with endless possibility for growth and change.
That night, I knew I was ready. I wanted to bridge that gap.
A few weeks later, I was sitting in the office of a buddhist therapist that a girl at work had casually mentioned to me. It was my second day of not drinking and I felt horrible. But I knew if I was going to get the most out of therapy, it had to be without drinking. No drinking away my feelings. I was walking toward the me I knew, deep down, that I could be.
I broke up with my boyfriend, I stopped working so many hours, and I started investigating yoga teacher training programs. I lost 30 pounds effortlessly, I started working out and honoring my body, I meditated, I got on my yoga mat and practiced for hours, and I sat with my feelings and cried – a lot. I worked hard with my therapist to clear away the rotten thoughts and beliefs that were mucking up my mind and my heart. I volunteered, I sought out healthy friendships. I paid off my debt. I realized, in my heart – no, in my bones, that my life was my own. Happiness was in my hands, and my hands alone.
As of today, I am a married to a wonderful man. We live in Rome, Italy at least until the end of 2010. I am a CPA. I have a beautiful, healthy, ridiculously smart 5-year old daughter. She has spent each of her birthdays in a different country we love to travel and we make it a priority. Speaking of my daughter, I had her at home, with a midwife present for the delivery. We own a beautiful home in Colorado. I am a certified yoga teacher in the Kripalu and Whole Birth traditions. I teach yoga and body-based coaching privately and in small groups to the most amazing women… and, I run a successful small business helping solopreneurs and “helping” professionals create business and life structures that help them succeed, with minimal stress and maximum ease.
There have been rough spots – really rough spots. But every year, I can say without fail, I fall more deeply in love with my amazing life.
It’s easy to say our circumstance is too hard, that someone else is holding us back, or that we’re too damaged, broken, weak, or poor. But it’s simply not true.
And that is the best news I can possibly give you on this fine day.