“If something doesn’t change, I am going to have a heart attack.”
The third time I repeated those words, alarm bells went off. I couldn’t allow myself to repeat this insight. I needed to do something NOW.
I was fifty-one years old and I was deeply sad. Each day I was aware that I was not living the life I wanted to live. There was something deep inside me that was seeking expression through me and it was dying to get out. There was important work to do, songs to sing, music to play, a book to write and a beautiful world to taste and see. All of this was covered, however, by the daily grind. The light was buried and everything seemed dark.
The longing I felt for a new and different vocation was not simply benign wishing. I knew I was dying with the unexpressed gifts buried deep within me. I knew I needed to return to myself but I had forgotten the way.
My dear husband looked on helplessly as I barricaded myself in the bedroom with the shades drawn on a glorious Sunday afternoon. With pencil in hand, I stared at a blank page in my journal. Where had I gone? Where was the joyful, creative and authentic Elizabeth?
“What brings me joy?” I mumbled.
Yoga. That word captured the tool I had used time and again to return to myself. How often had I rolled out my mat, feeling fractured and brittle, only to rise from my mat some time later restored and refreshed? Too many times to count or to ignore.
“What else brings me joy?” I thought. “What returns me to myself? Music, writing, painting, singing… Hmmm. What is that?”
Expression. The act of allowing creativity to flow freely with little regard to the outcome. Just flowing, simply allowing, without judgement. Expression was the key to uncapping my effervescence.
“What else? I know there’s more.”
Spirit. Yes, spirit! Breathing deeply (reSPIRation), acknowledging mystery, living mindfully, daily meditation… Tending my spirit.
I closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, and then another. As I opened my eyes, I looked at what I wrote:
Yoga. Expression. Spirit.
Y E S !
I felt a surge of energy that had long been a stranger. This was my answer! These were the tools that brought me back to myself over and over again. My tools for authentic living!
In the hour that followed, I outlined a book I knew I would write, retreats designed around these tools, as well as classes and coaching. I had stepped into the refreshing, freely flowing river of my true self. The seeds of expression within me, sown so long ago, had broken the surface and were reaching for the light.
That day, fourteen months ago, changed the course of my life. This blog is an opportunity to share with you all that has transpired since that day. The gift of returning to myself, of freely expressing something that can no longer be contained, of sharing these tools with others and watching them unearth their authentic selves, these gifts have allowed me to live on purpose. I have returned to myself.
Come with me, my friends. Authentic living awaits…