I began my journey with Yoga over a decade ago when I was in my early twenties. At this time in my life I had no real responsibilities other than myself, so I splurged on a swanky gym with a beautiful yoga room. Low lighting and spa-like fixtures adorned the room that was encased in windows and mirrors. I especially enjoyed the evening classes, the ones that the moon was framed through the floor to ceiling windows were especially calming. I had been immersed into fitness for a number of years, where lifting weights and building muscle was my main focus. Fitness was the initial catalyst in my holistic journey, Oxygen Magazine anyone? I found that the yoga classes I was attending really helped stretch out those tight muscles I was so intent on building. The sauna and lap pool were the perfect accompaniment. Like I said it was a swanky gym that I spared no expense on, a self-care fitness dream. I tried to make it to two classes per week which jump started my practice. One yogi in particular sticks out in my memory. She had a gentle demeanor and warm presence, perfect for the soft gentle yoga practice that she instructed. Her corrections were full of encouragement, never leaving you feeling inadequate, despite the range of experienced persons attending the sessions. As I explore the memories of my yoga beginnings I realize that the universe was already leaving me clues as to my intended path. At both the beginning and end of her class she offered an essential oil experience to those who were interested. As intrigued as I have always been in new spiritual experiences I didn’t hesitate. This would be the beginning of my awakening, although it took me many years to see it.
Fast forward a few years to just past my mid-twenties. A couple serious relationships passed as well as some seasons of personal growth. I found that I was struggling to find my true self, as if there were pieces missing. Without warning, my already unsure world was turned upside down. I was driving home after a day of working at Stonewall Kitchen. Somewhere between the York and Wells exit, via phone, I was told by a family friend the type of news that instantly changes the course of ones life. November 11th, 2008 was the day that I was told that the incredible woman who raised me, was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. I believe coincidences are more than they appear, more than they are given credit to be. That day I received teachings from the universe that I sometimes still find inexplicable. November 11th is my parent’s wedding anniversary, and November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. My Mom’s cancer was found earlier than many people find Pancreatic Cancer. However, hers was inoperable. A nine month fight ensued before she left our world. She would never meet my husband or children in this physical world that we know.
Not long after her diagnosis, I moved into my parent’s basement after ending a long term relationship. This season in my life was painful as well as priceless. With my Dad at our side, I was able to dedicate to her the time and attention she needed and deserved. After her passing, I came to realize it would be important for me to seek help with grieving. Like a force of nature I was drawn to search for a therapist, not having any idea where to begin or how to choose. My path was illuminated immediately. It’s like I saw no other option in the white pages other than Dolores. Come to find out, she ran her practice from the basement of her beachfront home. I grew up just past Biddeford pool, spending most of my childhood on the beach. Again with the ‘coincidences’.
Dolores assisted me through the darkest part of my life thus far. I identified with her in many ways. Her love of sea glass was one. I take pride in my collection as I have built it over many years, many hours of solitude with the sounds of the sea. She believed that whenever she walked the beach and found sea glass it was her mother speaking to her. For me, it is a shooting star. Although, a dragonfly landed on me on my wedding day for a photo op, so maybe our loved ones visit us in many ways. However we are open at the time. I saw her for a few years on and off. Along with the talk therapy, she used a technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) on me. It is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories, such as those left with me throughout the process of caring for and losing my Mom. I am not sure where I would be if I had not sought out help, or been blessed enough to find her. The thing that stuck with me the most out of my time spent with her despite the trained talk therapy and processes, was a simple recommendation she was sure of. It was that I needed to practice yoga. At the time, I practiced but not seriously, I was not as dedicated as I am today. I didn’t realize how right she was until more recently.
When I feel my best, I am practicing yoga 4-5 times per week. Only recently taking the training wheels off and self-guiding my practice. Yoga provides an amazing opportunity for self care and support. Meditation and breathing, calming the mind as well as oxygenating the body. Both are some of the fundamentals of providing ourselves with the tools for homeostasis. Dedicating time to yourself where you can work towards goals and see growth. I have made a promise to myself to dedicate time and consistency to my practice. Now supported with essential oils as it was in my early days in addition to goal setting….headstand someday? The choices we make and the paths we take could have unlimited outcomes. Keeping our eyes and intuition open to what the universe has to offer us in signs can send us in the direction of fulfilling our dreams. Are you open?
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