Coming up for air

© 2016 Kathryn Neale Studio Geez whiz. Been completely MIA for the past 3 months and now finally feeling like I'm coming up for air. Some wonderful things have been happening and it's fun to sit and reflect over the whirlwind of the past several weeks to notice and say thanks to those wonderful things. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work and feel the sometimes sheer exhaustion of being a mom while trying to do some things for herself.

But to start, would just like to share that I've finished my Yoga Teacher Training two weekends ago from the YogaSix Studio here in St. Louis. YEAH!!! Something I've aspired to and have in the back of my brain for several years now. Even if I don't teach, or teach someday further in the future, it was an amazing experience. And was perfect timing of course.

© 2016 Kathryn Neale - YogaSix Teacher Training 2016

However, even through this experience, it wasn't like everything "fell into place" and all was completely harmonious and smooth sailing. Reflecting back on these months it was, at times, overwhelming. I felt pushed and pulled under like enormous waves were dictating my life. Just to get to the training sessions was always such a struggle. Once I was there of course I was happy to be there and learning what I want to learn about. But it was tough to let go of the motherly guilt of not being around during every weekend and for a full-time working mom, I already have enough guilt in that department not being able to spend every day I could with my little guy. Had to schedule time off work, leave early from work, remember to get food/snacks for every day, try to work around my schedule to make room for required hours outside of those sessions (homework and other classes to take from each studio from certain instructors). Almost didn't make a session because of a nasty snowstorm and with only 2 weekends offered as "breaks," each one either I was sick, my son or my husband was sick. The last week, gearing up for our final Practice Teaching session which is the accumulation of what you've learned over the last 10 weeks, preparing to offer up your very own yoga sequence for an entire 60 minutes, my son got severely sick. I ended up staying up with him through 3 nights before the final session started (Thurs night, Friday all day, Saturday and Sunday all day were the final sessions), instead of being able to practice my teaching sequence. It got rugged. Of course all ended very happily and in spite of it all, I did my very best! I wish I could've given my 100% like some of the other fellow participants.

BUT the rewards were simply awesome. An introduction to the world of yoga, the traditions, the mindsets, the attitudes, the perspective and spiritual foundation that was exactly what I have been yearning for for a long, long time. It fed my soul in ways that I was hoping it would.

Interestingly enough the entire experience was not a complete shock. I didn't have any major epiphany or earth-shattering, life-changing moment, like some of the others shared that they did. Instead, it's been a consistent affirmation of ideas or thoughts that I have learned or been exposed to all these years, a confirmation of my own belief systems and most importantly, a way to structure it that has been missing in my life. I learned new things of course specific to the context of the yogic tradition.

And I feel, like any new and fulfilling, the practice of yoga is not just on the mat but "off the mat." So in that vein, I am leaping into the spring season renewed with a sense of improving my lifestyle, my health choices, my way of living (not just psychically in my space like my studio and/or house, but also feeding my soul spiritually too)! So many times when a person might go through something like this, they might want to throw everything overboard and start new, fresh. I feel like that.

But . . . the most important thing that this entire experience has taught me, is that life is most often not like that. Few people have the privilege, daring or recklessness (depending on how one sees it) to throw everything out and start fresh, a new. And become a brand new person - the person they wish to be. Reflecting now, I see it more like baby steps. It's the baby steps that really do make all the difference in  your life. And to accept where I AM RIGHT NOW. Acceptance is key. It is being honest with yourself, loving yourself and knowing even though you have some ways to go to improve in all areas of your life, you can change today. Everything is change, everything is in flux, it is how we approach each moment that is the key to happiness, fulfilled life perhaps.

Already I'm amazed I even did this and finished it since it literally felt like it dropped in my lap - which is not like me to just do something last minute. Especially now since coordinating and planning around the schedule of a 2 year old is not easy.

I am SO Grateful though that I did accomplish this feat for myself. If anything, it has shown me the path to go to create a self-care plan, to fuel a passion for yoga that I've always wanted to do but never fully committed.

And it has also given me such fantastic ideas for how to teach and blend this into my artwork! Perhaps someday I can make the transition into teaching yoga + art workshops. To bring some of the skillfulness of how a yoga teacher might guide through her class, into an art class/workshop. And to more fully integrate yoga/meditation into my own practice to share with others who might be interested. That's super cool too - something I've always wanted to do and now have the certification to do it! :)

Take a deep breath, be grateful for where you are . . . take a baby step.