I had been running on autopilot for a long time.
I mean, autopilot brought me to amazing places.
At the age of 27, I had crossed the finish line of 17 full marathons, 3 half Ironman, and one full Ironman.
I pocketed a BCom from McGill, a Masters from the Ivey Business School.
I worked in Rome and Saudi Arabia, and when came time to find a “real” job, I never truly struggled.
I managed to buy a place in Toronto, and my family is so supportive.
I have been in a beautiful and loving relationship for the last 5 and a half years.
Then some personal stuff happened.
My heart started hurting.
I felt dark.
I felt empty.
I’m so grateful for everything I’ve been able to achieve and all the support I’ve had my entire life. So when things got dark, the feelings of guilt amplified.
One day it got so bad, I went back to something I used to do all the time: writing.
Once upon a time, I did write. I got afraid though. Afraid because my voice is so vulnerable. I felt judged. Some people actually did judge me, and poked fun at my realness. I felt weak. I stopped for years. Until I had an intense nudge that brought me to open my laptop and my vulnerable and raw voice spilled.
I was starting to feel better, but it was just a start. I felt like I was meant to do more.
I serendipitously stumbled into meditation. I logged onto Facebook, and the first thing that pops up on my feed is a commercial for this meditation studio called Hoame. They had a promo that was 50% off for an annual membership.
F*ck it. I was going to get a membership and start meditating. I never thought I would meditate, didn’t really know the benefits. It just seemed right, and I took it as a sign.
I started going every day. The first times, my thoughts were just racing through my brain. It didn’t feel like I was doing anything other than napping or thinking about my to do list. Eventually I learned to not let the emotions of my to do list impact me.
I felt a change. I felt better. But it was so easy to fall back into old habits.
A couple of months ago — on International Women’s Day actually — I found my way to my mat. My edges softened. My perspective softened. I felt like an entirely new different person.
I felt this burning sensation in my heart — as if it was coming back to life.
My smile felt sincere again.
I was in tune with my emotions again.
I felt empowered to be vulnerable, to grow and to transform — which is the essence of yoga.
About a month into serious practice, I decided to apply to yoga teacher training. I was convinced I wouldn’t get in — I was too new, I was a runner, a triathlete, I had a full-time job, they wouldn’t see potential in me.
I applied anyways. Yoga was teaching me something that I wanted to master and teach others. That was my service.
I was accepted into the program the next morning.
I’m still new to yoga, but everything is flowing in me so easily. It feels like this is my purpose, and this is how I am meant to serve.
This is how I am meant to empower people. Remind them that it’s not about perfecting the postures.
It’s about finding yourself.
It’s about owning your movements.
It’s about getting out of your head.
I’m so grateful I found my mat. Finding my mat allowed me to find myself, and I can’t wait to help others find theirs.