Before she came into this world I knew her as a thought, an idea, a dream. A tiny seed of hope, love, beauty that was growing within me.
And then, she became real. Of Substance. A miracle of life wrapped in my arms, wrapped around my heart, embedded deeply within my soul.
Today’s guest blogger is my eldest daughter Alexis and I am delighted to share the wonder and beauty of her spirit here today.
I am part of the sea.
By Alexis McDonald
After four days of being immersed in Wanderlust at Whistler, I wake up the next morning without a mountain view. It didn’t matter. The effects of four days of Wanderlust still linger. There are no Monday blues for this little yogi. Even after discovering I left my wallet in Whistler, I remain oddly zen.
By nature, I am wound up fairly tight. Some might even say, high-strung. I like to get it right the first time, or I don’t do it at all. When I had my first job interview with lululemon, I stretched the truth a little. While I had to practice yoga frequently as part of my university curriculum, the truth was, I hated it. I could think of nothing more excruciating than being relegated to a tiny mat to spend an hour connecting with my body.
I guess the universe was probably trying to tell me something when I got the job and weekly yoga sessions became not only a part of my curriculum, but a job requirement. Ever the perfectionist, I made sure my name was on every sign up sheet at every studio in town. I wish I could tell you I went to all those classes because I loved it, but the truth is; I started going because I wanted to look good. I wanted to fit in with all the bubbly yoginis at my new store, and I thought that if I practiced enough hot yoga and did enough chatarungas, I would transform my body into the perfect version of what I thought I needed to be.
As I listened to a panel of speakers at Wanderlust discuss the path that led them to their practice, I reflected on my own journey to the mat. While I have been going through a myriad of asanas for over 6 years, I don’t think I really knew what yoga was until last October when I entered treatment for an eating disorder. And even then, I didn’t fully comprehend the power of the practice to heal until last week, as I stood on top of a mountain, the sun bathing my body in light, surrounded by the people who have held me up when I didn’t have the strength, did I finally get it.
When I am on my mat, I come back home. I let go of all the things that I am not, so I can simply be who I am. There may be days where I go out into the world, and forget to breathe. Times where I will fail to remember that the woman tearing apart the hoodie table feels shame, and fear and sadness just like me. It is in these moments, that I must go home. Back to the mat, back to the breath, back to the place within me where the whole universe resides.
It is there, on the mat that I am reminded of what is true. There is no place where I stop and you begin. I am, as Marianne Williamson said, just a wave in the ocean, a part of the sea.