Last year, life was a hell of a lot different. Last year, I started a post with “deep breaths“. This year, I am so aware of how this has become my journey:
I am in a ‘facing up to things’ type of life. It only makes sense that my practice in yoga follows this shift. For the first time unassisted I was able to get into full Royal Pigeon pose. It’s centimeter by centimeter breathing in and letting go, melting into a difficult pose. This pose, this asana, involves a backbend, a hip opener, and opening up your chest and shoulders. And so with each backbend, I hang onto this teaching:
Backbends take us into our future. As they open our heart, we begin to forgive others and let go of seeing ourselves as victims. We can through forgiveness dissolve the hurts that have kept us from our true nature, which is love. It is not possible to simultaneously play the victim and be a realized enlightened being. The choice is ours. With practice, we develop tremendous strength that enables us to move forward in life with a sense of adventure, fearlessly, with joy, confidence, compassion and love—the path to enlightenment. via Jivamukti Yoga
That’s it. That’s the realization that I am a victim no longer. There’s that joy that is just aching to be let out. I can be free to be real, without the burden of a victim label.
It’s been two months since I landed back in Canada.
I have the overwhelming feeling that this life isn’t as easy of a fit anymore.
I was walking through the suburbs of my childhood, getting lost in a place that was my home for years. And the incongruities between my two lives hit me: no fences or barbed wire allows me to see right into people’s homes as I pass. As I walk on the perfectly formed sidewalks, across the pedestrian crossings, I don’t get stared at or followed, and cars stop and wait for my leisurely crossing. Basically, walking through a neighborhood is easy: pedestrian crossings, perfectly formed sidewalks, dogs on a leash type of easy. I am not dodging mobs of dogs, or rubbish thrown on the side, rather I am consumed by the smell of freshly cut grass as it lingers in the air.
My brain hurts from the constant comparisons – honestly, walks here are far less interesting.
And so I start to wallow as I try to find healing and a sense of purpose. It’s that allusive glimmer of hope that I will eventually feel whole again. But I am taking baby steps in finding what is next. Each decision that I make, I first ask the question: will it make me happy?
And so, instead of pursuing a job in Oil and Gas or in another volunteering capacity, I took a job at Starbucks.
My new job as a barista continues to make me feel unsure of what I expect out of life. But there is something beautiful in providing a coffee and a smile. That’s it. That’s all I am responsible for. No newbie arriving from America and needing to be held through the process of orientation and cultural fit. No drunk mechanic requiring constant supervision and a development plan. It’s just coffee.
I needed this job. I am so burnt out from nearly four years of caring too much, and near the end feeling constantly unsafe and scared.
And so back in Canada my days are filled with learning the basics of a coffee shop, sun tanning, day drinking and learning how to be with a man who actually is decent and cares for me (something I have never allowed myself before).
I have decided my only mission this summer is to fall in love with life – here in Canada.