Guest post by Yogasteya blogger April Eckwielen
It has been a while since I have submitted anything to the blogs I regularly write for. I have had it in the back of my mind that I needed to write again, but my heart and head were just not in it. Why do you ask? Well…I was stuck.
For the past few months, and even before that, I have been dealing with a bunch of internal turmoil. Ego has decided to take over and run a marathon (repeatedly) in my head causing tremendous guilt, self-doubt and sadness. I stopped going to my mat, giving up on my practice. This was all due to the battle I was having with myself in my mind.
My days consisted of constantly telling myself all of the things I did wrong and the things I don’t do that I should be doing. Mixed in was doubting my yoga teaching skills and if I should even call myself an instructor because I wasn’t as successful, wasn’t doing what others did, didn’t have a following etc. Day after day all of this negative ego filled self-talk sent me on a downward spiral. I hit the proverbial rock bottom. I was stuck in the mud and could not see a way out. I waved my white surrender flag and settled that this was how things were going to have to be and I just had to accept it. Then, I received a message.
One day, a friend of mine gently nudged me and wanted to know what was up. She had seen my struggles and was reaching out. We decided to meet for lunch to catch up and figure out why I was stuck. After our conversation over some yummy food, I got in the car and realized I needed to change. The conversation we had left me with a lump in my throat and I knew I needed to get out of this mud and begin to bloom. I needed to get out of this head of mine and put out into the world what it was I really wanted and not be scared to do so.
I have come to understand that the universe likes to speak to me in subtle ways, some I don’t get and then it likes to shout at me (and I still sometimes don’t get it). It usually takes a bit for things to really sink in. A few weeks after our lunch meeting, I was in a local bookstore and I happen to walk by a shelf and take a quick glance. I immediately picked up the first book my eyes fell on. It was No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh. I held the book in my hand and then drew it up to my heart, knowing I needed to read this book. I was in the mud and I needed to allow my lotus to bloom. I felt a gentle shift. I was ready to take care of me.
Since then, I have been slowly making changes. With baby steps, I am coming out of the mud and letting my lotus begin to grow and bloom. I have started to take dedicated time for me. I am figuring out how I can get back on my mat, as a student not teacher, and have that much needed energy restored. I am going to workshops and gatherings that make my heart happy and surround me with like- minded people. I took a big leap and scheduled myself for a yoga retreat this summer in the Georgia Mountains. I am grateful for the classes I get to teach, whether I have 1 student or 10. I am also getting back into Reiki and tapping into my potential and in the same time allowing myself to open up.
With all of this that I am doing, the mud doesn’t seem as thick anymore. I know that this will not happen overnight. I know I will have set backs and that is ok. I have my tribe who is helping me and guiding me on this journey. The lotus needs the mud in able for it to grow into the beautiful flower it is. I too, need the mud so I can face my struggles, learn from them and grow to become who I am destined to be. With guidance and belief in myself, my lotus will bloom.
April is a unique gal whose passions include yoga, writing, energy work and the occasional pin up convention. On this fantastic life journey, she has her husband and two children cheering her on. She is a 200 hr. certified yoga teacher, certified prenatal yoga teacher and Curvy Yoga certified. She focuses on balancing the chakras through yoga and meditation. Her passion is educating her community that yoga is for everyone regardless of body type or ability. She has recently opened her own mobile yoga business, Red Lotus Yoga in Winter Garden, FL. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on her website at www.redlotusyogafl.com.