When I came to Kripalu I had in mind a year of singledom – the chance to asceticize my experience (albeit) in a very physical way. I would go it alone – freed from the possibilities of romantic involvement and more blatantly, freed from the physicality of lust. Well, that was my plan anyway…
Dating has often distracted me from forming a solid foundation in my life – something of a sustainable practice that can support me in whatever storm of life I find myself. Though I consistently make this my intention, inevitably I find myself conforming to the systems my then-partner has developed, trying to ease my way into the integration of our lives by fitting myself seamlessly into his–his interests, his friends, his future. Though this works to an extent, I think I’m never fully myself in the relationship. This is not to cast blame on my partner in any way–it is always my choice (though usually a choice made unconsciously).
So…here was my chance to eliminate the dating distraction. I could focus on building the sustainable foundation I always yearned for and in a most supportive environment. Here was everything I’d need: a consistent routine, healthy food, daily yoga, nature, community, space. Oh ya, and one more thing…a certain someone who my took breath (and with it my conscious intention) away. Of course.
At first I felt sort of betrayed by the Universe. How could this happen when I had clearly set my intention to live without this distraction ? In the end, I had to face how primatively perfect it all was. The situation forced me to uncover what was really at the core of my pain. What a perfect storm is turned out to be indeed!
My focus turned to working with the feelings that came up for me – the desire to be noticed, to be liked, to be desired.
First inquiry: what in me needs to be validated?
I don’t know that I ever fully answered this question. More importantly it led me to recognize that I had not at all been self-validating. I was constantly searching outward for the signs that I was attractive, smart, and lovable. Through his eyes, I would see in myself all three. So I yearned and yearned for this lover all the while ignoring the innate ability to self-soothe. I was missing that only person who could love me unconditionally, was… me.
Fast forward to present. Having just completed the yoga teacher training I have spent hours upon hours breathing into my lungs, my cells, my intentions, my soul – flexing my muscles, my heart, my spirit and I know without a speck of doubt that I am beautiful, intelligent, and divine. No doubt. There are moments I forget but I am quicker to remember now. Momentarily distracted, I soon find center.
The best part? The guy no longer matters. He’s not the focus, the reason. He’s addendum material. A helpful compass when I need one. But the true North is always within. I just have to close my eyes and breathe…