Staying True to the New You!

July 8, 2014

In the past few years I have changed… a lot. Somehow I have gone from not quite fitting in to finding a place to thrive. I was always on the edge, but never really found MY place until a few years ago through yoga. The funny thing is, once I found yoga I knew instantly…. just as with my husband, I knew right away in that creepy and beautiful way that the soul just speaks to you to let you know you have arrived. Something was just so DIFFERENT.

In the past I had tried so many things: horseback riding, ice skating, journalism, teaching elementary school, softball, volleyball, choir, dance and theater. Theater was really IT for me for a long time and in fact, my undergraduate degree is in theater and I don’t regret it for one second. It is one of my first loves. But as I said, I was always on the edge… that is, until I found yoga.

Yoga for me wasn’t a lifestyle right away. It was a set of poses and a twice weekly activity I did to stay fit. I needed an escape from work, so I started to work at Lululemon in my free afternoons and although I loved it and wanted to fit in right away, I wasn’t ready. I was beginning to look the part and dress in yoga clothes… I was starting to learn a few off the mat lessons… and I had even tried a wheatgrass shot this one time with my friend Ashley on a late March afternoon in Boston.

 But it wasn’t until I finally said yes and surrendered into yoga that I finally started to embrace the yoga lifestyle. I started teaching, taking care of my body, loving myself and pushing myself harder than ever before. When I realized I could make a career of yoga, I told my husband that I have never felt so light up before. I have never wanted to continue learning like this, to keep pushing myself and learning as much as I could, to delve as deeply into this one subject as I possibly could FOREVER.

I started to become a bit of a boho babe & modern hippie, loving every moment of it. I wore mala bead, started wearing yoga pants more than was socially acceptable and in conversations I would regularly refer to “the divine” or the yoga sutras.

All of this was happening over the course of a few years and I was beginning to see a pattern. I would get really excited about something in yoga and come home to tell Karthik. I would then integrate it into my daily life and when I went home to see my family I would pretend that this “thing” that happened didn’t exist. I wouldn’t let on to just how excited I was about last nights chanting festival, or the beautiful lights and vision I had during a crystal bowl ceremony. And to tell them about the time I spoke to a medium and heard from my Nana? Forget about it.

I was really OWNING being a yogi and had finally found my spot in the world but when it came to my family I couldn’t come out of the closet just yet. {Don’t worry I am fully yogi to them by this point!}

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A friend of mine recently asked me about this exact conundrum. She was on her way home to a family & friends get together over the holiday weekend and wanted to know how to keep her integrity in place while remaining the fun loving friend she always has been. “How do I let them see the new me without overwhelming them or having them poke fun at my new lifestyle?” she asked. And what a GREAT question that was!

Here are three quick suggestions I gave to her and have given myself over the years:

1)    Let it GO!

Just like Elza in Frozen, remember to LET IT GO! People all around you will always have their own opinions and you need to let the gossip and chatter go. This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned in the past few years. Let yourself surrender to this new lifestyle. You KNOW it is good for you, you know what makes your body feel good in terms of food and language and movement. You can feel the difference when you whisper sweet nothings in your own ears and when you harshly beat yourself up. You KNOW you feel better after yoga or a walk on the beach. You can heal yourself from the inside out and you have the tools. Surrender to this knowledge. Know that you are on the right path, even if your little brother thinks energy healing can be replaced with beer. They make poke fun but this is the perfect opportunity to practice patience and love and to surrender to your new lifestyle. Wherever you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be and it’s PERFECT.

 2)    Forgive yourself

Forgiving yourself is one of the hardest things we need to do, especially around family. There will be moments when you will slip into “the old you” and do something you know is terrible for your body. Slipping into an old pattern with your family isn’t the worst thing in the world. Once you notice yourself doing so, surrender and come back to your true self. A new lifestyle often takes years, so allow yourself the leeway while you’re home and be okay with where you are on your path.

3)    Bring physical encouragement

Whether you’re a new yogi or have suddenly become aware of your heavy metal obsession, bring a piece of your new world with you on vacation. I personally always travel with a hunk of rose quartz in my purse and carry my favorite mala beads with me wherever I go. I also bring essential oils such as lemon to stay hydrated and remember to drink lots of water! As a new heavy metal lover, perhaps you bring your favorite CD and have your family or friends listen to one of your favorite new songs. Whatever your new lifestyle entails, bring along physical encouragement as a grounding reminder.

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Our families are our roots, whether we want them to be or not. Allow yourself to be fully YOU while you’re visiting family on vacation this summer. And remember, the full you is a mixture of where you came from and person you are becoming. Continue on your new path wherever you are and stay true to the new you.

Sending you LOTS of love & light filled encouragement.
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Namaste
Jenny

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