Find a Place where the Truth can Happen
I felt uncomfortable for so long when I first came out of the bush after treeplanting. It changed me in so many ways, and it just keeps unfolding everyday. I felt ready to come back and participate in society again, but when I arrived I had intense culture shock. I was having anxiety from all the concrete, the traffic, and the general fast-pace of a big city. I was also missing community in a bad way. I have a tribe in Montreal, but it’s not the same. In the bush, you live and work with the same people for two months, and then suddenly you don’t get to see them anymore.
I sought refuge in green spaces and near water; sometimes I would go to the mountain. And it was perfect- I would put on my headphones and just peace out, into my own world, close to nature. But I also felt uneasy. Alone in my way, it seemed like there was no one around who understood me. But mostly, I didn’t understand me. Still, there was something so charming about the solitude. So I kept doing it.
I was cut off from my phone and social media for a better part of the summer, so when I got back on the grid I went bananas. Now it grosses me out- sometimes I would find myself sitting in a park, like a zombie on facebook or instagram with my phone, probably missing something adorable in the moment. So I started leaving the house without my phone, because lets face it, when I had it I was an addict.
It was really uncomfortable at first. When I saw something neat, like a reflex I would reach into my bag to find no phone to insta. I couldn’t destroy the lovely moment with a picture or a video. I was surprised that it came as a huge relief! I started going for longer bike rides, outdoor yoga practices, and solo brunches. I started to really see how much time gets wasted and lost when we’re glued to a screen.
I felt empty at first, frustrated, and bored with my life. But the more time I spent by myself, and I’m talking real quality alone time, I slowly started to fill up again. I woke up to what was happening around me. And when I reopened my eyes to see all the funny small things that happen every damn beautiful day, I started to feel more at peace and relaxed with myself.
Love for oneself. Holy crap, this is HUGE. Because, no matter what you do, how many people you surround yourself with, friends, family, lovers, kids, animals… In the end, it’s just you. It sounds dark, but we’re alllllll alone. At a recent yoga training, my teacher Baron Baptiste said “no matter where you run to, there you are. You’re the person you have to live with. So you’d better work on liking that person.” It can be really uncomfortable, too- sitting with yourself and all your self-judgments. Don’t worry though, it gets old fast. Soon you’ll start to enjoy being by yourself.
All you have to do is spend some time alone, free of distractions- go sit in a park with a book, take yourself out to lunch, or go to a show. Without your phone or computer or smart device of any sort. It’ll be scary at first- you might feel bored, or anxious. Sit with those feelings and start to ask yourself why you have those feelings…
When you begin to spend more time out sans smartphone, you’ll find yourself looking at people more. Start making eye contact; start building community… it’s something we’re seriously lacking. Get comfortable talking to homeless people, look at them- they exist! And they appreciate being seen. I get a huge kick out of the brief, random encounters with people I don’t know during the day. It could be anyone- the squeegee kid, the bus driver, or the lady with her two kids at the park. Smile at them, you’ll feel happier and they will too. You have no idea how you land on people, so be friendly, loving, and kind. Throw the fear out the window and look around!!
When we spend time alone, I believe we build character. When we can soften into who we are, we have so much more to offer the people we love. I’m not hiding anymore; I gave up caring about what people think or might judge. Because it’s nothing personal when someone judges me for whatever reason. It doesn’t affect me in any way; save the drama save your energy, it’s just not worth it. And when you give yourself the time of day, you’ll naturally start to feel more creative. Because you’re getting in touch with Your Truth more often.
I’m so proud of myself for finally growing into a regular home yoga practice. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, but like anything that takes discipline, I was having a hard time staying committed. And it’s because I went to a place where there was no one to make me do my practice. It got lost for a while; but I knew it was always in there, waiting to come out.
Now it’s more fluid and creative than it’s ever been. This probably wouldn’t have happened if I stayed in the city. It’s too easy to keep the comfortable routine going, hitting the same sessions with the same teachers every week, day after day. There’s certainly something about having a teacher take care of you and tell you what to do. It was hard, because at first when you practice at home, you have to think- about what you’re going to do, what the focus will be, what the intention is. However the more you solo-yoga, like anything, the more natural it becomes. I no longer need a plan; I just listen to my breath and move to where my body feels like going. I surrender and trust that I’ll move to where I need to be in that moment.
This is my truth. When you let yours come out, you’ll find life is much more fun. There’s no need to fake anything. Stop taking everything so personally, save the drama and drink up every beautiful day with lots of laughter and tons of love! And leave your effin smart device at home for a change.