start.

“Start now.
Start where you are.
Start with fear.
Start with pain.
Start with doubt.
Start with hands shaking, voice trembling.
But start.
Start and don’t stop.
Start where you are, with what you have.
Just…start.”
-ijeoma umebinyuo

I taught my first yoga class yesterday, and I opened with this quote.

I’ve been sitting here staring at this screen for twenty minutes. What else is there to say? I opened with a quote. And I started. I didn’t stop. And it was beautiful.

So, start.

 

this human being is a guest house.

Last night I dreamed of emotional anguish; my sleeping head was full of terror and suffering. I had come home from British Columbia and kept looking up at the vast blue beautiful sky. I would say, “the sky is so blue today” and someone would respond “no, Shannon, the sky is yellow – it always has been”. I felt so confused why I was viewing things differently than everyone else. I would see a dog and say, “oh, look at that brown dog!” and would immediately be told the dog wasn’t brown, but black. Eventually the people around me in my dream told  me I was schizophrenic and that I needed help.

I was so afraid. I thought I had come so far – why was a suffering yet another mental illness? I kept trying to wake up, kept telling myself it wasn’t real, kept pinching my arm and nothing would happen. I was trapped in this dream with my loved ones telling me I was ill.

I woke up in a panic, gasping for air, tears streaming down my face, sheets soaked in sweat. It was a dream. Thank-you, it was just a dream.

The dream kept re-occurring through the night, and I continued to wake up fighting for breath. It was a sleepless night to say the least.

But what does the dream mean? Maybe it means that I’m not the same person who left six weeks ago, and that now I have a different perspective on life. This doesn’t mean that anyone elses’ perspective is wrong, but mine has shifted. It’s hard to explain. I see the world in a different light. I see more beauty each day, and more kindness in people. I see more hope for the world, and I feel hope for myself. I’m moving further away from the sick girl who cried herself to sleep every night for months, and I’m growing like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. Of course the butterfly will see the world differently than the caterpillar did – she is a different creature now.

The dream was powerful. It rattled me to the core. But there is always another way to look at a situation.

I’d like to leave you with this poem (I might have even posted it before, but it’s one of my favourites!)

The Guest House – A Poem

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi

spinning.

I am spinning tonight – reeling from my arrival home. I’m exhausted and I can’t sleep, hungry and I don’t want food, needing to cry but the tears won’t come. It’s not like any feeling I’ve felt before – it’s not quite sadness – definitely not depression – it’s more of an overwhelmed feeling. I am truly speechless, and a little lost.

What now? Now that I’ve spent 30 days with 60 fellow yogis surrounded by endless positivity and support, how to I come back to this town and just be?

I am not returning the as the same girl who left six weeks ago. So how do I change my life to incorporate everything I have soaked in in the last month? Does it happen over night? Will I feel better in the morning?

Time will tell.

Goodnight sweet readers. Thank you for following my journey. You mean the world to me.

just a dream.

An apparition that appeared when needed most

A sign from the universe; a gift

An oasis seen in the dry desert when you’re deprived of a most basic need

His soul called to mine as if they were old friends

Lovers in a past life

Together for eternity, plus a day

The touch was electric

A fire started, melted their hearts together

White hot energy

A love not just felt in the heart, but from the toes to the skull, flushing the cheeks, straining the chest, taking away breath

But his breath feeds air back into my lungs and he brings me back to life

A small moment in time

A blip on the scale of being

But they would be together again

Man of her dreams

And then she woke up.

the beautiful people.

How is it possible that I fell madly in love with 56 perfect strangers in just 30 days? I’m talking head over heels, hand you my heart, aching chest kind of love. Love that travels deep into ever fibre of my being and makes my chest swell so much I feel like I can’t breathe for a second and I want to jump up and down and yell at the top of my lungs how much I love these people.

56 strangers. 30 days.

This training was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Reaching deep inside myself every day to find strength to get through another day. But these strangers slowly become friends, and all of a sudden you blink and it’s as if you had known them your entire life. Each unique soul had something to offer. A gift of light and love, vulnerability, humility, and humbleness.

Thank you to my community, my sangha. I will hold a peice of each of you inside my heart for my lifetime and beyond. Thank you for breathing with me, crying with me, and showing me the kind of support that has renewed my faith in humanity.

I am ready to take on the world. Because I know now that every single human I meet has a heart of gold, just like these 56 strangers do. With each new person that crosses my path, I vow to show them compassion and love, as has been shown to me.

Let’s make the world a better place. Starting with us, the beautiful people.