I used to say to myself when I was younger that I would be the last of my friends to get married and settle down -like I had this sixth sense that it would be so. And guess what – it came true! Now I don’t believe I am psychic as a result of this prediction, I do, however, believe I orchestrated this single state of affairs.
Before you start to tut or feel sorry for me, I am happy being single. I have the time to do what I want for me, whenever I choose (subject to the odd requests of the parentals as I reside with them). I am excited by my life, for me, each day. As a result of my lack of responsibility to others (partners, children, mortgagees) I was able to leave my job last year and take 6 months of total uninterrupted me time and explore a small part of this extraordinary world. It would not have been as easy to do this had I been leaving someone special behind and for the first time in a long time I was grateful for being single.
The real adventure for me happened in India. The 200 hours yoga teaching training qualification is intense. Not only are you learning anatomy, philosophy, history, how to teach, how to assist, how to present, you are also under ashram rules of silence from 9pm-9am, no wifi, no meat, no alcohol, strict timetables for meals accompanied with obligatory 5:00AM meditation. By the second week you are teaching yoga to your peers, studying the Yoga Sutras and cramming for an exam. And if this wasn’t enough, we had a yoga class each morning with my Guru, Vishva-ji, and he would teach a variety of classes including Kundalini yoga. Kundalini yoga is the serious sh!t. I’m pretty sure it could break anyone. This is a type of yoga which seeks to raise the Kundalini (serpent) energy that resides within each of us at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga uses mantra and postures related to each chakra (there are 7 main chakras working up the spine from the pelvic floor to your crown) in your subtle energy body starting to engage with any blockages there. And I’m not talking about constipation. Myself and many others experienced intense emotional upset and release.
Before I went to the ashram for teacher training, a dear friend of mine said to me – “let yourself cry, let it all out”. She had not known me for long but could tell that I was carrying the weight of lost loves, lost opportunities and the loss of loving life. That I kept it in, kept it held back. I was strong. I was ok.
Well I shed a Ganges full of tears in India and found strength in my vulnerability. I continue to work on myself with my practice and my studies and I have been reading about how deficiencies or excesses of energy held at the chakras manifest. The second chakra – swadhistana – is our centre of movement and creativity associated with our reproductive organs and our sexuality. It is our right to pleasure. For me, my deficiencies here come back to low self-esteem and self-worth and the denial of pleasure. I did not connect to my body or respect my body for decades. I spent my teenage years drawing up lists of what was physically wrong with me. In my 20’s I sought out exercise and diets to slim my shape and attain self-worth through pushing and punishing my body. At one point in time I lived on cottage cheese and ham. I still recall the look of mortification on a friend’s face as I popped open a packet of ham one lunchtime at work!
(Mum and Dad stop reading here) I have slept with men too soon, slept with men without trust, but also shared some special moments. I have not however, really ‘let go’ in a relationship, I have not ever really trusted a man not to hurt me or let me down and that’s because I never thought I was good enough for them, because I never thought I was good enough for me.
During my travels, I hung out and flirted with the odd young man but there was no whirlwind romance ending with Javier Bardem and I sailing away. Shame. I did, however, have a love affair with myself (don’t get smutty) and I realised that I had been denying myself pleasure, love, a shared life because I didn’t think I was worthy, and that led me to picking unsuitable men (too young, too arrogant, too into other men!), or pursuing unlikely avenues (like long distance to New Zealand. From London!).
I had always expected true love, my soul mate, would save me (I blame Disney to a small degree), to give me a life. Instead, I woke up and got one for myself. It’s a slow and never ending learning process of unravelling layers of your own nonsense but I shall endeavour to be open to the men I meet who are open to me, to stop putting barriers in front of my heart, to let myself trust and truly let someone get to know me. Because actually, I am pretty awesome.