20 June 2015

Guts & Grace

One of the things I've discovered lately is that we can't change people.  

I know there are some people who look at me and my rose coloured glasses and wonder if I ever come out of the clouds.  There are others who see the very serious and introspective part of me that questions things - looking to find a way to use the meaning to grow myself.  I look at the myriad paths and wonder where they will take me, whom I will meet along the way and what will guide me.  

I have been trying to put the focus back on myself alot lately.  I've become a part of the local Moksha hot yoga studio community and I signed up for my first ever Grow Your Yoga - 30 day Challenge.  It was, to say the very least, a very active month! May is usually the City Wide cleanse that annually Dr Natasha puts on for the City of Windsor.  One week of clean eating is the norm but this year I decided to give it a two week effort in addition to going Meatless for the month of May as my personal contribution to the Challenge.  There were many moments after dinner where all I wanted to do really was put on my sweats and curl up with the animals on the couch but instead I changed into my yoga gear and went to class. It was the commitment to this challenge that kept me on track and pushing myself.

I've spent many a minute in shavasna - laying there with my own thoughts, meditating and trying to come to terms with some of the renewed changes in my life.  I've pledged things to myself, I have been kind & forgiving but there were also the moments I have also been hard on myself.  We are our own worst critic at times.  I found myself angry for not remaining true to the promises I made when T & I split up.  That over the past few years, when I finally felt ok to open my heart up again, I wasn't as diligent to ensure it's safe keeping.  I went a bit willy-nilly with it if you will.... It's ironic to me how people can chase after something so hard and then the moment that it is within their grasp they let go and let it fly away.  It's almost as though the chase is the part that is most important to them.  Why must some people always make a game out of loving someone else? I realize again that I am not in control of anyone else's actions but my own.  I can make the promises to myself again to ensure my own well being.

So what did I learn in this 30day GYY Challenge.... 

I am strong. 
I am committed. 
I am open to love.  
I can only control my own actions & reactions.  
I need to let go of what doesn't serve me.  

It's funny how much you can learn about yourself when you take the time to make yourself a priority.  I feel honoured to have become a part of this yoga sangha and to have met so many inspiring people who have walked all paths of life.  I have pushed myself further that I thought I could go.  I have accomplished poses I never thought I could hold.  I can see clearly the improvements physically and mentally.   I think it's important that we all find a way to recognize our own strength because truly it has to come from within.  People will continue to take advantage.  People will play games or try to make you feel unworthy but within ourselves we can know the truth. And in the end, it really is the truth that guides us.  

the balance

I have to start this post with an apology for the onslaught of posts to follow... As I log on to write this I can see the ridiculous number of posts that have been started and never finished.  Thoughts lingering out there in mid-air which I need to finish.  So watch out cyberspace -  you're about to get blown up with my ramblings....  

Ok so I've said it before and I'll believe these words forever... Life truly is a balance of holding on and letting go.  Of people, of places, of emotions - everything.  I've grown to understand that you can't control peoples actions or reactions - you are responsible for your own and that is it my friends! It's hard to keep that in check sometimes - I find that every time I go back to my yoga mat I am breathing through things and trying to let go. Sometimes I lay there and say to myself "inhale gratitude, exhale negativity.  inhale love, exhale negativity.  inhale, exhale" over and over again until I lull myself into a shavasna coma. 

I'm about a week out from my second Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It was another powerful experience recognizing the now angels I was riding for and the current warriors whom I was sending my energy to.  They powered me up those hills climbing the escaprment and they were with me when I wanted to complain about riding in the rain.  That is until I realized that I was going to complain about being out on my bike, feeling rain on my skin, powered by my strong healthy body and alive.  Really? I was going to complain? Wtf Lou give your head a shake.  

Last year I had no clue.  I was under the influence of a lot of Pinot Grigio when I agreed to do the ride and I had no idea what to expect.  I was still under the impression we could stop for ice cream along the route like Angela promised.... At our fundraising dinner I told the story of the young boy last year who wore his "I Beat Cancer" tee beaming with pride and high-fiving us riders as we sped by, cheering out Thank You with his family and friends.  It was that moment, on Day two at probably 150km in, that I knew I would make this an annual trek.  This little fighter whose parents had enough grace to teach him what it meant for these people to be out riding their bikes was there to say thank you.  I choke up now as I just think of it but that day I literally had to pull over to the side of the road to compose myself.  

Some days with just life in general I want to bury my head or run away on vacation and I think of Allie's words "Be Brave".  I wonder if she ever fully knew the impact that thsoe two words would have on this community.  I think in her humble self she didn't fully know the reach of her love and her manifesto on those who she left behind.  I can' truly only hope to honor her life and allow her words to live on.  I can only dream that my life will make an inkling of matter as hers did.  

9 hours on the bike really gives a girl a lot of time to think and appreciate how precious life is.  As hard as it is at times to realize the letting go part of the aforementioned statement, there are moments when doing just that is truly what is best for us.  For our own growth, for our own health.  Our days are truly numbered and precious - why would we ever dare to waste them with hatred in our hearts? What type of honour would that be for those who have become angels already to not live our lives with the best of intentions? I thought about a lot on that ride and of letting go of negative people in order to allow new, positive people into my world.  I had to make room in my heart.  

Crossing that finish line was a blur of both rain and tears in my eyes - so many emotions jumbled together in that sappy ol' heart of mine.  I was proud of myself for this accomplishment - of doing the small bit that I can do in order to raise money and raise awareness and spread Allie's sunshine around! I was honoured to ride for her and for everyone fighting.  We can only do what we can do and this is what I could do.  So as small as it seems sometimes, together the close to 5000 riders made an impact.  We may never conquer cancer in our lifetime but we can slowly & surely kick it's sweet little ass.