Today I woke up disappointed. I was disappointed in the weather for bringing rain and overcast skies. I was disappointed I'd be going alone to something I'd once been so excited to do. I was disappointed in myself for hoping today would be cancelled.
I found myself driving to the riverfront with a completely negative outlook, grumpy at all of the things that haven't gone right or wishing for the sun to come out, only to complain again when it was too warm. I couldn't find balance. I couldn't rid my head of cluttered thoughts. I continually found myself stuck on even the most mundane of things and all of the happenstances I felt I had no control over. I was lost. But then everything changed.
I'd been interested in yoga back around junior high but I had never pursued it as an active component of my life. I'd only followed along with discounted clearance yoga dvd's or read books of poses, only to look at the pictures. In all honesty, I'd never taken it seriously. Sure, it would make me feel good whenever I did it, but I never understood the truer, deeper meaning to all of it and I'd never cared enough to try to look further.
The new start of this year was trying and hard and I couldn't handle much of what had happened. I decided I would take a restorative yoga class at Karma Tribe Yoga and it had completely reset my soul. I'd been awakened again. Something had changed. I cried when the class was over, for I felt a complete release of everything I'd been carrying, without even realizing the effect it had had on me for so long. I realized the importance of yoga and mindfulness in my life.
May you be filled with love and kindness.
May you be patient and courageous.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
I'd done the Wanderlust mindful triathalon just one year ago, and I remembered its impact, which is what prompted me to do it again. It's a 5K run/walk, followed by 75 minutes of yoga, and finished with 30 minutes of meditation, and now that I've done it twice, I realize the significance of each and every part. To be mindful, you must be aware. You must be aware of every breath you take, every thought you carry, and every struggle you face. You must accept the strength inside of you and the power you have to overcome.
The rain had slowed, the sky still grey, and I stood at the starting line, surrounded by hundreds of other people with the same intention: to finish. It didn't matter how long it would take or how "well" it'd be done. The point was that it was done. 3 miles is 3 miles, no matter what. I looked around to find everyone of different paths - different ages, heights, weights, levels - and knew I was in the right place. I was exactly where I belong.
As we started moving, I felt my legs carry me not only forward, but they continued to push me further than I'd ever expected. I found myself actually jogging at a steady pace, extending each leg out with a new stride, each step further than the last. I took in each moment and quickly realized I wasn't in pain. My body wasn't aching. My muscles weren't crying. My body was strong and much more capable than I had given it credit. The only downfall were the lingering touches of the cold I've been trying to overcome for the last couple weeks, so my breathing wasn't as complete as it should've been, but the more awareness I had, the more control and the stronger I felt. I kept going.
We rounded the final curve of the course, the DJ echoing from the speakers ahead with praise for those who'd finished, and I'd decided I would run across the finish line. Again, I told myself, it doesn't matter how you did it, just as long as you did. And I did. I'd done it. I'd finished my first 5K in who knows how long and I felt absolutely amazing. I felt like I could've ran across the Bond bridge and up I-35 and head towards the open road, Forrest Gump-style.
Everything seemed to click. All of the thoughts I'd started the day with were no longer present and I had replaced any negativity and doubt with a sense of hope and understanding. Mindfulness. As I ran, I was mindful of everything: the birds chirping in the trees with the drops of freshly fallen rain on its leaves, the mechanics of my body propelling me forward with each stride, the oxygen in my lungs as my chest expanded with each breath. I'd realized that I was in control and all I'd needed was me. I didn't need fancy equipment or a set amount of time or even a destination. All I needed was a path before me and the energy and mindset to keep going.
I can't quite find the words to explain all that today had done for me. I'd realized the strengths of my own body that were already there, they just hadn't been awakened yet. I'd reignited the fire within me to find the connection between mind, body, and soul and maintain that balance, to keep that fire alive. I know some people believe yoga, essential oils, vitamins, meditation, tarot, and spirituality are complete and utter ridiculousness, and I'll be completely honest and say that I once agreed. I'd been pushed to a point that I needed saving, and I could only save myself. I didn't realize that all of those things were powerful enough to help me, give me clarity, and reassurance to continue this path.
I've found what works best for me and though it may not be for everyone, I realized today that everyone needs something that brings so much value to life, so much awareness and understanding to your mind, body, and soul. Some people dance, play music, paint, run, or even think outside the box, but it's whatever makes your soul happy that's worth pursuing and working to maintain that importance in your life. Making the inner workings of you an absolute priority at all times. To keep yourself in line with your center and in tune with your inner voice.
Wanderlust 108 was an incredible experience and I highly recommend to anyone who's interested in yoga and even if not, trying something new to broaden your horizons. To learn more of Wanderlust, visit https://wanderlust.com and find what works best for you. Find your true north.