finding myself in the midst of grief

It’s official, I am a certified yoga instructor.

It all started a few years ago when I began my practice seeking peace in the chaos of caregiving. It was an attempt to do something physical and regain some flexibility I lost when I quit dancing.

I danced all the way from middle school through college, even teaching dance before Jayden was born. But then life happened. I made lots of excuses (some that made sense) for laying down this part of me.

I allowed the dancer in me to atrophy.

When J and B passed, it felt like a bomb went off and I have been standing at ground zero trying to know where to go from here.

“Am I breathing?” Yes. Barely.

“Am I hurt?” Yes, but I fear you can’t see it, so I say no. There is no place to point to, it just— hurts.

My ears are ringing as I survey the damage. It’s as if I am the only one moving in slow motion.

Someone asks, “Are you OK?” I don’t know how to answer. I am. I am not. I am here, my children are not. Not physically, anyway. How do I move from this place?

Every so faintly, my soul whispers: with.

“Where do I go from here?” Nowhere. It’s all right here. I start still.

Movement begins with my breath.

Slowly.

Deeply.

From the center of the chaos.

I am aware of my breath.

 

Next, I become aware of my foundation. In yoga, that’s the mat. Peace on my mat. Peace in my practice. I showed up broken and that is enough. I don’t have to be anything I am not. I close my eyes.  I don’t run. I sit in it. I weep. And it is here, in the stillness I find myself.

Here. I. Am.

My body asks to move. I listen. My body experiences the physical sensation of pain. It hurts. There it is. I can finally point to it. It feels good to hurt because I can breathe through it.  It should hurt and that makes sense to me.

I begin to recognize I am stronger the more I practice.

It is here, on the mat, He meets me. In Him I live and move and have my being. I am His beloved daughter. I humbly receive His love. He sees my pain and meets me though my movement. He strengthens me in the waiting. He dwells within and He is my foundation.

Everyday, returning to my mat, returning to my awareness of His presence.

Like yoga, faith is a practice.

A process.

An invitation.

In January, I asked Tanner (Justin’s cousin who came home to open Homeroots Cross Fit gym) if he would help me get stronger on one condition, I wouldn’t get big muscles. He chuckled. That wouldn’t happen with 15 lb weights twice a week, he told me. I thought I’d last 2 weeks, I mean, I am a yogi not a strong CrossFit gal. But I kept showing up, meeting my pain in new ways- aggressive and exhausting-pushing me to new edges-and discovering yet again, it is in my weakness I am becoming strong.

It’s never been about the physical appearance of my body. It’s been about cultivating my spiritual journey-mind, body, spirit, and soul. So when I heard there was a yoga training instructor training taught from a Biblical world-view, coming to my hometown of all places, I said yes. Eight days. 16 hours a day. 100 hours of online work. And that’s where I have been the last week.

I wanted to add this to my toolbox because as I have been living the questions, cracking open in the dark, doing my work, I have finally figured out what I have been called to do: I am a guide. I have been purposed by God to create and hold space for people to be with God, whether that’s through spiritual direction, Bible study, speaking, writing, or yoga-big groups, small groups or 1:1.  I create space for people to do their own work, in their own practice of faith. It’s what I was made to do. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s just all coming together so clearly for me now. I know-maybe for the first time in my life-who I am. I am His beloved. I am becoming. I find myself and God in my practice, on and off the mat.

And it is good.