Updated: Oct 6, 2019
For starters, I would hate to start off this blog post with a cliche phrase like, "when I was a little girl", even though I once was a little girl, referring to the past with that phrase does not seem to fit my point that I want to get across.
So, let's figure out a different way to start this post.
Dreams have always made such vivid sense to me.
The dreams that you have when you're sleeping, the ones that not everyone remembers when they wake up in the morning. I understood. I always understood.
It may sound weird, but in a sense I connected more with my dreams that I did reality.
And I say this with a very important point.
Sometimes we have to dream to see reality.
Sometimes reality is not clear until our dreams are.
Now, this post has nothing to do with dreams, (or at least that is not what I planned for it to be about) but just like I did not always know where my dreams would take me, I have no idea where this post might be going.
I want to explain my recovery and the power that yoga has on recovery, and bare with me because dreams just seem to keep popping up in my mind. (so we'll just go with it)
It has taken me sometime to try to figure out why dreams, why dreams??
Now, to me, yoga is honestly one of my best dreams at the moment. My best reality dream. ;)
Because yoga is so real. Yoga is so freaking real.
Because no matter the feelings that life contains, yoga always takes all of the pain away. I never leave a class feeling dissatisfied or discouraged. I never feel like I did something wrong or have regrets for taking a class.
For the longest time, my eating disorder recovery never felt as good or real as a dream, because it never seemed to make any sense.
It all started in 2013; seeing myself in a way that I never thought to see myself. I started to doubt myself, and the body I was in, and the food that I was eating.
Remembering how fast my body started to disappear, and how quickly my mind was disintegrating, gives me an awestruck feeling of overwhelming pain.
My mind was full of comparison. Picking and poking at my food because the person next to me wasn't even eating.
Always feeling the need to be reassured with what I did by someone around me.
I overthought EVERYTHING. I mean everything. Everything was a big deal to me, and there was always a reason to have anxiety about it.
I worried ALL of the time. About the CRAZIEST THINGS.
I was unsettled, I was full of turmoil, I was scared, and I felt so alone.
I tell you all of these things because in eating disorder recovery, many of these things don't ever seem to get mentioned.
I feel like when you hear about eating disorder recovery, you only hear about the thoughts around food and body image.
But not many people talk about the real reason eating disorders develop in the first place.
Reversing thoughts that you have thought for an extended period of time isn't something you can learn in a day.
For many years, I have been reversing the thoughts that flooded my mind when I was in my illness, and still to this day I have thoughts that need reversing.
So, how did I start?
Well, we can go textbook style, read a few pages of a book, fill in a few lines, say we did it, and move on... ORRRRR... We can actually dive into real life stuff with real life work, feel real life pain, and make a real big difference and move FORWARD.
I love reading and writing, don't get my wrong, and many workbooks along with what I am about to tell you is key to reversing an eating disorder.
Another thing that I wanted to mention that just proves eating disorders are not all about food and body image is that I actually never remember looking at myself in a mirror that often. It is not that I was consumed with the way that I looked, but the way that I felt. I am a big feeler, and in some way I wanted to feel alone and shaken so that I never had to be someone to somebody and have to feel steady enough to hold them up. Not eating was my control. Not eating was the only way I could separate myself from a crowd of people who did everything in unison.
I had always done yoga, when I was little I remember going with my mom to her yoga classes, stretching, bending, laughing, falling, getting back up, and doing it again.
But it was not until after three times in treatment and 10 years later that yoga became a home for my body.
I vividly remember the class that I took that still to this day has me shaken.
Not because it was hard, but because of the tension that was being released.
The freeing moment of seeing the long journey ahead, but knowing that I am in the right direction.
I felt everything. Everything under the sun.
- the list goes on and on
The benefits of my yoga practice did not happen right away, I am going to be completely honest.
For quite a while I was still anxious, worrisome, fearful, depressed, and in turn still very much in my eating disorder.
But, I stayed consistent because I had a good feeling, I had a good feeling that my practice was going to seriously take me somewhere.
And it has. I can tell you that.
And so, I am just now sharing my yoga journey, because I feel that in these past few months I have come to notice incredible things about my mind, my body, and my soul.
I feel so aligned, so raw, so pure, and so free.
For so long I felt tied down by ropes that only I saw, so no one, no matter how hard they tried, could get me out.
It was up to me to find out how the heck I was supposed to set myself free.
Fast forward to today, many yoga classes, journals, workbooks, and whatever the heck else I did later, I see yoga in the most beautiful light possible.
I realized that yoga is a dream to me, because dreams are so real, and yoga is so real.
I realized that yoga means recovery, and now I see that my recovery is a dream because it finally feels real.
You see, dreams will always be something that I keep track of and pay attention to because they have served a good purpose over the years. A very important purpose.
A purpose that has allowed my life to unfold in a different form than if I would have unfolded it myself.
I did the work, I AM doing the work. And I have results.
I feel SO good you guys.
I feel joyful.
I don't worry about everything under the sun, in fact, I feel so carefree when it comes to certain things.
I don't stress about a schedule anymore, I do as my body feels and I am flexible with the craziness of life.
My anxiety has turned to energy, raw energy that carries me through the day with passion and purpose.
I wouldn't necessarily say my anxiety is gone, because it's not, but I have used that anxiety and put it into anticipation.
Anticipation and hope for what my life has in store for me next.
The eating disorder will always be there, but I just channel the energy that it was putting into killing me to now what's growing me.
Yoga is life changing you guys.
And there is no definite way for me to be able to express the gratitude that I have for the practice of yoga.
The external and internal benefits are endless.
And I realize that in the beginning, my recovery didn't feel like a dream because it wasn't truthful.
And if my dreams feel so real to me, wouldn't that mean they are full of truth and light?
So, it was not until my recovery became pure truth and honesty, that it became a dream.
I have learned to respect my bodies' boundaries.
I have learned to breath with my body rather than against it.
I have released tension and pain that prevented me from ever reaching full healing.
And now that I see recovery as healing, my prana (life force) is balanced.
Are you letting peace in?
Are you in your body, allowing a relationship with yourself to be free of expectations, full of clear communication, and a balance between fear and joy?
As humans, we don't realize that you don't have to have been sick to be healed.
You can be healed in your present state of health and vitality. Just to a higher extent.
So, dream my friends.
Whatever you need to do to make your life feel more like a dream.