Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Why Teaching Yoga is so Important to Me

Why Teaching Yoga is so Important to Me

Have you ever had a moment in your life where a thought comes into your head and you just know that is what you have to do. Well that moment arrived for me in June 2013 I was at home in the kitchen of my house feeling utterly dejected, bruised and battered metaphorically speaking. I had just had another awful row in an ongoing argument with my grown up family, another battle in an endless war that had gone on for two previous years. I was exhausted, I did not know who to turn to or what to do. I seemed to be alienating my family at every turn. The background to this story is I came out as a gay woman to my husband of over 25 years and my three children in 2011. I was in a relationship with a woman at that time. For the first time in my life it was a same sex relationship that I did not want to deny disown or walk away from as I had done so often in the past.

Battling through the next two years the pressure was enormous, then that evening in the kitchen a voice in my head said “ It does not have to be like this”. At that moment I realised that I had choice and decided to come out in public. I packed my stuff and moved into a flat that evening. I then circulated an email to about 20 of my friends telling them all. By this stage the relationship that had precipitated these events had burst apart at the seems unable to be sustained under such strained circumstances. I spent a very lonely 18 months feeling alienated from myself, and  alienated from anyone I ever loved or who loved me, as everyone  struggled with my truth. It brought me to my knees and to a place of deepest despair, unable to see light  except further descent into that dark night of the soul.

You see for the first time in my life I truly understood what it is to be a refugee, a prisoner, a homeless person,  a person with mental health problems, or just  anyone who seems to live  outside the expected and assumed NORM of daily life. For the first time in my life I experienced what it feels like not to be loved , what it feels like to be rejected, what it feels like not to automatically have empathy, compassion or understanding ,not to have someone smile at me in a friendly fashion when I most craved it . I experienced anger , coldness , being misunderstood on a daily basis from those that I loved most in the world . I lived knowing that people did not want to have anything to do with me and did not have the will or inclination to rectify the situation . I also had a deep insight that I was only one amongst millions who must suffer like this on a daily basis for different reasons.

So why am I sharing this story here? Well here’s why, that particular time in my life scored some very difficult lessons on the blackboard of my soul, whilst simultaneously giving me tremendous gifts. I resisted that learning for a long time, very slowly the first and most important of these gifts revealed itself and that is Total Surrender. By handing over charge of my life to the Universe and then facing my worst fears, releasing and letting them go, relaxing in the knowledge that everything is exactly as its meant to be, I came to know and have the confidence that everything would work out alright.As soon as I got that gift , things started to change.It was swiftly followed by two others Acceptance and finally Forgiveness. I thought I understood these concepts but it was not until I started to live in them every day that their true meaning was revealed. Acceptance is sweet when it arrives , killing anxiety , pain and loneliness. Forgiveness has to happen every day, not just on the days I am in good form, but on all the other days in my life , probably for the rest of my life. I don't just mean forgiving others "for they know not what they do” which I do . The biggest act of forgiveness is to myself . Once I could forgive myself everything started to accelerate. I was able to expand, grow and blossom.

Coming back as to why I am sharing this story and the gifts I received . Here is my question to you.What could you surrender to in your life ? What is it that you are resisting ? Who do you need to forgive? Remembering my own sense of alienation, dejection, deep depression and hopelessness, feeling totally unloved in the world, at that time of my life, I ask you . What is one small thing you could do for someone else that would make them feel that you care?

Today I teach yoga from a very different place as a result of my experiences .If I can alleviate a little of the suffering and pain of another human being through the sharing of my journey. Or If another human being can begin to realise their own possibility as a result of coming to my yoga class, well then that is my time very well spent and I will teach yoga as long as my dear, sweet , life allows.

My  life experience has honed, refined and evolved me as a human being . The three gifts have been transformative .I continue to journey and  evolve .These days I walk with courage and grace in the world  I live in the NOW and fear nothing placing my trust in something greater than me . I  am hugely grateful for the many, many blessings I have in my life!! Sure I have a hard time counting them all !!!

I have moved back to the family home ,together yet apart and it is challenging but as a group of compassionate  human beings we are slowly figuring out a way to make it work. Creating a community that is outside the NORM. This has taken a lengthy period of my life and trust me the work is still ongoing.
These days I truly live in the full knowledge and acceptance that I am not in charge of my own sweet life. See you on the mat! #marellafyffeyoga

Marella in a silly moment at a yoga shoot!