Rock bottom is a great foundation

Rock bottom is a great foundation

I firmly believe rock bottom is a great foundation upon which to build the life you want, the life you deserve. As I write this post, I am coming up on three years in the same little apartment in Richardson, Texas. 

I will never forget the day I moved in here. Luckily my dad was in town to help me, because I was a complete mess. I had partied the night before, the same reason for which I was being kicked out of my ex-girlfriend’s townhouse.

I hit Rock Bottom that moving day with my dad, when I broke down in Macy’s over the selection of plates that I had to repurchase. Even my dad still recounts that weekend with heartbreak in his voice.

My life didn’t magically spiral upward from there; in fact, I spent a few more months behaving the same way. However, living on my own again forced me to confront myself on a new level. I even met a wonderful friend whose own sobriety inspired me to give up alcohol completely toward the end of 2013. 

These past few years have been like laying brick on that rock bottom foundation. Since I moved into my apartment three years ago, I have brought light & life into the space.  Decorating with my own art and practicing & teaching yoga frequently has brought in fresh, creative energy. The life that I enjoy now is definitely a future that I could scarcely imagine when I was ordering Domino’s takeout and drinking boxed wine. 

Most people assume that yoga helped me recover & thrive. That assumption is true, but I actually have been practicing yoga since 2011, two years before "Rock Bottom." My practice frequency may have been inversely correlated to my partying, but I stayed committed to the yogic path throughout my struggles with addiction and mental illness. Two years of yoga practice & an intense, beautiful teacher training experience helped me go deep enough to fully experience my “core wound.” From there, the healing process began.

As you can infer from my journey, yoga is not necessarily a quick fix. However, regular yoga practice can serve as a healthy addiction, something that many of us can use to replace other unhealthy habits. There is truly no downside to aligning your mind, body & spirit in breath-based movement. (I have never heard of anyone regretting going to yoga class.)

In my own experience, slower yoga classes emphasizing deep breathing are the most effective in calming the nervous system. By activating the parasympathetic (“rest & digest”) nervous system, yoga can disrupt patterns of craving & substance abuse. However, any yoga class will certainly get you out of your head and into your body. 

I am immensely proud of my journey. I am also immensely grateful for my yoga practice and my yoga teaching practice. Because I’ve been to the darkest of places, I am confident in the solid foundation I continue to build upon as an entrepreneur. 

What about you? How have your struggles left you stronger? Please share your feedback and your stories in the comments below.

— Namaste y’all —  

3 Healthy Ways to Energize

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