When I was in elementary school we were all given little larva caterpillars to care for. We watched as these little guys turned from caterpillars into the pupa stage, cocooned inside, growing and changing and then one day they hatched into these beautiful creatures with colorful wings. I was horrified however to see all the blood when they hatched! It was definitely not easy to become a butterfly, and I don't think I truly appreciated this lesson until recently. This past year has been an amazing and also challenging 365 days of transformation. I am grateful for the blessing of meeting my teachers everyday and the knowledge and love and opportunities they have given me. When I walked into my first day of Yoga Teacher Training last year, I didn't know that my life would change forever. I know it sounds very dramatic, but that's how I really feel about it. In December, however, I was not so happy. I found myself launched into a darkness I have never seen before. Just a few weeks before Christmas, it felt like the whole world had turned against me, I felt as though I had lost every friend in my life, I was struggling with health issues, I was feeling stressed out from over-working and extremely trying projects and yet I had this little glimmer of hope every time I would be around other yogis, the swamis at the bhakti center and my teachers.
Everyday in this life is an opportunity to dive deeper into discovering and uncovering the true self. So many people, including myself have said to me that there is basically "no turning back" at this point, and although that is somewhat scary, it is also incredibly exciting and invigorating. With great change I know that there will always be growing pains, and during those times are darkness, our spiritual practices are so important. I really encourage all of you to start a sadhana, something you do everyday that helps you to reconnect. It could just a be a few minutes of mediation or breath work in the morning or at night, or perhaps just reading a line or two from a spiritual book, whatever it is that helps you connect to the divine, with god, the universe, whatever you call it. But take time each day to do this, and make this time sacred, light a candle or burn some incense, or make a special spot in your home for this practice.
My plans for this coming year is to start to live my yoga more and more each day, to continue to dive into the unknown with child-like excitement for adventure and sage-like confidence that this is the path I meant to be on. I know that this may bring some tears and losses, but just like the butterfly, sometimes it takes a little bloodshed for metamorphosis to take place.