“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
My personal approach to life has radically changed out of necessity for survival, and I’m just now realizing its effect. You might have noticed it on Instagram (less of this, more of this), in my teaching style, or the subjects that light me up with excitement. The energy and enthusiasm is still there, but it’s different. More focused, more intentional, more grounded, and a helluva lot less conventional.
When my teaching commitments almost tripled in August, I cried daily on the way to school for two months before relinquishing as many classes at the studios as I could. It was hard to let go, but I knew it was was crucial for my own wellbeing.
It wasn’t enough.
I was still exhausted. I was still frustrated. I was angry, flustered, and flailing about trying desperately to stay afloat in the whirlpool known as: LIFE OF MEGAN. There was no remedy in the foreseeable future. So I gave up. I stopped fighting the current.
As my body no longer had the energy for a strenuous physical yoga practice, my focus turned from asana to meditation. Each morning before work I pulled out a mala, sat on the floor in front of my coffee table altar (I’ve since upgraded to a bookshelf), swooshed around a stick of palo santo whilst evading Mr. Darcy, and silently chanted a mantra 108 times. Within a week my mood improved. My stress decreased. Somehow I began to settle into a rhythm.
I researched Ayurveda more thoroughly, and discovered I was naturally drawn to warm, heavy, vata-pacifying foods. As I incorporated more Ayurvedic practices into my routine, the more balance I found in my physical and emotional body. I decided to enroll in a 150-hour Ayurvedic Wellness Counseling training.
Meanwhile, silent chants became audible, mantras grew longer, and I threw in singing bowls, crystals, oracle cards, and revisited my archetypes. I studied ancient texts, philosophies, the subtle and gross energy bodies, chakras, etc. – things I’d thought were mildly fascinating, but had never really taken an active interest in. Last month I opted to take a vow of silence at an ashram in East Texas instead of my annual spring San Francisco trip.
These things? They are changing me.
As I was cautiously wading into this unfamiliar world of mysticism and spirituality, a student brought back a Ganesh statue from India for my alter. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. My teacher once told me that he would also place obstacles in your path if there was a lesson to be learned.
Maybe this entire hurricane of an experience has been pushing me toward the place I’m supposed to be: Finding harmony and balance through fresh approaches to healing old wounds, exploring more pragmatic ways to confront challenges, sharing this newfound knowledge with others. I feel more connected to myself, others, and the universe as a whole than ever before.
Everyday is a deep, rolling sea of controlled chaos. Waves of motion – from place to place, class to class, student to student accompanied by storms of music, voices, emotions, bodies – threaten to drown me in their need for undivided attention.
I am learning to find peace within the chaos.
They say you have to sink or swim, but I think I’ll float for awhile instead. See where it takes me. And soak up all the lessons along the way.