The Yesterday When Blogging Became My Jam

 Photo: pixabay

Photo: pixabay

 "Daring greatly means engaging with our vulnerability." — Brené Brown


So, I'm a yoga teacher and owner of a yoga studio who was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 14, 2016. Due to treatment that began on March 23rd, and the nature of the recovery time after, I stopped teaching through the end of September. Apprehensive about my return to teaching, that first day back began with the 2-hour snoozing of my alarm followed by a full meditation, journal writing, a mini yoga practice, and a class planning session. Next, I showered then headed out for a scheduled appointment with my psychologist at the breast cancer center.  This productive session culminated in the reiteration of a recurring lesson: Learning how to become even more vulnerable. (Ew, YOU again…really?)  

Intent on taking a yoga class before teaching my own, I left my appointment, grabbed a green juice and headed to my yoga business. Though I didn't share this out right, the theme that I had planned for this first class in over 6-months was inspired by the revelation that 'cancer sucks and, the real yoga is called upon and gets even more real when things TOTALLY suck'! And, all those sucky things, refer to anything that we humans perceive of as negative or undesirable when in fact, they are conduits for life’s sweetest gifts - WTF? I don't know why its set up that way, but that's the way it works. So, while sorting through feelings of anger and being violated, a diminished sense of physicality and strength, I continue to rebound from a loss of independence, lack of health and feeling less like my pre-cancer self. The idea that these 'gifts' are fostering my growth has allowed me the opportunity to practice rest, and self care, stillness, being taken care of and being loved by others. All of which has deepened my practice making it more 'real' than it once was. I am now well aware that the uncomfortable truths lie in that space in between where the shit completely hits the fan and how you bounce back. That middle piece IS the practice which is...that gritty, often ugly and uncomfortable work towards establishing a new foundation from which to navigate and profoundly move on. These transitional moments are where the important stuff happens. It’s not about us sticking the landing perfectly —its about how we get there. How we show up as us, with the understanding that, "It's better to do your own duty badly than to perfectly do another's". (Bhagavad Gita; Stephen Mitchell translation). So through it all, it seems that for whatever reason, I've been handed this particular @#%$*@# 'cancer baton' and I am to run my leg of this race — however I can.

Later that night, while preparing to relax by ‘randomly’ rummaging through my Netflix options, like magic, I came across comedian, Tig Notaro’s 2015 documentary entitled, "Tig". Her story resonated deeply with me and it instantly reinforced my own. She said, “As soon as I got diagnosed with cancer everything came over me as funny” – and I was like, ‘I know, right?' Finding the funny is what got me through.  I thought I might have actually been a little bit cray-cray having quiet laughs about my own cancer dramas until I saw Tig’s movie. So as it turns out, I'm NOT crazy at all! Cancer in Tig's life, and apparently in mine as well, WAS in fact funny and a hilariously timed wake up call!

Almost immediately after watching 'Tig', I got a text from my friend Kym saying that she had been awakened by a fire in her apartment building. It was a close call and scary, but no one was hurt. She came over to escape the smoke smell. Inspired by the evening, we talked and laughed until 4:30am about how things are literally placed in front of us in order to FIRE us up to get on with the work that we are meant to do. Life is an absurd trip, and now as a result of my trippy yesterdays,  as a blogger — I was born.

 

Teri Gandy-Richardson