My journey towards “wholeness” began shortly after the completion of my yoga teacher training. It was during this time I became strikingly aware of this persistent and growing void. A dull, but constantly present and lurking feeling of emptiness and lack that infiltrated every waking moment. I couldn’t articulate what exactly was driving this feeling at the time, but I become incredibly focused on trying to figure out a way to push it out and away. Removing the weight that was not-so-subtlety present and following me around like a shadow. The realizations I would take away from this time were more than I could have ever predicted. Learnings that have helped me grow, heal, and improve my overall well-being. Before I dive into those learnings, let me take a step back and explain what I mean when I say “wholeness” and how I came to this realization.
As defined in the dictionary, wholeness is “the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity.” While in line with this definition, I’m applying this concept to our being as it relates to the human experience. Unifying and honing in on the connection between our bodies, minds, and souls to form a more complete and, in my experience, more content and peaceful overall way of being.
How I arrived here
It’s often rumored that our biggest learning opportunities come from our most difficult challenges. For me, this has time and time again, proved to be true. The catalyst to this entire journey of exploring, learning, and growing came shortly after my mom’s passing following a nine year battle with cancer. As I naturally once routinely always had, I pushed the grief, anger, sadness, hopelessness down and proceeded forward with life, attempting to maintain normalcy without missing a step. I finished out my field hockey season, accepted a job on Wall Street, graduated six months early and proceeded with moving to New York City to start a new chapter. That persistent pushing down of emotion only lasted just shy of year.. The increased amount of stress, exhaustion, and misalignment I now began to feel in my job piled on to the already extraordinary pile of unsorted, unprocessed, and denied emotion from the events that had occurred in my life prior to that point. This time brought me to my lowest point to date; physically, mentally, and emotionally. Modalities beginning with yoga followed by meditation, reiki, energy healing, journaling, and intuitive sessions helped me pull myself up and out of this place. This journey of ups and downs opened up my eyes to this idea of creating a unification across mind, body, and soul. At the time, I had no idea how integral this concept would become in my life moving forward.
What I’ve learned
Along this journey, I discovered how critical it was to focus on each area because often the disconnect and trade offs can cannibalize one another. An example is one that I often battled with after coming off competing in college athletics. My job on Wall Street was demanding and it required long days, often spending 7am-7pm day in and day out remaining sedentary at my desk. In attempts to maintain my physical health, I began to establish a routine of waking up at 4:45am to get an hour workout in before starting my day. What I didn’t realize a few months into this routine was how little I was truly listening and honoring time to rest and recover. Exhaustion became my new baseline. When I woke up and everything internally was urging me to go back to bed, I ignored it. Because for the previous few years while competing in college athletics, juggling school, and all that was going on in my life at the time, that was the mindset I came to develop. Tired? Push through it. Stressed? Work out and you’ll feel better after. While these things remain true in my life to some degree, I had driven myself beyond the point that these remained valid. As I attempted to be “well” physically, I pushed the boundaries of both my physical and mental health. The over-doing of physical activities in attempts to maintain my physical health actually was back firing and bringing down both my physical and mental wellbeing. It was only until I slowed down that I realized I was relying on physical activity as a way to ignore the signs and feelings I intuitively knew to be true. Staying busy meant constant distraction. It meant ignoring the inner voice that urged me to start making a change; to face the truth of what I knew I wanted my future path to look and feel like. This one example is just one of the many that I’ve come to realize through my own life experience thus far.