“When you begin down this path of yoga, the more involved you get the more you life will fall apart. Just be ready” These were the first words said to me during my Yoga Teacher Training. My instructor Dave was trying to prepare us for the enviable shit that would happen the more we delved deeper into the practice of yoga. Though these words were shocking, nothing could have been closer to the truth; the deeper you delve into those beautiful practices of spirit, the more your life will fall apart.
It is an unavoidable fact of life that as you grow up, things change. As you change, your tastes, preferences, and dislikes change along side of you. The further away the years of high school get the more that I seem to laugh at the poor anxiety girl that would listen to punk rock music and where raccoon eyes. Even before I became a yoga instructor, my life always seemed to be in constant flux, from music, to recreational activities, to even personal connections and relationships.
Sadly, however, not everyone is blessed to be given such a powerful warning before they delve into the spirit – particularly if it is not by choice. They are unaware of the inevitable spiritual ‘growth spurt’ that happens, and that it can be as painful as puberty. Suddenly you start losing a taste for the things you once loved, this causes a rift in your social group because you are uninterested in the topics you once bonded over, your friends start calling you weird and making fun of the ‘new’ stuff you are into, or do not understand why and how you are changing, and finally you are left with a complete isolationist feeling.
Sure last year going to a heavy metal concert was a blast, even if you did not know the band. You loved the blaring music, the chance to mosh in the pit, and getting drunk just added to the experience. In short it just made you feel like you were alive and kicking, living every moment to the fullest. Yet now you meditate, maybe go to yoga, have been hearing some new ideas on morals and they really strike a cord with you, and all of the sudden the concert this year just seems…obnoxious. In fact you find your self longing to be back in your own room, curled up with a copy of the new book you started, or wishing instead you had gone to that yoga class you skipped to be here. Then your friends get concerned that something is wrong, and when they find out you just are not having fun, they begin to judge you or get defensive.
As we begin to delve deep into the spirit or down the yogi’s path, we begin to feel different. We begin to change. So without fail our environment needs to change with us. As we gravitate towards new things, the old things just seem so out of place in our lives. We might try to cling to them for awhile, but at some point we just give up because it does not seem worth it. Moreover human relationships are based in bonding over common interests, when ours begin to change the people we thought we might never loose, might start surprising us – or we might start surprising ourselves. So then when our relationships break down, we begin to feel lost. That new path we were on, might seem like a very lonely one at this point, particularly as things begin to get muddled.
Sounds fun and inspiring right? Start down a path to delve deep into yoga and spirituality just to end up loosing everyone and thing you love and feeling alone and lonely? Sounds a little like high school for some of us hun? Here is the thing, this is just the growing period. Yes things will change, and yes change is painful. However at some point you will start to make new friends, or your old friends might start coming around and asking questions. Eventually life begins to rebuild itself. When it does it will seem more beautiful than it did before, and you might ask yourself why you held on and suffered for so long instead of just letting go.
Every spiritual path has challenges, obstacles. If it were easy, then what would be the point? The first major one that occurs is usually the one that happens after you have made the decision to become more spiritual, more yoga, become more authentically yourself. I have heard more than a few stories about people, whom after undergoing massive spiritual growth, get divorced, loose friends of decades, or sometimes even have broken family ties. It is okay if these relationships are lost for sometime or even forever; because life is always in flux and what you need right now these relationships can not give you, and vice versa.
Just know you are not alone, nor the only person to experience this. If you begin to start going through this and feeling lost, stay strong. You know your path is right, so just keep you head held high and walk. Start connecting with people whom have the same interests as you now and build a new support network. Do not worry if you do not know a lot yet, people love sharing knowledge and a fresh perspective can often bring new insights. Talk to other students at your yoga studio, chat up your instructor on their class, start going to those spiritual events instead of bar hopping, and most of all just be you. Shine out through your heart, and be authentic. You will find your new tribe, and you will wondered what kept you away for so long.
Practice in Peace and Love ❤