Have you ever had a full on cry fest right outside a hot yoga studio because you missed your class? I’ve got a feeling I’m not entirely alone in this one…
All month February in HELD [the coaching community you can check out here], we are talking about rest. There’s going to be healing, growth, and transformation. How do I know? Because those are just some of the magical powers of rest.
Today, I’m going to tell you a story about a time when I had NO rest in my life. A story about a time when I broke down sobbing outside a hot yoga studio…
At the time, I was living in Chicago and going to law school: a full time student, working at a law firm, and clerking for a judge.
Every morning, I’d set my alarm for 5 AM. My alarm would go off and I’d peel myself out of bed in the pitch black dark of the morning.
My running clothes were waiting for me in the bathroom. I had read in some fitness magazine that it would help to motivate me to workout if my clothes were right there, so I did what I was told.
I’d brush my teeth, put on all my layers (Chicago winters were no joke…), lace up my shoes, and head out the door. I lived in the South Loop, so I’d weave though the high rise buildings for about half a mile until I got to the Lake Shore path. The cold air would numb my cheeks while I ran through the dark.
Back home after my run, I’d shower, get dressed, eat the same breakfast I’d eat every. single. morning. (<– I was counting my calories at the time + had about two million food rules, so the monotony helped me to “stick to the plan”) before heading out for the day. Some “health” magazine had told me that sticking to mostly the same foods each day would help me to reach my health (aka weight loss) goals, so I did what I was told.
I’d go to class then hustle a few blocks through downtown to my job and then I’d hustle back a few blocks for more class. I didn’t drink coffee at the time (some “health” article told me it was bad so I hadn’t touched it in almost two years at the time. You know, just doing what I was told) but I’d sometimes stop for a green tea on my way.
At the end of my last class of the day, my plan was to jump onto the bus, so I could make it to my end-of-day hot yoga class. I had read in a different fitness magazine that running “wasn’t enough.” I needed yoga, too. The sweaty kind. With weights. So, I added in yoga (the sweaty kind with weights), trying to do what I was told.
I booked it, with my backpack full of gigantic text books knocking against my back, to the bus stop, arriving just in time.
Once on the bus, the anxiety would start to rise. Every stop the bus made sent a surge of PANIC through my body. I was on a SUPER rigid schedule to make it to my 7:15 hot-yoga-with-weights class.
It’s like I could feel someone wrapping their hands around my heart and squeezing a little bit tighter with every stop. With every red light. With every slow in traffic.
When it was finally my turn to jump off, I sprinted. As I approached the door to the yoga studio I could see that my window to enter class had closed. I had missed my chance.
Filled with exhaustion, overwhelm, and defeat, I kneeled down outside the door of that yoga studio and started to SOB. Tears rolled down my cheeks, into my mouth, down my neck. I could feel them quickly turning cold and icy, as they met the freezing December air.
Why couldn’t I have gotten here a few minutes sooner? Why did I have to mess this up? Now what will I do? I’ve ruined everything. I thought to myself.
I wish I could tell you that this moment was a turning point. That this moment was my breakthrough to acknowledging that I was doing too much. That I was pushing myself too hard. That I had an unhealthy relationship with exercise. That my safety and identity as a human was tied to something that it wasn’t meant to be tied to.
But, it wasn’t.
Instead, I pulled up the yoga class schedule for the next day, to see if I could “make up for” my “terrible failure” with another class the next day.
And so it continued. Day after day. Month after month. For over a year more.
This was not even close to the last time I would break down sobbing outside of a yoga studio.
Have you ever had a moment like this in your life?
If so, I’m sending you so much love right now. I know how hard it is to be in that place of constant pressure, guilt, and exhaustion.
It wasn’t until more than a year after this moment that I finally begin working on healing my relationship with movement. Which, actually meant healing my relationship with rest.
After all, our relationship with rest can tell us a lot about our relationship with movement.
What is your relationship telling you?
All February long in HELD we will be exploring the theme of REST and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Rest gives us the gifts of healing, growth, perspective, and presence. All things you are so deserving of!
The doors to HELD just opened for a few days. If you’d like to join us, you can come on in [here’s the link].
All morning long, members have been sharing with me about their HELD experience so far. They gave me permission to share and here’s a bit of what they want you to know…
“HELD nurtures your soul for expansion guided by Simi’s joy, compassion and wisdom. Plus, there is a chance for connection with like-minded heart-centered women.”
“My experience has been very insightful and has allowed me the time to really consider how an all-or-nothing mindset (January theme) impacts me. I’ve enjoyed reading about how it impacts others as well, which has helped me identify things in myself that I hadn’t considered. It’s been really nice to take time to nurture myself. I really hadn’t done that until joining Held! Also, the community aspect is great and I love that it’s on a separate platform!”
“That’s it’s so helpful, nurturing, and supportive.”
“It’s a community of kind and thoughtful women, and a way to look deeper within myself.”
“In HELD, I literally feel held. It is a joy to be in community with other women who are experiencing many of the same things I am. I feel less alone in my struggles with perfectionism and disordered eating, and I am learning so much about myself in the process. HELD feels like a warm embrace on my weary heart. I can’t recommend it enough!”
If you’re ready to feel HELD, we’d love you to come join us here.