My Big Move to St. Catharines

Moving on.
Moving ahead.
Moving in.
Moving back.
What a move it was!

I am so very grateful for Tracy and for her invitation to join her in this wonderful community and space she has created in Moksha Yoga St Catharines.

We met at Moksha Yoga Halifax in the hot room, or maybe at reception before the class. One class stands out in my memory because I was overwhelmed, not even sure about what. Tracy recognized my struggle and sat with me, her hand on my back, showing me her love and support as she taught the rest of the class not leaving my side. I felt comforted by and deeply connected to this loving human being. I could sense her inner strength and her generous spirit.
When she reached out to the wider Moksha community looking for a partner, it was a pivotal moment for me. It probably took me about 30 seconds to find her number and text her ‘Pick me! Pick me!’

That’s how this move of mine began.

I was on my own for the first time in my life, so I didn’t need to check in with anyone. No one else’s needs came before mine. I was on my way from Halifax to another wonderful Moksha training in Costa Rica in November, 2014 so I added a side-trip to St Catharines. I fell in love all over again, with Tracy, with Moksha and this beautiful studio in St Catharines.

In the months that followed I commuted from the east coast to St Catharines every 6 to 8 weeks, until I had finished the renovations on my little house and put it on the market. This felt like multi-tasking to the extreme, not really feeling my feet on the ground until I made the last trip to arrive in my new home.

The physical move is complete, but the spiritual, emotional and mental shift has only just begun. The physical part is what we do best, the part that comes almost naturally. We are constantly on the go, checking items off our to-do lists. Moving stirs up the dust, the dirt, the shit. Nothing gets left under the rug. When stillness comes, if we allow ourselves to be still, there is time and space to acknowledge and recognize all the deeper feelings and emotions that are connected with movement.

This monumental move half way across the country didn’t really sink in until the distractions were gone and I settled into stillness. I have always been somewhat responsible for others, and this was the first time that I had no one in particular to care for – except myself. I didn’t understand what was happening so I couldn’t ask for help and before I knew it I was depressed, shrinking away from life, from friendships, family and the studio. I felt like an imposter, I felt vulnerable and I was afraid.
Even in this vibrant, loving community I felt lost and alone, because I had lost touch with myself and the ground beneath my feet. The words ‘let go’ that I have said so many times in a yoga class started to sound hollow – how could I guide others to be present, mindful and live in the moment if all I was doing was re-living the past, second guessing all my decisions, all my beliefs.

Another yoga teacher commented that a friend was suffering through a tough time, she couldn’t seem to make even the smallest decision on her own and just wanted everything to be done for her, she was so depressed. Bolt of lightning, relating so closely to how I felt. ‘You decide’ seemed to be my new mantra. This guided me to a practice of self care. When I acknowledged all the changes I was going through, all that had led me to this momentous move, my body started to speak to me even more.

The physical symptoms kicked in. I had been tired and lethargic for several weeks, when one morning I woke with sore and swollen feet and hands. Within two days my shoes didn’t fit and my hands looked like melons with no grip strength. And yes there was pain. Very real physical and emotional pain. I couldn’t even ride my beloved scooter. Within 8 weeks I was diagnosed with Lupus.

I’ve moved through many layers with this – pain, exhaustion, shame, self judgement and embarrassment. I have been so afraid of being judged that I judged myself more harshly than anyone else possibly could, for allowing myself to be sick. After I listened to the Sickboy podcast on Lupus another light dawned. Lisa, their guest, didn’t mention anything about a connection between body, mind and spirit. This allowed me the space in my mind and heart to just be present with the physical reality and not worry about which came first, the emotional or the physical symptoms.
Along with traditional medication and its possible serious side effects, I have been drawn to natural healers and made some amazing discoveries along the way.
Through healing hands, hearts and minds, I have moved through some fairly dark, stormy days and nights. I am only beginning to understand ‘the work’ involved in getting to know myself and accept who I am, lupus and all.
Therapy in all its forms is a life-changer for me.

I am human.
I deserve my own love, understanding and forgiveness as much as I offer those to everyone else in my life.
I am moving forward – to the light, in the light.

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