“it was when I stopped searching for home within others
and lifted the foundations of home within myself
I found there were no roots more intimate
than those between a mind and body
that have decided to be whole.”
~ Rupi Kaur
Where do I begin this, my personal story of powerful embodiment and transformation? The road back to self is not linear, there’s no true beginning point and certainly never an end to a transformative process.
As Elizabeth Gilbert says, sometimes the best thing to do is start the story in the middle and go in both directions.
Without a doubt, my pulmonary embolism in 2014 was a catalyst for necessary change in my life – a push over the edge that screamed for me to find a better way. A calling out from the inner depths of my being to connect back to herself. No, not even to connect – not yet. Nor to understand. But simply to look.
Please. Look. Here. Just look.
And I did. I began to look.
However, after decades of ignoring the deepest depths of myself, the bulk of this journey, or maybe the acceleration of a slow process sparked from that trauma, really takes off somewhere around the time where I begin the story here – in 2016 when I was turning 40 years old. Now that’s a solid year to begin a story like this. Forty is that kind of half way marker, that portal you walk through, and into something more resembling adulthood, though I’d be the first to say that the definition of an adult is rather up for debate!
Nevertheless, I remember thinking around this time that I had possibly lived half of my life already, and had lived that half in a dysfunctional, arhythmic fashion. It was about time that I took steps in a new direction. Time to take more seriously the heeding of my lungs’ not so subtle hint a couple of years prior, and come off the cliff of constant cycles of anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Step by feeble step, I found that the path back to myself was about reinhabiting my body and consequently discovering myself to be more whole. More wholly me.
It was guaranteed that this journey would take me in both directions.
In April 2016, I had started practicing Kuk Sool, a Korean martial art, a couple months before the big 40th birthday. For many years I had dreamt of learning some form of martial arts. Self-defense techniques could always come in handy for a single woman who often travelled on her own, and I was drawn to the practice as a step in self-awareness, knowing that these ancient arts were more than the defense and attack techniques which first meet the eye. I was hoping the practice would bring me a spiritual and emotional awakening. Some powerful epiphany that would lead to a more balanced me, able to keep my cool in all situations of life, and handle problems like a champ. Flow like water and all of that.
What did come up right away were my blockage points. Oh yes. That’s what you get first. Not beautiful rainbow-like epiphanies and enlightenment. No, the struggle was real. In particular, during breathing exercises and meditations, I often cried for no logical reason whatsoever. This was something I hadn’t counted on. I knew this was the path.