Eight years ago, I was incredibly unhappy. I hated my job, my body, myself. My life wasn’t working and I didn’t know how to fix it. I was lost and didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to do something different. Something had to change. I started therapy, which led to practicing meditation and yoga — however, at the time I was meditating to deal with stress and anxiety, and doing yoga to work on the flexibility and core strength of my body. I was still focused on fixing myself, thinking the problem was that something was wrong with me.
Then six years ago, an encounter with grief woke me up. My first dog and a dear friend were diagnosed with cancer. Nine months later, he died. Six months after that, she did too. It became clear to me that life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal, that we lose those we love too soon and it’s too sad, and bad things will happen no matter how hard we try. In the meantime, we have to live the crap out of our lives, love the shit out of ourselves and each other, and practice like our hair is on fire.
I started a life rehab. I made my last New Year’s Resolution ever, to be a better friend to myself. I started a daily writing practice. I read books and blogs like they were food and I was starving, took ecourses and classes, attended workshops and retreats. I worked with compassionate and wise teachers. I found a tribe, a sangha of generous and gentle people. I started writing this blog. I could see a light in the distance but I wasn’t sure if I could make it that far.