Up until a few days ago I had no idea what I was going to blog about this week. It was only through a series of group texts with girlfriends followed by one of them sending a podcast and then meeting up for yoga that I had the inspiration for the week.
What began as a wine and food event invite from one bff to six of us evolved. It evolved to a question about one of the girls’ boyfriend who she was feeling questionable about some Facebook etiquette then coordinating us all to get to a yoga class together and finally a recommendation on a new local clothing store. It took twists and turns as many female conversations do with laughs, support, advice, and communication. I must say that I’ve always considered myself a guy’s girl not a girls’ girl. It’s just that I feel more comfortable around men as I relate and operate more like them. Considering myself a less emotional female than the ones I’ve met in my life and being put off by frequent show of emotions I’ve always had more male friends than female ones. However, my personal life has changed the past few years and pushed the emotions to the forefront with touching my heart at the deepest level of sorrow possible. I’ve had breakups before in my life and one particularly devastating one many years ago that catapulted me into a healthier lifestyle and change of careers. Yet the loss of my father, the one most important and influential person to me changed everything. I found myself for the first time in my life needing and asking for support. I felt like the bottom had been ripped out from underneath me and couldn’t slow down the wheel of emotions ripping through me and out into the world. I was so vulnerable I hated it, I hated myself for it. I often thought “get it together, you suck like this.” I turned to many things at the time; alcohol, poor choices in men, draining friendships, and yoga. I had been practicing yoga for some years and it often left me with a soothing feeling so it made sense to return. I went to a yoga class the day after he passed and boy was it a class to be remembered. I spent the first part of the day with my sister in law at the funeral home making the arrangements. I hadn’t been through this process before so I didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t make decisions; I was very lucky to have Maryellen there as it’s basically a sales process. I just said yes to everything but was feeling like I could blow at any moment I was so raw. I also didn’t know my body took a strange turn, was about to get my period for the second time that month and was in pms mode. I returned to my mother’s house where I was staying to console her, changed into my yoga clothes, and slammed the door on the way yelling “fuck everyone I’m going to yoga.” I thought I had it all figured out, I had yoga and they didn’t; dummies. I arrived late to class and it was full and I had to go up front next to the teacher which isn’t my normal spot; if you’re a yogi you already know how jarring this is. I couldn’t maintain any balance posture and was literally rolling my eyes at the instructor at one point. She had known me for a long time and although she hadn’t heard the news, nobody knew, I think she knew as she stayed away from me and let me bobble around and cry on my mat for the first time. Yoga wasn’t the same, life wasn’t the same, nothing was the same and it never would be.
Fast forward to 2 years later when I began to get my bearings again. I stayed in yoga, my loyal once per week class and began to meet more people through it. Yoga is made up of predominantly females and most of my new friends were female. As we all came together through one girl who I’ll call the connector we began meeting for classes, attending each other’s birthday parties, sending informative podcasts, and scheduling charity work together. I noticed every time I connected with these women I felt such satisfaction and such pride in the type of people I was associating with. Also a real feeling of being supported even though we all have work and have other social schedules; the times we do get together it’s all real. I hadn’t seen many of them for a few months the last time we met for a yoga workshop and dinner after. We don’t text too much as again everyone has a busy life. We don’t drain each other with weekly complaints of work or life; we process these things ourselves. So we went to dinner after this workshop and four of us were sitting around suddenly revealing some pretty heavy personal issues. There wasn’t judgement, nor a dumping of our responsibility on each other; just honesty, advice, and support. I really couldn’t believe sitting there what we had all just talked about so freely realizing it must be a safe space for all.
It brought me to the realization that the past few years I have become more understanding of what it means to be a female and be able to support other females without fear of what I used to consider weak emotions. This culture that I still see play out where it’s cool to be unemotional, where friendships exist through addictions, where competition between females is expected, where you get together to commiserate, where you show up for a Facebook picture only, where social climbing and dumping friends who don’t fit into the box of the pretty picture you need them to be is all still there. Gladly through the yoga community people sometimes dump all the bullshit and just show support and love.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla