The first time I went, I worried about my yoga mat. Was it the right kind? Will I look like a newbie with this particular mat? (Do people even pay the hell attention to other people's mats?)
The second time I went, I worried about my technique. Was I breathing the right way? Did I have my hands in the right spot? Was this an actual downward dog, or a weird sort of teepee move that I was making up?
The third time I went to yoga, I made a genuine commitment to simply giving myself over to the whole deal. I went into the now, rather than allowing the worries of my day, week and year (holy heck, 2016 has been a doozy) -- or my insecurities over how I looked -- barge their way into this sacred time and space.
And for the first time (perhaps in my life, and that is no joke), I fell into a calm, meditative state. And it was really, really amazing. Peaceful. Soothing. And admittedly, a little bit surreal.
In one hour, I went from, "Uhhh...I'm not at all sure yoga is my thing (and seriously, can someone tell me with authority if this mat is the right one?)" to "Can we bottle this feeling? Can I access it on command? Will this happen to me every time if I keep coming??"
This was three months ago. I've returned to yoga about 40 times since then. And not only am I becoming one strong mo-fo (I'm forever making my kids feel my muscles nowadays), I'm gaining something far, far more valuable than biceps.
I'm gaining freedom.
Freedom from the negative internal dialogue so many of us replay over and over and over in our minds every day. Freedom from the tension and stress that goes part and parcel with running a business and a household (and also comes with working in a demanding corporate job, or being unemployed). Freedom that strips away the clutter and enables me to fully embrace my flaws, celebrate and appreciate my power, and acknowledge and feel proud of how much I have to offer.
This journey into yoga has been so surprisingly rewarding, in just a short period of time.
So I got to thinking -- Why not take this further?
That's when I began reading up on the benefits of meditation, and how exactly to go about it. And this is where my pal and fellow Portlander Meg Worden comes into the story.
I am a neophyte when it comes to full-on self-care. Yes, of course. I've always tried to eat right, sleep enough and exercise at least a couple of times a week. But until I started yoga, these efforts were always pretty much on auto-pilot. And the stress was always still there. And my body always felt like it was in a state of semi-exhaustion.
And the clutter was still in my head, sapping energy that would have come right in handy for my business.
So when I was ready to look at the meditation stuff, I turned to Meg. She's a brilliant health and wellness coach who has this self-care business on lock. And as luck would have it, my timing was perfect. She had just launched a seven-session audio course, Embodiment 101, that helps people who struggle with stress, anxiety, adversarial relationships with their bodies or the inability to "get out of their heads".
(Hello, is that not all of us, at least from time to time?)
Embodiment 101 teaches people how to make long, deep breaths a habit (something I have historically stunk at), how to tune into (and honor) your body's needs, and how to gain comfort and confidence with your situation or insecurities ... so that you can go out and serve the world like a rock star.
It's a wonderful resource for, well, anyone, but it's particularly wonderful for anyone feeling debilitated by the stress of a job search, the anxiety created by a job you don't like, and / or fears tied to economic uncertainty.
The modules are easy to get through, instantly calming and are fast becoming a part of my next chapter of "Jenny Foss 2.0." (I WILL ROCK MY '40s!)
Best news of all...
Meg has generously offered all JobJenny.com readers a special 25% off deal on Embodiment 101, a deal that lasts all week if you're interested.
That'll score you the entire course for $74 (reg. $99) if you download it by end of day Friday, 9/30.
To access this deal, simply click on the link below. No promo code necessary.
And whether you take advantage of this opportunity or no, please (pretty please) vow right here and now to do everything in your power to honor your bodies and put your health, sanity and peace of mind at the very top of your list -- through job search and through your entire lives.
And for heaven's sake, don't worry about the damned yoga mat.
Photo provided by MegWorden.com