Without those of you who write and read the pieces inspired by the weekly photos, thewritephoto prompt would not exist. So, if you follow or take part in the weekly challenge, why come over and introduce yourself too? Just drop me a line…
I’ve decided to take Sue up on her offer to write a post as one of her #writephoto regulars. Yesterday, a friend of mine stayed for tea after attending my Tuesday morning yoga class. She’s lived about two decades longer than I have yet to live and she remarked how she has reached the point of her life when she really does not care, at all, what other people think. I replied that I mostly don’t care. I’m getting there, but I’m not wholly there. I used to care, though, a lot. In fact, I cared so much I convinced myself I was just like everyone else.
I was born in the early 70s. 1973 to be exact. The same year Jodie Foster stared as a guest in the Kung Fu series episode “Alethea.” My parents were young, too young to be starting a family, and after several months of trying to live as hippies in and around Cave Junction, Oregon, my mother left my father. I was two when she took my sister and me into hiding with the Hare Krishna cult. That’s a long story, most of which I will never know. But the body has a way of storing trauma in its cellular memory.
I had my first experience with what I can only call a PTSD episode last year. I was in yoga teacher training and we were learning the Guru Mantra. As I joined my voice with the dozen others in the room, I began to feel as though I was being pulled into a trance-like state. I am used to Shamanic meditations, but this felt different. Out of my control, even though the room was filled with kind, compassionate souls. My body began to shake as it broke out into a cold sweat. Every pore, it seemed, had opened to long held memories of trauma. My eyes wept tears I could not control and my mind began to play out scenes from a time I thought I had forgotten.
Why am I telling you about this? Because I think many of us, although we have each lived different lives, are living inside bodies that are holding onto trauma, secrets and even lies that go against our inherent truths. I mentioned in the first paragraph that I used to convince myself that I was like everyone else, even though I knew I was not. I tried so desperately to fit in I lost myself along the way. If you are interested in this journey, you can read about it in my memoir, A Girl Named Truth.
I stopped living a lie after I had children. Bringing a child into the world has a way of exposing the raw, unfiltered truth, and if we’re lucky, we see it for what it is and embrace it with all its pain and healing. After the births of my two children, I began devoting my time to not only healing myself and living my truths, but serving as a facilitator for others healing. I have a particular passion for helping children and teens embrace their truths without fear, which led me to begin writing my metaphysical fantasy series, Warriors of Light.
I have always, for as long as I can remember, been drawn to the concept of “truth.” Growing up, I convinced myself that to live in truth was to not tell a lie, unless I was protecting my family’s lies. Now I believe that the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to honor and live our truths, which eventually lead us to a more universal Truth.
I no longer care, all that much, if people find me a little different and even weird. The funny thing about being authentic to who you are, no matter how different you may feel from those around you, is that others start to accept you and embrace you for your authentic self. It was quite a delight to have my middle-school-aged daughter form a Friday night yoga class with a group of her friends while I was in yoga teacher training. In this non-judgement zone, I was able to observe young women, at the age I felt most vulnerable and self-conscious, accept and embrace their individuality. At the end of each class we all joined in the sound of “Om,” not caring about dissonance. Some were better at yoga poses then others, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that each was present for themselves and each other.
It gives me great hope that so many young people are living their truths without fear of being different. We have a long way to go in our world to embrace out differences and to find the core of Truths that bind us together, but I believe we can get there.
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