My personal revolution… of sorts

20 days ago I started a program through my yoga studio called “40 days to a personal revolution.” This “breakthrough program is intended to radically change your body and awaken the sacred within your soul.” I was so excited to “dive deep into the wisdom of myself to liberate my true nature”

However, this beautiful program intended to enlighten me through daily yoga, meditation, inquiry, weekly group meetings and healthy eating did the opposite. I went from being highly intentional and living each day to the fullest with radiant joy to being anxious and stressed out.   As someone who doesn’t shy away from a challenge and just simply isn’t a quitter – I dug deeper. Reading, breathing, reflecting…

But, instead of enlightenment I found more pain. I kept thinking this is what I need to do – I need this program to help me continue to live in the light. I must do all this – I must step out of my comfort zone if I want to grow. I have to pass through the messy and painful to get to the bliss on the other side.

However, tonight as I hurried around to my kids’ practices, grabbed dinner to go and was racing out the door to get to class – I just sat down and cried. And, instead of going to class I am sitting in my room writing and reflecting on what this program is doing to me. What it has “stirred up.”

I love all the values of the program – the laws of transformation include; commit to growth, shift your vision, relax with what is, be true to yourself…. It’s beautiful. It’s what I want to do. I sought out this program to help me answer the deep question I have been wresting with – how do I live the most beautiful life I can?

I desperately want to feel, to know, I am doing all I can to live each moment to its fullest, most brilliant potential.  I’m seeking some kind of reassurance I am making the best choices.

When I dug deeper I uncovered a whole lotta pain. The reality is when you live with a terminal illness there is no end to the messy. And it’s not just messy – it’s repulsive. By digging in I was digging myself into a hole filled with uncertainty, sadness, fear and death. A hole without light. By adding extra requirements to my already busy day I was stressing myself out. I work to focus my intention on balance and be fully present with my kids. This was becoming increasingly hard. And, the sense of comfort I had that I was living the most beautiful version of my life was slipping away as I questioned my eating, my priorities, my decisions. My anxiety increased and my fears started to deteriorate my ability to make decisions.

Jay asked me what I was trying to get out of the program as he had noticed an increased level of fatigue and agitation. I told him my hopes for a deeper sense of purpose and clarity on how to live the best life I can. I am looking for some kind of reassurance that as the time bomb is ticking – I am doing everything I can to make the most of my time. Our time.

He reminded me – that’s been a goal I’ve had for the past couple years and that I was doing a pretty good job of it… before I set out on this new personal revolution.

Perhaps searching for how to live the most beautiful version of my life is itself the revolution. There isn’t a magic moment of clarity where I am going to feel complete peace with my choices, but rather the very act of living the life is what brings the peace…

This week, I lost another friend to metastatic breast cancer. A young friend from Louisville with two adorable boys – the same age apart as ours. A friend who was terrified of her disease but found a way to live and love and persevere hoping she could hold onto the normalcy of life as long as possible. She did it her own way. And, although her kids won’t feel her hug again – her love is deeply planted inside them forever. She was someone I looked up to because she lived her life as normal as possible – she didn’t let this disease interfere with her joy.

At a time when I am wanting so desperately to do this life “right.” Nikki’s death reminds me how fragile life is. I want to live the most beautiful life possible. But, there isn’t a perfect diet, lifestyle or program that will make this happen. I want to simply focus on LIVING it – not questioning it.

I am living my own revolution – day in and day out. Fitting in yoga when I can, meditating 5 minutes here or there, falling to sleep reading bedtime stories, drinking a good beer with Jay on our patio and laughing spontaneously with friends…

Here it is – I am so not a quitter… but, I am not going to be able to finish this 40 days program. It’s a remarkable program and I admire all the people pushing through and digging deep. But it’s not for me at this point in my life.

Instead I will beautifully revolutionize in my own unique way. In body, mind and spirit. I might not get the free t-shirt but I will continue to work to make peace with my questions. I promise to hold myself sacred. Acknowledging that by living with intention my revolution happens one day at a time. And, that in and of itself, is the most beautiful life I can live.

Namaste… and yay!


4 replies
  1. Sue MacGregor
    Sue MacGregor says:

    I felt the same way about grief therapy after Ken died. Wasn’t for me, sitting session after session with a therapist telling me what I was “supposed to feel” and “how to cope.” Plus, listening to the continued replay of feelings from all in the therapy sessions just drove me deeper into depression. My therapy was the joy of a simple Yoga class with others, the few minutes of savasanna to connect with the earth, the feeling of strength after a class, the encouragement of my instructor. I could never be one to sit still and meditate — there’s too much to do for me and I would feel guilty and like you frustrated with the whole process. I know we spoke about this challenge when you were here a couple of weeks ago. Glad to hear you reached a turning point. Sometimes we just KNOW what’s good for us . . . Hugs and much, much love from me, Mom S. and Jess the Heart Dog too

  2. Joy Apostol
    Joy Apostol says:

    Thanks for the reminder that doing what’s best for me is always the path to clarity and peace. Namaste cousin!

  3. Judy Kasey Houlette
    Judy Kasey Houlette says:

    Beautifully written, with honesty, Lara. I agree with Jay. You’re doing a helluva job living consciously and fully, from the many who admire you so. <3

  4. Barb Aardema
    Barb Aardema says:

    Lara, I had a similar revelation last summer. After losing Doug’s mom in February, welcoming Adeline in April, welcoming Alice in June, losing my dad two weeks after Alice’s birth, then planning his memorial for August, including arrangements for hosting my six siblings through the memorial weekend, I realized I had to stop some of the activities that brought me joy and relaxation and just concentrate on the immediate needs of family. When I let go, a pain that had been bothering me for days went away, and I just “went with the flow.” I don’t worry if I don’t get to the weekly yoga or pickleball gatherings, or volunteer for all that I could volunteer for at church, the Arts Council, the Playhouse, etc. Instead, I’m reveling more often in walks with Doug and the dog, enjoying babysitting Adeline and enjoying Facetiming with Alice, Meg and Seth for my “ahhh” moments. Glad you found your bliss outside of a structure that was inhibiting rather than augmenting your personal growth in this journey through life. Namaste to you, too!


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