“No one will know the violence it took to become this gentle” – Unknown
I have been on quite an inner personal journey these last few years but when I saw these words posted on an Instagram page I follow, I (along with several thousand) survivors of trauma collectively hit ‘like’ and started shouting ‘YEESSS’.
Survivors of any kind of trauma are some of the strongest people I know. They say if you want to know who the victim is, look at how much personal work they are doing to recover. Many people come to the spiritual path when in deep crisis. Of course, professional help is crucial, but when trauma takes your words, and pain sucks the air out of your lungs, finding a vehicle in which to tell your story, to claim your voice back is also important. For me, yoga and meditation are those vehicles.
It’s not spoken of a lot in the wellness industry, but healing, change, and transformation, don’t happen in the moments you are sat blissfully in the sun. It comes from the dark. Practicing yoga is genuinely the start of a journey inwards. When we begin, none of us have the skills, flexibility, or a jolly clue what we are doing but with Practice, you learn to control your breath, understand your mind, and know your body. You hear them speak. You connect with yourself in ways you could not previously comprehend. It’s a very difficult concept to grasp, particularly in western culture. But that’s the beauty of it. It’s your journey, your story. You can’t meditate with somebody else’s mind, you can’t yoga with somebody else’s body, and no matter how much others can empathize with you, no one can know how you feel. Therefore, you can write the story however you want to.
My mat is the vehicle for my story. I get on it every day and listen to myself. Where am I hurting? what am I holding on to? What do I need to release today? I see the sweat and dirt stains on my mat from previous practice and I smile. I know each one was hard-earned and I know the rollercoaster of emotions I rode and conquered in that Practice. But in doing so, I give myself the compassion that was missing, I rescue the parts of myself that are in need. And I stay strong and gentle.
If that’s you too, I see you, I hear you and I will hold space for you. Bringing life to the parts of you that need it the most so you can feel again is the most courageous act of self-love.
So, as Beltane arrives and the May Queen arises from her winter’s sleep to do battle with the Queen of Winter, sending her away for another six months, so that the earth can become abundant again, I dedicate my practice this May month to all the Kings and Queens walking themselves out of the darkness and into the light.