New life. There are a few monumental moments where I remember experiencing the miracle of new life, and new growth. The first time I experienced the change of seasons. I am a Southern California girl from Santa Barbara, where there is always growth and flowering vegetation. Then, my husband, Lee, and I moved to his home town of Portland, Oregon. It was in the Pacific Northwest where I experience the complete hibernation of the winter season: the pause of all growth with the shorter, colder, and darker days. When the change to spring began, and I saw the budding of new growth on the trees and plants, I felt a visceral reaction inside of me in celebration of this life! This new growth that is born from the darker days.
The miracle of pregnancy, and the new life of a baby first entering this world. I have gone through this experience twice, with my two boys who are now 11 and 13 years old. The first six months after having a child, you live in a sleep deprived, caregiving cycle that consumes you in the most beautiful but depleting way. It was at this six month mark that I remember a fog lifting that I didn’t even know I was living in until it was gone. That feeling of coming back to myself, and feeling more grounded in my new normal. Celebrating the new growth and coming out if the fog. Rather than just surviving, feeling alive again!
2011 was the year I quit my job of 9+ years to move the whole family to Berlin. It was my dream job, and I loved it! I had invested so much of myself and my heart into it. While it was a job I loved, the last few years of it were a struggle. I was trying SOOOO HARD to make it work! To save what was dying. Moving to Berlin and separating myself completely from this made me stop, and rather than process what had happened, I blocked. I went into a dark time of numbness. I realize now that I was in burnout and depression. My body and mind slipped into nothingness. I had very little desire to do anything but escape. Like my mother, I am a person who cries easily, in joy and sadness. During this time, I didn’t cry. My ability to feel the larger and broader spectrum of emotions was blocked. It was during this time I started to practice yoga with Sita in her home studio room. It was a slow and long process of melting the numbness and making choices to connect to people, and to myself. Softening towards myself and choosing to heal. To feel alive again! To cry freely, and celebrate my tears. To come out of the darkness into the light. To experience new growth.
Ana Forrest has a saying, “Learn to take your shit and turn it into fertilizer.”
Life happens. We celebrate life because we have experienced death. We dance in the light, because we have laid paralyzed in the dark. We can take our “shit,” learn from it, turn it into the fertilizer that new life can root and grow from.