Day 11: HOT Raw and Juicy Adventure.
Yes, life is an adventure! And the story we tell ourselves is the basis of our lives.
Over the past couple days, I’ve felt this powerful letting go of attachment to both how I identify myself and sabotaging beliefs. It feels like the clouds are separating after a big storm and an awe inspiring light is beaming through; a mesmerizing light that captures only what is present and all fear, worries, and the chattering mind become still.
Before opening Sun In Bloom, my identity was Aimee Follette, the Bikram Yoga teacher. Previous to teaching yoga, my identity was Aimee Follette, the publicist and marketing director for the Fox Theatre, a music venue in Boulder, Colorado. And prior to this identity, I was Aimee Follette the girl who was going to go to medical school and become a doctor.
In college, I was living multiple lives as I juggled my identities of being a talented art student, psychology student, 4.0 pre-med student, girlfriend to an extremely abusive boyfriend, domestic violence counselor, and secret addict on the side. A dark multi-identity, I know - not the woman I see myself as today.
High school was another confusing chapter. My parents and I clashed. They didn’t understand me; I did not understand them. We were all frustrated, angry and it was just a really sad era of my life as I tried to navigate my identity as a teenager, balancing my desire to be the “smart” girl and the “popular” girl. Being an over-achiever and wanting to be liked turned into a mega-mess.
I am the eldest of 3 sisters. I can recall my parents telling me at seven years old that I was suppose to be the “good example” for my sisters. I always felt wrong. I was responsible for all of the bickering, fighting, conflict, and unhappiness in my family.
Growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts for the first 5 years of my life, we had a beautiful back yard that met up with 4 neighbor’s yards. My parents tell me I was visiting with neighbors from the time I could crawl. And some of my fondest memories are with these people that I only knew in my earliest years of life. I also remember imagining and wishing at this time that I had a different family. I wanted a perfect family with happy parents who acknowledged me and gave me attention and affection. I wanted to feel loved.
This is a story – a little girls interpretation of a series of events that she strung together to create the basis of her life. And from my interpretations, I created a belief that my parents did not love me the way I wanted them to. This led to complex insecurities that I’ve carried with me through out my life and that have played a large part in the story I’ve created.
My parents are amazing – the most intelligent, loving, and generous people I know. I revere both my Mom and Dad for their individual talents and accomplishments in life as both parents and active members in society. And I feel gratitude every day to them for giving me life.
Our relationship today is a different story from the one I tell above. It’s the story of a girl with two perfect parents who love her very much.
As soon as I became conscious of my true identity, the essence of who I really am, I freed myself of the “baggage”. It’s been amazing to experience life living out-loud, standing in my truth, and being me. Sharing my life without apprehension or fear that I am not living up to the “identity” I imagined my parents wanted me to have has opened up the possibility for me to experience a truly loving relationship with them.
But, when I opened Sun In Bloom, I relapsed back into insecurities, as I attached meaning to events, like the criticism, judgment and feedback I received from the public. And as I allowed negative beliefs to take root in my body, I succumbed to their power to cause dis-ease (in my case – hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, candida, chronic fatigue).
Breaking free of sabotaging beliefs can feel like you are taking on a massive war by yourself – you against a zillion powerless thoughts that consume your mind at every moment. But as I became more aware that I was allowing these beliefs to control my life in every aspect, I listened to my gut and followed the calling I felt to juice for 60 days and take control for how I feel in my life. Day 11, I can’t even begin to explain in words the love and courage I feel and how they overshadow the moments of fear I continue to experience.
Waking up on this rainy day was magic. My body, mind and spirit were equally energized. I drank 32 ounces of green juice, tacked my messy room and made it to my 10 AM yoga class.
Practicing Bikram Yoga has saved me at different points in my life and today’s practice was very special. For the first time since I returned to my practice after being out of the room for nearly a year, I felt empowered as I looked into my reflection in the mirror. My body felt strong and flexible. Pre-cleanse, I’d have minor panic attacks looking at my reflection when I would see a body that was inflamed and tired. My mind didn’t give up in eagle. I went into the depth of the posture where I had left off two years ago. My spirit felt happy, joyful, and love. I’ve practiced nearly every day while drinking only fresh pressed organic juice, which is what my body has desired. I know I want to experience my life having a mind-body connection. It is in this space of connection when I am not only feeling optimal health, but I am happy.
Love is a powerful experience. Detaching from the meaning we’ve given to events in our lives will make room for new beliefs and the possibility to create a story we want to tell the world. And I dream everyone will allow him or herself to be vulnerable enough to feel love, see that events have no inherent meaning, and experience the story they truly want to live.
P.s. My Mom just informed me that my Dad is moving towards a vegan lifestyle. Amazing! I do not push my beliefs onto my parents. I only share my experiences and information. And my Mom is making green smoothies in the Vita Mix she gifted herself with the one she gave me as a birthday gift three years ago. If you read this Mom and Dad, I love you!