All my life I’ve placed myself into very specific categories: woman, independent, smart, scientist, to name a few. It has only been in the last few years, and most certainly in the last couple of months, that I’ve begun to expand that list of how I define myself: yogi, healer, artist, and now officially a writer.
I have been writing all my life. I have every single journal I’ve ever scribbled in starting from the 6th grade. I’ve written essays for school, scientific papers for work, and poetry for the loves of my life. I have written blog-like emails to friends and family during major life experiences like traveling to India for 6 weeks to take care of my soul son or traveling to Bali for my yoga teacher training. I have started this blog and have written about yoga and how it’s changed and impacted my life. I’m not really sure who reads this blog, but sometimes I feel like just putting my words out into the Universe is enough. I have been told by many people over and over that I should write a book.
As life continues to unfold for me, more than anything else, writing is what keeps me grounded and centered during the most chaotic times of my life.
At the beginning of this year, I experienced something I’ve never gone through before…I was laid off from my decade long job as a scientist due to a big-time corporate overhaul. I wasn’t entirely surprised by this turn of events and was not-so-secretly hopeful that I wouldn’t make the cut. Thankfully, my yoga practice (including a lot of svadhyaya or self study in the form of psychological therapy) over the last few years has helped me through the sometimes messy and painful process of detaching my self-worth and identity from my job title which made getting the news of my layoff incredibly easy.
On my last day in the office, I sent a thoughtful and gratitude filled email to all of the colleagues I’ve worked with over the last decade from all corners of the world wishing them well and thanking them for helping me grow up into the woman I am today. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that since the day of my layoff I haven’t felt extreme anxiety and fear about what I want to do with the next chapter of my life because I most certainly have. But, on the very first day of my very first stint of unemployment, I made a commitment to myself that I would do one thing every day no matter how I felt. No, it was not to do yogasana every day or meditate every day. I committed to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Prior to my layoff, I so desperately wanted to write, but I could find no words to adequately express what felt locked up in my head and heart. Once my employment status changed, I forced myself to write no matter what. Some days my writing is long and intense and full of thoughtfulness, some days only questions without answers spell themselves out, and on other days only superficially short sentences of meaningless day to day activities find their way to the pages. But no matter how intensely I feel or how bored I feel, I write. Every day I wake up and the first thing I do is write, reaffirming my commitment to myself. Anytime during the day when inspiration strikes or anxiety bowls me over or emotions choke my heart and fill my eyes with tears, I write. As I write this blog today, I have written 29,583 words on 84 pages and counting…it must be the scientist in me that wants to keep track of this kind of numerical data, a testament to my daily commitment.
It’s a funny and strange thing the way the Universe works. After only 8 days of privately committing to writing for myself, the managing editor for Bad Yogi, a yoga and lifestyle website and brand dedicated to tearing down yoga stereotypes and creating an all inclusive yoga culture, contacted me to be a contributing writer for their blog. I can write whatever I want, whenever I want and over 130,000 people will read my words.
So, today my first official blog on the Bad Yogi website goes live! To say I’m excited would be quite the understatement. Go ahead! Click on the link and go read more of my words and check out what it means to be a Bad Yogi while you’re at it!