I drew this mandala years ago, as I struggled through a deep dark night of my soul. Back then, it felt to me that there was no escaping the clutches of depression, and that the only way out was for me to disappear from the world as I knew it. I felt powerless, disembodied and in metaphorical ways, disemboweled as I felt disconnected to my gut.
Fortunately, I had a wise sage who helped me see not simply the light at the end of the tunnel, but also that there were great gifts from that dark night of the soul.
Indeed there was. It was living through that dark night and facing my demons that I have become the healer I am now. It has inspired me in the path I have taken and although I still fall prey to the predator Darkness from time to time, I have gained the skills of patience, stillness and equanimity that allows me to know I will make it through and that I will make it back home to what has heart and meaning to me. I will be home.
Every now and then, I wander away from home, and while this wandering away takes different froms — sometimes feelings of sadness, other times discontent or anxiety, and sometimes in the guise of interest and exploration— when I am not mindful and present, the wandering away can get me lost and disconnected from my source.
For the past few months, since I have come home from Australia, I have been putting pieces of me together. More recently, as I had begun putting together my yoga therapy program, I found myself looking for more and wanting more pieces of myself to put into that package as I tried to create my identity of who I am as a yoga teacher and therapist.
Today, however, I realized I need not look for myself anymore because I am right here. I have arrived. I am home.
I read a passage in an article once that went like this: “But sometimes you’ve got to lose yourself in order to find yourself, your true self. In Australia they call it ‘go walkabout’, a rite of passage when Australia’s Aborigines wander in the outback bush. Sometimes you have to challenge the beliefs you hold about yourself, the beliefs about what you’re truly capable of and what’s really possible. You have to challenge what you think is true, knowing there is always a different perspective, and start believing in what you really want”.
It isn’t lost on me how fitting it is that of all the places I could have gone, I ended up in Australia. It was my walkabout.
And now I am home. For this, I am grateful.