I started my Saturday with a few chilly miles along the Potomac River. I’m at a yoga retreat near Harpers Ferry, WV with one of my favorite teachers Naomi Gottlieb-Miller. This is my 4th year attending this retreat — it’s an annual tradition.

The first year I came, I was a total mess. My life was in a state of complete and utter turmoil. But after leaving this place in January 2015, I turned everything around. I made some tough decisions about what was best for me and I never looked back.

I left many bad relationships and healed the good ones in my life. I walked away from the stuff that was suffocating me. I let go of what I thought my life was supposed to look like and embraced the life that was right in front of me. I left a successful 12-year career in corporate legal and created a business that continues to grow and evolve as I do. It was a long and often painful road … but it was so worth it.

Every year that I return to this place is a celebration of how far I’ve come, how hard I had to work, and how much I let go of. But it’s also a marker of time. Here I am, just 3 short years after the darkest days of my life and I’m thriving. And if I can find my way out of the mess that was my life then, well friends, let me tell you that anything is possible. The key is in recognizing that you hold the keys. If you’re lost, only you can lead yourself out of it. No one else can save you.

So this morning, I stopped midway on my run and sat along the rocky banks of the river (not long, I was sweaty and it was 27 degrees out there) and I took 10 long, slow breaths with my eyes closed — 10 breaths as a reminder that I saved myself, a reminder that I have that power and always will.

I don’t control everything but what I can control is more than enough to build a happy, healthy life.

2 Responses

  1. I love this, and it resonates so much with me! I also have undergone some pretty radical changes in life, in directions I would have never previously imagined. One of my biggest challenges, that I feel like I have finally gotten a handle on, is finding a workplace that allows me to live the balanced life I need. I’m an emergency veterinarian, and sadly, my profession tends to glorify brutal hours, and neglect of basic nutritional, emotional, and physical needs. For me, movement is medicine, and adequate time for self-care and reflection are not luxuries, but vital qualities for a healthy life. I’ve gone through a lot of trials and struggles to get to this point where I’m living a life authentic to me. It sounds like you’ve gone through a very similar experience! You are so right in your assessment that only one who can, and will, dig out of an impossible situation is the person going through it. It was so hard, but ultimately, I am grateful for those challenges, because they helped me find my inner strength, and led me to the much happier place I’m at today.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience Alisha! Like you, I too am grateful for the journey and the challenges that I faced. The choices we don’t like to make are the hardest — but ultimately I believe they teach us to trust ourselves more. To step out into the mess and trust that our own strength will be enough to carry us through. Love to you lady! Xoxo

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