A story from our founder, Melanie Taylor
In February of 2020, after years of struggle and misdiagnosis, I was diagnosed with PTSD. The year that followed has been filled with therapy, tears, and a lot of healing.
Part of the healing came from looking at my past and present with fresh eyes. To look into my patterns and the beliefs I had developed over my life. It was difficult, and a continual work in progress. But each time I do it I find the freedom I never dreamed was possible.
When I was 12 my grandfather left his car on the side of the road and hitchhiked out of our lives. At that moment everything that I knew to be true was not. It would take many, many years before he returned to us. This was a time of great suffering, for my family and me.
On the day that he returned I remember going to my grandmother’s house to see him. I can see now that I expected some grandiose reason that would make sense of it all. Some magic explanation that would take away the pain. The truth was lies had caught up with him and he was scared so he left to avoid facing the truth. As I sat in that room, watching and listening, I couldn’t believe that this person who had been bigger than life to me was not who I thought he was. The pain I felt, and that I saw in my family was unimaginable.
What I didn’t know then was the story that I made up to survive. That at this moment I decided that I would never again allow someone to hurt me or lie to me. This is where my pattern began. But how? How could I protect myself?
To find this, I needed to look back at my patterns with relationships. To get real about who I had become and how it was affecting me today.
Looking in the mirror
Fast forward to July of 2020. I am sitting in the cushy brown chair of my therapist’s office, and I begin to see it all. (Read more about my recovery)
Here is what I found. I had spent the 25 years following this moment playing out a pattern over and over.
When a mentor didn’t do what they said, I couldn’t allow myself to experience their word not being met. So instead of asking questions, or even allowing myself to be disappointed, I would overlook it, even make excuses for them, and take on the work myself. I had let them in, I needed them to be who they said they were, even if it meant I did the work.
When my would move the bar of success further away, I couldn’t not be who I said I was for them. So instead of speaking up, or challenging it. I would burn my self out working to meet the new expectations. I simply could not be what was expected of me.
As a mom, I taught my kids to problem solve, self sooth, and be self reliant. That while I was there for them for anything, the bigger message was always to be responsible for your needs. I couldn’t face that one day someone would hurt them, so I attempted raise them so strong that they couldn’t be hurt.
In my closest relationship with my husband, when he asked what I needed I would tell him only partially truths, or even change the bar if he ever met it so he could never truly meet my needs. I couldn’t let him in so deeply because he too could leave in an instant.
I was finally able to see how the lies and pain was the source of my way of being. I could see that I had taken all this on because I simply couldn’t lose who my grandpa was for me. I could see each person I had replayed this role with, the mentors, the bosses. Each time that their actions clearly showed they were not who they said they were that I couldn’t just let them go. I had to restore their integrity. I had to make it work.
I thought that I had been so careful with who I let into my life. I thought I had chosen the right people, people who cared. I never saw it coming, I couldn’t allow it to continue, so I did everything I could to not relive the pain.
Embodying the Vayus
In yoga, we believe that health is allowing our experiences to move through us. And it is our vayus, or winds of energetic movement, that allows us to move our experiences through us. The practice of the vayus allows us to connect with life’s energy, to allow it to move peacefully through us. It is through understanding how the winds move within us, that we are able to embody them in our practice and in our lives with authenticity, peace, and connection.
- Prana Vayu – The intake of experiences, external stimulations, which is effected by our perception
- Samana Vayu – The digestion and discernment of what we take in through Prana Vayu
- Udana Vayu – The upwards release through speech, expression and spiritual connection
- Apana Vayu – The downwards release through letting go, elimination
- Vyana Vayu – The release of energy from the core of the body through to extremities
It was embodying the vayus that allowed me to truly let it all go.
Our liberation from suffering comes when we work with the energy within us, and not against it. To allow peace of mind and clarity with the world within us and the world around us. It supports our alignment with our values and our true self.