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Friday night I drank perhaps a couple too many of a totally lush Pinot Noir (note: too much in my books is still relatively sober for others). Alcohol and yoga don’t mix very well… seems to mess with my balance and joint flexibility. Weird but true!

Next morning I awoke another year older and feeling somewhat tamasic, but not enough to keep me lying down. See, I had work to do.

At my yoga school for the last official day of my training – a place I’ve spent nearly every Saturday of this year and many other days in between. Taught my final practice class (a little Pinot muddle-headed), and walked out with a letter in my pocket suggestively claiming I’m now officially a yoga teacher.

Weird.

Exciting.

Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

Hung out with my fellow fledgling yoga teachers and discussed our plans for conquering small patches of Melbourne with our mad yoga skillz.

Yeah!

Ate at my local cafe and chatted to my favourite proprietor (I’m soooo brave now!), shopped and eventually wandered home to find this in my mailbox…

No silly, not the contents! Just the wrapping… (thanks Yoga Dork, and also for the little YD sticker that came in the package!) 😉

All gussied up, ate a truckload of authentic Mexican food that night (as verified by a newly acquired American friend we prevailed upon to join our little sortie).

Sunday, final Shadow Yoga class for the year, pedicure, facial (self-birthday present) and late lunch with the family, purportedly in my honour, even if I was the last to be invited (don’t ask!). Ah well, that’s how it goes here sometimes…

But actually, I’m not different to who I was yesterday (or perhaps I am?). I’ve been becoming both this age and this yoga teacher all year. Some (including me) might argue, it’s been going on for much longer than that. And yet, Saturday marked an official status for both. Curiouser and curiouser.

See, I have this theory about the passing of time, in that it doesn’t really pass at all. But then, I never quite know what to do with all that stuff that looks very much like time gone by? Maybe I’ll figure it out one day. Til then, I simply nod and smile, looking at the pretty coloured lights.

Guess the point is… I still feel like me. But the ‘me’ that I feel like was never a yoga teacher before right now. I recall the non-yoga teacher ‘me’ but she isn’t here any more… there are vast miles between the ‘me’ of five, ten, twenty years ago, and now. But would I be here if not for that person?

Ageing, I increase my happiness. My self-knowledge, self-honesty and wisdom. But was I never not this age?

There’s a quote that says something like… “you must lose yourself before you can find out who you really are”. Which I interpret as having as much to do with concepts of detachment from materialism, as it does with beginning to see the world (including oneself) as it all really is.

I’m almost certain I lived a large portion of my life in some kind of imagined version of the world, starring an imagined version of myself. It all looked pretty much like reality, but slightly veiled or tinted with imagined flourishes: perhaps a spray of violet overlaid with a mother of pearl mosaic here; a host of faeries riding rainbow coloured dragonflies over there, just beyond my very own pirate ship anchored off-shore in the distance.

And I resided as much in those flourishes as anywhere else.

Still do sometimes – I think it’s just a part of who I am. Things have always made more sense as pictures, energy and colours than in any other form. But nowadays I can see the difference, because I did it: I lost myself.

I lost who I thought I was when a fist connected with my face and the back of my head smashed into a concrete wall. All illusions were shredded as I was terrorised by a stranger I previously thought I’d known. And my view of the world altered drastically when I was more than half-convinced I was going to die… I burned and descended into hell, taking everything I thought I knew with me. Which, it seems, triggered the emergency warning signal – resulting in a re-boot of my brain and sense of self.

‘Course, I had to deal with the aftershocks and the confusion… so much confusion…

Spent four years being lost (or maybe it was much longer than that?), wandering aimlessly adrift.

But… I’m beginning to see how my new operating system works, especially now that it’s all loaded up with new programs (e.g. Yoga Teacher v1.0) and a healthy dose of (growing) confidence (note to self: must keep up maintenance on confidence!).

I’ve learned I have strengths I never imagined I could possess. And I’ve begun to understand what makes me truly, utterly and inexplicably happy. Things that make my soul sing.

So here I am. All new and yet not. Radically altered and yet the same.

~Svasti

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