To believe in yourself when no one does, that is the real strength.
There were exactly two people in my life that supported me unconditionally. One is my father, the other one is my husband. One of them is watching me from the sky, the other one is still with me. At times, they believed in me, more than I did.
They never doubted me. They never told me I cannot do it. They were always there, giving me courage when I was loosing hope.
Having someone that believes in you is all you need sometimes to get up and keep fighting towards achieving your dreams. But many times we tend to listen to the bad people out there who project their own worries and disbelief. We tend to listen to the negative voices instead of trusting ourselves.
There have been many that put labels on me. Many that underestimated me and still do. I was called naive, a dreamer, shy, weak, quiet, not so smart and many others.
Growing up in a small town in Romania in the 90’s, somehow I never felt I fit in. As a child and teenager, I never felt I was born in the right place. I never agreed with the bullying disguised in humor which is so typical to our culture. I was predominantly an introvert, so you might as well say, this type of culture can become a hell for people like me.
For a long time I did not have a clue who I was and what I want. I was a follower, doing what others expected me to do. But deep inside my heart I knew I wanted to do my best in life. I wanted to fly as high as possible. I was always so eager to learn as much as I can. For a long time books where the only way to learn, until I discovered that nothing beats experience.
Somehow I persisted despite all odds.
I dreamed about going out there and discover the big world. I dreamed about being on my own. I dreamed about speaking various foreign languages every single day, discovering new cultures and new ways of being. I struggled so much to get to know myself and finally start doing something meaningful. I couldn’t tell what it was…it was just something stronger than me patiently guiding me to believe in myself and NEVER give up.
I had all the circumstances for failure. And I was told countless times that I will surely fail. But I did not give up.
And here I am years later living the dream I was dreaming when I was just a child. There is more to be done and to be discovered. As Michelangelo at age 87 used to say “I am still learning.”, we never stop learning. If we do, then we are already dead, but we just don’t know it yet.
Yoga came into my life when I was 22, but I only started to practice at almost 24 years old. I am grateful to my friend Preeti who first inspired me to practice without her even being aware of it. I remember feeling so inspired by her early morning practice when the rest of us were still sleeping. I admired her determination and commitment. Years after that, when I slowly started to fight my morning laziness and create the habit of morning daily practice, she still served as an inspiration. Almost 2 years of struggle in which I was literally dragging myself out of bed. Not always the best practice, but always a good idea to do it anyway. Deciding to do my best has taught me more than I could have ever dreamed. I learned it’s all in my hands. Life is unpredictable, but my decisions belong to me. There are days when I feel lazy, days when I feel motivated and energized. Days when I am strong and days when I am weak. I learn to accept all of them and keep putting effort. My daily practice becomes the moment of the day, when I finally have the chance to spend quality time with myself and accept myself as I am while still giving my best.
Through daily practice I learn that I am stronger than I ever thought. I learn that doing pretzel like postures at 6 am is nothing more than taking responsibility over my own life. I take responsibility over my health decisions, my relationships, my future, my old days physical and mental health. Everything that I do right now, it’s an investment for the future. I feel inspired to do my best! Dropping back at the age of almost 30 without hitting my head of the floor teaches me that everything is possible if you put the constant work, drop the expectations and trust yourself not with a narcissistic feeling, but with a true and pure intention. It teaches me to open up my heart and let go when there is nothing left to do.
I have always felt out of place when growing up. At times, many times wanted to be someone else. Someone cool, whatever cool means. I had to take my suitcase and go on my own in the big world out there to finally see who I was and let go of all the labels other people put on me.
On a yoga mat I found my freedom. Freedom to be whoever I am, not what society expect me to be. By doing my daily practice I feel I put the work to become a good person. On a yoga mat we all relearn what it means to be a human being. If and only if we are willing to put the work.
Yoga for me is no longer a hobby, but it becomes a lifestyle. The best lifestyle I have ever had.
In my case it is yoga. In your case might be something else. As long as it helps you grow and brings peace of mind, keep doing it!
I am grateful to the negative voices that came along my path because they taught me to believe in myself and appreciate the good people that are always there regardless if my days are sunny or cloudy. They taught me and keep teaching me that when you are strong enough to believe in yourself, nothing else matters.
Great people do not put other people down, but they lift them up and teach them what greatness really is about.
Get outside your head and more into your heart! Follow it! And NEVER give up! 🙂
© Unfold Your Mat 2017
Dear Lavinia you are realy great writer! This is so good and natural the way you express yourself and inspire others.
Greetings from Kraków, hugs and kisses.
Namaste my lovely teacher! Thank you so much for inspiring me, for bringing yoga to my life and made my evenings beautiful back in Krakow! I miss you and your classes!