Updated: May 4
In Part I, I started to share about the resurfacing of traumatic experiences in March 2019 that led to me taking time away from my consulting business. As I struggled through the following months, my therapist, primary care physician, and I came up with a plan for what we agreed would help me most - to return to India. I had experienced so much healing there two years prior. I know it's an option that not everyone has, and honestly it wasn't technically a financially smart move for me, but I was completely at my wit's end and had a gut feeling it was the right choice. Also, being part of the German social system, I was able to be written sick (burnout and C-PTSD), and was allowed to travel during that period of time for healing purposes.
I was nervous about going; I had been feeling anxious in crowds and unsafe going out at night, and India is notoriously...erm not the safest for women traveling alone, but I took every precaution to make sure I could get to Rishikesh with as little stress as possible. I would be there for a month for the second part of my yoga teacher training - I knew I would have the best chance of feeling better if I had some structure and guidance, rather than going it alone.
When the program started, I did have some interpersonal difficulties - with certain teachers, other students, etc. I also felt my usual irrational terror at public speaking, singing mantras, and teaching classes. But over time, these fears started to fade. I began to gain confidence, to stand my ground, to speak my mind. And then, about halfway through the course, I experienced an almost indescribable meditative state. I won't go into to much detail, but ultimately, I connected with something so much greater than myself, that my remaining fears and inhibitions fell away. I felt calm; I felt safe. For the first time I could remember, I felt like myself. I felt like I knew what I wanted, that I had the energy to actually show up in the world, to contribute to the fullest. And I knew that, no matter what happened, everything would turn out fine. I began to pick up on and listen to signs from the universe. It was nothing but pure magic. And from this security, I was able to move forward.
This was an amazing development for me personally, and it changed the course of my path. I felt the strength to act on things I had only dreamed of. It changed the way I conducted myself at work and with strangers. And somehow, even though I was spending more time on my personal practices than ever, I also was making friends in Munich for the first time in two years.
At the same time, this had dramatic repercussions for my plans and my relationships. In some ways, people who I had known for years encountered a different person in me. For example, some met resistance from a person they were accustomed to being amenable, a pushover. And my priorities had shifted. I realized that, for the last few years, out of a combination of people-pleasing, fear, and low self-worth, I had put my dreams on the back-burner. So after returning from India, following what I felt to be my purpose in life became paramount. These things led to a lot of upheaval - some relationships ending, some changing. In some ways, in exploring this newfound power, I swung like a pendulum, testing the boundaries like a child. I was actually going through a process that most people begin as children. It wasn't always easy for the people around me, and I'm eternally grateful to the people who stuck with me or supported me through this time.
Though it's been a learning process, it's been worth it, and I can't imagine returning to how things were before. Since returning from India, I have completed a reiki certification, applied to and chosen a PhD program, have come back to nutrition and wellness coaching, and couldn't be more excited for the future - despite the transitional difficulties that have come with all of this. I feel aligned, and I can see my place in a story that is still unfolding, but finally makes sense.