My year

You know how some years are so memorable that they give you sweet memories to cherish for a lifetime and other ones are more like 'Damn, I made it through that'. Well, 2014 has given me many sweet memories, but it definitely falls in to the category of the latter
My year
It was a very full year, full of both highlights and bottoms falling out. It's been a year of changes and things falling in to place for me, and it has also been the year I decided to grow up and take responsibility for my shit
The year started in the van, at some point I will give you a more detailed description of what happens when a family of three cram together in a surface that is smaller than most people's bathroom. For now let's just say that living in a van for 2 years is very revealing, and both tightens and places a great strain on your relationships.
I think new years eve 2013 was spent parked by one of our favourite beaches down here, we watched the stars for a bit, had champagne at ten o clock and then went to sleep.
We started the year like we had started all years since moving down to the Algarve, in a state of mild anxiety/cautious excitement of what 2014 would bring. At this point we had been living for a year and change in the van, it had broken down a few times leaving us sleeping on the floor in our friends yurt for a few weeks and making us realise how very fragile our living situation was.
We had just given notice on our yoga studio and spent January hosting a month long workshop for our beloved students that had been learning, laughing and crying with us for almost 4 years. It was a beautiful experience and when it was over, when we closed The Lightroom, it left us feeling a bit lost, a bit without solid footing. We had cared for our studio and given it all the love and energy we had, but the grim situation down here in Portugal that was and still is in deep crisis, was a sobering reality that we couldn't do anything about.
We were also in the birthing stage of The Jewel of Yoga, had invested whatever small savings we had in the venture and were effectively living on the razors edge both financially and existentially. We are quite popular as Yoga teachers so we have had a clear indication that our way of teaching seem to resonate with people, but we felt we were still a long way from that confidence that only comes from either a highly evolved state of being, or a thick financial security blanket. We hadn't hit rock bottom, but we had hit that place right in the middle that is so confusing, the one where the distance to the extremes is equal. Could easily go both ways. How long would we be able to sustain this tight, very taxing living situation? How long could we hold out waiting for our yoga retreats to work? How much could we bend sideways and door ways in order to maintain this delicate status quo of just surviving?
In the first part of this year I seriously contemplated moving back to Sweden, I thought of going back to school and maybe studying...I don't know, economy?
I questioned and reviewed my life, brought a sharp dissecting awareness-knife down on my life choices and went another round with self doubt. There were a few weeks, or maybe a couple of months I don't remember clearly, where I resisted with all my might the situation I found myself in. The van with all it's million inconveniences, the lack of income during the winter months, , the ridiculously structured, corrupt society I was living in, I had the sinking feeling of being 42 years old and not really going anywhere.

There were of course moments of clarity and joy, family life was beautiful, the Algarve with all it's ups and downs is still one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. The van although incredibly time consuming and a nightmare for practicalities, did have a lot of precious moments. Like waking up 10 metres from the beach with the sound of the wild Atlantic waves as our alarm clock, the bright winter sun warming our faces while enjoying the morning coffee. Driving our little home to wherever we wanted while blasting Red hot chilli peppers in the stereo. Priceless little gems that I will always cherish.
But most of the time I had a heavy feeling in my heart. I managed to, mainly thanks to my religious zeal to do as many Savasana's as possible, not let it become overwhelming to the point of depression but the worry and stress took a toll. At some point Igor, who was wrestling with the same demons, had had enough, and one day when my complaining song was just a little too much to take, he directed some uncomfortable truths my way. We had of course already talked about the situation a million times, turned over every stone, even started seeing some possibilties, but I was deep in doubt still. So on this particular day when I had worn out his ears with my negativity a little bit too long we were driving, he pulled over and to shock me out of my bubble shouted loudly at me: 'This is life, this is what life looks like, because of your and our frogging desicions and whether you like it or not, we are cornered, god damn it! and there is no way out, Just grow the frogg up and deal with it!'
Ouch! I knew the theoretical truth in what he was saying, I had preached responsibility and the pitfalls of self pity many times in class thinking that perhaps I had learned that particular lesson, and was not going to be cornered again, but here I was, painted in to a very tight corner, again revisiting my very own self made prison. Now it was up to me to determine the strength of the bars. A good friend of mine who is also a yoga teacher once told me: We usually teach what we need to learn. How true.

Continue reading tomorrow... 



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