That’s right I lost my happy, I am not sure where it went or when I lost it. For a long time I thought it was like that missing sock, stolen by little elves in the middle of the night and stored with the other missing things of the world. The first time I remember thinking about not feeling generally happy was during graduate school. I was in my second year a working 7 days a week between my full time job, my internship and classes. This is also the first time I ever really expressed not feeling happy.
The Moment of Ah-Ha
There I was sitting in my internship supervisors office and crying uncontrollably. What she told me I will forever remember. It wasn’t the secret to finding happiness and it sure was not advice on how to handle my life. It was my moment of “ah ha”. She told me master’s of social work programs break you down to build you back up as a social worker. I began to apply this to my life. At the time I was entering my mid twenties, and I realized that I was at a point in my life where I was being turned into to someone else, to the woman I was meant to be.
The bigger question began, what kind of woman did I want to be? Whats really important to me? These were not simple questions with simple answers and it took me years to have any idea. In my search for my happy I realized that I was doing a lot of thinking about what I did not have. The things that my life lacked. A well paying job, a serious relationship and children that I envisioned I would have by the time I was 28. I was not thinking about these things in a productive or welcoming way. All my focus was on the fact that I did not have them. This caused a version of my self that today I don’t recognize, not only was I sad but I was also angry and bitter. It was an ugly version of myself.
Being a girl can be rough, no one gives you a handbook at birth in exchange for your email address. For some of us, even more challenging than being a girl, is learning to have friendships with other girls. Luckily, the Universe gives you other girls to help you out.
Recently, my niece went on a college tour to the east coast. Basically she living the life that I wanted to live when I was her age. She worked her ass off to get there and I could not be prouder of her. Just writing it nearly brings me to tears. Who I am kidding I am crying right now, it’s fine. She went to big schools and small schools; she took pictures in the wonder that is Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. One of the small schools she visited was one that has been reaching out her to due to her being badass softball chick. The school had so much history, it was an all girl’s school until just a few years ago and has a small tight nit student body, and she fell in love.
I thought, I wish that I knew when I was 18 how important it is to be connected to other women. To have a tribe of action taking badass women. I didn’t though, I was little miss independent for as long as I could remember. It filled me with joy when people called me independent, I thought I can do this all by myself, I got this.
Going it Alone
Connecting with other women had always been a challenge, I used to tell people that girls did not like me, I was not a “girls girl”. And I was totally okay with it. Except I wasn’t, not even a little. Deep inside me I knew I was missing out on something, that there was something special about girlfriends.
So I spent the majority of my 20’s trying to go it alone, not totally alone I had my very best friend for life, but let’s be frank. I could kind of be a lot to handle back then, it was a multi-person job. But I had no idea how to even approach connecting with women. My own insecurities got the best of me, I was confident that all of the women had their shit together, that they mastered this whole grown ass women thing. That I was the only one out here without a map, lost.
Savasana Pose is one of the most challenging and most important poses. The word Savasana, in Sanskrit, means Corpse. So this in effect is Corpse Pose. I know, sounds a little graveyardy but bare with me. Essentially to get into this pose you lay flat on the ground or my favorite, in a hammock.
Sounds simple right, like I shouldn’t even be bothering to write this. You can lay flat on the ground easy peasy. I used to think the same thing. I would wait the whole yoga session to get to the laying down part. Laying down is the best, I love it. Savasana is still one of my most favorite poses. Somedays I go to yoga just to be able to do it, although it’s for very different reasons.
About Savasana Pose
The purpose of doing Savasana is about being present in the moment. In Savasana the yogi lets go of all of the stress of the day, clears their mind and focuses in on the self, rather than at the external. This is not the time to be thinking of the million loads of laundry waiting for you or to be planning dinner. That can all wait, Savasana is your time, it’s your time to focus on you.
Getting into Savasana takes little to no physical effort, unless your doing it in a hammock in which it takes more effort but is absolutely worth it. Yet it is a very challenging pose. My own natural restlessness was magnified the first couple times I attempted to get into Savasana Pose. I will admit I often ended Savasana early. Big mistake.
Recently, I was traveling for work. It was a quick, one day turn around trip. It included two flights on one of those little regional airplanes. I do not like little regional airplanes. There never seems like there is enough room on them and the air seems get sucked out immediately after landing. This feeling is 100% anxiety inducing for me and on this particular trip, it hit.
Stop. Drop. Meditate.
Once our plane landed, immediately I started to feel as though I was not getting enough air. The guy next to me was for sure hogging all of it, I knew it. My anxiety started to talk to me, telling me I had to get off that plane. It started trying to get me to do crazy things, like screaming and running. The kinds of things that will get you thrown in airport jail. I am jail adverse so I stopped and thought, okay Megan, you’re feeling anxious what helps when you feel this way?
I closed by eyes, began my conscious breathing, in through my nose slowly and out through my mouth. I began to visualize that there was plenty of cold air on the plane, plenty of space. Feeling my lungs fill with air reminded me that I was, in fact getting enough air. Before I knew it my boots no longer felt like they were suffocating me and I was getting off of that damn plane.
I have heard it a lot and seen it all over the Internet, like this study. Millennials are not showing up to church. That we are somehow disinterested in God and that we don’t think it is important. But why?
I am a Millennial, as are most of my friends and I can say that neither of those things are true. I turned 30 in 2016 and as I neared 30 I began really needing to feel connected to a community. The need to be connected to my spiritual side was stronger than ever before.
So I started trying on churches. I first went to an interfaith Thanksgiving service. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been apart of. Hearing pastors, rabbis and imams read prayers in the language of their religions brought me to tears.
It was in that moment that I realized that I needed this. I live in a fairly small town so I don’t exactly have an abundance of options. I went to a couple Unitarian churches and while I felt connected to their messages I discovered, even at the most open-minded, inclusive churches, people my age where not there.
That made think, are millennials really just not down for church?
So I took a break from trying on churches to really think about what I wanted in a community. I knew I wanted a community with other people my age. An inclusive community that focused on unconditional human love and compassion, a community that focused on growing as people and a community that encouraged free thought and expression. Generally, a place that encouraged and supported me in being my best without placing restrictions or judgements on me.
During this time I also took up yoga, much more seriously than before. I think it was an attempt to find a community if I couldn’t find a traditional church that fit me. I realized the last piece I was looking for one night while was in savasana pose in my aerial yoga class.
That night was an especially hard night. I had an emotionally draining day at work and came home to find a notice that I may have to leave the apartment that I love, through no fault of my own. I was having all the feels when I walked in to yoga that night. Pushing it out of my mind I tried to focus on my yoga practice. I focused on my breathing, on being present in the moment.
But at the end, when my instructor had us safely cocooned in savasana, I felt all those feelings come in. I began to cry, as I listened to the meditation music, I let it out. Letting myself feel all the anxiety and stress and sadness. As I cried, I realized that I felt safe here. It was safe to let those emotions out so I could focus on my next steps, set my intentions.
That is my church
I was giving up my control and connecting with my higher power. It wasn’t necessary to show up on Sunday morning to a pretty building and listen to a preacher or pastor. All I needed was the quiet time, in the darkness, listening to meditation music and my yoga instructor telling me to let go of what happened that day and to set my intentions for the next day.
Maybe millennials are doing it differently, maybe it’s just me. To be honest I am not totally sure.
Let me know your thoughts on church, I would love to hear from you.
Anyone that does yoga knows that there are yoga poses you love and yoga poses you hate. I prefer to think positive so here are my favorites.
I took the long road to really discovering yoga. Really discovering because I gave it a couple tries over the last couple years but it never stuck. The first time I ever did yoga, I went to a yoga class with my mom at the local community center, we went once. I remember feeling like all that breathing was going to make me faint and being bored. I wasn’t ready for yoga yet.
Fast forward a couple years. I started the P90x program and part of the program was yoga. I finished the P90x program and was able to see a real change in balance when doing the yoga, yet still yoga was the afterthought of the program.
Full discloser, I am a Beachbody Coach and I have only ever finished two programs. P90x as mentioned above, long before I became a coach and the 3 Week Yoga Retreat last October. It’s not because I don’t like the other programs I do, I just absolutely love yoga. While I was completing the 21 days of yoga, I found myself looking forward to yoga everyday. In 21 days, I was hooked. I now crave that place I go into when I am focused on my breathing and feeling myself go deeper in poses than before.
Eighteen days ago I challenged myself to 30 days of yoga. I chose 30 days because; one, a month of yoga sounded nice and two, research shows that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. So 30 days seemed like a good jumping off point.
Eighteen days in, these are my five favorite yoga poses and why I love them
I'm Megan and I live in Lompoc, California with my two pugs, Goliath and Sampson, who I am borderline obsessed with. By day I am a Social Worker and by night I write this blog about finding happiness, getting healthy and creating a life you love.
I live for a homemade cupcake, the smell of an old book and a great cup of coffee.
I hope you enjoy reading!
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