Standing on the shoulders of our ancestors....

**originally posted for my other blog/site on January 8, 2014**

“We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, but if we’re not aligned with their rhythms, we have to carry them on our backs. If we take up their traditions of sadhana (disciplined and dedicated daily practice), however, their engines give us strength.” – Bri Maya Tiwari

Back in April my world pretty much came crumbling down. Everything I planned, everything I put work into just came falling apart. I knew from the moment I got off the phone at the end, of the what I like to call, the worst day ever, that none of my go-to healing mechanisms would work this time around. I remember speaking to my friend and saying “I can’t handle this” and when we hung up saying to myself-why am I not good enough?

And so it began. This journey.

I found myself in my beloved yoga studio at least four days a week, sometimes doubling up on classes when I was there. I knew that I needed time to be with myself, and my yoga mat offered me that time. After dancing through my yoga practice, my body had released enough built up energy to give me the stillness to sit with my thoughts. I knew enough that if I wanted to begin to really heal from all the hurt I had experienced, I had to sit in my stillness and face myself. True healing begins when we stop playing the blame game.

All my life, I always had a feeling of something being missing, like there was more to my life and I just could not put my finger on it. I thought that by constantly learning and understanding more about my culture and roots, that would fill this void. Then this summer, I began reading The Path of Practice by Bri Maya Tiwari, on a teacher’s recommendation and it hit home; Maya emphasizes acknowledging and honoring our own energy along with the energies of the universe and our ancestors. BOOM! How could I fill a void, heal from my wounds, when I did not fully understand my familial roots? So I sat some more, facing myself, facing all the pain that I experienced, witnessed and inherited. I began digging, in my own memory files and in my families. I surrendered control of my life, and asked the universe to show me what I needed to see, to let me feel what I needed to feel and to just simply guide me. I remember at the end of one encounter with my yoga mat this summer, I cried the entire time during savasana (the final corpse pose of class), and just simply said “ok, I surrender universe, your turn” -I was finally ready to listen. That is when things started to fall into place.

So December 31, 2013, I surrendered the keys to my apartment, gave away a lot of my belongings, put the rest in storage, packed a bag for me and my mini schnauzer and practiced non-attachment and left my home base of NYC, in a journey of self-discovery, honoring my lineage and deepening my yoga practice. First stop was Richmond, VA, to visit a dear friend Yogi J Miles, whose spirit and donation based yoga studio, offered the first motivation to step out of my comfort zone and move forward with my dharma (my life duty, according to the universe) of bringing yoga to my community. Next stop is Orlando, Florida, where my maternal cousin and abuela live. After that is Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to hit up the titi- I have lots to fill her in on!! I’ll continue my journey around the island, some of it alone, some of it with my dear Boriqua yogini CarmenLeah, who is my soul sister. After a month there, I’ll journey on to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where my paternal primita will meet me and we will get to explore more about my fathers side of my roots. I have no tickets after that, because seriously that is just too far in advance to plan. After all, we are supposed to live in the moment- it is all we really have. But I have every intention of spending time in Colombia and LA, California with friends, who are really an extension of my family.  I am sure there will be other places added to the list, but that will come with time. Don’t fret though, I will be back in NYC for my sweet partner’s graduation from SVA, he may not think it is a big deal, but gaining a masters degree, and in cinematography at that, as a man of color in this country is no easy feat, so there will be a celebration!

In the meantime, the universe provided me all that I needed to get to this point, and I will keep listening and keep walking, even if I do not know exactly where I am going because I know the universe always takes care of me.

paz and namaste!