Just a snippet I wanted to share:
I was always a “tomboy” throughout most of my life. During my youth, my time was spent exploring the nearby woods and parks of my hometown. As I got older, my playtime consisted of wrestling with boys in an attempt to dominate them in something they felt confident about: physical strength. It was my way to prove myself of value. At that time, I valued physical strength. This would usually amount to me getting pinned and teased, a prelude to my stubborn pride. However, If they were unlucky to tickle me, I would wildly thrash about and throw them off of me in a fit of rage induced strength. I will admit, it was a fun game at the time. Sometimes I did win, but not for long. Their strength soon outmatched mine as we grew older. Then, of course, at the time of adolescence when natural urges start to emerge, my wrestling with boys was mistaken for flirtation, so I restrained that part of my desire to play until I reached an older age. Until then, I tried to play the same way with my female friends but they would stop within the first minute and give up. I was disappointed. Disappointed in being female. At that time of being a teenager, I wanted to be a boy. There was even a story told to me about how the doctors thought I was going to be a boy based on my heartbeat and the sonogram images. Surprising the hospital staff and my parents with my entrance into the world as a little baby girl. Maybe that subconsciously played on my development? That maybe, I had somehow taken away from my father a chance to have a son to do father and son activities with. Either way, while growing up, I thought men were stronger than women in everything they did. Even so, I wanted to show that I was just as strong or stronger than my male counterpart. I wanted to be carefree and not worry about things “normal girls” would worry about such as looking nice for others, getting manicures, shopping, going on dates, talking about relationships and other things that seemed so utterly boring at that time. Instead, I would run around with the neighborhood boys, play video games, draw.
I met my best friend during that time, a girl that lived on the next street to my house. She wasn’t the typical girl that would talk about nails and hair with me, though she was more aware of those things. We would play video games, go on adventures together, join a softball team together and meet other girls like us. We were strong. I felt strong. My faith was renewed in womanhood and soon, she convinced me to try on a skirt and wear it to school for the first time. My previous rejection to what it meant to be a woman was met with this sudden flood of emotion. I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted things other women wanted. My sister and I at that time were going through growing pains of being close in age but different in mindset. Little by little these ideas of dressing up and being feminine snuck into my head. By then, in my twenties, I started looking into romantic relationships with men as my “next step” in life. To start a family and raise children. The younger version of myself swore that she would never marry or have kids. There had been a change in me. I wanted those things, along with my playful playing in mud activities of expression. The thoughts began to manifest in my early twenties of settling down and having children. Life never goes as planned. I went from relationship to relationship telling myself these were things I did not want but still I thought about them from time to time.
To keep things short, this is a reflection of what I thought about women and myself while growing and learning. I thought I was weak so I had to make myself stronger. I did just that over my life thus far. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that there is indeed, a problem. In this case I wanted to change something internally about myself.
I am weak.
Once you realize something you don’t like about yourself, you try really hard to fix it. Improve. Improve. Improve. That’s what humans do, right? We make things better. I was rebuilding myself into the person I wanted to be, not the byproduct of my environment or dismal thoughts of the past. Yoga played a crucial role. It was the turning point for me. That is why it’s also my passion to teach, share, laugh, and learn with others about yoga, meditation, and the clarity that accompanies a sharp mind (with ample rest and physical activity too!).