Finding my passion

In 2012, I was officially diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety. Truthfully, this was something I had always battled with, but getting it on paper meant confronting the demons. I finally understood that this wasn’t a bad day or week. This was something that I needed to accept was going to be present, probably for the rest of my life. I fought the perceived stigma of taking anti-depressants for years until I realized that if I didn’t, my suicidal ideation would eventually become a reality and my son would wake up one morning without a mother. I took 3 different tablets before I found the one that worked for me.

In the following months, I was forced into a great deal of introspection and slowly, the realization hit that I was not getting as much joy from my work, as I had in the past. I started wondering if my state of mind was boredom and stagnancy… maybe 12 years with one company had made me lose my drive for more. The undeniable fact sank in that I didn’t want to be in the corporate world anymore. But what do you do when all of your education has prepared you for the path that you no longer want to follow?

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Some people may think that maybe I chose the wrong path. But I always loved sciences and still do. I pursued my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry and then followed with my Master of Science degree in Food Science and Technology. Those choices always felt right and allowed me a very comfortable career. Why then did I suddenly feel as though I had made the wrong decision? And was it possible to fix at this stage of my life?

I restarted practising yoga with no other intention than relaxation and after a few months, my yoga teacher offered her first training program… a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified program. Some aspects were opened to the public as individual sessions and I signed up for all. Those sessions dealt a lot with yoga philosophy and really understanding the roots of where yoga came from. As soon as I attended, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to do this training.

I started planning for 2014. Being a single mother with a recently diagnosed autistic son didn’t make matters easy. However, planning a year in advance was a huge advantage. Godparents were called on for babysitting duties and support as I embarked on yoga teacher training in 2014.

On the 2nd day of training, I told my yoga teacher that I wanted to do this full time. As much as she wanted to, I’m not sure she believed me. But all of the ambiguity in my life suddenly made sense. Turning my back on 14 years of building my career to become a yoga teacher, with an unreliable income, having to hunt for work made sense. And if you don’t know me… I’m a Type A personality, very OCD, Virgo, who plans my life to a T. Yet casting everything to the wind somehow made me feel more confident and secure than I had in years.

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I spent the next two years fine-tuning my skills and building my financial safety net. On February 12th 2016, I officially left the corporate world and adopted the new job title of yoga instructor.

Fast forward two years… no regrets but sometimes worrying moments. Finances are tighter than when I had the luxury of a consistent, unvarying pay cheque, but so far I’ve been comfortable and blessed. The one lesson I’ve learnt is that you cannot put a price on peace of mind. I’ve now made peace with myself that my depression and anxiety are not something I can snap out of. They are as a result of a chemical imbalance and I will likely be on medication for the rest of my life. But I’m ok with that. And being in a profession that allows my mental strength to develop is always a benefit. Having a profession that allows me to be connected with a passion that I never imagined possible brings me a greater level of positivity and joy which never previously existed in my life.

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Yoga is an experience that will transform your thinking, your views on life and the world. Working hard for something that you love is called passion and I have found my passion in yoga.

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#lifeinleggings vs #lifeinlongpants

A few days ago, a male friend of mine posted the following on his Facebook page…

“An indian man pulled up alongside me heading South talking to me about my penis, what’s the size, whether it thick, if he go faint when he see it, and if he ask me to show him it, if I will indulge.😐 #lifeinlongpants”

What followed was typical laughter, comments “did you show him? 😂” Over 100 people gave reactions and more than half were the laughing emoji. Only 2 were angry.

But then the following comment was posted by my friend…

“I’m sharing so that men can understand what women go through on a DAILY basis. I experienced this once. Women get this every day probably 10 times MINIMUM per day. That is SUPER uncomfortable.”

Yes, it is SUPER uncomfortable and I wonder how many men can truly appreciate that. I recently had separate discussions with 3 male friends, all of whom have had several serious relationships and each man acknowledged that over three quarters of their girlfriends had been raped. We’re not even talking about inappropriate behavior yet… over 75% raped 😔

Now, to my male readers, take a second and think if you have ever had to do any of the following…

  1. Change gyms because of ogling / leering / inappropriate comments.
  2. Change clothes before leaving home because maybe you shouldn’t expose your knees.
  3. Take a different walk home because there is a construction site on your usual route.
  4. Choose not to travel and instead wait on a direct drop because you want to avoid walking on a certain road.
  5. Put in headphones to hopefully drown out the catcalls and sexual innuendos.
  6. Ask a friend of the opposite sex to accompany you in a veiled attempt to minimize attention.

I’m gonna hazard a guess and say that not one single man reading this has ever had to do any of those things or even thought about it. For women, this is our norm. I think we’ve become so accustomed that we’re not even angry or upset anymore. I’m not even sure we recognize inappropriate behavior anymore because it’s become second nature. But how do we change this abhorrent status quo? Maybe I’m being way too simplistic but I believe that the answer lies in our men… the more men who can recognize that #lifeinleggings is a challenge. By being willing, to not only refuse to be a participant but also being an active opposer. By recognizing inappropriate behavior for what it is and calling it out, instead of regarding it as male fun or locker room talk. By truly empathizing with the opposite sex. Only when more of those men start stepping up will change start happening. Kudos to those who already set the bar high and hopefully, at least one person can be inspired to reconsider their behavior and make a positive change.