“I started going to yoga as an access to free my mind from the extremely stressful and “below the line” life I was living. I actually thought it would be a good way to escape my own reality. My roommate at the time practiced regularly and really enjoyed it and this played a big role in inspiring me to try.
However, when I went to my first class, I felt myself holding back- I wasn’t entirely “showing up”, or being vulnerable and authentic with myself. I was consumed with, and focused on keeping myself small; I was guarded and resisted sharing myself with the world around me.
Being happy or living a happy life was just simply something I didn’t feel like I deserved. I kept myself in this hole and couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out…digging down deeper and deeper. I felt trapped.
And, I stayed right there: choosing sadness and choosing to remain in self-pity. Avoiding growth is much easier than the uncomfortability of change, right? I never had to take a deeper look at different parts of my life or examine why I acted the way I did.
I always considered taking a yoga teacher training because I know its had such a huge positive and inspirational impact on the people around me- and I wanted that for myself. I assumed that if I did teacher training, maybe I would be like them. Maybe I would be positive. Maybe I would live a life full of inspiration and be a happy-go-lucky person.
The resistance to sign up derived from committing to something that could lead to significant change! Bottom line- I was faced with the uncomfortability of committing to the change in myself, but I wanted it, and I was in need of being heard and others to understand me, that I eventually caved and signed up.
During our first weekend of training, I felt myself becoming very vulnerable and a sense of release came over me. I was beginning to peel the layers of my very self back so quickly- and with people that I didn’t know well…this was all completely new territory to me! I noticed my tendency to back off when fear was present, and began to embrace it. It held the potential for growth that I was committed to. The training invited me to be myself, despite the stories I once believed to be true for myself that were holding me back. It was a safe place for all of us committed to growth to be- no matter where we were in our journeys. It all is a beautiful journey in itself.
I thought yoga was going to be an escape when actually it was the means to facilitate a transformation.
The fall I was in yoga teacher training, I started seeing a therapist and shared with her that I felt invisible; like I wasn’t being seen. She suggested: “Try showing up more. Try sharing yourself more,” and that was incredibly relevant in so many areas of my life. So, I started to show up and share myself. I spoke to those around me more intimately and even started sharing thoughts and ideas that I resisted for years out of fear and shame. People started responding with: “Thank you so much for sharing that. I can totally relate to you. I feel this in the exact way.” And, it helped me build a deeper connection to the people around me and I, in hand, grew in self-confidence.
I know that it’s my choice to close myself off or to be open and vulnerable. And, choosing the latter creates possibility and opportunity to bond and relate to those around me.
Yoga has taught me that, if I want to make something happen, I can make it happen. This came into play when I first became invested in doing international service work eight years ago. Now, I serve in alignment with my mission to positively impact those suffering from illness and help improve their overall health, and also be a vessel for them to know that: they were made to do great things. We all have the potential to live a better life, rather than continue to live the life that was passed down to us…we are the only ones who can make this happen for ourselves.
Because I was able to let go of the area of my life that was contributing so much to my negative mindset, I was able to find my calling, which is to serve underprivileged populations. My passion is to travel to different countries- minimally resourced countries, and use my skills and experiences to serve those in need. I’ve gone on several medical mission trips and each one has allowed me to not only learn more about myself and who I want to be, but how special and unique the people of the world are. We are more alike than different and it is a beautiful thing to have the opportunity to connect, love and share this life together. By doing this work, I feel like myself; I feel present and completely showing up as the real me.
When I serve, I expose myself fully and embrace that others know me inside and out. It is incredibly rewarding and makes me feel fulfilled, humbled and alive.” – Megan Williams
Check out our other inspiring stories of everyday yoga practitioners and please, #ShareToEmpowerALL ! We strive to empower others to get vulnerable, and be inspired to start a yoga practice of their own to bring in hope & possibility.