Chasing dreams and running from nightmares
I've had my share of nightmares.
We all have. The easy route is to run from them with fear-fed endurance. In fact, if running from our demons was a sport, we could all be marathoners.
But the run away race takes us nowhere.
We can run for years, decades, and stay in one place; our life wasted on a miserable treadmill. And the only thing playing on our iPod is the self-deprecating voice inside our head.
You don't deserve better.
You'll never amount to anything.
You aren't good enough.
Until we've had enough.
With some coaches' encouragement and guidance, I took out one earbud. Then the other. Silencing those toxic voices.
Running away from my biggest nightmare turned into jogging turned into walking. Until finally my courage took me off the treadmill of hell and I stopped, turned, and faced the demons I had been running from for so long.
Pain followed. Lots of tears. In short, it sucked. But it was also wonderful. Feeling darkness — fully experiencing and embracing my fears — was far better than feeling nothing ... and from there I began to heal.
Good can stem from bad.
When we stop running from our skeletons, we free up energy to put toward positive efforts — like chasing our dreams.
It feels good out here in the gorgeous scenery of life's trail.
You can see your dreams on the top of the hill. Breathing God's fresh air with long, graceful inhales and easy exhales feels good.
And let's be real — this isn't a land where it's all unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes we step in dog poop on the trail while we're chasing those dreams, but it's all part of the journey. I'll take the occasional dog poop over that treadmill of hell any day.
As I embark on yoga teacher training — a dream I've been reaching toward for a few years — I'm reflecting on all the steps that led me here. I'm realizing that had I not stepped off the self-hate treadmill, I wouldn't be in this place. Facing my demons is what freed me up to follow the happy.
(And though I DON'T recommend getting on the treadmill intentionally, I now appreciate the strength and self-awareness I gained from the experience.)
Confession: I'm scared.
Scared because this is unknown territory. I've been looking forward to reaching the top of this hill for a while, but I haven't been able to see what's beyond the hill ... though I imagine it's filled with infinite rolling hills of varying heights that hold more dreams — dreams I may already know and dreams that have yet to introduce themselves.
Out here in the open air, unlike on the going-nowhere run I used to live in, fear is a welcome visitor. It makes me feel alive, a contrast from the dead place I stuck myself in before.
Dream, I've been training for you all along.
I just had some injuries that set me back. But I'm strong, grateful, excited and scared shitless to get closer to you. My arms and mind are open and ready to see the views from the top of your hill.