A personal note from a humbled Yogini.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer has been a beacon of light for me many, many times in my life. Towards the end of last year I would say that it became a daily, personal mantra, and at times felt like I was begging for any or all of these to show up.

In Forrest Yoga, which I have been both student and teacher of for 18 years, the practice is founded on four pillars – Breath, Strength, Integrity and Spirit. Recently when I sat with all of these teachings, I could feel a storm brewing, because what I was witnessing and experiencing at the time was heartbreaking, abusive, and being fancied up in a new ceremonial package and sold as “change and evolution”. What also became clear to me is that this style is now growing up, similar to how children do, and that there must be a letting go of sorts for it to transform through it’s amazing students and teachers. This requires trust. Something that feels lacking.

After seeking counsel, a dear friend and fellow FY Yogini asked me, “can you separate the teachings from the teacher?” This was like a lightening bolt hitting me straight into my very sad and sore heart! YOWIE! I found myself at a crossroads, staring deep into the abyss of my own Soul that was reflecting back to me some unhealthy truths and patterns in my life that seem to be life long. Example: my choosing to stay in relationships that are no longer nourishing or have turned negative to please others or avoid conflict.Through this perspective I am seeing where I was extinguishing my own hopes and dreams to work on someone else’s, and was being asked to RISE UP! by my higher power and choosing not to listen out of fear.

False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.
F*ck. Everything. And. Run.
Face. Everything. And. Rise.

Stand in center and choose. In one direction was an easier path, one that would have me go with the flow, at times look the other way, and would require me to be a follower with leadership clothes on. It would help me reconcile so many years of devotion and dedication, and keep me, in a way, very small.
The other would have me resigning from a pledge I made to be a Forrest Yoga Guardian and from my job that I loved, working with people that I adore, standing up and speaking some very hard and painful truths to my beloved teacher and community, and launch me back onto the path of faith, courage and following my heart.

Let go or be dragged.

By now you can probably guess which path I chose. Painful and at times scary, my choice also feels liberating and in integrity with deeper heart wisdom teachings. I am letting go and leaning into to grace and following my dreams! Ultimately, I am choosing to evolve and RISE UP!

Since making my decision I am once again reminded that this is Yoga. Not the brand. It is the path. It is Nature. It is loving kindness. The road that is filled with rocks that skin our knees, and cause us to stumble. The trail that begs us to RISE UP! The mountain that seems so high and challenging at times that it coaches us to slow down and take one breath at a time. The journey that honors ALL of our teachers, even when being challenged, and brings us to Serenity, Courage and Faith.

2016 is here! I am walking feeling a bit more raw and sensitive, my eyes more open, mind a bit clearer, and my heart wide open. I am feeling very centered, humbled, excited and above all GRATEFUL!!

I am wondering, can you relate?

Thank you for being on the path and journey with me!
In Love and Gratitude,
Kelley Rush
Student of Life & Yoga