"Don't be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a mask, a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off, and none of them is me." ~ Charles C. Finn
Like many people today, I grew up in a broken home. I was raised by a single mother, who for twenty years up until 2011, was a dependant alcoholic and victim of depression. I learned at a very young age how to overcome many emotional obstacles on my own. I became so good at hiding my tears and pain behind smiles and laughter, that even some of my closest friends, to this day, do not know the kind of childhood and mid twenty years I have fought through, to become the person I am today. I wore various masks throughout those years. I wore them for so long, that I forgot who I really was beneath them.
Throughout our lives we all at some point or another hide behind our masks and use them to help define ourselves for others. We conceal our identity behind smiling social-networking profiles or happy church faces. They aren’t lies really, they just aren’t the truth. We know that most of the people we encounter day to day could not handle the truth, or perhaps, we couldn’t handle giving it to them.
In 2008, during a time I needed it most, one of my best friends introduced me to yoga at a studio where she taught briefly, before moving away. I immediately became hooked. As I looked into local yoga studios in my area, another friend of mine and I decided to try out Mystic Power Yoga and see what a heated power vinyasa class was like. Since then, yoga has become an integral part of my life. I have gained more mindful and healthier eating habits and have felt a positive shift in my energy level. The physicalness of the practice along with continued meditation have helped me to finally come to peace with who I am. I have learned to strip away the layers and let go of the masks I have hid behind for so long. Yoga has inspired me to face life more authentically and be okay with vulnerability, because it is through being weak, where one learns their true strengths. I have realized how important it is to let go of my past so I could fully enjoy the present moments.
I am eternally grateful for the decision I made to step onto my mat at Mystic Power Yoga and allow myself to become part of such an enriching, supportive, powerful, and real community, full of so many inspiring people. I have gained inner confidence and peace in my life that may not have been possible for me, had I not been challenged to do so. I could never thank all the people in my life enough for the many ways in which they all helped push me to grow, physically and mentally. In just a few short weeks I am excited to say that I will be a 200 hour certified yoga instructor, and I cannot wait to share all that I have learned along the way, with all of you!
Be present, be grateful, and never doubt who you are. Let yourself fall apart a million times and trust that you are strong enough to always pick yourself back up. Love who you are and never be afraid to be your true self. Know that life is good, even when you think it isn’t.
I’ve removed my masks, can You?