I didn't see THAT coming...
Someone once told me that you should look back and reflect every 10 years – as most of us vastly underestimate how much our personalities and values will change over the next 10 years. It is only by looking back that we see how much change is possible.
It is called The End of History Illusion and I have re-visited that thought quite a few times recently.
Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of my first Pilates class. Woohooo!! A few brave souls – and some browbeaten friends and family - assembled together at the Girl Guide Hut, in Stirling, to bear witness to my first foray into teaching.
Nervous, over-prepared, naïve and excited… “Oh jings… what if I break someone? What if they find out I know nothing? Is Pilates really the best exercise in the world? This is going to be BRILLIANT and everyone will love it!”
So …. Ten years on …
I still have some of those wonderful and loyal brave souls with me. They have seen me grow and change, lose some of my nerves, be less tied to right and wrong, become a yoga teacher, a MELT Method teacher and even a Mindfulness Teacher. Bring blankets into classes (more on that another time), change my mind often and make LOTS of mistakes.
So what has been my biggest change? Hmmm…
When I decided to go back into self-employment, I was doing it part time while I struggled along with a PhD. Pilates was an adjunct to the life long dream to gain a Doctorate in Marketing, which would clearly open all doors and access me that easy kind of respectability that comes from having “Dr” at the front of your name.
That didn’t work out, as life shifted towards offering more classes (thank you, THANK YOU all for coming!) and then a period of fighting illness and looking after a growing family.
By then my yoga and mindfulness practice had taught me about “ego”, but it still took me two years to admit to myself that I wasn’t going to finish that treasured Phd, that I didn’t need it… that it was a vanity project and I should let it go.
I still work hard on the ego thing – it’s a constant voice of guilt and shame and judgement for most people, and I am no exception. But I think I am a better teacher for it – and certainly there is a great deal more gratitude in my days now.
My body too has changed. I’m older, wrinklier, fatter round the middle (thanks menopause) and stronger. I can run (a little – I’m working on it) and I can get my hands on the floor when I bend forward.
The work of Katy Bowman at Nutritious Movement has transformed the way I walk, stand and how I think about life: I hang off trees and I sleep on the floor. I donated all (well…nearly all…) my high heels to charity (See blog below) – I wear barefoot shoes and toe spreaders; and there is LOADS of room in my wardrobe, as I gradually got rid of clothing that restricts my movement. My ego lets my tummy relax (no it’s not as pretty but my organs love it) and I no longer suck in my stomach.
I became a pescatarian, then a vegetarian (for about 2 weeks) and, about two years ago, changed to completely plant based diet and a vegan lifestyle.
My interests have expanded too – my PhD experience taught me to be more critical in my thinking, and with that came the understanding that if it hasn’t been researched properly then it might be true. So I am open to ancient practices like yoga, like pagan ritual, standing stones, shamanism, myths and rituals, angels, crystals, tea leaves … you name it and I am happy to explore.
No longer so tied by certainty and the need to sound “knowledgeable” - My philosophy professor asked me “How do you know what you know?”, and I realised I “know” ... nothing. Seemingly many of us feel this way; as we get more educated, as we get older and wiser. It is surely scary and often I am on uncertain ground, but strangely freeing and empowering in a funny kind of way.
I got married, I dissected a cadaver, I lost all my hair and my dignity, I regained the hair and cared less for dignity; my mum moved in with us and my son moved out. I danced with wild women (yes really!), sometimes in tutus, sometimes dressed in jangly and glittery things... and once in a Pirate costume.
I have learned to respect the power of silence and of holding space for others to do the same. I go on Retreat each year and take others with me to watch the sunrise every morning. Massage is a regular maintenance essential rather than the occasional treat. And I have re-found my love of fairy tales.
I am healthier than I have ever been … and I didn't see THAT coming...
Thank you to EVERYONE who has touched my life in the last 10 years – some still with me and some who have drifted away. For all the inspiration and the teaching you have offered me and the laughs and tears along the way. It’s been some ride.
The next 10 years are going to be interesting aren’t they!
" When we tell stories some immortal part of ourselves is singing in time. When we tell stories the ages awaken. When we listen to stories our future takes clearer shape. That is because fear comes from unknowing, and stories help us know a little more."
Quote from https://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2018/09/ben-orki.html
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Kirsty. Wife. Mum. Restorative Mind and Movement Teacher.