I Am Enough: The Ritual of Recovery Part II.
Having just turned 43 years old, I woke up one morning telling myself this story, and something evolved right there and then, October 21st, 2014.
I’d been watching myself for too long, and that was the day.
I was done with making rules and breaking them, done with telling myself that yesterday was the last day — and then No, today’s the last day. I’ll just drop the boys off at school and the subway, run up to the roof and get a teeny tiny bit high, smoke a little tobacco, chill a while (I ‘deserve’ that), shower, then start working.
That dance took at least an hour of my time, every time, and I finally saw that all those hours were adding up, and I wasn’t living my whole dream. I’m here to help people, and I cannot help them if I’m stoned.
“Every day something must be achieved inwardly.” ~ Rudolf Steiner
To be sure, on those high days I’d managed to achieve all sorts of outward goals — I wrote, cleaned (a lot), learned how to cook (a lot), studied, hung with dear friends, even learned social media. Those outward goals haven’t disappeared, but they have taken a back seat to the inward ones.
The compassion for my self and my family that arises during a well-wrought asana; the patient love for myself expressed in a stroke of a minuscule watercolor painting. The quiet in my body that lingers long after my meditation.
And then the outward accomplishments effervesce from that residue of self-care. When I’m clear-minded and lighthearted, book proposals get written, and projects happen. Poetry flows, and that hour of chilling is replaced by Yoga practice, meditation, writing, art-making and divination.
The work of helping fellow teachers and seekers refine their mission and magnificence needed me to wake up and start loving myself.
On that day that it all shifted, I picked up May Cause Miracles and started to read Gabby’s writing for each of the 40 days in the book, and each day, I created some sort of still-life or tiny painting or written quote to reflect my understanding of that day’s message.
That was the beginning of what feels to be the best part of my life thus far; almost 45 and in my first year of sobriety, I’ve already heard from at least a dozen students and friends who’ve quit while watching my first 40 days, empowered by my willingness to share and heal.
I’m here to connect with other seekers in recovery, and locate meaning together. I’m here to remember myself today, and help others loosen the tether of drugs and get free. I’m here to keep telling the truth in all its evolving iterations and then close my computer and breathe.
Every day, I sit and breathe. I ask for guidance.
I tell the truth. I write a little.
I create one piece of art, no matter how small.
I remember myself at least once. I grow my spine tall.
I love myself inside and out, a few moments at a time.
I lean on the universe with my honesty.
I ask for signs, and I receive them gratefully.
Listen below to Elena speak about her journey and offer tools to help those that are struggling.
Read Part I here.
Teaching Yoga and meditation since 1999, Elena Brower is known and beloved internationally for her resonant, relevant voice. She’s co-created Art of Attention, a beloved Yoga workbook, now translated into five languages, along with a deck of visually profound healing cards to inspire daily practice. Devoted to meditation as our most healing habit, she’s created potent online coursework, available on her site, and has produced a film, On Meditation, sharing intimate portraits of meditation from the vantage point of both teachers and practitioners. You can practice with Elena on Yogaglo.com.