Dear Self

Have you ever written yourself letters for the future? Maybe they were lessons learned or things you wanted to accomplish, dreams, or a bucket list. You tucked them away in a safe place and years later, pulled them out, and were amazed at what you had accomplished or things you still needed to do. Maybe you had veered off your path, and this was a gentle reminder of where you needed to be. 

I recently came across an envelope full of these letters and lists I had written. This first one was in 2013 when I was going through a separation and then divorce of a 30-plus-year relationship. Soon after, I lost the job I had been at for over 18 years. When you are at a crossroads in your life, you make decisions that you hope will lead you to a better life.

I decided to get my RYT-200 which is a designation given by the Yoga Alliance U.S to an individual who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification. I had been teaching yoga for many years but felt it was necessary for my yoga journey. Our instructor asked us to write a letter to ourselves, and she would mail it to us at a later time. Here is my letter.

Dear Self,

You have taken this yoga journey to quiet your mind and are on your way. Good job. You didn’t expect all the self-awareness, friendship, love, support, and caring you have also received along your journey. You have met incredible people and will continue to meet more along the way. Be open to learning, let people into your life, and believe in yourself. You’re clever, and you can do what you put your mind to. Open your heart and love yourself and others. Let yoga lead you to a better life.

I can say without a doubt Yoga has brought love and light into my life. I have made beautiful friendships and touched people’s lives beyond my wildest dreams, and my students have touched mine. Yoga keeps my mind, body, and spirit healthy and at peace.  

During one of the most challenging times of my life, I was thankful for my yoga practice. I also had amazing friends and family who were there for me. I remember crying on their shoulder or asking why? My support group would listen, give advice or sit with me. I also had people around me when I needed to be active and keep my mind off things. Emotions are crazy, and when your entire life is in turmoil, you will do anything to stop the insanity.

The issues in my marriage were significant, and deciding to get a divorce was a huge decision. Almost immediately, I lost my job, we had to sell our home, and what had been a tenuous situation already suddenly felt like an obstacle that looked insurmountable. I began to doubt myself, my decisions, who I was, and what I believed. I needed to remind myself that I had handled difficult situations in the past and would get through this one as well. I also knew things would get worse before they would get better. 

Writing things down has always been my go-to…to-do lists, pros, and cons. If I could see it written on paper, it always made more sense. Crossing things out also made me feel like I had accomplished something. The following list were things I liked about myself and things I didn’t. I needed to remind myself about all the good things I could do, honor what I was not good at, and work on them. I strive to be the best person I can be, and I find it’s easier to change when you are vulnerable and honest with yourself.

Things I Like About Me:

Hard Worker

Honest

Strong

Compassionate

Good Friend

Good Daughter

Good Teacher

Good Leader

I have Grit

Determined 

Focused

Personable

Caring

Love to entertain

I love having people in my home 

I share my life and my home

Funny

Things I Don’t Like About Me:

Hate to be wrong

Cannot accept failure

Hat to lose

I don’t feel intelligent

Unable to communicate feelings

Can exaggerate situations/feelings

I obsess over things I can’t control

I wish my life away when things go wrong

I am happy one minute, then sad the next

My mind won’t shut off

I second guess everything a man I love tells me about myself

I can’t always be happy for others

I can come across as bossy

I dwell on negative thoughts

I tend to interrupt during a conversation

Can say harsh things

Speak before thinking

Talk to much

Teasing can come across as mean

Cry too much or don’t cry at all

Unable to voice my thoughts when I feel as if I am losing something

Looking back on my list, I see how sad I was. I also saw someone who didn’t love herself much but was willing to make a change for the better. I was ready to look within and find the woman who had been missing for years. That list was my inspiration, and I can say that I am a different person today. I not only like myself, but I love myself. I am stronger and wiser, enjoy my own company, and know my worth. Can I be better? Always! If I make a new list and look at it in 8-10 years, will it be different? Definitely!

After reading these gems, I was excited, but there was still more. I had made another list of things I wanted to accomplish. This list is essential to my personal and professional growth, and this time I will be rewriting it and keeping it out where I can see it. 

What I want to do:

Be free of walls

Help people

Be creative

Organize

Exercise

Be outside some part of the day

Share my love for health, wellness, and positivity

Be a role model 

Be debt free

Have a savings

Be Happy

Be a strong mom again

Figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life

Find enjoyment in things again

Be comfortable being by myself

Have a happy home

Travel

Find love and be loved

Start a workout clothing line

Start a workout business

Get my yoga license

Write a book on my life

Get my personal trainers license

Be financially stable but not tied down to a 9-5 job.

I am proud to say I have accomplished many things on this list. I worked tirelessly to make my goals a reality, and the feeling is incredible when that happens. As life goes on, my wants, goals, and dreams change, which is a good thing. I will continue to work toward the things that bring me peace, joy, and happiness. I will be grateful for the lessons I learn along the way because that means I have lived and gained knowledge. All I can ask of myself is that I always do my best.

Dear Self, 

I am grateful for my life, the lessons I have learned, and the path I have traveled. I look forward to the journey ahead and whatever life has in store for me.

By Lisa C



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