“I’m on a mission to be my best self.” This is what I told Laura in September 2014 when she asked me why I was interested in the energy exchange program. It was the truth, I had been laid oﬀ from a great job and I was in the last year of my twenties. This felt huge, like I needed to make a grand gesture and ﬁx all that was wrong with myself so I could step into my thirties ﬁxed. I was going to ﬁx my body and I was going to ﬁx my mind and that would be that! Everything from that point forward would be smooth sailing.
From the moment I became a teenager and was granted all the knowledge of the universe, as you do when you become a 13 year old girl, I became highly reactive. This became my default. I had no way to control my emotions. Just react in an explosive fashion, become angry at myself for doing it, rinse and repeat. But that was all about to change because I was starting my yoga practice and that was going to ﬁx everything that was wrong with me.
What a burden to place on yourself, like lying in bed unable to sleep, staring at the clock telling yourself “Fall asleep in the next 10 minutes or you’ll be miserable in the morning”. Only I was laying in Savasana telling myself “relax now or you won’t be ﬁxed.”
Then, one day in Sherry’s class, during butterﬂy pose, she said “Don’t stress about getting your head to the ﬂoor, because when you ﬁnally do there is nowhere else to go.” And it hit me like a herd of elephants. I was bullying myself in order to become my best self, and that didn’t make any sense.
Once I ﬁnally let go and begin to accept myself for who I am, right this minute, things began to fall into place. I found the clarity to see a situation for what it was, and I realized I could choose how I wanted to react to it, and I found the strength to forgive myself if that clarity was a bit delayed.
Becoming your best self is like reaching your head to the ground in butterﬂy pose; if you get there,
where else is there left to go? Instead, every day I choose to show myself compassion, and with that I get
better every day. I am no longer a bully, I am a cheerleader.
I am so grateful for the Halifax Yoga community for sharing their energy with me. It is alive and it fuels
me. I’m grateful for my community outside of Halifax Yoga who see changes in me and encourage me every day to keep going. And I’m grateful for yoga for allowing me to see just how ﬂipping awesome I am.
I’m still working at becoming a better me, but I realize now that there is nothing to ﬁx, because in this moment, I am enough.
~ Jessica Purcell