A Free Spirit in an Anxious Body


Ever since my children were born, I have wondered which is more powerful: nature or nurture.  Today during my meditation, I think I got my answer.  The split between their power and importance is perfectly 50/50.

Lately I have been working on developing a stronger sense of self-love, so I did a chronological meditation where I tried to capture my first memory of feeling like the true me. As I traveled through time, I was searching for images and glimpses of a me when I was not affected by my environment and experiences. It was harder than I thought, but once I got into it, I came up with all kinds of examples of times in my life I have felt like my real, authentic self without self consciousness, fear or anxiety.

What I saw was a free spirited human being who is curious and daring and unafraid. I saw someone who is relaxed and open and trusting that the universe is on her side. And that is definitely a part of me.

Another part of me is cautious and anxious and feels like the universe wants to get me back for every evil thought, cross word or stink eye that has come out of me.

Therefore, I cannot deny the gravity of nurture. One of the greatest things about having done a lot of therapy and work on myself is that I can look at the settings and plots in the stories that make up my life through the eyes of an observer. I am not all into yoga because I come from a place of calm, peace and acceptance. I am all into yoga and want to share it with everyone I can because I want those things desperately and, through yoga, I have found sightings of each.

From the outside, my life looks pretty simple and uneventful, but from the inside, my life is a strenuous quest of which some days I think I may never conquer. Given just my nature, my life may have been completely different and not such an internal struggle. I think I would have bravely entered each new day with excitement and awe about all that life has to offer me. But my nurturing taught me, at times, to be afraid and work to control my environment for safety’s sake. Therefore, a new side of me emerged. I could easily wish things would have been different (and you have no idea how many times I have), but I know God gave me a free spirit in an anxious body so I would have the opportunity to grow and learn and feel the things that so many feel. It puts me in the ranks with those who have felt pain and are afraid to feel it again while planting seeds to cultivate courage like a warrior.

For my nature and my nurture, I am both proud and grateful. I am also proud and grateful that I work very hard to exist in the space between both through yoga, meditation, journaling, talking to friends, going to therapy and praying. The tests of my faith have made it grow like roots reaching deep into the earth and branches reaching high into the clouds. I can be stable and I can be free.


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