• Women of Evolve

Living Yoga Through Love

It seems that only with great momentum and force are we able to make an ounce of impact on this world. To change the world sounds daunting and nearly impossible. Dramatic and irrational, a task fit only for someone who is "in power".

Perhaps we have forgotten that it is once we have become deeply rooted in ourselves that we are able to cultivate change.

As individuals we have lost sight of our power. We have forgotten that we each hold the force it takes to spark change. Change starts with one choice, love or fear.

As a nomad who has been physically up-rooted for nearly a year now, I have found that yoga has become less about the physical practice itself and more about a consistent uplifted mindset. Being a person that thrives on routine, I quickly learned how easy it is to get caught up in the stimulations and distractions of the outside world, especially in an unfamiliar and exciting place. It took losing myself in a new place to discover the survival elements of my character; the elements of my character that allowed me to survive. The deep and true parts of me became my foundation. When the world felt chaotic and out of my control, I learned to love the ride instead of fearing it. In a world where we can truly be sure of nothing, I learned that I could be sure in myself.

My hammock and yoga mat quickly became my places to regroup. Whether I was hanging from the only two trees overlooking vast mountain ranges or practicing squeezed in the corner at a youth hostel; these places provided a safe space for me to reconnect. I created a little bubble where I could escape. The world and its people continued at their pace respecting the fact that I had taken a moment to pause.

As I stripped away the distractions of the world, I was forced to face the demons that rise as I searched for a still mind. I noticed that just like our outside world we must chose internally between love and fear. I noticed that many of us have forgotten to pause. We find distractions that allow us to ignore the parts of ourselves that we find unappealing. We fear what we do not know. What could be more terrifying and uncomfortable than not knowing yourself?

After making the conscious choice to invest in love over fear I noticed a shift.

Universal forces started working with me instead of against me. Small acts with big impact. I saw love make full circle like the time a man with a tray of pizza appeared at my hammock expecting nothing in return. I created a grand adventure that led to the birth of my creative writing persona, Atticus. The one with an eerily similar path and a matching tattoo. There was a time when a festival bracelet literally fell onto my wrist. Also, the time I befriended a gentleman who I later discovered to be the band manager of my favorite group. Soon, I noticed that I was in fact attracting love. The stray dogs could sense it and I quickly (and proudly) adopted the title as a dog whisperer. Animals so pure in their nature innately following what they need, love.

And so to change the world; a task that sounds grand and distant and some would say even impossible, we must start with today, with a conscious choice-it begins with us.

I live my yoga by choosing love. By choosing to be the one that the flea-ridden dogs follow around and the one who is not afraid to pause on my mat as the chaos carries on. Each day I chose to sit with myself and challenge myself to search for a still mind. I chose to expose and accept my deepest, most raw parts instead of suppressing and burying them deeper. It is only once we have fallen in love with the parts of ourselves that we do not understand; the parts that seem ugly and unappealing, that we may share our love with others.

I chose to be the change by starting with myself. Although I am still learning to love all my parts, I hope to inspire by example for the ones who have yet to reach this translation of self. To expose them to the fact that the more alone you are the less alone you become. You are the change, I am the change, we are the change.

With Love, McKenzie

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