I dove into healing. Single-mindedly, radically. A full-time job. I felt such a sense of responsibility toward my boy—toward humanity, in fact. I refused to be a bad actor in society, to let unconscious programs run me and cause harm around me. Ahimsa—the first of the five Yamas of yoga—is to do no harm. In order to do no harm, I had to become conscious of all that made me—including the really nasty stuff that had caused me to make bad decisions in the past and hurt people.
I was going to figure my shit out if it killed me.
Imagine walking around for years with an emotional infected tooth, and then finally you get where the pain is coming from and you yank it out! You scream bloody murder but all you want to say is: thank you.
Healing, I realized, had been my pursuit from the day I left my father’s house.
I saw how each husband had helped me on this journey. Husband #1 got me away from father and took me to a beautiful, peaceful, green place where I could begin to rest. New Zealand is where I started yoga, and yoga became the springboard of all my emotional healing and spiritual evolution.
Wendy was an extraordinary teacher who had studied with BKS Iyengar and gave me the best foundations imaginable for my practice. Her studio became the first sanctuary I have ever known and anchored my love and faith in yoga. I’ll never forget the first time she guided me through taking a conscious breath.
“The mystics say you are as close as my own breath,” I read in Marie Howe’s poem Prayer years later. I recognized it. Something mystical—that is what I experienced the first time I paid attention to my breath as it passed through my nose.
With husband #2 I began investigating the chronic pains that plagued me. With his first job we had great health insurance and I was able to access integrative medicine that included visualization techniques. In L.A., Dr. Duchesneau accompanied me in the exploration of many of the surface issues. She, too, became a sanctuary.
By husband #3, I really believed I’d done all the work and was ready to start my life. Turned out, I had just been clearing out debris so that I could access the big fat rock that needed breaking through. And I could do that now because I was in a safe place. I belonged. I was materially settled. I was cared for by a kind man who would support me on the scary journey ahead.
I came to see that each marriage had been exactly right for me, at the time. Each had taught me a lot—and kept me safe.
Safe, mainly, from sex.
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