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Hiding Behind the Moon

Sometimes the moon is just an excuse

I've been sending out texts about the new and full moon for a long while now. Yet, recently I realized I use these cycles to write something, but it's not really the moon I want to talk about.

A long time had passed since my blogging days. I never wrote that much, but there was a time when I was much more textual, whether blogging or posting.

Things had become very challenging for me in September 2020:

- I went into deep sadness after saying goodbye to my big love and best friend.

- I found no comfort in most of my old coping behaviors (even though I gave some of them more than one shot).

- I experienced great pain when my beloved cat and companion passed away.

...and I had the Covid lockdown to keep it all extra crazy.

- when old coping mechanisms don't work -

Back then, I was still communicative. Expression through writing and drawing kept my head above water and helped me feel a bit less lonely in the era of social distancing. I also had a wonderful and supporting circle of friends and family. But when the second lockdown ended in the summer of 2021, and I got back to teaching yoga, things started going down fairly quickly.

Keeping up with my online business, private drawing classes, teaching almost twenty hours of Mysore a week, keeping up with my own practice, having a social life, and finding time for rest and self-care, was not a realistic expectation. After two months of this, my body started to show signs of exhaustion; My back, wrists, and knees were hurting, and I felt overwhelmed, confused, and tired. I knew I was betraying myself, but I stood frozen and had no idea what to do about it. I was locked in the shiny cage I had built for myself.

Of course, it only looked shiny. I took and still take a lot of self-value from being very busy, having things under control, being in great shape, etc. I'm learning to let go of it slowly, but last summer, those behaviors were super loud!

In order to keep the facade sparkling, I pushed away my true needs, overlooked my unfair work conditions, kept a dysfunctional romantic affair going until shit hit the fan, and ignored the well-known fact that without drawing, I'm as good as dead (needless to say, I had almost no time or energy to draw).

It wasn't long before my mental health started going down the hill as well.

It also felt like I was going backward by having some sort of a spiritual/existential crisis.

woman laying on ground. look from above. grey hair.
The moment before I snapped. August 2021. Pic by Katharina Behling, for Yoga Now.

It seems almost ridiculous to try and capture the last two years, or the past year, in a few sentences. Some days had enough material to fill up a whole chapter in a book. Yet, the last year taught me a lot about the power of the group and the effect one's experience could have on others, so I hope I can return and share again in writing.

Bringing myself back up was packed with a lot of discomforts, pain, harsh slaps in the face, tears, and also laughter. I'm still climbing, and I'm not nearly close to getting to the top, but I am free of a lot of guilt, shame, and self-loathing. I have much less secrets hiding in my closet, and that makes my moments of joy greater than ever before.

I now understand that perfection is an illusion, one that kept me in a place of constant struggle and misery.

I used to write about my experiences mostly after I felt I had dealt with them "perfectly" (here is that word again). I had to rise up to a certain standard before talking. I think I was sometimes writing while trying to defend a persona and hide the hard feelings I was pushing away. Not all of the time, of course, but I definitely did that.

The thought of writing about things as they are and exposing the present pain and flawed human that I am, terrifies me. But I hope I'll have the courage to do it and stop hiding behind the moon.

The moon cycles give me structure and set a time for me to sit and write. Also, giving Yoga Nidra meditation is something I do enjoy doing very much.

Lately, I've been talking about the moon from a different angle, which also feels a bit more authentic to me. I open up slowly, and I thank you all for staying with me as I walk through these uncharted waters :) See you all soon, hopefully in person, but online is great as well :-* Shiran

* To balance the melancholy vibes a bit, I must mention there was, obviously, more than one side to the coin. Next to the sadness and hard times, I did (and still do) have a lot to thank for, and I am grateful for the many wonderful people and practices I have in my life. Here are a few pics and vids from the last two years to lift the spirit up (collecting them for this blog surely lifted mine). I think that if you enlarge the pic, you'll see the caption, but I'm now sure (if you can't, you can blame Wix for that :))

Mr. Bear and I have a tendency to go on silly adventures together. Unfortunately, we don't see each other that often. Maybe I should do more silly solo.

The practice surely saved me more than once. It gave me an anchor, a sense of belonging, and kept the energy flowing through my body to help me cope with all the emotional pain.

And how can I forget - aqua therapy! thank you, Berlin, for connecting me to this source of endless peace and strength.

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