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Welcome to my blog, friends. I decided no time is a better time than now to actually publish this thing, so here we go. I have spent most of my life writing, and it has always been a form of therapy, an outlet, and a way to make sense of all the craziness going on in my head. My musings have always been extremely personal, but the longer I am on this journey of self-discovery, the more I realize that many people could actually benefit from reading what I have to say, just as I so often look to others for their inspiration and motivation as well. I have always struggled with not feeling good enough, smart enough, or credentialed enough to put my work on display to the world, but I think we can all agree that the past rules and ways of thinking have gone out the window. Or at least if they haven’t yet, the current shift is making way for that to happen. So, here I am in all of my realness and vulnerability, preparing to share glimpses of what goes on inside my brain in an effort to help someone else on their own journey. I thank you in advance for your graciousness with my grammatical errors, for your open-mindedness and willingness to hear something new, and for simply being here. And as I always say to my students, clients, and groups that I speak to: “Take what resonates with you and discard the rest.” Nothing could be more true here; if something I write speaks to you, then use it, take it, and incorporate it into your daily life as you see fit. On the other hand, if something I say sounds absurd and ridiculous to you, then just choose to not. 

 

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” 

~ Unknown

 

As I sit at my desk overlooking the (even more) quiet, quaint main street of my beach town, the gravity of our current situation is setting in. It was just a few short days ago that I was in India for a yoga training, (almost) oblivious to the happenings and health scares around the world. But when news spread of travel bans and suspended visas, I knew it was time to cut it short and get home. As the jet lag wore off and I actually had a chance to figure out for myself what was going on, I was led over and over to this seat. I realized I was being called to write more than ever before. I was being called to share my experience and my perspective, and most importantly, what I have learned in my life along the way. We are all students and we are all teachers, and I firmly believe that when we are ready to learn something, the teacher will appear. My two-week trip to the birthplace of yoga was indeed the teacher I was ready for, even if I wasn’t consciously aware at the time. As I look back through my journal of all of the things I took from this trip, one thing stands out the most, and I think that it’s the most important thing I can share right now:

 

We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We don’t always know what we are capable of until we have no choice but to look fear and uncertainty in the eye and keep going. Perhaps at some point I will share more of the nitty-gritty details of just what it took for me to get home from the other side of the world, a week early and amidst global pandemonium, but for now let me just tell you that I have never felt so strong or empowered in my entire life. To be honest, a lot of it had to do with that fact that I HAD to show up as courageous, confident, and full of faith that everything was going to work out. I HAD to maintain the mindset that everything was happening for me and not to me. I HAD to keep my calm and practice my yoga off of the mat, something I’ve been teaching for years. I HAD to regulate my breathing in order to not suffer a panic attack outside of Dehli airport surrounded by gawking men and security guards with rifles. Everything that I experienced, practiced, and learned up until that point had prepared me for that moment, and I had to trust that I had been given the Divine tools and strength to overcome any obstacle that was placed in front of me. And I had. I was absolutely guided and taken care of along my journey, and you are too, right now, even if you can’t see it.

 

When we let fear take over, we lose our ability to connect to our intuition, to our sense of inner peace and guidance, and to our true state of equilibrium. In a state of fear and panic, we often react in ways that aren’t good for us in the long run, instead of taking the space to respond in the best ways necessary. Something I also say in my classes is that yoga is all about creating space, and space can be equivalent to physical space in the body, to the pause between breaths, or to an intuitive response instead of a knee-jerk reaction. Space is where the magic of life happens, but the problem is that we rarely ever let ourselves feel it. Whether we like it or not, this Corona is giving us all a chance to embrace space and to get back to our natural state. Life is not meant to be lived rushing and hurrying from one thing to the next. It isn’t meant to not be enjoyed thoroughly and fully, something that is impossible to do without adequate space and time. So what have we been given? We have been given the gift of space at a time when we so desperately need it. You and I have been given an opportunity to dig deep within and to reconnect to the peaceful warrior that resides inside of us, the warrior that is strong enough to withstand any change that comes our way, but who is also soft enough to show compassion to ourselves and others during this trying time. Along our way we have lost our ability to trust ourselves, and this is an opportunity to reconnect to the parts of us that we have disassociated from. As a person who has historically looked to other people for wisdom and advice instead of trusting myself, this trip has opened my eyes to the fact that God-given answers truly are within each of us; we just have to allow enough space in our lives to be able to hear them. 

 

I write this knowing that there is nothing I can personally do to make this all go away or to make everything go back to “normal”, but I can offer one reminder that everything really is going to be okay. You are going to come out stronger and more confident on the other side of this, maybe not because you want to, but because there is no other choice. This shift is forcing everyone to level up, to ascend to an even greater version of themselves than they ever thought possible. No one is exempt, but everyone will experience it in different ways, so remember to be kind. Be kind to your neighbor who is living in fear. Be kind to the woman crying in the grocery store. Be kind to yourself when you aren’t as calm as you would like to be. There truly is no better time in which to say that we are all in this together, and we must do our part to learn, to teach, and to hold the space for ourselves and others. 

 

I’m sending you nothing but peace, love, and calm through these uncertain times. In an effort to do my part, I am offering complimentary 15-minute sessions throughout the rest of March for anyone needing a little re-centering, so email melissa@melissavannette.com if you would like to secure one of these limited spots. I will continue to post here and on IG as I feel called and inspired to, but in the meantime, make space for yourself. Do the little things (that aren’t so little) that remind you of your strength and that bring joy to your days. Get outside. Get on your mat. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read for three years. Tell someone you love them. And remember just how courageous and brave you are. You never know who you are inspiring along the way.