Monday, May 9, 2016

The Pursuit of Purpose: How This Mama Held On To Hope

by Meighan Davisson, CSOY Alum and Trauma-sensitive Yoga and Meditation Teacher in Lawrence, KS

Here’s a loaded question life always confronts us with: what’s your purpose? How many people get whipped in the face with that for years? I knew early on, but that didn’t create a smooth slide into the fulfilled life of my dreams. Quite the opposite. I knew with every fiber of my being that I was to be a mother. And a damn good one.

Every action I took was selectively chosen by me to prepare a foundation to grow my brood with. And I wanted a big brood. Every college course, every paying job, every service I volunteered for was an education for my future motherhood. I bid my time and packed my trousseau with hopeful nuggets of wisdom and experience.

During the season of life after college I had begun a shy relationship with yoga in the way most “householder yogis” do, at a gym. The enjoyment of making shapes with my body came easily after years of dancing ballet. My body liked to move. I liked to see moving beauty reflected in the mirror. Blossoming my hands into a lotus flower was a sweet reward after a sweaty class. I got it. And to be fair to myself, I got it deeply.

And then life failed me. It failed me in a deep and grievous way.

I lost my first babe to miscarriage. Then, life became even crueler, and I lost my second babe to an ectopic pregnancy. A friend gifted me a month-long membership to a Bikram heated yoga studio. I used that yoga to beat out the heartbreak. That salty sweat was my body’s tears. And I made it weep. Then I wanted more. Doesn’t yoga always promise us more? There is always a deeper place to go, another form to take. I had another purpose now…no one needs to settle for just one.

In the vast sea of teacher training options, somehow I was led to the exact training at the exact time that changed everything for me. I became a teacher. It scared me. Teaching yoga students reminded me of my deep desire to teach my own children. I wanted my body to serve my children and not just my students. I desired the moving beauty I watched to not be my own reflection, or my students, but the little people who I already felt existed within me. And then I lost another babe to miscarriage.

How is it possible that this body, and all of the honor I showered it with, all of the strength I was cultivating, all of the “bend so that you don’t break” work I did… fail?

Oh purpose driven life, oh the mockery I felt. As my maha teacher had ingrained into my head and heart, “This too I can use.” A new journey began.

I knew I wasn’t the only broken human. I’m not alone with fear and failure. How many others have hurt bodies and hurt hearts? Do they know how to heal? Do they have the tools to reconcile their body with their mind? Are hurting beings able to step on a mat and welcome whatever comes bubbling up in the soil of their experience? Will they courageously move their body and breath to release the trauma? 

I wanted to be a part of the answer to these questions. A guide.

Through an ever-increasing supportive network, I was led to the exact training at the exact time that enabled me to learn new answers, and I became a trauma sensitive yoga teacher. I opened a studio in my own backyard with the hope of sharing yoga with anyone who couldn’t experience safety in a regular studio. And then, on the day I opened the studio, I lost my fourth babe to an ectopic pregnancy. I also lost part of my reproductive system. And I continued to hurt in a deep and grievous way.

I knew there was yet a deeper place for me to go, another form to take. My mantra was “relentless hope.” Pervasive and persistent hope.

That’s the tricky thing about a purpose; it remains deeply rooted until it is allowed to blossom. I had to search so far within to find peace with the challenges I had faced and to allow this purpose to remain as a seed. Only so much can be done with a physical body. This body of mine is not my own. It was created from a Divine design. In the deepest places within me, the truth was that I only wanted to be a good and faithful servant to that design. And that purpose trumped all of the others.

Once again, everything fell into place for me to participate in the exact training at the exact time that equipped me with essential understanding and abilities, and I became a trauma sensitive meditation teacher. I learned to use meditation as a powerful tool to delve within the trauma of my body and of my spirit. “The body keeps the score,” says Bessel van der Kolk, a world-renowned trauma expert. Our body can’t escape our emotional experiences. This training was days after my first intrauterine insemination (IUI) with a fertility specialist. Nine months later my daughter, Lemon Oleander, was born. She is my relentless hope. She is my greatest delight and grandest achievement. Now on a daily basis I live out my purpose of being a mother. And I’m a damn good one.

One purpose has blossomed, as a lotus flower reveals many petals, into many purposes. Now I must continue cultivating the next bloom.

Meighan is an RYT-500 and a student of Gina Caputo. She has advanced training in teaching trauma sensitive yoga and meditation through Warriors at Ease, is an iRest Yoga Nidra Instructor Level 1, an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, and owns Star Farm Yoga & Ayurveda. She has realized trauma, physical and emotional, can find healing through yoga, through meditation, through food, and through every moment that is lived in life. Meighan has a deep felt compassion for those overcoming trauma and wants every person to feel the potential and power of their body. Her own spirit of joy, hope, and humor touches all of her healing modalities, especially yoga.