Owning it: lessons on living authentically and motherhood, à la Core Strength Vinyasa

Fresh off a flight from NYC, I am still trying to wrap my mind around all that I have just experienced in the Arctic Vortex lands of the Northeastern United States over the course of the last ten days. Sadie Nardini and I go back a ways… She was a major support for me during the exhaustion of toddlerhood that I experienced with my first child, and she has always provided incredible momentum for me to live life authentically and claim my space along the way. When she invited me to join her for her very first 300-hour advanced certification, I could not turn the offer down, even with two small kiddos on the homefront.

And I did my best, but the fact that I am writing from a coffee shop in Charleston is actually testament to the fact that I DID NOT complete the mission. The rest of this group of incredible, awe-inspiring, fire-spirited women are still in training with Sadie and Tyler McCoy, as I sit figuring out what the hell happened.

Well, actually, pneumonia happened. My littlest came down with it, and I had to step into my role of mother and get my CSV-inspired butt back home to wrap my arms around him and hold him next to my heart while he was literally popping eyeballs out of his head with coughing fits. It was pitiful. But being back with him during that time was what I needed to do. I felt it with every fiber of my being.

The experience up north was incredible, though. And I am not neglecting to savor and embed some incredible lessons that I learned while in the company of these aforementioned amazing people. Initially, leaving my family to participate in this TT was very uncomfortable for me. I knew that I could not let an opportunity like this pass me by, but leaving my children for 12 days created monstrous anxiety. Complete with tears, at times.

I made it ten days. That is quite some time, in my book. It breaks my heart a little to see my new soul sisters basking in the ending of this training without me (especially when unfurling tongues in wild women poses with THE Dana Trixie Flynn), but that was not my path. And I accept and own that. I did some deep digging and let go of some tendencies that were keeping me in a rut. Here they are in no particular order:

~I often feel as though I can or should somehow alter the paths of others (I can’t), which in turn keeps me from most authentically walking my own (I must).

~Internalizing others’ behaviors as something that has ANYTHING to do with me (it doesn’t). I take so much WAY too personally and make loads of assumptions of responsibility or lack thereof. Really pretty self-centered, frankly, (and not in the good way).

~Coming to see that frustrations and stories I have with others are just that: stories that I am clinging to because I have repeated them to myself for such a long time. Blaming others for not being your rock, when, really, isn’t the issue that you aren’t your own rock? Be your own damned rock. Plain and simple. (Thanks, Tyler and Sadie, I am in love with Byron Katie forever henceforth and am continuing on her path of The Work).

~Leslie Kaminoff is a genius. And a total self-confessed a-hole. But you end up loving and being endeared by both. I have fallen in love with anatomy and will also continue my education with this man forever. SO inspired.

~I am not drinking enough water. Probably my biggest nutritional deficit, come to think of it. The brilliant Jenn Pike has also stoked a fire in my belly to live better for my internal health. I want my gut to love me. The Simplicity Project is my Bible at the moment. And most plain and simple? Increasing water intake. Bless you, Jenn.

~Core Strength Vinyasa is a bit of a misnomer. Okay, not really, but the core we are talking about is SO SO much deeper than what most people think of when they hear “core.” It is going way inside and digging out what isn’t serving you to make more room for what potentially could. Living, speaking, moving from the inside out. Sadie and her partner Tyler put this program together and they are creating a system of knowledge to support an influence of style that is beyond revolutionary. I am so humbled to call these two people friends (yup, that’s the three of us in the picture on the right), and honored to understand the knowledge of this system through their teachings. Igniting Internal Fire and then Expressing it to the Effin’ World Vinyasa is what it should be called. Just sayin’, Sadie and Tyler. Melissa got to name ninja lunges, so how ’bout some props?

~Soul sisters are the friggin’ best. They ignite your soul, cry your tears, embrace your imperfections… This trip was a meeting of many new ones and a connection with an oldie, too. And the “real” ones are those with whom time passes and yet when you are together, it never does.

I am raw in my emotion and was torn over my decision to stay or to go, but being home I know that I did what I could, walked my path as long as I could out of the role of mother, and have now come back to center here in Charleston knowing that my choice was what needed to be, and that future choices will come from exactly the same point of integrity because they must. I am owning it.

—Natalie

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