By guest author Jacinta Aalsma
I am always wondering if I would have chosen the path of yoga with the same passion and intensity if I didn’t come across the Journey work.
Would I be brave enough to follow my passion by facing my insecurity, fear of exposure and perfectionism?
Would I dare to stand for a group of exciting yogis and teach them in English, my second language?
Would I dare to show the real Jacinta? I guess we will never know.
Clearly, Journey work has transformed my yoga practice and me as a person.
Journey Therapy was developed by Brandon Bays and is a powerful and effective process to peel down emotional clutter and use your own inner wisdom to uncover unhealthy (cell) memories, beliefs or attitudes.
This transforming and empowering therapy has influenced my life and brought me back to my original state; sparkling, shining and free.
As with yoga, my mum introduced me into the Journey method. As a teenager, my mum was my idol and I was her biggest fan which hasn’t changed so much.
So of course I joined her for a Journey Intensive weekend; a beginner’s weekend within the Journey world. For most yogis, their first yoga experience is blissful lovely experience.
My first Journey experience was quite different, completely the opposite you could say. I screamed, I cried, I felt extremely angry and frustrated and embarrassed at the same time.
I felt so sad and cried and cried.
Though, after having let go of these hold emotions, I felt lighter, a little bit weird. Something in me opened up.
As an 18-year old, I had the impression I had a pretty good life and my parents could be proud on me; a brave, studious young woman who took her studies and herself very serious. No need to tell her to do homework or the dishes, she will do it automatically.
I was perfectly organised and responsible, what does a parent want more from their child?
Over the years I had built a quite impressive wall around myself. I was strong, tough, serious, disciplined and shy.
One time while at school a classmate was talking to my best friend and turned to me and said:
You haven’t said a word yet.
I kept still and silently replied in my head:
So do you think I’m going to talk now?
This was who I was. I didn’t know any better. So I was happy with that.
I was and I am up till now a great crier. I can cry easily, not much has to happen to have tears rolling down my cheeks.
Yet in my teenage years, I hardly showed my tears to anyone. Since I was strong and tough, not afraid, so I cried in my room when I was alone.
My parents separated when I was around six years old. No big drama, no fights, still seeing both of my parents and they still got along with each other reasonably well.
So no big deal.
That was what I told myself and others. However, through several Journey processes – including that first weekend intensive – I realized it was a big deal for this little girl.
I had shut down completely in the wake of my parents divorce.
I had swallowed my tears, my anger and my frustration. Deep inside I wished my parents were still together – even though I knew they were now happy with their new partners.
The many processes which followed after my first Journey experience opened up an enormous hole full of unexpressed emotions. I was not so healthy and happy after all.
The blissful and light state after letting go of emotional luggage and especially forgiving wholeheartedly felt amazing. I was eager for more and keen to discover the real me and to live the life of my dreams.
A life without boundaries or limitations, a life lived from the truth.
It felt great to open up and thereby created the opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level. I started to build up real and true relationships. I adopted a more open and flexible attitude and opened up physically as well.
Slowly I took baby steps towards liking myself as a person. I finally could smile in a mirror and at times felt pleased with the reflection. I also started to appreciate photos. And I learned to express myself and thereby my creativity. My passion for writing was (re)born.
Anxiety has been with me since I was a toddler, but it never really withheld me from doing new things.
It just meant I went to lots of stress and anxiety beforehand. As a teenager I adopted the attitude of a strong, courageous tough tomboy. During a survival camp with school one teacher said to me:
You’re afraid of nothing, aren’t you?
It wasn’t really a question but more a statement, so I kept still and was surprised that my outside layer of braveness was covering my inside world quite well.
Through the Journey I discovered it is okay to be afraid, anxious or experience fear.
I realized it is more courageous to show your vulnerability than hide it under a layer of unreal toughness.
It felt like such a relief that I can be the person I am.
Surprisingly when I started to show more of the real Jacinta, I still heard people saying to me:
You’re strong, you will be fine.
‘Sure’, I thought. I am completely the opposite of strong. I cry like a baby and worry like a madwoman. But then here I am on the other side of the world, following my heart and my partner, and leaving my family, friends and safety behind. So maybe there is braveness, vulnerability and anxiety.
But is that who I am? I am more than just an emotion, thought or physical body. I can be freedom, I can be happiness, I can be light and I can be sunshine. Just like you can be bliss, contentment or joy.
We can be each other and together we’re one. I open my eyes and I look in yours and realize they are mine.
That to me is my yoga.