Updated: Jun 20
It was a hot summer day and the weekend of the 4th of July in the year of 2008. My daughter and I were walking out of Bob Evans toward my Chevy Impala where out of nowhere a tiny starving flea infested kitty walked right up to my daughters’s feet, causing my daughter to swoop this kitten up in her arms and say, “MOM.” And that was that. A pet walked into my life and changed everything. The vet told us on the following Monday that she was about four weeks old, (a little gemini), and that if we hadn’t found her(she found us), that she would probably have ended up blind.
There is an old Chinese Proverb that says that if an animal finds us that it is a sign of luck. I now can understand why this proverb is true although I didn’t believe it so much at the time. I also believe that when an animal finds us it’s also a sign of destiny, or karma so to speak. Ava and I have shared many lives. She is my animal and I am her human.
Ava went through the struggles of being a neglected and starving kitty but she has certainly healed from that. She had her days and I had mine in this process and on the other side we have grown, and learned, and bloomed together. You see, I didn’t want a cat in my house. I didn’t want any pets for that matter. I had been one of those people that learned the hard way of loss and could not bear another death of an animal, or a human for that matter. On this long spiritual journey of mine I look over to Ava as I write that and I feel so much love for her. She has taught me so much.
The month that Ava walked into my life was going to be the beginning on the first half of a Novel of my life that was not happy, sweet, or fulfilling but full of a spiritual journey and many torturous lessons, all uniquely designed for me in this lifetime to teach , even in ugly and wretched ways, to begin to let go. To surrender and dissolve my ways of fixing and people pleasing. These days, were designed to heal my traumas.
What has fascinated me the most about Yoga is how capable we are of healing through the Practice. Sometimes we need healed the most in places that we have long forgotten about , even though these wounds hold a space in our body. A sacred, deep wound that needs released for us to heal, and when we are children, and exposed to a violent trauma or experience this can set deep into the bones and tissues. For if a child can not be explained a violence or loss, then how can they process it. They can not, and sadly this can be the seed or beginning distraction or addiction in a young person’s life.
When I was 18 months old, my sister was killed in front of my brother and I. I have zero recollection of this, but through the years I have learned by people that for weeks I walked around calling to my sister and was full of anxiety regarding her absence. I also know that my brother developed a stuttering problem soon after. My parents also suffered an unimaginable loss as well. Without telling anyone’s story but my own I will refrain from anyone’s experience in this situation, other than my own.
I developed an early relationship with alcohol in my teen years. This relationship was quite manageable in times of security and safety but became downright uncontrollable during times of pain and suffering. And when my childhood traumas began to rise to the surface I found that the Universe began to press me harder and harder to quit drinking. I tried so many times to stop but it wasn’t until I began to become haunted by tremendous anxiety and dread when waking up after a night of drinking and beginning to find that the more I tried to control or manage my consumption the less control I had. It was time to give it up and that in itself is a story for another day but I do want to discuss what happened to me after giving alcohol up.
I have never been a person that gets sick often if ever, maybe I can think of two or three times in my life that I have been really sick. Three months after giving up alcohol i got sick with the most intense flu that I have ever had. It hit me very hard and came on very intensely, almost as if it was a full on release. It felt like I was letting go of something that had been dormant for a very long time. I even have read in my journals at that time that I felt on a deep spiritual level that my body was healing from all of the years of self medicating. And then something very wild happened. My back went out totally. I could not walk, I could not sleep because of the pain, the pain was absolutely unbearable. During this time I was right out of one of my programs and had been introduced to Anna Pittman who works into trauma. I had completed a weekend of training with her in the preceding months. We had learned about how the hip flexor (psoas) can also be called the Spiritual Seat of the Soul and how this part of the body is associated with sacral trauma. Our Sacral Chakra is also a hugely vulnerable Chakra, we are unshielded in this area and its power lies in its essence of water and also emotionality. The Sacrum is also underneath it all. In Kundalini it is a part of the process of getting rid of all of the blockages so you can begin to move stagnation and the darker energies up and out. Basically all of our “stuff.” This can be where our work begins.
For anyone who is practicing a lot of Yoga and beginning to turn their entire life into this practice, there are some pretty phenomenal things that happen spiritually for us. The world begins to push us into experiences that almost force us to rise to the occasion. If we don’t, there is nothing to worry about because the world gives us plenty of chances, but the world is also kind and loving and does not give us more than we can handle. I was ready to release some things and I was ready to live a sober and spiritual life. I wanted to get rid of the addictions. I wanted to love my life in a new and different way. I was so tired of the toxicity in my body and around me. I was working toward purification and when I gave up the booze, my body knew that I was ready for this release. Remember this when working through your traumas and wondering why we all have a distracted mind. It is usually a deeply ran program that has allowed for us to feel safe and comfortable in some way. The known so to speak. Sometimes we must delve into the unknown for the amazing life that we all yearn for.
I look at Ava and I feel that she and I have healed our traumas together. She was an anxious kitty, very close to being feral. She was mean and hateful for her first few years and there was once or twice I wondered if I should get rid of her or find somewhere to place her but something deep down inside of me knew that I could never give up a pet that God had delivered at my very feet. Ava and I have healed our traumas pretty well together. I see Ava and her sweet, happy life, and her love of herself and I look in the mirror and see my own self smiling back at me. Yes, Ava and I were a couple of beat up kids that grew up to be Queens. Namaslay and Namaste……