Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Practicing yoga gave me the opportunity to meet people from a variety of backgrounds. In my day job, I have the opportunity to work with college students who are building their identities. My advice is always to try something out and talk to everybody because you don’t know who might be your amigx de la vida.
When you go to college, move away, join the military, or enter the workforce straight away, making friends can be an interesting process. There are the back and forth thoughts of “if we get along great at work, would they want to hang with me outside of work? Do I ask if they want to hang and get rejected. Then, continue working together in an awkward process.” Of course, there is also having folxs ask you to hang and YOU being the one who doesn’t want to hang with them. #awkward #realtalk
“…find friends of connection versus friends of convenience.”
The most important thing I have learned is to seek out friends who share similar interests rather than those who are convenient. The mami and me play dates are not that fun when it’s just the kiddos playing together. Then, the adults are left to the awkward conversation. I love my baby love with my entire being, but I also don’t want to just be friends with someone because we have children who are friends. I want to be soul sisters because we each have our own hopes, dreams, and desires. If we have children, that's cool too, but it's not necessary.
“Whether that was love, acceptance, wisdom, peace each of us was looking to be the most congruent version of ourselves. Collectively, we were looking for authenticity.”
Yoga has provided me that opportunity to build relationships of connection. I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a My Vinyasa Practice (MVP) yoga retreat in Hawaii. I knew some folxs from interactions via Zoom, but had never met folxs in-person (thank you COVID-19). It was amazing how I walked into the retreat center and met my roomies. We clicked because we were each searching for something. Whether that was love, acceptance, wisdom, peace, each of us was looking to be the most congruent version of ourselves. Collectively, we were looking for authenticity.
Now, I can go all into the gushy details of how our one week away together we started off as strangers and left as BFFs with BFF crystals to prove it (yes, this is all true!). No me digas! However, I want to highlight what allowed us to create these relationships of connection so that you may walk into spaces to find them too.
Openness Meeting new people can be REALLY awkward. All the thoughts of junior high dances came to mind as folxs just hung by the walls staring at our feet. We all remained strangers until we stepped into the yoga space to be vulnerable. In the middle, messy, uneasy space of exploration of ourselves and others we had the opportunity to just let our wounds and joy air out with no fear of judgement. Transmute Hurt into Healing When we walked into the house we all carried the physical and metaphysical luggage of our worlds. No one lived a perfect life. Our lives had one thing in common that we were all seeking healing from the traumas of our past. Healing was not about toxic positivity, but really about taking one step or running a mile towards living a life where the hurt didn’t define us, but allowed us to continue transforming into the womxn+ we were meant to be. Support Even though each of us has our own struggles in life, we were there to support one another. Shocking that sometimes the best support is just being there with someone while they break. In the brokenness seeing the beauty of the soul. Support doesn’t always have to be an active “let me fix this for you”, just being and allowing each other to feel the fullness of emotions is powerful.
HO’OPONOPONO FOR SELF FORGIVENESS
Grace & Lightness shares with us this important Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness and self-love.
To practice ho’oponopono meditation, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. Then, slowly repeat this mantra to yourself about 7 or 8 times. (“I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you… I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you“— and so on.)
What does this mean for me?
You might be saying, I’m not going on a yoga retreat to a beautiful tropical island. How am I supposed to find friendships of connection. You don’t have to go on an intensive experience to create these meaningful spaces. Here are some recommendations on how to find this through yoga.
Your local yoga studio
Take advantage of in-person or Zoom classes to get to know folxs. In the Zoom space, you can chat folxs up or in-person talk to the person next to you.
Activities grounded in values
What do you enjoy doing that is grounded with your values? Justice is an important value of mine. So, I have made connections through the volunteer opportunities I have available in my area.
Do the inner work
Keep yourself grounded by being your own best friend first. Examine who you are in your most expansive sense of self. Then, identify what kinds of people you want in your life to support your growth and continued expansion.
Closing this post without sharing my gratitude with of the MVP retreat team would amiss. These folxs created a space that allowed participants to feel seen and welcomed with no judgements. As each of them work through their own baggage it was not a shield to distance themselves from participants, but an invitation to drop off our baggage with theirs as we each sought to find our collective healing by uplifting consciousness.