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About Me. In all Honesty.

Michelle Bartolo Yoga / autobiography  / About Me. In all Honesty.

About Me. In all Honesty.

 

After having leafed through so many Yoga teachers bio’s, it dawned on me that where they’ve been and who they’ve trained with served  little purpose. Those teachers who actually got down to the nitty gritty about how Yoga stepped into their lives and what lead them there is what really resonated with me.

Sharing the battle from escapism to truth. Here I bare all…

My parents both passed away when I was 7.

It was traumatic.

Lucky for me I had a brother who raised me and a sister who has always supported me.

So from a young age I learnt that everything can be gone in just a ‘snap!’ I learnt the importance of   ‘live everyday as if it were your last.’ My tendency with people I felt good around was to be around them as much as possible, just in case it would all be over tomorrow.  I learnt to forgive fast.  I wanted to gobble up everything I could. Some antics were healthy ones and others, not so healthy.

I delved into the world of drugs and alcohol and everything came up. It was like a volcano spewing out all that lava. A new  found freedom!! It felt great! I indulged more to let out more. I danced, I wrote, I painted…it was endless

(N.B.In my familia we were raised to keep our ‘voice’ hush. Bury everything. The good ol’ Catholic way *CRINGE*)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting taking drugs. There are healthier ways to ‘open up’.              This was just the path that I chose to take.

Every Up has it’s Down.

I lived on my own from a young age. I was in University but also worked in the downtown bar scene in Toronto and got introduced to a lot of the ‘underground’ parties. Initially I felt free from years of buried questions and emotions.  Then later on it became a form of escapism,  I felt like a victim.

An attitude which gets you nowhere .

Be it right or wrong, good or bad I can see the benefit of all of it, as well as the downslide.  It is certain that this lifestyle isn’t one you can live for long without some repercussions.

Wham bham!

It was my 30th birthday and I decided it was time for a lifestyle change. I found myself wondering where I was going in life. I had no direction, no answers. It terrified me.  I stopped everything in one go. Bye bye drugs, alcohol, nightclubs and parties.

My body went into shock. All of a sudden I wasn’t ‘feeding’ it what it was used to getting. I fell into a depression for  6 months. I signed up for natural therapies. But chocolate made me feel the best;)  It became my new addiction, hence gaining 10kilos and feeling even more crap about myself….

But it was all part of the ride.

So a friend suggested trying Yoga. I was always into Fitness ,but Yoga?

Whateverrrrrr.

I thought it was a lame excuse for doing exercise.

I was thee BIGGEST Yoga sceptic .

All the same I decided to give it a go, and once I found my teacher there was no turning back. It really did help me let go of everything that was wrong for me. It taught me a gradual process to healing. I learnt to let go of things one at a time instead of kicking it all out in one go.

Yoga became my new ‘ thing’.  I hit as many classes as I could. My diet started getting healthier and I was more gentile with my body/mind.  I started loosing weight and feeling grrrreat!

I learnt that part of this ‘ride’ is falling off the tracks again and getting back on…. I had stopped smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Then I travelled and bumped into old friends with old habits.

I caved.

Yoga was still in my life but I got back into smoking marijuana and hashish on a daily basis. I was chronic. I’d wake to a joint for breakfast and smoke them like cigarettes throughout the day. I always believed I would never quit. I didn’t want to.  I couldn’t imagine hanging out with people who didn’t smoke. Now that I’ve let it all gothe complete opposite is true. It still shocks me. Sometimes it feels hypocritical, but I view it as part of my past.

Yoga was still in my life.  Gradually over the years, it came to a point where the more Yoga I did the less I smoked. I met different people who didn’t smoke and that made it an easier transition.  It all happened so naturally, where at one stage I was smoking chronically, then once per week, then once per month, then perhaps once every 6 months. Then  none.  This was a 4 year transition.

Yoga taught me that it is completely natural to have your ‘setbacks’ and to not get hung up on them.  Yoga taught me that I felt better without it than with it. Then I got back on the right tracks. There have been times when I wondered if it was still something I ‘missed’ doing. I found out, I didn’t miss it at all. The time had finally come where I had let go completely. Not feeling the ‘need’ for anything was one of the most freeing feelings EVER!

So this is how Yoga came into my life and what it has done for me.

It taught me to find the teacher in me.

I hope that perhaps this will aid any of you with similar issues. Research proves that the easiest thing to do is give up, it’s what adults do best. I’m thinkin that we should work on changing that ‘fact’ .

‘ The only sure thing in life is change’

Peace

michelle

Comments:

  • Céline
    January 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us… Very moving… With love… Céline

  • Sandra
    January 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Hi Michelle – I was blown away by your article, written from the heart. You are on the right track. Keep strong. I love you forever. xoxo

  • K.D.
    January 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    It takes courage and love to share what you shared. Thank you for opening your heart allowing us to learn from your experience.
    Love. K.

  • Monica
    February 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    In your class I see you as a great teacher and a wonderful person who is able to touch my heart through your yoga practice. I would never have suspected how tough your past has been. The serenity and peace that seems to surround you reveals your inner strength in coming to terms with your past, accepting it, and enabling it to transform you in the wonderful person you are today. You should be proud of yourself! I’m so lucky to learn from such an empathic, caring and courageous teacher.
    Namaste xx

  • michelle
    February 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

    grazzi hafna monica. you made me *blush* ( and i’ve been told that’s not an easy task!) xx

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