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Make It Work

The Haven

Five years ago, exhausted, broken, & brave I walked into a tiny, light-filled apartment in Brighton & said “this is it.” Relieved & grateful for a space to call my own.


That apartment. It was a resting point for the weariest traveler.


The two years prior had been filled with challenges I would never wish upon anyone. Challenges within myself, challenges with others, challenges with society. When I talk about my healing journey, I refer to that period of time as “The Dumpster Fire.”



I needed a haven. I needed a place to get myself together.


But this decision, it had big implications.


To say that deciding to separate after six years of marriage was challenging would not even give it justice. There is simply not a word in the English language for how difficult that was.


I knew there was a lot of work ahead of me in that Brighton apartment. I knew it would become a huge part of my life.


It was there where I was forced to learn to take care of myself again. Where I learned that I would be ok on my own; I would be ok no matter what. Where I sought refuge & taught during a pandemic; where I started a beautiful yoga community that still fills my heart everyday.


It was exhausting - day in day out, all I had was myself (& Cookie & Lucy). It was the hardest & most important thing I’ve ever done.


 

Big Things


But I won’t lie & say that everything was great. Though my general anxiety was under control, there were still some major things I was avoiding.


As time went on, things started to catch up with me. Then 2020 hit.


I should also say that I talked to almost no one about everything I had been through, & the big feelings I had about them (everything I do is big…big feelings, big love, big hurt).


Without talking to anyone, I was navigating my separation turning to a divorce, a global pandemic, & a few bad habits that were hanging onto me like barnacles.


All those big things sitting inside me, they became like a poison.

Toward the end of the 2021 school year, it became too much.


There was a weekend where everything exploded. I laid in bed the whole weekend, taking turns talking to my parents, & my best friends Jaim & Sarah. They are heroes for being there for me when all the biggness erupted.


There was no hesitation on my parents' part to say “come home, we’ll figure it out.”


& so began the part of my healing journey that I call “The One Where I Sold All My Furniture” which is also known as “Nature Camp.”


 

Make a Move


I didn’t have a lot of time to plan moving home for the year. It all happened so quickly. So I sold almost everything. I decided that wherever I ended up at the end of the year, I would start totally fresh.


I moved out on July 31st. My last few moments in my little haven, I did a yoga flow. It felt only right to finish my time there with the thing that kept me grounded to the earth the entire time. To say goodbye to my yoga corner where WE (me & you & all of us) started Journey Forward Yoga.


One of the intentions during that last flow was to send light & love to the person who was moving into my apartment. “May this be a haven for you too.”


I rolled up my yoga mat, walked out the door, & started on my way.

Before I sound too yogi-like, I stopped at the mall to get my nails done before leaving Massachusetts. The nail place didn’t have an appointment right away, so I had to walk around the mall for a bit. I stopped into a random store. I bought a t-shirt. The woman who rang me up asked for my address. Out of habit, I gave her my Brighton address. She looked up from the computer & said “wait, that’s my new apartment.”


It is moments like these that help us to know we are on the right path. These are the types of nudges from the universe that say “this is exactly where you’re supposed to be right now.”


 


Pure Potential


It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that I was not sure I would be returning. To teaching. To Massachusetts. I had zero idea what would happen.


In August, I went to Maine for a yoga retreat. In downtown Portland, I happened upon a cute little shop that did tarot card reading. I figured, what the heck? Why not see what they have to say? The result was something that kept me grounded in faith about my choice to take the year off.


She wanted me to ask a question to guide the reading.. I asked “What should I do after the end of my year off?” She laid out three cards, my past, my present, and my future.


Ultimately, she shared that this year was not even about “where or what to do.”


This year was about more. This year was pure potential. & what pure potential it was.

In my time at Nature Camp, a.k.a. The plant & animal filled acres in New Jersey, I learned way more than I could describe here. Once again, there is not a word in the English language for it.

I threw myself into learning - yoga, personal growth, business, budgeting…anything & everything. I was so hungry for knowledge & growth. I was determined to complete another cycle of healing.

 

Make It Work


The decision to return to teaching in Massachusetts was not an easy one. But it was the one I chose.


When I was making my plans to return, I decided that my #1 for living was to live in a nice apartment. If you’ve ever lived in the Brighton section of Boston, you know that a nice apartment means having a dishwasher & laundry!


I found a place I loved, but I knew it would be a stretch financially after a year of no full-time paycheck. Add to that all the furniture I would need! But I was determined to make it work.


I bought a bed. I went shopping in my parent’s basement & found old furniture that would work. Inspired by my parent’s use of boxes as side tables when they were first married, I would do the same. I took a dog bed to serve as my couch. (honestly these beds are really big & comfortable so it wasn’t that weird. But yeah, ok, it’s still weird).


My lease started in mid-August, which didn’t give me much time before I had to start school.


I told myself “Just get there, Christina. You’ll make it work.”

I saved. I worked extra jobs. I got myself back to where I wanted to be financially.


One year later, I am starting to really furnish my apartment. With all the things I love. From a place of strength. From a place of healing, twice through.



 

For you


- In what ways can you bet on yourself?

- Where can you make sacrifices to live the live you want?

- What needs to change in your life to bring you to a better place?

- What is one small thing you can do today to make your life better?

- Have you experienced any nudges from the universe that say you're on the right path?

- How can you trust that voice inside more?

 

Thank you for being here. May we all keep growing, learning, & healing.


Love,

Christina


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