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First Love

My first 'love' post. I am both fascinated and completely puzzled by it. But it's true, I love, love. I love writing about it, reading and researching, talking and hearing about it, but obviously more than anything, I love experiencing it. I'm not just talking about 'lover' relationships, but all forms of giving and receiving deep affection. Most importantly the love relationship with oneself. I spent my twenties, and well, a bit of my thirties, desperate to feel loved by someone else which only led to disappointment and suffering. Enter yoga. Sure I'd practiced asana, (the physical limb of yoga) for over ten years, however it wasn't until I started studying the true path of the yogi - the pure essence of being, that I realized that everything comes from within. And so began my long, and at times lonely, journey of learning how to love myself, first. Not so easy to do. I understand the mechanics, the necessity of it before attempting to love another, and even counsel clients, successfully, on how to develop deep, loving, nurturing relationships with themselves. Still, I have yet to master self-love, which is why I've made it my work to investigate this very vital practice. It is a process, and we are all processing, all the time.

It is also true, that I am a romantic. I have been in love more than once - deeply, deeply in love with other persons for long periods of time. Intimate relationships are also essential. We learn about ourselves through our partners. They hold up the mirror when we are too afraid to. They challenge our long, tightly held belief systems. They provide the opportunity for a different point of view. They are a requirement in the pursuit of personal growth.

As I write this, I am single. Almost as many times as I have been deeply in love, flying high, I have fallen, hard. Just as tricky as it is to be in a relationship, I've found it is equally as, or even more difficult to go at this life on your own. Nevertheless, there is beauty no matter where you stand. I intend to make this space one that reflects that, and I am so excited to dig in - to offer what I've learned and what I've lived, here, for others to relate to, and ultimately grow from.

"Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you will be sure of yourself."

You mustn't live so lightly,

Spin your stories, tell your tales,

Let them dance across the oceans

And set the wind upon your sails.

For every truth found on your travels

And in the pits of your despair,

Is a shout into forever

Of "I existed, and I cared."

~ Erin Hanson

Los Angeles, CA

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