From a yogi to an alchemist in sacred relationship….
Warning. Long and vulnerable story. You’ve been warned. 😉
We rarely travel over the holidays, so I usually end up helping my fellow instructors and sub a lot of classes during the season. The kids always have lots of events, tests, projects, concerts and parties at the end of the semester, giving mom (me) extra balls to add to our family schedule juggle.
It was the week before Christmas 2017. I was on day 26 of my cycle. I was overbooked and exhausted. All the while, I was helping plan and promote an upcoming New Year’s Day event at Keller Yoga.
It was a Saturday morning. I was cleaning the kitchen and Jacob was sitting at the table, eating and scrolling Facebook.
“I see the Keller Yoga New Year’s event just got posted,” Jacob said.
He made a frustrated sigh and grunt.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s a chanting event?” You could hear the aggravation in Jacob’s voice.
Jacob has a lot of triggers around organized religion and spiritual ritual, baggage he carries from his childhood and family history. Although he loves the gifts yoga and all things spiritual have given me, and although he reaps the benefits of moving and connecting to his body and breath; as soon as he’s asked to get organized with it all, he’s out! If it’s supposed to be done in a particular way, or if it feels anything like “follow the leader,” he taps out. He’s always the one student in my classes not doing what I’m cuing.
Had you asked me that day, “What’s your spiritual path?” I would have replied, “Yoga,” without hesitation.
Had you asked Jacob the same question, he would say, “my family.” Honestly, I never understood what the fuck he was talking about. How could your family be your spiritual path?
My teacher says that one of the biggest obstacles on the spiritual path is the spiritual ego. As soon as your mind starts to change, as your consciousness evolves, as your awareness expands it’s easy to then think you know all the answers. What’s working for you must be the only way. And in my mind, because Jacob didn’t have a formalized ritual or practice, he had no spiritual practice at all. And that bothered me!
I yearned for a family that worshiped together, and in my exhausted state I snapped. I can’t remember what I said, but Jacob’s disappointed tone set me over the edge. My words cut him to the core. I poked at his spirit and his psyche, making him feel unworthy and not good enough. He didn’t speak to me for three days. And in that time, I had to make a decision. Do I want to walk away from this fourteen-year marriage to find someone to link arms with on this yogic spiritual path? Or, do I want to stay and show our children what loving someone who has different needs and beliefs looks like?
I obviously stayed.
But in those three days of hell, I did a shit ton of soul searching.
I looked closely at my husband and how he’s shown up over the years. I looked at my behaviors, beliefs and cycles. Have I been showing up as my best?
I remembered that our partners and all relationships in our lives are a mirror. When something or someone else is bothering you, it’s a reminder to look at yourself and ask, when do I do those things?
I started analyzing my behavior and I recognized a pattern.
All our major fights always happened right before my period. Looking back, I’m embarrassed at how mean I’ve been. I’m all sunshine and rainbows until I’m not. And then it’s like I used my hormonal shift as an excuse to offload every frustration I held in throughout the month – and it was always aimed at Jacob.
I would blame him for everything. For how tired I was. For how I couldn’t live up to anyone’s expectations of me. How no one else lived up to my expectations. How giving energy to him and the family took time away from my spiritual practice and yoga community. My complaints were endless.
And I did it monthly. For 14 fucking years. How did Jacob put up with my cycles? Why hasn’t he left me yet? And then my blame shifted to shame.
What’s wrong with me? Why do I keep doing this to my family?
These questions were in the forefront of my brain. And then a miracle happened.
It was Christmas Eve eve. It was day 3 of our fight. I hadn’t slept in three days. Kaleif was sick and I went to get him some cold medicine. I shouldn’t have been driving. Traffic was moving too fast and my reaction time was too slow. I thought I had more time to pull out, but the other car side-swiped me before I knew what was happening.
I totaled my van and I ended up in the emergency room.
I called Jacob from the scene of the accident. When he showed up, he didn’t act like we had been fighting for days, like I had hurt his feelings and he was deciding if this marriage was worth fighting for. It’s like that crash was the reset button we both needed. The fight was over. We both recognized how quickly we could be without the other, how quickly life could get flipped upside down, and we made love that night like it was our last.
Humbled how his switch flipped, I realized that throughout my soul searching I was asking the wrong question.
When I ask, what’s wrong with me? I am the victim.
But I’m not a victim here. I’m an empowered, intelligent, heroine of my own life.
And then it hit me: to experience a new reality, I needed to start asking different questions.
What tools do I need to acquire to maintain a happy, healthy, well-connected, loving, spicy relationship with someone on a different spiritual path? Who do I need to become?
They say, When the student is ready, the teacher appears. And I was ready for a new dance within my marriage.
I was open and the books came.
I started learning more about subconscious riotous anger stored in the female collective unconscious due to years and lifetimes of being treated like property or burned for our wisdom. I started waking up to my cyclical nature and realized how hormonal awareness is empowering. I released the shame I carried with my period and started studying my weekly lady superpowers.
And as I learned more about the inner workings of my body, everything changed. Although all things yoga still feed my soul, I no longer consider it my spiritual path. My family is.
Yoga provides a road map, a community and a support system. But like all systems – they aren’t for everyone. We are all entitled to our own journey. And over the past two years, I realized that claiming yoga as my path was divisive for my family. Was it and is it soothing for me? Yes. But if it was pushing me away from what I hold most dear, what’s the point?
My teacher says that we’re always looking to change what’s happening on the outside, but the key is to change what’s happening on the inside. So, if I yearned to have a deeper spiritual connection with my husband, and he gets triggered from external religious hoopla, what are some internal pathways to divine connection and communion?
And then ancient texts started coming – schooling me on spiritual alchemy, tantra and sacred relationships.
Alchemy is changing one thing into another. To do this, you must have a container, a substance for transformation and something to incite the reaction. Within ancient tantric practices, the relationship is the container, the relationship itself causes reactions and that which is transformed is you!
Whew! Talk about turning up the heat!
Fire is the element of transformation. It fuels anger, but it also fuels passion.
I’m not going to tell you the rest of the story. That’s what I’m doing in my book. But as Facebook reminded me of this moment in time with the graphic image of my wrecked car, I was flooded with gratitude. For since that crash, I’ve become a new woman. We have a new marriage. And I’m working on new things.
I realize now that being a yoga teacher isn’t my life’s purpose. My dharma is sharing these tools with other women. Women who yearn for deep, juicy connection with their beloved, who aren’t afraid to walk through fire to transform into the Goddess that alchemizes the energy within her home.
So, if you’re someone who I’ve known for a long time who’s been thinking, Aubrey has changed. She’s not talking about fitness and meal plans anymore. What’s up?
We live within a culture of divorce. Creating a solid foundation and loving home for our children is my #1 priority. And I realize that if I want a different outcome than your average Jo-Ann, I’ve gotta do things differently.
I started hosting “Remembering Your She-Power Retreats” to share the tools I’ve acquired with other women; but then I realized the service I could provide by getting all of this shit out of my head and onto the page. A book could help those who can’t attend a live event.
And so, I’m writing.
I won’t host another retreat until this book is birthed. But if you’re local to DFW, you can come soak up my vibes and acquire these tools at the Keller Yoga Red Tent Women’s Circles. I’m stepping up as our monthly space holder, because I recognize that changing the world starts with cleaning up your own back yard.
My family is my spiritual practice. Circling with women is my calling. And as I hibernate, creating space to nurture this book that’s slowly being born, I will pour energy into my immediate community because it nurtures my soul.
When women gather, we lean on our collective strength. And the world is changing. We’re entering a new paradigm that requires new tools. And although being a representative and a spokeswoman for the Divine Feminine is scary as shit, I know that as I continue to show up as my best self, I create space for other women to do the same.
Ladies, although I love Disney, they sold us a bullshit story. No, you are not a princess waiting for Prince Charming to come wake you up and save the day. You are a Goddess. Recognize the God within your man and watch him rise to the occasion. His Divine Masculine will show up when evoked. Your relationship can be the most sacred spiritual path, if you’re not afraid. It will cause you to question everything you’ve been taught and challenge you to grow into the best version of yourself. And I can’t wait to share with you the full story.
If you want to be notified as soon as it’s ready for your eyes, and/or you’re curious about the next “She Power Retreat,” I need your email!. >> Join my newsletter!
The next Red Tent Women’s Circle at Keller Yoga is January 17th. You’re invited. I hope to see you there. More more info >>> View the Facebook Event
Until next time….