still i rise tattoo


By Edith Lazenby


I have always said life can take everything away yet cannot touch faith or yoga or writing.

That has not always been true for me. Life can challenge faith but it has made mine stronger. Yoga remains, though the forms it can take in my life has changed. And my muse never leaves, though I closed that door for a long time.

Today there is the community of recovery.

I have been a part of that community in the past—AA provided a path to sobriety. Many years ago it was a big part of my life, before I was married 17 years and divorced now almost three. Now, for two years I have lived in a new town and I am not part of AA at all. Yet, I have community though, for which I am grateful.

I have found that my focus becomes healing, which takes a myriad of forms but really is life itself.

I am not simply addressing the walking wounded. There are one-winged birds that cannot fly, and this has nothing to do with that system that supports mental health, such as therapists and medications.

I am referring to that which is being alive and living fully, so the joy is genuine and the grief, real. This is falling in love again. This is being willing to lose it all again. This is sharing, giving, hoping, wanting, knowing and needing. This is growing, into being a fully balanced person. This is seeing my magnitude and my shadow. This is falling so far down I could not get up and flying so high I was willing to die.

This is feeling 30 years old in a 57 year-old heart.

I am learning what matters again. I packed books away that no longer hold me. I have boxes of dishes now that are unopened. I am remaking how I am as I work my way back to caring by doing the next right thing—a tool I learned in AA but never used.

I did not have to care to do the next right thing.

Six months later, I am learning it is safe to care again. It has taken time to get to the point of caring. It has taken many people, a few friends and the faith in myself that I will change and can embrace the process of becoming as I rediscover what must change inside to be the woman I want to be and what must change outside to live the life I want to live.

 I am looking to change careers. Being a yoga teacher is fantastic and fun but my asana practice suffers with age and I have a need for benefits once again. While Obamacare is better than nothing, it does not meet my needs. So in the past few years, change has met me at every corner. Now I am looking a new career, that is a huge lifestyle change. 

Relationships are my life. I have bonds nothing will break (well at least I hope and pray). New bonds take time and each dance is different.

Writing was always my saving grace, but when I needed grace I could not find my muse. I had hidden her so when she whispered it was hard to hear because she was not near. 

Call it recovery. Call it life. Call it healing—healing is life.

Writing and yoga and relationships are how I have kept myself going, and there are times when it is has only been friends who have kept me going. There are plenty of times in my life when I have held that space for others so they could also find their way back.

I listen to music all the time now, and poems have always written themselves. I am finding all I want and all I need. It is my community and friends who hold me so I can heal. I can write, I can practice yoga and I can change careers.

This community of people has made it possible for me to get back on my feet and give myself what I need.

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edith lazenbyEdith “Edie” Lazenby lives in Baltimore and teaches yoga. Writing is her first love. She enjoys a cup of coffee and being around people. Life is a celebration. Writing helps her celebrate.




Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall