Changing the Narrative: Find a Home Within
By Megan Zolorycki
I recall being 8 years old when the idea of “I’m not enough” popped into my head. I remember noticing that I didn’t look like my other elementary school friends. My body looked different. My skin hung on my bones in a way that I didn’t like. At that moment, I became engrossed with the fact that I needed to change how I was perceived by the world. I was only 8 years old.
I am now 22 and up until last year, I’ve struggled with this idea that my body was my greatest enemy, food was comfort but also riddled with guilt, and I ultimately wasn’t enough. After 13 years of drowning in this cycle of needing so desperately to change myself in order to be happy, I changed the narrative.
Now, how do you change a way of thinking that is inked into your existence? How do you finally get to a point where you no longer have the intense need to make sure everything is in place on your flesh? Well, it’s not easy. Actually, it was probably the most uncomfortable situation I’ve ever put myself through. But somehow and in some way, I made it through to the other side.
At the beginning of 2018, I found a practice that I believe we are all familiar with: Yoga. Nourishing movement was unfamiliar to me at this time. I was still roped into this idea that if you don’t drain your body completely while moving it, you’re not doing anything. I was skeptical. However, as I walked into my first yoga class; something shifted. I was ready to be there. I was ready to move, breathe, and reap the benefits of a practice that was there to fill me up instead of tipping my cup over. Everyone has their own darkness, but it’s when you decide to show up, sit with it and work through it, that’s when the real change happens. Yoga helps you be in your body, in your mind, and as cheesy as it sounds in your soul. When you practice, it’s just you and your mat. There’s nothing to hide behind, no cozy corners to curl up in. It’s you and your thoughts. You learn a lot in that space and it's uncomfortable. However, healing isn’t easy and when you’re able to look your darkness in the eyes and be fully with it, that’s when you start to grow. So, day by day; practice by practice, I looked the 8 year old version of myself in the eyes and started to cultivate a home where I never thought there could be. I started to find a home within myself.
So here we go. In February 2019, I went to Ecuador on a 30 day Yoga Teacher Training. I looked 60 individuals in the eyes and told them yes, I struggle with a disorder that affects 30 million people. The support was beautiful. We so often hide our struggles and fears from every open eye. We keep our insecurities tucked in a nice little box under the bed. We are terrified of opening that box and letting vulnerability spill all over the floor. But the fact in the matter is, this is how the growth starts.
This growth led me to become a Yoga Teacher and that is healing in itself. I get to guide individuals through an experience that has helped me so much. Whether or not it lands in the same way, I believe you grow every time you step onto the mat. Every class I teach, I try to reinforce this concept of positive embodiment; feeling at home in your own body. Feeling safe, feeling strong, and feeling love in our own flesh. Finding this home is the journey I’ve been on for the majority of my life and it’s something I want even one of my students to feel in my classes. I believe it’s a privilege to teach such a sacred practice and I want to use this privilege to make my mark. No matter how small or large that mark is.
In 2020 everything changed. Every being on this planet went through a collective trauma of uncertainty. For individuals struggling, the isolation was a breaking point. So now, after a few years of healing, everything starts bubbling to the surface. No longer did I have the escape of taking or teaching a yoga class. I had to go deeper inward. I had to reconnect to myself in a new way. How terrifying is that? While I could have stayed in my isolated state, I reached out. I reached out, but then ran away. Reached out again, and then got caught in a beautiful safety net.
Common ground is a beautiful thing. The feeling of talking to someone who knows exactly what you’ve been going through is magical. In this magical moment, I felt understood and I was able to gather tools to guide me in the direction of healing my relationship with not only my body and food, but with everything else in my life. I was finally intuitively connected to what I had been missing for 22 years. 2020 brought this to me.
The stages above have led me to be writing these words today. Do I still struggle to see the light on some days? Yes, of course. Healing isn’t linear, but it’s possible. Can everyone take yoga teacher training in a foreign country? No. But, I believe the metaphor of escaping somewhere and being vulnerable with other people is a stepping stone into a beautiful path. I teach yoga, but what do you do that curates a home for you to snuggle up in? Art, writing, reading, dancing; are all ways to express and contribute to your own version of safety. Reach out and keep reaching out until you find the tools and resources that help you. It will take some time. It will cause a lot of discomfort. But imagine a life without living in a place of fear. Amazing right? So take a deep breath. You are here. You are right here. Keep going.
Hi! My name is Megan and I’ve been drawn to helping others with their own healing since I can remember. The Looking Glass Foundation is a way for me to do that. With my words and my experiences, my hope is that every individual whether you struggle with an eating disorder or not, can come back into peace with their bodies; their homes. My day to day is always different, but I’ve been a yoga teacher for almost 2 years and most of my pieces will centre around the immense healing benefits of this ancient practice; a practice that saved me at my lowest points. 2 things to know about me: I’m from Vancouver Island (Island girl) and I love GOOD coffee. So stick around!