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Awake AGAIN! August 22, 2009

Posted by admin in : Yoga , add a comment

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It was 2:30am and suddenly I was wide awake…thinking and analyzing and listening to the mind tell the same story over and over again like a broken record. It wouldn’t be so bad if the early wake-up call was a single isolated incident, but every other night for 3 weeks had me flustered. I tried the yoga postures I knew for calming, I tried eating raw honey, which is known to induce sleep, and I tried slow deep rhythmic breathing, but none of the holistic remedies worked and I was tired of tossing and turning so I finally got up at 4am. 

I worked on my book for a bit, but when the words started to blur across the screen, I went for a 2 hour bike ride and watched the sun come up over the hazy horizon. I went down to the river and meditated and then came home and made a pot of coffee. I drank a couple cups with breakfast, read some of my book and it was still only 8:30am. It felt like an entire day had passed and I still had a full day ahead of me. I was exhausted, but couldn’t sleep and my mind was still streaming with thought.

I needed some love and a nice gentle yoga class to calm the stress I was feeling in my mind, in my heart, and in my body so I took off to the studio. I was looking forward to the practice because one of my friends was teaching and I really needed to be in her energy and in the company of someone who understood me and could relate to my fragile state of mind. I knew everything would be okay once I got on the mat, but when my friend didn’t show up to teach I was a bit disenchanted.

I spent the next 90 minutes annoyed. I detested every pose and I hated having to hold them longer than my body wanted. The music did not resonate with me nor did the tone of the teacher’s voice. I was miserable all around and just wanted the class to end, but time seemed to stand still. I was irritated and grumpy and became more and more irked as the clock ticked by.

My best friend called me on the way home to see how I was doing and catch up, but she was met with petulance, as I was exasperated from the class. I apologized and told her I was just tired from getting up so early and didn’t mean to be so cranky. My tantrum and attempt to hide what was really going on didn’t deter her, as she knew full well something else was going on so she did what any best friend would do and asked me what was really going on?  

That’s all it took for the walls to fall and tears to stream down my face, as pure raw emotion poured out of my heart. We always get what we need on the mat and although it can feel painful in the moment or uncomfortable energetically, the spirit is working on an extremely deep level. It’s not our job to judge the teacher or the practice or have expectations. It’s just our job to show up and be present with whatever arises. Perhaps if the teacher I wanted was there or the class more gentle, I wouldn’t have had the chance to release the emotions I was harboring.

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Surrender August 16, 2009

Posted by admin in : Relationships Tags:, , , , add a comment

I’m an idealist and someone who sees the world through rose-colored sunglasses. I believe in marriage and children and dream about the fairytale wedding, but the older I get, the more skepticism I face. In particular, the men I seem to attract are either previously married and jaded by the fact it didn’t work or just don’t have a desire to make that kind of commitment. If it were just them, it would be one thing, but a lot of people are cynics when it comes to matters of the heart. I’ve actually had people ask me if I ever thought about adoption or the possibility of freezing my eggs, which I found quite hysterical considering I’m not even 40 yet, but something hit home recently when someone said to me that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mother or a wife…that perhaps God had other plans for me.

I struggled with this because I didn’t want to give up on my dream. I’m not a quitter. I’m a fighter and a believer in the power of manifestation and the law of attraction so I had to do some soul searching and self-inquiry. What I realized is that it isn’t about me giving up or losing faith. It’s about me making a conscious decision to let go and surrender something that is maybe not meant to be. Perhaps the advice I received was right and I’m not destined to be a wife or bring a child in to this world. Maybe my fate is different than what I thought or hoped for and it’s not to say I don’t believe in marriage anymore because I absolutely whole-heartedly do. But what I believe in even more than walking down the aisle is loving someone enough to be devoted to the relationship no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way. I believe in a love where two people are willing to make sacrifices without detriment because true love is a commitment that far exceeds any ordinary relationship.

It’s much easier to walk away from something you’re not legally commited to so I always thought marriage was about making a statement of being fully devoted, but if you truly love someone with all your heart, than you would stay and work through anything whether you signed a marriage license or not.  A faithful relationship means two people are willing to do whatever it takes to grow together and work though the difficult times. It demands a little more effort, but this is how seeds of growth are planted. With the right amount of light and love, these seeds germinate in the soul and transformation occurs on a deep spiritual level.   

Take my friends and family for instance. I love them more than anything in this world and would never let anything come between us. I would give my life for any one of them and would do anything in my power to resolve an issue that came between us yet I’m not married or legally bound to them in any way. It’s just goes without saying.

I believe in the sappy fairytale dream of being utterly and passionately in love, but at the end of the day, I don’t need to be married to feel that kind of joy. I’m taking a new approach and making a choice to let go because I trust that whatever is meant to be will be.

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Take off the mask August 9, 2009

Posted by admin in : Fear, People Tags:, , , , add a comment

I use to wonder why people, including myself, felt the need to hide behind addictions or labels or titles or whatever masks we chose to wear in order to feel sanctified in the eyes of another. One couldn’t possibly know the answer to this question unless one took off the guise of deception and stopped hiding and the moment one experiences this emancipated state of vulnerability, the answer is clear.

People hide because they are scared of being hurt. If we didn’t live in such a judgmental insolent world where people drum to the beat of humanity instead of their own internal rhythm, we would have a lot more self-confidence and would seek refuge in the opinion of our higher selves instead of the mortals we idolize.  Control, greed, and power have brought civilization to its knees. The world began its decent, as religious tyranny, political ruin, and economic hardship made mankind insecure, judgmental, mind-driven machines that learned how to manipulate through the use of guilt and the art of manipulating lower emotions.

 It’s no wonder people don’t want to be vulnerable and true to their authentic self. There’s so much pain and suffering people get lost in the mind and become numb to what’s going on at a deeper level because they can’t withstand. We’ve slowly lost our identity and have allowed the collective whole to penetrate our psyche…our spirits buried under the intellectual and logical self becoming impervious to pain. The hurt we actually allow ourselves to feel is masked by our identity in a distracted attempt to protect our spirits. 

I didn’t realize this until I felt a kind of pain I had never felt before. It was different in the sense that it was no longer me, the victim, but me, the completely open and vulnerable with a tender heart me. One doesn’t feel pain quite so severely when there’s a wall built around the soul, but when you dig through the layers of the onion and take off the masks and awaken to your essential self, the pain is felt at a much deeper level. It’s a raw organic pain that doesn’t feel like the “woe is me” pain, but a true heart wrenching uninhabited tenderness that seeps through every pore of your being. The mind isn’t telling you stories and the heart begging for sympathy. It’s as if the world stops and your body becomes so real and so firmly rooted in truth. 

Talking about it defies its very nature because it’s not a story to be told like some trashy column written as gossip and published for the masses, but a hard physical sensation penetrating deep within the recesses of your being. You’re so conscious and aware of the profound aching, you want to put the mask back on and continue on with the facade, but you can’t. It’s like the pain is holding you down starring you in the face. There’s nowhere to run and no place to hide. It’s just you and the energy that holds the agonizing moment of despair.

I wish I could say, “Stay behind the mask and never experience the kind of pain one would feel standing naked before the world,” but it would go against everything I believed. Digging through layers and layers of crap to get to the real you is where it’s all at because it is in knowing your higher self that light begins to shine through. How can one be open and able to heal and make this world a better place if the waters of the soul are murky and the sky cloudy with dark matter? Once the spiritual path is discovered and made clear of karmic debris, the spirit shines like sunlight through a quartz crystal. It’s clear and vibrant and relentless in its ability to shine in all directions. To not truly open up one’s heart and feel the kind of raw organic pain we deny ourselves is to deny ourselves the very magic of life.

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Done and Free August 2, 2009

Posted by admin in : Life 101 Tags:, , , , , add a comment

I recently read a blog post entitled “Three Powerful Words.” The 3 words… “I AM DONE.” As I read the blog, the words danced off the screen singing to me like lyrics of a song. Another’s experience can only resonate at that level when one has encountered the same, as knowledge is what unites sentiment beings and connects us to all. One cannot have compassion without empathy for another. It’s what fuels our emotions and grounds us to reality.

The premise of the blog was people get stuck in situations because they perpetuate suffering through destructive thought patterns and the language they use. People who are unhappy propagate negativity and get stuck there because the mind only preserves pessimism. One cannot find relief or be free until the cycle is stopped, as negativity breeds negativity. I’ve been there to see it…it’s like being pulled down by a tidal wave to the bottom of an ocean and drowning, as the air slowly deprives you of your life. 

The thing about spiraling downward is you eventually hit rock bottom and then there’s nowhere else to go, but up. I spent most of my life, as a victim…a victim of abandonment…a victim of abuse…a victim of control…a victim of manipulation. It played out in many forms and in many different relationships. I didn’t even know I was playing the role, as it became my identity…it comforted me and gave me something to blame and a place to hide when I was hurt. It was my shelter…my refuge from pain. I suppose there was a part of me who needed it…a sense of protection until I was able and strong enough to confront the shadows on my own. 

For that to happen I needed to feel safe and being safe for me meant getting out of an environment where I was being controlled, manipulated and judged, but it took a lot of inner strength that I was only able to achieve after years and years of work…work on myself…digging through layers and layers of baggage.

Often we don’t even realize we’re in toxic environments because something about it fuels our fire and gives us a false sense of self. We feel secure in relationships because something about the other person makes us feel whole, but it’s not authentic, as we are the only ones who can make that connection. This is one of the reasons relationships end because as each person grows, he or she eventually finds his or her own self worth and the other person is no longer necessary to fill the void. If a false sense of security is what initially bonded the relationship, than there might not be enough left to keep it alive.

It wasn’t until I truly found myself and became whole without needing another person there to complete me or play a role of someone or something I was denied as a child that I was able to see the victim, surrender the victim, and change the semantics of my life. I never felt good enough as a child and I struggled with the lack of confidence for a really long time. It wasn’t until yoga teacher training that I was finally able to open up and start the process of healing. It took me being in a circle of like-minded loving people who accepted me unconditionally to finally feel safe.

It was in the sanctity of these yogis that I was finally able to surrender and take off the masks I’d been wearing. I was no longer the victim…I was a survivor…I was free…I was ME! This abandon would have never been possible had I not been “done” playing the victim because one can’t be done with something until one is truly DONE.

If you’re still suffering in some way or find yourself spiraling downward, ask yourself what you’re getting from it. If you weren’t getting something, you wouldn’t still be there and it’s okay if you still need to be there. You just need to be okay with it or do something about it, as you are the only one who can do it.

My mother once said to me “nobody is coming to save you.” I hated the words as they spilled over her lips because I knew she was right. I spent most of my life waiting for someone to save me. I wanted someone to make me feel safe…to protect me from the pain I felt as a child…to hear my cries for help…to erase the wrongs imposed upon me and make them right. In the end, it was me who came to save me. When you are finally able to say, “I am done,” you will be done and you will be free.

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