Wednesday, January 27, 2016

500 Words. Day 8. A process of becoming.



It’s official. 

I’m a yoga teacher! Technically I’ve been a teacher since last March when I graduated yoga teacher training and they handed me a piece of paper with a shiny gold border that says “Certified Yoga Teacher”, but tonight I signed a contract to teach and received a key to the studio.

This isn’t to diminish the classes I taught my friends last April and May, or the impromptu yoga sessions that I’ve done over the past several months. I was a teacher then, and i’m a teacher now. I’m simply thrilled to actually have my name connected to a class where strangers are going to show up, giving me the opportunity to share my practice with them. 

I’ve wanted to share my practice since the day I graduated, but I didn’t feel capable. I was limiting myself, and my environment was limiting me. Does that even make sense? This is the space to delve deeper into that, but that’s not a story that I want to give a voice to this evening.

Perspective is a mother. 

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that it’s taken six months of being on my own for me to be comfortable enough to take the first steps towards being seen as a yoga teacher. I’ve slowly been working on respecting and honoring myself and my practice enough to be in a mindset of openness and vulnerability. It’s scary shit to make the moves to put myself out there. 

But I’m doing it. 

I don’t know what will happen now, but I’m happy. Thrilled at the possibilities. 

//

Over the past few days, several people have mentioned to me that they've noticed a change in my demeanor and my attitude. That it’s been a slow shift, but I seem to be a happier person, in a much better place than I was when I was in my previous relationship. Growth is a gradual process it seems. 

First, there was the subtle, internal recognition that I was shifting, molting. It was uncomfortable, yet necessary. I needed to surrender to the process, allowing myself to break down, become overwhelmed by the old, outdated shit (that is the best word to describe the heavy emotional baggage I was carrying unconsciously). Ever so slowly, I started to recognize the possibility of something lighter, brighter and happier within me. The awareness that I am responsible for my perceptions and actions. I was becoming reacquainted with a part of myself that I had neglected and abandoned because it didn’t work for other people: the essence of my self, my “bigness”.

I’m not hiding myself anymore. I’m done trying to fit someone else’s preconceived idea of how I should “be”. It’s no longer about what makes other people happy. It now has to be about what makes me shine, what helps me grow, and what I can do to be a better person.


It’s a process of becoming. It’s my process of becoming. Becoming me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

500 Words. Day 7. They say action cures fear.



Can I just write about my weekend? I do have to come up with 1,500 words to make up for not being at my computer. I’m sure that I can figure out a way to make it through this in one sitting. Ha, just kidding! I know have to make up some days, and that’s life. I’ll add them to the end of the challenge, or maybe I’ll write longer posts. 

This could potentially be about absolutely nothing now that it is Tuesday, and I’ve been busy, and every time I come to my computer I’m tired and it’s late. I’m also finding that I am censoring myself, and keeping my thoughts away from the page. I’ve gone through and limited my Facebook access so that certain people in my life don’t have the privilege of access to my life, but this page is public. 

I really do need to get over this fear of being seen by others and offending people by talking about what I am experiencing. Everything that has been happening in my life recently has been a huge lesson in perception, awareness, and truth. I’m having deeper conversations with people, and keeping myself open to those that I’ve been open with, but it’s the people that I’m closed off to that I’m worried about. 

I especially notice it when I’m at work. I willingly talk about the things that are going on in my life:  the interactions, conversations, confrontations, decisions, possibilities, fears, and I talk about them freely with the people I work with. If someone simply asks me “how are you today?”, I share it all. 

But it’s different when I come to a blank document on my computer to start writing. I freeze up, close off, and have no idea how I want to start. It wasn’t like this the last time I tried participating in this challenge, I simply stopped writing. This time I can tell that I’m trying to protect myself, but I have no idea what I’m protecting myself from. 

It all comes back to being seen and making people happy. I want people to like me and I sometimes limit myself in order for that to occur, but then I’m miserable because I’m not being true to who I am. If I am to put myself out there in the digital world (or even my physical reality), then I should work through whatever resistance and fear I have around telling my story. I have heard and read it several times that ‘to put oneself out there you have to be okay with ruffling some feathers.” That is totally paraphrased by the way but it’s true. How do I do this though when I’m worried about ruffled feathers? I want everyone to be happy, including me. Is that even a possibility?

I’m grateful for being able to acknowledge the space that I am in, the resistance that I’m feeling, and the reasons behind my inaction.


I have a sticker that says “Action cures fear”. I think this needs to be my motto this year.

Friday, January 22, 2016

500 words. Day 6.

I’m tired. It’s late. My brain is hazy with the thoughts of curling up with Mynx under the blankets and drifting off to sleep. 

I really have no words to share. I think back to my day and what I’ve done, but in these moments as sleep gently nudges me, I can’t find a story to bring to the page. 

I’m paying attention to where my thoughts go during the day, and I’m realizing that I have plenty of stories that I want to share. I simply need to show up and write, even if it is crap.

I could write about taking a nap today in between jobs, and being so cold that I don’t think I actually slept. Or about how I broke down in tears on my drive to my second job because I simply couldn't hold in the emotion in any longer.

There is the excitement of being one step closer to teaching an *actual* yoga class, in an actual studio space. The thought of putting myself out there is slightly terrifying, but it is something that I’ve wanted to do since I came home from training last year.

I would love to talk about how I’m having a recurring thought run through my head as I go through all of this turmoil. “I’m upleveling.”

This fits quite nicely with the video that I watched earlier in the week talking about how lobsters grow. Their shell becomes too confining, too uncomfortable, so they have to take some time to expose themselves and lay down their old shell so they may grow a new one.

How many fucking times in the span of a year can I, must I, have to expose myself, be vulnerable, lay my shell down so that I can grow? It’s been one hell of a fucking year. 

Yoga Teacher Training. My mountain man. Saying no to forever, reclaiming space. The shutout. The lake house. The goodbye. The new place. The bruise. The Ranger. My third heartbreak in four months. Rubi. The questioning. The Coach. The opening. The climber. The silence. The apology. The heater. 


As I’m typing this list I’m realizing that I want to give a voice to all of my stories. This thought terrifies me. The opening, the shifting, the vulnerability. I don’t know if I can do it, but I’ll try.

Not 500 words, but close enough for today.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

500 Words. Day 5. Breathe baby girl.

“Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did. Let it go.”

These words. They showed up in my Facebook feed at the exact moment I needed to read them. 

Peace. It’s what I’m striving for in my life. The last six months have been one hell of a roller coaster, and overtime I feel as if I’m pulling up to the end of the ride and Im about to get off, the car just whizzes straight on past the gate and goes around for another hectic spin.

As I look back on it all, I’m amazed to realize that even with the uncertainty, the last few months have felt the most peaceful to me. Even with the hair loss, the silent treatment, the anxiety clawing at the pit of my stomach. I reflect, and I feel happy. This feeling of jubilation is because I am making it on my own after the last several years of feeling as if I was weak for depending on others. In these moments I am the decision maker, I hold my fate in my own hands. I am not fragile, I do not feel as if I have to be rescued, or if I am less than enough. I am slowly but surely realizing how in control of it all I really am. 

I step onto my yoga mat, coming to my practice with a simple intention: Breathe. 

As the next 60 minutes flows by I focus on my shoulders, consciously relaxing them, lowering them away from my head. I’m aware of my abdomen, and how I am not holding myself together, and no wonder I’m falling out of balancing poses. I don’t get frustrated though. I simply breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Over and over again.

I smile at the wall in front of me as I slowly, unsteadily bring my foot up to my inner thigh in tree pose. Noticing that I’m holding myself up a little bit taller when I’m balancing on my left side, and I feel shaky when I’m shifting to my right. 

Breathe, darling heart, breathe.

I call myself “darling heart” or “baby girl” when I’m reminding myself to breathe. In yoga practice, at work, in tense situations where I notice a tightness slowly starting to spread over my body originating in my chest. It’s taken me years of therapy, and a consistent mindfulness practice to realize my habit of not breathing when I feel tense or afraid. 

Inhale.

Exhale.

It’s all I can do some days. Pay attention to my breath. Noticing the coolness of the air in my nose as I breathe in, the expansion of my lungs, the feeling of floating as I hold my breath for a moment longer. The slow release of pent up energy, used up air escaping out of my mouth silently. 

My peace is found in my breath.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe, baby girl.

Breathe. 


My peace is found in my breath.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

500 Words. Day Four. Just trying to get by.


An appropriate representation of how I'm feeling today.

Hello day 4. The words are getting harder and harder to write as the days go on. I find myself with a lot more to say, but the resistance continues to grow. I worry about what people will think of my writing, because I am among some talented writers in this challenge. I had hopes that I would use these 30 days to write about my yoga practice, or even start to work on some material for my coaching practice, but it seems that it’s more of an outlet. That’s ok, I guess.

I’m right where I need to be, doing what I should be doing, and that is alright. I’m doing the best that I can, and I’m the only one that is being extremely hard on myself. I’m tired today, emotionally exhausted from this weekend. I’ve sequestered myself in my room, staying on my island (it doesn't make me feel so bad for not getting out of bed at all today), cuddling with Mynx. I’ve come to this page several times throughout the day, but left frustrated and worn out. 

I can’t think or focus on anything substantial. How am I going to get through 500 words today, if all I have to contribute is trivial? 

I was supposed to have a conversation with the Ranger today, but I couldn't bring myself to talk to him. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone today. I’ve picked up my phone several times, wanting to reach out to people, to connect, but I simply can’t today. Days like this are few and far between for me, but when they arrive, they take everything out of me.

Then the guilt arrives. The shame for withdrawing, the self-condemnation for not doing anything productive today. It’s a vicious cycle that repeats throughout the day. Moving from the warmth of my bed with the intention of doing something, feeling the weariness slowly taking over, retreating back to my blankets and cuddling with Mynx. Acceptance, gentleness, shame, guilt. Over and over again. 

I am aware that this is my cycle, that when I reach emotional burnout I need the quiet solitude to recharge. It never changes my feelings though. This recognition is surely a step in the right direction. The simple acknowledgment of my process, the act of allowing the natural flow of the day is definite progress. 

Instead of struggling to write the remaining 98 words, I’m going to return to Brooklyn Nine Nine and Mynx cuddles. I may read a magazine, but in this moment I’m drawn more to the mindless activities that will keep me warm and help me find humor in the situation.

Monday, January 18, 2016

500 Words. Day Three. The beginning. Or the end.



Everyone comes into your life for a reason. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. You may even be familiar with the poem that starts out with “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

I wish to share a story here, but i don’t know how to begin. That seems to be a steady theme in my life these days. Anyways.

One day last April, I met him. It was a chance encounter, he was a stranger among a group of individuals gathered around a common interest. I’m an observer, I watch people. I noticed him in the crowd, and there was something about him that caused him to stand out. He could have been one of us, as this group had about 45 people in it, and I didn't know everyone. Yet, there was something different about him that caused me to take notice, something that stood out. Even now I can’t describe it, but I knew.

I was very aware when he sat down across from me with his friend. I was the one in my group who spoke first. I can’t tell you what I said. I may have asked him a question, stated something obvious, or introduced myself. All I know is that I was the one who made the first move. As we talked, I paid attention to him, I was enraptured. There was something about his eyes, and the way he smiled.

He was hiking the Appalachian trail with his friend. He happened to be in the right place, at the right time. Asking a random gentleman why there were so many MINI’s at a resort in the middle of the mountains of North Carolina. Being invited on a drive. Sitting across from me. 

As we parted, I remembered that I felt a subtle sense of missing something. I hoped that we would see each other again. I had encouraged my friends to take them on an adventure, and to meet us back at our cabin later in the evening. There was hope. 

I noticed him as he walked into the room, everything else falling away until it was just him. I’ve never experienced that with anyone else, and it felt normal. We sat across from each other at the table, being fully present with one another. Nothing else mattered, no one else was there. It was just me and my mountain man. 

I had met this man maybe four hours earlier, and here we were having the most in-depth, intense conversation about life, religion, spirituality, love, relationships, commitment, intimacy. As the night wore on, and we changed venues, the intensity of our connection never wavered. He shared pictures and stories of his time on the trail with me. I wanted him to share everything with me. I couldn’t get enough. We sat right next to each other through out the evening, talking and laughing. He was new, exciting, intriguing. 

He was the catalyst for the undoing of my relationship.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

500 Words. Day 2. The struggle is already real.


My current view, hiding behind my screen and drinking tea at a coffee shop.


What do I say when I don’t even know where to start?

Is it more stream of consciousness? Maybe that’s the only way I’ll get through this writing challenge. Simply allowing my fingers to fly over the keyboard as I try to stay out of my own way. 

I feel blocked, as if nothing I have to say is good enough for 500 words.

I can’t write. I don't know what to write about. This is going to be a very boring challenge if this is what I will be typing out for the next 30 days. 

After the anger has passed in a situation, what is left? I’m aware of a space, a moment in time where I feel nothing. My anger is so strong, so vibrant, it burns through me with such ferocity that I have nothing left for a brief second. In that limited time, I sense a fleeting awareness of how human I am. 

The reason I can’t write today is because I feel empty. This moment of nothingness is stretching on for what feels an eternity. Trying to use words to describe what I’m experiencing is proving difficult. In these spaces I truly feel that I have no way of adequately describing my thoughts and feelings. 

When I worry about what I’m writing, and how other people will react to it is when I feel myself censoring my thoughts. These are the moments when I want to write, when I want to open myself up, spill myself across the page and I don’t. When I want my writing to be pristine, perfect. When I want it to evoke feelings and responses. I want you to understand me, to know exactly what I’m feeling. In this space is when I feel the most lost. 

These are the moments that I wish I had continued writing consistently throughout my life. Anytime someone asks me what I do for a hobby, I always list writing. But how can writing be my hobby if I don’t spend time with it? 

I feel wrung out, limp, as if all of my emotions and responses have been used up. I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to interact with anyone. I simply want to observe. I want the company of another, but not the conversation. The gentle supportive physical touch, but not the verbal connection. I want to lay down my armour, to bare myself in front of this person, but without words. This is the intimacy that I crave. I want them to see me for who I am, the vulnerable parts of me that I keep hidden from others. I lock myself up tight, yet find myself wishing they had the key. I crave this vulnerability, this ability to be truly myself.

I’ve made it this far. Struggled is a more accurate term. Can I make it through the remaining days of this challenge? This is close enough for today. Good job to me. I’ve made it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

500 Words a Day. Day 1. Trying this again. Watch out for the anger.


Trying to stay above the surface of my emotions.

Here we go. Round two. This is going to be very stream of consciousness because why the fuck not? My punctuation may not even make sense. That is what happens when I write and I'm reacting. I'm angry as fuck right now. Angry at people and situations that I can not control. I can only control my thoughts, and my reactions, and all I can focus on is the very visceral unease rolling around in my center. 

When your home environment is disrupted, how can you calmly work through anything? How can I continue to stay sane when it's my home environment that is causing the anger, the frustration? 

Then I start to think "what if it's me?" What is it about myself, my personality, my way of living? What causes me to have issues with conflict, with other people in close spaces? Is it just females that I have issue with, or would it be anyone?

The turmoil makes my heart hurt. Being aware of other people and their reactions (and trying to face the entire situation with love and compassion), reminding myself that deep down it’s not really about me. It’s all so much.

I’ve been noticing that since November whenever I brush or wash my hair  I feel that I'm losing a good amount of hair. Yesterday I mused to a friend “what if its because of the underlying stress of my home life?”

I don’t like conflict. I’ve never liked yelling or fighting. I have been actively working on myself  for the past few years and trying to dissolve my passive aggressive tendencies that I picked up as a defense mechanism from my childhood. When I am accosted with passive aggressiveness, my first instinct is to hit. hard. Not physically, but with words. I can be ruthless. I can eviscerate you and cause a lot of emotional damage. I don’t want to do that. In the moment of my angry reactions, I feel that I would find great satisfaction in that, but I know that my mom was right when she always advised me “to be the bigger person”.

It’s so fucking difficult to be the bigger person and practice love and compassion when your own fucking roommate has it out for you and your cat. A fucking cat. A defenseless creature. It’s even more difficult when both of your roommates team up against you. When one has an authority complex, and the other goes along with whatever the wannabe dictator says. 

Honestly, I have no idea what I did that caused this discord. Was it that I simply stand up for myself? I can look back on the last few months and see that I’m not perfect, but there are always two sides to a story. If I am the only one willing to do this type of reflection then it’s a moot point. 


I could go on and on about this. Trying to dissect and observe, but I simply don't know how anymore.  I don’t even know how to move forward in this situation. All I know is that I am not laying down and allowing anyone to walk all over me. We are all in our thirties, let’s start acting like adults. Respect me as a human, and I will do the same. I know that it will be better for me in the long term to forgive, but right now when I’m in the middle of the muck its fucking hard to do.