I surrender to it. I let go of the need to push harder, whether that's working out more, doing more, reading more. I stop scheduling so many things. I stop making too many plans. I straighten up my room, light a candle, take a shower, and just sit. Just be.
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The story. The script. The line. The lie.
The one that whispers so sweetly that I've always let it in. The one that waits just at the edge of my mind, jumping in at every chance.
Last August, I started a new job and on my first day, I drew a tropical scene on my new whiteboard. A giant palm tree on the beach and a little boat leading to a structure in the distant water with a straw thatched roof. It was a reminder of where I actually wanted to be instead of in a cubicle in Chicago. Little did I know that 8 months later, I would get to see it in person.
I sat alone at my dining table that is technically an ikea desk, facing the third floor view of rooftops and treetops, and ate dinner in silence. It sounds like a sad scene but it's one of the most profound moments I've had recently. Initially, there was silence. Then...
When someone else is sad, I try and fix it, try and find the source of it and make it all better. Is it because of my own inability to sit with my sadness?
Silver linings and the light at the end of the tunnel.
They’re hard to see when we feel swallowed by darkness.
Whatever it is you are going through, know that you are not alone. There is healing power in talking about our experiences, in connecting with others who have been through the same. There are people who can and will meet you where you are. Not everyone is ready to hear you, but know your worth, know you are worthy of unconditional love, and those who can see you and hear you, will show up.
Open your heart to the world and breathe in the beauty. As I have broken down the walls that I built around my heart, I feel so much more. More love, more expansive, more pain. I feel alive!
I had to sit with that incredibly uncomfortable concept that being content is okay and I started to find that balance wasn't something outside of myself that I had to find, it was within me all this time.
How many times have you thought you were living honestly, authentically, truthfully, and it turns out, you’ve been trying to live someone else’s values and truth, and it’s made you literally sick to not be your own shining self?
Compassion is knowing that we are all doing the best we can with the tools we have and with what we know in this moment.
It's suffering WITH someone (not FOR someone, and this is also where boundaries come into play).
I just hit “send” on an an application to be a photographer on Yoga Journal’s Live Be Yoga Tour. What an amazing end to 2016.
I’ve struggled with my body image, confidence and self worth for most of my life. I believed I was ugly and needed to lose weight. I put my self-worth in the way I looked.
It is cultivated each and every day through our thoughts, emotions and actions.
What this yoga practice has taught me is how to distinguish when I'm being lazy and unmotivated (which isn't always a bad thing, but that's a different topic for a different day) and when I'm in need of rest and recovery.
I used to be all externally focused.
A serious case of wanderlust, worrying about other people and their problems as a way to avoid my own, constantly being busy so that I wouldn't be with my own thoughts for too long, and only concerned with how my body looked with no awareness of how it felt.
Through understanding, compassion and acceptance, we can pave the way to love, freedom and happiness.
My journey towards deeper self-love has taken years of making tiny changes, lots of mistakes, and many shifts in mindset shifts. When I made yoga a part of my daily life two years ago, it cultivated my loving body awareness.
Is peace something that we have to search for, something we have to work at to attain? Or is it something we are in our truest nature when you peel back the layers, at our very core, sitting alongside love and joy?
This colorful, loving, supportive and accepting community is exactly what I needed for my lately heavy heart to feel lighter.