success | yoga

Growing Pains

By on May 27, 2018

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Today, I am sitting down to write. I have looked at this screen and have not known where to go with my posting. I jot down words and half sentences nearly every day, however knowing where to go with those notes is often perplexing. Today I am writing on what it means for me to be an adult. My birthday is coming up tomorrow, so what a perfect season to reflect on adulthood. I mentioned in a previous post that I had to grow up quickly. I did. I took on adult responsibilities like earning an income, buying groceries, doing my own laundry, etc. These tasks are part of being an adult, although the longer I’ve been on this earth, the more I’m finding the meaning of growing up is much deeper than the chores I manage.

Becoming emotionally mature has been a much bigger piece than the “tasks” of day-to-day adulthood. How my life goes, how it is perceived, how I struggle (or enjoy) all depends on what goes on in my mind. If the world is my mirror then I must approach the world with positive attitude so that this place I inhabit is a positive place.  In all of my self-improvement studies and yoga practices I have heard the words “forgive”, “let go”, and other flowery words that sound so nice and peaceful. My mind would always struggle with those concepts. How do I let go? How do I keep the thoughts, the pains, the pressure from returning?

The word to describe the “how” of letting go and forgiving is surrender. Surrender is the ability to balance and calm emotions when we are being very rigid or stuck in our ways. Often when we’ve experienced a trauma or a tremendous pain, we carry that pain with us for years or even decades. This can block our vision to a happier, healthier future. The negativity can create stress in our bodies, and the longer we hold the stress we create tension patterns that can then turn to disease. When we surrender, we relax our bodies and clear our minds so that we can focus on what is important and the steps to get to the “other side”. The “other side” is just living in a space where we operate from joy and from love.

If we can operate from a space of joy and love we can truly begin to enjoy life, see the beauty of what is around us. Sometimes stormy thoughts keep us from noticing what is good even if it is right in front of our face. Choosing to surrender, in a sense cleanses the mind and the body. Any fear, anxiety, or negative chemistry are then released and  softness is created in the body, a release of tension. When we release tension from negative emotions, we are maturing and defeating an enemy of sorts– the enemy that is ourselves.

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yoga

My “Why”

By on April 26, 2018

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To be propelled toward a goal, most often a pressing “why” or urge is the force that drives someone. That why is a motivator, something to stay focused on. Since the beginning of my life I have had a pretty clear “why” statement. I was born into a family full of addiction and abuse. I remember sitting in my room at age 4 telling myself I would “break the cycle”. It was a strange clarity for a little girl.

As a fourth grader, I learned how deep the drug addiction was. I learned about crack cocaine, methamphetamines, overdose, and who to call when it happens. This is also the year I attended my first Al-Anon meeting. I took notes in the Al-Anon meetings, I knew what it meant to be an “enabler”, a “scapegoat”, the “hero”, and all of the other verbiage from these meetings. My dad was the known addict in our family, the one who lived a more openly addicted life. My mom was just as bad– although better, for a while, at covering her tracks. My brother quickly spiraled down the same path of addiction at a very early age. I learned about the lies it takes to be an addict, and I became a good liar when it came to covering up what my home life was like.

When someone is addicted, they can not love. No matter what, the drug or object of addiction is the only thing that matters. I grew up quickly, taking on the role of adult before it was age appropriate. I felt it was unfair, that surely life did not have to be this way. I connected myself to bad relationships where I continually had to play the role of “mother”, or “fixer”. Co-dependent is the title for that role. Growing up without proper role models and support is definitely a different sort of path, and a path I was quite ashamed of.

Thank heavens I know what I know now. I learned how to change a story and recognize your “why”. The desire to break the cycle of addiction, poverty, and abuse became my mission. Luckily, I stumbled on to the right information to begin to make it happen. Years of therapy never helped release my body from the anxiety. It felt as if the only way to get to the “root’ of the issue was by rethinking and retelling my stories over and over. That kept my mind in a place looking for someone or something outside of myself to either blame for the pain or to keep me feeling victim to the circumstance. I was not going to take a pill to make myself happy.

Becoming the author of my story was quite empowering. Realizing that I had the power to not be a victim, but the owner. Their actions, their words did not have to control my actions or my outcome. Just because something is a struggle once, or a million times, the power to release the “bondage” of the past came from me. Changing my role in my family was the first step, and changing my thoughts surrounding it was the next one. For me, I would feel anxiety, despair, or depression often. A sadness that came from the loss of what a family “should” be. A feeling of unfairness, or of lack. Instead of whining and feeding the story (those feelings), the power comes from reaching for something “good” when those old feelings of anxiety or despair resurface. Good food, good books, good friendships, good music, an essential oil or a yoga pose– you get the idea. This is a practice. Something that I have to remind myself and repeat over and over. Not to say I do not have “bad” days anymore, it is just that the “bad” days are much shorter.

Regaining my balance now takes a fraction of the time. The anxiety, despair, anger, or depressive feelings used to encompass days, or weeks of my time. Now I can look around and count my blessings and attune to something happier or more beautiful than the darkness that used to float around in my mind. I can send loving thoughts toward my family, even though I no longer feel I  have to participate or try to “fix” their circumstances. Sharing my story from a place of empowerment, of health/wellness, and purpose changes the role I used to carry. Which is modeling a different example for my children, therefore breaking the chains of addiction that were modeled for me.

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success

Harmony on the Horizon

By on April 5, 2018

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I started this blog to keep myself on track with my diet, a bit of accountability. Yesterday, I was outside with my husband mulching our flower beds, and I realized my next blog had to touch on the subject of integration. This is another glimpse into wellness, beyond  eating quality food.

From the holistic perspective, we are more than a body. True wellness encompasses mind, body, spirit, emotions, and relationships. If any of these areas are out of sync, then we can carry a weight, or dis-integration that is not the true essence of health and well-being. Several years ago, I heard the motivational speaker Jim Rohn say that “we are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Our closest relationships influence us greatly, whether we are aware of it or not. Our self-esteem, our way of thinking, and even our decisions can be affected by those in our inner sphere.

In my not-so-distant past, I carried a lot of negativity around with me in the form of relationships. My biggest offenders were my parents, and then on to my ex-husband. Those relationships carried similar traits with a lot of verbal abuse, gaslighting, and addiction. My reality was very skewed, I doubted myself, I believed negative words about myself, my closest friends, my decision-making ability, my desires for self-improvement, and on and on.

Several years ago, I landed on a positive group of people and I truly found my passion for my profession, my own healing, and healing for others. As I began that journey the negative relationships began to change. I started recognizing that their negativity was something I believed and accepted as my reality, which was something that kept me from feeling fully well.

Finding out that I could never “fix” those relationships by working harder or smarter was a tough reality for me to grasp. My personality type is one that enjoys winning, so letting the negativity go and “losing” and admitting I was wrong about someone was rough. I am so grateful for the circle of support I had around me as I was going through the transformation, and knowing what I know now has truly changed how I function in the world.

Fast forward to today– I am married to a wonderful man.  A man who speaks words that are uplifting, supportive, and honest. The first year of our marriage was actually tough, how could that be? I met him, recognized his good, fell in love and married then moved into our marriage with fear from my past experience. How could it be true? Did I deserve this? When is the other shoe going to drop? Over time, I have adjusted to opposite world, and can look at my surroundings while spreading mulch and be grateful to have someone like this in my life and KNOW that this good is real.

In my toxic relationships I worked from a place that “if I did this or that, then I will be loved or this or that will change”. That is something that will never work, nothing we do can change others. Having similar values, goals, dreams, and a desire to leave a similar footprint on the world are when relationships can be most harmonious. When there are major misalignments in relationships, our vision, our goals and even the expression of our innate truth can be blocked. I want to live in a place surrounded by support and positivity.

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