life

Happy One Month

I have been in Oklahoma City a little over a month. It is crazy how quickly time flies. It feels just like yesterday that we were living in hotel rooms and waiting for our furniture to arrive. It feels just like yesterday that I experienced my first hail storm. I am halfway through tornado season and I might just make it…maybe, that is if I don’t get bulldozed and blown away by OKC’s sixty mph winds.

Being here the past month I have learned so much. It is just like the quote we see on all those reclaimed wood pieces, you never know how strong you are until you have to be. While I have moved a lot during my life, it is one reason why I developed my eating disorder, I never did it as an adult. I was always with my family. With this move I only had my husband and my dog. Even the feel of the move is different when you are an adult. As an adult you actually comprehend what is happening and it is harder to say goodbye, especially when you have roots. While I enjoy being nomadic (growing up I wanted nothing more than to travel the world, not staying in one place for to long, experiencing new things–which I still do) it is different when you have roots. People you care about it. Emotional ties. Family. Being uprooted is almost death, but like vegetables that you can replant from roots-avocados, celery-you can be brought back to life, sometimes even stronger than before.

 

IMG_20170411_133653589_HDR

One of My Favorite Bronze Sculptures in Downtown Edmond

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, this move has been triggering. With each passing day I am getting acclimated to this region (even though all this wind is aggravating my dosha! #vataproblems) and I’m working on managing my eating disorder/anxiety. I am becoming more grounded and setting up a routine that I desperately need to keep my ED and anxiety at bay ( I’m even starting therapy again-beginning today). While I am making a daily schedule I am learning to block time for fun and exploration. This move is teaching me to find balance and resiliency, a quality I don’t have that I hope I can learn.

On a spiritual note, this move helped me get back to praying. From the moment Jere told me the good news fear and anxiety set in. I knew this was a big shift and needed support. So I began to pray. I prayed that we would be safe, find a place where we would fit in/community. I also began to pray that He would open doors for me that weren’t available where I was. I began to grow weary of the freelance life and longed for something more stable. I prayed that He would help bring the right yoga studio and opportunities my way. He moved a lot sooner than I expected and within two weeks I was working in a studio that reminded me of my home studio. I began to volunteer with Yoga in the Park and meet people. I’m still praying and jumping on opportunities that present themselves. some workout, some don’t, and that’s OK. At the end of the day I’m thankful for His guidance and the discernment He has given me.

 

18056693_1442224462537934_2524397543902581136_n

This Fun Mural is in Downtown Edmond Outside the Shoppe, Summit, a Wilderness Store.

 

Each day I wake up in OKC, look at the beautiful sunrise as I take Winston out for a walk and I can’t believe I am here. Each Wednesday when I drive into the city (Midtown) with the skyline and skyscrapers in my eyesight, I get excited. I can’t believe that I’m finally living the Metro life. Everything I have ever wanted is ten to twenty minutes away. Any experience I have missed out on is here. The people that I meet daily and/or work with are unlike anyone I’ve met. Opportunities abound and I can’t help but dance in my heart.

If this first month in OKC has been this eventful I can’t imagine what will happen next month, the third month, or the month after that. Where will I be by Christmas? How about this time next year? I can’t wait.

 

IMG_20170425_201632397_HDR

An Oklahoma Sunrise

 

 

Birthday Reflections

Sorry for the delay between posts-life has been interesting. In the course of two and a half weeks I have celebrated my birthday, my husband got a promotion, and we have our bags packed ready to move to Oklahoma. Yes, you read that correctly. We are moving to Oklahoma. Over these two and a half weeks, we have had to say goodbye to friends and family, find a new place to live, find a new home, and make plans. This process has been a learning tool and when all is said and done I can’t wait to share my insights with you! Until then, this will have to do.

A few weeks ago I celebrated my birthday and like most people I take a moment to reflect on the previous year. I take time to look at what I’ve accomplished, what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year, and how to be more intentional in my daily life. My birthday activities also taught me a few things that I am definitely carrying over into the next 365 and hopefully beyond.

 

balloons-388973_1920

Birthday Reflections

*Treat Yourself. This is something that I constantly struggle with, and I know I’m not the only one. Many women have a hard time doing something for themselves. We feel obligated to care and take care of others first before ourselves. Sometimes we don’t treat ourselves because we would rather go without or just spend money on basic things. We don’t see it necessary to spend money on ourselves or that we aren’t worthy of nice things. In fact, we are! We are worthy of nice things and spending some of our hard earned money on that fancy watch, sunglasses, or even a mini shopping spree at Target. The moment we treat ourselves to something that we want and indulge we instantly feel better and our self esteem increases. I’m not saying go crazy and go all out every day but a little treat here and there is good for the soul. It feels awkward at first but I’m not gonna lie-it felt great! I can’t wait to treat myself again!

*Make a Timeline. What goals do you want to accomplish by your next birthday? To accomplish your goal/s make a timeline. Give yourself a deadline and work towards it daily. For example, mine is to get my ACSM Exercise Physiologist Certification. This certification will help me to get a few jobs I have my eye on and further my career. I am planning to make this happen by the end of May. After that my goal is to take my GRE by August and to apply to grad school in the Fall.  Hopefully my dream of going to grad school will come to fruition by my next birthday! #goals

*Read. Over the past few months I’ve been getting a list together of books I want to read or re-read. I feel like I’m spending too much time on media platforms or just wasting time doing mindless activities that my brain is turning to mush (it may not be, but it feels like it at times!). Also, I realized there are so many books I’ve always wanted to read and I don’t know why I haven’t. There are also books that I feel would take on a completely different meaning now that I’m older. I’ll be sharing my “book club” via IG and writing about my thoughts on each novel or short story.

book-759873_1280

*Make Time for Friends.  Friendships are very important and honestly with today’s social climate it’s easy to “fake” friendships or forgo social interaction because you think liking a post on IG or FB will keep your friendship alive. These small social interactions aren’t the same as face to face conversations and coffee dates. Also, stop making excuses for reasons not to see your friends-especially if you are beginning to feel a bit down in the dumps. Friends are instant happy and friendships add life to your days/years. Over the next year I’m reaching out to some of my good friends that I miss and reconnect more than FB messages or IG comments. I truly miss some of my old buddies. I need more than cute Xmas and birthday cards.

*Adopt More Mindful and Meaningful Activities. Going back to the reading reflection, I feel disconnected and mushy. This past year it has been on my mind to restart my meditation practice/mindful practice and unplug more often. After being away from a daily mindfulness practice for quite some time and doing mindless behaviors, I feel as if it has made my anxiety worse (I also am feeling guilty about not being consistent in my yoga walking/talking). So I am making plans to replace my screen time with other activities. I’m thinking about going back to journaling, recovery principles, meditation after yoga practice, affirmations, list making, etc…

I believe that adopting these reflections will make for a great trip around the sun. Do you do birthday reflections? If so, what were your reflections?

pexels-photo-88647

Great Expectations

“All expectation creates disappointment”-Steve Ross, Happy Yoga

 

Don’t worry, this isn’t a book review of the Dickens classic. Honestly, I’ve never read the book. I’ve just watched the glorious 90s movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.But there are some similarities between the theme of that book and today’s blog topic. Each and everyone of us has expectations. There are expectations of ourselves and expectations of others. While there are merits to these expectations and they can be used as a guide to navigate relationships they can also ruin them. Both types of expectations can destroy relationships and can be set so high that they set us up for failure.

First lets talk about expectations of ourselves. From the time we are born expectations are placed on us. Who remembers what your parents expected of you? Were you expected to make all A’s, be in every extra curricular, play musical instruments, excel at a sport or two or three, be the best Christian in your youth group, never say a bad word, “act like a lady” (my favorite), be home by 10 pm, never let people see you struggle, be on top and in control of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g…you were expected to be the best. Maybe you were expected to be just “OK”. Not quite the over achiever but make decent grades, play one sport, “act like you have class” (another great one!). How about being the brunt of low expectations. You were expected to just get by without getting in trouble or ending up in juvenile detention, or “not being like your dad/mom” (parents have brilliant moments don’t they?).

 

expectationsmeme

 

Where did those expectations come from? Who is responsible for telling us what is expected of us before they understand who we are, what are circumstances are, and where we are in the moment? Unfortunately, most people cannot answer this. Growing up I would ask my parents all the time why they believed in something or why we did certain things (most of the time it pertained to a religious aspect but sometimes it was about why they believed what they did) and all I could get was “that’s just what we do” or “that’s just how it’s always been”. I  never liked that answer. These expectations of “what is becoming of a young woman” (I got that at least 2-3 x/month) , “what love is like”, “only good girls who make all A’s get into college” or whatever else pertained to you growing up shapes how you view the world, view others, and view yourself.

In addition to familial, cultural, and societal expectations placed upon us we begin to generate our own expectations. I’ll share with you one of my expectations. I treat everyone fairly and with kindness (As much as I can I am only human). I expect for people to do the same for me. I’m a firm believer in the golden rule and the whole concept of karma (law of action). We all have expectations and place them on others whether we want to admit it or not. When someone fails my expectations and doesn’t reciprocate kindness for kindness *insert your expectation* I am hurt, disappointed, and angry.  I constantly find myself saying to my husband, “I just don’t understand how people aren’t nice”, “I don’t understand why people can’t be kind”, “I’ve been nothing but nice, considerate, and giving. What do I get in return? Nothing! Not even a thank you note!”.  I recently experienced this first hand. I was very upset that all my  hard and free work, my life, my soul was given to an institution. When it was all said and done, I gave my thank you notes, kinds words and nothing was reciprocated. I immediately lost all control and wanted to drop all contact with the institution and individual. I expected them to see my hard work and give me what I was seeking for-kindness and appreciation.After some long venting sessions with the husband I realized that they didn’t know my expectations. That not everyone shares my same opinions on how to treat people. It isn’t their problem, but mine for projecting and expecting them to be how I want them to be.   These failed expectations also lead us to judgemental behavior, “if only they were raised better they would know that is how you do x-y-z etc…”. And judging gets you no where! No one likes to be judged…

 

expectationsmeme2

 

So where do these expectations truly come from? Everything we know and believe is a construct of society.  For example, if you grow up in upper middle class America you are per-dispositioned to one kind of expectations–need I say more? If you are like me and grow up in the South there are plenty of expectations set upon both sexes–that’s a whole different post.  When we dive deep into finding where the construct was originated you again find a muddled mess.I never thought much about constructs and where we get our mindset till I read the book Happy Yoga by Steve Ross. Ross defines social concepts as, “a mental construct unverifiable in the moment by experience. It is a framework of thoughts and beliefs in the mind as opposed to an actual experience in awareness” (17). He goes on to say, “Concepts are in the mind. They are inferred and often useless and illusory. Experience is the real thing; it occurs in the present moment. Concepts are labels that keep us thinking about the world”(18).

It is up to us to challenge our expectations and constructs. Explore where they come from and what good do they do us. Upon examining them maybe you will find that they keep you from seeing the best in people and developing relationships with others. That they do more harm than good. They actually don’t guide you but destroy you. Maybe your expectations don’t do that this going within leads you somewhere else. I’d love to know what you find.

 

expectationsmeme3

 

Congratulations! You’re a Feminist

Do any of these sound familiar?

  •  You didn’t vote for Hillary and you didn’t vote for Trump. You believe that everyone has equal rights and deserves to be treated with respect, lovingkindness-just like how you want to be treated. You didn’t march in any of the Women’s Marches because you feel it doesn’t represent who you are and/or it was too political, and that there are other ways to show solidarity than marching in the rain wearing a pussyhat. You didn’t IG, FB, or use any of the following hastags: #nastywoman, #powertothepussy, #IStandWithHer, #lovetrumpshate, etc..You hate seeing other women and populations being torn down by nasty words. You believe in people choosing how they want to live and conduct their life. Seeing all these “pro-pussy” posts on social media has you down because you they make you feel inferior for not being fired up, angry, a #nastywoman, and less than because you don’t see things like them.
  • You voted for Hillary and despise Trump. You use every outlet you can to forcefully push your beliefs on others and refuse to see other peoples perspectives OR you share your beliefs but  don’t use forceful language and berate people who don’t believe like you. Like the person above you believe that everyone has equal rights, deserves respect, and can choose to live their life the way they want. You marched on Saturday carrying a sign with a vagina sticking a middle finger to the man and wore a pussy-hat.
  • You are a woman who voted for Trump. You feel ostracized by other women because they look down on you for voting for him. They call you names and do not respect your choice though they preach tolerance. While you voted for Trump, like the other women above you too believe in equal rights for all, the right for people live according to their beliefs, and in treating others with respect. You understand that Trump and his position on women do not represent you but you saw something in his policy that resonated with you that Hillary, Bernie, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson policy didn’t.
  • You are not like any of the women outlined above, or you are a variation of the three presented.

 

If you are any of those women outlined then Congratulations!  You are a feminist! Don’t believe me? Then look at the definition of feminism. According to Merriam-Webster feminism is defined as,

  • the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  • organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

Feminist.com defines feminism like this, “feminism wants you to be whoever you are-but with a political consciousness. And, vice versa: You want to be a feminist because you want to be exactly who you are. That may be a person patriarchal society doesn’t value or allow-from a female cadet at the Citadel to a lesbian mother. Maybe you feel aligned with the self-determination and human rights implicit in feminism, but you also organize your life around race, religion, or class, rather than solely around gender“. See how anyone can be and is a feminist?

 

a36415f514d481c20b17f14f88ebd8d7

 

Now that we have realized that each and everyone of us is a feminist, let’s take it a step further. How about we put feminism into action? Action is always better then words-we all know people who talk a good game but when we look at their actions and fruit we see otherwise. It is this call to action that will bring about the change people are so desperate for. Action doesn’t always mean marching or walking in protest. Action is anything carried out. As a friend on Facebook mentioned it doesn’t matter how you “protest” or what action you take as long as you do something. So here are some things you can do that are not just feminist in nature but are little gestures that go a long way in treating people like a human being that was, just like you, created by The Divine/God.

  • Words of Encouragement and Affirmation. Who doesn’t love a good word or two of encouragement after a rough day. We all love hearing that we are doing a good job at being a mom, wife, an employee, a friend, teacher, lover, etc…Words are the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal. Words can be used for good and to build each other up, but they are also the most destructive. As James 3:5-6 says, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to burn anyone’s life down or burn myself. So what are words of encouragement or affirmation? Some examples are: “I believe in you”, “Thank you for being you”, ” You are a great friend”, “You are such a strong person”, “You can do great things”,  “I’m praying for you”, or “You did a great job doing *insert activity/action* “. These words are so simple, but yet extremely powerful. Think back to a time when you were utterly distraught, forlorn, or depressed. How did it feel when someone noticed this and said something nice to you? Didn’t that pick you up and give you a little extra oomph to get through? For my yogis out there, this is a verbal way to practice Ahimsa (non-violence).

 

11165097_10152846132347939_1150901554810455685_n

 

  • Practice Lovingkindness. If you are friends with me on social media or have come to any of my yoga classes, you have heard me talk about Lovingkindness or Metta. Honestly, if you have been to any yoga class or are friends with a devout yogi/yogini you have heard about Metta. Metta is a simple meditation that helps us see others in a positive light and helps us to cultivate compassion. The Lovingkindness Meditation is simple and can be done anywhere. To have the greatest effect recite the meditation a few times daily. You can also recite it when someone is getting on your everlasting nerves to help you calm down and treat that person nicely. I take my version of Metta Meditation after Jack Kornfield. My version is, “May I/you be filled with lovingkindness. May I/you be peaceful and at ease. May I/you be happy. May I/you be free”.  Find your version and begin practicing today! I know lots of people who could use some good vibes and Metta thrown their way.

 

prflg_gr_metta

 

  • Support Woman Owned/Operated Businesses.  Not only does this support local economy it shows that you believe women are capable of being movers and shakers in the business industry, which is largely dominated by men. I am blessed to know many female entrepreneurs and run successful businesses. They give me inspiration to pursue my dreams and show the value of what hard work, determination, and not taking the word No for an answer can do. They show me and other young women that in order to make a statement, sometimes we have to go out on our own and pave the way to success. Whether a female in your life owns a company, is a freelance artist or teacher, sells essential oils, Plexus, artisan goods on Etsy,buy from her! Show her that you appreciate what she creates. And honestly, who doesn’t like to make money off what they love?

 

8aec737a789eb9a8bc230581199e6d5d

 

  • Support Causes that Resonate with You. This is where we can generate support and show solidarity for others on a grander scale. I don’t care who you are there is something out there that moves you. There is a disease/sickness, social injustice, or mission, that resonates deep within your soul. Take a moment and think to yourself, what are you passionate about? Are you a female artist who wants to support other female artists to get work shown or become a director of a ballet company (which is a mans world though there are more females in ballet then men)? Have you been touched by the effects of cancer? Maybe it’s bringing awareness to the horrible practice of female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, homelessness, LGBTQ support, overseas missionaries, children’s hunger, making care packages for those undergoing chemo…ANYTHING!  For me, I am passionate about Eating Disorder & Addiction Recovery, Mental Illness, and  Domestic Violence because those have been me. I have lived many years in a self-harm state of anorexia, exercise addiction, and been emotionally abused. I share my story, educate young girls, write this blog, participate in the Red Flag Campaign and Take Back the Night, I do what I can-sometimes even if it’s just a prayer or sending of good vibes out. It’s something.

 

weight-stereotyping-w724

 

  • Mentor Young Girls and Teach Young Men. This is probably the biggest thing we can do. It is up to us to reach out the younger generation and teach them about the power they have within them. It is up to us to teach young girls how to be strong women. We are to teach them that they can not only be whatever they want to be, but how to reclaim their bodies. Their bodies aren’t just for making babies and to be objectified. It is up to us to teach young men how to respect these young girls and what is/isn’t appropriate. We are to teach both sexes tthat they have worth and value that isn’t related to how many likes/followers/shares on social media, the clothes they wear, where they come from, or what other hindrances are in their lives. They have value and worth because they are divine, they were made in God’s image. Each and everyone of them are unique, beautiful snowflakes,with special talents that make the world a better place. When we raise this next generation, they can be the change that we hope to see in the world.

 

So, are you ready to take one or more of these actions and make a difference? Are you ready to claim your title as a feminist? Are you ready to start a revolution-whether it is just within your soul or in your community? If so, then good for you. If you aren’t, then guess what, that’s ok too! Just know that no matter your choice, I’m here for you. Just remember,  “You is kind. You is smart.You is important” (The Help).  for more female empowerment check out my article, When You Don’t Know What to Say Let Maya Angelou do the Speaking.

 

best-Maya-Angelou-Quotes-sayings-wise-deep

 

Say it in Song

I’m still here…or am I? Life gets busy, dances must be danced, classes must be taught, yoga must be yoga’d, and work must be completed. In between dreams, naps, and pas de chat’s, a muse will appear. Lately I have been graced by the presence of quite a few muses which has caused me to pick up a pen *uhhh, keyboard* and open up the images of my heart….

The other day on the wonderful Book of Face (a fun name my hubby and I call Facebook) one of my friends posted the following question: What is your favorite song lyric(s)? I wanted to respond but soon realized I couldn’t pick just one. As an individual whose life is just as much about music as it is about dance, this question was like Lay’s potato chips, betcha can’t pick just one. In response to this question I  made my own list. As I sit here and make my list I have to give myself some rules or else this post would be one million words and an epic of lyrical proportions. 1) 1 Beatles song/1post break up-The Beatles are my all time favorite artists and I believe they have produced some of the best lyrics EVER, even as solo artists they continued to create work that is timeless, honest, emotional. 2) Include a handful of songs post 1990. Music from the 60s-70s is my jam and I could easily make my list of just songs from this era, but great music has been produced since then. 3) Include more genres than classic rock . 4) Pick what I think is the best/most moving part of the whole song, or what made me fall in love with the song the first time I heard it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that most of these songs are of the depressing and love gone wrong nature. Which while I’m a very happy and love all kinda person, most of the music/art/dance I enjoy isn’t very bubbly, it tends to be very angsty and sad. These kinds of lyrics and art seem to say what I can’t or speak to this inner part of me that I don’t showcase to many folks…I do have a darkside-we all do. It also tends to be more authentic and visceral, which nothing moves me more than when an artist is raw and unbridled. Many of these lyrics resonate with me because they came across my earbuds when I was in some really dark places or effortlessly described my situation(s) at the time. Each song has a link to a recorded version and I highly suggest listening to the music, some of these lyrics are highlighted by riffs and sounds from the guitars, pianos, or voice of the musician.

Are you ready for some lyrical genius? I am. Here we go!

In no particular order….

***Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright by Bob Dylan

Favorite lyrics:  So long honey, baby, where I’m bound I can’t tell. Goodbye’s too good a word babe, so I’ll just say fare thee well. I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind. You could’ve done better but I don’t mind, you just kinda wasted my precious time. But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

***Just Breathe by Pearl Jam

Favorite lyric: Did I say that I need you? Did I say that I want you? Oh if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see. No one knows this more than me. As I come clean…Nothing you would take, everything you gave hold me till I die, meet you on the other side.

***Give Me Love by George Harrison

Favorite lyric: Give me love, give me love, give me peace on earth. Give me light, give me life, keep me free from birth. Give me hope, help me cope, with this heavy load. Trying to touch and reach you with, heart and soul.

***Ain’t Got No- I Got Life by Nina Simone

  ~everyone should listen to this whole song, a snippet isn’t enough to do it justice~

Favorite lyric: I’ve got life, I’ve got my freedom, I’ve got the life. I’ve got the life, and I’m gonna keep it, I’ve got the life, and nobody’s gonna take it away. I’ve got the life.

***All Apologies by Nirvana (this is the MTV Unplugged version, just beautiful)

Favorite lyric: I wish I was like you, easily amused. Find my nest of salt, everything’s my fault. I’ll take all the blame, aqua seafoam shame. Sun burn with freezerburn chocking on the ashes of her enemies.

***Stop This Train by John Mayer

Favorite lyric: So scared of getting older, I’m only good at being young. So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun.

***Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Favorite lyric: We’re gonna get to that place, where we really wanna go. And we’ll walk in the sun, but till then tramps like us, baby we were born to run.

***Junk by Paul McCartney

Favorite lyric: Candlesticks, building bricks, something old and new. Memories for you and me. Buy, buy says the sign in the shop window. Why, why says the junk in the yard.

***For No One by The Beatles

Favorite lyric: She wakes up, she makes up, she takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry. She no longer needs you. And in her eyes you see nothing, no sign of love behind the tears. Cried for no one, a love that should have lasted years.

***If It’s the Beaches by The Avett Brothers

Favorite lyric: If it’s the beaches, if it’s the beaches sands you want then you will have them. If it’s the mountains bending rivers then you will have them. If it’s the wish to run away I will grant it. Take whatever you think of and I’ll go gas up the truck, pack the old love letters up. We will read them when we forget why we left here.

***Old Enough by The Raconteurs, Ricky Skaggs, and Ashley Monroe

Favorite lyric: When I was I thought I knew, you probably think you know too, do you? Well do you? I was naive just like you, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do…and how have you gotten so far without a visible scar? No one knows who you really are.

*~*~*

What are your favorite lyrics? Why? How does music and lyrics influence your life, art work, day to day interactions? Share below!

black-and-white-music-headphones-life

 

Rabbit Hole Relapse

I’ve written about relapse before but this topic is always worth coming back to. Especially when you write about your experiences, need something to write about, and just had your first relapse in quite some time. Relapse isn’t scary for me anymore. When you first start recovery you are scared of relapsing. You are scared that you will loose the progress you made or that you are…what your ED tells you…”a failure”,”worthless” or my favorite, “you really are fat”.  I have been in recovery for almost six years and I will say relapses doesn’t happen that often. After you’ve been around the block a few times you  begin to notice when a relapse is happening or when you approach food or exercise the wrong way. I pull the yoga approach and just acknowledge it. Recognize that it’s there but go on my merry way. I do not sit down with it and have a cappuccino, or better yet a binge induced vegan affogato with the new Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream.

When I relapsed recently I actually found it intriguing. Why? Because I went through a dance concert a few months ago, where I was in multiple numbers and didn’t restrict food. I for once ate a lot, kept myself healthy and sane. I use to do the opposite. So obviously you would see why I was confused with this relapse. I didn’t do my yoga techniques or recovery techniques, I instead sat down and had 2 TBSP pistachios, 1 cup of soymilk, blueberries, and fiber pills. Or I would have measured out cereal, measured out oven fries, measured out everything. I was angry, I was hungry (I think it’s called hangry), I was checking for cellulite, I was hating my body (more so than usual), everything sucked. I think I said “I hate everything” with a few expletives more than once.

easter-1247634_1280

That’s what a relapse does. It makes you angry because 1) you gave in 2) you fall back into old habits that were coping mechanisms for your insecurities/control that exacerbated the problem. Relapse is also a “rabbit hole”, just like Alice in Wonderland. You go follow the white rabbit, usually it is a thought put in your head like “I’m not the skinniest girl in the room anymore, I’m fat”, “My muscles are different”, “Why doesn’t my top quad stick out as much anymore?”. You take the bait, or should I say pill to stay with the Alice theme, and BAM! you are in a hole that you can’t get out of-only if you want to.

If you want to…If you want to…If you want to. Relapse is a peculiar thing, it’s comfy and constricting. You can easily get out of it-work your steps, call a sponsor, do some yoga-but it is comfy, like your favorite hoodie. The hoodie that is worn in, holds special memories, the perfect fit and smell. It keeps your warm and protects you from the rain. However, you still get wet from the rain. The hoodie has holes. The hoodie has its fair share of bad memories. Just like a relapse. Relapse has it’s good memories (remember when you ate only 1,000 calories and worked out for 5 hours) but it also has it’s bad (remember when you ate only 1,000 calories and worked out for 5 hours BUT couldn’t sleep because you were starving?). Relapse constricts you because you haven’t been in for awhile, so you’re a little bigger and it has to work harder to tighten you up, makes you pull the hood over your head and pull the string…tighter, tighter, tighter, tighter, tighter.

egg-1399131_1280

After a few more rabbit hole trips and not being able to  breath due to the hood over your head there are two options. 1) stay in and go back to your old ways or 2) make the decision to stop the relapse. Option one is definitely easier but it sucks because your anger is making life difficult. Option two is more difficult but makes life easier. Which one do you think I chose?

Two. I definitely like to be comfy and cozy, but my ED doesn’t make me comfy and cozy anymore. My dog and husband make me comfy and cozy. I do like rabbit holes, but only when I watch Alice and Wonderland or am on a Parks and Recreation Netflix binge. I am trying to choose two every day. I haven’t been perfect, but as yoga teaches us, there is no such thing as perfection and just be OK with the process.

 

A Year of Entrepreneurship

Time moves so quickly that you never really know what month it is, let alone what year it is. Is it still 2015? All my dates still say that…Luckily Facebook has this thing called Timehop that keeps track of all your memories, important dates, and crazy poolside shenanigans from your glory days. On days that you’ve posted something in the past on the same day you get a little notification and you can stroll down memory lane. Timehop is actually my favorite thing about Facebook. Timehop helps me to remember those poolside shenanigans, when my husband proposed, and “celebrated” my one year of being a entrepreneur.

Timehop

It was last July when I set out to open my own yoga studio because I wanted to be a small business owner, was unhappy working for other people, and felt like it was my path. Well, that was short lived. I decided to close my studio because I soon found out that I wasn’t mature enough to handle running a business, that it didn’t bring me happiness, but more anxiety and stress. In January I decided to do something probably even harder, become a freelancer. What was I thinking?!  I made things more chaotic. I had to find new spots to teach, plan months ahead of time, network harder, find opportunities to capitalize on all while not loosing my ever loving mind-not that I had one to begin with. However, becoming a freelancer and doing what I truly wanted has helped me to discover my path to what I’m suppose to do…for the time being.

Here is what my past year as a entrepreneur has taught me:

coffee-1276779_1280

  • There is no such thing as failure, but opportunities to grow. Yes, this may sound EXTREMELY cliche but it’s the truth. I didn’t really understand this till one of my yoga mentors showed me that what we perceive as failure is a judgement, judgement gets us nowhere. What “failure” really is an opportunity that was mis-timed and nothing is a failure if you can learn something. So what did a I learn from this “failure” of a yoga studio? That I need to have more years of business experience, more stability, and being able to commit wholeheartedly to one thing. It also wasn’t a failure because I did have people come to class and show interest, I just couldn’t run a studio yet.
  • The people who need your service (whatever skill you provide) will find you. Not working at a yoga studio makes filling classes harder. I’ve only had 2 sold out classes/workshops in my six months of freelancing. Sometimes I have three people, sometimes ten, sometimes one, sometimes I cancel. I could go back to thinking I failed, or I should just go to a yoga studio, or I should start selling MLM “superfood” to make money. But no, I spin this. I recall what I was told in teacher training, “those who need yoga at that very moment will be there, those who like your teaching will find you”. It’s all about perception isn’t it? Once I make the shift I’m instantly happier and can go on with my day.
  • Dedication takes on a new meaning. In yoga we talk about  being dedicated to your home practice, being dedicated to yoga, but you also need dedication to the self-employed lifestyle. You have to be dedicated to the hard work, networking, social media, and creativity that comes with being your own boss. How can you continue on when a month’s worth of classes and workshops weren’t packed and you were counting on that money? How can you be dedicated to bringing quality classes to your students and building relationships with them? How can you be dedicated to positivity and not get carried away by the storm of negativity?
  • You will find what you are made of. No, I’m not talking about sugar and spice or snails and puppy dog tails. But, what your soul is made out of. Owning your own business or seeking employment that fits your terms will highlight parts of you that need work or bring light to parts of you that you didn’t know existed. I always knew I was strong because I overcame an ED but I never knew what resiliency was till I had a few kicks in my face. I never knew I had a strong business mind, that I could figure out how a website works, that I really am a good instructor/educator, I found confidence, and that I my arms are strong enough to transition from bakasana (crow pose) to chaturanga
  • Surround yourself with other creatives and entrepreneurs for they will be your encouragement, competition, and inspiration. Over the past year I have met and befriended more creatives and entrepreneurs than I can count. It has served me in more ways than one. Not only are these people who can impart wisdom, advice, or act as a sounding board, they are also competition. They spark competition which deep down increases my drive to do better or serve a better product. My creative friends also feed my creativity which help me offer unique programming. I use my love of small business, what my friends offer, and see how yoga can fit in with their business. That is how I started Third Thursday Yoga & Art, Breakfast Yoga, and my blog AUM in the Arts.

What have you learned this past year, or past seven months? For my entrepreneurs out there, what has being an entrepreneur taught you?