We all have our stories. We all have something holding us back from living our full potential in terms of creativity, productivity, relationships, and other areas. We may have constructed our lives in a way that isn’t supporting our physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health. Or more simply, our choices haven’t resulted in fulfillment, good health, or happiness. Something is missing. Something is wrong.

My own journey began from a place of self-loathing. I was scared and angry, hated my own body and personality, and was out of touch with my gifts. I abused myself and the world around me: berating myself, taking everything others said or did personally, and making unfair accusations in relationships that forced loved ones into defensiveness. Even when successful in achieving my goals, I was disappointed with the outcome.

I lived in a dark and brooding storm until I found yoga in my late twenties. While I’ve always been spiritually inclined, the last 10 years have been transformational to say the least. I don’t claim to be an enlightened master, but I’ve certainly come a long way from the negative and insecure girl I once was to life-loving and the woman I am today. Despite the darkness that surrounded me, I was able to see into the light. Because of this, my life has been a spiritual journey, advancing slowly into that warm and loving light.  

I’ve lived a million lives in a million places – soldier, small business owner, corporate executive, yoga teacher, world traveler, daredevil, stepmom, siren, pothead, spiritualist – whatever – you name it. And while I’ve had some amazing experiences along the way and have little regret about these endeavors, none of them resulted in the type of stable and deeply rooted happiness that is our heritage.

I’ve learned that a life of purpose does not come from external seeking.

Happiness is our divine right and bliss consciousness is our original state. Though we may not know this for ourselves, we can look to various cultures, religions, philosophies, and even “science” for answers. The truth echoes throughout time and space. If we look deeply enough, we can pick out the common threads and see that they all lead back to God, via the self.

Much of my healing has come from my yoga practice and meditation, which is why I’ve transitioned out of – see everything above – and into teaching and healing through yoga and meditation, and now through writing. My spiritual journey, the journey back to self, is what I wish to share with you here.

With Love, Light, and Peace,

Stephanie Toler

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