Honor Thyself

What follows is taken from a FB post I made a week and a half ago. I was in the middle of writing the Plant Medicine series and didn’t want to interrupt that flow here, but the response I got was overwhelming – It so clearly resonated with my tribe that it only makes sense to share it here as well.

11/6/2017

Remember this picture? I was soooo skinny! And I was so sad… can you see it?

I woke up this morning feeling on fire and I thought back to July, in India, and how sad and skinny I was. I was defeated. I had lost my curves and my fire. I was so sick of myself, of my choices, of my neediness, of my controlling and addictive behaviors. I was crying alone in my room, night after night, demanding God’s intervention in my life. I gave it up to God and started following my intuition. We already know what to do… We just need to do it! I was exhausted, but I picked myself up and I made some changes.

Nearly four months since I’ve had a drink or any drugs, since I’ve had sex or any negative energy around me. It’s been nearly four months since I’ve compromised my own self worth so someone else could feel better. Four months that I’ve put myself first, that I’ve been eating healthy, that I’ve been meditating consistently instead of just leading others through their meditations. Four months that I’ve held my own time and space to be healthy instead of everyone else’s. Saturday, I canceled my salsa plans to write. Yesterday I canceled my writing plans to shop. I did what I wanted to do.

It’s clear I’ve been feeling good – you guys know that. I’ve gained a few pounds back and yesterday I bought a pair of sexy heels. This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed with my messy hair feeling like a million bucks. I put on a pair of tight black jeans and my new heels, looked in the mirror and delighted in my curves – I’ve missed them. I feel my old fire returning but this time it burns along calm waters. I’m the old me mixed with the new me and it feels so GOOD!

You can stay true to yourself while you change. You can and should put yourself first. Don’t let people treat you like shit and don’t treat yourself that way either.

The only constant IS change. Take advantage of it.

Anyway, just my morning thoughts. I love you!

An Empty Canvas

A few months ago I had a what some might call a midlife crisis, though I’m not quite to middle age yet! I’ve actually had a few of these by now: an emotional state where I’ve realized that despite all my successes there is still something missing. I’m action-oriented and so I have scrapped my life and started over a few times. While I have become happier and more content each time, that “something” still eludes. What I’ve realized is that I’ve simply traded one identity for the next, still guided by the people and values of the world around me.

I’ve gone through a lot of change, working to remove the layers of conditioning and false identity that I’ve accumulated throughout my lifetime. In deep reflection, I have realized that I have been “under the influence”. While I do mean this with some reference to drugs and alcohol, I am mostly referring to the incredibly strong, yet hardly noticeable influences surrounding all of us in terms of friends, family, church, government, advertising, and so on.

I have been tossing out the false identities that I’ve held onto throughout the years. I’m not a business woman, yoga teacher, “catch” for some lucky man, natural leader, partier, college-graduate, or the many other things I’ve been labeled and unconsciously identified with. What I am, however, is an incarnation of God’s Spirit – as are you.

While I’ve scrapped the manifestations of my last life (boyfriend, job, residence), I have also scrapped old-held values and belief systems. This time I want to live simply, without the expectation of something particular unfolding. This has not been my typical approach to life. I have been ruled by the future, caught up in the processes of becoming, achieving, attaining, and chasing – as though what I already am is not enough.

While I am looking for work as a practical matter, I’m no longer motivated by a particular level of status or pay. I just want to be able to take care of myself and to be a light for all who surround me. I want to practice karma yoga, or selfless action, as explained in the Bhagavad Gita.

While I was in India contemplating this next chapter in my life, I kept hearing “Asheville… Asheville… Asheville…” playing in my head like a soundtrack. While I had passed through once on a road trip, I didn’t have a tap on the city nor did I have any connections. But since my vipassana course, I’m trying to live my life by gut feels these days, looking inward for guidance rather than to the outside world. I’ve moved into a space of “Let go and Let God”, my new mantra. It is my belief that God shows us the way through our own intuition. So here I am, in Asheville, North Carolina.

Turns out my inner-guidance system is doing alright! Not only is this town absolutely gorgeous –  tucked away in lush, green mountains – but I have landed in a haven of yoga and arts! Meetup.com reveals many writers groups in the area and it seems like everyone just got up from their daily meditation. I went to a yoga class on Saturday, and there was a CSA (community supported agriculture) pickup outside of the studio! Everyone is smiling and I’ve received a lot of welcomings from the friendly folks I met. I’ve even made a few friends that I’ll definitely see again – What’s up Sheridan, Christine & Theo?! 🙂 This city seems to have everything that makes my spirit sing. I feel like an empty canvas waiting for new strokes of beauty.

I also feel empowered! I am armed with new knowledge about food (thank you Ayurveda!), my body (thank you Ammu for all you taught me about nervous system engagement), emotional and spiritual health (thank you, Vivek and Goenke!), and living a sober and joyful life (thank you, Emily!).

With the past behind me, I’m committed to living in the present. A firm believer in setting intentions, I have a few aims that I am moving forward with:

  • Full Sobriety
  • Vegetarian, Organic, and Unprocessed Diet
  • Simple, Uncluttered Living
  • Teaching & Practicing Yoga and Meditation
  • Writing

I’m keeping the faith, but all good vibes and prayers for my transition are certainly welcomed!

I love you.