Sometimes...It is nice to know you are not the only one.
Over and over again I am comforted by the words ~ "me too". Knowing someone has been there and done it too, always puts me a bit at ease. That is why I often feel compelled to share. Although to the majority that know me, I come across as a general happy, positive upbeat chick, that is not always the case. Many people would have no idea I suffer from overload on a regular occasion.
Please know I do not share this information for pity or for words of support. Instead I share because you need to know you are not the only one. Sometimes, I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Waking with exhaustion and the overwhelming sense of anxiety about what the day holds. Sometimes I want to spend the day curled up on the couch crying. And sometimes I just want to run away, change my name and join the circus. Yes, I have these kinds of days too!
So here is the part where I share my secrets. I have worked hard over the past three and a half years to not let these days overtake my life. I have learned that even when I wake up this way, first and foremost I get up. I am gentle with myself and choose to put a smile on my face, even if I don't want to smile. Slowly the forced smile becomes a happy smile, as I find tiny things throughout my day to be grateful for. These things are there if you just go looking for them.
Now I make the choice to make the most out of each and every day. On rough days I make time to do things that will lift my spirit and vibration. I am always gentle and kind with myself, because let's be honest - negative self talk is a slippery slope. I take care of me, making self care a priority - eating healthy, avoiding too much caffeine and sugar, getting to yoga daily and of course making sure I have kid free time (uber important for all us single parents out there).
We are all fighting a battle of some sort. Some wear it on their sleeve and others hide it quietly where no one can see. Just because someone is wearing a smile, doesn't mean they aren't having a bad day too. So all in all, know that you are not alone. Reach out. Ask for help. Share. I guarantee someone else shares your pain.
Sending you all giant angel hugs! xo
I have to start by saying I can't take credit for this analogy. I was out for lunch with my friend Devon last week and she used it. I thought it was perfect and wanted to share.
Women get pregnant everyday knowing that they will endure some of the greatest pain they will feel in their lifetime to give birth to their baby. Even knowing this and experiencing it, we do it again and again. Personally, I did it 3 times and it was absolutely worth every contraction!
With labour and delivery, a mother knows that experiencing great pain will allow her to hold her sweet baby in the end. The outcome far out weighs the process hence babies continue to be brought into this world. So what if we looked at spiritual growth that way too.
Although it is hard to really know the outcome, could we all just trust that it is going to be great? Could we envision that the pain felt during the falling apart phase of spiritual growth will birth something so much greater than the process it took to get there?
I can speak from experience that my greatest spiritual growth has happened after enduring emotional pain. Feelings so deep from inside have surfaced to teach me lessons. Show me the truth. Guide me to a better path. It is during these moments that I often recite the serenity prayer to get me through, as well as remembering one of my favourite quotes ... Although it seems as if everything is falling apart, it is really just falling back together.
So next time you are moving through a tough spiritual test remember it's like labour and delivery ... birthing amazing new beginnings.
Words I take solace in, as do many others.
Sometimes it's nice to know you are not the only one feeling a certain way, or that someone else's kid does that too, or you are not the only one has done something stupid. There is a sense of community in that knowing. A gathering of souls who share the same human experience because ultimately we are divine creatures having a human experience - things are bound to turn upside down every once and awhile.
Over the past few weeks this phrase has sprung from my lips over and over. Cosmically the energy has been on a bit of a hurricane. Disrupting our old patterns and thoughts with it's wind and rain. Churning up thoughts and feelings of the past and desires for the future, of the heart. Challenging our entire being.
Yes ... you are not alone, if this is what you have been feeling. With the choice to walk the path of light brings with it the tests to help us understand why we have chosen this path, the tests to keep us on this path and the tests to show us the truth in our hearts and souls. Be grateful for these tests that bring us clarity. Give gratitude for the lessons learned and the movement forward that eventually comes with its gift.
With the end of this turbulent few weeks, we have begun to find clarity. We have also found ourselves mourning the loss of a legend, Maya Angelou. Her words run so deep within me. Her presence is so incredibly soulful. Each thought, words and poem comes from a place deep within her where love stirs, where passion grows. Her words are immortal. May they continue to guide us ... "When you know better, you do better." is one of my favs. This is another...
I had a blog post written for today, but after seeing the reading for this week I decided to save it. I wanted to remind you about magic instead. I love magic...
Life is filled with magic. It is whether we choose to see it or not that allows us to believe in it. For many, magic refers to slight of hand tricks, cutting a beautiful assistant in half and a disappearing act by a magician. But for many others this thing called magic is found in every moment of our lives.
I am one of these. I see the magic surrounding me and it fills my life with joy, mystery and laughter. For magic is found in even the simplest things, if we choose to see it. I can see the magic in my children's eyes. I can feel the magic of nature. I hear the magic in my favourite songs. It moves through me as I do my yoga practice or dance. It is everywhere.
Magic is found in the dimes or feathers from heaven - a reminder of our loved ones passed watching over us. It is in the messages from spirit in the form of songs, numbers, pictures or conversations that tell us we are on the right track. It is in the synchronicities that appear. It is in those moments I use to call crazy and now just call divine!
Magic doesn't have to be grand. Remember that as you move through your day today. See the tiny glimmers of magic all around you. Embrace them. Allow them to bring you joy.
For some see a weed, for others it's a wish or a wand! May your lives be overflowing with magic always!
We accept the love we think we deserve...
This was a profound and changing message for me. It was not something I had ever considered before, but they are words I consider often since.
Have you ever truly thought about this concept? Have you looked at the relationships you have been in - romantic, friendships, family, and looked at how you were treated by others, but most importantly by yourself. For it is the relationship with self that dictates how others treat us.
Crazy right? There was a time when I would have argued that, but now it is clearly. As I look back on my own life I am able to see where it happened. I did not consider myself worthy of the love of man and was treated thusly in my romantic relationships.
Time and again I lost who I was to please another. Gave up my identity in order for them to keep theirs. Sacrificed my own happiness in desperate need to keep my partner happy. All this really did was diminish how I treated myself and showed the men I was with that it was OK for them to treat me this way too. This did not make for happy or healthy relationships.
It is funny this message came so late in life and after the end of my marriage. But everything comes with divine timing. It is this message that reminds me to love myself, to honour who I am and to treat myself with love and care. It also reminds me to accept great love from another as I deserve it. So do YOU!
PS - need some help with love? Try carrying a piece of rose quartz close to your heart.
Momcation - a vacation from being a mom (every mom needs one every once and a while)
I love my children from the bottom of my heart. They are my everything. They make my life and my heart full of love. But as a single mom, I also know how important it is to take a break.
This was not an easy lesson. When I was married I ate, slept and breathed being a wife and mother - as I look back, maybe not so healthy. I was constantly tired, always on the go and never really feeling like I was getting ahead. The only self care I did was crawling into bed when I was sick or injured, but even this was minimal. Everyone else came first. I came last. End of story.
As a single mom I quickly realized I could no longer function this way. There was no one around to pick up the slack when I hit the preverbal wall. Therefore self care became crucial. It was not a choice to learn the lesson, it was a necessity.
It really wasn't that hard to figure out once I put my heart into it. I started small. I made the pledge that bed time was sacred. Kids were put to bed on time and that is where they stayed till morning. Sleep is important and so is me time.
After they go to bed at night I spend a short time cleaning up from the evening, but then I take time doing something I enjoy - taking a hot bath, reading a book, yoga, meditation or just go to sleep. As time went on, I let go of my mommy guilt and even get a sitter sometimes to go to a yoga class, do a workshop or go out with friends.
Most recently I took a momcation. My kids went to their Dad's and I went away to the Yoga Conference for 4 days. I slept in a hotel bed, ate delicious take out, did what I wanted and was not called Mom for 4 whole days. It was a divine break for the soul that ultimately makes me a better mom.
Taking the time to take care of your mind, body and soul is important to EVERYONE! It doesn't matter if you are a mom or a dad, husband or wife, single or not, young or old. Everyone needs to honour their body and soul with self care. So take a momcation or a vacation to rejuvenate yourself!
We all have those days when we want to scream "Stick IT!" to the world. Those days when we want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over our head. Those days we just want to disappear.
It is on these days that it is most important to do something. Even if it is the tiniest thing to break your mood. One little thing leads to the next little thing, that leads to a bigger thing and in no time you can be feeling better.
Raising your vibration and your mood is simple. Spirituality is simple (well that's a whole other blog post). Start with something easy like getting out of bed, petting the cat or dog or making a cup of tea. Then take another step ... have a shower, call a friend (one that will lift you up, not let you wallow) or just poke your head outside for a few minutes.
Gratitude is a great way to raise your vibration and my favourite go to. Give thanks for the day, for your bed that held you while you slept, for the cup of coffee that got you going this morning or the for the soul sister that always knows exactly what to say.
It never ceases to amaze me how saying thank you makes me feel lighter. It is an instant pick me up, that didn't cost anything nor has any side effects like eating, caffeine, alcohol or drugs do. It's about getting high on life! So next time you are having one of those days, instead of saying stick it try saying thank you for the lesson and move on to bigger and brighter things!
There has been a common theme in my readings and my own life over the last few weeks of trust, surrender and positivity. Something I have not been able to ignore. Something I have instead chosen to embrace, moving through this period of learning with as much grace and ease as possible.
We are finally settling in to the energy of 2014 which moves much quicker and is more demanding than that of 2013. This new energy is forcing us to look at those parts of our life that need healing and releasing and to truly do the work necessary to get this done. There is no more dragging our feet. The Universe is not standing for it. Each time we deny what is happening the Universe creates more drama or pain to enforce the need for change.
Messages and signs are coming swiftly and in multiple ways. Things are unfolding rapidly and we are being asked to stand in a space of love and self-empowerment. Letting go of old habits that have held us back in our career, relationships and life. This will not be easy for some.
For myself I have had to be conscious and aware at each moment with each message sent, each action taken allowing me to see where it originates from – Fear? Love? Habit? Trust? Control? Taking the time to do this has granted me sight. Open eyes to see where my actions have come from in the past. How moving from a place of fear and control has created the outcomes I did not want. How moving from a more conscious place of trust and surrender has changed that. This is not easy or comfortable at moments, but the long term effects are worth it.
We all have our own “demons” to face. Things we know that no longer serve us. Things that have long needed to be released. New ways of being that need to be embraced. Always know that you are not alone on this journey of self discovery. There are many here in the physical and in spirit who stand beside you with love and support. So remember, all you need is a little “faith, trust and pixie dust”!
Growing up a dancer I was often given the message to push past the pain, to keep on dancing, stretch a little further. Much emphasis was put on the esthetics of the movement and not necessarily the structure of it. Not that my teachers over the years were not conscious of injury prevention, they paid attention to a certain extent to this (usually this was stronger from the ones who sustained injuries their selves). It became ingrained into my body that pain was normal and OK.
What I didn’t realize was this was spilling over into my emotional life as well. I was allowing myself to be in pain to make others happy. Putting my own feelings or emotions aside to put others first and I had been doing this for years! Wow! How did I miss this?
Again it is my Yoga Teacher training that has given me a deeper understanding of this issue on a physical level to reinforce the healing at a mental level. (Everyone said “Get ready, YTT will emotionally shake up your world”) My teachers have a deep understanding of yoga being mind, body and soul, as well as the physical injuries that can occur by pushing ourselves past our bodies comfort point. My history teacher, states the body will not willingly hurt itself, it is the mind that pushes the body past what it is capable of to a place of injury. Oh the mind! How can you be so helpful and so hurtful all at the same time.
Here on my mat I have allowed myself to quiet my mind and listen to my body instead. This has brought my practice of yoga to a whole new place. Greater alignment has been found in many positions just by simply listening to where my body has landed in a posture then gently correcting it. This has granted me deeper inner awareness within each pose as well. I no longer force my leg higher where I think I should be. Now I take it to where it feels good then just beyond to “work” the posture. This is a place of strength instead of frustration of my old ways.
The word asana is loosely translated into pose or posture, but it really means calm, steady seat (the first posture was a seated one). This is where the magic happens…each asana being done with the purpose of calm and steady takes us to a place within, a place of strength, a place of power. Here in this magical place our mindfulness, rather than being filled with shouts of anger - higher, deeper, I can’t do this, I am falling over, just hold it a minute longer, oh ya breathe. It is here I find deep inner peace. It is here I
remember that I must honour myself – mind, body and soul.
This is not something totally new to me, but just refreshed. I know can see this with new eyes. My awareness is heightened. So today and forever more I will pay closer attention to my body and what it has to say. I will also listen carefully to the whispers of my heart and soul too honouring my feelings knowing pain is not the answer, a place of calm steadiness is. No longer will I sacrifice myself, I am important. I am worthy of abundance and happiness. Namaste
This story begins last Friday night at Yoga Teacher Training. It was a delicious practice of hip openers, dim lights and Katie’s soothing voice talking us through deep, long held stretches on our backs. A practice which appeared should be simple, yet in turn was difficult for me.
Quickly I found keeping my foot against the wall for support impossible. My leg positions not where I would like them. My hip popping out of alignment as I forced my body where I thought it should be instead of where it belonged. My mind wandering to “What have you let this body become? You use to be able to stretch more. Remember your dancing body and how flexible it was? Where did it go? Have you cared for your body at all? What have you been doing with your time?” The monkey mind was cruel. I felt uncomfortable (as my body was already dealing with aches and pains I brought to class, on top of the ego bullying going on). I was desperately seeking my sacred place usually found with ease on my yoga mat – my sanctuary. But tonight the usual practice of yoga – mind, body and spirit was at best disconnected.
Feeling defeated driving home, my ego continued to berate me until an outpouring of tears brought it to an abrupt end. Emotionally cracked wide open I reminded myself that I AM what I AM. I must dig deep to love my body the way it is right now. Letting go of the past and forgiving myself for what I did or didn’t do. As I continued driving I remembered the empty house awaiting my arrival (not even a smiling yorkipoo to greet me as she has gone for sleepovers too on this busy week-end). No one there to share kind words, a hug, a smile or an “I love you”. Here I realized I must love myself and that had to be enough. The love of another has no meaning if I do not love myself first. This love is much deeper and more profound than any I will feel from another. This is the unconditional love of self. From this moment on I can no longer go back to that place of emptiness and alone. Knowledge keeps me from this place. Knowledge has taken me to a place greater than I have ever imagined before. Tonight a new journey of love begins within me where deep peace is found. My arrival home found me emotionally spent, exhausted and ready for bed.
Saturday morning brought a feeling of heaviness and fog. Determined to move through this to a lighter place I spent my hour drive to Hamilton with positive self-talk, love and reassurance of an amazing day to come and that is exactly what happened. I found myself in Steve’s hot yoga class hearing exactly what I needed to. Validation of self love from the teary yet, enlightened drive home the night before. He spoke of honouring our bodies. Breathing through the experience of each pose only taking the body to where it wanted to be. Not forcing, but allowing yourself to be present. Listening to what your body was saying, what your breath was saying, what your practice was saying. Deepening awareness. Bringing my practice back to that sacred place I know and love. The class left me sweaty, balanced and loving me deeply once again. I was ready for another day of teacher training.
This theme continued through the day’s YTT class and into Sunday’s too with the words of each teacher and even my fellow classmates. I am grateful for the connection between us all, a freedom felt allowing for honesty and authenticity amongst the group. A place sharing of self occurs. A place where I feel not as alone on my inward journey.
Later this week as I spoke of my experience with a yogi friend, she shared some interesting information about the poses of my Friday night-crack-me-wide-open yoga class. As I hope you know, yoga is more that exercise. Each asana also affects our subtle or spiritual body as well. Our back is our spiritual side or universal consciousness which was being allowed to rest in this practice. Our front is our emotional side or individual consciousness being exposed during practice. Finally, we hold a lot of emotion in our hips, so doing hip openers allows for the emotions to be released and stretched out of us. Everything was making even more sense. Everyone said yoga teacher training would crack you wide open emotionally and no one was kidding!
Although this may seem like a fairy tale ending, I know this is going to be maybe one of the hardest legs of the journey because with knowledge comes power and with power comes responsibility. A responsibility to myself to always love me unconditionally. The power to share this incredible lesson with others, especially my children. This knowing allows me to move forward never looking back at the place of emptiness and alone I once lingered in. With love of myself I no longer visit there. This love doesn’t guarantee life will always be sparkles and rainbows, but it does promise love in the darkest of moments and in the brightest of moments. It will always be there, I just need to remember. So do you!