Progress, not perfection 

I grew up thinking perfection was possible. If you weren’t perfect, you weren’t trying hard enough.

That thinking can literally kill you. I tried it, it doesn’t work and more importantly, it’s exhausting. There is a horrible let down when you fall short of that mark. Shame, self loathing, you name it, I’ve felt it.

There were a lot of times where I heard, “if you would have just tried a little harder.” Today, I’m still trying to break it. I try so hard that I collapse into tears. Not just crying, shaking in the corner sobbing. 

I know I can play victim, it’s super easy! Look at what I’ve been through, I say. Look how life has kicked me when I was down. Oh poor me. But that just gets me stuck. Not progressing, just sitting in the sorrow and helplessness of self pity.

But really, I’ve come out of all that junk stronger. I actually am proud of myself and like who I am. I’m finally getting it together. Letting go of what life has handed me and looking forward to the amazing things to come.

It’s easy to look at people and think, it must be nice, they’ve had it so easy. But no one escapes life and death. Everyone looses, everyone triumphs. There’s no hard or easy, just life. No winners, no losers, just everyone trying to make it through.

I’ve got scars, I’ve had struggles. I make that very public. But today I embrace my progress. From victim to warrior, from endless pain to contentment in any situation. Not always perfect but always progressing. 

Most importantly, surrounded by smart strong people, that have been through the ringer too, who encourage and remind me, keep moving forward and making progress in each and every day regardless of circumstance or struggles. 

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Humility 

Something I’ve been working on in the last week, finding humility. This is all about the world revolving completely without me and definitely not around me.

Sometimes I get stuck thinking I’m over important. I get caught in my head. It’s all about others affecting me. But I am reminding myself that it’s not about that in the end. It’s about what good I put into the world.  

The more humble, the more helpful I become. I see others for the value that they bring and I can see the value in everything.

What works for me is looking at the beautiful mountains growing and changing in front of me. The leaves blowing in the air. The river runs and the birds sing. All valuable and all not affected by me. Every thing is beautiful and great. Every piece of this planet is amazing, and I’m just lucky to be a part of it and share my love with all around me. 

Nature and yoga

Tonight I practiced on the deck, looking at the most beautiful view. I thought about listening to music. But there was something lovely in the sounds of the outdoors.

I listened to the birds singing to my flows. I felt the gentle wind that cooled me right when I needed it. I balanced finding a focal point on the hills. I looked up at the half moon starting to make it’s way into the blue sky. 

My body moved with grace. I had more focus and balance than I have ever had. I connected my soul with the beauty around me. Something very special in this practice moved me. Meet the outdoors around you and you’ll be at peace.

Hair & driving with the windows down 

I changed my hair recently. I needed a fresh start. I am putting the past behind and moving forward.

Today I let my hair down. I had the windows down and the music up. It was me. The true and pure form of myself. Everything I love today has been a struggle but worth every mistake. I’ve stumbled through life to be exactly where I was meant to be.

Everything feels like it’s coming together and all at once. Which can be exciting and happy but also really scary. After what I’ve been through, it seems that good is too good to be true. That’s when it all is taken away.

But today my only choice is to feel the crisp wind of spring blowing through that window, the sun warming my cheeks, the gentle rain when I left my coat. These are the feelings of being alive. 

Life is good.

Finding my voice

Tonight I taught an amazing class. After almost a year of teaching, I have finally found my voice.

As a new teacher, I spent a lot of energy trying to remember everything, what to say, what comes next, how to walk around without standing in front of anyone, watching people. There’s a lot to do. 

Today, something clicked inside and I found my authentic style. It was relaxed and completely me. The nerves were gone, the over thinking. It finally felt right and true and realty great. 

My advice to any new teachers is to strive for authenticity and don’t try to be anyone else. Be you.

There’s unfortunately a lot of complaints and competition in teaching. There shouldn’t be, but maybe it’s our culture outside of yoga. But in the right time and right place, you find the uniqueness in your voice.

As a student, I encourage you to find the benefit to all teachers. Yes, some teachers have more experience. Some teachers might click with your style. But with every teacher there is something special. Something you can take away. Maybe that’s letting go of judgement and complaining. But there is a gift they are there to share. Let go and see what you discover in your practice.

8 limbs – Aparigraha

One of my favorite Sanskrit words to say. It’s just fun.

But what it means – non covetousness. What it means to me is 2 things: 1) being grateful for what you have 2) not being jealous or wanting what someone else has.

What it means off the mat: greed, wanting what you don’t need, jealousy. All of these are struggles for me, I’ll be honest. I want to not want what other people have, whether it’s a body or things like cars and houses. I find myself longing for what I don’t have. Today, I’m grateful for what I do have. Which is actually a lot. Plenty. More than I deserve. And for the body, I’m settled in my body. Where it at today, I earned every bit of my weight. For better or worse, I’ve done this to myself.

On the mat: it’s easy to want the practice of others. It’s common to watch what other people can do. But again I’ve earned only what I’ve worked for. In yoga, there’s only one way to get what others have, working for it. Practicing frequently. Today I am settled into my practice. Enjoying right where I’m at and knowing it’s a constant practice to improve. There’s no end date, it’s constant growth to the next depth, the little father stretch and the more stength.

Cold sores 

One of the side effects of stress for me is cold sores. Not like normal people cold sores, intense super cold sores. I get flu symptoms, sore throat, swollen painful glands in my neck. 

Yesterday, my upper lip exploded. One of my worst ever, which I guess says something about the stress I’m under. I’m spending time in bed because I feel awful. But also because I look awful. 

The worst part is that I look like a horrible monster. I don’t feel like going anywhere but at the same time, the cold bites at it. I want to curl into a little ball and cry under the covers.

When you are struggling to go through each day, this is not helping. I had to push a new job off, miss parties, and hide in bed.

Little could be worse when I’m in the thick of it. The good news is within a week, it should be gone. You may think, could it really be that bad. You decide… 

 It’s extremely hard to post a picture. But I know, my heart is beautiful, and that doesn’t fade or get hidden by the outside. My heart loves deeply, fully and forever.

When beauty is taken away you realize how unimportant it is. The people who love you continue to love you. Beauty and cold sores are temporary. Find people who love you regardless and your life will be full. Your beauty is always within, at any time, at any age. Even through the pain and dark parts, a true and loving heart stays beautiful always.