What is Mindfulness anyway? I hear this buzz word all the time and I did some research with efforts to understand it more. How can mindfulness be of value to me in my life? I love Michael Singer's work on the topic and I summarized what I learned. I hope it helps. I'll attach his video below too if you want to learn more. He's amazing and his work has already helped me so much.
Step 1: Stop and observe your thoughts. Create an awareness of what's going on inside of there. Things happen to us in our lives and create samaskaras or impressions on our minds that are either positive or negative. These impressions affect how we react to events that unfold before us. Do not take responsibility for your thoughts. Do not judge your thoughts. In the past these events happened and samaskaras were formed. If you dealt with them well then often times these events come and go. If you did not deal with them well then we tend to store them. The more difficult your life then the more stuff that you have stored inside. You are doing a destructive thing to yourself when you store negative thoughts. You have a choice not to cling to unpleasant experiences. Your mind creates thoughts all the time. It is a thought making machine. You are simply the awareness that is aware of the thoughts being created. All of your life experiences teach you things. You are going to start to say thank you to these thoughts. You store all the things that have ever bothered you. Then you create conditions for the world to be so the world won't bother you and so the mind can feel safe. You need to not cling onto events in the past and instead let events pass though you. Let them go and don't get involved in them. You get hung up when the world doesn't meet the conditions that your mind created for it in order to feel safe. You need to start accepting reality if you want to be ok inside. Look outside, see the world as it actually is and be ok with it. Come into harmony with the reality that is in front of you so that you can participate in life. How can you bring love and beauty to it? Never start from the position of, "I'm not ok. This is how the world needs to be for me to be ok." You can't count on the conditions of the outside world to go the way that your mind wants them to go in order to feel safe so let it go. Get real. There is no benefit to storing unpleasant experiences. This is serious as if affects the quality of your life. Learn to enjoy the experiences of your life. Your mind is brilliant and is trying to release these negative thoughts. You are choosing to store them. Give yourself a break. Don't miss the moment in front of you. Every second you can practice mindfulness. Be present. Pay attention to the life unfolding before your eyes. An example of when we are not mindful is if you read and your mind is elsewhere and you have to re-read the paragraph you just read. Read that paragraph one time with mindfulness. You will get things done faster and more efficiently.
Step 2: Relax. It's not about your mind. It's about your relationship with the mind. Have fun as you are the only one in there so make light of it! Relax and lean away from your thoughts. This give you time to let it go. Learn to make the choice to let things go. Learn to develop a beginner's mind where everything that happens to you is the first time that it happened. No expectations. No judgements. No comparing with the past. Simply a new experience. Embody the new experience.
Your thoughts hurt you because you get involved in them. It's your resistance to your thoughts that hurt you. Thoughts themselves can't hurt you. Let stuff pass through you. Don't constrict them.
Art is the pinnacle of mindfulness. You are not doing it for yourself. It's doing you. You lose yourself in it. All of your life should be art. Every single second should be you expressing and experiencing. It is never about I'm not ok. How does everyone else need to be for me to be ok? Even the weather. That's a non-starter. Let go of the mess you created inside. Instead create art. You can find art in almost everything, music, cooking, gardening, cleaning, decorating, writing, movement, communication, etc. How can you experience and express your life more? There is creative energy that wants to get out. Instead learn to lose your mind in your art.
I find Michael Singer's work simple to understand, compassionate and beautiful. I love the idea of observing our thoughts, relaxing and losing ourselves in art. I am going to do a 30 day mindfulness challenge for myself, I hope you join in with me. Spend 15 minutes in the morning to meditate. Simply be aware of the thoughts, no judgments and let them pass through you. Next, begin your day with mindfulness. That means to be present every moment of your life unfolding before you. If you find a samaskara coming up then create an awareness around it and choose to let it go. Relax. You will find yourself falling into your thoughts. This is a practice. Through this practice, do not judge yourself. Just let it go. Live the reality in front of you. I have so much mindfulness to practice. Life can be exciting if you choose for it to be. Tap into your creativity and let all the beautiful amazing things come out of you. Express your soul. I want to see what you can do. Heck, I want to see what I can do! I love you all and remember, it doesn't matter what you've done, everything is fixable. Peace, peace, peace, shanti, shanti, shanti. Bliss.
Hello my lovelies,
I've been so backed up on my writings! I've been meditating but then I got busy. I am having my windows replaced on my house, my lanai glassed off and my pool house re-screened. Hooray! I always wanted a really nice house of my own since like forever. It doesn't have to be big but I always wanted it to be nice. In my meditations, I found that my thoughts were on fixing up this house. "This is falling apart" or "water leaks here" or "these colors don't match". I figured that this was obviously telling me something that I really wanted and I should do something about it.
I believe in making your home a beautiful sanctuary for you to come home to and peace out. It should be a place of bliss that calms you and a refuge after going out into the hustle and bustle of the world. When I was married, we were running a dog training business out of the house. I always had the goal or the wish that eventually the business would move out of the house but it never did. Dogs ruled my life. There was a constant flow of dogs moving in and out of the house for board and trains or doggie boot camp. Back in Chicago we would have up to 20 dogs at the house, the business was booming. We moved to Florida and downsized the business to stop boarding but only do boot camps since we started a family. Even with only boot camps, there was a constant rotation of dogs coming and going. It was impossible to fix things up, find quiet time, make things nice or simply keep the place clean. I was unhappy with my home environment. He loves working out of his house and I understand that but our houses were always small. It was too crowded for me.
When we moved to Florida we bought a house that needed a lot of work. The windows were drafty and leaked air, the lanai screens were blown out after 20+ years and hurricanes and I wanted the extra room indoors. The house is on a beautiful lot but everything was slowly needing replacement. Everything. I still live in that house. We never agreed on how to fix up the house and I felt like I was being held back from creating a beautiful house. Now that we are separated, I finally get to do the work on the place to create my beautiful, calm sanctuary. As I was living alone, more and more distractions were removed. I found creative energies flowing through me. I started writing, meditating and creatively creating the house and life of my dreams. I like a quiet, organized and clean house. It just makes me happy. I have much more to go but I am working on it one step at a time. It's exciting to watch it unfold, one step at a time. It's looking more and more beautiful everyday.
I wake up today, meditate on the back lanai facing the trees. No one is home. This is my favorite time of the day. Peace. I run to teach Hot 26 Bikram yoga and then take Jenny's Soulful Sunday yoga class. I pull the "Acceptance" affirmation and listen to Jenny's inspirational teachings. She's absolutely amazing. She asks what makes your soul happy and I talked about how I pulled the Acceptance affirmation. This one is powerful for me because I always felt like I was different from so many people. When I was younger I remember saying how I wanted to be "normal" so bad. I wanted people to like me and I felt like my different was what pushed people away. Letting go of the resistance to be normal and be my different weird self is liberating. What's different about us is what makes life interesting and decorated. Think about how boring the world would be if we were all the same. I invite you to celebrate your uniqueness. I invite you to fully accept yourself. I invite you to throw shame, insecurity, self consciousness out. I invite you to stop trying to be normal. Why not just be your beautiful self? The less you judge others, the less you will judge yourself and come into the fullest expression of your authentic self. Explore life to discover your uniqueness. Test things out. Question everything. Find things our for yourself. Most importantly, relax and have some fun. Life is about celebrating our differences. I personally love your freak flag so fly it high and with pride. Your differences make life colorful. Peace out beautiful people! Much love to you all!
Hello Beautiful People,
I wake up feeling really good this morning. I got lots of sleep. I LOVE SLEEP!!! It is seriously one of the best things that you can do to raise your mood. If you don't feel good then get some extra sleep. Everyone is crabby when they are tired. To prove this, all you have to do is wake up a child too early and see how they act. They immediately start screaming and crying. As adults we know not to do this anymore but inside that is how we feel. Now let that same child sleep as long as they want. When my children are well slept, they love to come into my bedroom and jump, laugh and play all over me. Giggles and all. Natural Hygiene recommends to sleep as much as your body asks for. You can't oversleep. If you are depleted then eventually your body will catch up and you will start to feel good again.
I wake up at 7:30 and go out to my lanai to meditate. I'm half way into my meditation and my mom walks by. I'm sitting in my bliss and she stops and says.
"Amy, can I ask you a question?" Mom
"You are not supposed to ask questions when someone is meditating mom. You have to wait until after." Amy
"What are you thinking about?" Mom
My inside voice is thinking, Go Away. My outside voice says "I'm not going to tell you. We'll talk afterwards."
Inside I'm laughing because it's actually a pretty innocent question but it's super annoying to interrupt someone when meditating. I'm in the middle of witnessing my thoughts and sometimes it takes a moment to let them settle before I can relax into them. Every interruption is like an injection of tension. However, I've learned early in my meditation, that my work is to stay focused during my meditations despite distractions. No matter what. Stay focused! This applies to my life as well.
I think about all the things that I'm learning about Oneness. There is only one source. Different religions are our vehicles to connect with that source. Michael Beckwith says one definition of religion is connection to the source. Whatever name you give source, there is still only one. The Untethered Soul talks about energetically opening ourselves to love to achieve that oneness. After my meditation I go to research a oneness symbol and I find the symbol of the heart with the infinity symbol going through it. This is odd I think. This is also the same symbol for polyamory.
What is polyamory? Polyamory simply means Poly - Many, Amory -Love. Many Loves. The symbol of polyamory is a heart with the infinity symbol going through it meaning that love is infinite. It's really a beautiful concept if you really think about it. I was married and monogamous with my partner for 9 years with two babies 1 & 3 at the time. My partner and I ran a business together. We went on a journey to health both mentally and physically. We hit a wall in our marriage and neither one of us was happy. It was extremely difficult. All I remember thinking was, "Thanks a lot Disney! Where's my happy fucking ending?" Yes, I was pissed that things weren't working out. I consider myself a hard worker and it would be over my dead body if I "failed" at my marriage. It was a struggle and something had to change. I was miserable and my family could see it, especially my mom. So was my partner. I asked for a divorce and he asked for polyamory. "What the fuck is that?" I remember thinking. "You're kidding right?" "I'm going to kill you!" I didn't know the difference between polyamory and polygamy. Polyamory means many loves and polygamy means many wives. They are different.
Polyamory means that either partner is free to date others as long as there is honesty and consent with the premise to "cause no harm". There is a famous polyamorous book called Ethical Slut that promotes the cause no harm premise which basically means no affairs, no cheating. There has to be consent and truth. "Are you serious, is this what you really want?" I say. He responds, "yes I want to feel connected with someone and you and I are on the verge of divorce. What if there is another way? We have the children. We can help each other. If we get divorced we would be dating other people anyway but everything would be much harder for us living on our own with the kids. We can stay together, support each other and look for love outside of our relationship." We watched youtube videos on Connor and Brittnay and they seemed really happy. Maybe it could work? "OMG, OMG, OMG.....no" I respond after many tears. The fear was overwhelming for me in the beginning. Thank you all those years of school and social conditioning for preparing me for this! I wasn't prepared at all. I'm going to die. I think I'm dead.
I go out of town on a vacation to the Big Island Fruit Festival in Hawaii alone with the kids. An opportunity comes up and I call my ex-husband on the phone and say "maybe we should reconsider this open marriage thing." We both seemed to jump onboard the scariest roller coaster ride that you could ever take. Detachment is a bitch and we were super attached and super co-dependent. Ouch! All I can say is that I learned more about myself in the past three years in an open marriage than I did my whole life. They say that polyamory can be considered the fast track to enlightenment because relationships tell you so much about yourself. Who do you choose to date? Why did you choose this person or that? Are there any patterns? Do you keep making the same mistakes? What are you afraid of that's stopping you from success? You get triggered all the time and you get practice facing your fears. Our fears, insecurities and jealousies were very real and very deep. Actually, looking back, I can say that it was the most terrifying time of my life. It seemed like everything that I was afraid of was now staring me in the face and screaming. This isn't to say that there weren't benefits to facing all this fear:)
I had the benefit of someone who knows me very well help me "date". We resolved so many of our own relationship issues because all of a sudden everything was urgent. All the things that you think and feel but you don't really say, are said. Emotions run high. The stakes seem even higher. All I know was that when I proposed a divorce to my now ex-husband that something needed to change. We couldn't keep going down the road that we were on and be happy. I am a truth seeker and I was willing to risk everything for the truth. I figured that if we were right for each other then we would survive the experience and if not then we would find out and not waste our lives with the wrong person. The universe will guide us and I wanted to take that leap of faith to find the truth. We ended up getting that divorce after all and then back together and now I'm at a point where I needed to be alone. I found myself distracted by the whole situation and I wanted to focus on my purpose in life. Self development was calling me. This is not to say that the experience wasn't worth it or that I have any judgement over polyamory. We got into polyamory to fix a broken marriage. Some people begin their relationships with polyamory with success. I believe that people have the right to explore their sexuality without any judgement. This is someone's own private search and discovery for love. My end goal was to find happiness. How do you find it in a relationship? How do we not lose ourselves in the other? What is the key to a happy relationship and how do I get one?
In a way, who is to say that monogamy is the right way anyway? Are we socially conditioned to believe that this is the right way? I'm not saying it's the wrong way either. I am questioning. Who decides? The church? The state? Our peers? School? Our family? I believe that you have the right to explore and figure it out yourself. Only you will know what is right for you.
So many marriages fail, partners cheat or they stay together but are unhappy. There are obviously happily married couples too but they seem few. Are people in relationships for the right reasons or are they dating out of fear or so that the other fulfills some need? How can we find those authentic connections? Can you love more than one person? My opinion is yes. I know you can because it happened to me. How do you know it can't happen to you too? Have you ever tried? Are you scared to try because of what society would think of you? Are you willing to risk everything for the truth? Sometimes we get comfortable in a relationship. Really comfortable and we would never consider such a social experiment. For me, I felt like I had no choice. If polyamory failed then we get a divorce. Monogamy wasn't working for us. I wanted to be happy and I was willing to do whatever it took to find it.
I have a mentor who said yes I should try it. Swim around in that pool for awhile and learn the lessons that are given. Then get out because the drama and sexual perversion can be enervating and distract you. Would you ever try such a thing? Have you ever loved more than one? Can you love more than one? Can you love more than two? or three? Better yet, is your love infinite? Have you tried? Much love to you all. I hope you all find that love and happiness that we are all looking for. We all deserve it. Peace out my friends. I love each and every one of you infinite souls!
I meditate in the rain on my side porch today. It's a light soft rain. I listen to the birds singing, the wind blowing the leaves and the thoughts in my mind. I had a beautiful reader of my blog recommend that I read the Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. It's a book about consciousness. It talks about that little voice in our heads that has Samskaras or impressions on our minds from good or bad experiences that lead us to have conditions on what will or will not make us happy. Michael talks about how we ultimately want to be happy and excited about life. He recommends that we have a choice to do this all the time by simply removing these conditions and be open all the time. Wow, this is powerful stuff!
In my yoga teacher training, I asked my teacher, how can I protect myself from negative energy that I feel from someone else so that it doesn't affect me? She pointed out that I didn't feel safe if I needed to protect myself. This is clearly fear. I realized that I have been blocking my heart. I've literally been shutting my energy off and blocking my heart because of negative samskaras from the past. What would really make me happy is to open my heart. How can I find compassion for this person? How can I live my life without a set of conditions that must be fulfilled in order for me to be happy? How can I lose my fear and stop trying to protect my heart? It's simple? I can choose to be open. I can be open to love all the time. The first step is to witness when this is happening so that I can develop an awareness. The second step is to actively choose to let go of my fear and unblock my heart. I don't need to protect myself all the time. This is creating separation and blocking me from what I really want, happiness.
Overall, this spiritual path that I am on in ultimately about freedom. The journey has been the most exciting ride that I have ever been on. I am so fascinated by all the spiritual gems that I'm learning and they are setting me free! I have to admit, looking at your fears, admitting them and actively making changes to confront them can be terrifying. The joy that can come out of releasing your fears and opening your heart is blissful.
Whenever my kids tell me that they love me, I look at them and tell them that they are tickling my heart. They laugh and giggle. Last night they couldn't stop hugging and kissing my whole face. It was the sweetest thing in the world and yes my heart was bursting. I want my heart to be open all the time and feel love and give love freely like how my children do. Yes sometimes the mommy is the student to the children as their lives are a little untainted by cultural conditioning. They have less samskaras therefore their hearts are more open. Go get this book. It is a gem and thank you sweet Julie for recommending it. I literally couldn't put it down! I'm off to the chiropractor as this is my fifth appointment and supposed to be my last one. Peace out beautiful people and open your hearts all the time. I'm doing the same.
As I meditate in my pool house I think about my Natural Hygiene mentor Robert in Ecuador. He said something to me that struck me and I spent a long time thinking about. He kept asking me what I want in this life and I couldn't give a clear answer. I kept dabbling around all the things that I was unhappy with but I had no clear vision of what I did want. He responds to me... "Your problem Amy, is that you don't know who you are." I get slightly jolted by this comment because I can't fight back. Deep in my heart I know this is true, waaaaaaaaaaahhhh. A deep pouty cry is all I can think as I feel despair and frustration for not knowing the answer to this simple question. How the fuck is it possible to not know who you are?! This was around November 8th, 2016 when we had the following conversation below. He was guiding me as I was somehow on this path to enlightenment and I couldn't get off the ride no matter how scared I was. I needed truth. I was seeking it like it was the last sip of water in the desert in the mid afternoon sun. I felt like truth was the only way to find true happiness and how can I find my own truth. This is a small excerpt from my private memoirs with this amazing and selfless man to whom I will always be grateful for. He spent hours guiding me as I splashed around in the lake of unconsciousness while he coached me to swim the strokes of consciousness. I didn't edit anything. It's raw, it's real, it's part of my journey to discover me.
Ok, so I have tons of beliefs that are a total mind fuck and I can't see the full universe. - Amy
You and everybody else!
You are not alone. Along with the total mind fuck comes the total "I'm me; everything's cool" internal story. The story is believable (it's "me" after all... ;-), it's pretty pliable (resulting in feelings of elation to suicide), and everyone else has their own Me story so you are not alone and bored (you get to have fun comparing notes), and it works reasonably well enough for the "ego-me" to be willing to buy into it and believe it every waking moment. End result is a set of beliefs that seem to work to comprehensively define ourself.
So everyone latches onto their Me story just like you latched onto your firstborn - the baby becomes you, a part of you, more important than anything, worth protecting and defending, no matter what.
It is the same for your Me story - protected and defended to the end, no matter what. - R
I know these beliefs are there and they are causing me pain so what do I do about them? - A
All U can do, literally, is to be willing to look at them.
I know this sounds kinda flaky or even passive. But these stories and sub-stories that are merged with your main 'me' story are NOT amenable to frontal assault. Think about it - millions of people in the world with serious addictions, serious mental illness, serious obsessions and so on - people like this who have tried to deal directly with their problems... nearly zero success. Maybe some partial improvements. That's it. And we are not talking about the 'me story' itself. We are talking just sub-stories within the Me story that are uncomfortable and/or destructive.
So when I say, "All U can do, literally, is to be willing to look at them," it is because looking closely, discerningly, with scalpel in hand, is the only permanent way to get to the bottom of it.
Por ejemplo, if you suddenly feel jealousy, stop immediately and ask yourself, "What, exactly is going on with this? What triggered it? What part of my Me story suddenly lit up in resonance? What threads are snaking around into other similar stories? How am I responding? Defensively? Victimized? Distractive humor? Others?
Do you follow what I am saying with this? Self Inquiry, Self Examination sounds kinda simple to do, but it is actually insanely difficult. With every tiny attempt to look objectively at yourself, your Me will instantly summon up all kinds of distraction mechanisms, anger mechanisms, self-righteous mechanisms, bravado mechanisms, victim mechanisms, on and on. Every attempt at full objectivity will be met with full and total attack. This gives you some sense of how well-defended the Me story is.
While it seems that the Me story is pretty much unbeatable, the truth is that if you can stay with it, emotional discharges begin to happen, bleeding off excess emotional energy. Soon whole chunks of the Me story begin to crack, loosen, even fall off. It is a wild and crazy process.
I know you can do it. But it takes courage, and that type of courage is unlike any other.... cuz this courage requires going IN and getting rid of the bad guys. Society knows all about and praises courage going OUT - killing the enemy, battling the fire, saving the drowning person. But going inside, hunting, finding and killing off your own demons... that's a whole 'nother thing. Someone once called it "the taboo against knowing yourself." - R
Do I have to go into isolation to peel away the beliefs? - A
Can happen anywhere, at any time... but best when alone and quiet. - R
How do you stop believing in old beliefs that don't serve you? - A
Pick them apart, because taking them on wholesale is impossible (see above). Find cracks where a chisel can be inserted. To find them, be humble and honest about yourself... frankly, call yourself on your shit whenever it appears, and notice the clever tricks that arise that are meant to distract, divert and re-enforce the Me story. -R
It's lonely going this route but I also can't go back. Humans are gregarious so this really sucks to lose people you care about or maybe those weren't true friendships in the first place. Maybe I should only think about the new people that will replace the old people. Just seems like there's so few who are aware of their inauthentic self and trying to find their authentic self or just be authentic and they are scattered all of the planet, like not living in one centralized location where it's easy to bump into other authentic people. - A
A few things about these lines above...
1) Lonely - very true. At first is feels lonely because a large part of your Me story is supported by others reflecting your Me back to you. IOW, your Me story is hard to hold together if you are getting zero feedback from others. Any identity that you create for/about yourself doesn't really mean anything if there is no one else to 'present' it to. Taking it to the extreme, suppose some calamity happens and you are the last and only person on earth. With that situation, what is the point of putting on makeup, getting your hair styled, brushing your teeth, even wearing clothes or jewelry or anything like that? If your Me story, your ego costume has no one else to compare or compete with, no one else to judge, no one else to 'play' with... then suddenly you realize that 90+% of daily life is seen as prepping and preening -pointless activities that are utterly inauthentic. IOW, BS.
2) Eventually the desperate loneliness morphs into sublime aloneness. Though you are 'alone', you are also merged with All That Is, Oneness. There is no loneliness possible. With Oneness, there is no twoness anywhere. The feeling and appearance of separateness is gone forever. Very amazing and profound and deeply satisfying. - R
As I re-read this email, I am honestly impressed with my questions! Looking back, I already started my journey to discover myself. I just didn't know how long it would take. It's now, April 25th, 2019 and I'm still having "ah-ha" moments as Oprah calls them. Life needed to play it's story for me before I could really start to see more about who I am. I had to get the chisel out and start hammering away and get really real with myself for me to sift through the conscious beliefs that I had about myself and the unconscious beliefs I had about myself. The conscious beliefs are my truth and the unconscious ones are the cultural conditioning layered on thick.
I had an old lover and his friend come over the other day. We've become dear friends. I started my meditation project because of this person. He's younger than me and there was a part of me that didn't want to see him because society wouldn't approve. I thought to myself, maybe it's time to challenge my beliefs so I go out with him. I learned a lot from my friend as he was also on a path to enlightenment. There was a time when I was really frustrated with life and I looked at him and I said, "what should I do?". He looked at me with the most sincere, kind eyes and said, "You need to meditate". I'm thinking to myself, "no fucking way". I'm a do'er. I don't want to sit and do nothing. I'm in a hurry and I have a lot of stuff to do. I wrestle with my demons some more with no answers and I finally surrender. I think what if I say "yes, and", my old improv rules, and I stop resisting advice given to me. How can this young guy be so damn smart? I didn't meditate right away as I had to let the thought ponder. After the thought brewed in my mind for awhile, I stopped. I sat. I got quiet. And I heard squirrels! I literally heard squirrels in the roof of my fucking house! I was thinking that god is laughing his ass off right now. What a metaphor for what was going on in my mind! It literally took about 3 months to remove the squirrels. It felt like there was all sorts of things falling apart in my life, literally that needed to get fixed. With each external issue that I addressed and fixed, then it seemed like it also cleaned up an internal issue.
I decided to go sober for awhile and felt like I could see clearly for the first time in years. I'm alone, but not really alone. I'm now taking care of three people in my life. How the heck is all of this possible? I'm somehow doing the impossible that I never thought I'd be able to do. I'm somehow finding myself. I still have a lot further to go but now I am not as scared as I was in the past. I feel like I can handle this. My friend came over the other day and introduced me to a spiritual teacher named Adyashanti. I started watching his videos and he had a video called, "How to trust yourself!". I think to myself, "yes Adyashanti, tell me how do I trust myself?"
Adya's video resinated with me deep within my core. There are times when people say things and you just know they are right without explanation. This is one of them. He talked about listening to your intuition also known as the "still small voice". It is almost like a whisper in the stillness. I know this stillness because of my meditation practice. Sometimes your intuition doesn't arise in words, it is a feel within the body and it won't justify itself. It is quick. If you aren't listening then you will miss it. Learn to trust the spirit within you, not the ego or personality. This is something that comes from stillness. I'm literally blown away by this teaching. He explained the still small voice so beautifully and clearly.
As I'm meditating in the sun on my lawn chair, I'm in heaven. The sun is warm. Nobody is home. I'm in the stillness. What does my little small voice say? It tells me to get naked in the sun! What the heck? Are you sure little small voice? "Yes! It's ok", it says. Ok, no-one is around and I have a private yard so heck yeah! It feels so free to sit in the sun becoming one with nature the way that we and everything is made. I feel the warm sun on my chest and it feels like the sun is hugging me. I hear a noise and almost have a heart attack thinking someone is there, but I am alone. Relax, enjoy. If you ever get a chance to have a private moment in nature to lay in the sun then I highly recommend it. Especially if it is just you having a moment with yourself. It's exhilarating. It feels like I'm accepting myself for all that I am. I feel myself returning to myself. Self acceptance. Peace. Bliss. I love you all and I hope this last paragraph didn't shock your pants off but it's the truth and it's fun and you gotta try it. Big smile. Big hug. Peace out! Besos!
I meditate by my pool house today after I drop off the kicks. It's a beautiful morning. The birds are singing. The weather is still cool. The sun softly shines at 8:30am. I keep thinking about the Michael Beckwith's youtube video that I watched yesterday and posted in yesterday's blog, "Michael Beckwith Leave Mediocrity Behind You with Lewis Howes". Towards the end of the video Michael talks about how mediocrity attacks greatness. He says how nobody talks about you if are sitting at home eating potato chips but if you are doing something with your life then mediocrity loves to attack it. My mind was wondering about this topic because I want to continue to grow spiritually, mentally, physically. I work really hard. I often get the comment that I work too hard. I don't think so. It's true that I work really hard but not "too hard". I'm not getting compensated for how hard I work but I do it anyway because I love the growth. When we stop, stagnate and cease to grow then that is how we create our own personal hell. I am in complete alignment with where my life needs to go and I don't want to stop. It's exciting to feel myself find my personal power.
After my lovely meditation I research mediocrity on youtube and for some reason I clicked on "Never Settle for Mediocrity" David Goggins Top 10 Rules. I don't even know who David Goggins is but it turns out he's an ultramarathon runner, triathlete, etc. He's a pro athlete. I proceed to watch his video which inspires the heck out of me. Seriously, I feel like I can do anything with my life and I really identify with what he is talking about. One thing that resonates for me that he kept mentioning was that when he is training, then he is also training his mind. In Natural Hygiene there is a whole section on self mastery which is basically having control over your choices in life. For example, if your intention is to lose weight then you consciously make the choice to not eat the chocolate cake for desert. In a way we are callus'ing the mind. He says that if it's raining outside then he needs to run. Everything that he didn't want to do was what brought him success. I feel like it is true. As I train in my yoga classes, I am training my mind. As my practice gets stronger, then my mind gets stronger. I'm finding my strength through discipline and a constant desire for growth. I'm not thinking about the end goal as much as I am thinking about, what is my next step?
I want enlightenment in my life. For me that is simply means breaking away from the fears that hold you back from your infinite potential. I want to tap into my infinite potential, thrive, create and play. It is an incredible feeling to feel like some of the things you never thought you could do, are within reach. I'm not only talking about yoga. This transfers over to everything in your life. When you have fear and promote fear then you live a small life. I want my life to be big. As David Goggins says, train your mind to say "How am I going to do this?". "Don't manage expectations, exceed them! Be in constant pursuit of greatness. Work on your weakness so you grow so that no matter what life throws at you then you will be able to handle it. Then you will not fall apart." I can relate to this because honestly, I feel like life was "too hard" for me for a long time. I was falling apart. I wasn't handling it well so I am working on my weakness. I am training my mind. I am working really hard. I have discipline. I am working on removing distractions so that I can get there. I feel my internal strength growing. I feel grounded and confident. I really like the person that I am. Yes I still have good and bad days but I'm working on it.
I think about how can I train my mind to handle what is going to happen with my parents. My greatest fear through all their health problems is their death. How can I prepare for this so that I don't fall apart. It's coming but I still have time. They both are very sick, my dad with Alzheimer's and my mother with Crohn's, Parkinson's, Edema and kidney stones. I'm working on making the best of it with them and making the best of myself. I'm about pick up my son from pre-school, go to the chiropractor for my hip (this is my 4th trip), and take my mom to her movement therapy so she can work on the gait with her walk. I'm making arrangements with my mom so that we can visit my dad in Tampa once a week. She misses him. There is a yoga studio in Tampa that I want to train at so I am trying to arrange our visits so that I can take a class and visit my dad. I am growing through the friction in my life. It will all be alright. Don't let mediocrity slow you down. If you have a dream or a goal and you want to do it then go for it. Don't worry about what people say about you. Do it for yourself because you want greatness in your life. You can do it and you deserve it. Do it with me! Peace out my beauties.
P.S. Actionhiro is the instragram photo at the top and he has an amazing instagram page.
Do you ever have days when you are just angry? Today I wake up to get my kids ready for school and then take my mom to the doctor's to get an Endoscopy. I am tired and I have to wait in the doctor's office for her for about 3 hours. I have a lot of stuff to do and this isn't how I wanted to spend my time. The night before I felt overwhelmed with requests from the three people that I'm taking care of in my life. It literally felt like I couldn't sit down and I couldn't do everything they wanted fast enough. I have some time to work at home but I'm interrupted a lot which makes it hard to focus. I didn't get the kids to bed on time despite my efforts. I really needed more sleep but didn't sleep well.
I had a dream about an old friend from college whom I loved dearly who betrayed me. In the dream I was begging her to talk to me because it was a misunderstanding. I opened up to her about some sensitive feelings and energy that I felt coming from another friend towards me. She told my other friend everything I told her and both girls stopped talking to me. They ended our friendship which really hurt me because I had a rocking family life and I used to rely on my friends for support. I had a conflict between feeling angry for being betrayed and a deep sadness because I loved these people. I missed their friendship. I think that if we could talk then they would see it was a misunderstanding. They won't answer when I reach out to them. I have to let it go. It hurt. I woke up suddenly from the dream at 3:30am and couldn't sleep afterwards. Why did I dream about this now? 10+ years later? Nothing is a coincidence.
I wrestle to go back to sleep and can't. I try to meditate laying down just to settle my mind. I can feel thoughts scatter sporadically as I am frustrated. I turn on youtube to watch Michael Beckwith. I am not a big church goer but I would go to his church in LA in a heartbeat. I wish I could go there and meet him. He inspires me and I feel aligned with so much that he teaches. Maybe I need to start a church like his in Florida. I'm comforted by his videos and they help settle down this frustration and anger inside of me as I attempt to process my feelings. I posted his video at the bottom of this post.
I go out to eat with my mom after her endoscopy and come home. I feel angry that my mom doesn't take more responsibility for her health and I'm scared for her. I meditate for 30 minutes and the combination of resting, the sun and the stillness already makes me feel better. As I meditate I am asking for creativity and manifestation. How can I manifest this beautiful life? Am I on the right track? If so then how can I speed it up because it's going slower than I would like. I have two more months of my 300 hour yoga teacher training left and I read Hand of Light about auras. I look up this author as I often do on youtube. I like to see a face to the writing and also listen to the person talk on the topic to speed up my comprehension of the topic. As I meditate I think about my auras. I saw indigo today with violet bleeding into it. Then that would disappear and green would surround the border. No colors stuck too long. I would see them for a moment and they were gone. Occasionally I would see a tiny rainbow. Gone. I get up and get ready to do some work. I feel grounded once again.
As I go inside my house I recall an incident that happened in my yoga teacher training. My teacher was teaching us about auras and had us in a meditation while sitting against the wall. She was calling out colors for us to see. I don't always have control over what colors I see in my auras. She called out purple and I was seeing nothing but a bright red. I was trying to change it to purple and couldn't. In the middle of the meditation she asked another student interpret the color but said they were distracted because somebody was still on red. This spooked me out. I apologized but was also totally perplexed that she knew someone was stuck on red. Only I really knew that I was stuck on red. How did she know? This is one of the reasons why I am fascinated by multi-sensory perception.
I go inside and look up anger online. It's not always bad to feel anger. A lot of times I try to repress my anger because I want to be happy, positive and I want everyone to get along. I read a blog about how anger can be an empowering gift. It's the universe telling me things. It's ok to feel all my emotions, even the ones that are considered bad. I'm relieved to read this as it's not easy to deny my feelings. Anger can be telling me that something doesn't feel right. It can be used as a guide. Something needs to change. Maybe my boundaries are being crossed. Maybe this is residual emotions that have been buried and simply need to come out. Maybe I need to just allow myself to feel it fully and let it go. Peace out beautiful people. Do you ever get anger? If so let me know, what makes you angry? I love you. Thank you for listening!
Guilty as charged! Yes, through living alone I realize that I'm a people pleaser! I compromised my true self to keep the peace and to please others. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we afraid of what other people think? Maybe they won't like something but does it mean that they won't like us? Are we afraid of not being accepted or loved? We all have this tender side of us that yearns for love. I would say that it is a need. We need to be loved. So in the process of trying to get what we want, love and security, we fear to be our true selves. Does this ring a bell for anyone? For me, I would say YES! Absolutely!
I noticed this when I was younger. I seemed to be able to float around to different groups and act differently with each different group based on what the norm was. I used to think I was like a chameleon. I wanted everyone to like me and I couldn't stand it if someone didn't. I never bothered to think, do I like this person? Or do I like myself in this situation? I just had this overall need for love and acceptance. I had a fear that if I didn't smoke like the smokers with the smoker group or drink like the drinkers in the drinker group or act innocent and conservative in the innocent and conservative group then people wouldn't like me. Like holy fucking shit, the world will end if someone doesn't like me. The problem with all this insecurity is that I didn't know who I am. Somehow layers and layers of social conditioning has impacted my belief system. What the fuck do I really believe and why can't I seem to make a stand or commitment to it? Honestly, I'm afraid to even say fuck in my blog so all you mother fuckers like me, lmao! I don't even know who is reading this darn thing but there is a side of me that wants your approval! I really do swear sometimes when I am being myself or when I feel passionate about something. That's just the fucking truth and it feels really good to swear right now! Shit:) I hope you still like me:)
Over the past couple months I have been meditating so that I can peel the layers of beliefs back to see who I really am for the first time since I was a kid! Who am I? What do I want? What do I REALLY believe without worrying about what anyone thinks besides me? How do I start to walk into my authentic self? How can I drop my fears about trying to please everybody on this planet besides myself? If I was the last person on Earth then what would I do with my time? Who would I be if I didn't have to get anybody else's approval?
To be honest, these are really tough questions and I'm still in the process of unpeeling the layers. Through this process, I'm getting closer to the core of my true essence. Simply writing this blog and opening up about my life is confronting my fears about others accepting me. In a way it's kind of like telling my people pleasing disease to fuck off. It's about loving my true self no matter how wild or crazy or different I may be from society. It's about dropping my fear that someone won't like me and being ok with that. I need to let go of my need to have everyone like me. A lot of people just won't. I feel like it may be because I'm questioning society, myself, my beliefs and simply trying to grow. I want to live my life without the mother fucking judges judging me. For me to really do this, I realized that I also needed to bury my judge. I also judge people. I questioned society and in the process of me being different now I judged all the "normal" people. I needed to find the Death of My Judge. My judge was only creating separation for me when we are all really one. We need each other. Let's stop judging.
The more that I bury my judge, the more free I feel. People should have the right to explore their lives however they need to without judgment as long as it causes no harm in order to see who they really are. In a way there is some danger to group mentality. We are gregarious by design and nature but there are times when we need to leave the group to find our own beliefs. We can't be afraid to spend some time alone. It's ok. It won't last forever. Some tribal cultures will practice this where once a child reaches a certain age they make them leave the group for some time to go see the world. When they come back their view of the world changes because now they can see outside of the bubble of the group. Explore! Learn! Grow! Life is more exciting this way. Yes it is more challenging because you have to face your fears but it is ok. You only have one life. Live it without regrets. Live it being your authentic self. Live it with joy. Learn to love yourself more than the opinions of the judges. They say that when someone is triggered by you then that is the problem of the triggerer and not the person who triggered them. When someone is triggered then it is a fear within them that you might be scratching. If you recognize this then don't judge them. Simply recognize their fear and if they are ever curious to ask, then help them. You might learn something too in the process. Find the Oneness. I fucking love all you beautiful crazy belief challenging people. Now stop being a people pleaser, kill your judge and find the joy in who you really are. Peace, Love, Joy, Bliss, FREEDOM!
I can't remember how old I was when I had my first sip of alcohol but I was young. Maybe 7 years old. My dad is an alcoholic and used to drink a six pack a night when I was growing up. Sometimes more. He had a very sad childhood and never dealt with his pain. He found his mother dead from a stroke on the shower floor when he was in 6th grade. She used to be a heavy smoker. My grandfather never seemed to recover from my grandmother's death. He was a plumber and owed a six flat in Niles, IL. After my grandmother died my grandfather stopped working as a plumber and lived in one of the apartments of the six flat and lived off the rent of the other 5 units. He was a very bad alcoholic. He died when I was 1 year old and my dad was 25. I see how the pain of my grandfather was passed onto my dad and then onto me. It was my job within my lifetime to heal this pain for my future generations. Having children has been the biggest motivator for me to heal my soul. I don't want to pass on my pains to my children and I would like them to live a beautiful life. When I was 7 years old, I remember watching a movie with my dad and brothers and I asked my dad about his beer. My older brother and I both took a sip. I remember us running to the bathroom spitting it up and trying to drink a lot of water. It was the most disgusting thing that I ever tried. I never want to drink one of these again, I remember thinking! Ha, yeah right!
I think the next time I had alcohol I was young again. I was about 14 or 15 years old. I went to parties with friends and right away I had experiences where I drank too much and blacked out. I was too young with no tolerance and had too much. Alcohol seemed to hit me harder than most people too. Being the rebel that I was, I continued to go out to parties on the weekends whenever our friend's parents went out of town and left the kids home alone. When I moved to Barrington from Schaumburg, this seemed to happen more often. I started college and joined a sorority. In the sorority there were tons of parties. On our bid night I threw up three times and it was the big joke that everyone laughed about. I mostly went out on the weekends so that I could pass my classes but many times parties or bars had specials during the week too. We had a full bar at all of our football blocks and more.
Soon after I finished college and was working. I graduated during a high economic time. Everyone was getting hired and at record high salaries. I was 21 when I graduated college with a Finance degree, this was a damn miracle all things considering. I had other distractions too, like I fell in love with someone who was at another school 4 hours away and I dated him for 4 years. He was from Barrington but that is another story. We all had plenty of money to live on our own and to go out as much as we wanted. I got hired by a consulting firm called EDS to help fix the Y2K bug as I graduated in '97. I was hired for their 2 year System Engineer Development program and I had to move to Santa Barbara, CA to be on-site with the client, Delco Defense Systems. It was like a dream! I had so much fun in California. I was outside year round and it was an amazing time of my life. I learned how to golf, surf, snowboard, play tennis, softball and volleyball. This may sound excessive but I was young with no family and these sports kept me out of the bars some of the time.
I had a job offer to move back to Chicago that offered to pay me double what I was making in Santa Barbara. After 3 years, I was missing my friends and family so I moved back. In Chicago there aren't as many things to do in the winter as you spend 9 months of the year indoors. I ended up hanging out with my college friends and I became a weekend warrior. I didn't drink a lot when I was working during the week but on the weekends I was definitely bing drinking. It was a miracle that I made it home sometimes. I passed out in taxi's. I fell asleep at bars as some of them were open until 4am and I was always trying to stay out as late as I could. I would party with my friends and dance and live it up. The times that we would start to go out seemed to start earlier and earlier and soon we were starting as soon as we got off of work. At my job in Chicago, it used to be a private partnership called Anderson Consulting. It then turned public and changed the name to Accenture. When it was a private firm, there were many company parties that were catered with open bar at Cubs games, boat cruises, night clubs, 5 course meals at top restaurants, you name it and I was living it up. If my friends wanted to go out of town for a weekend at South Beach or some other city to go party then we did. We all were doing well with our jobs. It was fun to even hang out with my dad and drink. He was my buddy and we would talk for hours about everything. I would sleep in the next days and watch movies and simply try to recover with a pounding headache. I was wearing my body out and making all sorts of foolish mistakes. I saw this the most in my relationships with guys. I was jumping from one relationship to another and somehow always chose the wrong person. Something needed to change and deep down I knew it but I was still in denial.
I decided to get into acting to get over my fear of getting up in front of people. I took an improv class because it was something fun and social and something that didn't involve alcohol. I loved it! I couldn't stop laughing out loud! I also was selling real estate after work for 4 years at my consulting jobs and then went full time for 2 years after that. At this time I was an alcoholic and I was struggling to find sober activities trying to improve my life. I then met my future husband and at the time he didn't even drink a coke. He didn't drink or do drugs. He would ask me out on running dates or meet him at the dog park and I was relieved. I was excited to meet someone who wasn't a big drinker. We moved in with each other right away after only 6 months and I was helping him start his dog training business. This was another exciting time of my life because I was so happy not to be working in a cubicle after 8 years in consulting, the real estate market crashed and I was starting to audition a lot. The dog training business was fun working with animals and I loved learning how to become an entrepreneur. Running the dog training business allowed me to have a flexible job so that I could be an actress in Chicago. I would work promotional jobs in between for extra income, work his dog training business and I would occasionally book an acting job. Life was good. I wasn't able to shake my drinking issue though. We soon had two new musical theater roommates, (my ex was a musical theater major) and we were having theater parties! It was a blast. All these super talented people would come over to the house and play music all night. We had a fire pit in the back yard where we would have jam sessions and have dogs running around everywhere or in people's laps.
It didn't take long until a friend gave us marijuana. At this time I didn't smoke weed for 6 years. I was never a big weed smoker, I was always more of a drinker. I really wanted to slow down my drinking because it was affecting me in a negative way. After 3 years of dating we get married and I'm pregnant. I had amazing self control when I was pregnant. I was able to quit everything. It was also the start of my health journey. This was not an overnight thing for me. My health journey is something that unfolded for 10 years and I did slip back into my addictions after birth. Becoming a mother was a huge motivation for me to heal. I had another baby and quit until after the birth of the second baby and then started again after a year or so. I was more careful because I didn't want anything in my breast milk. I focused on eating healthier because I couldn't control my substance abuse yet. I began making green juices and became a vegetarian after reading a raw food book and watching Dan MacDonald videos on youtube. I was getting chronic sinus issues that I wanted to heal. Changing my diet was hard and I didn't worry about my drinking or marijuana use. I was just happy to eat healthier. This whole time I still loved my athletics and was always doing something. I was always discipline about working out. I did either sports, aerobics, running, triathlons and eventually yoga. I wanted to be healthy and I saw how my mother was suffering with her health and I didn't want to suffer like her. I wanted to help her.
With added responsibilities of being a mother I slowed down drinking and was smoking marijuana mostly at the end of the day. All that really ended up happening was that I transferred my addiction for drinking to a different addiction of smoking weed. I was smoking on a daily basis and it wasn't long before I couldn't get high enough. I ended up getting a divorce and started living on my own again for the first time in 10 years. My mother needed help and I offered to help her and have her move in with me because my dad went into assisted living for Alzheimer's. I was strict high raw plant based vegan at this time. I really wanted to be healthy and healed except my addictions seems to follow me around like demons that I couldn't shake. I was in a yoga teacher training program and I didn't realize how much pain I was in. Every weekend that I went into this yoga teacher training I would cry. It was funny because I thought that I was already healed and so enlightened only to be humbled once again. I didn't just cry, I was sobbing like a water faucet that I couldn't turn off. I had to heal my soul. I had to find god. I had to find forgiveness as I was holding a lot of anger. I had to forgive myself. I had to find my authentic self once again. Somehow I lost the authentic Amy.
I saw a Facebook post that someone posted about quitting drinking for 30 days right after New Years, 2019. I was thinking to myself, I can do 30 days. Sure enough I made it! I was feeling so good that I slowed down smoking weed too. Before I knew it, I quit smoking. I was completely sober and not pregnant for the first time since I was a young teenager! Holy cow, how am I going to have fun? How am I going to find the fun Amy that seemed to come out when I was high? What I realized is that I had fear to become the fun Amy without some kind of substance. I was shy, insecure and lacked confidence. Somehow through my yoga practice, I developed stillness and I had wonderful mentors who really supported me and loved me. My internal strength grew. My yoga practice grew. My meditation practice became consistent. Just like how dance saved me from cocaine, yoga was saving me from my addictions. Somehow I was becoming whole after all those tears that came out and I started liking myself a lot. I was discovering the real Amy by being alone without the influence of others. It was a lonely time for me but an incredible amount of spiritual growth happened.
Sober life has been amazing! It has been anything but boring. All of a sudden, I found time that I needed to get my career goals done. I found a laser like focus that I never had before. It feels like I was living in a fog and the fog has been lifted and I can see clearly for the first time in years. I love being sober! I am able to listen to my intuition as I am more conscious. How can you even become multi-sensory when you consciously put yourself in an unconscious state? I couldn't do it. Substance abuse was a distraction. Eventually the high ended and I couldn't maintain it all the time. I wanted to evolve my soul, become present, become awake and feel joy all the time. I desperately wanted to heal. I have a lot of responsibilities. I'm now a care taker for three people plus helping my mother with my father in his assisted care. In the process of working on my career, I feel my soul getting stronger and I feel success coming as I'm taking the steps that I need to take to get there. Success doesn't come because you want it. You have to work for it, step by step by step. Forgiveness has been powerfully healing for me. I was angry with people that I loved and it was hurting me. Now nothing seems to matter more than these people that I love and serving them. In the process of healing myself, I am learning how to heal others. I have been doing Assisted Thai Yoga with people where I stretch them in yoga postures. Every single person that I have worked with suffers or is in pain in some way. I have a compassion for others that I never had before. My fear and insecurities changed into compassion and love. So many people are hurting and need love and compassion. You would have never known that I was suffering so much when you saw me because my pain was internal. I see people's fears and demons which is the unhealed parts of their soul. I can help and this is becoming my life's purpose.
Becoming sober has been the best thing that I have ever done. If you have never tried it, then I invite you to try it for 30 days. If you can make 30 days then try 60. I think it helps to go long enough to see how life is different over time. Best wishes to you all on your healing journey. I hope this story helps you find some internal strength to find some time for sobriety or to find compassion for someone who may be hiding their pain behind substance abuse. I want to continue my sober life. I am still early in my process as it has only been four months. All I know is that I like my life more than I ever did before. Sending you all much love, kindness and an incredible amount of compassion and love from this humbled yogi. Peace, Peace Peace!
I had this brilliant idea to take my mother with Parkinson's, my 4 year old and my 6 year old to Cirque du Soleil alone! What?!!!! Are you crazy? Yes I was, and I did. My kids have handled the movies just fine so I think all is well. I purchase the cheap tickets which for Cirque du Soleil, it doesn't matter because all the seats are good. I get my kids dressed to go. I put on a dress for me, a dress for my daughter and my son refuses to wear anything but his normal cloths. No big deal I say. We are about to leave and I was going to wear my cork wedge heels. My daughter has a white pair of wedge heels from a friend but they are two sizes too big for her still. I have to convince her to put on black flat sandals and she wants me to put on my flip flops. I put on black flats instead which is not what I normally wear but they are nicer for a dress. She throws a fit and tells me to put on my flip flops. I tell her no, I have a dress on and want to wear something nicer. I know she is jealous because she doesn't want me wearing anything nicer than her but they were only simple flats. They were just not the normal ones. She refuses to get into the car and yells at me and says, "mommy put on your flip flops" as she throws them at me. I refuse because she is only 6 and she is telling me what to wear. I don't want her getting into the habit of telling me what I can and can't do. I have to pick her up and put her in the car. I buckle in my son and my mother gets in the front. My daughter is still mad and cries for about 25 minutes. It stresses out my mother who yells "Pepper will you stop crying" and mocks her. I can tell that Pepper's feelings are hurt so I reach my hand back and tell her I love her. I hold her hand and say, it's just shoes baby. I love you. I say shhhh is a soft and gentle voice and she calms down.
We make it to the show and I drop off my mom in her walker and park. I walk up with my kids and my mom wants to get in fast so she cuts in front of everyone. She is mad at me for taking so long and other people are mad about cutting the line. I stay back because I just don't want to cut. We make it through and we do a potty break, my son and I go. We make it to our seats. Yay! Everyone is excited! My mom doesn't sit by us in our assigned seats because she doesn't want to part with her walker. She sits at the end of the aisle. They kids are good the first half of the first half of the show.
My son wants to sit on my lap. My daughter gets jealous that I'm holding him and not her. She wants to sit on the other knee. Now I have two kids in my lap and they are pushing each other for more space on mommies lap. Ahhhhh. I tell them they have to both go back to sitting on their booster seats. My son is really tired so I feel bad but I also don't want them sitting on me anymore. He starts crying and throws his booster seat on the floor. I arrange it so he can sit on the booster seat on the floor after making attempts to get him back in his seat. There is a little girl in front of Pepper who is about her age eating popcorn. All of a sudden she is hungry even though we ate before we left. Intermission! Thank god!
We take them for a walk to the other side of the arena and back to blow off steam. My daughter uses the potty and River, my son sits on my mother's walker while she pushes him. We make it back in the show for the second half. We sit down and my daughter starts whining for cotton candy and popcorn. Popcorn alone is $10 plus I don't feel like either item is healthy so I don't but either one. I already spent $200 on tickets. I say no because I don't want to buy her stuff if I take her out every time. I don't want her thinking she can whine her way into getting whatever she wants. She whines for 20 minutes and I keep telling her to be quiet. I can see she wants to break my beaded bracelet that I let her wear so I take it away. Now she is crying so I have to get up and carry both kids out. I tell her we have to leave because she is crying. My mom takes my son for a walk while I work on talking to her to see if she'll calm down enough to go back into the show or if we should leave. She doesn't want to leave and cries that she wants to stay. I tell her she has to stop crying. She agrees so I go into a different door because I'm embarrassed to sit in our old seats.
We sit down and she starts whining again that she wants to sit in her old seats. It continues...and continues. I finally agree to go to the old seats just to make it through the show. We walk out and I see my mom. We make it back to our old seats and sit down. My son falls completely asleep. I hold him and my daughter lets me because she sees that he is really asleep. We somehow make it through the show and it's over. I have to carry my son out and hold my daughter's hand. My mom walks out with her walker. I'm dying because my son is really heavy. My mom gets lost but I keep moving because my arms are going to break. I race back to the car and check my phone. My mom sent me a text asking me where I am and that she is hurting. I pick her up and drive home.
My daughter wants Mexican food but I have to run to teach a yoga class or I'll be late for work. We call their dad. He said he already ate and that he'll make them dinner at home. She whines for Mexican food for 20 minutes. I tell her I have to go to work and she has to talk to her daddy. Honestly, I was really wishing I had help. I will wait a year or 2 before I take them to something like this again. I also don't want to go without help. I was trying to stay calm but honestly I was really overwhelmed. I knew that they might be a little challenging but I didn't think it would be so hard. They did get to enjoy some of the show. I was hoping to inspire their creativity and encourage my daughter with her gymnastics. I wanted my mom to have a nice time at a show because she almost never leaves the house. As I'm driving home I think, "there's no place like home". I drop everyone off and go to work and somehow compose myself enough to teach a serene yoga class.
Who knew being a parent could be so tough? The kids stay at their dads house and I go home and watch a Gary Zukav video on Overwhelm. He says you have to find the source, like why did I feel the need to take my kids to this show? He teaches how to stay calm in all situations so that overwhelm never overwhelms you. I can't control things outside of myself. He teaches how to find your authentic power by not letting the things outside of your control impact your emotions. This was my overwhelming practice for the day to find my inner peace through the chaos. I pass out early! I love my pillow! To all the parents out there...does this ever happen to you? How do you do it? How do you find your calm when you feel overwhelmed? Let's be there for each other. Yes sometimes, I need help. I'm not perfect but I'm trying my best.
Today I meditated and for some reason I wrestled with closing my eyes. I meditated, wide eyed. Last night I was also restless when I did a sound bath chakra color meditation. The music was beautifully lit with candles and salt lamps in front of a fireplace and there I was wide awake. As I go back to my meditation today, I'm sitting in my pool house and it's later in the morning than usual for me, like 9:30am. The Florida heat is starting to come mid-April and I'm hot. As I'm looking around I notice all these lizards all over my pool house. The lawn company weed whacked the bottom of my screen on the pool house and I'm waiting to get the whole pool house re-screened with Seabreeze. I had some pine trees above my pool house and there are pine needles everywhere. Those are the worst to get off a pool house. I had 2 pines taken out over my pool house so that when it's re-screened then this doesn't happen anymore. I still have lots of trees in my backyard. I love it. I have landscaping inside the pool house where lizards jump off the plants and move about. They flash their bright orange throats. There are dark gray ones, green ones and black ones. I look to the left and there is a big lizard sitting on top of a little lizard. They look like they are hugging or mating but they are still. Are they looking at me? In the distance I see Sand Hill Cranes hunting in the retention pond behind my house. I know they hunt roaches but I think they also eat lizards. I feel sad for the lizards but I also like the cranes and know they have to eat. I recognize the noises that Sand Hill Cranes make. Far in the distance I see an Armadillo walk across my neighbors lawn. I love nature. It's a treat to be outside meditating in the fresh air and the morning light.
I finally close my eyes to focus on my auras since I'm having a hard time concentrating. Right away I see a fuchsia red in the middle. I focus on it more and it shimmers in the shape of a bright beautiful red rose surrounded by black. I looked up the image that I was seeing and it looked similar to the one above. The article for this picture was all about love bombing. That is a coincidence because I fell victim to love bombing in a past relationship. I dated someone who would leave me notes on my windshield, cards in my car, balloons, flowers, surprise visits, gifts, help fixing me house and showering me with attention. It seemed too good to be true. I fell for this person hard because it made me feel special when I was in a vulnerable scary part of my life. I trusted this person right away and opened up about many of my fears. I felt safe.
The only thing is that I wasn't safe. He had lots of other girls that he would also go out with alone on platonic lunches, dinners, outings, etc. Platonic was the claim but I doubt it. His group of girlfriends didn't like me and I didn't even really know them. I suspect this guy was talking poorly about me with them. Somehow he kept us all separate so that we never talked with each other alone. I put up with it because I was emotionally attached by all the love bombing that happened in the beginning of the relationship. I was being covertly manipulated and didn't see it. He convinced me to change my life for him. When I followed through and did what he requested, then he moved in and said he had no money for his half of the rent. I was furious because I got divorced earlier than I was ready to for this person and we made plans for months. I am a mother with young children and this guy pushed hard for my divorce and claimed monogamy with me and he was going to fulfill all my dreams. My kids would go to the best private school, he says. I left a financially secure situation with two children for this guy and he let me down. I felt so betrayed because he knew way in advance about his finances and he lied. The soul can't stand being lied to. I was terrified. I had to face my biggest fear in life, being a single mother with 2 babies and no career. I worked for my ex-husband's company for years so I didn't have anything else. What am I going to do? I felt foolish. I ended the relationship because I lost trust.
I've spent the last year and a half re-building my life and my career. The other day I pulled an oracle card at my friends house and it said, "Be Your Own Hero". This was the perfect card for me! I needed to become my own hero so that I could start over and rely on myself over anyone else. It's damn good advice. I have no problem working hard but I needed help with my kids. They were only 2 and 4 at the time. My ex-husband was very supportive with helping me while I attended trainings. He was there for me after I fell flat on my face with the guy that I left him for. His unconditional love for me was humbling. I developed deep compassion and forgiveness for others by my experience. My mother ended up moving in and helped even more. Lately life has been good. I'm on track with re-building my life and it's exciting. Being your own hero is the most empowering thing that has ever happened to me. Yes there are good days and bad days but overall, I'm happy. In the future, I will be aware of love bombers and I will be my own hero! Peace. Love. Forgiveness. Trust in the Universe. Learn your lessons. Don't let a love bomber fool you.
I grew up in a turbulent home. There was verbal violence and physical violence at the height of the disfunction in my family. I grew up in Schaumburg, IL and moved to South Barrington, IL when I was 15. I had two years of high school left and my parents said that if I made honor roll then they would make sure I had a car to use to finish school at Schaumburg High School. They changed their mind and the next thing I know I'm at Barrington High School trying to make new friends at this "yuppy" high school in my mind's eye. Schaumburg is more middle class and Barrington is very wealthy. It wasn't uncommon to drive the neighborhoods and look at all the different mansions in the area. The student parking lot had more expensive cars than the teachers. The combination of the disfunction that was happening in my family and moving at a ripe age of 15 put me in a very vulnerable position. I wanted friends and I also felt super intimidated moving into this wealthy neighborhood. To top it off, I was pissed off about my family.
One blessing that happened to me at Barrington High School was that they had an option to take dance class everyday instead of gym. I took some dance when I was younger and a year at Schaumburg High School after I broke my growth plate in my left arm in gymnastics and switched sports because it took a long time to straighten my arm again. I LOVED DANCE with a MAJOR passion!!!!! I loved it at Schaumburg but without daily practice, it was harder to progress as fast. At Barrington we practiced everyday, I got really good really fast. I had incredible grounding in my feet and could pirouette fiercely. Pada bouree single pirouette pada bouree single pirouette quickly turned into pada bouree double pirouette and then into triples. My turns were my forte! I could spot the wall perfectly and turn with conviction and spot and turn with power and spot and turn. It was amazing what was happening to me! Somehow with a little cultivation, I developed into an amazing dancer. I had an athletic ability within me that I didn't know existed. It helped me develop confidence and pride in my work. I loved the music, the creativity and expressing myself through movement. Somehow I could let out all that anger that I had within me out on the dance floor. The fact that I was so involved in dance kept me away from home and some of the drama.
I was doing a performance and a producer saw one of my shows and asked me to audition for his professional dance team. I go to the audition and I make the team! I had dance daily at school instead of gym and then after school I did either pom's, orchises (dance team) or a musical. I liked pom's better than cheerleading simply because it was more dance. I had the professional dance team practice on Sundays all day from 10am till 5 or 6pm. These were long days!!! Sometimes we would also meet another night during the week or the weekends. I also did a pageant, but that's another story!
I was nerdy at Schaumburg High School with my braces and I was my popular older brother's younger sister. My nickname for a long time was Little Hendricks (my maiden name). At Barrington my braces came off, I became an excellent dancer and somehow I had lots of friends. Life was changing for me in so many ways. It was also a time when my mom when into the hospital to get an optional hysterectomy because of benign cysts. The hysterectomy was a disaster. They accidentally cut her colon and an artery and she never had an enema. She had toxemia in her blood and almost died. They started the surgery late like 5pm on a Friday night and it lasted hours later like 10pm when it should have ended much sooner. She later had exploratory surgeries that confirmed lesions on her colon. She had IBS before her surgery but after the surgery she developed an infection and was pooping green. Her health was never the same.
I would visit her at 17 years old since I had my license and I could drive to the hospital on my own. I was trying to think of ways to make her feel better post surgery and didn't realize how sick she was. The doctor covered up the accident and we didn't get confirmation of the mistake until years later. Since she had a hysterectomy, I wanted her to still feel like a woman. I show up at the hospital and give her a Play Girl magazine. I lay next to her on the hospital bed as we check out the different shapes and sizes of the male penis! What the heck was I thinking, ha! Anyway, she laughed a lot and we bonded. She later told me that it meant a lot to her that I did that. I was one of the few people to visit her when she was very hurt. It broke my heart to see her like this. My mom was always strong and I adored her.
I go to a super huge mansion party in Barrington with some of my beautiful friends from high school. We were around all these really wealthy people and there was cocaine. I was an emotional hot mess because my mom was sick, my parents used to have battles, my brothers would violently react and my dad would drink, a lot. I just moved to a new area and needed some kind of stability. I used to find my stability in my friends because my family life was too unpredictable. I started drinking at 15 and was already experimenting with marijuana. My friend wanted to go and do cocaine because it was a "rich man's drug". I felt extra privileged to be at this fancy party and to have access to this expensive drug. It was a Saturday night. I didn't want to pass up on the opportunity as you never know when the proposal would be made again. I debate it back and forth yes I want to do it! But I had my professional dance team practice the next day for approximately 8 hours! I knew cocaine keeps you up all night and I would be exhausted if I did it. So the only reason why I never did cocaine was because of my mad love affair with dance.
Later on I had another opportunity in Spain to try it but my brother got into it and it was destroying his life. I adored my older brother so much. He was the Cool Kid. It was hard for me to watch how a drug can hurt someone so much. I vowed to never touch the stuff after seeing what it did to him. This doesn't mean I was in the clean with destructive activities but I never touched cocaine and only saw it two times in my life.
I don't judge anyone for doing drugs or not. I've tried my fair share. Heck, I almost tried cocaine and I'm sure that if I did it then I would have fallen really into it. Dance saved me. I was an emotional train wreck despite my success. Somehow dance grounded me. I think about this with my children who are still so young and tender. How can I as a mother help them find something that they love as much as I loved dance so they can have something to keep them grounded? Thank you dance. Thank you athletic ability. Thank you Barrington High School for offering dance instead of gym. Thank you all for listening to my super vulnerable story. I feel exposed but if this can in anyway help anyone then it served it's purpose. Much love to you all. As always, comments, feedback and your experiences welcome:)
I don't like going to the doctor. I avoid it at all costs unless I have done everything else to remedy the situation first. I pulled my hamstring from doing the splits last fall in yoga, about 5 or 6 months ago. My right splits are more open and in efforts to be more flexible on my left side I pulled the muscle. I also I pulled my sacroiliac joint out of the socket because the tension from my pulled hamstring was pulling the joint down. That's a lot of pulling! I tried stretching, taking time off, different exercises to heal the pain that I was feeling but nothing was helping. My pulled hamstring has healed. However the joint was still out of the socket and it was pinching my si nerve. When I do certain things like forward folds, I would feel pain. The pain was mild but nagging and chronic. I could still do my yoga classes while being careful. My yoga teacher and friend Gina Keefe said that she had nagging pain in her foot after a surgery and she had a chiropractic adjustment and the pain was gone. I was impressed after hearing this and told her about my issue. She gave me a referral to see Dr Peter Brockman and I was off.
I go to the chiropractor and I tell him about the injury. He puts me face down on the table to measure my legs and sure enough, one is slightly longer than the other. He turns me to my side in the fetal position, puts one hand on my shoulder and the other on my hip and literally pushes up really hard. The adjustment seemed almost violent! I heard some bones crack and the issue is fixed! I'll know for sure after a few days. I'm scared to try anything too crazy right now because I don't want to pop it out of the socket again. What the heck! I've been suffering for like six months because of my stubborn resistance to go see a chiropractor. If this works then I'm super impressed. It literally took the chiropractor about 5 to 10 seconds to do the adjustment and problem solved. 1 appointment later, pain free, problem solved. I am thankful we have doctors and I am humbled as I learn something new. If you have been chronically suffering with any kind of injury then I recommend going to a chiropractor to have it checked out. Dr. Pete Brockman in Clermont was awesome. It might be a quick fix. Do you have any chiropractic experiences that you want to share? Please do! Good Luck and much love!
Wednesday's my 4 year old boy, River doesn't have pre-school. I wake up early to teach a 7am yoga class and come home to meditate. Grandma and my 4 year old are home. I'm distracted as heck meditating on Wednesdays. I go out to my pool house and within 8 minutes my little boy scratches his foot on the screen door coming outside. We have a bandaid crisis because we ran out of bandaids. I give him a big bear hug and he melts into me. It's not so bad to be distracted sometimes:) . I rub his back and say, I love your hugs, awe. He goes to play with his lego men and toy boat. I go back outside to meditate and he comes out again. He climbs all over me. Then he says a bird pooped on your head. I respond only by making a gross looking face. He laughs. Now the bird poops on my ears and eyes and shoulders. I make more yucky faces and he laughs and laughs and laughs. He has an evil giggle. I then tell him he's a yucky boy. He responds and says I'm a yucky boy! I say, I'm not a boy. Evil laugh, yes you are! No I'm not, silly face! Lots of laughing. He climbs on me again and he has the softest, silkiest skin. I can't resist but to tickle his armpits and then under his chin. He laughs and gives me hugs. A bird pooped on your head, he says! No, I say! Evil giggles. This goes on and on. Why do little kids love poo poo talk? Later on his daddy told me that he took them to the park a bird really did poop on him and the kids thought it was really funny. Just the word poop makes them laugh:) He is a charming, beautiful, yucky boy! I love him! Again, getting distracted isn't so bad. He wants pancakes. He pulls my hand and leads me to the house. He only wants mommy to make pancakes. He doesn't want grandma to make pancakes. I go in and make pancakes. They are already made in the freezer and I go in and pop them in the toaster feed him and go back out.
I have 15 more minutes. I close my eyes and my mom comes out. She knows I'm meditating so she quietly walks past me and I keep my eyes closed. I try not to let her energy distract me but it's there and even though neither one of us says anything, we can feel it. She can't stay quiet for long. After 5 minutes she says, "that bush needs to be trimmed". Then she gets up to go get the clippers and trim the bush. She likes to do yard work in the morning before the sun gets too hot. She likes it when everyone is at home. She just moved here and doesn't have an established group of friends yet so her social life revolves around the family. To be honest, I like having her here too. Pleasant mornings.
The alarm rings which is fine because I'm distracted listening to her struggle to trim a bush right next to me. I go in to write my blog before I forget. I write a paragraph and their daddy stops by. He sits right next to me in the office. It's distracting to write with him here. River wants to drive his toy car so we go outside and help him with his car. My mom ropes Darrel into picking up leaves with her and I race inside to finish writing. I make a smoothie and sit down. River wants a movie on and they all come inside. I go back into the office after I turn on Monster House for the millionth time. I sit down to write and Darrel follows me in. I can barely focus so I hurry to finish. This is just how my morning is going. I have a Thai Yoga session today so I'm going to get ready for that. Sometimes getting distracted by people you love isn't so bad. Goodbye beautiful people! I hope no birds poop on your heads! Evil laugh! Chao!