yes to this year.. yes to everything..

 

I spent the last two weeks of December saying no and it was perfect. I said no for more space to rest, to work emails and teaching, to my anxiety about the whole holiday in general. I find myself saying no to it all now: new inspiration, new paths, new goals for this new year. And no to feeling any guilt about it.

Feeling lackluster is not new to me. I love feeling disgruntled by my own role in this slightly dysfunctional industry and I love investigating ways to rekindle my passion for why I’ve chosen this as my life’s work (not just a ‘job’). So, when I have a few extra days over the holidays to fill my own cup but then am happy to slide back in no more uplifted or spiritually insightful than when I was in the daily grind, it’s weird. It’s weird that I’m not struggling to be different than this. I am a 36 year old woman, teaching yoga, raising a family, I took time for nothing around Christmas time, wrote this little piece, I have pretty good days on most days.

Here I land at a place that is uneasily different from what I thought I knew. This place where I’m ready for the future of my yoga life and also this place empty of guilt, of the need for validation or affirmation.

This new level of indifference has spawned from my recent flurry of no’s. Yet, however I got here, it’s feeling too negative and stagnant. Is NO becoming my new protocol as a way of setting boundaries (and should NO be the only to establish them)? Or am I just taking this self-care kick really far? And if no is my new modus operandi, then how will I stay motivated?

My primal drive to be accepted and the best is dissipating, and it crept in slowly as I transitioned into motherhood.  And now navigating these waters of right and wrong, good and bad, yes and no lead me to the same thing every time: it doesn’t matter, what goes on in my head isn’t such a big deal after all.

If my perceived dramas and days where my words are not revolutionary aren’t as important as I once thought, then what?  … then I must re-evaluate and find a YES. Yes is a nice balance to that. As I reflect, I realize that beyond this state of coasting, of simply living each day, of lacking creativity and a mild indifference about it – I do notice a deep and subtle throb within – whispering to me that it’s time. Time to create, time to LISTEN UP, time to re-commit to whatever my practice is, time to fine tune my offerings.

I’ve been saying no to so much for a long time now – not just the holiday hustle. And it’s beautiful how my body and heart have been thriving along with the ease and spaciousness felt with my family. I have fallen in love with the power of no. Even if now I’m stuck on how much further I can really go with it. It’s time to start saying yes for a multitude of new reasons. I want to say yes to the new quieter callings because they arise from ME, from something much more real and lasting than the ‘shoulds’ or for approval. I want to say yes because my light will eventually dim if I fight my natural course of action for this life with more hiding, or resting, or simply as a pushback.

I’m going to start saying yes to life (ya girl, I’m that girl right now), to learning, to creativity, to people. Even amidst the no’s I declared last year, I still managed to align more deeply with family and intentional projects, lead new trainings, connect with all types of people, trust unconditionally in my loved ones. Within this list, my bold no’s clearly led to a finer attunement of priorities and passions. So in actuality, my life is filled with yesses.

Saying yes has come on as slowly as the no’s trickled in…

No to yoga events that don’t align with me.

No to the parties.

No to the small talk.

No to new collaborations.

No to anything that drains my daughter’s energy levels.

No to my own thoughts or emotions about other people’s judgments in how I care for my family.

No to holding grudges.

No to anger.

Thank you for teaching my heart and my physical body how to draw boundaries and how to let go, you wise old NO. Through you, I have touched upon freedom and my disposition feels balanced. The confusion and drama I allowed before are somewhat less pronounced.

It was tedious, it was a long time coming, this new way of being, of discernment, of no.  And equally so is the process of accepting and embodying this YES within. I’ve been making excuses against listening to all that is a yes: I don’t have time, my family is more important, I can’t connect to my instincts right now, making money trumps the energy needed to listen to my passions, I’m too distracted by daily tasks such as social media promo, class planning, travel prep, house chores, volunteer events. Now, atop this plateau where my excuses no longer bear any weight, I’m disappointed in them for being so feeble and also impressed that they fooled me for so long.  The wind is shifting and I’m no longer toiling with the stagnant inner discourse of self-loathing or confusion about where this ‘lifestyle’ will lead me or if I’m suited for this career.  Perhaps what keeps me going now is simple contentment, gratitude for the uncertain moments and feeling ok with uncomfortable phases in limbo that we all experience. I want to say yes to plain old regular rituals simply for my own satisfaction (not to compare or compete with others, not to be more fit or attractive, not to be more spiritual, not to make more money).

There’s no other way. This lives in me. Always has. I just couldn’t see this pure and quite plain type of YES.

The thing is, I don’t know what I’m saying yes to. I know it’s a combination of what is ideal for my own healing, learning and creative process, for the classes I lead and for my loved ones – family is everything.

I’m hesitant to write a list or to call anything into action or being. I sense that the minute I try to verbalize it or pen it to paper, it loses its authenticity, it loses its safe and dark home in the depths of my soul. And anyway, why rush such a sweet and innocent practice of listening? No one needs my answer, everything is fine and good as it is now.

I am listening, I know I must. And the voice inside is urging me against trying to resolve any of what I have shared here. I’m wary of letting silly old habits and insecurities motivate my every word, my every move, my every thought. Leave it blank, leave it open, leave it messy, leave it hanging. Every yes will arise within these spaces. 

Posted on January 9, 2018 .

for a new beginning..

out.jpg

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

 John O Donohue

Posted on January 9, 2018 .

it's in her spirit..

ocean.jpg

There was a time I considered myself spiritual.
I would build altars, chant alone and do yoga poses.
I would simultaneously judge, rage and project all the wounds from my past.
I would try to be present.

I’m ready for just one day where I wake fully certain of who I am and trusting that all I engage in is spiritual.
I’m ready to believe that my past is ok, right now is ok and what lies ahead is ok.
I’m ready for a day where my physical body is ‘pain free’, where I can honour its ravishing beauty.
I’m ready for a conversation that I leave unfazed about whether or not I talked too much, asked enough interesting questions, appeared calm, understanding, ‘on brand’ and zen enough.

During the time when I considered myself spiritual, I was confused about how to safely and wisely guide others ... I would feel guilt that my established rituals could instantly die at my own whim ...There was an underlying feeling of exhaustion from comparing, competing and growing old ... I’d curl up and cry feeling stuck in the patterns of my ancestors .. I would read old notebooks and realize I’ve been enduring this ‘experience’ of spirituality for probably 9 or maybe 12 years.

I’ve always loved the ritual of lighting incense because the familiar scent was a comforting reminder of a self I thought I could be...
So now, I’ll light that or a candle or a spark or whatever I get my desperate hands on first. I’ll keep praying to unlock the puzzle of my dear body, to resolve the crevasses that I dig into my heart, to forgive myself for holding on to so much for much too long.

So now, I’ll wake each morning mimicking the angelic song of my daughter. I’ll wake and greet her joy for life with an equally excited melody and a symphony of kisses, jokes and notes of innocence. Her sound always reminds me of something spiritual I’ve spent lifetimes yearning to breathe in.

Posted on October 16, 2017 .

a path with heart..

explosion.jpg

“What matters is how we live. This is why it is so difficult and so important to ask this question of ourselves: “Am I living my path fully, do I live without regret?” so that we can say on whatever day is the end of our life, “Yes I have lived my path with heart.”

(Jack Kornfield)

Posted on October 16, 2017 .

the questions. the truth.

mandala.jpg

“The unconscious life is just that – unconscious. You aren’t even aware that you aren’t aware of anything. You just think about the basics of life – food, clothing, money. It never occurs to you to wonder about for what purpose were you created. And then, once you ask that question, you can’t stop asking it again and again. It always leads to another truth”

(Caroline Myss)

Posted on October 16, 2017 .

enough.

mindful sunset.jpg

“Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now” (David Whyte)

Posted on October 16, 2017 .