I want to speak on my experience living in Europe thus far, but I genuinely find it inappropriate. I have been writing everyday but haven’t been able to share any of it. Then, today I came to the conclusion, “why do I have to?”
Part of me wants to share every success and every defeat along my journey, but the other half of me believes it’d be best to make moves quietly. I will say this... These past few months have been stressful as f*ck. Sprinkled throughout this “Lynda leaps herself out of America and into Europe” experience, I have had many ups and downs. I am learning to embrace each as great writing material, all while learning about my excuses I’ve created along the years. Here’s the thing, I am growing. A lot. And it doesn’t necessarily feel good.
I have noticed that I have been trying to prevent this growth for many years. And with each resistant push comes more pain. And for some reason I have continued this vicious cycle since I can remember. But I’ve also learned, for many of us, this is natural. Yes, I have many dreams and goals, but I know damn well I can’t just expect those to *poof* magically be achieved overnight. And you most definitely cannot expect anything, but disappointment, from not putting in any work at all.
How many of you come up with beautiful goals for yourself but watch another day, another month, another year, pass by with what seems like no progression? Either because you didn’t actually put in any work to make it happen, or because it seems your efforts didn’t get you very far. Here’s the thing, you can’t blame anyone but yourself for not doing what it takes to fulfill your goals. If you are one of those people who have self-sabotaged at some point in your life, trust you are not alone. It’s normal to fall back when shit gets difficult. To be discouraged when things don’t necessarily go as planned. But continuing this pattern won’t get you very far in life. And giving up just because you feel your work hasn’t gotten you to the top YET, is a huge mistake.
You see, I have been putting myself down heavily lately because I felt like I hadn’t accomplished much with where I’m at so far. Part of this is true. I have allowed myself to stand in my own way with many things. But then I also remembered, I’ve been building towards this move for a few years now. Yes, plans have changed shape along the way. Regardless, here I am. And I don’t think I have given myself enough credit for that until now. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Because I know most wouldn’t have the balls to do something (this stupid... just kidding) this difficult. For me, it has been EXTRA difficult because I battle with anxiety and depression. Sometimes, the simplest tasks can be the most difficult..
Getting out of bed.
Having a simple conversation.
However, through the moments of despair I have found it even more of a feat to overcome and accomplish. In the end, it’s so much more rewarding once I do make it over each obstacle. This is something I remind myself each time I’ve found myself glued to my bed, feeling incapable of living. I know some people who can’t relate to such feelings, but I also know MANY people who can.
For those of you reading who resonate, applaud yourself. Be kind to yourself for all your efforts. Don’t be ashamed when you fail, because it’s impossible to grow, or succeed, without failure. Failure is a part of the process. You will find yourself down before you can pick yourself up. If you think about it, the REAL failure is giving up. The rest is just growth. You can always decide to change your mind along the way. Deciding something isn't for you along the way is OK too! We are humans after all. In life, there is always room for improvement and change. You just have to believe in yourself and your worth. For some of us, some days just seem impossible. But if you can remember that you are not alone. That you do have a purpose. That you are important. Then you WILL succeed.
My mom always said, “if there's a will, there's a way”
Well, I'm taking that will and making a f*cking way!
I have had many people reach out to me about their anxiety and depression. I am no therapist but it always helps to have one, or at least someone to listen. Even if you don't suffer from mental illness, having someone to talk to helps greatly. And it is nothing to be ashamed of. I always leave myself open for people who feel like they need someone to talk to, someone to confide in, whatever the reason. If someone approaches you needing to talk because they are hurting, don't put them down because of it. Be kind. And if you don't feel you are the right person to give any advice, be honest. Find compassion in your heart to help others in whatever way you can. Don't be so quick to judge or ridicule. You don't know what that person might be going through in their life.
Love is so much more powerful than hate, remember that.
Why are we always so nosey.. excuse me.. "curious" about another's business?
Why feed off one another like a bunch of angry, bottomless leaches,
awaiting to attack at any moment? For our own sick pleasure?
The thing about putting yourself out there, in any event, is that you are immediately opening the door for criticism of ALL sorts.
The problem with being "a topic of interest" is that shared words travel as fast as the poison in the bite from that snake next door.
He feeds off your energy, if you allow him to.
Offering you his negative energy in exchange, poisoning your positive energy
if you aren't strong enough to reject his venom.
The angry side of me, the negative side of me, who resurfaces in times of weakness, feels the only solution is to fight back with a raging fire.
Burn it all down, every bit. Flare my fists at anyone who interferes.
The other side of me, the one I strive to let win every bout, reassures me nothing good comes from fighting fire with fire. The high I receive from that type of release is only temporary and quickly turns sour.. every-damn-time.
I, in exchange, remind myself that it is ok. Everyone has issues.
And I can't fix them.
Some people are so bored they have nothing else better to do but try to bring you down with them. They hide their jealousy in jokes, beneath fake grins. Or spit it out with no sense of respect or mercy. They haven't secured their happiness, so they try to destroy your own.
The bottom line is.. most people are not going to mind their own business.
No matter how nicely you might ask. No matter how private you might try to be. And especially, if you put yourself out there for the world to see. People are going to talk no matter what. This is why I share my words. Share my feelings, my experiences. Because I know I am not alone. Because I know there are people out there who need to hear it. People who are boiling inside. Who are hurting from being bullied. Who haven't found a way around the hate or a way to silence all the noise.
You can ask someone politely to mind their own business, or
you can scream in frustration and tell them to hop off your shit.
Or... you can ignore them and let them talk.
Trust me, you can only shut up ignorance for so long.
Refrain from giving a rude individual too much attention, if any at all.
A wise friend recently told me,
"Lately, I've been trying to throw around peace signs
instead of middle fingers."
Whichever direction you choose to go, don't let it bring you down.
Don't let it take over what really matters to you.
Don't let it stop you from living happy and free.
You can't force another to mind their business,
so confuse them by minding your own.
Let them talk.
And f*ck the rest.
Sometimes in life, when that alarm clock goes off and you sluggishly roll over to hit snooze, you can't help but pause in dread and think, “not today, Satan” (aka, alarm clock, aka life, aka “snowstorm” in “spring”. Well, that day was today for me. I had just caught my 3rd cold, or whatever, of the season and was still recovering. And of course, today was meant to be my busiest day of the week. Good ‘ol hump day. My Wednesday’s start as followed: Teach Slow Flow yoga class at 9 to 10 AM. Break. Teach Stretch & Relax at 12:15 to 1 PM. Relax. Work from 5 to 1:30 AM. The end. Now, I hate to break it to you all, but I don’t ALWAYS enjoy yoga. And today I was secretly wishing to be snowed into my comfy apartment, sacrificing any money that could be made for my laziness and melancholy feels. But, then I remembered, I must be better than that. And so, I drove my ass to class. Once noon rolled around and the snow continued to pass and go, I knew the possibility of me having the night off at this point was probably not going to happen. And so, I accepted my possible fate. And continued to move forward with the easiest challenge of my day: teach my Stretch & Relax yoga /meditation class. Let me tell you, what happens next in this story was nothing less than extraordinary, and definitely not coincidental. Well, not to me anyways. You be the judge..
This woman, let’s call her Faith, had just started yoga and had no idea what to expect with my class seeing as she had never been to it before. Simply put, Stretch & Relax includes gentle yoga stretches and ends with a guided meditation. Little did me or Faith know, we both were meant to share what was to follow within the next hour as these unusual moments continued to unfold one after another. Starting with this one..
Faith was a little chatty. I could tell she had a lot to release.. A lot of pain, tension, and stress, which she was looking to let go of. My only assumption was that this was part of the reason why she had started yoga. Which makes my heart happy, so I felt grateful to have this woman let me be her guide. Well, during the stretching part of class Faith started talking about how she was trying to let go of the past and how she was reminded of this quote while doing my breathing exercise—“Exhale the past, inhale the future” she said, as she motioned with her hands up and down her body as if she was imagining herself exhaling her past and inhaling her future. Imagine to my surprise when Faith said this aloud and I remembered that that morning I had put on my shirt that has printed these EXACT lines on the sleeves. Of course, Faith didn’t know this because I was wearing a crewneck sweater over my shirt. My eyes grew wide as I confessed this “coincidental” occurrence to her as I began to take off my sweater and show her my shirt. If you know me, you know I fiend for these moments; I really enjoy those times that the universe perfectly aligns me with another. And in this particular moment, it just reassured me that I had to make sure I made this experience extra special. So, I quickly decided once we’d transition into the meditation part of class that I would use this quote as my theme. And so the weirdness continued..
When one is really open to letting their mind step back and breath take over, real magic happens. You notice things, things you maybe couldn’t notice before. You start let go of the ego, accept what is, and enter into the realm of “Samadhi”, aka Patanjali’s 8th and final limb of yoga.
I touched on a few important things during this meditation;
1. Setting YOUR serene perfect scene. A place where you feel most at peace.
2. Repeating silently, my favorite affirmation: “You are already healed. You are already whole. You are love itself. You are peace itself.” (Thank you, Lena)
3. Chakra colors! (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Royal Blue, Purple)
4. Playing the singing bowls – my favorite.
Now, let's fast-forward to the end of my guided meditation, where Faith and I shared her ultimate transcendental experience.
With gentle tears in her eyes, Faith stated how she had a dear love for the ocean, so that was her place of choice. She began to explain how the ocean's salt water can be a very naturally healing thing. She voiced how even before I mentioned the affirmation, that she was having these thoughts of being healed. Well, Faith got even more freaked out when I started to ask her to repeat the affirmation which includes that line stating, “I am already healed”.
“I started to think, ok! Is this girl in my head?!” We laughed.
“And then”, she exclaimed, “before you even got into the colors, I was seeing purple!!” Little did Faith know, she was just as in tune with the present moment and her “pure consciousness” as I was. Purple ties into your crown chakra, which is located at the top of your head.
I like to go with feeling, my gut, my “higher power” if you will, always. So, it wasn’t surprising to me that all these connections had been made in such a short period of time with a complete stranger. One thing I didn't mention out loud was that while I used my singing bowls on Faith, which happened to be at the end of the meditation, I felt a heavy pull to Faith’s head. This all made sense to me once she shared her experience, tying every lovely thread together.
Needless to say, I also let go during my class. I let go of my desire to be lazy and depressed that I had to possibly go to work in shitty weather. I accepted what was and ultimately what was meant to be. Which is this moment right now. And every moment leading to now. The moment I spent alone in annoyance whilst I dragged my feet out of bed and to the studio. To the moment where I found peace and acceptance within while sharing such a divine experience with Faith. Leading to when I got the text that I would have the night off from work. And finally, to now. As my hands are at my keys. Sharing this very story with you. In fact, you too were meant to be wherever you are now, reading this very story.
Ain’t that some shit?
A very special thank you to Yoga On Union, the yoga studio that I teach at, for allowing this interaction to be possible. Juliet, you are the shit.
Also, thank you to Faith, for keeping my faith alive, reminding me that everything happens for a reason, and to find happiness in the simple things..
Oh, and also reminding me that I am one badass teacher.
And last but not least, thank you thank you thank you, to Lakshmi Rising for being that beaconing light that helped shine all this special knowledge into my head...
Liz & Lena, all my gratitude to you two very magical women. Namaste.
Life has a funny way of testing us. Have ya noticed yet?
As we enter into the beginning of another year, contemplation settles and new goals manifest as we begin to ask ourselves, “What can I do better?”
For me, 2017 was one of many lessons. A time of learning to let go and welcome in. A time to heal, grow, and simply allow myself to take a break and just BREATHE.
“ If you honour your pain it will change your life ”
- Tori Hartman
This past fall I was involved in a car accident. Minor, yes, but I have trauma from past accidents and was having one hell of a month. So, in my head, this was another obstacle unexpectedly being thrown in my way that I did not need. The universe, however, disagreed.
I was alive. No one was injured. But the sequences of staggering events were now lying heavy on my chest. It became hard to breathe. Hard to think. My anxiety was through the roof. I was close to having a mental breakdown. But in that moment, all I could do was try to breathe through it all.
Slow, deep long breaths. I fought back the tears. For one, because I was with a friend who doesn’t do well with emotionally indecisive wrecks like me, and two, it really could have been so much worse. But people like me who suffer from anxiety know that the severity of the situation that triggers the anxiety in that moment doesn’t necessarily matter. I was in over my head. And despite it all, I was successfully able to calm myself down with doing that one thing most of us take for granted. That one thing that I gratefully learned how to warp into my own therapy session..
It wasn’t until hours later that I realized that breathing really has truly become my medicine. That if I hadn’t been practicing meditation and wasn’t given the proper tools to overcome these moments of depression and anxiety, that I would still be in a much darker, colder place.
Hell, who knows if I’d even still be alive.
Yes, even yoga instructors like me have our days of depletion and questioning whether or not we are capable of letting go and being that “perfect” mirror for those who come to us for guidance. In the midst of me trying to better myself and be the teacher everyone needs me to be, I’ll be the first to admit that I too have my demons and I am not perfect. But here’s the thing we sometimes forget, nobody is.
While flipping through Netflix one day, trying to find the next murder mystery show to obsessively distract myself with, I came across the documentary “On Meditation” -- A modern day intro into meditation, using well-known individuals who have found peace through their practice. At the time I was reading “Real Happiness”, a book on “the power of meditation”, by Sharon Salzberg, Conveniently enough, one of the speakers on the show was Sharon Salzburg herself. In this documentary, she shared one of her secrets that made me smile and also brought me back to my first time practicing the very special LovingKindness Meditation in Costa Rica. She confessed how, at times, while wandering the streets during her passing of strangers and such, she would simply say a prayer in her head for these individuals who would cross her path. With a smile, she would say to herself with the best intentions of it telepathically reaching the other, “May you be happy, may you be peaceful”. This made my heart melt. And inspired me to do the same.
And so, here I am. Full circle. Learning real happiness. Practicing compassion. Healing my wounds. And learning to make the most out of the thing I am most grateful for, the ability to breathe and the will to teach others how to do the same.
It was that day that I got into a car accident that really solidified some very important things for me. Some of which I was already aware of and had forgotten.. The power of meditation is real and everyone has the ability to use it to help themselves and reach others. Through time, love, and kindness, wounds do heal. And when we can learn how to feel our feels and let them go with grace, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when we find real happiness. That’s when we can simply walk down the street and look at a stranger, or an enemy, with a genuine smile and a warm heart and mean it when we say,
“May you be happy, may you be peaceful”.
And so, on that note, I wish you all happiness, peace, and growth this 2018. Time waits for no one. In order to heal, we must forgive. In order to grow, we must let go. If you too are interested in meditation and are looking for someone to help be a guide, a beacon of light.. I open my arms to you.
P.S. Happy first Full Moon of 2018! What luck, on the first day of the year! Perfect time to take that energy and transition into your own.
All the love
What a time for change and new beginnings! Summer is coming to an end. And for some of us, you might have found that this past month was a little more trying than usual. Maybe you found yourself doing a lot of reflecting and evaluating of your life than you probably typically do. Well, if you didn’t already know, Mercury was in Retrograde from August 12th to September 5th. I know what you’re thinking, “what’s it to me?” Well if you believe in the universe and its forces, then it’s everything to you. And if you don’t, it’s still relevant. But! Continue on reading if you wish to explore the fruition that may root from the mental madness.
During Mercury’s Retrograde, you may have made some important necessary connections for moving forward productively. Understanding the world around you on an internal and external level is necessary for change. Yes, change is required for growth. Unless we wish to stay stagnant and ignorant, we must push ourselves through times of discomfort and rise again each time we fall!
Carrying through, hopefully you’re learning a little more about yourself “and why some things must be unveiled so we may move forward unencumbered by old inhibitions” during this time (Robert Wilkinson). As we exited this retrograde in Virgo, we entered into September’s Full Moon in Pisces immediately after. And what a beautiful moon it was! This timing is essential to work out the knots and act on the now.
Some of you Pisces out there might be on high alert. Your energies may have amplified; Use the power of the universe to invest in your purpose and higher self. We should all utilize this Full Moon to release any negativity, trust our intuition and allow our creative flow to pave the way for success. With the solar eclipse’s recent passing two weeks prior and fall approaching in two weeks as well, the universe is asking us to explore our deepest desires and feel the feels while we learn to heal and manifest what lies within our hearts. Allow your soul searching to branch out and accept all to come with open arms!
Whatever you are currently feeling, wanting, needing, explore it!
Give your mind, body, and soul what it needs.
photocred: The Hoodwitch
Be kind to yourself and others. Lend a helping hand to those in need while Mother Nature welcomes in destruction. Remember, with each tragedy something beautiful is given the opportunity to unfold. During these trying times, all communities should continue to come together to rebuild within renewal. We cannot control the weather, but we can choose to move with it and allow destruction to take its course so that we may begin again.