This is a shout-out to my 32nd year on this Earth. This year its all about me. Last year was all about two people becoming one. The joining of two wonderful families to create an amazing circle of love that I am so grateful to God for granting me this gift.
But now its time for me to wake the fuck up.
I’m trying to get my shit together so that I can be strong enough to face myself without purposeful distraction.
What is it about ourselves that is so scary that we use outside stimulation to blind ourselves from what’s inside?
When we all know that if we just grew a pair and looked within ourselves we could begin to fix the parts of ourselves that we believe to be broken; including the part of us that doesn’t understand that we’re not broke so we don’t need fixin’. All we have to do is face it.
So where the hell do we begin?
The thing that comes to mind for me is Yoga.
Yoga puts me in my place. It shows me where I am with my mind, body, and spirit and forces me to accept where I am in the moment.
I can’t expect to do a perfect handstand if my shoulders and legs are tight and my wrists aren’t strong enough to hold my body weight.
I can’t find the zen within my practice where time seems to stand still, there is only me and my mat, and the movement of my breath and body if my brain is going ten thousand miles an hour with what I have to do today, what happened 10 years ago, or what could happen in the next 5 years.
I can’t feel strong, steady, and focused if I bury my spirit in doubt instead of giving every worry and fear to God. I can’t be the free, hippie/gypsy, rainbow unicorn, loving nerd if I live in the past or rush toward the future.
My yoga embodies all of this.
Yoga isn’t about touching your fucking toes, it’s about how you get there. It’s your breath, your calm, your center, your moment.
It’s not your grocery list, your dirty laundry, your negative bank account, your shitty job, your crazy kids, the traffic, the economy, or who is president.
It’s you. All of you. One breath at a time.
Yoga is so powerful that it opens up all those locked doors that I have kept dusty in the back of my mind because I thought I wasn’t good enough or that it would never happen.
I’m afraid to write this next part because I am known for breaking many promises to myself. For example, on the 13th of October I promised to go on a social media cleanse. Long story short, I bombed that one.
But, unlike the old me who would have gotten down on myself and felt guilty for not keeping my promise, I told myself there was a reason.
That reason that I went back on my word to myself was to become aware of WHEN I started scrolling through the posts of everyone else’s lives.
It was when I caught a whiff of some part of me that I have been meaning to explore but became a chicken shit and ran in the other direction.
So no, I don’t take me breaking my promise as a bad thing. Which lead me to the scary next couple of sentences.
I need to write. Every. Damn. Day.
I need to write on this blog that will become my journal every day. <<<< I really want to delete this sentence, but as someone said and then someone once said/pinned/posted/tweeted:
“If it doesn’t scare you, it won’t change you”
So here’s to the big change. Here’s to me finding the motivation to writing every day, to forgiving myself for not writing, and for the lessons that I will learn from both.
Definition courtesy of dictionary.com. I tend to favor the second definition and here is my twist on it:
1. loss of motivation, overly sensitive/emotional. Prone to crying fits.
I don’t wanna
This usually lasts for about two weeks, during which I don’t want to do any yoga (physically) but my mind tends to run wild with a myriad of ideas and philosophies.
The other day I had a spark of inspiration to DO SOMETHING with this mental yoga. I started researching yamas and niyamas (the try to and try not to’s of the yogic philosophy) and creating/manifesting my personal style of yoga.
This was a huge step for me and the funk. Usually I would just have all of these ideas and carry on with a woe-is-me attitude. Nothing would get done and I wouldn’t grow.
But now I hope to hone into these moments of mental yoga.
Maybe the funk I endure every month doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I believe its my body telling me that it’s time to move inward.
Yoga isn’t all physical. Life follows that same system.
LIFE is more than DOING.
It’s being, feeling, thinking, aspiring, inspiring, etc.
So where does this all stem from?
I’ve been really thinking about why I do or don’t do certain things. For example, do you ever see something: a painting, a book, a dancer, etc, and think, I wish I could do that!
But when you actually sit down to do it, it never works out right.
That’s because we are trying to imitate others. We’re not trusting ourselves to do it OUR WAY.
For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to find a style of yoga, a particular yogi, or a yogic philosophy that has something to do with empowerment. But I didn’t like what I was finding. A lot of it was women empowerment (I’m a woman but do I really just want to empower women?). I also found a lot of information about the solar plexus chakra, which is located at our bellies. It’s responsible for getting our butts into action and DOING what we are motivated to do. But that was just a single piece.
All of the information I found wasn’t cutting it. It either didn’t match what I was looking for or it didn’t mesh with the idea/philosophy going on inside of my head.
I was looking for something that I already had.
I’m not going to find anything that will be exactly what I’m looking for when trying to manifest my style of yoga. I was trying to imitate others when what I really wanted and needed to do was just trust what I already knew and build it from scratch.
Scary. As. Fuck.
But I truly believe that it is something that I have to do. If not something for my future students, than for my own personal yoga practice.
So here I am, making lists of everything I can think of when Empowerment comes to mind.
I made lists of yoga poses that invite confidence, make me feel strong, and of course empowered.
I made lists of musical artists that scream empowerment, motivation, and mirror my soul.
I wrote down words that I wanted to manifest in people when they follow my practice – determination, strength, genuine, authentic, real, truth, power, triumph, beauty, trust…
Of course this is still a baby thought. I’m still putting the pieces together and learning as I go. A lot of it has to do with self-discovery and trusting that what I believe is my truth.
I’ve been catching myself wondering what others would think about some of my beliefs and telling myself that it really isn’t any of my business.
As long as I am happy, I am doing good, I am spreading God’s love, I am seeking to help others, than what I believe is perfect. I am doing nothing wrong.
Its taken me a while to realize that but sometime the hard lessons take years.
Sorry not sorry that this post was full of tangents but that’s what you get when you read my practice.
Life isn’t a straight line. It isn’t even a circle. Stop trying to plan it all out and just go with the flow. Yes, Tim, my lovely fiancé is probably going to give me a look at that statement because I am the queen of planning and over planning, but I’m aloud to make mistakes and try to fix them ❤ 😉
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and I did the worst thing I could possibly do…
I looked at the clock. NEVER look at the clock when you wake up because you’ll never get back to sleep easily.
And that my friends is the reason why I recognized that I am pretty much burnt to a crisp and I can’t wait for my vacation on Monday.
Because of being burnt out, and realizing it, I wasn’t in the mood to cook dinner… again. And I felt guilty about it… again. Why? Why do I make myself feel guilty all the time for being so “absolute” in my decisions. Why don’t I ever give myself any slack? Why do we all put so much pressure on ourselves to do the “right” or “normal” thing and then feel like an ass when we say “screw it” and do what we wanted to do in the first place?
That was a mouthful.
Point #1 – I do things in absolutes.
WTF? I am a go in or go home, jump in head first kinda gal. When I get an idea that motivates me enough to act on in, I’m all in baby. Here’s a little background to prove it…
When I was in my Wicca phase, I denounced any other religion (which is totally not a really Wicca thing to do) and grabbed anything I could get my hands on that would make me feel like a real witch. I spent hundreds of dollars on books, herbs, candles, and random trinkets to satisfy my need to appear to be a bonafide Wiccan. Did it make me happy? NOPE.
When I decided to move to North Carolina my big plan was to live there FOREVER. No ifs ands or buts about it. I couldn’t wait to change my license plates and driver’s license to read 100% NC. Long story short, I live in Massachusetts again. I did learn a lot about myself on my 1 year adventure in the South but it was a tough pill to swallow to admit defeat and move back in with my parents.
When I decided to go back to college I had the plan that I was going to go all the way to the Doctorate degree in Psychology and specialize in PTSD. I have my Bachelors Degree of Science and I never want to write another research paper as long as I live. Never say never tho…
But sometimes it isn’t all bad…
I went all in with Tim and my relationship and I am over the moon in love with the man and our life together ❤
I am a MUCH happier person as a Catholic than I ever was in my struggle to prove to myself that I was a pagan with no community and no balls to ask to be a part of one.
My point here is, I beat myself up for doing this to myself. For leaping and then looking at my consequences. I want to change, but will I? Maybe. I have learned, the hard way, that change doesn’t happen overnight. THAT is the sticking point.
Point #2 Why am I the last to find out that I need to give myself a break?
Work work work work work work, something something, work work work work work work…..
I feel bad when I call in sick to work. I feel bad asking for a vacation. I feel bad when I don’t have the energy to cook dinner, clean the house, do the laundry, or wash the dishes. I feel bad when I take a 3 hour nap because I’m exhausted. I feel bad that I don’t go to yoga class for weeks at a time. I feel bad for giving myself a friggin break!
Self-care, something that I actually encouraged my wonderful yoga students about in yesterday’s class ha! is something that we don’t often think about. And when we do think about it, it means we’re selfish.
But we can’t pour anything out of an empty cup. We need to take care of OURSELVES before we take care of those we love. I say this, but I still have trouble with it OBVIOUSLY.
There are days when I’m all about taking care of myself, staying in bed all day and what not. Then there are days when I feel bad about it and even dwell on past days that I “wasted time” taking care of myself when I could have cleaned the house that I’m so upset about. WTF Lauren.
Point #3 Pressure comin’ down on me ding ding ding da-da ding ding
So what if we cover up the taste in our mouth with a cracker at 2am. So what if we then wash that crackery taste out with some soda instead of brushing our teeth? When we don’t think about what everyone else will think, are we happy? Why do we have to think about what others will say?
Sometimes I want to go back to my elementary school girl self and smack me upside the head for starting to care about what my so-called friends think about me. People are mean because they can’t stand themselves so they have to take it out on others. Being weird is actually pretty fucking awesome.
Breaking out into little twerking sessions for no reason, pounding chocolate glazed donuts because why the hell not, praising Jesus and reading the bible every morning while having the mouth of a truck driver, and rather being in bed than having to socialize in any way shape or form is who I am.
If I don’t like it, I have to take a look at the voices of society that I allow to disrupt my donut heaven and tell them to shut the hell up.
Because in the end, it’s not ME who dislikes what I do and how I do it. It’s everyone else.
It’s not me, it’s you.
So let’s get over it and be happy with ourselves for once.
I have argued with myself for the past 3 days on writing this post and the motivation finally found its way to me after researching who I would like my Patron Saint to be when I am baptized.
The Lord works in mysterious ways right?
Starting from the beginning I guess is the best course of action, yes?
I let my hopes get up. A lot. I overthink things even though I know that all I am doing is hurting myself in the long run. There is really no point in dwelling on these thoughts. I tell myself it’s all in my head and to wait for physical proof but the thought turns to hope and then hope turns into devastation when I face the truth.
That’s as far as I’m going with that explanation, some things in my life are never going to be in print. They are between God, Tim, my family, and I.
What I will say is that this time, this thought/hope/devastation turned into a depression that I hadn’t seen for a very long time. I believe whole-heartedly that my finding Jesus, going to church, and reading the bible everyday has everything to do with it.
I have been so filled with God’s love that depression ran away for a good long while. It was when I let go, even for a second, of what God’s plan is for me that I lost that feeling of joy.
Sure I had some down days, but they were “normal” “neurotypical” down days. They didn’t spread into an amalgam of icky feelings of anger, sadness, devastation (there’s that word again), confusion, and overwhelm. But a few days ago that was what I was feeling. Until this morning.
I woke up super early, no alarm, just a need to be awake. I cooked Tim his lunches for the week, started the laundry, took care of our dog Chloe, made a cup of tea and sat down with the word. 4 versions of it to be exact.
I’m on a high with the Holy Spirit, what can I say?
I read my passage in my journaling bible, the passage listed in my parish’s bulletin for today, my daily bible verse sent to me from an app on my phone, and the actual parish bulletin. And suddenly, everything was alright again. I felt like ME again. I felt God’s love again and it lifted my spirit to meet his.
Now if you haven’t been completely aware of my journey this probably is a big shocker for you, especially if you knew me before I started this blog. But it’s all true. It’s me. And I’m happier than I have ever been. I am able to love Tim, my family, friends, and others way more than I ever could before I found Jesus. I was touched by Grace on an office couch and it was all uphill from there.
Now getting back to choosing my Patron Saint. I will be choosing the Virgin Mary because she was the one who held me together when I thought I was losing it the other night. I lost count of how many Hail Mary’s I said that night but ever since then I began to turn back to God and finding joy in life again. There are of course many other reasons but those, again, are for me to know 😉
I almost didn’t write this post. And now that I think on it, I can’t figure out why.
Maybe you need to have read it. Maybe something in it, it doesn’t have to be God if he isn’t for you, but something that can help you through whatever it is you’re going through, can shake up your spirit and get you back to YOU again.
Holy crap I can’t believe that I have TWO WEEKS left in my Yoga Teacher Training. Where the hell has the time gone?
I just finished my monthly weekend of training this afternoon, and it was one of the best I’ve had in awhile. I say this because this round of training was the first weekend that my depression hasn’t reared it’s ugly head 🙂
Thats right! No funk I be livin’ in here and I’m so psyched. I was able to soak up so much of the super yummy goodness that this weekend, both in and outside of training, had to offer.
Friday night I was mega hyper and became a sponge as we discussed Yin Yoga and the 25 various asanas. Normally I would be exhausted from working all day and just wanting to learn about a different topic entirely that I was curious about.
Saturday we learned about the icky, scary, business side of being a yoga teacher. Not gonna lie, it almost dulled my shine a bit (remembering back to my days as a Beachbody coach and being a slave to social media), but that shine quickly returned when I taught a class that afternoon. And the best part was that I got to hold a precious lil baby!
I can’t believe how much I LOVE teaching.
When I first went into this training, I had no intention what-so-ever to teach yoga. I simply wanted to deepen my practice and have some sort of “faith” to hold onto. Expecting the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga to become my religion, I was definitely surprised when I fell in love with the Roman Catholic tradition and found God again.
But one of the many epiphany weekends that happened during this training opened my eyes to the desire to teach yoga, and the many possibilities that this road will take me.
And this morning was absolutely wonderful when my Yoga Sister Patti taught her power yoga inspired class that just lifted me up so high, that tears filled my eyes at random moments during her practice. It was so empowering, inspiring, and it made me FEEL beautiful! OMG I can’t wait to take her class!!!!
I became very reflective this weekend more that most and really took a look at who I was when I first started to now.
First of all, I realize that I actually have a personal yoga practice. I always pressured myself that it wasn’t “yoga” if I only did a 5 minute practice. “Yoga” to me before this training was at least an hour of hard core asanas (postures) with an opening, closing, and savanna (corpse pose). Now I just brush it off and know that my sitting on the couch first thing with my Bible and tea is my yoga. Rolling out my mat and simply sitting on it is my yoga. Baking cupcakes for my friends and family is my yoga. Even writing this blog post is my yoga.
Because it fulfills me. Because it is MY time. My practice is ME and whenever I am working on myself, I am doing my yoga.
Yoga is waaaayyyyy more than the physical postures, but that will definitely have to be another post because that is a shit ton of info to swallow.
I have also noticed that I have become more patient, less reactionary, and breath conscious.
Forget the physical transformation, which don’t get me wrong there is one. I can tolerate bridge pose now for example. But off the mat is really where my life and practice has changed.
And the best part?
I aint done yet! I will continue learning, relearning, and discovering new things about my practice and me as time goes on. After my training is finished, my students (even though I have already started teaching) will be my teacher.
I think the most important thing that yoga has taught me so far is that discomfort is temporary.
Plank pose after 30 seconds is a definite bitch, but the next 30 seconds are simply that, 30 seconds. Waiting in a long line at the store can be annoying but if I take a step back, breathe, and meditate, I can endure it. That line is temporary. My bouts of depression are temporary. Headaches are temporary. Living paycheck to paycheck is temporary. Life is temporary.
So live in the moment. Even if it sucks. Because it’s fleeting and it has a lesson to teach us.
Well, time flies when you get stuck in a rut, procrastinate, fall into a pit of depression, and argue with yourself on whether or not you really want to write this blog.
I won the argument btw. It only took a month.
This particular blog piece may or may not be part of a series I had planned on writing. I’m trying not to plan too much for reasons that may or may not become clear as you continue reading this.
Before I get into all of this I want to say that although it might seem pretty negative, my point is to go through a part of my life that I regret and see how it has influenced my decisions. It is not to get down on myself or what not, but to see a part of me that I have run away from and forgive it.
So shall I start from the beginning?
Sometime, I think in January, in I think 2015, I became an Independent Beachbody coach. I got into in through one of my friends who happened to be doing the same workout program that I had just started doing at the time.
I made a comment on one of her pictures and the rest is history.
My reason for jumping into the workout video and becoming a coach was because I had recently quit smoking and I wanted to quit jerking myself around and BE healthy.
I had tried Bosu at my local gym and that was ok. I also tried Piloxing, which made me feel like a badass with wicked sore shoulders. And then I found the 21 Day Fix. It was awesome and I felt great. I made progress in my health and yadda yadda yadda.
I dove straight into coaching. I went through a ‘How To’ on social media with my new team. I met some truly, wonderful people with big dreams and big goals. They were working so hard to make a difference in not only their lives and health, but others as well.
I thought that was pretty friggin awesome and I caught the bug. The one thing that I wish I had done differently was to be MYSELF throughout the whole process.
I wanted so badly to succeed. To quit my job and become a full-time coach just like so many had done before. I had dreams of paying off all of my debt.
I had a 10 year plan to build a community that would allow people to live there for a year and a day. They would pay what they could afford in rent and I would give them the option to either buy the house with the money I would have kept in a savings account for them or give them that money that they had paid me in rent and they could move on with their lives.
Working as a Beachbody coach put me on a path to care for others. I just didn’t like the walk.
What I mean by that is, in order to make any money and make my big plan a reality, I had to invite people to buy the workout programs, other products, and invite them to become coaches.
This is where I lost myself. I was so determined to get it right that I let everyone in the business influence my actions. I randomly asked people if they wanted to be a coach. People I had never met, people I had just befriended on social media, people that I made into numbers.
All along I was fighting with myself, telling myself that that definitely wasn’t how to introduce people to something that had the possibility of changing their lives. It got to a point where I was spending a hell of a lot more money than I was making. But I buried that fact with a feeling that I needed to do this. It was all I had. I was single, I was bored with my life. I didn’t think I had a purpose, but becoming a coach gave me a purpose.
But I turned it into a shitty way to live.
I had to market myself on social media because I was waaaaaay to shy to speak about becoming a coach or doing workout videos in person. And marketing on social media is by no means a simple thing.
You have to post EVERY FUCKING DAY so that you are seen by people, so that your story is told. If I wanted any kind of life I had to schedule posts so I could make sure I was posting every day. I spent money on editing programs, post schedulers, social media ads, you name it.
I was fucking miserable.
Now I want to say that if you really believe in yourself and in the programs and the company, this can and does work for people. I have met many wonderful, caring, and kind people who have become coaches and have helped change many lives.
But I have also seen people in the business who were in it for the quick money and didn’t have a care for the people they were introducing to this.
I would categorize myself as a person who truly cared about the people that I could inspire to become happier with themselves, however that translated for them, but I didn’t know how to do it in a way that wouldn’t cost them a dime, when my goal was to make money.
There is a right way and a wrong way to be a Beachbody coach. And the right way is to be yourself, and to not let the influence of other success stories and money get in the way.
I met Tim at the tail end of my coaching. Before him, coaching was my life. I had a really big fucking hole in my life that needed filling and Beachbody filled it. For a time. But then Tim barged right into my heart and coaching was an after thought.
I cried the night Tim asked me if coaching was really worth my time and money. I cried because the people I was on the same mission with, of helping people achieve their goals, had become like a family to me. I cried because I felt like I was letting them down.
I cried because Tim was right.
I was wasting my time because every time I sat down to post something I wanted to throw my computer at the wall. I resented having to post a stupid ass picture of myself in work out clothes sweating my ass off telling people that they could do it too.
And that brings us full circle to why I haven’t posted in a month on this blog.
I don’t ever want to write just to write.
This blog is NOT a marketing thing to get your attention. This is a way for me to tell MYSELF the truth.
Writing in a journal just doesn’t do it for me. I get the words out but it’s like I’m keeping everything a secret from myself.
When I post on this blog I’m telling the whole fucking world.
I’m not allowing myself to hide from my shit anymore. And yes it may take a month or two for me to write something, but sometimes the truth is a really big fucking pill to swallow and I’m scared of it.
So, obviously I quit coaching.
I argue with myself whenever I get an idea for a blog post because I want to make absolutely sure that it’s FOR me and not you lovely people out there.
I’m learning to be selfish.
And believe it or not, being selfish is a good thing.
When you see those before and after pictures of people who have made progress with their health and fitness goals, give them props. They worked hard for that and it takes a shit tons of gonads to post something so personal for the whole world to see.
My experience may not have turned out so hunky dory, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t getting healthier and happier from making the decision to put themselves first no matter what program, gym, that ugly word diet, or lifestyle change that they decided to make.
It’s hard work to become the best version of you, so give those who are kicking ass the encouragement they deserve.