Self Discovery, Yoga

A Shout-Out to My 32nd Year

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.

Namaste

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Self Discovery, Yoga

Nah Imma Stay Right Here

Mermaid Pose
One of the poses from my first Instagram Yoga Challenge

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.

First Class
The first REAL yoga class I taught

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.

#insidemybible
One of my first Bible journaling projects

Why???

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.

Supported Handtand
My first actual handstand. Definitely on my bucket list!

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.

Namastay
Me attempting to get my foot over my head during an Instagram yoga challenge

So live in the moment. Even if it sucks. Because it’s fleeting and it has a lesson to teach us.

Namastè

Self Discovery

Self Discovery…What a Bitch It Can Be

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.

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This is a Good thing

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.

boom-2
Face That Fear

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.

Pretty shitty.

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.

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Just Cuz

Namasté

Lauren

P.S

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.

 

 

Depression

F*ck You Depression, I Brushed My Teeth…

For the record I am not in any way speaking for everyone who has or has had depression. This is my story and I’m stick to it.

Depression sucks. It doesn’t just suck because you start feeling sad for no reason, it sucks because you start feeling sad for no friggin reason out of friggin no where during a time when you are the happiest you could ever be.

This used to only happen to me once a month. Now it seems to be popping up whenever the hell it wants to. 

I usually get teary eyed, like I am right now, and just lay down and sleep it away. Sometimes the tears are too hard to fight and I just let them win.

I don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t want to do yoga, which I love. I don’t want to crochet my happy rainbow blanket. I don’t want to finish the set of mala beads that I’ve started for a friend. And sometimes I don’t even want to feel happy.

As fucked up as that sounds, sometimes it just takes too much energy to put a smile on my face.

But a breakthrough happened tonight. I brushed my teeth.

I was laying in bed wiping the stupid tears off my face, hoping Tim (my wonderful fiancé ) wouldnt notice because then they would just pour out more, and telling myself I’m just going to go to the bathroom and go to sleep.
When I walked past the mirror in the bathroom to do just that I stopped myself and flipped the depression the lovely finger.

I may not be wanting to feel happy right now, but I sure have enough energy to be pissed.

I picked up my toothbrush and really messy toothpaste that I’ve been meaning to clean up, it’s everywhere like on the countertop and hanging off the toothpaste container (sorry mom LOL) and I brushed my mother freakin teeth.

To those of you who do not have depression, I’m not going to say suffer because that just makes it worse, sometimes the littlest, simplest things are the hardest things in the world to do.

It sucks because you start getting down on yourself, or at least that is what I tend to do, because you know how simple it is so just get off your sniffling ass and do it.

I just realized how that last sentence sounded and I’m not sorry because it made me smile. #smallvictories.

I put so much pressure on myself to get things done. I feel terrible when I let myself do nothing or buy myself something special or take care of my damn self. I view the people I care about as more important and part of that is how my depression gets triggered. 

But it’s actually more important to take care of me so I can give to others.

That’s a hard ass pill to swallow and believe me it’s still stuck in my throat.

Again, I am in no way shape or form speaking for

This is my story and I thought that I would kick depression in the ass a second time tonight by opening up and sharing this with ya’ll. 
Namaste,

Lauren