Saturday, February 15, 2014
Today I went to a hot yoga class. One of the most difficult classes that I have ever been to. The instructor was almost like a drill-sergeant (in a nice way). I had eaten breakfast two and a half hours before the class and probably should have drank more water. I was absolutely exhausted and maybe a little under prepared. I really wanted to walk out of the class, but I kept going. The poses were tiresome, but something that Tommy Rosen had said in his Kundalini class kept popping up in my mind. He had told us that your body is stronger than your mind will let you think. This means that even in difficult poses, you will be amazed at what you can achieve if you keep at it. You are stronger than you think you are. That thought kept me going through the class. Towards the end of the yoga class we got into bridge pose. Now, I actually don't really like that pose at all. I find it constricting on my neck and uncomfortable for my breathing. This time around, when I came into the pose, a strange feeling came over me. All of a sudden I had a feeling, like I wanted to cry. My initial reaction was "what the heck?" The feeling was so strange, and somewhat unfamiliar. It was a feeling of sadness, but also a feeling of relief. The class wasn't making me sad. The sadness was coming out of me. We keep so many emotions inside of us, locked up. Yoga is a practice that can help release those feelings. We need to face and feel the emotions that we have. Tears came to my eyes. I relaxed, and all of a sudden a feeling of calm came over me. I felt so calm. I felt relieved. And I felt happy. Not the jumping for joy happy, but the happiness that one feels when they are at peace with themselves and their situations. It was a beautiful feeling. I am writing this to say that this is why I practice. My practice brings me back to a state of beauty and acceptance. Acceptance of what is. I release my clinging to the past and my apprehension of the future. I am present. And I am happy. Namaste.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I can’t sleep. Not because I’m not tired, but because my mind is scattered, jumping from one subject to the next. There is so much on my mind. I tell myself to get up and practice yoga. It will calm me, but the other part says to write this down. I have wanted to for weeks.
I have noticed a sort of pattern in the men that I find myself attracted to. Once I get to know them, I find that I become neglected. All in sort of different ways, but I still always end up feeling neglected. Before I even started dating, one of the things that I focused on was “self-love.” Because of this I am able to act on things like this. I won’t stay with someone if I don’t feel that they are giving me the attention and treatment that I deserve. I can’t. Because in the department of finding someone, I believe that I come first. I treat myself with respect and therefore feel that I should be treated with respect. This is something that all people in this world should feel and act on. Not everyone does, but with enough practice, it is possible.
We all have those self-depreciating days, where we feel that we are not worth it. We feel that we are not capable of being loved. We feel that we cannot love because how can we love if we cannot love ourselves? I’ve worked on loving myself for years, and I’m still not perfect at it. There are many days where I am hard on myself and extremely insecure. When I feel like that, I take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and sometimes even say out loud “I love you.” Why the hell not? It’s not like anyone is around to see me do this.
My mind is jumping. From one thing to the next. Constantly back to my broken heart. And I sit at the side of my bed, holding my wounded heart in my hands. I look at it and sew it back together and stuff it back in my chest. For some reason the seams fall apart. The seams keep falling apart. And there I am again, sitting at the side of my bed, or on my mat, or on my meditation pillow TRYING to sew the seams back together.
I am a rock. A solid rock. A force to be reckoned with. And if you know me you know that I am so honest to the point where it can be brutal at times. I barely have a filter. Thankfully I can keep myself in check at work. I will never be afraid to tell someone that I love them, nor will I ever regret it. Love is something that I believe is kept too deep inside at times. I know I don’t tell my mother that I love her enough. I should tell her more often. But when it comes to love and relationships, I put myself out there when I do feel something for someone. I will be an open book. Because I understand that as a human being I am love. I love, I am loved, I am love. I do forget this at times, but it always comes back to me.
I would say that I have fallen in love twice in my life so far. I’m not saying it isn’t bound to happen again, but when the heart gets wounded, it does take some time to heal. This last time broke me. I was solid, I still am most times. But sometimes I still cry. I still falter. And despite that, I still feel strong. I am still learning that it is okay to feel emotional at times. I have always had trouble with that. I have always felt that I need to be stoic and guarded. So it hurts when I let my guard down just to feel daggers hit me from every which way. It does hurt. But I am learning to let myself feel that pain, not to fight it.
I am solid. I have been broken. Not for the first time. I will build myself up again, and day to day I will sew my heart back together. I will let myself feel sad. And maybe I will even let my closest friends know that I am still sad, that I am not having an easy time at this.
I pick myself up. And come to stand. Because I am strong. I am strong, but I still feel.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at The Daily Love's Enter the Heart Tour that came to Chicago. Let me just say. What an amazing experience. The whole time I was there, I was in complete bliss. I know this has happened before, but I can't quite remember when. The event was held at a local yoga studio. When I got there I wasn't really sure of what I would be doing. So I just decided that I would go with the flow. Wherever this experience would take me was where I would go. As I walked into the studio, I felt a bit nervous. Partly because I was going alone, and partly because I had no idea what to expect. All I really knew was that Tommy Rosen and Mastin Kipp were going to be there (and if you don't know who they are, Google them). As a volunteer I had to get there two hours early. While I was waiting for instructions, I met one of the other volunteers (four of us all together were chosen to volunteer). We became fast friends. I find this awesome. And was probably the best part of the whole evening, especially since I'm not very good at making friends. As a volunteer I was instructed to check people in and get them situated. One of the other volunteers took them on a tour around the studio (the studio itself consisted of four yoga rooms, a workout room, and a locker room for men and one for women). After we got everyone in the room, we got to join the class. One of the other cool things was that we got to sit up in front. Mastin started the class by giving a little speech. He then told us to go and hug 5 random people. What a cool experience! This was a room filled with so many non-judgmental and loving people. It was a room full of love. I hugged about 7 people and then made my way back to my mat. After doing a couple of other beautiful team exercises, we got to the yoga. Tommy Rosen is a Kundalini yoga instructor based in Santa Monica. I had never practiced this style of yoga before and was very interested in finding out what it would be like. It was different. A lot of the breath work is faster and the movements all flow with the breath work. It was a difficult class for me, particularly because I had been away from my mat for a few weeks.Although the class was really difficult, it was also very inspiring. Tommy made the class fun even though the work was hard. During the class I learned that our minds tend to make up think that our bodies are unable to do certain things. Once the posture or exercise started to get painful, I wanted to quit, but Tommy urged us to get past the pain. It was amazing, after a while the pain went away. It got me to thinking about my injuries. I am learning that through yoga, healthy eating, and staying hydrated, I can help heal myself. I also learned that I need to stop identifying with my back/shoulder pain and realize that I can help myself. It's not something that has to stay with me my whole life. We ended the yoga with a meditation, and then Mastin came on. He talked to us about several things. One of them was uncertainty. Uncertainty is something that every single one of us goes through. When we get uncertain, we tend to use unhealthy coping mechanisms to get past the uncertainty, and more often wait until it goes away. This included some journaling about what we do that is unhealthy and then sharing with other peers. It wasn't exactly easy to be open with people I had just met, but it was also liberating. I found that many of us have the same sort of mechanisms for coping, and we agreed that we did not want those mechanisms to have such a great hold on our lives anymore. After that exercise Mastin led us through another exercise that helped us to connect to our hearts. It's a bit hard to explain, but basically what it meant is that our hearts actually do know better than our minds. Our minds are where a lot of fear goes. When we are afraid to get out of our comfort zone, our mind is usually giving us tons of excuses that we should stay in that comfort zone, as well as that supposed certainty. The truth is there is no certainty in life. We will never know the outcome. That is for the universe to know. And as Mastin put it, "the quality of my life is the quality of my relationship with uncertainty." We tend to get stuck in patterns that feel comfortable to us, and then we don't go anywhere with that. If we can overcome the fact that uncertainty is scary, and accept that it isn't necessarily a bad thing, then we can go places. I believe that we all have a purpose in life. What we have to first to is try to find out what that purpose is, and then work to achieve whatever we need in order to serve that purpose. It's big stuff. Do I know what my purpose is? Not quite, but I am working towards finding what it is. This experience yesterday definitely brought me a step closer. Thank you for reading. Namaste.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I’m sitting here, in my beat-up, second-hand chair, really not sure of what to write about. I usually get ideas and inspirations from things that I am struggling with myself. We often talk about things that we need to improve on ourselves. Well, self-image is one of those things, and the people who know me are probably shaking their heads and thinking about how “thin” I am, and I practice yoga, so why should I have self-image issues? Well, as you all know, we all have self-image issues, which I would like to call self-love issues. There’s always some flaw that we will see in ourselves that we will nitpick until the end of time. Many of use cover our blemishes, dark circles, un-wanted birthmarks with makeup. In extreme cases, some people go under the knife to “improve” their self-image. So, something I want to say to you, you, the one reading this blog (and thank you for doing so). Love yourself unconditionally. No matter what. No matter what. No matter what mistakes you have made, what other people may say about you, what you look like. Love yourself. If you can’t love yourself, then who else will you be able to love? I sometimes get up in the morning, or get back from work, or get ready for bed, and look at my tired face, my acne, and other flaws and shake my head. But that isn’t the way to think, that isn’t the way that we should treat ourselves. We can fall into a depression when we keep shooting ourselves down. Why are we always so used to telling ourselves negative things? I used to think that if I was negative, then I wouldn’t be setting myself up for disappointments, or maybe someone would tell me something nice. Whenever someone did give me a compliment when I shot myself down, I actually didn’t feel any better. Even if other people see our beauty, it is up to us to see our own shining light. If we can do that, then others’ negativity won’t affect us. And when we can learn to love ourselves unconditionally, then we can see that other’s negativity about us is really a projection onto their own self-esteem. We have all had experience where people will say something negative about us. This never has anything to do with us, it has everything to do with them. If we are happy with ourselves we don’t need to bring other people down so that we can feel better. So think about how we can contribute to a more positive atmosphere if we all work on loving ourselves. Don’t get caught up on how someone has a better body, or prettier eyes, or a more bubbly personality. We all have a unique and power light that contributes to the tapestry of the world. Thanks for reading! Namaste.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Love. It’s that four letter word that the Webster Dictionary defines as, “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”. But what is LOVE? It’s a phenomenon of sorts that people have been trying to figure out for centuries. It’s not something that can exactly be defined by a dictionary. Love is something that some people say happens once in our lives. “One day you will fall in love”. Here’s a thought. What if… what if we fall in love every day? What if love is not so much something that we save for that one special person, but something that is in us all the time? We are taught by society that love is this special thing, this hush-hush word that should only be used in special circumstances. I’m not saying that I am perfect. I find it hard to express love. I find it hard to even tell my own mother that I love her and how much I love her. Should it be that way? Should we be fearful to express ourselves? Love is nothing special. It is something that is inside of us and something that is around us all the time. The way we look at someone is love, the way we speak is love, the way we are is love. We are love. Let me repeat that. You, me, them, we are all love. Love is what we were born to do. When you were pulled from your mother’s womb and into the world, when you saw your mother’s face for the first time, there was love. Love is so simple, yet we strive to make it so complex. There are two basics in life. they are love and fear. And so many times we let the fear trump the love. We don’t tell someone that we love them because we are afraid. We don't act in loving ways because of our fears. Love scares us. We have all had rejection in our lives, and it brings about that fear. We fear that the ones we love will reject us. We need to get over that fear. We need to open our hearts to our family, to our friends, to our lovers, to the world. Love is not specific. It is universal. It is something that is the same despite color, race, culture or class. Everyone we come into contact with gives us an opportunity to experience love. So here it is, to all of you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Now, go tell someone you love them. Namaste
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
We all know that living in American can be stressful. There is a tendency to rush around ALL the time. No matter what, even if we have a day off, if we have a free hour, with nothing to do. There is a sort of obsession with needing to be busy. We like to brag to our friends about how BUSY we are. My friends do this and I admit; I do this. I’ll be talking to my friends and they will ask me how I’m doing, and my response is automatically, “I’ve been busy”. I say this, even when I’ve had a few days off. Why is it that we always have to be busy? We always have to feel busy? We tend to panic when we have nothing to do. Like it’s the end of the world and we will DIE if we just sit on our butts for the day. Well, why not just do that? Sit. And in sitting, I mean the kind of sitting where you are completely present and aware of what is happening around you. I know it’s scary, and I know it’s difficult. I oftentimes sit on my meditation pillow and things just start coming to my mind. “I need to do the laundry. I have to wash the dishes. I left the light on. I need to nap before work. What’s the point of this?” And so on and so forth. This is something called monkey-mind and we all go through it. But sitting in meditation, monkey-mind or not, we should still take a break from “busyness”. So, here’s a challenge. Take some time out of your busy day to just be. Peace.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I am incredibly happy to say that on Thursday I accepted my first position as an RN on the cardiac floor of the hospital in which I work. But, I'm not here to talk about what my job will entail. I'm here to talk about what I have learned. My mom said today, that "what brings us to where we are, are the choices we make." I believe that to be true, but maybe in a different sense than what you may be thinking. I believe that the universe (some of you may call the universe your "inner guide," or God, or the higher power), has a plan for each and everyone of us. This is so evident to me. I have just accepted a position of my dream job as a nurse. Ever since I started working on the cardiac floor at my hospital, I have wanted to be a cardiac nurse, particularly caring for patients with heart failure. Well, my new RN job is on a floor with cardiac patients, many of them patients with heart failure. When I was offered the job, I was in disbelief, and I told my managers, "this job has been waiting for me. This is my job." They both nodded in agreement. I was onthe verge of giving up on that hospital, and JUST as I was about the throw in the towel, I was offered the position of my dreams. The universe has a funny way of doing things. When I was offered a job in hospice nursing, I couldn't shake the feeling that I shouldn't take the job, so I didn't take it. I had an interview in behavioral health and I was hoping and praying for a job offer. The interview went wonderfully, and the manger loved me, and then, all of a sudden, there was no RN position to be filled. I was frustrated, why had I even been interviewed? You see, all of these little "coincidences" of myself not being able to find a job led me to the job that I really wanted. This is a lesson, we may not always see it, but if we can let things be as they are, the universe can lead us to our true Dharma, or purpose in life. I had a rough time not being able to find work, but in the meantime, I took advantage of my extra hours and started back to school. I also got to go on vacation and see my sister in Poland, I got to spend ample time with my other family, and most importantly, I learned to delve deeper into my spirituality. Instead of victimizing myself in negative situations, I changed my perspective and utilized what I was going through, as a learning experience. I am learning that if we change our perspective, multiple doors open, and we can become calmer in times of hardship. When I was sure that I would not get hired at my hospital, and I was losing hope of finding a job anywhere, I decided to look at things differently. Instead of looking at the situation in an "oh-woe-is-me" fashion, I looked at it as, there has got to be something out there for me. I put my trust into the universe, and I told myself that I would get the job that I was meant to have. That is exactly how it happened. So, have faith in the universe. Sometimes in the most difficult of times, instead of trying to control the outcomes, we need to put our faith into something bigger than ourselves. The universe knows.