I first started Yoga in May 2014 because it was advised by my therapist (at that time) to find a physical hobby to help channel my anxiety & depression. I found when I was busy I didn’t have time to dwell on things that weren’t going right in my life. I was already Hiking which helped so I then began to dabble in Yoga. Yoga kept me occupied at first then slowly turned into a passion. Over time, without realizing it, I let go of the anger & bitterness and focused more on the things that made me happy rather than on the things that didn’t.
It took me a few years to realize that if I maintain my focus on all the good in my life it will overshadow the not-so-good. Life is not perfect & didn’t come with any guarantees. Everyone experiences pitfalls and setbacks but it’s your reaction to these situations that make all the difference in the world. You can choose to remain bitter & angry but where will that get you? Not too far. I chose to re-focus my energy in the good and let the good overshadow the not-so-good. Only you have the power to respond to each situation accordingly. Will you allow it to control you or will you control it?
You are in control of your own destiny!
I did exactly what I intended on doing today which was escaping everything & everyone and going up to the mountains to be alone. It was first thing in the morning right after the kids went off to school & my husband went back to bed so I was able to just go without being on the “clock” and disappear for a little while.
It was extremely foggy & misty so I knew no one would be there. On a good day there’s usually no one around so on a crappy day like today I knew I’d have this certain spot all to myself.
I did a lot of stretching & then some Yoga for about an hour and a half whilst listening to the birds singing & the crickets chirping. I thought about my life up to that point, things that made me happy, things I’m grateful for & things I should be grateful for.
I sat for a little while looking out past the trees into the fog and I felt fortunate to have lived up to that moment. My life is far from perfect but I was relieved to feel this tremendous inner peace inside. The peace comes from knowing that I’m a good person, I have an honest heart & I can sleep with a clear conscience each night. I’ve always tried to help others & often go out of my way to do so.
Yes, sadness still exists in my life (it always will) but I knew at that moment, that every single day I HAVE TO choose to find that inner peace within me. No one can do it for me, I have to do it myself. Even if the happiness comes in short bursts of moments I still have to enjoy them when they do happen.
Sometimes you have to step away from the chaos of life to get back in touch with yourself. I will continue to remind myself every now & then that I NEED TO do something every single day that brings me peace, puts a smile on my face & makes me happy.
Instagram used to be my happy place. It used to be my escape from the ugly reality of the world cause I immersed myself into the Yoga community & surrounded myself with like minded people full of positive energy and fitness goals.
Now I find the place that was once my refuge has now become breached.
Just when I thought I was starting to come to terms with my sons death from Cancer yet I see many, many messages about yet another person who is dying from Cancer. I thought I could be supportive (which I was) but I found myself sinking back into that deep depression I was in when my son first passed. I’ve been declining emotionally and where I saw progress with my acceptance of my sons disease now I find myself questioning once again “Could I have done more”.
I thought I was ready to be a support system for others who are battling this ugly disease but it’s clear I’m not. Just because I’m smiling & laughing on the outside doesn’t mean I’m whole. I’m still very much broken on the inside. Not everything on the surface is what it appears. I’m still battling the aftermath of Cancer & I can’t be present for my family if I’m falling apart every time that wound gets re-opened. I’m taking another break from IG cause I just can’t deal with all the sad notifications. I don’t even watch TV anymore cause I break down every time I see all the Cancer commercials especially the St.Jude kids.
Now my only escape is the place I love, the place I’ve always loved from Day 1, the mountains. My only solace, my only escape where I can clear my head and actually take a deep breath.
This past weekend I took a break from social media just so I could focus on myself. I didn’t post any pictures, didn’t log in to see what anyone was doing, I didn’t make a big “unplug” announcement, I just went M.I.A and disappeared. You know what? It felt damn good! I finally got a lot of work done around the house & spent more time with my family and I felt really relaxed. Not that being on social media stresses me out but I can easily get lost in it & innocently looking at 1 post can turn into a couple of hours of looking at post after post (at least for me).
Luckily for me my only vice is Instagram. My Instagram is primarily for fitness & positive posts. My Facebook is inactive and I don’t have any other accounts. I know people who run multiple active social media accounts and I have no idea how they have a social life involving real human people, lol.
I limit my social media time & and now that I know how good that break felt I will be taking more mental health breaks.
Sometimes you need an escape from the world to refocus on what’s really important within yourself.
It’s ironic how critical the world of Yoga has become when it’s suppose to be about being “judgement free”.
Yoga, as I understand it, is suppose to signify any form of connection. It’s a conscious connection to something to allow us to feel & experience that state of bliss, a joyous feeling. There is no single definition of yoga but in order to understand it we must study it in all it’s different forms and definitions.
There are some days when I crave restorative yoga (slow paced), other days I crave more activity (vinyasa-style yoga) and yet other days I just want to do my own damn thing, have fun, find something to climb on and test my balancing skills, lol. I don’t always have time to go to a yoga class and sometimes (to be honest) I just want to be alone and do my own thing in the park or in my backyard. I’ve recently tried an aerial yoga class (yoga using a hammock) which was pretty cool and I will continue to experiment different forms of yoga classes cause variety is the spice of life.
On social media, I absolutely love the variety of monthly yoga challenges. They range from challenging to silly but I love them all cause depending on how I feel will dictate which challenges I join. It also forces me to get on my mat when I’m not in the mood.
The variety of social media Yoga has helped me a great deal with my struggle with depression. By nature, I am a silly person and the goofier something is the more it will bring me out of my shell. I don’t do well in serious situations, I just withdraw. So it saddens me when I see the commentary on what Yoga “should be” about or the condemnation of the sillier versions of Yoga challenges.
Yoga is an individual journey and it should continue to have variety just like people. That’s what makes it so interesting & so beautiful.
How do you even begin to find a way to move on with life when someone you love passes?
The grieving process is so long & complicated and because everyone grieves differently you don't know how you're suppose to feel or what's considered normal.
I received a pamphlet in the mail today from the funeral home that handled my sons service and the timing was perfect.
I've been experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions since my sons passing and it's been very confusing for me. Some days I feel ok, other days I feel angry and yet other days I cry for hours but mostly I feel numb.
This booklet described every range of emotion I've been experiencing from A to Z and reading all of that felt like someone was reaching out to me to tell me everything I've been feeling is normal and I was going to be Ok. I felt like it was a personal message delivered specifically to me & it made me feel better cause I didn't feel so alone.
Sometimes just having someone else validate your feelings can be enough to help get you through the process.
No one will be able to erase the permanent pain imprinted in my heart but I feel better knowing everything I've been feeling is normal and sometimes it's ok not to be ok.
But what's even more important is that on good days I shouldn't feel guilty cause it's also ok to be ok.
In this world of self loathing where we as a village are trying to teach our children to love themselves as they are… why are we now saying that pride is a bad thing? Pride is a bad thing if it’s used for unjustified boasting or has narcissistic undertones. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of one’s own accomplishments and patting oneself on the back for progress but when it crosses the line of self obsessed ego that’s when pride can be a bad thing.
Remember to celebrate accomplishments with those you care about or those who you were with from the beginning. Pride can do funny things to people. I had a conversation with my daughter the other day about people in her dance academy who move up to higher levels and then suddenly stop speaking to their friends in the lower levels. I also see that on social media. People who get popular, gain tons of followers then either stop interacting with friends who have less followers or just unfollow them all together, lol. Is this high opinion of oneself getting in the way of common sense? Vanity can cloud one’s judgement and I guess that’s why Pride is one of the seven deadly sins.
It’s eerie how the church saw this as a capital vice and classified it to help people stop their inclination towards evil before dire consequences occurred. The virtuous behavior of pride is humility. Humility is being modest about ones own accomplishments. You can still be proud but unassertive and graceful. Why are people mentally putting themselves so high up on a pedestal that they forget who was by their side in the beginning? I say always be mindful of who you are and where you came from. Always be authentic and true to yourself because you never know what can happen. As fast as you got there is as fast as you can lose it. One of my most favorite quotes which still holds true till this day:
” Be nice to people on your way up because you might meet them again on your way back down.”
They say to forgive people who hurt you in order for you to be able to move on. Well this doesn’t apply in every situation.
What happens when the person(s) you forgive continue to hurt you & it goes on for years? How long do you keep forgiving before it’s obvious you’ve become a doormat? I can get behind the whole theory of forgiveness but sometimes instead of forgiving you need to walk away and not look back. I’m not here to allow people to use me as their verbal punching bag. I think sometimes it’s better to forgive yourself and keep moving forward in life.
Instead of forgiveness, learn a lesson, don’t hate but don’t allow that person(s) to get close again. Don’t allow forgiveness to turn into foolishness.