Updated: Jan 16
In this moment of dis-ease I have been tapping into gratitude big time. Since my move from Philly (where I was born and raised) to New Jersey almost 5 years ago- I have built up a community of beautiful souls around myself. This week, although I am “alone”- I have never felt more loved and nurtured in my entire life. I spent the better part of my teens through today writing. I have a collection of journals and a couple published poems to prove it. I am being called to write and share with you- hopefully there is a reason I am doing this. It’s about to get real vulnerable up in here…
Pictured here along with my current work station: 1- homemade matzah ball soup and 2- homemade tulsi lemon ginger tea. These items were made for me by two very special souls I have met through yoga since living in New Jersey. They gave me these items on Thursday March 19, 2020. On the evening of March 20, 2020, I had the bright idea to drink way too much wine while video chatting with my old college roommate, yada yada yada, I woke up yesterday to a day of respite and the awareness of my need to put a pause on drinking alcohol. I am also filled with gratitude for the loving kindness of my soul tribe connections here in New Jersey and the magical synchronicity of nourishment bestowed upon me. If it weren’t for my soul tribe I wouldn’t be standing this open and free in front of you all right now. This is my pledge for as long as I am quarantined, and every day after that, I am going to do my part to be my best self. I am going to show up and share my light, my gift, my love for whoever is listening. I need to tap into spirit and alcohol is taking a hiatus from my journey. Here may be a shocker for some, not for others, up until December 28, 2019 I had an addiction issue with cigarettes as well. Yup. I lived a weird half life hidden under some darkness. Growing up with so much uneasiness comes with some drawbacks, like a confusion about who I really was. But- I am a beautiful human with flaws just like with all of us right? And it doesn’t mean that I am any less beautiful- does it?
Up until my awareness of the magnitude of the pandemic this week I was online shopping for wigs on the reg, oh yeah and I own 2 fake hair toppers but teaching yoga and wigs don’t really go together. I have very low self-esteem over my hair. It has always been thin but each few months, slowly, gradually over time, my hair keeps getting thinner and thinner. In this world of aesthetic beauty, well yea it comes with some drawbacks to be slowly going bald over time. I found out about 3 years ago that some females in my biological father’s family had very thin hair and wore wigs. I found this out from my Aunt Margie. I met her via a Facebook connection, my half sister who I never met in person until my Aunt Margie’s funeral on June 15, 2019. That’s a whole other story.
The balding thing doesn’t make me any less beautiful does it? I was told in my 20’s by a dermatologist it was most likely genetic and I chose to not use chemicals or super expensive so called remedies- there is no cure. One day when we get out of this mess I may or may not turn into the mom from Schitt’s Creek with a wicked wig collection, just sayin. How about with my issues with nicotine and alcohol? Does any of this stuff lesson all the great things I’ve done with my life? Does it lesson the loving care and guidance I give to all children with whom I come into contact with?
I have been referred to in my lifetime as having an archetype of Mary Poppins more than a few times - I carry parasols in the summer sun so as to not burn my sensitive skin and scalp. Children are drawn to me because I am fun and I am drawn to them because they move with pure spirit. I most recently have been hanging out a 2-year-old, 2-6 hours per week since he was 3 months old. Also, with an 8-year-old and 5-year-old providing private before/afterschool care. These kids keep me light. Children feed your soul and you feed their soul with whatever experiences you expose them to. My connection with children on this earth is magical. I have been in connection with little ones all throughout my life. My 1st and most favoritest (I know I am not supposed to have a favorite) but I can’t help the fact that when I became an aunt at 10 years old I was the happiest 10 year old girl in the whole wide world. I loved her so much when she was born it was like my heart burst open. I went on to have a total of 10 nieces and nephews. I have 5 great nieces and nephews and one on the way. Some I have never met, because in life things grow apart. They just do, it happens. Plus- my family is a bit complicated. I don’t have any children of my own, but I’ve connected with children so well my entire life because I remember what I wish I had when I was in my earliest developmental years. It was a driving force growing up in dysfunction because I never wanted to contribute to another child’s suffering at the hands of any form of abuse, including emotional abuse- the abuse that doesn’t have scars on the outside, but has scars on the inside. The ones that have taken me up until now to finally use as brilliant gold strength that cannot be broken. I have found a home inside myself. My soul. It is a magical place because I learned how to begin to let go of the illusion of control and began to watch my life unfold in beautiful ways. I know all of this spiritual stuff because I have spent my entire life healing, growing, falling down, getting smashed to bits, studying early human development, and studying yoga philosophy -physically, energetically, emotionally, through ancient wisdom learning how to heal my own wounds.
One wound that taught me a lot about who I am was a dark day where I spent a very long 8+ hour visit to a mental health hospital crisis and evaluation center because I was so lost and so far away from my soul that I had no desire to live. That mental health visit was December 26, 2016. On December 25, 2016 I broke off my engagement to the man I moved to New Jersey for in June of 2015. I was stuck in emotional patterns of pushing myself aside, manipulation, broken trust, poor communication, lies, control issues, yeah the list of wounded ways of living went on. I was basically engaged to the 2 worst parts of my parents and was living out some twisted childhood traumas as an adult. I also drank a lot during this time which made things worse. After all I did grow up with an emotional ineptitude of understanding what true intimacy looked like, didn't have good examples emulating the importance of self-care and suffered from the illusion that I could change another person without really working on myself and then I fell apart. I lost my shit on Christmas 2016 and gave him his ring back. I had a voice in my head screaming at me “This is not your husband! Your husband wouldn’t treat you like this!” It was a very dark time for me and a lot happened since then. Over the past 3 years I used Yoga, immersion in spiritual communities (yoga studio community, yoga/spiritual festivals, prayer group, talk therapy, lived at an ashram for a month after I lost my 9 year position at a center providing relationship based therapy to preschoolers with autism in August 2017), friends, laughter, nature, a lot of time alone, writing, exploring/traveling, photography, studying to become a yoga therapist, and connecting with children to heal, grow and find my soul again I do believe in this moment right now that it was my soul screaming at me to get out of that relationship Christmas 3 years ago. I didn’t know at the time because the voice of my soul wasn’t very clear. It was dimmed by/hidden by my human mind, a big disconnect was due to my disorienting childhood.
Through applying yogic principals in my life I have grown to be a more aware being. I have grown to be able to let go of crutches that kept me in the darkness. I am not going to judge myself for lessons learned through mistakes and setbacks. That is how this shit works- you need to become aware of why you do the things you do, how your history affects you and then choose in each moment what will drive your actions. Is it your Ego or Your Soul? You show up every day and you fucking work your ass off to get shit done, to move forward, to be your best self, to not beat yourself up when you make a mistake or fall down, because each day we have a choice to show up or not. I am showing up. I am shining my light. I am a human. I make mistakes. I have flaws. Flaws are what make us beautiful and unique. When I teach a yoga class I talk about that- we are all meant to look different in the poses because we are different- we’ve each lived different lives, have different bodies, have had an individual life experience- but we are all connected on the soul level.
I spent some time listening to Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher who died on December 22, 2019, a lot the week of February 25, 2020. I lost my voice February 28, 2020. After I gained my voice back I taught a yoga class where a student told me my throat chakra was on fire and my communication of yogic wisdom was on point. Since that time my ability to tap into yogic wisdom has been steadily growing stronger. It’s hard to explain. It’s as if I have been waiting my entire life for this moment to show up and help to change the world for the better. Ram Dass’ teachings talk about the unity and connection of humans and nature; he talks about being loving awareness and seeing your reflection in all living things. His spirit energy I do believe is one which we can now tap into in the universal consciousness. It’s time for us to adapt, evolve and make the world a better place for the children to grow up in. I’m telling you my story because I want you to see that spirituality works. I used Yoga as a tool to fix myself up and my gift will be continuing to bring it to you in our time of the darkest night of the soul. Use your life lessons and apply them now- generously. What are you grateful for? Do you live a meaningful life? What have you been chasing after in the world that is now so rapidly falling apart before our eyes? If you have any spiritual pursuits like yoga, nature, dancing, singing, music, family, kids, friends, laughter, art, things that light your soul up- I urge you to engage in those medicines now more than ever.
We are about to go through the darkest night of the human soul together. We didn’t listen to nature when Australia and California were on fire, when we had the most insane hurricane season last year, when the climate is clearly shifting, when our sea life was dying, when the icebergs were melting, when the animals were going extinct, when we were running out of the fossil fuels that pollute the air we breathe, when religions, skin color, race, gender identity divided us. This list goes on. It’s time to wake up my friends. Nature is seeking balance and she is finding it by pushing the humans into their homes. We are in the middle of a human evolution. I have had a personal evolution through my 39 years and my personal darkest night of the human soul. I want you to know that we can make it a brighter place when we get through this. Do your part. Show up. Wake up. Things are changing in a big huge scary way. We are all in this together. What yoga has taught me is that no matter the chaos going on around me- I am balanced. I am steady. I am strong. I breathe, stand tall, move with grace through all of the transitions in my life. In this moment as I write this to you all I am not scared. I have watched my life fall apart before my eyes and I have also watched myself build it back up- through the love found in connecting with humans and all of nature.
Yoga means Union, Oneness, it’s teachings tell us that everything in nature is connected, just like the teachings of Ram Dass, through a divine source. This is our true nature. It’s time for each one of us to remember. We need to begin to see through the veil of illusion. To do this you need to be smart about your choices and take care of yourself. Yoga teaches us that we each have different layers- physical body, breath/energy body, emotional body, logical/wisdom body and the spirit- who we really are. In order to live from the spirit we must do the work to find balance / harmony within all of the parts of ourselves- within those broken, bruised, scared, confused, lost parts of ourselves. You get to choose what you focus on from here on out. You can get covered up in the illusion that the physical world is unchanging, your fear of death, your ego- the voice of judgement and who you mistakenly believe that you are, your attachment- the voice of control, your aversion- the voice that is in denial about what is really happening here. Or you can wake up and see the truth of the fact that the only unchanging thing in our lives is the divine spark within each and every one of us. We are being invited to remember what is truly important. Kindness and compassion for ourselves and everyone else, truthfulness in thought word and deed, not taking things from others/not taking more then we need, remembering our connection to everyone/everything, living simply and generously, remaining clean/pure, being disciplined in our pursuit of enlightenment, engaging in self study through applying ancient wisdom, and surrendering to something much larger then ourselves at play here.
To me the important things in life include:
Making a positive impact on children, our future.
Making a positive impact on humans that I interact with.
Surrounding myself with people who value doing the work to heal themselves.
Shining my light on those who need some love to make it through the darkness.
Energetically supporting those humans on the front lines of this war.
Doing my part to shift nature into balance by finding balance within myself.
Believing in magic.
Yoga teaches us that all of divine creation has states of energy. Active, Dull and Pure. We are seeking to find a balance of the active/dull and move more towards purity. The only way to shift yourself into balance is to dig in and do the work. If you are lucky enough to have a lot of time on your hands- get to work. Shit is about to get real. The hardest work of all might be learning how to slow down and hear the voice of your spirit, the voice of your soul. Fill your social media with positivity, follow spiritual leaders, read ancient spiritual texts, get inspired.
Let’s work to support to sustain our Earth while we are blessed enough to be here. We all came here for specific reasons, our dharma, our spiritual purpose. Figure out your work and do it. Find presence in the moment, breathe, connect with and move from your center. When you make a mistake, like drink your face off in the middle of a global pandemic, wake up the next day and do better. This is me doing better. I love you. We will be better for having maneuvered with ease and grace through this transition. Stay informed of what you need to but don’t get lost in the fear. We can choose to live scared to death of death or we can choose to live. We cannot control the physical world, we cannot get stuck in worry about the future, we only have this moment right now. Do your best and keep holding an intention of things working out for the highest good for all involved.
Do what you want with this. My spirit is telling me to write/share and I am listening.