My dear friend, Oceantann, who is an amazing artist and founder and creator of oceaninspace.com, is helping me create some super cute stuff to help build up my little yogi empire, which will be less of an empire and more of a super fun hangout space, maybe something like an ‘ island of awesomeness ; consisting of yoga, cats, food, and lots of other cool sh*t’.
I call this image, ” Everyday “. I’m sure those of you who have pets understand what its like every time you get on your mat to do yoga, workout, or meditate. I’m not complaining, life is more interesting, more full of love with our furry babies.
Stay tuned for more stuff in the next little while!
A few weeks back I was talking with my partner about meditation, yoga, and inspiration. He had mentioned Bob Ross, and looked at me with a bit of a stunned look when I said I didn’t know who he was–I feel like there are a bunch of things I missed growing up as an only child. So we searched for a video on Youtube and I soon became mesmerized by Bob Ross’s show, ” The Joy of Painting”. I’m sure a lot of you remember watching this show in the late eighties and nineties until its final show in 1994.
During the 26 or so odd minutes that Bob taught us how to paint a beautiful mountain landscape, I realized that he was teaching me, and who ever else has seen this video, a lot more than just how to paint. He infused this half-hour instructional video with reminders to let go, trust, and to be present, which is often taught in yoga and meditation. How awesome was it that he was doing this so everyone could tune in and watch in the comfort of their own homes?
Bob Ross was teaching mindfulness through painting, whether this was initially his intention on not, and I am thankful I have discovered him as an adult. Lessons, inspiration, and your mentors can be found all around you and can take on many different forms. Be open to the possibility of learning from every moment, every interaction and infuse these lessons into every aspect of your life.
I still remember the day vividly; I consider it a pivotal time of my life, it was the day that I fell in love with yoga. As someone who was never very athletic, never played on sports teams, my inactiveness made me feel like a weakling, on top of always being the shortest person in the room. When I found the practice of yoga, it shook awake a creative connection to my physical body, my emotional body, and my spiritual body, although it would take sometime before I truly realized this.
My realization of how important it is to move your body and cultivate a deeper bond to this vessel that willingly carries me occurred when I finally decided to take my yoga teacher training. This journey of uncovering a deeper awareness for my body actually began the day I went to my first yoga class in 2009, but when I finally did my yoga teacher training in 2013 this was when I truly felt like I was unlocking something sacred and beautiful. This amazing practice has taught me so much about my self, about kindness, about love, about understanding, about listening, and it continues to teach me every single day. When I finished my training I knew that I wanted to share this with everyone around me.
So far, and yes I know that I have only taken a few steps on this path, this has been an incredible journey and I have met some of the most amazing and inspiring people. Like any journey though, it is not without its challenges. Most challenges are like little bumps, the road gets rough with a few pot holes that you have to navigate around, but nothing that you feel you cannot overcome. But, what happens when you reach a wall?
I am sure you have experienced this too, you feel like you have made it so far along the path you have been travelling on only to look ahead to see a wall. When you look up further the wall is so tall that you think to yourself, ” There is no way I can climb that! Where am I suppose to go now? “. Recently, I found myself in front of a wall, one that was pretty tall, and definitely unclimbable. I was feeling particularly down on myself, I don’t doubt that part of it was the winter blahs, I noticed that I was doing the same thing every day and the motivation to create something or make something seemed like it vanished–kind of like the snow on the ground ( I live in Canada where there is suppose to be snow in winter!). The stagnation in my life made me start to think that , ” maybe I should quit and stop teaching yoga, maybe this isn’t what I am suppose to be doing”. Along with that came the long list of things that I knew I wasn’t doing that I’ve been procrastinating for months ( or longer)–one of them was a new blog post on my empty looking website.
I didn’t write up this post to announce that I have given up, and I certainly didn’t write this post to whine about how unmotivated I have been; quite the opposite actually. The first thing I did once I realized I was letting these thoughts get the best of me was take the time to acknowledge how I was feeling. I began to talk to friends. I reached out to friends and family, people I admire, to talk about ideas, to talk about what its like to feel lost, bored, unmotivated, to talk about dreams and goals. And it helped. It reminded me that this isn’t a lone journey, I have many people by my side, friends, family, strangers, acquaintances, people that inspire me. We are all in this together, it’s important to reach out, share your struggles because we have all been there at some point and needed help climbing out of the hole we may have dug for ourselves. It is important to realize that there is always another way, another route, it may have been hidden or covered but it is always there.
I decided to not give up, to not quit, because I love what I do, and I cannot give up on a journey that has only begun. I encourage you to do the same. Yes, it won’t be easy, but it is always worth it, there will always be someone or something that shows you a path you never knew existed. Face your fears, acknowledge how they make you feel, move forward, and don’t look back. You’ve got this, because we’ve got each other.
If you made it to the end of this post. I thank you for taking the time to read, I hope it has brought you some light to your day.
Love you always,
Hey Friends! After a little two week vacation visiting friends & family in Kenora, On, and Brandon, MB I’m back in London Ontario and ready for the next adventure! We all need a little escape from the bustle of our busy lives and to take time to reconnect with others and the abundant nature that surrounds us. Although it seemed a bit inconvenient and frustrating at times, being without internet and inconsistent cell phone service forced me to put down my phone and my laptop to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with myself.
Looking back, I’m glad I had the opportunity to just sit back and relax and take in the fresh air, trees, lake views, and indulge in the beauty of life itself. Indulging can be challenging as a yogi, once you become attune to all the subtle and not so subtle shifts that can happen in your body and mind when you have too much of a thing ( i.e chocolate, beer, food, ). We can get it in our head that we are a bad yogi if we drink beer or eat bacon and eggs for breakfast( and yes I do these things). I think the worst thing you can do is make your self feel bad for the decisions you have made. You have to take full responsibility of your choices–and lets be real, no matter what you do or say, someone else may not agree with you. THAT IS OKAY!
If we strive for perfection we are just going to find ourselves feeling like we are never good enough. We have to remind ourselves that it is the little choices and decisions we make day to day that benefit everyone as a whole. Be the best possible version of yourself in this very moment and keep in mind that there will always be things that you can change and improve. Everything is constantly evolving, changing, and morphing into different things. I’ve spent way too much time ( and still do from time to time) comparing myself to others and wanting to be as good as so and so. Be yourself. Be your best self today, and remind yourself that every single day.
Take time away for you, for your soul, for your heart, for your mind. Whether its only 5 mins of meditation in the morning before work, or a weekend out of town, or an adventure to somewhere you’ve never been, it doesn’t matter. Just remove yourself from what was or what will be and just be present in the now. As Ram Dass would say, ” Be here now”.
These are a few reflections I had while I spent the past two weeks away. I feel alive, rejuvenated, and fresh with a brand new perspective. I’m ready to take on what ever comes my way.
I’ve spent a lot of time letting myself feel worthless, not good enough, and a failure. My own personal journey through Yoga has helped me to stand up to these sorts of feelings and remind my self of the truth; that I am worthy, I am enough, and that my failures don’t define me, they merely teach me a lesson. Life changes and fluctuates, just as the tides of the ocean come in and out of the shore. Sometimes I feel my emotions are stronger than me, and I succumb to the power of my own thoughts. I am sent into a tail spin of belittling comments I have stored away for myself, ” You aren’t that great of a yoga teacher, you don’t have the confidence of so and so, you haven’t even read the Bhagavad Gita yet, you don’t meditate enough” .. you get it. On and on I let myself become depressed, and completely absorbed by a sea of thoughts that DON’T define me.
I know I am not alone, and this is why I am speaking up.
I may never be rid of these thoughts, but I shall never let these thoughts prevent me from continuing on the path that I am on. Just like in yoga, when we find ourselves in a challenging pose we think, ” I can’t do it”, often our mind tells us that so we listen and want to quit. As soon as we are in an uncomfortable or challenging position we want out. We don’t want anything to do with it. Even writing this blog post I am thinking, whether I even want to post this.
We are creatures of habit, it takes time and constant positive affirmation to break certain habits, but YOU GOT THIS. If its not going to kill you or harm you, don’t stop. Keep on going, you will be so happy you did. Stay dedicated to your practice and your passions, what ever they look like. Your journey is very different from everyone else’s. Everyday there is a new lesson to learn, there will be new obstacles to jump through, and new doors that will open. Stay positive. Stay humble. You are deserving of everything you do. You are deserving of love, happiness, joy, and wealth. Don’t be someone else, be you, be your best self. There will always be something positive in every situation. You are not alone!
We are all trekking through our separate journey’s alongside each other.
You are the love and you are the light.
peace & love