Friday, December 30, 2016

Wow 2016. Just, wow.

Not sure about you, but the past year has brought on some very refining experiences for many. Personally, it's been one of the most challenging but even more rewarding years of my entire life. Putting this emotion into words is proving to be difficult, but I’m going to give it a go.

My last post was back in April when I announced that I was pregnant with my first child. Since then, I’ve gone through the rigors of new mom bootcamp called pregnancy and labor that have significantly changed me from the inside out. I have pushed through the mental, physical, and emotional obstacles that I never new existed and never dreamed I could achieve. But, I did. By breathing through each moment, not always calmly, not always present, but always in it, I grew stronger. I learned that I have more fight and beauty within me than I could have ever imagined. I’m getting teary writing this because I think of all the years I wasted thinking I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, brave enough. But 2016 has shown me that I am. I thought I knew that before through my years of self-study, healing, meditation, and yoga, but now, I’ve been taken to a new level of knowing. To my little angel who has made me a better human all around, I am forever grateful. I have officially learned the art of patience and surrender, though I’m sure I’ll need to learn this lesson again in the future.

Everyone tells you that becoming a parent is the most amazing thing you can experience. It’s the best ‘job’ in the world, and that you never fully understand it until it happens. They are right. Every parenting cliché’ I’ve ever heard is a cliché’ for a reason – it’s true. Looking ahead to the year to come, I feel hopeful. There are many who feel 2016 was ‘horrible’ and can’t wait for it to be over. For me, it was hard. It was gritty. It was raw. And, it was magic.

Here’s to another magical year, no matter the lessons ahead of us and the challenges to be presented. They are there to cause us to grow and change into a shinier, more beautiful version of ourselves. We can choose to take on the challenge or not. But I urge you, open yourself up to the beauty that comes from being broken. You won’t regret it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Secret Diary of a Pregnant Yogi

As some of you know, I have recently discovered that as of January I am expecting a new little human to enter my life! It's very exciting news and we are thrilled and grateful. At first this news is very joyful and exciting but also quite overwhelming. Having not been aware of really what to expect, the last few months have been quite a shock to the system. The first three months of creating a human have proven to be some of the most challenging months of my life. How did I get through it? My ever trusty yoga and meditation, of course!

After first learning of our bun in the oven, we were overjoyed! But, after all the bubbly feel goods faded, I was left with constant nausea, extreme chronic fatique, bloating, and a plethora of other not so pleasasnt symptoms (which I won't go into for your sake). What typically consisted of mostly veggies, my diet was shifting into the abyss of cravings for sugar and fatty foods. Every time I saw a Mcdonald's commercial or someone eating cake, I was overcome with desire for that particular food. What was happening to this energetic and happy yogi? After many moments of anxiety and wondering when it would all be over, I realised very quickly that this is exactly why people don't tell you they are pregnant until after the first trimester is over! No one wants to hear about how miserable you are feeling, and you really don't want to talk about it.

The main reason I want to express the hardship I experienced is becasue I had NO idea it could be as hard as it was. I was totally unprepared mentally for the days ahead, and I hope that I can be that voice for someone else. The bottom line is that it's ALL going to be okay! Even though I found that hard to believe at the time. Meditation and yoga were my daily morning companions. The beauty of it was that no matter how awful I was feeling, I always felt like I was able to come home into my body through my practice. Although this little alien had invaded it, my mind and body could still find connection, stillness, and peace within the discomfort.

Toward the end of a straight 7 week period of this, with many deep breaths, practice, and family support, I was finally able to come to a place of acceptance. Gradually, the symptoms began to ease and today I am feeling more energetic than I have in over 12 weeks! So, it does get better... There is a light at the end of the tunnel of knitting a human in those early months. There are tools to be used that will give you a reprieve from the challenge.

And, this applies to everyone, not just expectant mothers. No matter the issue, conflict, or challenge, you can find rest within your breath. You can come home and find peace at any time, or learn to lean in and breathe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When a ‘pity party’ feels like the only way.

As someone that has personally suffered for decades with anxiety and depression, I at one time was very familiar with the concept of throwing myself a ‘pity party.’ During my college years it was a regular occurrence that was one of my main coping mechanisms. It seemed to be one of the only things to bring me solace in this new world of independence I felt ill-equipped to handle.

After many years of yoga, meditation, and professional therapy, my parties have nearly come to an end. On the occasional day of hormonal craze or when Im feeling completely depleted, they will sometimes start up again. But, now they are significantly less loud, frequent, and lingering. After a rush of sorrow and ‘woe is me’ I realise what an incredible waste of time it is and decide that I am way to busy for it! I have a life to live. I have people to love. And now, I have the healthy coping mechanisms to make powerful changes in my own life, relationships, and the challenges I face.

Often times, we recognize in others the things that we dislike most about ourselves. I can honestly say that I can spot a pity party a mile away. Why? Because I've been there. The good thing about being somewhere you don’t want to be and having the ability to get out of it, is that you have an invaluable road map to share this ability with others who are struggling.

Don't be a silent sufferer. There are plenty of resources if you or someone you know is suffering. And remember that you are not a stigma. You are a human working through human issues and many times, humans needs each other.