Yoga Taught Me – Part Two

Ever since I got back from my recent trip to Hong Kong I’ve been feeling quite off; Let’s be honest I’ve been having a heaviness/stiffness over me for a while now. I feel like I’m stuck just going through the motions but even worse I’ve been an emotional wreck. When I’m not feeling the best I kind of always force myself to be active, so last night I decided at the last moment to go to a yin yoga class. A little backstory for about a year plus now I’ve been dealing with left hip pain and mobility issues. With that being said certain yoga poses are limited or downright painstaking. So I arrive at the class unroll my mat, settle in, and BAMM the instructors first pose is a hip opener. She literally went right in – no fourplay, no lube, no small talk to ease me into this moment of high discomfort. The thing with yin classes is that it is all about letting go and allowing gravity to pull you deeper into a pose, no resistance just complete surrender. So as my stiff body is trying to breathe through the pain, it hits me that this has been me in real life. I have such an underlining fear of being hurt and uncomfortable that I create resistance to the unknown, yet I wasn’t always this way. Somehow this limited range of (e)motion seems safer than flowing past my self created threshold of comfort. Encouraged by the instructor, in this class that I now see is all hip opening, I acknowledge the sensations and discomforts and I let go. I let go – first of the fear of being uncomfortable and then I let go of the idea that pain was restricting me. I was restricting myself. As I overcame my fear and stopped resisting discomfort I was delivered to a deeper less uncomfortable space. I could literally feel my hips gently opening up, tissue releasing itself. I began to cry. Tears for keeping myself bound up like this. Tears for all the fears and lies I told myself. But most importantly tears knowing that I am and can break down these emotional and physical barriers I placed on myself.

Mind, body, soul – a unit. When there is dis-ease in one they all suffer, yet when there is peace with one they all find peace. Currently working to find peace and freedom within my unit. May peace be with all of you. ūüôā

Photowall Room Transformation

The idea of home has always been sacred to me; my sanctuary. From the way it smells, to the lighting, colors, and arrangement of furniture and decor. Lately I’ve slowly started making changes in my place to give me more warm and cozy vibes. Naturally when Photowall emailed me about doing a product review I was beyond excited.

So for those of you not familiar with Photowall they are an online retailer from Sweden that provides thousands of murals, canvas prints, and custom designs to suit any theme or space. I will say at first the amount of options were a little overwhelming considering they have so many beautiful¬† to choose from. I was in search of a wall mural for my bedroom so I knew I wanted something versatile yet statement worthy. I’ve always been a fan of exposed brick, so this helped me narrow my choices down because I was then able to search under “textures” then “bricks” to find my ideal mural. I choose “Stockholm Brick Wall”. I loved the variety of color in the brick pattern. The process from there is easy, simply put in your wall measurements, select the material (I choose standard), and add to cart. Wallpaper paste is included with the mural, at checkout it was suggested to add the wallpaper kit which included all the tools to seamlessly execute the hanging of the mural.

After placing my order the mural arrived in less than five business days in two streamlined packages. One package contained the mural roll, instructions, and wallpaper paste.  The other box contained the wallpaper kit (a brush to apply the paste, a level, pencil, trimming knife and guide, a smoothing brush, and a seam roller).

Photowall Mary Chryston
The slogan is an actual fact. My room received a major improvement!

The first thing I noticed after taking the mural roll out of the box was how vivid and lifelike the brick pattern was. The mural was divided into nine panels that were clearly labeled yet needed to be cut apart. That was one step I wish was already done.  It took me about four hours to prep, install, and trim the mural. The process was fairly easy, if I had assistance the time could easily be cut in half. Immediately after just installing one of the nine panels I was super excited. I literally started happy dancing. First the fact that it covered well over my dark textured wall was a relief but the realism in the design took me aback. The colors and detail popped. I ended up with extra wallpaper leftover which I decided to cover an Ikea bookshelf with.

 

Overall I really love this product, every time I walk into my bedroom I get the feels. I posted part of the process on my Instagram story and followers were actually stomped. Some thought I painted the faux brick wall while others thought I actually installed a brick panel in my room. My room now embodies a sort of rustic city vibe that I adore. With so many motifs to choose from Photowall will definitely be apart of any future decorating plans.

The before photo of my room before was a little sad. Thank you Photowall for helping me fall in love with my bedroom. With a few more updates my sanctuary will be complete!

Be the Master of Lemons

What a great feeling it is to turn your emotions around. To be able to transform pain, anger, and heartache into something beautiful and beneficial to yourself and others. Because not everyday is going to be outright amazing, but it can be satisfying. The truth is most days are just going to be okay, and some days are going to be a mix of OMG that was incredible and OMG somebody put me out of my misery. Whatever the type of day we have, remember that life is constantly moving. So if it is a glorious day feel gratitude for that moment, if it’s a shitty day feel gratitude knowing that you a blessed very shortly with a new moment and a new day.

Become the master of lemons, do not just stop at lemonade, make lemon cake, lemon water, lemon infused face masks, and any other lemony goodness you can come up with. Hell sometimes a plain on lemon can be just what you need. Whatever the case enjoy what you have but don’t be afraid to push for something better. Become the master alchemist of your life.

 

Me Too

One thing that has been apparent my whole life is the unfair advantage of power that men have over women; more specifically the unfair use of that power against women. We live in such highly sexualized society, where often times more value is placed on a woman’s body than her mind. Within the last year we have seen the news light up with so many scandals of women being date raped and sexually assaulted by their peers. This deplorable act isn’t just happening around Hollywood stars, but on college campuses, the corporate world, nightclubs, and casual evenings out.

US studies show that 1 in 6 women will be raped during their first year of college while incapacitated either from too much alcohol or from being drugged.* The question that I can’t get away from is why some men feel entitled to abuse and violate a woman in that way? I recently listened to a podcast (The No 4Play Podcast) where a group of men addressed the fact that rape culture is real and prevalent on a local level. They also touched on how men who do not directly participate in the culture are closing a blind eye to the what is going around them. What the podcast did even more so was inspire me to share my story.

One of the worst feelings about being sexually assaulted for me was having hours of my life unaccounted for. The morning when I woke up after being date raped was pure confusion. A failed attempt of putting together the timeline of the night prior. The only thing I knew was that I was in the bed of one of my colleagues and could feel that my tampon was lodged extremely far inside of me. I had no recollection of anything that happened in this person’s apartment, no recollection of driving to said apartment (which was at least twenty minutes away from the venue we were at), no recollection of talking to my friends at the after hours event we all went to. My last conscious thoughts were of this colleague of mine¬†(who I was hanging out with for the first time) ordering me a drink at the bar and of me glancing around the room to see who was there. Literally so many moments unspoken for. Moments stolen from me. Moments never to find truth and decency in.

So, I retract my statement, the worst thing about being sexually assaulted is doing nothing about it. I literally was so confused and still foggy from the night prior that I did absolutely nothing. I simply went home.  On edge and highly perplexed, I went home and struggled to remove the tampon, that I thought I would need medical assistance to help remove. That should have been incentive to move me in the right direction of seeking help, but still I did nothing. I proceeded to call a few friends that I knew were at the event that night to see if anything strange was going on with me. Nothing. They all responded you seemed fine and were talking to us and that they saw me leave with the perpetrator. One of my guy friends probed more into why I was asking all of this, so I told him, and as any guy that actually gives a shit he was heated to the point he personally questioned this person. Yet no further attempt to find truth and justice on my part. Honestly, I just wanted it all to go away. I wanted to pretend it never happened, bury the ugly memory deep within me.

The next time I went to work I briefly hinted to one of my coworkers that I bar tended with what happened, she automatically stopped me and simply said the same thing happened to her with him! My heart sank knowing that this guy is probably violating so many more women especially considering we are in the nightlife business and there are hundreds of beautiful carefree women at easy access for him to target. Yet those simple words of camaraderie offered me some relief; it confirmed for me that what I presumed happened actually did indeed happen. It was now real and not a figment of my imagination. This really happened and I wasn’t to blame for any of it. Victim guilt started to slowly dissipate.

All those feelings briefly came to a halt when I was aggressively cornered and told by four of the perpetrators male peers that I need to stop spreading rumors. My guy friend I previously mentioned came to them about the issue, and accused the perpetrator of sexually assaulting me. I told them it was not a rumor but honestly I felt so intimated in the situation I couldn’t say anything else! One of my biggest weakness is my avoidance of confrontation. Those men had no right approaching me in that manner especially considering the nature of the situation. They were too concerned about how the image of their business would be affected to actually stop and think, wait, this woman could have actually been violated by our peer. Some of these men were or are now fathers and I can’t help but think that this is the culture they are promoting for their daughters, as well as their sisters, cousins, girlfriends, and mothers to live in.

I’m tired of living in a culture and supporting a culture that is tolerant to the sexual assault of women. I cannot be silent any longer. Surely people will come out and say why now, after all these years. Because now is the time I have finally gained my power to speak out, to not feel ashamed, to not care how other people may view me. Now is when I can say to women your body is just that, YOUR body. No one has the right to access your body unless you grant them that permission; and God forbid it does happen to you speak out. Go to the hospital, press charges, hell have your brother, cousin, father whoop his ass – let the world know that as women we will not tolerate this. As for the men that may be reading this, STOP LOOKING AWAY. Too many times in society we say it’s not my business, but when will it be your business when that statistic of 1 in 6 happens to someone you care about?

Change definitely needs to happen and it starts with each and everyone of us. This issue is not a joke. It’s a harsh violation of not just of a woman’s body but also her psyche. A violation of her trust, self confidence, and her own feelings of sensuality. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault there are many resources out there. (800) 656-Hope is a 24hr help line available to help assist you with seeking the necessary medical and emotional support and other resources you may need. You can also visit http://www.rainn.org.

You have a voice, and that voice matters. You matter.

 

 

*Statistic taken from U.S. News & World Report Article: “1 in 6 Female College Freshman Rapes While Incapacitated: Study”

Now is Always a Good Time…

Stop waiting for a person, place, or event to make you feel how you truly wish to feel.

Do you have this idea in your mind that some epic change in your life is going to bring you exponential happiness? Whether it is falling in love with the person of your dreams, that big career opportunity, visiting some exotic country, getting to your goal weight, or whatever it may be, understand that how you feel about yourself and your life is not contingent on those things. You can feel joy, worthiness, love, abundance accomplishment right now; feel it along the journey, and once you achieve those milestones in your life.

For so many people especially women we are ingrained with this idea that we need to be in a relationship to experience fulfillment, love, and joy. We start believing that our worth is directly correlated with someone seeing us as desirable. Yet what does that say of how we view ourselves? Are we truly loving ourselves? Are we making our own interests, needs, and desires a priority? Do we view them as sacred and something we will not fully compromise on. Vow right now to be your best suitor, lover, and friend so that there never is a day you feel void or depleted of love and self worth.

Maybe you are waiting for that big career move to prove to your family, partner, or peers, that you are worthy to have a seat at the table of success. The truth is they probably already see so much in you, maybe even more than you see in yourself. Believe in your talent and own your success. If you are on the journey to a better version of yourself, you are already winning. Just be sure to stay authentic to who you are along the way. Other people may want you to take a specific course in your career endeavors but this is your life and you have to live with the decisions you make. Confidence, persistence, and owning the moment can take you where you want to be so enjoy every moment of it, doing it your way.

Do you find yourself having a serious case of FOMO? We live in such a social media driven world that we only see the best highlights of someone’s life. Those highlights can make our everyday moments feel a little less than mediocre. Everyone’s idea of fun, excitement, and beauty is different. Live you life authentically doing the things that matter and bring you the most joy. If anything take what you see on social media as an inspiration to do more within the realm of your definition of joy. You don’t have to go to a foreign country to fulfill your need of adventure get out in your own city/state and do something you never done.

Stop seeking validation in everyplace but within yourself.¬† Decide today to feel, love, joy, success, and excitement in your life right now. Let’s make the most of right now while progressing towards the future.

 

If You Want It, It’s Yours

One of the greatest bits of knowledge ever taught to me was about manifestation. The logic that an idea or belief can become reality with intense focus and action. The key for manifestation to work is that we need a clear idea of exactly what it is we want.

Recently the vision of my future started to get very blurry. I could feel myself just drifting through day to day life. A big problem of mine is that my wants and goals often get sidetracked or fused with others wants and goals; especially while in a relationship. I’m a certified people pleaser. I genuinely gain so much joy from helping, catering to, and loving others – many times to my own disadvantage. It’s like a gift and curse handed down to me from the people pleaser supreme – my mother. With age and many unfavorable situations I learned that what I truly desire for myself matters. Living for my own desires and dreams is the basis for true self-respect, self-love, and integrity. That embodiment of self-worth only naturally attracts more love, appreciation, and respect from others.

Manifestation is not just a one time thing, it’s an as long as we are living and breathing on this earth thing. I’m learning with myself that everyday I have to be cognizant of what my big picture looks like; really visualize it and do something that day that is going to put me more inline with making it a reality. I find that physically writing down my aspirations helps put them in perspective and feel more real. Day by day, little by little the key is to just stay focused – no distractions!