Yoga is Dead, and I’m taking a blog break.

I just found an article and a podcast that I must share with you. The article completely hooked me. It made me feel so encouraged about the potential trajectory of yoga because it opens up the conversation, and hopefully a pathway towards inclusion and wellness as being defined both internally, by our own sense of coming home, rather than by what we currently envision a yoga practice to look or sound like, and externally by approaching yoga as social, political, and both uncomfortable and the most rewarding.

My issue with the yoga industry is that there is so much spiritual bypassing going on. It’s become an ego-centric space, ironically. At the moment, in yoga, we don’t learn union, or do no harm. We learn to barely breathe and fully bypass.

The article is called “Wellness isn’t always welcoming. Meet the women bringing change to the industry,” published on Today.com. My business partner and I have been working carefully over the years to deliver yoga as a way to access yourself, and be accessible to everyone, with only half the success. We are continuing to peel the layers of our own blind spots. The podcast, Yoga is Dead— I can’t wait to listen to all the episodes. This morning, I listened to Episode 1, and it was phenomenal. I invite you to read the article and listen to this podcast with me.

In the meantime, as I work to best serve my community during this historic moment of reckoning, and at the same time move them over to a platform that better assists us in this process, I need to stop, listen, and learn. I need to take some time to make sure that I understand what I am doing, and that I am not causing more harm.

I’ll be back.

Moving forward: does motivation create action? or vice versa?

We let our fears get the best of us, and we need to figure out how to get the best of fear. Listen to your thoughts. Are they dwelling on the excuses, reasons, obstacles, and exhaustion? Stop it. Observe your body. Are you holding tension anywhere? Release it. Ask yourself: what one thing can I do right now? No matter how small, stop the judgment and do it with full abandon.

Preparedness can only take you so far. Action will take you the rest of the way. It will get you more prepared and more motivated. Action. Then motivation. To count on it the other way around will turn you into a victim all over again.

Lighten up and forgive

I think there comes a point where you have to grow up and get over yourself, lighten up… and forgive.

-Jennifer Aniston

As tempting is the need to be right, it’s a miserable existence. Not giving it the energy, letting it go, and having a sense of humor and curiosity is a blessed life. You’ll know how you’re doing by paying attention to the amount of tension in your body. To how easily you can smile from the heart. It takes a self-assured (or tired!) person to do this. Or… by doing this, you become self-assured, less tired, and joyful.

It is what it is…

Right now, I’m thinking of the Hamilton song “The World Turned Upside Down”…

When our life changes overnight – even when the build up’s been there all along – what used to be almost seems like a dream. I wake up asking myself, was it real?

There are memories in my mind, proof in photos and even in conversations with those that shared the same dream with me.
On some days, it feels like poof! Gone, like it was never there. It feels good, bad, and neutral at the same time. Sometimes the bad feels bad because I feel like I should miss that dream more than I do. The good feels good because I’ve learned to take what I got and make something magical out of it. I’ve learned to trust that this is yet another pivotal moment that I’m supposed to be a part of, and I get to decide how.

It is what it is.

I hear this often with a tone that implies, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Yes, and….

Like improv. We get to navigate and play with a new scenario and new information that’s thrown at us. We get to first dictate our own amendments to the constitution by which we lived.

“I’m so inflexible and stressed out, I should do yoga”

To think yoga is to get body-flexible and to manage stressful moments may be missing the point.
True flexibility and stress management comes from the practice of breaking through your own barriers and blind spots, and using your newly honed tools to serve others. Service and advocacy (for oneself and for others) is the ultimate self-care. The practice of yoga places the mirror in front of you, puts you under pressure, and taps you into your internal resources to better navigate those irritations and to overcome yourself so that you can thrive in life and elevate the rest of the world with you.

Feedback puts you (back) on track

My partner and I have been building a new client site, and after the first 10 hours of work, we had some of our members look at it. They were totally confused about what it was.

Yikes!

THANK. GOD. for feedback! I would’ve kept going with my design trajectory, and the deeper I would’ve gone, the more attached I would have gotten, and the more catastrophic the results would have been. Rather than beating myself up or saying “maybe I can’t do this,” I stepped back for several days, self-soothed my bruised ego, let the feedback sink in, asked more questions, got solid in identifying where I had to get out of my own head, shifted, and redesigned the site. After a few more key notes from clients – also life saving – the “final” output that we are currently rolling out is getting sweet, delicious feedback.

One evening, a week ago, I got lost in a dialogue inside of a private Facebook group.
In this long thread, two woman shared some things. You could tell they meant them from the heart… yet they were so blinded by privilege, it really hurt to read. The cringe factor was awkwardly high.
What ensued was some serious schooling by other women that evening. It was difficult to witness because the two women got very defensive. I knew quite a few of these women, so I was drawn in. Their voices projected a mixture of disbelief, anger, clarity, firmness, accountability, and tough love. No one attacked their be-ing. I take it back. One woman did towards the end, probably out of sheer frustration. I don’t know if the two women were able to take the feedback as a wake up call to do some reading and inquiry after that night. I understand that it would be difficult to be open at the moment (clearly they were blind-sided), but the next day, or the day after that, hopefully the defensive posturing melted and they became open to looking at what everyone else was trying to say.

I’ve gotten plenty of feedback on my gender pronoun confusion by my daughter. I make mistakes all the time, and sometimes I want to defend myself, but I don’t. No reason to explain why I can’t get it right…that’s really not the point, and I know that. Though as I write this, what hit me is that I can commit harder. I only hadn’t because… wait for it… “it doesn’t affect me.” Shit. (That sentence was hard to type out, and I have a strong urge to delete it.)
My daughter, when she corrects me, isn’t sweet about it, nor is she hateful or judging. She doesn’t excuse me or tell me it’s okay. She comes at me with an assumption that I’m not fragile, and that I’m open and can be held accountable. She uses the right amount of firm (which is “very”), she’s succinct, and she’s totally unapologetic about it. She wakes me up, makes me pay attention, and want to do better the next time.

Regenerate and rock your work

Get fresh air. Play. Find laughter. Serve the people around you. Get in touch with your sadness and let your tears flow. Let things go, you’ll be okay. Know why you’re letting things in. Stay hydrated. Find your humanity.

At the end of her podcast called Unlocking Us, Brene Brown asks every guest a number of personal rapid fire questions. One of them is, what do people get wrong about you?
Often, the answer is something like, that I’m serious and angry...I’m really not; I have a great sense of humor, in fact.

There’s work to do to make this world good for everyone and everything. You can do it like Trevor Noah, or you can do it like Ta-Nehisi Coates. Just because we see people advancing humanity through their serious work, calling in, shedding light on injustice, and shaking reality, doesn’t mean that they’re serious and angry. It’s just that it’s an appropriate moment to be serious (unless you’re a comedian). Calling them angry is a distraction.

All that said, play, laughter, tears, fresh air, personal space, and service to others is your regenerator. It’s what allows you to get serious, to harness anger for good, and to find your true vitality, your potency, your humanity. I imagine that there’s a good dose of that in the personal lives of her guests.

We create networks when we have kids. But what about one for our inner children?

When we start having kids, we start making efforts to reach out and get together with other new parents. Going from no kids to having kids, depending on our personality, this can feel like a lot of work, but we all do it because we need the support. It gets easier, and we start scheduling playdates and share babysitting duties without a second thought. It becomes a part of our operating system. We know it’s worth the effort.

But what about for your inner child? Where is your network of support? You know this isn’t luxury because your inner child runs the show more than you’d like to give credit, and it’s making your days crazy. It keeps you small and afraid. It shuts you down. You feel alone.

Globally, we are under a lot of stress and heart-break. Our anger is tearing us apart. Both social and conventional media tap into our fears. They make us good consumers and addicts. They divide and distract us from feeling connected and keep us from coming together at a deeper level. They keep us needy for validation, but we won’t validate each other.

This is where a spiritual community comes in. By that, I mean a group of people that work to connect at the soul level, introspect, be vulnerable, heal (everyone has healing work to do; not everyone knows it), find an elevated sense of connection with the world, and work on themselves to change the world around them.

We need support, and it’s worth the effort. It’s worth the effort to plug in to where we can remember that we’re not alone; where we uplift rather than compete with each other. Where we remember that we’re more than okay. Where we develop tools to both self-soothe and be of service to one another. Where we find purpose, strength, courage, and support to move through and conquer life. Together.

It’s worth figuring out what it means to find balance.

Balance is a funny word. I’ve often heard it used in context with people trying to hold me back from doing the things I care so much about. Yet, at the same time, as someone who has done so much healing work, I know how important balance is.

It’s not so much that balance is a funny word as language is a funny tool. We filter words differently in our conversations with others, and for different intentions. I’m sure I’ve used balance as a reason to not take the risks that I need to take, for instance, because it’s uncomfortable. I’ve let others (and myself!) use that word to talk me out of a momentum I’m riding.

At the end, we know when to pull away and tend to something else for balance, or when to stay and get lost in what we’re doing (those are some of the most transformative moments). But in order to find lasting joy, we want fulfillment in both our work and in our relationships (both the lover and friendships– don’t drop your friends). We want space for our hobbies. If you don’t know what they are, you probably haven’t given yourself that kind of space in a very long time. And we need daily practices for maintaining good mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In one of those categories lies social service/ social justice work. Because our personal health, abundance, connection, purpose, and well-being doesn’t happen in isolation. We impact each other more than we know.

When we camp out in one area for too long without watering the others, we’ll feel out of balance, even in the area(s) that we’ve been camping. How your balance portions out from day to day will be as unique as your fingerprint, and only you will know when those portions need to change. Portion control isn’t exclusive to eating. Just like it, though, it assists in good digestion.

It’s worth figuring out. It’s mostly not worth explaining to others.

Vision for tomorrow? What about vision for today?

When we’re trying to figure out our lives, we’re often asked about our long term vision. What do I want my life to look like in 10 years?
This question assumes that my current self knows anything about the future. My 30 year old self couldn’t conceive of what the world would look like today. She couldn’t imagine what 51 year old me would experience, grow into, or want.

The question I find more compelling is, what do I want my life to look like today?

I look to what’s bothering me. It gives me a clue into my own attitudes about self and about the world as well as what’s causing me the most pain. I believe that each of our personal angst is special. It prompts us to become change agents for our own unique sh%#, and in that, not only can we find our way out, we become unique experts in them.

I also look to what I already have that’s good. Because it affirms that I’ve done this before. I’ve created good, and it’s a reminder of what I am capable of.

They both give me clues into the trajectory of my life, I suppose, but I’ve long stopped needing a clear picture of it. It holds me back from doing what I need to do to first make today okay and set the right tone for tomorrow.

In this context then, the question isn’t what do I need to do to make things (and others) comfortable with me? Nor is it what can I do to seek approval?
I think I even short-change myself when I ask what do I need to do to feel good about myself? This question deepens the well for neediness and band-aid solutions.
The question for me is, what do I need to do right now to make things right and good? It’s self-loving, life affirming, empowering, and purposeful.