Let me get personal with you. I am an introvert (so this isn’t easy.) I break into a cold sweat when I have to speak in front of a group. I’m sensitive and I cry a lot. I don’t easily forgive narcism, ignorance, and selfishness. Anatomy and biomechanics turn me on. I love espresso, dogs, and gangster rap. My temper gets the best of me often and is one of the many reasons I practice yoga and lift heavy things. When I do lift, I tend to make this yelping grunt sound every time single time and it feels so good to emote like that. I am not naturally brave and I now know it is time to stop being such a scaredy cat and make shit happen in my life. I can tell you from experience that it really is painful to stay in a place that feels like I am playing small and allowing myself to fall victim to circumstance.
One of my dearest friends has been on my case for over four years now to grow my brand, cultivate a following and finally get the recognition I deserve. Amber Karnes is of those people that lifts me up. She is colorful and creative. She lives out loud and without apology in spite of her own fears. You can see her in just some of her awesomeness on her blog, Body Positive Yoga, or on her other blog (she’s that awesome that she has two,) My Aim is True.
On the flip side, there are several specific people throughout my life that have knowingly or unknowingly forced their insecurities, weakness of character, sense of lack, and fear of not being good enough on me to the point that I allowed them to influence me and trigger my own unhealthy way of care-taking and fixing and rescuing at my own expense. Matryr, you say? No, more like a learned codependence. I sacrificed and hid and squashed my own light and power in order to protect their feelings. I did allow it, yes. I take full responsibility for giving someone else the floor and hiding in the shadows so that they could fully shine. Well, no fucking more! (you will find that “fuck” is one of my favorite words – deal with it!)
15 years as a massage therapist and working my ass off for myself and by myself, almost 12 years teaching yoga, 5 years as a coach and personal trainer, and 6 long, hard years co-owning a yoga studio (the completely unglamorous life of a yoga studio owner is another blog post for another day – oh boy) brings me here to this blog and this fork in the road of saying, “fuck it, it is my time now and you can’t take it from me!” These past few years have been the most difficult. I allowed my own sparkle to dull. I allowed myself to be bullied in to being quiet or believing that I wasn’t capable and that there was someone else that was always more so. Most would say that that doesn’t make any sense – I agree! But again, I got coerced into believing that I had no right to put my own career and financial security first, to share my knowledge and my skills to make a difference in people’s health and well-being. I was bouncing along sincerely believing that my growth and my expansion in my offerings to my community would only serve to bolster the communities I was working with energetically and vice versus – I saw it all as symbiotic and then was told in so many words, “how dare me” – “it isn’t about me” – “it is about the greater good of the ‘fill in the blank.’
I no longer believe the lies. I no longer concede the floor for someone’s else’s lack of belief in themselves. I no longer allow anyone to steal from me. I am awake. I am alive and I have a fierce burning in my heart that needs to fucking shine!
Recently I participated in a group process on the web with my teacher of 14 years, Anna Pittman. We all gathered around our computers on a chilly Sunday for an online sharing experience. For most of the group, it was the first time we had ever done something like this before. It was awkward and clunky at first as we all navigated how to hear each other, see each other and feel connected in spirit (and while my cat kept walking in front of the screen!) The intention of the virtual gathering was to explore the resolution of limitations and resistance in my life. In the first inquiry, Anna led us through a visualization culminating in our listening to our own voice – here is what my voice had to say without any restraint – just free flowin’ thought straight from my heart (something I rarely let myself do and promised myself I would during this time with the group.) Oh, good gawd…here I go…being brave…
Directly from my notebook – “I am ready to unleash my spirit. I am ready to embrace my true spirit and let it be free and wild and mobile and dynamic and alive. I no longer want to feel stifled and squashed and pushed down for the sake of others. Although it is not part of my personality up until this point, I want to shine so fucking brightly. I want to grow and share and receive and exchange without withholding. I want to dance. I want to love and glow. I want to be heard and not talked at. I want to be seen. I want to be tenacious and tender with a fierce grace that I know is a truer me.”
So, here it is folks – my blog. I’m taking risks and being vulnerable all in the hopes of sharing what I’ve learned in my 41 years from my therapist eye, my coach view, my own mat, my barbell and from my own trials and tribulations with my body. There will be videos and posts with a lot of my opinions being thrown in. Hopefully, it will be helpful shit that will put you on the road to being a more connected and efficient version of you in this kinetic machine you’ve been given. This gives my inner introvert the cold sweats, but she needs to step the fuck aside and make room for this beautiful force about to step into the light.
There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela