Today I woke up late. I caved into the tricky snooze demon and missed my train to get to Friday morning yoga. I still woke up before it started but not in time to take the train & bus like I normally do. I was still nestled in my blankets when I texted my boyfriend and he told me to leave right NOW & get a cab and that he would pay for it because he knows how much these Friday mornings with One Wave mean to me! He’s an absolute gem, I know. I feel so lucky to have him in my life because everyone deserves loved ones who support things that mean a lot to them. Even though I was ready to throw in the towel this morning he knew how much happier I would be and gave me a much needed voice of reason & encouragement. So into the taxi I went…
The sunrise was unbelievable and I saw the familiar faces I’ve grown to expect on Friday mornings. Especially my friend Steph who shared her amazing story of her lifelong battle with depression, aneixty and body dysmorphia last week. I was very inspired by her strength. We started the morning with the usual group meeting/introduction and reminder about what One Wave is and what the community is for; raising awareness for mental health. Then Sam asked if anyone would like to share. Now if you know me personally you know I am always a talker and I’m never nervous to give my two cents in just about any situation but since I’ve started coming to One Wave Fluro Friday I have been an absorber. I have listened Friday after Friday and gleaned bits of hope, strength and courage from these good hearted, unguarded individuals. I knew one day I would share but I just wanted to listen for a while . So today, after the thirty dollar cab ride and the perfect sunrise, it seemed a better day than any.
I shared about how I accidentally got involved with One Wave because I saw a Facebook event for the Sunrise Bender yoga but coincidentally I have been a mental health advocate since I lost my best friend to suicide at 16 years old. I felt Corey’s presence with me as I spoke. I feel her presence every Friday morning on the beach when anyone speaks about suicide, depression, losing friends, or suffering of any sort. I talked about Corey’s life and her seemingly perfect exterior and how losing her changed my life and the lives of SO MANY forever. I talked about my mothers struggle with depression and bipolar disorder and how that affected me as a child. I talked about my wonderful cousin who also lost his battle to depression and suicide. But mostly I focused on the fact that mental health affects EVERYONE not just the individuals who suffer from mental disorders but their loved ones, family, friends, the communities they are a part of. And to some degree, we ALL have struggles, ups and downs and unexplainable stress, aneixty and hardships on the road of life. You can not judge a person by the way they appear to be on the outside. You can not assume a person has a perfect life because that’s what it looks like on social media. We all have times of sadness and we all need compassion and understanding. We can change our world and our communities by the way we support each other and give individuals space to feel understood, looked after and cared about. You don’t need to know what to say, you just need to know how to listen without judgement. That is the best gift you can give anyone struggling with hardship, mental health related or not.
After I spoke I had several people come up to me after and thank me for sharing today. Saying they had a similar story or they REALLY needed that TODAY. The power of now. It was a split second decision to actually take that taxi instead of staying in bed. It was a split second decision to share. One that I had thought about for weeks and weeks. I had to channel into the power of now and just do it. After an awesome yoga class I stayed at the beautifully empty Bondi Beach and finished reading The Power of Now. I know I will have to read it again because it is very complex and forces your brain to stop the way it has thought for so long. It forces the reader to realize how much time we spend thinking and how little time we spend Being. I think I was very conscious of these things before reading this but I have never understood it to quite this degree.
“Do not give all your attention to the mind and the external world…Stay rooted within. Then observe how this changes your state of consciousness and the quality of what you are doing.”
This is one of the many reasons why I have fallen in love with yoga so much. It forces you into the now and does so through your body and lets you learn to channel your mind intentionally. Meditation is not something that comes easily to me. I spend half the time thinking about what am I going to have for lunch,what clients do I need to check in with, did I email her back? Did I turn off the lights in the apartment? What am I going to eat for dinner… oh shit I’m supposed to be meditating ohmmmmmmm…who is that talking in background? Why am I hungry? Why can’t I stop thinking? I suck at this.
It is actually quite hilarious because as a person with ADHD who loves to eat this is actually my stream of consciousness. But the more I practice the better I get and the more connected I feel to myself, my environment and life itself. I know that I’m not great at it but that is even more reason to practice. You can’t simply give up all the power to your over active brain. “Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity.” The Power of Now has given me a fresh outlook on how to take control of my life and take control of my mind. It has also reminded me of many truths I knew to be valid but just haven’t read written by someone else.
As I am living the life I dreamed of a year ago, I have to take the time to actually appreciate the moments as they pass. I am so driven and motivated to change the world and help as many people as possible. I want to be a published author and a successful business owner. I want to inspire others to live their dreams and go after what they want NOW. I want to write and to sweat and to travel as much as possible. But I know that those things are all a part of my life because I made it that way but I simply can’t focus only on where I’m going without living in the moment I’m in right now.
“You see time as the means to salvation, whereas in truth it is the greatest obstacle to salvation.” You don’t need more time, you need to cherish the time you have right now. Today has been an amazing day and it’s not even half way over. I got to tell the story of my dear friend Corey and my mom to 50+ people from all over the world. A story that many people told me they needed to hear right now. I got to get bendy with an awesome yoga teacher on her last class at Fluro Friday Bondi. I used my new Headspace app for a guided meditation next to the ocean and I went for a hike on the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. A walk that I’ve done dozens of times since I have lived here. But let me tell you, today it was just as sweet, if not sweeter because I truly appreciated the power of now. So in honor of Corey, my mom, my cousin, many of my close friends and family members who suffered or still suffer from mental health disorders.. today I have cherished the world around me. I cherished the connection I have built with myself and my inner voice. I cherished the opportunity to change other people’s perspective with my story. I cherished the ability to move my body freely and connect with people both in person and through technology. I cherished the sound of the ocean and the breeze on my skin. I cherished today. We all should cherish every day. What a beautiful life that will be.Not in the future, but right now. And remember… I nearly stayed nestled in bed pressing snooze.