Growing Pains

Last week my headspace was very much fueled by sadness and anger for the victims of yet another gun violence tragedy in the United States. This week I am coming from a fairly different angle after experiencing a weekend full of not strictly positive experiences but instead experiences that encouraged heightened awareness of not only the good but also the bad.

Friday, I got back to the beach with my One Wave crew for sunrise yoga and a meaningful cup of coffee with my yogi friends. As I have mentioned before, One Wave is an organization that promotes mental health awareness so most people who attend are either suffering from mental health issues themselves or are closely connected to someone who is.

It doesn’t matter who you are, we are all affected by mental health and ultimately the natural highs and lows and peaks and valleys of life. We talked in depth over coffee about going through hard times, changing our frequency levels so that we can attract good things and actually believing that they are possible and warranted for our lives. It is amazing to me how deeply human beings crave the need to be understood. It is not something that is unique to a gender, age group, nationality, or personality type. We all want to feel like we aren’t in this thing alone. It is a beautiful feeling when you can make someone else believe they are not alone and usually all that requires is listening to them. We all have that power.

 

Saturday, I spent the day brunching, hiking and exploring with of my best mates I’ve met in Australia. We vented about our lives, stress, jobs and doubts but also cherished the sunshine, the beaches, the coastal hike and each others company. We drank a bottle of wine on a perfect little hidden beach along the trail and ultimately got a bit lost, but ended the day with full hearts and tired legs. Sunday I attended the United Nations World Yoga Day Festival which was 12 hours jam packed with yoga classes, guided meditations, vegan feasts, active wear shopping, and listening in on inspiring panel discussions of many leaders in the  Australian yoga community. The two panel discussions I attended were entitled “Self Respect” and “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional” and each member of the panel eloquently described their own yoga journey and what they hope to bring to others through the spreading and teaching of yoga, mindfulness, meditation and the mind, body and spirit connection. While I was listening to these people describe their painful pasts I couldn’t help but be uplifted by the overwhelming positive attitude and mindset they radiated. They talked about really difficult topics: domestic violence, body image, racism, PTSD, mental health, suicide, self harming, the list goes on; not once did I feel dragged down or burdened by the discussion. Part of being a positive and happy person is learning how to acknowledge pain but not get trapped in a state of suffering. And no one, I mean no one, has perfectly mastered this art.

On top of these experiences I am also currently reading You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, which is one of the most authentic self-help books I’ve ever read. Quite frankly, I am a tad overwhelmed by the messages from this weekend and from this book but through reflection I realize that this has come to me at a crucial time. The universe is sending me messages of hope, strength, resilience and it is  reminding me not only do I need to take care of myself but I can and should take care of others. I have read this quote from Sincero so many times in the past few days,  “Your job isn’t to know the how, it’s to know the what and to be open to discovering, and receiving the how.”  

“The how” is what causes my overactive, overachiever self a lot of anxiety and anguish. But I have such a clear vision of the what. I know “the what” of my life and “the why” and I am continuing to let the how evolve. What is the what, you ask? To reach as many people as possible and help bring them to the realizations I have come to. Not forcely, but gently with empathy, compassion and understanding. I want to inspire people. How cliche does that sound. But guess what? I DON’T CARE HOW CLICHE it sounds because I witness people NEEDING to be inspired day in and day out. I want to inspire people to:

  1. Love themselves above all
  2. Value their dreams and FOLLOW THEM relentlessly
  3. Not give a damn what their neighbor thinks of them
  4. LET GO OF WHO THEY THINK THEY SHOULD BE/ THOUGHT THEY WERE
  5. Expand their mind as frequently as possible
  6. Treat their mind, body and soul with tenacious tenderness. Cut yourself some slack
  7. Express themselves. Write it down. Scream it loud. LET IT OUT
  8. Sit back and smell the roses OFTEN
  9. Stop buying things and start buying plane tickets
  10. Do what you say you will do ALWAYS

I want to have all the answers I really do. We all do to some extent. The beauty is that NONE of us have all the answers. Those who can accept that, embrace it and thrive despite it will be happy and successful. “Most answers reveal themselves through doing, not thinking.” I have repeated this to myself many times this week as well. The most powerful and neglected tool we have is action. “You don’t have to know exactly where it’s going to take you, you just need to start with one thing that feels right and keep following right-feeling things and see where they lead.” The more I write, the more right it feels. I simply don’t understand myself until I put it on paper. Call it a gift, a talent, a hobby, a calling, call it whatever you like. I know it feels right. I love sharing with you. I love sharing with myself.  I love surrounding myself with good people, not people who have it all together, people who graciously accept not having it all together and always provide an open ear and open heart. I love inspiring(verb) people and I love inspiring(adjective) people. I love moving my body, connecting my mind, body and spirit and challenging myself to expand. People often talk about growth, but the most interesting part about growth for me is I haven’t gotten bigger, I have simply gotten closer to the voice inside my heart. My growth has expanded my mind and my perception but it has lead my back into myself. “What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” I choose to focus on growth, happiness, adventures and most importantly helping others to do the same. Namaste.

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