• How To Develop Resilience & Compassion

    I seem to attract and be drawn to some dark, haunted energies as partners: Addicts, mental disorders, convicts, abusers, people not aligned with their truth and lacking self-love.

    There is a theory on the law of attraction: like attracts like. From my experiences, I can’t confirm that that is always the case. I feel that we signed up to have certain experiences before we came down to this earth. Earth is like a school and we are given tests to develop certain skills so that our souls can evolve. We also have karma with certain people that needs to be resolved. A lot of my past relationships have been about resolving those karmas. And sometimes certain souls just want to hurt you–whether they are conscious of that or not.

    I will say that my life has been wild and intense. I’ve had some difficult lessons to absorb in short amount of times. I’ve had to develop particular skills like communication, managing emotions, and boundaries. These experiences have sparked a passion within me to help those that struggle with addiction and mental illness.

    Some trauma I experienced in childhood, but most of the trauma from this lifetime has been from my relationships and different encounters with particular people.

    But to be honest, I’m quite proud that I’ve had these experiences because, somehow, I found a way to transform my pain into a tool for knowledge and awareness. It’s made me wise, sharp, and compassionate.

    We also have to consider our abusers. An abuser does not become that way without being abused themselves. There is usually some sort of illness or trauma that has made them that way.

    We cannot look at some one, no matter what they’ve done, and say oh they’re just a bad person. We are all good, but sometimes people can become ill or carry around demons and ghosts.

    We are so valid to be angry. Anger has been a strong emotion as I try to heal from my personal traumas. And it is ok to be angry, but not to wish revenge or bad things upon them. Send them love and healing just as you would wish it upon yourself, even if they don’t deserve it.

    This is what strength is– To be pure, innocent, and loving even when some one has casted their shit onto your light. Wave your abuser away with a warm smile, let them go, and work on forgiving them.

    Treat them how you would treat yourself. Consider there traumas and try not to react from their bad energy. Because when we interact with their dramas, we allow a pathway for their negative emotions to enter us.

    We can practice this for all situations big or small. From dealing with a clerk with a bad attitude to a narcissistic parent putting you down. Observe without reacting and put up your boundaries kn any instance when you are not being treated with respect.

    It’s so difficult to be loving in these situations. Everything inside us tells us to be rude back, to give them what they gave us, but it is very important that we stop the cycle.

    People who hurt you are just hurt themselves. Look at them like a lost child and teach them to heal by being a kind, loving, and patient soul. You are strong enough for that.

  • Graceful Fire – moving on, letting go, feeling nothing, and being free

    Each individual must be the one to take off their own blindfold.

    It’s all very simple how life works. It’s just a little river that we have to be patient and flexible enough to flow with. I’ve been working on letting go piece by piece and healing. And it is not a quick fix situation. It’s a full on process of transformation and grieving. A lot of grieving as I release. And it’s interesting because with loss you can be absolutely fine going about your day, but then you will hear a song or have a dream or just absolutely randomly the switch will flip and you will feel all that sadness come to you. Sometimes anger. Surprising emotions.

    It’s been a lovely experience going through all this. Well, of course, it’s also been terrible and gut-wrenching. But I’m at the end now. The rain has already come and I am sitting in a field of fruits, basking in all the rewards of my labor. So, I’ve literally never been better. Physically, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. There is so much abundance and the world is mine.Read More

  • Fading Retribution: A Letter on Loss & Grief

    Grief surprises you in waves. Sometimes there’s nothing to feel and other times bedridden. I’m not moving on, I am moving through. This process takes time. Be patient, be strong, be weak, and never be ashamed for feeling what you feel no matter how long it has been.

    Even after months have gone by, there are still memories that I replay. Things we used to watch, inside jokes, that song you loved. I’ll laugh alone and feel like you are in the same room with me. I’ll listen to that song you showed me over and over and think of you stopping our conversation to sing the lyrics. I know that it was true. That what I felt was real, but I still don’t understand your convolution of feelings. Sometimes I diagnose you with personality disorders. It is easier to put you into a category when I feel angry at how much you lied and led me on a trail of bread crumbs to a goddamn nuclear wipe out. But you are much more complex than a narcissist. I think you do care how fucking lost and tangled up you are, but lack skill in climbing out of the holes that you’ve dug.

    I think about all the other people who have taken up space in your heart. All those who have passed through you and haven’t stuck. And those that are cemented in. I hope that I will not be forgotten, but I know that you are trying to. Out of sight, out of mind they say, but I know we still haunt each other.

    I think that out of everyone, you’ve hurt me the worst . This wound is gaping and it still fucking bleeds. Not everyday, no. I do forget. But I am often reminded. It is fucking ridiculous how much I feel. This hangover of grief that still lingers in my spirit. And it feels unfair because I know you are not going through this. I know that you’re better at turning it all off and burying yourself in distractions.

    I don’t know what it is like to be you. What it must be like to lose yourself. To lose some one you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. To need some one, but they cannot be reached.

    Actually, I do know a bit about what that is like. You’ve passed that pain and loss onto me. A burden you had no right to give me, but I happily accepted because I would have done anything for you. I would have died for you. And it sounds fucking dramatic, but I am profoundly amazed at how in love I was. Our connection. It was stunning.

    I hate the way you treated me, how dishonest you were about the situation, and how you fucking destroyed my heart. It’s never going to be the same. And I hate the way I’m still grieving. I hate the way I don’t trust anyone anymore. I hate the way I’m scared of losing my power again. Of being abandoned.

    I have dreams about you sometimes. I fucking hate dreaming about you by the way.

    I have so much love for you, I just don’t know where to put it anymore. I miss you so fucking much, but you have lost any sort of privilege to be in my life. The moment you stopped valuing me, the moment you allowed your demons to sink me to the bottom while you stepped on my head for a breath of air is when you lost your right to be in my life. You are home to me, but you are also a flesh-eating disease.

    I just hope that you figure it out. That you grow from this and blossom into a person who is healthy, happy, and open. You always said that you just wanted me to be happy and I was so happy with you. All I’ve ever wanted is you. But it is you who needs to figure out how to be happy. I am fine as I am. I don’t need you, but it would have been nice to take on the world with you.

  • My Self-Care Regimes

    I have noticed that self-care and self-love have become an issue of neglect for us humans. I want to share all the little things that I do to nourish myself and what I experience when I lose track of things. If you have low-energy, feel lost, or stressed, it could be because you are not taking care of some aspect of yourself.

    Below is what I do to take care of myself.

    My Space / Environment

    When my room is cluttered, it means that my mind is cluttered or it is about to be. It is important to keep my space organized and tidy at all times. This means putting away my clothes as soon as I try on another outfit (life of a girl), making sure everything is folded and in its correct spot, setting my bed every morning, taking out the trash, doing dishes immediately, and getting rid of things as soon as I realize that I do not need them (recycle, give-away).

    I loved living out of my backpack while traveling because I had less items to keep track of.

    I also love to light incense, sage, and use essential oils to keep the atmosphere clear and smelling good. I open the windows and prefer to have natural light.

    Mind

    I love to exercise my mind by researching different topics that I am interested in (health, astrology, yoga). I read poetry. I also love reading up on psychological and sociological studies on the internet. I try to give my brain information so that it does not stagnate. Learning new languages and trying new skills helps this, but it is not a daily task for me.

    I also turn to meditation if I am having trouble overthinking and worrying. If this does not solve the situation, I write. I go to my journal and begin a stream of consciousness to get down to the root of my issue. I find that there are lots of things I need to get out that I did not realize were hiding inside me. If I have not written in a while or taken the time to sort out my thoughts, I will feel it as clutter in my head, rumination, confusion, and feeling lost.Read More

  • Coming Home to America – Reverse Culture Shock

    After traveling for the past 3 years (mostly in Asia), I have returned to the place where I was born and grown: Connecticut, USA. I would have continued what I was doing: volunteering, teaching yoga, and exploring foreign places, but my bank account directed me back. Also, I missed my family (friends included) and the familiarity.

    I thought that I would be overwhelmed by people trying to meet up and hear all about my adventures. That people were eagerly waiting for my return. But it wasn’t exactly like that. Just my mom crying at the airport. And seeing some friends and relatives here and there.

    My 20-year-old brother is more interested in his new kitten than catching up with his long lost sister. And it feels like I have to twist arms to get people to make time for me. Unanswered calls. Delayed responses. Scheduling. It is not as easy to flow here.

    People have gone on with their lives in the same manner. While I feel like I have been whipped around in a hurricane of rainbows and storms in lands far, far away that they could only fathom as a fairy tale.

    And that’s what it feels like. Everything that I had experienced has been lost in the winds of time and I am stuck here, in cement, as I wait for the clock to tick forward. It is gray and quiet here. Like there are underground, rushing waterfalls repressed by designer clothes and cars and overpriced, rented apartments.

    Americans pay a lot for everything. And what they don’t realize is that they are living in luxury. Air conditioning, potable water from the tap, washing machines, no sounds of geckos mating at night. But it comes with a price…Read More

  • How To Find A Meditation That Works For You

    When we think of meditation, we see a monk sitting, legs folded, eyes closed, silent, sitting still. We think that he is in complete peace, his thoughts aren’t going, and he’s not bothered by the flies and mosquitoes. His legs aren’t asleep and his back isn’t aching. From the outside, we think meditation is bliss. But when we try meditation on our own, we feel uncomfortable on the inside.

    I go to group meditations once in a while. I’ve been to sound-healings where we are laying flat on the ground. I have also been to Mindfulness Meditations where we all sit around the room and are guided by a teacher. In the middle, I will open an eye and see everyone in their stillness with relaxed faces. Even while laying down, my bones start to ache after a while. While sitting, a cramp in my right shoulder develops. I get distracted by outside sounds and lights.

    The point is, meditation is not all peace. It is learning to get comfortable being uncomfortable, being in pain, and training the mind to bring it to simplicity. It’s a practice. Some days you will succeed and some days you will have a difficult time. But as long as you are trying, you will receive the benefits and your mind will become stronger.

    There are an infinite number of ways to meditate. So, don’t feel discouraged thinking that you are just limited to sitting in silence. You can . . .

    • Lay down on your back (But not recommended in the morning because you have been laying down all night while you were sleeping)
    • Concentrate on breathing in and out slowly
    • Count in your head
    • Concentrate on a color
    • Walk slowly and mindfully around the room/anywhere
    • Listen to music – any music! From Nirvana to Beethoven
    • Listen to nature – the ocean, a stream, the wind, birds
    • Dance (Look up Osho meditations)
    • Sew, Stitch, Macrame (Or any other repetitive motion)
    • Cook or bake
    • Draw a mandala
    • Color – there are adult coloring books
    • Sing a mantra (I recommend the Gayatri Mantra)
    • Create your own mantra and repeat in your head or out loud or even write it out – For example, “I am grateful” or “I am deserving of love”
    • Listen to a guided meditation on Youtube
    • Try Yoga Nidra
    • Try Qi Gong

    If you choose to sit or lay down in silence, feel free to use pillows or sit against a wall to make yourself comfortable. Meditation has no rules and you have to find what works for you. And when you feel pain or discomfort, be mindful of it and see how long you can last without moving or giving up.

    Going to a meditation group can also be helpful because it forces you to stay with the practice. The group energy keeps everyone together and gives you the strength to keep going and maintain. Also, you can make new friends!

    The easiest time to meditate is after the body has been moving and exerting itself. This is why we go into Savasana at the end of a yoga class. Working the body allows more space for the mind to calm down. So, no matter your physical practice, try to take 5 minutes to sit still at the end. If you’re having trouble finding stillness, do 20 jumping jacks and try again.

    Meditation allows us the space to stop and just exist. To be one with ourselves and the universe. When we give ourselves this time and space, we can remove blockages, we can hear our intuition, we can feel the feelings we were repressing, and we can release tension and de-stress. It is easy for our mind to be a tangled web. Meditation teaches us that things don’t have to be so messy and cloudy. Actually, life is simple. We are blessed to be alive and to experience life. Not all experiences will be pleasurable and meditation can teach us how to accept the unpleasant and even appreciate it.

    If you have any questions about meditation or need some advice or guidance in your practice, comment below.

  • Complicated Woman

    I feel like I want to reach out to something. To remove this suffocating blanket, but I can’t figure out how to do it. I wish there was somewhere that I could go or some one that I could call. But there is no where and no one who can satisfy the longing. I want it to be you and I want it to be here, but everything has settled like freshly laid bricks. I am lost in all the gray shades of a rainy sky again. Why is it that I always have to want more? To be stimulated. To be climbing a limitless height. I did know all along that this was never the final destination and home is not a place that I can travel to.

    Home is within me. But sometimes I have so many mood swings and fluctuations of feelings that I feel like I am in the middle of a storm or deserted in a white space. Sometimes I feel off and every person around me feels like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit.

    I still see the beauty in the little things. Like fallen flowers on the pavement and the sound of the wind. But I am wanting more from life. A thick purpose. A project that flows like a dance.

    I don’t know how my spirit can be so needy. Always craving changes and chasing the future. Sometimes, I wish that I could be a simpler human. Do one thing, live in one place, have a routine, smile through it all, and wake up happy. Like a farmer who spends their summers weeding and their winters inside reading books.

    Maybe I can be like this when I am older. But, for now, I am seeking. I am complicated. I am searching for ripe fruits. I look at other complicated women and think how difficult it is to be around them. To try and break through their layers knowing that there are more than I could ever know about. There are stories sewed into their being that I could never understand. But I understand because I am also a woman like this.

    There is always something mixing inside me. A light blooming. A darkness leaking. I am unpredictable and free, yet caged and lost. But I am here. I am alive. I want to keep breathing. Some days I am high and some days I am low. Just keep going. That’s all I have to worry about. Be open to opportunities if they come, but for now, just keep on top of the daily tasks and enjoy.

  • New Direction: Why I Moved to Camiguin Island, Phillipines

    I am in a new place. Living a completely different life. It has only been 2 weeks. I’m slow to settle in and find my groove.

    I was working 9 hours a day in the city and waiting for the weekend to come so I could socialize, relax, and let go. It was a routine life. I always saw the same people and did the same things. I felt tired all the time. A bit frustrated at times. Even bored. Floating away from the type of person that I had been aiming for.

    Being a teacher was interesting. You have to hold it together in front of everyone all day. You have to be patient, kind, understanding, willing to explain, but also strong and regulated. I tried to be an example for my students. I tried to teach them things about life, not just what the book said. I tried really hard to be interesting, engaging, and inspiring. It takes more energy than you would think. By the end of the week, all I wanted to do was throw my inhibitions away, talk shit, swear, and drink.

    I loved to stay out all night dancing and saying yes to drugs if anyone was offering. I would sleep in and take a yoga class or go on a long drive into the mountains. I hated most having to avoid police check points and the air quality. I felt like I was constantly flipping through the same book. Over and over again. I loved it, but I was ready for something else.

    I was going through a break up at the time and felt like it would be healthy for me to go away for a while. I began applying to teach yoga at retreat centers all over the world: Maldives, Morocco, Cambodia, India, Hawaii, and so on. Nothing was working out. I had one last interview with a retreat center in the Philippines and I told myself that if this didn’t work out, I would finish out the semester and look again in December.

    The interview was a flowing conversation with laughter. Easy and natural. A few days later I quit my job and booked a one way ticket. I was worried about money, but I told myself that I would find a way to stretch it. I broke my lease and moved my excess stuff to a friend’s house. I was surprised at how many things were mine. That I held onto. It all happened so fast that I thought I’ll just take myself and a backpack to the Philippines and worry about all the logistics later. Sometimes I think that if something happened to the stuff that I left behind in Chiang Mai, I wouldn’t care.

    I am here now living on a quiet island. Teaching yoga. Sounds of the ocean in the background. Eating well. Coming and going on a bicycle. Taking naps sometimes, And writing. Actually, I have never been luckier. I am really living. I am not stressed or yelling at kids because they didn’t do their homework. Finally, I am giving myself the space to just be and do something that I love. Work that enriches my soul.

    Now, I wait for my soul to blossom. To feel and rejuvenate. To go deep within myself. To understand my path. To find my calling.

    In a sense, I am already there. But I always want to know more. Go further. I am always seeking.

     

  • The Two Seedlings

    It was a thoroughly confusing time. We felt so lost. It became dark and it was difficult to see the string that held our hearts together. We didn’t know how to navigate without breaking apart. Without hurting each other.

    There were some things that were necessary for us to realize. But we had to do it apart.

    It caused a lot of pain. But the pain taught us something. We learned how to grow into our own spirit.

    So, we grew like seeds and broke through the dirt despite all that weighed us down. And, now, we are blossoming. Now, we have even deeper roots to ground us.

    We are each other’s sun and rain. We help each other.

    Finally, we are finding our way back to intertwine. It is a special feeling to know that the storm has passed and we are side by side again. To know that no matter the damage, nothing can stop what is meant to be.

    We are stronger together, but, now, we know how strong we can be on our own too.

  • For The In-Betweens

    Sometimes I look at my life as a series of stepping stones. Each life-changing decision brings me closer to my purpose. And I get so wrapped up in what’s coming, the life that I don’t have yet, that I lose focus on the abundance that I have already created for myself.

    When I reflect, I’m in awe of all the good times that have already passed. And I remember how I could have done a better job in enjoying the moment more fully.

    My head runs me far from my heart like a puppy and it is a practice to constantly bring it back. This is where I am today. Look at this beautiful life that I have created for myself. Indulge in this sweet moment.

    I am teaching Yin Yoga today and am reminded to give myself space to exist, feel and release.

    Whatever you’re up to now, your purpose is coming for you, the love of your life is coming, your dream job is coming, so enjoy today while what is meant for you takes its sweet, perfect time to manifest.