• 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

  • Flowers For Eyes

    I was like a little baby sponge soaking up the energies of the people around me. Especially the bad parts. I thought that I could take the weight of this whole world if it meant people could feel happy for a second. Who could think like this? I didnt realize how much it would hurt me. Steal me away from me. I jumped into everything all blind. But it wasnt a mistake. This was part of my path. And now the flowers are blooming again for Spring. It’s a great fucking time to be me right now. I’m glowing and I’ve been granted all the gifts of the universe. I’ll never be in the clear though. There’s a scared little child shaking at the thought of what might come next. Too afraid to look forward because of what has touched her in the past. I can’t do anything about what happened to me. Except be grateful because it brought me here. And life is fucking perfect at the moment. What should I say to her? Because Winter will come again. There will be forest fires and unexpected disasters. But today I am the sun. And I’ve proven that I know how to twist tragedy into transformation.

  • Drop the Weight and Fly

    All 4 of us were seated at the kitchen table and I was picking at the glue in between the green tiles staring at all the crumbs that got caught in between. “We are getting a divorce, but it’s not because we don’t love you! “ I was 9 years old and my dad had been sleeping in a different room for months.

    The rest of childhood was a blur splattered with awkward and painful memories. My dad slamming my moms cell phone in the door. His new beach house with a living room that smelled strongly of a dying old person. There was lots of dust and I held my breath every time I walked through.

    My mom’s new boyfriend who called me babe and who was obsessed with the Red Sox.

    A family trip with another new boyfriend to Long Island for Thanksgiving. His nephews mixed corn, mashed potatoes, chicken, AND ketch-up all together on a paper plate. It’s the only way they will eat! The house smelled like dirty dog and cigarettes. After my mom and him broke up, he sent me a check for my birthday and I ripped it in half and pinned it on my bedroom wall. Ruthless.

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  • 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.

  • What is Yoga?

    When I encourage people to try yoga or explain that I am a yoga teacher, the most common response is “I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible.” This is like me saying, “I cannot play basketball because I am not 6 feet tall,” or “I cannot run because I don’t have special, expensive sneakers designed for running.” It does not mean that we cannot participate in these activities, but, perhaps, we don’t have the natural talents or luxurious tools. Some people were born tall and others naturally flexible. We don’t invest in expensive equipment until we have invested our time. One of the beauties of yoga is all it requires is your body. You don’t need a fancy mat or fancy clothes…You can even do yoga naked.

    So when I hear this response, it is just an excuse. A misconception. Yoga is not for only flexible people. Developing a flexible body is a result of practicing. So is strength and balance.

    Yoga translates as union. It is a union between your body and mind. Between your spirit and the universal energy. It is the coming into being and the ceasing to be.

    We move our body to the flow of our breath. We are not thinking about the laundry or work or the date we are going on tonight, we are thinking about our lungs inhaling and exhaling. Nothing in your mind. Empty your mind. Breathe. In. Out.

    In order for us to go further in our practice, to gain more body control, we have to learn to cut our thoughts. Because we need concentration when we are upside down balancing on our hands. We need to teach our hips to relax when we’ve been in pigeon pose for over two minutes and our leg is going numb. Each time we hit the mat, we meet our threshold. We say hello to the wall and it is up to us to see if we can push it. Push the boundary even if it’s only a millimeter a day. Or don’t push it at all. Only you know what is best for your body.

    Yoga is listening to your body. It is listening to your mind. It is surrendering. Letting go. Relaxing. Sweating. Breathing. Releasing. Existing. Healing. You can learn a lot about yourself by getting on the mat 1 hour a day. Because for that one hour all you are focusing on is moving your body and breathing. Your mind will wander. You will get frustrated. You will feel uncomfortable. This is why yoga is called a practice. Keep trying and those drops of bliss that you feel will turn to liters. And it will pour out onto the rest of your everyday life.

    Be one with yourself. Learn about your body. Learn about your mind. Practice yoga.

  • For The Boys

    As I grow more experienced in this world, the easier it has become to pick out the boys who don’t respect women. They are the ones using our bodies to put temporary band-aids on their wounds. And when that moment comes, where they realize that this body isn’t going to fix them, they discard what they had and hunt for the next one.

    I’m talking about the ones who have sex without looking you in the eye, who disappear without warning, and who are incapable of reciprocating what you give. These are the damaged ones who don’t take responsibility to set aside time alone, to go deep within themselves and put in the inner work.

    It is a weak person, a lost person, who abuses outside things in a sure-fail attempt to bury their pain. That’s impossible. We are allowed to be weak, but I’m talking about those who turn this stage into a lifestyle. Be careful. Boys like these are sprinkled everywhere like plastic in the ocean.

    Because the man who truly respects the woman honors the power that glows inside every single one of us, is mesmerized by our strength knowing it comes from a softness, and who finds it impossible to ignore our profound beauty.

    A man that respects a woman protects her, relishes in her, because he sees how valuable she is. So, if you are a woman reading this, become wise, and pay no attention to those who aren’t in awe of you.