Saturday, November 27, 2010

an invitation to be free of judgement

We, as people really seem to love to judge.

I witness Raw foodists judging vegans.

I witness Vegans judging vegetarians.

I witness Vegetarians judging meat eaters.

I witness meat eaters judging non-meat eaters.

I witness the health conscious judging the McDonald’s eaters.

I witness the organic eaters judging the non-organic eaters.

I witness yogis judging those that go to fancy night clubs.

I witness yogis judging yogis who practice another form of yoga then themselves.

I witness those who listen to one type of music judging those who listen to another type of music.

I witness those who don’t wear animal products (i.e. leather) judge those who do.

This list can go on and on and on.

Where does it get us, as people, to judge so much? Do we feel better about ourselves in judging others? I am aware that these judgments may trigger automatically inside of our heads, but we have the ability to change our thoughts, even once they come up.

Other people may not have the same beliefs as us, they may live different lifestyles then us, but what does the negative energy that judgements carry provide for ourselves and for others? It does not serve anyone!

If you want to share your lifestyle with others, no matter what choices you make, no matter what music you listen to, no matter what you eat then just be happy with yourself and your choices. I see that as the most welcoming thing. I am much more apt to listen to someone who shines from the inside out.

I don’t push yoga, affirmations, conscious eating, yerba mate or anything else that I practice on anyone else. But, because people see me full of energy, healthy and happy they are open to me and the ask me for tips to get it for themselves.

I am the first to say that my way is not the “right” way, which means that there is no “wrong” way.  It is just what I find works for me.

I live my life to be open to all and when I say all, I MEAN ALL!

Free yourself from judgment and surround yourself and all others with love.

If we all were the same, life would be pretty damn boring!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am being an expression of myself in everything-even decorating.

It is quite interesting to me, this decorating and  furnishing of my own apartment.  I have had apartments to myself a few times, but I always knew they were temporary.  My last spot in Hermosa Beach I loved and I did sign a 6 month lease, but it was an escape location of sorts.  It was a little spot of my own to have when figuring out where to go next.  I did furnish it, but quite minimally.  Nothing hung on the walls, I had a glass shower door, so I didn't have to pick a shower curtain.  I used the  precious bed linen that I had put in storage at my mom's house in Cincinnati from my apartment 4 years prior (they are a high thread count, only reason I hung on to them).  The floor was carpeted so I didn't need to buy an area rug.  It was a nice minimal home on the beach.

The last time that I had my own apartment was in 2006, I had a one bedroom condo in Little Italy of San Diego.  I had more space there, but it was even less furnished.  I bought a coffee table at a yard sale and a few big cushions to place around it on the floor of the living room.  That made up the living room and in the bedroom was my bed, that was given to me by friends.  Nothing was on any walls, except for a mirror I got at Ikea that stuck to the wall.  I was in that apartment for  6 months (it was a month to month lease) before I decided to pack it all up into storage again since I was busy touring.

This time, here, now, I am older and I am in a city that I have always wanted to live.  I still don't know how long I will be here, I am not thinking about that, but I do have a year lease.  Moving from California, I brought my bedding,  my bathroom towels, a lamp, my ball desk chair, and some floor cushions along with my kitchen stuff and personal belongings.  Now, I find myself searching for an area rug and perhaps a couch.  I want to put things on the walls here, but I have not been able to settle on anything.  I find things that I absolutely love, but think that  they won't go with my pillows and bedding.  Someday, I will have an apartment that is decorated that way, I tell myself.

Last night, late night online area rug searching, I finally got, "Why someday???"  Why am I searching for something that I don't really want?  I don't have to keep these floor pillows, they are not anything special at all, and I am planning on buying a couch anyways (kind of over floor sitting after all these years).  Also, I have owned my bedding since 2006.  It may not have been used for all of the years in between, but I am allowed to buy new and really my duvet cover will match the new black and white theme that I am imagining, I will just need new sheets.

I am allowed to make my space what I want, right now!  I am going to be spending money either way.  Why was I going to buy things that I really didn't love?  Was it because I made up it would be easier to just go along with what I already have then to start over, even though I don't absolutely love it?  I want my home to be an expression of me, not an expression of odd pieces that I once was.  Sure, all of those parts are me, but not the me that I am today or the one that I want to be tomorrow.

Starting over is only hard if I say it is and right now, starting over sounds perfect!  I am letting go of what does not serve me whether that be disempowering thoughts or floor pillows.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A daily practice in shifting my focus from get to give.

Now that I am back to remembering my IT IS NOT ABOUT WHAT I CAN GET, BUT WHAT I CAN GIVE. I am allowing that to shift into all parts of my daily life and wow is it fun!  It is not all about me!!!

Yesterday in yoga we worked on a few poses with partners.  My normal inclination is that when the poses are being demonstrated to watch it from the view of how do I do this pose?  I want to make sure I get it right, but what I realize is that I end up paying little attention to how I am supposed to act as the supporting partner.  So, I know how to get into the pose for myself, but I am completely lost when it comes to assisting and serving my partner.  So, when it is her turn I am lost on how to be most supportive and that is no good These are complicated poses and that is why we are using partners: to support each other!

So, yesterday, when a multi-step partner work inversion was demonstrated I watched from a new view.  I watched to see how can I best be of support to my partner.  I want to make sure that she gets the best experience.  It is not about me.  Wow! It felt so good and I even took on supporting my neighboring partner clusters that were confused as to how to best assist each other (I am not the only one that naturally picks to pay attention to what I can get, it seems).

This morning, I woke up to full in-boxes, as usual.  When I got to my regular Free Cycle email I did my usual scrolling of the "OFFER" only posts.  Again my natural inclination was to "What can I get?" not "What can I give?".  I was present to this and so then re-scanned the "WANTED" posts.   True, I don't have much to give away, as I have still not acquired all of the furnishings for my own apartment, but you never know.   I may actually have something that someone else can get more use out of.  I bet there are actually tons of things from my half furnished, not decorated apartment to give away!

Life is much more fun when remembering that it is all about what I can give!  And just in time for the holidays, too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

about what I can give, not what I can get.

Yesterday, I woke up remembering that everything that I want to do in my life, with my career, with my dreams is not really about me.  It is about everyone else.  I tweeted, " Its not about what I can get but what I can give."  This is the true motive for everything that I want to do.  This is the reason that I want to have my story published, this is the reason that I want to have a TV show, this is the reason that I created all of my services, this is the reason that I created my joyology.

It is not about me!  Sometimes, I forget about that and I get stuck in the how can I make money zone.  How can I push these services to make income?  I really want to buy new clothes!  I want to eat at that yummy restaurant whenever I want without thinking about the debt it is causing me!  I want to fly to visit my family for the holidays and not think about the financial cost of it!  Those thoughts are all normal.  I do not feel guilty or wrong for having those thoughts, but really they don't serve me or my mission.

Everything that I do, everything that I share whether it be a recipe, one of my favorite companies, a quote that inspires me, or a look into my head, is all because no matter how different we are, we are all the same, and I want you to succeed in life, just as much as I want to succeed in life.  What does that mean, succeed in life?  Does that mean win a medal?  Be rich and famous? It may be, but for me it means that I live it, that I love it.  That I don't let it pass me by.  That I don't let fears stop me.  That I don't get stuck in "what will people think?"  "what will I look like?"  "what if I am wrong?"  and on and on.

So, my reminder as to whether I am doing my "job" right is to remember, Its not about what I can get but what I can give, and then everything makes sense again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

dancing, singing, free to be me.

I love to sing and I love to dance, but these are things that I kept a secret for years.  Truly, growing up a imagined myself to by a top country music singer.  My dad listened to a lot of Reba, Tanya Tucker, and Trisha Yearwood when I was young and I would take Reba to my room and belt my heart out with her.
I was also lucky enough to have MTV growing up, that was when they actually showed music videos.  I studied the videos intently and taped them on VHS so that I could work on my moves more.  I have vivid memories of staring at myself re-enacting full music videos in my mirrored closet doors.

When my dad bought a video camera, I convinced him to record my own music videos, complete with choreography.  Maybe, I will dig up those tapes and post my "Blame it on the Rain" and "Kokomo" on youtube for you to enjoy (i.e. laugh your head off).

All this being said, I would not be caught dead singing in public.  I did not sing along in church.  I did not sing along in school.  I did not sing along in the car with friends.  Even though I really, really wanted to!  I was afraid!  I did not want to be judged.  I did not want anyone to tell me that I was not good.

Over the years I have slowly gotten over this.  In high school you could find me at the school dances not on the dance floor, but hanging with the boys that were too cool to dance, too.  In college, I did show off my skills at some parties but pretty much only doing goofy moves to make people laugh.  Or there were the times that I was so stoned that I did the same move over and over for about 2 hours in time with the music.  Yep, that was fun.

In 2008, when we were preparing to go on a promo tour for Jason Mraz's last album with "Lucky" on it, I actually practiced in the privacy of my own car thinking that I could help Jason and take the female part on that song because there were not going to be any other girls on tour with us at that time ( I was his monitor engineer at the time).  I even attempted to record myself to see how I really sounded, because I am pretty sure that my voice is average to say the least.   But what if it actually was good enough to be heard by others?  In the end, I told myself that my average voice would not be good enough so didn't bring the idea up.

Just last year, in 2009, do I feel like I actually started to dance when I wanted to dance, how I wanted to dance, where I wanted to dance and I remember it feeling so freeing!  Honestly, it was the hula hooping that got me over the fear of dancing and that was not easy for me to learn, either.  But, I chose to commit myself to trying it over and over again no matter how much it dropped and how stupid I thought I may look.  I started to tell people that I felt that hula hooping was a type of therapy because I really had to let go of what I looked like. Oh and now some people consider me a professional hula hooper....

Today, now, I love to sing and dance and be free and not worry if it is "good enough".  I am not seriously trying to be the next Mariah Carey or Colbie Caillat for that matter, but if I want to sing, if I want to dance, I am allowed to do that!  Sure, people may judge me.  BIG DEAL!  If I sing along or dance my way or not, the truth is there will always be someone there to judge me.  I am no longer letting that stop me!

By the way...this doesn't mean that I plan on singing "Lucky" or any other song on stage,  this is just me tapping into how much I really love these things and realizing how much I have stifled them over the years because of the fear of how I might look or sound.  Sing! Dance!  Be Free! and Be yourself!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

the warrioress

 I am perfectly content and I am perfectly still.  I am sitting on my yoga bolster, on top of two yoga mats that create a makeshift rug.  I lean back against my over-sized floor pillows that I have propped against the wall with the blanket I bought in India thrown across me.  I am cozy.  I am still. It is not just that my body in motionless and that my sweater and the blanket are supplying me with the perfect amount of coziness, my brain is still, too.  Wow, does that feel amazing and now that I am present to it, I know it has been a very long time since this happened last, this stillness.

I have been taking some amazing yoga classes lately, honestly, the best in my life.  Yesterday’s started out with the teacher saying he was going to kill us.  That he really wanted a part of us to die today.  He said he was going to push us.  He kept repeating it, “I want you to die today."  He said that he wanted us to transcend and in order to that a part of us must die.

His class was hard, he did push and yet, I have never felt more peaceful.  His push allowed me to push myself past all of my thoughts, to push past pain and really commit.  I knew that I was in control of mind and that it was not controlling me.  I was able to fully be there and to smile with the grace the entire time as sweat dripped off me and into my eyes.  I was able to fully be there, even with my muscles burning and my breath never stopped.  I was fully present.

 I know that I can take it, whatever it may be.  I am a warrioress and not one that is bound in armor with knives in hand ready to battle.  I am the warrioress that is completely vulnerable and that only makes me stronger.  I am strong, I am passionate, but I am also open.  I fight back, but with compassion.  My warrior powers rest in the fact that my heart and my soul shine through every fiber of my being. 

You can break me, because breaking me, just opens me more.  Parts of me will die and new parts will be birthed.  I am not defined.  I am not cast yet.  I am evolving before your eyes and before my very own.