Archive | September 2017

Woman On The Verge or On A Ledge?

I came back from The Big Island Writers Retreat in Hawai’i feeling more confident and solid than ever in my journey and purpose. I got to do two things I’ve come to love and which fuel my soul. I taught yoga and I wrote a lot, both in the retreat setting and on Facebook documenting my experience! It was all very well received and flowed quite naturally after a rocky start. However, in the months leading up to the retreat, I did not feel confident or solid. I was frightened and insecure about the retreat and an upcoming workshop 2 weeks after that. I hadn’t taught a yoga class outside of my studio since I became certified in February of this year and then I’d only taught 12-step friends or students at the studio. I desperately did not want to disappoint or fail the retreat facilitator Beth Bornstein-Dunnington. She had such faith in me, without having been in a class taught by me! And the fear of living up to quality writing in a retreat setting, a 3-day retreat was just too huge to acknowledge.

In fact, in the months leading up to the retreat, I spent a great deal of time and energy avoiding that fear by shutting down. What does that look like for me? Well, it involves feeding my feelings with a lot of junk food, lots of zoning out watching television, lots of not showing up for yoga classes except the one I taught on Sunday mornings, and missing a lot of 12-step meetings. Before long, I started gaining weight from all the eating and inactivity, and I started feeling like shit, physically and spiritually. On a deeper level, I knew what I was doing. The truth is I’d gotten good at shutting down without most of my inner circle picking up on it because they are busy with their own lives. Of course, I was still seeing my kick-ass therapist and I’d talk about what was going on with me in pieces. Our sessions are every other week so I was willing to look at the things I was doing one by one. Talking with my therapist coupled with the urge to get my shit together fueled a willingness to pull my head out of my ass. What does that look like for me? Pretty much the opposite of shutting down. I started going back to the yoga classes I attended before, 2 at my studio and 1 at my job that they offer on Thursdays during lunch. I’m back to attending at least two 12-step meetings a week and of course, talking to my sponsor/spiritual advisor every week that we are both in town. As for feeding my feelings, I lost the urge to constantly eat junk. I attended a Big Island Writer’s workshop in Los Angeles the first weekend of August and rediscovered the love of writing my stories.

So the retreat in Hawai’i was both a huge boost and a deep grounding in all the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of myself. I carried home the chill vibe of Hawai’i along with the courage of my convictions as a yoga teacher and writer intact. I wrote a blog the night I returned from the retreat and committed to posting a new blog once a week. Shortly after that, as God would have it, a cousin of mine who is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur launched a consulting business. She is willing to consult or partner with small businesses, budding entrepreneurs or even people who were still in the development stages of their ideas. She sent me a Facebook invite to like her page and a day or two later the page launched a soft advertisement that included a survey, which I filled out because I do want to start to build my yoga and writing business over the next five years. She responded a couple of days later with a phone appointment for Saturday afternoon. The phone call was amazing! She was proud of me and so excited about my ideas, goals, and accomplishments. She is so perceptive and smart about the mental and emotional aspects of getting started. She gave me three assignments geared towards putting myself out there, like now!

Of course, these assignments and latest developments have pushed me to a new level of excitement, vulnerability, and expansion. I’m not kidding. I am stretching beyond my capabilities and experience… The truth is it’s all necessary and required in order to grow into who God is calling me to be. As for the blog title, who’s to say there is much of a difference between being on the verge or on a ledge?

This entry was posted on September 27, 2017. 4 Comments

Laugh, Cry, Feast: The Alchemy & Evolution of Writing in the Rain Forest

What’s the biggest thing I took away from my time in the Hawaiian rainforest of Volcano? It’s the question I’ve been asked the most, in one form or another, since I returned. Many who follow me on Facebook got a taste of the experience as I tried to take you along with me as much as possible. I’m not sure there are enough words to truly convey what the trip was like but let’s look at the definitions of alchemy and evolution first.

al·che·my: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.
This entry was posted on September 20, 2017. 10 Comments

Soaring In Place

This will be a short little “check-in” on the morning of my trip to Hawaii for the Big Island Writer’s Retreat since it’s almost 1 am. I finished packing a short while ago and I’ve been sitting here on my laptop re-reading some of my older blog posts. In fact, my Facebook Memories on September 10th showed TWO separate posts of old blog posts from 9/10/15 http://buildyourownbrave.com/2015/09/10/dealing-because-life-goes-on-ya-know/  and 9/10/16 http://buildyourownbrave.com/2016/09/10/coming-through-the-halfway-point-of-200hour-ytt/  Reading them was a revelation on how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown! First of all, it was the first time that a link for previous blog posts from two different years popped up. Secondly, it made me want to start writing here in this space more regularly, a thing I’ve been saying since yoga teacher training ended in late October of last year but somehow have yet to accomplish. I believe I set a goal of once a week but have not lived up to it. Perhaps I should commit? Anyway, I digress from what I want to really write about. A concept that came to me the other day when I was thinking about my life (probably on September 10th). The concept of soaring in place.

You see, in being reminded of how far I’ve come, it started me thinking about where I am in my life today. While I still work for the same company, I’m in a better position for myself. While I still attend the same yoga studio, I’m also a teacher there now. I still talk to my spiritual advisor every week, see my kick-ass therapist every other week and attend the Big Island writer’s workshops every six to eight weeks. I started thinking how even though I am in a lot of the same places, I’m also soaring. Today I soar away from all that anchors me to my life here to the island of Hawaii to write from my heart, my gut, my soul and wherever else it decides to come from for the next four days.

I’ve also been approached about providing some of my trauma-sensitive yoga and journaling in a workshop setting next month and yet a different opportunity to speak at a conference in November. All the while new writing venues have opened up for me that I am excited about. Somehow I didn’t know I was capable of soaring in place like this. Working and living from an anchor or base, all the while soaring or exploring with my new skills and abilities. Each of these opportunities has come to me quite organically without my having to actively seek them and that feels right to me. I said I wanted to work at my job for the next five years and slowing build my yoga and writing business, not having a clue what that would look like or how to accomplish it. Yet, I believe putting intentions out into the Universe, living from my heart and from God’s Will creates an energy and attraction of its own. Thank you for sticking with me on my journey so far. Stay tuned.

This entry was posted on September 14, 2017. 3 Comments