Tag Archives: authenticity

I Love Myself: A Mantra

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I love myself
I love myself
I love myself

Try repeating this mantra
while you breathe
deeply and slowly

Try standing in your strength,
rooting down,
stretching up,
breathing,
repeating

I love myself
I love myself
I love myself


What will happen
in the space of
inspiration,
when love is what is
felt on the inside?

What will happen
in the release of
exhalation,
when love is what is
expressed outwardly
as truth?

What if you knew your truth
would help others?
Would you speak it?

I love myself
I love myself
I love myself.


What would it feel like
if you really believed it?
What would it sound like
if you could really mean it?

What would your life be like
if you allowed yourself to really dream it?

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Inspired by Kamal Ravikant’s book “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.” I find the cover art pretty triggering, let me say…but don’t we sometimes need strong images to wake us up to the truth? Self-love saves lives. I found it well worth the read. I will read it again. I have been practicing the mantra for months, and began teaching it to my students this past month. It’s powerful to work with the mind in this way, to train it to reach for a better thought. The best thought…the one that could save your life, and the lives of those around you.

Authenticity, Safety, and Purpose: Some Thoughts on the WHYs of This Blog

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Today I’ve spent a great deal of time in my head mulling over the virtue of being fully disclosed, vulnerable, and authentic as we reveal our humanity to one another, versus the way we’ve been conditioned to hide what we think will make others uncomfortable—so that we can pretend we’re okay, and just sweep things under the rug, and just get on with our lives. This blog has been a space where I’ve purposefully made myself vulnerable, 1)As a space to explore my feelings in what I considered to be relative anonymity, because, honestly, no one in my life has ever really given a crap about this blog, so no one I know personally has ever followed it, and 2)As a way to connect with other humans who are interested in exploring the depths of feeling and being along with me.

Recently, however, multiple people have cautioned me against disclosing too much, and now I’m grappling with the idea that I might have to succumb to this societal proclivity to play nice, whistle a cheerful tune, and lay low until the storms have blown over…or worse, I’ll have to just suck it up, push my difficult feelings down, and be on my own with them until the storms have blown over. In either case, I’ll not be able to express myself authentically as I have been doing, and that feels just plain wrong. I have come to look forward to this time of sharing, reaching out, and connecting with the humans in this space who are brave enough to stand with me in the truth of what it means to be fully, consciously alive.  I have come to value immensely the words of empathy and encouragement from those readers who have taken the time to comment and let me know that I’m not posting in a void, but there are actual, real people, reading my actual, real words, and my words mean something to them, evoke something in them…

Where do I go from here?  In light of the recent trolling, the sense of safety I experienced in the past has been dashed to pieces, and I’m being pushed to make decisions out of fear of legal consequences.  I’m full of questions and the answers aren’t forthcoming.  I was given the argument “But your blog is public,” as a reason for why I should never have felt safe disclosing my personal thoughts and feelings; I was always running the risk of someone I knew reading what I had written, a risk that hardly bothered me at all. I always thought to myself, “If someone I know reads what I’ve written, good then, they’ll know how I really feel.  They’ll know I’m human.”  To have the potential for unpleasant legal consequences thrown in my face in an attempt to deter me from honestly sharing my experience feeds into the belief that we shouldn’t be real with one another, being real is unacceptable, being real is criminal, telling the truth of our experience is undesirable, etc. AUGHH.  Or how about this one—we can only be real with certain people, safe people, and everyone else gets a persona, a fabrication of a false self that will do the trick of navigating social interactions while hiding the deeper truth that waits in all of us to be expressed.  

No wonder our society is rampant with addiction! We’re being told constantly that only some parts of us are wanted and acceptable. Only some parts are worthy of being shared.  All of the other parts get stuffed down, and while we’re pushing and pushing against them to keep them down, these unwanted, unacceptable, unlovable parts are pushing and pushing back at us to be expressed.  We use any number of addictive behaviors to numb those parts down so that they don’t give us so much grief, but they remain there beneath the surface, clamoring for attention and starting their push to escape once the anesthetic wears off.

I made a conscious choice long ago not to play the addiction game. Decades of journaling and seven years of therapy, over a year of twelve step meetings and lots of sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and here has given me a sense of absolute responsibility to show up as my full self, regardless.  This is my LIFE for God’s sake! Agreeing to back down now feels like a serious integrity breach, especially when, if you back away from the situation and look in, nothing that I’ve written is earth-shattering, nothing will sully anyone’s reputation…I’m just an ordinary woman writing about my ordinary life, and the fact that there are a few people out there who give a damn about it has been a beautiful bonus.  Give that up now, when most other outlets for self-expression have fallen away? NO!

I don’t know what’s next. I’m going to think some more about this and decide if YogaMom should go on an extended hiatus while I figure my shit out…and then I can come back as YogaMom 2.0…and focus more on healthy lifestyle crap instead of my mental/emotional crap. Ugh. Would that serve anyone, though? Would privately working through the ugly dark night of my soul and waiting until I got “better” to post again actually help anyone? I’m inclined to believe that our pain links us to one another and reminds us that in this crazy game of life no one is spared devastation and annihilation…and when Life wants you to transform, it will do it to you, regardless of how ready you are or not.  Sharing my story was a way for me to reach out and invite others to see that they are not alone in their own personal hell, but in fact, I am right there with them.  I’ve been operating within the vision that at some point I will get better, and anyone interested can follow along and watch as this happens, and that perhaps my journey will help others who are suffering to see that they can get through their devastation one day at a time, just like me.

Maybe, though, it’s time to just be honest with myself.  My posts may have helped nothing and no one.  They may have just been moments of self-indulgence, clear evidence that I don’t have enough maturity to process these difficult feelings on my own and therefore need to “over share.” I just don’t know. I probably need to back away a least a little bit to gain some clarity over what purpose my posts were truly serving.  If they are not bringing value to the lives of others, then it’s probably time for them to stop…

No Matter The Weather

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It feels like those I called friends
have withdrawn until the storm passes.
It feels like they are waiting
for me to be all smiles and sunshine again.
I have let them know the pain I’m in…
I’m sorry, they say,
I can’t imagine how difficult
this must be for you, they say.
But all the sentiments in the world
mean nothing
when they aren’t backed up
by something real.
And so I find myself asking
What is friendship anyway?
I find myself understanding
what is meant by the term
Fair weather friends.
I want to say to them
Yes, the storm will pass,
but don’t go looking for me
in the safety of the sunshine.
I’ll be miles from here,
in another land,
in another world,
a real world where
people are there for one another
no matter the weather.

Take the Pressure Off

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And then it struck me all of a sudden,
I’m not writing for any particular reason at all…
I’m just writing to write.
I do this night after night
not because I have to
but because I want to.
I don’t have to think about it,
I just do it.
It doesn’t take any willpower at all…
it’s almost like breathing–
it just happens.
And I realized,
ah, I’ve taken the pressure off my writing
to be something amazing,
to be something special,
to be something lovely,
to be popular,
to be successful.
And then I thought,
What if I could take the same pressure
off of myself?

A Different Source

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As my inner turmoil has intensified
I have found myself remembering
a glass of wine
or a mojito
or a margarita…
It has been years since I’ve had a drink.
I chose to stop
because I wanted to go deeper
and to be clearer…
but I remember
the soothing wave of inebriation,
the giddiness,
and I ask myself if I’m being too extreme,
too ascetic, too prudish, too goody-goody.
I know many people who would say
I should have a drink
when I’m feeling this way.
It’s just a glass of wine,
it’s good for you
they would say.
Just have a drink,
it won’t kill you,
it will help you relax.
But I’ve chosen clarity,
and this means to stand and face
whatever arises with my whole self,
my real self.
How can I see what needs to be seen
if I have filled my head with clouds?
It was a personal choice,
a commitment I made,
and I feel honor bound to uphold it.
A quieter voice says,
Don’t look back.
This is your chance.
Summon your courage,
breathe.
You are where you need to be,
and these feelings are real.
They have something to tell you;
listen.
Trust.
Being able to hear this voice
is a taste sweeter than the finest wine,
more refreshing than
than the most perfectly mixed mojito.
Sure, these drinks might taste good for a moment,
but the inner longing would remain;
and after their sweetness receded from my tongue,
I would be still more parched,
the way drinking from the ocean makes you even more
desperate to find pure, clear, sweet salvation.
And so I dip not my hand into these waters.
Now I quench my thirst from a different source.

Living Well

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Working on giving myself more time
to grow, to change, and to evolve…
searching for the humor in the challenges
as I cultivate patience for this being that I am,
looking self-doubt straight in the eye
and asking, “Why?”
Taking deep breaths
giving thanks,
appreciating the little things
that end up being the most important things
in this one precious human life.
Smiling softly as I catch myself
making my human mistakes,
trying again.
If I can live each day
striving to act from my most empowered self,
it will be a life well-lived.
And this living well
isn’t something to be deferred.
It happens now, each moment, each breath.