Throw a Pity Party

Been learning a ton of not so fun lessons as of late.  Learning the hard way has me feeling a bit beat up, but I definitely feel I am becoming stronger and more capable than I have been for years.  

A lot of shitty stuff went down the last few months.  And I let it get to me.  There’s turning the other cheek and then there’s paying someone to punch you in the face so you can maintain the shiner.  After the first unsolicited blow, I kept going back for more.  Poking at the bruise.  Finding ways to make it all worse.  People pity you more when they can see your pain.  I throw a good pity party.  Sometimes, being the center of attention is all your bruised ego needs.  Invite some friends, complain, cry, hug it out and then let them give you the swift kick in the ass that you deserve.

After a few legit bad things happened I sort of threw in the towel for a little while.  If life was a marathon, I tripped and fell over a log, then sat down where I landed pouting and claiming that I was losing buckets of blood from the tiny scrape on my knee.  I’m not proud of my behavior.  I hope that this is not my reaction to every bump and bruise.  But I do believe the time I took to feel awful, and invite others to commiserate with me, helped to jumpstart some real growth.

During this time, I was able to identify and learn from my mistake.  However, I also really slacked off in my classes.  I was not fully planning flows or studying anything to get inspiration for themes.  (Part of me really wants to go back and erase this confession so that no one I know finds out the truth…) I was working on autopilot and my students were the ones who suffered.

I still received compliments for my classes.  No one yelled at me or stopped coming.  Still, I felt awful.  I was only half there.  I was not connecting with anyone in class and I shut myself down so that no one could possibly connect with me.  I had lost my confidence, but worse, I lost all hope of finding it by giving up.  Instead of trying to demonstrate that I was a good teacher and this was the right path, I opted to believe that because sucky things were happening, I sucked too.

Until one day when I decided to try to clean my room.  I uncovered some old Yoga Journal Magazines and flipped through the flows.  It inspired me to research alignment of Warrior I.  I sat in the middle of a ring of books and training manuals with YouTube videos on cue and really felt that spark once more.  The spark that made me want to share this practice with not only those I know and love, but with complete strangers.

The past few weeks I have been re-exploring poses and creating new flows.  I have been stockpiling intentions for those times of idea drought.  I have been giving classes, not just leading them.  I have been able to truly connect with people, and know that this is what I’m meant to be doing.  At least for now.

So go ahead.  Throw a pity party.  Make it grand.  But don’t stay too long or it will be harder to wake up from the inevitable hangover.

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Acceptance

We all want acceptance from those around us. Especially from those we love. While on a walk the other day I asked for guidance on how to let go of the icky feeling I had that I was not being accepted. This is what I heard. The italics are the thoughts I had that seemed to propel this voice to tell me more.

Help me let go of the need for acceptance.

Accept the person for how they accept you.

And then…?

And then… There is nothing more to do. The person already accepts you into their life in the way they know how. It is your desire to be accepted the way you see yourself and not the way that they see you that causes pain. When you have accepted how this person accepts you, you will no longer care what he/she thinks of you but instead be able to be fully yourself in their space without trying to fit what he/she needs. By not caring about what they think, but rather caring enough to accept them as they are, you become the example they need. By being yourself and not placing judgement on the other for how they judge you, you break the cycle and allow room for each individual to be who they are without fear. When they have lost fear of who they are, they are less likely to fear who you are.

This is what is meant by liberation.

You become the light. Your light repels the darkness so that you are able to keep shining. A flame might bend in the wind to allow it to move past. You may bend to others, but a flame that bends too far will go out. Bend around the wind. Better yet, catch the wind. Set fire to the world. This is the way you become the light of the world. Set fire to it and bring along everything in you path. Do it not in the NAME of the Lord but rather with his breath. His breath shall be the wind that spreads the fire with which you were born. The one the world is trying to extinguish.

This is the Holy Spirit, which is represented by wind and fire.

You must fan the flame with the breath of the Spirit and nothing else. Pray that yor flame be cuaght up in the universal fire. Pray that you have the passion and the momentum to take all you meet higher into the flames. Then keep praying.

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On my wall

Here are a few of the articles, videos and pictures I have shared recently.  I loved them so much I thought I would put them up on my wall here!

1. Dove Real Beauty Sketches : This campaign is fabulous!  I wonder how I would fare in creating an accurate sketch of myself.  I definitely think the women look more like their partner’s description than their own!  Check the website for more videos.

2. Branko Return to Auschwitz : This video is haunting.  A short documentary about the producer of Schindler’s List returning to Auschwitz for his bar mitzvah.  The end where he fears that people will forget the atrocities of the Holocaust is heartbreaking.  I have met survivors and for their sake and our own I feel it is so important to educate the next generation.

3. This article on the Boston bombing expands on what I was trying to get at yesterday in as tasteful a way as possible.

A letter my younger self…

In November 2011 I posted a Letter to My Younger Self on The Real World.  I decided to write another one, this one to myself as a senior in high school.  This is for all the girls out there waiting for someone to know you.  

Dear Jenn,

You don’t know me, but I know you.  I know you better than you know yourself right now.  I see you for the flawed little beauty you are.  Isn’t that what you always wanted?  I wish I could tell you don’t look for this in another person, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t listen.  You don’t really like to be told how to live your life, even by that little voice in your head.  The one that knows better, the one that knows the truth.

The truth is, there is only one who can know you.  And it’s not “the one” of fairytales, but rather The One.  The One you will come to know when you find yourself.  The One knows you now and will know you long after you are gone.  I know you can’t see it right now, there are too many clouds in the way.  Doubt.  Question.  Rail against.  You will always return.  Call it what you like.  God’s still there.

You will see The Truth in song and dance.  In the plains of Africa and the parties of Spain.  You will find The Truth in your travels and in the soft, quiet comfort of home.  You will see it in the eyes of friends and the voice of a man.   You will see The Truth and you will run.  It will bring you to your knees and lift you so high you fear the fall more than the climb.  Soak it all in.

Fish Face in Sevilla, Spain

Big things are coming up around the bends.  Soon you set out from home, taking your first tastes of freedom.  Going on a journey that leads around the globe.  Yet, you will look back on these days of struggle with love for the girl you once were, and thanks that she made it through.

People are saying a lot of things to you right now.  I thought I’d let you know, you create deeper friendships with most of those you know now than you ever did in high school.  You treasure those people who helped you grow into the person you are today.  And you are about to meet the people who in some respects save your life.  They show you how friendships are built and maintained and how to create a chosen family.

You will fall in love.  And have your heartbroken.  And fall in love again.

You will make your own way.

my crazy family

You will fall.

You will get back up.  And learn to look for the rocks in the way.

You will be loved.

You will be known.

You will learn to love yourself.

You will find The One.

Here’s to your future.  It’s a good one.  Get ready.  It goes by fast.

Love,

Jennifer