Darkness

“Sometimes the weight you need to release isn’t physical”

December 5th. Fuck you December 5th. I cannot tell how I feel about this day. I am conflicted because it is identifiable as my darkest day, but also the first day of the new me. The pain of this day is one that I did not create alone. You see, I had had a lifetime of pain, rejection, and abandonment. All topics not acknowledged, simply pushed down and covered up with vodka. Just a few weeks earlier (October) I had flown down to Texas with my then 5 year old daughter to see my half brother. I was drunk, which was my constant baseline back in those days, and my half brother raped me. Shame filled me. I told no one. Eventually my family blamed me. So, I did what I do best. I pushed it down, blamed myself, and drank to be numb. This was the start of the dark night of my soul and my clinical depression. My soul was ravaged in pain and the anger oozed out of me at an uncontrollable rate. I was raw. I lacked all hope and it hurt to roll over in bed. I couldn’t see how life could ever improve. I had lost all hope. I was so dark that I lived in Southern California and don’t ever recall seeing the sun. My heart was darker than midnight on a new moon. I literally snorted opiates and drank so much vodka I should have been pickled. But then, it got worse. I realized I did not want to live, like would anyone even notice if I wasn’t here anymore? Of course not. I was worthless and the cause of all my families problems, even the ones that happened decades before I was ever born. I instantly knew the solution. I called Ziya and begged her to take my daughter. I then proceeded to google suicide. I made a plan and executed it perfectly, all while telling no one. At some point during the day my bio father called a friend told a whopper of a lie (something he is skilled at) and then made a false police report against me. The truth was already ugly enough, one did not need to lie about it. But, that was his choice, that was always his choice. A few hours later the police broke down my door with guns drawn. Another police trauma in a long history of police trauma at the hands of my family. Funny the police never did find that homicidal woman with an arsenal of weapons. They did however find a shell of a human, curled up in the fetal position in the dark walk in closet. My blood sugar was under 50, my pulse was thready and faint, my bp so low no one could get a good read, and I was floating in and out of consciousness. This was my first suicide attempt, it should have been fatal. In fact, all of them should have, but each and every one had divine intervention. I woke up for a moment in the hospital and then again in a psych ward. I was FURIOUS. Dear goddess I couldn’t even kill myself correctly. I would love to say this is the day life started to improve. It wasn’t. It was the first day of the stickiest, heaviest, darkness that I have ever experienced. However, it took this day to bring me to where I am today. And, I love where I am today. I am grateful to the darkness for showing me where and how to heal. I am grateful for the darkness for teaching me how to love me. I am grateful for the darkness for teaching me how to sit with the heavy. I am grateful for the darkness for enveloping me for a while so that I could shine even brighter. I am grateful.

This Body

This body. This body has been through so much. It is the keeper of trauma, intense feelings, past love, exhilaration, despair, light, and shadow. It has been the victim of anger and assault, sometimes at it’s own hands. It has fought to stay alive, more times than a body should have to. It has had 5 major abdominal surgeries and more medical procedures than one can count. And this body gained 5 pounds this weekend because apparently a diet of marshmellows and coffee isn’t ideal. (Who knew?!?!) Yet, I see none of that when I look at these pictures. I see someone who is content in the container given to them. I see someone who is fully present in this moment. I see joy. I see victories. I see love. I see life. There is a reason why I don’t focus on glutes, abs, toned arms etc, instead teaching in a way that chooses to focus on joy, breath, movement, & feeling well. I am not concerned with your container. I am concerned with your heart. Yes, strength & flexibility come with a daily practice, but that isn’t the point! Your heart is the point. The lens you view the world through is the point. Heal those and the body will fall in line or may not matter as much as you once thought

 

How My Yoga Journey Saved Me

 

Most people who know me or know of me, understand that I love yoga. Most people do not know why I am so passionate about having a daily yoga practice. Yoga literally saved my life. 9 years ago I was addicted to pain medications and vodka. I was suicidal and had attempted suicide a few times. I was living in this suffocating dark abyss. I had lost all hope and couldn’t even imagine how life might improve. So how did I go from that to what you all know now? Yoga and sobriety. I had started playing around with yoga before I got sober, but I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was doing it for a means of getting attention, not for the healing and life changing aspects of it. In rehab I started fumbling around with some very shaky Sun Salutation A and B and meditation. It was shaky for many reasons, the main one was in my last suicide attempt I gave myself a brain injury. So, literally at the start of my yoga journey I had balance issues, motor planning problems, couldn’t feel where my body was in space, and was learning what it felt like to be in my body instead of numbed out by opiates and alcohol. That is a-lot of road blocks! Incredibly, yoga met me where I was. I was blessed with several instructors who helped me make modifications, so yoga became possible. I became stronger, more flexible, and incredibly I became centered and calm. The changes on my mat eventually became transformation off my mat. Every time I wanted to use, I got on my mat. Every time I started to have a panic attack, I got on my mat. Every time life got “too big”, “too much”, just “too” I got on my mat. These are many of the reasons I adore yoga and am forever grateful for the practice. It is these reasons why I say “Yoga is for EVERYBODY!” and mean it. There are modifications available to meet you exactly where you are right now. I approach yoga with curiosity, suka (ease), and lila (play) this is how I share my passion. I am forever grateful for my yoga journey. Where will your yoga journey take you? What road blocks are you starting out with? How can I help you get onto your mat? Shine bright my friends, you are worth it!

Change is Possible

A couple weeks ago I had a birthday party with most of my tribe present. It was a wonderful night. The theme was unicorns and there was so much laughter my abs hurt the next day. The night made me heart break with gratitude and joy. It also made me reflect. Just a few short years ago the holidays and my birthday slipped by and no one really noticed, I didn’t even acknowledge they were special days. I was shrouded in the dark cloud of clinical depression and addiction. I had pushed everyone away…family, friends, my children.. everyone. I was suicidal, my Mum had just passed, and I was set on destroying myself. So how did I flip my life around to what it is today? I had one person consistently in my ear telling me to stand up. He walked with me as I crawled out of the massive black hole I was in. I got sober and went to therapy to change my thought patterns. That was truly the only drastic step I took. Everything else was a series of small steps.
1. I got honest, super honest. I became transparent with one person. Good, bad, ugly I shared it all. I never felt judged by this person and slowly learned how to live without facades, this was crucial. This honesty eventually spilled out into my daily life.
2. I started to address my negative monkey chatter with a series of affirmations and Byron Katie’s 4 questions. It was amazing how often I awfulized or ruminated on things that weren’t true or was beyond my control.
3. I moved every day. Running, yoga, walking something every single day. This helped the chemicals in my brain and helped me to heal.
4. I adopted the motto “the next right thing”. Instead of worrying about what might happen in 3 months or what happened in the past. I focused on what was the next right thing for me. I discovered the next right thing for me often didn’t line up to what society thought. That became okay.
5. I started to pursue my interests, regardless of what they were or how off beat they may be. I studied crystal healing, energy medicine, herbs, meditation, gardening, and more. This eventually became my path. Every new grain of knowledge slowly fed my being. It helped me create a life that I love, more than the craving for vodka and opiates. In this learning process I turned off the tv and read. This helped feed my soul.
6. I started tuning into me. For the first time, probably ever, I was in my body. I started to realize what made me authentically happy. What filled me up and what depleted me. This affected the foods I ate, the activities I choose, the people I hung out with. Truly it was revolutionary.
7. I made connections, authentic connections, from my heart. Life ceased to be about stature, what others thought of me, or chasing some facade. It became about love, joy, healing, being a good friend.

I am forever grateful for those dark days. They were the catalyst for the biggest change of my life. I now feel love and connection. I have real joy and I am living my truth. I am so grateful for my current reality and to have a tribe that I love and loves me. It didn’t happen over night, but it did happen. Change is possible. If you are wanting to create positive change in your life start small and be consistent.

 

Life Lessons from a Life Coach

 Today is my last day being 40 and if you know my story then you are aware that I am a story of destruction and rebirth especially in my thirties. Here is a list of the life lessons I learned so far:

1. No matter how dark it is if you can see a shadow, then there is a light source somewhere, follow the light. That is your hope, even when it seems you don’t have any. Don’t give up. Life changes quickly.
2. On the other hand, make peace with that shadow. There is nothing to fear in the dark. Learn to sit with yourself, all of yourself, alone. You will be better for it.
3. Some families are awesome, some aren’t. If yours isn’t make one that is. Everyone deserves to have a soft place to land, be loved on, laugh, have truth told to them, and to be safe. I call mine a tribe. Sometimes you cannot fix broken, sometimes you simply need to go find your people and love each other dearly. Go do that!
4. Heal your hurts, walk through your pain, deal with it. You aren’t going to die from pain, truly. There are helpers who will help you. Once you deal with your demons they can no longer hurt you. That is freeing. There are no words for this. Perhaps one, Joy… authentic joy comes from dealing with your shit.
5. Unapologetically chase your dreams and follow your heart. Society only knows what makes it happy, but you are unique and you have unique likes, dislikes, talents, and capabilities. Stop listening to the masses, stop listening to the blue print for life and start listening to your soul’s plans for life, you will be happier and more successful. _/\_
6. Do the right thing, always. Be of character, even if that takes baby steps to create. No one regrets standing in the light.
7. Give, love, laugh, teach, be kind… this world hurts, offer it a way to be better, and have a moment of comfort. Leave people better than you found them.
8. Not everyone is going to understand you, your struggle, your power, or who you are, it is not your job to out scream them, out smart them, or even out bully them, it is simply your job to be with them and if at all possible love them, but always remain you.
9. You cannot listen if you are talking or thinking about what to say next, nor can you take in what is being taught if your cup is full. So, if you already “know it all” please don’t bother you aren’t open to learning. 2+4=6 but so does 3+3 as does 1.9+ 4.1 …there are many ways of doing things. Be open.
10. You cannot pour out of an empty cup, self care is so uber important. You matter. Take care of yourself first and then the world.
These are my hard earned lessons. I offer them to you with love. Do with them as you see fit.

How I deal with anxiety

I think we all have moments of anxiety and feelings of overwhelm. However, some of us stay in that heightened state for longer periods of time than others. It is also easier for some of us to fall into an anxiety state. I spent many years on prescription anxiety medication and when those didn’t work I added vodka to the mix (this is NOT recommended at all!) . My panic attacks got so bad I didn’t leave my house for several months. It took years to fully detox from all the medications I was on and learn how to handle my anxiety instead of drown in it. I still have anxiety. I still have panic attacks, though not nearly as frequently. Here are some of the ways I have learned to handle this uncomfortable state.
1. Breathe…I have noticed one of the first things to go during anxiety episode is my breath. Deep belly breaths, alternate nostril breathing, and 4-4-4-4 breaths are all excellent ways to regain control of your breath, while adding much needed oxygen to your being. Kicking in your parasympathetic nervous system and getting yourself out of fight, flight, freeze is crucial in panic attacks.
2. H.A.L.T….(hungry, angry, lonely, tired) When I am tired, run down, or plain exhausted my mind starts to amp up. I can over-think everything and end up in a puddle of anxiety. When my heart starts pounding and those feelings of drowning start to encroach I run through H.A.L.T., many times my solution is found in one of those.
3. The 4 questions from Byron Katie…since overthinking is one of my major components to my anxiety I have found Byron Katie’s work to be super useful for gaining perspective. Her 4 questions are: Is it true? Are you absolutely sure that it is true? What happens when you believe that thought/response? Who would you be without that thought/response?
4. Journal…I journal everyday. I keep a gratitude journal, a worry list, a magick/meditation journal, and a free writing journal. Journaling gives me a place to express the chaos in my head and helps me get my words out. Often I find the root cause of my issues by simply allowing myself to purge all the thoughts in my head. My worry list has shown me that most of what I worry about never comes to fruition. My gratitude journal keeps my focus on where I want it to be. I can often find patterns in my free writing journal. All of these have been major tools for me over the years.
5. Move… For me movement is a way to release cortisol and adrenaline while boosting endorphins and gabba. Some of my favorite ways to move are yoga, qi gong, walking in nature, and dancing at home. Taking the time to move helps put me back into my body and gets me out of my head.
6. Meditation..This is one of my go to tools. There are many ways to meditate, depending on what is happening will effect what kind of meditation I choose. Guided meditations have been especially calming to me in times of angst.
7. Phone a friend.. There are times I have run through all I know how to do for myself and when this occurs I reach out to a couple of people in my life. Sometimes a voice of reason and calm on the other end of the phone is what is needed. Both of my people understand me well and will start to ask questions walking me down a path until I have a new solution to try.

There is always a solution. Being proactive in uncomfortable situations helps me regain control faster. It also helps me identify the cause so I can actually resolve the real issue. There are many ways to deal with anxiety, the key is finding many tools that work for you. What have you found that helps you? What can you incorporate into your life? Shine bright my friends, you are worth it!

What Message Does Your Life Send?

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The feedback I hear often about myself is, I am always observing and taking everything in. It makes me grin, because I am. I trust what I see more than what I hear. (The caveat to that is sometimes people have the best intentions and things still fall apart.) Words are fickle things. Sometimes we can not articulate exactly what we mean, sometimes fear holds us back from speaking, sometimes we know the right thing to do yet we do something else so our advice is conflicting, there are an infinite “sometimes” to insert into this sentence. However, if you really want to know the character of a person watch their choices, especially their repeated choices, this will speak volumes. Which means, if we are out to change this world, we need to start with ourselves first. What message does your life send? If you couldn’t explain your actions and they just stood alone are they in alignment with your core? What can you do today to start to align your actions and your words?
Shine bright my friends, you are worth it.
If you are ready to start your life coaching journey or would like to schedule a Reiki session with me I can be reached at LifeKeysEnergy@gmail.com