Baby Steps

Growing up is simply realizing that you are finally ready to do all the things you always dreamed of doing, but were too afraid to try.  It’s exhilarating.

 

Today I finished day ten of a 30-day hot yoga challenge.  I’m proud of myself for letting go of my fears and letting my body work it’s magic.  I feel so enlightened and I know I am literally transforming my body from the inside out.  All I know is that I feel incredibly strong.  Mind, body and soul.  Things are exciting.  My mind is more free lately and it feels wonderful.

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Gratitude-Day 1

 

I’ve decided from now on to mostly dedicate this blog to the things in my life that I am thankful for.  To keep myself on track, moving forward and positive.

 

Today I am grateful for my new roommate.  He is great addition to my life and my household.  He has taken two yoga classes with me this week and tonight we created a delicious dinner together.  Also, he’s just a nice guy.

 

Today I tried Spin class at the new YMCA that I recently joined.  I had also done yoga earlier in the day.  Spin was fun and super intense.  I am grateful that I possessed the strength for all this physical activity in one day.  I am continually amazed by the things my body is capable of.

 

I cleaned and organized almost everything I own today.  I am grateful for the clarity I feel when my space is in order.

Today was a good one.  I plan to make tomorrow even better.

 

 

 

 

Long-Legged

I guess we can call this a rough draft.  I am sure to re-visit this at a later date but for now I just need to get it out.  Because I feel very strongly on the topic.

I wish to discuss some things very important to me.  Body image and respect.

First off, body image, especially in today’s society.  Let me first say that I am pleased with the direction that the everyday depiction of a real woman’s body is headed these days.  I see more and more full-figured woman in the media, advertisements, tv-shows, etc than ever before.  But I believe there is still a real problem with society’s expectations of what size we should be or how we should look.

I believe much more emphasis should be put on the health aspect instead of “weight” and “size”.  I’ve battled with my “weight” for a large portion of my life.  Now that I have spent the last  5 years or so learning what it means to be “healthy”, I wish someone had introduced me to this lifestyle sooner.  Instead of drinking slim-fast at age 9 (which is just fucking horrible now that I look back on it) or basically starving myself and taking very dangerous diet pills at age 21, I could have just learned how to eat real, whole, healthy foods and just be good to my body.

These days I am so proud of my body and I have no problems saying that.  I embrace every little imperfection and make an effort to appreciate my whole self with every glance in the mirror.  Maybe it’s wisdom that’s come with aging, maybe it’s so many empowering conversations I’ve had with my close female friends, or perhaps it’s all those times I spent changing in locker rooms finally realizing that no one is perfect and we all have our faults.  I don’t know exactly but I am thankful for everything I’ve learned about myself.

Here is the problem.  Now that we are approaching warmer temperatures, everyday clothing choices are no doubt more revealing.  Especially when you’ve previously been bundled up with 3 or 4 layers.  In all neighborhoods that I’ve resided in since my move to NYC, there seems to always be those men.  The ones who stand around in groups just waiting for a girl in a skirt, dress, shorts, whatever to pass by.  Then the filthy, disgusting, inappropriate,  grotesque and degrading comments begin.  It could be anything from a statement, a whistle, a look, a kiss noise or beyond.  Either way, it’s uncomfortable and unwanted.  This happens every year and at times it actually makes me question what clothing I choose to wear for the day.  I think if I were in any other city I would be quicker to speak up and express my dislike of this.  But to be on the safe side, I usually do everything I can to modify my path so that I do not have to come in direct contact with these men.  This is difficult in a city where I rely on walking and public transit for all my travels.

I do not deserve to be treated in this way nor does any other woman.  The lack of respect makes me sick and I wish I knew how to change it.  Just because I am tall, have long legs and decide to wear shorts for the day, doesn’t give some creepy guy the right to say derogatory things to me.

So I vow to wear whatever I want to this summer.  Without worrying about what disrespectful comment I might receive.  Because it is my body and my freedom to be me.  I will never again let someone else make me feel bad about that.

Ready to Start

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So I guess I’ve been extra tough on myself lately. All these new journeys I’ve taken on and I’m determined to make something happen; to move forward in my self-improvement. There are those things that remain beyond my control and that is difficult for me to accept at times. So, in a way, these new endeavors represent the parts of me that are strong, able and willing. I’m not competing with anyone nor do I have anything to prove. I’m doing it all for me.

Bikram yoga has proven to be the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself. It brings everything out of me. Every hidden feeling, every unhealthy thought, every single emotion. It’s not uncommon for me to be in tears at some point during class. This is the most important outlet in my life right now. There are so many things that I feel I cannot discuss with anyone else around me but within these 90 minutes I am free to feel it all. And it always feels better afterwards.

My body is going through many adjustments. The flexibility happens slowly and I’m still in a lot of pain much of the time. But I can feel how much strength I’m gaining. In addition to yoga, I’m working at changing my diet once again. I’ve decided to re-introduce eggs here and there and I just began a 21-day sugar detox.

I feel so small sometimes. It helps to have a grasp on my own wants and needs. I’m empowered by the control I finally feel I have in my life.

Less Strife, Pretty Little Life

 

Tonight I faced a new challenge.  One I have been fearful of for some time now.  I attended my first hot yoga class.  It was undoubtedly hard work but very therapeutic.  It was almost as if I could feel things inside of me melting away with every bit of dripping sweat.

 

Lately I view my life as a whirlwind.  Definitely a fun whirlwind, but not close to subsiding anytime soon.  It’s like when you see someone in the distance and you can’t tell if they are walking closer towards you or further away.  I’m not sure which way I’m headed.

 

There are so many good things that I am doing for myself.  Self-awareness continues to be my greatest concern.  As much as I intend on living in the moment, I still catch my mind wandering.

The gift of yoga is the only thing that I’ve found that keeps me balanced.  I’m able to accept things, let in the good, let go of the bad.  All I know is that I finally understand that I am good enough.  Just as I am.  That alone is enough to keep me going every single day.  I feel strong.

 

 

 

Fuel for my Mind, Body and Soul

“Yoga is not about being bendy…

It’s about showing up to your mat consistently not knowing whats going to happen and being okay with that. It’s about believing that you can do anything even if its the scariest most impossible thing you could ever dream of. It’s about uncovering who you really are. It’s about being kind to yourself so that you can be kind to others. Yoga is about discovering that most of the crazy thoughts in your head are not true. It’s about being healthy without pushing yourself to your limit. It’s about slowing down to get strong. It’s about breathing and moving and smiling on the inside. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done but the best thing for me.”

Love Yourself

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For a very long time I never appreciated who I am. Although there was never a shortage of love in my life, from my wonderful family and friends, I still could not feel it. I spent a good portion of my days very low at times and lived in an unhealthy amount of darkness. I always fell for the ones who didn’t appreciate me. I loved them with all that I possibly could but there never seemed to be reciprocation on a near level. This wasn’t the fault of the men I chose, just the way it happened. It was life. It was growing pains. It was all necessary in the grand scope of things.

 

As much as I was searching and yearning to gain the love from those that I felt so deeply for, it was always something inside of me that was absent. I was learning self-acceptance. I was gaining an understanding of the person who was staring back at me in the mirror. After 31 years, I truly love myself. This isn’t some statement that I’m making in hopes of believing; it’s real. A friend asked me the other day how I learned to be comfortable being independent. I told her that I simply spent a lot of time alone and worked hard at getting to know every detail of myself. I studied my thoughts, feelings, reactions and emotions. As I emerged from all that time, I realized how valuable and extraordinary I am. And I’ll never forget it.

 

If you don’t love yourself, nothing else really matters. It’s great to love someone else but you cannot possibly give your all to someone if you are broken. As much as I am hopeful that I will find my other half someday I know that I will be okay without that. Because the truth is, I am already whole. I am me, with or without someone else.

If you don’t already, search within yourself to figure it all out. Love yourself. We are all worth that.

 

 

 

Orbital Bliss

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It was on a bus somewhere along my commute from Trader Joe’s back home. It was a frigid Monday morning and I was bundled tightly. None of my regular music could settle me; everything felt painful in my ears. I chose a piano/violin station and as the bus became more and more of a crowded and chaotic environment with each stop, I drifted further away. I closed my eyes and escaped the bus, the city, the world, my thoughts, my emotions, until it was like I didn’t even exist in my own body any longer. It felt warm. The warmest I have felt in so long. I was entirely motionless and my head empty. Strangely I had managed to completely let everything go, all the things inside. Some I was aware of and even things I didn’t know were there. It was bliss in those few moments yet so brief. Eventually I felt the vibrations in my feet travel back throughout my entire body and I was aware once again.

That was my favorite place…I want to go there again. I think I’ll visit often.

Beyond What I Ever Imagined

 

It’s a brisk wintry night and I’m safe, cozy and warm indoors; staying at a friend’s house.  She is the true meaning of hospitality and friendship.  So many people will say they are there for you whenever you may need them.  But in the end, who actually lives up to these promises.  All I know is that, in my time of need, she was there.

 

The last few months have been a test and I am undoubtedly still making my way through.  But it’s all these obstacles that make the journey that much more worth it.

 

I’m currently reading the most wonderful book titled “The Last Lecture”.  It’s written by Randy Pausch, a man dying of pancreatic cancer.  It’s a book about living, the things that matter and simply appreciating life.  I recommend that you all read it.

 

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life, … If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.” 

 

“When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore that means they’ve given up on you…you may not want to hear it but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you and want to make you better.” 

 

“It took a long time, but I’ve finally figured it out. When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.” 

 

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” 

 

 

 

A couple of days ago, I lost my phone.  Meaning (funny story) it fell in the toilet while I was at a holiday party and now it won’t turn on.  I was only upset for one reason.  The first thing I though of?  My pictures, all of my beloved pictures…  If there is one thing that keeps me going on a daily basis it is my self-documentation through the photos I have taken.  I’ve had that phone almost as long I have lived in New York.  Almost two years and over 3000 pictures later and here I am, almost devastated to lose that part of my journey, my vividly illustrated memories.

Perhaps it was just another brick wall.  There will be many more days, different adventures, countless new journeys and plenty of new pictures to keep my passion alive.  Tomorrow is always a brand new day.