Shift back

Tags

, , , , ,

I’ve felt the shift for awhile now.  You vs. me.  Us vs. them.  It’s been a shift that splits families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  But I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.

I read Brene Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness” and finally someone put it together. Us vs. them keeps the world in black and white.  Us vs. them puts me against you.  Us vs. them isn’t ever that simple.  And it shouldn’t be.

See, the arguments that are being made on a political, religious, life level are more detailed, more intricate, more compassionate than the us vs. them mentality will ever allow.  There is much more #beauty to behold when we see the world not as black and white but as the colors that fill in the gaps.

So let’s shift back.  It sounds easy enough, right?  But it starts by a really hard task – seeing “them” and loving “them.”  Getting them to see “us” and loving “us.”  Healing starts when we see each other, accept our differences, and find a middle ground.

I had one of those (not) amazing Facebook conversations recently that I’m not proud of.  It was about politics.  I tried to call someone out.  But in the midst of my preparing for the next argument, I remembered that we are both human.  And we each have a story.  And that story needs to be respected.  So I stopped.  She tried (I’d like to think half-heartedly to get me to reengage) and I didn’t.  I think that’s what it takes.  We can agree to disagree up until a point; when our “agreeing to disagree” causes one or both of us to lose respect, love, or compassion for the other, we’ve crossed the line.  And it’s necessary to cross back.  It’s not just necessary, but it’s a requirement.  We all need to heal.  If we are to move forward, it’s because we’re moving forward together and not leaving another in the ditch.

Shift back.  It’s going to be hard.  But the reward – actually connecting with and honoring people – is worth it.  I’m willing to shift back.  Who’s in?

November, 2017 – Intention

Tags

, , , ,

Every month, on the first of the month, I sit in mediation and ask myself the question “Who do I want to be when the month ends?”   This month, the question changed slightly and I think it’s indicative of my path forward.  Today, the question that came up was “How do I want to be?”

It’s a subtle shift.  But one that energetically already is landing through my cell tissue.  Who I want to be is a great place to be, but if we look around at the levels of distrust, lack of connection, the way we speak to each other (in person and online), and other things, it’s a shape shifter.

I want to be better.  Not in the arrogance approach to being better.  But as a human.  I want to see people where they are and accept them there.  I want to be joyful.  I want to be honest, with others and most importantly with myself.  I want to be grateful and to express gratitude more frequently.  I want to act in a manner that draws people in, rather than turning them away.  I want to be loving.  Compassionate.  Kind.  I want to be hopeful.  I want to shine brighter through the darkness.  I want to be.

While it’ll be a journey and a I’ll definitely have setbacks (let’s face it, I’m still snarky), I think it’ll be overall healing.  For myself.  For my students.  For friends and for family.  Who’s in?

October, 2017 – Intention

Tags

, , , , ,

Look at me, being all productive putting this out there only three days into the month.  I just finished assisting the Forrest Yoga Foundation training.  And I have so many takeaways and learnings that I still need to process/put into action.  So this month, I’ll focus on the uptake.  I haven’t necessarily excelled at the uptake; in fact, I may have a slight reputation for going hard/fast to get things accomplished.  Ana pointed this out to me in January of this year to uptake the Beauty, the nourishment, the joy, the healing in yoga poses.  But I’m also taking that off the mat and into life.

So here are some things I’m bringing from last month to this month.  And there will more than likely be pieces of the puzzle added.

I push myself hard, process things quickly as a need to prove myself.  Which is absolutely stupid.  I am the only me on this planet, therefore no one else can or should be on the exact same identical path.  That need to prove comes from a place of seeking validation that I matter.  So I’m going to uptake my own worth, my value, that I am enough.

If you read back through my blog, you know Baxter transitioned last year.  I feel his spirit around me quite frequently.  But apparently, he’s with me even when I don’t feel him.  And his lesson to me – love.  It’s that absolute, authentic love that we all strive to discover.  When Mike died, I very specifically remember saying the phrase “I can never hurt like this again.”  Not knowing at that point the power and magick in those words.  It’s been five years, a lot of therapy, a lot of processing, so much learning, feeling, and so many breaths into my heart, but it’s happening.  The shields have almost all dropped.  My heart that was in a box wants to come out to play and dance.  So I’m uptaking that sensation – wanting to live and to love again.

I have a few more things I’m taking away, but for here/now, this is what I’m feeling this month.  Feel free to uptake along!

Berlin update

Tags

,

If you think I’ve been quiet this month, you’re partly right.  I’m currently in Berlin assisting the Forrest Yoga Foundation Training with Ana, Jose, and some of my best friends/mentors/family/yogi’s on the planet as fellow assistants.  It’s been an incredible month so far, with over 70 trainees learning to become Forrest Yoga teachers.  It’s humbling to be part of their journeys.

While the focus is on helping the trainees step into their own power, we assistants have regular feedback from Ana (and each other) to become stronger versions of ourselves.  The focus for my month has been around my heart and all of the stupid shields I put up as protection, the patterns and habits I developed around those shields, and pretty much shaking them all up.

IT’S BEEN AMAZING!  Working with such a strong team is inspiring and I’ll be heading home with a few ideas to work on and develop.  So much more to say about this but there’s a time and place for everything.  So stay tuned.

If you want to really see what I’m up to, follow me on social media — @badyogidc.

August Intention

Tags

, , , , ,

Wait.  It’s already August 7?  I have no idea how that happened.  Good news is my intention for this month finally landed completely.  Bad news is it apparently took seven days to do so.

Acceptance.  It’s the word that’s been floating around me for longer than a month and I thought it would come to play in my intention.  I just wasn’t sure how.  There are a few forks in the path toward acceptance but the one I’m working on is for myself.

The question “How do I celebrate these scars that have shaped me?” came up last week.  Wow.  It’s a big one.  Because I’ve got scars.  I’m not talking my appendectomy scar or the time I scraped my shin to the bone.

But the times my heart was broken and then shattered; the trust that was taken away from me by the actions of others; the times I punished myself for not being or not doing; I can keep going.

And I think most of us can.  But what does that serve?  Yep, we all have scars and while we might have wanted to live without the pain, who would we be without them?  I can honestly say I would not be a yoga teacher.  Probably.  I don’t know who I’d be.  And that’s kind of the point.

My month ahead is with the understanding that I can’t change the fact that I have scars.  I can change how I continue to react to them, giving them power over my current life, and work towards becoming that man who no longer sees his own scars but sees his light.

Strength

Tags

, , , , ,

I stumbled onto something today literally by accident.  On Instagram.  Today in my therapy session, we talked some about why I fear my destiny, my power, my light.  After the session, I sat with it briefly, and decided to write a post on a photo about that fear.

Because we’re all afraid of something.  I’m not talking clowns, zombies, bears, or bugs.  I’m talking something bigger about ourselves that when it hits, literally freezes us in our steps.  For me, the fears typically manifest in some reminder and I avoid being that version of myself.  I think that fearing something about ourselves is a common thing.

I also think it’s a learned behavior.  I fear my light, because when I let myself shine, others see it and take advantage.  I fear my light because it draws attention to the fact that I’m not perfect.  I fear my power because I don’t understand how it works; and I may never understand how it works.  I fear because I was either hurt by someone in the past or because society at large isn’t sure what to do with me.

And that’s all bullshit.  Imagine seeing how brightly you can shine, and then realizing how you shine even brighter.  Imagine owning your gifts, given by a universe that understood you could handle them, and using them to heal – not only yourself but others.  Imagine not being afraid of who you are.  Because that person is you.

I’m in good company.  Ana Forrest’s book, “Fierce Medicine,” starts with the chapter “Stalk you fear: Turning from prey to predator.”  She also very wisely says we should stop trying to slay the dragons and ally with them.

Which I think I finally get.  From our greatest fears, comes our greatest strengths.  When we begin to realize that our strength can pull us over/through/away from our fear, that is when we truly begin to step into our power.  And I for one am ready to step into my power.  Who’s with me?

July Intention – Show Up.

Tags

, , ,

June quite frankly went by incredibly too fast.  And for whatever reason, many of my old demons and thought patterns surfaced.  Honestly, I stumbled.  I compared myself to others, I compared to this “expectation” of where I should be, and I let those win.  I don’t know if I really even fought back.

This month, with a new focus, new drive, I’m showing up for myself.  When those moments pop up, I won’t vacate, but I’ll feel them out, sit with them, and work on becoming a stronger version of myself.  I’ll listen to and honor the requests my body, my mind, and my spirit want.

There are two phrases that come up frequently in my life.  The first: Dedicate yourself to the effort.  Change, growth, evolution – they don’t just happen.  When we learn something new, we get better with time and practice.  That’s the path we’re all (I’m) on; it’s not a quick fix overnight, I’ve made tremendous progress, but I still have areas to improve.

The other phrase: There is a time and a place for everything. This is my time.  This is my place.

Because my future starts now.

Sunday musings, #1

Tags

, , , ,

It’s Sunday, June 11.  This weekend in DC was the official “Pride Weekend.”  And I missed it.  I went to New Haven, CT to spend time as a student of Ana.  I took morning intensives the past three days and I’m going to be honest – they still have the power to shift me into a different place, much like they did when I went through my Forrest Yoga Foundation training in 2014.

As I sit here and begin to process some of the nuggets she gave me; some of the ceremony Jose inspired me with, I realize – pride is something I haven’t really felt in my life.  See, I was raised in a church going, Bible reading family.  When I really began to realize I was gay, I fought it.  I fought myself.  I shunned myself.  Some would say that a portion of my soul was sent away when I turned away from myself.

And I still struggle.  To be honest, I don’t really approve much of organized religions these days.  Mainly because I know what I went through to get where I am right now.  There are moments I still don’t accept myself.  There are moments I still feel less than fully human.

And that’s bullshit.  I am exactly who I was intended to be.  I’ve survived what I’ve survived not because I’m a “sinner” or have a karmic balance to uphold, but because my light, even on its darkest days, outshines my dark.

I interchange the word pride with acceptance.  Because that’s what we’re all seeking.  It’s not about being proudly gay, or proudly straight, or proudly trans….

It’s about being accepted for who I (you) am (are) in that moment in time.

June, Intentions

Tags

, , , ,

Wow.  It somehow became June.  I’m a bit is disbelief.  May went by really fast but I learned so much.  And it’s coming back with me in this month’s intentions.

I came back from assisting a training and as is often the case, had a rough time re-establishing a regular schedule, routine, and getting back to my life.  I floundered a few days and then punished myself mentally – to the point that I created a migraine.  There were moments that I knew what was going down and the tail spin was happening.

So this month, I’m returning to me – remembering who I am, where I’m headed, what I want to do, and how I want to be.  Basically the questions of a reporter.  Most important of these is the how – I will be kinder to myself; I will give myself space; I will let steps happen naturally and not force any; and I will be my true self by allowing my light to shine naturally, not forcing it out, and not competing with others.

There’s been a lot of hate, aggression, and all around negative treatment toward others lately.  Kindness, honor, respect start within self and work out from there.  There’s a bigger intention coming in the next few months that ties in with this – I can feel the dragons directing me toward it – but right here, right now, it’s all within myself.  Who wants to play along?

May intention, 2017

Tags

, ,

Ok, I’ll be honest.  I specifically only put blogs out when I’m feeling them in my heart and in my voice.  I want to work on that more this month and write more.  So if you’re reading this and want me to write about a topic – family and bad yogi friendly – comment below or message me and I’ll see what I can do.

I spent the last two weeks of April immersed in training for myself and this month’s intentions involve some of my key take aways.  Many of these take aways include becoming more comfortable in my own skin – as a teacher, a student, a human.

One of the biggest things I’m working on and playing with is shifting out of old habits and patterns that no longer serve me and feeling for what does.  It’s so far been a lot of catching myself, stopping myself, feeling what I was about to say/do, and then changing the direction.  It’s been fun to feel the smaller shifts in how I see and feel the world and myself.

I’ll end it here – brief but to my point.  As always feel free to play along or share you intentions.  Where you want to be starts with where you are.