Take Responsibility for Lighting Your Own Flame

This week I spoke about my visit to the church, mindsets, childhood wounds and being proud.

We always tell our children how proud we are of them for all of their accomplishments and I think it should be said when deserved and be sure we make it about them and not ourselves. We must give the credit when the credit is due with taking ourselves out of the equation.

This Tuesday I came to the studio and found myself dead in my tracks at the front door. I actually looked up at the purple sign, the stickers on the door and as I walked in, I stopped and said to myself “wow”. “This is your studio. You did this.”

I have never had this feeling and I have never given myself any kudos for creating such a great space.

This moment brought so much up for me. Childhood wounds, fear of expressing myself or the fear of what others may think if I verbalized my feelings of achievements. I don’t crave attention or praise. I actually don’t like it. Yes, it feels good but I am humble. Humble and proud.

Be proud of yourself. Give yourself some credit. “You’ve survived heartache and heartbreak. You work your ass off for what lights your soul on fire. Take time to say “great job”. “I am proud of you”. Because guess what? It’s nobody’s responsibility to keep your flame lit but your own”.

This quote came rolling off of my tongue last night. I was hesitant to post it with the fear that it was too rough. But it’s tough love and it’s the truth. It is time to take responsibility for your own life. Why? Taking responsibility of your life moves you from victim to victor. This will change your energy and will raise your vibration.

When people seek constant praise, approval and admiration it is a noticeable sign of Narcissistic personality. This is why it is so important to give praise to others, especially our kids when most deserved. Not when they draw a good picture, come home at curfew or take out the trash.

If you find you are looking for praise for all of your hard work, look in the mirror and say:

“I am proud of all of my efforts”

Take in deeply, beyond the layers of self doubt to the truth of your glowing spirit.

You are amazing.

Take responsibility for lighting your flame and….

BE PROUD.

Countdown to 50.

I know this may sound strange since I have 1,026 days left until I turn 50, but I felt the need to write about where I am and where I’ve been and wondering where will I be on the day I turn 50. What will my life be like?

I am not sure what encouraged me to write this. Maybe it was how good it made me feel to get carded in Salt Lake City last weekend, or thinking about how lucky our children are to have so many tools to live a long, healthy life. Whatever it is, here it is…

This blog is not about looking into a crystal ball. It is a challenge. A challenge, a blog and a picture I would like to look back on in 2021 when the big 50 approaches to see how far I have come since 2018 and I encourage all of you to do the same no matter what age.

To date, I have been through a lot just like all of you. Maybe not everything, but we have all been through “stuff”. The good, the bad and the ugly.

I am a child of divorce and a daughter of an alcoholic. We grew up in bad times and good. We lived on food stamps for a short period of time living in a not so great town. My mother was strong and worked hard. My dad had a disease, struggled and lost everything. We were fortunate enough to get out of a horrible town and live where we were meant to be.

My mother worked hard. We went to private school and college. We worked and worked hard. My sister on Wall Street, my brother with a large Pharm Company and me in NYC. As I am writing this, I stopped. WOW!! Not so bad. Three kids coming from a broken home and a father with a terrible disease. We are products of divorce!! Thanks mom!! You did good. It wasn’t easy and neither was I. Thank you. We are all where we are meant to be because of you. There are days where you may feel under appreciated, but guess what? Being a mom is the most UNDERAPPRECIATED job in the world.

I feel the need to also express gratitude to my father for the experience of being a child of an alcoholic so I can share and teach. My father has been gone four years now this month. We have had a few conversations since and I am so thankful for them. It has been healing.

We are far from perfect and each of us has our crap to deal with; but I am proud. Proud of my mom and my siblings. Thank you!

Lesson: Never judge children of a broken family.

Fortunately and unfortunately, my children are children of divorce. They are amazing and I am blessed. Woody and I co-parent well and I am thankful for that. Honors, athlete, no booze or drugs, fun, healthy and happy. And they to are not perfect. No one is. They are driven and have goals and my wish is that they never loose sight.

I have seen divorce, pain, homelessness, addiction, physical, emotional, and mental abuse. I have seen poverty in India as I inspected diamonds. I have driven old cars and new. Fancy and not so fancy. I am blessed now to be doing what I am doing. On the mat and off. Hopefully inspiring, motivating and helping people as best I can because helping others is the way we help ourselves and it feels really good.

I was never a good student. I struggled in school. It never came easy to me and I am not embarrassed to say that I was not “book smart”. I am street smart. Situational awareness and the center of my own knowledge based on MY experiences, not someone else’s. I have learned how to trust my own judgement and fend for myself. The past, present and future and I encourage everyone to try to do the same. Let’s teach our kids how to be street smart.

To date, I have visited many places and this will not stop unless I am physically unable. The beauty and slums of India, the towers and art of Paris, blue waters of Turks and Caicos, green hills, and yummy Guinness of Ireland, the changing of guards and breathtaking countrysides of England, many Caribbean Islands, cruised and boozed, paddled Rincon and sunbathed topless in St. Martin. I have 18 states left to see and many countries and Islands on the list. Travel if you can. Save those quarters. Don’t waste the money at the bar when you can put it towards a trip.

I have had my heart broken and broke a few myself. This body has seen 99 lbs and 180 lbs (no tummy tuck BTW) Boobs yes. Tummy tuck no. It’s called exercise and being in tune with your body. (moral of this story: Don’t bring others down and make shit up to make yourself look good. It has the opposite effect)

We have all suffered from pain. Heartbreak to pushing for 19 hours to give birth to an angel.

There are times when you think emotional and physical pain is so bad that you just want to give up. Storms that you never think you will get through and then you open your eyes and realize “as long as you are breathing, there is more right than wrong with you no matter what is wrong”-Jon Kabat.

This beautiful, yet challenging life I have had has shaped me and encourages me everyday to be perfectly imperfect. I am learning and growing and I will until I die keeping in mind to breathe and be fully present.

In 2021, the year I turn 50, I will have one young woman in college and my young, handsome man on his way. Holy shit!!! I encourage them to see the world. Get out of the bubble. Live. Learn. Be street smart and take care of your bodies inside and out. Where will I be? Hopefully sitting here writing to follow up on this blog. I may not be physically sitting at this desk, but I will write. My hope is that my daughter follows her dream of going to college in California and my son in Florida and I will be writing this in either of those two states as I visit them. I will be proud of them with any decision they make.

As for my professional life….who knows. Taking one day at a time. Learning and sharing through yoga. Learning, sharing and teaching how to live a perfectly imperfect, authentic, natural, healthy lifestyle until I can’t go any longer. It’s going to take a lot for me to stop.

Follow your dreams. Go for it and never give up. There is still time. 40, 50, 60 and 70 on up!! It doesn’t matter.

In three years I will be 50 years old. Wiser, smarter, stronger and healthier than ever before. Maybe my life will be half over, but one thing that I will always take with me is that I have lived a life that made me who I am today. As always, I am blessed and grateful to those who pushed me, pulled me, left me, loved me, messed with me, doubted me and encouraged me. Thank you!!

The road to 50 is going to be great.

No matter what age, learn, live, grow, heal, share, practice, teach, and breathe. Take good care of yourself today and always.

“The best investment that you’ll ever make is in yourself. Never stop exploring, learning, experiencing, and becoming a better person each day”-Mo Seetubtim

Are You Living Courageous and Free?

Today we celebrate Independence Day. Music Speaks Dharma has been my description of all of my classes since I started SUKHA in 2015 and I traditionally teach all of the holidays. By now, many try to do the same, and I am so honored to have inspired others.

I decided today I would change it up slightly and steer away from the normal July 4th class.

Independence-" the fact or state of being independent. self-determination, freedom" 

Independent- "free from outside control; not depending on others authority"

You see, I am very independent. Always was and always will be. I can honestly say that if I was dependent, I would not be living a truly authentic life.

Many people live in a state of co-dependence and allow others to shape our beliefs and decisions from how to dress, political views, financial decisions and so many other things that we forget who we really are and this I can't seem to digest. (it gets my blood boiling)

Independence is knowing who you are, owning it, being aware of boundaries, saying no, speaking your truth, being clear on exactly what you want and most importantly respecting yourself and owning your life.

Today, start making your own decisions, give yourself permission to think, feel, support, love and do whatever the fuck makes you happy.

How the hell do people survive, achieve and live a life based on what someone else dictates to them?

America is the LAND OF THE FREE!! Get your shit together and start living your life, YOUR WAY.

The place where we can do whatever we wish. So let's do it. Do what you believe in. Follow your heart, your dreams, wear what you want, be whoever you want, travel, quit the job that you are constantly complaining about and find a new one, stop bitching and start doing. Stop asking permission and advice from the people that will tell you "don't do it". (this will be for another dharma)

America. "Home of the Brave"

Are you courageous? Do you step into your true self? Do you tell your story? Are you afraid of making decisions on your own? What is holding you back from having the courage to do what you want? Is it you that keeps telling yourself that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, educated enough or is it someone from the past or the present that has planted these thoughts in your head. Those thoughts are going to stop TODAY!!

"Courage is required in almost every basic human activity or endeavor. For instance, to allow oneself to love and commit to another person takes courage. Separating from our parents and forging an independent life for ourselves is a courageous act. To survive an abusive, traumatic or neglected childhood or relationship with dignity and integrity demonstrates courage and resilience." -Wizard of Us

Stop basing your dreams and decisions on someone else. Put on your big girl/big boy pants and take the step into independence. You will begin to start doing everything that inspires you on your terms. Stop wasting time living someone else's life.

Let's begin to have the confidence, courage, self-love to live the life you want to live. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

Be free

Be Brave

Today and always

Have a Happy Independent Life!