RIP Maya Angelou

“If you get, give. If you learn, teach.”

– Maya Angelou

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EveryBODY is beautiful.

I viewed the most incredible video tonight. It is something that I have believed in wholeheartedly, and finding a video that is educating the world on the same thing is amazing.

My company takes all of their employees on a vacation every January after busy season to celebrate hitting goals and making it through another fiscal year. A few weeks before the trip, a girl in the bathroom had mentioned that she hated that I was going to be on the same trip as her because all of the boys were going to drool over me. I was so frustrated by her comment. Partly because she doesn’t know that I worked my tail off for the body I have, (I gained quite a bit of weight in college) and because she shouldn’t compare herself to me, but should love the skin that she is in. I know that is easier said than done, but comparing yourself to others will never make you feel better about yourself.

I felt so sad and disappointed in the world, for teaching women that we need to be skinner, tanner, and more beautiful. I am a firm believer that God created each and every one of us in His own image and that we are all uniquely beautiful. Part of our beauty is on the outside, but the majority comes from within. How you treat people – both family and strangers, how you react in situations, what you do under stress, how you handle the worst, as well as the best days, and how you treat yourself. These things should be what mainly define our beauty. Beauty is NOT only skin deep. Beauty encompasses so little about our actual bodies, and everything about our lives and souls. If your life is beautiful, you will radiate beauty. So surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Take time to fall in love with who you are. Do things that make you happy. Enjoy the sunshine and do what you love as often as you can. Stay away from the negative, and avoid those thoughts as often as possible.

Remember: Life happens for you, not to you! Don’t miss out because you were too busy worrying about other people found beautiful in you.

Please go to the website and join the movement!! http://www.bodyimagemovement.com

#ihaveembraced

Just show up

I didn’t come looking for anything when I came to yoga. I was just told to show up. What does that even mean? Just show up? It took me about a year and a half to understand that. Teachers would tell me, and the class, that nothing mattered as long as you showed up to your mat.

I’m not a competitive person, but the days where I feel my practice is at it’s best, I am the most proud. I have brought everything on to my mat. Bad days at work, bad news with friends, friends death, exhaustion, run down and burnt out. I have brought every form of myself, but my mat has never turned me away. My mat is one place that I don’t have to explain the emotions that show up. And that’s when I understood it. Just show up on your mat. The thoughts you were thinking, the stressors you were focused on, the laundry list you were creating – leave it behind and just show up. The emotions that you bring, that is your truest self. Regardless of what those feelings are. I have laid and cried on my mat after finding out the worst news of my best friends divorce. I remember laying in savasana with the most silent tears pouring out of my eyes. And my mat didn’t ask questions. It just accepted what showed up.

I’ve found that no two practices are the same. I have long narrow feet so balancing poses are sometimes extra difficult. Especially if I’m having a bad day balancing. I’m grateful that my mat is there on the bad days and doesn’t laugh. And on the good days I have room to celebrate.

I also have an extra vertebrae in my cervical spine, so back bends are amazing but camel is painful and tough. My mat accepts me fully, however I come. It’s incredible to know that on my worst days I can show up and be successful, fulfilled completely, as well as empowered.

Because of yoga, I am a more confident, happier and more beautiful person. I have found that the world is more beautiful, and what we surround ourselves with, is what we tend to become and reflect. My mat is a place where I can perform for myself. Where I can push myself to my limit, or just focus on my breath. It is a place for rest, and hard work. It’s a place to play what I have been practicing, and try what I’m scared of. It’s a place where falling isn’t frowned upon, and help is always accepted. Even better than that, the yoga studio provides the same things, along with a family of people who wants you to succeed as much as you do.

Whatever shows up is fine, as long as you do show up.