Life is Good: New Years Eve

Life is a wild ride. This year has been a wild ride. My heart has been broken. I have been deceived. I have had to comfort those around me who have had to deal with some crazy situations. I have lost a lot. I have gained debt. I have been hurt by friends. Monkeys continue to pile up on my back. I almost had to go to court. I have suffered heavy anger problems. I have had my water turned off. I almost got evicted. I lost a brother to jail. I have struggled with low self confidence and I remember a mantra that my mother lives by: Life is good.

In the same breath I have traveled the world. I have won wonderful awards at work. I have read books. I have gotten sleep. I have strengthened my yoga practice and I have learned how to better take care of myself. I have been shown so much love and I have gotten to show true love back.

I am grateful. I am thankful. I have become closer to God.

Now it’s time to think less about “I”and more of what God has in store.

As the new year approaches it is time to accept the things that have not gone well, the things we cannot change and the people (good or bad) that we have left behind.

A new season is upon us. A new time to reflect and move ahead and leave old afflictions behind.

Let Go and Let God.

My Promises:

Positivity

Love

Gratitude

Freedom

Forgiveness

Acceptance

Health

My New Years Eve Morning Yoga:

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Love and Harmony

Mindful Meditation :
I create harmony and love in all my relationships.

I have not felt so much holiday cheer in many years. Since the loss of my father, incarceration of my brother, divisions within my family and my overwhelming duties as mini family care-taker, I have not had much cheer. Well I hold just enough for my mother and niece and nephew (who I am currently not allowed to see thanks due to mother who is in a tumultuous relationship). I even refused to partake in Thanksgiving this year in hopes to run away from the awkwardness of the holidays. I did not want to pick anyone up, drop them off, go to the store, be somewhere at a certain time, dodge questions about my family, witness odd family arguments or attitudes. I needed time for me.

My stepmother never calls or visits me but expects me to run errands for her or come to her house at the drop of a dime. She never brings my little brother to visit, I must always make the effort.

I am living in a time for change for myself. I am reevaluating relationships, myself and what I want for me in the future. I have friend who I always drive out of town to visit and bring gifts for her children and even have loss sleep and gotten in a wreck over in order to make it to a family function or event for her. Sadly I never get that in return and when you don’t have a husband and kids, your argument never matters in comparison to theirs because “you don’t have a family” (even of your life and family carries just as much responsibility while still being a single person.) We have in recent years almost ended our friendship and like any relationship I usually come through as the wrong doer or villain. I tend to exhibit this label in all my friendships. I guess I care in the relationship more to sacrifice my character for the good of others.

I constantly step on eggshells for people in hopes that I don’t do anything that “messes up” the relationship. I often ask myself, why do I do these things? Why sacrifice my happiness more than others? How maintain my happiness and my friendships?

Then I woke up this morning and found somewhat of an answer.

No matter what, I will send them love and create harmony in my relationships, while keeping me first. I will not worry if they get mad if I can’t make it or say “no”. I have to put myself first. My life, whether I am single or married. For so long I have put others ahead of me but now it’s time for me. Not to make myself a victim. If they don’t care for the change, I still continue to send them love and harmony.

Thank you for listening to my reflection. Peace Blessings and Happy Holidays.

New Focus: Gratitude and Contentment

I attended an engagement party for my friend Racquel on Saturday and my boyfriend and I talked a lot with my friend Brandi on her upcoming travels.

I’m in a current financial and life bind (all first world problems) so I tend to feel a little envious when people speak of their traveling plans.

I told her of this and she merely said, “Yeah, I’ve been there too. Sometimes you have to give up some things in order to get what you want in the future.”

I felt like my third eye got a good slap and wake up call. Wow. Why am I chasing everyone else’s blessings when I should show contentment for my own blessings?!?

Yesterday I attended yoga and church. The message at church was to praise God for the blessings that are yet to come despite the challenges that you may face.

I started thinking of all of my friends accomplishments. We envy other’s accomplishments but do we envy their challenges?

My friend who spoke to me at the party had almost a loss of a job, speaks many times of having to save money and now she is in a good place to live in her life.

Another friend is awaiting to find her job after grad school which I am sure is a vexing task.

One of my friends has had to cater to a loved one’s illness while trying to secure a job after law school and still continues to look for work.

One of my friends finally secured her license to counsel after years of working hard towards a degree with little to no money at times.

Every person has a story, setback, trial and challenge.

We envy the glorious outcome but never the saga that precedes it.

I am thankful to know strong women that know personal struggle and who have learned to praise God along the way.

I continue to work on my gratitude and contentment. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to live for. Life is good, as my mother always says. I have many monkeys on my back but I choose to not have worry. I have God to fight my battles.

Yoga Movement = Perfect Sunday

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Today I partook in a 10:30 am class at the new Yoga Movement studio in Dallas.

Though I was a tad flustered from my evident tardiness, but thankful that I made it on time!

The studio is nice, spacious and home-y.

Brittany, our instructor was a sweet jewel and I loved her teaching.

My body was thankful to finally get back on the mat after a small sabbatical. I have had severe hip and back pain with tightness in my chest. With more hip and chest openers like today, I will indeed feel more comfort.

I suffered a head injury at work earlier this week and could not partake in any headstand but I was grateful and complacent with my practice.

For the month of December on Sunday all classes are $7 !!!!! I must take advantage while I can!

“I was non-denominational not an Athiest!” And other woes from my college years.

I was on the phone with a close friend when she revealed that in college she thought I didn’t believe in God. After hearing this I presumed she was merely joshing, but she reiterated that indeed she was not. I phoned another friend with this uncomfortable new information and she concurred that she too shared the same sentiments.

Then in the same respect they dismissed the conversation in jest as if it didn’t matter.

Interestingly enough I feel as though situations such as this are deemed as “the story of my life”. If I share presumptuous comments I am often scolded and condemned or made a fool. Forced to apologize to those whom I have offended, however such matters are never shown to me when shown great offense.

I wish my friends understood the journey that I had to embark on in order to find my way back to religion.

I live in Texas. The end. It’s self explanatory that I live in a society of small minds, prudence and hypocrisy. Those who had been deemed as born again Christians, to me, were poor representations of what I saw as “Christ-like”. Days and nights I prayed to God to lead me to something that exemplified my spirit. I read texts and studied thoroughly through the old and New Testament to become more familiar and open minded to the written word. The more I studied, the more I became disgusted and empty by what the real world offered me. Contradictions. Those who partied and drank on Saturday and played gospel on their way to church on Sunday to end those values by 12:30 pm benediction. Those who were baptized at an early age but stole from others, engaged in drugs and ill suited lifestyles. Yet they all shared one common thread…they were Christian.

The more I shared my anger to my friends, the more they disowned me, talked down to me and pushed me a way. Not that I did everything right or respected their life decisions entirely, but I always forgave and always apologized to others assuming that they knew my heart. Now I know some did not. Many a night I would cry to my brother, a devout Muslim, how I struggled with my search for religious complacency. Due to the fact that he followed his own path, he understood me well and spent many countless nights consoling my troubled mind.

I read and researched a multitude of religions and spiritual practices and it wasn’t until my studies in Buddhism, that I saw Christianity for what it truly is.

The way that the Buddhist monks spoke of Christ soothed my soul. They wrote of compassion and love that was beyond anything that I had seen or experienced in my own life. I yearned to experience such a spirit in a religion because I felt I had a strong connection to God and I love Christ and the idea and essence of him. In 2005 I gave my life to Christ wholeheartedly and was baptized. My friends were all there in support. I of course thought they were there with me understanding that I had chosen a religious denomination, not that I had moved from atheism to Christianity. Although, I still have to deal with people that can’t wrap their head around the fact that my boyfriend is Catholic and not Baptist and believe that Catholicism is non-Christian. So I am not surprised that my friends would define my non-denomination as atheism.

I say all this to say, should I be thankful to have friends that have accepted my evolutionary changes no matter what they have presumed them to be, or should I be insulted that they never knew my true heart all his time. What is a true friend, if they know not of your heart?

The 7 cardinal rules of life remind me to:

Make peace with my past.
What other people think of me is not my business.
Time heals almost everything.
Stop thinking to much.

Yet the yogi in me that is working through her anger problems admits that her friends opinions have hurt her. She can forgive in time but it has made her look at those around her in a new light.

Hi I am a Yogi and I….have anger problems!

Tis a hard revelation to admit to myself, that I have anger problems. This is nothing new for me to know. At some points I saw it as a powerful shield to protect me from those who I thought were out to hurt me, control me or challenge me in any way.

Growing up my house at times was a ticking time bomb of turmoil. My father and mother fought weekly and even sometimes daily. My brother erupted in anger in an instant when things didn’t go his way. He and I even physically fought when our parents weren’t around.

Now in my relationships I see these moments of anger control me more and more as I get older. I have slapped and cursed people. I have thrown and punched things. I have made passive aggressive comments and I have screamed at people. I have hurt people. I have tried to hurt myself. All of these actions have left me with nothing but guilt and embarrassment. Why do I react like this?

To answer this question, I have decided to embark on my own journey to manage my anger. My goal is to fight anger in order to find joy.

I started journaling about what makes me angry. Not surprising to me, that list took up an entire page. Afterwards I looked into my levels of anger, the benefits of my anger and the consequences that come with it. I read all of this to myself and even to my boyfriend. I prayed and my first task was to forgive myself. I needed to forgive myself for my negative thoughts and actions. I can’t redo and rewrite the past, but I can learn from these moments in order to grow and move on.

When I feel angry I journal and write down what made me angry, what actions I committed while angry, the thoughts and feelings I had while I was angry and what happened as a result of my anger. I felt stupid but I addressed it.

After journaling I set a goal and write down an affirmation to focus and meditate on.

One of my affirmations today was :
I radiate joy and love.

I meditated for 10 minutes for today. I worked to laugh more, ask questions for clarity before making assumptions and to breathe. Everyday I tell myself to inhale joy and exhale anger.

This not just a weekend fix done with yogi magic. I know this will take a life time to consciously and mindfully live by. I am willing to do this to live a happier life.