Love is Where Real Power Lies

“We believe anger is powerful. We believe hate is powerful. And we believe love is wimpy, we don’t have confidence in love.” John Powell

The truth is, love is where power lies…

I usedLove is to be angry. I didn’t know it was anger, it didn’t feel like anger. It felt like life.

Friends would
ask me why I was so angry. I would tell them it was passion, not anger.

I had definitive points of view, life was black and white and right and wrong. If a person behaved a certain way I didn’t like, it was wrong. Behavior was defined by what I perceived as “right” based on my own beliefs and judgments.

We all do this in one way or another, we believe what we learn  and what we are taught. We believe this until we choose differently.

Beliefs are not facts. Continue reading

In Judging Others, We Judge Ourselves

When we judge others, or are judged by others, we often internalize those judgments, creating fear in ourselves. This fear manifests into the inability to fully live. We fear what others will think of us so we behave based on the judgments we hear. We may acclimate ourselves to what others think, too afraid to create our own path into our own lives. Giving up our true identities based on the fear of judgment.

“Doesn’t that person own a mirror? If they did, they wouldn’t go out looking like that.”

“How can you listen to that music? It’s horrible.”What a freak!

“I don’t know how they live in a house that small. It must be awful to have to live like that.”

“Why do people wear socks with sandals? What a shoobie.”

Internalizing judgments destroy’s self-confidence and self-esteem, making us prisoners to the judgments we hear from others.

Especially when the judgments come from someone who “loves” us. Continue reading

Transitions in Life

The physical practice of yoga is a series of postures (asanas) that are linked together by other postures and movements.

The linking of the postures are transitions.

What I love about yoga is what you learn on the mat you can take off the mat into life.

Life, like yoga, is full of transitions. Warrior 2Transitions happen when there is a change. The change forces us to transition into something new.

None of us can get through life without facing transitions, or change. Transitions can be small like changing the jelly flavor on a PBJ sandwich. Transitions can be big like moving, divorce, death or illness.

Transitions are also relative. What is a big transition for one, may be insignificant for someone else. I have a favorite jelly flavor but switching it up gives me pleasure. For someone else, grape jelly may be the only possibility they will consider. Continue reading

Getting to Know Your Body

Last week we started with our breathFreedom

The simple act of breathing begins the process of getting to know our true selves.

Knowing who we are creates intimacy of self.

This then sets the stage for becoming intimate with others. Not knowing who we are, what we want in life, where our boundaries are, and how we want to be treated, leaves us lost and wandering through life with no direction.

True intimacy is not sex. True intimacy is feeling safe in who we are and how we connect to others. It’s knowing we can be free with thoughts and words and not be judged. It’s being who we are, not only for ourselves but so others can know who we are too. It’s the ability to speak and feel what we want to speak and feel without others telling us what they want to hear. It’s not shutting ourselves down in fear. It’s letting other see into us and getting to know who we truly are.

Getting in your body is the first step to true intimacy. Yoga is the perfect complement to getting inside ourselves. Continue reading

Learning to Be Present

When beginning any healing process, the future is unknown.fear-of-falling

The past got us where we are and in many cases, it isn’t a pleasant place.

Taking those two thoughts into consideration, we want to be present in the moment we are living in now.

Thinking about the past can be depressing. The past is full of things we can’t change. It may be full of pleasant memories we want to recreate. It may be full of horrors we want to run from. The past is done. It’s over. It’s called the past for a reason. We can’t have the past back.

Tomorrow also doesn’t exist in the way we want it to. None of us know what tomorrow will hold. We may have plans and appointments and things we need to do. But how our lives will unfold regardless of those plans is unknown to us.

Knowing what life will bring us in the future is not possible. Thinking and wanting what we want, not knowing we can have it, can cause anxiety.

Being present right now is truly all we have. This moment. Right now. Continue reading

Solving a Problem is Knowing You Have One

Taking the step toward healing is acknowledging that you need to be healed in the first place.

I didn’t want to admit I had suffered. I had friends, family and therapists defining my trauma. But it wasn’t until it was viscerally evident to me that I was creating my own suffering that I chose to take that first step.

The first step is always the hardest step.Optical Illusion

Once you take that first step, what does healing look like?

I remember asking my sister how long it would take until I began to feel more like my old self.

She paused, then told me she really began to feel better around the 5 year mark.

I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted to feel better now. Right now. I didn’t know how much longer I could live in the suffocating anguish and pain of trauma. I wanted my life back. I wanted my happy disposition back. I wanted me back. This person who had taken over my life wasn’t welcome anymore.

Healing doesn’t happen in an instant or in a vacuum. Healing is a choice to do the hard work to begin the process. Continue reading

Does My Child Matter?

Today was my last day at my volunteer job.

I went through training at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in 2003.

I learned a lot during the 13 years I spent as a CASA.

I learned how the court system works in regard to the care of foster children.My Child

I learned that placing children back with their parents is what we think is best, but often it isn’t in the best interest of the child.

I learned how families do and don’t step in when faced with an event that separates children from parents.

I learned that grandparents are often called upon to take the place of parents who can’t function in life, for many varied, complicated and confusing reasons.

I learned that often, there is no other place for children without functioning families then state run homes and foster care. Continue reading

How Effective Breathing Affects Us

Breathing is an activity most of us take for granted.

In some ways, we should take it for granted. Breathing happens whether we want it to or not.Warrior 3 variation

The average human breathes 10-14 breaths per minute. Time yours and check it with the average.

Most of us who breathe at that rate, don’t give a lot of thought to the effects our breath has on our body and mind.

Yoga is known for slowing our breathing rate down; maybe to 4-5 breaths per minute.

When I first started my yoga practice, I wondered why I would want to slow down my breathing rate. It seemed fine to me.

The science of breathing has come a long way since I took my first yoga class. Science is beginning to understand how breathing affects many parts of our body and in turn, affects our state of health.

There are many benefits of breathing that yoga works with. Continue reading

Why Yoga Therapy?

Yoga Therapy is somewhat different from yoga and other therapies.

Yoga Therapy looks at the big picture of a person’s life and uses holistic tools to empower the client to confront the challenges they face.Forward Fold

Yoga Therapy works with the medical system, giving additions and/or alternatives to the patients diagnosis.

While talk therapies are great for help in healing the past, Yoga Therapy can be a great addition as it takes talk therapy and adds body movement. By addressing feelings inside the body, the therapist and client can explore together the meanings of the feelings and open new ideas and dialogue for healing. By combining movement with talk therapy, the client addresses, evaluates, finds viable solutions and is then given permission to move forward, away from the past and in to a more fulfilled life experience. Continue reading

Am I a Good Friend?

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Divorce and any trauma not only affects ourselves, our family, extended family, and children, it also affects our friendships.

I had a pre-arranged lunch date scheduled with a friend that happened to coincide with the day after my ex left the marriage.kenn1

That lunch date, which I kept even though I was terrified to tell my friend what happened, opened up the door to my eventual healing.

I remember walking into the restaurant trying to keep a sane face. I felt the energy in my body vibrating and wanting to run for cover in embarrassment and shame. I sat down at the table and for a mere 45 seconds we small talked.

I don’t remember what the small talk was about. My friend noticed my agitation and asked about it.

The torrent opened. The first release of the pent up frustrations began. My friend held that space for me as I let go of as much anger, frustration, sadness and confusion as she would allow.

She allowed me a place to feel safe while I poured my heart onto the unserved table. Continue reading