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Find Me Now

21 Feb

Life is full of surfacey things. Chock full of material things to fill out time. Jobs, cars, iPad, and gym memberships, all things to keep us busy and paint a pretty picture of who we ARE.

I can stay busy all day writing in my blog or reading a book. I can play with my secret diary on my iPad or paint my nails. I can cook elaborate and beautiful meals for my family without any planning at all. I can do so many things. Is that who I am? I can make a list of all the things I think I am:

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Friend, Yoga Teacher, Aspiring Chef, Aspiring artist, Aspiring author, blog owner and so on.

Is that who I am?

i_am

I am a questioner and lover of the grandiose picture of life, the big picture. I want to know, when do we find out who we really are, what our real I AM-NESS truly is.

Do we find it during the happy and joyful times. Maybe we find that we are blissful and loving and a lover when we get married, maybe that is who we are. Maybe we give birth to a beautiful baby and see those tiny eyes and think, I am a dedicated soul for this little human, okay I get it, this is who I am. Maybe you get the career of your dreams and travel the world while getting paid buckets of money to do exactly what you love, you sit back and say. HOLY SHIT THIS IS WHO I AM, AND I LOVE IT.

Or is that not it at all. Is it found when you are in the dark places. The hollow and shallow place where no light can come in. The cave where you are all alone and can only hear the echo of your own raspy and tired voice. Is this where you find yourself? Is it when the call comes in that your child has an incurable condition, one that you can’t fix, is this where you find out you are warrior, that you have strength you never knew lived inside. Maybe you find out that your baby is going to die and you will have to spend two years watching his body slow down until it is no more. Is it then that you find you are filled with words and compassion and thousands of people will be changed by your words put to pen and paper. Maybe after years of anger and rage you finally reach the point to which your soul can take no more, you can finally rise up and stand again on your own two feet. Is this the moment?

I can’t answer any of the questions. I have a secret to share. I keep waiting for somebody to answer that question for me. I keep waiting for somebody to come and share with me the wisdom of this world. Where is this mythical creature who will show me the path, shine the light, and get me to my destination safely. My savior.

I can’t be the only one, in fact of course I am not. I think we all have a small desire in us to have somebody else help us along the way. I think the harsh reality is this, nobody is going to come and share their wisdom with me. It will be their wisdom and not mine anyway.

Where will you find yourself? Will it be in the lightness or the darkness? If has already happened, is it earth shattering?

earth-shattering

Please share and help shine your light for others.

 

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Tiny Beautiful Things

18 Feb

It was so cold today. The sun was shining but the wind  and the air were bitter. My fatigue had set in deeply. My bones felt weak and the cold air felt as if my body was thrust into an ice bath. The burning that comes before your body parts eventually go numb. I drove home from teaching tonight with my seat warmer on and the heat on full blast. I had no need for music as I drove home. I was craving complete silence. I could only hear the wind as it rushed past my windows on the outside of my car.

My thoughts are heavy tonight, shackles weighing me down. I keep thinking I love what I do. I love teaching yoga. I love being a mom. I love writing my blog. I love so many things, but… I feel like I haven’t found my dharma yet. Is there some magical feeling that takes over when you know you have found your dharma? Is there a true physical feeling that comes over your body when you know you are doing the right thing in your life?

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I couldn’t stop thinking I am 35 and I still haven’t found my calling, I don’t think. Is it supposed to look a certain way? Oh I wish for the answers. I had this conversation running around inside my head driving home t through the black cold night.

I needed to clear my head so I picked up one of my new favorite books. “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed. An amazing book, written in question and answer. The questions are written to Dear Sugar( she is sort of like Dear Abby, but more fascinating). A truly brilliant read. I opened up a page and couldn’t believe what I was reading. A 26-year-old girl, a writer, had written her Dear Sugar letter about exactly what I am going through. A feeling of despair, a feeling of why hasn’t this happened yet,  a feeling of did I make the right choices in my life? There are no accidents, I opened this book up right when I meant to. I opened the book up right to that page. It was clearly calling me.

Tiny_Beautiful_Things_book_cover

Sugar responded to this young and despondent 26-year-old writer with beautiful prose. My soul understood exactly what she was saying, even though she wasn’t saying it to me. Sugar writes, although she herself had grandiose plans  that hadn’t come to fruition at a young age. Sugar writes, it took a plethora of things to take place before her first major piece of work. Things had to happen before it was to come out of her soul. She had a life to live, relationships to have, sentences to write that would go absolutely now where, and so on and so on.

Is this where I am now? Working on sentences that are going nowhere. Am I working on relationships that are just the building blocks for what is to be my grandiose final calling in life?

At the yoga retreat in Boston my sister asked a question to the room  full of 35 people. She asked, “what is possible for you?” I was assisting that weekend so I chose not to partake in the excercise. Now I want to answer.

It is possible for me to stay consistent. It is possible for me start something and  finish it. It is possible for me to find my calling and know it  in my soul.

WhatIsPossible

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the lives around you. The lives of your friends, your family, your neighbors. They can easily seem to have so much, to have  a sense of love and contentment in their lives, something that you easily feel is missing. It is much harder to just send those people love and turn that attention on your own soul.

I want to find my dharma and sit with it. I want my dharma to feel like a bean bag chair. I want to sit in that bean bag chair with the feeling that you can’t or don’t want to get up.

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Will You Forgive?

16 Feb

Saturday night and I am cozy in my bed with my two little kittens by my side. It is freezing outside. A beautiful sunny day has turned into a cloudy and bitterly cold evening. I turned up the heat and got under the blankets. I am all alone in my room as I turn on the Beyonce interview on OWN. She spends quite a bit of time talking about her daughter and being a mom and all that comes with being a parent.

There was a scene where Beyonce is filming herself at home in her bed. She looks at the camera and talks about feeling the baby move for the first time, the excitement that comes with those first kicks.

I immediately shutter. I try not to think about things like that regarding my own pregnancies. I have not forgiven myself yet.

I have not forgiven myself yet.

My sister wrote a beautiful essay about our sweet angel Ronan and his passing on February 15th. She wrote  when something like this happens, when a child dies, you realize why lie. Why lie about anything.So here I am. Being as real and raw as I can be. As I sat and watch this woman on television talk about how she felt her baby kick and how exciting that was I realize that I still feel like a failure. I feel like I let Blaise down. Why wasn’t I one of those women counting every kick, monitoring every moment in the womb. If I had would things have been different? Could I have changed things in his life? Would I have saved him and I from three years of suffering. All of the tests were fine when I was pregnant. I did feel his body move inside me, but there were no big baby kicks, like the ones everybody talks about. Some babies are quiet in the womb, the doctors told me .

Why didn’t I question that more? Why didn’t I push more? Why didn’t I do more. More Period.

It still weighs on me that he wasn’t diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome for three years. Of course it took me a year of testing to get that diagnosis. I did all I could once I knew there was work to be done, but there is always the feeling of not soon enough. It still weighs me down in my few moments alone. I still feel that it was up to me to protect him, and I didn’t, not soon enough.I try not to watch things regarding pregnancies. They bring up such raw and unnerving feelings for me. I push these things down and away. I want to believe that I have come to terms with the way things transpired in my life, in his life. Things happen exactly as they are supposed to, I want to believe this, but I  am left feeling that I got it wrong somewhere.

I don’t wan to lie anymore. I still feel that in some way I could have done more. It leaves me feeling incomplete. I want to say that I have been the best most powerful and dedicated mother. I worry sometimes that I wasn’t dedicated enough or strong enough in the beginning, in the first moments when it mattered the most. Does that set the stage for the future?

This is the most honest and human I can be.

Where is your honesty wanting to come out. Post below and share it now.

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The Change Inside

27 Jul

 

I turn 35 in 5 months and I am better now than I ever was. After a night of no sleep I am up at 6am and ready to face the day. I am not cranky, sleepy, or even mad that I am not sleeping now. I am awake, totally awake and alive.

Today marks 8 days completely gluten-free, and Wednesday marks 6 months of being smoke free. On Saturday, August the 4th I graduate from my teacher training. I am loving life.

I woke up today and I felt great, I felt as if I was living in a new body. I am twenty pounds s overweight and totally fine with that. Why? I will tell you. I am healing my body. If I have gained weight because of quitting smoking, well than that is twenty pounds that I am glad to have. In return I have added years to my life. I am healing my insides by eliminating all the gluten from my diet and I love the lightness that I feel. All of the things that don’t serve me anymore I have said good-bye to. I am twenty pounds heavier but healthier than I was when I was in my 20’s, totally worth it.

What prompted this post today was to share the real “Change Inside” of me, and how you can have the same. I would have been completely depressed a year ago if I saw that I had gained twenty pounds. I like so many women equated my worth with how much I weighed, or really how skinny I was. I am not alone in that experience. In fact I used to obsessively get on the scale everyday, all it did was upset me. There was a time when my sister came to visit and hid my scale from me before she left. When I couldn’t find it I went into a complete panic. I called and begged her and she wouldn’t tell me where it was. I took me days to find it. Why? What did this represent? If I got on the scale and I was lighter than I had a good day, if it was heavier than it was almost definitely a bad day. When I think of that time it makes me a bit sad, I can’t even imagine that being a part of my life anymore. Of course I still care about my body, I care about my body more than I ever had, but in such a different way. I look at myself through completely different lenses. I rarely get on the scale, and when I do I see just a number, I am not effected either way. I look in the mirror and like what I see no matter what. When I look in the mirror if I am not feeling my best that day here is what I do, I find something that I do like about what I see and focus on that. I then look at myself again in the mirror and realize that I like all of what I see.

I don’t know if it is the growth I have had in teacher training or that I am getting older, but I am completely comfortable in my skin. That is the best feeling in the world.

I AM NOT MY WEIGHT

I AM NOT MY HAIR

I AM NOT THE PERFECTION OF MY SKIN

I AM NOT THE CLOTHES I WEAR

I AM PERFECTLY IMPERFECT RACHEL, AND I AM TOTALLY HAPPY WITH MY INSIDES AND OUT

The peace that comes with being comfortable in your own skin is immeasurable. It is life changing and yummy. I wish I had this remarkable shift when I was a younger woman, but I am happy that I have come to this place at all. There is no better time than now. I am convinced that I have been given a second lease on life and that it is just the beginning for me.

My challenge to all of you is to find this peace within yourself. I say take the challenge for one week. Here is what you do.

For 7 days I want you all to stand in front of the mirror and find something that you really like about yourself. I want you to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are perfect. Say it even if you don’t want to, say it even if don’t feel it. Fake it until you make it. Keep doing this until it feels real for you. I promise you that you are perfect just the way you are, and you when you realize it you will be a new person.

I invite you all to have The Change Inside!

 

It’s Me Again

25 Jul

Over the past two weeks I have not felt at all like myself. As I mentioned in my last post I am waiting for results to see if I have an auto-immune disease that is attacking my thyroid. I have recently, almost 5 months ago, given up meat again and was starting to think I was not getting enough protein. Then the doctor slams me with the order that I am to take ALL gluten out of my diet. There goes all the fake meat I eat. I thought I didn’t eat that much gluten, but when you really start to look it is in EVERYTHING!!!

The last week has been interesting, but here is the cool part. I didn’t go through gluten withdrawal or get sick from not having gluten. I am craving more veggies and loving inventing new salads. To my joy I have also found that my skin is completely clearing up, this is something I have battled for over a year now.

I started to worry could I be a vegetarian and give up gluten, could I have it all? Yes, the answer is yes I can. I have really enjoyed everything I have cooked this week and have plans to get all the protein I need from veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, and fish. I am happy and feel so good about what I am eating.

Here is the crazy thing, I feel a million times better today than last week. I feel like a new person. I feel better than I have felt in years. Yesterday was still a rough day, but today I feel like I got a whole new body. I don’t know if it is from not eating gluten, but I suspect that has a lot to do with it. I feel like a million bucks.

I normally don’t write huge amounts about food, although food is what my life revolves around, but I think this is really something to think about. How much do we really need gluten products in our life? Can we not make food that doesn’t have gluten in it? I give my kids almost all gluten-free products, but occasionally it is okay for them. I have been doing this for years for my son with PWS, but now I am looking at it through new eyes with doing it for myself.

I am here to tell you that there is a whole world out there, and it is just full of non gluten products for you try. I think would think about the possibility of gluten intolerance or sensitivity  if you have any problems such as acne, gastrointestinal problems, lethargy, rashes, and especially if you are anemic. Give it up for just 2 weeks and see what happens.

 

 

 

 

Here is a recipe from tonight.

Easy mixed green salad:

Mixed baby greens

candied walnuts

dried cranberries

goat cheese

grilled tofu (marinated in Bragg liquid aminos)

red wine vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

 

Take the salad add the dry ingredients and toss. Lightly add the oil and vinegar and toss again. Then add a few small dollops of goat cheese and top off with the grilled tofu.

 

I promise this is yummy and gluten free.

What it Takes!

26 Jun

joy

1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing
What exactly has to happen to live a life full of joy?
I know with certainty that I was like most of the world, I waited for JOY to happen TO ME. I always believed that if I had no money problems, more childcare, better clothes, perfect skin, a flat stomach, was 6 inches taller, and so on that my life would be filled with joy. Never realizing that joy comes from the inside not the outside.
I will never be taller, except in heels, and I could win the lottery, but that won’t change a thing. As I sat in meditation this morning I felt it like a lightning bolt. I am joyful. I am so FULL  of joy. Even my bad days I don’t feel sad. I still have hard days, my life is challenging and that is not likely to change anytime soon, but I am so joyful.
I woke up this morning one and a half hour late, and I wasn’t even stressed. I got myself and the boys together and headed out of the house. I was full of life, energy, and enthusiasm to handle the day. I got to the yoga studio early, what a lovely thing, and meditated. I had an amazing class and then headed home. I could feel light radiating from my body. In the last week 3 people have told me that I look lighter.
MY SPIRIT IS LIGHTER!
As I get cut off in traffic I just say it’s ok. When somebody is rude to me, I just take in stride and move on. I don’t remember the last time I yelled at my children, had a fight with my husband, or had a massive panic attack. I am moving at a slower pace but, making so much more progress. I am feeling complete at the end of the day when I lay my head down. I am sleeping so well, even when my kids are up all night, I don’t feel that anger anymore or the stress. I just take it all as it comes.
So when I dedicated my practice today I dedicated it to joy. As I set my intention of what I was letting go it was the following:
I am letting go of sadness, anxiety, fear, and self doubt. I am welcoming joy and abundance into my life.
So that is where I stand today. I don’t live some perfect fairy tale life, and that is totally fine by me. I live my unique life, with my unique family, and we are exactly where we should be.
It feels rather amazing to know that your days are filled with more joy rather than sadness and stress.
It is a shift in the mind. A shift in the soul. A conscious decision to make a change in your own world, and then take it further.
What does joy look like for you?
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