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day 9 – real

halloween
Halloween.

A day to dress up and be something/someone else. Often used as an excuse to be excessive.  Eat tons of shitty candy, dress like a slutty whore, drink like a fish, etc.  Sorry to take all the fun out of it, but…  I personally use it as an excuse to crimp my hair once a year. Yep, I still own my original crimper from the 80s. It is almost 30 too:) Each year I wonder why I don’t crimp more often. Crimped hair rocks!

Today got me thinking… what if every day was Halloween? Who would I show up as? Would it be someone different every day? Maybe for a little while…live in the fantasy, play dress up. But after a while I would get bored, sick of putting it all together, ready to get back to being myself. Maybe myself with some crimped hair, but still myself 🙂

When I really think about it, every day is Halloween. Every day many of us get up and put our mask on.  You know the one – the makeup, the suit, the walls we build, the image we present to the world etc. That mask can be terrifying or beautiful; it’s up to us. We can wake up each day and be a ghoulish asshole, or a gorgeous butterfly. In the end who we show up as in the world as, is a choice.

So here I am, sitting back, reflecting on who I show up as. It’s an interesting question to explore. Over the past year I have been diligently working on showing up as a more authentic me – living with a little more truth, a little more integrity, a little more real.  So today, and every day I choose to be me!

Who are you showing up as?

 

day 8 – exactly where I need to be

exactlyMy first yoga class (outside of a gym) was in 2005 at the Omega Institute while on a life-altering mommy-daughter trip with my momma and our good friends Bari and Ali (DogtailsShop.com).  My mom had started practicing yoga about a year prior and had been trying to convince me to attend with her.  During our break from the amazing workshop we were attending with THE Dan Millman, we headed off to take a class together.  My mom had been practicing vinyasa flow, but thought Kundalini sounded interesting.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  I sat between my mom and an older man.  The teacher began chanting in a language I did not understand and made no attempt at explaining a thing.  We were instructed to moan – it sounded like a very disturbing orgy in the room had erupted.  Then we came to lie down on our stomachs where we were told to hump the ground, while doing the moaning. The older man next to me proceeded to fart throughout the entire class.  It smelled horrible!  Yet, somehow we stuck it out and made it to the end of the class.  I swore I would never take another yoga class again.  It took some convincing before I did, and when I did, it was definitely NOT a Kundalini class.   That shit is weird! Oh no, never again!  That is…until tonight.

As I have continued on this yoga journey, I have experienced many different types of classes, teachers, thoughts, ideas, beliefs.  I have tried all different sorts of practices, often with a very closed mind.  I figured out what I liked and everything else was “weird”.  Hmm, wonder where that stems from 🙂  As I near 30, that is beginning to change.  I am practicing what I preach – just because you like it, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  Just because you don’t, doesn’t mean it’s bad.  And just because something sucks the first time, doesn’t mean it will the second time (if that were true, not many people would be having sex:P).  I am opening myself up to possibility.

I’ve been told over and over since moving to LA over 4 years ago that I have to try Golden Bridge – that it will change my mind about Kundalini.  The closest I’d gotten before tonight was eating at the café (nitemoon.com), which was scrumptious, check it out!  Tonight a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to a class with her, I figured what the hell, it can’t be anywhere close to as bad as the first one.  And let me tell you it was NOT, it was the opposite!  It was super fucking dope.  The message was extremely relatable; in fact it was exactly what I needed to hear.  It went a little something like this:  You can’t get anywhere without recognizing where you’re at, and where you’re at is exactly where you need to be, because it is where you are.

I am right where I need to be!
In this moment, I am right where I need to be.

I could just repeat that over and over.  Such a good reminder after spending a lot of time recently future tripping and attaching to outcomes, rather than focusing on the task at hand.  Then on top of that the instructor (Suze Q – she rocks!) pulled an Archangel card that read: Keep an open mind, and learn new ideas. Then teach these ideas to others. Learning and teaching are linked in a perfect cycle, in which information comes to you when you need it. Doesn’t get more serendipitous than that folks!  And to top it all off, through all the “weird” breathing and moving and what not, my body felt like it was on ecstasy.  Haven’t felt that feeling in years…12 to be exact.  Now I get to experience it for a whole lot less money, in a whole lot healthier way.  Win!

In the end, I don’t know whether it was the change in the Kundalini class, or my willingness that made this experience so much different than the last.  But I do know that as I enter into my 30s I am going to try those things that I turned my nose up to in the past.  Who knows, they might just bring me ecstasy 🙂

day 7 – bad day

pbiamenough

 

Struggling to find the words tonight.  I have 8 minutes until it is no longer day 7 and chances are this post won’t be up.  Fail.  Does it count if I haven’t gone to bed yet?

The day started off ok, busy (as always), but overall smooth sailing.  Then I entered the danger zone.  I started to surf the web – found some cool blogs, did a little reading… and that was the beginning of the end.  Looking at what others are doing brings on an onslaught of comparison, which turns into self-loathing and a strong sense of defeat.  The I’m not good enough’s started creeping in, along with the what the hell am I doing with myself’s? and the you will never be as good as them’s.  Fun times.

I recently attended a networking event for Young Female Entrepreneurs where a couple of brilliant women – Nailah Blades of polkadotcoaching.com and Donna Queza of marketing-optimist.com – shared their Five Not-So-Sparkly Truths of Entrepreneurship with the group.  As I was using myself as a punching bag, I was reminded of their talk and pulled up the info where I came across this gem:

Entrepreneurship is a hustle. It always has been and it will continue to be, even as you grow into a bigger, stronger female entrepreneur. As Danielle LaPorte famously said, “You’ll never fully arrive.” There will always be something that someone else is seemingly better at.  When you start getting into comparison mode STOP, and re-focus on the things you are knocking out of the park.

So I decided to focus on teaching – on leading the most kick ass, connected, real and wonderful class ever.  As I was teaching (Nue Yoga at Nue Studio) I heard myself saying the same shit I often do about letting go of what’s no longer serving us and choosing to be happy, focusing on what’s working etc.  Yet I was still feeling like shit.  As I was talking, I reminded myself of a great teaching from training a couple of weeks ago.  Get ready people, this one might blow your mind: it is ok to have a bad day.  I repeat: it is ok to have a bad day!  (Thanks Chrisy Marsden of Yoga Blend).

If I am constantly trying to fight feeling crappy I am ignoring the truth, stuffing it down somewhere and filling myself up with shit, which will eventually explode and that could be quite messy.  Sometimes we just have to sit in the shit – play around in it, get real stinky.  Sometimes that is the only way that things will get better.  In the end, it’s about feeling more happy and less crappy as my students say 🙂

So, I am having a crappy day.  There I said it.  Tomorrow will be a new one.  One where I can work on focusing on the things I am knocking out of the park and remembering that I AM ENOUGH!!!

day 6 – list

30thingsGrowing up we’re taught about how difficult it is to be a teenager, how much transition happens as one grows into an “adult”.  Back then it was made to seem that while the teens are super tough, the 20s would be easy – graduate from college, start a great career, buy a house, piece of cake.  Not so much anymore.  Oh, things they are a changing.  Graduating from college doesn’t mean shit anymore.  Who the hell has it all figured out by the time they turn 22?  Job opportunities aren’t what they used to be, people are graduating with 10x’s more debt than they used to – things are far from easy.  Being in your 20s, as far as I can tell, is the hardest decade.  Full of a lot of uncertainty, one challenge after another, a lot of proving yourself to people you could care less about impressing, a lot of hard work and very little reward.  It is the foundation period for setting up a better life, or so I’m told.  It is a lot of hurry up and wait, it’s confusing as fuck, super frustrating, mildly fun and filled with a lot of learning about yourself, then forgetting everything you thought you knew and learning it all over again. The 20s are a scary time.

Today is the last day of the Hollander-Rosen family vaca 2012.  Sad to see my family go, sad to leave this beautiful place, not looking forward to returning to the to do list(s), to real life.  Hanging out with my fam this morning we got to chatting about turning 30 – how fast time flies, what it feels like to be “almost there”, etc.  My mom asked me about my 20s. My response: “the 20s are lame.  They suck and I am looking forward to turning 30.”  My mom reminded me that the 20s were filled with lessons and tons of accomplishments.  She started to list them and I was reminded of just how much has happened in the last 10 years, in my lifetime. I find it very easy to discredit all of the work I have done, to create lists of all that I want to do, buy, accomplish etc., to future trip.  So today I decided that instead of writing the 30 things I want to do before I’m 30 list I was planning, I am going to list 30 things I have accomplished before 30.  Better to reflect and be grateful, than to drive myself even more nuts.

  1. graduated from MSU
  2. completed Masters thesis titled: Defying Defiance: The Experience of Transitioning from and Oppositionally-Defiant Adolescence to a Meaningful and Passion-filled Adulthood
  3. received MA in Clinical Humanistic Psychology, became a licensed psychologist and certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor
  4. traveled to: Paris, Israel, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, all over Canada, about 25/50 states, went on 5 Caribbean cruises
  5. jumped out of an airplane
  6. bungee jumped
  7. learned to wakeboard and snowboard and then did both of them lots
  8. backpacked through the west, northwestern Canada and Alaska
  9. completed two 200 hour yoga teacher trainings, 1 Yoga Therapy certification, currently working on my 300 hour teacher training certification
  10. road tripped across the country – moving my whole life from MI to LA
  11. got married to my high school sweetheart
  12. became a dog mommy
  13. stayed up all night long dancing with friends
  14. studied Kabbalah, Buddhism, Yoga, Vedanta, 12 steps, Humanistic and Positive Psychology, and many other things I am sure I am missing.  I LOVE learning.
  15.  made the most amazing friends in the world – diamonds are forever – you know who you are <3
  16. apologized to those I have wronged (if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, no bitch you haven’t – please don’t be shy, out with it!)
  17. got tattooed/pierced my belly-button
  18. stood up for things I believe in – if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
  19. became a high school teacher
  20. taught well over 1,000 yoga classes
  21. started my own company – One Down Dog, LLC
  22. rock climbed and summated mountains
  23. chopped off all my hair, dyed it lots of fun colors
  24. voted for 3 presidents
  25. drove up and down the coast of Cali, hiked in the mountains, hung by the ocean, ate yummy food with family and friends:)
  26. swam with sharks, sting rays and lots of fishies in the ocean
  27. hiked through a cave and jumped from a waterfall inside it
  28. led 80s yoga dance parties
  29. been to well over 100 concerts/music festivals including the first ever DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival)
  30. started a BLOG!!!

Whoomp there it is!  I am sure that after posting this I will want to add/change this list.  Maybe I will make 30 lists… oy vey.

day 5 – thoughts

thoughtsWhere thoughts go, energy flows…

…the Internet went out.  FUCK!  Here I am on vacation stressed as fuck because I can’t get my work done, I can’t write my blog.  How messed up is that?! and then the self-doubt kicks in – what’s the point anyways? Nobody is going to read this thing.  Nobody gives a shit what I have to say.  It’s ok to quit now, no one will notice.  I look at other people’s blogs, facebook pages etc. that have been around for a while and compare, thinking to myself: why don’t I have over 500 likes yet (www.facebook.com/OneDownDog)? why aren’t 1,000’s of people reading my blog?  I am a yoga teacher, what is wrong with me? Why am I being so negative? Why can’t I practice what I preach 100% of the time?

It’s only day 5, and already I am planning my demise.

So then I started to explore: what is that all about?  It’s a habit – where thoughts go, energy flows.  I dug the groove of self-doubt so deep that it has become a raging river of negativity.  Creating a stream of positive thinking is going to take some time. Yet I have the expectation to have it all and have it quickly, and that’s what fucks me up.  These things take time and I am impatient.  So I am going to post today and tomorrow and 23 more days after that and then I am going to keep blogging and writing and cheering myself on until the little tiny stream of positivity becomes a deep flowing river and I will let the fighting current of negative dry the fuck up!  I am putting my yoga into action rather than waiting for it to “just happen”.   That means showing up, doing the work, reflecting on what works, letting go of what doesn’t and then doing it all over and over again.

I think unconsciously I started this blog so that I could create a sort-of cheerleader to push me into this next decade with some momentum.  As I’ve written every post I have heard my inner voice get louder and louder saying you can do it! You can make your dreams reality. Fuck the naysayers, fuck the itty bitty shitty committee living in my head, fuck the drama, fuck the past, fuck the fear, fuck it all! You CAN DO THIS!! MAKE SHIT HAPPEN! And then I realize it is happening. Even in the moments where the self-doubt creeps in, I catch myself – each time a little quicker than the last.  It is not always easy, it is still far from perfect, but it’s happening and that my friends is progress! I am a yoga teacher, and I am living my yoga – day in and day out. And that is a beautiful thing 🙂

ps. want to know what else Patrick says? click here