Aerial · Blog

Lifted into the AIR-ial

27751839_10157047414759112_3650680769675185095_nIt was around this time about five years ago – on Easter, to be exact – that I was introduced to the world of aerial acrobatics. My sister and I walked into our church on Easter of 2013, where we took our seats and waited for service to begin. As the band began to play, the curtains opened and down came two aerial silks performers. They were so graceful and strong; I was completely mesmerized. I had never seen this done in person; so needless to say, I was in complete awe. But even though I fell in love with this art, it never crossed my mind that maybe one day I could be where they are… or even be presented with a chance to learn what they know.

26230261_10156953331274112_3242757108299193175_n.jpgFast forward to October of 2013, I began my first event planning internship. Here, I was in charge of over-seeing a silent auction for the Aids Resource Center Ohio’s most popular event, Masquerage. One task was connecting with local businesses to get donations. As fate would have it, I was lead to a gym to retrieve their donation for this event. But this was no ordinary gym. No, this was a gym dedicated to women empowerment, dance, and the mesmerizing aerial acrobatics. As I was taken on a tour of the facility, my jaw dropped. Suddenly, the reality of being able to learn aerial acrobatics was possible. Now the question was, when do I start?

Unfortunately, I suffer from social anxiety and fear of failure. These plagued me for years as I searched for someone, anyone to go with me just that first time… just to get me to walk through those doors one time so that I could finally embrace what I had been longing to do, what fate kept calling me to do. Yet, no one came.

26992107_10156974739559112_3643256384907587678_nFive years passed. The calling never quieted; the yearning never eased. At this time, I reached a point in my life where I was plagued by debilitating depression and anxiety. It was hard to get out of bed. I no longer found enjoyment in my life, and I had almost forgotten what happiness felt like. I knew I needed a change. This wasn’t what life was meant to be. I dug down deep, listened to that calling, and took the plunge to finally sign up for aerial classes. I’ll be honest, on that first day of class, I was nervous. It was difficult to walk through the doors by myself and even more difficult to try this art that I knew nothing about, an art that I knew would inevitably result in some failures… but, I did it. That first night of class, I left feeling like a totally different woman. I not only conquered fears, I had felt happiness again! A wave of passion hit me, and I had suddenly realized that my life was changing. I had stepped foot on a journey that was leading me to one of my favorite life adventures.

29432488_10157197065599112_2700371257550962688_n.jpgIt has now been almost three months since I began classes, and it has taught me far more than just aerial poses and moves. For the last 20 years, I have really only known softball and other competitive sports. These sports have helped make me a strong-headed, perfection-driven tomboy. And in some aspects, this is a great thing. However, after immersing myself in the aerial world, I discovered that it is okay to not be perfect all the time. It is okay to fail as long as you get back up and try again. It is okay to embrace your feminine side; and when you do, that doesn’t make you any less “strong.” In fact, it only makes you a stronger woman. I discovered that life truly does begin at the end of your comfort zone. And finally, I had found something to challenge me and push me and help me grow. Something to take the place of softball and other competitive sports where a void fell within me as I became too “old” to compete. But most importantly, I found life again.

As I continue my journey, I just want to thank everyone who has given support, tips, tricks, and encouragement both in and out of the gym. My growth and passion has been deeply impacted by your love and light. You all hold a special place in my heart.

Here’s to the journey and being lifted further into the AIR-ial!

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Blog · Ecoactivism · Hope

New Life, New Light

My life is changing. Just a few short months ago, I was plagued by debilitating depression and anxiety. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. All I wanted to do was sleep to forget the world. I was literally sleeping my life away. I wasn’t living; I was just existing.

Once the new year hit, I told myself something needed to change. I wanted to know what it was like to enjoy life again. I wanted to know what it was like to genuinely laugh at something. I wanted to be able to get out of bed! So, I made three goals… all three goals were things I had been wanting to do for awhile, but could never get myself to take the plunge. 1) I wanted to finally sign up to learn aerial dance. 2) I wanted to apply to volunteer to work with beautiful raptors. 3) I wanted to try a health regime that aligned with my beliefs and values. And you know what? I crushed those three goals in the first month, and I can’t remember the last time I felt as happy as I do!

Aerial dance has given me something to look forward to, something to challenge myself with, something to push my body to move and work in new ways. It’s made me overcome social anxieties over and over again. It’s made me vulnerable. It’s made me break down my walls. Most importantly, it’s making me new.

Meanwhile, the Purium products are changing me from the inside out. I feel my mentality shifting. I feel my energy levels rising. I feel my nightly sleep deepening. I no longer feel the need to take 1-2 naps a day. No, instead I feel the need to seize the day in whatever way I deem fit. I feel my moods becoming lighter and my relationships becoming healthier. I feel my stomach becoming more at ease and my overall health increasing. The best part is, it’s fueling me to do all the things I’ve been wanting to do!

And soon, volunteering will be added to this amazing list of life changing choices. Soon it will give me purpose and gratification in helping Creator’s winged creatures while I work on healing and growing myself. Soon it will help prep me for bigger missions to help save Mother Earth.

Thanks to these amazing life changing choices, I feel like I have ahold of my life again. And better yet, YOU can join me on this incredible journey of NEW LIGHT and total health reset! How? Either by following my page for updates on this journey and/or by taking the plunge with me into the world of sustainable, organic, vegan, superfoods that are the Purium health products!

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Blog

“New” Year

What does a new year mean to you? Does it mean a fresh start? Or maybe that the ending year’s events no longer hold relevance? Or maybe a chance to set new goals? Whatever it may be, the common thought seems to be that a new year brings in endless opportunities for peace, love, and happiness… and all that not-so-great stuff gets wiped away. What’s strange about this, though, is that every year seems to end the same way, with this same thought.

Now, I could talk about how time is a social construct, so the word, “year” really doesn’t mean all that much because life will continue on just like it had the previous day… BUT that’s not what this post is about. This post is to trigger a reflection of our concluding year – the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. Let’s face it, EVERY year EVERY person has moments in each of these categories. No year is truly perfect and no year is truly terrible. Each year presents each and every one of us with both gifts and opportunities for growth; what matters, however, is our mindset in how we handle both of these.

So, take a moment… REFLECT! What are some of this year’s highlights? What happened that got you giddy with glee? What happened that may have brought you to your knees? What happened that made you feel completely paralyzed? What happened in between all those moments – in the small moments? Now, stop. Take a breath. You made it through ALL of that! You accomplished ALL of that! You received ALL of that! You grew as a person from ALL of that! And guess what? Each and every year before and after this one, will have a mixture of moments similar to these. Each moment pushing us further, growing us taller, making our hearts and minds bigger. YOU did it! YOU will do it! YOU have done it!

As the hours dwindle down to our “new” year, just remember that each year is a blessing. Each year is an opportunity for growth. Each year holds more chances to become the person you were always meant to be. But really, it isn’t the “new” year we are celebrating, it’s who we have grown to be.

Hope

A Prayer for the Planet

Last night, I prayed for the safety of those in the path of Hurricane Irma and the wildfires of the Pacific Northwest. 

Last night, I prayed that this be a wake up call for mankind to change their ways in how we treat this planet. 

Tonight, I pray that same prayer. 

Tomorrow, I pray that same prayer. 

Everyday, I pray that mankind stops working endlessly to kill ourselves, to kill innocent organisms, and to kill Mother Earth.

Warrior Goddess Training

Releasing Old Stories

I don’t know about you, but this is something loooong overdue for me. For years, I have been greatly effected by the past – and when I see years, I mean since I was about 16. In lesson four of Heatherash Amara’s Warrior Goddess Training, we are asked to work through an exercise of rewriting our stories and history into one that is seen as a blessing. The stories I am about to tell you are ones that have eaten at my confidence, pride, self-love, and inner most core of my being. These are stories I don’t tell very often. These are stories that are causing me to cringe at the thought of even recalling the past. So, here it goes… (note: names have been emitted to protect individuals)

Story #1: I am a picky individual. I have chosen to be this way in order to prevent myself from inducing anxiety over also being a caring, empathetic individual. By doing this, I am able to skip over any related awkward confrontations, conversations or circumstances that a particular situation may bring. However, around the age of 15/16, my friends were particularly on my case about not being ‘open-minded’ and giving prospective relationships a chance. In my defense, I knew these prospects were never going to last and I wanted to avoid that awkward pitfall of a relationship where I had invested time into for really no good reason. Going against myself, I agreed to give this guy a chance for the sake of my friend’s argument. Just as I had expected, this would turn out to be one of the worst decisions of my life. We were together just shy of three years. Over the course of this time, he turned me against every single one of my friends and every single member of my family… and vice versa. One night in particular, he looked at my dad (while I was cooking a 5 hour meal) and told him that “he could have had any girl who he wanted, but he chose me.” This started what I like to call ‘World War III’ in my family. As the night would go on, my sister stormed out of the house, my dad kicked him out, and my mother stood in between my father and I in fear that there would be a physical confrontation. Stupidly, I remained in this relationship for about another year – just enough time for him to talk to multiple girls on Facebook and ditch me (both in school and out of school) to hangout with a younger girl that happened to be in his Home Ec class. After the final breakup, rebuilding my life took a lot of time and energy. I was back to square one. Fortunately, I made some really great friendships in the process that truly helped me get back on my feet and figure out who I was again.

 Story #2: I was stronger, better, and more myself a couple of years after this. I spent that time to be with myself and to repair relationships with my friends and family. And although this next story doesn’t affect me as much as the others, it still adds to those deep open wounds I’ve been trying to heal. It was the summer before I went away to college, I had been working a lot and kept my social life very busy. In all honesty, it was one of my favorite summers – softball, close friends, and late nights around the campfire. And then something began to happen… another guy with a long, complicated history started to surface. He had helped me further get over what had happened a couple of years prior, but really I did not see anything in particular going to happen between us… until it did. It was a fun, flirtatious summer until he decided to get cold feet. So as fall approached, so did the inevitable rupture of whatever we had between us. Small talk, hurtful comments, and a lack of time together was all seeming too familiar. Then, I was off to my first day on a new job. It was 6:30 am and I was heading down a country road when all of a sudden, a deer appeared out of nowhere. One bruised side, headache, and a totaled car later, and I was sitting on the sidewalk of the nearest gas station trying to call someone who would be awake to come pick me up. Funny thing is, I never even considered calling him. Something funnier, he never even asked if I was ok. In fact, when I went to drop off his dad’s birthday cake later that day, he walked out on me never to be seen again. Now for the kicker, the next day, I get a call from his sister-in-law to find out that he had been sleeping with the 7-month pregnant chick that lived across the street. Fortunately, I pride myself in being a prude, so this didn’t affect me in the way it would most people. Instead, I just felt the sting of coming in second place again.

Story #3: Wowzers! Ready for more of this roller coaster?! Next up was a three and half-year relationship – a relationship that was great right out of the gate, but after that first year, I should have called it quits. This one wasn’t a Sociopath (like story #1) or a man baby (like story #2). No, this was a classic case of a purebred Narcissist. My thoughts and feelings were irrelevant or irrational. My decisions were never the right ones. I was ugly if I wore lipstick and I was ugly if I curled my hair. I wasn’t ever allowed to speak of our relationship, and his pathological lying friend was always coming up with stories that inevitably lead us into tearful fights. His exes and girls who liked him were always welcome to hangout… even when I wasn’t there. He could drunkenly hit on my gay best friend and grab my other best friend’s boob, and he could completely ignore me without any remorse. I was only allowed to see him when it was convenient for him or when he was simply bored. If I didn’t do exactly everything as he said, there was a major problem. Needless to say, this narcissist drained my empath like an energy-sucking vampire. Funny thing is, the breakup was easy. I never thought twice about it, and I have never missed him. In fact, I have finally been able to breathe.

Are you seeing a trend? Funny how romantic relationships can play such a huge role in our self-esteem. I have always been a strong, hard-headed, powerhouse of a woman to make sure that these things never happened, but yet, they still did. In all honesty, this is all I’ve ever known when it comes to dating. I have no idea what a normal relationship looks like. And the problem is that my walls are soooo high, so when I finally take them down for someone, instances like these occur.

Now, there are other things in my life that have happened that greatly affect my well-being and sense of self. A lot of these revolve around my elementary school days. Kids are mean and bullying is no joke. However, these instances laid dormant until the bigger, traumatizing stories occurred. So today, I am left trying to love this person that I see i the mirror. This person who doesn’t have a thigh gap because her anti-depressants made her gain weight over the last two years. This person who constantly pushes others to love themselves for who they are, but never feels like she will be good enough to come out of second place for someone. This person that, against all odds, continues to fight for peace of mind for not only herself, but everyone else in this world. So, with that being said, lets’ switch those stories into positive ones…

Story #1: My first real relationship came a little bit later in life when friends were trying their best to be supportive and helpful. Although it didn’t work out, it taught me how important it is to maintain healthy relationships with those closest to you. It also taught me that in my gut, I know what is best for me – just follow that feeling.

Story #2: Recovery, healing, and self-love is crucial to maintaining happiness. People will come in and out of your life to test this, to test your strength, and to help you grow. Their actions do not define who you are; instead, they define who that person truly is or what they need to heal inside.

 Story #3: Not all things are as they seem. In our life’s journey, we are presented with opportunities and circumstances that help us to identify areas in our life that need attention in that moment. This time, mine was about practicing self-love. I needed to retreat within to bring back out that radiant being so that I could unleash light upon this world. In doing so, I found my life’s purpose and an amazingly supportive community that fills my heart daily.

Warrior Goddess Training

Overview of Self

WOW. Lesson three of Warrior Goddess Training has a lot of information and a lot of activities to really get down to the nitty gritty of everything that makes you, well you. Because of this, I have broken down this lesson into individual posts. To me, it only makes sense that I fully absorb all this information and truly reflect on the questions being asked in order to get the most out of this powerhouse of a book. So, onward!

This exercise asks that we take each particular section one at a time by reading and feeling our answers, but do not think! These sections pertain to the overall percentage of how we feel we rank within each section currently. It must be noted, as well, that as I sit here, both my ankle and stomach have been fickle all day, as well as, having a few serious personal matters on my mind. So, here are my rankings:

Mental:               Clarity/Peace = 60 %                           Chatter/Confusion = 40 %

Energetic:          Brightness/Fullness = 70 %               Dimness/Contraction = 30 %

Emotional:         Fluidity/Openness = 85 %                  Stagnation/Being Triggered = 15 %

Physical:             Acceptance/Love = 35 %                     Rejection/Judgment = 65 %

Now, we are asked to do this again. However, this time, we are to envision ourselves five years ago (or more, if needed). This puts me back to the summer of 2012 in the middle of softball season where I had just lost a bunch of weight, was active, in the sun almost everyday, and not too many serious issues pertaining to my personal life… I was also 19. Here’s how I ranked:

Mental:               Clarity/Peace = 90 %                           Chatter/Confusion = 10 %

Energetic:          Brightness/Fullness = 90 %               Dimness/Contraction = 10 %

Emotional:         Fluidity/Openness = 80 %                  Stagnation/Being Triggered = 20 %

Physical:             Acceptance/Love = 60 %                     Rejection/Judgment = 40 %

Looking at these two charts, I am amazed at what five years can bring and at how different the age of 19 looks from 24. Then, I was still at my first job, still in college, and more carefree than I ever have been. Now, I have two college degrees, have been promoted to a career position I have always wanted, purchased my “first” car, but I am almost as unhappy as ever. It seems to me that we have these dreams and these goals and these aspirations, but once we achieve them, we’re not as happy or content as we once thought we would be. I think it is important to note that we live in such a busy, judgmental society that constantly reinforces “the way we should live” that we completely lose touch with how we truly want to live. It even appears that my 19-year-old self could teach my 24-year-old self a few lessons when it was once thought to be the other way around. Growing up IS a trap because society makes it so. If there’s one thing I have learned from this exercise, it is to not lose that childlike wonder in every part of my life.