Journal – July
Allow Yourself to be Emotional and See What Happens
July 3, 2019
Let’s start from the beginning. Hey! My name is Monique and WELCOME, this is my journey to finding myself through the old discipline from India called Yoga. Back in my twenties is when I first started to feel my emotions, emotions received through interactions from my family, work, personal and romantic relationships…and let me tell you I FAILED.
I joined the military at the young and ripe age of 20 years old, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, but at the same time knowing that I had to do something. After I joined the military my ‘adulting’ went from 0-100 in what felt like seconds. I went from moving away from my family, moving overseas to Italy, getting pregnant, getting married and then divorced all within 4 years. You can imagine my emotions were everywhere with everyone and sadly enough I never gave them space to be seen or heard, and that pattern was done for quite some time, let’s say 10 years.
Fast forward to that estimated 10 years later, I took my first solo trip to Estes Park, Colorado and there I realized, I’m not living my true self. Once that realization came I literally said out loud on top of the Rocky Mountains so God himself could hear me, “I’m READY – TRANSFORM me.”
This was a little over 3 years ago, that was when I took my practice of yoga from the physical piece to saying to myself “Oh, I DO have a heart”. I’ve transformed in almost every dimension of my life – my career, parenting, in interpersonal relationships with my family, friends and romantic partners – and still transforming today. At the end of my Yoga Teacher Training, I felt the transformation tap into a deeper level of myself and knew that I had to buckle my seatbelt and enjoy this ride.
Time is Now
So, here we are – welcome again – through this platform, my intention is to be transparent on how I’m living and learning through this yogic life that I’ve built for myself, in hopes that it touches your soul and helps you transform.
Many Blessings to you, my Beautiful Friends <3
Let it Be, Let it Go
July 7, 2019
Have you ever noticed that it’s difficult to surrender to your current situation? Like actually sitting with something that’s uncomfortable for you? If you said no, please give me a call and let’s chat about how you got there because let me tell you for me it’s DIFFICULT!
I enjoy planning my day, week, month, even my year out – it gives a sense of security, and yes we can even go a level deeper and say, “Monique, I think you have control issues” and I would kindly reply to you and say, “Yes and to some degree I plan out of fear.”
The sanskrit word, Vairagya is used in Hindu philosophy meaning to let go, renounce, to be unattached. This past week I’ve been working through this thought of letting go, surrendering, and asking myself if I surrendered would it really give me liberation like the Bhagavad Gita* says?
This week I’ve been handed a lot of opportunities to practice vairagya, mainly when it comes to building my new yogi venture and the future. This practice is challenging for me because I have to let go and honestly that is scary.
With my new yogi venture, I painted a picture in my head of how it should go. I would build my website, my social media pages and advertised when I would be teaching, so when all of that manifested I was excited with all these unknown expectations. These unknown expectations were my friends and family texting me, liking my social media pages, basically getting inundated with hundreds of congratulatory messages. (pause: Let me say, I’m so grateful to my friends and family who sent me sweet messages). I knew they were expectations because when I didn’t receive the hundreds of messages in the first 2 hours of going live my heart sank a little bit.
Then to top it off I had the little voice inside of my head asking the questions “What ifs” to all these different scenarios that are very near and dear to my heart. The biggest “What If” story was, ‘What if he never comes?”, he being my person, the man I dreamed of building this empire with, where we heal the community one by one. How do we overcome this mindset? Insert the practice of vairagya, and renouncing the idea of setting expectations and just letting it be and letting it go – now that is liberation.
Lesson in This
If we keep the channels open to our higher selves, to our God through meditation and yoga, we are clear of any blockages and thus have a listening ear to our guiding light. I know that might sound scary and you might be saying, all I have to do is meditate and do yoga and I’ll be free from suffering? Well no, the key is to meditate and do yoga so the channels are open and thus you’ll be able to rest in knowing that we will never be given a situation that will put us in harm’s way, there may be hard lessons – but in the end it’s all for the betterment of YOU.
So, I challenge you to do a quick scan of your current situation and see where you can practice vairagya, set up a plan to be consciously aware of yourself as you practice. Below is a link to a worksheet for you to use in hopes that it will help you stay accountable as you grow on your unique journey through life.
Many Blessing to You,
Link to Worksheet
*Bhagavad Gita: An ancient Sanskrit scripture that is written in 700 verses that outlines the dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna – where Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna the art of non attachment and the freedom that comes with it.
Practice, Practice, Practice
July 14, 2019
What does it mean to practice? Do you practice to get better at something then to one day execute that something in a perfect as you can get it way? I used to have this saying my old supervisor in the military told me, ‘perfect practice makes perfect.’ Does ‘perfect practice makes perfect’ or just ‘practice makes perfect’?
In sanskrit to practice is called abhyasa. The Yoga Sutra* describes practice in the following Sutras: (The Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desikachar):
- 1.13: Practice is basically the correct effort required to move toward, reach and maintain the state of Yoga.
- 1.14: It is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed.
Practice of Yoga
Lesson in This
What does practicing look like? In the yoga world you frequently hear…
- ‘Hey! where do you practice at?’
- ‘Let’s practice yoga today’
- ‘I practiced today and it was amazing’
So, what do we practice in yoga? We practice compassion, non harmfulness, contentment, truthfulness, steadfastness.
Ohhh, hello Yamas and Niyamas. (We’ll definitely talk more about that later because there’s so much to learn there!)
Anywho…we start to practice on our mats and in hopes that we take that mindfulness off our mats into our daily lives as we interact with our loved ones, family, friends, co-workers, yogis, yoginis, and so forth.
So, when we don’t practice yoga and we notice that we are not mindful of our actions or our thoughts and instead we are quick to anger, jealously, telling white lies, easily faltered you can say we are out of practice. We’ll let that last part sink in, so you can think to yourself…’ah, the light is turned on, I see.’
There are so many examples in my life that I experienced this and knew that it was thanks to my practice of yoga that I didn’t lose my shit.
We found a solution, Kinsey, my fellow yogini, was bringing me to my house and Melanie was going to pick me up in the morning (because she lives 45 min away) and bring me to the studio so I can get my car. We are about half way to my house and Melanie calls and says the receptionist is 5 minutes away. Perfect! we turn around, we are about 2 minutes from the studio, we come to find out the receptionist actually doesn’t have the keys to the building, just to the room where the studio is, so back to Plan A.
All of that took 90 minutes of our evening, at the end of it, all you can do is laugh and say well it was meant for us to spend tonight together.
So does perfect practice makes perfect? Or just practice makes perfect? I feel that either way, when the practice of yoga comes into play off of our mats, I feel as conscious humans we do our best to demonstrate that we can practice as best as we can and then if we do lose our shit, reflect a little bit of how we can do better (I do this on the regular).
Until next time, my beautiful friends … have a great week <3
*Yoga Sutra: Written by Patanjali before 400 CE that focused on the theory and practice of yoga.
July 21, 2019
What is its Purpose?Faith over Fear – How many times do we hear that? We see that on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, there are dozens of posts that encourage us to live in the mindset of Faith over Fear. How do you know that you are living a fear-based lifestyle? Some examples might be:
- Having No Boundaries set for yourself or you don’t reinforce those boundaries when you are tested because you’re scared of the outcome.
- Use Sex, Alcohol, Drugs to numb the pain because you fear what might be hiding behind it.
- Eat When You’re Not Hungry because you’re fearful of the emotions that might creep up so you use food to push them down.
- Overly Competitive because you’re scared someone might be better than you, which is rooted in insecurities.
- Prideful because you’re fearful that you might not know everything. (and that’s OK)
Turning it AroundHow do we get out of that mindset of Fear over Faith? Let things go, don’t try to control every situation’s outcome Be in the Present Moment Feel your Emotions Practice Self-Care
Any Given DayThis past week I had a meeting with Tina Porter, a Yoga Teacher that I admire tremendously. The goal of the meeting was to see if I would be able to teach at her donation based studio. As we were chatting away, it came to look like I’d be teaching there Monday and Wednesday nights — woohoo! I’m excited beyond words – I’m knocking my Yoga Goals out the park, can’t nobody stop me now! As we were wrapping up our chat, a fellow yogi, Elena came into the conversation and I mentioned how excited I was to hear she decided to enroll into Tina’s 300 Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) that’s starting in September. Tina asks you should do it, I immediately said “No, I’m not ready for that.” However, at the same time I was asking questions here and there about her training. If you could put a visual around how I was asking, it looked like I was dancing around a bowl of ice cream debating if I wanted to jump in or not. The next morning, I receive this heartfelt email from Tina telling me she saw my fear in me. The email was a little of a surprise because I had plans that evolved around teaching and completing a 300 YTT was not on the radar for another 2-3 years and quite honestly the question of “AM I good ENOUGH to enroll into a 300 YTT” was floating around in my head. For the majority of the day, I was deep in my thoughts about enrolling into a 300 YTT and I came to the conclusion that I was fearful to commit because of own insecurity of being good enough, my pursuit to teach, my time and the cost of yet another YTT. Would I have enough time to for my family, work, teach and my friends? Can I budget in the cost of a 300 YTT?
Get Intimate with FearI looked at my fears objectively turned my determination and logical brain on, and said ok how can we make this work? To my amazement, every single fear had an answer! Family Wednesday and Sunday nights equal Family Nights Work That I can’t shake – I’m committed to 40 hours hours a week Teach I’ll teach 1 day a week instead of 4 Friends Prioritizing Happy Hour and Wine Night isn’t hard to do Money Tightening the Budget a little bit Am I Ready Looks like I am – YES! Alright, so why not? You GUESSED IT I DID it! I signed up for a 300 YTT starting in September! The point of my story is – we are all different, we approach fear differently – find your way on how you approach fear and defeat it by giving it space, time to listen and say ‘I hear you, but we’re going to put Faith over Fear.’ Until next week my friends – have beautiful one!
July 28, 2019
This past week I went on a family vacation with my kids, sister and her daughter to visit my Dad and his family in Ventura, California,
I was feeling really good with this trip, I was genuinely excited to see this part of my family.
This would have not been the case a couple of years ago. The past 5 years my relationship with my Dad has grown a lot, there was a lot of healing and forgiveness on both sides that had occurred within this time frame.
Our parents had one thing in common they loved us! However, growing up in our household wasn’t easy, my sister and I grew up with two parents who were divorced and sadly enough we felt the pain my mom and dad felt because they involved us in their pain. The pain that wasn’t ours to have, we involuntarily felt it and thus had consequences to how we grew up.
We would hear from both sides how much each other didn’t like one another and it would affect us in different ways. I remember one year on my 8th or 9th birthday my Dad came to pick me up to spend the morning with me. I don’t remember that day very well, but I do remember the pain that I caused my dad. As we were shopping, I told him, “I’m bored, I want to go back to my Mom’s house.” The look in my Dad’s eyes was pure sadness – I remember that look til this day, almost 30 years later.
As an adult, I reflect often how the relationship I needed and wanted from
my Dad affected my adult life. I’m a true believer that the relationship a young child has with their opposite sex parent determines how that child’s relationship with that opposite sex will form because essentially that parent is their first love, that’s how the child learns their worth and how to love. I missed that growing up.
As I started to realize that I grew to have resentment towards my Dad, thinking why weren’t you there for me? Why didn’t you fight for me? And thus I would intentionally create distance from him.
When I found Yoga as a healing element that’s when it all changed. Yoga started to heal my current relationships by showing me the patterns that I created. The patterns were dependency, unhealthy boundaries, picking the wrong men. The Bhagavad Gita says…
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”
This quote sums up Yoga and how my transformation grew. Essentially Yoga gave space for me to see and let go of those patterns because I knew where they were coming from – they were coming from my childhood. As soon as I knew the point of origin, I went straight there and organically my relationship with my Dad started to improve, our relationship was in ‘good’ standing for more than a year. One year has a lot of meaning because my Dad and I couldn’t go more than a year with us being in good standing because my actions might have triggered him to stay away and vise versa. Ironically enough my longest relationship with a man never lasted more than a year in ‘good’ standing.
My Dad would come visit us in Colorado and everything would be grand and I knew I had to take the next step for our relationship and bring my boys and us to visit him in California. That’s where we are today, we had a great time connecting and learning about each other, this connection I also felt passed my dad and continued to my step-mom, step-sister and brother. It was a beautiful thing to witness all of us coming together knowing that each of us were and are going through our unique journey through life and our journey brought us hereat this very moment.
Reflecting on this trip has given me hope for my other relationships that are estranged or need a little pick me up. My relationship with my parents is one of the most important relationships because it sets the foundation of all of my other current and future relationships.
A journey inward is all that it took, look inside of me of what was missing, face the stories my subconsciousness has been telling me and replace it with new beautiful ones as in compassion, love and faith in myself and in others.