#playingSmallisNoLongerAnOption

HAPPY STROKE-IVERSARY TO ME!!!!!⠀

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⠀Today I celebrate three years of truly living and celebrating life! Thanking GOD for everyday that I get to spend here with everyone that I love, doing what I love.⠀

I have made the same promise to myself for the last 3 years to never take this life for granted ⠀

FEAR OF NOT HAVING TIME

This year I was told by my doctor that since the stroke, I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.⠀

I ask the question...⠀

Why me? ⠀

A LOT. ⠀

Why did I survive and others were not as lucky. ⠀

I worry that I don’t have much time here. I wake up each day wondering if this is my last day in this body. Is this the last time I tell my kids that I love them. ⠀

I ask myself, if I am no longer here have I prepared them to be strong responsible loving humans?⠀

I worry so much that I feel a sense of urgency to get as much done, as quickly as I can and I exhaust myself. ⠀

So this year I’m adding to my promise.⠀

I promise to never dream too small. ⠀

BUT ⠀

I also promise to not be rushed and rest when I need to. ⠀

The truth:⠀

IF IT IS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN, THERE WILL BE TIME.⠀

Yes, I will live each moment. But I will live each moment loving myself without a panic of time. ⠀

Heres to a life of HEALTH, LOVE & JOY. ⠀

I look forward to celebrating many more.⠀

(📸- via @moderncle photography by @hilarybovayphotography , makeup by @tondi_theartist )⠀

 

What I Want

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This journal entry means a lot to me. I saw this quote somewhere last year and wanted to remember it. The difference between this time and last time is that I’ve seen the product. I re-read this journal entry as a challenge or “words to live by” for myself over that last year. Soon after I wrote this in my journal, i started seeing my life, my teaching, my confidence, and my relationships shift.So i’ll ask you... how different would your life be if you actually went after what you wanted? God is good, y’all. happy monday!

Happy Birthday To ME! 🎈

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Today I celebrate ME! The birth of Me! The person I have grown to be! The person I will become! The mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee; I am! I celebrate Me today!


I am grateful to God for the gift of this life. I know that I am blessed to be here on this Earth in this body and this life.


So...

Happy birthday to Me! I wish myself many more years of joy, love, laughter, health and prosperity. I wish myself strength and wisdom for days to come and success with everything I do today, and tomorrow! I can't wait to see what this year brings!


Photo Credit~ Thomas Sawyer   

Year Three: HONESTY

It’s been a little over two years since my stroke.

POST STROKE YEAR ONE: Total denial

I wanted my story to be: Yes, I had a stroke at age 39, but it didn’t effect me. I’m still strong and can do even more than before. 🤯

Total denial.

 

YEAR TWO: Facing my external reality.

MY family and friend’s PTSD. I had to acknowledge the fear my family faces anytime I don’t feel well, have a headache or I over exhaust myself. The fear my family faces everytime I travel alone. The fear of another stroke.

 

YEAR THREE

I have figured out that this will be the year of honesty. Honesty about the situation. Honesty that if I don’t set my GPS when traveling to my destination, even a familiar distination in the city I was born, I can get lost or forget where I was suppose to be. Yes it happens all the time. I have been lost one mile from my house. The houses and streets look familiar but I can’t figure out where I am.

Honesty to my co-workers that I can’t remember how to work the heat in the yoga studios even though they have shown it to me MANY TIMES. (Thanks Meghan Velotta and Scott Supler 😘). My children have worked for the last two years to help me hide what I can’t remember. I don’t remember their friend’s name or teachers names. They even know that they have to remember where I parked, because we have walked around cold parking lots for quite a while to find the car. My oldest will whisper names to me because he knows I have no idea.

Here’s the best part.... I have learned no one thinks I’m stupid and have only been so loving and comforting. My co-workers treat me like everyone else. I might just have to more set alarms to remind me. Thanks mom for the echo dots all over my house! 😘And lastly Ive learned it takes strength to ask for help when you need it and so I’m WAY stronger then I ever thought. ✨😘

#playingsmallisnolongeranoption #awaketomysoul #survivingastroke #lazyeye

Lazy Eye


From a young age I have always had a lazy eye. Most people would only notice it when I was tired. But since the stroke two years ago it’s always there. I can sleep for two straight weeks and it will still be there when I wake.

So heading into every photoshoot I have to have the same conversation with the photographer. I tell them that I have a lazy eye and you mostly see it in photos. They say “no you don’t.” And I say, just wait and you will see it. They snap a few pics and take a look.

“OH you’re right, you do.” they say.

Then the projects begins where we do our best to hide it or take pics with my eyes closed or get me only from a side angle. Frankly it’s a complete cluster f$ck.

So when I met with the talented @tomcsawyer and gave him my lazy eye talk, he responded with....

“I think we should show it.”

I gave him a confused look. Show it?? What?? 🤔I said.

He repeated himself. “Yes , show it. It’s YOU! And Ylonda, it’s not as bad as you think. I promise.” And so for the first time I looked straight into the camera and the camera saw me. It saw my Soul. Yes the lazy eye is there (my right eye to be exact) but it no longer looked as bad as it did in the past. It was the first time that I accepted it to be a part of me. A beautiful part of me. In fact, one of my friends told me that it looked like I was winking 😉 LOL!

Thank You  @tomcsawyer. I am so very thankful.

 

#lazyeye #loveallofyou #awaketomysoul

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THE WALL

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I BUILT A WALL


I was not planning on it. I have never been a particularly good builder to be honest. I was the child whose blocks always fell down, whose fort crumbled to the ground. I had no intention of adding this to my resume.


But I did....


Brick by brick I began to build. Bricks of words spoken to me. Of doubts. Of memories. Of fears. Of failures. Of pain. One after another, I kept compiling and stacking them. Longer, stronger and higher the wall became. It was only when I woke up one day in the hospital that I noticed what I had constructed. Only then did I see what my mind was busy at work creating while my heart ached .


I had confined myself. Playing small, hiding behind others, using the doubts, fears, pain. A future once so visible I could no longer see.


The worst part was, I knew what was on the other side. I memorized that scenery. I was captivated by its colors. I was drawn to its light.


CONFINED BEHIND THE WALL.


There was nothing left on this side of the wall for me to see, for me to know, for me to explore. The work began to deconstruct my thoughts about myself, my fears and doubts, to deconstruct the wall. I got busy figuring out what were the “stories” i created in my head and what was TRUTH.

If something or someone gave me the feeling that I wasn’t worthy, I dropped it or them.

Was it hard? HELL YES

Was it necessary? HELL YES

With those things removed it created an opening to escape. To breathe in new air. To hear a new voice. To live a lifelong dream. To be whole.


To be free...


THE WALL CRUMBLED.

E X P A N D I N G

 

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I had a dream last night where my hands grew 5 times their normal size! They were growing & stretching so much that I couldn’t see my nail beds! I was totally freaking out and thinking “What the hell is happening to me?” Then my mentor (@officialkukharrell ) showed up, looked at my hands, nodded in agreement and said, “You are expanding. Expanding your ability to hold and do more in your life.”

😱💥

What a wake up call.

I have grown so much in the last year that I get scared and tell myself that I’m not ready.

Then my heart tells my head-

If not now then when?

It’s right now.

It’s NOT when my head catches up to my heart. It’s now.

✨✨✨✨✨

How many of us shrink, stop or self-sabotage moving forward right when we are expanding beyond our ability to see the full picture?

Right when our hands are going to touch the sky and do something BIG?

YES, letting go in this way is nerve wracking and scary. But letting go to make room for BIGGER things is asked of everyone who want to serve in a BIG way. ❤️

 

One Day

One day it just clicks...You realize what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you, and more about what you think about yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you’d never recover. And then you SMILE. You smile because you are so proud of yourself and the person you fought to become.❤️

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Your message is powerful

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I have this belief that one article, one social media post, one video or blog can change the direction of someone’s life.

It makes me think about what I choose to post.

I ask myself:

Is what I am sharing adding more love or more division?

If it was cool to read your mother’s feed-Is this something I would feel proud if my children saw or read?

If you are on social media it doesn’t matter if you have 1 follower or 1 million, you still have a platform that can help influence this world.

The words you chose today {or spoke} were heard by someone.

Someone scrolling through their feed saw what you had to say and it was implanted in their consciousness.

So if you ever for a hot second think your message doesn’t have power, there is at least 1 person who read and thought about what you said today.

Your words. Your posts. Are powerful. Your message (whatever it is: positive or negative) is powerful. We each can change the trajectory of someone’s life. HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT? Your message is powerful.

DREAM BIG

When the Brown Bears were away for six weeks of camp this summer, I decided to surprise them and redo their rooms.

A TEENAGERS DREAM ROOM.

Loft beds, desks, new bedding. I also decided to give them each a chalk board wall and I committed to putting something positive on the board above their bed each month, so it was the first thing they saw each morning.

All of our children have the ability to have a beautiful impact on the world. It may be through art, music, words, legislation or science. They just need to be reminded.

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Asking for Help Shows Strength.

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Seeking help can often seem like weakness. We want to be independent, we don’t want to burden other people with our problems, or we just think no one will want to or be able to help us.

The truth is...asking for help shows strength. It shows that we are willing to lay down our pride and invite in community. It shows that we are not capable, nor do we need to be, of handling all of this on our own.

Is there something weighing on you today? A burden or task that you can’t handle on your own? Big or small reach out to someone. There’s no shame in asking for help.

The birth of our family

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Dear Lee,

On this night 15 years ago, I knew life would change forever.

You were our first born child. With your birth, our family would be born.  Until that moment your father & I couldn’t understand how much we could love another human being.

You are the only one who has been with us since the beginning of our family, & sometimes I look at you and am overcome by the journey we’ve been walking together.Your first cry captured our hearts & you have continued to amaze us ever since. We have watched in awe as you have grown. Your first word, step, sleepover, dance, first girlfriend. Each & every first was done by you. Our hearts have expanded more than we ever thought possible. You’ve watched me grow & learn. Though I am your mother, in many ways, we’ve grown & learned together.

 

With each step into your future, you will grow stronger & learn more. You’ve already picked up your own shield and prepared your own armor.

PLEASE KNOW:

-I wanted you. Not a baby, not a son, YOU. You’re exactly what I hoped for.

-I don’t really care what you do when you grow up. As long as you are happy & safe.

-I am proud to call you my son. Not only because I love you, but because I trust you enough, even right now at 15, to become the kind of person I can be proud to know.

-You can change the world. People will try to discourage you, you may even try to discourage yourself, but you can & I know you will.

-I believe in you. I know you’re going to read this & then leave it lying on your bed when you go to school. It will probably fall behind your bed and disappear into the oblivion of your dirty room. When you pack up in a few years to go off to college you’ll probably find it, and read it, and remember that I believed in you when you were 15, just like I did when you were 5, just like when you were 5 months, just like I will until the day I die, & even after that too.

 

Thank you for being my son, for helping me and your father start our family and for walking out this journey with the five of us. I’m in awe of this life we are living together and humbled by what you bring to it. Thank you, for your endless honesty, spirit & old soul.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAR 🐻 

Love you forever & always