Forgiveness

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!

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.

Living in the present.

JOURNAL ENTRY

Date: March 4, 2016


That horrible situation is behind you that you are contemplating running back to; that situation that keeps you up at night, that consumes all your thoughts, that has you questioning who you are and inserting doubt that you are worthy to be that person, that keeps reopening wounds begging to be healed. It is time to let that thing go.


I know you may believe the pull to go back is stronger than your push to move forward, but that is only because you forget YOU hold the tremendous power to choose every minute, to put one foot in front of the other and keep your eyes steady before you. You already have everything you need to release your grasp on the past.  You are not a prisoner to your old life or your old self.  You are not unworthy to be free.

Trust there is a reason it is behind you. You may not see the purpose now, and that maybe why you want to answer the call of the past, but you can be assured that  if you keep moving forward it will be revealed. You will be living in a future beautifully created by your decision to remain in the present.

Love,

Me

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The feeling that you don't belong.

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With our current political climate (border wall/NO border wall, Muslim ban/NO Muslim ban) I found one of my posts from 2015 that reminded me what it feels like to not feel welcome in a place you consider your home:

Love in action is my mission.

I remember in the 1st grade I lived in a predominately (at the time) white suburb in Ohio. One of my white classmates passed out invitations to each person for her birthday party. I along with the only other black student in the class didn't get an invitation. Being the extrovert I have always been, I decided to ask her why I didn't get an invitation. She seemed so sad when she said, "You can come if you want, but my parents do not allow Blacks inside the house. You will have to stay in the yard if you want to come." I will never forget the feeling I had in that moment. The feeling was a mix of embarrassement, sadness, shame and horror. I knew even at a young age that no one deserved to be treated this way or feel this way and that every human being needed to feel loved and treated with respect. I think that so much of how you were raised, and how you were treated in the world, has EVERYTHING to do with how you want to treat other people. A part of my mission in life is to help people see their own worth and power. If we close our heart to someone, we close it to ourselves. No one wins. Loving those who have their hearts closed to us, or who don't act lovable stretches us to our higher self so we rise in love rather than falling into more fear and pain.

Always remember regardless of your doubts fears or anyone else's opinion, you are courageous, strong, and worthy. Most importantly YOU ARE ENOUGH. Always. PERIOD

Living with as much love and passion as possible and I hope you feel it.

#awaketomysoul #everyoneiswelcome #weareallequal

Breathe in your life

I know I always have sooooooo much to say via Social Media but I am feeling so grateful in this moment for the life I have. It has changed so much in two years. I'm doing things I never thought was possible. I have a beautiful family & friends. I have seen parts of the world that have changed my way of thinking, started a company, taught in cities all over the US and had the opportunities to meet some amazing people. A reminder to BREATHE IN YOUR LIFE. Breathe it in. Every second.

AND there is more to come.  The possibilities are endless.... 

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Love letter

I found this love letter I wrote to myself 11 months ago-right after I suffered my stroke. I know...it's kind of corny but sometimes I have to remind myself of who I am. It's easy to forget who you really are with all the external distractions. Having that stroke was the BEST thing that could have happened to me! IT WAS MY WAKEUP CALL FOR SELF LOVE.Have you ever written yourself a love letter?


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Brown Skin {follow up}

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A few weeks back I wrote a blog post about an unfortunate racist experience I had while at a gas station right after the presidential election (click here to read).  I wanted to take a few moments to say thank you to the many that shared my post on social media or sent me a message of support. 

After that experience I found myself in a place of forgiveness. Forgiveness for myself, for having an expectation of how I THOUGHT I should have reacted, and a place of forgiveness for the poor tortured soul experiencing life through hate. 

Today I received this message from a friend and wanted to share it. 


"Today my car chimed at me that a tire needs air. And I thought of you, your blog "Brown Skin" and the everyday privileges that are given to me based on skin color--insults that aren't hurled at me, places I walk into without even thinking--how will they treat me? will they accept me? am I safe?, even seating I take for granted. You have opened my eyes to the subtleties of racism (and not so subtle). Thank you for having the courage to be the change you want to see in the world."- Judy Terrigno

 

I am committed.

Committed to staying in the present moment.

To remaining grounded in my world.

To feeling a bond with each person I meet.

To respecting my own integrity and my own honor.

To living within the energy of love and compassion everyday...

And returning to that energy when I don’t feel it.

To making wise and blessed choices with my will.

To release the need to know why things happen as they do…

And to not project expectations over how I want this day to be and how I want others to be.

Finally my last prayer….

To trust God...and with that I bless my day with gratefulness and with love,

Ylonda

BROWN SKIN

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This morning after dropping my kids off at school, I stopped at a gas station to put air in my tire.  As I pulled into the gas station parking lot I noticed that there were lines of cars waiting at each gas pump. To my excitement there was an open space right in front air pump.  GREAT! I pulled in.  As I got out of my car to start the air pump, a white man pulled up next to me and told me that he was there first and was waiting for that spot.  I immediately apologized and explained that I thought he was waiting for gas.  He then yelled out “ You F*CKING ELITIST N#GGER. YOU THINK YOU CAN TAKE WHATEVER YOU WANT?” I was stunned and frozen for a second and then just calmly walked to my car, backed out and drove away.

As I drove away I saw another white man yelling at him that he should be ashamed of himself.

I had a few thoughts as I drove away. The first one was that I was disappointed with myself. I just drove away.  I let him intimidate me.

Secondly I felt sadness that I now need to prepare my children to see these types of things.

Lastly I felt gratitude.  Gratitude for the white gentleman that stuck up for me.

I still believe in this country.  I won’t let a few angry people change my mind.


It's by design

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Get clear on you. Carve your own niche. Say no. Give yourself permission. Listen. Take notice. Do what nourishes your soul. Set strong boundaries. Never.Ever.Settle. Ignore those few that will disagree, because there will always be a few. And get the support you need by those that unequivocally believe in you…because whether you know it or not, there are a SHIT TON of them!

A lot of people say to me, "You’re so lucky...”

And I recently realized-It’s not luck, it’s by design.

I gave myself back my own power in order to call my own shots. And make my own fucking rules… And I had a heap of support from amazing people that love and believe in me.

Step into your own power and make your own damn rules... in your body and in your life.

You are worthy of it.

 


Sound can heal.

I know... I can't seem to stop myself! Last week I added a gong to my ensemble. I believe that sound and music is another way of healing ourselves. It can change our brainwaves and emotions. It can transport us back to moments of happiness or to sadness, hurt or anger that we can heal. We can feel it when we turn on the radio and our favorite song is playing. We feel it when we sit quietly and listen to the rain. There is a peace when we are absorbed in its vibrations. We just need to be open enough to let it in. 

Put in your earbuds for this one! I feel a Vinyasa, Cello, Chanting and Soundbath coming soon!

Why, you ask?

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Earlier this week I wrote a post in regards to the yoga class that I teach for women of color. Afterwards I received a message from one of my white students asking why I felt the need to teach a class just for women of color. After all yoga means "Union". and my class was excluding others. Let me start by saying that my class is a group of women that have hired me to teach yoga and facilitate discussions about issues in the Black Community. While I do teach yoga classes open to anyone, my goal is to ALSO host public classes for people of color. Yes, it is true that Yoga does mean union. But let's get honest...If you look around the yoga scene in CLE or around the country, it is overflowing with opportunities for all of us to practice yoga together. There are literally hundreds of yoga studios, plus community centers, community colleges, senior centers, churches with yoga classes that are open to all people. "Ylonda wouldn't you be upset if there was a class just for white people?" My answer is this... Most yoga classes in CLE are in fact white. The dominant images associated with yoga today are 99% images of white people.

There are classes for Yoga for New Parents, Yoga for Women in Addiction Recovery, Yoga for Parents of Children with Disabilities, Yoga for those with Eating Disorders, Yoga for Women, Broga (yoga for men),the lists goes on and on. In each of these classes, students are able to bring their full selves more honestly and vulnerably into the practice. Even if the students never say a word about their experiences in class, just knowing that other people in the room have come to heal similar wounds gives immense power to the practice. It is usually asked that people who do not fit this identity choose another yoga class. The reality is that people of color suffer minor and major traumas of living in a racist society every day.

It is important for a community of people so under represented be given a common space to meet, share, heal, and grow, especially in the racially tense climate of today.

So thank you to the student who sent me this question. Thank you for helping me get more clear and more determined in my motivation.