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!
SELF DOUBT:the enemy, has been on a war path-out to destroy, kill, and steal all that has been creating and healing in me. It wants me defeated. Submissive. Afraid. Broken. Timid. Hidden. It wants me silenced. ✨But what it wants is in reference to a Ylonda of the past. It seems to be in denial she no longer exists. Because when faced with the battle, THIS Ylonda does not back down.
I trust deeper.
I dream bolder.
I love bigger.
I fight fiercer.
I stand taller.
I fly higher.
I live my life out loud. It’s lies and futile attempts at robbing me are drowned out by the voice of love, by the power of hope and faith, by the strength of grace and gratitude, by the beauty of joy. I will fight until the very end. I know the victory waiting for me will be worth it all. I can say with absolute certainty, nothing will ever make me sacrifice these wings again. 🦋 ✨ #awaketomysoul #selfdoubts #dontquityourdaydream #playingsmallisnolongeranoption #healing #clevelandyogateacher #yogateachercleveland
#meditation #selfdiscovery #freeyourmind
#innerpeace #meditate #mindfulness
#wellness #awareness #mindset #spirituality #zen #perspective #beherenow #yogaeverydamnday #yogainspiration ✨
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
I am transformed.
I do not live as who I once was.
I am free to laugh loudly, love deeply, live boldly.
I have no limits, no boundaries, no walls.
I have no shame in who I am and what I stand for.
I have no anxiety to live as the woman I have fought to become. I
am whole. I am healed. I am alive.
It is a way of being I have fought to become again.
FEELING WORTHY AND ENOUGH
At one time it seemed like no matter what I did I could never reach it. No matter how much I changed to fit the wants of others, no matter how perfect I tried to live my life, ENOUGH was never a word I could speak over myself. I was like a dog chasing its tail. Tirelessly, endlessly, relentlessly chasing . I could see it but could never get close enough to grab it.
See, I found myself in a position where I was apologizing a lot to someone for not being enough – and I don’t mean a handful of times. It was a frequent occurrence. And what we don’t realize is that the more we apologize for who we are, the more we begin to truly believe in why we are saying sorry. It becomes our truth that we really are not enough, that we really are too flawed to be loved & unworthy as we are. What starts as a mere seed of self-doubt gets watered with each apology, growing like a weed into the crevices of our minds and eventually, if we do not stop it, wrapping itself around our hearts. Everything we do, every word we speak, every decision we make becomes centered around our truth that we are not enough.
Once I removed myself from that situation and assessed where I was physically & mentally I established quickly what my first goal would be: to discover my enough and when I did, to live in it.
After a lot of work I wondered how I let those feelings of self-acceptance go unfelt because, I have no words for how beautiful life became when they graced my soul again. Joy overflowed as I felt the weed that had taken over get ripped away. My heart could breathe again; beating with excitement. My mind could see again; see the colors and the light that cover this world. My soul could move again; dance and run towards the dreams waiting to be grabbed. Every part of me came alive. And this was just a mere glimpse of what is to come.
Stay tuned.... Shout out the incredible photographer @tomcsawyer for capturing on film how my heart feels.
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.
Choosing to put my 2017 book of old stories down. Instead I’m choosing to pick up my NEW BLANK 2018 book, where I get to create a new chapter.
And I’m not gonna lie.
The new chapter...
it’s gonna be full of new adventures, new places, new characters, new experiences.
Bring it on 2018!
Awake To My Soul YTT
I look forward and cherish these weekends so much. The week before I get a little nervous flipping through books, taking notes, writing my lectures and going over the schedule a trillion times asking myself if I covered what i need so they feel confident and informed. And then- a strong feeling in my gut-like my soul whispering to me, says: “TRUST YOURSELF”
Just trust yourself as much as these beautiful souls TRUST you.
And so.... it happens.
All of us come together and share and learn from each other.
No magic wands
No flashing thunder and lightening
No “made for TV” magic
The magic was and always is TRUST.
Thank you my lovey tribe. Thank you for reminding me to trust myself.
There was a time (not long ago) where I played small and passed up many great opportunities to keep people in my life. At the time it was easier. I didn’t want to “Rock the Boat” and it helped these “friends” feel stronger and in control. I convinced myself that sacrificing myself would prove to them that I was loyal. Once I proved my loyalty this would end.
*BUT IT WOULD NEVER END*
I realized that I was doing NO ONE any favors hiding. These people were not really friends.
FRIENDS CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES.
They are your cheerleaders! Friends never trip you to keep you behind them. Friends lift each other so they can each shine bright.
Grateful for my tribe that lifts me when I fall and cheers for me every step of the way.
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.
Evelyn, my brave, beautiful and introverted daughter has played the violin for about two years. She struggles with shyness/being heard though her words. So when she chose to play the violin. My husband and I felt that maybe she would feel more comfortable being heard through music. This too has been a struggle.
Recently she came to me and asked if she could start with a brand new teacher. I was surprised. This was out of her "comfort zone" but I was completely willing to fulfill her request. She has never really asked for anything so I knew this was important to her. When I asked her the reason she said, "I want to start again. I want to take a chance on something new."
"HELL YES!" I replied to her! (Yes... on occasion I curse in front of my children).
And so I arranged for her to start with another teacher, Liza Grossman.
I have known Liza since I was 9 years old and she 19. She was my first orchestra director. We have watched each other grow up and develop careers out of our passions. So I asked and she agreed.
The universe works in amazing ways. Last night in her lesson, Evelyn of course very shy, spoke softly and made no eye contact. But whenever Liza spoke, she would lock eyes with Evelyn and speak directly to Evelyn's eyes about what she needed to do with her body to get a bigger sound out of her violin.
Evelyn has a lot to say to the world through her violin so she needed a bigger sound. As Evelyn would play her piece, Liza kept saying the words "Risk it Evelyn!" Meaning... play loud, be bold, be heard even if you squeak or mess up.
I watched as my daughter's whole demeanor changed. She stood straight and confident and was willing for the first time to be heard loudly even if she messed up. She left that lesson a new person. She had words for what she was doing in her life.
I could tell she was proud of herself and so was I, for a few reasons. She knew what she needed all by herself. She didn't need to ask her friends or me what we thought. This was her idea not mine. She did what was best for her.
She RISKED it.
She risked me saying no.
She risked trying a new teacher out of her comfort zone.
This little one is determined to not let fear run her life. It's INSPIRING
I have mentioned in my writings and in my classes that I suffered a life changing event 18 months ago that changed my whole life.
Last night in my YINyasa class was the first time that I shared publicly what actually happened that day. It was the first time in a long time that my voice shook, my hands sweat and I held back tears because I had to acknowledge that I was helpless in those moments.
To tell the story, I had to relive that day . I had to admit that the life I was living was literally sucking the life out of me. My job was disempowering and stressful. The friendships I was involved in was stealing my spirit. That I had no sense of who I was or sense of boundaries.
I had to remember the panic in my husband's face as he called 911 crying while explaining to our 3 children not to panic. He explained to them that the paramedics would arrive with sirens and enter our house to help me. And I had to remember how still they stood so brave as help arrived.
I described the panic I felt when I knew something was wrong and could not speak and finally when I woke up 24 hours later in the ICU and was told at the age of 39 I suffered a stroke, that I was "lucky".
My point: Don't wait to live out your dream. Don't wait until you have achieved that "perfect" life to start living what you KNOW is your purpose. Don't wait to be told you are "lucky" to start. Don't wait until you have a certain amount of money in your account or lose a certain amount of weight.
The prayer: Now is the time.
I've used this prayer many times but this time everyone knew where it came from and why. That I didn't just hear it from someone and repeat it. That I live that prayer EVERY damn day.
Thank you to Tami Schneider and Cleveland Yoga who provided a sacred place for me to teach and create. I'm grateful.
Perhaps in life you do not need to see something happen to believe it.
Maybe we need to believe in order to see it and the rest will happen as it should.
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of meeting and brainstorming with some amazing humans all over the globe.I feel so very fortunate to have so many people in my life who want to see me succeed and are willing to help make my dreams happen.Its in these moments where I ask myself, why? What do they see that I don't.Yes I deal with paralyzing fears and insecurities so I literally sit with myself. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just breathe my way thru it. Most of the time I have to give myself a pep talk that goes something like this:
Remember the quote " FEAR has two meanings- Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise."
I choose to Face Everything And Rise.
So enough of this bullshit.
Whenever you are expanding you're challenging the status quo of your life and shedding the old skin of your doubts to make room for the next evolution of YOU- which can feel sometimes like growing pains. But it's these same lessons that lead to amazing breakthroughs. If you are having sabotaging thoughts, don't run from it, prove those thoughts wrong. Challenge it to teach you something you can take on this journey of yours. You have a big purpose here on Earth and a large support system of leaders across the globe that want to see you continue to grow. Time to be a rebel and challenge shit so you can fly.
It's your choice.
MORE TO COME- STAY TUNED!
Photo credit- the beautiful @jessicasuvak
Here is the deal. Everyone looks amazing via social media. Great smile, great life, great yoga pose BLAH BLAH BLAH.
What you didn't see was the 9 pictures or HARD steps they took before this moment to get to where they are RIGHT NOW.
There was a time in my life where I was at step 1- working hard to make changes in my life. Falling and getting up. Trying to drop the weight of life sucking relationships or jobs that wanted nothing more than to own/control me.
But with a ton of hard work and the right support group, I found my way. I got myself healthy and into the right environment that gave me room to grow and create!
So if you are scrolling through your newsfeed and jealousy rears its ugly head. Remember some have worked really hard to get to where they are-You may not have seen steps 1-9.
Picture #10 of 10
My life at the moment bears very little resemblance to how I planned it to look 3 years ago. Who I am.
What I do.
The path I am on.
The truth I walk in, are all different than how I envisioned.
If you would have told me that two major health events would change my whole life and propel me where I am today, I would have thought you were making up some crazy soap opera.
But the truth is, it happened.
I sit here today- full of joy, peace and purpose. Overwhelmingly excited to wake up every morning to this life. Loving every minute of the seemly ordinary and unbelievable extraordinary moments I get to experience.
With each day I spend in this unknown life, my gratitude grows for foiled plans. Something I use to fear, I now welcome with open arms. I know that each heartbreak, closed door, each lupus symptom and health event brought me to this incredible life; one I have no doubt I am meant to call mine. It's the greatest privilege to get to live it.
I learned in my first teacher training with the beautiful Marni Task, that you will never be EVERYONE'S CUP OF TEA.
People have told me things like-
You're overly dramatic.
Your music is to loud.
I can't believe you play rap music in your class. There was a curse word in it!
I don't like those bowls you play. They hurt my ears.
I won't sing that chant because I don't believe in that voodoo stuff.
Yes, I play music (classical to rap) and sing chants that move me so I can tap into a specific place within YOU and ME. Its from there I find my prayers. Every song in my playlist, every chant I sing was chosen for a reason. It moves, inspires and helps me so that I can lead us on a journey TOGETHER. The music and sounds are there deliberately, in a specific order for a reason. Even the bowls i choose for class are chosen for a reason.
It is with this intensity, with this dedication that I show up to teach EVERY class as powerfully as I can. I love what I do but I understand that I am not for everyone.
Today after class
One student told me he hated the bowls. They gave him a headache. While another student handed me this beautiful hand written thank you note explaining that she felt safe in my class to do things in her life that she would never have tried six months ago. That she has learned how to pray and gained clarity about her hopes and dreams.
It's ok to always be YOU.
Not everyone will get you but many will love you.
Show yourself so your tribe can find you.
DATE: December 9, 2016
I know you're scared. Behind the big smile and the "I can do this!" prayer, is a deep knowing that the path you're walking is not for everyone.
You're not meant to do what everyone else is doing. We ALL walk our own path. If you were, you wouldn't be feeling this pull in your heart, knowing you were meant to do it another way.
You at your core are a changemaker, a revolutionary, a rebel, and a leader with heart. We all are in our own unique way.
Follow where love guides you. Fear leads to average ends. Love leads to extraordinary beginnings. LET YOUR HEART LEAD.
It never lies.
Photo credit- the extraordinary Brian Keene
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.
I still do the dance. The dance with myself. That dreaded dance I try hard to avoid.
The dance- between my head and my heart.
My head says: "You can't do that! Who do you think you are? You're not smart enough OR you're not strong enough."
In the past, my heart would never speak. It would just bow in embarrassment to my head and agree. It wouldn't even TRY to dance.
With time...with a lot of work... with the right people around me, my heart grew a little courage.
My heart began to question my head asking questions like "Why not me? I'm worthy and deserving of this dream."
My head and my heart go at it dancing, until one surrenders.
I wish I could say my heart always wins.
BUT what I can say is, my heart wins the dance more often than not. And that's a pretty good start.