letting go

The Story

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.

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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.

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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Laughter

Laughter.

It is healing.  It is restoring. It is an escape. It is a release. It is my favorite expression and sound- knowing that beautiful noise is being released because this body can not contain the joy flowing through it.  It is my favorite sign that I am alive.  That I am becoming free.  That I am going to be okay. .

In that moment of laugher, I know I am the furthest away from the things that hurt me.  I am in a world where love is abundant, happiness is overflowing, and everything that once seemed impossible is possible. .

I have always dreamed of a life where I laugh as much as I breathe.  Where I never stop chasing after what makes my soul dance.  Where I allow joy to beautifully redeem every sorrow of my past.  I have to say: I am living the life of my dreams.


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E X P A N D I N G

 

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." 

-Socrates

 

Dear CLE,

I have you from the West to the East! My teaching schedule is expanding starting NEXT WEEK!

Catch me at:

Cleveland Yoga // BEACHWOOD & UPTOWN

•Yoga Strong CLE

•Tremont Athletic Club

See my weekly classes here.

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Happy Stroke-ivsary to me!

Got a card in the mail today, from my beautiful friend Nat officially celebrating exactly one year POST STROKE with this beautiful poem by an unknown poet.

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She loved life and it loved her right back

celebrate her passion

She listened to her heart above all other voices

celebrate her wisdom

She pursued big dreams instead of small realities

celebrate her priorities

She saw every ending as a new beginning

celebrate her resiliency

She discovered real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics

celebrate her self-esteem

She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses

celebrate her accountability

She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans

celebrate her goals

She ignored people who said it couldn't be done

celebrate her independence

She had a way of turning obstacles into opportunities

celebrate her magic

She went out on a limb had it break behind her and she discovered she could fly

celebrate her faith

She discovered that she was the one she'd been waiting for

celebrate her self reliance

She decided to enjoy more and endure less

celebrate her choices

She decided to start living the life she'd imagined

celebrate her freedom

She colored her thoughts with only the brightest colors

celebrate her optimism

She was an artist and her life was her canvas

celebrate her brillance

She ran ahead where there were no paths

celebrate her bravery

She held her head high and looked the world straight in the eye

celebrate her strength

She not only saw a light at the end of the tunnel she became that light for others

celebrate her compassion

She designed a life she loved

celebrate her joy

She took the leap and built her wings on the way down

celebrate her daring

She said bye-bye to unhealthy relationships

celebrate her happiness

She remained true to herself

celebrate her authenticity.-unknown💫💫 📷- the talented @suzuranphotography

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

Pieces & Parts

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I only remember pieces and parts.

I remember faces but not many names.

I'm embarrassed to ask. Especially if I have known the person for years.

"I should remember," I tell myself.

My close friends know I struggle. I use to be able to remember details.

In meetings I remain quiet.

Scared to contribute.

Mostly because it takes me the first half of the conversation to figure out what the hell is happening or what we are talking about.

My co-worker and friend looks over at me. She knows I'm lost and smiles. She begins to speak to the group and starts by saying, "Just so we are all on the same page..." and proceeds to summarize the project to the WHOLE group...But really we both know it's for me. I flash her a "Thank you" smile. She has to remind me of conversations we have had many times. She is patient and makes light of the situation.

Today my doctor repeated to me again "At this point, one year out from your stroke, your brain will probably remain this way."

So... I say to each of you....

If I forget your name it doesn't mean that I don't know you or your spirit. I might just need a gentle reminder. I might forget names, but I don't forget feelings and experiences. No more pretending, no more waiting for a life line. #truth

Much Love,

Ylonda

#survivingastroke #awaketomysoul #truth #nomorepretending #badmemory #noshorttermmemory

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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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

What scares you helps you grow

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The choices that have scared me the most are the ones that helped me grow the most. All of them entailed a choice to leave- Leaving a job, closing my business, leaving a close friendship, leaving my beautiful & loving mentor, so I could pioneer my own path. We evolve through loss. Each time, there were months or years of resistance to what I knew I had to do, in order to grab something more for myself, to crack myself open to even more of who I really am. But on the other side of letting go to the things I clung to for comfort and safety, was awakenings to abundance in my life that leave me in awe. I see that I am worthy and stronger than I once believed possible.What the ego fears, the soul craves. What the ego resists, the soul needs. Have the courage to listen to your soul’s calls whether they are whispers or wake up calls to be who you are meant to be. Remember what scares you helps you grow.

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!