strength

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

RISK IT

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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.

Risk it.

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.

RISK IT.

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

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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unbreakable

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The World can't break you.

No matter what you see on the news.

No matter what arguments you catch yourself in the crossfire of.

No matter the opinions beliefs and actions of scarcity and fear.

The World can't terrorize or scare you into submission because you are made of sturdier substance.

Resilience and heart.

I doubt myself often. I look at myself and think I'm to small to make a difference. ~A small belief that has kept so many of us playing the smallest game.~

Yet when I feel my spirit and the leadership that is rising in the next generation.

There's a mightiness there. I see it in the eyes of my children and their friends. I see it in the eyes of my friends and family.

It's there.

It's strong.

It's courageous.

Trust your heart and don't let the fog silence who you are. The fog can't scare or terrorize your Soul into submission.

 

Photo credit-Angela Fach

❤️LOVE NOTE 📝❤️

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At the beginning of summer I received a love letter from a student. It was written on notebook paper ripped out and folded into a tiny square, like a note you would pass in school.

I cherish it.

Sometimes I ask myself why I do all of this? Why do I carry 6 bowls (sometimes gong, Cello) all over the the U.S.A? Why do I spend hours planning a playlist and writing my thoughts in a journal to create classes? I could think of 100 easier (although not as fulfilling) things to do with my life.

And then...this note arrived.

This note in its beauty and simplicity made me feel so loved and reminded me exactly why. I keep it in my wallet so I always have it to remind me when I get scared or want to go a different route just because its easier. The most wonderful things in life take hard work and dedication. It's not always an easy road.

I've disappointed people and lost friendships to live my dream.

BUT

You only have one life in this body to do it. SO...

I choose to make it count.

BIG THANK YOU TO THE STUDENT-you know who you are- who wrote this beautiful love note. I'm Grateful!

 

#awaketomysoul #lovenotes #awaketomysoulytt #playingsmallisnolongeranoption

#dontquityourdaydream

Free of Shackles

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If you are waiting to live life and freedom until it looks perfect I'm going to have to burst your bubble and tell you that you will be waiting for the rest of your life.

It's a messy hair. Laughing so hard you cry. Singing loudly in your car.  Scraped knees. Bumps and bruises.  Exposed scars. Coloring outside the lines. Mistakes made. Stitched up, Band-Aid covered heart. Being misunderstood. It is a beautiful mix of happy and sad. The hurting and healing. It looks like a life lived. And it looks like what many considered "flawed". But in truth you are never going to find more perfection in imperfection than you will in a life free of the shackles.

 

Photo Credit: Angela Fach Photography

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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FEAR, JEALOUSLY & COMPETITION

 

It's surprises me how strong fear, jealousy & competition run through some people. I have watched people sabotage others from their own fear and jealously. I have seen people try to bring down others  with bullying or unsolicited "feedback" or opinions when in reality, it is abuse.

My life is about breaking my own limits and outgrowing myself to live my BEST life. It's not a competition with anyone else.

I plan to outdo my past, not other people. No limits, just pure willingness. No walking or running. I'm flying toward that goal.

#aintnobodygottimeforthat 

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It's always your choice.

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Looking through old journals and found this message I wrote to myself last year before i quit a job in which I could no longer grow. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

You only have this life to try to find out what it means to be alive in this body. Don't waste a second of it holding on to what no longer fits or trying to be a copy of what already exists. Stop calling the tight space of your comfort zone, your home. There's more to life than the four walls you have trapped yourself in defining what you do. Go out and discover what this huge world has to offer. Stop calling the cookie cutter image you have modeled yourself into, who you are. Break free from all you think you're "supposed" to be and create what you want to be. Give the World the privilege of meeting someone they have yet to see.

It is your choice what you do with your time on earth. You could be alive OR simply exist. You can live as you OR live never meeting who you were meant to be.

It's always a choice.

So choose wisely. Choose passionately. Choose authentically.