Feeling the Fear…Finding the Way

I have really missed this space. I miss writing. I tell myself almost every day, “I need to write.” And yet this space has continued to remain empty. For months, I haven’t shared a thought, a quote, an inspirational passage…nothing. I’ve had moments where words have hit me and I thought I would write something. But still nothing has come to pass. Sometimes this scares me, because I call myself a writer and yet, I am not writing. More so, I was told by my Godmother that my greatest success would be in writing. She transitioned last year and I now consider her as one of my ancestors. She had a very knowing way about her and was a sage in her own right. She spoke to the higher level that lies within me. A level she’d always known was there, but that I would eventually have to find my way to.

I’m still finding my way.

I digress about my Godmother because in my heart, I feel and believe that if she saw the writer in me, then it must be true. But if I am not writing, then how can it be my greatest success? I always state that I want my writing to be organic and not forced. But I wonder sometimes if I don’t write out of fear. As I grow older, more mature, more awake and more enlightened, I realize that I tend to fear that which speaks to my greatest potential. I know I am courageous, because for the most part, I have felt fear and moved forward anyway. This was made evident through moving to the Washington, DC metro area from New Jersey for grad school and not knowing a soul when I got here. When I got married and gave birth to my son. When I filed for divorced and became a single parent. When I trained to be a Yoga instructor and for Thai Yoga massage and Reiki I certifications. But it’s about taking things to the next level.

I teach one Yoga class per week, but have somewhat avoided taking on private clients, even though I have had my fair share of requests for private sessions. In being completely transparent, I fear that even with all my formal training, I am suddenly not going to know something or that I am not going to be able to help someone, or worse, that I could hurt someone. This fear translates into avoiding reading emails that I know have requests for private sessions or not really putting myself out there for obtaining clients. And the funny thing about this all? The people who I have done private yoga with just for fun, or who I have practiced a Thai Yoga massage or Reiki on, have all said the same thing: that I have warm, healing hands and energy work is exactly what I should be doing. What’s even funnier is that almost every day when I drive to work, I ask myself what else can I be doing? What is it that I want to do instead of spending so much time in traffic and constantly feeling like I’m rushing someplace? I ask myself as though I don’t know the answer, when answers have clearly been placed in front of me.

I’m still finding my way.

In my mind, I live on or near the beach. My home is an open, airy space with a room that is dedicated to Yoga, meditation and other forms of energy healing. When I wake up in the mornings, I do my own Yoga practice. I meditate. I read affirmations. I write in my journal. I am able to prepare breakfast for my son in a leisurely manner and I am able to drop him off at school without constantly trying to move him along and make him go faster because there is a looming clock to beat. Instead of sitting in and fighting my way through traffic to get to a place where I mainly sit behind a computer all day, I go teach Yoga classes. I meet with private clients. I write contributing pieces for like-minded publications. I share affirmations and writing pieces in my social media spaces. I am able to pick my son up from school and take part in his extracurricular activities. I am at peace.

At this stage in my life, I know enough to know that peace is what you make it. The true work of Yoga and meditation is being able to find peace and solace in the midst of even the most chaotic situations. But what I see in my mind’s eye makes my soul feel at peace. I have pictures that speak to this life on my vision board. I know what it will take to get me there, but it’s that initial first step I have hesitated to take. This is the fear I speak of. The fear that I know is preventing me from my greatest potential. The fear that I believe plays a part in my lack of writing. I am at Point A and I can see Point B. It’s the bridge in between that I have held myself back from crossing. On this side lies questions and wondering. On that side lies a life I envision for myself. It’s another experience of having to feel the fear and doing it anyway.

I don’t know if this particular blog post makes much sense. But I am now sitting here, proud of myself for having finally written something. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to write. I just knew I wanted to share that I have missed this space.

I felt the fear of not writing and I wrote anyway.

I’m going to keep that vision of the life I want at the front of my mind.

I’m still finding my way…

Namaste.

 

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M.I.A.

Dear Readers:

I know this blog has been rather quiet for the past few months. I miss writing, and I miss the loving comments and feedback I receive when time is generously taken to provide it. It’s not that I don’t want to write. Believe me, I’ve had so many ideas pop into my head and I think, “I’m going to write about that!” But then the blog never comes. I have post-it notes placed all over my home with ideas for blog titles, but the content hasn’t come to fruition.

post-it with blog title

post-it with blog title

When I first started this blog, I made a promise to myself that my process for writing would be an organic one. As a mother, daughter, sister, friend, full-time employee, etc., I feel like I have so many obligations and I wanted this space to be one of the few places where my work isn’t forced or done because it has to be. If I felt like writing, I would. And if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t. It would be that simple. Things were a little choppy at first as I figured out the direction I wanted to take this blog in, but then I hit a streak and the writing became easier. This blog has been in existence for 3 years now and this is the first year where I’ve had months-long gaps in between postings. I personally find that interesting because I’ve had so much happen this year, that one would think I’d be furiously and continuously sharing and posting updates. But what I’ve been missing lately is that spark, the thing that hits me and makes me stop everything to write down the words that come flowing into my mind.

Sometimes I hear a song or a phrase, or I read something inspirational and words will literally start building in my mind. From there, a new blog is birthed. The titles have come, but the building off the title has not. I’ve been telling myself not to be hard on myself about this, but I mean it when I say I miss writing. It’s a gift I’ve always had, but that I’ve not put too much emphasis on, no matter how many people have told me that I need to maximize this gift.

My beloved Godmother Martha, who I call Mamere and who passed away earlier this year, always told me: “Rachel, writing is your gift and your greatest successes will come from it.” Mamere was such a sage; so knowing about so many things, that I firmly believe in this prediction. She always suggested that I send my pieces to Essence or even Time magazine, to which I’d tell her, “Mamere, they’re not going to be interested in what I have to say. My story is similar to that of so many other people. I’m simply an interracial woman who is raising her son and trying to figure out her way in this world.” Her response was always a simple, but wise one: “Yes, but no one can tell your story the way that YOU can. And you never know who will relate.” Sure enough, I’ve received comments on this blog from people who’ve said they appreciate how open I am with sharing my story because they have a similar story, or that they’ve found inspiration from the words I’ve shared. Mamere was so right. And I am so, so grateful that before her passing, she was able to read my blog postings. A few months before she left us, she sent me an email with one sentence about my blog: “I like it.” That meant the world to me. Still does.

In my journey as both a yoga student and new teacher, I have learned that certain poses represent emotional locks. And when we resist those poses (resisting can come in the form of fear or doubt), we are resisting what could be an emotional breakthrough. I have been looking at my writing this way lately. Perhaps there is an emotional lock within me that I need to release and when I do, the words will come. I’ve overcome many challenges, good and bad, so far this year but in my own personal opinion, the biggest lock has been letting go of a love relationship that I held near and dear to my heart for just about three years. It was a relationship that I completely invested myself in, even though the stakes were very high that I would not receive the same investment in return. I don’t regret making the choice to engage in the relationship; the “ups” and the high points were very happy moments for me. But what I learned, albeit somewhat painfully, is that I should never put someone else’s needs, desires, dreams and wants before mine. And admittedly, that is what I did. I loved hard and I got lost along the way. But it’s okay, because I have found, and continue to find, my way back to me. Working on the letting go part was what I found to be most challenging, because deep down, even though I made the choice to put a final end to our relationship, a part of me still wanted him to come back to me. More so, to choose me. Because I never felt like he did. But again, it’s okay, because I learned the lesson of choosing myself. And if I had to go through this particular relationship to learn that, then I am perfectly at peace with that. The more I have let go, the more I have found freedom within. And interestingly enough, I have had more ease in perfecting my expression of “bakasana” (crow pose) – the one yoga posture that is currently my challenge pose. I constantly struggled with this pose and still do, but I’ve always believed crow pose is a gateway pose for me and when I am able to hold it with ease, many of the other poses that are elusive to me will come. As I have made a conscious effort to move away from the past and follow my own voice, the lift and hold in crow has become much easier. And although this particular blog is not one of the blogs I’ve been wanting to write, it’s still a blog. The emotional release is in process. And I am moving closer and closer to living, breathing, speaking, being and returning to my most authentic self.

To those who have taken the time to read and follow my blog, I say thank you. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your encouragement. I may have disappeared for a while, but my gift of writing will never go away. I don’t know when the next blog will come, but I have a feeling it will be sooner than later. In a way, I’ve been putting myself back together emotionally, spiritually and physically and that is where the title “Alignment” in the picture comes from. It popped in my head one day and I won’t let it go away. Perhaps it will be the blog that I end this year with. And when that blog does manifest, I look forward to also sharing about my progress with crow pose. And maybe some other poses, too.

Before I end this, I’d like to share with you a quote from the great Wayne Dyer. I’ve been listening to his CD set, “Secrets of an Inspirational Life,” in my car every day for the past few weeks. It is just the nourishment my mind and soul have needed. I encourage you to check it out if and when you can.

“You’ll never find your light by analyzing your darkness. You have to analyze and immerse yourself in what is magnificent about you. You are a divine creation. You are a piece of the whole. A piece of God. Treat yourself that way at all times.”

Love and light, magnificent creations. Namaste.


Time and No Words…Words and No Time

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a blog. It has been my mission to try and at least get one written piece posted per month, if not more. My struggle lately has been that I’ve either had words, thoughts or ideas in my head, but not the time or environment where I can get those words out, or I’ve had the time but just couldn’t find the words.

Although I have great visions for where this blog can go, in the present moment I tend to write simply when my spirit is moved to do so. I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting, no matter how much I cringe when I see that my last post was written over a month ago. I am not one to rely heavily on excuses, but there has been a lot on my plate lately. The loss of my beloved Godmother who was/is the driving force behind my development as a writer. Yoga Teacher Training on the weekends. Work. Motherhood. Planning a trip to Disney. Attending an out-of-town blog conference. I know that last one is ironic; attending a blog conference and still being at a loss for written words. I learned some great tools and tips, and as I sat in the conference workshops, I thought of all the things I could write when I got back to my computer. And those words will still come. But instead of rushing back to my laptop when the conference ended, I spent some leisurely time with a dear friend who attended the conference with me. We returned to my mother’s house where we were staying and we talked for hours and hours about any and everything. Relationships, our visions, our life’s purpose, spirit guides, celebrities. If you name it, we probably talked about it. I think spending that time was more important than anything I could have written down in the moment. After all, you’ve got to have the moments to write about, right?

So here I am, now in Florida on that Disney trip I planned. My 6 year-old son miraculously is still in the bed way after 9 AM. My travel companion is also sleeping and I’m laying here with all of my thoughts. I’m proud of myself for making this trip happen. When my son was born, I placed Disney on my Mommy “to do” list and I’m grateful for the means and opportunity to accomplish this. I took a quiet moment to thank the Creator and then I rolled over and picked up my phone. I had only planned on writing a line or two about a new blog coming soon, but a few paragraphs later and here I am with a blog I didn’t intend to write. Seems the time and the words found me at the same time.

My son just woke up and popped his head in my room. It’s time for the Disney adventures to begin. More moments to cherish. More moments to inspire me for future blog postings.

Peace, Love and Namaste.


Phenomenal Woman

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
(~Maya Angelou)

It is with a heavy heart that I dedicate this poem to my Godmother. A most Phenomenal Woman who saw, nurtured and helped to shape the light within me. She is the driving and inspirational force behind my journey as a writer. I will miss her dearly and deeply.

More to come when my heart has been lifted. But in the meantime, love hard, love often, love without limitation. As my Godmother once told me: “Take time to love and be loved. It is a God-given gift.”