Recovering my free Spirited Soul

 

I had it over load I needed to hit the road and be all alone.  I left everyone and off I went to block Island to just be with me.  I was a mother of 3 children, a wife, a business owner, a daughter, a friend and a human companion  of a beautiful yellow lab Bella.  I left my two older daughters with their dad and my youngest with her dad and out the door I went with Bella. We headed off for some silence.  I needed a break from all my mind chatter we were off to block Island to do some soul-searching.  I wish I could say that I had the support of my husband to do this, but I did not.  Unfortunately  It had appeared that I was running away,  in  my reality I was stepping out to re connect with myself.

RECAPTURING MY FREE SPIRITED SOUL!

I checked into a peaceful spot on the Island and begin to hike, sleep, eat, pray, journal and self-love. I attempted not to drink any alcohol or abuse any drugs. It was the first time in a long time I felt free from responsibilities. I had time to just think about myself.  Complete silence could only last for so long after a day I ventured out. I am a very sociable person and had bumped into some acquaintances who lived on the island.  It was in this moment that a miracle occurs and I am freed of  30 year misconceived perception that had changed the course of my life.

Rewinding the clock to when  I was 8 years old and  I had a difficult year.  There was a lot of turmoil going on at home. My mother was mentally ill and was removed from the home in an ambulance. I believed that all the neighbors saw this and had shunned us with judgment . I felt a guilt and shame over her disease on what I thought everyone could see.  I believed that I was was the only one who had family problems. I felt different, separate, isolated and alone.  Home life was challenging  I felt there wasn’t a lot of help for nurturing my  8-year-old needy soul. I remember the arguing and thinking for the first time that killing myself was a solution to get out of this life. It was just a challenging  time. My dad  was amazing and did the best he could to take care of my mom getting her better with the solution the doctors offered. He provided for the family by owning his own business. My oldest sister was married, my oldest brother was seventeen and my youngest brother was twelve I was eight.  He had a full plate we were all doing the best we could.    This is my first consciousness of comparing  everyone’s external appearance to my happiness. My dad purchased my brother and I three wheel motorcycles.  They were awesome and we lived in a great neighborhood for it.  It had only been about two weeks since my mom had been removed from the home. The motorcycle was a perfect distraction. I had taken my trike to the little girls house down the street to play.  I remember  the feeling of the wind in my face as I drove down the street and parked outside there house. FREEDOM!

Kelly and Tammy were so adorable they both were so perfect with the best polly flinder dresses.  Their hair was always so perfect their house was always clean.  Kelly  and Tammy mom was a beautiful and fit, I never saw her smoking or laying on a couch. Their yard was perfection and their dad had a brief case and was a sharp dresser. I stood on the front door of the home wearing my A-Team t-shirt with my motorcycle parked looking  like a complete tomboy.  I had asked Kelly to come out and play she said she couldn’t. I asked if she could play tomorrow she said no, she couldn’t play any day.  I asked why? She told me it was to dangerous at my house, we had a trampoline, a pool, I drove a motorcycle, we had dogs.  I drove away crying heart-broken, sad and mad. I was devastated,  I knew what the problem was it was none of the things she said.  It was because of my mom! My family was the problem.  I began to feel guilt and shame for me being me. This was a narrative that I would continue say which was a driving force behind my self hate. This narrative was leading to separation from my authentic self. I wanted to be anyone other than me. Therfore I became a person I thought you wanted  me to be and not  my true authentic self. I remember making up lies to sound far more interesting than what I actually was. I turned my back on myself, my family and My God.

Returning back to the present June 2011… Im on Block Island on my soul-searching mission.  When I was talking to a group if friends suddenly one of the women says “I can’t believe it your Bonnie.. Bonnie ” I said” yes I am”. I focus in on the women a little closer and I realize it Kelly, my old friend from the neighborhood. She is older.. 30 years older to be exact.. same great  smile I recognzie her right away. She defiantly was not dressed up as formal she was as a child.  Her style was Island attire she worked as a  landscaper on the island had been for the past 20 years. That was when she casually informed  me ” I always wanted to be you Bonnie” I was taken back.. “You always wanted to be me” I said. “I’m shocked” My whole narrative that  had held me captive in anger, guilt, shame and remorse is shattered in seconds.  Kelly then proceeds to tell me that her mom was an alcoholic and kept her captive in the home in nice dresses and cleaning the house and wouldn’t let her be free and go out and play. In seconds Kelly liberated me of  a 30 year belief  and the healing begins.  Kelly wanted to be my friend after all, suddenly my inner child heals. She envied the fact that I was able to run around and be free and have fun.  Kelly was having the similar  experience to that I was having.  The mirage was that the grass was greener on the other side of the street. The comparing was not based on actual facts but rather illusions of what we perceived to be as truth.  We were incapable to see see all the gifts that we had because we we were blocked by Avidya.

In yoga the root of all suffering is based on Avidya misunderstanding, ignorance of facts was causing a whole lot of suffering.

This reunion was mind-blowing I believe the primary purpose behind my visit on the island. I was beginning to heal from 26 years of grief of over the relationship with my mother.  I needed to heal, understand and accept this relationship. This was key to my self-love, self acceptance and over all well-being and happiness. This anger was  blocking me off  from actually being the mother, friend and wife that God intended me to be.  It was amazing how the anger  left my body once the experience went though me..I was able to understand that God was had and always will be doing for me what I could not do for myself.  I also started to understand It is none of my business what other people think about me.  As long as I know Im Good with God its good enough!

Today I challenge you to ask yourself what narrative is holding you back in life from being your true authentic self? When had Avidya ( misunderstanding, ignorance to facts) blocked you off from being your highest and best self?

Lets Hurry Up and Meditate

It is so funny the paradox of the rushing around to do yoga or meditate. Often we don’t realize the actual intentions we are setting attending a yoga class or a meditation. Maybe a therapist or a doctor suggested to us that we take a yoga class as part of an over all healthy plan or to treat symptoms that are stress related. Maybe we just wanted to try the latest out door yoga class because it is trendy. It really doesn’t matter what takes you to the mat as long as you allow yourself to reap the rewards.
Between my responsibilities of being a businesswomen, mother of 3 daughters, social obligations and attempting self care along the way I became lost in the process. I was a wound up women in constant motion getting to the next task or event. I was on medicine for depression, acid reflux, adhd, and medical marijuana for migraine headaches. I am happy to announce it has been 5 years since I have taken any thing other than an occasional motion. I started to hurry up and meditate.
I have come to believe how you do anything is how you do everything.
I was showing up to life one task at a time. I was usually making excuses as to why I wasn’t good enough or why it wasn’t done right. I was doing way to much. I was tying to be everything to everyone and abandoning myself in the process. My skin was tight my muscles were tight which meant my organs were being effected. My temper was short. This had led me to the emergency room with chest pains. I was treated by an amazing female doctor who knew what it was like to try and be everything to everyone and forget about yourself. She shared her experience while in med school and suggested I go to a massage therapist to help loosen my tightened muscles that were causing my discomfort in my chest. Then she said the magic words and try yoga classes. Thank God she didn’t block from he solution with another pill.
She knew that I was disconnected from my own spirit. That the solution was and inside job. That was when I started to hurry up to meditate.
I had been here before showing up to classes trying to calm the chattering mind. I would feel better for a bit then take on some more responsibilities then put my self care on the back burner. Putting yoga on the top of the to do list was pretty difficult to do. I needed to be thin enough to get in the class with all the beautiful people. I needed just the right out fit from Lululemon and they are pretty expensive. I would get on the mat in the class and just look around at everyone else what they are doing and how they are doing it and think they are all doing it better than me. And I would hurry up to go do this! Ugh it was nuts.…
Like I said how you do anything is how you do everything.
Then the universe began to send me messages to take my practice to a deeper level. So I purchased a copy of the Bhagavad Gita and tried to read it and understand it myself. ( Not Suggested) Next I had taken my first one on one instruction with the intention to develop a personal at home morning practice. I also purchased the yoga sutures by Deepak Chopra on iTunes and listen to it while I practiced a daily morning routine. With the sutures I was planting seeds in my consciousness that would bloom at just the right time. I often say that the hardest pose in yoga is getting on the mat. I needed to Keep Practice Simple in the beginning some days just rolling the mat out and getting into child’s pose for 10 breaths. I was quieting the mind, body and soul even if it was for just 10 breaths. Today at a minimum I do 5 simple sun salutations putting my fingers at my heart setting intentions of the day. This simple practice has changed my life and continues to change it daily.
The path continued to lead me in the direction to become an instructor. I tried so hard to talk myself out of it. I had continued to be led in the direction of self study to learn the facts about Bonnie. I became interested in being healthy mentally, physical, emotionally and slowing down in the process. I have become a witness to my shadows. No longer a judge, but rather a witness with a sense of humor to laugh at the darkness and guild it back into the light. I discovered what it was like to be an imperfect human and that were are all the same. We just have different Karma’s to work though along the journey. How we do everything is how we do anything applied to me.
While I was in a yoga class I was looking around the room comparing and separating my self from others. I was checking a lot of things off my list but I lacked integrity with my tasks. I was doing way to much. Like I said How we do everything is how we do anything. While on the mat it came to me that I did this in all my affairs. At work, parenting, relationships everything I did I was constantly comparing and separating from others. I also discovered that I lacked integrity in my work. These were the shadows that were blocking me off from success in the human race and being part of the solution.
“ Without Language, one cannot talk to people and understand them: one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savor their songs.” – Nelson Mandela
Other tool in transformation was learning a different language Sanskrit. It had forced me to research simple sources to suffering Avidya. In my research I learned that Avidya were the obstacles that prevented us from recognizing things as they really are. The obstacles are asmita(ego) raga( attachment) dvesa( refusal), and abhinivesa(fear). If I know root of a problem Then I can address the problem.
Making peace with the Shadows

I look at my shadow self as an alarm that goes off that separation is happening and some area of my soul needs attention. Alarms are ok its all part of witness conciseness. It is when I am moving slow enough that I can hear the alarms and the solution is gentile. If I am running to fast focusing on something other than being the best version of myself that I don’t hear the alarms. I have learned that it is best that I take the time to listen is silence to the song of my soul. What do I want? What do I need? It’s amazing that I have learned all of this from hurrying up to Mediate.
I was yelling at my kids and rushing out the door when I realized I was hurrying up to meditate.
I was about 2.5 miles away from my home when I stopped at the red light and finally paused. It came to my awareness that I was hurrying up to meditate. I laughed paused and turned the car around and headed home to apologies for my behavior. I just had to explain to my family that I am a work in progress just like the rest of the human race. When I can become patient with myself I can become patient with others. Continual practice leads to progress not perfection. I catch myself faster today when I begin to come off balance. I attempt to stay regulated by making time to take myself to the mat.