Stealing from everyone...

I want to be creating content way more often - like all of the time. In reality though, I end up not most of the time. What’s the hold up?

If there’s a disconnect between what I tell myself I want to do and what I’m actually doing, there is obviously something else going on. What is it?

It used to be that I actually didn’t have the energy. My complex chronic illness kept me mostly stuck in bed with massive brain fog and pain all over for the majority of my 20’s. And sporadically for days at a time for years into my 30’s, but finally in the past 2ish years I’ve found a treatment that has kept me overall really fucking healthy!!

That’s a huge mental adjustment and lifestyle change. That has taken quite awhile to get used to, and there’s a lot of lingering fears about not having the energy or the treatment suddenly not working anymore. So I have to acknowledge that.

There’s more to it than that though. It’s back to this perfectionism thing, but also, also this idea that I have to be better and better until I can offer others help. Like when I was in the thick of my illness, I couldn’t even think about the idea of sharing anything on a blog bc writing very much hurt my brain, and I told myself I have to not be sick anymore to help anyone else possibly not be sick.

I didn’t see how much mindset shift help I could offer. All of the huge, massive changes I made in my life could help someone else to make similar shifts and growth in their life. I’m sure that getting training in the healing practice of yoga that saved my life was a necessary step in the process, and I can continue to share all of myself along the way.

I keep telling myself I have to have my life even more together before writing articles or a book or put out what I want, but fuck that. I’m living at a really really livable level where I feel happy and content more than I feel worried or sad. I make a positive impact on other people’s lives in small ways daily, and when I’m really lucky, sometimes in a larger way. I lived through some things people can barely stand to hear, let alone experience, and here I am - 36, thriving, and living my dream in New York City.

I have to get real here. What’s stopping me from getting to the next level is the belief I have to already be on the next level. And then this attachment or an idea of a next level instead of just immense, overwhelming gratitude for where I am right now.

Thank you so much for reading this and connecting with my spirit.

I felt low and irritable this morning because I needed to work this shit out. I got scared again and played small and likable to the masses, which equals not much output from me. That’s not what I dream of next.

I came into existence and had the experiences that guided me to where I am for a reason. We all have a purpose. This world needs me and who the hell am I to steal from everyone by not sharing what’s within me.

And by the way, this is not just for me. We all have a purpose. This world needs you, and who the hell are you to steal from everyone by not sharing what’s within you!

The Death of Disagreement & some hope tho

I had an experience this morning that has got my mind racing to figure things out, so seems like the perfect time to write something that will be out on the internet forever.

I’m all about sharing though, and that’s why I’m so into Instagram.

What I’m finding in the “yoga community” there is a fairly tangible version of what’s happening throughout our society. The mentality is very much about agreeing blindly or unfollowing without comment.

Anything people post is supposed to be met with only adoring words of encouragement, and any sort of questioning or respectful disagreement is not allowed.

“Good Vibes Only” has been twisted to basically mean “adore me or GTFO.”

I’ve seen very few large yoga accounts that do not actively promote the concept of getting positive-only comments.

Does this mean that I think hateful, mean, and actual trolling comments are good and useful and should be encouraged? Umm the fuck no, obviously.

I think there is a way to deal with comments that cross the line that doesn’t shut down comments that stay respectful but point out other view points or ways that might be helpful.

I think it’s especially harmful to label any sort of disagreement as hateful, spiteful, or trolling simply because it’s another way to look at the situation that may initially feel threatening.

Svadhyaya (self-study) is a vital part of our yoga. The way that comes about is different for each of us. Mine is a lot of this shit. Putting my thoughts out there and sorting out what serves and what doesn’t, releasing what could harm and holding onto what helps.

I get threatened too and don’t always make the decision in alignment with the highest good.

And we just have to be able to talk about it and help each other in this society to move forward.

Being wrong is not such a big deal. I’m not the most right in many situations.

I work to use those times to learn from others who are offering the opportunity.

It’s my hope that we can come from a place of love where it’s okay to openly gently challenge each other to be better at times along with definitely cheering on and lifting each other up with sheer positivity at times.

We are so multi-faceted it’s okay to not be in complete alignment with every single aspect of a person and still completely support who they are and what they are doing for the world.

Gratitude for colds and plans for 36

Yeah colds sucks. I got this really lame lingering one last week that just took me out of commission physically and mentally. And it felt especially defeating because the previous week I had just turned 36 and had all sorts of plans of how I was suddenly going to start behaving.

Actually, I’ve set fairly reasonable and realistic goals for my development and growth this year, but I wasn’t really able to start at all last week. Except that’s not true. I did do the one thing I was capable of doing that was a habit I’ve chosen to form.

I flossed my teeth everyday.

I’ve been a part-time flosser for ages and knew it was something I wanted to start doing actually every day. 2x a day can chill for a bit, but maybe down the road.

I wanted to start with something achievable to show myself I could do it because I’ve had a rough history with myself, often due to my chronic illness, also often due to excuses.

So I’ve been doing it everyday for a week and really looked forward to it yesterday and actually am already now just talking about flossing so much.

Today I am feeling beyond better than before I was sick because I am super grateful for the lessons that being sick always teaches me. I feel renewed, inspired and able to work on my next daily habit this week - cleaning/organizing for 1 hour everyday. This won’t be forever, but I majorly need to get caught up and experience what doing that on the reg feels like for a moment.

This week plan structure feels promising to me because it’s short enough to be accomplishable and also big enough chunk to feel important. Like so many days in a year to get shit done but only 52 weeks to work with better habits and healing.

I will let you know how it’s going.

You can do hard things.

I posted that phrase on Instagram earlier and ended up writing way too much for that platform so what a great chance to share more about myself, my life, and my process here.

A friend shared yesterday that she told herself “you can do hard things” as she was running for 18 miles in training for a marathon (!) because her parents had said this to her as a child when she complained about math homework or a difficult violin concerto. I can so picture the moments of that advice being given and perhaps not appreciated or fully understood at the time, but this woman is amazing and clearly that affirmation stuck with her bc she does many hard things all of the time!

I had never been told this phrase before though, and it had never become something that I told myself.

Unsurprisingly, doing hard things is not my thing. Part of the story I tell myself about myself is “You’re fun and chill. You’ve been sick and still struggle so you’d better take it easy and not push yourself doing too much work. You love smoking weed and it helps your stomach and body feel better so that’s okay if getting high and chilling is a top priority for you. You don’t not do hard things exactly, you just prefer to do easy things bc they’re more fun so why not.”

Is that thought true? Some parts, not all.

Is that thought helpful? It may have been one time, but I haven’t been finding it to be in the past few years.

Actually though, my being sick started at 17, smoking weed at 19, and let’s be real, I had major problems before that. So there must be earlier thought patterns I also need to address.

Not to get into my whole backstory bc it’s too damn long and sad, but its helpful to know that I grew up an only child with really pre-occupied parents.

I remember everything in childhood (before 10ish) coming easy to me, I had lots of early successes, and I always yearned to be challenged more. School was a breeze so I would study for Kids Jeopardy! on my own even though no one ever helped me try to get on the show like I asked (that was harder before internet but come on). I would do whatever gymnastics I could on my own all of the time bc my grandma could only spend so many hours to drive from her house to mine to the gym and back again 2x week and my parents didn’t at all. Violin was a good one for me to be able to practice myself, and I did and that went great, but as I got older and the violin playing got tougher - I just quit bc I wasn’t the best anymore and my parents were fine with that.

So I think I told my childhood self something like “You’re talented, you’re amazing! And you have to be bc you are on your own and have no help. So what that no one cares about you, that means no one cares about you and you can do whatever you want (and I don’t care about anyone anyway)! If the things you want to do get hard though, remember that you don’t have help, so figure out any way to stop doing it.”  

And throughout my life I know that I’ve been quitting & running away when anything would get hard.

But when my chronic illness got to the point that I was in pain all of the time and could not stand to be out of bed for more than a few hours at a time - I didn’t have a choice. My only option to “quit” would be killing myself like my biological mother or becoming a heroin addict like my biological father.

Because I had seen how those options worked out - not fucking well - I knew the only path was moving forward with small healing steps everyday.

I took over a decade of those days but I got myself to a place of fairly good health. And then my old thought and behavior patterns crept in.

I told my adult self “It’s too hard and I have no one to help me.” Day by day I’ve been moving backwards with the healing, allowing myself to plateau for awhile and then regress.

But not even close to completely.

I see it now - I see the thoughts and I’m doing the work again - big time.

Yes I’m talented and yes I’m amazing but I am not on my own. People do care about me and do care what I do. I want to be my best self for those people because I do care about them too. I can ask for help and will receive it. I know that I must now be the incredible parent that I always wanted to myself if I want to build new thoughts, feelings, ideas, and actions.

So as my loving parent I say, “Yeah you’re fun and chill, and look at all of the hard work you’ve put into your healing your life. Look how much you’ve been learning and sharing and working to put out into the world. If you take the consistent healing steps that you need Lauren, you know you can have the health and energy to accomplish all of your goals and dreams instead of just enjoying being high with your chihuahua. You can also still enjoy that, just not as often because you are so fulfilled doing more challenging things.

I know no one’s ever told you this, but I’m telling you now for sure - you can do hard things, and you will grow in the best ways from them.

I'm back with a coffee analogy.

I’ve been doing it again. That thing where I don’t write anything because I’m too overwhelmed by sneaky ass perfectionism.

It was helpful just to go to my page today and read my past stuff and go “that’s not THAT bad.”

So this isn’t specifically about anything in particular, except that I’m writing here again.

Part of that inspiration to get back to it is something personal I’m working on that’s been brewing for awhile, but well, let’s take this analogy a step back and then many steps forward…

It’s like I’ve been thinking about making coffee, and I’ve been looking at bags of beans for a long time. I finally bought the beans earlier this month and just today put them into the machine. The next week or so I’ll be figuring out the buttons, and then I’ve got a few months of brewing.

But my “coffee” is on it’s way!

And I’ll just tell you - that coffee isn’t a workshop or video series or even a book, it’s my personal dopest life and I’m making it happen. Book one day though.