Dating for Growth…

So, there’s dating. And then, there’s dating for growth. I have yet to make this *public*, but i guess there’s no better time than the present: I have a love coach. Go ahead, make assumptions on what that means, or why I have one, or say “what?!” “what the hell is that?!” or my favorite: “it shouldn’t be so hard” or “it will happen when it’s supposed to” or “not everyone needs to be married”. BS. IF you have the desire for love, then it is in you. It is meant for you! (that was learned)

Well, it’s not really that hard to date any old one. It’s also not hard to stay in your patterns of dating the wrong people, or accepting less than you deserve, especially if you have been doing so for years (unconsciously or not). IT’s not hard to fall into the beliefs that you are less than someone else, that you just don’t have what that person has and yadda yadda yadda. I mean, I’ve been ignoring my habits in dating unavailable men (in some way, shape or form) for at least 20 years. GAHHHH That’s ABSURD!

What IS hard is changing your patterns, getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, BELIEVING new things; doing all of this and more amidst your current relationships with friends and family who may not understand or agree with your choice to add this support into your love life. Who might think it’s “weird” that you would go to such drastic measures. (it’s really not so drastic and with all that I have learned so far, I wish I would have made this choice 5 years ago). Of course, as a yogi, my practice shifts and changes me and being a person who is very attune to her body, mind, soul, emotions, I can acknowledge and recognize and observe this. However, when it came to LOVE, I needed some help. I believe that the gift I was given was the opportunity to connect with someone who could offer that, and it was my choice to accept or not. And I did. And there’s no looking back. I’m committed. And it is AMAZING!

So, in addition to changing the way I *think* about myself and believing what I deserve and committing to those new beliefs, I am in a dating for growth stage. Meaning, every man I meet and go out with is an opportunity for me to practice things I totally gave up on years ago in dating the wrong men, like: vulnerability, letting go of control (this is insanely challenging for me, but is getting SO MUCH better), learning NOT to freak out if I don’t hear from someone I either like, or think I like; how to love myself first and what that means. The list goes on. And it’s a damn helpful process.

I have since recognized my power. I can ask for “even more and even better” and move men who don’t match that frequency aside to make room for the men who do. I have learned appreciating men for WHO THEY ARE is critical in dating, not to mention longer term relationships. I mean, WHO doesn’t want to be appreciated?!! I DO!! And I have learned how important that is to me in relationships, romantic or not. So when I have dates that may not turn out a second date, I can look at the experience and see what I appreciated and want more of. From my date tonight, i appreciated his chivalry and his southern charm. I appreciated he offered to pick me up (and I accepted!! HUGE for me), I appreciated him opening the doors for me. Our date felt like he was on a speed date, but I appreciate those things I want more of and I let go of placing too much attention on that which I do not desire to experience again:)

It was pretty shocking to me when I recently became aware (through my own inner work and a giant light bulb going off in my face) that I have NEVER dated, *chosen* to date any one who was worthy of me. That’s not to say everyone I dated was a huge asshole or douche (though there were some), and it’s not to say that it’s their fault I didn’t know my worth or what I wanted, it is not. IT is to say, however, that knowing better, you DO better. And I know now and believe now what I am worthy of and what I deserve and what I truly DESIRE. I always knew I would NEVER settle, but now I am equipped with the knowledge of *why*. I am unavailable for anything less than amazing!

So, the dating road continues. I will always have something to learn and appreciate from them. And Sooner rather than later, that big, beautiful man with an abundance of love and appreciation and more and more will arrive.

In the meantime, I have an open-ended Thank you note I want to write to all the previous men, who no doubt have taught me a thing or two to appreciate.

All Love

Always

lena

Inspiration. Short and Sweet.

First, i realize I am not the greatest with consistency when it comes to writing this blog.

Second, I suppose it doesn’t matter that much, because when I write is when I am inspired to write and really, to me, that’s all that matters.

Lately I’ve noticed my mood, I’m Happy. Joyous. Grateful. Full. Optimistic. That’s not to say that I sometimes get off the happy trail and can sail down grumpy lane. The difference between lately and who knows how long ago is this: I am SO MUCH MORE AWARE of when I am going down muddy lane and getting stuck there AND I now have the ability to PULL MYSELF up and out and get right back on Sunny Drive, keep myself smiling and happy and grateful; shining my bright light and letting myself be seen. Some of you might read this and think it’s annoying. That’s OK. I’ve been there myself. Some of you, like me, might find that sometimes you might even try and dim your bright light if others around you aren’t in the same vibration. To this I declare, NO! I have decided I can KEEP my sunny disposition and can hold a boundary between myself and those who might try and dim my light. I’ve also learned that living in a high vibration brings in MORE of what I want and more of what I deserve.

I think back to when I was a younger version of me, like much younger…and I recall all those times I took risks, showed my compassion for others, times when I stood up for others, even if it meant being made fun of myself. Somewhere along the line, I let that part of myself hide in the dark, thinking I was too strong, too independent, too capable. Why would I need to feel vulnerable? That was a scary feeling, to be seen. Raw. I’m bringing that part BACK  to the light. Being able to help others, have empathy and compassion for others is WHO I AM. I am a LOVING person. This quality is one I share with my mother. She is amazingly compassionate, always putting others before herself and doing the best she can with what she has. If you are like me and grew up a little “over emotional”, it now makes sense that I would hide it as I grew up. It seemed that being “emotional” was a bad thing. WHY?! I think it’s a GREAT thing. Even when I cry at the Making a Difference Stories on NBC Nightly News.

The truth is, there is A LOT to be stuck in the mud about and it would be very easy to live there for a long time. BUT when we can take a moment and flip our perspective, see ALL the GOOD that is out there (starting small could help:), it truly can change our lives and the lives of those who live around us.

Just tonight I was inspired by these ladies (ages 70-90!!) who play Basketball and are going for the GOLD. Some of them just started playing the sport AT 70!! And Malala Yousafzai, the young woman who was shot by terrorists, is moving forward in life, serving others and opening a school. Seeing people make a difference through sharing the gift of their voices, seeing people of a community rise above violence that invaded their place of worship and safety. IT doesn’t take great tragedy to make a difference in the life of yourself or others. But sometimes we wait until a great tragedy to make a change. WE all think we will live forever, that there is always more time, more things to get done, more places to go. There may be. For a while. But life is definitely moving faster than I want it to, or thought it was when I was 14, so I choose today and every day to shine brightly, to share my light and to hopefully be an inspiration to others, as others continue to inspire me.

All Love

Always

lena

Appreciation and Transformation

I was sitting here journaling and got to thinking, this all feels like stuff I can write down and share in my blog. So, here goes:

In no particular order of importance, lots has been happening. And most of it has been happening behind the scenes, or inside of myself. There have been so many opportunities for personal growth and transformation, albeit very difficult to go through, the rewards I have been reaping, have been priceless. I’m still working on some, but the days of living and operating from a place of fear are very much in my rear view mirror and the days of living from a place of love are very real, present and the only way I see to keep going on this highway of life.

I have recently turned one year older chronologically. I can’t believe it’s my last year in my thirties!! It’s so true what my Grandma Ellie told me in her kitchen back when I was a tween, “the older you get, the faster time flies”. I feel like I am still in my twenties, but with each passing year (hell, sometimes, each passing DAY!) I gain wonderful insight and wisdom to myself that I could have never experienced in that decade. I get happier to be in my own skin every day, and every growing year- except these damn crow’s-feet! I am NOT yet embracing those…..I’ll get there. After all, they’re just a side effect from my amazing smile:) I love myself more than ever and have recently had a very bright moment of realization, that the deeper and more powerfully I can love ME, the less I need to reach outside of myself for validation from others; Seems simple enough, I mean, I thought I OWNED that, but I’ve learned our ego is a very strong force and can come in, take over and lead us to the dark side so quickly, we barely have enough time to see that it happened before we are spinning down the rabbit hole of our own inner craziness….I would be surprised if none of you can relate. All this is to say that I have grown in ways I could not even imagine in the past few months and that has enabled me to open myself up to so much possibility. Anything CAN happen. (thank you Ellie Gould:)

I am enjoying all that life has to offer and living in all these experiences as opportunities to continue my expansion from within. To appreciate those who are in my life for exactly as they are, no desire to make them anything else than what they bring to me. To learn more about ME in the process and to LOVE MORE. ” I love everyone….:)”  (inside joke alert;0) I am emerging out of a particularly difficult and intense astrological time and as of my birthday, last Wednesday, I am coming out on the other side and all that I can say is Jupiter is raining down on so much of my chart that this year is the year of ABUNDANCE, POSSIBILITY and LOVE!!!!!

As I was hanging out at home after a group Ashtanga yoga practice, I made myself dinner, watched a little TV and then shut off the TV to journal; I felt a little nostalgic for the life I want to be and as I kept writing, I shifted that and thought: WAIT! When the day comes and I am feasting with my beloved (and maybe some kids and animals and who knows what else), I bet I will really miss this nice, quiet ME time at home; precious time when I get to enjoy the company of MYSELF. No one else. Trusting that all I desire is making its way to me, being home alone writing, reading, reflecting (and listening to the dog snore) is a wonderful present moment that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

All Love,

lena

Fear Is a MOTHER F$%&*R!!!

I write this with a whole lot of love and some kick ass support that I am truly grateful for:)

Oh my. I have had quite a day sitting in and trying to bypass the discomfort that comes with fear. A wise someone I know said “FEAR IS A MOTHER %$&@ER!” and it is not our friend. Tough words of love, but truer words have rarely been spoken. The question lies in whether or not we are ready to hear them and face the beasts within.

whether we want to admit it or acknowledge awareness of it or not, we all suffer from fear of something. We all have a part of us that is still attached to a situation or experience in which we felt fear and when we experience something that feels or looks similar to that old experience, wouldn’t you know- FEAR shows up. It acts as a shield to protect us, it thinks it is helping us. Alas, IT is not. Fear is the catalyst that is here to awaken us, to draw us out of our old habits that are not serving us; it takes a WHOLE HELL Of a lot of courage, strength, trust and LOVE to recognize this and to SIT in the “sweat lodge” so to speak; sit in the discomfort within ourselves to break through the fire and come out on the other side into pure light, joy, and purification versus reaching outside of ourselves for a temporary validation. Sure, it feels good to be validated, but it’s just a band-aid on a much bigger wound that will eventually bleed out and cause us even more pain. Lovely visual, right?;0
It’s SO much easier said than done, I know, because I am living it RIGHT NOW and I assure you, it ain’t easy. But I KNOW that I have the capacity to sit in the fire (albeit very hot and extremely uncomfortable) and sit in the unknown, rather than trying to tell myself a story of BS that will only make me feel worse and won’t help a thing!! This sitting is like any other practice, it is like the (my) yoga practice; I remember trying to drop back from a back bend the first time, the fear and doubt was palpable. I couldn’t know if i could or could NOT do it unless I tried, so I did; I breathed, I took my time, I supported myself and had support of those around me and I did it! It wasn’t perfect, but I did it! I faced the fear with strength and confidence and I kept practicing. Like with anything, it became easier over time, more fluid and more available to me. We all have been in a place where we have had the opportunity to learn something new or try something we didn’t know we could be good at, we had to take a chance. We had to TRY! And until we do try, these experiences will keep revealing themselves to us as an opportunity to grown and expand within ourselves, out of fear and into love. I emphatically invite  you to join me in taking that chance, in rising up to meeting our fear with love and compassion, embracing it for what it has to teach us and trusting that as we do, we are MORE than OK and we will have hearts and souls ready to receive the bright light of freedom from fear on the other side of the fire!!!

Namaste:)

New Beginnings…

I admit, I like writing, but I kind of suck at keeping up with a blog. For me, it’s kind of like painting, I need to feel the inspiration to do it. Sometimes, I don’t really have anything to write about, other times I just can’t find the time (or I don’t really want to) sit down in front of a screen and write; It’s not part of my make-up to put myself behind a computer screen. I think sometimes I should take this laptop out on the road, out of my house, where other people are.

Speaking of where other people are, last night me and the girls headed out to a yoga event. (Shocking! 😉 I know!) Most public, grand scale yoga events are not my thing-my friend lovingly referred to such events as the “wal-mart of yoga”. BWAHAHAHAHA

I admit, I was a smidge skeptical; I have gone to mass yoga events in the past and they were less than amazing, this one however, was quite nice, given I was there with 200 of my new closest friends. I liked it. Mostly, I liked being with my friends and being among people who I have at least one common interest with. I liked interacting and practicing my flirting skills (which, as I have recently discovered, I am not so great at, BUT I am learning and will get better and POOF all things love will arrive:) I actually NEED these social events. I NEED human contact and conversation over technological communication. I NEED to be seen, heard, touched and paid attention to, as we ALL do. I struggle giving myself these much needed social interactions, because I spend a lot of my days-well-ALL of my days intermittently surface level socializing with my accounts for work. My days are pretty much all the same: wake up, tend to dog and self, meditate, get ready for work, set out for work in my car listening to Howard Stern (all day),driving, walking in and out of offices where I may or may not get to talk to people who may or may not give a shit about what I am doing or there to talk about. go home, walk the dog, practice yoga at home or in a studio, make something to eat, wind down, read and go to bed. That is SO VERY EXCITING!!! RIGHT? I am a routine girl, I’m also a person who likes to have down time. I have noticed though, that the down time needed is becoming less and less (sometimes); like when Carrie and Aidan finally move in together and she is overwhelmed that he is just THERE, in her space ALL the time, so she asks him for space, she gets it, then finds she doesn’t need as much time as she thought she did to spend alone, with herself. I mean, I’m not in totally the same boat, but it’s the same concept. If I hadn’t had this night on my calendar for the past two weeks, I would have likely not gone out and would have missed quality time just being with and enjoying life with people I really care about and love (minus this one guy who totally crashed our GNO-not you, Jake! hahaha;-0 ) What I am saying in this extremely long paragraph is that it is SO MUCH EASIER to do the things we have always done. We KNOW what all those things feel like. We are used to them, they are SAFE. It is NOT SO EASY to make changes, to move outside our comfort zone and to really go for the things we truly DESIRE. This is the very reason I have made a fairly large investment in myself to make some changes in my life, my love life to be exact. The spring equinox and the lunar eclipse placed some pretty wonderful opportunities in front of me and what better time to clear out the old to make room for the new, than Spring?! I definitely identify and participate in the concept of a little “spring cleaning”; reflecting on the past, observing patterns, seeing what did or did not work and setting forth new goals, aspirations and desires for the new cycle coming. It’s a pretty natural time (for me and for most everyone) to tend to the homes we live in, our bodies and our minds, as well as our constructed homes. I know the road ahead will have some peaks and valleys, I know I will be challenged within myself to make changes for what I want to manifest. I know I will be faced with fear and I will overcome it, as I have overcome it in the past. I know I can do it and I know it will pay off. I know because I believe it will and because I have the experience of being faced with fear and I have the experience of practicing things that aren’t {always}easy, but I work through, I breathe through, I move through to see and feel the changes, (Yoga) And I arrive on the other side of fear.

Peace, love and yoga.

xoxo

lena

is this the life you have created?

I have been hitting the dating world pretty actively (again) lately. I have had some good dates that turned into more than one good date; I have had some that turn into more than one then end at 4, one good one that ended after 2 and some that never make it past number 1. I have rejected someone, I have been rejected. I have had long, drawn out text conversations with some that have led to a date and others that have been shut down (by me) because it was going nowhere. I have been out with way too many men (ok, just a few, but it felt like 10!) who had NO IDEA how to converse WITH me and were ALL too eager to tell me more about THEM than anyone needs or wants to know on a first date…in other words, men who really, REALLY liked themselves and had no interest in being on a date with someone other than themselves. All of these efforts are (ideally) to lead me to someone I can jive with for a lifetime, or at least more than 4 dates. And all of these experiences have taught, and will continue to teach me about myself; how I communicate, what I truly and deeply want, what I can do better and some remind me of how I deserve so much better.

I wrote about one of my yoga students a couple of blogs ago, she came up to me after class and thanked me for something and we began talking about Greece, marriage, love and life in general. One thing she said (and I’ll be paraphrasing) has stuck with me and is creeping up to the front of my consciousness these days and it goes something like this: “this is the life you have chosen, OWN IT! Own your choices and Live them with no apologies!” Basically, in the words of Samantha: “grab 35 by the balls and say HEY WORLD I’m 35!” (I’m not, but you get where I am going with this). As I was walking today, I kept coming back to the above notions, I even thought to myself: ‘if this is all there is, would it be so bad?’ I mean, I lead a pretty blessed and fortunate life and outside of one little (but very necessary and much-needed satisfaction) that needs to be filled(those of you closest to me, know what I’m talking about;0)….I am not lacking. I have everything I need and can attain anything that I want. Perhaps, I AM placing more effort than required in this category of my life out of fear of being alone? So what if I am?! IT’s true, there is definitely a part of me that worries that even though all is well and good, IS THAT ALL THERE IS?! (SATC season 6;0) And what if it is? And what if it isn’t? I guess all I can do is keep doing what is working for me, keep diving into the parts of myself that might be holding on to residue, keep manifesting abundance, keep BELIEVING and TRUSTING (even when it is SO HARD), and keep reaching for the stars! (HAHAHA ala Casey Kasem)

I had a dream this week, very vividly making space in my refrigerator. I know that this means I need to make space in myself and my life to receive the gifts that await me. On the dating side of life, I have already begun weeding out those men who are energy sucking with no end or meeting in site. It’s like spring cleaning – early! OH! and I am taking an online leave of absence starting tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to it, although I may change my tune sooner rather than later-I wonder what I’ll do when I don’t have 3-5 men lined up to meet? (maybe take some more deep breaths??:) It’s been a year and I have had 2 decent relationships that stemmed from being on there, I have met some doozies in good ways and bad and I have learned a helluva lot about myself in and out of relationships.

I’m looking forward to owning this life as I have created it so far and to the universe in providing me with what I want and deserve when I likely least expect it;0

Peace, love and yoga

lena

Dear LIFE as it is right now:

I went to a yoga class a couple of weeks ago on the new moon and winter Solstice. The teacher started class by referencing a factoid that every cell in our body completely changes itself every 7 years, and looking back on who we were 7 years ago and who we are today, can be mind-boggling; who would have imagined some of what we look like, do or have become today, would have ever been possible 7 years ago?! I found this very interesting and attached to this idea/theme for the class immediately and followed it through my practice. Now, as I sit here typing this, I see that it may not be true that EVERY cell changes at the same rate, some cells change much more frequently, others not at all, at any rate, there is definitely more scientific information out there….and I digress, but it gotcha thinking, no?!

As I (we) approach the close of another year, I find myself reflecting on what I have learned, what I do know for sure (at least at this very moment) and paying attention to what I want to leave behind, or forgive, from this past year. I cannot pinpoint all these lessons to this past year specifically, but I can say without a doubt that I would not be who I am today without experiencing these lessons in one way, shape or form. I can also say that regardless of my cell turnover rate, I AM a different person than I was 7 years ago. My circle of friends are different, my diet and habits are different, my practice(s) are different, the way I approach things and relationships are different, my job is different, having my dog has made me different, who I allow in to my life is different and why I make those choices are different; I think we all can agree or attest that our experiences shape and change us and so Today, feeling a little defeated, hopeless, tired, confused, worried; as well as, happy, content, capable, blessed and more, I offer you the following that have shaped and changed me as a gesture of gratitude and inspiration to identify what in your life has refined you:

ASK for what you want, knowing it can (and probably will) change, knowing it can be difficult and scary, knowing you may not get the answer you want, ask anyway.

BE GRATEFUL, always. Days like today (and we all have them), are when it serves me best to recognize all the gifts I am blessed with, and I am not referring to our materialistic possessions; I am referring to our gifts of this life. Simply being able to breathe, walk, eat, laugh, taste, touch, see and feel and MORE! I found that posting daily about what I was grateful for made me recognize and appreciate ALL the LITTLE things around me EVERY DAY that are beautiful gifts of being among the living. I promise you will be a happier human when you invite gratitude into your life daily.

ENJOY LIFE, I have to admit that this is one i am still learning. There is a part of me that really enjoys (or needs) some aspect of control and that can get in the way of pure joy. For instance, I really would like to know when (or hell, IF) this beloved man of mine is going to show up. I can’t know. I can trust that he will, but it is painful (sometimes) not knowing and relying on the universe’s timeline to provide; Hence, I am meditating on trust these days…..

GIVE MORE, give more love, give more kindness, give more gifts, give more help, give more listening, give more feeling, give more feedback, give more of whatever you can to someone else, in need or not. You will always feel better when you give more. 🙂

LET THINGS GO. let go of being right, let go of knowing, let go of control, let go and let BE; Oh the power of detachment! When we can let go of what isn’t ours or let go of a toxic relationship or one that isn’t serving us, we benefit. When we let go of stuff that is ours, emotions or past experiences that hold us down in a place we don’t need to be, we can grow and expand into what we are to become. Let go. Let it happen. **(sometimes easier said than done:)**

PAY ATTENTION, as a yoga practitioner and a forever practicing student of the embodiment of yoga, it’s slightly impossible for me not to pay attention (I’m sure my type A part also has something to do with that;0) and when I pay attention, I notice that I grow; I pay attention to my body, to it’s movements, how that impacts my thoughts; I pay attention to others and notice what they might be dealing with that affects how they interact with me. I am an active observer in my own life. I focus my attention on my dog when we walk together, I look people in the eye when we are talking to each other, I notice and take to heart.

TRUST the whammy of them all, the one that I am to be guided by until I receive it. It is not easy for me to trust, but I have found within my yoga practice that it is definitely possible and that speaks volumes. I feel like I trust myself and I definitely trust my instincts, perhaps a gentle honing in on this quality will drive it even deeper into the parts of myself that still feel doubt, worry and fear.

LOVE yourself. Love one another. Love when you don’t want to. Love the stranger who is rude. Love the person who was mean to you. Love the people who are hardest to love. We all benefit from love. Love makes the world go ’round! Love. Love. Love.

With love, I say: take nothing for granted. Life is SO short and all that we have in our lives is temporary; cherish your friends, family, loved ones, pets, whomever you hold dear and let them know in your own way that you appreciate them. This will require some vulnerability, which is hard for the lot of us, but can be accessed through some self-love and attention.

I bid you a most wonderful closing to your 2014 and a plethora of blessings in all forms for you in 2015. May the force of love, trust, peace and happiness be with us all.