Thursday, May 5, 2016

April Love Letters

You might be wondering why I wanted to post those April Love letters on my yoga blog.  For me, yoga is more than just a physical exercise.  I know there is a huge connection between the brain and the body, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.  I know that I carry emotions in parts of my body.  When I'm stressed, I tense certain muscles more.  While working through a yoga practice, I'm also working with some of those emotions and events from life that are stored in my body.

I have my own religion, so I don't see that yoga is my religion.  However, it has become an extension of that.  The Yamas and Niyamas are part of the eight-limbed path of yoga, which describe how to live my life.  It's no different than the Ten Commandments or the Wiccan Rede; it describes things in a different way.

The Yamas talk about non-harming, truthfulness, and non-stealing.  The Niyamas talk about self-exploration and working on contentment.  For many of these reasons, I wanted to post my love letters.  It was a form of self-exploration and working on being truthful with myself.

Additionally, I wanted to share my experience.  I love hearing Brene Brown talk and reading what she writes. In her research she specifically talks about sharing our experiences with others so we reduce shame in our culture.  I am committed to this project.  I know everyone has their own journey in life.  I don't ever want anyone to feel like I am shaming them for making the decisions they've made.  I shame myself for my own decisions enough as it is.

I encourage you to share your experiences.

Bright blessings,


Monday, May 2, 2016

Dear Chess

Dear Chess,

This last letter for April Love is dedicated to you.  It's about the things that you struggle with, despite how awesome you are.  Sometimes you have to be the person you wish you had in life, because ultimately, you spend so much more time with yourself than anyone else.

You are so very special.  There will never be anyone quite like you.  You are amazing and have a unique purpose in life.  While I know you don't know what that purpose is, you will need to trust that you will figure it out.

I know you feel unworthy of life and love.  You need to learn to love yourself, for all your "flaws"and attributes.  Regardless of what anyone else things, you are worthy of your own love at the very least. By showing yourself love, you will be so much better able to handle what life has to throw at you.

You need to trust that you will be ok.  Despite the hardships in life, you will figure it out.  It's human nature to survive.  We, as a whole, would not have made it this far without that survival instinct.

You need to believe that you are not a selfish person.  You may have moments where your survival instincts will kick in, but you are not selfish.  You give of yourself, your time, your money, to the point that you give too much for fear that people will think you are selfish.  Trust that you aren't, and allow yourself to back off a little on the giving.  It will be ok.

You are extremely smart.  You pick things up very quickly, you have two college degrees.  Just because you don't have a job directly using those skills does not make you stupid.  Sometimes you have to make a difficult choice and right now that is staying in a place where those degrees are less useful.  You have so many other skills and any employer would be glad to have you.

Trust that you are a good person.  Yes, not everyone will like you.  That is a reflection of themselves, not you.  The idea that they are jealous seems so far-fetched when you are struggling with their hatred and back-stabbing, but it probably is true.  You cannot change them, but you can ignore them and move on.  That's usually the best course of action.

Lastly, forgive yourself.  You can't keep beating yourself up for decisions you made in the past.  You were ignorant or working off of partial knowledge at the time.  That's the whole point of life's journey; to learn and grow.  If you were perfect right off the bat, you would have no where to go from birth.  It's ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.  Today may be difficult, but you can make tomorrow better.

Take it one day at a time, one step at a time.

You can do this.

With the utmost love,


Dear Sanctuary

Dear Sanctuary,

You are my home when I am struggling to be around people.  You are my husband's arms when I'm struggling to be myself.  You are my doggy cuddles after a long day at work.  You are a conversation with my sister when I am struggling with life.  You are the tribe of women who support me in my adventures and side-hustle.  You are a good book or show when I need to escape from life for a little bit to get out of my head.

I'm very grateful for all of this in my life.  I'm happy to have you there when I need you, in all the various ways.  You keep me sane when I think I'm going crazy, which seems to be more often than I would like.  You keep me warm when I am cold.  You keep me active when I would like to ball up on the couch.

I know most people think of you as a place to retreat when life gets rough.  You are that for me, but also the will to carry on when life gets tough.  One day at a time.

With love,


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dear Laughter

Dear Laughter,

I love the light you bring into my life.  The other day I heard some frustrating information at work, which stressed me out all day.  Thankfully, I'd purchased tickets for my husband's birthday to go see Jeff Dunham, and the show was that night.  While the stress wasn't completely alleviated, it was nice to get away from life for a couple of hours and laugh that hard.  You really can be a life changer.

Sometimes I laugh more at the way people laugh, than the reason people are laughing.  It makes me think of the scene in Mary Poppins where the characters are talking about the different types of laughs.

Dear laughter,

You make life so much sweater.

Much love,


Dear Change

Dear Change,

You are something I fear and am excited for, often at the same time.  It's easy to fear you for the unknown is scary.  However, you can be exciting because you can bring so many wonderful things into my life.

You make me grow and become stronger, even when I think I'm not ready.  You challenge me to work beyond my current perceptions.  You bring light and sorrow and everything in between.

There is one thing I know that is constant, that there will ever be change.

Much love,


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dear Truth

Dear Truth,

My mom used to call me a liar because I would lie to her about things I did as a child.  While I recognize that I should have told the truth, I've come to realize that every child goes through a phase like that, and it is often based on self-preservation.  I didn't want to get in trouble so I thought lying about my actions would help.

Consequently, I came to believe that I am a terrible person because of my actions when I was a child. Now I am learning something new about you dear Truth.  I'm learning that the things I believe aren't actually true.

I have a hard time listening to you.  I know I'm not alone in this, but hopefully I'm getting better as I age.  Sometimes you are too much to carry at times, but that doesn't change the fact that you are there.

For the future, I promise to take things one day at a time and try to listen to you more.  You are absolutely necessary in my life.  I know that you will make me a better person, a stronger person, through all of life's circumstances.

With love,


Dear Magic

Dear Magic,

From the time I was a little girl, I've always believed in you.  I believed in ghosts, aliens, faeries, and various other forms of magic.  As I've grown, things have changed a little, but I still believe in you.

I've lost my way some as I've grown up.  Being forced to handle adult circumstances has made believing in you more difficult.  I'm trying to regain my faith in you, slowly but surely.  I love spending time with the magical ladies in my life, and that helps.  There are times where a little magic slips into my life.

So for now, I ask that you be patient with me and show me a little of your light.  I could use it right about now.

Much love,


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dear Fear

Dear Fear,

I am desperately trying to not let you rule my life right now.  I know that worrying about the future won't do much for me besides make me sick.  It's like my body has a mind of its own though, and the anxiety just keeps building until it boils over into tears.

What I really need from you right now is to let the strangle hold you have on my heart go, just a little bit.  I need a little room to breathe, to see that everything will be ok, no matter what happens.

At some point in the future, I hope we can come to some agreement that you will help me when I need you and I will let you into my life when it is truly necessary.

With love,


Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Sky

Dear Sky,

You are something I long for most days, when I work indoors all the time. To be out in the fresh air, under the sun or the stars.

You hold many great mysteries, even still  Many of us looking up to you for divine intervention, not sure if there is a God or Goddess up there.

You share your beauty each day with the sun, the clouds, and the stars all shining down on us.

You are ever present, keeping us grounded in difficult or rocky times.

I'm grateful that I get to witness your beauty each day, even when it is for a couple of minutes.

Much love,


Dear Reflection

Dear Reflection,

When I look at you, I see a woman who is still struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life.  A woman who struggles with her weight, but still manages to look nice on most days, despite how she feels.  I see a woman who is starting to get lines in her face, showing her age a little more.  A woman who has learned many things in her short life so far.  I see a woman who is now stronger, physically, than she has ever been.

When I look at you, I also see a little girl who desperately needs a little more love.  Love she didn't receive when she was a child, and love that she didn't give to herself growing up.  I want to give you a bath, wrap you up in a blanket, and tell you everything will be ok.  You are gorgeous and you are loved.  You are awesome and smart, you can really do almost anything.  You are not selfish and you are worthy of everything that you have received.

So, from now on, Dear Reflection, I plan to give you a little more love each day.  That little girl needs to hear it so that older lady can handle everything that is thrown at her.

With much love,


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dear Money

Dear Money,

We have had a difficult relationship, I know.  I have always feared not having enough of you. Growing up, we never wanted to for anything, but I can remember my mom always saying we didn't have money for things.

As I've grown up, I now see that some of it is what she chose to put her money into, and now I am enacting the same habits.  I spend you, and then I stress about not having enough.  This is a dangerous road we are on and cannot continue.

I'm slowly working to save more, spend less.  I know I don't need all this stuff.  Really it just collects dust.  However, these habits die hard, and the internet makes it even harder sometimes.  So, I try not to wander stores too much, and I try not to look at email ads or sales at stores I love to shop at.  By not looking, I save.

I have slowly increased the amount I shuttle off to savings accounts each month.  I've also really worked on socking you away for retirement.  Now I need to work on my fear of lacking and remember to be grateful for what I have.

It helps that I have such a supportive husband.

I look forward to seeing more of you in the future,


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dear Kindness

Dear Kindness,

I am looking to add more of you into my life.  Currently, I'm pretty good with extending kindness to other people.  I love helping others out when they have something I can help them out with.

What I would like to work on with you is remembering to be kind to myself.  I have worked so hard at depleting my own self-worth, that I need to start bringing you back into my life.  I need your help.

I need to remember that I am doing the best I can, with the current knowledge, in this very moment.  I need to remember that I am a kind person, and not selfish like some people would have me believe.

With your help, I know I will find empowerment and self-confidence.  Also, I'll be able to afford more kindness to others when I am not berating myself constantly.

I look forward to working with you.

With love and courage,


Dear Family

Dear Family,

You are the people I choose to have in my life.  We are not all blood relatives.  We support each other, look out for each other, and wish the best for each other.

You are there when I need you.  At any time, you are there to lend a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or a smile to brighten my day.

You challenge me and teach me new things.  You converse with me about various topics, and for that I'm truly grateful.  You understand that I'm seeking new information every day, and you willingly provide it.

We may go long periods of time without seeing each other, be we know the love is there.  We each have our busy lives and know that we are rooting each other on.

I'm so proud of each and every one of you, and am so thankful you are all in my life,

Much love,


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dear Legs

Dear Legs,

Ever since puberty, I have wanted to hide you.  I don't know where the belief came from, but I thought you were something the world should never see.  You were always too white, too fat, too dimply, too hairy, too short.  I never really saw you for the awesomeness you truly are.

It has taken me many years.  Some belly dance and yoga has brought me to this point where I now appreciate you for what you do for me every day.  Yes, you are now a little thinner than you used to be, but you are also much stronger.  You carry me everywhere I go.  You hold me in poses that some people think are impossible.  You allow me to shimmy pretty darn well most days.

While I still have days where I feel like I should hide you from the world, I'm now at a point where I wear dresses that show you off some.  I wear leggings, rather than flared or straight-legged trousers.  I don't care as much if people see your veins or how big you are.

I've finally made some progress and I'm proud to show you off.

Much love,


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dear Shadows

Dear Shadows,

You are the darker parts of me.  You are the hatred and self-loathing.  You are the voices in my head that say I'm stupid, ugly, and not worthy of anything.

Slowly, I'm beginning to shine the light on you.  Not to completely rid myself of your presence, but to show myself the truth of what you really are.

I look forward to one day finally realizing just how little power you have over me.

Much love,


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dear Courage

Dear Courage,

You are another thing that I am constantly seeking.  I always feel like I can't find you when I need you.  I regularly feel like I am not brave and that I am weak.

However, a friend of mine suggested that I'm pretty brave when I need to be.  I spent many years in a thankless, dead-end job.  It took me a while to get out of there and I beat myself up for not leaving sooner.  She said that I was very courageous because I was adult enough about the whole situation to realize I had to stay there so I could pay my bills.

I have come to see that sometimes, Dear Courage, you are there and I don't even know it.  I love the phrase that sometimes Courage means saying I will try again tomorrow.

So, Dear Courage, I will try again tomorrow to not search so much for you, to have faith that you are already there.

With Love,


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dear Senses

Dear Senses,

I'm sorry I have often neglected you.  I tend to spend a lot of time in my head, not noticing anything else going on with my body.  This whole practice of yoga and mindfulness has me reconnecting with you each day.

I now take time to notice my body in yoga poses.  Sometimes I pause outside to notice the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the day.  I love my time on walks with you, taking in so much information around me.

I'm still working on pausing during the work day to see how my body is feeling.  I am struggling with pausing while eating to see if I'm full.  If I'm having an anxiety attack, it's hard for me to pause and come back to my breath.

But there is a reason it is called practice.  You practice not until you get it right, but until you can't get it wrong.

So until that time, I'm still a work in progress and I work on reconnecting with you fully, once again.

Much love,


Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me,

There are many things I'd love to tell you.  I'd love to tell you that everything will be alright.   That the struggle you are going through now will be a huge benefit to you in the future.  I'd love to tell you that you will find fulfillment in your job and your relationships.  I'd love to tell you that you will come to find your worth.

But alas, I cannot tell you that, for you are in the future.  I can imagine these things for you and work on manifesting them, but I cannot tell you what will happen in the future.

So for now, I take everything one day at a time as best I can.  I try not to look into the future too much because it is anxiety inducing.  I try to have faith that I will land on my feet if I fall, or that a person who cares about me will be there to catch me.  I work on making small steps every day to bring you into fruition.

Together with Dear Younger Me, I think we have a bright future ahead.

Best Wishes,


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dear Hunger

Dear Hunger,

I'm often frustrated by you, pushing you down, trying to hide from you.  Whether it's hunger for food, hunger for things, or hunger connection, I'm constantly stifling you.  I realize that at times you are important.  You keep me fed, and you keep me striving to be a better person.

However, I find that my constant striving has become hurtful at times.  I'm always hungry for foods I shouldn't eat, and have finally managed to get down to a weight that makes me comfortable with who I am.  I'm always hungry for a life that is probably unattainable, because it isn't real.  It's hard to be happy when you have to work a lot of hours to pay for your brand new car and all the new clothing.

I'm slowly learning to tell you no.  I don't have to listen to you all the time.  I'm slowly learning balance in life.  Spending money on an item I'll only use once is silly.  Eating that really yummy desert may taste great in the moment, but if it causes my acne to break out and I beat myself up over that, it's not healthy.  That's what being mindful is all about.

I think we need a break Dear Hunger.  I think I need to take a pause in life and you can go bother someone else for a bit.

With Love,


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dear First Love

Dear D.C.,

You were my first real love.  I remember when a neighbor brought you to our house because we already had cats and she knew we would be able to take care of you.  She said that your family moved away with your mom, but left you behind.  I pleaded with my mom to let me keep you.  I called you Princess Aurora.

Then, my grandmother came over for a birthday party and suggested that that wasn't an appropriate name for you.  It turns out you weren't a female cat, but a male cat.  So I named to D.C after another of my favorite movies, That Darn Cat with Hayley Mills.

You taught me so much about love.  You taught me that I could be somewhat cruel to you (I was a kid after all) but you would come back to me, proving that I'm worthy of love.  You always checked on me when I was crying, showing me how to take care of others when they were having a rough day.

You taught me consistency, as you were with me for easily 16 years.  You were very much my familiar.  You taught me so much, that I don't even know how to write it all.

I  miss you dearly, and I know you are always with me.

My heart to yours,


Dear Imagination

Dear Imagination,

I feel like you are something else I've lost in the quest to become an adult.  I feel like I don't have enough time for you.  When I visit with you now, it seems like we go down this dark path of fear for the future.  It rather unhealthy, really.

I would like to spend some time getting to know the lighter side of you once again.  I would like to strengthen you and work together to make life better.

Maybe you could start visiting me at night so I can have some nice dreams like I used to.  Or maybe you can visit me at work sometimes and we can make something pretty cool together.

This letter serves as an open ended invite into my life.

With love,


Friday, April 8, 2016

Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

I would like to tell you to not be so hard on yourself.  You are doing the best you can, with the current knowledge you have.  By beating yourself up so much, you are pushing yourself down a dangerous path of self-loathing that only therapy will be able to fix.  We are all human, and we make mistakes. Accept that and learn from them.  It will hurt some of the time, but you will get far more out of it than by hating yourself for not being perfect.

But alas, I cannot tell you this, for you are my past.

What I can tell you is I forgive you.  Again, you were doing the best you could with information given to you at the time.  While it will be difficult to build your confidence, you can do it.  You are stronger than you think you are.  It's one step at a time.

I forgive you for all the hurtful things you said.  Again, you are only human and you made mistakes. As an adult, I am learning from them.

Thank you for sticking with it.  Things could be so much worse.

With love,


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dear Rest

Dear Rest,

I'm sorry that we don't have a better relationship.  I spend so much time doing everything but resting, that it seems I don't know you well at all anymore.  I'm slowly working on this.  I want to be better.  I don't want to go so long without you.  I know I need to take a little time out from my busy schedule so I can feel better.  I know that without you I won't be able to last much longer.

I know that my knee pain is due to not listening to my body's needs and seeking you out more.  I know my constant exhaustion is from running away from you for fear that people will think me too weak.  I know that I need to spend long weekends with you, and maybe take a vacation once in a while.

I'm committed to making this work.

With love,


Dear Books

Dear books,

I love you. Thank you for being in my life and taking me to so many magical places.

Much love,


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear Intuition

Dear Intuition,

You are something that I hope for, wish for, dream of at times.  I constantly am searching for you and asking you to visit me.  One day I hope to find you, though the more I read, the more I think I need to just relax, that you are already within me.

Maybe there are times when I don't realize it is you, but I make the right decision anyway.  Maybe there are times when I'm looking for you and expecting something else.  I certainly do that enough with other things in my life.  Maybe you are more like wisdom than some supernatural power.

Regardless, I hope to someday be friends.

With all my love,


Monday, April 4, 2016

Dear Morning

Dear Morning,

I know we haven't always gotten along well.  I'm much more of an evening person really.  However, over time, I've come to love the sun rise, making it easier to love you, as long as it isn't too early.

I'll probably never be a morning person.  I'll probably never like exercising in the morning, or even morning yoga.  However, I know you will always be there; one of the constants in my life.  For that, I'm thankful.

Something I hate more than early mornings is change.  Every time something remains the same, I experience a little less anxiety.  Even though my Monday mornings can be anxiety inducing, the sun rise makes life a little easier.

Much love,


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dear Feet

Dear Feet,

I know you work hard to keep me moving. You make it possible for me to dance and to do yoga.  You make it possible for me to go on walks with my dogs, my coworkers, or my friends.  You take me to beautiful places, and meetings where I can exercise other parts of my body.

I love to show you affection when I can.  A home pedicure every so often and loving licks from the dogs at other times.    I love looking at you and seeing the beauty therein.  I think you are one of my most beautiful parts of my body, even when you have a bruise because I dropped a book on you.

I do my best to keep you warm with heat packs, blankets, and even thrusting them on my husband sometimes.  I do my best to let you breathe, especially in the summer when it is hot out.

For everything that you do, I'm truly grateful and I hope I show you that gratitude well.

With lots of love,


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dear Home

Dear Home,

The place that makes me feel safe and loved.  The one true constant in my life, right now.  I can come home and relax after a long, hard day of work, but also invite people over and share my space with loved ones.  Allowing me to feel independent most times.

There is room for my dogs, my husband and me.  Room for the things that are important to me. Room to sleep, eat, and read.

When we bought this house in 2008, I never dreamed of how important it would become in my life. We spend many hours and a fair amount of money making it a home.  Well lived in and comfortable, warm and welcoming.

I know I could do more to maintain this home.  A little more maintenance here, a little more cleaning there.  Things to keep working on as time goes by.  Regardless, my home is loved, for all its faults.



Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear Love

Dear Love,

You are what makes the world go round.  You make people feel special and welcome.  You are the support we need when we are feeling down, and the connection to others when we feel alone. You are the happy, licking puppy who is exuberant that his owner is home.  You are the bond between a couple, despite all their troubles.  You tie families together, most often described as dysfunctional. You are also the kick in the pants we need to get the ball rolling.  You are the hands that catch us when we fall.  Surely without you humans would perish.

For me, Love is the Tribe of Women in my life.  The unconditional support from all the special ladies in my life.  There is no bashing of each other's bodies.  We see the beauty in each other, physically and spiritually.  We share in each other's strife, but also in our joys.  We provide for each other when someone is lacking.  We cry for each other when someone is hurting.  We share our knowledge so that we can all grow into the best we can be.  We are the best cheerleaders.  We test each other to help ensure the growth.

I'm grateful for every one of these ladies in my life.  I know I am loved, and that makes a whole world of difference.

All my love,


April Love

 I am participating in a challenge hosted by Susannah Conway called April Love 2016.  The idea is to write a letter each day based on the prompts in this picture.  I might post some of my letters here, though some may be too personal for that.

However, in an act of love, I'll be offering half price drop-ins at my studio for people who bring friends.  So instead of paying $10 each, you and your friend get one hour of yoga for $5 each.

Namaste my friends,


Friday, March 25, 2016

What making yoga accessible means to me

The studio where I did my teacher training has a guiding principle that yoga should be accessible to all people. I, too, agree that yoga should be made accessible.  I chose to make it available to people in a different way.


I hated sports when I was growing up.  I always felt inadequate and felt like I was never competitive or physical enough.  I had very low self-esteem and hated my body- I was significantly overweight. I suffered from depression and anxiety.

In college, I found belly dance, and then yoga, and discovered ways for me to be more physical without requiring me to be competitive. I lost a fair amount of weight, gained some confidence, and finally graduated college.  I still battle with depression and anxiety at times.

In 2012 I started taking formal belly dance lesson from Valerie of Bravo Belly Dance. I decided I wanted to teach yoga so I could help people find yoga and help them build their confidence.  I wanted to help student combat anxiety and depression like I have.


I love teaching beginner students.  These students are just starting their yoga journey, many of them in retirement.  I love seeing the changes as they occur.  Some students find more strength- physical and emotional, some find weight loss, others find some quiet time for the monkey chatter.

I have been there and I love sharing my experiences and my lessons with others.  One saying in yoga is "the obstacle is the path."  I believe that is true and we are put on this earth to share these lessons with others; to connect with other people so they, too, can learn and expand.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

You are not alone

I know, I know, it's been a while.  There have been a few life changes and I'm just beginning to feel like writing again.  I managed to get out of my old job, into a new one, and things are ever evolving there.

The changes can be trying, for sure.  I struggle a lot with anxiety and depression.  Thankfully I've been receiving help for it, outside of yoga.  I've found some very helpful books and been doing a lot of reading.  I've met some interesting people.

I've come to discover what I love about yoga, aside from the exercise and breathing.  It's the community.  Even if I run in and out of class, there is something magical about being in the same room with people working their bodies in the same way.  Te conversations that are had before and after class are even more magical.  It allows me to connect with others.

If there is anything I've learned recently is that we are never alone in how we are feeling.  We are all tired, all anxious about something.  We all have moments where we fight depression.  The key is to accept that and not beat ourselves up for having "dark" thoughts.  Don't make life harder than it already is.

Namaste my friends,