Hey. How are you.
I made it. I got through the 21 Day Yoga Challenge! I am feeling so, so grateful for all the great teachers and yogis with whom I got to practice, and the lessons that I got through. I will detail my lessons later in the post.
My levels on the 21st day:
Physical – 8
Emotional – 8
This is an subjective level on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the greatest. My feelings of feeling good in my body have risen from 6.5 to 8. Not only have I been doing yoga everyday (except that one day I missed it), but I have been biking a good 3-5 days a week. I’ve been doing weight training about once a week, which was less than I predicted at the start of the experiment (which was 2-3 times per week.) I didn’t make it a priority.
But something else interesting has occurred: I feel like a completely different person.
I don’t feel like someone other than myself, however. In fact, I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I’m happy with my internal changes and feel a greater sense of peace that at the beginning of the challenge. It’s easy to attribute regular yoga practice to facilitating these changes. My mind has become calmer and clearer, and my emotions are more easily detectable and easier to process. This is very helpful in terms of personal development because the quicker I feel my feelings, the better I can make informed choices. Part of this means coming to terms that I find gender-binary masculine expression to be, frankly, boring. I want to be someone who can flow with the changes of life and circumstances, and my gender expression will reflect that. Some days I feel more feminine and want to feel beautiful, wear my hair down, and receive the blessings of the universe. Other days I feel more masculine and want to work out and have big muscles, lead by example, and enjoy making my mark on the world as a creative person. In terms of identify, non-gender binary seems to work best for me right now. I like dressing as I feel.
If we make choices based on internal feedback, we can more easily grow into the people that we want to be. Over the past three weeks I have realized that my truest expression is that of heart-centered living. I see myself smiling and bubbling joy out of my heart. I see myself surrounded by loving and caring people, whose trust and dedication I have garnered by being excellent in love and life, living creatively with integrity, honesty, truth, peace, and love! I see myself feeling truly safe like I did with the other woman, enjoying deeply pleasurable physical connections like I did with Dark Princess, and entertaining new intimate growth experiences like I would like to with someone I dated last night.
And creating. Creating Creating Creating; my souls song must ring.
Since I began and completed the 21 Day Yoga Challenge, some external circumstances have changed. Most noticeably, I got a job making juice at a local juice bar. As an entrepreneur, I thought there would be major cognitive dissonance when I made this change, but I’m finding that is just not the case. I like going into work early and getting off around noon each day. That leaves the entire rest of the day to do other things, which can absolutely be income producing, like working on my Reiki business, or playing a jazz piano gig at a retirement community.
I think I listened to closely to self-help gurus who claimed that you should just quit your job and do what you love. Before I got my job at the juice bar I didn’t have a “job” job, but I worked for myself. I was so caught up with the energy of hustling to pay my bills with the Reiki and Jazz businesses, that I, at some point, moved out of the energy of “doing what I love”. It just seemed like just created a job for myself, just with additional administrative work.
In my life right now, working part-time is creating incredible abundance for me. I am pretty much doubling my income, and increasing my opportunities for expanding my business at the same time. This means, most importantly, that I am able to step out of a scarcity mindset. Scarcity in entrepreneurship activates the fight or flight mechanism which clouds the decision-making process. Getting this job is actually taking my self-care to the next level.
I am also in the process of redefining my business goals with both my Reiki and Jazz businesses. I’ve always wanted a lifestyle business that is location independent, no accounts receivable (so money flows faster), and has some sort of automated re-occuring revenue (passive income). I’ve focused on these points for over a year now but never made much headway, and I think I know why.
After watching these videos my perspective on business has changed. I know I want to serve and help people in a way that is empowering and enjoyable for me. This means connecting deeply to my heart and really letting my souls mission come through as a way of affecting positive change on the world. How my business evolves after that will be organic, natural, and I will naturally reach the people who resonate with my vibe.
This also means projecting a vibe that you want to attract.
As a newly out member of the LGBTQ community, I feel like I need to make some external changes to my appearance. I’ve blogged about this before. My current, channels for projecting my vibe are my physical self, my blog, social media, and also word of mouth. For example, one person (Tee!) texted me after our conversation and told me that she shared my viewpoint of conscious dating with her family and co-workers. I was honered to hear that my honesty positively affecterd her to the point where she wanted to share it. Another yoga teacher, Mary Beth – with whom I jammed with at an Acro class – mentioned when I saw her last night at the Levitt Shell that she was reading my blog. She also mentioned that our Acro jam was rally enjoyable for her.
It’s interesting to blog and blog away without really expecting people to read – my process so far has been a bit of a journal over the past 21 days, with less “advice” based posts. It has been great for me. The consistency, too, has been great, lending itself to quicker, short posts. Even though I set out to write a post a day, I ended up clumping them together.
Moving forward, if i can produce 1-3 blogposts a week, I feel like I will be adding value without overwhelming myself.
The Next Level
Level up! The illusion of personal growth for a toxic-shame-based person is that where I am right now isn’t good enough. The false paradigm is that I am currently not good enough. This way of thinking is incredibly damaging and likely to be very common. It’s something that I’ve had to work through. I like the idea of thinking, knowing, feeling, that I am already good enough AND that I can achieve my goals and desires. I know that there are teachers and gurus who use shame as a motivating factor, but that, to me, is bullsh!t. Effectiveness is the measure of truth though, right?
Well, if you use shame as a motivating factor, I suppose the plus side is that at least you are moving forward, instead of getting trapping in a depressed and shamed state. So I would say that this is positive outlook. But if at all possible, why wouldn’t you want to be in a place of total love and acceptance of who you are? I believe that there is a fear that if I am not toxically ashamed of myself that I won’t be motivated to improve myself. First of all, change happens regardless of our inner state. Change is the wy of the universe. Total love and acceptance does not halt change – it puts us in contact with an intuitive part of ourselves; a place of inner knowing, from which we can base our forward-moving decisions. You may make less decisions and choices, but if you listen to your intuition and your heart with total love and acceptance, you can best believe that the choices and decisions that you do make will be greater, more powerful, more true than decisions that you make when clouded by the erroneous frame that you somehow are not good enough.
Do you see how coming from a place of total love and acceptance just loosens the whole thing up? You are no longer clinging and grasping for some sense of importance or belonging or validation that you expect to come once you get there. There is an illusion – can you show me there? You may point to a map, but that’s just a map, it’s not an actual experience yet. You may say that $10k a month is your there. But are you really in a place to receive that? What will you do when you receive it? will you check out and become a lazy and self-absorbed person?
I want to be a person who has great relationships…so I do my best to focus on cultivating great relationships now. I want to have a steady flow of money from multiple income streams – so I celebrate and honor the streams that I already have.
What is this? Gratitude. A habit and practice of gratitude can shift your awareness into your heart faster than anything else I know. Practice gratitude as a habit. Make it your own. You eat pretty much every day because your body needs fuel. So, too, your soul needs fuel.
I’m considering launching a new 21-day habit practice: Happiness. I will practice happiness as a habit using a few different techniques that I learned about recently. It feels like a fun thing to do and I look forward to it!
Well, that’s about all I have to say for now.
Thank you for reading. Stay in touch, stay peaceful, and stay conscious!