Songwriting & Yoga - Self Care

Songwriting & Yoga aren’t just hobbies…

They were & are life saving measures. 

The picture on the left was me at 16 years old.
I was pre-diabetic, 210lbs (my heaviest), abusing substances, lying to loved ones (even the little stuff), self harming, clinically depressed, and completely lost. 
Songwriting began at 13 as a tool to help me process emotional pain which got me thru the worst of it.

I was diagnosed with a disease at age 6 called Legg-Calve-Perthies disease, requiring multiple surgeries which put me in a wheel chair, then a walker. Everyday I experienced chronic pain, daily pain became normal. When I was diagnosed with Lyme disease 3 yrs ago that manifests as neck/shoulder/jaw/wrist/hand pain which compromised my ability to play guitar & sing, it pushed me into life and career saving mode.
I learned at the age of 22 that I needed a physical healer - thus began my daily yoga practice.

These last few months I've been thru the emotional and financial fucking ringer.
A familiar space, reminiscent of past pains.
I lost everything, all this progress made towards dreams with my ex partner, lost both my kitties, my band dissolved, I lost my apartment and moved back home, even my parents house’s longevity is in question as suburban sprawl is projected to take over in the next year or two. It was easy to sink down again….

Once again, this void opened, but this time instead of aVOIDing it, numbing the pain, pretending it wasn't there... I jumped the fuck in!!!!!!!

I'm currently swirling around in here, it's a tumultuous and beautiful space, I write to you from nowhere and everywhere land. It is of western culture’s mentality (which I fully denounce) to fill space (material items in homes, fill your empty schedule, consume consume CONsuME) when a void occurs.
I decided not to fill it by saying yes to things I don’t truly desire.

I highly recommend this void-space. 10/10, though - I don't have your reality's version's address.
Just this one's. 

Everyday I show up on the mat:

- My hip & muscles strengthen - I get to fight the bullies that made fun of me for being fat on the playground by showing up for myself.
- My body image improves in difficult poses - I wink & smile in the mirror cuz I'm a pheonix babe who deserves acknowledgement from me.
- My patience for long term change deepens - I'm beginning to see ab definition on my tummy for the first time.
- My love for my mind, body, and spirit grows - finally seeing my internal & external beauty aligning like a strong held warrior pose, flexing into variations.
- My compassion for my pain increases - as the joy, love, and pleasure of living finally begins to outweigh the harm. I am more compassionate to other’s pain.
- My mind's balance of saturation & cortisol improves - I don't need substances to help me sleep/wake up anymore, to mellow out or perk up.

You know what didn't work? Hating myself, self sabotage, self medicating, placing value outside of myself, those stupid fucking MLM weight loss shakes and wraps, a gym membership, therapy, basically what everyone recommended. 
What didn’t work for me was everyone else’s truth. I had to tune out, shut out the ceaseless noise of other’s opinions and suggestions to find this.
Fuck corporate funded beauty standards influenced and modeled by people who have surgeons, dietitians, airbrushing and photo-shopping images that distort our views of what humans are “supposed to” look like.

Many companies capitalize on internally created inferiority complexes. Many companies are making $millions off fear they generated - many of us buy into it. I did.
Societal lies reinforced by our families and friends, unknowingly. It spills out of us to our surprise, did I say that? Can I take it back?

The only thing that ever worked for me was self love & showing up EVERYDAY. (yes even the days I didn’t want to wake up on)
I look at Maya on the left side of this picture, and I just want to hug her. I just want to tell her it's still weird as fuck over here but you have SO MUCH joy, love, passion, beauty, and overwhelming support coming for ya. You have adventures around the globe waiting for you, singing to thousands of people who love and value your art, collaborations with your hero's, and sharing the lessons you've learned to help others along their own path.
The single most radical thing I can do, is reclaim this body of mine and show up everyday in it, fully.

Relentlessly, even when there’s doubt.
Tirelessly, even when I’m tired.
Passionately, even when there’s a void.
Lovingly, even when I dislike or hate it.
Musically, even in the still of quietness.
Flexibly, even in the rigidity of routine.

My My My Maya Ya Ya Ya
My body is a temple
The world around, it a shrine
Words are prayers
Thoughts are intentions
To manifest all that will be. 

Blessed You, Blessed Me, Blessed Us, Blessed We.