The Journey WIthin

Last night I was typing up what I thought to be a really great post for all of you. Unfortunately, I pressed the shift key to capitalize my next sentence and the entire post deleted right before my eyes. I was devastated to say the least. After proofing this one, I’m confident that I have delivered to all of you something even better than that last post and I’m so happy to share this with you all.

So without further a due, here it is: The Journey Within.

I wanted to take this time to share a few things with all of you. Yesterday at work I had one hell of a day. I could feel myself in my desk chair ready to snap like a rubber band that has been stretched passed its capacity. To keep it simple, my job has really been taking a toll on me.

During my lunch yesterday I decided to read some of my 40 Days to Personal Revolution book to clam my mind. What I found was not only profound, but completely astounding to me. The “ah-ha” moment happened for sure.

I’d like to share with you now two of the passages that really hit me where I needed to feel it.

“It is simply the willingness to see in full truthfulness what we need to face within ourselves and our lives so that we may get into right alignment.” – Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution

This hit me harder than when Triple H hit Shawn Michaels in the back with a sledgehammer at the 2002 Summer Slam street-fight match.

Years prior to today, I would try to mask the truth from myself. I couldn’t make a decision about my life to save it. Was the relationship I was in at the time toxic? (Yes!) Was it good for me? (Hell no!) Should I pursue my BA Degree in Journalism? (Yes). Should I go to nursing school even though I hated my career as a Certified Nurses Aid? (Why would you if you already know you don’t like it?) Should I just stay out of school all together? (That’s what your relationship at the time drilled into your head.)

All of these things and much more would fill my brain as I’d lay awake at night restless and miserable. What I am seeing now is that my head was so clouded with so many things that I couldn’t see my path. I wasn’t ready to accept the truth and see situations for what they were. That was partly because of having so many things jumbled in my brain, but also because I felt the need to make everyone else happy. That was not leading me down a clear path.

The path I was on was covered in shrubs, dead trees, and darkness. I felt I had no light to lead me, nor any clarity on any one thing. It took a long series of events for me to see I was doing it all wrong and now I’m proud to say I am out of that toxic relationship and in a new awesome relationship where my opinions are valued and I am loved. I am pursing my BA Degree in Journalism at a State University and have left the nursing profession all together.

In the last year my life has taken a turn for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful. Now I feel I am on a clear path. The best part of this is, the path is clear only to what is in front of my at the moment. The rest of the path is unknown and I’m more than okay with that. I’m not saying it will always be this way, but for this moment, I’m so happy to have this realization and it brings me even more joy to share it with all of you. I love you all for your endless support and encouragement.

The second and final thing I wanted to share with you is this other quote from Baron’s book, 40 Days to Personal Revolution. It reads: “control freaks are usually insomniacs – they can’t let go.”

Coming from one fellow control freak, that statement is right on the money. My need to constantly try to figure out the next steps and keep everything “the way it should be” was making me lose touch with the present moment. I was forgetting how to be happy with what was. I was losing myself. I feel I’ve come a long way from a year ago, but these are things I still struggle with.

Like I said before, I’m happy on my path right now only seeing what’s in front of me. However, sometimes I do get curious and try to see what’s over the hill and far, far away. Nonetheless, thank the powers that be for this amazing transformation thus far.

What I’m working on now within myself is really learning to let go. I don’t want to be burdened by the past, nor hindered by the future or what I try to predict the future to be. The bottom line is right now is all that matters. It’s all we have. The present moment is the only thing that is true even though it is fleeting.

Like Mike Ness from Social Distortion sings in Reach for the Sky:

“So if you please take this moment,Try if you can make it last
Don’t think about no future and just forget about the past..”

I hope this was as exciting for you all to read as it was for me to write (even the second time around). May the world bring you joy and everything that is good.

Namaste.

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The Color of Love – A Cultural Challenge

Lately it seems my relationship has had many challenges. Some of them are your normal relationship obstacles, but a lot of them seem to be stemming from another source: race and cultural differences.

My boyfriend is Peruvian. I’m white. His entire family speaks predominately Spanish. I speak English and next to no Spanish. He speaks English too and some of his family does, however, things are still difficult.

Recently, I was at one of his family events. It was a beautiful event – but I had the worst time. Most of the night I stood alone watching everyone else dancing, talking, and sharing smiles. All I wanted to do was cry because I felt like I couldn’t interact with everyone the way I wanted to. I was the only white person there besides his one sisters boyfriend (who is very quiet and keeps to himself).

As I sat in the cool metal chair alone, I realized something I’ve always wanted was coming true. I always wanted to know what it was like to be a minority growing up. I used to think, I wish I was a minority just to be able to see life through a different lens.

I got my wish. It wasn’t how I had imagined it at all. I felt as if I couldn’t to talk to anyone because of the language barrier or be a part of the event at all. All I wanted to do was dance with my man and his family but I couldn’t because I don’t know how to dance bachata. Second thought, I don’t even know how to dance period.

I felt so disappointed in myself and for the first time, I saw what it must have been like for non-whites trying to be a part of a predominately white culture.

Lonely, depressed, and down on myself, I figured removing myself from the situation would be best. Why ruin everyone else’s time because of my own insecurities? I told my boyfriend that I was going to leave. Immediately he asked why and tried to help me and understand.

I felt horrible because I ruined his time. He was having such a good time and I had to ruin it with my stupidity. Still, I feel horrible me for it and should have just left quietly without telling him. However, he probably would have been angry with me for doing that. He knows what I’m going g through because he went through it himself when he came to the United States after being raised in Peru. Nonetheless, I wish I hadn’t ruined his time.

He encouraged me and said everything will take time. It’s very frustrating for me because I feel like he deserves so much better. Although I love and embrace his culture, I don’t want to completely forget about mine.

Being in an interracial relationship has its ups and downs like every relationship. We laugh, cry, and fight just like everyone else. We just have an extra factor when it comes to certain things and that’s cultural differences.

Sometimes we get looks from people (mostly older generations). Every now and again we have communication misunderstandings. In my opinion, we have a great relationship – we just come from different places. But then again, who doesn’t?

Never in a million years would I ever have thought I’d finally find out my wish as a child of what it must be like to be a minority. Now I’m finding out slowly and I have to say, it’s very hard. I have an entirely new respect for anyone struggling with blending into a new culture.

I think the important thing to remember is that even though we are all different, we are all human beings with feelings just trying to live the best life we can each day with the ones we love.

Love knows no color or hue.

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From Skid Row to Flying Crows: My Experience from the Handstand, Hugs, and Highways Tour 2014 at Mystic Power Yoga

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I was blessed enough to be a part of the Handstand, Hugs, and Highways Tour 2014 with Baptiste affiliate studio, Mystic Power Yoga. My life has been forever changed and I can’t even begin to explain to all of you how. Nonetheless, I will try my best to share with you what has been shared with me.

When I walked into the Mystic Studio I could feel the excitement in the air. I could sense the curiosity of my fellow yogis as the looks on some of their faces was unsure what they were really about to experience. I could see how some were just ready for a good sweaty yoga class. By the end of the two and a half hour experience, everyone was glowing, rid of whatever expression crossed their faces just hours before. Let me share with you my perception of his beautiful night.

Walter and Acha are two young men from Kenya who participate in a program called the African Yoga Project. What it does, is it creates jobs for people in Kenya so they do not have to resort to stealing, prostitution, and other crimes to take care of themselves and their families. When I heard Acha and Walters’ stories of living on the streets, drug use, and theft, my heart broke. I could tell that they both really didn’t want that life – that was the life they were practically forced to live. They both described a hopelessness that they felt during those times in their lives. Just like most of us, they struggled to find hope, peace, and acceptance in life.

They were both introduced to yoga in Kenya and that’s where they began to change their lives. By finding inner peace through yoga, they have been able to travel the world and teach so many people not only their incredible story, but the gift of yoga.

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I have never been more challenged in a yoga class like I was with Acha and Walter. Physically, it was the most demanding class I’ve participated in and mentally and emotionally, the most rewarding. What I have learned from them is a priceless lesson, and that is, we are all connected. We are all one.

They taught me to give something as simple as a smile can change someone’s day.They showed me to share a bit of sweat, growth, and energy is probably the best thing for the soul. They opened my eyes. They opened my eyes to what’s really going on in the world around us. They opened my heart and showed me how to love and care about strangers. They opened my mind to all of the amazing possibilities life can bring. They gave me something I can never thank them enough for – hope.

As this all comes full circle, they gave me hope after receiving hope themselves. Now I feel my mission is to share that hope with all of you. I feel like I’m so blessed and I take many of those blessings for granted every day. After catching a glimpse of what life is like for people in Kenya, I now understand a little bit more how amazingly wonderful and blessed my life really is.

I received many messages from this yoga class, one of which being to let yourself GROW. Growth is essential for change. It may hurt, but it’s worth it. Another message I took from this experience is to accept yourself for yourself, your past and everything that makes you an individual. In turn, accept other for who they are as well.

The last valuable lessons I learned from this class that I wish to share with you at this time, is to love. We are all connected – we are all one. There is not one soul more valuable than another. We are all equal and individually beautiful. Give to the world – give your love to the world and the world will give you love back. Although we are all different, our hearts all beat the same. 

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Thank you to Walter, Acha, and my yoga teacher Michele for making this all possible.

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**All Photos taken by Rebecca Bicking

http://www.mysticyogastudio.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mystic-Power-Yoga/261854823846722

http://www.africayogaproject.org/

https://www.facebook.com/africayogaproject