My Yoga Journey

If you know me personally, you know by now that I have embarked on a personal journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher. My best friend introduced me to hot yoga back in 2009 and the rest is history after that. After my very first class I was hooked. I found an outlet for my passion and for the first time I felt like I was headed in the right direction. The choice to start this journey so late, while “competing” or more like being compared to so many others who have been doing this for decades, was a very difficult one. I had to muster up all the courage inside of me to start and not fear any judgement while giving it my all even if my progress wasn’t up to par with every one else in this profession. You have to start somewhere right? I also figure, if I’m going to compete with others it might as well be with the best.

For the past 6 years I practiced yoga on and off but really implemented daily and weekly practices 2 years ago when I got fired from my previous job. Getting fired forced me to look at myself and realize that I had to make changes and take action in order to take my practice further. It was during that year that I realized how strongly I felt about yoga. Yoga helped me deal with the loss of my job by keeping me healthy and distracted. I couldn’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on yoga classes (as we all know yoga has become quite expensive) so I started yoga hopping. I would go to a different yoga studio every month and buy a new student introductory unlimited pass. This gave me an opportunity to try different styles of yoga to see which style best suited me and I also got to learn from different teachers and get accustomed to various teaching styles. After all that I learned I started applying the lessons to my own practice at home and mastered quite a few postures and actually taught myself more advanced postures.

After realizing the benefits of yoga and that many of the teachers today are not equipping students with the right tools to practice yoga properly, I thought it was important to share my knowledge with all my family, friends and my community. By becoming a yoga teacher I will have the expertise to explain the science and health benefits of yoga and be more credible. I will also gain valuable contacts by networking with industry professionals thus, allowing me to gain a foot in the door into the alternative health care industry so that I can eventually pursue my real dream. I still have quite a way to go, but, I promised myself that I’m going to embrace every moment of this journey before it’s over. So, wish me luck, I can’t wait to become a certified teacher so that hopefully I can see you in one of my classes!

mindbodysoul

Billionaires

I am very fascinated by finance and the economy in general.  I have a background in studying business and spent a large portion of my young to middle adult years studying and understanding how finance works.  My research in this area peaked a curiosity in figuring out how one becomes a major player in the economy.  I really wanted to know what sets apart the big wigs from the rest of us small fish.  So, I set out to do some research, obviously on Google, and typed Top 100 billionaires.  As I scrolled down the list I noticed that majority of the billionaires belonged to certain industries.  This led me to conclude that one could only be successful and truly reach “billionaire status” by working in these industries.

I got so discouraged because I felt like, damn, all my hopes and dreams of becoming a billionaire one day are gone.  I don’t work in the Energy or Investments industries, so there goes a large avenue in which I go possibly go down to achieve “billionaire status”.  But, then luckily I came across this Forbes list of industries that produced billionaires worldwide.  After reading it, I felt a little bit more at ease and realized, I can’t base my life and wants on past precedence.  Yes, precedence allows guidance and prepares you for certain outcomes that a rookie might need to be aware of.  But, I need to not be afraid to be a trail blazer and set a new path, one that’s never been tread.  Much like many of the billionaires of today.

Do you wish to become a billionaire?  Take a look at this list and see if you or your industry fits the profile.  I know I hope to be a statistic in this list in the future.  Wish me luck and I wish you all the luck as well, regardless of what your dreams may be.

Industries that produce Forbes Billionaires Worldwide

1. Investments: 148
2. Fashion and Retail: 146
3. Real Estate: 129
4. Diversified: 125
5. Food and Beverage: 100
6. Technology: 95
7. Manufacturing 89
8. Energy 83
9. Finance 78
10.Media 69

mindbodysoul

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for. It’s still the same billionaires that run the world”. ~ Geezer Butler

Congruency

Here is the truth about me…I have big dreams…but I am not motivated.  There is some sort of disconnect with my dreams and my actions.  I am lacking congruency.  Until I am able to become congruent with my vision and my actions I will remain demotivated.

Have you been on a quest to accomplish a task or goal?  If so, have you completed your task/goal?  If you haven’t, can you tell me why?  No?  Well, I can.  It’s because you are not congruent.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…“what the hell do you know about me to accuse me of not being congruent”.  And yes, you are right, I don’t know you, but if you haven’t accomplished your task or said goal, I don’t have to know you personally to know that you’re just not congruent.  It’s that simple.

I know this because I know what it’s like not to be congruent.  I am living proof of in-congruency.  I am one of those people that want, believe, dream and desire change and growth but I lack the actions to substantiate or validate those dreams and beliefs.  I lack action.  Because I lack action, no matter how much I dream or wish or want, it will NEVER happen, because I am not congruent.  My dreams don’t match my actions.  My dreams are bigger than my actions.  This is what causes in-congruency, when what you say, believe, and do, don’t match.

So how do we fix this?  Well, first off, we need to consciously admit our faults.  Yes, I admit, I lack action and therefore, I lack the motivation to follow through with appropriate actions that coincide with my dreams.  Next, I need to make a conscious effort to catch myself being incongruent.  Each time I have a wish, desire or want, I write it down.  This forces me to become obligated to this “list of things I want” and it reinforces my thoughts.  After I’ve written out my dreams and wants, I ask myself what actions could I take to help me eventually achieve what I want.  After going through the list of immediate and long term actions, I can clearly see how much more or little I need to do in order to accomplish my goal.  By doing this, I am able to gauge my current situation and progress and see if I am being congruent or not.  I can officially determine if I am on the right path, if I am making any progress even, or if there are more things within my capability that I should be doing.

By becoming congruent, you take control of your words which then become your actions.  I always wanted to be a woman that could confidently say, “you can take my word for it”.  Until now, I have not been able to be that type of woman, because I’ll admit, my words had very little meaning and value.  I said a lot and did very little.  But, now, after teaching myself to become congruent with my thoughts, words and actions, I can confidently tell others, “trust me”.

Time to reflect:

Are you incongruent?  Are you noticing a lack of motivation in your actions?  Are you the type of person who wants to do amazing things, but, your actions aren’t meeting up to the standards of your dreams?  Well, that’s because you need to become more congruent.  Congruency occurs when what you say and do match one another.  If you claim you’re on a diet, yet, you go to McDonald’s every day, you wishing and wanting to be healthy will NEVER happen.  Developing congruency is the key to succeeding in any goals.  So, teach yourself to become congruent and you will see how motivated you become and how quickly your words become your actions.  

mindbodysoul

“I believe the ultimate goal of living and refining your values is to identify and achieve congruence with universal principles”. ~ anonymous 

What to do when life burns you

Recently I posted a blog called “Let it burn”, about using negative feelings created by your mind to fuel and drive you toward accomplishing goals or overcoming negativity.  The reason why I posted that blog was because out of nowhere, through no fault of my own and while trying to do a good deed, I was stricken with an unfortunate incident that resulted in the loss of my assets and all my future investments.  All the hard work over the course of my life and predominantly the last 5 years amounted to absolutely nothing, financially, because of this incident.  I was feeling so much hate, anger, frustration, sadness, betrayal, regret and doubt in myself and this world.  I couldn’t understand how I went from feeling so positive and high on life and motivation to being dropped a million feet below ground level and into an abyss of darkness.

This compelled me to write my blog as a means to help channel my feelings and release the negativity.  After I wrote the blog, I had a different attitude toward this ordeal.  I was slowly drifting away from behaving the old way and consciously trying to handle this situation a new way.  I usually don’t publicly admit my flaws or share my lows, but I felt this time it was necessary.  I was being true to who I am and doing something that my inner voice guided me to do.  As I learned to handle this ordeal and move past it, I learned to consciously apply tools that could help guide others through similar situations.  Because life decided to burn me yet again, I finally learned what to do.

The universe taught me an invaluable lesson through this ordeal.  I never appreciated and understood the value of my lows until this time, when my character was truly tested.  During this ordeal I experienced a plethora of emotions.  At first I resorted to my old ways of behaving and handling situations.  I cried and felt sorry for myself and had a self defeating attitude about the situation and wanted to give up.  Then anger developed because it wasn’t fair that I had to deal with this after being good for so long, I didn’t deserve this.  Followed by hurt and betrayal that the universe would deliberately, through no fault of my own, try to teach me a lesson in the midst of being on a good and positive flow all to slow me down.  Then to finally accepting, handling and moving past this ordeal with confidence, contentment and fulfillment.

I have personally learned to cope with my problems in life by documenting how I feel.  I usually write in a diary or journal or sometimes video tape myself.  I do this because it allows me to express what I am going through with no judgment.  After doing that, I choose an activity that will rid me of the negative feelings, either through exercise, prayer, or meditation.  After reinforcing the positive feelings I concentrate on being grateful for the event and consciously move on.  When life burns you, you can either fall or use it to make you stronger.  I am not about to let life destroy me when I fought so hard to be created.  So here is a true depiction of my emotions and how I coped with one of life’s burns.  Maybe you can try something similar next time life tries to burn you.  I strongly suggest you try incorporating meditation or prayer if you haven’t tried it already.

How I dealt with one of life’s burns:

  • I cried
  • I felt sorry for myself and slept for days
  • Didn’t eat, stopped working out and even going out
  • Allowed my mind to race about all the possible negative outcomes
  • Screamed at the world, God and the universe for allowing this to happen and declaring my hate
  • Caught myself becoming this ugly, hateful, deceitful and pitiful human being ready to give up and blame everything else to justify behaving this way
  • Realized I didn’t want to be this type of person that would allow life “situations” to affect me this drastically and change me from being this calm and collected person
  • Needed to immediately calm myself down from the hysteria I was feeling on the inside and what I was portraying on the outside as I threw a hissy fit
  • Started praying and calling out to God, asking for help and guidance
  • An inner voice kept nagging at me to voice how I was feeling, out loud even if no one was listening, so I turned to my computer and wrote my blog “Let it burn” to express how I was feeling at that exact moment
  • I felt anger and needed to express that anger and use it to fuel my motivation instead of have it use and consume me
  • I had to make a conscious decision to use my feelings to my advantage
  • I then immediately turned to meditation to help look inward, I performed an extreme deep breathing meditation to help relax my hysterical soul and to calm myself as I cried
  • I concentrated so hard on the breathing that I released all the sadness, tension, hate and anger and I became still and calm to the point where I couldn’t even remember why I was feeling so hysterical seconds before
  • I felt embarrassed and ashamed of my initial reaction of hate and anger toward God, the world and the universe
  • I finally accepted the situation for what it was, a learning experience and to be grateful for the grander scheme of things, this situation was truly a blessing in disguise
  • Thanked myself for listening to my inner voice and allowing my inner voice to speak louder than the psychotic voices of hate created by my mind
  • Documented my journey through this ordeal and released negative feelings while utilizing them appropriately, and developed positive feelings to help reinforce my true character, a warrior that never gives up
  • Came up with a contingency plan for the new year

Time to reflect:

Are you going through something right now that is really testing your character.  Is it making you doubt everything you ever believed in or worked hard for?  Do you want to give up and allow defeat to consume you?  My friend, trust me when I say this, it will get better.  But you have to choose to make it better for yourself.  You cannot allow your mind to over power your inner voice, which will calm and guide you.  Your mind will try to scare you but you have to choose not to listen and choose to concentrate on using that fear to motivate you.  If you catch yourself feeling like the old you, that’s your inner voice guiding you and telling you to change how you’re feeling.  Then choose to feel different by meditating or doing an activity that will force you to change or express your feelings through some outlet.  Focus on feeling calm and releasing the tension.  After concentrating on feeling good and grateful, be thankful for the experience, document it if you wish, and allow the negativity of the event to simply pass your life and think about what you want to do next.  Good luck 🙂 

mindbodysoul

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Budgeting

I was brought up in a meager household.  My parents were raised back home and came from the poor and middle classes.  We lived on welfare for most of my childhood and adolescence but eventually became a family of entrepreneurs and led ourselves to comfortable living.  My family believed in hard work and enjoying life.  But we also valued sharing and giving back to those less fortunate since we lived and understood it.

I spent a good portion of my adult life living comfortably and sometimes even lavishly.  The moment I started working and earning my own money I developed a sense of entitlement and believed I was in control.  Growing up and having no money to all of the sudden having some form of financial freedom boded well for me at first.  I was able to save money because I hadn’t develop a habit of spending.  But then out of nowhere I became reckless.  I started changing because I didn’t truly understand the value of money.

Once I got engaged and was trying to save for my wedding I began living frivolously with my money.  I spent thousands upon thousands on material things that fulfilled temporary joy.  It made me feel confident and in control.  By spending within my means I justified my bad habit as, “oh I deserve to treat myself” or “you only do this once.”  But once I got married, my spending habit amplified.  I became a crazed woman with my husbands credit card ready to go on a spending spree on the daily and spending beyond my means.  I became something so far from what I used to be.  I didn’t have a budget or limitation, so I just spent to fill a void in my life.

Since my divorce my life changed drastically.  I went from never repeating the same clothes, let alone bras or panties, twice, to being completely broke and in debt.  The financial shock left me feeling defeated and confused.  I didn’t like who I became when I had all that money, but I also wasn’t satisfied with being broke or just living comfortably.  I realized the value of money because I lost it.  I realized the value in budgeting and using money wisely and investing it correctly.  After a few years I regained my independence by first working in the corporate world and then establishing a few businesses.  I have come a long way, but have a lot more to accomplish.  

The most important thing I learned about money is, budgeting.  I developed the ability to cut my spending habit exponentially all while saving.  I was forced to figure out ways to maintain some of the luxuries I became accustomed too.  I have a motto, “always maintain and gain”.  I couldn’t just give up everything I got used too, but, I also couldn’t afford everything I was used too.  I had to figure out a way to keep what I had and build from that.  So, I taught myself how to do whatever I used to pay someone else to do.

For instance, being a girl I got used to getting manicures, pedicures, waxing, dying and cutting my hair and performing all other beauty regiments.  I used to spend hundreds possibly even thousands a month to pay someone else to do these things for me, but my situation forced me to learn to do it all myself (YouTube is amazing) and even naturally.  This saved me a ton of money and refined my personal skills.  Also, by not purchasing new clothes and shoes I was able to make use of the stuff I already had and only wore once or twice before.  I also spent less money eating out, thus, helping me get back in shape because I cut out excess fatty foods.  Finally, I cut some of my social habits such as partying, drinking and smoking which saved me hundreds a month.  I learned to do all of the things I wanted to do while budgeting myself and still saving a little for a rainy day.

Time to reflect:

Are you good with money?  Do you spend within or beyond your means?  We all like to indulge but are your indulgences borderline obsessive and compulsive?  Do you know how to budget your money?  Do you like who you are when you spend money?  Ask yourself these questions as you go out and spend your hard earned money.  Think about what you’re giving up in order to gain.  If you are trying to change your ways of spending, consciously figure out where your money is going.  Once you know where and how you’re spending your money, learn to budget yourself.  Find alternate ways to maintain your activities without spending the same amount or possibly even doing it for free.  

mindbodysoul

“Soon gotten, soon spent; ill gotten, ill spent.” ~ John Heywood