Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I write

When I write, I write from a place within that speaks to me every single day. I speak from a place of truth, and a place that I call home within. Sometimes that place is ugly, and sometimes it is joyful. But no matter what, i always speak from a place of complete gratitude. Even for the ugliness, and even for the sun. This is me, and that is where I begin today. I begin with me. Today I speak because I can, I speak because I am now everything and everyone that I need to know in order to be real.

How do I express myself in the way that I would like. I go to a deeper place. A very dark place. A place that I used to hide from, and a place that I always knew was there, but was never willing to explore with a bright enough light. I neglected that place, I pretended that place had no name, never a place of existence and that place would rot inside of me until its death. I tried to cover it up with every possible camoflauge known to man. I never gave it a name, a truth, it was not part of me, how could it be? This was not me. So I journey'd forward. I felt you every day. It felt like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of one shoe. Trying to believe it wasn't there, but knowing it was there the whole time. My steps sticky.

One day, it would go away. Right? One day. It was ugly, I am not ugy. How could I bare to be ugly. Let me cover you back up again, stand on stage and act in the lights. Pretending you were not there all along. I did a pretty damn good job, I was a great actress. You were the act of my life. But still you sat in my there waiting for me, laughing, rotting in me. Until today, I held up the white flag. I give. You are me, I am you, lets do this together.

Today I welcome you with open arms. Embracing your colors, and your lessons. You are me, and I am you. It is me, it is stamped with the genuine stamp. You are what makes me original, and strong, and pretty darn powerful. Today I am proud that I can unveil that camoflauge and say thank you for what you taught me. Thank you for what you helped me to realize about myself. Life is too short to not be who you are. Live you truths, when you can be okay with that. Life is peace. Life is amazing, and life is exactly the way it is supposed to be. I love her. She is special. She has work to do. People to see and touch. Today she moves forward, laughing with it, and knowing she knew all along.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What is PEACE?

Today I am drawn to the word peace, the feeling that surrounds that word, and what it means to me. My body has been feeling the exact opposite this past week. And I haven't been able to really put my finger on why. There has been this uncomfortable feeling of anxiety that has been festering in my belly. I even experienced a nightmare a few nights ago that woke me up at 3 am, and caused me to feel more of that yucky feeling. I knew what I was feeling was the exact opposite of peace.

This week, I haven't been feeling like I normally do. Those feelings of uneasiness became so intense today, that I knew I wanted to find out why. I have been extra hard on myself, and I have also been snapping at those in my life whom I love the most, and I didn't know why. But I was aware that I was choosing to express myself in a way that wasn't so pretty. So today I write, because I was able to have an experience this afternoon that brought me to the place of peace inside. That place that I have been disconnected from lately. I was able to understand those feelings, without getting angry with myself. Realizing that my imperfections, my ugly side is what makes me human. Is what a lot of us all feel every single day. I discovered that I was allowing for old feelings, past experiences and attachments to manifest again inside of me. Not allowing for myself to let go of them. But today I knew they were there, and I felt them. Haunting me like they used to.

Peace may mean something completely different to you then it does for me, but that is ok. We all go through life and have our own human experiences. But I have realized that we are all connected, and we are all one, and I know that peace is something that we all would like to feel. So, to get back to the question, what is peace to me? How do I describe the feeling? As I write, I will open up to my vulnerable side, which is hard for me to do, but our vulnerable sides are sides that we should all embrace. I am choosing to embrace that side of myself today. I always make sure that I have the right intentions. Today my intention is to only express my genuine and real authentic side. Vulnerability is okay for me today. Vulnerability is what manifested peace for me today.

For as long as I can remember, there is a picture perfect place in my mind that I can go to in my dreams to feel peace. It is in this picture that I have posted above. I rememeber the first time I saw this picture, the feelings of peace came over me. I love this picture, I feel that this piece of art work was created for me. I love to take myself to this picture sometimes. It is my little imaginary place of solitude. I know inside that peace is so much more than just a picture. But when I want to feel a glimpse of peace, I take myself to my magical place. Today I went in search for that feeling, and this time taking myself to my beautiful picture wasn't doing me any good. I knew that I needed to dig a little bit deeper. I have been having a really hard time meditating lately. I felt like when it comes to meditation, I kinda suck at it. I can never stay focused. I have too much dialogue going on in my mind. My legs fall asleep, so I feel uncomfortable in my body. But today my intention was different. I was ready to surrender. And with that intention opened a different door, and I was able to discover the meaning of peace for me. I took myself into my bathroom, and sat on the bathroom rug in my meditation posture. Still was unsure of this whole process. Immediately I started to beat myself up, almost to the point where I was creating internal bruises just by what I was thinking about myself. It was this intense lack of love, respect, and every other feeling of hatred that you can have for yourself came into my body. It was the last thing that I was looking for to feel. I was feeling complete and utter chaos, disrespect, and sadness. But as I listened to my thought pattern, and became aware of how unhealthy these thoughts were, and what kind of feelings I was creating by thinking them. I noticed that love was not in relation to anything that I was thinking at that moment. As I continued to self sabotage, I was stopped in my thoughts. I began to pray, without even realizing it until I heard myself say Dear God. It was like God called my attention, and told me to stop. The love that was held out for me to hold onto was immediately felt. It was the feeling you would get of grabbing onto a floating raft in the ocean so that you could feel support. Dear God. (not a GOD that you or I have created) But God, the same God that is in you and I and in everything. The God that loves us unconditionally, the God that I see and feel in myself and others daily. The God that loves my imperfections, and the God that created this beautiful world that I get to live in. The God that is non-judgmental, the God that gave me my body, and my life. I prayed to that God. The God that I know loves me despite all the ugly things I have done in life. And I started to feel peace. Pictures came into my mind of those that I know love me. Their faces were so clear. The faces that appeared to me were those that I were afraid of letting down. I knew that I had their unconditional love. Peace was starting to become manifested. But as I sat there, I knew there was more to realize. Because without all of the love and support of those dear people in my life, there had to be something else that brought me peace. As I sat there feeling still numb to my emotions, I had an overwhelming feeling of love for myself. A feeling that I have been lacking for awhile. I had some tears, not a ton. But I had some. That is a step in the right direction. I haven't been able to cry, and feeling that emotion confirmed to me that I need to love myself. I need to believe in myself a little bit more than I do. I need to take care of myself. I am realizing more about myself every single day, and I know that I need to trust what I already know. But sometimes my old habits creep up on me, and I am learning to cancel them out of my life, and begin new habits. I need to be ok with making mistakes, and I need to be with my ugly side, the side that I like to pretend is not there amongst all of you. But these feelings are real, and I am owning them. They are not who I am, but they are real. I have a ego that likes to sit in the drivers seat, and I have a self that gets smothered by my ego sometimes. My self, that voice that guides my inner authentic side, is the side I can embrace. I just need to take more time to come to that place to when I stop and really look inside, has been there all along trying to speak to me. At the end of my prayer I discovered that I have had peace inside all along. It was there, waiting for me to discover. Peace is simple. Peace is self love, and love for all that surrounds us. I felt peace when God whispered to me exactly what I am meant to be in this life, and all that internal conflict I was feeling, turned into a overwhelming feeling of love for myself that I am always going to be grateful for. And I knew I would be ok.

So peace to me goes like this....

Peace is love. Peace is that amazing unconditional love. Peace is that love that I have for myself, and for people. I love people. Peace is that feeling when you have this realization that we are all connected. Peace is that feeling when you know God is inside of you, and everyone on this earth. Peace is that feeling of being so connected with the earth, and the love for the beauty of it. Peace is that feeling of gratitude. Peace is that feeling you get inside when you serve someone. Peace is that feeling I get when I am able to connect with another soul while teaching a yoga class. That blanket of energy that surrounds me like a hug when I walk through that space cueing people to inhale and exhale. Peace is that twinkle in my niece and nephews eyes. Peace is when my Dad and Mom tell me that they are proud of me. Peace is that place of stillness inside. Peace is presence. Peace is awareness. Peace is in that conversation with a friend when two souls connect on the same level and they just understand one another. Peace is that connection with a friend who is your kindred spirit. Peace is hard work, and persistence. Peace is family. Peace is nature. Peace is putting trust in yourself. Peace is honesty. Peace is being a part of this world at this time and in this moment. Peace is laughter. Peace is the sound of music of some of my favorite artists, such as Sarah Mclachlan, Enya, and Elton John. Peace is a big fat huge hug. I love hugs, and that is peace. Peace is watching determination in my yoga class. Peace is looking into the face and eyes of the elderly and of children. Peace is courage. Peace is being content with myself, and knowing that everything is exactly how it is supposed to be. Peace is so much. Peace is knowing that God is in us all. Peace is experiencing my life exactly the way it is right now. Peace is truly simple to achieve, we just need to stop and feel it. Peace is love.....Peace is love....Peace is love.....

I pray for peace on this earth. And it starts and ends with me every single day that I get to live. That is why I choose to do what I do daily. And I only hope to do my best every single day.......that is all I can ask for. Bringing what I am able every day. A little bit more peace to my life, and the lives of others by sharing what I know inside myself.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To My Life Teachers

I enjoy writing. I enjoy writing because I am able to put into words, feelings and emotions things I would not usually vocalize outside of the keyboard. Writing is personal, which is why I don't care if others are critical of what I have to say. I know I am writing what comes from my heart, and what I choose to express is authentic to me. For those who choose to read, I hope that you know that I appreciate it. It tells me that you have an interest in what I might have to say, whether it's good, bad, or ugly.

A lot has changed in my life over the course of 1 year. And despite the failures, and successes that have brought me to this place. I can say that I am proud of myself. I have had some major ups and downs through this process, and I am feeling a shift of internal awareness every single day that I normally would have neglected in the past. I am aware now of the stuff that I need to let go of in order to move forward. Shifting away from old thought patterns that don't seem to serve me, and creating space for the moment, which is where I have noticed my truth resides. As I have experienced change, I have often been forced to stop in my day to think of all those important people who have played a huge role in my life. I am so thankful for those mentors, teachers, and friendships who have given me a reason to keep on swimming every single day! "Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming." Dori

When I was in elementary school I remember two teachers that had a huge effect on my life. Mrs Jepson, who was my second grade teacher and Mrs Millet who was my 5th grade teacher. The love they both extended towards me, will never be forgotten. I cannot thank them enough for seeing me, and for loving me. I still remember the cookie monster cake Mrs Jepson made for me on my birthday.

Mrs Cindy Nelson, thank you for being that teacher in 9th grade who was my friend. You were one of those coaches/teachers in life that I will never forget. You didn't take life so seriously, and in 9th grade that was all I needed.

To Mrs Anita Stites, I had the dream to play on the high school basketball team. I played Jr. Jazz growing up and every night basketball with the neighbor kids. I was in love with basketball. It was my life. I had hopes of one day playing in the WNBA. It was a real dream at 15 years old. When I was not picked my sophomore year, I was crushed. I was the only one amongst all my close peers that did not make the team. I thought my life was over. But I remember how I felt when you came walking into my 6th period Biology class, taking me out into the hall and asking me to join the team. I remember your words, "Are you willing to work hard?" Ever since then I have always worked hard to do my very best. Something ignited in me that day, and I have never taken it for granted. Even though I was not the star player by any means, you gave me a chance. That chance sparked a fire in me that eventually drove me to go on and accomplish some incredible goals as an athlete. You gave me that tool of determination, and will power. I never gave up, and I never will. Thank you.

To a friend who guided me through some rough times in life. You introduced me to my passion. A passion that will lead the rest of my life. Without your passion, I would have never found the passion that I have now for what I do. You were the only one at that time in my life to help plant that very important seed. Thank you for allowing me to get my feet wet in the fitness world. Seeing that I had potential as an instructor, extending tools so that I could grow, and then listening to your intuition when you guided me into another path that gave me better opportunities. At the time, I didn't understand why, but now I know and I couldn't be more grateful. Even though we no longer get to share our experiences with one another, I know that everything happened exactly the way it was supposed to. Thanks for teaching me, and mentoring me. Thank you for having that contagious passion that created something bigger in me. I will never forget you.

To KD, you are the bomb! You were the one that really saw that something in me, that I didn't see. When you asked me to go to cycle summit in Minnesota with you, is when I finally recognized in myself that I had something to offer. You gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. The friendships I gained from that experience, as well as the confidence will always stand out as an incredible memory. I look up to you. You are so intelligent, hilarious, and not afraid to speak your mind. You have given me that extra boost of confidence when I didn't believe I had anything of importance to express. Thanks for showing me through example. You have been an incredible leader, boss, friend, and mentor. And I love you so much. I am excited for more memories we will be making.

To D' my soul sister. The only words that come to mind. I love you. I feel like all the mentors that have lead me to this point, have lead me to you. A very significant mentor. You have taught me to love myself. You are my Angel. And without saying too much, because I could go on and on. The only thing that I have to say is. "You get it" and I think that you see in me what you know is in you. Compassion for people. "There are things you do because they feel right, and they may make no sense and they may make no money, and it may be the real reason we are here: To love each other and to eat each other's cooking and say it was good." You are paving the way for me, and I am so grateful. You and I have many projects to complete together.

To my family, I love you! My parents, I can't write how I feel about them without there being tears. To my beautiful mother who is my best friend. Who has been my permanent buddy. I always know she will be there when I need her wisdom. She is there to always love me unconditionally. I didn't deserve her, but somehow I was lucky enough to have her as my Mom. I am forever indebted to you. But know how much I love you. To my Dad, you have been the best Dad. You have bailed me out on many occasions. You have guided me, and you have held me up on a pedestal that I didn't deserve. I always wanted to be like you, and I am so grateful you are my Dad. Never forget that. To my parents, thanks for standing by me daily to make sure I was protected and loved.

To my beautiful sisters, and brother. We stick together forever. And I love you, and know I am always here for you. Always. And I know you will always be there for me.

Dear Tony, Kat, Maddie, Brie, and Ciel. There are no words but I love you. We are family, and I am so grateful for you.

Friends--you handful that have stood by me my entire life, you know exactly who you are. And you are my every day angels. I love love love you. Jessie and Megan, I love you. DEBB T2 what will I ever do without you.

I needed to share my gratitude. My heart is so consumed with it. And I wanted to put it out there. I am so happy with life right now, and I am so excited for where life is taking me. These incredible people that I have spoken about in my writing deserve to know. You are all my angels, and I felt the need to express this. When you feel something, I have learned to not let the opportunity pass you by to express it. You never know the effect it might have on that person.

Thanks for reading. I love you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Immerse Yourself

I did. I immersed myself. I gave it everything my mind-body-and soul would allow me to give. And I discovered, I discovered me, the greatest gift I have ever given myself.

Last week, I was given the experience of my life to go on a 5 day yoga retreat tucked back into the beautiful Altamont Utah, where we stayed at Hidden Ranch. A place now that I would call my home away from home. Or if i were to think of a heaven on earth, that would be the place. I have been participating for the past 5 months in a very intense yoga certification through the brilliant D'ana Baptiste at Centered City Yoga. I have blogged about my experiences with this certification before, and I have expressed how this training has really changed my life. Going into this retreat, I kinda had an idea of how amazing this retreat would be. But like I said "KINDA," Now being home almost one week after experiencing this retreat, absorbing what I felt. I still cannot find the right words to express on how this retreat changed my life. I have come to the conclusion that there really are no words, you just had to be there to understand. But I want to remember the best I can, so I am choosing to blog and express to the best of my ability. It was nothing less then amazing that is for sure. The first day getting out the door was very difficult for me. My car had broken down the night before, and I was told that I would be unable to drive it 2 hours to the retreat. I was upset the next morning scrambling for a solution, knowing that I had to be at the airport within 1 hour to pick up someone who would be counting on me to drive them to the retreat as well. I knew somehow that all would be well, and was able to get someone to fix my car within 30 minutes of having to be to the airport. I knew that I was meant to take on this retreat, and nothing was going to stop me from getting there. Even if it meant walking, I was showing up. Picking up Brie was only the beginning of this amazing experience. Brie whom I had never met before picking her up, suddenly became a friend that I felt like I had known for a very long time. I now know that I was meant to meet Brie, and I feel like I have a friend forever in her. Thank you Brie, for beginning the process of what would be one of the best weekends I have had to this point in my lifetime.

Arriving at the ranch 3 p.m on Weds April 28Th, I was a little bit nervous. I had no idea what to expect. Walking in and putting my stuff to my assigned bunk and roomies, I still did not know what to feel. Excitement? Fear? Definitely a little bit of both. I had jumped the first hurdle of getting there, and I was ready for whatever was about to come my way. I knew before going into this retreat, that I was more ready then I have ever been in my life. Our first night began with an amazing practice taught by D'ana and then followed by an amazing dinner with all of us ending the night sitting in the circle introducing ourselves. I was thinking to myself, what would I have to say that is profound. Look at all these amazing people sitting around me, I really didn't know what I was going to say. As I listened to my new family, I knew without a doubt that I was in the right place, at the right time, with people that I felt like I had already known before arriving. I felt completely at ease. Even if I didn't have all the answers to why I was there, I was sitting right where I was supposed to be in that moment. And little did I know I would soon have the answers that I was searching for.

Wake up at 630 ready for Pranayama. Breath work. I had never experienced this before. But before I knew it, I was so engaged in this process. I loved waking up to the sun. We would sit out on the deck all cozy in our pajamas breathing in the beautiful morning. I cannot believe the difference it makes in your day, just by beginning with connection to your breath. I realized while sitting there that normally I would roll out of bed without a thought of my breath or even connecting to it. And off to start the day in a hurry. While I was engaged in this breath work the first morning, I was waiting for some incredible things to be opened to me, a breakthrough maybe, because like I said, I was ready. Nothing happened that first day, it was like I was hearing crickets in my mind. Well OK, I did hear cows. I never wake up to cows mooing. I wasn't disappointed, because never in my life have I taken the time to wake up breathing to the sun before I start my day. I was grateful. I was grateful for the cows too. I was grateful that I was alive, and that I had my breath. This breath work every morning was the beginning process of connecting to self which is something that I had been lacking since I was a little girl.

Who am I? Learning more. I know that I am quick to beat myself up, I am cruel to myself. The first morning practice I was angry. I was upset and my mind was not connected. Was I even doing yoga? Well so I thought, but little did I know what I was holding on to, and choosing not to surrender too. What I did take from that practice is that I rarely support myself. Evidence that I don't love myself is lingering. Hard to learn, but lesson one was being unveiled to me. Still a success, every practice was a success because after all was said and done, I learned something new each time I stepped on the mat.

Lunch break! What an amazing cook we had up there, I am still grateful. Patty you were a beautiful cook, and I thank you for feeding me. My body absorbed it so quickly, it nourished me completely.

Practice two. Surrender! Something that I didn't do in the first practice. BREAKTHROUGH. My first bit of magic. That low lunge, brought tears. But I was completely willing to surrender. With the help of D'ana, I was truly able to surrender. I trusted myself. I started to see that even though I admitted to not loving myself in the morning practice, that there was a glimmer of hope within. I embraced myself in the afternoon practice. I was more stable, more engaged, and more in touch within my body. I was more observant of my thoughts, and breath. Savasana, I saw her. Red zip up sweatshirt, she always wore it. Red it was her favorite its green. But I saw her, a shy smile. Blond hair tucked behind her ears. Her bangs always pinned back, and blue jeans. I hugged her. I hugged that 7 year old. I told her it was okay. I said sorry. And I told her I loved her. It was as real as if it really happened. I was so connected to her and this moment, that I don't know how I even woke out of it in time. I have never been so relaxed in my life. I felt safe....

I was numb. Very numb. i stuffed all my feelings down, because most my life I have told myself its better to be strong. Its weak to show tears, and your vulnerability. It is exactly why I know that I have failed in all of my intimate relationships. Nobody wants to be with someone who is not willing to show vulnerability, walls, and who is too strong. I was numb. Until the tears came, the flood gates opened and they wouldn't stop. Breath circle did something to me. I don't know how, but I began to feel. I was OK with it. Yes, I was embarrassed, and I wondered who would see, and who would think I was weak. But then I remembered it was OK. Normally, if you ask those that know me. I don't hug much, I have walls up. I am not one to be really affectionate. But I will admit now, that I have craved it for SO long. I have ached for it. Before now, I shut that part of me off. Like it wasn't needed. I thought for some reason I didn't deserve it. When the tears were streaming down my face, I craved that touch. I prayed for it. It happened, and I felt loved. I knew that It was OK to be sad, because in that moment I felt loved. Once I embraced those feelings again, every chance I got to hug, I would. I would hug so tightly, and I didn't want to let go. I knew that I was making up for all that lost time. I was refilled.

Dear Hug, you were all I needed. Thank you! From, Abbey

My center...My heart....I felt them, and they were open. I felt my heart as if I was holding it in the palms of my hands. I felt so alive. I was WILLING to receive. I am now worthy of it. I am worthy of true love, and one day soon. It will come.

Dear past friend, I forgave you. You know who you are. I hope you forgave me. I cried my last tear for you. I wrapped that green ribbon around my soul for you, and forgave you. I sent it out to you, and I hope you felt it, because I did. It felt amazing.

Dad, I love you. I know you did the best you could with me. You are an amazing Dad. I love you Dad.

LOVES DIVINE-SEAL. That song was so powerful. I love you Abbey.

Time for some silence. I experienced silence in my life. What amazing things you learn about yourself in quiet times. I learned that I love silence. My life is loud, I have a lot going on. Being away from the phone, computer, music, gym, ect. The only thing I had was my thoughts. Wisdom flows. Wisdom flows within when you have silence. Thank you for granting me silence, it was a great nap!

Saturday, May 2. 2010

Today I was supposed to do an Iron man. That in my mind was supposed to bring me to myself. That was my false identity. I had to prove myself in that way (so I thought) so that others might see me and know me and approve of me. So that I again could feel worthy of being loved. Today I was supposed to cross a finish line that was going to give me the satisfaction, that I am worthy. But instead, today I chose to be still. Stillness. Stillness is good. I chose to stay within myself. To see, and know, and understand the pain for what it was. I felt that pain of what it meant. I identified with her, but this time I was honest. I got to know her for real. Today I chose a path that took me beyond any finish line. I have been given a gift that is more precious then that of any Iron man Medal. Instead the medal is my heart, and I wear it with pride, shining for the whole world to see. Allowing anyone inside that will nurture it. This medal represents, courage, strength, hard work, fears, tears, bliss, sadness, authenticity, and this medal represents passion, spirituality, dreams, hope, and faith. But most of all, this medal represents the real Abbey, and I am proud of her.

BLISSFUL! That is what I am feeling by now. I finally let go! I jumped in, and I didn't hold back. I gave everything I had that day. Everything, that I possibly could find within. Everything that I could give, I gave.

I danced! I never dance! I danced all night long! I normally am the person that sits on the sidelines, wishing that I had the guts to get out on the floor and shake it. But that night. Nothing held me back! It was so freeing. I am going to never stop dancing now. I danced! I danced! I danced! Then I went to bed, and slept like a baby! Much needed. Did I say I danced! How exciting for me. BREAKTRHOUGH!

The last morning Pranayama, something happened this time. The only words I have to explain the way things opened up for me was effortless. I was more open to feel and see from a place that I had never looked at before. And I saw it so clearly! My dreams beginning to unfold. I am not going to just be a dreamer, I know now what I am capable of being. That my dreams are mine to grasp. I am the master of my own destiny. I choose to be that woman one day that I told that little girl I could never be. It felt so good! But Then I realized that my weekend was about to close. And I began to feel sad, and I didn't want to leave just yet. I needed more time. But I had learned enough about myself that I was more then excited to go home, and start living my truths.

Final Salutations. Last practice. I observed everyone, the way they moved. The energy. We were a family, completely connected. We had been through so much together. We had cried a lot, laughed even more, danced, fell down, slept, leaned on, sweat, sang, hugged, shared, breathed, felt, gave, received, and not to mention (pigeoned, frogged, folded, lunged, and even MOOED together) I could keep going on. (you get the point?) We went through a whole lot together. During our last practice I noticed we all even moved together as if we were all the same breath. We shared so much. We truly became a family.
In the last practice, the most amazing thing that I observed was D'ana. She had watched over us the entire retreat. What an amazing and inspiring weekend she put together for all of us. Her passion is unbelievable. Her authenticity was revealed in every practice. Her dedication was seen, and her love and time for her work was felt. Her connection and dedication to all of us, gave us all the ability to move mountains within ourselves. Her unconditional love was undeniable. I felt so grateful. I felt so lucky to be a student of D'anas. I felt so grateful to be able to learn from myself as well. D'ana extended the tools, and I was willing to accept them. She taught me that what I learn from myself, is to be felt within. I observed the way she moved with us. She was sending us on our way, our angel protecting us and guiding us throughout our last practice. The sun was beaming through the windows. Everything was that of peace, and serenity. Wow! Is all I could think to myself. Was this really ending? Was it a dream........

I learned, I gave, I hugged, I cried, I listened, I felt, I noticed, I surrendered, I finally let go! I found hope, and I was leaving with faith. I learned to stay grounded, and I was feeling the internal bliss of who I really was. I discovered that. I did the work! What a great feeling. I felt brand new. I felt as though I was stepping out of a armor that had held me bound for so long. I felt again, that I really truly loved myself for the first time. I came back to self, knowing that it was OK to feel again. I had left that for so long. Knowing that stillness is sometimes better then chaos. That its not about the finish line, it is the journey in between. And if you have to stop and breath along the way, everything in life is more at ease. That you feel more abundantly blessed, and the bliss is easily recognized. The best part for me, was learning at the age of 28 what I know I must do for the rest of my life. Watch out world! Until next time..............I will remember every day the affect you had on my life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Scotland.......

The past few months have been so unveiling for me. I feel like my blinders have come off and I am able to see myself in a whole other light. It has been the biggest shift in my life that I have ever experienced. I can't even begin to express to anyone the way I feel, and how much freedom I feel from beginning to let go of the past that had me bound for so long. Somedays it is overwhelming, and I feel myself forget for a moment what I have learned, and then that awareness brings me back to self. I am so grateful for those simple realizations. Realizing these things could not have come before now, I wasn't ready. I recently decided that I was willing to allow myself to go for what I know I am passionate about, not letting anything stop me. Having that road map in place lead me to so much more then I could possibly imagine for my life at this time. But even though these amazing things in my life have happened I still feel these unwanted walls that come up in certain situations in my life, in the past I haven't been able to deal. Usually I would allow for the wall to come up, and I would hide behind it. Now when these walls come up, I am aware, I sit with it for a minute trying to understand and feel it for what it is, and then I dismiss it. I am learning to deal. I have never talked about these feelings, and I am not usually this open and honest. But I love to write, and I usually write about honest things, and right now that is all I am trying to be for myself. For me this is has been life changing, and I see new things daily. So for those of my friends who read, thanks for taking the time.

Somedays I feel like I am looking through the eyes of a 7 year old Abbey. Innocent, very fearful and cautious, observant, protective, intuitive, always aware of what was around me. I remember always knowing from an early age that I was different then others. Not in a way where I caused problems. I just felt like my idea of the world was different then others ideas of the world. Seven was a very difficult age for me. I had a lot happen in my life. My family had to pick up and move across the ocean to Scotland. I had to leave the comfort of my home, and best friends on Somerdowns Court. Before I moved, I was shy, timid, almost to the point where if an adult would talk to me I would pee my pants down both legs. This is true! It happened twice that I can remember. I wasn't a confident child. Now watching my nieces and nephews childhood, I can sense they are confident. No cares or struggles in the world. But for me It just was not like that. Since an early age, I have been unsure of self, and it has been a battle that I have dealt with my entire life. I am not complaining, or saying that this is a bad thing, or that I was picked on. A lot of people every single day have to struggle with these same struggles I have, in fact I think most people do. But for me, I am choosing to be honest and own up to my insecurities. It is part of my healing process. Those battles have turned out to be gifts that I would not trade for any amount of money or treasure. They are my treasures. They have set a solid ground for me to continue forward tomorrow with more awareness, strength, and confidence in myself.

Dear Scotland.
I remember you so clearly. I remember it was one of the scariest times of my childhood. I would remember dreaming of a fantasy world at night to try and take myself away from you. Today, I try to go back and disect it, and I can't quite figure out why I was so scared. But the feelings were so real, and I did a really good job of blocking out some of those memories that I wish I still had today. I remember that old house in Edinburgh that our family lived in. The kitchen was so small, and those stairs that lead up to that door, I swear it was haunted. Nobody ever dare go up those stairs. The house didn't have the normal scents of a home. My room was on the top floor across that hall from my brother Garrett. I still remember the way my room looked. The colors were dark, the carpet was old and there was a small window facing the backyard. Beyond the backyard was a stone wall that had a forest behind it. I never went in. I remember climbing on that stone wall and getting stung by a bee. I never went beyond that wall, I was always too chicken to find out was in that forest. I remember sleeping all by myself at night. The only things that I found protection from was my baby dolls. I slept with every stuffed animal and cabbage patch doll that I owned at the time. They cradled my entire bed. I felt like they watched over me, I didn't like going to bed at night. Then the pond in the back yard, I liked that pond. I used to play a game called "color the eggs" where my sisters, and brother would chase each other around this pond. The swing was safe, we always sat on that swing behind the pond.

My parents where amazing, I don't think they had any idea that I was scared to death. I never said anything, i never acted out. I just dealt with it. My other brothers and sisters were way more outgoing, and I would admire that. But I was ok with just observing, and learning from them. There were times where I would strive for that attention and I would try to do things so people would notice that I existed. I remember laying on the carpet in the family room when we would have company over pretending like I knew how to read out of a chapter book. I wanted to get noticed for my intelligence. But nobody ever said anything. When I went to primary school it was scary. Especially a shy 7 year old in a foreign country. But I was brave, and I met some amazing friends. I still remember some of their names. My teacher Miss Nichol. Wingsea, Kate, Ruth, and Rhianna. I started to love school, and I began to open up quite a bit. My confidence grew little by little, and I remember being the only blonde haired, green eyed American. I was admired amongst my peers, and I liked that. I even would show off in front of the P7 and P8 kids a recess. I would pick up people from off their feet and walk around with them. Everyone would stand around me when I would do this. It became something that I would do every day to gain attention. I know weird, I laugh at it now. But I remember it so clearly as if it were yesterday. But then I would go home from school at night, and I would feel so scared, and so lonely and I would close up. I think I blocked a lot of these times out of my mind. I pushed them so far down into my sub conscious because I didn't want to remember them. And I feel as though they have left scars. I feel those feelings come up today in my life. I remember that room, and I remember that house, and I remember the street that I used to roller skate down the sidewalks daily. Sometimes all alone. I remember the corner shop where my mom used to take me to buy her cards that she would send home to friends in America. I will always remember the stuffed duck she purchased for me from that store. It was my comfort. But I remember even though I was so scared, I was so strong. Looking back now, being there and dealing with those scary things is where I gained that strength that I still have today. It is where I feel like some of my most precious gifts were received. I wish I could go back and hug that 7 year old. I would like to tell her that everything is going to be ok. That the life you have in front of you is going to be hard, but you are being prepared for your amazing journey.

Today, I look back and I am proud of that 7 year old, who was so scared, but was not stupid by any means. The feelings I get when I think about my childhood in Scotland cause me to sometimes close up, and become that shy timid girl. When I realize those feelings come up, I quickly turn fearless, and I remember the strength of that girl. I am on the verge of change in my life, I am so lucky because I have found passions in my life that I know without a shadow of a doubt I was supposed to accomplish. Without those scary times in my life, I would not be the woman that I am today. I am so grateful for those times. I am so grateful for the fear, because now I am fearless. I cannot wait to see what happens in life for me. Taking one day at a time. Loving myself. Loving myself with all my heart. Hating myself sometimes also for the thoughts that I sometimes go back too, but then realizing that its ok. Those thoughts don't define who I am. I am always here for myself from now on. I am letting go of you Scotland. And I am grateful for you because I would never be the person I am today without you. Its ok to move forward, to let go. Finding when I cling to the past, that I don't move forward. Remembering the moments, the good and the bad. Remembering how I got to this place right now today because of you. It took a lot of courage, and it took a lot of faith, and internal strength. Time to close the past and let it be the past. Excited for the future, but even more ok with the now.

Your Friend,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


As I sit here to write. Pretty late at night, I am not tired. I guess I could try to fall asleep, but my thoughts running in my mind tend to keep me awake. So I write..........I don't know what I am about to write, but I feel as though I need to express myself.

My Joys-

To me Joy means long term happiness. Not the feeling you get while you are eating a cookie, that is just happiness. Well short term, until that white sugar enters your blood stream and 1 hour the happiness turns into depression. To me Joy is the opposite, Joy is that happiness that resides in your heart, and the feeling is completely real. You know its there, you don't have to search far for it. It is easily grasped. To me Joy is long term. I am thinking about the joys in my life because I can't help but feel joy when I think about them. Right now I could use a little bit of joy. This week's joys-

-My niece Madelyn and Sarah. They love their aunt Abbey. They look up to me. The pictures they drew for me with a simple 3 words made me feel joyful. I love it when they say "I love you" because I know they mean it.

-Vincent my nephew. Screams my name loud enough over and over again to let me know he cares I am in the room. He is always the first one to greet me when I walk into a room, and he is always the last one to say goodbye with a big hug. Its love. And at 2 years old, I think he already knows what that feeling is. Because he shows me every day.

-The Morrill Family. I have nothing but love for this family. They make me feel joyful . To: Tony, Kat, Maddie, Brie, and Ciel You are irreplaceable

-The choice that I made to go out on a run this week because I wanted too. My intention was to just go to feel fresh air, and to know that I am alive. I didn't go out on a run because I had to, or because I was torturing myself. This time, I was in touch with my body, and it actually craved the run. I loved it!

-The energy of my classes bring me joy, it is very contagious

-The amazing journey I have been on through my Yoga Teacher Training. I never thought that I could feel so good doing something. KNOWING that this is one of the things in life that I will give myself completely too, and I will never have to fake my passion. It is there, I feel it, and it feels right! I love the effect it has had on my life. Very Joyful!

-My Family especially my supportive parents. They bring me joy daily just by letting me know that I have a support system when I need it. They are my home.

-Knowing presence, and feeling that is Joy

-Knowing that I have yet to fall in love again for real, and I know I still have the opportunity in front of me. That brings me joy. I can't wait to fall in love. But until then, I am ok with just loving me and all those around me. My friendships bring me joy

-Friends (all of you) PURE JOY!

-Children's Hugs PRICLESS

-Self Discovery and breakthroughs. Learning to be ok with me, brings me joy. Takes away the stress and replaces it with peace.

-Knowing that I am only human, brings me joy.



-Someone "SEEING" me is JOY

-Giving my gifts to others is JOY, but receiving others gifts through what I learn from them has the same effect

-A new friend


-MUSIC I am drawn to many differen't types, but I feel so joyful when I hear my favorite song. Right now, I love Alanis Morrisette song called Madness.

-Watching myself learn, and feeling proud when I put that knowledge to work.

-This week I have made decisions that would have normally gone against all my beliefs. But it felt good to break out of that mold, and believe in something else, that I know is right for me. Having that shift, has made me believe that their is someone else involved. But the only thing that matters is this moment when I feel peace knowing it was the right choices. That God knows me more then I know myself. And knowing that, I trust myself, and I am fearless in my decisions.

As I fall asleep. I feel a sense of peace that resonates with joy. The joy and peace I feel may go away some days, but all that matters now is that I feel it presently. And I am going to give myself the opportunity to bask in that feeling. I only have right now, this moment. I am willing to see the turmoil that I have inside sometimes, and I am willing to see it for what it brings, and I am willing to see that it is just a feeling and that it will no longer leave me terrified or paralyzed. I am willing to come back to presence and feel joy. Tomorrow will come, (I hope) and when it does, I will take this feeling of Joy and remember the joys that all the yesterday's brought my way. Good night friends. I love you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stripped Down

Wow its been awhile since i last sent my thoughts out into the blogging world. I was not feeling inclined to speak my mind or talk about anything. I didn't feel like I had anything of significance to express. But whether or not you read this post, I wanted to send my words out there, to hopefully help someone realize what I have realized about myself within the last 2 months of my life. So deciding to come back today is perfect timing. Writing has always been my way to express myself. Sometimes I am not the best on the phone, or even sometimes in social situations I like to listen and take in what I learn from others. I do not find myself voicing myself very much. When I am sitting here in this moment listening to my inner voice, I feel empowered to express myself. So here is my story and I hope that you read it, and truly know that this is coming from my heart and I am going to be as real and authentic as I know I am.

I have always known a finish line. To me a finish line represents accomplishment, hard work, a rush that is indescribable, and a feeling of being quite proud. My Dad taught me at an early age that running was a great hobby, he himself running 16 marathons and almost qualifying for the olympics. I really looked up to him. I had always played school sports, such as basketball and soccer and was not the star player by any means. Actually I sucked. I was always the 8th or 9th man off the bench, so I was used to all my peers shining over me. When I graduated from high school, my brother and Dad talked me into running a marathon. 1 marathon turned into 2 marathons, and I quickly realized that not only could I run a marathon but I was a pretty fast runner. I qualified for Boston after my 3rd marathon and continued to feed into that feeling of accomplishment. (now you are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this, but I promise i will get to the point) I felt like these races and these accomplishments gave me my identity. My Dad would tell everyone how proud of his daughter he was, and It felt good. I started to feel like the only way my Dad would be proud is if I kept doing these races, but each race I did I was slowly dying inside. After awhile marathons became a bit boring, I didn't quite get the same feeling I used to get when running so I began to look for another way to prove to myself that I was strong. I started teaching spin classes at the gym, and fell in love with biking. I wanted to do the next biggest and best thing out there, so once again my accomplishments would continue to define me. I realized that not only was I a strong runner, but that I was a stronger cyclist. So I opted to register myself for the longest one day sanctioned bike ride in the United States. LOTOJA 206 miles of 17000 feet gain in elevation throughout the day. Well I not only did this, but I did this 3 times after. I was feeling high on life and soon realized well there must be more that I can do. My ego was high on life, and I must admit I thought I was pretty cool. Fast forward June 2009. At this point in my life, I had failed miserably from relationships, feeling very unworthy of love. Never vulnerable, and always feeling like I had to hold up the "I am strong card" The guys in my life couldn't keep up with me. And now looking back, I don't know how they did for as long as they did. I fell in love, and I lost him and so I started to beat myself up. Thoughts came into play "Maybe I needed to prove myself more that I am worthy of love," "What did I do to drive him away, am I not good enough" So going back to June It was time to sign up for what I saw in my mind the biggest race I could ever do in my lifetime. IRONMAN St. George, now if you don't know what an Ironman consist of it is 2.1 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 marathon. If I proved that I could cross that finish line, maybe I could prove to myself again that I am capable of being loved, and that someone must see that in me. (Which come to find out, it was the lack of self love I had, and I was only telling myself that I was unworthy of love. Nobody else was telling me this) So I signed up. I started my journey of Ironman training in November 2009. I started off with a ton of momentum, feeing great. I even did my workout late at night on New Years Eve thinking to myself, I am awesome! Everyone else is out partying and I am running. "I'm cool" right? No......

I have always loved yoga. It has been a huge part of my life, now to the point where I teach it daily, practice it a ton more, and It is a safe place for me. So while In this Ironman training process I decided since yoga has been a huge part of my life that I would enroll myself into a certification that would soon transform my thoughts and my help transform my life. So in all this I was trying to balance work, yoga, and 4 hours of training a day for this Ironman, and started to feel very overwhelmed with life. I would get mad at myself when I was feeling frustrated, because I am strong right? I can handle anything. No need to back down, and no need to ever feel vulnerable. Needless to say I became depressed. I started skipping out on workouts, hating my runs, and to be quite honest at rock bottom in my life. I was digging myself into a dark tunnel, and I felt completely out of touch with my life. I toyed with the idea of backing out of the race, but decided not to because I was afraid of what others thought. (when come to find out, they don't care as much as you think) I went out on a 12 mile run and decided that I was going to do it anyways despite what i was feeling. The first time in 10 years where I had to stop and walk. (this is NOT in my character) The kids on the school bus where pointing at me, and I felt like they were mocking me for my weakness, when in reality that was in my mind. People walking their dogs were passing me. I felt completely defeated. I went home and just cried. A few days later I was sitting in class, still beating myself up about my training, and way too tired to think or pay attention. I was listening in on a discussion half heartedly when I had my "awakening" or "aha" moment if I must say. This person who spoke to me this day will never understand what they did for me. When this person started to tell their story, I immedietly connected to it, and realized that her story was for me to hear that day. She expressed that she had gone through the similar torture that I went through, that she fell out of touch with her body and even though they looked good on the outside, internally she was completely out of connection with her body. For some reason those words hit me like a ton of bricks, and I knew in a matter of 10 seconds what I needed to do. I told myself that I am done torturing myself, and that I am done proving myself, and that I am worthy of love. I had no idea how to love myself, I only knew a finish line and to me that was my identity. So I was going to try and love myself with out all that glamour. I pulled out of the Ironman, losing a ton of money. But in the end gaining more then money can buy. I was set free, I was bound to this identity. I have never felt so empowered. Right now I am learning to love myself again completely stripped down of my expectations. Taking myself off of that pedastal that I wanted to place myself on, and stepping below it was the greatest feeling I have ever felt. I am learning that when I am stripped down to nothing, all those thoughts of me only having an identity attached to a finish line are just false. I am learning that I am powerful just being me. That I can move mountains, without climbing one on my bike or in my running shoes. I am the stripped down Abbey, and right now I feel naked without it all, but it is a better feeling than having the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am worthy of all the awesomeness that will come my way, and I will fail at times because I am human. i will be vulnerable, because it is alright not to always be the strong one. I am grateful because I have had that realization. I am powerful because at times I have felt powerless. Thank you to that person for helping me see that. I am going to carry on, and remember when I am being too hard on myself that its not reality. I am going to just bring what I am able every day, and if its just that I love myself, and others then that is all that matters. Filling my life with abundance by giving others the same. To me a finish line represents so much more then i can express, to me it represents an awesome journey to self fulfillment.
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