Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speaking my truth

I have erased this blog a few times already. Everytime I write down what I am trying to express, doesn't seem right. I can't even begin to tell you how much I want to speak. I want to speak. I want to speak so much that I don't even know what words to choose. I want to be honest in my approach. I want to be real. This whole process of finding my OWN voice, has been really damn difficult. Would anyone really want to listen to what I have to say. But tonight. Its just differen't. For a very long time I have not spoken. I have hidden behind a wall that kept me in fear, because I just didn't think what I had to say was important enough. Whether it is intelligent, or has any substance at all, it doesn't matter to me. Because it is MY voice. Nobdy elses. And I want to speak. Finally. For what feels like the first time. Will I offend anyone? Maybe. I always worry about that. I just cannot tonight. How do I say it? I surrender to the fact that I don't have to know exactly what I am going to say. I am just going to write and see what happens. A friend told me that I needed to speak. Speak about something that has been really hard for me. I have often wondered what others might think if I come out and talk about it. I am going through what I would call a grieving process. A grieving process of walking away almost a year and a half ago, from a belief that I thought was truth my entire life. Since I walked away, I walked away into a life that has been there all along, waiting for me to grasp on too.

I just turned 30. I look back at my childhood, my teens, and twenties, and I have to say.......Thank you God for what I went through. Thank you for every challenge I went through. Every heartache, bruise, beating of the ego, etc that I experienced. Thank you for not answering my prayers in the way that I would have liked you to at the time. Thank you for the refining moments that I did not think I would push through. Thank you for putting me through challenges that have created the woman that I am today. The strong, brilliant, loving, creative, funny, and beautiful woman that I AM. The woman that loves her life so much, that its almost annoying. I have to stop here before I move forward with my point... and say thank you for my family. For my incredible parents. Thank you for supporting me. Supporting me when I had no way to dig myself out of the trenches. Thank you for reminding me that I am special. That there is nobody else like me. My Mom has these qualities that I am in awe of. She is the purest form of love. When I want to define love, I describe the essence of my mother. She is safe ground. She is that warm blanket you crave at the end of a long day. I thank you Mom for who you are and what you continue to teach me through example. Dad, you and I we are a lot alike. We bunt heads at times. But I know how much you love me. You love me so much that it hurts you. You are so proud of me. I know you still picture me as a 15 year old, your little blondie that loved sports and would beg you to take to the Jazz game. I will never forget game six NBA finals. Me, you and Michael Jordan. :) I know it is hard for you to see your little patcha doll grow up. Because you still cannot help but call me, "Patcha" from time to time. Now I am a woman, a woman that has grown into herself and is proud to say that you are my Dad. I want you to know that I still need you. I still need my Dad. In this past year, I don't think I have ever grown at such a rapid pace. Thanks for being there. Phone calls, texts to tell me you love me. Knowing I can go home and find you there with mom, making sure everything was protected and safe for our family. I love you Dad, and I want to thank you for passing on your strength to me.

I am the wealthiest woman in the world. I have blessings that I cannot begin to express my gratitude for. Today I give my thanks.

I left the church. Yes, I left the church after 28 1/2 years of my life. No, I am not bitter. In fact, I have been thinking about what I might say to this so that it comes out of love and respect. I will never forget the moment when I knew I had to leave. Scariest moment of my life. Because I didn't quite know how I was going to do it. But I knew I had to leave, that is why I know I can't ever go back. That knowing is now instilled inside of me. It is a knowing that I cannot really even describe, but it is there and I cannot turn away from what I know to be true. Otherwise, I would be lying to myself. I choose to not live my life in that way. The church gave me that knowledge of God. My love of Christ. The church created in me my strong moral compass. I will always hold dear to what the church brought to my life. But in this grieving process, I am now able to stand on my own two feet without having to fear what choices that others may think are wrong or right. I go inside for the answers. Its inside me. And inside is where I am able to find God. That peace, stillness, that feeling that everything is okay. That life is to be experienced, and not to be feared. To learn to let go, and to understand that I am. I am enough. That my imperfections are perfect. That it is impossible to be perfect. Being perfect is boring. To celebrate my life. Every part of me. Every part of me, that I didn't feel would be accepted. I am free to be real. The woman that I have always known I was, but was hiding behind for two many fucking years. (excuse my language) I feel liberated. What does freedom mean to me? It means choosing to live my life experience in my way. Choosing to be exactly who I know I am. Not feeling guilty of my choices. Living in my truth is freedom. Following my soul purpose. Going by the beat of my own drum. Living in service, pure love, inclusion, and gratitude for everything I have. Even all the mistakes I have made in my life. Taking one day at a time, and learning as much as I can, so that I can be the woman that I know I have always been. So that I can change others lives by being real and living in my own truth.

I understand if this was hard for some of you to read. But speaking my truth is part of my voice. I am happy. I am in love with where I am in my life. The experiences and opportunities that I have every single day. Life is to be lived. Remember. Speak up! Be you. Love who you are. And live in your truth. Respect others and their beliefs. Be kind. Just go out in this world and make a difference. Find out what that is for you. Go do it! Be that person. Live the dream. It is possible.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Looking for it in all the wrong places

The past week has been week full of little tender mercies. I have learned recently through a couple of epiphany's what I must do in order to continue to walk down this path of life. It is a path that seems narrow at times, a path that others may not agree with, but a path that is my own, that I constructed and created for myself. A path that I know is my truth, and a path that I know connects me to everyone around me and most of all the path that connects me to God. I have discovered that I cannot overlook things about myself to make them go away. I cannot hide from the things that I fear in myself. I must take a look at them for what they are and love that part of myself. In order to free myself from fear, I most find that uncondtional love. Not the uncondtional love that I know resides in me for others, but the unconditional love that one should have for themselves.

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to go to the arts festival in downtown Salt Lake City. A city that I have grown to cherish. I love the energy that surrounds this city, I love the people, I love the smells. My favorite thing about Salt Lake is that I get to walk down 9th/9th in my barefeet and say hello to someone having tea or coffee reading the paper, and enjoying every moment they have with that coffee. I love the diversity. I love how everyone seems to know everyone's name and if they don't, well then they are a familiar face. I love that I can stare out the window of CCY and see Great Harvest across the street, and know that Brooke or Julie are probably over there making sandwiches. I am proud to call it my home.

It had been a long week of work. I took the opportunity to go hang out with my friends and enjoy the night listening to live music and having a drink of wine. I love wine--and if you know me we also know that I LOVE my work, that it is a part of the reason why I exist. I have a reason of being, and that reason for being is why I am choosing to fight like hell for myself. As I was walking around the festival with my friends, enjoying the night, and watching people--I picked up on an overwhelming energy that made me feel paralyzed. As I recognized this feeling, I knew it wasn't mine. I had to walk away from the situation, catch some fresh air, and shake off what seemed to be smothering me. I asked God to do something for me, to let me know I am not alone, and that love is stronger than this feeling I was experiencing. As I re-collected myself, and made my way back to the company of my friends, I heard a voice in my mind that told me to stay. Now looking back this experience changed me for the rest of my life. It was a pivotal moment in my life where I knew what had to be done. As we stood in front of the stage with hundreds of people behind us, I was claustrophobic, I now had a headache that would not seem to subside. Before I could leave, I found that the singer on stage drew his attention in my direction. In my mind, I was not in the mood for any fun and games. I felt as though I was in a nightmare, and I just wanted out. He proceeded to ask me my name, held out his mic so I could inform the entire audience what my name was. As embarrassed as I was...I told him, very "quietly". He then asked the crowd to chant my name. In that moment I felt loved. I had to glance up the sky and say to God, "really!" I am not alone for sure. I did start laughing. I felt the love of everyone around me. And in that moment, I truly understood what I believe in, we are all connected. God was watching out for me.

My friend that I am very grateful for this day said something to me earier that evening that stuck in my mind. She said, "Abbey, you are a people pleaser." This of course was said out of love, and I have no hard feelings. She went on to express that I do so much for others, that I need to make sure that I take care of myself first. I did not hold up a defense, because I believed her. In the past I have looked in many different situations for love. I have looked to get married in the temple, because I thought that is what God wanted me to do. But when that didn't happen, I felt like I let God down. I looked so deeply to fall in love and have that fairytale wedding. I thought that is exactly what I had to do, the path I must take. SO I even resorted to online dating, and believe me that is not my idea of fun. I felt like I had 5 job interviews a week, just to see if I was "good enough" for some man. And not to disrespect the online dating world, it works for a lot of people, but this just wasn't for me. This took me further away from who I really was. When the online dating didn't work. I just gave up on myself. I had nowhere to turn, and I felt defeated. I can now look back on my life and be very grateful for all these many experiences. I know why I ran like I did, biked like I did, and beat myself up like I did. All to prove to myself that I was unworthy of love. All to prove to myself that I had a deep hatred for myself.

Without those dark moments, I would have never found myself. I think I found her, and now that I know that all she really needs is acceptance and love for who she really life can really begin. It took this experience that evening at the arts festival for me to really find clarity in a big mess of a headache. I often remember something that my dear friend, sister, and teacher saying to me once, "You are looking for love in all the wrong places." When she said that to me before, I didn't quite understand what she meant. As I was walking back to my car after the end of this concert...the words seemed to echo in my ears. I knew what she meant, and I knew where I needed to go to find love. I need to surrender to Gods will, and I need to accept love for myself. I need to fall completely in love with who I am. Because I haven't. I think I am a great person. I have talent and gifts. But If I were to say to myself, "I love you" I don't know if I would believe her. These 3 simple words that I use every single day, to let others know that I love them. I need to fall in love with myself. Embrace myself. Surrender to my anger, rage, and know that it is okay to not always have a smile on my face. That I don't have to be okay all the time. As I have found alot of inner peace in this, I told my own mom that I have to fall in love with myself, before love in a soulmate form will ever come into my life. She turned to me and said, "God made you exactly the way you were supposed to be, and that is the truth." I know as I fall in love with myself, all my dreams will come true.

Tonight I chose to surrender to the rage and anger. It wasn't easy. I put my trust in God that I could go to that dark place. And I did. I was able to let go of some things that have been bottled up inside. I feels as though I let go of 15 lbs of fear, anger, rage, etc. Now as I continue forward each day, I promise myself that I am going to love myself first. That I am going to give to myself what I promise to give to others every day, because I love unconditionally. There are people in my life that I love with all my heart. The compassion for these friends and family members in my life, is eternal. If I can love that much, and I have seen that love, I know that I can love myself with all my heart.

Right now I am not searching for a soulmate to walk into my life. My focus is to fall in love with myself in each moment. To remind myself that I am just as deserving of love as everyone else. And to fully accept love that is extended towards me each day. If a soulmate comes into my life while in this process, then I will welcome it. But I know that I have a lot of work to do. I feel like this is life long habitual patterns that I require a slow unraveling, but as I get closer to the love, ANYTHING is possible. I have dreams that I want to accomplish in life, some I already have, and some yet to be accomplished. if I can follow my heart, and give myself fully to each day, and love myself, I know that I can love more and more each day that I am alive. I thank God for being patient with me. And if I learned anything at all mostly that it is to not take everything so serious, to not put too much pressure on myself and to just appreciate the moment. I teach yoga, and I teach this each day to those that come to my class and step on the mat. Teaching yoga is just a reminder to me that we are all equal, connected, moving forward together each day in this amazing thing called life. I have an identity beyond that though, I am bigger than I can imagine. I am Abbey and I love her. I believe it right now, that is a step in the right direction. This is my journey. My journey towards that love. I hope to share it with all of you.

To: Mom, Dad, Amanda, Garrett, Allison, Amelia, D'ana, Nieces, Nephews, Kate, Linds, Jessie, Megs, Britt, Cameron, Adam, and my incredible CCY family. You are the most important people in my life right now. I love you forever and will promise to do that every single day that I am alive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just being real here...

Lately I have been really struggling to really honor myself as a beautiful person. I look at everyone I am surrounded by and it is so easy to see their beauty. For instance I work at a yoga studio in Salt Lake City, its only the best one! Centered City Yoga. And I am surrounded by beauty constantly. First person that comes to mind is my friend Kate Linsley. She is beautiful. I am lucky to have her by my side each day at work, not only as a someone I work with, but as someone who is a very imporant part of my life and considered family now. I love you Kate. You define beauty and I really look up to you. Thanks for being a shining example of that. Someone who is so raw, and has so much depth. I also see beauty in the person that is coming to my classes for the first time or steps into the studio and they just want to be there. They have no clue what yoga is really about, but I think it is so beautiful that they just showed up to try. I see people on the mat in their bodies trying to make sense of it all, and sometimes I have to stop in awe of those students while I am teaching. I cannot help without knowing what they are going through, stand there and resonate with them. The one thing I do for them as their teacher is I can understand them. And I do. I am their equal. I understand because on my mat is where all my stuff comes up too. Like today for instance, I wasn't very nice to myself. And it really showed, I took stabs at myself the entire practice, and I felt like I could no longer support myself. It was in that moment, when my teacher D' came and supported me in a pose. It showed me that we really all are connected, and we all could use a little support at times in life. I have gratitude for my practice, because while on the mat I get these reminders even in the intensity, that I am okay. That this is life, that I am a human being having a human experience. In the office today, Kate said something to me that stuck. She said, "you know sometimes it takes everything you have to go teach, but we just do it. We just keep going." This week, I didn't really feel like going at times. I didn't feel brilliant enough or profoudn enough. But that is me lying to myeslf. So I went, I kept going. I put my shoes on, said my prayers each morning, and told God that I was going to go out in the world to make a difference. Even if it is small. Its something right?

While at retreat, the "theme" for the week was, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Am I that change that I wish to see? I don't know. I probably don't give myself enough credit. I should give myself more credit, and I will. I will start. I may not be the most beautiful looking woman, or have the prettiest smile. Yeah I am awkward at times-- but I am me. I know I give my heart 134 million percent to what I do each day (okay that's alot of percent). Lets just say I try my best each day, because I believe in it with every fiber of my being. And to believe in something so much, I think that is beautiful. I have so much gratitude for my job that I can almost see the graitude as if it was tangible. I am sacrificing each day to something that is bigger than me. I am sacrificing because I believe. I believe I am that person to do this job. And that job is to live my life, to go out and make people feel beautiful, loved, supported, and to let them know they have a friend. And if I can make them laugh every once in a while, then that makes me happy.

With that being said, I will make a promise to myself each day that I will tell myself I am beautiful, just because I care so much about people. I should care about myself.

I am beautiful. As hard as that was to write. I really know that I am beautiful in this moment. And to me that is all that matters.

To all the beautiful people in my life you know who you are. Thank you for being so beautiful! You inspire me every single day to get up and do what i do best, and that is love you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was answered in the Sound of Thunder

There comes times in your life when you have to choose to either surrender or resist yourself. For many years I have resisted my true self and essence. It seemed to work out okay for the most part, but I always knew something wasn't right. When I was a young girl I battled with intense depression and anxiety. To the point that my poor parents did not know how to help me. I know they did the best they could and for that I will always be grateful. I was given anti-depressants as early as 11 years old and was on some type of medication as I journeyed all the way through highschool and a little bit through college. After really getting into running during my college days, I made the decision to get off the medications. I wanted to heal myself naturally. I found that running and working out very intensely was a way to self medicate. Running worked for awhile, but then I sensed that I was running away from something. I was running away from myself. After 9 marathons, many half marathons, and 4 Lotojas, I knew I wasn't being truly honest with myself.

Back in the day, there was no other choice but to turn to westernized medicine for help. It did help and I know it saved me in many circumstances. I was able to function for the most part. I am not saying there is anything wrong with it. But with everything I have learned through yoga therapy, I would now opt to go another direction for self healing. I participated in a program through Centered City Yoga and D'ana Baptiste this past year. Resonate Yoga Therapy school. I discovered that magic can occur by just listening to the body and giving the body the opportunity to surrender and let go. While in this process I have had to face my depression again, because I numbed myself over 15 years ago with drugs. After completing the program, I felt it all come back up, and I told myself I was willing to go through it again, this time with the intention of surrender. The last couple of months until now, I have felt a lack of courage and I really wanted to throw in the towell and give up. I would only have to call my doctor and he could write me a prescription just like that. It was the easy way out. Something in me told me to hang on, that I could face these demons and get through it. As a yoga instructor, I teach the path of surrender in all my classes, but for myself it seemed almost impossible. Every day I would get up and pray to God that he would help me get out of bed. I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and sleep it away. Each day the darkness and depression seemed to intensify. I have never felt so alone in my entire life. I didn't want to turn to anybody, because the affect that my energy was having on myself alone, I didn't want to give off to anyone, especially those closest to me. So I would sit in my room and try to cry, but I felt numb. Couldn't get any tears to come. The sparkle in my eyes disappeared. But I knew that there were reasons I was feeling this way. I had to learn something more for myself. Once out of my bed, showered, dressed, and walking into the doors of the studios where I taught. I promised I would leave all that stuff out the door. Walking around in that space, listening to breath, watching determination take place, and witnessing surrender, I forgot about myself. It was only about them. I felt peace and bliss. As I closed the studio door of my work, there it was waiting for me. I would go home and meditate and give myself pep talks and intend to surrender over and over again. But with that came more resistance. Why? I wasn't sure I had the answers anymore. Tuesday, January 4th I asked God to help me. I was in tears this time. I asked God if he would hold space for me. I told God I wasn't strong enough to hold space for myself and the question kept coming to me, "How can I hold space for others when I cannot hold space for myself?" I didn't realize this until now as I write, but as I kept teaching day after day, my classes seemed to be more crowded and I was able to give them a class through my own life experiences, even if I wasn't okay. I was being real. I could still connect. So, I asked God, if there was a God...if he could answer my prayer not in a subtle voice, but in a sound of thunder. So I would know that I am supposed to be alive. So I can move forward and complete projects and do what I do best and love with all my heart and that is teaching yoga, being a loving, funny, compassionate, passionate and energetic human being.

Friday, January 7th changed my life, my prayer was answered in the sound of thunder that I had desparetly asked for. Ten thirty pm I was driving home from a long day, I wasn't in my body. I was excited to get home so I could sleep. Finding myself distracted while driving, the next thing I know I am in a head on car collision. I remember the feeling of fear that came over me after the crash had occured. The feeling of looking outside of your car after the realization of what had just happend, thinking you had just done something terribly wrong. I was feeling completely helpless, alone, and terrified, I looked outside my door, only to see a mangled up car in the intersection that I had struck. I began to panick. I was so sure I had killed someone, and I was feeling the guilt settle in me. A man, a angel that appeared right after the accident walked up to my car. He was homeless from what it seemed, and he said, "Are you okay?", " can I get you help?" I remember asking him to just stay with me, I just needed him to stay with me. He said something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. "I will stay with you as long as you need me, I am here." The 12 cop cars came blaring into the scene, alone with the 2 fire engines, and 3 ambulances. Left trauma in my body. From the looks of the scene nobody should be alive. Sitting on the side of the road waiting with this man for someone I knew to come was the longest moment in my life. All the feelings I had been feeling were nothing compared to how I was feeling in that moment. After help and family arrived this man that came to me eventually disappeared. I never got a chance to thank him, but he stayed with me. I know that for sure. I will never forget him. That night I was saved by the grace of God. I want to express my gratitude to God for saving that man and saving me. Giving her another chance.

Even though that was a hard night, there where things that I took away that I will never forget. Material things come and go. Yes, my car was totaled. But you can always buy a new car. People are what matter. Love is what matters. The moment. The momet you have now, embrace it. That people are good and they want to help. Life is short. Tell those people you love how much you love them every opportunity you can. It is really all that matters. Have gratitude for your life, even if it seems shitty at times. Its your life.

The people that showed up for me that night in person or in other ways, you will never understand the love that I have for you. You were there for me when I was literally lying in the trenches all alone. You were beside me. God is there and our prayers are answered. I walked away from that accident with a couple bruises, but yes, I walked away. There was my thunder, I was saved, and I have a life to live. I am supposed to be here. Now what? I have work to do, projects to complete, and a brilliance to own. I know I will have many more times of surrender, I will never stop learning. I have people to help wake up, so they can know of their brilliance. There is a lot of people who are walking around unconcious of their full potential. I want to be part of waking up this world. After all of this suffering and resistance, came a peace that I know what my purpose is in life. That is great gift to receive. That night will always be a reminder that no matter what, there is God. God is in you, and I. We are all connected. God came to me in the form of that stranger, who told me he would not leave me. God came in the form of my sister D' who walked silently down the sidewalk with her arms around me. God came in the form of my parents, who love me. My mothers embrace at the scene. God came in myself, when I thought I was alone, really I was there all along, hanging with myself in the darkest moments.

I write this for myself, so that I can remember this experience. I choose to write about it, because I see this experience now as a positive thing for my life. It was the moment that shook me into my power. I want to share this with all of you because I want you to know of your significance. In moments when you just want to give up, don't. Just surrender, be real with yourself. Love yourself unconditionally. Take care of you. Don't be afraid of what comes up, because under that "stuff" is you. life is so exciting. Life should be full of pleasure. I have the ability now to look underneath that stuff and love who I am. I saw that essence in me. When the resistance finally was gone, I was free. i was able to fly. Dear God, thank you for answering my prayer.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Graduating from Inbody Academy 2010

2010 was the best and one of the most challenging years of my life. I experienced things beyond what I thought was capable for my life. I am living in my wildest dreams and I am preparing for 2011 to be even better. Even though I have witnessed some of my dreams to come true this past year, I also was a witness to dark hours. There were many days where I didn't think I would make it through. I experienced the darkest sides of myself, uncovered spaces in my body that were neglected for a long time and accepted truths about myself that I wouldn't normally accept. Graduating from D'ana Baptistes inbody yoga academy was one of my greatest accomplishments and highlights of 2010. I will never forget the experiences and the family that is now a huge part of my life. These were the most phenomenal times of my life, most vulnerable times of my life, and most painful. I am honored to say that I was completely transformed by this program and will never look back. I realize now that I have my brillance and the world at my finger tips. I am not looking back. 2011 is all about expressing myself in my truths, and teaching from a genuine place, speaking my voice, and creating something from nothing. After realizing my power, I promise myself that I will fully embody my power and live my best most authentic life. I am so blessed that since graduation I have become a instructor for Centered City Yoga and I am able to teach for the best studio in the country. I am also incredibly passionate in assisting D'ana in bringing more students into Inbody Academy. I love my Centered City family. I cannot wait to support those I teach next to. I cannot wait for 2011 and all the abundance and success it will bring in my life. I am excited to bring as many people to yoga through my teaching, because it was what I was born to do. I wrote this credo for yoga therapy school. It is pretty much what I have learned about myself over the course of one year. It is my voice and I am discovering more about myself each day that I live.

I am a courageous and transparent human filled with humility and inner awareness. I give my compassionate heart with a love that is simple, yet pure and real. I am filled up with overwhelming gratitude. My hands are giving hands, but I realize that I will let you down at times because I cannot please everybody. I am fierce loyalty. I will walk beside you, I will sit beside you, or I will lie beside you when nobody else will. I will hold space for you. I will cry with you and I will laugh with you. I will converse with you when no words are needed. I am safety and a protective heart. I will show up. I genuinely offer my gifts of caring love and kindness for the service of humanity. I am a young and old soul and I recognize the significance in each. I am extraordinary. I believe in the extraordinary. I believe in miracles. I have met with the darkest of night and woken up again and again to see sunlight, because I knew it would come. I am a strong mountain, a quiet stream, a erupting volcano, but at the end of the day, I dream of running with the sun into the horizon. I am a story of endurance, vulnerability, weakness, imperfections and experiences. If you look into my eyes I will tell you my story, because I cannot lie. I welcome you into my heart to stay for awhile if you need one. I will lead you up a mountain even when I do not feel strong enough. I am a powerful voice expressing trust in my inner guide to manifest my truths. I represent love and inclusion to help heal and change the lives of others. I am heart. I put my heart, sweat, and passion into people. Because I love people. I love God and I see God in you and I. I surrender to stillness, feeling and presence to allow for freedom and enlightenment. I am an open book and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am connected in a language that encourages, supports, loves, and strengthens others to help them discover their full potential. I am a treasure in a simple chest. I offer this treasure to raise the higher good in my life and in the lives I touch daily. I am not striving for perfection and accept my imperfections as beauty. I am Abigail Daw and she is enough.

Some pictures of my tribe, family, and soul sisters.

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