Being Online is a Responsible Act. Check yo-self.

Fill yourself with so much love you'll not have an opinion of another.

Check yo-self. Seriously. I came across a thread in my own yoga community recently. Where it was filled with teacher-bashing, student-whining, making fun of how people "om," farts in a yoga class, Instagram photos, sexuality, mental stabs and therapy numbers threats etc. The thread included valid points on what is appropriate vs what is not in a yoga class from assisting to yoga dudes hitting on said yoga girls.
BUT I had to stop. 
I stopped reading further. My body wanted to react, defend, and share the responsibility we have as a community, as students of the practice, as teachers - blah, blah, blah. I wanted to share that xenophobia is alive and rampant, clearly in our own community if people are being called to forfeit themselves to a comment thread to bash others. Imagine a responsibility we have to not hate - GASP! Is it too much to not hate? I chose to sleep on it. And I thought this morning how yoga teachers bashing on each other is nothing new. You see, years ago, I thought yoga teachers were something to obtain to be - they seemed to have picture-perfect lives filled with hugging trees, peace-ing in and peace-ing out, and loving each other up. I had wondered what it would be like to have everyone is the world attend a yoga teacher training - because it transformative and eye-opening in ways I never knew existed until I lived it. And I would say that kind of love and transformation is the case for many, many teachers and the great support system of life. But fore some, some hide behind that fake love, the one that whispers behind your back, or that chatters about how you teach, how your represent yourself, and try to "should" you with their own ways. I have known teachers to be banned from studios, great teachers that faced criticism for being exactly who they are, and some teachers receiving backlash for similar words as these or for putting themselves out there into the world - especially the Internet. Through the incident of reading blasts from the very people I have practiced alongside, taken their classes, loved, and learned from - I realized that sometimes we are hard, or we become hardened. And when this happens, it sets off a chain-reaction to attempt to tear others down ensuring our place in inferiority is kept. After much thought, it came down to me feeling sad for the community. For the dialogue. For social media. Sad for teachers. Sad for students. Because - if anything - we need to lift each other - in all of the ways we are different. 

We have a responsibility, as a community, to be light. To not go down the path where we bag on others, because that is not our calling. Everything we do is an act out of love or a call for love. Our Soul would never task us to tear others down to fill ourselves up. No matter where you are, what you do (teacher or not), where you live, who you love, what you look like, and where you want to go in life...your greatest gift on this earth is to love and be loving.  We all rise by lifting others. 

With that being said, people will charge others with opinions according to their beliefs -- do not for one second ever think you are unworthy of this practice, unworthy of life, unworthy in walking this earth as your BADASS - BOLD - BEAUTIFUL self. 

Today's Instagram post is a call of responsibility and love. It is so much more than sparks on comment threads about yoga teachers, classes, farts, oms, etc. It's about creating a community. This is an online community. We can all do better by encouraging each other, lifting each other, and creating a space that is open, honest, and loving.

I am incredibly grateful for this online community. It's been a blessing for our family, it's connected me to wonderful students and teachers, gifted me endless support and projects and referrals, a place to write about real-life-hard-as-shit-stuff and beautiful-fun-happy stuff, and I believe the direction we are going is beautiful and positive, one that I hope continues to grow in love.

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express or impress? few words, big thoughts about instagram.

do we aim to express or are we reaching to impress? 

can you share your darkest depths as much as you share your highest highs?

expressing the self takes massive cajones in courage, truth, and vulnerability. it's easy to post a photo of a handstand pop-up, or share this season's line of leggings, or teas, or someone else's quote. it's easy because we don't have to reveal a part of ourselves when we are focusing on others, what we are wearing, who we are with, and the attachment to anything outside of ourselves. without a connection to the heart in sharing life on this little these apps, we are bringing attention to our surface. one tiny layer of make-up. if we come here to express and create a community of connection, we have to be willing to speak so bold to share our experiences, stories, life, and love. not just another pretty photo or endless product promotion or fitness challenge or one-upping of another. we are so much more than that. share what you know, your experiences, your truths, the in-between moments, what makes you tick or cry or laugh, what you fear, what lights you up, what you're grateful for, who you love, where you're from and where you're going, share it all. 

if the notifications disappeared; the likes, the praise, the tags, threads, the debates, and following no longer existed, would you still be willing to share yourself through these online platforms? 

how little time we have on this earth to not reveal ourselves.

people will charge you with their own perceptions or labels or stories. you may as well take off the mask, rip open your massive heart, and be fucking seen. as your self in expression, not an impression for others.

to be seen is to be living.