Hey, bossypants, let's talk.

Hey, bossypants, let’s talk.
Somehow-some way, we’ve made it okay to intrude on others. Maybe okay isn’t the word. I think you get what I mean. So many opinions tossing around, so many offensives guarding up. What if we stopped looking around at others in order to form opinions on how other people live. What if we stopping hunting for things and people to be offended by. What if we utilized that energy to feed our own lives and allowed others to live theirs. I’m not saying we can’t have opinions, I’m saying let’s work to keep them to ourselves. Let’s get worked up about our own lives, instead of others. That is what changes the world; changing yourself, loving yourself. Bashing, stepping, or hating on others doesn’t make you stronger, taller, or wiser. The strongest people I know are often the softest, most genuine, and fierce with their love.

Recently, people have mentioned I’ve changed. Some have opined their disproval for various things: teaching, writing, what I share and don’t, from real life to social media, that I’m too light therefore I must not be real anymore, requests to speak on depression, how I’ve posted an ad, their wishes for the old, etc. Listen, I hear you. I see you. I get it. I post about life. I write my mood. I share yoga when I want. I have amazing opportunity gigs that are creative and also keep food on the table. My yoga is in real life, not just a square. My life is constantly changing. This place, social media, is a form of such expression, with integrity. It’s something I’m grateful for, to land and drop off. I aim to connect, give and love here, I don’t count the number ticks. I sometimes cringe when people ask me about it or say instafamous, that’s not my real life. I have felt shame about it, I’ve lost “friendships” and have had finger points, over an app. It's weird to even write about it - and this is life right now. We have apps in our lives. This app, I am grateful for the connections and the love that abounds here. And sometimes, these introductions, pay my bills. I don't know if ya'll know this, but yoga teaching is not the money-maker here. I say this not to host a pity party. It is not why I teach, I would say that most yoga teachers have side gigs or even full-time jobs. Point is - I feel this need to speak on this in hopes that you may understand that my choices are my own, not yours. I hear you, I see you, and I understand you. Truly.
I’m a woman, mother, teacher, writer, feeler, giver, and lover. I am many things, I’m not perfect. Sometimes your opinions hurt, I’m not a robot. Your critiques are not welcome here, unless I ask. Please know this: I love you, anyway. I will certainly not live up to your standards, so please take me down from such great heights and let’s talk, sans bossypants.
With love,

Steph

stephynow

Beyond the benefit of self

What does YOUR voice say? What does YOUR heart say? What does YOUR belly say?
Close your eyes. Speak to this. Speak from this. The words that travel within your bones. The words that lift the hairs on the back of your neck. The words that bring chills, that sink in, the ones that escape your breath. Speak from your body. We have enough quotes from the belly of Buddha.
What do YOU have to say? Say that. Do more. Be an ally for others. Prettiness isn’t going to change the world. Go deeper than the face. Go deep into the pain. Do not look away. Rip-off quotes are much too quiet. Bare your heavy heart and be a witness to others.
Penetrate the superficial.
Make this a tag line or headline.
We are the influencers. Our influence must go beyond the benefit of self. We are the influence generation.
Act like it.
Use your voice. Use your art. Use your heart. #penetratethesuperficial

stephynow

It's moments like these we will remember.

It’s moments like these we will remember. We’ll remember smells, touches, what skin feels like against lips and fingertips. Maybe it’s the scruff of your beard, or dips in places where skin is scarred, or how heavy the tiniest feet can feel when pressed into soft handles.
We’ll remember sounds of boots tapping up steps as the mister comes home from a long, tiresome workday. When I think of sounds, I can hear the accent of my grandmother and her quiet, almost hushed laughter. Maybe we’ll talk about how much the hummingbirds loved your mom’s back porch so much and how I loved to photograph them. We’ll laugh about inside jokes, the quirky stories we shared, the imaginative play with building, coloring, mess-making.
We’ll remember dinner parties and living room picnics; we’ll bust out photos from when we sipped bourbon, played raunchy board games, toasted marshmallows, and traced poster-sized bodies of chosen family. We’ll reenact dance moves and grooves from the younger years and riddle on about late night shenanigans, music genres, and going on about wild tales of old flirts, flames, and flings. It will bring us to toast them all to the past.
We’ll remember weekend trips where we raced to watch the sunrise or head out to its set, it will remind us to never take one for granted. The outdoors will teach us that nature’s way is the only way, it will feel calm and crisp, and her air will settle in the lungs. It will be colorful and patient and yet always in transition, like life and death with each season.
We’ll remember how life happened so fast, even when it felt slow. We’ll slow-down memories of fast time and crisis. We will look back and see that everything had its pace and place, people would come and go, and it all happened accordingly, some with answers, some without.
For time is a misleading concept, yet we are always moving some way, somewhere. Everything is happening all at once. Take many photos, say what’s real, write, laugh, cry, hold on to people that love you and send love to the ones that don’t, be brave, feel everything, do the things that light you up and challenge you the most; life happens when we are standing still or moving right along with it.

stephynow

you have the power to pretend or reveal yourself in person and online

You are responsible for your life, your outcomes, your aspirations, your goals, your feelings, your emotions, your world. You are your own teacher, your own hero, your own person. 
The power of this platform is your responsibility. Being online is a responsible act. You have the choice to follow, like, scroll as much as have the choice to feel what comes up for you. Does it lift and connect you? Or does it disconnect and separate you? Does it feed the negativity beast? Or does it inspire you share your story? I choose to learn about others, to connect, to encourage, and be inspired by people. I choose to share pain, weakness, hardships as much as I choose to share happiness, peace, and joy. I write what’s real, even when my fingers shake. I share to give it away, to reflect, and it’s been like a vessel of healing at times. The choice is mine, and yours, and together that’s connection.
I was told not long ago that I’ve made someone jealous, it nearly broke my heart. That is the last thing I would ever want someone to feel about my life. It’s something I would never want anyone to feel. And it’s been hung on a thread of well wishes and love because I don’t know how else I can help and change how someone feels. I know intellectually, I don’t have the power to do so. So I pray and love and meditate and give space.
Sometimes we need to take a step back, peek around at our own thoughts, and understand that we are humans navigating this powerfully connecting digital age. Use the Internet to connect with one another, not compare and contrast. Mindfulness moves away from generalizations into awareness that we are one another walking the ebbs and flows of life. You are in the driver seat of your actions. When you begin to compare, you are forcing responsibility onto others for your life, your happiness, and your world. 
Please understand that when you take responsibility and great care for yourself is when you connect with others from a place of love and understanding that we are humans thriving, surviving, and igniting each other along the way.
You have the power to pretend or reveal. There’s nothing to fear when it comes from the heart.

stephynow