Perhaps this is the most challenging pose of all?

Perhaps the most challenging pose of all? Taking a seat and going inside of yourself. We see the oohs and awes of getting upside-down, bending oneself into pretzels, hand mudras, perfecting the cues, technique here, dare-deviling there. Yes, that is all great fun and pizazz; it will challenge you to your peaks, at times, you’ll fall and plant and get up again, you’ll learn about balance, the body, and perform such party tricks for shits and giggles and sometimes seriousness. Yes, it’s all that and more. You can perform and play until your limbs fall off. Sometimes I wonder if the performance outweighs the practice? In a time where standing on your hands takes up more time and attention than taking a seat with yourself. I’ve taken to witness people investing another teacher’s class to handstand press, or a completely sequencing on their accord. Now, this doesn’t mean it is rude, good, or bad. It brings up questions. I often think, what are we avoiding when we are hard-pressed to the fancy? Is it an attraction? Distraction? Where do you go in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual? Is it loving? Not everyone or everything has to be unison, surely. But we can learn from each other. Let others be your guide. If you’re grinding, it’s the cue to go inside. I don’t like every class I go to, however, I do the practice and give thanks. I know I don’t always have to like something in order to learn and find gratitude. One thing is for certain, it’s not about perfecting the postures, it’s about getting in touch with your highest self. I use the word “touch” because I feel that many are starving to be living in such a way that calls for us to be our best. We touch moments of this. In order to discover ourselves, we must know ourselves. Love ourselves. At times, the hardest to practices and to teach. Yet, so beautiful to witness. Can you take this seat and look into yourself? Can you love yourself when you hurt yourself? Can you forgive yourself? Can you empower yourself? Can you inspire yourself? This means to breathe life into yourself. And say this: I love my life. It is your greatest gift and greatest power. To be in love. #loveliveshere #takeaseat

stephynow

light chasers: never settling in ashes, they rise into the light

Surround yourself with the light chasers. They’re the ones that have edges and foraged through darkness, they have gripped the earth, pummeled themselves and began again. They are the light beacons that know pain, but they don’t move from pain, they move from love. They are the ones that understand the others in their pain without lessening themselves or another from such depths. These will be the movers and shakers that witness the beauty in the breakdown, but they don’t stop there. They are the ones that will challenge, perhaps trigger, others by the light they give.
You understand the struggles faced by what others perceive because you know it well, you lived there for a time. But you moved on. You built a life from darkness into light and your mission will be to give birth to others by witness or reaching out your hand, it is the extension of your heart. You open your heart and support another’s breath. Without shame, without judgment. With loving and compassionate eyes. It is not my pain or darkness that matters, it is not my story that is for an audience. That is the past, I don’t live there anymore.
My hope is to move you in the present, through real time, not by happened to you; it is witnessing you through love, in the now, and steady myself while holding space for you to do the same. Only you can heal yourself. And there’s nothing attention-seeking about it. Every action, inaction, relationship, and experience will be drawing forth leading you to choice. You have the power to change yourself, take away the audience, what you have left is your own damn fire and fucking flame to burn bright and be the light. Never settling for the ashes that once was.

stephanie birch

Half the gate by fog, half the gate by light

Through the fog, there was light on the other side. Half of the bridge, dark and full gloom yesterday summer afternoon. The other half of this infamous gate, golden rays pierced the eyes from the west, beaming with warmth and grace.
We are the keepers of both the dark and light, one cannot exist without the other. Some will take ahold of such gloom and create forest fires from pain. Build relationships up only to tear them down; this is the fog, murky visions and desperate hands attempting to control via pain. That is the thing about darkness, behaviors established in attempts to control others and the external. When the ways are not granted, or when tasked to step up in esteem, it is choice up for ripening. You can stay the same or expand yourself into light.
That’s the thing with light, on one hand inviting yet terrifying. Darkness breeds comfort and staying small. The light beckons one to get uncomfortable, make shifts that are incredibly challenging. Move out of relationships of neediness and lack binding you to stand tall with your heart forward and up. The mind will work tirelessly attempting you to cave back into comfort, to stay in small relationships that don’t challenge or expand you. It is the mind that twists words and boasts action.
That’s the thing about action, it requires movement, it requires one to act. Words are taken to paper or channeled by chords, they look pretty or charged, at times a melodic driver, they’ll need a composer, you. It is following through with doing the very things you said you would do. It’s a practice. An intention. A pretty pose, font, voice, signage is but one gear to the grind.
Darkness is temporary unless you’re living to prove its cause. The light will carry you into new strengths, it will be sought by living outside of your comfort zone and choosing to rise up in love. You start with loving the shit out of yourself first and saying fuck yes even when it scares the shit out of you. I’m scaring the shit out of myself everyday to stay soft, even when faced with hardened shells of another. This is the light. This is the love.

stephanie birch

your life is to be lived by love, not by extinguishing another

This trend of external focus has warped the realities of connection. So needy the praise. So needy the critic. So needy, you owe. For it not a double-tap, heart pop in the world without the screened fantasies of the addictions we play. Watch what you say, they warn. What what they do, they mimic. Finger taps and endless scrolls that begs, who is watching the watchers? Riddled heavy by screened to in person face time. It’s all a transfer, you cannot hide. Energy does not lie.
The worrisome ways to be more concerned with the other is what perpetuates the delusions of disconnection. The concern of one’s nature like a hand to attention, your greatness will never be tapped when your focus is that on the other. Stories created from he said/she said mind-fucks, like history of the haves and have-nots. You cannot simultaneously create your reality foraging from a place of blame and point-outs of the other. Teach not from a place of lack, what others build from their fire. Teach not from a place of past, what was is not always to be. Teach from you, self-center by why of extreme love and focus. Teach from a place of wildly yes, fiery passion and high esteem. Can you do so without the cuts and burns to execute the other. The progressions of a pose does not a warrior make. You are the warrior, spirit mind and soft by strength. 
Can you live out loud without extinguishing the flame of your brother/sister? The worrisome mind acts like a shield for you to play small. The dopamine, quick-fix, get rich schemes takes to the pulse of addictions to mediocrity. Your task, maybe the greatest of all is a rebellious act. Radical self-love, virtue of light. Transformed by darkness into love. Trauma into healing. Forgiveness to understanding. Don’t lose yourself in the details or mind traps of others. Your greatness comes like DNA from purpose.
You live.
You love.
From inside-out.

stephynow

When I say you, I mean me

When I say you, I mean me.
I don’t write for you, I write for me. I don’t speak for you, I speak for me. I don’t collect for you, I collect for me. I don’t create for you, I create for me.
Then.
Like pages to a diary, this has become a digital map of life, lessons, yearnings, and needs. It has its certainty and siphons with uncertainty.
Sometimes these words are torn from my bound journal. Sometimes they start here in this text box. Sometimes they end up on folds of paper, a box to collection of passed notes, like days of classroom.
These are my words.
Sometimes they trigger.
Sometimes they chase.
Please know this.
I don’t write to trigger you, I write to trigger me.
I don’t write to chase you, I write to chase me.
If you’re feeling something within you, that’s within me, realize we are the connection to the correlation bound between the shapes of letters taken to screen. The invitation is to go inside of yourself in order to see. In order to feel. It’s this recognition within me that is within you. #wordiness

stephanie birch