Same-same but different

It's one of my favorite phrases.

I used to work at a Thai restaurant. I learned that little phrase: same-same but different working there. I was better at bussing tables than I was playing a stand-in server at times. 

I didn't speak Thai. 

And sometimes mixed up people's food orders because I misheard them. 

I got yelled at sometimes. By "sometimes" I mean a lot.

But at the end of each night, all was forgiven

The women would pat my belly and tell me to eat more.

Making sure my plate was hefty.

I'd leave with tips in pocket and a full belly.

I feel like this today. 

The past few months, anyway. 

That's what happens when you start something new or stop doing what you've always done

For one: I've started exploring the body in a different way, with different teachers. 

Two: I've stopped pretending so damn much and stopped playing in to the pretty, posed, and perfect stuff (especially, the representation of such online, Instagram, specifically).

What I am doing is being me

In the most congruent way I know how, across all channels. 

In person and online.

My older online stuff was nearly an everyday draft of some random yoga pose with words of experience, hopefully some wisdom.

An attempt to be inspirational.

I got bored and tired of feeling this need to participate in such presentation.

I was on my way to deactivate my accounts. 

And then decided to stop playing up the presentation, instead. Thanks to making friends with people like Ryan (and the rest of the crew).

Which is tough, because a part of my business is closely tied to being online. Hence, the need to upkeep the inspirational speak.

Changing that -- I thought -- would change my livelihood. 

Which is terrifying.

So far, it has not. I can still put dinner on the table and pay rent.

And I am really grateful for that. 

In the mean time, there's been some hostility around me since I've stopped playing up the pretty (I'm not alone in this. In fact, my friend, Erin, wrote about this today).

Because the expectation is no longer there.

People talk about growth and evolution. They talk about being vulnerable (that word needs to fade from my vocabulary because it's become too trendy now, diluted). 

I stopped talking and decided that more doing is what is meaningful to me.

And more funny stuff. More controversial stuff. More feelings. More whatever comes up and out stuff. 

And not so much appearing neutral. Or always positive. Or always "yogi-like."

And the moment I did that, I've been turned into one of "them."

In the last week, I've been called a bully and unkind on a #randomtalkingvideo I recorded about the importance of integrity

I shared my frustration about how lame it is when people use your photos/words as their own on the internet. 

This is something that happens every damn day. 

It's weird to see your image used to promote someone else's business

Sometimes, I've granted permission for use.
Sometimes, I've been paid proper for use.
Sometimes, it's just downright taken.

It's one of the big reasons I stopped mostly sharing photos of my son and me doing yoga (long ago). 

And I've had my words used too. Full copy/paste as another's own or put on an advertisement. 

I don't have the energy to police. 

But I will say that such occurrences are absolutely lame.

The thing is -- I've been really fucking honest lately. 

And people don't like it. And they want to advise me more lately.

My friends are watching the "unfollows" in amazement. 

I wanted to start over, entirely. 

This feels like starting over. 

I feel like I am doing something that is more meaningful to me. Dropping the game of superficial that hones in on commercial. 

Like these emails too. I've written about a lot of life things. Mostly, very personal. Things that are descriptive, not evaluative.

There's death, despair, and depression as well as remembering to be 6, writing about how to write, and what/who inspires me.

And I care about people wanting to be here, with me, not fighting me or turning a frown. I can take a fight and frown, but it's just a waste of time.

Like my friend, Rachel, says, "the smart ones get it."


//


My re-start leads with this: 

I'm under no obligation to censor myself. 

Same-same but different. Tips in pocket and leaving on a full belly.

Love, 
Steph

Is this what nakedness feels like?

I don't know. 

These everyday emails have not been easy for me but they've thickened me up.

This is the second to last email of these daily emails.

"I have absolutely love waking up and reading your emails!  What I dislike is the end of the month is so damn close!!! Although it was only for one month, I will honestly miss the routine of seeing your words. Thank you, thank you for being so raw, personal and honest!  
Love from Canada!!" 
-- Lori

I'm not going anywhere, you'll certainly still receive these emails, just not everyday (unless I decide to do this again).

The first thing I'll do on my day off from email writing, is start to answer the hundreds of emails.

There's been several occasions where I've received over 100 emails in one day in response to a story of your own or a writing piece from a prompt that you wanted to share.

I want to take my time to thoroughly read and respond to those I've not gotten back to yet.

//

Earlier this month, I wrote about being naked and encouraging others to be naked. I wonder if that's the email I wrote when I was high on cold medicine. 

I'm too tired to go back and look.

Because it doesn't sound quite right to me. 

I've been seeing a trend in nakedness lately.

Not just taking off one's clothes.

More of a proclamation. 

"Hey, I'm going to get naked over here."

When someone says, "I'm going to get naked over here" vs "there" -- I'm not quite sure I believe them. 

If you're going to get naked over "here" and not "there" -- it's not really nakedness at all. It's like partial nudity. 

And --
it's not necessary to announce your nakedness.

Like, walking in to the room naked and saying, "hey look! I'm naked!" 

And everyone going, "uh yeah, we know, we can see that you're naked."

Just be naked


Love, 
Steph

Don't do this, do that

don't write to get better at writing. just write.

You're too caught up in the appearance and fluidity of writing things down. 

Worrying about what people think or how you'll be perceived. 

Gasp! You might offend someone. 

Here's the thing, who isn't offended about something or someone all the damn time?

Being offended by someone or something is your own damn responsibility

Responsibility takes guts. A lot of people don't have guts.

You know what takes no guts? Remaining neutral, playing both sides.

Timidity doesn't get shit done. It gets in the way.

Being caught up in the above is a sure spiral you into feeling stuck. 

Read me clear, I write to coach myself.

Every damn day.

When I say you, I mean me.

And when I say me, it means you.

"It's not enough to be nice in life. You've got to have nerve." -- Georgia O'Keefe

Read that quote above 3 more times.

People ask me all the time about how to write. 

I didn't go to school for writing. I hold zero degrees.

Some of you will stop reading this because I lack "credentials" that you seek. 

Yet here I am coaching people how to write

I am great at it too. 

And it's not because I have some paper on the wall that tells me how great I am. 

I write to write

And I don't hold myself to standardize rules on acing an expository essay. 

I had some local quasi-journalist tell me: "it's amazing how much attention your writing has gotten over the years without being an actual writer."

I think people like her are surprised with a hint of jealousy. 

Jealousy can be one of the most destructive complexes

A boring and tiresome complex.

Back to writing: just do it, like the Nike swoosh. 

Write like you talk. 

Keep writing. 

Make lists, if you must. It doesn't have to make sense. 

Stop trying to be good. 

As if goodness is holy. Often it's just trying too hard

Be bad

Better yet -- forget the whole good and bad complexes. 

Stop giving yourself excuses.

Excuses are like armpits. Everyone's got two and they both stink. 

Oh, and stop using really big words. You will lose the majority of people if they need to scoot on over to google in order to read/understand your shit. 

(I feel the same way about yoga or body movement classes. Too many big words. My brain won't even allow me to drop into my body because I'm trying to dissect the meaning behind all those big headed words. 

Maybe that's just me? ...Cool.)

Again, write like you talk. Or how you'd talk to a mixed audience of A/S/L (age, sex, location).



Love, 
Steph

Don't come to yoga to get flexible

just come to yoga to move.

If you've ever been to one of my yoga classes, you've likely moved your body in ways that are not solely traditional yoga postures. 

Whether it's borrowed abdominal work from a pilates class, foot work from a ballet class, or things that look like they're straight out of a gym. 

Ever since I started teaching, I've had people tell me: "what you teach is not yoga." 

One time, I was talking about the science of breath in class, a woman cut me off mid-sentence and shouted from across the room, "I thought this was a yoganot science!

That makes me chuckle now. Back then, I had to ignore that woman. 

In the last few months, we've been working on a lot of mobility stuff in my classes. 

There's a good reason for that. 

Our hips will die if we don't. 

Not just our hips, but all of our joints. 

Last year, my mother-in-law had a knee and hip replacement months apart from each other.

One of the surprising things is that doctors had her up and moving right after both surgeries. 

Get her moving immediately

Even though it was really hard

So much of her recovery was/is devoted to moving

Reminder: gotta keep it moving. 

Since then, I've been on this path of trying to figure out my role in how to help people move better, as a movement practitioner/teacher myself. 

Life is always on time.

I think we should move smarter

And work with people smarter than us (like science people).

I started following more pilates teachers and movement folks outside the yoga world.

Not to say that yoga teachers aren't smart.

I was craving more than learning how to sequence a class to a playlist.

And then I came across Ryan Orrico and this FRC movement stuff (Functional Range Conditioning is a "scientifically sound system of flexibility and mobility").

And I've been geeking out on it.

Instead of lounging in poses like half pigeons, any of those long passive holds, and/or some standing postures; we are moving instead of lounging, working with our range we have today instead of reaching for that bind. 

Like this. And this. And this.

And doing "walking giraffes" like this.

Small things through-out class from beginning to end.

There's too much value in this work to not put it in to use everyday.

There have been some wide-eyes and death glares (especially from the hyper flexible friends) but now that we've been doing some of these in every single class, I think people are starting to really dig this stuff

And it's hard work.

My hope is that our hips won't die on us while we're still alive.

And our other joints, for that matter.

I'm keeping this mobility stuff alive, the yoga needs it.

Love, 
Steph

Leading people on

Staying longer than necessary

Have you ever led someone on?

I've read that question 4 times, it doesn't look right or sound right in my head. 

Lead vs Led. 

I don't know. I'm too lazy to look it up. You get what I'm trying to say. 

Feel free to write me the right. 

I led an ex boyfriend on probably two years too long. 

It was a shitty thing for me to do. I justified my being honest in the department of "never wanting to get married" and "never wanting kids" as a way to keep. 

And while I knew he wanted those things, he was willing to wait for those things. I think he thought I'd be the one to change my mind. 

And I never did. 

At least not for him, anyway. 

Eventually, it became too painful for the both of us. Both waiting on the other that was never going to happen. 

One day, the relationship imploded

I left everything but the clothes I could shove in my suitcases.

I'm really good at taking only what I need

I've never had much attachment to things. 

I pack light.

Even when I travel, I'll wear the shit out of the same shirt, dress, or jeans. 

Heck, I do the same when I'm home.

Some of my shirts have holes in them. Steve hates that I have things with holes in them. He's way more put together than I am.

When we go out...
I favor the whole not-put-together-put-together look. 

He's the actual put-together-put-together look.

He looks more sharp than I ever do.

I simultaneously hate and love that about us.

With Steve, it bothers him when I let our 6 year old wear mismatching socks to school. 

We bickered about that this morning. 

He says, "I put things together for a living. Every piece has its matching place." 

He makes custom furniture for a living. 

I had an ah-ha moment when he said that this morning. 
(Science says we live for ah-ha moments. Rather, that we really love them)

I didn't tell Steve his explanation gave me an ah-ha. I'll let him read it here and be the adult that I am and not let him have it out loud.

He and I are total opposites.

What I love most about him are the things that drives me bat shit too. 

Like agreeing to disagree about mismatching socks. 

He won today, though.


Love, 
Steph

Post-tits

tell me what you're not offended by?

I have my next #adultnotes post-tit ready to go (see above). If you don't know what #adultnotes is, scoot on over Rachel's IG account. 

Watch her video about them here.

And add to the collection. This is my most recent.

Thickness is the business. I really like saying that, it's feels plump in all the right places. So many of you responded to yesterday's email. With some #realshit.

We are on to some thangs.

//

Last night, Steve asked me what "mansplaining" meant because he has been seeing it pop up a lot lately. 

I explained. 

I also told him he probably doesn't know what it means because he's not one of those dudes that does any sort of mansplaining. 

It took a bit for him to grasp the concept. 

I gave him an overdose of examples that I've personally encountered in my life. 

It's really hard to understand something you've not experienced or certainly on repetition, anyway.

He said, "Don't women do the same thing to men?"

I said, "Hell yes, of course, they do."

But we didn't know if the flip side had a term. 

My guess? "Womansplaining."

We went back and forth on the experiences. 

From him getting dirty looks in passing with the words huffed out: "fucking man!" (sadly, I didn't want to believe him but, in truth, I know of women like this)

To me having men bosses stand over me to fill in the "gap" between my ears because I'm a woman. (sadly, Steve didn't want to believe this but, in truth, he knows of men like this). 

Speaking of, I had a boss write me up one time for insubordination because I refused to go for a "joy ride" with him one afternoon. Too many stories have come from working for companies with that "good old boys" mentality.

To that I say: fuck those people!

In the end, Steve asked, "can't we all just be adults and get along?!"

The answer is no

Because sometimes, we are 6

Don't forget to be 6, just not all the time.


Love, 
Steph

"My morning ritual is reading your daily emails. They're my first read of the day with my cup of coffee. You stir something inside of me in how I present myself to the world. I want to be more brave and you're making me feel more brave. Thank you. --K"

Thickness is the business

This daily email gig has been such a test for me.

I was telling Ryan the other day how these emails and responses have given me something unexpected, it's thickened my skin. 

That's what transparency does. 

That's what writing the way you talk does. 

That's what being yourself does.

That's what focusing on exactly what you want to do and give out into the world does.

There's a thickness I needed to develop and it's been so fucking necessary

You'll need it in order to cut away the bullshit or the time-suckers that want toget in your way.

So, when someone wants to give me a bad time and call me arrogant assholefor posting this or that I should give people the time of day that want to nosy around to have fuel on shit-talking. 

No, thanks. I'm good. 

I had someone say to me the other day, "I heard about your emails and how you're really taking shots at things!"

Yet that person is not on my emails. 

Lot's of clucking.

//

My focus and time will be spent elsewhere

On the people that matter

The ones writing their stories and queuing themselves up in the force-field of living out loud.

The very people that show up

The ones reading, not the ones scrolling. 
The ones showing up in person and taking my online classes.
The ones that want to gather to connect. 
The ones saying hell yes and linking arms to bring others along that want IN.

A shout to Miss Courtenay  for writing out loud on the meaning of support. Don't just say it, be about it.

Lately, I have been more fascinated by the people posting a 1 minute #randomtalkingvideothat Ryan started, on Instagram than the accounts so intensely curated to "stay on brand." 

"Staying on brand" on social media is not the culprit. It's staying within the algorithm of your business, which I get. 

For me, it's become boring. I love pretty photos as much as the next person but they don't enhance thought, create dialogue, or show our human selves. It's not the whole.

Pretty is easy on the eyes. It's familiar

As humans, we are conditioned to be at ease in the familiar. 

Familiar is good, but it doesn't teach us very much.

Everyday, I'm losing tons of "followers" on Instagram. 

I've halted much of the everyday pretty and picture-perfect stuff.

I am stepping out of the algorithms I once participated in.

I don't want to be labeled as an "Instagram yogi" -- I am more than that.

And this feels really, really, really good to step away.

It's much more beautiful to be me anyway.

Love, 
Steph

I need space

spacing out

I mostly practice yoga at home

If yoga studios had daycare, I'd pop into take class multiple times a week. 

I now understand why so many parents have gym memberships. It's way easier to plop your kids off into a cube of supervised entertainment and go on about your workout. 

Yoga studios are behind in that concept. 

I understand it's probably a pretty penny but damn, I'd pay for that coverage. 

Side-note: I'd totally support a local brunch spot at a restaurant if they offered daycare too. Hell, any business, for that matter.

When I am able to get to a studio, I often practice somewhere that I don't teach

I like being anonymous, sometimes. 

It's not that I don't enjoy practicing at the places I teach.

I'd rather skip the feeling of coming off as rude if I'm not upbeat or feeling customer service-y.

//

I do the same (needing space) thing at home too. 

Sometimes I'll sleep on the couch at night. 

Steve doesn't love that at all

And it's not because we've had a fight.

I just like playing tug-o-war with the blankets by myself. 

Instead of ripping them away him with a win

//

I was this way as a child

When I'd get sent to my room for getting in trouble (ps - super rare since I was a rule-follower like I mentioned before), it was never a punishment to me. 

I liked being alone. As the oldest of 5 siblings, it's not hard to understand why.

//

I don't want to call this some hippie-dippy shit. 

This is just me, sometimes needing some space. 

It doesn't mean I don't love people or what I do any less. 

If anything, it helps me to love people and what I do even more.


Love, 
Steph

The neighbor kid

The neighbor kid I played basketball with murdered our neighbor. 

When I was 16, I was visiting my dad and stepmom and we were camping along the coast of Northern California on summer break. We were at some diner, god knows where, and my dad kept getting calls.

He excuses himself to take a call.

He comes back to the table looking like ghost. He's conversing with my stepmom in hushed tones. 

I know something serious happened. 

Someone died, I thought.

It took some time for him to start speaking. 

Tell me who died so we can get this over with, were my 16 year old thoughts. I wanted to hear it so I could deal with it.

The neighbor kid, *Alex, was a 15 year old kid who I played basketball with on the weekends. He had two loving parents and a brother. His mother was the kind of mom that would bring snacks outside for us kids. His father was a deputy. They seemed like the perfect all-American family

*name has been changed.

That summer, Alex had spent days peeking through the backyard fence watching our neighbor woman sunbathing by her pool.

She had asked him repeatedly to quit spying on her. 

Eventually, she stopped sunbathing by the pool. 

On the night he murdered our neighbor, he played video games with a friend. The friend reported that Alex "seemed normal." 

Not even hours later, Alex murdered the woman next door and left a trail of blood leading from the front door of her house all the way up the stairs and into his bedroom.

The details are gruesome and horrifying.

A real-life monster among us. 

That was almost 20 years ago. 

It still leaves me with chills and stomach pits to this day.

//

Love, 
Steph

Unlimited lives

Nintendo on the brain.

UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START.

Unlimited lives forever!

Boom. 

Your brain holds on to things you don't necessarily need (like that damn nintendo cheat code above). 

It is smart.

But it's also dumb.

It's not the most reliable source, we've got. 

You read that right, we have three brains. 

Your gut (instinct, intuition).
Your heart (values, emotions).
Your head (logical). 

There's a short video on this concept here.

Science is also making such claims

I know, for me, the best decisions I've made in my life came together because I recruited all three brains. 

Not that I had words to express in past times. 

I knew in my gut (instinct, intuition). 
I felt it with my heart (emotions). 
I have language and understanding from my head (logical). 

I think of pivotal points in my life where those three brains have worked welltogether:

- That time, when I was 11 years old, when I told my biological dad I didn't want to visit him on the weekends anymore. 
- At 16, inviting my biological father back into my life. 
- And at 20/21, rescinding that invitation.
- When my friend and I didn't die Mexico, close-call. 
- Ending a relationship. Diving into a relationship.
- Ending several friendships. Gaining solid friendships.
- Recently, distancing myself from someone that only wanted to use me for their gain.
- I feel like since motherhood, I've unlocked the holy grail of my gut and heart brains.

There are definitely times where my three brains haven't worked well together.

Acting out solely from my emotions, like being so angry that I threw a burrito across a room (poor Burrito). 

Or when I've only focused on something from my head. Overthinking to the point of being paralyzed to move one way or another. 

Not heeding my gut on that said Mexico trip. 

//

My brain holds onto silly things, like that Nintendo code above. 

I don't need it. 

I recognize that my head brain is not always working towards the favor of the greater good. It's often demanding, self-righteous, needy, and petty as fuck

So, I've got to check that little nugget.

That's where my heart and my gut brains come in.

The three work as a checks and balances, so to speak.

It's a full-body system


Love, 
Steph