You wouldn’t know by looking at me now, but I grew up a chubby child. I didn’t now it, though. I was a happy girl. But when I was 12 years old, that happy girl was defeated. I was in 6th grade, and the bell rang for recess. I remember gathering at the door to run outside, it was spring, and we all were itching to get out! I had shorts on that day, I felt really free, arms swinging, feet pounding the earth.
And then I heard it – “thunder thighs” – as I ran across the playground and down the hill to play on the field. And she was laughing, her and another girl I thought were my friends. Laughing at me. I was devastated, and confused. I didn’t think I looked any different than them. They certainly weren’t shaped like the other girls I envied, I felt like we were the same. Which is why I felt so betrayed, and humiliated. How could I be so naive to see myself as one of them? So naive to think I belonged? I felt like I had been hit in the gut. In that moment, I was imprinted with comparison, judgement, and criticism. It was the day I began to see myself, and others differently.
The joyful girl no more, I grew into living a life hyper-focused on what other people thought of me; I was obsessed with my image, and how much I weighed. I was void of love for myself, so I searched for it in others.
I felt so overwhelmed by my lack of self worth that I sought validation from men. If they liked me, I would like me. If they didn’t, I would bend and shape to try and be what they wanted.
I can remember once when I was 19, my friends and I were at a local bar for a volleyball event. The guy I was involved with was a manager there, and I knew he was also dating another woman who was going to play in the tournament that day.
She was tall, and I wasn’t.
She was super fit, and tan, played sports.
I was short, somewhat fit, and didn’t play sports.
I was on a mission to WIN this guy as a prize to prove that I was worthy and better than her.
So of course, I drank a lot and drew attention to myself, tried to start a fight, and then drove off with my friend to this guy’s house and snooped through his drawers. Of course, I found the letters I knew were there, but chose to ignore. They were from her, the beautiful, intoxicating, floaty, and free woman I knew he had been with before, and claimed they were friends.
She wrote him poetry. She spilled her entire being onto paper, in a mysterious code kind of way. It felt intoxicating and weird all at once. As I read her words I found myself questioning myself.
I stayed with him because as long as I was getting attention, it didn’t matter how many other women were vying for it, too. I was the one who would win, because I wanted it the most…
I sought the same kind of validation in work, too. If I got the job and did well, recognition would prove I was a winner – if not, I didn’t deserve it, and I wasn’t good enough.
I know I’m not alone in this…
I lived like this for years, pushing myself hard, always striving to be the best according to someone else, anyone else. My opinion of myself didn’t matter. I believed I had to do the “right thing” all the time, so I showed up as I imagined other people wanted me to. I was afraid to be mySELF, for fear I wouldn’t be liked, or worse, betrayed for it! I became exhausted. Lost. Disconnected.
When I was 28 I saw all the harm I was doing to myself. My diet, while mainly healthy food, was out of control with portions. I was eating more than my body needed, and I was carrying extra weight. I would try and counteract that with my workouts. The guy I had been seeing on and off for nearly a decade finally told me he didn’t love me and was marrying someone else. I had lost all zest for my work, and was going through the motions, sometimes not working at all.
I hit an all time low.
After a decade of dating emotionally unavailable men that took a toll on my self esteem, and self confidence, I didn’t feel good in my body. I didn’t really like myself much, still obsessed with my appearance, I wanted to figure out how the heck to love myself.
I took my first class at a Bally Total Fitness in Cincinnati, OH. I was new to town, and to this gym. I walked into the room, which was an open room off the weight room floor, I was the only student. I remember feeling self conscious – what would people think? They would be able to see me practice, and I didn’t know what I was doing yet.
The teacher was a teeny tiny woman. Dressed in all red, her blond hair sparkled right along with her smile. She was soft, friendly, calm, but powerful.
In her presence, I felt more at ease. She told me how yoga changed her life, she had been overweight, and when she found yoga, she lost over 100 pounds, but also spiritually, she was more at ease more of the time.
Since I was obsessed with changing the appearance of my body, I attached to her story of weight loss, and yoga became a “must do” for me. If it worked for her, it would work for me, I thought.
As an added bonus, I felt better when I did it! Yoga was easy for me physically, growing up, I didn’t play sports, so being able to “do” yoga strengthened my confidence and helped rebuild my self image.
I started to feel at home in my body, and over time, I began a home practice, and after practicing for 10 years, I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Yoga was the catalyst for me to begin understanding what it meant to embody MySELF. I was connecting to my body through the physical practice, but I was still resisting the deeper connection within.
I was doing all the things I was “supposed” to do to cultivate that connection, to FEEL good about myself, to LOVE myself and move through the world with more ease and flow – meditation, rituals, and daily routines – but that’s just it, I was “doing them”, going through the motions, disconnected from my feeling body.
I was trying so hard.
If feeling bad about how I looked was pretty much the norm, PMS amplified things by a million. I hated that time of the month, my anxiety increased, my patience decreased, I was super moody, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over!
During this time of the month I just couldn’t get it together. And all the bad feelings I had about myself, were amplified!
That really revved me up, because it wasn’t an excuse, it was REAL!
For years I had been accepting PMS, and all the feelings that came with it, as just the way it was. I’d do my best to push through not feeling 100%, knowing it would be over soon, and I could go back to “feeling normal”, Until it came back again the next month.
But maybe I was going about it all wrong.
Maybe, I could actually USE my natural flow to feel better, love myself more, and not worry so much about what other people thought of me.
I spent months diving deep into my physical and emotional symptoms every single day of my cycle, paying special attention to the times of the month that felt harder, and more stressful.
And wouldn’t you know it…
I started to feel better about myself, I noticed my cycle patterns,
and knew how to work with them.
I learned how to be a Woman in Flow
A woman who lives in rhythm with my natural energy, soothes myself when I felt old hurts emerge, and takes care of myself better than I ever did.
I became vegan, dove into my body through yoga and meditation. I heard loud and clear my intuition, and Listened to it!
No more questioning others about what I *should* do,
I KNOW what I need, and I know how to get it!
I started to notice I had more free time. I no longer pushed through the times that felt hard to work, because as a woman in flow, I learned how to leverage my energy in my more productive phases. This really helped me maximize my energy at work.
When I paused to take charge of my feminine power through listening to mySELF and my feelings, rather than ignoring them, and pushing them away, I felt more like myself, more often. I developed a deeper connection with my body, which I had been trying to cultivate for so long, giving my body what she needed no matter what.
My confidence increased, and I could more easily express myself honestly without fear of being judged or rejected, which helped me communicate openly in my relationships.
Do not be fooled into assuming that this freedom, self-love, and courage comes just by counting the days of your cycle. That’s where it begins, but there is much more to it.
And If it’s possible for me, I know this is possible for YOU, and I am on a mission to help you regain your connection to your innate power, so that you can live life feeling more grounded, energized, and clear! When you are deeply connected to yourself, and your body, you can trust yourself implicitly, and life is just better!
I had always been connected to the cycles within, and around me, it was thinking I had to be a certain way for people that got in the way of me being comfortable in my natural flow. When I pieced it all together, I found I had a method of being a woman in flow, and that was what made me feel completely WHOLE with myself, and with divine.
What I found through living my Woman in Flow method, was how to work WITH myself, instead of against myself. I feel in complete union with my body, my energy, and nature, which makes me feel empowered, connected, and confident.