And nowwwww for something new and different and exciting! Here is a special blog from my very first guest blogger, and dear friend, yogi-uke-goddess, Kristen Garaffo! She's raising money through an indiegogo campaign for her life coach certification and she has 60 hours left to make it happen! Read, then perhaps maybe donate? She's a lovely creature, a badass teacher, and an overall inspiring person so if anything, give this a read and namasteeee!"India.Arie is my soul sister. I wish she was my friend in real life. Her wisdom, her words, and her music are so inspiring, and when her album Songversation came out - it was all I listened to for weeks. Her music lit a little fire in my heart - it made me want to move my body around, practice yoga, and go change the world.
So naturally, I played her music in my yoga classes. I played her song, "I am Light" during savasana for a yoga class at Fords Theatre, for the cast and crew of A Christmas Carol. The song is so peaceful and beautiful - it just lends itself to yoga. And then y'all...magic happened.
I had NO IDEA the song would have such an impact. There were tears, emotional releases were happening and we were feeling ALL of our feelings. It became our mantra. It became the fam jam. (Bligh came up with the cutie name, duh) At the time, Bligh was performing weekly at LaTiDo here in DC - and she invited myself, and our friends Felicia and Kellee to sing the fam jam during her set. I'm pretty sure everyone at the cabaret OMed. We said Namaste before we sang. We listened to it every week. Along with Potbelly's cookies, Ella's pizzeria, and lots of Dunkin, I am Light kept us going through a 12 show week.
When I was trying to figure out what to call my Indiegogo campaign, I wrestled with it. I wanted to include something with light...radiate, glow, shine, something like that...and honestly, it was rough. And then it dawned on me. Why try and come up with another name when we already have a mantra, and one that is already so simple and perfect! The I Am Light campaign was created.
My name is Kristen, and I am raising money for a karma yoga leadership retreat and life coach certification. I am light. You are light. I think we forget sometimes, and I just want to remind you. You are enough, and you are exactly where you need to be right now. For real :)
...But...ya know what?
Sometimes I DONT feel like Light. (#Honesty08)
Sometimes, I don't want to talk about LIGHT and happiness and chasing dreams. Sometimes, I want to hide under the covers and eat ice cream. Or yell at someone for being stupid. It's not always happy feelings and magic. Sometimes it's shit. Sometimes I feel like shit. And it sucks. It freaking blows. There are plenty of times I've called someone a name that was hurtful - and I immediately wish I could take it back. It sucks.
One of my biggest fears, especially as I dive into coaching, and even just doing this Indiegogo campaign in the first place, is that I will come off as knowing all of the answers, that I sit in this "light" and others don't, and that we are divided into "those who offer help" and "those who need help". It couldn't be farther from the truth. The truth is - we are both!!
Feeling like shit once in a while is being human. Every single person on the planet makes mistakes. We are not alone, our imperfections make us whole. We are all doing the best we can, and when you know better - you do better. (That's a Maya Angelou gem. Thank you thank you Maya!)
Life isn't supposed to be all ups without downs. I'm not here to write about how the bar at Pride situation could have been handled differently by breathing or staying present or singing India.Arie. Sometimes you blurt something out you wish you could take back. And since we can't go back in time, or put words back in our mouth as if we never said them - all we can do is own up to our actions. Brene Brown says whenever we take the time to share our feelings and experiences (good and bad) openly and honestly, that is courage. I think our girl Bligh is an honest, open and courageous woman for sharing the gems in her life, the good and the bad. I strive to practice courage everyday, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. And that's ok. But on the good days, when I dig deep and choose to be courageous and ask for what I need, or own up to a mistake, or stand up for what I believe in - whenever we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better, and the world a little bit braver. And our world could stand to be a little kinder and braver."
To donate to Kristen's campaign click literally right here