Everyday in my life I try to be the best I can be often feeling like I have a long way to go. Anxiety is written all in these words. So I decided to write this to address the elephant in the room for so many of us. The internal turmoil, the anxiety, the depression, the feelings of strugglesville.
We are all so different, yet we are all human and so similar it becomes so confusing because no box or label can draw the line to make it clearly understandable.
I am a perfectionist deep down and underneath that is anxiety. My thought process works in extremes. For example if someone seems unhappy I wonder what I did wrong and how I can fix it. My first thought is how did I fail for them. I have worked a lot over the years to take deep breaths after similar thoughts to bring space to the attachment of everything evolves around me failing.
We humans are so complex, weird, interesting, beautiful and strange creatures. We are all so different, yet we are all human and so similar it becomes so confusing because no box or label can draw the line to make it clearly understandable. Trying to understand another, how they feel, react will never be the same as yourself or someone else. Trying to connect and communicate could mean something entirely different to another. This makes life terrifying and exhausting for me. If I get in a misalignment with someone it fuels my anxiety. My thoughts tend to think that everything is my fault. Reading this sounds crazy to someone who does not have anxiety, because that isn’t how we are taught that people function. A more reasonable response by text book would be figure out a solution and don’t dwell.
So why do I talk about anxiety and depression? Because this is what drove me deep into my depression and blackness. However, accepting it and working on myself to help me to manage it made me realise that I am not alone and I would do anything to help others feel the same in their silent suffering. So what do I really want others to know about anxiety or depression….Firstly it is not and never will be personal.
It is such a strange thing to say but if people are acting weird or say things that do not quiet make sense, usually it can be that they are anxious. If they are having trouble eating, looking uncomfortable in a social situation it is probably anxiety at work. If someone is extra exhausted from stress, a problem or an argument it is probably anxiety. Most people do not realise how paralysing, exhausting and confusing anxiety and depression is. It also is not a choice, while anyone suffering can learn to cope better there will be days that to breathe is difficult. It becomes natural to fixate on something unnecessary or irrelevant.
When you have anxiety or depression it is not your own voice anymore going right from wrong. It is like wearing beer googles and trying to journey through life every thing a little less centred and less clear and defined. A tiny problem or situation can become overwhelming and big. When someone gets angry it feels like they hate you. There is no grey areas for someone who is suffering with anxiety or depression there is just black and white.
However hearing words of kindness and compassion when one struggles can change so much. I cannot ever speak the exact feelings for anyone who has suffered with anxiety or depression but what I want most as a human that has suffered is people to see and recognise me and in turn recognise others who have suffered. To be a little more loving and compassionate. To hold a little more space for those that are unsure, get stuck, feel lost or look uncomfortable, even when it seems easy or natural or irrelevant.
I write this because anxiety and depression are more common then we think or care to admit. I want the world to understand even though many of us are smiling on the surface and doing our best many are suffering. However, also living with anxiety and depression is possible without suffering so much. It is not weird or unusual to have experienced, experience or in the future experience anxiety or depression.
I want many things to change in the world but most importantly I would love the world to have more compassion, kindness and better understanding how anxiety or depression presents itself in the world and also that if you are one suffering like I have been, there are better tomorrows. There are more beautiful days to come. You are not weird or alone. You are in fact beautiful, worthy, enough and awesome even if you do not feel it.
If you know someone suffering or simply turn to the person next to you who knows they could be suffering, please give them a hi 5 say you rock because sometimes a little joy and love is all we all need whether we suffer or not to pull us out of our thoughts
@supermomtraci asked when I started yoga. I started yoga at 29 but really only the physical posture practice. This was after I had lost one child and had my daughter Laine. I was fighting postnatal depression and thought that moving would create space. However starting yoga really wasn’t until I was 31 in Saudi Arabia after I tried committing suicide. I realised yoga wasn’t a posture, it was my breath and without controlling my breathing my panic attacks, anxiety and depression were going to take or control my life and I would never be a good example for my daughter. So my failure of suicide turned into my greatest gift and my yogas real journey didn’t start till 2 years after societies vision of yoga in physical postures started. I learnt the pain that came to me is not always my choice but keeping it on me is. Yoga taught me to continually forgive and lessen the obsessive thinking related to it. So I could allow my pain to no longer control me. I have stopped trying to live so hard each day to the fullest as each day is full all on its own. All I have to do is notice it. Through my breath I realised it was okay not to be perfect. It was okay to be a sinner and not be ashamed about the things I was or have been. I am here now and I am enough. My definition of a whole life will never be societies. The judgment that is continually passed upon me now I realise is something I need to work on letting go from because it does not change that I am living a whole life full of worth and meaning even if people cannot understand me. I have learnt to love myself for me and that I am still walking and breathing and burning my own path to find the hope, love, acceptance, compassion I need. I am far from perfect, an imperfect soul but yoga made me realise that is still a blessed human to be and I never need myself to fit into the prison of societies definition of perfect or normal. We are all born free and the best thing yoga taught me was not to spend a lifetime becoming a slave to my own false truths.
As I write my book about my life it scares me immensely, because to be real and be shamed for it hurts. The world doesn’t really like peoples truths or people that are different because they often don’t fit the box of society who labels and defines what is right and wrong. Just like many people that have inspired us including but not limited to Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison….We often as people judge someone else’s pain and make it invalid and the person feels further shame; because we don’t listen or hold space, we make it personal and we judge. To tell people of the hurt I have already endured & receive more shame from people who judge me without knowing me, requires more healing and suffering that no one will see but everyone will label.
Society likes to label & people to fit in boxes but this healing process and living ones truth is hard because it does not have a look or a label. Why am I writing this?
It is because I want the world to be a better place for my daughter & I don’t want her heart to break like mine or to be feeling like mine right now, broken & confused. What has really broken me of late is the place I came to heal, the online yoga community is now shaming and judging others for their looks and practice. Yoga on social media like instagram is full of so much non yoga. To write this post is hard because many yogis are amazing humans but I want to voice this to those that do not have a voice and are suffering, like I am at the hands of people who out others either through yoga, skin color, cultures, experiences, clothes, racism, difference of opinions, labels etc.
Sadly this is also happening on social media and social media help platforms ignore those suffering and support the ones with numbers. I have learnt recently that teams of yogis are outing other yogis on social media for not being a certain look and getting accounts blocked from posting when they follow all the guidelines.
These people and I are being bullied via comments, direct messages, stories and posts about us. I have also come to realise that even when you write to social media platforms for help like instagram and facebook they ignore us, like we do not matter unless we are an influencer. Unless we are proven valuable by a number.
What scares me the most about this is that allows for people to be bullied and harassed and nothing to be done, which has caused deaths and depression and suicide. On top of this what really saddens me is this is done by adults who are the examples of our children on how to use social media and be good humans. And us adults are all wondering why the next generation is no longer so mannered or respectful. I have had friends who died of this bullying and shaming that I am and others are currently receiving and it hurts to watch others suffer with instagram, YouTube or facebook not assisting.
Many small businesses are also suffering with income to their family as well as people suffering with mental illness from the bullying from others even though they request help and follow all guidelines on social media they do not get help because I/we do not have a number that says we are worthy enough to be helped and this has to stop.
It has been a week for me I cannot post on my instagram profile and instagram has ignored my 30 helps messages plus messages from friends. I can post on my stories, comment on others and post on my IGTV but not my feed. I hosted two yoga challenges supporting companies who sponsored me and could not promote and meet deadlines for my business because of the bullying that has been supported by instagram and I have let others down.
On top of this I am tired of seeing my friends shamed and being judged and their posts of hurt. I have had many people judge me and tell me I have no value for who I am because of my look. Because of my body that life gave me. We all have a body but apparently it is only ok if we dress right. My body gave me a daughter, my body creates my movement and gives me a life but I can only be a decent human if I dress a certain way…… So many are practicing the look of yoga or the words of love and healing but are judging another for what they wear or do & this is not yoga nor respect or love.
It has come to the point my daughter has seen me cry many times from this and I am so tired of being told / seeing others being told we are not good enough, porn or bad people because society labels us for our outer being. I am so saddened by a yoga community that I came to because I believed they practiced love / compassion but I have been watching them out people from online, challenges, companies dropping people because of a look and they all say they practice yoga non judgment.
Instagram and other platforms say they have strict policies on bullying and say they do not support people bullying and take any request for help seriously. However when it happens and requests are written they let communities of people continue bullying others, ignoring their requests for help. The bullying continues in private messages, in posts, by reporting unfairly peoples accounts when they follow all the guidelines (just because they do not like them getting their accounts blocked). When all they have done wrong is be different and social media platforms take no action of help and ignore their requests for help.
This is not yoga and this is dangerous that social media is ignoring people and letting bullying occur. I will never ever believe it nor support this message of untruth. This is not love, compassion, healing, kindness or respect. This is a deception of yoga and love. It is untruths, it is fear.
Judgement is one of the primary signs of the anxious Ego yoga teaches us that. By bringing awareness to judgement we begin to expose the unconscious negative patterns that constrain us, and which prevent us from expressing, and “embodying” our unfettered souls. – Unknown
If you feel you can easily comment on others, chances are you are also well versed in judging yourself. Feelings of insecurity and unworthiness create the biggest bullies and the saddest souls. In yoga we come into the present moment by yoking movement with conscious breath. We consciously observe and release feelings and fears of the past and future. The internal voice quiets and only is replaced with an inner guru. I hope you all know if someone practices yoga and then is judging this is not yoga. I hope you all know if someone practices yoga and does an advanced postures this is not always yoga if you are not practicing breath and love. I hope you all know that yoga is union, love, compassion, kindness, respect and observation with breath that’s it. I hope all know you are more valuable than a number and social media is needs to better at showing you this. To all who have been hurt and shamed recently I send you love and say you are enough. For all those hurting others I send you love and I hope you find your inner peace and heal so you can stop hurting others. Our heart smiles from within. Within this joy there is no room for judgment. This practice of non-judgment can be taken on and off your yoga mat.