1. I am struggling to understand this world right now and all that is existing. It overwhelms me to the core I am raising my daughter in these times. However I am learning one thing, everyone is doing something that helps for better tomorrows. So I want to take the time to thank you all when so many of us remind us what we are doing wrong. We are all trying and you deserve to be thanked for your efforts.
‘To the person who uses metal straws to save fish but consumes animals, I’d like to say thank you. To the vegan who isn’t aware of our homelessness problem, thank you. To the climate change activists who aren’t attentive to fast fashion, thank you. To the girl who gives her old clothes to the disadvantaged but isn’t educated on sex trafficking, thank you. To the guy who picks up rubbish on his way home from a surf but isn’t well-informed about male suicide rates, thank you. To the students that stand up for bullying but are unaware of the constant domestic violence epidemic, thank you.
To the peace activists, feminists, animal adopters, teachers, volunteers, foster carers, recyclers, givers, doers and believers, I say thank you.
We are all on a different path and we all see through different eyes. Current world issues that you are passionate about, aren’t always what other people are trying to change… and that’s okay.
It’s not everyone’s job to save every part of the world but it is everyone’s responsibility to thank every person who is doing THEIR part to save the world. Don’t critic, just appreciate. Don’t judge, just educate. We’re all trying our best.
By Carla Borthwick’
2. My best & worst traits are being sensitive, yet always being unconventional & feeling others too much, I forget about me or take on their pain & challenge. I grew up with a father that showed me a body was neutral & about creating life. He use to say to me what a beautiful specimen as we saw amazing athletes perform their craft. I never saw the hyper sexuality that is this culture today. We use to go to the beach and get changed in the carpark. My dad would shower & walk around the house naked.. He grew up very conservative however & it wasn’t until he learnt a different way through surfing that he lost that conservative nature. I love the easy going nature he has about the body. It hasn’t always served me well because people always misunderstand me & I never understood why we couldn’t still love each other & accept each other when we look different or believe in different beliefs. In nature a tree & a flower need different amounts of sunlight, rain & shade to grow & be their best & so does each human. There is not a wrong & right as we humans are taught, this is just life & like each tree blossoms differently so does each human. Dad is on the climate change conference team of Australia & he reminds me when we work in harmony we can make beauty together even with our differences, just like the plants make our beautiful nature. “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
― Ram Das
3. Sharing my current 25 truths is hard because when I write & re read them I know their are people ready to pull them apart & I know not everyone will be able to make sense of them, as many do not make sense of me and all of us as with live without sharing our truths. It’s this being vulnerable to the core, that scares the shit out of me, as to be hit when I am low & real, it’s never been easy for any human, so that’s why we hide, but I don’t want to hide. However I also know I need to acknowledge me to heal me. You first & foremost must get out of denial & into clarity about what’s really wrong or you in life to do that. At this point you have a choice: You can make peace or you commit to change… because the lingering is what keeps me stuck or suffering… When I write anything it takes me many proof reads to get it right & when I post it there is always an error. Although I am an author of Brave Beautiful & Baring it All with @watkinswisdom I still struggle with the concept of it. As I have been told my whole life I am terrible in grammar, reading, talking & writing.
4. I have never written a journal, my journal started online sharing my voice, my faults & me. When I write I can bring clarity to myself & feel more connected to myself & others, like I am no longer alone. It saves me from my darkness.
5. I grew up in Hobart, Tasmania & felt like I never fitted in but always loved being a Tasmanian, Australian.
6. I feel it is my job to save people & this nearly killed me. I have had to learn to save myself & put my mask on first, so I could help others. I still feel like I am failing everyday when I cannot make people happy & help them, but I realise now it is not my job to save them, but by saving myself I can be a light so they can see the way too.
7. My two grandmas died before I finished school. One from Alzheimer’s the other Dementia. My two grandfathers died of heart disease. My mom & dad have had Osteoporosis/Osteopenia & my mom has Multiple Sclerosis. I wonder what my fate is & this is why I work on my mind body & soul everyday. I wish every moment I could give my moms abilities back so she could do the things she wished she could.
8. I spent my life growing up trying to keep up with the boys. I got the message that women were too emotional, driven into me. My sensitive/ emotional nature wasn’t acknowledged with love it was acknowledged with frustration as it often still is today. I ended up believing as a child my emotions/sensitives & womanhood made me lesser & too complex to be fully accepted. I was an athlete & I got so skinny over training as a teenager, just so I could lose my period, hoping that would mean I would no longer be an emotional/sensitive woman. Still to today I feel bad for being emotional & sensitive. I wonder if this is the reason why I struggle so much, because I feel too much & it scares me as Laine does too. I want her to love this part of her. I also wonder if the reason I lost my child and drs said I could not have children was because I did not respect my body and understand how to care for it. At 36 I don’t love my sensitive and emotional nature but I do acknowledge that it gives me great compassion and empathy and that is a gift in a world of pain, numbness and masking.
9. I was told when when I made the decision to leave Saudi Arabia by a loved one, after I tried commiting suicide, because I was strugglng to deal with postnatal depression that I was weak and that is why I could not handle life. I believed this and some days still do when I struggle. A few weeks ago I talked to someone in my life about PTSD after rape that occured in 2009. That family member suggested to me when they heard that I was numb for 2 years after rape and do not remember much of those 2 years (as they remember it being an amazing 2 years)…. The reason why I could not remember those 2 years of my life, wasn’t because of rape or PTSD but because I dont focus on the positive enough. It really hit home to me how little we see of the internal pain and suffering of others. How much we damage each other by our lack of compassion for things we don’t understand or see differently. I now know even to today this is why I struggled to share with those close to me, because I feel nobody understands. I am learning my life is defined not only by what you think about it, but also what you think of yourself. Your self concept is an idea that you have spent your whole life building. It was created by piecing together inputs and influences from those around you. What your family believed, what your peers thought, what became self evident through personal experience etc. My self image is a work in progress to adjust as my brain’s confirmation bias works to affirm my pre existing belief about myself. However I am working on it because I want Laine to know it is possible so she can become the best she can be not limited by untruths.
10. I have moved a lot in the last 10 years. I have lived in Australia, on a cruise ship working 7 days a week 14-16 hr days, Austria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and now Switzerland. People often ask me how i came to live abroad. I find this answer very hard to answer because I never planned it. Life just gave me a door and I walked through it and did the best I could with the new adventure. I think in honesty I look back and was busy running from me (my internal pain) soothing it with external adventures and challenges (so loud) so I didnt have to do the internal hardwork….. I traveled with no money, I worked black, I overstayed my visa in Europe 7 months, I worked illegally in South Africa as a receptionist as the company lied about my visa and worked in Europe by choice to survive and do what I thought I needed at the time. These were some of the best and hardest years of my life. They have taught me so much and also taken so much from me. The biggest truth I learnt from this is usually when we have a problem that is circumstantial, we are facing the reality of life. When we have a problem that is chronic, we are facing the reality of ourselves. I learnt all the years I spent accumulating tiny traumas, adaptations to my being and finding coping mechanisms to cope ended up compounded over time and I had to face myself to find my path of becoming and freedom. The triggers were showing me my path and the path will show me my destiny.
11. My daughter teaches me so much more about life in her 7 years, more than I have learnt in my 37 years. I feel like I am relearning life from her. I am in awe of her mind and humour and smile. Everyday I hope I return her love and joy and awesomeness to her to give her a great start in life.
12. My social media account was never advertised, instagram, youtube and facebook have always been free content. I wanted to share my personal trainer knowledge to help others and in time my yoga knowledge like it was helping myself. Just like my traveling I just let it unfold sharing my knowledge and self with no plan and still do this today. I hope my shares help others to see overcoming is not just a matter of self awareness, but realizing that our problems are not problems, they are symptoms. We cannot get rid of the coping mechanisms and think we have solved the problem.
13. I wonder about love if I have truly experienced true love we all talk about or am I making do. I am a fairytale believer of love but I feel like love is always more hard work and a constant struggle to be accepted by another person (in adulthood). For them to believe you and your truths as that is all I have ever experienced and seen by my parents experience.
14. My biggest desire is I could assist others on a greater scale and to be of sorts a modern day Mother Teresa…..Spread love everywhere I go. Let no one ever come to me without leaving happier. I know I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples…as Mother Teresa said.
My heart hurts for this world, all the suffering and helping others is so important to me. I am tired of the judgement, blame, labels and finding the wrong in kindness mentality. I wish we could all speak kinder words as their echoes are endless in empowerment. I wish we could all stop judging so we could find room to love others again. I want the world to learn to meet each other with a smile again, as this is where the love and possibilities begin. I wish I could bring love to all walks of life and have had this vision since I was a child. The pain and suffering has always been too much for me to witness and feel. I wish to feed the hungry, build schools for those that need education, adopt children in need, create refuge and community safe havens for those kids and adults in low socioeconomic/hard homes, to learn and grow and build positive relationships, mentors and experiences to have a better future. I wish to work in prisons to bring love to many who have never experienced it. To listen to their stories that led them to their darkness and to bring yoga and meditation to their minds so they can find their way back home to love. As Mother Teresa says If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. We are all who we are, so much more than he and she saids. As @blissology says let’s be kinder and create an upward spiral. Let’s remember If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other and with this belonging comes great responsibility to speak and do kindness, because it doesn’t just change others lives it changes ours too to create peace, joy and love. We all cannot do everything but we can do just one, not of all of us will be in the history books for great things but we can all do small things with great love
15. I am learning to ask myself what is good for me and that will often mean it will not be preferred by others, but grants permission for others to be truthful to themselves. I am learning what is good for me is not about being happy or what others need but about being whole and healing the pain and reconnecting my fragmented self so I am not a hurt person hurting myself and others. Love I am learning is about emerging and becoming, not disappearing. I am learning to see what would not be good enough for Laine is also not good enough for me. I still have many things I wish to change and I am working towards that so I will not be an example of the things I would not wish for her. I am an imperfect person doing my best trying to work on letting go of society untruths and hiding in shame and judgment to be a Martyr to live comfortably. A ship in Harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. As comfortable is not safe and it does not protect her it is often the opposite of freedom. I believe the greatest burden a child can bare is the unlived life of a parent, which is what I saw my mother do in some things and I wish I could give her life back so she could have done the things she dreamed of. So I am willing to try to make uncomfortable choices and bring uncomfortable to our lives to live a life worth living even if that looks different or doesn’t make sense or gain approval and is hard. As life is hard living our truth or living societies expectations anyway, so you may as well live your truth. Life is not about being right or wrong or this way or that, it’s about having a go and making the best of it, to be the best you can. Don’t ask the world what it needs and others because what the world and others need is more people coming alive.
16. My greatest sufferings have come from always trying to control everything, trying to be something I am not, trying to live others expectations / make others happy and from trying to be perfect. I am learning that control actually makes people feel like they aren’t trusted or loved and perfection is the enemy of love and acceptance. Love is the opposite of control as love requires trust and freedom is letting go and not knowing.
17. I have many nicknames Rhyanna, Rhy, Narns, Twinkle Toes, TnT, Narnsy Barnsy, Rhyanna Banana, Nudelaug, Mama, Rhy Rhy …etc
18. I have had many professions in my life Executive Assistant in top four accounting firms, law and engineering firms, government worker, Marketing coordinator, Human Resource Assistant, Events Coordinator, Trainer of Administration Staff, Receptionist, Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor, Yoga Teacher, LifeGuard, Checkout Chic, Contact Centre Telephone Operator, Personal Assistant, Health and Wellbeing consultant and more. Some I have loved, some I didn’t like, some I wasn’t so great at, some I excelled at. Some jobs I left because they were the wrong fit. I have struggled with language my whole life, I couldn’t read till year 4 and one Job I got a warning from because my spelling was so bad, I didn’t even know how to spell thank you (I thought it was one word) when I was 20 and they thought I was being lazy and joking. Two jobs I loved so much, but still left because of love, life and travel opened doors and I wanted adventure and discovery over comfort..
19. It has been really challenging to be here on social media sharing myself. I have felt heart broken many times by the hate of humans judging others and myself for the bodies we are given at birth. I have always been deeply grateful for @nude_yogagirl @michelle_yogogirls@crystallized_thought@joe_lizzzzzz_yoga @lizcrosbyyoga@tryahlove @iamstevana@chocolate_yoga @bahayogi@rootedinflowing & their presence to remind women; we can support & celebrate each other’s beauty without it detracting from our own; we are not competing we are journeying together. I love how they shine unapologetically in their unique beauty and remind us, we are more than our bodies. I have never understood the hate women bestow on each other and hope it changes for my daughter. I never understood the porn mentality and why people don’t see their sisters, friends and mothers in these courageous souls, who share such courage to help the world’s mentality change. Through their message I have discovered that sharing myself unapologetically even though there are many judging me (and it never gets easier, you just learn to see it more as reflection of their worlds teaching and your triggers for healing). That when a woman learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself. I have been looking at all of those contradictory opinions and thought: If there is, in fact, an objective right or wrong way to handle this, why do all of these people have such different ideas about what a person should do? It must be that should and shouldn’t, right and wrong, good and bad— They’re not real. They’re just culturally constructed, artificial, ever-changing cages created to maintain institutions. It really hit me that in every family, culture, or religion, ideas of right and wrong are the barbed wire fences, the loud rooster in the pen that keeps the masses in order. They are the fences that keep us caged…..
20. I have a beautiful daughter that I was told I would never have by doctors, she’s my miracle. I am challenged when people ask me if I will have more children…like it is easy and natural but the fact is for many it is not. I was told I couldnt have any children, after I lost my first… Now as a mother I feel blessed and I feel a failure. I have been so often told I could do better. I feel grateful to be a mother and cherish the opportunity to watch a human blossom and grow, however I struggle immensely with the responsibility to make myself better so I can be a better mother for my daughter. I know I have so many flaws. I started yoga after Laine was born 7 years ago but I really started yoga 2 years after I started the physical practice. I say this because the first two years I never felt my breath, I never connected to me, in the first two years I actually lost myself into the pitfalls of depression. It wasn’t till after my attempt on my life and starting handstands at around 32 I realised life and yoga was about balance of mind, body, soul and the breath, not about the pose but the feel. I have learnt self hatred is harder to unlearn that it is to learn. It is difficult for any human in this culture to be healthy. It is actually an ultimate victory to find our way home to self love, while existing in a world that tells you, you are not enough. So I am working hard on my wholeness and health everyday. I still struggle everyday with my thoughts about myself and body, but I will no longer let it tame me. I am realising revelation must come before revolution for this world to change. I am realising compassion comes with our imagination. If we cannot understand someone or take a moment to go into our heads to think about them and their suffering they may have endured we will never be able to hold compassion and space for those who are different or for those who hurt us, we will only see victims or aggressors. This is problematic as we will always be the victim and always be disempowered but what about the humanness in humans that exists in each of us, it is never black and white we are all hurting others and we are all hurt by others. It is not about the hurt it is about the healing, it is not about the labels it is about the acceptance and empowerment of what we can do with who we are.
21. I post photos and videos of myself online which share my journey of life, yoga and all aspects of me. I don’t understand how people can accept me because I wear something and then suddenly I am a terrible person because I look different from their ideals. We are taught, we are what is within but we still judge others by the outside. It is like deciding you like a book by its cover and never reading it. My content has been misappropriated so many times I cannot count. I have experienced accounts, yogis and people that speak kindness and non judgment and have a million followers bully or block me just because I’m too much. It took me a lot of self reflection and looking within but I have learnt to respect that they have their truth and this is their journey. That it is a journey online and in life about ourselves not he or she did wrong. We all are triggered by something/one. Although people have hurt me. I am willing to own and understand I have also hurt people too intentionally and unintentionally. I understand yoga doesn’t change us, it gives us tools to change us. I have experienced yoga accounts take my content and tell me I am not yoga because of what clothes I wear or don’t wear. I have learned to question what yoga is every day and how I can use it with love and now know it is not a person or an account with a lot of followers that has it all together or worth following. It is about actions done by those and communities that walk their talk not just talk and that is not about a number. I have learned to accept that yoga is also controversial and should never be put on a pedestal and there are rights and wrongs to everyone that practices and we will not fit everyone’s ideal and even in yoga just like life hurt people hurt people, because the fact is you can’t take human out of anything.
22. I view my body as a gift for life, to create & connect to the tangible world. I view it as an experience giver via either creating actions with it or connecting to my imagination & imagining it being a part of a reality through visualisation/senses. My body is neutral until given meaning. I view my body & other bodies as a tool for life & all bodies as beautiful.
When we don’t love each other for the way we look/see. We have a choice to make. Love & challenge our beliefs or keep believing our beliefs. Returning to ourselves isn’t as easy as listening to the voices inside of us, because some of those voices inside of us we assume are truth, are actually truths that other humans told to us. Some of the hardest & most empowering work we will ever do in our lives is to separate the voices of our teachers from wisdom, propaganda from truth & fear from love.
23. I am a super sensitive human & very introverted, which is tough as I care so deeply about humans. I would stand up & perish for others, but meeting for a drink is hard. I love people to the core but in person I feel lost & insecure by the noise and energy. I have always assumed I was weak for being sensitive & introverted. However I am learning my feelings are not me, they come & go. It turned out these feelings were teaching me to reconnect from the one place I always run from, me. As I practiced allowing my permission to feel I found the reward of enduring was finding me, finding my purpose, finding my love. I believe being an artist & using my sensuality allows me to transform the pain, trauma, tension and helps me to release it through art, be it yoga, dance, photography, painting, singing or writing. The heart beat to change is the willingness to diagnose, accept ourselves & acknowledge we are part of the problem. If we are not willing to admit the times we are wrong. Then we cannot honestly heal, grow & hold compassion. What it means to be in the human struggle is to be wrong, vulnerable & admit our shame. So we can reevaluate & evolve in the places we want/need to, by letting go of those things that have held us back from love. There is no neutrality in life, but there are different ways to approach change. The good news is there are no fixed identities too. We can be one thing one moment, another the next. What we do in each moment determines what we are – not who we are. Like fighting an addiction, changing the world requires persistence, self awareness, constant self reflection and self examination.
I wish I could fix it so my daughter didn’t have to experience this hatred. My heart also soars from all the beauty that exists that I have experienced and my daughter is yet to discover and experience.
24. Once upon a time suffering was my comfort zone, unworthiness was my worth & goodness. Then one day I realised I had to choose joy & love. Choosing joy doesn’t mean everything is perfect or it is easy. However I have learned it is nice to feel grateful to be alive. One thing I see is my happiness brings more happiness. I have noticed it seems the world loves a woman in pain, more than a joyful & confident woman. We have been conditioned to be afraid & dislike confident women & girls saying they are too much. Why? Because strong happy confident women & girls are challenging cultural norms & sadly we all want to be liked. So we downplay our compliments, our sensuality, our strengths, our opinions, we value likes instead of our gut & we apologize for everything. We want to be respected but first off we want to be loved…However the sad thing is we are never taught the love comes from US. Dr Maya Angelou used to say modesty is a learned affectation. You do not want modesty, you want humility. Humility comes from the inside out. The word humility derives from the latin word humilitas which means ‘of the earth’ to be humble, is to be grounded knowing who you are. It replies to the responsibility to evolve into what you are meant to become. To bloom, to reach, to fully be. It is not honorable for nature to wilt, so why would it be honorable for a woman to wilt? I have never pretended to be more than I am. I have always pretended to be less then. Modesty is not required to be a woman. I do not want to take comfort in others’ weakness & pain. I never want to lean into it like so much of the world. I want to find inspiration in the joys & successes of others, because that makes me happier in turn the world. I am also going to give myself & others compassion for their conditioning of who do we think she is doing that? And remember that it takes time to unlearn our conditioning, when we do, I hope we will all be saying (instead of shaming & judging).. She is full of wounds & riddled with scars, but she is still standing & she is fiercely beautiful, effortlessly herself & everyone loves her for who she is.
25. So many of us become concerned with creating a life of meaning, however we forget we already have one. I remember the day I stood there with a knife in my hand and I had just attempted on my life. My 2 year old daughter sitting in front of me watching cartoons and I standing in my kitchen in Jeddah Saudi Arabia paralysed by a life of unmeaning in my head but staring at the life of meaning in front of me. Most of us have deep desires for our lives and to create a meaning with purpose and love but we forget that we already have purpose and love. For a moment take a breath away from creating, take a breath away from hustling, take a pause into observing the love you have, the good work you do, the people who can count on you and something beautiful you can see. If you have all that and this breath right now you already got it all. Life doesn’t get any more meaningful than that. Do not get so lost in the hustle of creating a meaning you desire that you forget that magic already exists.The pressure to be, expectations and judgment of life can be overwhelming but all we can do is show our journey and let others share theirs. I used to be terrified of being my true self – honest and vulnerable. But I’d rather be judged for my truth than for something “perfect” that’s not who I really am. And this is just part of my story and 25 truths that are ever changing as I evolve. I have come to realize that much of our healing doesn’t come from books, knowledge or someone saving us, being our hero’s. No matter how many people love us or how much knowledge we have….Until we are able to accept what happens in our life, we cannot utilise anything to rebuild and regain life. I say rebuild and regain life because the life before will never be the life after. But you must rebuild from what you have, the shattered life and regain life from all that is around you; by reconnecting to what is here and now. I have learnt that letting go and forgiving life and others, did not mean to disregard or gloss over painful or traumatic experiences, but to instead recall them with acceptance and place them into a storyline of personal evolution.