Radiate Love

Radiate Love

In early 2013, I heard a phrase at a yoga workshop that really resonated with me. The phrase was, simply, to “radiate love.” Stop and think about the beauty of that statement for just a moment: To be so full of love for yourself and others that you literally radiate it. That others can see the glow on your face, and you can picture in your imagination the love overflowing from your body and into the bodies of those around you. This phrase has fit a lot of really serendipitous moments from 2013-2014, including not just some stellar yoga retreats but also when I was blessed enough to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak in person in Louisville, Kentucky. The line to see him literally stretched across the bridge to Indiana. The whole arena was love. Thousands of people, feeling the same emotion, with compassion towards each other, united in love and acceptance. So what does it mean to “radiate love”? I would say that each person can gather his or her own meaning from this simple phrase. For me, it means being in touch with your emotions; being unafraid to express your emotions; and feeling compassionate towards others. In those moments where I accomplish these three things, when I feel that I radiate love, I’ve found that I can return from a yoga retreat and feel elated and peaceful for the following week! (I call this my “yoga high.”) It is also what I saw on H.H. Dalai Lama’s face and heard in his booming belly laughter those two days that I was lucky enough to be in...
Strength & Resilience

Strength & Resilience

Strong. Resilient. These are two labels that I’ve really taken to my core. I was raised in a poor household in Central Kentucky, at a time when there wasn’t really much to do in Kentucky. I grew up in a bad neighborhood (think: Bloods and Crips during the 90s gang wars; dog fights; drive-by shootings; domestic violence and murders). Despite all this, I had an incredibly happy childhood. What my family may have lacked in money we made up for in love — and in strong, feminist women. My aunts and my mother, all of whom were very close,  taught me that, as a woman, you’ve got to empower yourself. You must take control of your life and have confidence in who you are. You could say I get a lot of my drive from my family. There were times as a teenager that I didn’t know how much longer we’d have a roof over our heads, or where our next meal might come from. There was a lot of fear during those times, but my parents kept working through those obstacles — and I’ve learned to work through hardships in my own life. I learned to be motivated to move beyond just supplying my own basic human needs. I refuse to worry ever again about having a roof over my head, or about providing food and water for myself. I remain driven as an adult to continue pushing for more, trying to become a better person than I was yesterday, and continually working through whatever obstacles remain in my path. One thing I’ve noticed along the way: when I’m feeling...

Banana "Ice Cream"

A much healthier, low-calorie and vegan “ice cream” that satisfies your sweet craving without all the calories. Ingredients 2 bananas 1 Tbsp vanilla 4-5 ice cubes 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup Directions: 1) Peel bananas and place in freezer 2) Once frozen, remove bananas from freezer and place in blender with vanilla and ice cubes 3) Blend until smooth, thick consistency 4) Put into two different cups, top with chocolate syrup and serve...
Oprah's advice for handling negativity

Oprah's advice for handling negativity

I love Oprah. I really do. But who doesn’t? Anyway… Oprah Winfrey offers the best advice in the history of EVER for how to handle negativity from other people. Oprah’s Advice for Handling Negativity Sometimes you have to (lovingly) divorce your friends and divorce your family members. You must set boundaries by saying, “I will not allow you to treat me this way. When you come to your senses, you can come back into my life.” Healthy Boundaries According to the book Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield MD, healthy boundaries are NOT: Set for us by others Hurtful or harmful Controlling or manipulative Invasive or dominating Rigid and immovable Healthy boundaries ARE: present appropriate clear firm protective flexible receptive determined by us, ourselves How Boundaries Reduce Negativity When you start being the power in your life, pushing for your own well-being and treating yourself with love and respect, you will not allow others to give you anything less. And, fittingly, you will radiate love and respect for others as well. The relationships in your life will work themselves...
Today, I am…

Today, I am…

Watching rainbows trapped in sunlight bouncing off the cars. I want to exist somewhere beyond the colorful borders of those rainbows. I want to know that I am free, boundless, not trapped by the barriers of society, the world, my peers, and my own mind. Today, I am… I’m listening to the coffee shop barista calling for a woman named March. I’m sensing, smelling and tasting something sweetly familiar, like a sip of hot chocolate in the summer — but the words for this sensation are falling from the tip of my tongue before I have a chance to name them. It doesn’t matter. I am calm. I feel the rhythm of the Kings’ guitars as a stranger sings my story through silver headphones. I breathe slowly in and out. I read and expand my knowledge, my self-worth, and my sense that everything happening was meant to be. I’m done with finding strength in the words of others, instead allowing the words of others to release the strength within myself… I’m putting a name on my troubles. I’m ending the codependence. I know it gets better from here. The following are words I haven’t said in a while, but these words have become a mantra to myself that rings through my mind and fights away my worries: Keep living life. Keep loving people. Go ahead. Read those two sentences out loud to yourself. It feels good, doesn’t it?...