PATHFINDERSreflections-Susan

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When I started my yoga training with Misti, I had no idea what life changes would happen. It was a God gift for certain. I read about the RESET program on the website and knew it was something I should look into and decided quickly to sign up. Misti guided me through Baron Baptiste’s book, Being of Power. For my entire life, I’ve always known something wasn’t right. I always knew I was a good person – I had good parents, a good childhood, did well in school, didn’t get into much trouble, had good friends, was a leader in the church, taught SS school, etc., BUT I was making very bad choices and keeping everything a secret. It was like I had to rebel against being good. I felt like a very bad person and that if people knew that person, no one would like me, much less love me. I started keeping secrets around seven years old when a cousin took advantage of my innocence. I didn’t know that it was wrong because the cousin was much older and I was just happy to be included. What I did know, whether from being told or from my conscious, was that I could NOT tell anyone – my first serious secret. I kept that secret until I was in my 30’s, but between 7 and 30, I created many, MANY more secrets. I’ve gone to dozens of counselors and even addiction centers trying to figure out what my problem was. I learned a lot in every case, but it still didn’t change me. No one ever talked about my “authentic self.” No one ever gave me the opportunity to totally get messy with my emotions and my practice before. Needless to say, I don’t show emotions easily, but week after week, the truth, the FACTS, were becoming clear and I learned how to get rid of the bricks I was carrying around. I learned that we have facts and then we build a story around them. We convince ourselves that our stories are the truth. My stories told me I was bad, untrustworthy, uncommitted, an addict, but through this course and Misti’s guidance, I realize I am a good person and from here on out, my new way of being is of honesty, integrity, and love, and the lies I am giving up are that I am bad and unlovable. This is what I am committed to.

Susan currently lives in Old Hickory, TN. She works as an Executive Assistant for Global Construction and is on the path to becoming a certified yoga teacher. She has two wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren.

 

PATHFINDERSreflections-Kandie

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When I started my yoga practice at the end of 2015 I was at a place in my life where I HAD to confront my extremely low self esteem and self worth. It was beginning to interfere in a way that I could no longer ignore it, causing overwhelming emotional upheaval and intense anxiety. I have always defined myself by someone else’s standards or in what I was involved in (e.g. Church,Singing, school, etc). Over the past 6 to 7 yrs my metaphorical train has been slowing and everything I’ve tried to ignore by pushing to the back of the train came slamming forward. There are days I can’t even look in the mirror without judging myself or hating who and what I see.

I had to make the choice to work on this!!! It’s not fun and many times I feel I am losing this battle and that I suck at life. Yoga and meditation has been teaching me to expand the limits and constraints I have placed on my body, mind and spirit. I’ve placed those things there because I was ashamed of my weight, being too needy, too nice, a people pleaser, too Kandie!! I’m learning who I am really am, as I never truly found that person, all the good and bad parts of me. I’m learning to push beyond what I’ve limited myself to in the past. To Trust in myself and realize I am LIMITLESS. I am a bridge being carved from stone by the weather and sometimes that weather is pleasant and enjoyable and sometimes it harsh and wears me down. But it’s necessary to find the beauty beneath…to find Kandie and all that I am. And who knows where the bridge will lead. But I’m patiently waiting to see.

There’s a line from a song that always reminds me to keep searching for myself: “there’s a song that’s inside of my soul…it’s the one that I’ve tried to find over and over again”.

I will find my song.

Kandie is a powerful warrior, who loves kick boxing and her yoga practice. She is on her path to living and loving her truest self. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and lives in Nashville.

PATHFINDERSreflections-Nicole

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Being a Pathfinder has taught me to learn to love and trust myself.

My work through yoga and inquiry has made me a better mom by showing me how to love myself the same way my daughter loves me and to love myself the way I love her.

In the past, I have been told I am worthless and a nobody. I believed this for a very long time. But now, I’m able to look deep inside myself. I have found power and strength I didn’t know I had. I have found confidence I didn’t know I had.

I have something to give and I am worth something.

Nicole is on the path to becoming a certified yoga teacher. She is a fun-loving mom to her daughter, Starr, age 6 and works as a sales rep for Sprint. She is originally from Florida and now lives in Nashville. 

PATHFINDERSreflections-Beth

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A day to just BE.

By: Beth Norton

On Saturday May 7th, I decided to go to an event my yoga studio was having. It was titled EnCOMPASS and was run by my yoga teacher, Misti. The four hours I was there I spent quality time with 7 other women of all different ages, shapes and sizes, and all in different places in their journey with Yoga and Life.We did many exercises that were supposed to pull us out of our comfort zone and help us to be really present in the current moment. We paired up and journaled our thoughts and feelings and then shared with the rest of the group. Nothing was forced… Whatever came out… Came out, and Misti would then help us put it in perspective. I found that I could relate to each of these vulnerable women and was so thankful to each one of them for being so open. We did Yoga together, at lunch together, and soul searched together. There was guided meditation where we rebalanced our chakras. It was so nice to spend this time void of cell phones and distractions. I left feeling calm, peaceful, and connected. It is now 48 hours later and the sense of balance I gained in my mind and body during those four short hours still remains. What a rare and wonderful experience. Thank you so much Misti for having a place and holding space for me.❤️

Beth’s path brought her to PATHFINDERS just a few months ago where she has discovered a love for her practice even she didn’t realize was possible. As a leader, Beth shows up fully for herself and others. Originally from Michigan, Beth now lives in Kingston Springs with her husband, Mike and their two fur babies.

PATHFINDERSreflections-Mary

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One revelation was that this life that I am creating is not all about me. Sometimes I am an instrument in God’s plan for someone else.  I can get wrapped up in my needs, my expectations, and how I think things should be.  I am going to give more space in my life to allow others to shine.  I desire to be a leader, a mentor, and an inspiration to others but that is about me.  As I lead or mentor others, I also should step back and get out-of-the-way so that they can live out the inspiration I was meant to be for them.
I am also understanding that my life is full of chapters. Sometimes I can linger in a chapter longer than I’m supposed to. This keeps me from moving onto the next chapter.  I am going to let go and just be. Stop controlling and let life unfold. I do not have to know every detail to trust that God is in control.  It is OK for me to be in the backseat when necessary.
I am creating this life.  If change is necessary then I can change it.  I chose to change it.
I am writing this from my home office. I went into the school this morning, dropped off Gracie, spent 30 minutes with my team expressing my expectations and building team morale.  I have great plans today to further my business, my personal growth, and my spiritual life. It feels great to seek out balance.  Thank you for holding the space for me to figure this out.
Mary is originally from Millington, TN and currently lives in Brentwood, TN. She is a mother of four children as well as the Owner/Operator of Holly Tree Christian Preschool of Priest Lake. Mary began her journey with PATHFINDERS in October of 2014. She has a strong and meaningful yoga practice both on and off her mat.

PATHFINDERSreflections-Tessa

IMG_3237Let go of the spinning plates.

EnCOMPASS was this weekend, and it came at just the right time for me. Before EnCOMPASS, I was feeling weighed down by stress and frustration…and frustration at feeling stressed.  After, I felt focused, energized, and more balanced.

As is always the case when I meet with the Pathfinders, I had a ton of ah–ha moments during Encompass.  One of the main things that stuck with me however, was something that we have discussed as a group before, the idea of balance.

What does it mean to be balanced?  What do I mean when I say I am feeling off–balance or that my life seems to be out of balance, or that I want to gain a better sense of balance?  During one of the first conversations I had with Misti, I realized that the way I have often thought of balance can be illustrated by spinning plates.  Have you ever seen anyone do that?  I remember seeing a street performer doing an act where he had lots of plates on sticks.  When the plates were spinning they balanced on the sticks, but each plate needed to keep spinning or it would fall.  The street performer had a so many plates spinning at the same time I remember being amazed at how he was able to attend to them all in a way that kept them all going!  This is what I thought a balanced life meant: making sure at every moment all of me plates (my responsibilities, my to dos etc.) were spinning and none of them were falling.

Misti offered a new way of thinking about balance.  “What if balance”, she said, “isn’t about keeping everything going perfectly at the same time?  What if balance is about being really and truly present wherever you are?”

It was really hard to wrap my head around this at first.  If I am really present in only one thing at a time, how can I keep the plates spinning?  And then it hit me like a can of corn (there is a Pathfinder–ism for you).  It’s not about the plates.  That’s not what balance means.  That is not what I am talking about when I talk about wanting more balance.  It’s not about the plates at all.

When I talk about balance, I am really talking about doing the things that fill me up and really engaging in those things.  If I am doing the things that matter most to me, and are congruent to who I want to be, than to feel really balanced is to be fully present.

During my yoga practice, it is very easy to be present, or perhaps it is more accurate to say it is difficult to be unfocused.  The mental and physical nature of yoga allows me to really zone in on my breathing, my body, my balance, and just being present.  Outside of yoga, I find it more challenging to be fully focused and present, particularly when one – or many – of the plates seems to be at risk of falling.

The first time Misti shared this perspective on balance with me, I tried it on (another Pathfinder–ism J).  I started trying to be really fully present in whatever I was doing.  That worked for a while, and I had a lot of reflections about which activities were easier or harder to be fully present in.  However, during EnCOMPASS, I realized I had shifted back to thinking about the plates.  EnCOMPASS brought me back to this idea of balance as presence, and it is something I want to hold on to as I head into this week.

I want to be aware of when I am thinking about the plates, and when I am fully present.  It’s a work in progress, and I don’t think the shift will be easy for me, but I’m so thankful that the idea of presence is back into the forefront of my mind.

I would love to hear how anyone reading this is thinking about balance.  What is working for you?  What isn’t?  What does it mean to you to be balanced?  What ways of thinking about balance have been unproductive?  What has been helpful?  Leave a comment or catch me next time you see me!

Tessa is a Training & Instruction Manager at The New Teacher Project for Metro Nashville Public Schools. She started her journey with PATHFINDERS in January 2016, and continues to share her insights as her practice grows and deepens. Tessa is originally from Columbia, Missouri and currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Jeff.