PATHFINDERSreflections-Misti

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More than two years ago, I began a journey I never knew was possible in my life. For years my self-DOUBT was so thick and heavy…I told myself, that was someone else’s life, my life could never be that simple and, yet whole.  I had convinced myself that it had to be complicated, I was complicated, life was hard and following crazy dreams was for other people, not me.  I had a secret: I really believed I had nothing to offer…anyone. And I lived that way. Was a wife that way. Was a mother that way. Living each day trying to keep that secret by trying to please others and gain their approval, yet it never worked. I was miserable, again. Still waiting for success, accomplishment and contentment. Over the past two years, I un-learned a lot. That’s right, un-learned. I worked hard in many areas and redefined what accomplishment and success meant for me. I let go of so much to redefine what contentment meant for me. For so long, I had taken “the worlds” twisted definitions of these things to be fact, they simply are not. We are 100% responsible for the life we CREATE.
 
Next month, I embark on another moment of redefinition. During these two years, I had to un-learn the way the “yoga world” defines an experienced yoga teacher. I am leading a simultaneous yoga teacher/leadership training program for both new teachers and teachers who want to lead. Many of my own yogis have said “I am not qualified and I don’t have the experience” and you know what?  THAT IS OKAY.  Really, it is because you see, if I were (still) needing that approval I wouldn’t dare take this jump, too risky that they might be right. But not needing approval is quite liberating! I only need to trust; myself, God, His divine Universe and most of all…His Will. The rest is just paperwork and logistics.
 
So, to ANYONE out there who is wishing their life could be like mine? It can be. Do the work. Be willing to jump off the cliff when everything in your mind says NO. And most definitely jump when people let their own self-doubt leak onto you. Do something you love, share your talents and gifts. Un-learn the lessons. Redefine your SELF. I did and so can you. Remember this, doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Big Love,
Misti

PATHFINDERSreflections-Erika

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Yoga has opened endless doors to new possibilities in my life. Being raised by a single mother I was always taught to be strong and powerful. Growing up i struggled to keep that strong powerful personality up. For as long as I can remember I always hid my authentic feelings. Running from my fear of being seen as a weak person, I bottled up my feelings. I carried a lot of unfelt emotions in my body. The night I Had my break through I knew I had to take action. I knew my body was trying to tell me something. My body was slowing peeling away the layers I had worked so hard to push down and ignore.

After a lot of searching and self doubt I took a risk to meet Misti and attend a class. From that class on I knew this was what my body, mind and soul was needing all along, connection. Working with Misti has opened my eyes and my heart to have compassion for myself. I am on a journey to healing my inner child, I’m learning how to love and nurture myself. Pathfinders is a safe place to connect with woman of all ages. It is a place where it is okay to be vulnerable, something huge that I’ve taken with me from pathfinders is that showing my real authentic self is being in my greatness. Every time I go in I leave feeling empowered and that is what keeps me coming back every week. I am full of gratitude with my progress with yoga, self healing and self discovery through Pathfinders and with the help of Misti. I will keep walking my journey to become whole again.

Erika lives and works in Nashville. She is on the path to becoming a certified yoga teacher and has plans to pursue teaching as a way to help others connect, share and heal. 

PATHFINDERSreflections-Cassie

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Pathfinders yoga has truly been a blessing in my life. I came to yoga in a state of internal choas. The negative self talk , expectations of the world, and the daily routinely of going to work and surviving had gotten to me. Yoga and meditation became the remedy to cleanse my spirit and restore confidence within myself. The teachings have given me a thought perspective and a new set of skills to handle the journey of life. I thank Misti for helping me strengthen my spiritual connection with God. That renewed connection has brought a restoration of self-love and self-care. The personal program that Misti created for me was challenging and helped me achieve a deep appreciation for mediation and reflection through the yoga practice. In 5 weeks my life has been transformed and words cannot express my gratitude for Misti and Pathfinders yoga.

Cassie is a Nashville native. She currently works as a Recreation Leader for Metro Parks and Recreation. Cassie has a creative knack for repurposed furniture and she’s on the path to becoming a certified yoga teacher. 

PATHFINDERSreflections-Brittany

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I had a choice.  Stay locked behind the armor and the masks I’d made my home and my identity, OR choose me.  Choose the girl/woman who deserved freedom, safety, love, connection and the chance of a lifetime to be herself.

I chose me.  Not right away though.  There was struggling for me to create and habitual self-torture to enact.  Because of these rituals, these patterns, I knew I couldn’t trust myself to do it alone.  I had no idea what trusting myself looked like, or even how to do it!

Since the day shame entered my life as a young girl in the shape of violence and silence, I welded a suite of armor that I thought would protect me from pain, and I wore a mask that I thought would make me worthy, or more accurately, hide my unworthiness.

I did not seek help solely for myself. I only knew it had to start with me.  I made my choice so that I could return the love to the people in my life that were giving me love.  Also, for those who would show up later in my life to love me; like my un-born children.  I had to, and still have to, break the cycle of unworthiness. The scariest part of making this choice was not knowing if I would be loved if I revealed the person who had been hiding.  Not hiding out of not wanting to be seen, but out of not wanting to be hurt or loose the people I so deeply cared about.  The fear of hurt and loss had cost me too much in my life and I was exhausted with being in their debt.

After meeting Misti and hearing about her work, I heard the whisper. The soft sound of my own voice asking me to reach out.  It took me a long time.  I thought I had to be put together more….just a little bit more.  I thought I had to be a better at yoga or teaching yoga…just a little bit better.  I thought I had to have my story, my reason for needing help to be a little bit more worthy of asking for help….just a little bit more.  This was my self-made finish line of lies that would always get further and further away.  I had to face the truth that I would never reach that line and what was beyond, what was possible, without help.

I have myself to thank for walking in the Pathfinders’s doors. I can say that NOW.  That I thank myself.  I can acknowledge NOW that it was me that braved the whippings of shames’s tongue.  At Pathfinders, I was offered a space that was made for creative experimentation for the sake of transformation.  A space where ANYTHING goes.  A space where what needs to be released can be set free without judgement.  A space that begot space for endless possibility.

Pathfinders is also where the feeling of safety woke back up.  It was always there, with me, but I couldn’t feel it till it was felt.  As a student and client, I have never felt more safe in a room to be bare me.  Misti’s passion for helping others is as strong in authenticity as her compassion.  Her continued practice to show herself and others compassion is what defines Pathfinders – “where compassion meets direction”.  Here, a practice can be found that directs compassion inward, so that it can be unleashed; can be released out into the world and into the hearts of those we love, want to love, and will love.

I’m so blessed that I get to grow up again and rediscover the world.  I get to be in infancy-like wonder with the girl and the woman I am, and have always been. I’m ready to fall and get back up.  I’m ready to be messy for the sake of finding joy and love. I’m ready to take risks so that I can decide what stays in my heart and what needs letting go. I’m ready to practice being human and being Brittany.

Thank you, Brittany.  Thank you for the armor you built to protect us so that we could live.  So that we could get here, and not just live, but be alive.

Brittany lives and works in Nashville. She is passionate about her long time career in theater and acting/coaching as well as being a newly Certified Yoga Teacher. Her future plans include collaborating these two loves into something brand new to serve and lead others to live their best lives.

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.