Thursday, July 2, 2015

Badass Women

Photo by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Welcome to a new series on Alive in the Fire that's all about badass women. :)

I am constantly impressed by women in my life who are courageously pursuing their dreams and doing what makes them most happy. Women I've known all my life, women in my community, and even women who I've met very recently or only met online through this blog. 

Women who are teachers, mothers, writers, warriors, business owners, leaders, artists, yogini goddesses... beautiful women of all ages, shapes, backgrounds, who have experienced a diversity of successes and struggles in life.

These women are badass. They aren't afraid to take risks. Or maybe they are, but they do it anyway. They know their strengths and don't let fear run the show. They create art and think big and sometimes break the rules. They live life to its fullest, go for wild adventures, and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I love, too, that these women understand the importance of loving and caring for themselves, and that they take time to balance their busy schedules with moments of rest and relaxation.

These women are inspiring and encouraging, and I'm so grateful to be able to share their stories. I hope that you'll enjoy their positive energy and bright ideas over the weeks to come. As always, I welcome your feedback and encourage you to share these posts with other women you know. As women, we've got to support each other in being badass!

Photo here and below by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

To kick off the series, I'd love to share my own post on being a badass. After all, this is my fearless year :)

What makes you a badass?
My relentless positive attitude. I believe others are inspired by my encouraging, uplifting spirit. 

It sounds silly, but sometimes I watch people around me notice my hair and my tattoos and the sparkle in my eye and I swear I can see its effect on them. Like at the grocery store. I'll have strangers at the grocery store smile at me, and I love that feeling, that I've brought joy to someone else just by being 'me.' 

I see it with my students after yoga class of course, too, and with my family and friends. Recently someone told me, 'You have such great energy!' and that made me feel so happy. Being the calm, peaceful person I am and being recognized as that is so empowering. Being badass is about being confident in yourself, and that's something I can honestly say is true for me at this moment in my life. I'm confident in who I am. I stay positive and I don't give up. And I share that sense of joy and peace with others around me.

How did you get where you are today? 
I believe devotion is a big part of it. Devoting myself to the path of yoga, focusing on my intentions, working my ass off, and believing in myself. Also remembering to stay humble and to ask for help when I need it. We all experience suffering -- goodness knows I've had some really dark times in my life. It's important to remember that we're in community with others for a reason. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my loved ones and my yoga community.

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
My favorite things for rejuvenation are massage, Reiki, taking breaks from my phone, going to a Yin class, and journaling.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?
Clarify your vision. Get really clear on what you want. And then be kind to yourself in the process. 

If you're unhappy with something in your life, first you have to believe that changing it is possible. Tell yourself it's already real. When I realized I wanted to become a yoga teacher, I told my teacher at the time about my dream and she said, 'Perfect! Now you're a teacher!' She challenged me to start thinking of it that way in the present moment, rather than waiting or delaying or worrying about the 'what-ifs.' Before I'd ever even researched teacher trainings or led a class, she had me coming to yoga and considering it from the teacher's perspective and that shifted everything. 

You already have all the tools you need; I tell my students all the time, 'Everything you seek is within your reach.' Sometimes the part you're missing is awareness. What do you really want? And what fears are holding you back? It's a matter of understanding those things, and also finding a sense of gratitude for all the blessings you currently have. Make gratitude lists. Start each day with a list of 10 things you love. Doing this has always helped me shift my perspective so that I can move forward even on days when I'm struggling.

 Photo by Jobi Otso.

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)

The more I love myself and others, the more impact I can have. I want to continue making my healing journey a priority, and developing my skills as a yoga teacher and a Reiki healer so that I can hold space for others. I always want to be learning new things.
Photo by T. Libertiny.

Coming soon in the Badass Women series... a magazine writer living in NYC, an entrepreneur from Chicago, and a massage therapist/esthetician from northern California, all of whom I adore :)

Stay tuned, lovely yogis! 

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