Where I spend a majority of my time when I am off my mat-
You can find me in either yoga clothes or scrubs, but I realize that I think I actually spend more time in scrubs. To give you some background, I graduated with a degree in recreation therapy from East Carolina University. Most people question what recreation therapy is so to give you a better idea– recreation therapy is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illness or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. This type of therapy can include helping others through a variety of things such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, art, music, games, dance, animals and movement.
About 3 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to bring recreation therapy to Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT. When taking this job, my main goal was to spread the holistic approach into the medical field. I got my yoga certification previously for a recreation therapy internship so I wanted to combine what I had learned in my recreation therapy program and what I learned from my yoga certification course to help patients at the hospital. I wanted to be able to tie in the mind, body and soul into the healing or rehabilitation of an individual.
When I first started this job, recreation therapy was only offered in the physical rehabilitation unit. It has now spread to every part of the hospital such as psychiatry, pediatrics, pain management, and in the inpatient hospital. This week they have recently made it so every staff member of the hospital can place an order for a patient to receive recreation therapy. This news made me ecstatic, I felt so excited that my goals and dreams with this program were coming to real life.
It has been an extremely fulfilling experiences to watch recreation therapy grow throughout the hospital as well as share what I have learned in my yoga certification course in the medical field. I have experienced a variety of circumstances with different populations where the holistic approach has been extremely beneficial in the healing process of a patient.
Through this experience as a whole, it has taught me to never stop believing. Never stop believing in yourself or the universe to help you accomplish your goals and dreams. Allow yourself to look at your goals as something that will come easy to you. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
This is a caption that I wrote a while back on my instagram but decided to post it on here for some inspiration –
The sun rises every morning filling the sky with hope and opportunity. The light gives us warmth. The bodies of water that surround us provide greater peace. I have the ability to manifest kindness, happiness, peace and health. I cultivate balance in every aspect of my life. I am energized. I have two arms to hold people and a big heart to love them with. I have a body that is willing to work for me another day. I have a job that allows me to make a difference in the world.
How could I have anything to complain about?
Before I began my journey of a more mindful lifestyle, I saw the world from a darker perspective through the lens of anxiety and fear. It was very exhausting and consuming. once I learned the control we all have over our own lives and began to take ownership of who I wanted to be and how I wanted to view the world I began to view each day as how could I NOT be happy?
I can still remember the day that I was at work and received a call from my mom. I could tell in her voice this was not an ordinary call. Interestingly enough I had been getting vibes all week feeling like someone in my family was suffering. I kept calling my dad and checking in with him. Something in me felt as if I needed to check in with him. My sister said she felt this way too.
My mom told me that my dad and her would be going to Houston the next week because they had found something in my dad that may be cancer and they needed to go to the best cancer treatment center to get this looked at. After hearing this I didn’t know how to feel. Working at a hospital it had become my worst nightmare seeing one of my own family members in that bed. I immediately booked a flight home to see my parents before they left for Houston.
A couple days later my parents left for Houston for the weekend. This was in October 2018. They didn’t return home again until May 2019. This entire situation ended up being more than we thought. My dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and was set up for chemotherapy immediately. A couple months after this, he also received a stem cell transplant (my dad now has 2 birthdays!).
We spent Christmas in Houston in a 1 bedroom apartment just us 5. No presents needed just spent hours playing games or dancing to music from my mom’s laptop. This will be a Christmas I will never forget.
Many fearful experiences and treatments later, my dad was finally in remission. After months away, my parents could finally go home. This felt like a miracle. There were times I didn’t know if we would ever get to this point.
This is just a snippet of the past year in my family’s life but our lives will forever be changed after this. I can confidently say my family is incredibly stronger and more courageous than ever before.
Throughout this entire fearful experience, I have not once heard my dad complain. The moment he found out about his cancer he did not hesitate, did not say “why me” he immediately took it on and was determined to stay strong physically and mentally. He continues to demonstrate faith and strength every day, teaching us even greater lessons about life than he ever did before. He will forever be my inspiration.
I share this experience because it has opened my eyes to how quickly a life can change. I am eager to provide others with awareness of how important each given day is. Give love to those you care about and always remind yourself how precious life is.
Sometimes we tend to picture a loving human as someone who lives in total bliss— is always happy, radiates positive energy 24/7 and is committed to love so strongly that the presence of them alleviates all suffering.
Only one problem with this image: it’s unrealistic, it’s an illusion we’ve created. If a creature like that existed, it wouldn’t be a human.
To be human is to be both stormy and sunny. It is to always be moving through the levels of self-love and self-compassion.
There will be times in your life when it makes sense to do the deep work. There will be times when you’ll fully accept yourself and your daily habits will be on point. There will be times when you’ll step fully into your power. There will be times when you can feel and even influence the flow of the world around you.
There will be times when stress catches up to you and you get sucked into an exhaustion cycle. There will be times when you may be heartbroken and wrecked for months. There will be times when you may become imbalanced. There will be times when you wish you didn’t have to deal with being human.
And it’s all ok.
The practice of love involves working with yourself wherever you’re at. Step fully and boldly into your life. When times are tough, be gentle on yourself. When times are joyful, embrace them.
Use everything you have in service of yourself and in service of others. Share your gift. When you do this, everything in the world will burn brighter because of you.
Lately I have been practicing manifestation. I have decided to share how I chose to go about doing so to give an example to those who are interested in manifestation. In order to manifest your desire, get very clear about how you want to feel. And then do whatever it takes to support that feeling. This is key to manifesting.
I have recently been intending to manifest to move forward into a new season for myself. I would like to cultivate new thought patterns and release old negative thought patterns or obsessive cycles. My intention is to return to a greater state of love and inner peace. Therefore, it is important that I am loving myself and doing things that bring me peace in order for this manifestation to happen.
When I began my manifestation to provide me with new thought patterns I wrote out what I would like these new thought patterns to include. I wrote things such as- thoughts that are serving me, involve moving forward, are healthy, do not include the past, are loving towards myself, include gratitude, cultivate acceptance and are at peace with my emotions. This helps me to be clear on what I would like to happen now.
After this I wrote out set goals that would help me to move forward. This helps me to be even more specific with what I would like to happen. My first goal stated “to be grateful for what was, courageous enough to keep an open heart and wise enough to let go and move on from what is no longer serving me or giving my life the positive energy it used to.” My second goal states “to be grateful for the last season but become willing to move forward to the next season with a sense of openness, courage and strength.” And lastly, the third goal stage “it is okay to allow yourself to move on to a new season”. These goals help me to return to something on the days i am feeling stuck or itching to return to the past. I can remind myself of these goals and it helps to motivate me to keep moving forward.
Ever since I have started this manifestation I am not going to lie, I have noticed an energy shift in my life. I have started to wake up happier, not cling to the thoughts i used to as much. It has helped me gain more clarity on the life that I want to live now, in this present moment. By using manifestation, we can produce a sense of positivity and overall well-being. Your energy will no longer feel stagnant or empty.. instead you may feel a greater sense of creativity and abundance!
If you’re interested in trying manifestations, get clear with yourself. Call in whatever you would like to happen and become mindful of how you would like to feel. If you are like me and would like to manifest moving into a new season in your life, you’re welcome to use whatever I have provided above.
Today I was talking to a patient who has recently experienced a stroke and now is unable to move his left arm or hand. He expressed to me how each day we get up and rush through our morning- complete all our daily morning activities and begin our day. We don’t stop and think about the fact that we are so lucky that we are able to use both hands to complete even the simplest of tasks- brushing our teeth on our own, cutting our own food, putting lotion on our bodies.. the list goes on and on. He was saying how all of these things just become part of our lives and we don’t stop to think about how lucky we are to have our independence and the abilities that we do have each day. He said he never thought of this until he ended up in the hospital only able to use one hand. Unfortunately, that is usually the time when most people think about it- once its gone.
This inspired me to try to start stopping and thinking about each thing I do throughout the day and become grateful for the littlest things. Stop for a moment and be grateful for the abilities you have today. You have so much more than you think. 🙏🏻
Lately I have been comparing my mind to a container that can only hold so many things at once. I have been trying to be mindful of what I fill this container with. allow yourself to create space by emptying out what is not serving you and fill your container (your mind) with what is serving you!
Like a container, our mind can only hold so much. If we fill it with fear, how can we have room for love? If we fill it with worry, how can we have room for joy? If we fill it with only thoughts of the past, how can we be open to receive what is to come?
What are you filling your container (your mind) with?
This morning I have decided to share a passage that i love from the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay (I would highly recommend this book!).
You may begin your day by repeating this passage:
“In the infinity of life, where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete, yet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale, for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very power that created me, and this power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world.”
I hope this passage helps you to start your day off with a positive mindset. I wish you a day filled with happiness, presence and peace.
Trust. What a powerful word it is. When we trust we decrease worry and become lighter, softer humans. We often tell ourselves or others tell us- just trust in God, trust in the universe, trust in the energy that is guiding you.. everything will be okay. If only to trust was as easy as turning on a light switch!
When the new year hit I set an intention for myself to trust more. Trusting has been difficult for me with circumstances but I have recently found a way to look at life which provides me with more trust in just about everything.
When I have been journaling lately, I have been reflecting on past experiences – the rise and the fall, the rise and the fall and so on. I realize that life comes in many seasons. There have been times when I have been hurt, disappointed or uncertain of why something happened but later on realize that I am able to see that it may have been a blessing in disguise. I share this because if we take the time to reflect on our past experiences it gives us hope for the present and the future. We can trust that if we got through a certain feeling or experience once before, this means that we can again, and even stronger this time.
I have provided a template in the highlights section of my instagram profile where you can reflect on past experiences where you will be able to perceive past experiences from a positive perspective which can assist you to develop greater trust in the future.
With the start of the New Year I have been reflecting on this time last year when I was in India! I went to India for a service yoga retreat to visit the girls of the Home of Hope Orphanage. A year later and I am still constantly reminded of this trip. This experience has impacted my life and opened my eyes to the ways that others are living around the world. This experience has helped me to realize the importance of staying engaged in what is going on around the world. It is easy to become absorbed and in the flow of our lives which can make it difficult for us to stop to think of how lucky we are for all that we are provided with each day. I still remind myself of one day when we were having lunch at the orphanage and the girls were shocked that I did not finish my entire bowl of rice. The girls were coming up to me in confusion thinking something was wrong with me and kept pointing to my bowl. It was unheard of to them to not finish your entire meal because they have experienced a shortage of food before. Following this trip, I set an intention for myself to hold this experience with me and continue to remind myself how grateful I can be in each day.