I got married two days ago and I’m over the moon, feeling ridiculously happy and complete. There was a moment though at the beginning of the ceremony that got me thinking. The priest started the speech with words: “The purpose of marriage for the individual is to start a family and create a happy home. The social purpose, in turn, is reproduction to preserve society.”
I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I knew I shouldn’t have. I knew that these are nothing but words, by someone who doesn’t have a clue of who I am. But this is my biggest weak point. This topic silently slits my scars open and leaves me gasping for air.
So in a nutshell: I suffer from unexplained infertility. There’s no reason for my inability to get pregnant. Everything works, but nothing works. After nearly five years of failed infertility treatments and one miscarriage me and my ex-husband called it quits… in everything.
I think its a widely held expectation that if and when we choose to, we are able to have a family. Person not having a kid by their forties is considered somewhat a diseased outlaw, who is not doing their part “going forth and multiplying”. This is also the root for why so many infertile couples hide the problem. Thinking that they have failed. Living day in day out with pain and loss. Feeling ashamed about something that isn’t their fault and they have no control over. Infertility – it’s the loneliest disease.
Somehow I find it important to bring more awareness to this avoided topic; for the society to understand the impact of the problem. It’s a disease that 1 out of 6 couples have to battle with and a disease that not many people know about unless they have dealt with it. I want people who suffer with it to know that they are not alone and people who know nothing about infertility to learn to respond better. I know that this is just because people don’t know what to say, but that awkward silence and quick change of topic is getting a bit old. I wish people would actually listen and look beyond the empty lap with compassion and awareness.
I understand that most of us don’t feel eager to talk about infertility, cause such exposure can add up to the pain. There is also a lot of shame around the topic, because pregnancy should be natural thing, and the moment it becomes a challenge, person feels inadequate. Sometimes even when you wish to talk about your infertility, it’s not easy. Cause let’s be serious, when is it ever a good moment to talk about the sperm count or motility, the state of your ovaries or insemination? While having a banana split with your friends?
I find that for me sharing my story and breaking taboos is part of healing. So I hope you give it a try, if it feels like a right thing to do. Let’s create a safe place, where discussion and support is recognized.
Love & Light
If you ask pretty much anyone who knows me to describe what I’m like, you’d possibly get an answer like “happy person” or a “contagiously goofy smiler”. This is something that I’ve heard about myself since I was little, and I couldn’t ask for a lovelier description. I might not be the prettiest duckling in the row and I might have few lines in the corners of my eyes, permanent marks of my happiness, but what the hell? If my wrinkles come from smiling in the sun, than I don’t care.
Smile, the universal symbol of happiness, the sign of infinite love in our hearts!
I love smiling! I love that moment when I’m looking into someone’s eyes and they smile back at me. I love the sense of balance that smiling gives me. I honestly believe it’s the most powerful, yet most underrated ability we possess. And that most of us don’t even realise what we can achieve by smiling more often.
If you’ve been to my yoga classes, you know that I equally remind you guys about the importance of breathing and the importance of smiling. Even when your limbs are shaking in a warrior pose, I keep telling you to smile, to trick the brain to think you’re enjoying the moment. The power of smile!
Don’t believe me? Try it out. Just close your eyes for a second, you might feel neutral right now, but bring a smile to your face, maybe try visualising someone/something that makes you smile. Can you feel it? That lovely fuzzy feeling in the bottom of your belly rising. Can you feel the energy change as you turn the corners of your mouth upwards? Still not feeling it? Well, go to a mirror and look at yourself, and smile! Don’t force the smile, but allow it to arise, feeling the cheeks rise and the eyes smile too. Maybe wink to yourself and whisper ” You are spectacular”. Can you feel it now?
Smile? Hot or Not?
Sadly, I have heard and read few times now, that if you want to look younger you should stop smiling. If you want to seem more successful or physically imposing don’t expose those pearly whites. And to avoid horrible photos, you shouldn’t smile, as they bring out all the wrinkles! I curse in chosen situations… but WTF! Absolute bollocks! I think that a frowny face just doesn’t suit anyone. Smile just generally makes people look more attractive, and even research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. They are more approachable, forgivable, friendly and trustworthy.
Smile to Feel Good!
Striking a smile makes you feel better! Studies show that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. One smile stimulates the human brain the same amount as eating up to 2000 bars of chocolate, how cool is that? “Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile!” Even when you’re not feeling great, fake it till you make it, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel! While at home, walking around or standing in line, I tend to smile, doing my own little research. Observing what happens within me when I’m smiling regardless if I’m feeling happy or down, and also observing how people react to me when they walk by. I highly recommend it. No matter what’s going on in your life, smile! So often we battle through our days, struggling, waiting for something to happen to cheer us up, forgetting that we are our own cheerleaders.
Smile Smile Smile!
Tap into your superpower now, make yourself and the people around you feel better. Get out there groover and smile your socks off! Smile at yourself, smile at others, lovers and strangers! Do whatever makes your soul sing and do it with a smile on your face!
Love and light
“We all are the same. We all have the potential to become a better person.”
A while ago I asked my students what would they like to have more in our classes. The answer was ‘backbends’. I’m a forward-bending-head-standing-arm-balancing kind of a gal, so I’m not a great fan of backbends. I don’t have the most flexible spine, but unfortunately, with yoga, the poses that you don’t enjoy are the poses that you need the most. So I went with it, we pulled a spun out class dedicated to heart opening and backbends.
The atmosphere among us after the class was so powerful. We felt happy, energetic and packed with compassion. I pretty much soared home, while hugging every single person on my way. I was full of love, and ready to shout it out from rooftops. Think, what an effect would a series of backbends in the morning have on world leaders? I’ll bet you, it wouldn’t harm us…
By all means I’m not the coldest person without backbends. Even though I come from a frosty and dark Scandinavia. I’ve always been a hugger, an emotional all-I-want-is-smiles kind of a freak of nature. But I still have lots to learn about becoming the person I want to be. If I could only open my heart even more, if I’d practice really, really hard… Think of my potential to provoke all the grumpy people with my happy-hippie-attitude… Just kidding, that’s not my motive. My motives are to be sunny, loving and caring partner, a compassionate and joyous friend and all around kind person…
We all get hurt occasionally. It’s sad but inevitable. It’s so easy to lock our hearts from the world just to protect ourselves. It might help us sometimes to survive the intolerable challenges. However the consequences of a close or broken heart might lead us to negative thinking, trust issues, depression, isolation, anxiety and pain.
So how can we open our hearts? How can we learn to love more?
These are my favourite methods when I need a lift…
Connect, truly and utterly connect with the world around you! When you wake up in a morning and step outside, take a deep inhale of that crispy morning air and feel happy to be alive. While walking, connect with your surroundings, try to find new things on your way to work that you haven’t noticed before. When talking to people, look into their eyes, really listen and stay present. I don’t know what we are so afraid of, but eye contact seems to be such an intimidating deed for some of us. We get confused where to look when stranger is passing by. What could possibly happen if we just look at them in the eyes and give them a friendly smile?
I was in a “Positive Energy” workshop led by world famous healer Veet Mano, and we had this exercise where for a minute we had to hold hands with an absolute stranger and look deep into their eyes.Then hug, and change partner. This went on with seven different persons and it was pretty awkward to start with, but ended up being one of the most mind blowing mental exercises I’ve done. Staring someone you don’t know straight into eyes, while nearly getting a glimpse of their soul… Such a simple yet so powerful practice. I recommend this to everybody.
Learn to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but you must learn to let go of your past so you can move forward. You feel tons lighter and happier when you stop carrying your wounds and burdens around. Forgive your enemies and forgive yourself. Start fresh! Instead of being the person you are, try to be the person you want to be remembered as.
Be grateful and allow gratitude to bring warmth into your heart. Don’t let that “thank you” be just an empty word or a nice habit. Make a conscious effort and mean it when you say it.
Also be generous, as giving has a way to connect our hearts with the heart of others. Perform daily an act of unconditional love. For example say something nice to your mailman, smile to someone who seems to need it or make an effort to get to know someone you work with as a person.
While walking around or sitting with your mates, remember what your yoga teacher constantly reminds you about, “lift your heart!”, “open your chest”. There is to many people walking around hunched, with their shoulders turned in and hearts hidden away. Sitting or walking straight with an open chest, will bring you confidence and leave you feeling happier and stronger.
Cuddle up! I love hugging, proper-deep-heart-to-heart hugs! Physical touch, especially hugging is very important for a healthy heart. It builds trust, gives a sense of safety and heals depression, anxiety and stress. I always try to hold a hug for 4 seconds to get a nice fix of serotonin in my brain to create happiness, but I’ve notice that usually after two seconds people try to pull away thinking what the hell is this new ager trying to do to me…
Meditate. If your not familiar with meditation, then just go for a quiet walk, or sit in a beautiful place for a while. Breath into your heart, literally, imagine the air as a white light travelling into your heart and healing it. Great option is to lay down on your back and place a rolled up towel or cushion under your upper back to lift your chest. Dedicate this moment to yourself. Be present. Don’t think of future or the past, just be. Become centred and you pretty surely feel happier and calmer afterwards.
Practise yoga! There are poses that can balance your heart chakra, leaving you feeling compleatly at ease with yourself, full of love and happiness. Great poses for heart opening are upward facing dog, fish pose, camel pose, dancer pose, bow pose, shoulder stand ( my personal favourite).
Go nuts! Release that inner child, run in the rain barefoot, laugh, sing in the shower. Dance, dance, dance to your favourite song. That’s what I do… My husband has got me these mini speakers all around the house, cause he knows that I have to have music everywhere, I dance and I absolutely loose it sometimes. Dare to stay wild, be who you were before the world told you who to be.
Most importantly LOVE! Love yourself, love others, love flowers, love little silly moments, love laughter, love kisses, love the spring breeze, love the feeling of crispy fresh bedlinens, love the smell of summer rain, love that perfect cup of coffee with the fresh croissants… Life is dazzling so just love it!
Follow your dreams
This little story is about dreams, following our passion,while embodying our talents.
Do you remember that time when you were a little kid and people would ask you what do you dream to be when you grow up? The world was your oyster, every single door and window was open. Everyone told you to follow your dream.
What happened when we grew up? Suddenly the society is telling you what to do, and claiming that you don’t have the potential to be what you want to be.
Damn, if I want to be a tree hugging yogi mermaid, I most certainly am going to be a tree hugging yogi mermaid. There is no one stopping me or standing between my dreams. Cause I’m not gonna regret on my death bed, the things I haven’t done. My dreams might take time to come true, but when they do, the world’s is going to be a little bit better place.
I was inspired to write this story after reading an article about American dude. He was an office worker, extremely unsatisfied with his life. He wanted to be a ninja, that was he’s dream. One day he made a decision, he’ll go after his dream. He quit his job, moved to Japan, and for past years he’s been loyally training martial arts with the great master.
I have not always chosen the safest path, in most cases I haven’t even chosen a path. Ive picked a thick jungle, and with my machete I’ve made my own path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I have fell down, face first, but I’ve stood up and learned something important along the way. I’ve learned to notice the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not necessary the best path for me and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.
My dream has always been the same, just the ingredients have changed. I dreamt of being a yoga teacher and of coarse the saviour of all the stray dogs. I did it, I graduated from different yoga teacher trainings, and volunteered in different animal shelters around the world.
I dream that I would have a yoga studio, with attached health cafe/dog shelter and a section dedicated for eastern healing arts. With my little eco-kids running around. Sounds like the wickedest place on earth, doesn’t it? Visited by health inspectors daily… Somehow, someday I’m going to have this crazy place, and if I get it right, it will be in a giant tree house. How cool would that be!?
I’m not just going to downgrade my dreams so they can fit this reality, oh no no no! I’m going to upgrade my confidence to match my destiny! I’ve dreamt about this for so long and my dreams don’t definitely have an expiration date. I’m as determined as a turtle crossing the road…
I know I’ll never be a billionaire with my goofy business ideas, but I don’t do it for money, I do it to be happy, I do it for me, cause I have this precious life, which I don’t want to waste on doing something that brings out the worst of me, something that doesn’t inspire me on any level. I want to bring joy to others, sharing my knowledge, not my stress. I want my life to be meaningful and I want to have a purpose.
But It’s so damn hard sometimes, and I have occasionally paused my dreams for a meaningless, money-making options. Bills are piling up, life interrupts and we must do jobs we don’t like to make the ends meet. Even though I’m always smiling and seem to be as happy as an Irish on a st.Patricks Day, but I still struggle and as any one, I sometimes feel like giving up.
My dreams are so big, so precious and they deserve to be fulfilled, and most of all I deserve my dreams fulfilled. I am not going to settle. It’s my dreams that helped me through the roughest patches in my life, and they are the reasons I get up and try again. Without my dreams I’m nothing.
That ear to ear smile on my face after I finish teaching a yoga class is a proof that you can and you should follow your dreams.
I feel so balanced, so happy, when I get to share my passion with others.
There is a tradition that I have.
At the end of each year, I make a dream map. I write down words, add some pics, that represent my dreams for the next year. And I place this dream map on my mediation altar, so it’s somewhere sacred, somewhere where I can see it…
Try this out. Write down your dream. Think what would you do if you could do anything you want? If you can choose one word to write on a paper, what would it be, who would you be? What would you do if you would have million dollars?
A written goal brings clarity and focus. It gives you a direction. And by rewriting your goals you not only reaffirm what your goals are.You may also find new insights that bring more clarity and focus to your goal and life.
Tell this dream to someone you care about. The studies show, that having a close one asking about your dream, will give you that extra boost and motivation to fulfil it.
It is easy to forget our dreams when the society and media is shooting us manufactured dreams from every single angle. Keeping us locked down and to busy to set our focus on our true passions.
I would highly recommend spending some time alone regularly, turning inwards, getting to know yourself… Self-discovery is so much easier than we think.
I use to be an extremely attached person. I probably hadn’t slept alone once till I was thirty. I was like a lost puppy, with big dreams… And when I met my husband, we had to spend months apart, cause I lived in Finland and he lived in Australia, and even when I moved to our Australian home, he would be working away for weeks. There was no option, I had to suck it up and learn to live by myself, and in these years I concurred most of my dreams. It seemed like a curse, but it ended up being a blessing, I grew from being a lost puppy to a wolf. My confidence grew so much when I actually started to fulfil my dreams, I was finally the person I had looked up to all my life. I am truly proud of myself and I continuously learn more, every single day. I’m motivated, challenged and exited.
Dreams, dreams, dreams!
Life is so short and it’s happening right now , so just pull yourself together and go for it, don’t waste your life doing something that you don’t love.
I have been looking for my motivation lately with cats and dogs? Feels like I have a spine of a gummy bear, and I’m not talking about my backbends. Arghh!
Compassion and generosity
When yoga found me….
#yoga #india #life