2020

From New Year’s resolutions to New Year New You programs and all the hubbub over fixing, reinventing, and creating a different version of you. No wonder there’s so much anxiety, self-hate and judgment in the world. 

There is nothing to ‘fix’ or ‘reinvent’. There is no need for a NEW you. There is nothing wrong with the YOU that you are now and a new day marked on the calendar is not going to change that.

Those statements and thoughts create the mindset of error or wrong. There are no errors or wrongs. There are only lessons to be learned and change/growth to be had.

We get so wrapped up in our desires of wants, the society-created ideas of success, our self-imposed beliefs of ‘making it’ that we strive for things that don’t even serve us. Things we don’t need or even really want if we are being honest.

So, how about we make a resolution to shift the mindset of there needing to be a NEW you and ask instead…

How do I want to feel??

How do I want to feel??
I want to feel every moment. every connection. every breath.
I want to feel the joy interweaved amongst the grief.
I want to feel the gratitude meshed with the sadness.
I want to feel the blessings beside the brokeness.

I want to FEEL… I want to feel it all. 

I want to feel embraced by the connection to my heart and the acceptance of my story. to know and learn what it feels like to fully accept and connect to myself despite all my flaws, fears and failures. To feel that unshakeable truth. 

I want to feel seen, to feel love and loved by a world that is crying out and yearning for the darkness to fade. 

Dodge The Swatter

*The patio bee ・Tasting the apple cin muffin ・Dodge the red swatter*

Don’t we all have moments of dodging swatters (input any other word for swatter that works for you) while seeking something we desire?

What we need to ask ourselves is, is what we desire/want what we need?

Need to grow.

Need to learn.

Need to heal.

Need to be healthy.

The answer is ‘not likely’. But you see, unlike bees, we humans can deduce, reason, make excuses, find logic and even talk ourselves in or out of doing, saying, acting in ways that do not serve us. Serve our highest good and well-being that is and the highest good of all others.

So the next time you find yourself dodging a swatter of any sort….stop to ask…is what I am seeking a desire/want or a need? Be honest…at least with yourself.

Coffee & conversation with Stephanie at Twin City Hive

Haiku written by Deanna dzybon and Stephanie Pearson while sitting outside drinking coffee, sharing in conversation and keeping a keen eye on the stingy bee flying around.

Obstacles

Obstacles along one’s path are inevitable. It’s how we choose to manage those obstacles that matters.

One day a while back while attempting to go hiking with my #1 girl Izee, we came across more than one in my obstacle. Obstacles that had us pause, pivot and try again.

We were planning on hiking this one trail that lead us to the river. There is a gravel road with 2 creek crossings, which I have driven through before with my front wheel drive Element but on this day…there was no way I was going to attempt it. The creek water was so high it was more than halfway up the tires.

Here was the first pivot. We parked before the first creek crossing with the confidence that we could find a place to cross the creek on foot. Now, mind you, it was still chilly outside so walking through the creek was not a smart option that day. Izzee and I walked up and down the creek in both directions looking for a way to cross…no luck.

Here came pivot #2 and Izzee was not happy about getting back in the car so quickly.

We drove around to the other side of the river to hike a different trail, one that we have been on a few times before. We arrived and everything seemed good to go for hiking this trail. As we made our way through the trail we came upon a few more obstacles – more than a trail wide muddy water pits, high river levels, and a 6’ wide and 4’ deep washed out trail. 

You could say these became pivots #3, 4 and 5.

Instead of allowing these obstacle to deter us from our adventure, we, without hesitation, choose to find a different way and worked our way around forging our own path. All and all it turned out to be a beautiful day in nature with my girl Izzee with some lessons along the way.

As I drove home in silence, I pondered this life lesson and asked myself, ‘why am I able to step back, reassess, pivot and move forward so easily in nature adventures and physical based situations yet find it daunting and sometimes deflating in areas of business and in my personal life?’ 

It became apparent that day that the work begins here. Looking at each obstacle from the same view I use in nature. Learning to pause before reacting, to assess the situation from a bird’s eye view and with non-preference, then take steps in the direction towards that goal/dream/edge even if those steps are taking the long way or the way less traveled. 

No, it’s not always easy nor am I always successful. That’s why it’s called work. It’s a daily practice. 

It’s how one addresses these obstacles that matters. Ask yourself, is the solution you are choosing for the obstacle moving you closer or further away from your life’s edges or is the solution just taking a different route than you prefered but ultimately leading you closer to that edge?

Drinking = Norm?

Why is it that our society is so quick to judgmentally ask “why aren’t you drinking?” like asking, “what’s wrong with you (for not drinking)?” but yet we never ask, “Why are you drinking?” When did drinking become such a normalized standard? I am not even going to address the effects of alcohol on the body, skin, mind, etc. I am talking here about how drinking has become a cultural norm.

Yes, I know, some of you who know me are probably rolling your eyes saying, “umm…. Deanna, who are you to be making these statements when you teach yoga at breweries.” and yes you are correct I do. But have you ever really noticed? I don’t drink after classes. Actually, I rarely drink at all and recently I have decided to stop drinking, I have my reasons why I have never been a big drinker, even in college I was the designated driver but we will discuss that in a little bit.

Back to yoga at breweries – or wineries – for a moment. I went round and round about this before taking that step. I was looking for ways to motivate, inspire, and even nudge people to just try yoga. To eliminate the what holds a lot of people back from stepping on their mat for the first time. I knew I had to make yoga more accessible and more appealing. So yes, meeting them where they were at plus finding a location that was large enough became a must. Hence, yoga at breweries. Now just because the price includes a drink does not mean I am pushing people to drink alcohol. That is they’re choice. There are other beverage options.

Local craft beer in Costa Rica

If I could find businesses with large enough spaces that were not alcohol based I would be there. My vision was that people would be more willing to try yoga for the first time, then after a few classes would realize the benefits and want to seek out more which would lead them to the local studios.

This post wasn’t really supposed to be about yoga. Let’s get back to the real topic. The topic of how most things nowadays revolve around drinking. How drinking is a societal norm. When did we become so dependent on alcohol – a life-depleting and even sometimes life-debilitating substance? Why are those who make the conscious decision NOT to drink judged or at least seen as the odd ones?

Now, I am not judging those who do drink, again that is a choice but so is not drinking. Lately, the last few times I have had a drink (typically a craft beer) I have woken the next day feeling like crap. Now, I was only drinking one beer maybe once every 2-3 weeks because let’s be honest, I like craft beer; trying new flavors and different kinds. But, I have realized that I don’t want to feel like crap.

The funny thing is, I feel that people think if they go out they must drink. Where did that belief come from? I can go out and hang out with friends, even at a bar, brewery or winery and not drink alcohol. Yes, that can be a thing. I know it might seem foreign to some people but I have actually done it for years, even in college like I stated above.

This post was really meant to be around the judgment I feel from others at times for not drinking. It’s my choice. It’s what I choose because I feel it is the best decision for me. I am not saying I will never have an alcoholic drink again but for right now I choose not too. There should be no need to judge that or me. Me, not drinking does not effect or affect you and your life in any way. Unless, of course, my choice to not drink makes you question your choice to drink. If that’s the case, we can talk about that or not. You can choose to continue to judge me or you can get honest with yourself and begin to dissect that projected judgement. It’s all about personal choices.

We were NOT drinking. The bartender thought it’d make a better photo if he staged it look like we were drinking hard liquor in Costa Rica

For me, my choice to not be a ‘drinker’ was because my dad was an alcoholic (and my grandparents). I had a stint of drinking a lot which to most people’s surprise was my freshman year of high school, yes high school. I kept a bottle or peppermint schnapps (gross I know) in my gym locker all year plus random other kinds of alcohol. Then, at one point I had a realization….I was becoming my father. I did not want to be my father in that aspect. You see my dad and I are (were) a lot a like and this was one area I did not want to follow in his footsteps so…towards the end of my freshman year of high school I quit drinking.

One has to ask, is being part of the norm and drinking a beer (or whatever you fancy) more important than feeling one’s best? Than being one’s best? Is alcohol becoming a habit, a crutch or being used as a distraction from what’s really going on inside or in one’s life. Has drinking become a coping mechanism? Only you truly know. Before you quickly jump to an answer…allow yourself to get honest, completely and openly honest with yourself. That is for you to decide and not judge others for what they decide.

Pressure Building

After that last post…you know the one, where I committed to writing and posting something once a week on living at my edge. To be exact, I said every Monday. Well, it’s Monday and I have no idea what to write.

Ugh!! Yes, I am living at my edge every day and I have plenty I could write about. But oh the pressure I feel now. Pressure I know I am injecting into my thoughts all by myself. Pressure to come up with the perfect post. The most inspirational message. Words that no one could question, judge or wave off.

THAT…is never going to happen and I know that. But…that doesn’t stop my mind from traveling down those roads leading me to question not only my words and message but also my worth. my value.

That time I was asked to teach class for Michael Franti before his show 🙂

Now, if I am being real, this is one of my edges. Accepting, knowing in my heart, and leaning into my worth as a person, as an inspiration to others, as a yoga teacher, as a friend, as a movement guide and as a human.

This edge is more challenging than any physical edge I’ve encountered. This going inward stuff is hard and takes work. Can you relate? Tapping into past traumas, old patterns, and self-limiting beliefs to find the truth is messy, raw and down right ugly at times. But oh… is it worth it in the long haul!

What emotional or healing edge are you currently wobbling on? As you bring it out of the shadows, you can begin to shine some light on it. To acknowledge its presence with compassion and respect. Thanking it for the lessons and then cutting the entangled roots, setting yourself free.

Shining the light in the dark places

Remember, it’s a process overflowing with emotions that run the gamut. Some days you’ll feel on top of the world having squashed that self-limiting belief. Other days you will wallow and slither back into your shell crippled with the heaviness of that same self-limiting belief you squashed the day before. As challenging as it may be, don’t give in to those crippling days. Accept them. Listen to them. Dissect them. Find what’s still locked away in the deeper and darker corners of this edge. Then…get to work bringing it into the light by having conversations with it. Exposing it’s lies. Revealing the underlying connections. Talk to someone close to you. Journal. Sing. Dance. Move with it. Loosing its grip on your heart a little more each day.

Know that I am right there with you. Doing the same with my own shadows. I believe in you. The universe believes in you. You believe in you.

To connect. To open. To love ~ Deanna

Thoughts from the Edge

I’ve been thinking…dant dant dah…a lot lately about my ‘why’. What exactly is your ‘why’ Deanna? I have asked myself that many times in my life. Maybe not in those exact words but in some form or fashion that was what I was searching for. I have always know in my heart, that my why was related to people but what exactly that was supposed look and feel like I didn’t know. Throughout the years that service to others has shifted and morphed in directions I never imagined. From working with at-risk youth to facilitating corporate team-building days to investigating child abuse to teaching yoga and a so many other things in between.

After all the self-awareness and personal growth I have moved through in the past years, I know for certain my ‘why’ is service to others. To be an inspiration. To be a guide to others along their journey. To love and share slivers of my heart with the world.

My ‘why’ however is 2-fold. On one side my why is rooted in the physical realm through yoga, movement, sensory motor education and the emotional connections; teaching folks how to recognize, elevate and develop a strong, healthy, resilient body.

On the other side my why is anchored in living and inspiring others to live life at their edges, whether that be a physical edge, an emotional edge, a lifestyle edge or any edge. Moving a little closer to one’s edge is how we learn, grow and gain self-awareness.

Tree on top of a waterfall – Costa Rica

All of that being said, I have chosen to step towards another one of my ‘oh crap’ edges in vulnerability and authenticity. I have dabbled and stepped my toe to this edge many times with no rhyme or reason. It’s time, now, to fully commit with both feet.

Once a week, I will pick Mondays, I will publish a ‘thoughts from the edge’ post. At times it may be a longer post about a deep dive into my personal experiences of stepping closer to one of my life’s edges and at other times it will be a short and sweet inspirational thought provoking message. I am also putting the intention out there to have a post every now and then that will highlight someone else’s experience with living at their life’s edge…accepting volunteers 🙂

If you would like to be apart of this new project of mine – as a reader or a participant – or have an interest in living closer to your life’s edges then please, sign up to receive a new post email, comment, share and step to your edge. #LiveAtYourEdge

to connect. to open. to love. ~ Deanna

The In Between Space

You know that time in the very early morning, the space between sleep and awake?  When your dreams are vivid and intense? You know your sort of awake and it’s near time to start your day, yet you can’t seem to leave the surreal experience in that somewhat dream-state. Or maybe you don’t want to. 

That was me the other morning. Those few moments where literally breathtaking. It has taken me a couple days of sitting with it to be able to put it into words. And actually, I am not sure I really ever can put it into words in a such a way that you, the reader will be able to grasp the totality of the emotions. 

Earlier in the night I had some basic dreams. A couple random people from my past with surface level interactions and something to do with dogs all taking place at a house I lived in year ago with some new add-ons. Nothing out of the ordinary.  I remember waking up and coming out of that dream with no emotional residue. 

As I continue to lie in bed, I doze off into that in between space. I am immediately dropped back into that dream, or at least that same house but this time my friend Eddie appears. He is wearing his typical black fitted t-shirt, blue jeans and big heartwarming smile. My heart tumbles at the sight of him. WIthin seconds he encases me in his arms. I am instantly crushed by a torrent of emotions. My body trembling, I can barely stand but he holds me up right. It’s impossible to put into words all that I felt in that moment.

I remember saying, ‘Eddie, I miss you so much.” Your laugh or silly antics and your wisdom. But mostly, I miss your warmth and your love. I apologized for not being open or aware enough at that time in my life to receive all he had to give and teach. Saying I am sorry for not staying in better touch and keeping us close. Eddie continued to hold me tight reassuring me there was nothing to apologize for. Letting me know he was and is always is here to support and love me. 

And then, as quickly as he came to me in that in between space, he was gone. I woke, my body still trembling and feeling heavy. All the emotions still swirling chaotically for what seemed like…a very long time. 

You see, Eddie and I meet in ’99. We became close friends at first and then lovers. As passionate as our relationship was, it was short lived. You see, Eddie choose to follow his dreams, which I fully supported, and moved across the country to LA. Eddie was an incredible artist. Anything he put his hands on artistically he excelled at – character acting, music, pantomime, writing, etc. We remained close friends throughout the years and the last time I saw Eddie was in 2011 when he came back to NC after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. To make a long story short, he fought cancer and was able to put it into remission for a the next few years. 

Eddie was an example of what it looks like to follow one’s dreams at any cost. To live life at the edge, wholeheartedly and unapologetically. He left all of his friends and his family. Lived in a car in LA as he tried to make it in the acting business. Slept on couches and floors. Ate whatever when he could, which wasn’t all that often sometimes. Eddie, played congos in a couple bands out there, he became a photographer and took acting gigs when offered. He was in movies with Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, and many others. His last role, before he died in 2014 was Westworld. Eddie was in the first episode and they liked him so much they were going to keep his character for a few more episodes than originally planned but he died before that could happen. The folks at HBO and Westworld, honored Eddie by keeping his scenes in the first episode. 

I will never forget when I received the news about Eddie dying. I was in Atlanta, working on a Christmas tree lot. I woke to a text message that simply said, “Eddie is dying.” I was devastated. I, no one, could speak with him. Tell him they loved him. Thank him for his friendship. Nothing. He was unresponsive. I tried to remember that last time we had spoken. It had been a few months. He past away later that evening. That was almost 5 years ago. 

Eddie Rouse, you are forever etched in the hearts of all you ever crossed paths with.  I love you. 

A Stranger Connection

Last night I attended a local event. Without giving too much detail, the gist of the event was a sacred circle creating community and holding space for one another. The room was filled with a array of people (ages, colors, backgrounds, experiences. etc). Most were strangers to me. 

Each of us had 2 opportunities to speak. to share. to open. to be vulnerable while the others sat in silence, remained present and non-judgemental. You could feel the compassion in the room. I shared a dream I had recently. The feelings, emotions and energy of that dream held on tightly for the entirety of the next day. The message, powerful and eye-opening would come a few days later.

Alter from a Full Moon Ceremony

In this sacred circle this one older woman, whom I had never seen before spoke softly about a dream she had that still hangs in her heart. I felt draw to her with no real reason of why.

After everyone who chose to share had shared, we all journeyed together through a drumming ceremony and then came back to the group to share again…if we chose.  

This same woman chose to share her experience during her journey. Her words penetrated my heart and I was pulled towards her again. After everyone shared what they choose to share the circle came to a close with gratitude for the space, each other and Mother Earth. 

As we were all staying to ourselves, allowing the energy to flow around and through us as we put things away and gathered our things. I felt this need to approach that woman, to reach out. to ask if I could give her a hug. Without hesitation, she hugged me, held on tight and began to cry. I explained how I was drawn to reach out and connect with her. Her tears showed that she was in need of connection. of human touch. We exchanged a few words and shared a sacred, intimate moment and then went our separate ways. 

I don’t know if I will ever see her again, however her touch and her energy will remain a part of me. 

Constant Hum

It rattled through me, settling deep in my heart. 

A constant hum vibrating softly. 

A mindful reminder to be grateful and to continuously hear within. 

Bring courage to the surface shattering my fears

Fears that are self-inflicted and fears that are learned. 

Expressing the unexpressed through compassionate words. 

Loving-kindness actions with conscious silence.