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It’s only a few days away!!
Join me, Eva Redpath and Brent Bishop at Varsity Stadium this Sunday June 23rd for our Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer Bootcamp!! This unique bootcamp marathon is a great way to get active and help raise funds and awareness for kidney cancer patients, survivors and their support networks!
Come ready to sweat yourself or create a team for this unique and FUN bootcamp event!!!
Jump, squat, kick and stretch for a GREAT cause!!!
Register at: www.kidneycancercanada.ca
My whole life I was a people pleaser. I never honoured myself and my desires, needs, values and wants—I would always bend and shift myself into whatever I thought would make you happy, and me popular. I would never want to rock the boat in any situation, and even if I felt passionate about something, I would never speak up. It’s no wonder I became full of rage, and an out of control drug addict and alcoholic. I was never myself. I was frustrated and unhappy. I had no integrity.
Through the process of recovery, I had to take a long hard look at who I was, and in what ways I was making myself unhappy. When I uncovered these things (people-pleasing and dependence on the approval of others), I had to admit them to myself and my spiritual guide Brian—who has since helped me in so many ways to stand up for what I believe in and to honour myself and who I am.
Who am I?
Among many other things, I am a yoga teacher. I teach Jock Yoga. I trademarked the name. I enthusiastically promote my business in a holistic environment.
I believe that everyone who practices vinyasa yoga is not coming to their mat merely for spiritual growth—there’s at the very least a small desire for a workout. I give that workout to my students. I don’t pontificate spiritual principles that I read in an ancient text. I speak my truth and I honour who I am. I teach my own practice. I tell my story. I tell jokes, and I have fun. I act with integrity to the best of my ability.
A lot of people don’t seem to think I’m being “spiritual”, or that what I’m teaching isn’t yoga. Maybe it is, maybe it is not. I don’t think it really matters, as long as I’m not hurting anyone—including myself.
It is my hope that my actions will inspire my students to honour themselves and to be who they are—starting with their practice on their mat—to do what they are capable of, and not to hurt themselves in an attempt to impress/compete with others—and ultimately off of their mat and into their daily lives.
I’ve heard another quote from a student who heard it from another teacher, and which I’ve used in my writing before: “Don’t be spiritual. Be honest.” My belief is that real spirituality is the uncovering of one’s authentic self, and the practice of living as the authentic person that is uncovered. That’s it. Spirituality doesn’t have to be chanting, burning incense, talking about overcoming the ego, going to church, not swearing or not being happy and excited about success and popularity, etc.
I see yoga teachers often who won’t swear, who won’t admit to liking when their classes are busy, who won’t admit to liking popularity, simply because they believe they are not being “spiritual” if they do. I believe that this is the exact opposite of what real spirituality is. I say be yourself, no matter what that is. It’s a great way to find out who your real friends are.
The moment I started speaking my truths, I lost many “friends”, because I was no longer shifting and shaping myself to make them happy. So be it. The friends that stayed with me, and the ones I’ve made since I began to practice living with integrity, are few, but they are real.
Sometimes it is difficult to express myself for fear of not being popular; of being judged for my actions. Sometimes I’m scared to promote on Facebook or Twitter something I’m working on or have accomplished. I’m fearful that people aren’t going to like me. The difference today is that I go ahead and post it anyhow—despite what the reaction of others might be.
My sweet, sweet grandmother (Gramma) is in her last days of her life journey. She has stage four, metastasized cancer in her bile ducts. I am heartbroken that we will lose her.
I recently travelled to my hometown Thunder Bay, to sit with her and be with her, and to let her know I love her. In her warm and unconditional-loving way, taken from a long life of experience, she offered me some bold and very wise words to take with me into my life: