I hate myself. No matter how much I have, I never feel completely satisfied and whole.
That was my mantra for about 5 years of my life.
It started in high school. The smiling, happy faces, the slim, shiny bodies. The poreless, glossy, smooth and clean, perfect and proper, beamed at me and my young friends every day. Magazine covers, billboards, television advertising, shop windows, music videos. "You too can look like this"; "You deserve to be this"; "This is how to look to be happy." L'Oreal told me I was "worth it" (that I deserved to look like the women in the advertisements!); Dove "celebrated" my "real beauty” (yet still wanted me to buy skin firming lotion).
I saw this create one big vicious cycle of self-loathing, complete with futile attempts at feeling good again by buying into futile products and practices—my friends began tanning, absurd diets, and delt with anxiety over the right clothes, accessories, make-up, etc.
Yet none of these things gave anyone lasting happiness.
As I grew into my womanhood, I had the realization that none of these things can make you feel whole or make you feel like your true self.
This may seem like it should be obvious, but women engage in this vicious cycle every day. Young girls face these struggles every day.
According to a recent study, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.
Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves.
80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty.
How do we cope with this? Some of us suppress it and live in a mind-numbing blur of vodka shots, treadmills, retail therapy, xanax or second-rate versions of love.
I struggled to find my love and appreciation externally. I tried to find someone else to give me their love, when I hadn't yet learned to truly love myself.
I found yoga at a time when I needed it.
My journey has just begun, but through yoga I felt a change inside of me. Not only was I happy with health-related changes, but the there was a bigger shift inside of me.
I began to love myself.
And I accepted myself for who I truly was.
My love and passion for life began to grow – I felt truly alive.
I could begin to see purpose and touch the beauty of the present moment.
And in my soul, I felt that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.
I’ve just had a small taste of what yoga has to offer, and now I have an insatiable desire to continue with this adventure. I want be my divine self, boldly, passionately. To be the best that I can be, not just for myself, but so I can serve those around me.
I feel drawn to the Pranashama Yoga Institute because of their focus on transformational change. I want to dive deep into the root of my subconscious behavior and discover any limiting belief system that is keeping me stuck or blocked.
I also want to become a teacher so I can not only continue on my journey, but so I can share with other girls and women the power of love, self esteem and self-worth.
I would love to teach a program with this mission as its focus. I have a dream that we create a movement that shifts the self-esteem cycle in our communities.
Our girls deserve to be happy and healthy.
I want the women and girls around me to glow, despite their imperfections, to attract good friends and good happenings like a magnet, I want to see all of us beam out a calm and fearless sense of self.
We all have a divine spark inside of us, just waiting to be ignited.
It’s time to live life deeply; it’s time to shake things up.