A Little Bit About Hyperemesis

A Little Bit About Hyperemesis

    Wearing his tougHGuy hat

My pregnancy was pretty abnormal. I started feeling really sick at around 4 weeks along, but at 9 weeks, I realized something was different. One night, I threw up to the point of feeling weak and then passed out. I had to be taken to the ER for fluids and nausea meds, which I detested and felt guilty for receiving. It was then that I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This disease is best described as one in which a pregnant woman experiences SEVERE nausea and vomiting that leads to extreme weight loss, malnourishment, and in some cases, organ damage or failure. I told people often that it was like being on chemo grade nausea medication and still not finding relief.

From 9 weeks until 25 weeks, I was throwing up between 10-20 times a day, and could find no solid or liquid food I could keep down. It was debilitating. I started ending up in the ER weekly, then twice a week, and at one point I was there 4 time a week.

Many times, I felt like everything was being taken away from me.

I worked part time, and then super part time, and then maybe 1-2 times a week as time went on, but at around 5 months I had to stop altogether.

“I thought morning sickness was supposed to go away around 12-14 weeks?” was something I heard quite often because of how misunderstood hyperemesis is.

 

I had bruises all up and down my arms for how frequently I was admitted for IVS and medications. At around 14 weeks, I finally started taking 4 different nausea medications, and they helped lower the amount I threw up by half, but I still couldn’t find relief. As someone who tries to treat things as holistically and naturally as possible, this was a huge dropping of my ego… surrendering to what my body needed vs. what my mind wanted.

 

This sickness lasted my entire pregnancy. I had to surrender to asking for help as much as possible, another huge lesson, and had to trust that my 5 year old wouldn’t feel neglected or resent me for how often I was sick.

Looking back, I think we grew an even stronger bond throughout it. He would often bring me toys while I was throwing up for hours in the bathroom, and he knew to pack a backpack with snacks and game when I said we had to go to the ER again. He was honestly, my biggest and most loving support. I remember people asking if they could keep Jude when I went to the hospital, and I didn’t want them to. Jude would hold my hand and comfort me throughout the IV insertions and long hours of laying on a hospital bed.

At 41 weeks and 1 day, my baby arrived Earth side in a 95 minute intense labor at home. It was the most beautiful experience of my life and everything about him is perfect. I think that HG prepared me for this bliss by taking me through darkness to get here and appreciate this new life even more… I would never choose having that disease, which only affects maybe 2% of pregnancies, but I am actually really grateful for everything I learned through it.

 

At the end of my pregnancy, I calculated that I had gotten over 70 IVS throughout those 37 weeks, I lost 15 lbs. my first trimester and ended up with a net weight gain of 5 lbs., I found 3 “safe foods” (as women with HG call them) that I could keep down but only between 11pm-3am and these were miso broth, gluten free bread, and avocado, AND my baby came to us completely healthy and nursing perfectly.

Once I birthed him, the disease left my body and I have since been able to eat all the foods I love again. It still blows my mind, as I am sitting here typing this eating overnight oats and drinking coffee while cuddling my baby.

 

My experience with Hyperemesis is one I want to share in order to bring awareness and also in order to express how much support and love women who have it need. If you know anyone who is wading through the waters of Hyperemesis, the best thing you can do is hold space by listening, not by advice- giving. (Believe me, we have tried ginger and saltines and they don’t work). You can offer to help a mama with her kids by taking them on play dates or offer to come clean the house- something that gets WAY neglected when your head is stuck in a toilet. You can offer to bring her family meals, because many times having to make food for others is a huge trigger for puking. (I threw up every time I had to make my son lunch). Lastly, educate yourself on Hyperemesis Gravidarum. No mama with this condition wants to have it compared to simple morning sickness- it is serious and extremely rough mentally and physically.

 

Hyperemesis is an insanely debilitating and misunderstood condition affecting way too many women that don’t feel supported throughout the darkness it brings. It takes a lot to stay strong when you are sick for such a long period of time while also growing life within. It takes a lot to trust that your baby is going to be ok, when many women lose their babies during their battle with Hyperemesis. It takes a lot to keep reminding yourself that “This is not permanent”, when you are nearly certain you may die from malnourishment. In the end, I made it through, just as most of the mamas with HG do, and with beautiful new life that seems completely perfect. I have a new appreciation for food and nourishing my body after losing that for so long. I feel brimming with energy again and lastly, I get to look into these tiny eyes and truly receive the message that “It was all worth it”.

 

(All of these beautiful images are by Melanie Applegate, who gifted us this photoshoot after following my journey with HG. She is an amazing photographer in Austin and you can find her blog post on us here )

Asher Sage

Asher Sage

I’ve wanted you for years now and lived heartbroken during those years until you implanted your soul and chose me….

I’ll never forget that day. I cried for hours looking at myself in the mirror smiling with gratitude.

You came to ben and I out of love… and that is what was required for you to be here.

 

 

 

My pregnancy was hard. It was challenging. Hyperemesis tore me down to my completely raw state and I fought all the lessons for a long time but, I was gifted with visions of you and so many beautiful opportunities for personal and family growth.

I dreamt of you throughout my pregnancy…

In fact,-

You named yourself the first time you showed up in a dream of mine as I saw you at age 3/4 with Sage smoke all around you…

Then you came to me in visions and brought me messages in the form of animals … and most frequently, you brought me feathers. Hawk feathers.

You came to me so often in visions I was seeing you at least 3-4 days a week. The three days before your arrival, I stopped seeing you. I started to see my best friend who had passed away, Azi, and she kept telling me you would be arriving soon. The last message she sent me was to not take life so seriously and that my big lesson right now is to surrender to everything and LET GO.

I knew you were coming soon but your arrival was still so surprisingly intense and beautiful that I could’ve never expected it would have gone how it did….

Right before my contractions picked up to two minutes apart (which was within a half hour of the start of labor), I had a solitary moment where I breathed, put my hands on my Womb and heart and meditated. “I trust in this divine timing. I am ready for you. I can do this”

It was our last magical moment together with you in the womb…

And I find it no coincidence my doula saw a huge hawk fly over the highway on our way to us…

My Scorpio baby. I am awe struck in love.

 

The Story and all of its details

On October 28, I woke up a little bit before 9:00 a.m. to find myself immediately breathing through a very intense tight ache in my entire pelvis and abdominal wall. I was half asleep but began to notice I was having to really focus on breathing through what I was feeling. At around 9,  I realized I could possibly be in labor and was a little confused that I woke up into its immediacy. So, I woke Ben up and started to time my contractions after texting my doula. 4 minutes apart, and averaging 45 seconds to 1 minute long. Clockwork.

 

This was definitely labor.

 

Ben got up and called GB, our midwife, and she told him she was heading over immediately. He also left the room and began filling up a bath for me as I figured I would have some time to be in the bath tub before any real action happened.

I remember being alone for less than 5 minutes and Ben told me later that during this time he had a moment with Jude where he explained what was going on and really set the tone of the environment.

Ben explained that Asher was coming and that Jude and he were going to be my main support. When I found out about their conversation later, my heart may have melted even more…. Especially knowing now that they were indeed, the two people helping me the majority of my labor.

Ben asked if he should ask our friend Natalie, who we had planned on having Jude be with, to come over and I told him that we didn’t need to yet. I knew I wanted more alone time and that it’d be good to have her around during transition but I thought we had more time until that came around than we ended up having.

(Thank you again Natalie 😊)

I remember trying to walk through the house to Jude’s room to get him set up with a lap top for the first bit of my labor, and I couldn’t even make it to his room without having to stop during a contraction. This was really when I started calling for Ben during every surge to press on my lower back. During EVERY SINGLE contraction, I would get on my knees and lean my elbows on a bed or the couch and breathe through it while Ben did hip squeezes. This was the only way I felt like I would even stay alive during those intense moments and they came on so quickly.

While in Jude’s room, I had a moment (which I spoke about earlier briefly) in which my contractions were still about 4 minutes apart and I paused.

I paused, kneeled, put one hand on my womb and one on my heart and breathed. “I trust in this divine timing. I can do this and I am ready”. And the Universe heard me…

My contractions picked up to two minutes apart and I felt like I could do absolutely nothing between each one. Ben called our midwife and she told him to start filling up the birth tub. This is about when I told  Ben to set our living room table out on the porch because I knew I wanted to use the birth ball to rock on the rug in the living room. (My doula laughed about this with me later saying, “I was wondering why your table was out on your front deck”.)

This is when things get pretty fuzzy for me.

I rocked on the birth ball on the rug during  every contraction while Ben ran around the house getting our bed ready, and the birth tub ready AND running back to give me lower back pressure every 1-2 minutes. He was amazing.

I did get sprayed in the face with water from the hose multiple times while Jude was filling up the tub but it really didn’t matter. Haha. That was the closest I got to “using the birth tub” during labor.

At around 9:50 am, I heard “You’re doing great Amanda” as my midwife walked through the door.

My contractions were coming so quickly together at that point but I had completely lost track of time or even caring.

GB checked me and I was 2 cm dilated but fully effaced. She told me I would probably progress quickly but I didn’t really take that in.

I remember shortly after she arrived, as I was rocking on the birth ball, I thought “I can’t do this. I cannot do this and we need to go to the hospital” and I realized that I was having the thought that EVERY mom has during transition but told myself there was absolutely no way I was already there.

How could I be in transition so quickly?

Shortly after that, my water broke during a contraction. At this point during labor, I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I had no idea who was around me and only knew who was pressing on my hips (Ben or GB) by the way it felt.

 

Suddenly, THE URGE hit.

 

The urge to push is absolutely undeniable. No woman needs to be told to push her baby out. It is more intense than any urge ever experienced and there’s no unfollowing of it. I told GB I felt like I needed to push, still in disbelief that was happening already, and she told me to breathe the baby out.At this point, Ben and Jude were a couple feet behind me as GB was on the floor between them and I, and I began to follow that urge.

The pushing phase is intense and I have found the best way to go through it, is with breathe. As GB said, you literally breathe the baby out and follow the flow. I readied myself before each contraction with an empowering breath and followed my body’s messages on how much to push and when to relax.

 

“We see baby’s head”, I heard.

(Those are some of my favorite words to hear)

It took 3 or 4 pushes, with my contractions seeming to be hours apart (when in reality they were less than a minute), and I felt Asher Sage fully come Earth side.

Take that in- 2 cm dilated at 9:50 a.m. to fully dilated and birthed baby by 10:35 a.m.

GB handed me my baby through my legs and my world changed completely as I opened my eyes to holding my miracle child.

This baby, who survived what my midwife considered her worst case of Hyperemesis, came earth side within 95 minutes and was breathing and crying in my arms.

Jude and Ben came over immediately and we all stared in disbelief.

The first photo of Asher, taken moments after birth. <3

After this, I had to have Ben tell me the order of events that played out because everything is still completely blinded by that oxytocin rush.

Apparently, Jude and I walked back to my room as I delivered my placenta there on the bed. That was a really easy moment and GB happily told me my placenta was heart shaped.

I remember Jude kept bringing toys into the room for “his baby” and ran in wearing his doll carrier at one point asking to hold Asher. He was already filled with so much love for his little brother.

We asked Jude if he wanted to cut the cord to my placenta and he did most of it. It was a pretty cool moment to witness.

 

It was right around this time that my doula arrived and I am so so grateful that Kala was there for the afterbirth moments. She helped me during my first bathroom and shower trip, stayed in my kitchen preparing herbal frozen pads and my first pot of sitz bath, and loved on me by rubbing my feet and playing with Jude. She was still such an important part of Asher’s first day coming into our lives. <3

 

So , although my birth team ended up being two short of what we had anticipated due to the speedy timing, it was still exactly as it was meant to be.

Ben really took charge of the experience, and Jude was incredibly calm and helpful too. We are so grateful to have had my midwife present there though- GB , thank you and we love you.

 

Labor land and new born life are such time warped periods and it’s beautiful and my oxytocin levels are exploding more and more every day with Asher.

He is this wise old soul in a tiny newborn body. You can see it in his eyes.

Hyperemesis was hell, but it gifted me with so much growth. I feel like I was just born too… and just as I kept telling myself every day throughout my pregnancy, it was all worth it.

Asher Sage.

6lb 8 oz.

10:35 am

95 minutes total

You are everything….

 

Five

Five

Dearest Jude,

You turn 5 today and I am so grateful to be witnessing your growth. I truly believe that no other mother out there loves their child quite like I love you…. and you are so loved by many.

We’ve had a really intense year and have gone through a multitude of changes and both processed it in our own way, as well as grew together. We grew, and I have watched you grow.

 

You have grown into your spirit and in love even more than I could’ve ever imagined.

 

Jude, you are my biggest teacher of FORGIVENESS. I observe myself holding onto grudges and then watch you immediately choosing forgiveness towards me when I act out of anger or when a friend at school does. You remind me to be in my heart and you are so wise. You are filled with so much love it brings me to tears.

 

 

 

Jude Jo, my love for you can only expand. You are my comfort, my friend, my source of gratitude and a reminder that being in the NOW is what matters most.

I will sacrifice anything for you always-

You’re a wild-haired blue-eyed spirited thing with the biggest of hearts. You bring me toys when I am throwing up so I can “cuddle” with them and have seen me breakdown in tears at least once a week lately, always to be met with “It’s ok mom. I don’t want you to be sad. Kiss and Hug? I love you. It’s ok.”

You’re misunderstood by many , but also just absolutely adored by everyone. Everywhere we go, people remember you and I, probably because of your Mowgli / Tarzan hair and my tattoo sleeve combo. You are so loved…

 

I cannot even imagine my life without you or how our life path has journeyed so far, and this year we’ve been gifted with Ben and a new wild haired baby to add to our crew. It’s still you and I forever… you are my favorite and I am so grateful to be witnessing the boy and many you’re becoming. So many people remind me that time flies and I will miss these moments with you… and YES but also No.

I love watching you grow. That’s my job- not to coddle you but to accompany your growth with love and patience and acceptance. It’s all such a gift and you are such a beautiful soul.

Jude- I am so excited to see how you evolve with age 5.

You are one of a kind and I will love you forever.

As you say-

My heart to your heart & Your heart to my heart-

Love always and forever,

Mommy

Photo by Natalie Katherine. Wearing Buddha Pants <3

 

Four

Jude,

You turn 4 today. FOUR.

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4 years we have been growing together and morphing into what we are now.

4 years I’ve been sharing my bed with you- a little being who holds my heart outside of my own body.

4 years since I transitioned from maiden to mother, a transformation I was not as conscious about at the time.

4 years since I was gifted the most beautiful gift I’ve ever, and will ever be given in this life time.

FOUR.

IMG_3057Jude.

There really is no one like you. You “stick out”. I love it.

3 – 4 years has been filled with huge growth and changes for you dear. You are really growing into a man. I see it.

For me, this growth has also gifted me lessons as well.

I am growing too.

We are still growing together.

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This year, you and I have really bonded during my yoga practice. You express that you want your yoga mat and that you want to do “train” yoga or “car” yoga, depending on the day. Some days you jump on my mat, call my name, strike a pose and say “Mom! I am doing yoga! Look!”. This has brought us together through new connections and I am so grateful for this RIGHT NOW. It may change, and I am ok with that. I love you.

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You and I do a lot together. We go on so many adventures and you are my favorite person to go on adventures with. We end up swimming in our underwear quite often.

This year specifically, you and I have connected on a new level. It’s as if we have become stronger in our bond as a mother and a son but also as friends.

You tell me how much you love me, and when I am sad in front of you, you comfort me.

You approach me, give me a hug and kiss, and tell me you want me to be happy. My heart illuminates , Jude Bug.

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Jude, you are a very resilient and rebellious little man, which me leaves me pretty exhausted most days. However, I am also grateful for these qualities in you. You have a fire within. You are JUDE because these qualities.

You exclaim, “Friend!” , whenever you see someone your size or someone that you like in public. Luckily for us, we live in Austin, and our city is filled with some of the kindest folks in Texas. Kids and Adults both love to be your friend most of the time. Some days, your energy level is that of a bomb exploding, and that means that some days, not everyone wants to be your friend, and that is alright. We talk about it, and you still keep exclaiming “FRIEND!”, when we are adventuring and come across a human you like. I love this quality of yours.

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You are a lover.

You are different.

You are Jude.

I want to call you “mine”, but that doesn’t feel quite right. You are a free spirit, and are growing so independent. As free as you are, we do still sleep together and you still want me to pick you up every day. You still run to me when you get frightened and you still fall asleep holding my hand most nights. I cherish these moments with you.

I love you Jude Bug.

I love you so much.

Cheers to FOUR.

Love,

Mom

 

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  • Photos by Victoria Grey Hess and myself <3

 

Mind Weather

 

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The mind is such medicine

Our moments, “good” or “bad”… Medicine

Meditation is more than repeating affirmations or trying to “quiet” our minds.
I’m finding that as I observe my thought-formations become quiet or judge mental or swept away in a story, I grow. As I observe what happens I grow.

Not as I make GOALS to quiet my mind or as I aim to NOT have thoughts (what?!), but as I observe, I grow. And through that growth, my mind does seem to be placing less anxiety or anger in my path. Each time I close my eyes and observe the weather within, I grow.

I’ve never owned a Zafu, or meditation cushion. This beautiful green embroidered one is something I chose to gift to myself for my growing “weather watching” within. ☀️🌤🌦🌧🌩🌨☃💨🌪

My meditation practice ebbs and flows. Lately I find that I like to wake up earlier in the mornings and begin my days with affirmations, but after my car accident last month, my shoulders and neck have been in a state of healing.❤️
This Zafu is a really sweet reminder to elongate both downward and upward, to find my center, and to let the sweetness grow when I close my eyes.
I found this one from BareFoot Yoga and absolutely love it. Have your ever used a Zafu? I’d love to hear your experience too

(I am a big floor dweller, so this pretty cushion is definitely getting some love so far!)

 

My current favorite guided meditation is “The Mountain Meditation” by Dave Potter which can be found at http://palousemindfulness.com/disks/mountain.html

 

"Through it all, the mountain just sits, experiencing change in each moment, constantly changing, yet always just being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes moment by moment and day by day, calmness abiding all change… "
“Through it all, the mountain just sits, experiencing change in each moment, constantly changing, yet always just being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes moment by moment and day by day, calmness abiding all change… “

It’s a sweet inner journey and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Lots of love,

lots and lots and lots,

Amanda Jo

Why Women NEED to LIFT Each Other Up Over SHIT Talking Each Other Down

In my early years a young girl I realized I was “different”. I remember feeling like an outcast on multiple occasions and that feeling never really went away.

There are a few women I connected with through my adolescence that gave me space to be myself and loved me as I was, and I am still connected with those few <3, but I think I developed this idea that I connected more with men than woman during my adolescence because women were SO DAMN MEAN. It seemed to me, that when women gathered, it was for a creation of negativity such as shit talking.

I remember that feeling of disconnection with femininity happen over time, and little did I know that by disconnecting with the feminine essences around me, I was also disconnecting with the feminine essences WITHIN me.

I think we have finally reached this time in our world where women are being heard as they are rising up and yelling their truth- WE NEED TO LOVE OUR FELLOW WOMEN AND OURSELVES TOO!

It is such a beautiful an amazing time to be alive during. I can see it springing up in communities all over the world. I see more and more women talking about Moon gatherings, and women’s circles, and even phone conference women’s circles. (I am actually in a phone conference circle of recently and cannot express enough joy and comfort and gratitude over what this weekly call circle has brought into my life!) I see that in my homeschool co op, the mothers are wanting genuine connection with each other – woman to woman- and I am so filled with gratitude about this because when we strengthen our bonds as individuals like this, our children will thrive too.

When women gather and support each other, we truly feel our divine innate sense of feminine self blossom. I think that one of the most beautiful things that we can do woman to woman, is to hold space. We can listen to each other and receive each other FULLY just as we are. We can reach out and connect with women all over the world now through social media platforms. (How AMAZINGLY beautiful is that?). We can nurture each other through consciously being with one another. And I think that is the main point here- CONSCIOUSLY and INTENTIONALLY allowing our fellow women to blossom and holding space for each other to do so.

I used to think that my relationships with women would always be tainted due to my feelings as an outcast from a young age and the verbal abuse from my ex stepmother as a young adolescent, but I have to say that is not the case anymore. I decided I wanted to connect to the feminine essence both inward and outward, and I have come to the belief that when we make that bold choice, that the universe or God or whatever power you feel called to believe in, will provide.

When we connect to ALL of what is within us, equanimity illuminates. We must honor both our masculine and our feminine, all parts of ourselves- the parts that feel blocked, the parts that feel scary, the parts that feel SO unknown we cannot label them. I believe that when women choose to uplift and honor each other, we give the gift of allowing a woman to honor all of herself, to love all of herself, to be all of herself.

I would like to send some gratitude to all of the powerful women in my life, for without you, I would not be truly honoring all of myself. Thank you. <3

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Photo with Victoria Grey Hess <3

“We can use our lives, in other words, to wake up to the fact that we’re not separate: the energy that causes us to live and be whole and awake and alive is just the energy that creates everything, and we’re part of that.” –Pema Chodron

 

 

 

Sitting with it

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In my last blog, I wrote about letting things go that don’t feel right to us. This is an example of a “problem” in our lives that we can find a solution to through tapping into ourselves and our feelings. However, what do we do when there isn’t a solution to a certain issue?

We live in an age in which many of us have become over- “problem solvers”. Whenever a problem comes up, many of us begin the process of micro managing its remedying almost immediately. We think, “Oh man! So and so doesn’t like me, how can I fix this NOW?”, or “Oh my goodness this anxiety within me needs to be pinpointed and executed NOW.”

Now, some issues should and can be remedied (see my previous blog if you havene’t yet HERE ), but a lot of the time, things come up in our lives that really don’t need fixing or things that we CANNOT fix. In fact, I have been finding more and more that by just simply thinking or talking about the issue with someone who has earned the right to connect deeply (more about that from the amazing Brene Browne HERE ), the problem can be gifted mindfulness and mindfulness is the solution.

I struggle with anxiety from PTSD, and it comes up at seemingly random times in which no single point or event triggered an anxiety attack. It just happens, and it can be so debilitating if I sit around attempting to problem solve it. Rather, I have just been acknowledging that anxiety has come into my home, and I sit with. Maybe I will call or text a friend who I know can hold space for me. Or, maybe I breath with it, I think about inviting in some love to sit with as well, and then I just let things be.

That is the real point here, can we allow things to just BE sometimes?

Less doing, more being. <3

 

 

A Note About Yoga Asana

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I remember as a child, the first time I tried to do a handstand I literally fell right in my face. I saw this happen to my son Jude the first time he tried to do one as well and it totally brought me back. Not everyone comes to their practice as a gymnast or a ballerina. (These backgrounds do not translate into less work by any means though.)

I came to my practice as a former soccer player and singer during my adolescence, an addict through my young adulthood (I remember laughing my way through a yoga video I checked out from the library) and as a new mother at 21 years old the first time I decided to commit myself to my mat.

I’ll never forget that immediate soothing and release that yoga brought me. I felt like I had taken off some glasses I didn’t even know I was wearing.

This practice is not linear, it is not a building of skill that just keeps getting you higher and higher. Rather it is like an EKG of a heartbeat, at least for me. The practice of yoga asana ebbs and flows depending on your life moments at the time. When we dig our talons into certain poses, it takes away the softness. I know because I’ve been there and still get into that mindset at times.

Recently, I’ve had this building tension in my left shoulder. It’s so intense that when I lay on a tennis ball (for myofascial release), I am immediately brought to tears. This very noticeable asymmetry and hardness in my shoulders has made jumping into handstands hard and filled with some anxiety for me. Wheel pose has become difficult in a new ways and I can easily accidentally push it too far right now. I’m hoping to work with a body worker and healer soon but right now this is just where I am. I can either come to my mat angry about the tension, or I can allow my body to flow as it does rather than how I may have had planned.

 

When you see an un bloomed flower, how do you react? Would you immediately attempt to tear the bud open or would you wait over the course of however many days or weeks for the flower to begin slowly blossoming into the beautiful creation that it is? Respect your body and mind. You are a flower too. 🌷🌹🌺🌸

When WE flow

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Photo by my very talented friend Victoria Grey Hess (can be found at @victoriagreyhess on Instagram)

 

 

 

I had a friend give me advice once, a simple statement of,

 

“If what you are doing doesn’t feel right, then stop”.

 

This isn’t the same as, “If what you are doing is hard, then stop” or “If what you are doing is too challenging for you, stop” or “If what you are doing doesn’t give you results immediately, stop.”

This statement holds true because it is in reference to our intuitive abilities to FEEL if a situation isn’t for us. We are constantly bombarded with SHOULDS and SHOULDNTS from the media, our friends, our family, and loved ones, even when given with good intention, these totally overload the system. Only YOU can truly know what is best for your self and your body.

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Austin has the coolest graffiti throughout the city. This one is by @This_Bird_ who can be found on Instagram. 🙂

Before my son came into the world I was training to become a hair dresser at a pretty expensive school. About half way in, it began just not feeling right. I didn’t feel healthy and my level of anxiety hadn’t dissipated. I woke up one morning and finally realized I needed to get off the path. I left the school financially drained, with friends and family encouraging me to keep going, AND I left feeling like I did what was right. These all came together, but what was most important was that I followed my intuition. Little did I know, two months later I would become pregnant with Jude, start taking yoga classes, fall in love with the practice of prenatal yoga, and begin a teacher training at 36 weeks along to go down a path I was ACTUALLY passionate about.

I have hit another cross road recently. I have followed my intuition to take a break from teaching yoga for about 5 months until further notice. So far this break from teaching has given me so much more time to focus on art and diving into the world of unschooling with Jude, another path I am following my intuition to guide me as a compass on. I have learned a lot and I know I am doing the right thing by not teaching. Despite stress, and some anxiety when I first stopped teaching (If I am not a yoga teacher, then who am I?!), I know that when I dig deep, I see I am holding true to my trust, to going with the flow of life.

What path in your life do you feel like you need to allow yourself to step off of? Could it be a financial endeavor or maybe being too hard on yourself during a yoga class? Could it be labeling yourself with dietary restrictions that don’t actually serve your body or maybe its an area you live in that you just don’t feel right in?

Allow yourself to ponder these questions, but also know that when we exit a path it doesn’t have to be a huge immediate LEAP (although it can be). Maybe your exit is a gradual one in order to allow peace to flow a little smoother.

Listen within to what you FEEL. If you don’t know how you feel, you actually probably do. I tend to think I don’t know how I feel when I become overwhelmed or my thoughts won’t stop going, but when I dig deep or even ask myself “Ok, is this a healthy situation for my growth?”, an answer will usually pop up.

You know so much more than you think you do. I promise.