Forgiveness by stephanie nieman

In yoga there is a philosophy of non-attachment which is essentially the balance of never giving up and always letting go. 

This song inspires me to let go of grudges and to try my hardest to forgive. 

love by stephanie nieman

Sometimes we try so hard to love people and it's possible that they'll never actually accept it. I've also been guilty of not allowing love into my life when I really needed it. 

I played this song in class today with the intention of accepting and giving love as a precious gift. 

Take a deep breath and accept the love you're given. 

When enlightenment doesn't happen by stephanie nieman

I booked a last minute 2 week solo adventure to Costa Rica. This left me enough time to not stress about anything. (Probably because I hadn't planned anything except a eco-friendly yoga shack with high Airbnb reviews.)

I was excited to get away from NYC, see a new country, and you know... explore the depths of my soul. I prepared to "see the light" as the yogis say. 

I arrived the day after Halloween hungover and covered in glitter. My connection from San Jose to Quepos was in a 5 seater plane during a tropical rain storm. I was too tired and dehydrated to get scared and decided #YOLO was going to be the theme of my trip. 

The yoga shack was actually pretty great despite the termite nest inside my bed. I ended up meeting a super awesome guy who taught me a lot about friendship.

I did yoga almost everyday, but felt my mind wandering during meditation. Rather than checking in I completely checked out. I guess it's easy to forget your issues when you run away to Costa Rica and drink out of a coconut for breakfast. 

On day 11, it finally hit me. I wasn't in meditation or holding an intense yoga pose... I was hiding behind a massive rock from a flock of black vultures. 

It wasn't enlightenment or some big 'aha' moment. It was just me hanging out with myself. Like.. "Oh hey Steph, you're quite scared of those birds! Why are you scared of things in first place!?! Annnd what an awesome beach!!! #YOLO"

I don't take enough time to hangout with myself. It's like I forget who I really am and create a thick conventional outside layer for all to admire. 

Jean-Paul Sartre thought that no one but you can decide what you make of your life. If that's true, then it would make a lot of sense to get to know yourself pretty darn well. Otherwise you're living in ignorance or choosing to lead a life according to other people's rule book. 

Another philosopher thought that the way you chose to lead your life is a statement of how you think all humans should lead their life. If you're following a path well traveled, you could be missing out on you're full potential.

I sat behind this rock for a long time. 

I had conversation with myself. It was nice at times, but pretty ugly for the most part. It's like patching up an old friendship with the lingering guilt of missed birthdays. 

We're kind of stuck with who we are, right? It's not like I can wake up as Angelina Jolie. So why the hell wouldn't I become friends with myself. It's a journey and it take practice. Whether it be on a mat or behind a rock, I'm constantly seeking more self awareness, and I really hope you do too. 

I didn't find enlightenment in Costa Rica. I saw a massive killer snake and kayaked through the jungle. It rained. Like, a lot. I made a new friend and did some yoga. But best of all, I got to know myself a little better.