Finding Your Tribe

Question: In analyzing some anger and other emotions I’ve been going through, I came to the huge realization that I’m lonely and I always have been. I know that sounds crazy coming from a child of three, raised in a yoga community who is now married but it’s true. Less so now with my husband and that may be why I’m able to finally admit it.
After college, I freelanced in video and documentary for 7 years, mostly working from my home-where I lived alone- at a computer by myself. I used to go to lunch at Whole Foods and attend yoga classes just to be around people for some slice of the day. I knew something was wrong but everybody thought my work was so cool and I was so lucky to be able to wear pajamas to work and set my own schedule.
In the winter of 2010/2011, I followed my passion for African dance to Guinea, West Africa. My heart broke open. They have a word they use for being together. It’s Wontanara. Not only are you together with lots of people and children all the time but that oozing heart feeling of wontanara is ever present, perhaps a gesture of the land or a symptom of extreme poverty, or an ancient cultural treasure that these people possess. For once my thirst was quenched.
I remember returning, full to the brim with wontanara to share with my countrymen and woman. I did for awhile. But after time, the old patterns of competition, individualization, and first world survival took over again. Things are mostly back to normal and I wonder if in fact loneliness is “The Pain I Attract” (to use your words) in my own life.I’ve begun to take steps toward cultivating togetherness.
I’m now turning down freelance film and doc work because I just can’t do it. It feels like a prison. I work in a tapas restaurant with live music. I have continued to practice yoga and study African dance in community. And I just recently started teaching yoga. I fell in love with and married an amazing man who is truly an angel in my life everyday.
However, I’m still seeking greater depth and care and unity from my communities and friendships, coworkers and peers. I sense that my aching heart is not alone, that in fact this is an illness of the first world, that money actually affords isolation.
I would like to serve my sisters and brothers, honor the lesson of wontanara I learned from the amazing people of Guinea, and satisfy my own soul.What should I do??!!
 
Answer: I was happy to read what you wrote, because you my dear are on the exact path that you should be.
You have felt lonely because you are different. You soul wants more than the status quo and those who are different never feel like they truly belong until they find their tribe. It seems as though your intuition is leading you to yours. To working in lively settings, surrounded by music. To working alongside people who love food and work hard together. Your gut has led you to African music and your wonderful African husband.
Stop seeking greater depth and care and unity in other people and places. Become it and attract it. Do the things that you love. Choose activities that bring you to people who are like minded. Cultivate your hobbies and interests. Choose anything that makes you feel expansive and light. Steer clear of anything that makes you feel heavy and dark and retractive. And don’t doubt that feeling. Trust yourself. Continue to look to serve your community. Not only will you be making other people happy but choosing to spend time helping others in the quickest way to feel incredible about yourself and your time on this planet.
The feelings of loneliness won’t disappear overnight. You are human and that’s a normal human emotion. But, I believe, that one day you will look back at this time and realize that it was actually your loneliness that forced you to grow into a wonderfully happy woman who is surrounded by her tribe and supported in her life.
 So enjoy this ride, continue to do every single thing that you are doing now. Get deeper with you. Care more for you. Unite with the people you know now. You are well on your way to everything that you hope for. Wontanara.
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If you have a question you would like answered on the blog, send me an email. sundaribliss@gmail.com. Your name will be protected and your question answered within 48 hours.
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The Pain You Attract

Life Coach, and Best Selling Author, Shelly Bullard wrote something recently that stuck with me. “We’re attracted to people who trigger our wounds because we need to work through them.” And when you haven’t done the work necessary, “….we continue to attract partners who evoke the same kind of pain we experienced when we were young.”

I don’t know about you, but this has been true for me most of my life. My father was my hero. We watched Basketball together, he sang to me, he took me on long walks around Harlem and told me stories of what the neighborhood was like before the 80’s crack frenzy hit. He was smart and kind and when I was 11 his girlfriend called on Thanksgiving and told me my family was a joke. That night my mother kicked him out and he never looked back.

In movies, and maybe in real life also but I wouldn’t know, your parents sit you down and explain that while your life is about to drastically come undone they still love you and will always take care of you. Not in this story. In this story, my mother and I threw his clothes in garbage bags and she had me write him a letter telling him how much I hated him.

During my teenage years as I discovered sex, and Mad Dog 20/ 20, my mother tried often to send me to live with my father. I would listen on the other line as he gave some ridiculous reason why that would never happen and she would cry that I was too much for her.

While brilliant, and successful and an incredible Educator my mother was less than the cuddly mom I saw in my friend’s homes. My father’s betrayal, and her own childhood, left her angry and bitter and totally incapable of sharing warm fuzzy moments with me. We fought like feral cats and most of those fights began when I would beg her to tell me she loved me. She simply couldn’t…

By my  30’s both of my parents had died. And it wasn’t until their deathbed that either were able to soften and hold me and tell me I was loved.

Let’s be clear, my mother was a wonderful provider and told everyone in her own life how much she loved me. I learned that after she passed. She just never told me to my face. And while my father was certainly not winning any awards for Father of the Year, millions of people have had it worse than I.

I’m expecting no sympathy. But when I look back at the years of failed relationships, drama and total fucking idiots I have attracted, is there really any doubt that every choice I made stemmed from wounds I hadn’t healed?

If I wasn’t dating the guy who made me chase him for attention, I was dating the one that needed me because he was a hot mess and was drawn to my own light (though dim at the time). Every relationship was painful and had an ending that one day I need to include in a book to entertain those who think “this shit doesn’t happen to actual people” 🙂

So how did I attract the healthy and happy relationship I’m in now?

I DID THE WORK. Plain and simple.

I could keep crying about my romantic life and how my daddy ain’t no good or ,I decided, I could take ownership and responsibility for my own future and fix my shit.

So what did I do?

  • I stopped dating. Clearly I wasn’t attracting anyone worth it, so I took a break. No men. None. Not even the ones you keep on speed dial for lonely nights 🙂
  • I used the time, usually spent crying over some man or fighting with one, and I focused on things I liked to do and I did it ALONE. Friends are wonderful, but I needed to learn what things and ideas were mine and mine only. I needed to remember what it was like to enjoy my own company.
  • Once I figured out what those things were, I started focusing on being really good at them. Not to impress others, but because I wanted to impress myself. My boyfriend may be the famous Chef but I spent a lot of time before him impressing the hell out of myself in the kitchen! lol
  • I wrote affirmations EVERYWHERE. There were notes to myself in my car, my wallet, on my bathroom mirror…. You name it, I had written on it. And who cares about the strange looks from friends?!? I was healing myself!
  • And lastly, I read the book, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. Every chapter included an action step to start loving myself more. Loving yourself more is the ONLY way to move forward.

And so here is my action step for YOU:

Write down your wounds.

Ex: My mother spent my life telling me how terrible men are.

Be honest about them. Don’t think. Just write. And keep writing until it feels like there is nothing left inside of you. On the back of your paper. Write, “Let It Go” and then throw it out and start working on the list I gave you above.

Face your pain. Face it, accept it, and choose to move forward. Spend every single day figuring out a way to love yourself, and accept yourself, more. It’s only through self- love that you can begin to attract the love you deserve. And believe me, you deserve the best!

What wounds are you letting go of? Leave your comments below.

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And don’t forget! If you have a question or a topic you want addressed, email me at sundaribliss@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My FREE Workshop

In case you didn’t check the EVENTS tab of this blog, I wanted to leave this message here.

On Sunday February 21st,from 1:00- 3:00pm , Miami Sports Chiropractic & Jugofresh will present the uplifting workshop; Sundari-Bliss Taking Care Of You. Led by Yoga teacher, and Certified Caregiving Advisor Iana Malcolm, this is the workshop for you if you are a Caregiver of a loved one who is terminally ill. A former Caregiver herself, Iana will teach you the whole body approach she used to navigate this exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming time.  You will learn how feeding the body well and cultivating a mindfulness practice are the keys to success and your mental sanity.

This workshop will include:

  • The chance to tell your story and hear from other Caregivers.
  • You will learn breathing practices to calm the nervous system and decrease your anxiety.
  • You will learn simple Yoga poses to build strength in your body and improve the flexibility needed for those long nights in hospitals and sitting bedside.
  • You will learn the tools Iana Malcolm used to become a successful, organized and effective Caregiver.
  • You will end your session with a long, and much needed, guided deep relaxation so that you can have a little YOU time of rest and peace.

 

We are giving away 3 FREE seats to this workshop.  To RSVP please contact Iana Malcolm at sundaribliss@gmail.com

 

If you are not able to attend please contact Iana Malcolm to inquire about future dates.  sundaribliss@gmail.com

 

Where?

Miami Sports Chiropractic & Yoga Center

2450 NE Miami Gardens Drive

Miami, FL 33180

www.drdoman.com

305.932.2218

Philandering Peter

Question: I’m 97% sure my boyfriend is cheating on me. For the last two years he’s been staying out later, not coming home some nights and smelling like perfume. He’s texting late at night. I mean the list goes on and on. The other night some chick called my phone from a blocked number and then hung up. I asked him about it and he told me I was being paranoid and that he’s just working late. I’ve been following him some nights and I haven’t caught him but my gut tells me he’s full of shit. Do I leave? Or do I wait until I have concrete evidence?

Answer: If ever, in your life, you find yourself typing the above paragraph. You are in a terrible relationship. Read that paragraph, as though it was a friend telling you her story, and think about what your advice to her would be. Remove the emotion from it and look at the facts.

I know confirming he’s a cheater would help to quiet that fear that you’re just being paranoid, but it doesn’t take away the fact that you two have such little trust that you are actually following him at night like some sort of deranged FBI agent fueled by rage and Rioja! There is nothing sexy about that honey. He’s either the kind of man whose giving you real reason to act crazy or he’s the kind of man that brings out the crazy in you. Either version is a man that’s bad for you.

You want to be with a man who makes you feel safe and protected. A man who looks after your heart and truly cares about your happiness. No man is perfect. But the perfect one for you won’t have you doing drive-by’s in your Honda.

Let this man go. Let him go to work or go to some woman’s house. But let him go. And you go take some time for yourself. Your nerves are probably shot. Take a girls trip and have some fun! You deserve it 🙂

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Do you have a question you’d like to have answered? Email me at askbliss@yahoo.com. Questions are answered here on the blog. Your identity will be kept secret.