Monday, March 11, 2013

Step Onto My Mat has MOVED!!

Yay! Step Onto My Mat is growing and has moved. Please check out the new page at Please bear with me as it is a work in progress. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

First Ever Newsletter

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Newsletter March 10, 2013


Welcome to the first ever Step Onto My Mat newsletter. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. I even more so appreciate the support. Please take the time to browse this newsletter and follow the links and discover what Step Onto My Mat is all about. I am just getting up and started with the only goal being that I get yoga out there and teach some people. Yoga has been a gift to me and I just want to share that gift. Please Step Onto My Mat and explore the gifts of yoga with me. 

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Stephanie Wharam - I Heart My Yogi

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Depression and all the things you can do..LIVE LIFE!

I believe that I have admitted in a past post that I love the trashy "reality" shows. If not and for those of you new to the blog, now you know. I get that they are mostly not real and the negative affect they have on me, but it is a guilty pleasure of mine that I enjoy the mindlessness of it all. In any case, from time to time I do get a little nugget of something out of them. Usually it is, "I DO NOT want to be like that". Ha ha. However, today I got something much more worth while. I was watching a new show called "LA Shrinks". One of the "shrinks" was talking about her battle with depression she had in earlier years. She said that she was told she had this mental health problem then repeatedly told all the things she could not do because of this "disease". Isn't that sad. Imagine that, someone so depressed, feeling so alone, and being given this label that now puts her in a confining box making her feel more alone, then her depression worsened because she is now being told of many of life's joys that she will never attain, including motherhood.

This has really been on my mind today...all day. In my depression I did not, fortunately, experience this. I can, however, see how devastating it would have been if this was the approach those "helping" me had taken. She went on to say how she lived in a medicated fog that made her suicidal and she stated how she missed 20 years of her live. This I can really relate to. I felt this way, but didn't know how bad it was when I was in it. It is when I look back now and see how much life was a series of motions; motions of what I thought I should do, motions of life in general, and motions to please everyone around me. I was not living my life. I was drowning in a medication fog. I had sleeping problems and would stay up late at night, get yelled at by my dad, I would obsessively clean my room, and then sleep the day away the next day, waking up feeling pissed and hung over. People don't often talk about the "hangover" feeling. I mean the depression hangover and the alcohol hangover. They are very similar. You feel like crap all over, you have no motivation, your tired, your head hurts (really every molecule in your body hurts), and that wicked depression is eating at every ounce of your being. You regret and hate every bit of every decision you made and curse yourself for being so stupid.

Anyways, I digress. So, this was on my mind. I get to work and in my downtime I pick up a magazine, Spirituality & Health, and read it. I come across an article called, "Finding Beauty in a Blue Mood". In it Jennifer Haupt says, "I've come to accept the restless emptiness and nagging sadness as signals from my soul instead of merely the symptoms of an illness to be excised." Man, that makes me think of exactly how I try to see what is going on in me. To me they are signals of a need to give and receive more love... to myself! Jennifer goes on to talk about channeling her depression into a "powerful tool for creativity." She later says something I found interesting, "Decades of research have found that introversion, emotional sensitivity, and vulnerability to negativity-seeing the glass as half empty-are all common personality traits of highly creative people. They are also common symptoms of depression.." Wow, profound idea. I can relate.

Occasionally I get in a spot and draw. I do my best drawing when I am depressed. Yes, after all these years is it something that I still battle...everyday.  Singing is another powerful tool for me. How many of us can see this correlation?

Depression is not a "disease" of things that we can't do. It is a tool used to find ourselves differently than others, to be creative, to find the love we need within ourselves, it is a way to feel things deeply, it is a different way to experience the world, and "a path to wisdom."

Lastly, I was reading in my book, "Daily Om" and came across some beautiful words I want to share. The entry is labeled "Heights Of Awareness Highly Sensitive PeopleSome people are born into the world with their ears and eyes open to the strong energy pulsating all around them. They experience everyday sensory input in a uniquely heightened way that can cause both pleasure and pain. In an environment overflowing with subtleties of thought, chemicals, noise, light, scent, and both positive and negative energy, these highly sensitive people do not have the ability to filter the emotions, substances, and sensations they take in. They can be easily overwhelmed in crowds and may require quiet time alone to regroup their feelings. But highly sensitive people are far from being weak. On the contrary, they are strong, perceptive, intuitive, and exceptionally artistic people who have a wonderful gift of insight to offer. 

Highly sensitive people feel emotions deeply and, as they tend to be empathic  find themselves affected by the emotions of others, even the emotions of actors or characters in books. Because of this, they are perceptive of the needs, joys, and pains of others and they cannot simply shake off their feelings. They are as hurt by an insult to another as they would be by an insult to themselves, and try to avoid most conflict. When faced with negative emotions or situations, it can be easy for highly sensitive people to suffer from depression or anxiety. Their unique mode of perception allows them to develop a strong appreciation for nature, music, art, and literature. Many talented artists are sensitive and most sensitive people are artistic in some way. 

This sensitivity exerts itself physically as well, which can cause the nervous system to become overloaded when faced with bright lights, loud noises, strong tastes, or erratic environments. Highly sensitive people may be allergic to a number of foods, fabrics, and chemicals. They may also be so touch-sensitive that coarser cloths like denim bruise their skin. Thus, they fare best in peaceful, harmonious settings that offer strong support and may find they build their strongest bonds with other highly sensitive people who understand their needs. To minimize stress, it can be beneficial to create a daily routine, seek out calming activities, avoid jarring noise and lighting, meditate, and use relaxing essential oils. 

Though some highly sensitive people develop animosity toward their way of experiencing the world, it should be understood that it is not a curse, but a path to wisdom. Denying your sensitivity can lead to unhappiness but exploring its benefits can lead to positive change in yourself and others, particularly when you choose to seek out the world's beauty and demonstrate to others the heights it can reach.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What yoga has taught me...

I love the show and the movies "Sex and the City". I remember an episode where Carrie's computer messed up and Aiden told her to breathe and reboot. It ended up bad for her and her computer, but boy does it really help us. Yoga has taught me the importance of our breath and linking it to the many things we do and taking the time to focus on it when needed, and to actually do it when the s#@t hits the in fits of anger.

I need to seek love within myself. To love me. This is a hard world we live in and we cannot look for this love with others because they may not know how to give it, want to give it, or they may feel they have none to give (although we all do!!). I had a lot of anger problems growing up. I had a very traumatic event happen at a young age and I think that took my love for myself away and I was constantly seeking it in all the wrong places and acting out in all the wrong ways. I still had a ton of love inside, but everything I was doing was so wrong and I got frustrated. Yoga has changed all of that for me. I know that I am love, I have love, I give love, and in return I love myself and receive love from the universe and all its beings even when they don't always know how to give it.

Sometimes the anger that others have is often repressed love, someone who needs love, or someone that doesn't know what to do with love. Its not all bad.

Not all the stuff that yogis say is just hippie hype. We ARE all connected, we DO just need to simply breathe sometimes, and we DO really need to listen to and honor our bodies.

It is OK to be me, quarks and all. When you stop trying to repress this, people tend to see you authentically. Although you may get on their nerves, they can understand you easier since it really is you and not something that you are faking. You tend to get along better with others, even if they may think you're a tad on the weird, hippy side :)

All we need IS love...for real!

Sometimes you have to simply disregard the negative (things, events, and people)...exhale that which does not serve you.

Most importantly, you have to work to be happy, but it is a whole lot easier than the energy consumed by being negative.