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Orlando: Don't Let It Change You And Let It Change You

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Photo Credit: Megan McAvoy. Yoga: An inward journey of self-discovery; may we all pray for and find peace.

I rarely like to make public comments on these issues, but this time, I could not help myself.

The news in Orlando was jarring -- each time that these horrid events occur, the shock does not grow weaker. The sadness is no less. The loss is only greater. My biggest takeaways are 1) don't let it change you and 2) let it change you.

Don't let it change you. We cannot live in fear. We cannot change what we do or where we go. We cannot lose (or take for granted) our freedom that so many have fought for and still do.

Let it change you. Be more open, loving, and grateful. Those things that you have always wanted to do, or change -- well, get going. There is no time like the present -- a long life is promised to none.

Each time these senseless acts of hate happen, I view it as a chance to commit to being a better person. That has been my chosen approach since witnessing 9/11 from my bedroom window during the first week of college and eventually overcoming PTSD through yoga.

For a long time, I let 9/11 change me. I had physical, mental, and emotional symptoms from that event. I recall going to see a John Mayer concert soon after (at a small venue before he got really big) and walking the streets of NYC seeing police with machine guns on the NY transit line. I saw streets lined with vigils of those in mourning, and any time a low flying plane flew overhead (at a time when flights were banned elsewhere), I shuddered in fear. I lashed out at the ones who I loved, felt like I was falling -- not in a good way -- each time that I went to bed, often saw real life that looked more like an unreal painting, and was more scared than I had ever been in my life.

Then I realized, that's what "they" wanted. Terror is defined as "extreme fear," and I was living it. So, not only had they taken the lives of so many innocent people, but they were taking my life too -- here on earth.

I began to teach myself yoga and started to find a pause between my thoughts. I began to release insane amounts of built up physical trauma, and eventually I realized that it was both my right, and my duty, to live every minute on this earth to the fullest -- as if it could be my last. Not from a sense of "fear," but from a sense of appreciation. Living the best life possible is the only way that I can think of to properly honor those who no longer have that fortune. So, what do you really want out of this life? The time is now -- not one of us is ever promised a tomorrow.

So, don't let it change you and let it change you.


Photo Credit: Megan McAvoy. Journal writing is so important on the path to healing and self development.

Today, I am a Registered Yoga Teacher in addition to my coaching business where I inspire and impact successful women in business to achieve personal wellbeing, business freedom, and financial security so that they may have everlasting fulfillment. I see my business as an opportunity to pass along the most important lessons and challenges that I've ever overcome. Below, you will find a 25 minute yoga practice focused on "gratitude," that will be helpful for those of you dealing with stress-related issues, and those of you who want to change your focus to be happier, more present, and more grateful.

My heart goes out to all of those suffering not just from the aftermath of Orlando, but to all of the other victims who we must never ever forget. Please practice compassion for others, and don't forget compassion for yourself. Namaste.

Abundance of Yoga: Gratitude Practice