Yoga Inspiration: Day 2, Do you feel Stuck?

Universe Inside Your Head by Benjavisa

I might have had a slight break down today. I was slightly sore from my yoga practice yesterday, and my mood felt heavy. My morning mantra was, “I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail. I won’t have the will power to do yoga for the next 29 days and I will fail.” I find though, my true concerns tend to surface while I do yoga.

I’m not worried so much about not fulfilling my commitment to practice Ashtanga yoga this month. I FEEL STUCK. I have no job, no prospects, and no idea what I should do. That’s scary and overwhelming for me. I talked to my Mom a little about everything going on. It turns out I had been bottling up a lot of frustrations for too long.

I finally understand what my friend Carly meant several years ago when she said, “I don’t want you to try and fix my problems. I just need someone to listen.” I have a natural inclination to try and fix people’s problems, especially if they come to me to talk. Sometimes, however, they don’t need advice. They just need someone to listen.

That’s how I felt most of today. Thankfully, my Mom is very understanding.

God is very understanding as well. He helped me in a very subtle way. My Mom and I, right after I broke down and gushed about my feelings, went into the store Five Below. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. In fact, I was trying to distract myself and pull my thoughts together.

Feel free to check out this journal!

But then I found Johanna Wright’s journal The Magic of Mindset and I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought, “Thank Goodness I found you. I just need someone to listen.” I don’t believe it was a coincidence. I think God was looking out for me.

Anyway, after reading through the first few pages of the journal, I felt better about doing my yoga practice in the evening. Today for yoga, I was a lot kinder to myself. I still pushed myself hard, but at times I took time to be still and present in my breathing.

I think that is the real theme for today. It’s okay not to have all the answers right now. Yoga still hurt in a lot of ways but I was able to take time to accept my insecurities. The first step towards overcoming any problem is actually identifying there is a problem.

Thank you all for reading! See you tomorrow!

Yoga Inspiration: Day 1, Do you fear failure?

Lotus pose yoga chakra symbol in nature watercolor painting by Benjavisa Ruangvaree – via

Practicing yoga today was both easier and harder than I expected. Physically, I went through the sequence with no trouble. Mentally, it was more difficult. I think this was because I kept wondering as I went through each asana, “Will I be able to do this sequence every day this month?” I doubted myself before I had barely begun.

I’m a perfectionist, so if I feel I can’t do something well 100%, I struggle to continue forward and finish. In my mind, I think to stop is better than to fail. This must be because I place on myself unrealistic expectations.

I have done this in almost every aspect of my life since I was young. When I was a child, though, these expectations didn’t seem to cut so deep. Probably because I thought I had a lot of time before I had to worry about failing. But I’ve grown older, and many of these childhood expectations remain unfulfilled. These “failures” loom over me quite a lot.

When I do yoga, it is like I have to face these failures in every pose. If I haven’t taken care of myself physically, I berate myself for being unable to do a certain asana easily. The hardest poses at times are actually the still closing postures. It is there all my insecurities surface. Usually, this is very good for me. It helps me to sort my thoughts and send good vibes to my past self.

Sometimes though I get very discouraged. Like today.

I always thought adults automatically knew how to face life’s challenges. Whatever the outcome, adulthood seemed like a perfect time to make decisions, because adults have experience. What I didn’t expect was feeling just as uncertain whenever any big life event surfaced. I even set guideposts for myself as indicators that everything would become clear and fall into place.

But that isn’t how it is. I like reading one particular Manhwa called Dazzlingly Bright by Myeong. I relate to the main character Yeonsoo because she struggles to face her life’s uncertainties as well. She tried to pattern her life as people told her to. Because she needed a high paying job. Instead, she decided to become a writer and live alone. She reflected, 

I thought I would be able to see my future better as an adult. If I do well on exams. If I get accepted into university. If I get employed. As I cleared to quests connected together, and as I became an adult, what I learned is that it’s just dark.

Dazzingly Bright, Chapter 3 by Myeong

But the manhwa is named Dazzlingly Bright because she meets a young man who helps her choose to face her physical limitations. Though the direction she eventually chooses doesn’t fit the normal mold, she finds clarity following her own path and finding love and inspiration in unexpected places. 

That is what I need to find out for myself. My life’s story didn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. Right now, doing this challenge and facing my physical limitations is pushing me to see with clarity the type of life I can have. At least, that is what I feel.

Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow!

Beauty Around Us, Part 7: Day 14 Recognizing and Embracing Small, Daily Changes

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Because of recent changes I have done with my daily habits , I started to wonder about the redundancy of revisiting the same places every day. Usually, our everyday spaces are boring because of their familiarity. The same grocery stores, bedrooms and even window views lose their savor because they are always in our everyday lives.

I remembered the time I went on a European Music Tour while in college. Our first stop was Rome and on our second day we visited the Colosseum. All of us were in awe and were enthusiastically taking pictures. Well, others were while I stood staring at the structure a little ways from the group. Because I was disengaged from my fellow tourists, I noticed how many people passed by us on foot and in cars. One man was even running at a fast pace listening to music. None of them stopped to look. At the time I thought how sad it was they couldn’t take the time to look at such a magnificent architectural feat.

Now I have to wonder, are we all not the same? We pass by amazing, beautiful sights everyday without giving them much thought. I think it is because in our minds we have established we know everything we need to about the environment. We are comfortable and look elsewhere for insight or entertainment. Familiarity makes the mind hungry for something, anything more exciting.

The word which has popped into my head a lot is stimulation. In looking in the Cambridge dictionary, this word means, “an action or thing that causes someone or something to become more active or enthusiastic, or to develop or operate”. I believe, like anything, there are different daily sites, songs, books or moments which in turn stimulate parts of our brain, to encourage us towards our personal development.

The trick is, usually these daily simulations usually come in very small moments. Very rarely do we find ourselves engaged in the grandiose things we see on TV or read of in books. But the everyday things, and the decisions we make as we engage with them makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in our life direction.

I found myself paying attention to small simple pleasures around me. I often thought, “How long has it been since I see this? . . . paid attention to this. . .? . . . stopped to study this?” I decided to take time to see those things.

More than the differences in our environment, think of the small changes within our bodies, minds and spirits which come every day as we a stimulated at different levels by our world? Sometimes we create our own world through music, books or TV. Other times we plunge into the world brought to us by God and others. Regardless, one of the most beautiful truths in the universe is there can never be a person exactly the same as us. We are our own glorious, ever changing creation.

Specifically, I wanted to show how our everyday environment does NOT stay in a sterile stay of regularity. Every moment is a gift which we can never experience again. The grass will never be the same shade, thickness or color. The trees won’t ever have the light shine the way it does again. And, most importantly, each of us will never be the same person as we are in this very moment.

Thinking about all these things, I took two pictures a day of the same shots near the park where I live in Provo, UT. Within in the one week I marveled at how much had changed both there in the photos and within myself. I rounded the pictures to give the illusion of seeing through a lens.

If you would like, take time to study each photo and see the changes which occurred. If not, simply enjoy the beauty of seeing these changes in fast motion.

Sunday, May 3 2020

Monday, May 4 2020

Tuesday, May 5 2020

Wednesday, May 6 2020

Thursday, May 7 2020

Friday, May 8 2020

Saturday, May 9 2020

Sunday, May 10 2020

“Why aren’t you married?”: Day 8

(At the temple with my friend Erica)

This post is what you would call the monster. Meaning, this aspect of my life lies at the forefront of my many fears and expectations for myself. But it is an important part of my journey. So, probably with a few tears on my end, I will be honest with my experience concerning this question.

Anything I write here is for myself. But, it is also a part of me I really am ashamed of. As I have grown up I have realized feelings are precious things, and so are experiences: no matter how painful they are, even when compared to other people’s own experiences. But this is one of those cases I have to fight to let myself accept my emotions.

Please don’t think less of me for writing this. Believe me, if I could move forward without writing it I would. But I can’t.

I could talk about how much pressure is out there to be married before or after a certain age. But I won’t. I could also talk about whether or not it is necessary to even be married or if women should pursue careers first. But I won’t.

No, this is about me and my deep, overwhelming desire from a young age to be married in the temple and have a family. And not just to anyone. It must be to someone I feel I can trust my whole self to. I have a firm belief this desire has followed me from before I was born. It isn’t something I can rightly explain.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had ample opportunity to date and actually have been proposed to. (I forgot about that until recently when I talked to my mom. Moms remember these things.) But it isn’t really about getting married. At least, not at the deepest part.

It is about finding someone who is willing to commit themselves to me in all aspects of life. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is about taking on life’s struggles with my best friend, as cheesy as it sounds. Perhaps I am an idealist. Regardless, this dream has served as the center of my life a very long time.

But, despite everything I am not yet married.

And it terrifies me sometimes. It is irrational, perhaps a little selfish but it is real.

I remember being 16 or so during a young women’s conference and hearing a talk by someone in the presidency. She was not married and proceeded to tell us how, no matter if we marry or not, no blessings would be denied us in our lives. I am sure it was a beautiful talk. But hearing her words my heart broke a little.

The reason I felt so anxious, no matter how gently or caringly she gave the message, was because I realized my dream could very well not happen. So, ever since, there has been a small knot of grief locked in my heart especially as the years have passed by.

This little knot has grown throughout my life. Once was when I was 21. I fell for and confessed to a young man who I had dated for about eight months. Once I told him how I felt, he looked at me, told me I was a great girl and. . . just left. Literally. He stepped into his car and drove away. I never saw him again.

I remember being at my sister Jessica brother in law’s wedding reception. I tried hard to stay busy the whole time but afterwards I broke down, because it was painful for me to sit alone as everyone else danced with their partners.

I remember talking to my father when I was 24. I felt deeply impressed I should go on a mission for my church. But I didn’t want to. I looked at my father and told him it was because I was afraid I would be too old to get married when I got home.

Then on my mission I turned 26 and told my mission president what I told my father. But at that time things were a little different. I was in love with one of the missionaries I was serving with.

I remember the fateful moment I returned home and called him and felt perhaps things could work out. It was only a few days later I learned he had a girlfriend. Six months later he was married.

This last summer I attended two weddings for my younger siblings, two for my cousins and one for one of my dearest friends. I am sorry to say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was happy for them, but lonely for myself. I hated the way I felt as I watched them be with their significant other. It was a feeling of being left behind.

Since then I have pictured what the future will be like, watching my siblings have children. While I stay where I am.

That is what it feels like to see your life pass before you, as your dream remains unfulfilled.

Oh gosh this is hard.

So here comes the question, “Aubrey, why are you not married?” The answer is I don’t know. At least not completely.

But I will say this. Despite not knowing, I can now see more clearly who I am and where I stand then I ever have before. I have had many wonderful life experiences in college, Europe, on a mission and through continued work and education.

I have had to fight myself many times concerning this, because I often think if I move forward with my life I will lose everything I ever wanted or that I am giving up. But this is one of the lies which prohibits growth. We can’t sit and wait until our dreams happen before we can move forward.

That is the thing about dreams; we don’t have to wait for its fulfillment to be fulfilled as a person. But I can only see these truths now that I have gone through many experiences.

So, at 29 I look forward on a path which I can’t see the end of and I have a choice. I can stop and refuse to step forward into the unknown. Or I can believe; believe there is something better waiting for me, that I can be happy now, and my dream will come true.

I just need to wait and be happy living in the now. That may be the hardest trial of faith any of us encounter in this life.

But for me, I think I am learning a little more each day how precious the time I have is. Why waste it limiting my attentions to blessings I don’t have yet?

I hope to look back at this post years from now and see how lucky I was to have waited as long as I did.

I also hope I will be grateful for taking the time to face my fears.

Thank you for reading.