What I Learned From Yoga I’d Tell My Younger Self – by Stephanie Spence

Wellbeing, Yoga  Stephanie Spence

Dear Me,

Hey, it’s the 56-year old you. I know you may not want to hear from me, but I have stuff to tell you, so listen up.

I know it’s weird being the only person you know who leaves school early to drive to a job. Although it’s rough now thinking that everyone else is just having fun, the publishing house you’re working out will someday hang YOUR magazine from YOUR very own publishing house on their wall because they’re so proud of you.

Your hard work ethic is going to make you a lot of money and get you a lot of respect when you’re older. The best part, though, is with that money and power you’ll be able to help a lot of people. You’ll work with over thirty charities and serve on numerous charitable boards. You’ll even serve on the board of a film office, which will be so much fun.

People may say now that you’re hyper, but that will later be called “full of energy” – you’ll embrace being an athlete and compete in running events. You’ll be so strong you will be able to do any yoga posture you want to. So… let’s talk about yoga.

You will get to yoga because of competition water skiing. Yes, I know that no one figured out you have scoliosis. Your back pain will be the greatest gift you ever got. It’s going to help you shape a life of your dreams – no… a life beyond anything you can imagine now. An epic adventure. Yoga will be your healthiest lifelong companion.

I know it’s hard hiding behind terrible things that happened to you. You’re wearing a mask. You have become a chameleon. The girl that is wearing headgear and braces and feels so much guilt and shame for almost everything will come into her beauty later in life. And the geeky, smart girl that is dumbing down will come to be proud of all of her unique feminine assets – especially her brain. That’s what ya got, kid. Time to make it work and carry on. Don’t buy into the drama and negativity and abuse that surround you.

You should listen to your own small, simple voice that tells you that you WILL travel the world, live at the beach and shine as a communicator. In fact, you’ll be thrilled you were in the band and symphony – and tried track, drill team and drama. You’ll quit playing small, trying to fit in.

Just so you know, you’re never going to fit in, and when you’re older, it just won’t matter anyway. Not fitting in will be the best part of being older – different will be good. You’re an original. When you’re in your computer class learning to program and code, later when the information age arrives you’ll be ahead of the curve. So, work on your writing, you’ll make a career of that it someday. You’ll be your own boss. You’ll surround yourself with exceptional people. You’ll inspire and share. You’ll live your dharma.

Love, Your Spiritual Self

stephanie spence yogatalk

Once you know that you will still be strong, creative and rockin’ that healthy yoga body at my age, you can calm down and enjoy the ride. Imagine that your wild, one-of-a-kind life is going to be more amazing than you can even dream up. What if you decided to try/do/believe the most dangerously wild thing you could imagine? Regardless of what anyone thought, including your terrified self. So get in the driver’s seat on the road of your life. Breathe. Move. Smile.

Random advice that I wish someone would have given me:

~ Learn how to work hard and stick with something. Learn how to turn off Facebook and control your addiction to social media. You’ll instantly be ahead of much of your generation. Video games are a time-suck. Get rid of them.

~ Pick up an athletic hobby that you can do through the years.

~ Learn how to deal with interpersonal conflicts.

~ Learn, always – challenge yourself. Tried programming?

~ Learn how to talk on the phone with people you don’t know. It still terrifies most people. Try speaking live – even if it terrifies you. In fact, if it terrifies you then definitely do it… Push yourself.

~ Start some kind of venture to learn entrepreneurial principles. I wouldn’t trade my CEO years for anything. Most valuable: learning what I was not good at. Most rewarding: helping others.

~ Always have a private place where you can talk out loud to God every day. Even if you’re not religious or don’t believe in God. Talk out loud to the universe. Sort out your thoughts, verbalize them, and then write down what comes to mind. Something wiser than you is listening and responding, even if it’s just another side of you. The Buddhist in me loves that I have my own alter at home. My mala beads on my wrist are a constant reminder.

~ Track your expenses. Finance not sexy enough? Wrong! Make a budget and learn how to stick to it. Learn to live lean now while you can so you won’t be forced to later.

~ Learn a foreign language.

~ Learn how to network. Hint: it’s about doing things for other people.

~ Learn how to cook tasty, cheap food.

~ Find music that inspires you and makes you feel alive.

~ Save up a few thousand dollars and go somewhere crazy with a few friends. Live in a hostel for a few weeks. Get malaria if you must. It will change your life.

~ When someone promises you easy money, run the other way. Yes, it is a scam.

~ Read a book a week. Yeah, we’re back to shutting off your social media.

~ Last, but certainly not least, keep practicing yoga. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.


STEPHANIE SPENCE

Stephanie Spence: Coronado, CA based Yoga Educator, Author, Inspirational Speaker, Activist, Creative Leader. Stephanie is a trail blazer with an inspiring and empowering approach to self-inquiry, personal development and transformation. Connect with her via her award-winning yoga blog, or across all social platforms @Stephanieyogini.


© The Yoga Connection 2017

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