Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sva Dharma Project - Its about to get REAL real up in here!

Digging Deep

Your 'sva dharma' is your self-duty. Sva is you essential self and dharma means inherent purpose, in other words, your specific purpose. Part of my teacher training is to develop a project to connect with my most authentic and highest self. We are encouraged to serve as in Karma Yoga, find meaning and purpose by working with our Yoga, and developing our classes and/or by getting out of your comfort zone and trying new and exciting things. Everyone's Sva Dharma is different.

It was a no brainier for me.

You see my friends, my life, it was different in the past. I walked around for years carrying weight from past pain. I was made fun of and our family life was pretty awesome as I was growing up; but as all families we had our own specific levels of dysfunction. I have always felt like and outsider living a double life in a way.

I was born in Mass but went to Puerto Rico when I was 1yr old. I grew up around the Puertorican police force, US Customs, the Coast Guard and all divisions of the US military. My mom worked for Customs and I saw more guns, drugs, and drug traffickers by the time I was 15 than most people ever see in their entire lifetimes. It was the norm. Puerto Rico is beautiful but it has some VERY intense aspects with drug trafficking, gun and gang related crime. I experienced many sad moments growing up such as when my best friend's cousin was gunned down, one of the many unfortunate assassinations that occur in Puerto Rico and many parts of the world daily. Seeing my friends family grieve at her funeral was the saddest moment. Life lost for no reason my best friend hysterically crying wondering why her best friend (cousin) had been taken from her. This particular friend also lost her father when she was an infant also due to gang and gun violence. This deep sadness accompanies many on our island when these things occur.

My mother and father grew tired of the violence and wanted to give me an experience that was different. When I turned 14 we packed all our belongings and moved to London, England; where I lived for 9 years until I moved to the continental US in 2005. My parents worked at the Embassy and I went to high school in London. When I left high school I got deeply involved in the London underground party scene to escape the rigid, in my eyes, absurd government environment I grew up in. You could call me the 'black sheep' of the family along with my cousin.

What exactly is the point of all this?

I was LOST. I was depressed. I didn't feel like I fit in. I felt misunderstood. I felt ugly. Many people abused me on many levels and I was so sensitive I would retreat into my own inner world of fantasy reading and entertaining myself with simple pursuits during my youth. Due to the different types of abuse I experienced during my childhood I was left feeling worthless and without purpose. During my coming of age in my teenage years I experimented with a variety of negative practices; drugs, bad relationships, alcohol, promiscuity and a general lack of mindfulness. I pursued these unhealthy habits trying to escape my deep feelings of pain and inadequacy for not feeling able to deal with my struggles.

It wore me down until I found myself in a deep state of depression for the majority of my 20s. I was stuck in pain, resistance, scarcity and a mentality that would not take me anywhere but further into a hole. Fortunately in all this process I was able to expand my consciousness on many levels. I met many people during my work in the party scene that gave me hope for a brighter future. I saw the ultimate goal and knew that one day with faith and persistence I could remove the resistance from my path and build the life of my dreams.

Flash forward to Dec 2011; when I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter. I quit smoking cigarettes at 8 weeks and kept that up until she was about 8 months old. Once I started smoking again my demons resurfaced and were exacerbated by my negative/co-dependent relationship with my daughter's father. We were miserable; boy does misery love company! Overtime our relationship deteriorated with the alcohol abuse and we parted ways about two months after beginning my Yoga journey in April of 2014.

I was so lost and in emotional pain that I felt I needed to make a change. I figured putting healthy habits in my life was a great way to begin eliminating past behavioral patterns. I joined the local YMCA and with the help of their childcare facility I began practicing Yoga 3-4 times per week with an amazing teacher; Tracy Trambauer from Still Lake Yoga in Clermont, FL.


As I began to feel better my desire to continue with my negative thinking and action patterns was eliminated and instead I found a new lease on life. I have become a creator NOT a victim.



In Sept of 2013 I put down my pack of cigarettes. I have occasionally smoked since then, yes. BUT nothing like the pack to pack and a half a day I smoked for 15 yrs.

March 22, 2015 was the last time I consumed alcohol. I had a pretty serious drinking problem despite my fitness and diet. I went back and forth quitting for a week here and a month there in the last year until I finally, with the help of a dear friend (I hope you are reading this), stopped associating myself with it in its totality. I am no longer my addiction!

I have done this all by the grace of universal energy. I have done it mostly on my own although the support of my family and close friends has been invaluable in this sensitive period of my life.

I have casually walked the path of faith and devotion to my practice carefully releasing the past and welcoming my future.

I am free now.

I now entertain positive and fruitful relationships. I have totally transformed my path and it is continuously evolving into something beyond my wildest dreams.

My life is AMAZING now.

Through this transformation I found my Yoga teacher and spiritual mentor, Shata Ben-Avari. I looked for a teacher training program after realizing I wanted to follow this as my life path. She is an extremely amazing warrior goddess. She spreads light in the dark and treats all god's children as her own. My teacher has given me the space to develop my practice by offering me a work trade scholarship to complete my Yoga Teacher Training. She has supported my efforts and has been a friend in times of need. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to be a role model and example to her students, customers, friends and family. I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done and continues to do for me and the local community. May we all be blessed with the same grace you show.

I am now the main manager for the studio and we are expanding soon. I am developing amazing friendships along this path. I feel righteous. I am pure light and the divine will of the collective conscious moves through me effortlessly on most days.

I would like to invite you to share in my journey. As part of my teacher training I am making a commitments to writing about my journey to health and unlimited abunDANCE. Discovering myself through the clarity of sobriety and releasing the experience by sharing it with others I can support those who find themselves where I was not long ago. This project wont stop when my training stops. It is a lifetime project to share my experience of Yoga so that I introduce others to the power of this ancient tradition. I work everyday to become the best instructor I can be and have no doubts that these changes will stick. I am working towards being Vegan 100% of the time. Currently my diet is about 70% raw vegan. It is healthy for me and makes me feel good. I am also going to transition my daughter to this diet teaching her the concept of Ahmisa (अहिंसा) or non-violence. I am also committing fully to the studio so that I may help to keep Yoga alive in this small community so that others may enjoy the healing aspects of Yoga. I am here to share. I am here to inspire. I am here to LIVE fully and passionately as I draw a new life full of LIGHT and the divine energy of unconditional LOVE.


With all my love! May we all be happy and free!