Living Authentically, Living Your Life’s Purpose

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There has been so much going on that I don’t even know where to begin  But I can happily say that in the seven months since I moved to Atlanta I have either accomplished or planted a seed for everything I set out to do here. I’m teaching yoga, launched my holistic company, traveling, building my healing arts and communal living community, figure modeling, sharing poetry, and getting into my healing studies. I’ve advanced my own spiritual practice and have started my shamanic training as well as learning pranic and tantric healing arts. Personally I have deepened my connections with others by living in my truth and maintaining an open relationship with my Beloved. However each consort I engage has been a beautiful mirror and teacher. Each one has given me the space to expand my heart-letting go of past hurts and unhealthy ways of moving through the world.

Lately my feelings have been full of wonderment and gratitude. Every time I’m on the train passing the beautiful Atlanta skyline I marvel at the fact that I’m living in the city I’ve always wanted to live in. Every time I connect with a member of my community I feel welcome, humbled, and supported. Every time I teach a yoga class, step on the podium to art model,  grab the mic to share poetry, or complete a healing session with a client I feel joy that I’m doing exactly what I have been called to this earth to do. I am living my life’s purpose.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on what exactly it means to live your life’s purpose. In my experience it means being present to your inner voice and humble enough to seek guidance from those that are sent to be teachers. It means being one hundred percent authentic, open, and receptive because sometimes our purpose means we have to detach from the things we think we want that directly interfere with what we are meant to do. And sometimes we have to change patterns of behavior that hinder us and that also requires complete authenticity. You have to be fearless, vulnerable, and very self-aware. You have to pull yourself out of the matrix of modern society and let go of the need to be validated by others. You have to cultivate patience, faith, and a lot of acceptance. And, most importantly, you have to grow the fuck up. Owning your life’s purpose also means owning all the responsibility that come with it.

When I take a step back and look at the bigger picture I realize that so many things truly don’t/didn’t matter in the grander scheme of things. Every situation, every connection is a lesson meant to push you towards your purpose. Every thing I’ve experienced over the past four years is an example of that. When I was so busy being caught up in the drama of what the Universe was trying to show me I lost the lesson. I was knocked off my path. And I suffered. But now I am grateful for the insight-for the people and situations that did what they were supposed to do to put me exactly where I am in this moment.

“With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.” ~Tantric Yoga Prayer

Revelations in a Year of Self Discovery

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The period between May of 2010 to May 2011 has been  the most pivotal year of my life. What’s so significant about this period is that it was the first time ever that I had the license and freedom to fully examine myself, to explore who Toya J was and is. The journey so far has been quite amazing. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about my interactions with others. I’ve learned what I can accomplish and what my limitations are. And I’ve learned that I am capable of growth. So what have I uncovered? Well…..

I’ve realized (through this blog) that I’m actually a pretty decent writer and I’ve reconnected with my love of poetry, improving on my own work.

I’ve come to understand that having peace is much more important than being right.

More on those lines I have recognized the wisdom of inaction. When it’s best to be a spectator  rather than a participant.

I’ve realized that converting to Buddhism was one of the best choices I’ve ever made for myself.

That I can endure being alone. That it’s not as bad as one might think.

I’ve learned when to pick my battles. And when to walk away.

I’ve cultivated the art of listening which has manifested into a certain humility.

I’ve had the opportunity to explore certain aspects of myself that I’ve never before  been completely open to.

I’m a lot more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I’ve developed a lot of strength and discipline.

I’ve learned how to say no. How to set boundaries.

I’ve improved how I communicate tremendously. I can clearly express what I want and what I don’t want.

I’ve found that I can actually pull an A in a math class. Which led me to realize that I shouldn’t put limitations on myself based on the things I couldn’t do in the past. I’m much more intelligent than I give myself credit for.

All of these revelations where extremely important in promoting my personal growth over the past year. The place I am at now is completely different from the place I was in May of 2010. I’ve enjoyed the journey thus far, even when it wasn’t the easier. Even when is was painful.

Let’s see what I will continue to pick up over the next 365 days.

My Eternal Inspiration

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I remember riding through Long Beach in her passenger seat listening to her sing and freestyle. I remember politicking over lunch and margaritas. I remember exchanging journals of poetry and spoken word. I remember a big smile, a no-nonsense attitude, positive energy, and a woman with a dream. I remember when she got her very first teaching assignment. I remember when she first started going to the studio.

Rashondra is not only my Soror, she’s my sister friend. I don’t look up to too many people but this woman is a source of deep inspiration to me. I’ve known very few people who have worked as hard as she has to follow their dreams. What I admire most is the fact that though she’s passionate about what she wants to accomplish she hasn’t lost herself. She stays true to her vision, never compromising it.

So this is my tribute to Ms. Rashondra Angelle–though I fail miserably at adequately expressing how much she motivates and inspires me. All I can do is share her with the small part of my blog sphere and post this as a reminder to myself and everyone else the power of following your dreams.