Last week I tumbled down a dark road…

"Last week I tumbled down a dark road…"

Last week I tumbled down a dark road. I’m nervous sharing this with you because it is very vulnerable, but it’s super important to talk about. This is a longer post than usual, but bear with me because I know you can relate…

It all started while shopping for a new swimsuit. I needed a new suit because we were leaving for Hawaii and I hadn’t bought a new one in years. The last suit I bought was a turquoise one-piece I found right after my son was born, eight years ago. I liked it because it fit my boobs and covered my stretch marks, but it was time for a change.

I walked into the shop hoping to find something that had good coverage but still felt sexy – something I could feel confident in. Along the walls were bikinis, tankinis, and full suits that seemed more like Las Vegas Showgirls’ outfits, but I continued on. The girls at the desk asked me what I was looking for. They were about 18-years-old with long hair and tanned skin, both wearing cropped tops and flowing skirts. I already felt out of place.

I told them I wanted something that would cover my butt. She asked me to lift my long sweater so she could get a glimpse of what we were talking about. She pointed out several options, but said most were pretty “cheeky.” I told her, “Please, no cheeky.”

I gathered quite a few different suits and made my way to the fitting room to get to work. Again, I haven’t shopped for swimsuits in years, which means I haven’t stood naked in front of brightly-lit, four-way mirrors in a long time. It was not pretty. Immediately, my mind spun down a dark spiral of nasty and violent dialogue, led by my inner critic.

Now before I continue, I want you to know that I generally love my body and have never had major body image issues. These past few years, especially since having children, I’ve measured my body by how I am feeling. If I am feeling strong and open and my clothes fit nicely, then that is enough for me. I don’t own a scale, I do my yoga, I eat well, I live a full life, and generally I feel pretty good.

But in that moment in the fitting room, when my mind got a glimpse of my mother-of-two body, well lit from all different angles, a different story came forward. This story was about how I am not good enough, how I should be more fit and do more yoga, how my belly is too big, my stretch marks are disgusting, my boobs are flat, I have to work harder, this is not acceptable, I am disgusting, and on and on. That became my story for the next couple of days. And I felt horrible.

I watched myself tumble down this dark, terrible path. This is the part I’m guessing you can relate to. As women, we can beat ourselves up about how we look. We tell ourselves all kinds of stories, and we can get caught in the dark ones and sometimes stay there for a really long time, hating ourselves, resenting our lives, not finding joy in anything because we are caught. And when we’re trapped like this, we can’t even hear other stories, or imagine ourselves in any other way.

I’ve been down this path many times and in many ways throughout my life, and through my yoga and personal development I have found tools that help me move out of this disempowering story. I now know that when I start to tumble, there are different things I can do to pull myself back up. In this case, I knew that if I just moved my body and did some yoga, I would feel much better. So I forced myself. I got off of my self-loathing butt and did my yoga. In my practice I focused on the strength my body holds. I felt into all the deep places that love to stretch. I opened my heart. I felt sweat moving down my cheeks, I felt my legs working, my arms working, and I thanked my body for carrying me this far.

In my yoga practice, I felt into a different story. This new story was about how my body is strong, and how it carried two children into the world, and how it works hard to run a business, how it loves my husband, and how it has known loss and struggle. This is a body that moves with me, serves me, and allows me to express who I am. The stretch marks on my soft tummy are part of a beautiful story that is mine. I practiced my yoga and breathed into this new empowering story, and I felt the ugly negativity of the swimsuit dressing room start to recede into the background. I felt like myself again.

Can you relate? If so, I want to know, what is the story you are telling yourself today? Feel free to reply to this email and let me know. Does it need to shift? If so, how can you do that? How can you move into a different, more empowering story?

This is part of the work we do in my 10-week Yoga Signature Series at Bloom. With time and a safe container, we start to unpack the stories we tell ourselves and look deeply at our fears and what’s holding us back. We also look at our desires, and during the yoga we work to embody a new story that’s more in line with the life we want to live.

If this is resonating, I would love to invite you to join me for one of my two 10-week Summer Series starting in July. They are powerful, deeply meaningful, and a ton of fun.  Keep scrolling for the details.

Check out all the details for the Summer Signature Series Here.

And in the meantime, practice breathing in another story, a story that is true and represents the way you want to feel in your life. A new and empowering story.

xoxoxo,

Michelle Long (Bloom Founder)

P.S. We still have some tickets left to our Summer Kick off Party on Thursday June 4th. Look below for all the details. It’s gonna be a blast!

Bloom_Retreat_(01-09-15)_271

If you haven’t been to one of our famous pamper parties, you have to check it out! We’ll have FREE mini pamper sessions, like massages, facials, intuitive readings, chiro bliss with Janna, and much more! We have delicious food catered by the fabulous Melissa Wojcik, wine, tea, raffle prizes, discounts, and community! Plus Michelle will be teaching a couple of mini Grace Yoga sessions to kick off the Summer Signature Series. It’s gonna be a blast! Tickets are only $25, and are only sold online. Space is limited, so if you are interested, get in here!

Go HERE to get details and to register.

Strong-Yoga-Michelle-Crescent-300pxStrong Yoga Signature Series
A cathartic, nurturing, connecting, sweaty yoga experience

The brand new Strong Yoga Series, taught by Bloom Founder Michelle Long, is a 90-minute intense / nurturing / cathartic yoga class married with journaling, personal development, and deep connection with other women. We start by identifying an intention or pattern that is holding us back in life. We deepen the intention with a 60-minute yoga class that will leave you sweating, opening, and wanting more. You will get your heart rate up while getting in touch with your soul. We close the practice with journaling, conversation, and meditation.

Offered on Mondays at 7:00 pm. Runs June 22 through August 24.

Click HERE to register and see all the details.

Grace-Yoga-Michelle-Twist-300pxGrace Yoga Signature Series
10 weeks to get your life back…

The Grace Yoga Series, taught by Bloom Founder Michelle Long, is a yoga and self-discovery practice for all levels. Each week will be a 90-minute experience for body and soul that will leave you feeling more connected to yourself and others. We start with a 60-minute soulful yoga flow that feels much like a dance. You will sweat, connect, release, and change while moving to inspiring music. You will get your heart rate up and connect with soul.

Offered on Wednesdays at 9:30 am. Runs July 1 through September 9.

Click HERE to register and see all the details.

Power-Sculpt-300pxPower Sculpt Signature Series
Laugh, sweat, connect

The Power Sculpt Series is a 60-minute invigorating small group personal fitness program. This muscle and body sculpting experience is mixed with bursts of cardio, strength, and suspension band training for women of all levels wanting to be challenged both in body and mind. Throughout the class, your heart will be pumping, your muscles will be working, and your body will be changing. After 45-minutes of circuit training, you will spend 15 minutes in self-reflection, goal setting, and group discussion. This is perfect for you if you are wanting to get back into shape and or build strength and stamina. One class of the series will be offered at the Lafayette reservoir for a 45-minute walk/run.

Offered on Tuesdays at 9:00 am, and Saturdays at 8:15 am.  Starts Tuesday July 7th and Saturday July 11th. Childcare is available for the Tuesday series only.

Click HERE for all the details.

Prenatal-Yoga-SeriesPrenatal Yoga Signature Series
Connect deeply with other women, move your body, and ease into your birth

The all-new 8-week Bloom Prenatal Yoga Signature Series, taught by Michaela Kissinger, yoga teacher and birth doula, is a yoga practice designed to help you not only connect with yourself and your baby, but also with a community of expecting mamas so that you don’t feel alone on your journey. You will have the opportunity to be with the same group of women for the whole 8-week series, getting to know them on a deep level. This creates a unique and safe container for you to unravel and explore everything you are feeling in your pregnancy.

Offered on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.  Starts June 10th.

Click HERE for all the details.

Bloom_Retreat_May_Session_154Kids Yoga + Art Mini Summer Camp
Move, play, and create this summer

The Bloom Kids Yoga & Art Camp is the perfect summer activity for kids (ages 4-8) that love to move and create! Each 2 1/2 hour session will include a full hour of yoga where we will play with poses, learn breathing exercises and relax in savasana. After a snack break we will finish with a yoga-inspired art project. Sample art projects include eye pillows, mandalas, picture frames, magnets and relaxation feather brushes. Each project will reinforce the lesson of the class and be a tool to help integrate yoga into daily life.

Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for four weeks. We have two Summer Sessions being offered. Session Two still has spots available.

Click HERE for all the details.

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