February 21, 2013

An Open Memo To Myself.


(Photo: Alison O’Connor)

Moving out of the darkness and into your power.

I know you feel sad sometimes—I know you feel darkness.

I know you have those ‘dark days’ when nothing goes your way, when you feel useless, invisible, alone, lost.

I know the feeling that your body isn’t yours, that your mind isn’t yours, that your life isn’t yours.

I know too well those times when every issue from your past shows up with a vengeance; all the injuries, the unanswered questions, every relationship gone wrong or just gone.

I know when you become lost in the darkness, and shame rears its ugly head, and disappointment and self-doubt burrow deeper and deeper into your mind.

I know when it all goes down and the sh*t hits the fan and the only word on your lips is, “Why?”

And I’m here to tell you—because I’ve been there—that the only thing you can do in these times is this:

Believe in yourself.

No matter how much you think you can’t, or how much you believe you don’t deserve it; no matter how much you don’t want to. Acknowledge the resistance, be with it for a moment…and then do it anyway.

Take all of the pain, the fear, the rage, anger, hurt, shame, all of those feelings that make you feel so crazy yet beautifully human, and transform them into nothing but a fierce belief in yourself and your own power.

Don’t just say it;  feel it—deep in your heart, your bones, your muscles, every fiber, atom, and molecule of your being—because you know it to be true.

Consider this: If you really believed in yourself, you wouldn’t be here, in this darkness. You would never have been here. You may have never taken that job you took. Or moved to this place where you live. Or done that thing you did (you know what it is). You would have followed your passion—you know, that crazy thing you wanted to do but didn’t follow through with because people told you it was impossible and you couldn’t make a living that way, and you believed them? That thing? If you really believed in yourself, you would be out there proving them wrong, making it happen, every single day, even against the odds. And you wouldn’t care what people think of you now, because you would never have cared.

But here’s the good news: It’s all possible. You just have to believe in yourself, take care of yourself, love yourself. Not because you think it’ll make other people like you more, or help you ‘manifest’ things, or make people magically drawn to you and want to give you huge cash bonuses and trips to exotic lands (although these things may happen too).

You have to do it because you believe—truly, deeply, and in your heart—that you deserve it. You can’t just go through the actions. It has no meaning any other way than from the deepest, truest place in you. A place of faith and true, fierce, honest belief in yourself, your power, your goodness, your value, and all you have to offer to the world, everyone in it—and to yourself.

No one—no teacher, no matter how skilled, or how much you love them, or how flat their stomach is, or how long they can hold a handstand—can do this for you.

Maybe, they can remind you of your own power—which is nice, but that’s all they can do and it’s really very little.

If you truly, deeply believe in the power of you, you don’t need the reminder.


You know it already and you never forget; it’s a part of you, like your thumbs, or your eyeballs or your belly button. But even if you lost all those things, you would still know this: that you are good and valuable and strong and powerful.

These are your nature and to ever think anything else just cripples your truth and  your soul. And they do not make soul-sized crutches!

Maybe that’s what you’ve been looking for all this time, in those ‘teachers’? The ones you idolized, the ones you bowed down before, the ones you tried to be like because if you could only be like them (flat stomach and all!)—well, then you would be a  success, right? Then you would be worthy! And good! And strong-powerful-loveable!


Nope. Sorry, kid—you’ve got it bass-ackwards. It was a rookie mistake and you’re no rookie anymore.

Self-love is and always has been an inside job, and you’ve got to get on it!

You don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re good. You don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re strong. You don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re worth believing in. You have to know it from deep, deep within yourself. And really, you already know it, or you wouldn’t have made it this far. That awareness of your own strength, worth, beauty, brilliance exists already within you.

Now is your time to step into it, to take what’s rightfully yours and fully own it.

Be fierce. Be bold. Be brave. Believe.

Once you do that, nothing else in the world will matter.




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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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Alison_OConnor Feb 21, 2013 9:29pm

Hey guys! It's me, Alison, who wrote this thing! Just want to explain a little about where it came from…

I’ve been going through a really rough time lately, dealing with some past issues and struggling with feeling sad, confused, lost… I sat down yesterday to write out a list of exactly WHY I was hurting and WHAT was confusing me, thinking that once I was able to see it in front of me, I would be able to make sense of it and let it go.

I sat down with the intention of writing a list of HURTS. But what came out when I started type, was THIS. I don't really know WHERE it came from, but I think it's just proof that wayyyyyy deep down inside, we all KNOW what we need to hear, and it comes out only when we're most open. Or maybe that sometimes the universe works and speaks through us in strange but fortuitous ways…

Either way, it turns out it wasn't the hurt I needed to see at all, it was THIS. And I've shared it here in case maybe you need to see it and be re-inspired too 🙂

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Alison O’Connor

Alison O’Connor is a writer, performer, and yoga teacher living in New York City. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, online on Elephant Journal, as well as in many other less-prestigious sounding publications, online journals, and blogs. Alison spent pretty much every moment of 2013 on a quest for self-realization that took her to the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts, the jungles of Peru, the bright blue oceans of the Virgin Islands, and the sandy desert of Nevada (among others). She meditated for hours, took roughly 500 yoga classes, went on retreats, studied with shamans, read every book she could get her hands on, and got really deep with herself. She learned a lot. Most importantly: we already have within us all the answers, and everything we need. We have only to trust ourselves, follow our desires, and trust fully in the power of our own knowing. For more on Alison, you can follow her on Facebook (alison.oconnor.33), and Twitter: @AOCinNYC, and investigate her blog: alisonoconnor.tumblr.com . NAMASTE.