The Work Doesn’t Stop

I will start with this. I am in a very good place. I have love, financial stability, a career I love and friends and family that I adore but I’ve been struggling of late. I get these feelings in the pit of my stomach that the glass is going to crack and my new life that I love is going to decintegrate before my eyes. I know these feelings are irrational and no, they don’t last long but they are my feelings which makes them real. Makes them valid. 

I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for nearly 7 years. The 10 or so years before I stopped was nothing short of hell. I felt constant anxiety, constant worry, a constant feeling of butterflies with razor wings. A feeling like my world would implode at any given moment. If I’m honest with myself I felt that way for way longer then 10 years.. Let’s call it from the age of 4.  I remember those feelings very well and periodically they rear themselves. In the past few months I’ve come to a realization that I may be suffering some of the long term affects. A ptsd of sorts. After nearly 32 years of anxiety, it’s a possibility, right?

As a person who’s been in recovery for nearly 7 years I’ve gone through some pretty significant changes. I ended a ten year relationship with someone I was not in love with anymore, 2 years ago almost to this day. It was hard. Like holy shit hard. Like my alcoholism, I knew that relationship had to end WAY before I got the courage to pull the plug. It was a good 3 years of mulling, complaining, and suffering before I did the deed and within that time I acted out in ways I’m beyond ashamed about. *Just because you put the bottle down, does NOT exempt you from alcoholic behaviour.* At least not alllllll of the time. And that is certainly what happened to me. I started acting out in ways that went against everything I stood for. All of the work I had done spiritually, emotionally and physically kinda went out the window. I started looking for chaos and chaos is exactly what I got. I spoke to my sponsor and she basically told me that even tho I hadn’t taken a drink it was as if I had marched into a bar and downed 10 shots of tequila. Wowza... In that moment I truthfully thought she was exaggerating, going a little over the top for the sake of effect but now 2 1/2 years later I know exactly what she was saying and only now am I starting to feel the effects. Time to do some work. 

My whole life has been a tad dramatic. Childhood wasn’t great, teenage years were shit, full of promiscuity and drama, early-mid 20s were actually awesome because I lived in a haze of ecstasy, MDMA, crystal meth and the longest dance party of my life. I was a successful little drug dealer who was really good at it and made a shit ton of money. Enough to pay off my student debt AND I came out unscathed. Did a TON of stupid irresponsible shit that could have landed me in prison both in the USA and homeland of Canada. I am one lucky yogini. Once the bright and shiny started to wear off and the drugs no longer worked I turned to alcohol and that’s when things went south and went south at a speed that still amazes me. I muddled through a black out haze for the better part of 12 years before I decided to take my life back but it wasn’t easy. These changes never are. Up until Jan 2, 2012 my life was full of drama and anxiety as aforementioned and it had become my normal. NORMAL.. When anxiety is as normal as waiting for a bus it’s got to have an affect. Like long term affect.. which I guess is what brings me here to this post. 

In the past few months I have been processing stuff. I have hurt a few people on my path of sobriety. I’ve made my amends to those I had affected with my years of drinking but this is a whole new thing. Realizing you chose a certain path knowing damn well it was going to hurt another (even though you know in your heart it was the right thing to do) is a tough pill to swallow. I teach self-love, compassion and mindfulness.  I try to live my yoga on the mat but off the mat as well. But I am also human. In all the ways..I’m realizing there is still a shit ton of work to be done in me. If I don’t, I may not pick up the bottle of booze but I will be continuing on the path of active addiction and I am SO not ok with that.

At nearly 7 years of sobriety it’s time to get back to basics. Back to the Big Book, back to the steps, back to meetings. There is always more work to be done. I am worth it. SO, that’s the plan. I have some pretty awesome sober friends and with the help of them I will do another step study, I will comb through the Big Book and I will come to get another evolution of this here sober way of life. Here’s to another sober 24💛

Trip with the Mister

Hello again everyone, 

I have been very absent over the past year and for the people that do read this blog I am very sorry about that. I have gone thru some massive changes over the past year and I’d very much like to share some of them... firstly, I have a mister. A wonderful man who loves me dearly (as I do him). We had a very rough start (understatement) with all the odds stacked against us but miraculously we are thriving with a very bright future ahead. Secondly, that said mister and I moved in together. Some naysayers thought it was awfully fast but when you know you know. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out before we committed but I followed my heart and stayed the course and I am very happy I did. You see I have never wanted to get married before. For the people that have known me longest it was a big surprise to hear I had changed my tune. At 42 (now 43!) I had finally met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with so moving in and moving forward was exactly what we were going to do. Naysayers be damned. 

The last big shift was me retiring the restaurant industry. This is rather huge..-Back in 2015 I retired and went on sabbatical to become a yoga teacher. I did my first teacher training with the intention to not go back to managing restaurants. I wanted to be a yoga teacher but after returning to Toronto I realized very quickly that I HAD to go back. Teaching just wasn’t going to pay my bills.

- - -

Fast forward 2 years..

Teaching a very full time schedule and working nights at the restaurant. It’s been exhausting. I always thought the term “burnout” was just something people said when they were tired but now I know it’s an actual thing. I felt like I was in a constant state of jet leg and once the mister and I moved in together he saw the schedule I was trying to maintain and offered me an “out”.  My dear wonderful generous mister offered me my out. So I took it. I gave my beloved restaurant of 7 years 4 months notice and started planning THIS... 

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The entrance to our homestay in Hanoi💛 

With an end in sight we started thinking about where we would go. It started with India, then Sri Lanka... both beautiful destinations which we will DEF get to (I was in southern India for a month in ‘15).  We couldn’t quite wrap our heads around where we would stay and for whatever reason bailed on the idea completely. Which brought me back to BALI. I was also in Bali in 2015 and had a bit of a love hate relationship but really had a calling to return. Travelling alone can be a major bummer when shit goes south and that’s what happened in the last week on that beautiful island. The mister had not been there however and had a keen interest in going. Soooo... 

Here we are in Asia☺️ We started 1 week ago today and have been to Hong Kong and now we’ve been in Hanoi for 4 days. We are in our own little homestay after two nights in hotel and are really laying roots. One thing we were not prepared for.. finding vegan and gluten-free options! We have been blessed to find a wonderful yoga studio and cafe OM STUDIO  who has been feeding us but other than that it’s been a real challenge (the mister is celiac) ... big reco is to get cards made with allergies and restrictions printed (we didn’t do that😑)... We have 5 more days here until we fly to BALI. Please stay tuned for more. I promise to not be so absent. 

Ps, sobriety fucking rocks. If I wasn’t sober NONE of the amazing things that are happening in my life would be happening. Period.  

If you aren’t already following me on Instagram please find me on all of the things @terianncarty

💛💛💛 

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👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 So cute! 

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Om Studio.. formerly Zenith. Don’t let the outside scare you.. head inside and up the stairs. The ladies there are ahhhhhmazing🙏🏼 

GRANOLA

It's been far too long since I've posted.. I promise that I will rectify that situation in 2017. Life gets busy doesn't it? I myself have had an emotional couple of months. I broke up with my partner of 10 years. That in of itself is a blog post which I will definetley get to... 

BUT this post is not about breakups, hardships or massive life changes. THIS blog post is about my kickass granola recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

 

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I have been working on different variations of the same recipe now for well over a year and this one hits it out of the park. Crunchy, savoury, a hint of sweet and healthy! I plan on filling my house with this smell and giving the gift of food. Really, how great is that?! I might even whip up my cashew milk and give as the pair cause that stuff is bomb diggity as well💛 

granola 

  •  2 1/2 cups gf oats 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts  
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉) 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

method

 Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. 

Mix all dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil and then add room temperature maple syrup (cold syrup will coagulate the coconut oil) and vanilla. Stir to mix and then add to dry ingredients.  Lay out evenly on 1-2 baking sheets and pop it in the oven. After about 20 minutes take a peek. Give a gentle mix to get less cooked granola a chance to be baked and then pop back in for another 10 min. Keep a close watch. You don't want it to burn!
Wait for it to completely cool then put into mason jars. 

cashew milk 

  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (pieces cuts down your soaking time significantly)---cover in filtered water for min 2 hours
  • 1 Medjool date (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt  
  • 3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

method 

 rinse soaked cashews, add to high powered blender. Top with 3 cups filtered water. Add the salt, date, vanilla and blend. I put through the smoothie cycle ( i❤️ my Blendtec) twice and put straight into a litre mason jar. Makes a perfect litre!  

 

Enjoy lovelies~~ and Merry Christmas🎄🎄 

 

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It Works If You Work It

My mother told me when I was about 14 years old that I would have to work for everything I ever got and man was she right. Call it a self fulfilling prophecy but that's just the way it's ended up. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

My journey as I've written before is a long one. I'm on the upswing of my sobriety, albeit one day at a time. The craving to drink still comes and goes. Working at a restaurant, I'm always going to be tested. The restaurant business is where my disease really took hold. I was able to "taste" and "nose" my way into a good drunk every single day without too many sideways glances. Or, so I still tell myself..  

Life gets hard. I'm juggling a few balls right now in the hopes that when they land all my ducks will be in a row and my career as a yoga teacher will be enough to sustain, energize and satisfy me. I love the restaurant industry. I mean, I really love it. It's all I've ever known for work and I'm really really good at it. That counts for a lot in my books. But I feel like something is missing and THAT I guess is the purpose of this/my journey. Isn't that awesome?! The fact that I am on a life journey, with all my faculties in tact is a miracle in of it self. 

5 years ago was an incredibly dark time. The last year of my drinking was the scariest time of my life. I was in such a bad place hurting myself physically and blacking out daily. Waking up in strange places not having any clue how I got there. The sheer terror that I felt after coming to after a black out was enough to make me want to end it all. Shame will do that to you.  That last summer was the downward spiral I needed to say enough was enough. After blacking out and bashing my face in twice in one week I looked at myself in the mirror and I simply couldn't recognize the person staring back at me. My nose was broken, lip split open, eyes bruised and dark. I was bloated, my skin pale and blotchy, eyes bloodshot. I looked like shit. I couldn't believe I had let myself get to that stage. My friendships were strained, my family (especially my poor mom) was terrified and my partner was simply at a loss for what to do. I had hit my bottom. It was undeniable....

Hard to believe how much has changed. How life became so full. How I became so full of life. Getting sober was the best decision I have ever made. Hands down. But there's a caveat here.. I have to work for it.  Life didn't become tulips, enlightenment and rainbows because I put the Chablis down. I have to be present every, single day and work at it. It isn't always easy.. But it's always so worth it. If you had told me I'd be a yoga teacher who has travelled the world 5 years ago I would've laughed in your face but here I am. 

Its worth it. And it works if you work it... Namaste

You get what you Give

 

I've been thinking a lot about karma and loving more lately. It actually started with myself.. I have been teaching pretty regularily and now have 3 whole classes at 2 different studios and it's been going great. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. My classes at the one studio are not very busy and I'm starting to take it personally. I know I shouldn't but it's hard when only 3 people show up to your class. I've also been subbing a great deal for people which has its own set of stress. Trying to be everything to everybody just doesn't work so I decided to just be myself and then my brain got to thinking, what if I'm not good enough?

I've struggled with this concept since I was a child. Maybe it stemmed from Daddy never being around. Maybe I still suffer from abandonment issues. I don't really know, but the feeling is the same. I recognize this sickly feeling in my gut and then it happens. I start to doubt myself. It usually snowballs from there into not being smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough.. Not being enough is the general theme.  And as quickly as I start to feel myself sinking into the soul-crushing puddle of crud I say STOP.. What the fuck! It's a slippery slope as many of you know. It takes diligence and dedication to stay on the path of positivity.  Which brings me back to today's theme. You GET what you GIVE.  There are no freebies here. I have learned and continue to learn that if you want something you have to ask for it. You have to be open to the process and WORK it. So that's what I do. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  Somedays I am far more successful than others. Somedays it comes naturally to say thank you to the universe before I open my eyes and other days I literally have to say my gratitude prayers like I'm reading off a script but I do it anyway. I know I'm enough deep down. All the fear based crap I tell myself is based on years and years of conditioning. If I step back for a moment and look at how far I've come in 4 years it literally astounds me. One day, moment, breath at a time. When I get down, I breathe and say thank you. I try to put out what I wish to receive and it works every, single, time. But it is a constant practice.  I always have to remind myself not to take on other people's moods. Instead, I work on putting out positive vibes even if I feel like screaming. Fake it till you make it as they say. Eventually the mood lifts, the feelings fade and I'm back on track. 

I am constantly evolving. Creating and carving out the person I want to be. I love who I am and am proud of each step I take on this journey of sobriety, health and wellness. In my minds eye I see me teaching to hundreds of people. We all sit and meditate together by the ocean. Basking in each other's light. I'm putting it out there. The universe knows what I want. I just have to be clear with the intentions. Put out what you wish to get back. So far it's working like a charm💗✨✨ 

Today's Thoughts

There's something about going away to really put your current life situation into perspective. I recently had the pleasure of going to Panama for a dear friends wedding. It was exactly what I needed. After losing Hazel so abruptly and working pretty intensely over the course of the last 5 months

Leaving on a jet plane✈️

Leaving on a jet plane✈️

I needed a little restart. A refresh if you will. And while it definetly worked for about a week, the affects of my vacation has started to fade and I feel myself sinking back into this sense of blah, hum drum and awkward complacency.  In other words, I need to get my shit in order and start focusing on me again. 

I started this blog/website just over 4 months ago. I remember that time well. I was filled with a sense of excitement for all the things I was going to create. All the inspirational blogs I was going to pen. All the new followers I was going to incur. And while I do believe I have written a few great blogs and the site is off to a great start, I come back to that..hmmm, not quite satisfied feeling again. Wtf, I say to myself. Back to the proverbial drawing board.  

I've always been hard on myself.  I've also (truth be told) been a bit of a procrastinator. Not exactly the best combo. First, you just don't do what you keep saying you're going to do and then proceed to beat yourself up for it.. I've gotten better over the last 4 years. Sobriety was a game changer but habits formed over a lifetime are very hard to break. 

So here I am feeling like I haven't completed enough, written enough, created or taught enough and decided to put this blog out to share my feelings of inadequacy and garner some sense of relief by producing a piece but the TRUTH is, is that I'm doing EXACTLY what I need to be doing. In the past month I have secured 2 classes a week at IAM yoga. My very own classes and they are going great. I'm on the sub list at my home studio and  I am starting a teacher training on anatomy which I'm super stoked about to further my yoga education. I'm working at the restaurant 3 nights a week, intragramming like its my job and practicing everyday sometimes twice a day. I'm a tad bit busy and loving every minute of it. So why in the world am I feeling like this? Is it because I wasted so much of my life drinking and drugging? Do I feel like I'm too late in the game to be an inspirational teacher with a voice? I guess the answers remain in the journey. I guess I will need to keep asking the questions to keep peeling back the plethora of layers I am still discovering. It's all a process and it's all good. I'm grateful for it all. 

Panama

So here I am in Panama. First all inclusive experience since 2004 and def the first one since getting sober. My sponsor is getting married and when asked the obvious answer was yes. Middle of January in Toronto isn't the friendliest of weather and I'd never been to Panama so, here I am. A couple of days before the trip I started to have doubts. I mean it's an all-inclusive so that means booze everywhere and lots of it. I started to feel trepidation around not knowing anyone but the bride and wether I was going to have proper food, no yoga... Blah, blah, blah. All fear based excuses to why I was obviously having doubts to this vacation. Well, day 1 is pretty much in the can and I can tell you I'm incredibly glad I said yes to this trip. The food is pretty limited and yes of course the booze flows like water and there's no yoga classes but hell I'm a bloody teacher so I can teach my own damn class☺️ Fact is it's been great. I have met some amazing women (and men) whom I know I will be friends with after this week. One woman in particular who amazingly enough doesn't even drink. How awesome is that? I will be leading us through a class on one of the most beautiful beaches I've been on. The sand is back, grey, white and everything mixed into one. The volcanic sand is just gorgeous. The ocean is stunning and the sun is exactly what this little yogi needs. I'm so glad I said yes. Saying yes to life is what makes life worth living. Having the courage to say yes even if you are nervous with the outcome. Life is too short to say no to amazing experiences. Life is just too damn short period. Say yes... 

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What Yoga Means To Me

 Natarajasana in Krabi, Thailand  

 Natarajasana in Krabi, Thailand  

I have been asked many times how long I've been practicing yoga. Truth is that's a bit of a long answer. I started practicing yoga back in 1997 in my final year of theatre school. My movement teacher incorporated an hour and a half of Bikram yoga every Friday morning. It was my first experience with asana and I fell in love right away. I continued to practice after college. I found a Bikram studio downtown and practiced regularily. I also started to branch out. I started practicing at Downward Dog with Diane Bruni and tried to get to class at least twice a week but something else was brewing in me. Something that at the time I thought was relatively normal. I mean, everyone was partying. Drinking and drugging were part of my social life life like tea and cookies go together. I was a waitress in a fast paced supper club where everyone was drinking and drugging. Cocaine, ecstasy, weed and copious amounts of booze.. It was everywhere and accepted as par for the course. What does this have to do with yoga you might ask? Well for me, it pretty much has everything to do with it. 

As my alcoholism took hold of me my yoga practice dwindled. I thought about it often and the odd time I dragged my hungover ass to a class I spent half the time wondering where I would have "lunch" after class. "Lunch" being code word for: where is there a decent LISCENCED place as close to the studio that I can get a glass of wine with food. Not exactly the thoughts that should be coursing through a yogi's mind while in savasana. But it was what it was. I think I even went to class a few times half in the bag. I mean, who doesn't have a couple glasses of wine after work and go to yoga. I was a smoker at the time too. I seriously apologize to anyone who practiced beside me back then. Who doesn't just love a stale wine and ciggy reeking practitioner? Seriously, I am sorry. 

Needless to say my practice fell into the background of my life. I thought of it often but alcohol and drugs had me in its clutches. Cunning, baffling and powerful. I honestly didn't see it coming and then it was too late. All of a sudden 10years passed and I was full blown. I was a desperate, depressed barely functioning drunk with a very bleak outlook on my future. I knew I needed help. I desperately wanted to stop but I didn't know how. I couldn't see my life without the wine glass in my hand. I had built an identity around wine and as much as I knew I was an alcoholic, I kept thinking that if I REALLY wanted it badly enough that I would be able to stop. But I couldn't. The insanity and obsession was so embedded in me that there was only 1 way out. I had to quit. There wasn't any other way.

I was very fortunate to have met a few alcoholics in the restaurant industry. As you can well imagine there's a few of us in the business and with the help and guidance of one particular friend I found my way to a detox centre and AA. I made a commitment the day I walked through the door of the Glendale House at St Joseph's Hospital. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn't take the stress, the shame and the embarrassment any longer. I was ready to quit and get on with my life. I just had no idea what that looked like or how I was going to get there but the important thing was, that I was ready. 

3 months into my sobriety I decided to give myself a gift. I had been wanting desperately to go on a yoga retreat that my friend Grace Van Berkum was holding out of Nicaragua. I thought, what a better way to kick start the "living" part of my sobriety than getting healthy and start doing yoga again! I went on that retreat and to say it changed the course of my life would be a massive understatement. It changed everything... 

I came back from that trip with a different spring in my step. My body started to change. After all the years of abusing my body with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and poor eating habits, my body, skin and hair started to reflect what was happening to my insides. After that trip, I started to feel stronger and people started to notice weight was falling off of me. My skin started to look brighter, my eyes were clearer. I joined a yoga studio called Kula in the Annex and practiced everyday. I went to the studio with as much fervour as I did when I had done my 90 meetings in 90 days. I couldn't miss a day. Some might say that I became addicted to yoga. In hindsight I would have to agree. But in my opinion, becoming addicted to yoga, health and wellness was a whole hell of a lot better than the alternative. Having an addictive personality like mine, you have to be careful about everything but I truly believe that my crazy attachment to yoga back in the early stages of my sobriety helped catapult me into where I am today. I know that for sure. 

Last year I decided to take my love of yoga to the next level. I had been practicing religiously in between running a restaurant and had come to a point where I wanted more from my practice. I wanted to be a teacher. I was terrified of taking the plunge,  but nobody ever achieved greatness by playing it safe so I did it. I applied to the Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico and after being accepted, started to plan a journey of a lifetime. I decided to take my journey beyond the training to Bali, Thailand, India and London England. A little Eat, Pray, Love if you will. It was amazing. A solo journey that took 5 1/2 months to complete. It was scary, exhilarating, lonely, satisfying and exactly what I needed to put my life into perspective. 

4 months back and I am teaching at IAM Yoga, subbing at Kula and saying yes to as many teaching opportunities as I can. Yoga opened up a world to me I never thought existed or if I did, I didn't think I would be privy to it. I know now that I can do anything I want or set my mind to. I am a strong, beautiful, talented, compassionate woman who has been to hell and back through the world of addiction. Yoga and sobriety has given me a life I only thought other people were allowed to have. I'm excited for my future with all of the unknown possibilities. My head is clear and my heart is open. 

Yoga means the world to me. It saved me during a very dark time. It provided light and breath when I needed it most. I love the fact that I get to share this ancient practice with those that are open to its potential. I believe I have a calling to give back to my AA community by bringing yoga to people who were just like me. I know I am supposed to be on this path. I know God has a plan for me. I am a very grateful sober yogi today. That is what yoga means to me.