Drop the stories and pick up freedom

a great article from thedailylove.com


April 19, 2014 by  2 Love Comments
Ashley Cebulka

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there.

You have every intention in the world of going after what you want with gusto, yet before you know it, your stories filled with doubt stop you dead in your tracks.

It’s time to let go of those energy vampires once and for all. Free up your energy for more passion and fun.

I can only say this now because I’ve been there.

I recently let go of a story that had been lingering inside me for a while, and I have to say—it was a huge relief.

It started when my mom was admitted to the hospital for an acute asthma attack, which was scary for several reasons. For one, I never want to see my parents sick, let alone having an incredibly hard time breathing. Not to mention my paralyzing fear around hospitals.

I was never afraid of needles or blood, or anything close to that. It was the life experiences I had in hospitals when I was younger.  I had seen my older brother go through countless surgeries in his early twenties and watched him nearly die. He was my hero, so watching those events were traumatic and seared a scar into any memory pertaining to hospitals.

I would feel a slight (often not so slight) panic in my chest any time I walked through the doors of that sterile environment. The smell alone would immediately make me nauseous. All of my memories and fears would quickly wash over me.

I tried whipping out every tool, affirmation, meditation, and breathing technique my brain could remember in attempts to bring me into the present moment. Sometimes it worked, but most often it didn’t.

Fast forward to the present moment. Here I am about to walk into the hospital after my mom has been rushed in by ambulance for her serious lack of oxygen. Normally this would lead to the ultimate panic attack with my track record, but instead I told myself, “It’s not going to go down that way. Not this time.”

I had a choice —I could freak out and entertain all that had happened in the past, and all the scary things that could happen in the future if my mom’s health didn’t improve. I could give life to the stories of, “What if this is more serious than asthma?” or, “What if I’m not here and something happens to her?” Instead, I chose to drop the stories all together, take a deep breathe and experience relief within myself and connection with my mom. I wanted to make the most out of every moment with her right now.

Of course those sneaky, devilish stories tried to creep back in during that week. They were full of ‘what ifs’. “What if she doesn’t get better? What if this leads to something more serious, and the nurses don’t get to her in time? What if they misdiagnose her and she gets worse? Then what?” These thoughts shook me to my core. I didn’t want to feel that way, I wanted to be strong, and more importantly, I wanted to be present for my mom.

In that moment, I realized the only reason I was upset, short of breath and about to freak out, was because of the story I was telling myself.

Those stories took me away from paying attention to what’s happening right now. My mom is healthy in her hospital bed, with wonderful doctors helping her. She has all the help she could ever really need. She is surrounded by people she loves, and breathing like a champ. Heck, she even smiled while doing her breathing treatments and asked when the next episode of The Voice was going to come on. Sigh–gotta love the small comical moments in the midst of chaos.

So I did just that—I let go of the stories, and let me tell you—what a game changer that was! It was one big sigh of relief, while being surprisingly energizing. I realized just how powerful it was to let go of the s#!% that was weighing me down.

I drank that in for minute—ahh the beautiful power of our imagination—it can create worlds. Or it can construct a serious case of worries and quickly put our panties in a bunch. We get to choose, which is actually quite liberating.

Later that night, I thought of all the stories I dropped over the years, and all the freedom I experienced as a result. The fears of never finding love, of being that girl who dreams too big, or the woman who shouldn’t possibly start a business during a recession. I dropped all those stories. Every. Single. One.

What happened as a result? Freedom in every sense of the word. I started living fully—every inch of my life with a renewed sense of confidence. I took more risks and showed myself what I was made of. I found love, opened the business, and fell in love with my dreams. I got comfortable with being uncomfortable as I moved through fear. Which eventually made it not so daunting.

Everyone of us can write a new story in any given moment. We can create a new ending and a different beginning. It all starts with the choice to focus on what we want and ditch the ‘what ifs’.

Let’s do it together—drop the stories and pick up freedom. (Tweet-worthy!)

What stories could you drop that don’t serve you anymore? Let me know in the comments below!



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Romans 8:6

“For the mind set on flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.”

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Happy Friday.

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Front Porch Love

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My son accidentally took this picture of Willow and I, But I love it for so many reasons. My daughter was standing tall, feeling so confident and beautiful in her “pink ballerina”, our favorite place to hangout and talk is on the front porch and the sun is shining down over us. All good things. Im thankful for my life.

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{Sun Salutes} with added weight


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Acro Yoga

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Hand Balance & Heart Vision

When we stand on our hands, we disconnect from the incessant chatter of the mind and connect to the energy of the heart. Hands are the extensions of the heart. It is through our hands that we offer our unique gifts to the world – literally through our touch and figuratively through our work. Whether you find the idea of standing on your hands exhilarating or terrifying (or a combination thereof), this workshop, we will open the entire front body with emphasis on the heart center, flowing through a sequence of poses that will bring the heart chakra into balance. In addition, we will explore many ways of standing on our hands in hand balances and inversions with and without the use of props. The class will culminate in an inspiring guided meditation and sweaty supported savasana.

A published author, trained counselor, photographer, and yoga teacher, Amber writes and teaches from her soul. Having trained with Ana Forrest, Seane Corne, Dharma Mittra, and Judith Lasister, Amber’s style is eclectic and complex as she is. Integrating meticulous sequencing with thoughtful alignment, she weaves inspiring flow with authentic spiritual teachings. Through laughter, frequent sweat and grateful tears, you can expect to heal your heart, ignite your soul, and return to truth.

To Register: breatheyoga.vicki@gmail.com or stop by the studio before or after class times. Cash, Check or Credit Cards accepted at the studio.

$35 in advance/$40 day of workshop

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7 Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants to Tell You by Kathry Budig


7 Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants to Tell You

Other than always stay through savasana



I’ve taught yoga for over 10 years to students around the world and I’ve come up with a few things that every yoga teacher wants you to know. Don’t worry, I’m not here to yell or judge! But even if you’re hitting the mat a few times a week and holding every pose perfectly, you may not be getting the most from your yoga practice. Now, it’s easy to rattle off a long list of yoga no-no’s, but there are also crucial lessons your teacher is probably dying to share with you. Here are my big seven. Take notes and enjoy the ride!

You don’t need to practice yoga every day
It’s easy to fall so deeply in love with yoga that you want to practice non-stop (watch out for these 13 signs you’re addicted to yoga). I hear you—I actually found myself practicing twice a day (for up to five hours!) in my earlier years because I couldn’t get enough. Luckily, I didn’t have much else on my plate at the time. But fast-forward to today and between travel, work, and family, five hours just isn’t conducive to my health or my life. You can end up depleting your body and mind of energy if you’re not careful. Instead, respect your body and remember that you’re often just as powerful taking time off as you are pushing yourself to the max. Find your balance.

There is no such thing as a typical yoga body
If you were to ask someone what a yogi looks like they’d probably say long, lean, flexible, and strong. Pop culture has definitely influenced that stereotype, but as a teacher who travels the world meeting yogis of every age, gender and race, I can tell you clearly—there is no perfect yoga body. Some of the most amazing yoga I’ve ever seen has come from bodies that were outside that stereotype. You can be curvy, slight, young, or old—yoga is for everyone.

A calming, restorative practice is just as powerful as a strong flow class
In this day and age, we go and we go hard. We rock jobs, run families, keep up on style trends and hit our workouts like a boss. There’s so much go-go-go-go that often the perfect remedy isn’t a wicked hard yoga class but one that will balance you out by slowing you down. Taking the time to breath, stretch, relax and meditate is crucial to giving us the mental strength to carry on at a high pace. So remember that these restorative style classes are a great compliment to your power/flow classes and that you don’t always need 90 minutes of sweat to feel restored. Sometimes all it takes is 20 minutes of focus, peace and quiet.

Enjoy being a beginner
I’m a total overachiever who gets frustrated easily when I can’t master a challenge. But yoga taught me that the journey is even greater than the result. Sure, being a beginner can be a bumpy, ego-bruising time. But it’s also a time when you’re excited, ambitious, and eager to soak everything in. Enjoy this journey, because it’s only a matter of time before you figure it out, master it, and long for something new that exhilarates you the same way.

You don’t need to be flexible to be good at yoga
If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga,” I’d be able to afford all the Lululemon in the world. It’s like saying you’re too dirty to take a bath! The whole purpose of yoga is to help you with your flexibility. Give it time—yoga is here to help you out, not embarrass or demean you. And in the meantime, try these stretches to improve your flexibility.

Difficult poses aren’t necessarily better
Yoga has officially entered the age of Instagram, where people post mind-blowing pictures of incredibly challenging poses daily (and I certainly participate… that’s me in the picture above!). They may be inspiring or frustrating depending on your skill level, but here’s the thing: Harder doesn’t always mean better! One of the most common blunders is being over ambitious, pushing towards a pose beyond your current ability and then ending up hurt. Next thing you know you’re too injured to practice for weeks all because of one silly ego slip. Remember, the goal of yoga is to feel better and find balance. So if a simple standing pose and hip opener fills you up more than a foot-behind-the-head, do what works for you! That is your perfect form of yoga.

MORE: 6 Sweet Photos of Hilaria Baldwin Doing Yoga with Her Baby

Yoga isn’t about how you look, it’s about you feel
This one is crucial! Forget the hard poses or the fancy-patterned leggings with matching bra. All of these things are fun, but at the end of the day all that matters is how you feel. Did the practice improve your mood? Calm your mind? Improve your energy? Awesome. Were you in sweatpants? Did you comb your hair? Did you set a world record of Chaturangas? Who cares! Stick to how you feel and you’ll shine no matter what.


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Schedule Update


I will be teaching my last Monday Night Power Yoga at the FARM on January 27th. I have loved teaching there and getting to know new people. I am moving my Power Yoga class to Breathe Yoga Studio on Wednesdays at 6:00pm. I have loved getting to be a part of the yoga community there. Please follow me to Breathe Yoga or Crossfit Wichita Falls.

Check their websites for pricing.




Breathe Yoga Studio

Wednesday 12:30pm: Vinyasa Flow

Wednesday 6:00pm: Power Yoga (starting in Feb 2014)


Crossfit Wichita Falls

Wednesday 7:30pm

Friday 1:00pm



Crossfit Wichita Falls

5828 Ashleyanne Circle #100

Wichita Falls, TX 76310


Breathe Yoga Studio

508 Indiana Street

Wichita Falls, TX

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North Texas Yoga Retreat, 2013

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I had so much fun teaching at the NorthTX Yoga Retreat. Thanks to Breath Yoga Studio for all their hard work! Pictures taken by KTS Photography

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