The Guest Blog: I’m Human By Jessica Ashen

Sometimes I forget – I’m human! I say this because I tend to identify myself based off titles, for example: yoga teacher, woman, recovering addict, wife, vegetarian, etc. It’s important for me to remember this because I am me, not the current “persona” or “role” I am identifying myself with at the current moment.

This runs deep for me, especially now. Today is day one of quitting smoking. yep, I am a smoker and I teach yoga. When people discover I have this “dual life” as they call it, they are in shock, awe and astounded; they ask, “how can you smoke and teach yoga?!”. So, based off past negative reactions, I’ve kept my unhealthy habit concealed. Well, not anymore!

Why am i writing a blog about me quitting smoking? The most important reason is to let everyone know that who you are is exactly who you are meant to be at that moment. And that it is ok to, let’s say, be a nutritionist and eat krispy kreme’s, or a yoga teacher and smoke cigarettes. See, as a society, we have put judgement on what we think is “ok”, or “socially acceptable”. Once this happens, each individual gets put into a box labeled “yoga teacher”, or “writer”, or whatever their label is. Then, anytime that individual acts out of their predetermined boundaries, they are looked down upon in society. This really doesn’t seem fair. Does it? We become a segregated, judgmental society, instead of unified, supportive and encouraging. I challenge you to think of someone you know, anyone, who you assumed lived a certain kind of way based off the little you knew about them, and see if you have put them into their labeled box with their predetermined expectations you assumed they would only live by. (Human resources executive, owner of a small business, teacher…anyone.) And how would you react if they did something that went “against the grain” of their labeled box?

Also, as a society, I think we forget that each person we are judging is human – susceptible to the hurtful thoughts we have, and we end up inflicting harm without realizing it. I can only speak for myself, and when I receive looks or comments about my smoking, it hurts my feelings. It makes me feel bad for who I am – and that I am not good enough. That I should try harder to be the person society expects me to be. BUT THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE! I can only be me, little old me, one day at a time, to the best of my ability. I’m only human.

So my friends, with that…be you, love you, embrace you and be proud of you. You only have one of you, and I love you just the way that you are right now. And as far as me quitting smoking, please send me good vibes and feel free to leave any comments here as well. Thank you for your love and acceptance – as that is what makes my spirit full.

To read more of Jessica’s work, click here.

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