story

Finding Comfort in Discomfort

As a mindful hedonist, I understand the value of presence and purpose, but I naturally default to passionately pursuing life’s greatest pleasures. Documented in many of the stories I’ve shared on JuliaSparkman.com, even as a hedonist, I have grown to appreciate the challenges and adversities I’ve faced, as they have led me to many of my best moments — spiritually, personally, and professionally. While teaching, I frequently say, “find comfort in your discomfort”, as students practice deep hip-openers and other challenging postures, like savasana

What Great Thing Am I Working Towards?

What Great Thing Am I Working Towards?

I love traveling abroad. From the rush of the unknown to the exhilaration of new sights and sounds, I come alive in foreign places. Over the years, I’ve learned the best part about traveling abroad is the lack of connection. Wifi is generously available, but you still spend a lot of time offline, in-transit and walking around. I love the experience of being present without technological distractions. 

What's Stopping You?

What's Stopping You?

For years, shame and embarrassment have been my obstacles.

I have wanted to share my story, but the fear of judgement would hold me back. Keep in mind, the above passage is only about 10% of what has happened. Nevertheless, I know the experiences that I’ve had are happening to people RIGHT NOW. I want to show those who are silently suffering that it will be okay and it can work out (even better than imagined). 

Do What Makes You Feel Good

Do What Makes You Feel Good

I typically sit down with a clear idea and effortlessly write. Today, I had no idea where to start. I woke up tired and irritable. I did not feel well and my thoughts were foggy.  For once, I was not ready to share. Instead of forcing it or allowing myself to feel discouraged, I decided to practice what I preach: I let go of what I thought I “should” do and I took care of myself. I napped, I ate healthy, filling foods, I swam in the ocean, and I relaxed. 

Messages from Lizards and Giraffes

Messages from Lizards and Giraffes

Like many young Americans, I am persistently passionate about a handful vaguely related pursuits. For the last few years, yoga has always been my mainstay; but, I’ve weaved quite a few things in along the way. Up until now, I have not wholeheartedly ran after my destiny. I always keep one-foot in the safe-zone. I have gotten good at warping jobs into kind of looking like I was pursuing my destiny, but in my heart-of-hearts, I knew it was not my dharma; therefore, something I should not pursue. This week is my first week of doing entirely what I want to do (and it’s incredibly gratifying and equally terrifying).  

Stick With It

Stick With It

Last December, my sister Madeleine and I traveled to Costa Rica. On the night of the 25th, I was inspired to write my goals for the 2015 year. It’s impossible not to be inspired in Costa Rica. Everyone is happy, everywhere is beautiful, and the land is vibrant and free. Tired from our adventurous day at Manuel Antonio, Madeleine went to bed early and I ventured down to the community patio at our resort. With sounds of jungle creatures and celebratory groups as my soundtrack, the words flowed. I did not have to think about it, it just came to me. 

Show Up and Suck

 Show Up and Suck

It’s impossible to show up and suck alone; to be a beginner, perfectly imperfect. Through my experience, I’ve needed that small push of encouragement from my mentors and ‘omies’ to keep going and to step out in ways that make me uncomfortable*. As I sit here, uncertain as to what’s next, I am no longer frightened by the unknown. I know the best is yet to come because I am not afraid to put myself out there and “show up and suck” a few times before I find my flow. 

The Allegory of the Kindle Charging Cord

The Allegory of the Kindle Charging Cord

Gradually, the lesson I learned in that moment really took hold. I had had what I needed all along. It seems so simple but it hit me so hard… The solution was there, I had the “power”. I had simply not consider it as an option because it was not obvious.

365 Days in Southern Cali

 365 Days in Southern Cali

To summarize, the last 365 of my life were similar to a modern painting. It was confusing and messy and unconventional, but super beautiful and inspiring. It lit my soul on fire and I now have more strength and determination to live my mantra and fulfill my destiny! I am eager to share the experiences that emerge in the next 365 days and the wonderful things that come from my grit and tenacity.