Gravity Was Not My Friend


“What the hell is this?, I ask myself loudly in my mind. I’m in my first inversion and I have no idea what the teacher just called it. All I know is that every part of my body and skin is sagging toward the floor and it does not feel good at all. When did gravity stop being my friend?

But something about my first Yoga class inspires me to return. I am 3.5 years sober, 185lbs and I smoke and in a very sick marriage. I am so unhealthy, spiritually, and physically. I have learned that Yoga means “Union of mind, body, and spirit”. This is exactly what I am looking for.

For the next few years, I will research Hatha, Kundalini, Yin, and Hot Yoga. I will find the unifying qualities in each one.

When I suffered from Panic Attacks, Kundalini helped bring me, courage, peace and calm. When I had Gastroparesis and was too weak from lack of nutrients, Yin Yoga kept me going. When I was able to do more, Hatha. Now, I have found Hot Yoga and Yoga Sculpt with weights.

What is most delightful to me, is that there is a Yoga for just about any situation in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a cure-all. But Yoga helps us get through each circumstance as long as we are open-minded and spiritually willing to seek it.

Yoga has no bias towards age, race, body size. Yoga is true union, not just for those who are from the east, hippies or new age. Yoga also evolves with each cultural shift in each community. There  is no need for a purist attitude. Traditional Yoga is just as powerful today as it was in ancient times. Alongside traditional Yoga, Power Yoga, and Bikram bring about other options for various needs. One size does not fit all, and there is a Yoga for every type of individual alive today!

There is much controversy over Yoga. Some consider it a religion. In the Christian world, I have heard many warn of the demonic spirits present during such practice. I have let this type of influence keep me from trying Yoga for several years. Fortunately, I have experienced a wonderful spiritual awakening.

I no longer have to live with such religious restriction, concerned about my salvation. I have confidence in my relationship with my Christ. It is a wonder how many women are made to feel shame and guilt for our careers, hobbies and interests, and even our own form of worship.

I believe that God is loving, kind and forgiving. Not the vicious disciplinarian who can’t wait to strike us down with lightning for each transgression we have made. The message of Christ is one of grace and salvation, not damnation and destruction. Furthermore, Christ is not as restricting as he is represented within the church.

When I think of the video explaining Savasana below, I think of this scripture:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24

We believers in Christ, allow ourselves to die to the flesh daily and be born again in His Spirit. I truly believe that God speaks to us as we best listen and receives us as we uniquely worship Him. My worship is no more better than my brother’s or sister’s, it is just mine.

Since I started my yogic journey, I have:

  • Lost a lot of weight
  • Gained some weight back
  • Left an abusive marriage
  • Quit smoking
  • Suffered and overcame Panic Attacks
  • Suffered and overcame Gastroparesis
  • Got remarried
  • Bought a House
  • Got a promotion
  • Became a grandmother

My practice has been with me through it all. I have often uttered these words:

“There is not much else that can fill me with the same exhilaration as my Yoga practice. When I arrive on the mat, I am blissfully home.  This is a joy I would like to pass on to as many people possible.”

Yoga has brought me closer to my God and I see Yoga as one of my greatest gifts from my God. And after many years, gravity and I have become friends again!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

We Can Do Whatever We Want

The question is, should we do whatever we want?  No, stop looking at that person you like to judge, and stop lowering your head to the one who judges you. See everything is permissible as 1 Corinthians 10:23 says. But there is more! Keep reading…

Everything is permissible, but not everything is-PA-EVALDIVIA8

Being an alcoholic and an addict, I can certainly relate. There are so many people I know who can drink in a manner we refer to as “moderation”. As for me, there is no moderation – though I tried to convince myself otherwise several times. So it is not beneficial for me to drink alcohol. The same thing applies to sugar. My husband buys cookies and can eat a total of three. I’m already on my sixth before he has finished.  Sugar is now un-beneficial to my physical health.

On the other hand, my husband can only eat small portions of meat while I can eat quite a bit. Funny thing is, as I am on this Paleo type of diet the hubby tries to convince me that I shouldn’t eat as much beef. So as long as I chose to do me and he chooses to do him, we have total peace in the home. See some things are beneficial for one person yet not beneficial for the next.

There are countless fad diets out there and some that actually work. What we have to be conscious of is what works for ourselves as individuals. There are countless recovery programs out there for addicts and alcoholics. Again, we must choose what works for our very own personal needs.

dharma wheel

“Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

“Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (The Perfect One) [1] has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata…? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. This is the Middle Path realized by the Tathagata which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, and to Nibbana.” – SN 56.11 PTS: S v 420 CDB ii 1843 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion

The Middle Path is an appealing option. How many of us have tried starvation diets, only to find ourselves sick from binge eating? I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to quit drinking and using followed by a much worse relapse. Some of these relapses lead me straight the hospital. So I avoid these types of extremes and abstain just one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time.

So while all things are permissible – ask yourself if there is something that is no longer beneficial to your mind, heart, spirit or health.  Whether it is food, drink, lifestyle, and even relationships. Then search out a way that works for you to move on.  Once you set your plan in motion; remember you can do this one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time.

Now Go – And Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Wake Up!



Sometimes it feels like my eyes are closed even when they are open. My mind and body fighting for control. My body wants to awaken but my mind, well not so much. I must explain that I am a skilled master in the art of sleeping. A few of my friends used to call me “The Dreamer” when we were young. Yes, I love the many places I visit while in a state of slumber.

But the name of this article is “Wake up”, not “Goodnight”, and shit gets done in the conscious world. That is where the action is.


“Wake up, wake up, Deborah!    Wake up, wake up, break out in song!

Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.” – Judges 5:12

Deborah ranks among the most famous women of the bible. She was a warrior as well as a judge.  In Judges 4, Deborah instructs Barack to “Go take with you ten thousand men of Naptali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor”, and God would deliver Sisera and his army into Barak’s hands. Barak’s reply was “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go. This is an indication of Barak’s high regard for Deborah.

Deborah agrees to go along saying “Certainly I will go with you. But because of the course, you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” This prophesy proves to be true, as Sisera was eventually assassinated by a widow named Jael. Deborah’s courage and wisdom brought about 40 years of peace for the Israelites.

I want to be like Deborah! Don’t you? Well, the first thing we must do: Wake up! Then we suit up and show up for life. Are you lingering in the dream-world today? It’s an honest question. What are your dreams? What actions can you take today toward achieving those dreams?  I asked myself this earlier this year. The answer was always, “It’s just not the right time.” So at 1:00 AM on a Saturday, I purchased my URL and started!

Then I made a commitment to write three times a week, with exceptions for vacations or work-related events. Just doing this has started the wheels in motion. I am not always happy with what I write, but I do it because this is what I love to do. I love to share my heart, to lift others up.


Isaiah 60 is a powerful promise. One of which I love most, being the vain woman I am (just keeping it real):

“Then you will look and be radiant,   your heart will throb and swell with joy;” – IS 60:5a

 This promise is better than any miracle skin serum I have heard of!  But seriously, Isaiah 60 encompasses God’s mercy and our redemption. Mercy that which we have not earned. Redemption from our old bad behaviors and selfishness. Directing us from shame, ridicule and violence into joy, calm and peace. I think we can all identify with shame and low self-esteem at some point in our lives. I also know that most of us just want to be happy and to be at peace with all of God’s creation. Hard to imagine the possibility with all the negativity on TV and social media. But it is attainable. We can get there.


Again, we first must WAKE UP!! Did you know that the word Buddha means “Awakened one” or “Enlightened one”?  Enlightenment is compared to waking up because we suddenly experience a complete transformation of body and mind when we wake up. Are you ready to be transformed?

Any kind of transformation will do? Maybe a new hobby, a better diet, a new career, a vacation or retreat to plan. Wake up! And Go!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

My Time of Year/Miss You Dad

(Due to the awesomeness of today’s subject, Sunday Shot of Bliss will return next week.)

My time of year…

I don’t have a whole lot of great childhood memories. Summer was always the best, however. Camping by the lake, watermelon, falling asleep by the bonfire. Swimming, oh yeah! I remember having to wait an hour after eating before we could go back out. It seemed like the longest hour of our lives.

Music was also a nice escape. Songs by War, Frankie Valli, The BeeGees. This music always took me to better places.

Andrew Dunn/Wikimedia Commons
Andrew Dunn/Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. This day has been celebrated for many centuries by different civilizations around the world. Once again, proof of our universal connection.

From the Greeks, who observed Kronia, in honor  of the agriculture god Cronus, to the Chinese who revered the Earth, femininity (Yin). The Vikings would take this day to resolve legal conflicts and then party around a huge bonfire!  The Sioux had a ceremonial Sun-dance and modern day Druids celebrate at Stonehenge.


Today is also known as The International Day of Yoga.  Thousands of people will welcome in the season with Sun Salutations in Times Square, New York! For those not fortunate to be able to go to NY, our community is offering The Breathe Yoga Festival. I am sure wherever you are and whatever culture you identify with, you can find a celebration in or around your community.

I never thought much of the changing of the seasons and what they represent until a few years back when I developed Gastroparesis. Being chronically ill can change your perspective on a lot of things. I learned how to eat for the seasons (when I could eat). I even learned different Yoga sequences, meditations and external blessings for each season.

Indeed Ecclesiastes 3 says:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

Universally connected.

Summer Prayer

Father, Creator of all, thank You for summer! Thank you for the warmth of the sun; and the increased daylight. Thank You for the beauty I see all around me; and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation. Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family, and for the more casual pace of the summer season.

Draw me closer to You this summer. Teach me how I can pray no matter where I am or what I am doing. Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence and light my path with Your Word and Counsel. As I enjoy Your creation, create in me a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.


– Source:

Miss You Dad..

This year, the Summer Solstice falls on Father’s Day. Another year without my dad. We had a good relationship. Sometimes I did not see him for years and there was one particular year that I really needed him in my life. It’s all good, I am the person I am today because of it. However, it didn’t matter how long it had been since we had last seen each other. Once we were together again, it was like we had never been apart.

My father was a quiet and wise person. He did not make a proclamation unless he fully intended to follow through with it. Even at his funeral, no one stood up to speak about my dad. This is exactly how he would have wanted it. There was a lot of crying, however. He would be missed. A friend of his and I were smoking outside of the church and she said ” I halfway expect him to sit up in that coffin and say ‘Will you all stop fussing over me?!!’.  This brought me from tears to laughter. Yes, if he could have, he would have!


Yep. Another tattoo.

This is my very favorite childhood memory. Summer 1973. My mom, my dad and me walking along the beach while the sun set. I remember we were wearing bell bottom jeans and walking barefoot at the edge of the water.  They turned in towards each other and just gazed into each other’s eyes. I know this because I was looking up at mom and dad. All of sudden, the tide came in and I had to wrap my arms around their legs to keep from being pulled out. I always felt that their love saved me from drowning that day.

This also represents my Father in Heaven’s love. Sustaining. When I am about to drown in my problems and despair, I look to His love and grace and I am saved from being pulled under.

This year we honor the sun and our fathers in one day! What a glorious time to be alive! Today, let us also turn to our Heavenly Father, acknowledge the Son and hopefully feel the cool breeze of the Spirit.  Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Personal Values/Break on Through


Personal Values

In my last blog “A Moment of Clarity“, I posed the following questions:

“Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? ”

I also wrote of taking action. Elysia, where do I start? I’m glad you asked. A few years ago, I experienced yet another painful bursting of a bubble. I found a support group on-line and one of the first assignments handed out was to prepare a Personal Values statement.

I had done this several years before after reading The Purpose Driven Life. Again, I found myself asking the same above questions. Not a bad place to be really.  At this point, I would do anything to step outside of the raw emotional pain I was enduring. The Personal Values writing process was simple and I would love to share it with you today!


  1. Start with a list of everything important to you. You don’t need to overthink this, just write.  Some examples: Having dinner at the table as a family; Getting to Work on time; Daily Meditation and Prayer at a specific time of day; Going to the Gym in the morning; Spending one night a week with my girlfriends; Volunteering once a month at a shelter.  Got it? Good. So write, write, write!
  2. Review this list and choose 5-6 of the most crucial items for you today.
  3. Summarize these 5-6 items. Elaborate and expand on the importance of each value.
  4. Then again, ask yourself if you are already living according to any of these values.
    • If yes, identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
    • If no, how do you intend to make these work? Where are your strengths and weaknesses in following through? Might you slightly tweak one of these? For instance: It could possibly be more attainable to have dinner at the table as a family three times a week, or meet up with your girlfriends every other week.
  5. Ask yourself if your current work/life situation is allowing you to live these values.
    • If yes, then you are ready to go forward with living your personal values! I like to post them in a place I can see them daily as I begin the process of living them.
    • If no, well, this part can be difficult, because  you are probably due for a major life change. But be fearless! This is an exciting part of your life!


Life changes are a positive thing, just not always easy. I remember when my little Chevy Aveo was a total loss due to a rear ending accident. I was sad. I loved that little car. It was fun and it made a really cool sound when I accelerated. Then I saw my new car…A beautiful purple Ford Fiesta with all the perks that the Chevy did not have!  I know this is just material, however transportation is a daily part of life for most of us.

If you trust the process, you can truly experienced the satisfaction of breaking on through to the other side!  

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day, tried to run, tried to hide
Break on through to the other side

Break on Through

I know right? How do The Doors fit in with all this personal values jigger? This song can mean so many different things. Today I see it as anthemic. I am ready for a change. Fired up, ready to go, ready to break on through! This song did not represent such a thing to me several years ago.  That my friends, is the true magic of music. But that is a topic for another day ha!  I love the idea of changing my perception or psychic change if you will. I have a tattoo of a blue rose that specifically represents this type of change.


Today is a different day. The bubble has been burst. Nothing will ever be the same. Thank you God!!

Now Go!

…And stay blissful my friends – E

A Moment of Clarity

soap bubble bursting 03

Moment of Clarity
AKA – Epiphany
AKA – Disillusionment
AKA – The bubble has burst!
I am a huge fan of disillusionment, having experienced many epiphanies – all for the improvement of my inner self. What I love about these said moments of clarity are the sudden opening of my mind, realizing that I no longer think or believe the way I have been all or most of my life. Maybe some of this thinking is cultural, or passed down in my family from generation to generation.

Zig Ziglar once told a story about a woman cooking a ham. Her husband asked why the ham must be cut in two pieces and  positioned a certain way. She replied that this is how my family has always cooked ham.  With her husband’s encouragement, she called and asked her grandmother what the reasoning was behind this method. Her grandmother laughed and replied “When we were young, we had a very small oven so this was the only way we could get it to fit.”

Not all moments of clarity are this cheerful and fun. Some can be painful…as growth usually brings forth some pain.  Sometimes we have to step out in faith to  live our truth. At times this can be perceived as failure by our family members. Occasionally  tribal shaming will happen. At these times, we must accept that we are disappointing our loved ones and own it for the greater good of living in our reality.

Benjamin Bratt stars in this movie, produced by his brother Peter. Though beautifully filmed, it is not an easy movie to watch at times. It tells a real story of generational culture and of beliefs/thought patterns. Tribal shaming appears in a rather violent way. I know this violence all too well. Still, I am glad I continued to watch. 
In probably the most powerful performance of his career, Benjamin Bratt’s character “Che” is more than ready to have his bubble burst. For in a beautiful scene alongside Aztec dancers performing, Che experiences a most compelling moment of clarity. It is in this moment, I feel as one with Che.  

Knowing we cannot go on living the same illusion and yet fearful of the unknown. At this jumping off point, either fear will motivate us or faith will. I think sometimes fear gets a bad rap. Fear is a gift, a part of our human nature. It warns us to swerve to avoid a car accident or to avoid going near the flames from a burning building. Fear can sometimes lead us to faith. 

A moment of clarity is as a good a thing as long as it is followed up with action. 
Ask yourself if you still believe the words that you speak or even the thoughts that you think. Are your actions representative of the values in which you are living today? Are you ready to have your bubble burst so you can experience real life? A blissful life?
Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Sunday Shot of Bliss IV.

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. - Casey Kasem
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. – Casey Kasem

When I was the little girl, I used to look up to stars and wish myself away from the violence and the chaos of my life. It helped to look up and away from all of the gravel and asphalt. Away from the angry people. Away from that man who used to pull a gun on me on my way to school and then pull the trigger. “Click”.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm. 8:3-4)

I always knew I would have a better life, even at such a young age. The stars were not my God, but a representation of the hope I would have in my God knowing someday that better life would be attained.

It is said that stars represent high hopes and great ideals. I like this concept!

There was a time when my hopes seemed so high. To live in a decent neighborhood, to have a nice home and a car that runs without having to push start it every day.

After all this came to pass, I realized just how not so high these hopes were. Again, I wanted better. I wanted to be better. To be a friend among friends, a worker among workers. To be a better parent to my children. To have something to offer others. To be of service to all of God’s creation.

My hopes and ideals are not too lofty, but they are bigger than myself. I cannot achieve them on my own. That is where a good support group, fellowship or whatever you want to call it comes in. The good news is that there are people who have lived this before and are more than happy to share with each other how they did it!

I have heard this song several times this week. I used to think it was a corny love song. Now as I hear the chorus “Waiting”. I realized this star could represent anything we are waiting on. A life partner, a job/career move, a home, retirement (gulp), the birth of a child, and for some of us just a better way of life (whatever that means).

Keep in mind that waiting, does not mean being slothful  until said “star” arrives. We must work for it. If it just happened, how much would we appreciate it? Just like labor pains; though they are difficult to experience, how easily are they forgotten when that newborn baby is placed in our arms?

I understand labor and working while waiting. Sometimes, it seemed that a bad situation was never going to end. Or more concerning, potentially get worse…and sometimes it did.


It is said that a shooting star represents a fleeting moment. “This too shall pass”. Thank you God for that one. If I didn’t have this cliché in the back of my head (and also tattooed on my shoulder), I would have lost my mind several years ago.

Are you waiting on a star to fall? Are you willing to work while you are waiting, to overcome the obstacles? Can you accept each circumstance along the way knowing “This too shall pass”? Will you share your experience and empower others along the way?

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

The Little Girl, Her Obstacles and Her Hustle


Anonymous, a good word to describe the little girl who existed within the insanity in which she grew up.  Surrounded by two older brothers, an older sister and the many other “cousins”, who belonged to whatever friends her parents allowed to move into their home.

Lost in a crowd of many children, most of whom did not like the little girl.  The ugly duckling that was she, overlooked; nothing special.

Except for her father, who referred to her as “The light of my life”.  The only problem; her dad was a heroin user and dealer.  When he would get arrested and sent to prison,  life would return to utter chaos.

More people moving in with their kids and boyfriends and their drugs.  People sleeping on sofas and the floor.

Not much was expected of this little girl. She would probably grow up to be a drug addict on welfare, with many children.  All of it would eventually become true, though…something happened inside of her at the young age of 6.  She decided she knew more than her teachers and her mother. She would educate herself. The little girl aspired for more.

She did not know how to get more, but she learned…sometimes the hard way. She understood her hustle. Working long hours, turning in recycled glass for money. Sometimes collecting food from churches.


Proverbs 31 says: “17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable,  and her lamp does not go out at night.” In other words, the Proverbs 31 Woman had her own “Hustle”. 

The bible spoke of this little girl many years before she was born. Before the little girl became a woman.  Her God had already predestined her steps. Though she made many mistakes a long the way, she got better and stronger.

Ganesha is the Hindu god known as the Remover of Obstacles and the God of Success and Prosperity. He is also known as the destroyer of evils and the god of education, knowledge, wisdom, wealth and domestic harmony. In India, no new undertaking, whether it is a new business, a marriage, a new job, taking an exam, or any other endeavor, is started without first making an offering or prayer to Lord Ganesha and asking for His blessing. – 2005, Reverend Jeff Bekasinski

The little girl became the woman that she wanted to be; Someone she liked, someone she loved. No drug or drink could give her a better high and she would not trade this for any euphoric drug in the world. Cocaine having been her biggest obstacle, she was now, clean and sober.

This is a true story. Anyone can own this story. For we all have obstacles in life and we all can overcome them. Some obstacles are less dramatic yet just as real. What obstacles do you want to conquer today?  Are you prepared to own your hustle?

Stay Blissful My Friends – E