Name: Lindsay Smith
Occupation: Founder & Yoga Instructor
Website: - www.be-still-yoga.com
What line in the Her Soul Story manifesto speaks to you the most? Why?
"This is a hard question as the entire manifesto really speaks to me, but if I had to choose just one line it would be “I believe we rise by lifting others”. I believe one of the main reasons why we come to earth is to serve one another. As we serve others, we naturally are served. As we give, we naturally receive. So as we help lift others, we naturally rise as well. Years back a friend of mine encouraged me to visualize life as a ladder. Sure, you can climb to the top of the ladder by yourself, but you are prevented from rising higher until you climb back down to the bottom rung and help lift those at that level to the second rung - in this way the entire ladder can shift upward. We can only rise as high as those at the bottom of the ladder. "
How do you define a soul story?
"A life story that in one way or another has shaped you into the woman you are today and is shared in order to help others to not feel so alone in their struggles and heartaches."
What is one of the best life lessons you have learned so far?
"That at the core of all of us we are love - not that we are loving (action) but we are love (identity). Yes, most of us, myself included, have a lot of muck covering our love so it is sometimes hard to acknowledge or see in ourselves and/or in others, but when you peel back all the layers, at the root of all humans is a loving being. I’m reminded of Rumi’s quote that says, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”. Your life begins to dramatically change when you can truly start to see the loving essence in yourself and in others. "
What inspires you?
"Truth seekers and light workers - those willing to dive deep into their wounds in order to heal themselves and then in turn help others to find healing. Nature also inspires me - the way everything has a season, the way tiny seeds can grow into huge redwood trees, the way flowers open up in order to bloom. "
What motivates you?
"The opportunity to empower women to rediscover their authentic selves and chase after their dreams. This is my purpose - my why. "
Do you have a daily practice that you do not miss?
"Meditation - Even when it’s only 5 minutes, I meditate daily when I first get out of bed. I have found this allows me to move from a much clearer, focused, and grounded place throughout the day. "
If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
"From “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz - Agreement #2 - “Don’t take anything personally.” I spent much of my childhood and well into my 20’s being overly sensitive to what others thought of me. As time has gone on I’ve learned concepts such as projection, triggers, and the like that have lead me to truly believe that what a person says about you has a lot more to do with them and what they think of themselves, then it has to do with you. And although I still struggle with this from time to time, I find that my life experience greatly improves when I don’t overly concern myself with what others think about me. "
Who is the community you surround yourself with and why is that important to you?
"They say you become the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Because of this, I try to choose my community very wisely. I have a “Board of Directors” consisting of a few mentors and close friends, who help me navigate life both personally and professionally. My broader tribe consists of yogis, servant leaders, entrepreneurs, light workers, and space holders - those who are on a path of self actualization, who love unconditionally, who share my value of service to others, who keep me accountable, who motivate me and help keep me focused, and who believe in me even when I’m struggling to believe in myself. I truly believe that life is not meant to be done alone. My tribe helps ensure I keep propelling forward and fulfilling my mission on this earth. "
Lindsay's Soul Story:
The first day I met Dr. Gerhart, after a few minutes of small talk, he asked the customary “so what brings you in today” question like every doctor in every discipline seems to ask. I paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and said, “My husband won’t have sex with me because he says ‘I’m too mean.’” There was a period of silence before Dr. Gerhart countered, “Are you?”. I sat there a bit flabbergasted and then started to share my story with him twice per week for several weeks.
There was one session in particular that I VERY clearly remember. I can’t recall the exact incident I was sharing with him at the time when he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Lindsay, he is going to kill you.” I immediately replied, “Don’t you think that is a bit of an overreaction Dr. Gerhart?”. He very calmly and sternly said, “Not at all. I’ve seen this countless times before. Ryan [my husband at the time] has all of the classic symptoms of a rage-o-holic, who is so far out of control that he wouldn’t mean to kill you; it would just accidentally happen in one of his fits. I’m going to wake one day and see your name and picture in the newspaper.” I just sat there, staring blankly at him for a long time.
Looking back at my marriage of almost 8 years, I suppose I was a bit like the frog in boiling water that was turned up so slowly, I didn’t realize I was being cooked to death (aka how abusive things had become). Little did I know that signing myself up to see a therapist over a lack of physical intimacy would quickly set a ball in motion that would ultimately cause me to more clearly see the truth of my circumstances and help me to gain the courage I needed to leave my husband.
Being married to an addict turned abuser taught me a myriad of things like resilience, perseverance, no matter how hard you love someone you can’t save them - they have to save themselves, and so much more. Going through a healing journey over the past 6 years has led me to yoga and ultimately back to myself. I now volunteer at a local organization that helps women transition from abuse to healthier situations. I want others to know that no matter how bad and how dark things seem today, that there is hope and healing on the other side of abuse. It’s a long hard process that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone but one that has definitely helped shape me into the woman I am today.
A HUGE thank you to Linsday for sharing her Soul Story! If you are interested in sharing your SOUL STORY, please reach out to: [email protected]
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