I've been lying to everyone I know and it's time to stop.

Hi my name is Polly and I've been telling I lie, some days it's a huge lie, other days it's a teeny fib and it's one that I've been telling different forms of my whole life and today it's time to put an end to that.

If I see you the street, or we talk on the phone, or online, or you round for a cuppa I'm going to tell you this lie and the thing is I have a sneaking suspicion you'll tell me this lie too. So here's an open invitation for us all to stop. I'm seeing a lot of anger on social media recently, a lot of fear, the political climate is downright scary and people are divided in many ways. However I still like to genuinely believe it's where we can connect, debate and find common grounds. So in the spirit of fostering a more gentle, honest communication platform I'll go first and finally share my truth:


I told you I was doing fine.

That's not strictly true.

Somedays the world is all rainbows, unicorns sunshine, bliss and possibilities.

Somedays it's darkness

Right now my baby is poorly, I'm sick, she's not sleeping as a general rule, I need an operation on my knee, I'm raising a baby, running a business, teaching yoga and studying 2 subjects from home whilst undergoing therapy for PTSD from the circumstances surrounding Caesarean Section, and yes that is all a bit much sometimes.


The birth of my child wasn't quite the magical moment I'd expected. I had an emotionally immature midwife who with all her years of experience was simply unable to bend to the possibility of hypnobirthing and so she stampeded the whole process with stress fear and panic, leading me into a 40 hour debacle ending in a poorly executed C-section and a further 6 months of fever, sepsis triggers and pain. One day I was able to walk, the next I couldn't move my body and I would lie convulsing in sweats and pain, I'd loose my legs and core muscles for a few days. I was staying at my mum's house at the time on the 3rd floor attic during a heatwave wave with one tiny skylight window so I'd lie in the hot dark bed shaking whilst my husband would bring the baby every couple of hours to feed her. There were times on the operating table when the bleed started and the doctors began to move faster and keep me awake and few in that room where I believed I would die. The fever and lack of sleep made it all a bit more dramatic as I'd lie awake at night running through what I could have done differently to give a natural birth and not suffer these complications, confronting the midwife featured heavily in these nights up. As did what my daughters wedding day, what would it look like if I didn't make it? Would she marry a man, a woman, would she still be a woman? Would she travel the world, would she whisper my name in the wind? Would she miss me if she hadn't known me for more than a few days? She would never remember my face.

I felt shame and anger that I'd failed to give birth naturally, but I hid it. I was scared every minute that I'd die, but I hid it. There was a point during the insomnia and fever when I genuinely believed there were ghosts in the house and I was afraid to move, but I hid it. Instead of communicating I told my husband to get some rest, I told him to eat more and checked he'd had time to shower, I told people to stop fussing, I smiled, I joked I mothered everyone else and I just kept at it.

I'm over the worst of it but life still triggers me and suddenly I can't leave the house, can't concentrate on cooking, can't remember what I was doing, can't really work out why I'm so petrified, why it's hard to breath and even harder to communicate. I even opened a business when my daughter was just 11 days old anything to keep up the lie of being fine.


And here's the really important part of my truth: it's ok to have dark days.

Last night something really triggered me and I feel compelled to share. I'm not doing so for sympathy or attention, I'm simply tired from the weight of carrying a narrative that isn't my 100% truth. So I'm putting it out there to share with the world to help me carry it a bit, together we can lighten other peoples loads and that's my motivation to speak out. I'd like to inspire a bit of kindness towards I know I've been elite at hiding my pain so I can only imagine others are too, we don't know what people are going through so let's do our best uplift whenever we can, there's too many thing tearing people down we don't need to add to that.

If you have the time to stay a while, I'd like to talk about last nights trigger and also about the Caesarean, the lessons I've learned and the beauty I've found in my darkness. I'd like to start with how the internet plays a big part in our lives these days. We've never before been so connected in this way so how is it in someways isolating us?

Now I'm not normally to air my dirty laundry in public BUT husband and his business were subject to barrage of angry slander yesterday so for once here's my 10 pence worth on the whole situation, firstly:

WE AREN'T COMMUNICATING PROPERLY IN PERSON ANYMORE.

In a culture of scrolling and swiping society can become a place of high demand, quick judgements and low tolerance. We wan't everything and we want it now. We see a post title we don't honestly read the whole thing, like it share it watch it grow, true or false the story continues. Thumbs up, double tap move on. We aren't checking in with the facts or really spending face to face time to REALLY see how people are doing. It's easy to put up a facade online people can be suffering right under our noses and looking glam in a filter. There's a sense of humanity lacking when we interacted to flippantly and quickly and a lot of the time we're only getting half the story and we can be doing a lot damage to others. We need to spend more time reaching out listening and gathering whole informations about each other, about society about the world overall. Secondly; WE NEED TO BE KINDER TO EACH OTHER

I know what it's like to feel like you're constantly under threat or being attacked in some way shape or form, but that doesn't mean we should be attacking others as pre-emptive defence mechanism we're just perpetuating the fears that divide society. We have platform to spread love and kindness and we need to be using it. We could be being so much more open, genuine and kind. Give a good review for every bad one, send happy thoughts, post happy news stories.


In my line of work sometimes there is sometimes a terrible to temptation to appear more together than you actually are, after all how can you create a platform to help others if you're not feeling 100% yourself? You can't help others if you're feeling low. Yogi's shouldn't have PTSD we're supposed to be the personification of calm.

Bloody nonsense! It's because of my dark times I've developed the skill set and the tool kit I have to empathise and heal. I've spent so long trying to hide my humanity, to keep my vulnerable side away from the public sphere, because as a new mother you just have to keep swimming and it's easy to get lost in the current.


As well as teaching yoga I live in a pub and do the behind the scenes work so my living room is the bar, it's a very public sphere and it's 99% of the time it's wonderful to be a public part of my community but on a day like yesterday it's suffocating.


My husband runs the pub and I'm a bias obviously but I think he's doing a wonderful job is he right all the time? No. Do we make mistakes? Yes.

Last night there was an incident which he cleared up by moving one group inside and offering them a drink on the house simply to stop them kicking off any further, to be honest I'd buy my whole pub a round of drinks regardless of the situation if it meant I could calm a fight and stop someone getting injured, to my knowledge there has never been a physical altercation on our premises whilst my husband was in charge (yes its been close but we always diffuse in anyway we can. we're a positive happy place to be) So drinks were given to one party as a buffer before going outside and talking to the other party to determine what had happened. He spoke with the second party who appeared to be very much in the right agreed with them, laughed with them and hoped the situation was resolved. The second party then took to social media rather than communicating to attack my husband about the way he reacted to diffuse the situation by offering drinks before gathering information. It's all very silly and normally beneath my radar but not on that day. On that day it cut like a knife, on that day in the dark alone snuggling my poorly baby I allowed the ripples of their anger totally and utterly rock my boat I was shaking when I came to the computer this morning. I'm still anxious questioning this blog as I type with one hand and my sleeping snotty bubba on the boob. I should be sleeping too but I'm not today I'm joining in the online rhetoric and contemplating communication.


It got me wondering, Why do we do this? Is it the anonymity that the media wall creates? Is it like road rage? The safety of the car gives you a feeling of security to assert yourself in a different way to that of the vulnerable pedestrian?

Normally I'm a firm believer that what other people think of you is none of your business but yesterday is great example of how I allowed something to hurt me even though it had nothing to do with me directly I took it upon myself and ALMOST... almost tried to dive in a fix it make it my responsibilty.


The thing is my husband I are new(ish) parents and parenting really isn't that easy, I mean seriously someone should put that on the label... babies and toddlers are hard work! All you want to do is do right by them (and sleep). Running a pub isn't easy you're in the business of pleasing people constantly and it's 24/7. My husband and I are trying to use the space as more than a place to go get hammered we believe in community and 'the village' and are happy to create a safe space with positive vibes and open doos so when someone attacked the fundamentals of what we're doing it did trigger me to a night and morning of terrifying anxiety that I really felt I'd overcome.


What this particular argument was allegedly about is an issue that should have 100% been addressed and I'm grateful to those who addressed it however to then go on to then attack my husband about it after is not just an attack on the business or an angry status they're implying that he condones behaviour that as a father himself he knows to be unacceptable so it's publicly slandering the foundations of a man whom I dearly love, who works tirelessly to make our place safe and respectful and open for everyone to feel welcome. To what end? Do they know the effects this has a man who is already stressed to his wits end? Do they mean to cause harm? I'd like to think not. Do we forget that our actions have consequences? Facebook isn't a real wall, it doesn't protect you or anyone else. It really triggered me and taught me a lesson not just about myself but also about communication. Had they have communicated properly this whole incident would not have been publicly aired in such a saddening fashion. I'm sorry also for the people involved that they should feel hurt, ignored or hard done by enough to feel the need to attack him in this way. It can not be nice to feel that angry and I'd like to openly invite anyone who feels this way to talk to me personally in the future. I will listen to anything you have to say respectfully and with kindness and we'll move on together whenever we can.


It leads me to a question; How much of ourselves are we hiding? Where does the real us end and the 'I'm fine' facade begin, because again using yesterday as an example as far we were aware everyone was 'fine' when they left.


Have we closed channels in personal communication? Do we use social media to replace attention and affections we're missing as human interactions? Have we lost empathy by creating a platform that doesn't really show the ramifications of our actions?


I know that in my darkest times I was guilty of scrolling obsessively and mistaking social media for social interactions I find it easy to help others communicate it's my natural gift however when my own self is under the microscope that I'm far less articulate, so I'll use the safety of this blog as a public platform to firstly to let you know I thought being a yogi, a healer, a therapist that I'd have to cure myself of my darkness and make it disappear altogether but thats where the danger lie in false positivity a spiritual jargon. Darkness is essential feel it heal don't deny yourself. It's your vulnerable side your human side thats is the most enigmatic, the most real. Your strength is in your honest, the days you think you can't carry on and some how you do those are the days that make you, so don't deny them, be proud.


to myself in all honesty


I love you and it's okay not be okay sometimes , you've survived 100% of your bad days and I'm proud of you! You as much as anyone else deserve your own love, care and attention.


to anyone struggling with similar issues in all honesty


I love you and it's okay not be okay sometimes , you've survived 100% of your bad days and I'm proud of you! You as much as anyone else deserve your own love, care and attention.


to the people who are angry at my husband


I see you, I acknowledge your anger and I validate it. You can talk to me. I hope we can put this all behind us.


and to my husband


F*** their opinions, they are not a reflection of you. I see you, I see how hard you work the sacrifices you make and the levels you go to make everyone else happy. You can't please everyone and these opinions do not truly reflect the man, the father, the rock I know you are. I'm sorry I reacted so badly and I've got your back 100% rage an unholy war if you must as long as I don't to wear shoes and a bra on the same day I'm all in!


and to anyone and everyone who made it this far


I hope you're happy, I hope you allow space for your darkness so a light can shine in. I hope you will be kind where there is an option to do so, I hope you may do for others and allow others to do for you. I hope you live your truth, speak your truth and surround yourself with people who inspire you, reward you, praise and uplift you. I hope you're honest with yourself and I hope you know how special you are.


Polly Castellano

Let's be Kind, Loving & Mischievous .... Kind of Like a Big Puppy! 

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