Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning”

It’s amazing to think that about two years ago, Monsters vs Me was my sole blog to showcase my photography and has now expanded to numerous contributors who are passionate about what they do.

It gets me super excited every time MvM grows, and today is one of those days. I would like to introduce Natalie Jakymyshyn to the MvM team. Natalie is not only a high school friend, but a very accomplished yoga instructor. A few weeks ago, Nat approached me with the idea of writing for MvM and before I even knew what she wanted to write about, I was already sold. I can always go after creative people to write for the site, but when someone approaches me, I know right away that they are passionate about something and looking for a platform to get it out there.

Every week, Nat will be taking her yoga teachings outside of the studio, living them in her personal life and writing about how the week went. The entire series will be titled “Living Yogically”. I can’t wait to read these posts. After talking with Nat about the whole Yoga lifestyle, this was something I definitely had to try. Myself and Monica (Toe Jam Mondays), went out to a class that Nat was teaching and I got to experience first hand what this ‘Hot Yoga’ thing was all about. Nat was such an amazing teacher and I didn’t know humans could bend the way she does. I sweat more than I ever have in my life and couldn’t believe how good I felt afterwards. I was absolutely stress free. I would recommend to everyone that you try yoga and join Nat’s classes at De La Sol if possible.

So, I’ll stop talking and take this time to welcome Nat to the MvM team and thank her for sharing her passion with everyone.

Enjoy. -jay perry

“When you pray, move your feet” African proverb

This week, one of my friends was upset because he is in love with this girl who he is currently not talking to. He asked me for advice and I told him what he needed to do- start talking to her! Pretty simple advice you would think. How often do we want something so bad but are not willing to do what it takes to get it? We spend all of our energy wishing it was in our lives, relying on fate to deliver it to our doorstep, but are hesitant to go directly after what we want. We pray for it but are paralyzed when it comes time to move our feet.

I began to think, why doesn’t this guy just go after what he wants? What is paralyzing him? He is extremely jacked and good looking. The ladies love him. What could it be? Then it hit me, the big guy is scared.

“Fear likes to dress itself up and parade around like rational hesitation” – Anne Morriss

I witnessed the act of how we rationalize avoiding fearful situations when a co worker said to me, “I plan on joining the gym but before I do I need to get into shape so I am not the fatty at the gym.” Come on seriously? That is ridiculous. That is why you go to the gym, to get in shape.  Yes, entering a gym for the first time is intimidating. I remember my first time, I was greeted by a HUGE, tanned, oily man who wore ripped jean cutoff shorts, leather gloves and who actually licked his lips when making eye contact with me- yes extremely scary! I didn’t avoid going back I just avoided the 6:30 pm time slot that this man faithfully occupied and when another man tried that same technique (the licking of the lips)I would pretend I forgot to wear my contacts, squint and stare slightly to the left of where he stood in a confused manner. It probably wasn’t the most direct approach, but the point is that I didn’t let Hans the gym stud keep me away.

Sometimes we meet our fear only half way and avoid being direct. Like the above mentioned male friend of mine seeking relationship advice who, when I asked why he just doesn’t tell the girl how he feels, he very seriously made a counter offer – “Well how about you pretend to be my girlfriend, we can make out for a bit, she will see us, get extremely jealous and want me.” NO! As tempting as the offer was, you can’t just dance around what you want and you definitely can’t only go half way to get it. We spend so much time just flirting with the idea of facing our fears and are stuck in the comfortable spot between intention and action. Allow yourself to flirt with the idea only for a bit, buy it a drink or two, but ultimately you need to take it home and do it! You will feel so good when you do.

So in honoring my intention of LIVING YOGICALLY I took my yoga practice and teachings outside of the four corners of my mat. This week I took action and didn’t allow my fear of being judged by monstersvsme fans rule my desire to share yoga philosophy and empowering quotes with readers. As a result I sent Jay Perry my first entry and this post was born.

I would like to end with the most empowering piece of literature I have read about facing fear. It was actually used by Nelson Mandela in his Inauguration Speech in 1994.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

Peace, peace, peace



My Dad The Modern Day Buddha

My dad inspires me next week. He is a man that lives a simple life which can be summed up in an acronym – GYG: gym, yoga and gardening. I plan to simplify my life and tread a little lighter on this beautiful earth of ours.