Flex yer Face

A few weeks ago I got one of those -out-of-the-blue-blast-from-the-past calls from a guy I’d grown up with, his name is Ryan Esbjerg – I want to share his story with you.

Ryan has built a business called Flex Your Face. Which, literally, means to smile. What started as a tag line has turned into a movement. { If you want to read more about Flex your Face, check out their website here - http://www.flexyourface.com }

Ryan used this as a phrase with his friends, like “hey, turn it around”. It reminds me this bookmark my mom and I used to give back and forth to each other when either one of us was being particularly salty – it read “snap out of it”.

Ryan is a few years older than me, but I had spent a lot of time around his family where we grew up in Vermont. His younger sister and I were friends. I had a vague idea of what was going on over the last eight years of so, mostly because there had been a tough time for his family. Ryan had moved West and then disappeared. There was a lot of concern throughout our small Vermont town, posts to keep a look out, the remarks of sheer shock from his family to have no idea where their son/brother was.  And then Ryan was back. And a few years later I notice he was not just back, he was healthy and thriving.

Ryan and I spoke a few days ago, again, and I asked for his story. What happened is less important to me than what caused the changed. Ryan calls his disappearance his dark days, and it was his personal experience of rock bottom. Mostly alcohol, some loss and general ill health culminated in Ryan’s second hospital visit. This is where the turning point happened. Ryan calls it his “aha moment”. I asked him, what was it? What really turned it around?

The realization was that he could breath. That there was air in his lungs – and that was enough.

And for several months that was it. Ryan pulled himself out of this hole by waking up every morning with the simple appreciation of breath (hello, yoga!). And in this he realized where he had gone wrong. Ryan realized he had always overcomplicated and under appreciated everything in his life.

From this, Flex Your Face was born. What matters to Ryan now are the little things, small moments and gentle gratitudes. A reason to smile, to talk about what makes you happy and to spark a conversation with others.

I’m honored to say Ryan has asked me to be a Brand Ambassador for Flex Your Face. I really wanted to sit with this for a while, to see what I had to offer to this company and movement.

Here’s what resonated with me:

Flex Your Face is all about finding the small moments in the day to celebrate, to bring your focus back to the positive. This rings true with me and my yoga practices. Ana Forrest always said if we can find one thing a day to focus on, or bring to breath to, that's a win. It always starts with one step. You point your feet in the direction of your dreams and you go.

So yes, Ryan. I gladly accept the invitation to wear this brand. Because I need reminders too. We all do. There are things to be grateful for (thousands of them) and everything is going to be okay.