Sunday, October 27, 2013

reveling

The only word that comes to mind lately is reveling. I am reveling all that fall has offered. As always, it has been a season of transition, slowing down, sleeping a bit more, moving more intentionally, gathering up energy in a holistic sort of way.

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Lemon tart, chamomile tea on a foggy Seattle date night.
I just came off of a weekend in Whidbey Island, celebrating a fabulous woman (my psuedo sister-in-law), her fortieth birthday. We hung out in comfy clothes, ate ourselves simple, watched funny tv, went crabbing (yes, think deadliest catch...well, almost), and laughed our butts off. It was great. Coming home is always nice too and now it's Sunday and I am planning my week out, thinking about what needs attention, how I can take care of myself, and also how I can revel in all the amazingness that October has brought.

This month is almost over and I am looking back at so many amazing things...
I got a new cell phone and a new phone number. Yes, this was a big event in my life...I gave up my Maine phone number I have had for 13 years and got myself a new, local, Seattle number. In a way, it sealed the deal of calling the Pacific Northwest my home. I also stepped out of the iceage and got a great new system, the Samsung Galaxy S3. I'm in love with the functionality...so smooth, good design.

I started my yoga teacher training program. Yes! My dream is coming to fruition. I am enrolled in a 200 hour RYT program here in Seattle. A five month training that will span through February with an advanced retreat in April. It is mindblowing, tough, awesome, and lots of work all at the same time. Needless to say, I'm in love.

I have been in love with the man. We have had so much fun together this month. We have had great date nights (indian food and Gravity in 3D/Imax), fun events with friends, movie watching, cuddling, and cleaning our house. Yes, our time together has evolved so much and it is never a dull moment. That I truly love and revel in every day.

I have found new, fascinating ways to be productive. I have been working with Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map for my planning and also Sarah Peck's amazing micro-tools as well. If you don't know these two ladies, they are by far my faves. Starting with how I want to feel and then deciding my actions and to dos form there is WAY more powerful than the endless to do list.

I am in deep healing and rebuilding of my adrenal system. Tis' the season to get the adrenals and immune function in tip top shape. Mornings are full of neti pots, homeopathic remedies, dry brushing, meditation, oil massage, smoothies, and hydration. I know I am susceptible to junk from dealing with a host of Lyme Disease craziness and now is the rebuilding piece. I feel good and know when I am pushing myself way too hard. Yay for being your own health and self-care advocate.

So, all in all, the month has been amazingly, well, great in lots of ways. I continue to think that we are put on this earth to function as our best selves. Make the choice. Choose how you want to feel and show up in the world and then take the actions you need to.

Love you all!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

on spark

Wow...sitting here realizing it's been way too long since I have posted. All I can say is that I have been living life in a succulent, over the top, engaged, nourishing way that has been full of vitality, self-discovery, learning, compassion, growth zones, and well, spark. Something shifted wildly for me this summer in terms of the fun factor. Maybe it's because I had a little disposable income, or maybe it's because I had lots of balance with work and life, or maybe it's because I have been learning, living, and loving in extreme and passionate ways.

Summer recap rapid fire style...glamping in cabins by the water, water slides, campfires, garden grown tomatoes, basil, and dahlias, yoga, reading, sleeping in, being lazy, hugs, kisses, beer, wine, friends, grilling, new life, reflection, lemonade....exhale.

So for me, fall is about foundation and roots. I have been eating up what life has been offering, living in the moment like being a 10 year old again with a birthday cake full of candles in front of me. Big wish. Exhale. Love. Smiles all around. This fall I start my journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher. I am also coming up on my year anniversary of working in my grant funded position within the microenterprise sector. I have so much to look forward to these next few months and the theme that comes to mind is spark.

A shift happened to me when I turned 29 and maybe it's because I knew in a deep way I was closing the book on my twenties, some of the most formative years of my life. Either way, this subtle shift has sparked me to innovate, invent, design, argue the status quo a bit more. I notice myself shedding the "what will other people think about me?" attitude and choosing only those things that nourish me 1000% and saying goodbye to the rest. Toxic friendships that are transactional? Peace out! Petty arguments with The Man? See ya! Comparing myself to the skinny blonde who can get her toes behind her head in yoga? Nope. I am done with all of that nonsense. Shedding all of this mindless life clutter as I like to call it has created the space for spark.

This fall, I have a few things in the mix for my life that will lead to me tying a big red bow on 2013 and embarking into next year. These next three months are integral to maintaining the bliss and living it. It's good to be back.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

on cherishing, fish, and mega growth

Oh my. Where to start? Well, I am finding that sitting in bed with the laptop is wayyyy more comfortable than the desk chair in the nook. I am sitting fat & happy after a delicious meal on the deck of Ray's Boathouse in Seattle down on the Puget Sound. Good wine, lots of laughter, and yummy plates of food. The Man and I just wrapped up Season 7 of Dexter (a very dark series that for some reason hooks you in), and I am really, really, enjoying these sweet moments of summer. The word that comes to mind is cherish.

In my yoga classes, one of my teachers is working with us through this book called "What Happy People Know." It's on my wish list to add to my bibles of life. One of the first tools that is talked about in the book is appreciation and how it is indeed the antidote of fear. Appreciation stems from a deep place of love and we can't experience love and true fear at the same time. Today in class, we embarked on an "Appreciation Audit," a simple sitting meditation exercise where we simply scanned the areas of life that we so deeply appreciate. In those moments of sitting at the end of a deep flow class, I realized how awesome this summer has been. It has been an eclectic mix of so many great things: newborns, birthdays, girls nights, camping, campfires, water parks, grilling, coffee, gardening, beer, laughter, hugs, just pure amazingness. One of the best things about this summer was the comeback of our fish tank.
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This summer, The Man and I revitalized the fish tank in our bedroom. The fish tank is a hobby mostly owned by The Man, but he has got me hooked. Ha! They are small and mighty beings, so fascinating to watch, allowing me to enjoy and experience frequent meditations while they swim and interact. It has been a lesson in pausing between the craziness of summer. In the mornings, I spend a few moments feeding them and telling them hello before closing up the house for the day and The Man and I inspect them and we have had to 'bury' a few. All in all, it's something that I am appreciating because it's something that we share, it's fun, and brings us together on common ground...and I am learning new things!

On the gardening side of life, we are seeing some mega growth, which is so rewarding. This is the time of year where I really get to realize, "Oh yeah! Now this is why I garden." Slowly but surely things took off and although the time has flown, I enjoy inspecting my plants, seeing them grow wild and enjoy the sun as much as me. Gardening is another form of meditation that I am delving into; not getting attached to the results, letting go of expectations, nurturing with practice, etc.

So, as I write this, reveling in the space of cherishing & appreciation for all the summer has offered me, I smile a tiny bit of a sad smile knowing that I will pack up another summer soon (hopefully not until October), and revel in the memories of the fish and the mega growth, but also the love and appreciation I have for all that summer has brought.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

reentry

I am coming off a four day meditation retreat up in the Skagit Valley. My only word is wow. So here I am, trying to maintain the bliss in the real world and I must say it's going much better than I thought. Let me start by saying that the retreat was one of the best things I did for myself this year so far.

 I was in the company of some amazingly wise women, ten of us sitting, walking, and in discourse for 3.5 days. The first 1.5 days was spent in silence which was truly profound. Profound in the sense that I recognized that I am a jumper when it comes to conversation; so absorbed in what to say next, not really giving someone the experience of being heard. Wow.

The theme of the retreat was sensitivity in relationship. A topic that can be spread in so many directions but the main focus was really creating the pause button in our lives so we can consciously listen and speak and practice true mindfulness, something that is missing most of the time from living life on autopilot.

A few powerful insights from my time in retreat:

  • We are all doing the best we can with what we have, no matter what. Recognizing this and truly embracing it are two very different things but what remains true is that we don't know the other person's story until we really tune in, let go of our own crap, and listen. Out of this blooms lovingkindness and compassion. 
  • I am so loved. I really don't do the best job of recognizing daily how much love is around me. It pulses through every area of my life in terms of support from family and friends, great colleagues, and a partner who has my back and showers me with so much kindness and love. For that, I am grateful.
  • It takes a breath. That's all. It takes less than a second to truly tune in and feel myself breathing and that can be the most powerful thing sometimes, especially as life happens all around me.
  • I am a nature girl. I need more of it in my life. I do better with it, and not so well without it. Even if it means 10 minutes on the desk in the morning breathing in my pajamas or a walk after lunch to escape cubicleville, I gotta do it.
  • I value my spiritual life but I don't need to force it on anybody else, especially my partner. Just because I love to meditate does not mean he has to. I use the car analogy: he likes fixing things, I don't. It's okay. Accept it. 
It was fabulous and the insights keep on coming. I am so grateful to have had the experience and to be part of something so profound. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

haircuts. i deserve it.

I can't help it. I keep coming back to the "as I get older" lessons. They say resisting isn't the way you should go when it comes to writing so...

As I get older, I am learning more and more not to put things off. Like haircuts. Today I went for a haircut for the first time in like six months. Now, come on. Have I given up on life? No. Do I not care about my appearance? Well of course I care. So what the hell is the problem? I have realized that I get caught in the trap of putting myself off because that's the easy, convenient thing to do. Well, that's not okay. It's quite inappropriate. Granted, I can't and won't speak for everyone, but I will say for myself, I tend to give out more than I take in. Let me explain.

I am a giver. A contributor. A caring person. A person who gives a damn. A person who sometimes does things to please others. Sometimes too much. Okay. I admit it. Sometimes I get quite resentful. That's not okay. It's actually quite self-destructive. The haircut is an example of something I have been putting off because I think to myself, why take the time when I could be (fill in the blank of something more important that would check something off my to do list, get me closer to completing a project, or do something for someone else). This is a pandemic. It's called martyrdom and I am giving it up.

I deserve haircuts. I deserve my Saturday/Sunday morning coffee and cinnamon roll time while watching the food network. I deserve reading my books. I deserve massages and smoothies and yoga classes. I deserve girls nights. Nobody is stopping me but myself and I have give up that racket. :)

You are probably thinking, she's on crack. She's trying to throw herself a pity party. Poor her, a life full of massages and smoothies. Why complain? Well, here is the thing. For the majority of my life, I had it flipped. I had it in the wrong order. I thought that everything else had to be done before I had the time for me. Well, it left me a mess. A pure, utter, depressed, angry mess. Now, it's shifted and there is freedom in everything experience. I have a tendency to scream "I have a great life!" at the top of my lungs while in the thick of commuter traffic. I dance in my house and sink my hands in the dirt and smile in my garden. It's all good. All is well. Everyone is loved. Because I deserve it.

I am also loving this new song by Daft Punk right now.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

resurrection

So here I am, writing again, actually, doing lots of things again hence the title of my post, 'resurrection.' I really have to tone down my own excitement as I think about these past few months, mostly, what 2013 has provided thus far. So hard to believe it is almost June but exciting at the same time. I enjoyed an AMAZING birthday, full of treats and great experiences, and a Funfetti Cake & pasta maker. Ha! I am a lucky lady.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had a chance to dive into a transformational experience. It rained all weekend so I attacked some spaces in the house that have been eating away at my sanity (closet, junk drawer, nightstand, and writing nook). I 100% believe that clutter clogs us up-it's one of those things that can really put a damper on our lives. What really comes out of the whole thing is our relationship to our stuff. Old stuff, new stuff, useful stuff, trinkets, pictures, articles, magazines, books, stocking stuffers, pens, notepads...on and on it goes.

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's second book, Happiness at Home which was truly quite wonderful. Every time I have a birthday, I have a tendency to dive into deep reflection on life lessons learned and as I was clearing out, stuffed in the back of a dusty bookshelf, I found some old journals. Of course, I opened them and started reading and immediately started shaking my head as laughter escaped me. Yes, there were some parts that were truly naive and ignorant but there remained the glimmer of my truest self, chronicling stories of bliss and how I was going to find my dream job where I can balance my spirituality and have a loving partnership. Boom! I have THAT right NOW.

I think we sometimes put things on the shelf and move forward without looking back, whether it is a relationship, a job, or a hobby. Some may say it's not that we completely want to move on and forget it, it's just that other aspects of life suck us up. I tend to think that we put things on the shelf so we can come back to them, picking them up with our hands and enjoying them when we have the SPACE to enjoy them for what they are, even the tough memories or events.

Over and over again, I hear people describe their twenties as a time of self-discovery. It's true. You embark on what some may call the hero's journey, leaving the nest, exploring, going into the world, encountering those moments that beat you down, and then emerging as a new being. I can't say that I have a huge life lesson from my twenties, rather, I have so many micro-lessons and experiences that have carved out my truest self.

So as I resurrect memories, journals, old photos, I can truly see that yes, in some ways I have changed a lot but for the most part, my spirit and values have remained in tact and if I go forward with those, that's all that truly matters.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

in touch with gratefulness, running, and love

Wow. How a month flies by. I don't even know where to start honestly. It has been an amazing month in so many ways. I just came off a week vacation (well, staycation) with my mom as she was in Seattle for about a week. The week was all about rest, restore, and relaxation. A trip to the Hot Springs over on the Olympic Peninsula followed by shopping, great meals, laughter, and a day spa trip. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

While she was here, I was so totally aware of how much I love both my parents and realized how incredibly lucky I am to be supported and embraced in my own family. I think as we get older, it becomes more and more apparent that family is what ya got. It's the one constant when everything around you is rapidly changing.

Some other happenings include enjoying my garden, getting outside more for walks, enjoying the longer days, taking breaks at work that include nature hikes, and lots and lots of productive, creative, engaging work. I am reading some great books right now, including Lynchpin & Tribes by Seth Godin and also embarking on some new fitness adventures including running outside for the first time in over a year and Zumba classes.

But most of all, what I am most present and in touch with these days is extreme amounts of gratefulness for everything that makes up my life-all of it: the dirty dishes, balancing the checkbook, sleeping in, sips of hot tea, cooking in my kitchen, the sunshine, the friends, a supportive, outstanding partner, a great job, and my health.

Like I mentioned, I went running outside for the first time in over a year. Running was a huge part of my life for so many years and I couldn't bear the pain for a long time and now in my treatment for Lyme Disease, I am feeling so much better. Today, I laced up my shoes and embarked on a great run. On that run, I thought about how my life has changed in a year. How much I have changed in just my perceptions and views on life, my spirituality, my relationship to my world. It was energizing and fascinating and emotional all at the same time.

All it really comes down to is putting one foot in front of the other and being willing to surrender and open up to the love that surrounds you. It's there, you just have to sit back and let it in.

So grateful.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

on cultivation

Colorful succulents
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This time of year is downright fascinating. The earth begins to thaw, the ground gets a little softer, the smells change to cut grass and dirt. It's overwhelming at times to see all that blossoms. For the past week, I have observed my daffodils staring in the direction of the sun and slowly opening bit by bit, moment by moment, working to bloom. The observed process got me thinking about cultivation.

A couple weekends ago, we had our "break" in the climate system. It was our first weekend of true spring warmth, warm enough to be out in my t-shirt cutting up brush from the fall and composting it. I worked up a sweat and it felt good to be outside doing yard work. Working in the yard is one of my own favorite past times and now, living in somewhat of a temperate climate, yard work opportunities present themselves year round. I was cutting up brush, breaking sticks, raking grass and debris, and smiling.

The word cultivation came to mind.

As I was completely immersed in that present moment, I started to tune into the entire symbolic nature of cultivating the earth and cultivating ourselves in the process. Especially as the season change, these surges of energy become much more apparent. For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, winters are damp, grey, dark, and have a gloominess and deep rest about them, much like most of the northern hemisphere. When we start to see bursts of spring, it feels as if we can open the shutters wide and peel off the layers of protection.

Yet, as all of this is happening, we can't forget the intense work we did all winter cultivating strong foundations, goals, planning, and strategies for the velocity that hits us as soon as that sun starts to shine on our faces. For me, the winter was about finding the linings of balance, healing, and rest. I changed my attitude about doing and transformed into the state of being and slowing down, saying no to things that do not make me absolutely happy. I refined my own values and decision making framework around what I want to say yes to: anything that encompassed, writing, the outdoors, yoga & meditation, and a deep sense of community. I nourished these interested and feel really strong going into spring and summer with a sense of peace and clarity.

As the weather is changing, as the energy starts to flow in the ground and around us, take some time to contemplate your own foundation that you have developed through the winter and make some loose plans on how you want to feel as you step into this new light.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

missing the oomph

Lately, I have been feeling as though I am missing the oomph. If I had to guess, it's been a mix of things: a combination of not feeling super motivated, experiencing a change in my work schedule, and not being super intentional with my scheduling around self-care and wellness. So, that is the what...now, the so what.

So in all of this, I can be forgiving. Practicing the art of acceptance and being gentle with myself has always been a struggle. Now, in the second month of the new year, 2013, the year of Blissful Velocity, I am not feeling like I am attacking life the way I started out. I have lost some of my oomph. As I wrap up the last few days of February, the shortest month of the year, I can honestly say February had some road blocks:

Reflections on the Roadblocks:
-Struggling with some health issues which caused me to spend some days resting and doing nothing else.

-I let go of my meditation practice that nourished me in January. I just didn't make the time and instead, soaked in bad tv, mindless nights on the couch and too much frozen yogurt.

-I wasn't being intentional with my schedule (i.e. getting up earlier, hitting the gym, making the time for the things that matter like my writing and my quiet time)

-My eating habits loosened up in a way I didn't feel super good about.

-I found myself snapping and being impatient with The Man more than I wanted

All that aside, there were some really awesome things about February:
-There was a lot of celebration. A wedding, a birthday party, a great Valentine's Day date, and other awesome date nights through the month. I realized how much I value the time I get to spend with The Man outside of our day to day grind.

-I kept consistent sleeping hours. I went to bed earlier during the week, sometimes as early as 10pm and it made me a much more productive human.

-I started taking walking breaks at work. Since Seattle weather has been quite mild, I have been embarking for at least 20-30 minutes daily and getting some Vitamin D. It has done wonders, especially when I have had to work late.

-February included lots of connection. My mom made her trip reservations for April, I reconnected with a wonderful friend/mentor, and hung out with friends who make me laugh.

-I stuck with my Yoga practice. I realize more and more that my yoga practice is my rock. It is my therapy, my solace, my respite from the chaos. It serves me and carries over to other areas of my life.

Looking into March:
March will be a month of newness. The weather continues to stay mild, which means more time outside, the garden is coming back to life, and there are areas of my own life I want to nourish:
-My meditation practice
-My writing
-My fitness

I am continuing to work my financial health and it feels so good. Seeing the debt reduce is exciting. The Man is a huge mentor to me around this.

I am so thankful for what February has provided. Some great lessons and some awesome memories. I am so looking forward to springing into spring.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

the pressure cooker


I preface this post by mentioning that I do not own a pressure cooker. Actually, looking back on it, I don't ever remember my mom using one in our house so what made me think of this very interesting little device? Well, to be up front with all of you, February has been tough so far. I am feeling the winter blues hit me like a ton of bricks, I miss the sunshine, all I want to do is sleep, and I have that overarching blah feeling about life.

I was in yoga on Friday night, despite the fact that I had a 30 minute debate with myself about going, and in the heart of the sun salutation sequence, between cartwheeling down into chutarunga and into upward facing dog and then into downward dog, up into warrior pose 1, my teacher said, "let the practice cook you."

Wow. This took my breath away.

Since I have been feeling like a lump of a human for a good week now, I realized in that moment that I am taking the easy way out of my life. I am letting some ickyness get the best of me and losing my momentum that I worked so hard for in January, my year of blissful velocity.

So, I came home from my morning walk today and collapsed onto the couch into a ball of tears. I was overcome with this intense homesickness and instead of pushing and getting to my to do list, I let the feelings cook me. I let myself cry, have a snotty nose, and took a nap. I gave myself the permission I needed to process what has been eating me from the inside out. Sure, most of my weekend was one of those vegging out/movie marathon weekends in sweatpants and included the guzzling of hot tea, but I realized I wasn't letting my human-ness cook me.

So, I am finally feeling a little better after all that releasing and getting a few things done but as my yoga practice continuously does, the lessons keep coming at me. Let your life cook you. It may be uncomfortable, but it is so, so, so worth it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

wishcasting wednesday: what nourishment do you wish for?

One of life's little pleasures: Being all snuggled in bed with socks and a cup of tea.It has been a long time since I have tapped into the Wishcasting circuit over at Jamie Ridler Studios. I love her over there...she has got some good stuff going on. This week's Wishcasting prompt is "What nourishment do you wish for?"

When I think of nourishment, my head automatically goes to food and drink. All the stuff that goes into my body. But as I think more about it, it becomes bigger than that. Nourishment is about all the good stuff we put into our personal self-care banks. It's about building our reserves for when life gets a little tough or things don't go our way. The nourishment allows us to move forward with ease and excitement into territory that we may not have had a chance to explore.

So....what nourishment do I wish for...
...for the peacefulness of being in nature, letting the clear air envelop my skin
...for whole foods, clean water, and sleep to be the foundation of my healthy life
...for the nourishment of wonderful women who sit and laugh and share together
...for the magic of hugs and affection with the people I love
...for the awesome work I am doing in the world, making dreams happen for people
...for carving out little pockets of time for me throughout the day
...for the amazingness that deep breathing provides me at any moment


Sunday, January 27, 2013

the real work


This past week flew by as most weeks do. Monday comes and then Tuesday, and eventually you reach the point of no return. There is something magical about the cyclical nature of time. It's quite fantastic to revel in the fact that we will all eventually arrive at respite, Sabbath  recharge time at the end of the 5 days. But, we must not get lost in living for the weekends only as many of us sometimes do as a result of not loving the "meat" of our weeks. 

Before my yoga class last night, I just wasn't feeling well. I was agitated, on edge, grumpy, cranky. Even so, I got in my car and commuted down to the Ballard studio, parked, stored my stuff in the little cube, and walked into the room. Heat engulfed me as I unrolled my mat, the sound of a stickyness echoing the entire room. I placed my purple towel, my block, and my water bottle next to me and settled onto my back, knees bent, soles of my feet together. I just started to breathe.  I thought to myself in that exact moment, this is the real work. Showing up is all it takes and the rest just flows and takes care of itself.

I have been reflecting a lot on my own personal spiritual practice and what I am coming to understand is not any knowledge about enlightenment.

The only things that are clearer to me now are:
1. Knowing my tendency to run away from the uncomfortable.
2. When my self-care remains a priority, everything in my life comes with grace, even the tough stuff.
3. Showing up ready to inquire and be curious about where I am at is all it takes.

So, with that said, the real work lies within. Our spiritual life is not something that is outside of us, some external thing we "do." Instead, it is an inner journey that we are constantly embarking on, whether we are ready to face the facts or not.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 song dance party

It's been way too long since I put up a dance party mix. It's long overdue so here. we. go. 

African Herbsman-Bob Marley

Beauty And The Beat-Mr. Bieber

Don't Stop the Party-Pitbull (apologies for the sexyness of the video)

Gangnam Style-Of Course!

Firework-Katy Perry (an oldie but goodie)


Monday, January 21, 2013

monday living comforts: relationships

I have been looking forward to writing this post all day and here I am sitting in my writing nook with a smile. This week's living comfort post is about my favorite things when it comes to relationships. I think there is a tendency sometimes to take one's partner for granted. Sometimes romantic relationships especially get caught up in the whirlwind of life and the magic gets lost. I am just coming off of a weekend with my honey at home and I want to take the time to honor the amazingness that our relationship is.

My Living Comforts
-Stellar communication around joint finances and financial planning...it's hard but it's soooo worth it.
-Simple date nights like Thai food and Frozen Yogurt...nothing fancy but totally invaluable.
-Dinners at the dining room table...even if it is just the two of us. 
-Doing things on our own and then reuniting at the end of the day...with a smile of course.
-Supporting one another, especially through tough stuff...it's not always ponies and rainbows.

Take time and honor and love the one you are with. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

banked

As we move into the New Year and all it brings, we are also still in the space of deep reflection, hibernation, colder days, and even though it is getting better, daylight is sparse. Winter brings up lots of emotions for us as human beings. We can sometimes struggle with the melancholy, lack of sun, and the tendency to be more indoors and sedentary. This all sums up to being a little bit more stressed. We have grandiose thoughts and plans of amazing new years resolutions, goals, and intention yet we continue to balance work and social lives all while trying to remain sane.

For me, my yoga is my force. It is the one thing that keeps me stable, sane, and brewing with energy. For the past month, I have integrated a daily yoga practice and as mentioned in previous posts, it is the juiciest endeavor. Yoga has been a part of my life since taking my first class at age 16 and then really delving into it in college where i found both Iyengar and Vinyasa practices the remedy for all things related to my health. My practice has evolved to a point of having a steady home practice and taking classes at studios on the weekends.

A few months back after returning regularly to my practice, The Man and I were talking about how much I just love the feeling I get after yoga. He proceeded to enlighten me with his theory about my practice and it has stuck with me to this day. He said, "Jen, think of your yoga time like a little deposit into your self-care bank. Every time you do it, it builds up a little bit more. The more you do it when you can, you can tap into the benefits on those days/weeks you can't unroll your mat." Wow. Big stuff. Makes sense.

Since that enlightening conversation, I have been thinking of all of my self-care habits and nurturing rituals like deposits going into the bank. They build up an amazing result: love, joy, balance, peace. I am so grateful for my yoga practice and what it brings me. I embody a sense of strength and power and tap into whatever THAT is which is bigger than me.

Find your practice, whatever it may be: running, music, writing, dance, teaching, and continue to make those deposits. Get banked on the fact that you are in control of your own destiny. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

feelings: the good, the bad, the ugly

Hey you! The human being over there. Yes, you. Have you heard of those amazing, funny, ridiculous things called feelings? Oh yeah. I knew you did. Okay...I have to admit, I am being a little sarcastic. I am writing about feelings because, well, we all have to deal with 'em. They are funky little creatures, burrowing into every area of your life. Whether it's in love, at work, on a sports team, dealing with your family. All of those situations bring up a multitude of feelings. So, with that said, I am delving head first into them with this post.

The Back-story:
I have never been super great at communicating my own negative feelings until I reach "Red Alert," meaning, I reach a point of no return. It usually ends up in pure anger, rage, upset, and stress for everybody involved. In terms of self-expression and emotional maturity, I have struggled my whole life in this arena. Now, I don't blame mommy or daddy issues, or a bully or exboyfriend. It's just who I am and I have learned to grow and go with it. BUT I will say that as I progress through my life on this crazy planet of ours, I have learned to adopt and nurture my feelings a little better everyday and with that said, I am intrigued, curious, and just excited about my evolution.


Feelings: The Good
I have found that my feelings are simply indicators. Like little thermometers constantly doing readings and reporting back to me. As a human being, I count my blessings for being able to "feel" things; emotions, touch, simple tactile pleasures like warm water in a bath or the grippiness of my yoga mat. Feelings are just one indicator of the situation; not the whole truth. Another good thing about feelings is they are the spokespeople for your intuition. Think about falling in love at first sight and all the emotions to follow after you connect with that individual on a physical  emotional, spiritual level. It's AMAZING and all you want to do is shout it from the rooftops.

Feelings: The Bad
Please, don't be offended by this but sometimes our feelings can dictate our life to the point where they are not empowering us, but instead, paralyzing us. Think about fear of rejection or letting rage encompass a perfectly good evening with your lover over a dirty kitchen. My yoga teacher told us recently in a closing meditation that we should be treating our thoughts as though we are on a train platform. The thoughts are the trains that we get to choose to get on but we can get off any second and let the trains just fly by. Feelings can be treated exactly the same way: let them be there but don't attach to them too much. They are not the truth.

Feelings: The Ugly
So what happens when you get on that crazy train of feelings and you just can't get yourself off? One thing leads to another and before you know it, you are throwing the TV remote on the ground telling the one person you love that they need to go run a mile for every promise broken. Yep. Did I mention the author of this blog is a bit psycho-killer crazy? Anyway, my point is that sometimes our feelings and emotions get the best of us. It's okay. We're human. Shit happens. Our primal instincts kick in. We want to protect ourselves and get what we ultimately want: to be loved, to be a contributor, and to be unique. My only advice from personal experience is take responsibility. Admit where the reaction did not warrant the situation/issue. At the end of the day, sometimes we have to duck under the covers and just apologize. We are not responsible for others, only ourselves.

Feelings: The Wrap-up
All in all, we feel what we feel. Feelings are not the truth, they are simply windows into our souls about what makes us tick, what drives us, and what captures our energy and feeds our passions. They have their place in our lives but what we must constantly remind ourselves is that everybody else has them too. Sensitivity, empathy, compassion, and vulnerability create a closeness with others that is unmatched.

May you move forward with ease and excitement as you start to tune in and feel those feelings of yours.

Monday, January 14, 2013

monday living comforts: warmth

The days are quite cold up here in the Pacific Northwest so I thought it might be fitting to feature some of my favorite living comforts that keep me cuddly, cozy, and oh so warm. There is something so fresh about wintertime though...scraping the windshield on a Sunday morning before a yoga class while there is silence all around, the feeling of taking a brisk walk around the lake with a friend and about 3/4 of the way around, your breath is traveling the full journey, stomach to mouth, and then there is the sipping of hot tea while the car is still warming up. 

I heart winter.

Monday Living Comforts: Warmth
-Blankets...need I say more?
-Lemon tea, hot tea, lemon wedges in tea...you get the point.
-Smartwool socks...any kind, any time.
-A winter walk...even in the rain.
-Sweaters...in the morning, at night, to sleep in, to work in. 

can't have too many ~ DanielleLemon Zinger® Herbal Tea (I love this stuff!)SmartWool Margarita Womens Socks « Shoe Adds for your Closet
"Winter Walk  Seattle city scenes, oil cityscape" by Robin Weiss       Hot drinks and cozy sweaters

Monday, January 7, 2013

monday living comforts

This is my first full week back at work since December 21st. During my vacation in Maine and a few days off here in Seattle, I really tuned in to how AMAZING it feels to really enjoy vacation, including all the little things: staying in my yoga pants, extremely long bubble baths, unlimited cuddle time with my book, journal and knitting, a few movies, walks, laughter, wine...you know what I'm talking about.

While in Maine, I got thinking about Guilty Pleasures. Those things in life that are a bit bad for you (and you know it) yet, make you feel oh so good all over. As I was thinking about possibly putting together a Guilty Pleasures post, I second guessed myself and  ended up at a place of removing the entire guilt thing period. Why feel guilty about the good stuff?

So, this is my little twist on it: Living Comforts; the things that just make life a bit more comfortable and pleasurable. I'll be trying to do a Living Comforts post weekly on Mondays because Mondays shouldn't be dreadful-they should be breaths of fresh air coming off the weekend of amazingness. This also ties in with my habit of gratitude. There is only room to be extremely grateful for all the comforts I do enjoy on a daily basis.

Living Comforts
Fresh Guacamole & Homemade Corn Chips
Guacomole
Leggings & Boots
leggings leg warmers boots :-)
Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive
Google Logo screenshot #1
Pilot G-2 Pens (black)
Pilot G2 - best pen ever. No kidding, I think I have this in every single color.
Memory Foam Pillows
Nature's Sleep Visco Memory Contour Pillow
My Yoga Practice
.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

bring on a revolution

.Like most people, I am using January 2013 as a month of fresh starts, new habits, and resolutions. Part of my motivation for this "fresh start" is having a deep desire to move my life forward at a high velocity since I am at a place of stability: relationship, work, income. Think about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid: when we have some basic stuff in place, we are able to achieve a higher sense of self, including introspection, goal setting, relationships of depth and understanding, etc.

So, one of my areas for increasing my personal capacity (spiritually evolved living) is to integrate spiritually evolved habits into my daily life. A few of my foundational habits include:
-Yoga
-Meditation
-Gratitude
-Exercise

I am writing about these habits because I am noticing in my first 6 days of implementation that a personal revolution is starting to brew deep inside of me at the core of my being. How exciting, eh? Yep. 6 days. That simple. What's taking place? 

Well, for starters, I am feeling like I have balance in my life for the first time in a long time. Part of this is looking back on 2012 and seeing the huge amounts of transition that took place. I also know my personal tendency to throw myself into something new at 200%, causing burnout and resentment down the road. This habit implementation is different. I am approaching it as a way of life not a get fixed quick solution. The 4 habits above are things I know make a difference in my own life so that is where I am starting. There is something magical about unrolling my yoga mat on a daily basis or plopping down on my meditation cushion , lighting a candle, and closing my eyes and then tuning in. These two ways of life are creating subtle shifts: I'm sleeping better, have more energy, and am noticing a tendency to think more positively and deal with change and upset a little more compassionately.

May the revolution continue on...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

theme: blissful velocity

Greetings 2013! It is always so crazy to wake up on January 1st of a New Year. For me, the thought that always comes to mind is "Where did the time go? I feel like I was just doing this yesterday."

This New Years was nothing different except I am taking a whole new approach into entering the flow of what new beginnings and fresh starts bring. The whole idea of resolution dates back 4000 years ago. Crazy, huh? Read a little bit here about where it all started. For those of you who know me personally, I am a geek of a planner. I love setting goals, having action plans, tracking progress of projects. New Years resolutions are my caffeine just adding to the oomph of my Type A personality.

Like I mentioned before, this year is different for me. I participated in the Stratejoy Holiday Council where I got to spend 21 days dreaming, scheming, and planning for 2013. I have been somewhat "hard" at work (amidst the deep fried turkey, snowshoeing, laughing with family, and time in front of the fireplace) working on my theme, vision, goals, and action planning for the upcoming year that DAH DAH DAH! started today. :)

The next week or so, I will be sharing here on my blog what I got out of this unique, super empowering process but for today, I thought I would share my theme for 2013: Blissful Velocity. 

I must admit, every time I say it or write it, I get goosebumps up and down my spine and a huge grin spreads across my face. This year I am all about combining my bliss (what inspires me, the good juice, my passions) with velocity (accelerated speed through action, intentional pursuits, getting the right shit done). I am lit up about this theme. This year is going to rock and I am so excited to be sharing it with my readers.

More to come about my design of 2013....stay tuned.