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.