4 Lessons Learned From the 30 Day Yoga Challenge

woman meditating near water

Woohoo – I did it and that rocked!

Waking up on Sunday morning and realizing it was day 30, the final day of the yoga challenge was a mix of surprise, joy and a little pride as well.

I really wasn’t sure about doing this and even more unsure that I would be able to stick with it. Now I can honestly say, it was one of the best things I’ve done and am SO glad I decided to commit and give it a try.

I have had a home practice for over a year now but I had never practiced daily before. As the weeks went on, I started to see real changes in myself, my thoughts, how I dealt with daily life and how much more peaceful and relaxed I felt overall.

Here are a few of things I learned along the way.
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Opening Your Heart

stones stacked up along side a stone in the shape of a heart

This month, my post for DoYouYoga is about one of my favorite terminologies used in yoga for lifting your front body and depending on the pose, rotating forward: open your heart.

I wrote about how moving through poses like cobra, up dog and triangle pose with the intention to open and lift your heart not only assists with understanding the physical alignment of the poses but takes us to a deeper place of intention.

Just as being hunched over or feeling closed off is going to make it much more difficult to get fully in to many yoga asanas, feeling this way often has the same effect on us in our daily life. Things seem harder, heaver and far more serious than they sometimes are or need to be.

What I didn’t write about was how difficult this can be, especially off the mat.
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rock with the word gratitude written on it

I know I’ve said it before, but these holidays just keep sneaking up on me!

On Tuesday, after a brief panic when I realized the toddler was off from preschool until next week and I had not done any dinner planning yet for Thanksgiving, I sat down and started making lists (my go-to planning strategy) and realized I don’t really have too much to do or worry about.

Which makes me SO very thankful. Thankful for our laid back life, our little family and how much every day good I have in my life right now.

Here’s what I’m super happy about this year:
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How Failure Can Be Awesome

I was talking to a friend the other day about the kind of work I used to do. A few years ago, after being laid off and then having a pretty unsuccessful, frustrating run at going freelance, I’d felt like a total failure.

Thinking about it now, I’m surprising grateful for the way things turned out. I no longer feel like I failed exactly but that I was going down the wrong road and trying to force an outcome that just wasn’t meant to be at the time.

I wasn’t even happy in my work anymore but was clinging strongly to the idea that not only “should” I be working full time but I “should” also be succeeding no matter what.

There are so many times I can think of when I have failed at something in my life.
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Haunted – Part III

spooky looking house
Image source aishagrace.wordpress.com

Need to do some catching up? If you have not already, reading Part I and II of this story will help it make more sense, I promise! You can start here at Part I and check it out first. See you soon!

The same way I somehow “knew” the spirit upstairs was angry, unhappy or was at the very least, attention hungry, when I discovered the spirit in the basement, I knew it was nothing to fear.

Just a warning, this is going to sound very weird but I’m going to tell it exactly as it happened. Sorry if it sounds flaky, I know.

One evening, my husband had gone to a friend’s house for a few hours and the baby was asleep for the night so I decided to do some laundry while I watched t.v.. We had a large, finished basement where my husband had his home office and also where our washer and dryer were. I was always uneasy in the house when my husband wasn’t home but the laundry was piling up and I decided I would try to put my big girl panties on and get on with things.
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Haunted – Part II

spooky looking house
Image source aishagrace.wordpress.com

I’m hoping you landed here after reading Part I of this story but if not, you can click here and check it out first.

About a year later, after my son was born, my home office became his room. It was the only spare bedroom we had and I was still the only person feeling weird about the attached bathroom so I just kept that door closed at all times. I didn’t understand what I had seen (or maybe not seen) or what I was feeling.

I would talk to my husband about what was going on and he always listened, nodded and tried to be supportive but I could tell, because he had not seen or experienced anything himself, he just couldn’t understand and probably didn’t totally believe me at the time.

My son never slept well in that room and we eventually moved him out of it after my older son left for his dads out of state. Things seemed better with his sleeping and overall comfort but I still felt like something was weird with that bathroom and continued to keep the door closed.

Then two very weird things happened and this seemed to be where activity in the house started to pick up, at least for me.
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Haunted – Part I

A spooky looking house

Not the actual house we lived in but you get the idea

Image source aishagrace.wordpress.com

In last week’s Monday Listicle, Husbands and Homes, I mentioned that the house we used to live in was haunted. Several people left comments and seemed interested in hearing more about it so below is the story of the house and some of the things I experiences there. I’ve split in into parts only because I felt like it was too long for a single post. Hope you enjoy! I’m just very, very happy we don’t live there anymore.

From a very young age, I’ve felt there was something more when we die.

I sat on the edge of her bed when my mother passed away. I watched her light, her spirit lift away. Watched as her body become nothing more than an empty shell that was no longer “her” but something like an outer suit she wore, now empty and unused.

Later, I would learn the scientific theory that energy cannot be destroyed. And that many believe our spirit, our “light” or whatever word we use to describe the indescribable thing that makes us – us, is in fact – energy.

This made perfect sense to me as I’d witnessed for myself, the act of an energy leaving a body. Not as if a light had been switched off, more of a transition from here to – I don’t know where but I know what I felt, what I saw and what I believe.

I don’t know if this in some way made me more sensitive or accessible to the spirits that were in our old house or if they were and had just been acting out for years, waiting and wanting to be heard or noticed or felt.

The house was the first I’d ever lived in that was mine (ours really, purchased with my then fiance – present husband). I was so excited to finally be out of a tiny apartment and in to this big house, far bigger than we needed but I knew we would not find anything else close to the size in our price range.

Of course, looking back I can see several red flags that should have screamed “This is not the house for you!” but at the time, I was just too burned out on bad apartment experiences and cramped living.
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Back – Back – Back It Up!

restoring my laptop

In case you missed any of my “woe is me” tweets over the weekend, it all started on Friday after a very stressful, frustrating week.

“Sigh. Now my MacBook won’t boot up, even from backup. Is the super moon still around or something because this whole week…..wow.”

My husband was kind enough that morning to spend some time trying to get my laptop to work but no luck. The more I side stepped him repeatedly asking when the last time I backed up my data was, the more I knew I was in trouble.

After lugging toddler, stroller and laptop to our local Apple store, the “genius” attending to our appointment confirmed my fears – my hard drive may be dead and they would probably not be able to salvage anything currently on my machine.

On a side note – I’m sorry, I can’t even say “Apple genius” without cringing. Is it just me? I love Apple products but come on, is there no limit for how pompous a company can be? A little over 10 years ago, I was building computers from parts and all I was ever referred to as was “that chick in the IT department”, a title I wore with pride. Ok, back to our story…

After signing the needed release forms and handing over my machine, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were very long days.
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Have You Met My Dad?

I’m excited to be linking up again with Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop! This week’s prompt I chose was: What celebrity Dad would you have picked for yourself as a child?

Picture of Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby aka Cliff Huxtable

Image from collegecandy.com

I used to love watching the Cosby show when I was younger, even though it was a family I couldn’t relate to in the slightest. But was there anyone who didn’t love Bill Cosby in the late 80’s and early 90’s? Actually, don’t answer that, I’m sure the show wasn’t loved by everyone but I never missed an episode.
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Spring Break Fantasy – Dreaming of Colorado

A little late to the party but I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s writing workshop this week with the prompt, share your idea of the perfect Spring Break family vacation.

beautiful Colorado

Colorado mountains

Image from colorado.inetgiant.com

As I mentioned once before, I’m not from where I live now. I was born and raised in Washington State, the beautiful Pacific North West, but have been living in the mid west for almost 20 years now. I come from mountains and water, everything smelling of pine, foggy winter mornings and cool summers. And I miss it. A lot.

My husband is from here but has moved around quite a bit in his twenties. One of the places he lived for a time was Colorado, somewhere I have never been but am now dying to visit and possibly relocate to someday. From everything he has told me along with my own research online, it seems like the perfect place for both of us.
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