Remembering Kindness and Finding Solid Ground When Things Are Upside Down

man upside down on the hood of a van

One way to make things look upside down

Hmm…you say you want change? You wanna to step outside your comfort zone? See the world as you know it turned on it’s head?

Yea, I know, that was me that said all that. Well, I got it alright and I’m just now beginning to feel right side up again, solid ground beneath my feet.

I don’t want to sound negative because there have been good, exciting changes but as everyone knows, change can be hard and feel scary and uncomfortable, especially in the beginning.

In a nut shell, over the last 5 or 6 weeks, I got a my first full time job in over four years, had to let go of the shop girl gig and joined a local writers group.

All of that awesome, every little bit of it needed and overall scary as hell.
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Habits Part II – The Yoga Edition

21 day yoga challenge sign

Sometimes when you’re really thinking about something, have a strong intention or are struggling with a decision, signs appear.

That’s kind of what I thought of when I picked up a new yoga magazine and was drawn to the above image and message.

A few days later, I was at Do You Yoga and saw this:

30-Day Yoga Challenge with Erin Motz
Free online video yoga classes for 30 days. Sent directly to your email inbox.

Ok universe, I get it.

I have been putting a lot of energy in this direction because I know I really need to get back on track with yoga and will love it but now that I’m faced with the opportunity – yikes!

Because now, my pesky fears and insecurities start up with all the excuses, I mean “reasons” why I can’t do a challenge like this:
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(Free) Tara Stiles Workout – Yoga Weight Loss and Balance

The more I’ve been reading and learning about Tara Stiles, the more I like her.

I’d mentioned before, to me the ideal teacher is laid back, accessible, positive and kind. Tara embodies all those qualities and more.

I’ve been looking for videos from her on Youtube for a while now and while there are plenty of shorter clips out there, I was super excited to finally find a full length yoga practice, lead by Tara Stiles, online – for FREE (woohoo)!

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The Reboot Results

woman in the yoga pose, wild thing

Image source – aliveinthefire.com

This is a part II to Friday’s post – Time For A (Health) Reboot. It’s a little long but I wanted to post about how things went for anyone interested, the good, the bad and the crabby.

When I think about how I felt at the end of last week and how I feel today, things are so much better. Lighter, happier, calmer and my stomach is finally at ease. There were some bumpy patches over the weekend and I didn’t achieve everything I’d set out to do to the letter but I’m really glad I decided to stop, set some goals and get back on track.

Here was the weekend plan I created on Friday:

  • Early morning yoga
  • 5 – 10 min of meditation
  • Smoothie or healthy juice for breakfast
  • plenty of fruits and veggies for meals
  • water with lemon throughout the day

And in the evening:

  • write/journal
  • hot tea
  • meditation

Rise, rinse, repeat.

Here’s what went down:

Saturday
I got up early and did my yoga DVD with Kristin McGee. Feeling energized, I made a trip to the grocery to get smoothie ingredients and pick up our Saturday Starbucks (our occasional weekend tradition). Since I was trying to be good, I made a smoothie as soon as I got home and afterwards, drank only 1/2 my tall vanilla latte. And ate all my croissant. Not on the plan but it could have been worse.
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Time For A (Health) Reboot

positive thinking, exercise, eat better - cocept of feeling good, sticky notes and white chalk drawing on blackboard

It’s been quite a morning so far.

Driving my son to school, I had to use all my self control not to flip off the car behind me that was driving just a little too close for my liking. On the way home, I thew my phone after receiving a text message letting me know my data plan had just ran out. Luckily I didn’t drop any of the Dove candy bar I was eating at the time.

This was all before 9am.

A few hours later, I was in the bathroom getting sick.

As I’m sure you can tell, things have gotten a little off track. In fact, I’m feeling like things are off the rails and I need to find my way back to the happier, relaxed, healthier me.

Full disclosure – it is “that time” for me, the cramps and exhaustion have been kicking my butt but I’m usually able to handle things much better than this and don’t feel quite this bad. I know this is because once I got sick last month and spent weeks either working or just in bed, I got in to some really bad habits and have not gotten back on to my good ones.

So this morning, I’m thinking of a master plan, deciding what to do.

Though it may seem extreme, often when things get to this point and I’m feeling this terrible, I take a kind of boot camp approach. I’m naturally a little lazy laid back so sometimes, a big kick in the butt is just what I need.
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Staying Healthy, Loving and Peaceful This Season

Small presents in a gift box, with curly ribbons

I really love Christmas and the whole holiday season. Yes, it can be crazy, overwhelming and stressful but it can also be exciting, fun and feel so good.

Happy and Healthy Holidays

Each month, I write a piece for a sweet little website called Do You Yoga.

Ironically, my post this month was titled: 4 Ways To Stay Happy and Balanced Through the Holidays. We’ll just ignore the fact that right after I wrote it was when my killer cold hit! But I’m thinking it could have even been a kind of good thing to happen now.

It was after Thanksgiving, just when I would have been getting all stressed and crazy. I was already doing too much and getting run down. Getting really sick forced me to slow down and in fact, stop – sleep, rest, eat well and take really good care of myself. All things that were included in my post as well. Funny how that worked out!

Now that I’m better, it’s like I’m still on this slow, restful, relaxation groove. I’m working and getting things done but also making sure I get lots of down time as well. Honestly, I think this is one of the most relaxing Decembers I’ve had in years and I absolutely can’t complain about that.
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Welcome Back Yoga

beautiful woman doing yoga in nature

If only I felt this peaceful! That's my goal.

I have been a ball of stress and anxiety.

  • The toddler/preschooler has been fighting us more than ever, on everything it seems.
  • Too many late nights watching t.v. + sleeping in and skipping morning yoga.
  • Right in time for Halloween, I let my sweet tooth get completely out of control.
  • Even the constant flow of negative political ads on t.v. lately has me on edge.

I decided I had to “get right” now, before I’m freaking out, feeling like I can’t keep my head above water. And especially, before the busyness of the coming holiday season really kicks in!

Proactive wellness and self care – I’m all about it. And staying up too late, eating terribly, not working out and feeling more and more tense and upset is not my idea of wellness.

Physically, I feel bloated and just kind of – yuck, but my mind constantly races and my spirit feels heavy. Body, mind and soul, it’s all connected and all needs kindness and care.
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The Uphill Climb

To say this past week for me was challenging may be a slight understatement.

I was shoved outside my comfort zone and had to deal head on with some really uncomfortable, difficult situations.

Naturally, I’ve been working on a post about this but am having a hard time finding the right words. And since I’d rather reduce than increase any stress at this point, I decided to step back, do some reading instead and begin the uphill climb back to feeling good and calm and clear.

Currently in progress – The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

book cover of Way of the Peaceful Warrior
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Keeping Calm In Times of Change

Woman resting peacefully

Summer seemed to crawl by, carrying us on waves on unrelenting heat, humidity and days of boredom from it being too hot to even play outside. Then suddenly it seems, September is here and things have gone from slow motion to super high speed!

This month has brought some awesome changes like preschool and nice, cool weather but it’s also been a bit more on the stressful side. Adjusting to all the changes in daily routine, our environment and how life feels like it’s speeding up can be taxing. (And the holiday rush hasn’t even started – yikes!)

Here are a few ways I’ve been trying to keep as calm and stress-free as possible:
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Meditation – Learning to Sit

beautiful picture of a woman meditating on a dock over water

This is a kind of part II of my post on the benefits of meditation. You can read it by clicking here: Meditation – Making Time For the Present Moment.

Meditation is a practice of “not doing”, it’s asking ourselves to stop – everything, like a mental time out. It is a practice of stillness of the mind and body.

This is one of the reasons I think that for most of us, meditation seems so difficult, weird or out there.

Because we live in a culture where busyness is valued.
Being busy all the time means we are important.
It means we are doing great things, we are popular, we are valued.
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