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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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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The Challenge

An Om symbol in the sand at a beach

Tomorrow…it begins.

“It” being the 30 day yoga challenge I signed up for at DoYouYoga.com. I wasn’t sure I was going to do it but had been playing with the idea for several days. That, along with the lack of getting off my butt on my own lead me to enter my email address on the sign up page and make the commitment.

I’m pretty nervous. I’m scared I won’t stay with it. I don’t know about you but my brain is really good at rationalizing excuses, even when it’s something I need to do and know I’ll be happier for.

A 30 day challenge is something I’ve never done and like most new things, the thought of it is causing some discomfort and worry. That’s not terrible though. One of the many things I hope to learn through this process is walking through those kinds of feelings, especially when it comes to new things or facing the unknown.

Because honestly, doing the actual yoga every day isn’t what I’m worried about. It’s all the mental garbage I’ll be confronting and shifting and learning to work with.
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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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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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(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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Wednesday’s Woman – What Being of Service Truly Means

Yoga Teacher and activist Seane Corn

Beautiful yogi Seane Corn


Image Source – healthycrush.com

Once a month, I have the honor of featuring a woman I find inspiring and amazing for someone just as inspirational and inspiring to me – Kim at Sperk*!

Kim has dedicated Wednesday on her blog to women who are positive role models for the world. According to her site:

What makes a Wednesday’s Woman?
Courage, honesty, authenticity, and humility–any characteristic that speaks to the power of what can happen when we are in touch with our own humanity.

Seane Corn was an immediate and easy pick for me. She is a well known yoga instructor and passionate activist on a mission to bring the principals of yoga – love, compassion and mindfulness, into every part of our lives and the world around us.
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