J is for joy

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Already seeing rumblings on the internet of the craziness this time of year brings to people, not the joy.  How we get swept up in the parties, shopping, decorating, wrapping.. oh and yes we also still have real life to contend with!   As all the great manifesting teachers say “where attention goes, energy flows”,  so where are you putting your attention?  Are you stressing yourself out about all the to do’s?  Or can you stop for a minute and see the magic, find the joy??

It doesn’t take long, or a lot of effort to shift to joy.  It just has to be conscious (especially this time of year), and it takes practice.  Like all muscles, the more you use it the stronger it becomes!

Try making a favorite things list.  What are quick little things that will bring you joy?  A cup of cocoa?  Curling up for a half hour with a book?  Do you like getting manicures?  How about sneaking in to your favorite yoga/zumba/kickbox class?  What about taking a 20 min. nap?  Inviting a friend over for a glass of wine?  Watching Elf?

Sit down today with a pen and paper, get quiet and just ask your self what brings you joy?  Let you pen flow on the paper, you might be surprised with what comes up.  Then, everyday from now till the end of the year, practice adding just one thing from your list.  Most of the things above I listed would take 20-30 min max, but set you on a happier path so wouldn’t it be worth it?  Just try it and see if it doesn’t take the edge off the craze and guide you a bit more into  enJOYing the holiday season just a bit more.

Happy December people,,, may you find some joy in this magical month!

 

 

I is for intention

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This is  a good week for the word intention!  With people regretting the choices they made over thanksgiving and heading towards Christmas, maybe it is time to sit, get still and think about what your intentions are each day.

A woman I will probably never meet, but I call my mentor, Tara Brach, has great talks which I listen to regularly on podcast.  Yesterday I listened to one called “Wise Intention”.  In it she states: “Intention; is the mental and emotional energy going towards a certain out come.  Where intention goes energy flows.”  I love this.  Having an intention is brought up usually at the beginning of a yoga class.  What is your intention for this class?  What do you hope to get out of it to bring in to your day?  This is such a great way to start every day yoga or not!

So sit with that question for  a bit today.  See what your body’s wisdom tells you.  Tara says that you need to give your body some time to get quiet to hear the intention that is deep with in.  You will know when you hear it because it will come from your body, not your mind.  What is your intention?  Then, the most important part of working with intention is to keep coming back to it.  It’s not enough to figure one out when you first get up and not think on it again.  You have to keep coming back to it otherwise you forget and another day slips by where there wasn’t the presence to honor your good intentions from the morning.

What is your intention for today?  What is the thing that can anchor you to something positive a goal for your day?  To be more kind?  To drink 8 glasses of water?  To only eat fresh foods?  Mine yesterday was to roll with the waves however big they may be.  Luckily my humor post stuck with me so I made sure to look for the humor in the day.  When two color appointments in a row failed to show up.. it got difficult to find it funny.. but I came back to my intention.  No I didn’t laugh, but I was able to not get tight and constricted around it. Knowing it is a part of life and I rolled with it a lot lighter than I might have last week!

A helpful way to remember your intention is to write it down or a symbolic word somewhere so when you see it you are reminded.

What is your intention today?  I hope you find it and are reminded of it through out your day.  Make it a good one!

H is for humor

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They say that laughter is the best medicine.  I whole heartedly agree!   Most of us as adults get so focused on the day and our tasks at hand that we forget to lighten up and have a good laugh. Or we get weighed down with the minutiae and can’t remember the humor behind it all.

When we get weighed down and constricted with life stuff..our bodies become tight and closed off.  This is not healthy nor is it fun.  It is important to try and find the humor in our days so make the day actually count!  So what if you ticked everything off on your to do list.  If you fall in to bed exhausted with out having laughed once .. what is the point?  With laughter and humor, we relax, our being becomes more open and expansive, our breathing slows down.  We literally become healthier and happier.

Try making a game out of humor.. how much can you find interwoven thru out your day?  If you aren’t finding it at the grocery store, or when your client is making you run late. Go on line and google funny videos,, here is a great one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ISzf2pryI.  It is only a little over 2 minutes, but will make you chuckle and release the endorphins needed to smile the rest of you day.  Last night I watched an old episode of The King of Queens.. Kevin James is goofing around at work and ends up stapling his “twins”.  Literally, I was laying there all by myself laughing out loud.  I noticed that I felt an opening in my body.. a more relaxed state of being.

Did you know there is scientific evidence that shows junk food eaten while in a happy present state of mind can be better for you than healthy food eaten while tense, and upset?  Not saying to go out and live on McDonalds..but showing you that the state of you mind TOTALLY affects that state of your body ..meaning your health.

So where can you find humor in what you have to do today?  Or do you even “have to ” do it?  (see E is for empower:)).  Maybe you can blow off some of it or all of it.. call a friend and go split a hot fudge sundae!!  It won’t kill you and if you are having fun and engaged while eating it, it could actually heal you on some level!!  While you are at it.. when and after you are laughing.. see if you feel the shift I am talking about it your body… More open and expansive?? Doesn’t that feel better??

I hope you have a humorous day!

G is for gratitude!

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So crazy.  Gratitude was not the g word I was going to use today,, but after last night and this morning it is a must!  So anyone who knows me knows I have suffered from self-doubt pretty much my whole life.. not good enough, smart enough, thin enough.. yada yada.  Some days I have it under control, but then others it rears it’s ugly head with a vengeance!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had decided that I was not good enough to be a yoga teacher.

I started teaching yoga last January.  I only teach once a week, but I love it.  However, I find myself constantly comparing myself to other teachers who I think I should be like.  One in particular, her body can do things I will only dream of doing.  Between the fact that I am 10 years older than her and don’t have a dancing or gymnast back ground,  a lot of the super “intense” postures will probably never come to me.  She also lives in an area  and works in a studio where there is a lot of possibility for her… she I believe, will become quite well known for yoga.  For some reason I have been comparing myself to her and because I don’t even register on the same radar feeling less than.  Last night I saw something that she is getting ready to do and went to bed feeling like a complete failure and ready to to resign from “trying to teach” yoga.  Deciding that if I can’t be at that level, than I should not be teacher at all.  Feeling like I am just an imposter who has no business in the business, I was giving up.  Someone once told me that comparison is the thief of joy.  They got that right!

Wondering what this has to do with Gratitude?? Well, this morning, in my resigned state, I started the coffee, flipped on Facebook and voila!  A student from my class had posted this article:  http://bodyessentialspt.com/ode-to-vinyasa!!  I had no idea the impact that my class has had on her.  The timing is so significant for me.  What a way to start my day!  GRATEFUL .  For the vinyasa that I love, I have helped someone else love it too.  I am also grateful because that is what it is all about.  Just reaching one other.  If no one else ever falls in love with it because of me, I have still done what I came here to do.. I hope you will read her article as she puts it SO well.  I went to bed with a heavy defeated heart and woke up so much lighter thanks to her post!  So grateful.

I am grateful, that I woke up this morning remembering why I came to yoga.. not to become the best teacher out there or a “yogalebirty”.  I came to it because it helps my body, mind and spirit.  Maybe why I have had the pull to teach for so long is because I CAN’T do all the crazy poses, but I can show others who can’t that yoga is still accessible to them.  Going forward, I am grateful to feel a shift in this comparing state to one of acceptance and gratitude for what I CAN do.

SO my friends, that is my story.  What about you?  Where can you be grateful today?  Where do you have yourself convinced of something that you might be completely wrong of?  Or who might you be helping in ways you can’t even imagine?  On that note, I am super grateful for my online community.  They have inspired me with their workouts and recipe sharing.  It is the light side on the internet.

I am grateful if even only one person reads this post.  Please share below what you are grateful for..namasteh

F is for fun!

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Again, today …to many choices with a word beginning with F!  Focus, food, fat, fitness.. A roll of the dice and I went with fun!  Because with all the F words I listed.. you can do them AND make them fun!  Fun is SO important as we get older.  It is something that adults tend to think they can do “later”. Well, why not do it now?  Why not make sure you have fun with preparing the food you are going to eat?  Find something fun to do fitness wise?  Set the intention to focus on finding fun in your day?

You are never to old to have fun.. but you will become old faster if you don’t start having fun daily!  I know Monday is a hard day for a lot of you, especially if you had a nice long week/weekend off due to Thanksgiving.  Then it’s more important than ever to find a way to have some fun today!  Even if you just carve 2o min. out of your day.. call a girl friend that makes you laugh.  Buy a bottle of bubbles and go somewhere and blow them around.  Put on some tunes that make you shake rattle and roll.  Google fun things to do.. hundreds of ideas will pop up

  1. 101 Fun Things To Do

    101 Fun Things To Do (Besides Having Sex). “Fun Things” available to print. 1. Go to the movies with your friends/family. 2. Go shopping at the mall with your 

  2. 11 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day | RealSimple.com

    http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind…/funthings-to-do…/index.html

    These entertaining indoor activities won’t let dreary weather dampen anyone’s spirits.

  3. 47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend | Wise Bread

    Aug 3, 2011 – When lazy-day boredom sets in, it’s time to get creative. Here are 47 ideas to get you started on a fun and frugal weekend.

  4. 50 Fun Things to Do in an Elevator

    meyerweb.com/other/humor/elevator.html

    50 Fun Things to Do in an Elevator. Make race car noises when anyone gets on or off. Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your kleenex to other 

     
    SEE?  There are 50 fun things to do in an elevator even!  Pick ONE.  Just one!  Make this a habit every day.. then it will just BE part of your day.. having fun.. how great is that??

What are you going to do or add in for fun today??

E is for empower

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Ever notice when someone asks you what you are doing today you say: “I “have to” go to work, or I “have to” do errands and clean the house etc?”  I noticed this today when my alarm went off and I realized I “have to” teach yoga this morning.  Immediately a sense of “ugh” came into play.  Why is that?  I LOVE teaching yoga!   It’s because I was looking at it like a “have to”, not a “get to”. So my body’s first reaction was blah.  I noticed this a year or so ago and played around with it a bit and it’ s amazing how your languaging of what you are doing plays a role in how you feel about it!  When you choose to “get to” do something, you are coming from an empowered place,, one that lends it self to  a more positive mindset.  Instead of “having to” mow my lawn, I would say.. I am so lucky I “get to” mow my lawn.  NO, it didn’t make me love mowing my lawn.. but it had me doing it from a more positive place since I could realize how lucky I am to have the options of actually doing it.  (a lawn, a mower, an able body).  Plus, I really didn’t “have to” do it…. I could instead let the grass grow really long or pay someone else.. but instead I chose the empowered choice.. I “get to”.

When you realize everything you do is a CHOICE you can move from “have to” to “get to”.  You really don’t “have to” go to work.  You could call in sick or quit!  So if you go it’s because you “chose to”.. which means you “get to”.  Really, how lucky are you that you have a job!  You “get to” get paid!  Or how about moving from I “have to” exercise today?  You could stay in bed, or choose to lay on couch today.. but you “choose to” exercise and your body “gets to” reap the benefits!! Again.. how lucky are you?  You  are not bed ridden!  The “have to” mentality is one of resistance.  This is just a habit in our brains that needs a bit of adjusting.  First try noticing where you are “having to” .. then try replacing it with a “yippee!! I get to!!”  See if you notice any shift in your body.. play with it, have fun!  It might just become a new habit for you!

Gotta go,, I “get to” teach yoga today!

D is for discipline

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Today,, being the day after a gorgefest, aka, Thanksgiving, is a good day for the letter D.  Discipline.  Many of you are like me, for the most part you eat really well and exercise.  Days like yesterday, or the weeks we are coming into with Christmas parties and cookies can derail even the best laid plans.

If we are lucky we have a strong discipline!  For me, I need to nip yesterday’s damage in the bud.  ASAP.  That means LOTS of exercise today, plenty of water and healthy foods.  Without discipline it is easy to let today be another day like yesterday and the steam roll down the hill of pudge begins!

It is to be a beautiful day here in Vermont so I am going to take advantage.  Short run this morning with my chocolate lab, followed by some yoga.  Later on we will take our little visitor (golden retriever pup) on a hike!

 (pine hill park in the late summer:))

I will drink lots of water and I am going to make turkey soup with leftovers and that will be dinner.  By tomorrow I should be feeling more like my usual non bloated self!  The funny thing is I didn’t even really over do it that badly.  I had an extra piece of custard pie..that is about the extent of my damage.. but I can feel it.  It doesn’t feel good, so I can imagine how some are feeling after 2nd helpings of everything and too much wine!  Hopefully a lot of you will join me in getting back on the discipline train today and taking care of your body and mind!!

How are you planning to get back your discipline today?