I must say, it’s been a weird few weeks. Strange days have turned into stranger weeks. So many things have changed, and then other things have oddly remained exactly the same. It’s kind of hard to keep track which is which sometimes! What day is it today anyway?
As the days have turned into weeks, and the weeks are turning into months now for our time of social distancing, in some ways I am feeling better. Calmer. Less anxious. What about you?
I often hear myself and others saying, “when this is all over…” or “after all this…” or “when things get back to normal…”
The thing is, these statements carry with them a “waiting” energy. Like, “when this is all over, THEN I can have my real life back.” Or, “after all this, when we get back to our real lives.” Or, “when things get back to normal, and we’re back to real life again.”
But are these statements really true? I mean – what’s happening right now, if not our real lives? Isn’t what’s happening now REAL??? I don’t know about you, but I have been VERY aware of reality these last many weeks! It’s impossible NOT to be aware that there are some very real threats to our health and well-being out there and we must change our habits and interactions to keep each other safe and well.
In the midst of all this, it can be a bit overwhelming, can’t it? It’s easy to see it all as a hardship and focus on all the things that are uncomfortable, or undesirable, or “bad” about our new ways of life. I will argue however, that we still have the most important choice at our disposable – perspective! We can CHOOSE to see today “just another day in isolation” OR another day to celebrate, enjoy, and be in awe and wonder of!
Today I am choosing to see the beauty that is inherent in TODAY, right now. Today has plenty of gifts of its own. I enjoyed a nice run in the cool of the morning. Made myself a berry smoothie. Spent some time stretching and rolling my muscles to care for them. Listened to a great webinar. And that was just the things that happened before lunch!
If I wasn’t choosing to see the beauty though, that narrative would sound completely different! “Another day in isolation. A run all by myself. Another smoothie. Another webinar, since all I have to entertain myself is this computer screen…I can’t wait for life to start back up…”
TODAY I choose to see the beauty in every part of my day. I choose to live the beautiful life I have right in front of me rather than waiting around for something that only exists in my imagination!
Want to add more beauty to your life through meditation? Check out this course I made for you! Cultivate Calm through Meditation: 4 weeks to bring meditation into your life.
Sadly it happens to all of us. For whatever reason, you didn’t sleep well last night.
I found myself at the airport having hardly slept at all. I was on a trip and REALLY needed to sleep well. But no. Hardly a wink. The air conditioning was out in my hotel room and they were booked solid so I couldn’t just switch to another room. The nearest hotel was several miles away and it was already 2:00am when I realized what the issue was. Ugh.
Because I travel a lot, I’ve developed a few ways to make it through this situation with as little disruption to my day as possible. I can even function at a pretty normal level! In this short video I share with you my tips for getting through the day when I haven’t had any sleep to speak of.
It’s certainly a drag when this happens, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day! Enjoy these simple tips to help you make it through the day when you’ve had your sleep hijacked.
I’d love to hear from you! What are some things you have discovered that help you navigate the day after a night of poor sleep? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below!
You may be among the millions who posted #metoo on your social media page. In fact, it’s very likely that you are. A recent study found that nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.
So to say sexual harassment and assault are prevalent would be a ridiculous understatement. These experiences are wide-spread and affect many more of us than we ever knew before.
Throughout my studies for Yoga Therapy, I have learned so much about all kinds of trauma – from childhood experiences to military situations, to natural disasters, to – yes – sexual harassment/assault.
Depending on a whole host of factors, each person experiences trauma differently. Even the SAME trauma. Even a #metoo trauma. One person in an auto accident may go into fight mode and do everything possible to escape an overturned car, while the other person in the same car may freeze and be unresponsive until well after help has arrived.
What’s fascinating to me about the different responses is that we have little to no choice over how we will respond in any given situation that we perceive as potentially life-threatening. Our body, through a truly amazing chemical process, has decided for us the “best” response before our rational mind has even gotten the full download of what’s happening.
So there’s really no benefit in going back over what happened to figure out WHY we didn’t act differently. Because honestly, it’s not really up to us in the first place.
Regardless of what happened exactly, something important to note is that very often in life- or safety-threatening situations, our frontal lobe (or thinking part of our brain) goes off-line while our limbic brain (survival part of our brain) takes charge. This is important because we process trauma in the pre-language part of our brain. This can be true in any type of trauma, even a #metoo trauma.
But, why is this important?
It’s important because it’s very difficult (or even impossible) to process trauma through talk-based therapy when our language center was checked-out for the event in question. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Our limbic brain is all about fight/flight/freeze and the ACTION that needs to be taken to avoid the threat. So, we can address the trauma through – action. Movement-based therapies have been found to be extremely effective in supporting the healing process. What’s super cool is that we can support healing and movement through past traumas (that we haven’t even been able to talk about yet) through movement therapies like yoga.
(summarized from Yoga and PTSD: A Primer on Symptoms and Potential Mechanisms of Change, Yoga Therapy Today Winter 2018):
All in all, the research and preliminary studies are very positive in showing that yoga can be an excellent support to primary care options*. Trauma-sensitive Yoga Classes are available in many cities. If you think you’d like to try it, check with local studios, gyms, and community centers.
Do you have a bedtime? Like a time when you know you will actually turn out the lights (and not have the tv on in the background)?
Last week I was talking with my son and he was feeling under the weather and asking what he could do boost his immune system. Like most college kids, he burns the candle at both ends – going to classes all day, working through the afternoon and evening and then staying up studying (or playing video games, or whatever) really late into the night. Anyway, as we talked about how important rest is I said, “give yourself the gift of a bedtime.” To which he promptly rolled his eyes at me. “The gift of a bedtime? Seriously, mom?”
Ok. I admit it. It was a cheesy thing to say. Especially to my 18 year old son. But it IS true. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to establish a bedtime and wake-up routine. When our bodies got to sleep and get up at the same time everyday, everything works better. And not only that, it makes a difference HOW we go to bed. For example, there’s a big difference between tumbling into bed with our clothes still on and teeth feeling all furry OR taking care of our personal hygiene and changing into pjs before we turn out the lights. Right?
How we prepare ourselves for bed really does matter. We are creatures of habit. Those habits can help us improve our lives when we choose them wisely! When we work all day and fill our evenings with activities, it can be hard to rest well. We need a bridge between the busy-ness of the day and the restfulness of the night.
Ok. So it doesn’t sound fancy or even exciting. But if you haven’t tried a bedtime routine, I highly encourage you to give it a go for a couple weeks and see what you think. You may be pleasantly surprised! It can be whatever you like. Not everyone will enjoy the same routine. And that’s ok!
Here are some ideas to try:
I’d love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite bedtime routines? What helps you get ready for a restful night’s sleep? Let me know in the comments below!
You know what that means. Yep, lots of people are making New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions range from productivity goals, to weight loss goals, to new-and-improved bedtimes. Other people are wholeheartedly against the whole Resolution business.
Here’s what I do think about it all though. Any time we feel the trigger to make changes that affect us in a positive way, good things can happen! It doesn’t matter to me if you make these changes and commitments to yourself because it’s January, or because your doctor said so, or for the simple reason that you got a super-cute pair of yoga pants as a gift and you simply MUST find a class so you can wear them! What matters is that you are doing something for yourself.
Or whatever the equivalent is for you. Maybe your new Resolution or goal is something more like:
Most of the time our biggest hurdles are in our head. If that rings true for you, put your new goal in your calendar and treat it as important as a meeting with your boss. Then, when the time comes, get your yoga pants on (or whatever is appropriate), and make it happen!
And, just in case you really do want to go to yoga class, check out this little video I made with some nice things to know before you walk into your first class.
Let’s make this actionable! Tell me what you are working to implement right now in the comments below. Why are you excited to do it? What’s the hardest (or scariest) thing about getting started?
Ahhh, summer. How I love thee. The endless days of sunshine, the radiant heat that warms all the way to my bones, the lemonade, the pool, the release of the school-year schedule. So relaxing. So wonderful.
You see, I have the amazing privilege of being able to relax my schedule a bit in the summer. A little less work, more time with the kids, a little sleeping in from time to time. And it’s such a nice break from the super early busy-ness of the school year and all the after-school activities, etc.
As I look at my planner and see that school starts again next week, I find myself feeling like I am ready. Ready for the excitement and a new schedule. Ready for increased productivity. Even ready for the change of the weather! Although I LOVE the ridiculously hot summers here in the desert, I know that the variation in the weather keep me appreciating my favorite times of the year.
I also love having my daily routines and more things to do on my schedule. I enjoy that I get more things done during the school year. The change in the air also leans into a change in me.
For the last couple of weeks I have been kinda hard on myself. Feeling like it has been way too long since I have gotten much done. Too long since I spent a few hours doing the work that I love to do. As I was telling my friend about this, she helped me to re-evaluate. She showed me that while the outward productivity has been down, I have spent a good deal of time and energy doing some internal work and also laying foundations for projects I am working on launching in the fall. So, while there’s not a lot to show on the outside, yet…. I am doing valuable work nonetheless. And even if I all I had done for the past few weeks was rest and enjoy summer, that’s great too! We all need times to pull back, take our minds off of work and do something different. When we do, we come back to our work with a new creativity and refreshed love for our work.
With my new schedule starting up next week, I am in preparation mode. You know, dusting off my calendar, getting my pens and pencils all in order and thinking about how I want to spend my days. Because the nature of my work ebbs and flows with the school year, I have a built-in opportunity to re-evaluate and re-construct my daily routines if I so desire. And I usually do change things up a bit.
I start with the things that are important to me – daily meditation, exercise, business goals, reading, etc. And time with family, rest and time with friends DEFINITELY makes that list! We all need things in our weekly routine that give us joy and a chance to connect with our loved ones.
Then, I look at the things that are beyond my control (school start times, class times for the yoga classes I teach at the local country club, family time, etc.) and then begin to put things by most important first. So, I start with meditation. I know I am the best me when I start (and usually end) the day with meditation. It’s super easy for me to hit the ground running in the morning. But when I stop for 20 minutes to center myself and connect with the Divine, I handle my day in an entirely different way. Need a meditation? Grab this one – it’s on me!
Next up is exercise. Also too easy to let it slide through the cracks if it’s not on the schedule. I also make a point to tell my friends and family what I plan to do and when I plan to do it. If I don’t, then I will push it aside if someone wants to plan a get-together. Telling them helps me keep it a priority. How about some yoga? Check out this simple practice.
You get the idea, right? I know I’m not telling you anything new. I just know when I’m ready to start fresh, this is my process and it helps to review it! Start with the big things – what’s MOST important to your health (spiritual, mental, physical, AND emotional)? And then go from there. That way, if you find yourself running out of time blocks before you have all the activities on the calendar, then the things that don’t make the cut are the LEAST important things instead of the MOST important things!
Do you like this, but wish there was MORE? I will be doing a series of webinars this month where we will unravel the mysteries of relieving mid-day stress, creating mindful daily plans, and designing a restful sleep strategy! Click here to get the updates so you don’t miss a thing!
I know it’s happened to you. And it happened to me just last week. Let me take you there:
The week has been kinda busy, but not too bad. I am heading out for a yoga training, and truly excited to be going. I gather all my stuff and a good friend arrives to take me to the airport. As we open the door to take my luggage out, my dog Finley, who is typically very well-behaved, decides this is the best possible time to run out the front door! Seriously?!?! She’s off like a shot and we can’t find her anywhere. We walk down the street, we drive around the neighborhood. No dog. And it’s time to go! I can’t spend anymore time looking for her, so I call my husband who’s at work and THANKFULLY someone has already found her and just called him to let him know. Whew. We make it to the airport in time and I get on my flight. I arrive at my connecting airport, have a fantastic dinner and get on flight number two. Once I arrive at my destination, I get my rental car. I can’t locate my phone charger right away, so I opt to use the car GPS instead. This creates the first snafu (that I’m aware of). The darn thing doesn’t work very well and I end up getting lost three times. Ugh. It’s late and I need to get to bed! I (finally) arrive at my hotel. As is my common practice, I get all my materials ready before calling it a night only to realize that I have left MULTIPLE items on one flight or the other! Including my phone charger (brand new, of course) and other items that I could really use this weekend. Sigh. I won’t bore you with the rest of the weekend, but suffice it to say that this first evening on the way to my hotel was only the TIP of the iceberg!
So what did I do? How did I survive the craziness (mostly caused by myself)? It took all my efforts and, honestly, it has taken me a few days to recover. I took out all the stops and went immediately into nurturing mode!
If you have felt this way, and wondered what to do, perhaps some of these ideas will help as you develop a nurturing environment:
I know this list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully you found at least one tool you can use to help you get over “one of those days!” It has taken concentrated effort, but I am definitely on the mend and I am feeling very nurtured by my steps towards this level of loving care.
I’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to care for yourself in the middle of a crazy day, week, or time of life? We have all discovered ways to work through difficult times. Let’s share them together!
Whatcha been doin’ lately? Have you been running around like crazy trying to get everything done? Sacrificing your own needs to take care of people around you? Yep. Me too. Sometimes we just need to pull back and take 10 – like a 10 minute break to get it back together!
So, earlier this week I decided to re-group a bit and revitalize my daily routines that nourish my mind, body and soul. Even the great routines can start to feel tired if we keep on doing the same ol’ thing without keeping it fresh, right? So, here’s a few of the things I changed up.
I like to use a mantra or positive affirmation when I meditate. When I evaluated, I realized that I have gotten into a habit of just repeating it without REALLY paying attention to what it means. So, I purposed to pay attention and consider my affirmation with each repetition. AMAZING the difference this one simply step can make! Ready to meditate? Check this one out – I made it for you!
There are a few things I like to do to take care of myself each morning, you know, besides brushing my teeth and applying deodorant! Lately, I’ve been kinda lazy about my routine though. I really like to begin the morning with my tongue-scraper, and then move on to dry-brushing before my shower and then finish up with applying sesame oil to moisturize. I ran out of oil a couple weeks ago and hadn’t replaced it. I was using regular lotion, which is fine, I guess, but something about using the oil makes me feel like I am really taking care of myself, so I got a new bottle for myself. It’s so great!
It’s true – sometimes I waste time scrolling through FaceBook when I could be taking a nice break from screen time and general busy-ness. I know I’m not alone here. So, this week, I reminded myself to put my phone down when I realized I was using it to fill up mind-space. It’s amazing how much more beautiful real life is than keeping your head in cyber-world! If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a screen break, I highly recommend it!
While completing my yearly workbooks from Leonie Dawson, I came across Leonie’s recommendation to read The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson. It’s great! Some of the things I already do, and some I have decided to try. If you are looking for some ways to bring more love from yourself into your life, this is a great read!
What I’ve realized over the years is that taking care of myself isn’t hard. It’s just that it takes some thought and planning and an intention to follow-through with it. If you’d like to hear more about this, catch my interview with Renee Li on the OM Wisdom Summit 2016. It’s coming up in just a couple weeks. Click here to see the full schedule of interviews. There are several wonderful speakers this year! Here are some things you can expect:
Develop stronger intuition to access peace and clarity
Power up your body with healthy aging and preventative care
Adopt healthy habits that offer you perfect health
Clear blocks to create full color transformation
Utilize Crystal Magic for well-being
Align with your Greater purpose for fulfillment
Awaken your inner Healer
So, tell me, what is your favorite way to “take 10” and take care of yourself?
I work with people everyday to bring transformation to their lives. For some of them, it is through yoga class, for others it’s through voice or piano lessons, still others have private coaching sessions. In all of them, we talk about the tools we can use to create the life we want. Some are looking for a healthier body, others to learn a skill they don’t have and others are looking to build confidence or add an element of fun to their days and weeks. No matter what we are studying or working on though, they all want to know my recommendation on how to achieve the transformation they are looking for.
Over the weeks, months and years I have spent working with people to create lives they love, one thing comes around over and over. So many people I talk to are looking for that deep sense of inner peace. A calm center from which to navigate all of life’s challenges – everything from managing family schedules to major life-changes. People need, and want a dependable anchor to hold onto.
If you truly want to take your life to the next level and you don’t yet have a meditation practice, this is your next step. This is my top recommendation for deep inner transformation! I sincerely believe that you will only be able to access that deep inner peace and confidence after you commit to and begin a regular meditation practice.
You don’t have to go to India, or to an ashram or a retreat center or even your local religious establishment. You can begin your practice today. Now. With your very next breath if you want. You don’t even have to get up from where you are!
My first attempts at meditation were, um, haphazard at best. I was trying soooo hard to do it “right” without realizing that there is no “right” way to meditate. Meditation is very personal. There are some tried and true formats you can start with, and you may find one you really like. But you may give a few of them a try only to realize that you hear the beat of your own meditation drummer and would like to develop your own very personal practice. That’s totally cool too!
I have lots of recommendations of places to start, but my biggest encouragement is this: choose one practice and stick with it for at least a month. That gives you enough time to get to know the style of meditation before you give it the boot. These things take time. Let it percolate and breathe. As you settle into the practice, the practice helps to settle you.
If you are ready to go, have I got a deal for you! Click the button below for a FREE Calming Meditation to help you access your deep inner peace and calm. I LOVE hearing from you guys, so if you have meditation experiences or questions, give me a shout!
Last night my husband and I went to watch our daughter cheer at a football game. She cheers for the JV squad at her high school. It’s great – the team spirit, the cooling fall temps, the crowd in the stands getting excited when the team makes a good play.
There was this one lady a few rows up from us. I’m not sure, but I think she thought the fate of the world was resting on whether or not our team won this game. I think this because she was yelling (and sometimes screaming) at the top of her voice on every. single. play. She was elated. She was devastated. She was hopeful. She was mortified. She ran the gamut of emotions to say the least.
It was easy to judge her. To think it was ridiculous that her entire emotional landscape was determined by the total yards gained or lost on any particular play.
Since I found myself at least minor-ly (if not major-ly) annoyed by her, it made me wonder – what is it that I get all in a tizzy about? What do I completely over-react to? Are there times when those around me are wondering why I am letting something so little get me so upset?
I haven’t asked my friends and family, because I’m not sure I’m ready to know the real answer, but I’m pretty sure the answer is a resounding YES.
Just when you think you have something under control…right?
What to do? What is a good solution when you come to that realization that you are completely over-reacting and making everyone around you crazy with all your racket?
I have something. It’s called meditation. Sometimes it helps when you do it every day (I would go so far as to say it ALWAYS helps when you do it everyday), and sometimes it’s great when you pause and meditate right there in the moment of sheer craziness.
It’s pretty simple really. Whenever you notice a thought that feeds the frenzy, let it go. Just like that. Take a deep breath and enjoy the space you just created.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better already!