Category Archives for "practice"

Gettin’ crafty!

I’m not sure what it is, but around the holidays I get all crafty. I think it stems back to my childhood when I gave homemade ornaments to my relatives every year.

Anyway – I have three projects under way this year: Pumpkin Bread (dowload the recipe here), Dryer Balls (which are an awesome replacement for dryer sheets!) and Chakra Bracelets (oh how I love to bead!).

What is it about making gifts that moves me? I think it’s because it’s so grounding. As a culture, we are spacey, and hurried and UN-grounded. We live most of our lives in the top 14 inches of our body. In the Spring and Summer, I love to go for long walks and take my shoes off at every available opportunity for this reason. It helps me re-connect to the earth, to my deeper self. But in the winter, it’s too cold! And the lower temps and drier air contribute to the problem.

What’s the remedy?

It can be lots of things. For me, it’s crafting! Working with my hands and getting into that mind space where there is no electronic input slows me down and helps me get a grip again! It can also be cooking. The methodical chopping, the cooking, the stirring, the baking – all of it – brings us back into our bodies and settles us down. I even calm down THINKING about it! Warm baths are also a great way to settle down and re-connect.

What is it for you?

 


2015 holidaysWith the holidays coming upon rather quickly, complete with the end of semester finals (for my kids) and traveling around to see family and gatherings with friends, things are getting kind of busy around here.

Not to mention that it’s time to do my end-of-the-year reflections and planning for 2016. With that in mind, I’ll be taking some time off from blogging and facebook-ing to glean the most from 2015’s lessons and set 2016 up to be the best it can be!

I’ll be back in the saddle around mid-January. In the meantime, I am wishing you a wonderful holiday season and grand start to the new year.


If you are looking for some thoughtful gifts for someone you know and love, check out these items. I will be finishing up taking orders this weekend and mailing the final batch of goodies on Monday. So, if you want something, let me know right away! Here are the highlights:

2016 Shining Year Workbooks

This workbook has changed my life! Both on the personal level AND the business level! It’s a must-have!

Order yours today!

 

 

Tommy&TinaYogaFunTommy & Tina’s Yoga Fun Series

If you have kiddos or teach yoga to kiddos, I cannot speak highly enough of these books! My friend Lindsey wrote them (I got to edit them!) and they are THE BOMB! Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, and there’s also an accompanying album available to sing along!

Get yours today!

 

 

Travel Chakra Balancing Essential Oils Kitchakra oils

I travel everywhere with these oils. Not only do they help with balancing chakra energies, they all have multiple purposes like helping with upset tummy, lightening mood, opening stuffy noses, cleansing a cut, providing immune support and MORE!

Order it now!

I burned the Pumpkin Bread…again…

Jenn's Pumpkin BreadTuesday was a beautiful morning! The kids were off to school and I had planned to make my seasonal Pumpkin Bread.

I love making pumpkin bread. I’ve done it every year for over 20 years now. I love it. My friends say they love it. And I think my family loves it too.

But, it’s kinda surprising I have kept at it all these years when you know how it all started…

It was 1992. I was a newly-wed and living in the Married Student Housing Apartments at my University. Feeling all domestic, I got the bright idea to make Pumpkin Bread Muffins as a gift for a couple friends. I gathered my ingredients, mixed them up, set the kitchen timer and put the muffins in the oven to bake.

 

And then I left.

The apartment.

To go visit some other friends.

Forty-five minutes away.

I realized my awful mistake about TWO HOURS later.

I called the university operator in a panic and by the time the housing manager got to our apartment and let herself in, the entire place was filled with smoke, the smoke alarm was going off, and the pumpkin muffins looked like little hockey pucks. They were completely black and only about an inch and a half tall. I’m surprised I didn’t catch the entire complex on fire!

By this point, you are probably wondering what would make me EVER choose to do that again! But I did. And I have. Every year since then. Fast forward 20+ years to Tuesday…

So, it was a beautiful morning. I had the house all to myself and I mixed up the Pumpkin Goodness. I put 4 mini-loaves in the oven and got on a conference call. (Why do all the crazy things happen when you’re on a conference call???) Right about the time I thought the loaves should be done, I smelled something. And it wasn’t that wonderful Pumpkin Bread aroma. It was more like…burning oven.

And then it happened.

Right in the middle of my conference call, the smoke alarm started going off!

I burned the Pumpkin Bread.

Again.

Sigh.

What is the point of this story, you may ask? It’s this:

Practice.

See, if I had decided to quit after that first burnt bread experience, I would have never had the opportunity to know the joy of cooking for my friends and family. And they would have missed years and years of yummy-goodness. And I would have missed the joys (and challenges) of the process each year.

And this is how it is with our personal practices. When we decide to quit after one bad experience, we miss the joys (and challenges) that come with the continued practice. Anyone relate to this? Meditation, perhaps? Trying yoga or a new exercise program? How about making changes to your diet? Yep. We’ve all had experiences when we “burned” it. Whatever it was, was a miserable failure. And so we quit.

But what if…

What if we gave it another try?

What if we committed to working on it (whatever it is)?

For the next week – or month – or year?

 

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what it is you want to commit to practice.

And, in case making Pumpkin Bread isn’t your thing, check out these other meaningful gift ideas:


 

Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life Workbooks

This is my second year using this workbook and planner bundle and it is a game-changer! Especially if you would like to make some things HAPPEN in 2016!

These beautiful workbooks lead you through letting go of 2015 and planning ahead for a beautiful 2016 complete with goals and steps to reach them.

Check it out!

 


 

Tommy&TinaYogaFunTommy and Tina’s Yoga Fun!

I had the awesome privilege of getting to work with Lindsey on this great yoga resource for parents and teachers. A thoughtful gift for little ones and the ones who love them!

“Readers will appreciate the simplicity of the bold, colorful illustrations that manage to be both eye-catching and soothing at the same time. Each character demonstrates the correct yoga positions. This book is a great tool for parents who want to help their children learn about relaxation through yoga. As an added bonus, the book includes an album of songs that are set to familiar tunes that will have the whole family singing along.” ~Debbie Sellers

Learn more…


chakra oilsChakra Healing Essential Oils Travel Kit

This little travel kit of oils goes with me everywhere. From yoga class, to trainings across the country, I use them pretty much every day for something. This kit also comes with a beautiful meditation card and reference guide for additional uses for each oil. 10 oils (1 for each chakra, 2 to prep for meditation, and 1 to cleanse).

Get it today!


 

Deeply transformational mundane activities

Come again? What in the world is a “deeply transformational mundane activity????” We read about and long for something to change us. That magical moment when, all of a sudden we are made new.

As a teen and young adult, I had the opportunity to go on regular spiritual retreats. So, I tended to “save” my transformational energy for those glorious weekends and weeks when I could really focus on my inner journey. But as those opportunities faded away, I was left to figure out my own growth and I was unsure how to facilitate it.

As a result, for far too many years, I kept “holding out” for the chance to take a retreat or vacation or go to some super-spiritual conference where I would finally experience that transformation again. Like I could order it up, add a side of glowing wisdom, pay in advance, and pick it up at my convenience.

I hate to be the one to break it to myself….but ummmm….that doesn’t really happen.

Bummer.

While I was trying to “survive” the day-to-day activities until said transformational event, I was missing out on thousands of opportunities in the “mundane” activities of life to facilitate that transformation I so desperately wanted.

Let me illustrate.Warrior 2

As you may know, I am a yoga teacher (and trainer for YogaFit Training Systems). One day I saw one of my students at the gym. She hadn’t been to yoga class in awhile, and it was great to see her. She said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been to class lately. I have been working with weights here at the gym so I can get strong enough to make it through your class.” Hmmm. I was befuddled. Why would she go to the gym to get in shape for yoga class? I asked her what part of class she found challenging. She said it was the crocodile (or chaturanga) poses. Ahh…I see. I replied, “You know, I think it’s great to work out at the gym. There are tons of benefits of being able to move weight outside your own body. However, if you want to get better at Crocodile pose….?” The light went on! “YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE CROCODILE POSE!!!!” She exclaimed.

Yes!

In that moment I was the teacher…and the student.

All of a sudden my own light went on. All that transformation I was waiting for so I could deal with the mundane daily activities of life? Yep. You guessed it. If I want to be transformed in daily life, that transformation is most likely to happen in those same mundane activities.

Now, I will say that going to the retreat or on vacation or to the super-spiritual conference is AWESOME! And I wouldn’t trade those treats for anything. BUT – much of my deepest transformation comes in the middle of the school pick-up line, working through a crazy morning at home, driving down the highway, and even preparing dinner. If life is pushing on me as I prepare dinner, I do my best to pull back and observe and see what I can learn here. And it seems that those lessons have more staying power than the fun retreat or serious conference. Why? Because I became strong enough for that “pose” of life by practicing it, right there in the moment.

Iridescent Dragonflies Facebook pageAnd this is why Iridescent Dragonflies is a thing. Once I fully embraced that my deepest transformations come from my own awareness and intentionality in the day-to-day activities of life, I realized that I am probably not the only one who is interested in finding the glorious, spiritual, transformation in the quiet moments as the day starts, shopping for groceries and checking email. And, if I like daily (or even hourly) reminders to pause and observe and intend to live from a more centered place, I thought I might as well share them in case you like them too. Those reminders happen on our Facebook page. If you haven’t been there, check it out and see if it resonates for you.

So, dragonfly, what mundane activity can you find deep transformation in today? If you’re not quite sure, I’d start with breathing. Yep. Breathing. Pay attention to your own breath for 5 slow breaths. It’s amazing what can happen when we pause for that short time and shift our focus.

The joy of tidying up?

So when was the last time you took a day off work to have the experience of a lifetime…um…tidying up the garage? Yeah, I’ve never done that either. And while I do like for things to be all tidy, I don’t particularly enjoy spending the day going through piles of stuff and choosing what stays and what goes. However, I LOVE the result! To look at my freshly-organized closet or desk or garage and feel that sense of lightness and satisfaction of work well-done is such a great feeling. I feel like clearing the stuff out of my home creates more room in me. I may be crazy, but I don’t think so (well at least not on this issue!).

I have recently realized that when I am feeling heavy and weighed down, a pretty simple way to lighten my outlook is to tidy up an area of my home that has been neglected. Have you ever done this? In a way, I have actually come to see this as an act of self-care.

I have heard and seen a couple things on this recently that I really like to make the job easier.

There are a couple guys called The Minimalists who talk a lot about simplifying. My favorite piece of their advice is the 20-20 rule. If you find something you haven’t used in awhile and you can replace it for less than $20 in less than $20 minutes, get rid of it! Obviously there are a few exceptions, but this works most of the time. Yay!

Another one I just saw was this great little video posted by the Today Show where they highlight The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

This simple trick will change the way you tidy up your house – and your life – forever. The gem in this book is in getting rid of anything that no longer brings you joy. Thank it for its service, and send it on its way! I LOVE that!

So now it’s your turn!

Why not spend 30 minutes or two hours clearing some space in your house and in your life? After you’re done, I’d love to hear about your experience! How did you feel after it was done? Did you find some space in your mind along with the space in your home?

What do golf balls have to do with dragonflies?

What do golf balls have to do with dragonflies? You may be surprised to know that this last week I realized the answer is: EVERYTHING! Let me start at the beginning…

My Mastermind group is invaluable to me. It is a small group of like-minded business owners. There are 5 of us and we talk on the phone every week to discuss our progress, our challenges and our goals for the week. Each member takes about 7 or 8 minutes to share about their business and then the group spends 2-3 minutes giving feedback and encouragement to that member. Without my group, my business would probably still be a lofty dream!

Last week, I was feeling frustrated because my travel schedule has been kinda crazy and so I was behind on some of the bigger projects I have listed as goals. And while I HAVE been busy, I have also had PLENTY of time to stay caught up on my social media account and my emails – neither of which are nearly as important as the big projects I want to do. So, one of the members of the group encouraged me to start each day with a “Power Hour.” This concept isn’t new, you have probably used it yourself at some point. It’s where you block out an hour and get as many of the important things done as possible. No emails. No social media. No chit-chat phone calls. No texting. Just solid work on the stuff that is truly important. And amazingly, the emails and other stuff will still get done anyway.

This is where the golf balls come into the story. You thought I forgot about them, didn’t you? Well, I heard a story not long ago that perfectly describes the idea of putting the important things in your day first and the illustration uses golf balls. The story is by Elisha Goldstein, PhD.

“A professor stood before a philosophy class holding an empty jar. As the students took their seats, she began filling the jar with golf balls. When they reached the top, she asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then took a bag of pebbles and poured them into the jar, and they made their way into the spaces between the golf balls.

Again she asked the students if the jar was full, and they agreed that it was.

But the professor had another trick up her sleeve. She brought out a bag of sand and proceeded to pour the grains into the jar, filling up more of the remaining space. Again the question came: “It’s full now, correct?” The answer was a resounding “Yes.”

The professor then took a sip of her coffee and dumped the rest into the jar, filling up spaces that no one thought were there.

“So what does it mean?” the professor asked.

A witty student raised his own coffee mug and asked, “There’s always room for coffee?”

The professor, along with the rest of the class, had a good laugh. Then she said, “Imagine that this jar represents the space in your life. The golf balls represent what’s most important — family, children, health, friends, things that you’re passionate about — the things that at the end of your life you would be glad you paid attention to.

“The pebbles are essential but less important, such as your house, your car, maybe your job.

“The sand is all of the small stuff in life that we’re trying not to sweat.

“The coffee, well, you already answered that one.”

The professor continued, “There is room for all of this only if you put the golf balls in first. If you put the sand or pebbles in first, there won’t be room for the golf balls. The way we pay attention to our lives works the same way. If you spend your attention or mental space sweating the small stuff in life, you won’t have the capacity to pay attention to what is most important to you.”

Marie Forleo talks about this, too. She calls it, “knowing the difference between the urgent and the important.” And her videos are super-entertaining to watch, too! Check it out: MarieTV video.

It has been the difference between night and day. I still have lots to do, but each day I am honestly getting those big projects done!

Happy is the New Healthy

Bringing a little happiness into our daily life goes a long way toward living our full-color iridescent lives. And truly, happiness is a choice we make every moment of every day. As far as I can tell, no one does this better than my friend Dave Romanelli.

Dave has been talking about and living in the deliciousness in the moment for years and years. And guess what? His new book is called, Happy is the New Healthy and is all about enjoy life RIGHT NOW!

Here’s a bit from Dave about Happy is the New Healthy:

I am so excited to share with you my brand new book Happy is the New Healthy.

But before I tell you more…here is some kicka$s Native American wisdom as you head into the holidays. It came from the heart of a Native American healer who goes by the name Bob Bear The Medicine Man. Dave and Bob Bear

I met Bob Bear on my annual retreat to Sedona, Arizona (see below for more) which is the healthiest, happiest place in the nation, and widely considered one of the most spiritual places on the planet.
Bob Bear said, “Don’t need for things.
“The Great Spirit knows what you need and will provide.
“Your job here is not to need.
“Your job here is to DREAM in a way that lifts, heals, and inspires the world.
“Do your job, dream big, and magic will rain down on your life.”

YES!!!!!!!

For anyone out there who is stuck on their needs…

“I need more money.”
“I need more love.”
“I need more time.”

How about taking a little advice from Bob Bear The Medicine Man and daring to pry open your mind and embrace the greatest dream of all:  the dream for total and complete happiness. To wake up each day feeling full in your heart and spirit…that’s what we live for!

Maybe you are already there.

But if you are ready to make 2015 the year of less needs and more DREAMS (which, by the way, is an incredibly liberating shift)…that’s the idea behind Happy is the New Healthy.

The premise of the book is to flip the wellness paradigm on its tightly toned a$$ and shift the priorities from losing weight, doing fancy yoga poses, and seeking the latest juice cleanse to…
…loving more deeply, living more passionately, and saying YES to the full fury of life.
If you are in the mood to celebrate happiness…and Happy is the New Healthy sounds like your kind of philosophy…

Get your copy of Happy is the New Healthy!

Do dragonflies ever have bad days?

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sky is a gorgeous blue with the prettiest puffy clouds. I slept in this morning, had some breakfast, and am home with the fam for the afternoon. Everyone is doing their own thing. We are all healthy. We have everything we need.

So why do I feel so lifeless today?

I was thinking about writing something and all I could think was, “Do dragonflies ever have bad days?”

I don’t think they really do…

If I sit and ponder why I DO feel lifeless and blue, it’s because nothing exciting is going on. I don’t have anything on the schedule today and if I’m completely honest, I am fairly addicted to having something to DO. All. The. Time. I want to have an appointment to go to, or a yoga class to teach, or a  coffee date with a friend. Or something. Anyone else ever do this? Can I get a witness?

So, I can’t really ask a dragonfly if they have bad days, but here’s why I don’t think they do:

Dragonflies live in the moment.

Like this moment. Even if there’s nothing to do. Even if there’s lots to do. Even if they are with all the other dragonflies. Even if they are all by themselves. Every single moment is full of life for them.

One of my favorite yoga songs has this line –  “Even loneliness is full of life.” And it is. So, I think I will take a lesson from the dragonflies and the yoga song and experience the fullness of the moment – even if it’s a little blue, or lonely, or downright boring. Because, really, the amazing moments are only amazing because of the ho-hum moments on a random, beautiful, Sunday afternoon.

One of the best ways I know to get in touch with the now is to do a presence meditation. The best ones for me, especially when I am so obviously dealing with a busy-ness addiction is to sit outside for 15-30 minutes and simply notice all the beauty around me. Whenever I get distracted with a thought (often), I just remind myself that I am practicing presence and come back to the observation. Sometimes this just doesn’t work and when that’s the case, I like to use a mindfulness app that gives me a little guidance.

And with that said – I am headed outside! I actually do feel better all ready. Amazing!