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Lessons from the trails

I’ve been meaning to write about the lessons I learned from the trails for awhile, but you know, it’s been quite a year and I keep getting distracted by other things.

Because of the coronavirus, our original vacation plans were drastically altered. I’m sure we’re not the only ones! Even still, we feel extremely grateful that we were able to get out of the house for a few days. We really wanted to explore some of the beauty of the outdoors since we’d seen about all we wanted of indoors this year. We both talk all the time about the healing power of nature, and I know I felt I needed it more than ever this year if I was going to be able to continue my work as a Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, and Lead Trainer. So we went off in search of relaxation for sure, but also for inspiration so we can do our work well. Turned out to be a good decision!

Our first trail was short and quite easy – just a mile and a half or so from the parking lot to the viewpoint on a wide and well-kept walkway. Even still – I misjudged it and wore sandals, when I really should’ve worn sneakers. Ugh! While the views were STUNNING, and we definitely timed it right for sunset photos, my feet were really not having it on the way back to the car. I ended up wearing Brad’s shoes and he walked BAREFOOT so I could be more comfortable. The first of so many lessons I learned…

Lesson #1 – Traveling companions are worth their weight in gold! And extra-special ones will even let you wear their shoes! ; )

For our next adventure, you’d better believe I had on the right shoes! This trail was considerably longer and more challenging. It was even quite a bit warmer that we expected. Lots of switchbacks and long expanses with no shade might have taken their toll if we hadn’t brought enough water! Thankfully we did! We even brought more than we thought we’d need. That was a GREAT decision! Because we DID need it! We were able to enjoy all the ups and downs and unexpected turns because we were well-prepared. One of the best lessons my mom ever taught me! An absolutely lovely day enjoying the beauty of the spires of rocks!

So much taller in person!

Lesson #2: You’ll never go wrong by packing extra water.

After a good long day enjoying the beauty of Bryce Canyon, we headed to find some dinner and a place to rest. We found a lovely lodge restaurant that had delicious food and had the great pleasure of enjoying it out on the patio in the fresh mountain air. We lingered over that dinner, chatting about all the things we had seen during our hike and enjoying the cool, refreshing evening.

I guess we had been there long enough to blend in with the scenery, because all of a sudden we were joined by the cutest little forest creature! He even came right up to my feet and attempted to get a drink of my water! I’m sure the little guy is no stranger to people since he lives right by the lodge, but it still felt nice to be accepted and trusted with his presence. Stillness is one of the most important lessons to revisit on a regular basis.

Our dinner companion

Lesson #3: When you pause and sit quietly for a little while, the nature comes to you and makes friends.

The next day was more of a driving day and we didn’t do too much sight seeing. We found a good place to stay and after grabbing some dinner, Brad wanted to go for “short walk.” Ahem. SEVEN MILES LATER we were heading home for the night. I will admit that my initial resistance and irritation kept me from enjoying the journey, as they say, but when I finally decided to get over my upset and look around, I was in awe of all that surrounded us! We had gone deep enough away from the main road that we saw deer and moose and turkeys! The beautiful rocks of the canyon turned vibrant with the sunset and when I soaked it all in, it soothed my soul. The beauty was there the whole time\, of course. I just had to CHOOSE to see it to really get the benefits. Sometimes we resist the lessons, but when we relax, they are so much easier!

Vibrant blues and oranges and greens!

Lesson #4: No matter where you are, the beauty is already there. Choose to open your eyes and SEE it.

Our last big day was certainly a big finale! We hiked The Narrows at Zion National Park. I was a little nervous going in because I have never done a hike that is even a little bit in the water on purpose, much less a several hour hike in water almost the entire time. We had prepared with the right shoes and socks and all, but I just didn’t know what to expect.

In case you don’t know this, I can be a bit of a delicate flower. I don’t like to be wet, or dirty. I don’t like cold or wind. But with that said, if I KNOW ahead of time, I’m pretty good about being able to prepare myself and choose how I will respond. So, I went with as little expectation as possible, and an open mind for the experience. And OH MY GOODNESS. I’m not sure I have ever enjoyed a day of hiking more! Turns out I kinda like sloshing around in the water and not caring if I’m wet or not! Who would’ve guessed??? I got lost in the joy and wonder of it all probably BECAUSE I didn’t need or expect it to be anything. I was simply open for the experience to unfold in whatever way. I’m so happy I made this choice. It turned out to be one of my favorite vacation memories of all time!

Lesson #5: When you let go of expectations, experiences can be fully experienced. And isn’t that what we really want anyway?

Thoroughly enjoying the beautiful lessons along the journey!

When the frenzy of the work day presses in

It’s super common to get into the middle of a well-planned day and all of a sudden you have emails and IMs pinging in from every direction. Maybe your boss or a contractor is demanding you immediate attention.

Stress starts to mount, right?

Phone calls. Stress. Deadlines. Everything starts to get kind of overwhelming.

You may find yourself pouring a second (or fifth) cup of coffee. Or perhaps you decide to skip lunch (or eat in the car between appointments) to try to get more done. You simply have too much to do and you have to do *something* to make up for lost time.

But this is not the way to REALLY find freedom from the frenzy.

It may seem right in the moment. Get a cup of coffee. Plow through lunch. Work later.

But no.

Trust me. It’s not the way.

The way to find freedom from the frenzy in the middle of the day is to push the pause button.

Yes, it seems beyond counter-intuitive to stop when there’s so much to do. But I promise it works.

If you’re feeling frenzy in the middle of this day, I invite you to push pause. There can be a variety of ways to do this, and if you already know what works for you, do it!

I have one tool I’d like to share with you today. It’s simply managing the breath. I love this tool because you ALWAYS have it with you! You don’t need any special tool. You don’t need a yoga mat. You don’t need workout clothes or perfect weather.

You can manage your breath at your desk, on the stage, on the playing field, in traffic, in a meeting, at home. It works EVERYWHERE!

Here’s the technique:

  • Focus on the breath and slow it down
  • Inhale¬† 1-2-3-4
  • Pause 1-2
  • Exhale 1-2-3-4
  • Pause 1-2

Hopefully you feel better already! You can use this technique anytime, anywhere, and no one even knows you’re using it but YOU! As you use it, you build a new tranquil mind and create freedom from the frenzy of the day.

Get my free pdf guide for even more tools to take back YOUR day, or book a Discovery Call to explore personal coaching options to create your tranquil mind and life!

Book a discovery call

Terrible Night’s Sleep?

Sadly it happens to all of us. For whatever reason, you didn’t sleep well last night.

This happened to me not long ago.

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.

What to do?

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.


Jenn’s list of things to do when you haven’t had any sleep:

  • Wear your glasses! Your eyes will thank you for it!
  • Get a nourishing breakfast – this is not the day for a sugary danish. Nope. Eat something real!
  • Go ahead and have a creature comfort – for me it’s a yummy latte!
  • Create time in your day for a Yoga Nidra meditation – enjoy the equivalent of an hour’s sleep for every 15 minutes of Nidra!
  • Here’s a link to my favorite meditation app these days

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!

What is “good posture” anyway?

How’s your posture right now? Are you sitting or standing nice a tall? Or slumped over your desk or phone? This is a topic that goes back to the good ol’ days. If you’re like me, your mama said on more than one occasion, “Stand up straight!” And I don’t know about you, but for me, it only lasted as long as she was looking!

It turns out that Mom was right!

Posture does more than make you taller and look more educated. It actually DIRECTLY affects everything from your mood to the inner workings of your body’s deepest systems! And for so many people, poor spinal alignment leads to “garden-variety” low back pain, too. So, figuring out how to “straighten up” can have some IMMEDIATE benefits!

But, do you even know what “good posture” is?

Well, in this short video I teach about the main elements that create a posture that even your Mom would be proud of! Check it out:


It’s really not complicated, or even difficult to create a strong and functional alignment. In fact, there are two very simple things you can do RIGHT NOW to create strength and stability in your body!

Start with your feet!

  • point toes straight ahead
  • feet under hip points (about two-fists wide)

Check the hips!

  • are hips tilting forward or backward?
  • find the even place between the two – hips parallel to the floor


Did you try it? Let me know in the comments your favorite tip!

When the wheels fall off your day by 7:30am

gratitude even when the wheels fall off

This used to happen to me all the time. I’d be rushing around day after day and before long, the wheels would fall off the whole thing before I’d even left the house. I know you know what I’m talking about!

Have you ever had “wheels off”¬†kind of day? It looks like this:

  1. alarm fails to go off properly – wake up 45 minutes late
  2. skip morning workout and shower
  3. try to look presentable without a shower
  4. grab a coffee on the way out the door
  5. spill coffee on your outfit trying to get in the car
  6. go back inside, change clothes
  7. leave without coffee (or breakfast, for that matter)
  8. get to work late disheveled and hungry, naturally, you hit rush hour traffic
  9. grab terrible office coffee
  10. skip lunch to make up for being late
  11. mid-afternoon grab a candy bar from the vending machine and another bad cup of coffee
  12. sludge through the afternoon, grumpy and on an artificial caffeine/sugar high
  13. bottom out on sugar crash
  14. get home, order pizza
  15. veg in front of the tv for 4 hours
  16. go to bed late and exhausted

Yep. Me too. It feels terrible and if you don’t rescue it somewhere along the way? The same scenario (or something similar) unfolds again the next day.

I used to honestly believe that if the wheels fell off on Monday, then the rest of the week was doomed!

But it’s not!

After PLENTY of my own experience trying to salvage yet another day waking up too late and getting to work late, I began to realize some things. There are some little changes I can make along the way (even on the REALLY bad days) that can consequently turn the whole day around.

Want to know a couple of my secrets?

  1. Purchase a great hair clip that makes it look like you MEANT to wear your hair tied back!
  2. Yes, I’m serious about #1.
  3. Play music that helps reset your mood, or listen to your favorite book or podcast as you drive.
  4. Before you get out of the car, take 3 deep, even breaths.
  5. I mean it! Take 3 deep breaths – it’s amazing how much it can calm you down, and only takes about 30 seconds.
  6. Take the lunch break. You need it. And everyone around you needs you to take it too!
  7. Pull your favorite essential oil or healing crystal out of your desk. Something as simple as a beautiful stone or a soothing aroma is better at getting you through the afternoon than caffeine and sugar.
  8. If cooking isn’t going to happen, at least drop by the grocery and choose something with nutritional value on your way home. Lots of stores have decent hot meals that can be consumed immediately.
  9. Sure, watch some tv if you want. But not 4 hours please! Take a nice evening walk or bath, read a book, have some herbal tea and GO TO BED on time!

Are you ready for the biggest one? This is THE single best way I know to take a wheels-off day and turn it into a dream day! It will literally REVOLUTIONIZE your life.

Drum roll, please….


Yes, I’m serious about this one too – even more than that hair tie!

If you are serious about recovering after the wheels fall off your day and your entire lifestyle – it’s ALL about gratitude.

  1. Gratitude for waking up in the morning
  2. Gratitude for even have a shower available (even if there’s not time to use it)
  3. Gratitude for hair clips
  4. Gratitude for transportation to work
  5. Gratitude for coffee, even bad coffee
  6. Gratitude for vending machines
  7. Gratitude for making it home safely
  8. Gratitude for the pizza delivery guy (be sure to express that to him with a nice tip, after all, he’s the reason you don’t have to cook tonight!)
  9. Gratitude for television
  10. Gratitude for a bed to sleep in

Do you see how even the yucky day can be SO MUCH BETTER when you add in the gratitude? My experience is, when I start purposefully adding in gratitude even when the day starts off awful, it’s not two hours until the whole thing has turned around!

Most of all, when I go to sleep with gratitude on my mind, I’m much more likely to wake up well and ready for my day! Why? Because, it’s a choice. When I choose gratitude at night, I am choosing to end my day the way I want tomorrow to go. Therefore, choose gratitude!

So what do you say? Will you choose gratitude today?

I LOVE to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what YOU are grateful for!