The Power of Your Breath: How to Become a Mindful Eater and Wake Up in Your Life

Kate walked into the house after a long day at work. She dropped her handbag on the kitchen counter and went straight to the food cabinet. She was tired, frustrated and so eager to relax. She grabbed the bag of chips and salsa, poured herself a glass of wine and then parked herself in front of the TV.

Less than an hour later, ¾ of the bag of chips had disappeared. Without noticing, Kate just stuffed herself. And now, instead of slipping into the easy part of her day, her belly was bloated and all she could do was watch yet another episode of Homeland.  

Sadly, the promise of Kate’s low key and relaxing evening was just stolen from her. She quickly forgot about her plans to catch up with a friend and go to the gym.  In her desperation for a well deserved break, she checked out of her body and lost all awareness of what she was doing while eating chip after chip. After chip.

Kate had a very easy tool that could have made her evening go exactly as she planned. A tool that she carries with her 24 hours a day and doesn’t cost her a penny. It’s the power of her breath.

Asleep at the wheel:

So many of us are mindlessly walking through most of our lives. And when it comes to meals and snacks, this results in eating more than our bodies need or want. Mindlessly overeating is like being on autopilot, or in a trance. We don’t taste what we are eating. We don’t notice when we are full. During these times, we are often paying attention to something else. A TV show, Facebook, email.

When using the power of your breath, the exact opposite will occur.

The power of breath:

Your breath puts you in your body. After a few intentional inhales and exhales, you can become aware of sensations in your chest , belly, fingers and ankles. Your breath allows you to notice your body.

Your breath grounds you. Instead of flitting around like a butterfly, you can be steady and still. You can sit down, stay and not seek out distraction.

Your breath makes you feel calm and peaceful. Your breath can melt away any frantic edge and allow you to experience what’s underneath. Calm. Peace. You have it in you, and your breath is the bridge to take you there.

Why breath works:

When you use the power of your breath, you create space between your thoughts and your actions.

In this space, you have an opportunity to be intentional about your choices. You have an opportunity to set the course of your actions instead of mindlessly going through the motions. 

After a quick breathing practice, you feel more calm and centered in your body. When you are more calm and centered, it’s easier to make better choices in your life.

Using her breath, instead of stuffing herself, Kate could have eaten the exact right amount, given herself the break she needed and then moved off the couch and onto something else.

How to:

A 3 count breath and can be done very subtly anywhere. Breathe in to a count of 3, hold your breath full for a moment, breathe out to a count of 3, hold your breath out for a moment. Do 3-5 rounds of this breath.


Consider the power of your breath to be a miraculous gift. One that you have with you all of the time. Use it often throughout the day and you will wake up, make intentional choices, become a more mindful eater and shift the course of your life.  

5 Ways to Make Permanent Change in Your Life

My bookshelf is filled with books offering the best, life-altering diets, the cure for overeating, and the secret to making peace with food. I bought my first Geneen Roth book in college, and from there, I was insatiable. I couldn’t get enough information.

I wanted to know. How could lose weight? Why was I overeating and how could I stop?

One would think that because I knew so much and I was so well read, that I must have been able to solve all of my eating problems.

Far from it. I was really good at collecting information, but I had a very hard time making a permanent change and following what the books told me to do.

If we KNOW how to make the change we need to make, why don’t we do it?

What I have come to find out for myself is that knowing just doesn’t matter. Having the information is only one small ingredient in the recipe of everlasting change. But many of us stop there and think reading that “miracle, end all be all” book will be our quick fix. You know that you feel better when you work out at least five days a week. But unless you get off your duff and get to the gym or lace up your running shoes, knowing that doesn't make any difference. 

“We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” John Dryden, 1631-1700

This is the key. We must repeatedly take action until that change is who we are.

> Stop seeking and start doing. Spending time reading and following the latest fad and what others are doing can be a distraction. If you already know what to do, take one step in the direction you want to go in right now.

> Keep the change you want to make top of mind. A daily reminder and a plan in your weekly schedule will certainly help. Keep a sticky on your laptop or bathroom mirror or a reminder on your calendar.

> Drop the idea that it’s hard, painful or it’s going to take a lot of work. I’m in the process of kicking my caffeine habit. Initially, I assumed that when I’m no longer drinking my caffeinated tea or coffee that I will have a big brain fog, get a caffeine withdrawal headache, and simply feel miserable. My idea of what would happen when I kicked the caffeine habit was initially keeping me from making any change at all. Letting go of that idea made it much easier for me to begin making the switch to decaf.  

> Connect the dots between the change you want to make and how it impacts your life. When I drink more water, I just feel better. I have more energy. When I sleep more, I have so much more patience with my family, and it feels so great to have more energy to do the things I love. Take a careful look at why this change you want to make matters so much to you.

> Replace perfect with your best. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Many of us want to do things perfectly or exactly as planned, but that may keep us from doing anything. Your ideal workout may be 45 or 60 minutes, but if you only have 15 minutes, that is better than nothing at all.

There will come a point when the change you want to make is no longer a change you want to make, it will be the fabric of your being. If you are not doing what you know to do, you just won’t feel like yourself. You have changed yourself forever. And you will know that for sure.

With Love and Inspiration~

Tara

Why We Let Diets Distract Us From Living

**This is the second post of a multi part series on why diets and the diet mentality simply cannot work, the distraction and impact diets can have on living the life we are meant to live, and how to shift our view of food to eat in a way that supports our health and vitality, and ultimately brings our bodies back into balance.  **

Do you remember your very first diet? If it was anything like mine, I felt so motivated and inspired to take on this brand new undertaking. I poured through the pamphlets, note cards of recipes and calendars of eating plans.  After all, I wanted to lose weight, and this was a way for me to get there.

I treated this diet like a part time job and was willing to go to great lengths to follow it to a T. I chose to forego wedding cake at my cousin’s wedding, bring my own meals out to a restaurant, and stay up late logging my food intake and counting calories.

If you can relate, you also believed this effort was an investment into a skinnier version of yourself. But what I was really doing was sacrificing my precious time, energy, and attention in the moment for some future hope. Instead of enjoying my life with family and friends at a wedding, I found myself fretting over cake. Instead of enjoying a great conversation and connecting with friends at a restaurant, I worried about what I was eating. Instead of getting a good night’s sleep or reading a great book, I assessed my performance on my diet plan.  

For many, the diet mentality locks us into a belief that we must sacrifice today to have the body and the life we desire tomorrow. We take that thinking one step further and actually put our life on hold for some fantasy in the future. In the backs of our mind, we believe:

“My life will be ________ when I weigh ________” . Fill in the blanks.

My life will be complete when I can fit into my skinny jeans. Or, when I wear a size 6, I’ll be finally the young professional woman I think I should be, and I’ll have it all. Or, when I lose 15 pounds, more men will be attracted to me, and I’ll be in an amazing relationship.

But we can’t blame diets and a diet mentality for this. They are not the problem. They are just covering up something much more painful that we don’t want to confront: We believe we are not good enough.

This mentality started before we went on our first diet. The diet was there to distract us from looking at this painful belief. If we run from it and hide from it by dieting, maybe we can convince ourselves that we are good enough and prove this little voice inside of us wrong.

While we are dieting our life away and putting our hopes and dream on hold until we finally believe we have become good enough, life is happening around us. Our bodies may not be perfect. Our life may not be ideal. But they are the only ones we have, and we don’t get another one or another chance. We can live our life trying desperately to change our bodies and our lives, or we can live today like we want to live and feel at peace with our bodies and our lives. Stop struggling with the thought, “I’m not enough.” It’s simply not true. You are enough. Your body is enough. Your life is enough. Put down the fight and the distractions that come from dieting and pick up the truth. Your life is waiting for you, and it’s time to live it! 

With Love and Inspiration~

Tara

Love The World Because The World Loves You

I popped into Walgreens the other day to pick up a few things and couldn’t help but to notice the 50% off Valentine’s Day candies and stuffed animals. The Easter candy going up on the other side of the aisle also served as a reminder that the holiday of love came and went. Mark and I had a really nice long over due dinner at a restaurant that we have gone to every Valentine’s Day since we moved up here to New Hampshire. Without taking away from the celebration and the appreciation that can come from Valentine’s Day, I’ve come to experience love in a much different way. It sits underneath the surface of the love I share with my family and friends, but it expands so much farther and wider than I can often imagine.

Here is how I have come to know love.

~ Love can expand infinitely when we are in the present moment and shrink drastically when we our thoughts and views are coming from either the past or the future.

~Love is a choice we make.

~Love isn’t something we earn or is something than can be taken away.

~Love is a verb and is a practice.

~Love and fear are the exact opposites.

~Love is defenseless.

~Love is generous.

Love comes from within me. It’s something I connect with. It’s not something I can find in the kindness and thoughtfulness of others or notice the lack of it with hurtful words and actions.

Over the years, I’ve taken a hard look at past relationships. Why are their words and actions still hurting me? Are they still staying those things or am I still saying them to myself? Are they still hurting me or am I revisiting my memories that hurt? Through this insight and willingness to accept me and the people in my life exactly as we are, I’ve come to see love in a much more powerful way. The only thing that gets in the way from me loving them, is some how believing that what they did or said to me meant I wasn’t lovable.

I am love. You are love. It’s not something we need to seek because it lives within us. Think of love as a source of energy. The more we use the energy, the stronger and more expansive it becomes. Our practice, whether it be on Valentine’s day or the other 364 days of the year, is connecting with that source again and again.

How to Eat Mindfully

I’ve made this amazing shift in how I eat most of my meals. For the most part, I no longer eating frantically, standing up, on the run, and without paying any attention to what I eat or how much of it shove in my mouth. I’ve embraced a new way that has brought me so much connection and vitality. Eating for me is now like moving through a yoga class. Now, I eat with intention. I make the choice to eat. I choose what I eat based on what I want and know will serve me well.

I give eating my full attention. I sit down and take a few deep breaths. My body relaxes. I put my cell phone away and turn my laptop and IPad off. I am here to eat.

With every bite, I spend the time to notice. With all of my attention on what I am eating, the tastes and textures are sometimes big and complex and sometimes so simple.

Like a beautifully timed child’s pose, I naturally take a few breaths in between bites. These are moments I take time to check back in and notice my body.

I naturally stop eating. Sometimes there is nothing left on my plate. Sometimes a few bites remain. My body simply says “just enough”.

Sometimes, my mind wants more and my body says stop. There may be a bit of a wrestling match. I notice that too. There is no perfect answer. With awareness, I consciously make a choice; continue to eat or stop. I practice keeping it simple.

I have finished eating, but I stay seated and invite in a few deep breaths. It’s like shavasana; a time for my body to integrate with the food I just nourished it with. These are the sweetest and most tender moments.

I spent years eating too much or not eating enough. I was lost without a diet or a set of rules to offer me the answers. Thankfully, the power of my yoga practice has opened my mind and guided me to a new way that focuses around being intentional and mindful. Eating now is an opportunity for connection instead of a process filled with uncertainty and numbing. I am so grateful for my practice. Namaste.

Practice Makes Possible

I got into my first forearm stand the other day. I was probably only up for about 5 seconds, but it felt like it could have been a lot longer. If you asked me about doing a forearm stand 6 months ago, I would have said that forearm stand isn’t for me, after all, my left shoulder if still pretty tight after my rotator cuff surgery. You may have accepted my explanation with a bit of sympathy and understanding. And I would have moved on with my life never knowing the experience of forearm stand. So what changed? I started to practice forearm stand. Simple right? It’s not magic. I just chose to try instead of choosing not to try. But, there were a few things I needed in place while I practiced. If you are ready to take on something you didn’t think possible, here is what you may need too.

You need courage. I have seen so many brand new yogis come into Seacoast Power Yoga this past week and it has been so inspiring. Some are teen girls and boys, some folks over 60. They show up with no mats and no fancy yoga clothes. Imagine that. They have courage. They may have been nervous, a little scared and pretty certain they didn’t know how it was going to go, but they came in to try a class anyway.

You need to let yourself suck. Toddlers don’t generally go from crawling to sprinting. They stand, take a step and sit down. They fall…a lot! And then they get up again. When I started practicing forearm stand, I was okay with not having a Yoga Journal cover worthy pose right away. Start practicing from where you are, despite how it looks and despite how many times you may stumble and fall.

You need to be consistent. When I first started blogging, I Googled- how to become a better writer. Well, this may sound profound. Site after site pretty much said that to become a better writer you need to write.  Every day for 30 minutes. The more I write, the more comfortable I am doing it.

You need to be awesome, not perfect. My daughter was hand-cutting cat shaped cookies the other night. They were awesome because they were all different shapes and sizes. Perfect can be boring and very uninteresting. When I’ve tried hard to make things perfect, all I have gotten was exhaustion. Do your best and let that be enough.

You need to not be attached to the result. By all means, practice with a goal or intention in mind. But then let it go. When we get so attached to the outcome, we lose sight of why the outcome is so important to us to begin with. Sure, I wanted to get into forearm stand. By practicing every week, I got to know my strength and discovered what adjustments I needed in my body. The confidence and connection I gained is much more valuable than getting into the pose itself.

You need to play. Abby, a yogi at the studio loves playing in her practice. Before and after every class, she is upside doing something fun with a big smile on her face. I love watching how lightly she takes herself, especially on that rare occasion when she falls out of a pose. Falling isn’t failing; it’s another opportunity to try again. Make it fun and light.

Practicing is something you must do, because it tests, defies and ultimately blows up the limits you have placed on yourself. I have experienced first hand how excuses, or put another way- seemingly rational reasons, on why not to practice have stood in my way of experiencing myself powerfully. I could go through my whole life without doing forearm stand. But instead, I now know the formula for doing something I didn’t think I initially could. Today, I am happy to celebrate my success. But the practice never stops. Tomorrow, I will practice again.

The Missing Piece To Your Health

When we think of increasing our health and vitality, we might think about what we are eating, how much sleep or sex we are having, the workout that we said we were going to start and really stick to, or planning a spectacular vacation. But there is one important component that we may not even realize we have or that is missing from our life. Do we see ourselves as part of group where we feel a connection is the foundation to our wellbeing and living a fulfilled life? Ann in boat

Oxford Dictionary defines community as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. According to Oxford, to be part of a community, one does not have to sign a legal contract, live in a certain place, or formally be part of a specific group of people. Oxford implies that community lies in the experience of the person defining their community. Community is in the eyes of the beholder.

When Seacoast Power Yoga celebrated its 3rd year anniversary, over 50 of us gathered to mark the milestone with lots of laughter, sweat and gratitude. Although each of us have different experiences of our community, by showing up to celebrate, everyone was offering themselves and giving themselves at the same time. Many students have shared with me personally; the community of Seacoast Power Yoga has made their lives better. And in my view, it’s because each of them chose to be a part of it.

Here are a few reasons why communities make such a big difference in our lives:

~Community gives people a place to belong. Whether you are 12, 25 or 83, people want to be a part of something. Not everyone has a job they love. Not everyone has a family life that is full of nourishment and connection. A community can be a place where you share something in common or work toward a common goal. Or it can be something that you are just a part of because of where you live or some place you go regularly. I’ve stopped by our Newfields General Store early in the morning and there is a group of men that get their coffee every morning standing around chatting. Community can be both formal and informal.

~Community supports the human connection. People need to be seen and heard in real time. The complexity of our lives is increasing and when our phone calls or lunch dates with friends have been replaced with texts, Instagram comments and Facebook messages, getting in the same room with other people is more important than ever.

~Community supports courage. This may be a sweeping assumption, but taking risks are something that many of us don’t take lightly. Having a community in our corner cheering us on or knowing they will be there if we stumble can make the difference between taking a leap or staying where we are. It’s like jumping off a cliff with a safety net.

~Community offers love and support. After my shoulder surgery, friends and neighbors brought us homemade dinners for a week. It was such so nice and the kids absolutely loved it. People were thinking of us and doing what they could to make things better. My husband and I have also pulled together some meals for friends that could use the break from cooking to focus on their health and healing. It feels great to receive the support and it also feels great to offer the support.

The afternoon of the yoga studio’s anniversary celebration, I flew to Colorado to attend a yoga conference with 400 other yogis with my teacher, Baron Baptiste. I met up with and hung out with old friends but I also made many new ones. I didn’t just show up, I put myself out there and made a point to connect. It was 3 days of fun and I was so filled up by the whole experience. The Baptiste community is always there, but I made the conscious choice to be part of it. I chose to invest in the community and in turn invest in myself.

Communities are like gardens. The more care and attention the garden is given, the more it offers in beauty and bounty. Look around and see the communities that you are already a part of. Make that conscious choice to not only see the community as yours but also to nurture it. Your life will be all the better for it.

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New Girl, New Habit

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I have a confession to make.  It may make you laugh. My family thinks it’s hysterical. Over the past 2 ½ weeks, I’ve been obsessed with the TV show “New Girl”. I sat down to watch the pilot on Netflix and after a few shorts weeks, I’m already in the middle of Season 3. I’ve been watching the show religiously every night, averaging about 2.5 shows an evening. This is a big change for me as I typically only watch TV  a few times week. But now, I sit down to watch it with a glass of red wine or a cup of tea (depending on the night), curl up on the couch and let myself be thoroughly and mindlessly entertained. A habit is supposedly formed by consistently doing the same thing every day for 28, 30, or even 40 days (depending on who you ask and where you look). So you may not call my "New Girl" routine a habit just yet, but it did get me thinking about habits and how some habits can be so easily formed and some habits can be so hard to break.

People spend a good deal of time and money trying to create positive habits and to break negative ones. They often look at the action of the habit itself, for example, smoking, running every morning, or flossing before bedtime. But there are a few other pieces to the habit puzzle that are more critical than the action itself. A habit also includes the desire we crave before we move into action and the outcome that immediately follows. Take my “New Girl” routine. It started with me looking for relaxation, which is the desire I craved. While I watched the first 4 episodes of Season 1, I laughed, gave my mind and body a break sitting on the couch and afterward felt renewed. Immediately, my mind drew the connection. Desire to relax > "New Girl"> Feel Better. It didn’t take more than a few days for me to realize that when I wanted to feel better; I sat to watch "New Girl".

One habit that I’m familiar with is around binge eating, as it started for me in my early teens. At the time, food was the only coping mechanism I knew to help me deal with overwhelming feelings.  Even though I wasn't aware of it at the time, my desire was to not feel the intensity of my sadness, frustration, anxiety or anger. When I stuffed myself with food (maybe girl-scout cookies or M&M’s) I went numb and didn’t feel anything. The outcome of my binge eating habit was to take away the immediate discomfort (even though it was fleeting and ultimately I felt worse). This habit continued over the years by eating uncontrollably in response to stress, overwhelm or anything else that I wanted an escape from. I would try desperately to change this habit by trying to stop binge eating, like it was the cause and effect of my problems. The more I fought with the binge eating, the more energy I was giving to the one thing I desperately wanted to change. I realized, with mindfulness, awareness and compassion that acknowledging and not reacting to the the emotion was at the heart of dismantling this habit. It was then that I began to replace binge eating with a more loving habit.

Here is the thing. We make our habits and then our habits make us. The action of the habit can define us if we let it. We start to smoke and we become a smoker. We train for our first 5k and we become a runner. We stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. Look at your habits carefully; are they reflecting who you want to be and how you want to live? If not, look at the desire and the outcome of the habit itself.  Is watching "New Girl" every night a reflection of how I want to live? Maybe not. But let me put it another way, is relaxing and laughing every evening how I want to live? Absolutely.

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The Hurricane

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This particular Saturday morning did not go as planned. With each of my three kids going in different directions starting at 6:45am, and my husband away for the weekend, I needed to be on my game. Instead, I overslept- waking up 15 minutes before we we're suppose to be at the football field. I felt like "Hurricane Tara" arriving at the school as I was speeding in, slamming doors, hustling over to where we were supposes to be and clearly creating a wake in my path. When I saw my son’s coach he said “It's okay, just breath". As a yoga studio owner, that felt a little embarrassing to hear from a football coach. At the same time, a friend nearby jokingly said to me, “Ya, isn't that what you tell your yoga students? You are not a great advertisement for your yoga studio right now". They were both right. I immediately felt guilty and a bit bummed at myself for that showdown. The good news is that it gave me some insight. 201108-w-hurricane-proof-stay-on-top-of-weather

When we are living authentically, we have nothing to defend. Sure, we all develop expectations and judgments of people, the roles they play and how we would like them to act around us. I know that I like the grocery store bagger to know how to bag groceries. I want my kids teachers to be respectful, enthusiastic, and care about their students. I want my car mechanic to not unnecessarily charge me an arm and leg to fix my car. But the funny thing is that if I were to see any of them outside of the grocery store, school, or auto body shop, aside from breaking the law, I don’t expect much from them. And herein lies what makes teaching yoga and owning a yoga studio so amazing. We’ve created a built in mechanism to stay committed to our journey and the process we are teaching. It’s so natural that my yoga students and my community may expect me to be mindful, peaceful, relaxed and not stressed out when they see me outside of the studio. I expect the same thing for myself. They may even expect me to be a vegetarian, not drink beer or coffee, and drive a Prius with a Namaste bumper sticker on the back. And I have no problem with any of those expectations. Their expectations are their business. I may not meet any of them or I may not meet them 100% of the time. I don’t need to apologize, defend myself or beat myself up about it. My practice is waking up and catching myself when I am not living true to my word.

You don’t have to be a yoga teacher to stay committed to being yourself. Being yourself takes little to no work at all. Can you see areas or situations in your life that feel heavy or forced? Where are you applying a lot of effort to hide or try to show a made up version of yourself? Getting to the football field the other morning felt pretty stressful. I was worried I was letting people down (my son especially) but also when I take a hard look, I was afraid of looking bad. After all of that, being late the other morning did not really create any problems for anyone. But it did give me an opportunity to catch myself trying too hard, hiding behind my self-imposed stress and taking myself way to seriously.

I can now think back to that morning and smile at “Hurricane Tara”. If it were not for her, I wouldn’t feel as peaceful and connected as I do right now.

 

My Pact

We had an active weekend in Maine. The boys are starting their football season, Anna is getting ready to begin her first season running cross country and Mark got recruited to run Reach the Beach (a 24 hour 200 mile team run) last minute. We spent a few mornings running, doing some push-ups, squats, forearm planks and taking advantage of some down time to improve our conditioning. Some of this felt a little more challenging than I would have liked and I noticed some old but familiar self-talk. I felt frustrated and unsettled. I was wishing for a different version of my body; something better conditioned, leaner, more fit. This state of mind has crept in frequently, in different places in my life, for as long as I can remember. Struggling through a 3 mile run and remembering the days when 6 miles came so easily and effortlessly. Feeling so excited to get out the next seasons clothes and noticing that the shorts from last summer don’t fit as well as I’d like them to. Or maybe seeing a picture of a woman in a magazine wearing a super cute dress thinking, I wish I could wear that dress and look like that. When I would share my frustration of my body to my husband, he would respond with the same response I would to anyone I love. “I love you just the way you are.” It didn’t matter what he thought or if I heard the same thing from Brad Pitt. What he said, although appreciated, didn’t change the way I thought about myself. The change in my thinking had to come from me.

What made a difference for me was when I created a pact with myself. A pact rooted in gratitude, respect and trust. I didn’t realize I was doing this at the time. But somewhere along the way, I got a glimpse of insight that I am not my body, and the number on a scale or the size of my jeans does not measure my worth. Instead, I could see that my body is the home of my spirit and my uniqueness. I’ve read my share of body image self help books. Some of them would say, if you don’t like your hips, focus on your shoulders, or if you don’t like your nose, focus on your eyes. I understand the advice around emphasizing the positive, however, I think they are missing the point. Our body and even our health is a reflection of how we feel and think about ourselves. Let the focus be on what’s going on inside, not on the outside.

You have an agreement with yourself already in place. Is it based in acceptance or judgment? Is your agreement nurturing or filled with rules, deprivation and punishment? If you can see that the pact you have with yourself is any less than loving, you MUST shift it. We are here in this lifetime to shine bright and share our best version of ourselves. By embracing ourselves, our bodies and our lives just as we are in this moment, we open a space to create something new. If we continue to beat ourselves up at every turn, ironically, the change we are seeking becomes further and further out of reach because we spend all of our time and energy fighting ourselves.

Life will throw us curve balls where we can easily go from feeling on cloud 9 to being filled with doubts and uncertainties. Just like I experienced over the weekend. That’s when the pact comes in. We can say to ourselves “ I love you just the way you are” and really believe it.

Here is my Pact-

I am grateful for my beating heart and my steady breath. I promise to nurture my body with rest, movement and life giving food. I listen, I trust, I connect. I am complete, just as I am, in this moment.

What’s yours?

 

Getting Out of the Mud

Do you feel stuck? Like, feet in the mud and you can’t move no matter how hard you try to lift your legs stuck? Being stuck is such a powerless feeling. You may feel stuck around your job, the relationship you have with a friend or family member, or maybe an illness of someone you love.  Feeling stuck can leave us feeling pretty resigned and complacent, like things will never be any different. For me, I’ve often wondered- how do I ever get myself out of this mess? I can’t see a way out.

For the past few month, I’ve been feeling really stuck around my work schedule. I’ve got too much on my plate and it’s dragging me down.  Yes, I am doing everything I love- hanging with my husband and 3 kids, teaching yoga, creating a beautiful yoga community and continuing to work on my accounting and finance career.  But it ‘s one of those situations where I have too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  I’m sure everyone reading this probably feels the same way about their own schedule! I’m have been feeling overwhelmed and trapped.

Thankfully, I recently had a shift. Thanks to a personal transformation training I attended over the weekend, I now see things differently and I’ve tried it on for myself.

What if we choose what we have? I choose my work schedule. As soon as I said it out loud, I began to relax.  Yes, I choose it!  I choose my work schedule. Now, here comes the shift. I choose to feel calm and peaceful around my work schedule. Is that possible? Well, it wasn’t possible when I was fighting with my work schedule. It wasn’t when I hated my work schedule and I was just looking to fix it. It wasn’t possible when I felt victim to my work schedule and I was so focused on being at the mercy of my work schedule. This feels powerful. I can choose what I have and when I do, I can choose my way of being around that choice. This doesn’t mean I have to like my choice.  Choosing what we have creates ownership.  Since I’ve made this shift, I do feel much more calm and at ease.  I actually feel like I’ve made more time for myself and I’m more focused. I even feel more creative.  Now, if I choose to make a change, I know that I’m making that happen, it’s not happening to me.

I’m no longer stuck in mudthe mud. My feet are on dryer ground and I feel like I can walk or even sprint in any direction I CHOOSE.  How about you? What’s in your life that you choose for yourself?