Dreaming, thinking, wishing and hoping.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is more people who come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman. 

So what is it that makes you come alive? What gets your heart racing with excitement? What are you so passionate about that it keeps you up at night? We all have something that really lights our fire. So, ask yourself. What is it for you?

The past year I have become obsessed with goal setting. It all started last fall when I became an ambassador for lululemon athletica. During a meeting with the staff and other ambassadors, we were asked to list our vision and goals for the next one, five and ten years. We were to write our vision and goals down so they could be posted in the store for everyone to see. I’m almost embarrassed to say it but this gave me anxiety. I mean heart racing, sweaty armpits, stomach-dropping anxiety. Like anyone else I have always had goals and plans for the future, but never once did I take the time to mediate on my life years down the road and solidify and broadcast what those goals were.

I took my sheet with me and stewed on my goals for weeks. I found it hard to write them down and make a commitment that other people were able to see and hold me accountable to. What if I didn’t achieve my goals? What if I fail? What will others think of me if I don’t succeed? But then I realized, who really cares? These are my goals, nobody else’s. They are all about me and although I have a vision for my future, that vision evolves just as much as I do. Looking back at my one-year goals, I was actually able to obtain most of them; which honestly is a pretty dang good feeling. These goals were to pay my house off, attend two yoga workshops, read two books a month and establish a daily meditation practice.

Since then I have read numerous books and follow many blogs on goal setting. This stuff really gets my motor going. I can’t get enough. I could spend hours daydreaming on things that I want to achieve in my lifetime. Some are small goals that I can achieve daily and others I will spend my whole life working towards. That’s the really great thing about goal setting, even though we are able to check things off the list, it’s ever growing. There really is no end as long as we are passionate and motivated to succeed.

Evidence shows that when we write down our goals and share them with others, we are able to hold ourselves more accountable, we can clarify what it is that we want to accomplish and we are able to see and track our progress. This allows us to get closer to kicking the crap out of our goals.

So, now its time to ask yourself, what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? Goal setting can get a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips for getting started:

  1. Start small and go from there. Allow yourself to set obtainable goals which will continue to feed your fire.
  1. Be realistic with your goals. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Enough said.
  1. Dream big. There are no rights or wrongs when setting your goals. Only you know what you are capable of and the world is your oyster, my friend. Dream as big as your heart desires (but keep in mind #2).
  1. Understand that you might not be able to obtain every single goal you set. Life happens and sometimes things get in the way of what we want to accomplish. Don’t look it as a failure, chalk it up to a life lesson, dust your shoulders off and move on. But, don’t give up on something that your heart truly desires. You know the saying; if at first you don’t succeed, try again. And don’t stop trying until you get what it is you want.
  1. Recognize and accept that although others may have the same goals as you, we are all walking different paths in life. Even though you may have the same goals, the means for obtaining them may be entirely different. Be happy for those who have achieved their goals prior to you and be patient. Your day will come when it’s supposed to.
  1. Share your goals with others. Help each other stay on track and be accountable. Share what has worked for you and want hasn’t. Motivate each other. Share your successes and what you’ve learned along the way. Inspire others and be inspired.
  1. Journal. Journal. Journal. Write down your goals. Meditate on them. Watch them evolve and then journal some more. Keep the ideas flowing.
  1. Finally, have fun. Goal setting is a process of learning about who you are and what you want out of life. Embrace whatever feelings or emotions come up during the process. It’s a journey, but one where the risks are totally worth the rewards. Enjoy, my friends!

I’d love to hear from you and what your goals are! Leave a comment below or email me and share your stories at lmelott@thislandyoga.com. Keep on dreaming!!!!

Go With the Flow

Go with the flow. The same words keep popping up randomly and have been doing so for the past few weeks. It’s in my Instagram or Facebook feed, I’ll see it written in a book or hear it on the radio. Every single time it’s a like a gentle reminder from the universe telling me to chill out and stop wasting my energy fighting whatever situation I’m being faced with.

It all started a few weeks ago when Tori and Ben, two absolutely incredible people from Ohio, who travel to various studios all over the country advocating this movement of going with the flow on our mats, came to OKC. Tori leads the students through a vinyasa flow class while Ben serenades the students with his acoustic guitar and vocals. I really didn’t know what to expect when I showed up for their class but I had only heard really great things.

This would be a good time for me to explain that as a yoga instructor, sometimes it’s really hard for me to get out of my own head when I practice in a class setting. I’m usually thinking “oh, I love that transition, I’ll have it rememberer that” or “wow, that was a great way the instructor lead us into that pose, I really like that” or sometimes I just don’t want to do want the instructor is asking us to do and I end up in child’s pose for half the class because my body is too tired to practice and I really just want to be on my mat, breathing with my community. Nothing more.

Something pretty radical happened when I took Tori and Ben’s class. It was one of those practices where I was deep in it. I mean complete connection to my breath and my body. My mind was silent and I felt my body move and flow in a way it never has before. I had this feeling of being the only one in room yet, It felt as if I was connected to every single person there. Our souls were united and it was as if our hearts beat as one. I didn’t control my breath at all. It just naturally came and moved my body in a dance on my mat. Not to mention the savasana. The most blissful savasana I have ever had in my life. Holy moly! Bens beautiful voice sung us a sweet, beautiful song that brought tears to my eyes. Although I’m notorious for being “that girl” that always cries in class, something shifted in me that day. I realized that I don’t always have to control situations and that sometimes if I just sit back and go with the flow instead of constantly trying to fight the situation, there could be so much more waiting for me at the end.

Lately I’ve struggled with things in my personal life not going the way I want them too. Plans change, relationships change, I change and I often find myself being very resistant to completely surrendering to the situation and allowing things to be as they are. Instead, my mind takes over and negativity starts to creep in. Once this happens it starts to consume me with negativity and it begins to spread like a disease infecting everyone around me.

But here’s the thing I’ve come to realize: change is indeed going to happen and there is not a darn thing you or I can do about it. The seasons change throughout the year bringing many changes to our environment, the years pass, we grow older, our bodies change as well as our minds. Plans change. Ideas change. People change. It happens 24/7. There is no escaping it.

So, we have two options: we can fight against it wasting the short, precious amount of time we have here, only to be in a losing battle with the universe where we end up consumed with emotions of negativity, fear, anger and resentment or we can allow ourselves to go with the flow of life understanding that we can’t always be in control. Sometimes we have to submit to the inevitable and trust that every thing is going to be okay.

Just to clarify here, by saying go with the flow I don’t mean you should just roll over and submit to every single situation that doesn’t go your way. There are obviously times when you must fight for what it is you believe in. There is a time and a place to use that energy and only you can decide when that is. But- if doing so sacrifices your character or causes you to become someone that you wouldn’t want to be around, you might take a step back and ask yourself if it’s really worth it.

Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe and understanding that things do happen for a reason and at the end of the day we will be fine. It’s about trusting that we don’t always have to control the situation. Sometimes when the winds of the universe change, it’s perfectly okay to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Going with the flow of what life has in store for us instead of fighting against it.

For more information on Ben, Tori and Go With the Flow, check out their website at: gowtheflow.org