Fall vibes

Autumn. Its right around the corner and it is my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love every single thing about it. Scarfs, boots, hoodies, cooler weather and crisp mornings, leaves changing, football games, chili and crock pot soups, whiskey and fire pits. Oh man. I get so excited just thinking about it.

I always find it nice to spend some before a new season to reflect on the past couple of months and look ahead at the intentions/goals that I would like to honor. I recently reevaluated my core desired feelings (CDFs) using the Desire Map process by Danielle Laporte. I discovered that my CDFs were: freedom, bliss, shine, authentic, inspired, and abundant. Its important to me to honor these CDFs and to work towards living a life that puts these feelings at the forefront of everything else. I want to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. In order to find myself closer to achieving my core desired feelings and being my best self, I have set the following intentions:

Go Outside- I’m not a fan of the heat that summertime brings, which means I usually don’t get outside as much from early June through the middle of September. Here in Oklahoma, not only is it a million degrees outside, but the humidity is normally through the roof. Any kind of physical activity outdoors makes me feel like I am suffocating. The air is thick and you break out into a full blown sweat just walking outside to check the mail. Ugh. I am not a fan. The fall is when I really start to get active again. I ride my bike, run, walk, etc. The cooler weather definitely energizes me and I find that physical movement outdoors is much like a moving meditation for me.  I also plan on spending a lot of time sitting on the amazing deck that my husband built for us a couple of years ago. One of my favorite things to do is crawl up in my swing with a book and a cup of tea and get lost in whatever it is I’m reading or make a cocktail and sit around the chiminea wrapped up in a blanket. Its good stuff. Regardless of what it is I am doing, I intend to spend much more quality time outdoors.

Yin/Yang Balance- I would say my personality definitely teeters more on the yang side of things and that is directly reflected in how I live my life. I am constantly going from one thing to the next without giving myself the opportunity to chill out and reset. My intention is to find more of that yin/yang balance in all aspects of my life. Instead of a vigorous vinyasa practice finding more of a yin/restorative practice to offset my running/cycling. If I have had a busy day working, teaching, etc then perhaps spend the rest of the evening on the couch snuggled up with the pups and my man. Stay up late on Saturdays and sleep in on Sundays. Have a smoothie for breakfast if I had a little too much comfort food the night before (or a glass or two of wine too many). Whatever it is, find more balance. Or at least, work towards creating a life with a little more of equal parts yin and yang.

Permission slips Brene’ Brown talks about these in her latest book “Rising Strong”. I think these are pretty much the greatest thing ever and I’ve been practicing writing myself these daily. My biggest permission slip to myself has been: “I give myself permission to say no.” This one is a biggie for me. I am a yes person. A people pleaser. I will say yes to something and then two seconds later immediately regret it and feel stuck because I don’t want to let people down. So, instead of saying yes to things right away,  I give myself permission to say no. To be noncommittal. To think it over and if it doesn’t feel like its truly going to feed my soul then say no without a single ounce of guilt.

Block out time for self-care– I have been doing this more and more and I can’t recommend it enough. Sometimes our schedules can get a little out of control and we miss out on spending time taking much needed care of ourselves. I have made it a point to block out time in my calendar for yoga classes, runs, time to read, date nights, etc. These are extremely important to me and it must be treated just like all the other priorities in my life. If I don’t put it on my calendar, more than likely it won’t get done and I end up burning the match at both ends. I do this at the beginning of each week so I know that it is taken care of and it gives me something to look forward to. 

Pray, meditate, rinse and repeat- I spend a great deal of my time worrying about the outcome of things that may or may not even occur. I stress myself out trying to control situations rather than trusting that every thing truly will be okay. I’ve been relying more and more on prayer and meditation and it has really helped slow down the chatter of my monkey mind. I intend to continue to practice this as I know it will get easier and easier. My meditation practice has always been something that is important to me but not something I make a priority like I should. My intention is to start each day with a short meditation in hopes that it sets the tone for the rest of my day.

Read- Currently on my list of books to read for the next couple of months are:

  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Villoldo
  • The Alchemist (again) by Paulo Coelho
  • The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer
  • Desire Map and Firestarter Sessions by Danielle Laporte (These stay on constant rotation. Ive read them numerous times and still can’t get enough)

What about you? What are your intentions/goals for the next couple of months? Have you taken the time to ask yourself what you want to accomplish or practice? 

Monkey Mind 

I’ve had this heaviness weighing over me for the past couple of months. If you know me well enough, you know that I spend a lot of time up in my head. A lot of unnecessary, wasted time worrying about things. Things that, as my dad would say, “don’t amount to a hill of beans.”

Translation: Shit that does not matter. At all.

I worry about the past, the present and the future.

I worry about friendships. Especially as more and more of my friends are getting married, having babies, moving, etc and our friendships begin to change shape. 

I worry about my family. 

I worry about my job. My corporate job in Oil and Gas; which if you’ve paid attention to the news lately, you would know that it’s currently in a very volatile environment.

I worry about my ability to be a good wife, daughter, friend, sister, lover, nurturer, yoga instructor, listener, mother, etc etc etc. blah blah freaking blah!!! 

I call this “monkey mind”. I imagine that little annoying monkey holding the cymbals and the more I feed my thoughts, the harder the monkey slams the cymbals together making that god awful noise.

  
Meditation, yoga and exercise all help but I still find myself entertaining my thoughts and continually letting them take control of me. I’ve even had a few sleepless nights because I just couldn’t turn off that little voice in my head. That constant freaking chatter.

Then the other day I came across a quote on instagram. “Most of the things you worry about, are things that won’t even matter a few months from now.”

YATZEE!!! It’s funny how the universe sends us these signs when we need them the most. We just have to be open to receiving them.

I realized all the worrying and stressing I was doing was sending me down this deep, dark rabbit hole. When I came to my senses and got clear on exactly how I wanted to feel, I realized that if all the worrying wasn’t serving me, then it dang sure wasn’t serving anyone around me. It was greatly affecting my ability to be truly present and overwhelmed me with a sense of anxiety and depression. Not to mention, a huge waste of my time. 

So, I gave myself an attitude adjustment (aka I lost my shit). I decided to finally surrender. I prayed to the universe to take it all from me and promised to trust that things do work out for a reason and what is supposed to happen will. I also had a mini meltdown that involved wine and a few (okay, a lot) of tears. I instantly felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I began to understand that I don’t have to hold on to these things and everything truly will be alright. I finally realized that I cannot control what happens regarding my job, relationships, marriage, etc.

The only thing that I can control-and this is huge-is how I choose to live my life.

I can choose to spend my days allowing that monkey to run rampant in my head or I can allow myself to let it all go and surrender to what the universe has in store for me. To fully live my life completely present soaking up every single second of it.

Inhale the good shit. Exhale the bull shit. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m human. We can’t completely get rid of our worries. It’s a part of the human condition. But we can make a conscious choice to not allow our worries or fears to take over and negatively affect our quality of life.

It’s up to you. You can choose to let go of the things that weigh you down or you can let the monkey be the ruler of your mind. Trust me, it’s not easy to surrender, but once you do, damn it feels good.