Back home.

Yesterday I got on my yoga mat for the first time in almost 6 weeks. The past couple of months have been difficult dealing with family health issues, my husband getting into an cycling accident and several other curveballs that have come our way.
My yoga mat has always felt like home. But when things got really hard for me, that was the last place I wanted to be. And I couldn’t understand why. How could I turn my back on something that I love with all my heart.
I couldn’t even bring myself to roll my mat out at home.
I wanted nothing to do with it.
At all.
I questioned it and questioned it and I just couldn’t grasp why.
Getting back on my mat I finally understand. Yoga is the one thing that truly connects me. Mind, body, heart and soul. All of it. And it connects me to everything around me. It’s what makes everything make sense. It makes time seem to not exist. It aligns every part of me and shows me my own truth. It forces me to deal with my issues and to let them go once they have taught me what I’m supposed to learn. It shows me that everything is going to be okay. No matter what.
And I guess I just didn’t want to see those things. Maybe I wasn’t ready to deal with everything yet. Maybe I didn’t want to let go. Im guilty of suppressing things way deep down and not wanting to face them in hopes that they will magically go away. When you’re caught up in your own mental thunderstorms it’s really hard to see past the pain. And to allow yourself to do the things that you know will bring you joy. It’s like we punish ourselves or something. Or maybe I’m the only one who does that.
Regardless, I am grateful for a great friend for guiding me through my practice and for Soul Yoga for always being my home.

Be who you want

For what its worth: Its never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit; stop whenever you want. You can change or you can stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The core of

your true self.

let go of all

the pretending

and the becoming

you’ve done just

to belong. Curl up

with your rawness

and come home.

you don’t have to

find yourself;

you just have to

let yourself in.

-d antionette foy

to reach satisfaction in all
desire it’s possession in nothing,
to come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge in nothing,
to come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing,
to arrive at all,
desire to be nothing.
-St. John of the Cross

translation: want it with all your heart. but don’t get attached to it.

excerpt from The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte

Holidazed and Confused

It’s that time of year again and we are in thick of it. Christmas parties, booze, late nights, bad food, exhaustion, probably more booze, too many sweets, no sleep…..you get where I am going where. This is the time of year where we completely drain ourselves. The sad part is, we do this to ourselves willingly. I think it is safe to say that our ability to make good, positive, healthy, sound decisions completely goes out the window the entire month of December. It returns back in January left to pick up the pieces of our worn down, sick, hung-over, over indulged bodies. We treat our physical and mental bodies so horribly through the holidays, its no wonder why we set resolutions at the beginning of the year. But really, during December those New Years resolutions, goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, only serve as a hall pass to do whatever the heck we want. So, we eat as much holiday candy as we can shove in our mouths, we have that extra glass of wine (every single time), we stay up way past our bed time and we completely give up working out because we have hit all time levels of exhaustion and, well, we will just hit it hard come January, right?

 It doesn’t have to be like this. Not at all. Not even close. We don’t have to drive ourselves into the ground all for the sake of having the best December of our lives. The holidays are a very exciting time of the year and with it come so much stress, pressure, anxiety, social gatherings, and not enough time spent on ourselves. Taking time to just slow down and breathe every now and then could do so much damage control.

Here are some tips to get you through the holidays to have a wonderful time while still keeping yourself at the top of your to do list.

  1. Don’t over commit yourself. Let me say that again: DO NOT OVER COMMIT YOURSELF. Seriously. It is so easy to do but, when it happens, you will instantly regret it. Take a look at your calendar and ask yourself what events, parties, socials, etc. you can omit for your list. What can you leave behind this year? Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to attend every single ugly sweater party you get invited to. Filling up your social calendar will only leave you tired, stressed and on the road to exhaustion. Decide what you can give up and stick to it. Trust me-you will feel TONS better.
  2. When you are at social gatherings, SKIP THE ALCOHOL AND SNACKS. This is what really starts to bring us down. Make a commitment to decide beforehand not to drink at the next party you go to and stick to it. We all know that alcohol impairs your ability to make good decisions and is full of empty calories (which is not flattering to your waist line). Speaking of not flattering to your waist line-lets talk about the snacks and unhealthy food that is served at most parties. If you know there is going to be a bunch of nutrient lacking, fat and sugar filled little devils that you can’t keep your hands off of, then eat before you go to the party. Have a salad with some protein to keep you full. One good decision leads to another so start the night off on the right foot!
  3. TAKE A TIMEOUT FOR YOURSELF. This is huge! I can’t stress it enough. Schedule a massage, meditate, take a restorative yoga class, spend an evening at home watching Christmas movies and partaking in an early bedtime. Whatever it is, slow down and spend time focusing on you and a little bit of self-care.
  4. STAY COMMITTED TO AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. Spend at least thirty minutes three times a week exercising. Grab some friends and go for a walk or jog, take a group fitness class, hit up a gym, turn some music on and dance. Do what you have to do to move your body. The endorphins that are released during exercising will make you feel incredible and you will be more inclined to make better decisions throughout your day.

It’s really not that hard to take care of yourself during the holidays. You just have to want to do it and make yourself your number one priority. Don’t let the holidays come and go without taking a moment to stop and breath.

 

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want

Margaret Young
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Be yourself. Be ordinary.

When we are just ourselves, without pretense or artifice, we are at rest in the universe. In this ordinariness there is no higher or lower, nothing to fix, nothing to desire, simply an opening in love and understanding to the joys and sufferings of the world. This ordinary love and understanding brings an ease and peace of heart to every situation. We discover that our salvation lies in the ordinary.

Jack Kornfield, Bringing Home the Dharma

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. 
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably. 
It may be clearing you out for some delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them all the door laughing and invite them in. 
Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent as
a guide from beyond.