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.

Myofascial Release Exercises for Athletes

Athletes place an immense amount of strain on their muscles and tendons especially as they increase their training and prepare for competition. Unfortunately, a common by-product of the increased activity is overuse injuries that can quickly sideline any athlete. This can easily be prevented by incorporating a form of self-massage, known as myofascial release, into the athletes training regimen.

Myofasical release is an easy, very effective way to loosen tight muscles and increase recovery time while keeping injuries at bay. This can easily be done using tennis balls or professionally made products by companies such as Rad Roller or Yoga Tune Up. When doing myofasical, try to avoid rolling directly over bone, swollen tissue or any areas that create pain of any kind. Spend as much time as you would like in the exercises below remembering to keep your focus on a steady breath. This is key. The more you can allow yourself to relax while doing these exercises, the more efficient they will be.

Foot: This can be done standing or sitting in a chair. Place the ball directly under your foot. Apply comfortable pressure and slowly roll the ball all around the bottom of the foot. Pay particular attention to any areas that feel especially tight specifically the inner and outer arches.

Feet

Hamstrings: From seated with legs extended, place the ball underneath your thigh. Press both hands into the ground to lift your hips (use blocks if needed) so you can roll the ball up and down the length of the hamstrings. Start at the sitting bones and work your down towards the knee.

Hamstrings

Hips: Lie on your back and bend your knees placing your feet onto the ground. Slide the balls under your hips so that they are right on the meaty portion of your glutes. Pick your left foot up and cross your ankle over your right thigh (if this feels like too much, keep both feet on the ground). To intensify the stretch, take both knees over to the right a few inches.

Hips

Hips2

IT Band: Lie on your right side with the leg extended sending the left leg in front of you with the foot planted for support. Slide a ball underneath your right thigh and rest your right forearm on the ground. Take a moment allowing the body to relax over the ball as you take a few deep breaths. Slowly begin to slide the body up and down over the ball starting from the top of the pelvis working your way down to just above the knee. If there is a particular area where you would like to spend some extra time, you can lower your upper body down onto the ground.

ITBAND2

ITband

Back: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Starting at the lower back, place two balls underneath your back on either side of your spine. Stay for a minute or so and then move the balls up about two inches, staying here for another minute and then moving up another two inches. Continue this up the spine and if you would like, you can work your way back down again.

Back2

Back

After you have completed the exercises above, spend some time lying flat on your back in savasana (corpse pose). Allow the body to be completely relaxed here and spend a few moments focusing on your breath. Take about 20-30 slow, controlled breaths before slowly making your way back up.

Feeling the love

I was recently listening to a podcast with Brene Brown and she made a comment that stopped me in my tracks. “We cannot give anything to others that we don’t already have.” It literally gave me goosebumps and has been on repeat in my mind since then.

We cannot give anything to others that we don’t already have.

I’m talking love, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, and the list goes on and on……

We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

I’ve been marinating on this and how it applies to my life. Am I giving myself the amount of love that I give to others?

The more I thought about it and when I decided to be completely honest with myself, I realized the answer to that question was no.  I don’t give myself near enough love. I spend so much time up in my head always striving to be my best that I don’t give myself permission to just chill out and be myself. To fully accept myself as I am. I have my good days and its a work in progress but I realized that if I’m not loving myself as much as I am capable, then I must be holding back on the amount of love I give to others.

I have to crack my heart open and be completely willing to put myself first. To be selfish and to shower myself with massive amounts of love. To really feel what that love feels like deep within my soul so that I can give that same amount of love to every single person I meet. Full hearted. Without holding anything back. Because I deserve the same amount of love that I would give someone else.

Yin Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Savasana– Lie on your back with the arms and legs extended. Take up space with your entire body. Turn your palms to face up and let the shoulders and hips melt into the floor. Close your eyes and start to draw your awareness to the breath. Focus on extending the inhales and exhales. Notice if there are any areas in your body that are tight or tense and concentrate on sending the breath into those parts of the body. Spend as much time as you would like here.

 Reclining Twist– draw your knees up towards your chest and with the shoulders rooted down extending your arms out long. Gently let both of your knees fall over to the right. Stay here for a few minutes and when you are ready to switch sides, lift the knees and lower them to the left. After you have completed both sides, spend some time with the knees drawn up towards the chest gently rocking from side to side massaging the lower back.

Sphinx– Come onto your belly. Place the forearms onto the mat with the elbows just below the shoulders and lift the chest. If this doesn’t feel well in your lower back, walk the elbows a bit forward; which will lower the chest closer to the floor. If there are any sharp pains or aches then release the chest to the floor. Simply lying on your belly may be a good enough back bend for you. Remain in this pose for up to 5 minutes pressing down gently with the forearms, pelvis and toes. To release, lower the chest to the floor and rest your cheek to one side for a few moments then press up and come onto your back.

Locust- From your belly, extend arms long next to your torso. Begin to lift the head, chest, arms and feet off the ground. Extend through the arms and the legs and roll the shoulder heads back towards your hips. Press your pelvis into the ground without tensing up in the glutes. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, rest and repeat twice more. (You may want to put a blanket underneath your pelvis for extra padding)

 Butterfly– From a seated position, bring the soles of the feet together and draw them away from you creating a diamond like shape with your legs. Allowing your back to round, fold forward, resting the hands on your feet or on the ground in front of you. Let your head be heavy here and keep the sit bones pressing gently into the mat. Option to elevate the hips with a blanket or block if needed. Stay here for 3-5 minutes and slowly roll yourself back up and extend your legs.

Childs Pose-Come onto your hands and knees. Bring your big toes together and sit back onto your heels. Lower your chest to rest on your thighs. If you would like, you can separate the knees wide and rest the chest towards the floor between the thighs. Extend your arms forward. Stay here for 3-5 minutes and to release walk the hands back toward the knees as you slowly lift the torso.

Standing forward fold- Stand up and separate your feet hips width distance apart. Soften your knees as you hinge forward at the hips and fold your torso over your legs. Bring your hands to opposite elbows. Let the head be heavy and continue to keep a gentle bend in the knees. Stay here for a just a couple of minutes and to release, take the hands to the ground and bend the knees lowering into a squat. You can work back and forth between the two as many times as you would like.

Savasana-Stay here as long as you would like.

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

What I’m Digging: July 

It’s the dog days of summer and while the heat is slowly starting to bring me down, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the things that bring me joy.
These are the things I’m currently digging:

Matcha tea. I picked up some amazingly yummy matcha while in Crested Butte and its rocking my world. I drink it every morning and it starts my day off right. We also have a really great place in OKC, T An Urban Teahouse, and their iced matcha is like hitting the jackpot. It’s like nectar straight from the gods. Oh and don’t even get me started on matcha lattes. It’s goodness like you wouldn’t believe.

My pink moleskine and my Desire Map planner. These are with me at all times. Seriously, I never leave home without them. Every morning as I’m drinking my matcha, I spend some time planning my day and journaling. This helps me to stay focused on things that need to get done while keeping myself inspired and connected to what matters most to me.

Time alone. Since our time in Colorado, when I had hours to myself every single day to do anything and everything I wanted, I have realized how important it is for me to spend time alone. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to find peace and joy while recharging my batteries. The older I get the more sacred I find this time and the more it becomes a priority. I’ve even started blocking out time on my calendar that’s just for me.

Podcasts. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. I listen to podcasts a good chunk of the day. My current favorites are Being Boss, Wellness Wonderland and Over the Moon. These are not only entertaining, but they are inspiring as well. I keep my moleskine nearby and will occasionally take notes, especially when I hear anything from Gabrielle Bernstein or Danielle Laporte. These have been known to get me through some pretty rough days at my full time gig.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I read this book on my kindle and I loved it so much that I bought a paperback copy so I could read it again and write notes in it. I’m a sucker for a physical book and you better believe I highlight, stick post-its, and scribble notes up and down that thing. This book has lit me on fire. At times I feel like she wrote this book specifically for me. Every word jumps out of the pages directly into the depths of my soul. When I find a book I love that inspires and moves me, it stays on rotation and gets reread at least once a year. This is definitely one of those. In case you were wondering what the others were: The Untethered Soul, Desire Map, A Return to Love, FireStarter Sessions and The Alchemist. I’m a big reader. Books are my jam.

What’s currently bringing you joy?

lessons learned from the mountains

I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago and like I typically do when I go away for an extended time, I used the time away as an opportunity to reflect. My husband spent most of the day riding his mountain bike which left a lot of time for me to be alone. Spending some time soaking up the sweet mountain air in Crested Butte with little to no phone/internet service (which proved to be a blessing) was the perfect opportunity for me to disconnect, recharge, reflect and come to some pretty important realizations.

1. I hate social media.  Not having much internet service allowed for a much needed digital detox. I was able to post things but not able to go through my news feed and I must say, damn it was nice. Any time I get on Facebook it typically sucks me in for an extended amount of time and more often than not leaves me feeling worse than I did before I opened it up. Whether it brings up feelings of comparison, judgement, self doubt, jealousy, fomo (fear of missing out), or whatever, I never feel positive feelings or accomplished. I usually just feel mind sucked and like I wasted my time. What I realized was no social media means more time to connect with myself and others and gives me time to find other ways to feel inspired through books, journaling, going for long walks, spending time with friends etc. I’ve eliminated social media from my phone and iPad and only check it once every couple of days. This makes for a much happier, more present Lindsey.

2. My journal is a necessity.  I’ve typically got a shit storm going on in my head from the time I wake up until I pass out at night. Without my journal and having that space to release all the junk my brain has the death grip on, I would go crazy. Like, Girl, Interrupted crazy. I am obsessed with my journals and although the words written in them don’t mean much to others, they are incredibly valuable to me. I love looking back and reading old journals and watching how much I’ve grown and evolved over the years. Sometimes, I tear pages out and rip them up and one day I plan to destroy them all, but for now they are super important.  I wrote in my journal A LOT while we were on vacation and it helped me work through some stuff that was weighing heavy on my heart. My journal=my free psychiatrist.

3. Friends come and go. And that’s ok.  As we get older our paths start to go in different directions. We get married, have babies, work steady jobs (some of us), spend more time as a family, etc. Our time becomes more and more precious and it’s harder to stay in touch with those that we aren’t as emotionally connected to. As our priorities change, so do our friendships. We hold on to the ones we love the most as life draws us away from the relationships that require more work. And that’s ok. I believe that people come in and out of our lives at different times for very specific reasons.

4. There’s no such thing as balance.  This one is huge! I’ve struggled for a quite a long time trying to find “balance” in my life. After reading FireStarter sessions by my badass girl crush Danielle Laporte, I’ve come to understand that balance doesn’t exist. We are constantly striving for more and more and the more we chase that elusive thing called balance, the more we derail our plans for success. If we are able somehow to find balance in our lives, just like anything else, it’s only temporary. Once I was able to let go of the idea that things had to be a certain way in my life, things were able to run much more smoothly.   Again, this makes for a much happier Lindsey.

5. Nothing anyone else does is my business.  Everyone is marching to the beat of their own drum and living life based on their journey. Not mine. Sometimes putting myself in others shoes is necessary in order to understand why they do certain things, but in the end it’s not my place to pass any judgements. We all have our own ideas about how to live life and while we may not all agree, we have to find compassion and kindness and remember that we are all doing the best we can. It’s far easier to extend love towards one another than to allow resentment or judgement to take over. Choose Love. Its pretty amazing stuff.

7 Yoga Poses to Build Strength

The following poses are great for runners and cyclists who are looking to build more strength in order to maximize their performance. This is an excellent way to add some cross training into your particular sport and prevent injuries. From endurance athletes to weekend warriors these will help strengthen muscles while increasing balance and flexibility. Do this sequence a couple of times a week after an easier ride or run staying in each pose for a few breaths.

Downward Facing Dog How to:  1. Start in a high push up position with the shoulders over the wrists and feet about hips width distance apart.  2. Lift the hips up and back and press the heels towards the floor to come into an inverted “V” shape. The heels should disappear behind the toes.  3. Spread your fingers and press your palms and knuckles into the mat. Pull your navel in towards your spine and gently press your chest back towards your thighs which  4. Stay here for a few breaths and to release slowly lower your knees to the floor.  Benefits:  Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands Strengthens the arms and legs Plank 1. Start on hands and knees with shoulders over the wrists. 2. Spread your fingers and press your palms and knuckles into the mat pressing the floor away from you. 3. Tuck all ten toes under and step your feet back hips width distance part so that entire body is parallel to the floor. 4. Pull your navel in towards your spine and draw the shoulders blades away from each other lengthen your tailbone towards your heels. 5. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute and gently lower your knees back to the floor to exit the pose. Benefits:  Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine and tones the abdomen. Side plank 1. From plank start to shift your weight into the right hand as you roll to the pinky edge side of your right foot. 2. Stack the left leg on top of the right and take the left hand either to your hip or extend the arm up towards the ceiling. 3. Engage your core and lift the hips up away from the floor. 4. Press firmly into the right hand while keeping the arm extended. 5. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute and switch sides. Benefits:  Strengthens the arms, belly, legs and core muscles.Stretches and strengthens the wrists. Improves sense of balance. High Crescent lunge 1. From a standing position, step your left foot back as much as you can. 2. Bend your right knee so it’s directly above your ankle and keep your left leg strong and active with the heel lifted away from the floor. 3. Draw the arms up and overhead while you allow your shoulders to relax into the back. 4. Pull your navel in while lengthening your tailbone towards the floor. 5. Stay for a few breaths and to release bring the hands down to frame the right foot and step the left up. Repeat on the left side. Benefits:  Stretches the groins and strengthens the legs and arms. Warrior 3 1. From high crescent lunge with right leg forward, keep your navel drawn in as you start to hinge your torso forward keeping the chest lifted. 2. Press more firmly into your right foot as you shift your weight forward lifting the left foot off the ground. 3. Begin to extend your arms directly forward as your chest and left leg become parallel with the floor while you stand on the right leg. Keep a gentle bend in the right knee to prevent from locking out in the joint. 4. Keep the front of the hips pointed down towards the ground, energize through the left leg and flex your left foot so the toes are pointing down and the heel is pressing back. 5. Stay for a few breaths and to release slowly lower left foot down to meet the right and stand tall. Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, legs, shoulders and muscles of the back and tones the abdomen. Improves balance and posture. Chair  1. Stand with feet together, toes pointing forward and stretch the arms overhead allowing the shoulders to relax down the back. 2. Start to bend the knees and send the hips back (as if sitting in a chair) keeping the tailbone reaching towards the ground and navel drawn in. 3. Shift the knees back over the ankles as much as possible and hold for a few deep breaths. The weight should be more in the heels of the feet allowing the toes to be relaxed or lifted off the ground. 4. To release, extend the knees and stand tall. Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. Stretches shoulders and chest. Locust 1. Lie on your belly with the legs together and arms extending back towards feet palms facing up. Let your forehead rest on the ground to start. 2. Begin by lifting the head and chest and floating the feet off the ground. Start to lift the arms and continue reaching them back towards your feet. 3. Allow your glutes to stay relaxed and reach strongly through the legs all the way out to the toes. (If it’s too much to lift the toes, keep the feet on the ground.) 4. Stay for just a couple of breaths and slowly lower back down. Benefits: Strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks, and backs of the arms and legs. Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly, and thighs.

Birthday intentions 

I’m turning 32 today. Another year older means more wrinkles and gray hairs but it also means so many more experiences. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and a huge part of that is that I’m more connected to myself than I’ve ever been.  I’ve found confidence and peace within myself that I didn’t even know existed. My heart is so full that sometimes I feel like it might burst. I have incredible friends that mean the world to me as well as the support from my family in every thing I do. Not to mention a husband who truly is my best friend in the entire world. He always has my back and pushes me to be the best version of myself every single day. Without him, I don’t know where I would be. 

One thing I’ve learned in the past year is that as much as I can receive love from others, I’m even more capable of giving the same love back, if not more. I can love with my whole heart and not have to hold anything back. 

My intentions for the next year are to do everything with an open mind and a full heart. 

To have more patience and compassion not just with others but myself as well.

To stay grounded and connected to my truth and march to the beat of my own drum without worrying about what others will think of me. 

To remember that we are all on our own journey and doing exactly what it is we are supposed to do, walking our own paths in our lives. Judgements I place on others only take away pieces of my own happiness.

 And at the end of the day, regardless of the highs and the lows, I can always come back to the place deep within my soul and know that everything is going to be okay. 

My favorite quote of all time is by Jack Kerouac: “Be in love with your life, every minute of it.” And that is how I intend to love each day. 

  

Be YOU! 

I don’t idolize many people but there is something about Danielle LaPorte that intrigues me. Perhaps it’s her sassy attitude or that fact that she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. Ever. Regardless, that woman knows how to light a fire under people and get them to go for what it is they desire in life. 

This quote from “Firestarter Sessions” is one of those quotes that speaks to the depths of my soul:

So many people are looking for it: their Big Life Purpose.
Becoming YOU is your purpose. 
YOU are the very purpose of your existence. Realizing what lights your fire and floats your boat-that’s your life purpose. What else could it be? 
If it gives you true joy (not the seemingly happy high that is fleeting, but the reliable, always-there kind of satisfaction) to rock that guitar, to make people laugh, to discover the world, to make things a little more beautiful wherever you go, to feed, to stir it up, to clean it up, to execute the plan, to bank the cash, to be a compassionate citizen, to explore nonstop, or purely to seek pleasure…….then, that’s your life purpose! 
Your life purpose is what you say it is. 

So, ask yourself. Are you living your life purpose?? If not, what are you going to do to change that right now?  Stop waiting for your life to be how you want it to be.  The fire has been lit…….the time is now!!