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? 

Bliss Jammin’ 

  

My two most absolute favorite books in the entire world are The Desire Map and Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte. If you’ve never heard of Danielle, your world is about to change. Drastically. Or at least mine did the minute I picked up my copy of The Desire Map. 

Let’s rewind to about a year and a half ago. I had just become a lululemon athletica ambassador and was fairly new to teaching yoga. (Why on earth lululemon wanted me, I have no clue!). I sat down with some of their employees as well as the other ambassadors and we did a visions and goals exercise. I had never really taken a step back to look at what my future goals were. In fact, I didn’t even have a clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. At first I was stressed out about being vulnerable enough to write my goals on paper for others to see. 

I thought to myself, “Crap! I’m going to be held accountable here. What if I don’t succeed?”

Long story short, I started to do a lot of fun daydreaming about what my future could look like. I eventually wrote out my 1, 5 and 10 year goals for lululemon to display in their store with all the others employees. I kept all my goals pretty low key. It was almost as if I was scared to dream too big. I stayed conservative. Cookie cutter. Boring. 

At that time, a good friend introduced me to Danielle and her books and since I was already pretty giddy about the vision and goals stuff I had just done, I decided to dive right into the books. The Desire Map is all about setting goals based on how you want to feel. You’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re actually chasing the feeling that you hope achieving that goal will give you. Danielle’s words are incredible powerful and motivating and she really gives you that swift kick in the butt that everyone needs to push them past where they want to be. That kind of uncomfortable, holy crap, this could actually happen place that we don’t allow ourselves to step into very often. 

The book leads you through a pretty indepth exercise of determining how you want to feel in multiple areas of your life: 

  • livelihood & lifestyle
  • body & wellness
  • creativity & learning 
  • relationships & society 
  • essence & spirituality

You come to learn what your core desired feelings (CDFs) are and then you can use those to determine what actions you need to take (i.e. goals/intentions) in order to feel exactly the way you want to feel. 

I learned my CDFs are:

  • Open to receive
  • Ignited 
  • Balanced
  • Confident
  • Abundant bliss
  • Connected 

And once I got clear on exactly how I wanted to feel I could set intentions for the future in order to ensure that 1,5,10,20,50 years from now, I will feel exactly the way I want to feel. This was a HUGE game changer for me. It completely shifted my thinking. Pre Desire Map, I was just writing down things that sounded good. Some were things I felt I needed to do in order to make others happy or some of the goals just sounded like they might be fun. But a chunk of them were not aligned with my core desired feelings, at all. 

I have since read the Desire Map and Fire Starter Sessions three times and am constantly inspired by the words in each book. I have crossed off multiple goals in the past 18 months and each time I do, the fire just burns deeper and deeper. There is something incredibly rewarding to look back at goals or intentions you have set for yourself and be able to say “done!”. Cross it off the list, move on to the next big thing and keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop pursuing what it is that lights you up. That thing that gives you butterflies in your belly. The ideas that keep you up at night because you are so damn excited to share them with the world. Do it! What is stopping you? I can tell you that the only thing getting in your way, is you. You can do anything that you set out to do. Guaranteed. 

Set some time for yourself to think about how you truly want to feel. Light a candle, pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some groovy music and get to know yourself and your CDFs. Once you determine what these are (I would suggest to just pick a few) marinate on them for a while. Days. Weeks. Months. Meditate on them. Write in your journal about them. Put them on post it notes around your computer or on your bathroom mirror. Look at them every day. Multiple times a day. Once you’ve determined that these feelings are completely aligned with how you want to feel with all your heart, you can start to determine what you need to accomplish (aka your goals) in order to meet your CDFs head on. So dream. Dream as big as possible. Make a plan and live each day getting one step closer to being completely aligned with your core desired feelings. Ride that incredible wave of bliss. This is your story. You get to decide how it’s written. 

Whenever you start guiding yourself by caring about how you feel, you
start guiding yourself back into your Stream of Source Energy, and that’s
where your clarity is; that’s where your joy is; that’s where your flexibility
is; that’s where your balance is; that’s where your good ideas come from.
That’s where all the good stuff is accessed from.
—Abraham-Hicks

Trust the Process

I am a control freak. There, I said it.

I like things to go my way. When they don’t, I tend to get upset, frustrated, annoyed and angry. I might even shed some tears.

That is why I have deemed 2015 the year I allow myself to work towards letting go and trusting the process.

That’s it. That is my mantra. “Trust the process”. Because everything is a process and without trust in allowing things to be as they should, we tend to exert unnecessary energy in worrying about the outcome and potentially trying to make something be what its not supposed to be.

My husband and I are in the process of finding a new home. We have outgrown our current house and are ready to upgrade and settle down and eventually start our family. Buying a house is downright stressful. There is no hiding that. You think you find the one you want, you put an offer down and out of the clear blue sky something comes up. When buying a house, something ALWAYS comes up. The bank wants more paperwork, the seller is being a pain in the ass, there are issues with the inspection, etc., etc., etc. My personality is such that I want to find a house, close on the house, and move in. Now. I want to find my dream home and get it done. But that’s not how life works. It’s a process and one that takes time.

Patience has never been my strong suit.

Which is why my focus, intention, goal, resolution, whatever you want to call it, is to Trust. Trust the Process. Trust that things will work out exactly as they should and understanding that no matter how much I want to or try to control the situation, that wont change the outcome.

This has been huge in my yoga practice as well. You see all of these incredibly flexible yogis all over Facebook and Instagram who make full splits or some crazy arm balance look like a piece of cake. Seriously, how do they do that?!?!?! I get on my mat and the instant I get into my first warrior 3 I feel like someone has a vice grip on my glutes because my muscles are so tight. Or I get into standing splits and I can barely lift my back foot off the mat. This is where I really have to release control and to find patience in my body. I constantly repeat to myself “You are enough. Your body is beautiful, strong and exactly how it should be.”

The postures are a part of the process of working towards opening the body and embracing where we are at in our bodies. What comes up emotionally is the process of opening our hearts and minds to our truth and finding peace in that. Every day holds a completely different story for me on my mat. But, when I allow myself to show up, be present and trust the process I leave my mat connected to who I really am. I leave everything behind and allow myself to be open and accepting of myself and others.

Yoga is a process.

Life is a process.

Finding our truth is a process.

Everything is a process.

I will remain open.

I will trust the process.

Bring it on 2015!

Good things

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!!!!