Making Space 

As the leaves begin to change colors, the weather becomes cooler and the days get shorter, we too are changing. Every single day we are changing physically and emotionally and this time of year is the perfect time to begin to reflect on what is and isn’t working for you.

I believe that the changing of the seasons into fall is nature’s friendly reminder to us to also begin to shed our own layers. The leaves falling from the trees is very symbolic in how we should also begin to let go of anything that is no longer serving us and make space for things that we are choosing to manifest in our lives.

The things that we may need to let go of could be physical things (weight, getting rid of clutter in our home), or maybe a false belief that we have convinced ourself of, a conversation we had with someone that is leaving us feeling heavy, an experience we didn’t enjoy or even someone negative in our lives.

Whatever it is, we can make a simple choice to allow a shift to happen within ourselves and make room for our desires to manifest and grow. It’s as easy as making a conscious decision to release the heaviness and invite creativity, inspiration, love, compassion, acceptance, peace, bliss or whatever else it is you crave into your life.

Here is a quick meditation you can do to let go and make space:

Find a comfortable seat or lie down on your back. Close your eyes and focus on whatever it is you are ready to let go of. Bring it into the forefront of your mind. Visualize it and allow yourself to really see it. Slowly begin to take the deepest inhale you can through the nostrils and pause at the top of that breath. Hold the breath for a moment and slowly release the exhale through your mouth. Do this a couple more times until you feel lighter and free.

You might even begin to repeat a mantra:

Inhale: I fill up with what I desire

Exhale: I release what I no longer need

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?

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

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

Fall Into a Reset

Ahhhh, November. I have missed you terribly. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The turning of the leaves, cooler temperatures, scarfs and boots, hot teas and lattes, sitting around the fire, cuddling on the couch under a mountain of blankets, it all makes me giddy with excitement just thinking about it. One thing I really look forward to every year is the time change, the end of daylight savings. I think that setting our clocks back and shorter days is nature’s way of forcing us to slow down and take more time to ourselves.

With the holidays right around the corner, my intention this month is to truly slow way down. To spend more time laying on the couch cuddled up with a good book instead of lacing up my running shoes and pounding the pavement, to cook more meals instead of going out and to go to bed earlier and give myself more rest. I intend to say “no” more often than I say “yes” to plans with others. Most importantly, I plan to take care of myself by hitting the pause button and completely resetting.

We are all extremely busy these days. We live in a fast paced society and we are constantly putting pressure on ourselves to do more and more. It seems that our to-do lists are getting longer and our calendars are filing up quickly. However, you will be of no use to anyone if you don’t stop what you are doing and spend some time relaxing your mind and body. If you notice that you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, then you probably need it much more than you realize. You shouldn’t have a single bit of guilt for carving out time to yourself. Your physical and mental health are more important than any errand, workout or social gathering.

Spend time meditating or take a restorative yoga class.

Read a book.

Drink a cup of tea next to the fireplace.

Start a journal.

Take a bubble bath.

Stay in your pajamas all day long watching movies on the couch.

Pour a glass of wine and light a bunch of candles. 

Listen to relaxing music and diffuse essential oils. (I recommend chamomile, lavender or frankincense.)

 DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO SLOW DOWN AND RECHARGE.

 RELAX, RESET, RENEW

Take care of yourself.

 

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

The body. The storyteller.

The great thing about the human body is that we are all different. Our bodies are all made uniquely defined to who we are and what we do. Some of us sit at a desk all day while others have jobs that require physical labor for 8 hours a day/40 hours+ a week. Some of us are runners, cyclists, or swimmers. We go outside and play sports. Some woman have had their bodies completely changed due to childbirth or other various health related issues. Some people have injuries they are recovering from or are dealing with various aches and pains throughout their practice. We are not the same. My dear friend Betina often says “Our bodies tell the unique story of who we are”. I fully believe that every single body is different and with that, certain modifications must be taken.

I have found through working with a friend who does yoga therapy, that right now in my practice, there are modifications I need to take. I don’t take them all the time. There are days when I get on my mat and feel really good and other days when it’s a struggle to get through one sun salutation because of lower back pain. On those days, I modify. There are days when I want to kick up into a handstand and take arm balances and other days when I can barely make it out of child’s pose.

Yoga is a practice and the goal of that practice is feel better than when you first stepped on your mat. Whether that is mental, physical or emotional is truly dependent on the student and what issues they are needing to work through. The beautiful thing about this practice is how it can be completely tailored to each individual.

There is nobody making the rules of how things have to be on YOUR mat. I believe postures must be adjusted to fit individual body types. The golden rule is to do what feels good. You should always do what feels good. If something hurts, stop doing it! It’s your body. You have to live in it every single second of every single day. So make it feel good. Modify when needed, hang out in child’s pose or down dog or heck, if you’re feeling frisky add on to your postures. Maybe you go for that arm balance or inversion. But don’t feel like you have to do it all. At the end of the day it’s your practice and you will only get out of it what you put into it. Some days that may mean making it restorative and gentle, other days you are more playful and explore more on your mat. This is a practice of allowing ourselves to find that deep connection to our bodies and minds through our breath and movement. Make your practice your own. Find your bliss on your mat. Whatever that make look like to you.

“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies”|Frank Gillette Burgess