Being married is my absolute favorite thing in this world.
I'm able to say this with such confidence because my "other half," simply put, rules. He is the most perfect person for me and we continue to grow together in such wonderful ways.
There are many things about our relationship that make us "work" - but here are a few basic elements that seem to get us through everything:
I wish you the best of luck in your relationship. Find your own way and acknowledge the things that are working well. Whether you're in a new partnership, a rekindled relationship, or have been together for a long time - no matter what - love is truly a beautiful thing!
Yoga is one thing that brings me deep down, sincere joy. I often find myself in the midst of practice experiencing the most intense feelings of happiness, gratitude, and peace. To me, yoga is so much more than a hobby or a workout - it is a necessity.
My passion for yoga began immediately after practicing at Balance Hot Yoga in Cedar Falls for a period of time. The teachers were amazing and loving, but you know what, it was just too damn hot. I wanted to do yoga without slipping out of poses due to the layer of sweat covering every part of by body! It's not for everyone - but I will credit that studio for teaching me the basic foundations I needed to confidently start my own at home practice.
I was off to a good start after leaving Balance and frequenting Field of Yoga in Cedar Falls as I could. But having a teacher was important to me to ensure I was aligning my body correctly - nurturing it vs. injuring it. I turned to several online yogis that resonated with me. I have two favorites: Rachel Brathen a.k.a. Yoga Girl and Adriene of Yoga with Adriene.
Rachel is from Aruba and travels internationally. Adriene is based in Texas and travels on a more limited basis. I always thought I'd only practice with them both through a smart phone screen. But this week, I was able to cross that threshold and practice in person with one of my favorite teachers - Rachel!
My sister and I laid down our mats at the convention center in Minneapolis with 548 other yogis to practice with Yoga Girl as part of her "Gratitude Tour." The woman. The myth. The legend. In the same room as all of us. She led a 75 minute, ass kicking flow, while her husband and dog, Ringo, joined her to wander among us. It was an experience I won't try to describe in words, because you had to be there to feel it, but I'll choose three words to sum it up: Empowering, Resonating, Spiritual.
If it wasn't enough to practice with her in person, be led through a meditative journey, and to be surrounded by a room full of strangers that united in the name of yoga - I got to MEET her before we left the convention center. My sister (bless her beautiful, patient heart) waited for an hour so that I could hug Rachel and have her sign the book she wrote (and that I take EVERYWHERE with me). That was not my ultimate goal, I was there for the experience, but meeting her was most certainly the icing on the cake. She was everything I thought she would be and more. I feet so full of gratitude for the entire experience. I think it will take a few more days for it all to sink in.
Two other wonderful things that made my trip to Minneapolis extra special was being able to share the entire journey with my sister by my side and also being able to see my brother-in-law that just moved to Minnesota. My heart is so very full of love for both of these people, and I could not keep saying "Thank You" to the powers that be for filling my life with people to love, and that love me in return.
Because my heart is very raw with thanks right now, and because it feels SO GOOD, I have one last thing to say in closing: "Give Thanks." It doesn't require the guidance of a pro yogi, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, all by yourself. Give thanks. For every single small and large thing that you alone appreciate and need and love.
Bing Crosby sings it best, "Count your blessings instead of sheep."
Upon receiving a promotion at work a few years ago, a wise, previous co-worker of mine gave me some really valuable advice over dinner: "Fake it 'til you make it." She could sense that I didn't feel like I had what it took to conquer my new role. I was a 20-something young woman being promoted to a job with actual, load bearing responsibilities. I wasn't simply serving in a support role like so many times before - I was making decisions. People were looking to me as an expert. Expecting great things.
It was a lot of pressure. And eventually, it got the best of me. I couldn't fake it, I didn't have it in me. I left that job, veering completely off my career as a marketer, solely to get out. In hindsight - I was doing great, people loved me (they asked me back multiple times), and I could have handled it (today) - but not then, I wasn't equipped with the right skills. I needed a breather. I needed to make sure that this "career" I had going for myself was what I wanted, even what I needed, to feel like I was doing something valuable with my life.
Which brings me to today. I'm 5 years post-breather, 4 years in with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's marketing team and anticipating many more. I faked it until I made it vs. letting the responsibility on my shoulders take me out. I believe being able to "fake it" better came with age, mostly. And as I develop more professional confidence, it feels less like faking and more like I actually know what I'm doing. At 31, I'll take that.
I had a mid-year review today that affirmed that maybe, just maybe, I do know what I'm doing. And if I don't, I acknowledge it and learn from it. In my review, I confidently stated that "I feel like I'm a good marketer." And I do. There wasn't a bit of hesitancy. And it has made me feel that all of the years prior that I've told myself that I wasn't a marketer, that I couldn't do it, that I needed a job where I knew what I was coming in to do everyday...were needed. I needed to doubt, I needed to explore, I needed to FAKE it - until I made it. The truth of this statement could not ring more true to me today.
If you are out there, and you're feeling how I did a few years ago...the best advice I can give is to literally, fake it 'til you make it...and I hope you do.