Before it gets too late in the month, I wanted to do a quick post for you about a yoga opportunity that I highly encourage you to take advantage of if you’re looking to challenge and center yourself in the New Year!
Check out Yoga With Adriene’s TRUE series. It’s a free, 30-day program on YouTube guaranteed to open up your mind, heart, and body. I have done other 30-day series with Adriene and they are absolutely transformational. I start feeling the mental and physical benefits of daily yoga immediately, and by the end I am fully recommitted to my practice.
I’ve talked about Adrienne before in past posts (here and here), but she’s one of the best yoga teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from. Beginner or expert, you can make her sequences work for you. She’s funny as heck, too, which is what I really love about her.
It’s not too late to start. Start today. Start tomorrow. It doesn’t matter – just get on your mat! Show up. If you miss a day, pick up the next day where you left off. Be kind to yourself. Life happens. No one’s keeping count but you.
If you choose to or are already following along with this 30-day practice, let me know! I’d love to practice along with others I know (or don’t know, I don’t care!) and support you in any way I can.
Namaste, my friends!
I talk a lot about being present, being mindful. But a lot of times, that's much easier said than done.
Joel and I have been on opposite schedules lately - job changes, working long hours, a lot of personal commitments - all in addition to adding a new puppy to our family. I could feel myself starting to break down and the consistent calm that I can normally connect to in some way, shape, or form was nowhere in sight.
I let myself get to the point where I was near rock bottom. I know when I'm reaching this point very clearly - I'm angry. Very, very angry. At everyone and everything. And I can't hide it - THAT'S the biggest giveaway.
I'm always the person to say, "If you don't like something, change it." I'm not a complainer and I don't like complainers. So I had to get tough with myself and take my own advice. I had to change something to get myself back on track. I knew I had the tools to dig myself out - I was just allowing everything that was going on and the anger I was feeling to cloud my normally mindful thoughts.
A good outlet for me when I'm feeling this way is to write it out. Sometimes I write everything out feeling by feeling. A lot of times I write out a plan that will get me into a better head space. For me, plans are calming! So that's what I did. Here's what my plan said:
Morning - Rise at 6 a.m.
That's it. Nothing more, nothing less, no teardrops on the pages. Just a plan. A plan incorporating the tools I know I have in my toolbox, so it was a realistic plan for me to run with. I haven't missed a day since I started, and I hope I never do.
Incorporating these practices into my daily schedule have allowed me to feel present in the midst of fast pace surroundings and unpredictable circumstances. I try not to simply look, hear, smell, touch - I aim to see, listen, inhale, feel - be HERE (I share an example of this with the image below). That alone in itself is so important. My thoughts and actions feel more intentional. I feel happier, and lighter, and love myself a little bit more than I did before - which was needed.
What tools do you reach for when you're at a breaking point? What items are part of your routine that keep you grounded? I'd love to know!
I spotted this bright yellow moth on the door of our garage before leaving for work. I was running behind and had already started backing out of the driveway. But I stopped. This brilliant, florescent moth against our red door was just stunning. I took a deep breath, told myself that it was OK to take the time to fully be present in that moment, got out, and took time to enjoy watching the moth warm its wings in the sun. It was peaceful and beautiful. And guess what? The world kept turning while I paused. I don't regret that brief moment of extra time I took to enjoy that moment.
The image above captures me transitioning. Preparing. Taking stock. As the Thanksgiving holiday closes and the Christmas holiday approaches, time seems to disappear. Our lives become a blur. So much to do, so little time.
We have lists of lists. Overlapping events on the calendar. Food dishes to prepare. Presents to wrap. Cards to send. Joy to bring.
Because I've taken time to think about what's to come, my hope is this: I'll forgive myself if everything doesn't get done. I'll slow down long enough to savor the moments I am able to squeeze in with my family and friends. And I'll let the warm feelings of knowing 'I am loved, I am taken care of, and I have so many good things to be happy for' wash over me.
Aside from food and gifts and stuff, I want to bring the best version of myself to every gathering I'm blessed enough to attend throughout the holiday season. Because it's the memories that last. That means digging my heels in if I need a moment. That means self love and deep breaths every day. That means letting things go that I don't have time for, and being OK with that.
I hope you're preparing yourself for the flurry of events to come over the next month like I am. Let's make a pact to make room for the good stuff and let go of the things we can't get to or are distracting us from the joyful feelings this season brings. Namaste and Happy Holidays my friends!
My grandma said one of my grandpa's favorite songs used to be "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)" by Alabama. I know why. Because the lyrics matched his life. They spoke to him. I can relate.
Our lives since February of this year have been one big blur of tasks, faces, feelings, and places. So many highs, a few lows, firing one after another.
A side effect of the aforementioned blur is that my body and mind are set to "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)" mode at all times. I often feel like I have a ticker tape "to do" list that is constantly unraveling itself inside my mind. Check this off, add that on, don't forget this, make sure to do that. And if the tape isn't actively unraveling with my lists, I feel like I'm forgetting, or slacking, or have lost all control of my life.
Yikes, huh? Yeah, that's what I thought, too. That's why I declared this coming weekend "MY WEEKEND." I need a breather from the blur. I need to recalibrate. No tasks (we'll see how long that lasts), no events, no people. Just me (and Joel of course - he is supportive of my declaration).
If this is what it feels like to maintain perfection, to feel in control, to keep up appearances - whatever I've been doing all of this for - I don't know if I want to (or can) keep doing it. We're moving forward, yes, but at full speed. That's not my natural speed at all...
That's why it's time to stop rushing. Time to start saying, "No, thank you." Time to get back to my yogic center and remind myself that to feel calm, I need to remain calm at my center and let the world whirl around me - not allow my center to be a whirlwind in order to create calm around me. I've flipped inside out it seems. Time to get back to myself. Constant recentering. Amen.
How are you feeling? Same? I encourage you to take a break with me. Kick back, do what you love, and make time for some life savoring. Don't let rushing around become your constant - remember to take time to slow down!
When I'm feeling negative, yoga is the answer because I can pinpoint what is dragging me down and release it.
Yoga is such a powerful tool and one I use very often. To me, yoga goes beyond just poses. It's a mindset. It's in my breathing. It's in my movement. It's in the energy I give off. It's in my blood. It is truly a lifestyle.
I have had many interests that have changed over time. I'll be really into something until I burn myself out or think about something for so long without doing anything to pursue the interest that I let the desire subside. That hasn't been the case with yoga. I buy books. I think about sequences. I pay attention to my breathing. I follow the work of my favorite yogis. I practice when I can at work and at home. I see myself doing yoga for the rest of my life and that feels like such a blessing.
Joel has started practicing with me lately. (Hope you're not mad I let the cat out of the bag!) It has been wonderful to take a pose and see him right there with me, trying his hardest. He's a natural yogi because he's not a show off. He takes the time he needs to do the poses and listens to his body. I've learned about patience by watching him in yoga, and in life.
When we finished our practice the other night, we both felt great. I had needed to do yoga because I was in a funk. It was his idea to turn on the video and he picked it out. By the end of practice, I was in tears of release. It felt so good, and even better because Joel was right beside me.
After we had rolled up our mats, I mentioned how important yoga was to me. It's not just exercise, it's not something I do just to say I do it, or do for the sake of getting a cool photo...I need it. It is a basic need for me. My practice is one intangible thing I have that is completely mine. It reaches into the depths of my soul like nothing else ever will and brings me the purest form of joy. It is my religion. It is what I believe in. It gives me life.
Thank you for visiting my blog! With this first post so begins documentation of my life as a reborn country girl.
My parents raised my sister and I on a wonderful plot of land in the country. When I left the nest, I lived in various cities (large towns is a better term) surrounding my childhood home. In high school, I expressed desires of wanting to live in New York City. I never made it out of Iowa (aside from traveling), but as I've grown, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
As I got older, began seeking and practicing natural paths to solitude, and as talk of having children became more frequent, the country was calling.
My husband and I will be moving onto a two acre piece of land a few houses down from my childhood home in the country and we couldn't be happier. There is such comfort that comes with this decision, including:
I'm bringing the big city to the even bigger Iowa countryside. On our property, current day trends will collide with everything that is good, tried, and true about simple, country living.