I spend a lot of time reflecting, introspectively looking at who I am, who I want to be, and sitting with all of it, and analyzing. While that's fine and good, I'm ready to embrace the next chapter head on with so much excitement and enthusiasm... So Rather than look back at the last year, I'm looking forward with twenty-six things I want to do while I am twenty-six.
Here it goes...
What if your workout wasn’t just a workout, what if it was a work-in?
The fitness industry loves to make you feel insecure, uneasy about your body, and talks way to much about calories. But what if we started to approach things differently...?
What if your workout kept the same promised results but was less focused on reminding you “how many calories you are shredding” and more on how incredibly amazing it is that your body is showing up for you!
Far too often I go to a class, I work my little tush off, I feel great and then the teacher or instructor starts talking about burning calories and asks someone with a tracker how much they have burned, like it’s some kind of gold medal to be won. Not everything you do in a class or workout can be measured on your fitness tracker friends, especially the stuff that really matters.
It doesn’t measure the work-in. The times you looked in the mirror and said “damn look at me go," the times that your were amazed at what your body was capable of, and it sure as hell doesn't measure HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF, you know, the thing that actually matters.
It’s even seeped into the yoga community which should not be focused on how much you burned and should be focused on how you feel. Nothing strips the sanctity of any yoga class quicker than an instructor or community more focused on the burn than the actual point of yoga.
Yes, results are important. I get it, trust me. I lost over 50lbs 4 years ago, I’m back up 20lbs and working them off, and guess what... the only thing I track is my food to make sure I EAT ENOUGH. Yes, you read that right. Enough. I track calories only to ensure that I fuel my body correctly... so that it can continue to show up for me and support me in whatever I decide to do.
I trust that when I go to a class or workout I’m burning and torching and whatever other trendy fitness language you want to use. I don’t need to focus on it when I am there because I trust that it will happen. Rather, I think about how I feel, I show so much love to my physical body for just being there, for just showing up. And then... I hype myself up all damn class. I wink at myself, I say to myself “dayum girl you’re so strong and killing it,” I tell myself how grateful I am to have a body that shows up for me even when it's not where I want it to be yet.
See when you workout, by nature you’re going to burn more than if you sat at home, it’s a given... You are going to burn calories and sweat and do all of the things. So, imagine if you trusted that that would happen and you then focused your energy on working on the relationship with yourself and your body while you worked out... What if you worked in while you worked out rather than obsessed over a something that doesn’t really mean anything, like calories.
It doesn’t matter if you torched 800 calories in a class and then berate the person staring back at you in the mirror just a few hours later. If you do not appreciate yourself and your body for where it is now, you will never be okay with it. Not even At your goal. Trust me I know.
I'm not shaming you if you are a calorie counter, if you track your fitness goals... I'm just offering the reminder that there are other non numerical things to consider that offer just as much, if not more, value in the long run to your health and well-being, and I don't just mean the physical.. it impacts your mental and emotional wellbeing just as much.
This is why teaching sets me on fire. It ignites a flame in me. It fires me up. You will never come to any of my classes and hear me talking about burning calories or any similar language. Rather, you’ll hear me say things like “Feel that shaking?! That is your body getting rid of what no longer severs you! What are you holding onto tonight that doesn't serve you, what do you want to leave here?” I want you to turn in, to do the work not just physically. I will challenge you every single time to show up and appreciate where you are in that moment.
It’s a work-in. I’ll kick your ass every time, I promise you you'll feel and get all the physical benefits of the workout or yoga class. However, your class, your time, it’s for you. I would be doing you such a disservice if I only cared about how many calories you burned instead of you feel about yourself and how you created space and a little love for yourself in the time you carved out of your very busy day to focus on you.
You are not one dimensional, reduced down to a worth based calories in and calories out. No, you are so much more, and the time you take for your wellbeing, for your self care should reflect that.
We need to make the shift, it’s not just a workout, it also needs to be a work-in.
I’ve had the flu for the last week and it’s been complete torture, not becuase I don’t feel well, but because there’s not much I can do and I’m not able to go about things with as much energy as I usually do, it’s truly frustrating for me. I am a go, go, go person and when I finally power down I’m totally done, there’s really no in between for me.
When we moved to Charlotte almost two months ago that was I was going to unplug from constantly rushing and slow way down, and I have... sort of. I’ve dipped my toe into slwoing down, being more intentional about how I spend my time and what I do with it... but I wouldn’t say I’ve embraced slowing down.
Being sick physically forced me to take a moment and be still. My body is physically asking me to reset, to find a new tempo, and be okay with that. I’m 200% a dreamer and big plan maker, always thinking about the big dreams I’m working towards, seeking out opportunities, always on the lookout... which is great, except for when you’re trying to be more tuned into what’s infront of you, to be more present, to be more aware of the smaller details, the tiny moments.
I’m taking time today to define what slowing down looks like for myself, what it is that I want to gain from slowing down, what it is that I’m trying to balance out within myself. We all have beliefs that drive us, deep subconscious beliefs about ourselves, the world around us, and what those interactions look like... by slowing down a bit more, even in my thoughts and master planning, I’m hoping to understand why I always feel the need to be operating on all cylinders, how and why I’ve allowed that shape my own identity... and how I can find a bit more ease and peace in my own mind by slowing down and being more in the flow rather than trying to create flow.
It’s time to truly work on trusting that as much as I need to create the life I want, I also need to trust that what is seeking me will find me at the right time, all of this extra spinning in my head and with my time is not bringing anything closer to me any sooner, so it’s time to slow down, to pay attention to the details, to be clear and open all at the same time, and to work on trusting that things will align as they should.
New Years Eve, time to dream big, to try and glimpse into the future about what the next year may hold. It’s an opportunity to clear the slate, even though you can choose to do that in any moment and don’t need to wait for the new year. But it’s the universal fresh start, where everyone is looking into the new year with new goals, new intentions, and egar to take it on.
I don’t tend to set resolutions, I set an intention every year... one big theme for the year that I shape my decisions around. It’s the frame work for the next twelve months, but it’s flexible, it moves with life as things happen in real time, there’s no failing an intention. It’s just an idea, a feeling, a vision of what you want your year to be about, to feel like for you, it’s a reminder when things aren’t going to plan to pull back and access based on what you wanted for yourself.
I take things one step further though, naturally, and I work with in the energy of what is going on in my year. I look at my personal year in numerology, and this year is my personal year 2, I look at what’s going on for me on the astrology front, and I don’t mean horoscopes. When I look at astrology I look at what planets are in my houses when, what energy and shift does that bring, what’s the over all theme of the year. And then finally I do a personal tarot card reading for the next year to try and see what my intuition pulls as energy for me this year.
None of this though is written in stone. It’s truly just a way to tap into my own intuition, it’s a chance to tap into the energy of the next year... and then from there I set my intention. I work with what energies are around me, what energy I am bringing to the year.
No matter the energy, there is always free will, you always have a choice, I personally just find it easier to work with the energy to create and manifest rather than work against it. I try and look at how I can harness the energy at different times to help move through my intention in different ways. It’s about being fluid, being in the flow, and co creating with the world around you rather than in your silo alone.
In addition to setting a theme, an intention, I also choose a few words to carry with me through the year. These words can come into play at any time and merely offer a sub category if you will of my intention for the year.
So what is my intention this year? My intention for this year is to embrace what is in front of me and find the joy, playfulness, and fun of it all. My words/phrases for the year: slow down, be fluid, lean in, magic.
If you have any questions about what I’ve mentioned above as far as numerology, astrology, or tarot I’m happy to share and point you to some great resources, just leave a comment below.
What is your intention for 2019? What is it that you want for yourself this year?
Right on time, once again, it’s time to take several moments to reflect on this past year, to take the extra time to find closure, to let go, to just soak it all in.
Traditionally I’ve always looked at the highs of each year, the pivotal moments, the big stand out events, but this year I feel called to scrutinize a little more. I’m feeling called to pull off the rose colored glasses and to take a real, honest, raw look at this past year. Looking at who I was and the roles I’ve played in a slew of different relationships and situations, I’m feeling called to really examine who I was in comparison to who I want to be.
There were so many incredibly amazing moments this year... my relationship has been stronger than it has ever been. My relationship with both my parents has evolved to new places and met new boundaries and dynamics with ease I could have never imagined. I took a risk and left a job I was complacent at and moved away from the life I loved and enjoyed so much. These are all important moments and milestones, and I'm grateful for them, but what about the other parts, the day to day... the shadows to these shining highlights.
There is always a yin to a yang, a dark to a light, a high and a low, but that isn’t inherently bad, it’s just a chance to reflect, to look at what opportunities you still have, to humble yourself enough so that you give yourself the opportunity and the space to level up.
This year I lost touch with any sense of true creativity, of romance, of playfulness and of whimsicality. I was to the point, blunt, direct, and did the work to be where I needed to be, and it paid off, but it came with a price... I allowed this past year, my personal year one in numerology to be about my masculine energy, the no nonsense, the no bullshit, the cut to the chase attitude, but it very quickly became the way I moved through life this year.
Ninety percent of the time I felt "on"... I was teaching and working so much that as a person I felt a bit robotic, a bit disconnected, a bit out of touch with my softer, more feminine side. I couldn't find it in my to pick up my camera, writing felt like too much work, and even with the best laid plans I would find myself creatively blocked.
There where moments that felt like I was walking a fine line between direct and cynical, always just teetering on the edge of no longer keeping it real but being jaded. I had done a total 180 from the prior year of spiritual exploration, expansion, rainbows, and unicorns.
I've needed this year, but it's brought to light a lot of concerns, a lot of things I've let go unchecked, that I've let swing out of balance all in the name of setting my self up for what lies ahead. I need to be honest with myself and acknowledge that there are things that need to be reshuffled, that need a closer look, there are beliefs and mindsets that fit for this last part of the journey of getting me to where I am, but now need to be returned back to the world because they don't serve me in this next phase.
As I start to think about 2019, about my year two, about where I want to go and who I want to be I see so much space for me take myself down a few pegs, to be more free, more flowing, more playful. I need to take life a little less seriously. I needed 2018 to push out the things in my life that were no longer for me. I needed 2018 to challenge me to reconstruct my life for what I wanted for myself. I needed 2018 to force me to let go of people, places, and things that no longer helped me grow, that no longer served me, that no longer resonated with who I was becoming. I needed 2018 to require me to get clear, to be direct in what I wanted, to carve out the rough edges of what I wanted for myself.
I needed to gear up, to put on the armor, and remove and evaluate what I no longer needed in my life... Now I'm ready to shed the battle armor with the self awareness that I've let it become my every day wear. I've spent this year tirelessly manifesting, cleaning up, and making the space for myself and what is yet to come. I'm ready for 2019, I'm ready to shed the layers, kick off my shoes, find my flower crown, and spend the year dancing and playing. I'm taking 2019 to find the magic again, to fall back in love with the tiniest most intimate honest moments of life, and to seek out the joy in every day.
I'm taking the opportunity in these final days of 2018 to deeply examine what triggers my ego, to look at what makes me puff my chest in competition rather than lend a hand in support. I've cleared the path in 2018, it's time to let go of the final monsters... the dragons have been slayed and it's time to journey home and take note of the lessons learned. There are no other paths that need to be cleared right now, it's time to feast in the space and life I've created. I've cleared the path and laid the foundation and now I'm ready and open to receive what is seeking me this upcoming year with peace, laughter, an open heart, and a playful spirit.
...so why do you keep driving down it?
We have all been stuck in situations, relationships, jobs, and cycles that we keep trying to navigate and we continue to hit the same dead-end... We expect that if we keep trying something is bound to change even when we know it won't.
You know what I am talking about, right? Those times you know no matter how much you try, how many different approaches you take, and how much you want it to be different, you're going to end up in the same place, stuck.
I need to be real with you, I see you, I see you trying, I know you don't know what you want or what is next, none of us do, and if I’m being totally honest I recently realized I was driving up and down the same deadened street for a while when it came to figuring out my job and what was next... so I say this with love, you look ridiculous.
I am all for trying, for giving things an honest and real chance, for doing the work, for putting in the hustle, the sweat, and the tears... but common' you need to know when enough is enough. Stop choosing to suffer, stop doing the same thing over and over again waiting for a different outcome, stop choosing be stuck, stop choosing to keep hitting the same damn dead-end. You know in your gut how this is going to turn out, so why do you keep doing it?
It's like driving down a street that's a dead-end, but you didn't see the sign before you turned down it, happens to all of us. So you drive down thinking this is your road, your path, then boom. DEAD-END. You reverse it out of there but then get back to the start of the street and instead of taking a new street, finding a new way, looking for an alternate route, you decide drive down that dead-end road again. And again. And again. I’ve been there, a lot, and I’m sure I’ll be back there again, so I know what you’re thinking, maybe if you drive down it one more time it will have changed, but common' we all know road work doesn't happen over night... it's still a dead-end.
At this point the neighbors are looking out their windows thinking "What the hell is this? Clearly lost. How many times are they going to drive up the street until they realize this is a dead-end? TURN AROUND!"
And now you need to make a choice. Do you keep driving up and down this street going nowhere but hoping somehow something happens or do you pull over, open up the GPS, and welcome any directions from the neighbors on how to get where you want to go?
It sounds silly, I know that, but it happens, and a lot of the time we don't realize that we are in these cycles ourselves. I was in a cycle with my career for two years... and I was willing to jump at anything just to jump, even if it meant jumping to something that I didn't want only to end up back on the same dead-end street because I didn't know what else to do. I was stuck.
I took the opportunity after noticing the cycle I was in with myself to pull over, to regroup, to make sure I had the right destination plugged into my GPS. I welcomed directions on how to get where I wanted to go and guess what happened? I got better directions, I pulled out of that damn dead-end street I'd been driving up and down for two years. I started to course correct. I got clear about where I was going, about what I wanted, and you know happened? Someone offered me a job, a job that was right on the road I wanted to travel, in the direction I wanted to go. I had to get out of that dead-end street, I had to reevaluate, I had to examine where I wanted to go, what did I want the scenery to look like on my way there, and then it happened... but I had to be willing to back out and course correct, and admit that I was absolutely stuck.
Are you on dead-end road? Have you been there for a while? It’s time to regroup, to reevaluate, to own that we are all a little lost, to get clear on where you want to go and then ask for some directions.
It's not even yours...
You're on the train station platform waiting for your train to arrive and you notice that everyone walking by you is leaving their bags at your feet or by your side... Then you hear it... Your train is approaching the platform, but you're bogged down by all of these bags that aren't even your... what do you do?
Obviously you leave that shit and hop on the train with just the bags you brought with you... duh. We all know not to look after unattended bags, let alone take them with us...
But what if those bags weren't just bags, what if they were other people’s emotional baggage? How does that change... stop and think about it...
How many times in your life have you ALLOWED someone to drop their emotional baggage on you and how many times have you gotten on the train with that emotional baggage... I'm going to guess a lot. I'm guilty of it too...
For a really long time I carried around other peoples emotional junk, we all have, mine was from my parents. Shout out to my mom and dad... (by the way they are amazing, but parents mess their kids up, it's in the job description). I took on some of their personal ish over the years... and you took on your parents ish... and my kids will take on mine... it's the way it goes, there is no blame to place, it is no ones fault, it's just what happens.
But here's the thing... it is your fault if you choose to get on your train of life with someone else’s baggage knowing that it's not yours to take... that is on you. It is your responsibility to always be checking and looking for the baggage that someone abandoned with you and it is on you to do the work to break the ties to it and leave it behind.
I hear you, it is soooOOOooo much easier to blame everyone else, to say "Hey this is your fault!" but the truth is it's on you to let the baggage go. I've spent the last year and a half sorting through the bags at my feet, saying ohhh mhm this is mine, nope that's not mine, and where the hell did I pick this up?! I've inspected my bags, I've looked to see who I may have dropped some of mine off with because I need to find them and take back ownership.. but all of this is on me.
It takes a lot of work, self-awareness, and healing... but you get to choose what baggage you take with you. You get to make the choice on what affects you and what doesn't. You have the option to leave it all behind and lighten your load, but you have to be willing to take ownership and stop blaming everyone around you who left the baggage with you.
I'm going to botch the quote, so I'm not even going to try, but Wayne Dyer once said something to the effect of if I were to take the person that hurt you, caused you harm, the person you blame and fix them and get them to see their ways, would that fix you? No, it wouldn't. Their healing and acceptance of their behaviors and actions have no bearing on your healing and ability to move on.
What he is getting at is that your healing, your baggage, your ish is all on you. It's not dependent on someone taking ownership, or an apology, of someone coming to claim the bag they left you with. You need to make the choice for yourself to heal, to let go, to leave what isn't yours behind.
I have plenty of my own baggage that I have created over the last twenty-five years for myself, I don't need to take anyone else's with me.
Living life to the fullest, practicing and teaching yoga, just trying to figure the world out. I always keep it real and honest, even when life gets a bit sucky, because it definitely does. Just sharing my thoughts and musings and trying to spread a little light along the way.