Friday, July 31, 2009

the highs and lows of self esteem

Something I often see people struggle with (whether anxious or not!) is self esteem. The dreaded 's' word that we've all come into battle with at some point in our lives. And unfortunately its way too often a struggle with low self esteem.

So what's a girl (or guy!) to do? When I was at my most anxious I didn't suffer from low self esteem, I suffered with NO self esteem. Always one to hide in the back, I guess I never realized how much I beat myself up. I never thought anything was wrong with the negative messages I gave myself everyday. But I would never talk to a friend the way I talked to did nothing but make me feel worse. So those messages and thoughts had to go! I began to surround myself with positive energy and activities, commit to goals, indulge in spoiling myself every now and then and gave myself kudos for even the smallest step I took in the right direction on my journey. It took forever to build that esteem back up, but I was lucky to have friends and family (and myself!) to pump me up when I hit rock bottom. What's one thing you can do today to pump up YOUR esteem?

1) Journal all of your accomplishments for that day and DON'T leave any out-no matter how great or small you believe them to be

2) Pick your favorite feature and play it up. Whether its your hair, eyes, smile-rock it with pride!

3) Volunteer for a cause close to your heart

4) Offer to help out a friend or family member in need.

5) Treat yourself to a movie, your favorite take out, or a night out with friends just because! Celebrate yourself.

6) Give a compliment to someone, flash a smile to a stranger, hold the door for the person behind you-don't take for granted how fabulous doing things for others makes you feel. Raise their self esteem as you raise yours! I'm all about more bang for your buck!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

i'm a featured tranquilista on kimberly wilson's amazing blog!

a few months back i reached out to the fabulous kimberly wilson, a teacher, author, activist, entrepreneur and designer with a masters degree in women’s studies. she is the creative director and founder of tranquil space, founder of the tranquil space foundation and author of hip tranquil chick. i asked her if i could link to her foundation on my site and before i knew it we were chatting about Anxiety to Zen! i am honored to be a featured tranquilista on her blog and had so much fun sharing my story and dreams for Anxiety to Zen.

and check out more on kimberly wilson (and all her do-gooding) at:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

glowing with gratitude

sometimes i can take things for granted. i don't always see the world through rose colored glasses and i can become frustrated easily. it happens... i'm human. but recently i found myself struggling along my path and wondering if my decisions had lead me in the right direction. sometimes you wander so far down a path that you forget to look up and check where you are every now and then.
so i opened myself up to the universe and willed it to show me something to prove i'm headed in the right direction. and the interesting part? once i opened myself up to seeing... things began to show themselves. once this happened, i began to build my confidence and became determined to manifest exactly what i wanted. now more and more things are coming my way and i really needed that gut check to show me that i'm definitely embracing my dharma.

so i've made it a point to show gratitude (which, on a side note, i don't think is done nearly enough). i've been dedicating my practices to the universe and finding ways to be thankful as often as i can. every time something new comes my way i offer gratitude. and not just gratitude for opportunities i receive, but also for the things i already have and tend to overlook and also for things that have yet to happen but i have faith in.

practice gratitude. see if it changes the way you feel about things. and while you're offering thanks, don't forget to thank yourself as well!

image: Alixhyr

Sunday, July 26, 2009

diamond in the rough


false identity occurs when we identify with the tools of perception instead of the true Self

The yoga sutras of Patanjali is the foundational text of yoga.

It succinctly outlines the art and science of traditional Yoga meditation for Self-Realization. It is a process of systematically encountering, examining, and transcending each of the various gross and subtle levels of false identity in the mind field, until the jewel of the true Self comes shining through. (courtesy of

I love the yoga sutras. I love learning about them and deepening my understanding, so I was super excited to come across sutra 11.6 in my latest copy of yoga journal. I wanted to share it with you because I think we could all use a reminder of this one every once and awhile!

What sutra 11.6 means is that we grow our ego when we mistake the mind or body or outside influences and emotions for our true Self. We get caught up identifying ourselves by our looks, job status, financial security, houses, friends, cars, etc. and that's not who we are. Our bodies are borrowed ones and our true, authentic Self goes so much deeper then where we are willing to look.

But here's why I heart yoga - one of the key principles is that we are perfect the way we are. Let me repeat - PERFECT THE WAY WE ARE.

Yoga Journal goes on the explain our practice as a cleaning process. Through our yoga we polish the gem of the authentic Self that is inside us it can shine as it's meant to and we're meant to:

by living fully in the present moment and knowing that what we hold inside of ourselves far surpasses anything the material world can offer us

image: Oantann

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Inspired

I fell asleep last night thinking about people I admire. When I woke up this morning I became inspired to write down their names and a list of their traits because I was curious to see if they had any similarities. Here's what I came up with:

1) travel ( a lot!)
2) created their own companies
3) their missions are to help people become stronger, healthier and/or more confident
4) they live, breathe, eat and sleep their passions... every day!
5) a lot of them are women

I found this so interesting. A lot of their goals are similar to mine (even outside of these similarities). I feel that if I had the chance to chat with any of these fabulous women I could spend endless amounts of time picking their brains and learning from them. There's far too few people in life that can say "work isn't work, it's my passion." These women inspire me because they fought the odds and the safety of job security to chase a dream - and regardless of whether they are famous for it or not or rich beyond their wildest dreams - they have succeeded. They've strived for something. Set a goal. Felt the anxiety. Pushed past the fear. And are living a dream dedicated to helping others be the best selves they can be! No wonder these chicks totally inspire me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

taking a mental health day

I'm sitting in my apartment, wrapped in a blanket and semi-involved in a movie on tv. I'm taking today as a mental health day and working on getting lots of things in order. Remember when I said I saw more certifications in my future? Well I turned myself into a successful psychic when I ordered my study materials yesterday! I'm very much looking forward to this new adventure and am totally excited to start the certification process in spin and kickboxing. I adore learning about health, nutrition and exercise-after all, I truly owe a lot of my health to it, so what better way to express it than share it? Nothing makes me feel better and more alive than a heart pumping spin class, kickboxing sweat session and of course my beloved yoga.

I also love meeting people on similar missions and paths. My students are truly inspiring. And its awesome to be able to bring a new element of exercise to them.

I'm teaching a class in a couple of hours and am really aching for that time on my mat. Its funny how healthy habits can be just as addicting. If I take too much time off, my body starts to let me know! Same thing w/ my food. If I OD on too much crap, my body definitely gets pissed! It just happened this weekend. I went a little (read: a lot!) Carb crazy and was paying for it. I missed yoga and my sunday night jog. But its ok. If we never make a wrong turn how will we learn? Mistakes are opportunities for growth.

So I'm back to myself having kicked butt yesterday in 3hrs worth of workouts, indulging in yoga everyday this week (yay!), gearing up for spin (gotta log in certain amount of time on the bike for cert) and back to eating food that makes me feel good. I totally fought the urge to have a cup of coffee this morning. Been coffee-free for quite some time but still desire it every now and then.

If you made a wrong turn or fell off the [yoga, workout, reading, cleaning, eating well, working on anxiety, meditation, etc] bandwagon- take a day to re-energize and jump back in tomorrow. Lose the guilt! Forget the anticipation!

And I want to leave you with something I have recently found and think its beautifully inspiring: a hugely successful marathon runner was once asked how she mentally gets through all of her super long races. Her response: I take it ONE TREE AT A TIME.

Monday, July 13, 2009

where do you find it?

i'm talking about inspiration?

it's no surprise that it takes dedication and determination to overcome panic attacks and anxiety, but it also takes inspiration. i don't think i could have taken that first step on my journey had i not been inspired to. it's so easy to stay still - firmly rooted in our comfort zones. it takes something special to give us the desire to move out of that box.

i find inspiration from my students. i find inspiration from my teachers. i find inspiration from friends and family, books, my work, magazines, blogs.... i am always striving to find something that makes me want to push a little harder. inspiration gives us desire. desire is our opportunity to create change. change gives us freedom.

so? where do you find it?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

a weekend in review

I've slacked in the blogging arena for a bit due to a busy 4th of july weekend and lots of time spent running in between classes, teaching and clients.

On a super positive note, I'm feeling really great. I've cut so much junk food out of my diet and have really honored my promise to myself to make working out as natural as brushing my teeth. I've been busting out some fun routines during classes and have truly noticed a difference in how I've been feeling. And, I'm still channeling my relaxivist side because working out and getting my yoga on has made me feel connected, clear-headed and calm.

Are you doing things for YOU? Have you found what makes you feel your best?

I'm pondering some more things I'd like to accomplish this year...looking into more certifications and deepening my studies. I love learning about nutrition and exercise and how everything we do effects how we feel. I just recently began to expand my knowledge in metabolic typing -thanks to the ever fab erin huggins. I'm definitely thinking some new adventures are coming my way-and I can't wait!