Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I can, I get to, I like to...

now here are words we don't hear (or say!) very often.

i can, i get to, i like to...

yesterday i read a blog dedicated to these words and i can't stop thinking about it. when anxious it's easy to surround ourselves with the "i can'ts, i shouldn'ts, i don't want to's." how often though do we really stop and think about the opposite?

two days ago i hurt my knee. nothing serious, but enough to cause a little hobble and quite a few stares. my hubby seized the opportunity to tell me that maybe i should lay off some of my workouts because between the race training and all the spin classes (packed in so i can finish my certification) i'm OD'ing a bit on the heavy cardio. however, the mere thought of stopping my training (over a knee that was a tad sore) or holding back on my certification nearly drove me to tears. i enjoy this. it's stress relief. it's fun for me. so i promised to stick to some rest and be a good patient. by the next morning my knee was feeling much better and yesterday i returned to spin feeling great. and by the time we hit that first 'big hill' and piled on the resistance instead of feeling self defeating and telling myself how hard this was or how intensely my legs were burning, i thought to myself i'm so lucky my knee is better and i can rock this hill!

something as simple as a sore knee really changed my whole mindset. and this brings me back to the blog i mentioned. something happened to this blogger that changed her whole attitude towards things. every time she did something, no matter how mundane it seemed, she felt lucky to be able to do it. how awesome to get a dose of that every now and then!

so rather than waiting for something to happen that changes our mindset, let's create the change on our own! what are some things you can't wait to do, that you get to do or that you can do?


*run my 5k

*take any spin class i want

*walk my dog (even though it may be pouring rain!)


*come home every day to an apartment i love even though it may not be perfect or a mansion

*look forward to time with friends and family


*try new workouts and test my physical limits

*work towards improving my yoga practice but can be content with where i am each step of the way

*try new recipes even if i'm not the best cook

there are so many more to add to the list. and whether it be something life-changing or anxiety that keeps the negative thoughts swirling, you always have the power to change them. if you feel frustrated or closed off because of anxiety, start thinking and believing that you have the ability to change it! working through my anxiety brought me so much closer to the person i wanted to be so i always look at it as a blessing in disguise. anxiety gave me the push to work hard and create change and encourage growth... because if i didn't i would've sat back and watched my life slip away.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

recent reflections

here's a glimpse into how i was living my life a year ago:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Near the Breaking Point
I cried this morning. Not so much a can’t-catch-my-breath, mascara-running-down-my-face type of crying, but I shed a few tears. I felt frustrated that I let my exhaustion come out thru my eyeballs, but a release is a release and I needed it! I was in the kitchen around 6:30 in the morning feeding all our pets and I just felt overwhelmingly tired and before I knew it – tears. There’s no hiding it, I’m tired. I’m burnt out. And I don’t know what to do. Every morning, when I hear that dreaded alarm clock go off, I squeeze my eyes shut and will there to be an email on my blackberry from my boss saying that somewhere along the line we had forgotten that today is actually some obscure holiday and we have off – enjoy! Then of course I drag my butt out of bed in a haze and try to shower without drowning.
I tried to focus on my relaxation CD while driving to work and it didn’t help. I actually felt a panic attack creeping up, so I quickly switched it off and focused entirely on breathing. It helped and I avoided a full blown attack, but my body is telling me to slow down. The part that I’m unsure of is how I do that. I knew when I decided to commit to yoga I would have to sacrifice a lot. And it’s been fine so far. What I didn’t anticipate was the exhaustion. I can’t afford to take any days off of work, I can’t miss any yoga classes, if I cancel one more time on my personal trainer she’ll probably reach thru the phone and kill me and my husband is about to have a sheer breakdown because what little I have time for around the house isn’t nearly enough to ease the burden on him.
When I start to feel like this, I try to imagine the people that go through so much more than me and are forced to function on three hours worth of sleep. In the grand scheme of things, my exhaustion seems so irrelevant because there are much bigger things out there people have to be concerned about. It’s times like this when I need a gut check. Eventually, my goal is to teach yoga and personal training, but in the meantime I have to do what it takes to reach that goal – and in order to do that I have to sacrifice.

i can still remember sitting in my office, on my lunch break (because i rarely left my desk), typing that out. i can remember my 'brag board' in front of me, a big board where i posted all my successful pitches and press hits. i can still see my collection of pictures to the right of my monitor filled with smiling faces and happy times. and i can still remember that feeling of overwhelming sadness. i felt so empty. i felt incredibly lost. and i felt obligated to smile through it and act as if everything was always OK. i've been through a lot in the past year.

my life is drastically different now. in 2009 alone i left the comfort of a full-time job to persue teaching yoga, i launched a business dedicated to helping people suffering with stress and anxiety disorders, i've gone to numerous yoga workshops and met some incredible teachers, i've started training for my first 5k, within the next few weeks i'll be certified to teach spin and kickboxing, i've traveled around europe, celebrated a much happier 2nd wedding anniversary and have started to become the person i wanted to be but was afraid to be.

funny what can happen in just one year.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

relaxation on rainy days

a chilly, rainy sunday practically begs for heaps of time spent relaxing.

on my agenda today:

*morning spent preparing a breakfast of raw "oatmeal" and hot coffee

*a rainy run with my pup

*a seriously warm bath with ginger (to help draw out toxins)

*quality time on my couch catching the giants game

*loads of burning candles

*book reading

*wine sipping

*blog reading

how are you going to exercise your relaxivist rights today?

image: delany blog

Saturday, October 17, 2009

currently loving this: quote

Just saw this quote and knew I had to share it!

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
~ Deepak Chopra

This struck a very deep nerve for me. It's always a struggle when we fall victim to our egos and I think this quote hits it right on with addressing the unending desire to control everything around us, the obsession to be approved of or loved and of course judging others. I'm not going to lie, I still get mentally caught up sometimes in these struggles, especially the need to control, but these will never lead to happiness. All they do is cause pain.

Whatever you do today, be aware if the ego pops up with negativity. I always loved when teachers would say "check your ego at the door.". How true it is! And how powerful to detach from it.

I'm definitely going to write this in my journal and maybe even tape it to my 'fridge. A daily dose of these words hits home and reminds me where to find my true happiness.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

100th post!

in honor of my 100th post, i thought it would be fun to share a journaling exercise with you compliments of Hip Tranquil Chick (and if you haven't picked up HTC, a fabulous book by the inspiring Kimberly Wilson, run -don't walk-to your nearest book store and grab it!)

HTC is infused with different ideas for jump starting the life you want. it's packed with awesome yoga sequences to fit your every move, great advice on getting what you want personally and professionally and offers ways to dig deep down and discover what you really want and what really makes you happy.

so this particular exercise caught my eye and its focused on finding your passions.

write 20 passions that bring you pure bliss:

1 reading

2 writing (creative writing)

3 practicing yoga

4 learning about yogic philosophies

5 running (first 5k is in 4 weeks!)

6 traveling

7 fashion, creating looks/outfits

8 cooking, exploring different diets and how they impact my body

9 helping others overcome anxiety

10 holistic health

11 modern art

12 listening to 60s and 70s rock

13 animals

14 coaching, motivating students

15 drawing

16 adventure/challenge

17 meditation and introspection

18 Buddhism

19 learning

20 psychology, studying the mind

write 10 causes that inspire you

1 animal rights

2 environmentalism

3 mental health awareness (MHA)

4 activism for women's rights (NOW)

5 creating awareness about the importance of health (discover and recover, UNICEF, make a wish)

6 global and national antipoverty movements

7 human rights (oxfam)

8 fight against cancer (team in training)

9 creativity and creative arts

10 food drives, clothing drives, etc.

write out your top 10 strengths

1 detail oriented

2 hard working, dedicated

3 writing

4 creating goals, strategic planning

5 creative

6 work well with others/in groups

7 determined

8 decorating/designing

9 public speaking

10 quick study

now, my job is to look over these lists and look for similarities. i'm going to see if common themes emerge or if i can tie things together and bring more of these aspects into my life. maybe i can use some of these ideas to reevaluate my goals and make sure i'm on the right path.

so as i start that, grab your journal or notebook and start your own lists. see if you have anything pop out at you that you may have overlooked. take your time and really search your heart. maybe while researching causes that inspire you, you'll find the perfect charity to volunteer with that will allow you the opportunity to display your passions for public speaking and event planning!

*exercise courtesy of hip tranquil chick by kimberly wilson

* image: english language expert

Sunday, October 11, 2009

meditation reflections

It's no secret that meditating with an anxious mind is a tough task. I used to read all about the benefits and be amazed by the stories I would hear and the breakthroughs people would claim to have while logging in time on their meditation cushions. I always used to want to try, but found myself unmotivated and gave up before I even gave it a try.

Since yoga become a regular practice in my life and my mind has calmed down quite a bit I find meditation easier, but I still have lifetimes to go. I look for inspiration on meditating from anywhere I can find it, including books (like the one I'm reading and currently loving), blogs and other yoga teachers. Every source I've turned to has offered insightful info, but you know what I found they all have in common? While there are similarities, a lot of people have tuned into meditation as a very personal experience and each one took different paths to find their ways. This book I'm reading on running (5k is in 5 weeks!) Shares the authors experience with using running as a means to meditate, tapping deeper and deeper into himself with each mile. Another teacher uses a cushion, soft music, incense, and anything else she can to wake up her senses before starting her practice and another person I read about used multiple retreats to get where he wanted to be with his meditation.

Having dedicated this month to meditation I asked a wonderful and amazing yoga teacher to share her insights and experience with meditation - it'll be up soon! Keep a lookout because you don't want to miss this!

and I've started playing more with what works for me. I'm very quick to get frustrated and I tend to hold on intensely to feelings and emotions (hello guilt and anger from 6 months ago!). That clouds my mind immensely. And because I know myself very well, a bored mind for me is the worst. I can't do anything productive if I haven't gotten mu yoga in, or a run or a spin class...even a walk with my pup. So I try to meditate after I've worked out my body because for me it works out the stress in my mind also.

If you've meditated, I'd love to hear your experiences!

Monday, October 5, 2009

NEW stress and anxiety relief yoga class

so excited to announce... well, a few things!

1) i just started a new stress and anxiety relief candlelight yoga class at Harmony Yoga and Dance in wantagh. it's friday nights at 5:50pm. come check it out if you're around!

2) today is my two year wedding anniversary! i'm still finding it possible to fall more in love with my husband each day.

3) i *finally* got in a run this morning. a 1 mile tempo run to be exact. ok, so i won't be ready for the nyc marathon by the weekend, but hey, a mile's a mile!

on that note, i found a cute 5k to train for that includes your dog! how awesome is that! so puggle and i will step up our training and maybe we can hit that up when it comes to town in november. that makes me smile!

4) we're starting to send out SAVE THE DATES for Discover and Recover's january fundraiser - a kirtan with the fabulous Krishna Das! Don't know much about KD? check him out here: I'll be posting about this like crazy because it's an event not to miss! January 9, 2010! great way to start off the new year!

i haven't had much more time to spend on my meditation practice this weekend since it was filled with anniversary fun, but i plan to get back to it this week. it's very eye-opening.

Friday, October 2, 2009

happy october

i love october. it's one of my favorite months. after coming home from europe and feeling like i got hit by a mack truck with all of the things i came home to i decided to take a time out and reflect on some things. one of the things i focused a lot on was some soul searching. this search lead me to unearth my curiousity about meditation. i actually have a workbook on insight meditation (because i'm a nerd i absolutely love interactive books) and finally pulled it from my bookshelf. i often like to dedicate my months to something... almost like a lifestyle theme. so it feels almost too right to have this month, my favorite month, dedicated to meditation.

even though i just started reading the book i've already started to dig up some rather uncomfortable things which is both good and bad. i always like learning about emotions and feelings and why people (especially myself) behave the way we do. But you have to be ready for this kind of stuff... pretty powerful. so i'll be sure to update as i go along. i believe october is going to be one hell of a month for my meditation practice.

my soul searching also kicked me into overdrive on the motivation front and i officially finished the bulk of my kickboxing and spin certification exams. i'm very excited to start launching these classes in the new year.

other things i'm looking forward to:

* halloween party with my favorites

*weekly lunch dates with my girls

*a weekend getaway with the hubby out east filled with wine tasting and pumpkin picking

*cool morning runs

*walking through falling leaves with puggle

*completing my additional certifications and adding classes to my schedule

*pulling out all my fall clothes and maybe throwing in a tiny autumn shopping spree

*and of course (!) lots of active vinyasa to warm up the body on those chilly days

happy october to all!

image: just get there blog