How often in your life do you think the words, “Ugh. I have to do this,” feeling totally beholden to your situation. That all-too common feeling locks us into our obligation-victim-self, and once we’re there, the only way out we see is to change, remove, or delete the entire situation. But, here’s the magic: You have the power and potential to pull yourself out of that whole with one simple ingredient. Choice is the way out of the victim space, the way to step into your life with full empowerment. And you can do it right now.
I’ve been teasing a lot of “new. exciting things in the works that I can’t quite tell you about yet,” which really means they aren’t set in stone, and I don’t want to speak out of turn and/or commit myself to something that won’t happen.
There’s a lot to unpack in that statement, I know. If I were coaching myself, I’d have a lot of questions. Namely: “Why?”
But because it’s 7:45am and I have a whole day to get through, I’m going to switch gears into something I can tell you about. Something I’m so excited about. Something I didn’t know I needed but can’t wait to star
I’m always amazed that libraries exist. I love books. I love reading. I love reading books for free! I also love places where everyone agrees to follow specific rules, like the Southwest Airlines boarding policy, at concerts where everyone sits instead of stands, and whispering in a library. And the quiet part is especially soothing: You walk in off a busy street into hushed human decency. Plus I get to hang out with other people without being overstimulated... an introvert’s dream!
Happy fall, friends. While I always insist that I could live in an everlasting summer (hello, Southern California), I am feeling ready for cooler temperatures and changing leaves this year. That special crispness that comes with October always makes me feel more comfortable in my skin, closer to the people in my life, and ready to recharge after the chaos of summer.
As I teased a little over the summer, I had the privilege of getting to lead a set of workshops for the Penn State Schreyer Honors College orientation last week. I graduated from the SHC in 2010, and I attended the very first ever orientation 12 years ago, so it was exciting to get back on campus and see how that event has grown over the past decade.
“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” – Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. Shoutout to one of the best movies of all time, even if Tom Hanks plays a highly problematic dude (it IS a 90s rom-com, after all) who essentially catfishes a girl for the entire movie and we love him anyway? Do we? Should we? #Ugh. But back to what I meant to write about before the patriarchy got involved (as it always does)… taking shit personally.
Anyone ever notice how June is the fastest month of the year? Maybe it’s because it always starts with my birthday, rolls right into an annual camping weekend with friends, and then inevitably involves some other kind of travel until it suddenly it’s the 4th of July, and I’m looking around like “WTF? Where am I?” like I just woke up from one of those dead-to-the-world coma-naps.
In case you missed the 8432875 times I’ve said it over the past week, today (!!) is my 30th birthday. Despite the joy I possessed at age 3, I am not usually a big “OMG PAY ATTENTION TO MY BIRTHDAY” kind of person, but I guess I have been milking this one for a while -- at least in the sense of treating myself… whoops.
As an instructor, I get asked a lot about how I exercise when I'm not teaching classes. My schedule right now actually requires me to break a sweat and do the work 3 days a week. When I'm up there on the bike, or in the hammock for Air Fit, or on the mat for pilates, I'm exercising right a long with you -- as opposed to when I teach a power yoga class, where I'm mostly walking around or just moving my arms (but also probably sweating, because I AM A SWEATY PERSON).
Last week was my family’s much-awaited trip to Myrtle Beach, and I shockingly didn’t have great cell phone service OR wifi, which I saw as a sign to take an actual break from the Internet for a few days. It was blissful to be far away from the pings of emails and social media notifications, but it also left me totally bombarded upon return. (We also ended the vacation with the wedding of my husband’s best friend, which sort of shocked the beach vibes out of the system — and left us with some sleep deprivation.)
I argue that everything in life can be broken into 2 choices: do it or don’t do it (which also leads me to some really shoddy probability theories, even though I took 4 statistics classes in college… oops). You always have those options: Yes or No.
We’ve all “had that friend” who has an issue you both know she needs to deal with but she just keeps going ‘round and ‘round in circles, complaining and whining but not making any actual progress because the whole thing feels way too big and much to serious. (Yes, I’m talking about you.)
If you're reading this from the northeastern part of the country, you're well aware that spring has decided to be fashionably late. Like, it snowed on April 16th kind of late. Ugh.
I'm deeply affected by the weather. Rain, cold, snow, and gloom seem to seep into my soul and leave me feeling glum, tired, and generally unmotivated. Not unlike a cat who searches out the tiniest beam of sunshine from a window, I want to bask in the warmth of bright, shiny days. I wake up feeling energized and ready. It's no shock that all of the vacations Brian and I have taken in the past 3 years have been to a warm climate with very little rain: I'm my best self in the sun.
This week’s coaching course focus is habits, and while I have SO MANY THOUGHTS about habits, I’m saving those for a bigger moment. But the broader context of habits is this: We have the power to change.
Ha. That’s a big, head-y concept, and one that I could wax on for days. But what it means in my life today is that I always have the power to choose and to change, and when I’m feeling stuck or overwhelmed or even “just a little bit off” – which feels like the normal these days – I can take little steps to make positive changes and put myself into a better place.
I often wonder in other countries and time periods if “So, what do you do?” is the first question anyone asks when they meet someone new… because in 2018 America, it sure is.It doesn’t take a well-trained sociologist to say why, either: Our culture is OBSESSED with work, for better or worse, and so much of our identities are wrapped up in our careers. As a result, we’re desperate to know what everyone else is doing with their time.
And when you decide, on what may seem like a whim, to upend your own identity overnight and switch careers in a very open way, you feel like you lost a big part of yourself.
Though it's still very, very much winter outside (side eye to you, snow), I have a new "spring" teaching schedule. I've mixed up the days and times of a few of my classes, but what I'm most excited about is my new "PYP AIR FIT FLOW" class on Friday mornings.
I forgot to write last week. It was a busy week, for sure, but aren't they all? For the past 2 years, my husband and I have been saying "Well, it's a little crazy right now. It'll settle down, and we'll get back to normal." But, uh, I think this is our normal.
Anyway. I forgot.
3 months in, I thought it'd be a good time to check in on some of the goals, resolutions, and "challenges" I set for myself this year.
In an ongoing effort to stay relevant to hashtag trends, I'm using #wellnesswednesday today to share my thoughts and experiences with meditation. Until this year, the closest thing I had to a regular meditation practice was the savasana at the end of my somewhat regular yoga taking. Savasana is different than meditation -- it comes from a different intention and serves a different purpose. And in the classes I teach, it's often an excuse for me to drop some amazing knowledge bombs via appropriate song lyrics that I hope at least one person recognizes.
Last week was a heavy one for me. It’s the 5th week of the 40-Day program, and a lot of things that I’ve been working through really came up and out. I had to shine a light on some of the darker places that I don’t like to go in myself and clear them out. I wrote 4 long pages, but I’ve decided to keep them for myself… sometimes it’s important to write for your own well-being, not for public consumption.
It feels like a bit of a cop-out to keep using the weekly themes from the 40-Day program to inspire my teaching, but it also feels authentic: I’m in this, this is where my head is, this is where my heart is, this is where my truth is right now.
When I started working from home last summer, I thought my introverted self would revel in the alone time, all day with no coworkers poking their heads in or loud conversations heard through thin walls. And yes, the physical solitude and quiet of being alone in my space has been wonderful for my creativity and productivity. But there’s something about being a part of an office, of a team, that is bigger than just physical proximity. There’s other people to share the load.
I'm participating in a 40-day program of "personal transformation" (which I say in quotes not because I don't believe in it, but because it feels like a really big thing to just write without any sort of off-setting), and the theme for this week is vitality. That word, to me, brings up weird images of elderly men doing calisthenics... no, I don't know why or where that came from. But what I think it really means is finding your life source.
Happy 2018! While it's always sad to see the holidays go, (Is there anything more depressing than un-decorating your house and taking down the tree?) I love the beginning of a new year. It's a perfect time to re-evaluate priorities and give yourself a little kick to get back to your goals.
It's the first #WorkoutWednesday (are hashtags even a thing on blogs?) of 2018, and I'm bringing you a 10 minute ab workout to help you build a stronger core. Core strength is such an important part of fitness and wellness — it helps us in nearly every type of workout from running to cycling to lifting weights, it can alleviate back tension and pain, and it helps maintain our posture.
I'm going to come right out and say it: One of my (not-so) guilty pleasures is astrology. When studying yoga, I felt right at home with some of it's more "woo-woo science" aspects, such as energetic fields, crystals, third-eye meditations, and the like. Astrology, to me, fits right in alongside our chakras and subtle energy systems as just another way to understand ourselves and our place within this crazy, vast universe.
I have this thing about starting projects in the middle of the day, week, month... year. Like I need a big ol' #1 on the calendar to begin, otherwise it feels impossible. I guess that would explain why this blog has only 2 posts -- at first I planned to write daily, and then weekly, and then monthly. And now, here we are.
It's been a month since I've entered #selfemployedlife -- it feels both longer and shorter, as reflecting on the passage of time always does. My intention was to start writing here on Day 1, but, as I've learned over these past 4 weeks, my days don't always go as planned. For someone who likes routine and schedule, having only a few structured activities every day and the other 5-6 working hours to fill as I choose has been a big adjustment.
Exactly one year ago, to the day, I taught my first public yoga class. It was terrifying and exhilarating, in equal measure, and it turned the tiny drip, drip, drip of passion I’d cultivated over the previous few months of yoga teacher training into a full-blown flood. It was me, in an ark, and there was no turning back.