Tag Archives: Yoga

Take a Breath

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Happy Summer! It has been hot here in Colorado, but nothing compared to some other states! I have been on summer break for a couple weeks and I wish I could slow down summer. Time off always seems to fly by! Every year I  find myself making big plans for productivity and projects as the school year is winding down, and inevitably, I neglect to schedule rest. My body had some plans of its own and I am proud of myself for listening and slowing down this year without judgement or criticism.

I don’t seem to be able to sleep in anymore, which is sad, but it has actually been nice getting up early in the day, even if I am moving at a slower pace. I have found myself being a bit lonely lately too, which makes the quiet difficult. That said, the quiet is what I have been craving. I used to ignore my self care in a reckless fashion, and now that I’m invested in my health (mental, physical, spiritual etc.) I know that when my body talks, I need to listen. 

I have made some goals for the summer, but have given myself some wiggle room for those days when the thing I need to accomplish the most is rest. I have been outlining and organizing my wip in Scrivener. I’ve been journaling. I’ve been napping. I started teaching this week and the structure of seeing kids again has been nice. It is only half days, a couple days a week, but I think I am enjoying it because I have gotten some rest and quiet. 

I also started a new tattoo about a week ago. It is healing nicely, but because of the location of the tattoo, I haven’t worked out in a week. I realized yesterday that the lack of exercise was negatively affecting my mood. Today I was planning on meeting a friend at a coffee shop. She had a conflict, so I sipped my iced Americano and worked on my book. I came home and danced and did some yoga. It felt really good to move again. To breathe in that particular way that clears my head and centers me back in my body. 

There will definitely be adventures this summer. I have already had the chance to do some really fun things with friends. I will go to the mountains and kayak and float in a hot spring. I will continue to work on this story. I will rest. I will breathe. 

Spring in my Step

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It has been feeling like spring and I am loving it. We are getting down to the last couple of months of school, my birthday is coming up, and it’s warm and sunny. I have had a hard couple of months. Lots of stress has taken its toll, and I am finding myself in desperate need of a reset.

I have been seeing a therapist again and I am very grateful for the support and perspective she brings to my life. We have been talking about ways to get energy in, instead of having all my energy drained out. Upon reflection, I’ve decided to take a month to really concentrate on self-care and do what I can to fill my cup.

I had a hard time embracing the idea of self-care when I was introduced to it. As a people pleaser, type A person, the idea of down time seemed ridiculous. As a recovering people pleaser, I’ve learned over the years that time to rest is almost more important than the work I do. I’ve learned that I need to listen to my body, my energy, my spirit, my heart and take time when it is asking me to. Even though I have learned this, but I am not always good about slowing down.

That said, this thirty-day reboot is an opportunity to do just that. Take a break. Do things that are good for me. Do things that fill me up. Be around people who support me, where I am right now…not people who drag me down or expect me to give my all and not give me anything back. I’m reading some books, doing a yoga practice everyday, trying to create a bedtime ritual that promotes true rest and writing.

Yep, I said it. Writing is a big part of self-care for me. I ignore that fact from time to time, but I feel more grounded and stable as a human when I’m writing regularly. I have recently started working on a freelance content writing portfolio with a graphic designer and I applied to an online magazine I really admire and respect.

For a couple of weeks I was really stuck. Paralyzed by a fear of not being good enough and daunted by the task of writing the samples and resume. However, I jumped in over Spring Break and worked really hard to finish my submission on time. Writing vulnerable and honest essays about my life and editing them over a week, opened up a door in my heart that I hadn’t realized was closed.

Now I’m getting a rush of ideas and am feeling excited to be writing again. It’s hard sometimes to come to a blank page, but so is trying harder yoga sequences when I’m still a beginner. Not quitting and doing my best is really invigorating.

I am excited to see what these thirty days of reflection, intention and rest bring. I am only four days in, but I’m already feeling a difference.

Odds Are In Your Favor

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Sorry I’m a day late. I got home super late last night and just couldn’t get this posted.

I was reviewing some notes I had jotted down in a notebook yesterday and I came upon some writing advice I had found by Laurie Halse Anderson. Some one asked her how you maintain confidence when your success rate is 0.1%. Her response was great, “If you quit, your success rate is guaranteed to be 0%. Which odds do you like better?”

I was thinking a lot about this today. I haven’t been writing much. It’s crazy because I think about it all the time – setting, characters, arc etc. I’m just not writing. I think because I have so much else going on, I just put it off but then before I know it, it is midnight and another day has slipped through my fingers.

I was writing consistently 20 minutes a day for a while, but now that I’m out of the habit it’s hard to get back in the saddle again.

While I waited to get my hair cut this afternoon, I was thumbing through an old songwriting book. There was a great article by Patty Larkin about Luring the Muse. She thinks of writing like going fishing. Similar to Laurie Halse Anderson, Patty says that you can’t catch anything unless you go to the water’s edge and put your line in. I think she’s right. I can think about my stories or ideas for songs all the livelong day, but if I don’t do any writing than I’m batting at zero.

A friend of mine recently told me of an experience he had over Spring Break with two different yoga teachers. One teacher’s focus centered on technique and no one did much yoga in the class because you couldn’t move on until the technique was perfect. On the opposite end of that extreme, he went to another class where the teacher said that yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory – the more you practice, the better your theory becomes.

I thought this was a perfect analogy for writing or any creative pursuit. So many people procrastinate and put off their creative expression for a whole slew of reasons (myself included) when if we would just practice all the other stuff would fall into place.

Even though I have a ton of work to do for school this weekend, I want to work some at getting to the page as well. I want my percentage to be above zero!