Self Care Sunday ~ Dream Big

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I’ve I spent some time this week reconnecting with my dreams and taking action to realign with what authentically makes me happy.

Yoga makes me happy. I’ve practiced yoga for a long time. Being on the mat brings me peace. My favorite style of yoga is Yin Yoga or Gentle Flow Yoga. I like slow meditative practices like Yin because it’s includes seated postures, longer holds, breath work and meditation. Yoga isn’t about burning calories for me. It’s not exercise for me. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s how I calm myself down and find peace. That’s why I prefer to practice at the end of the day. It helps me let go of the stress of the day.

I was not practicing yoga a lot in last year because I’ve had a few injuries and illnesses in that made a regular practice challenging. Last Sunday I engaged my inner yogi and started practicing Yin or Slow Yoga for 30 minutes a day using YouTube videos in my living room on my own eco-friendly recycled rubber mat from Jade Yoga.  Guess what?  I haven’t needed Xanax this week 😄I would like to say I will practice every day for 21 to 30 days but this is where I usually get myself into trouble. I over do it. So, I’m going to take a clue from my body and after practicing yoga for seven days straight, I will most likely take Self Care Sunday as a rest day. I might walk but no yoga. Going forward I will shoot to practice yoga 3 to 5 days a week for 30 minutes while I build up stamina again. I started with Yin videos and added in a Beginners flow class too. I am an advanced yogi but I wanted to revisit some basic beginner poses as a foundation for my new practice. I’m tight. I need to take it slow so I don’t injure myself.

I am 52 years old now. My yoga needs to be different now than it was when I was 35 years old. I’ve always been super flexible thanks to being double jointed. Yoga has always come easy and effortless to me but now I am older. My body is stiffer and some days my old injuries make me feel like Tinman from restriction in the body. I am learning to make accommodations and adjustment for injuries. I stopped judging myself. Just because I don’t look perfect in a pose anymore doesn’t mean I should stop doing yoga. It means that I allow my body to work to its limit without pushing or forcing. Naturally, over time, body will open up and give me space to move. This has been a lesson about self acceptance and letting go of who I used to be on the mat for who I am now. I am older and wiser. My body is still beautiful no matter how awkward I feel moving in and out of poses. This is also why I am practicing at home without a mirror for now instead of going to a studio. Watching myself in a mirror as I practice will only lead to me judging on myself and feeling sad about how my body has changed.

yoga tinmanOver the last week, I’ve been thinking about my friend Karen who passed away in April 2018 from Peritoneal Cancer. Karen was the best friend I’ve had – the absolute best friend I’ve ever had. I definitely feel the void of her loss in my life every day. Karen hated Yoga. Karen was a gym rat. She was usually in the gym by 4:30am getting a hard core workout in before she went to work. She hated the slowness of yoga. Back in 2013 I was considering enrolling in Yoga Teacher Training and I wanted to go to a Yoga Conference in New York City to get information. Surprisingly, she offered to take the day off from work and go with me. Karen hated yoga but she loved me. She spent all day in the yoga expo talking to yogis, reading literature and doing sample classes with me. While on the train on the way home she said, “I still hate yoga but I had a lot of fun with you today!” The point of this story is… Karen was willing to do something she didn’t enjoy all day just to hang out with me and support me. I ended up not enrolling in teacher training because the schedule would have been hard to manage while also working full time. My body just doesn’t have that stamina. I still haven’t enrolled in teacher training for the same reason. I can’t do that while working full time

I’ve talked on this blog that I was going to start reintroducing one glass of red wine back into diet.  I only stopped drinking wine because my tummy didn’t always enjoy it as much as my taste buds did.  I promised Karen  before she died when I had my first glass of wine, it would be with her.  So I bought an expense bottle of Argentina Malbec and poured two glasses. I toasted Karen and took a sip… Well, it didn’t go very well 🤣After four sips, my face became red, hot and itchy and my nose was stuffy.  It seemed like an allergic reaction. I know folks may say their face turns red with wine too but this wasn’t normal. I was starting to not feel well. So, I poured it all down the drain, threw out the bottle after four sips and took a Pepcid AC to settle the reaction down.  I am glad I conducted this experiment at home and not out in public 🍷So that’s that. I will not be drinking wine – period!  Maybe I’ll try a Guinness Stout next 🤣 Or maybe I’ll just continue being a non-drinker and be ok with it instead of trying to recreate something from my past.  It’s called self acceptance. Maybe I will work on that instead of experimenting with alcohol✌️

As I indulge myself in the fantasy of escaping my current reality and living a more authentic life, I open myself up to the possibility that my dream may come true one day. One day I may hit the lottery or save up enough money to totally immerse myself into building my Holistic Health Practitioner business. Or maybe it waits until I officially retire. Either way, I would first take a few months off to decompress. I would then enroll in Yin Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training. I have a friend who did her teacher training at 62 years old after she retired from teaching high school full time👍

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I think I will start working on a draft of business plan for my Holistic Health Practice. My target market is folks over 50 years old.  Yin Yoga and Meditation Instruction as well as personal training would fit into my services perfectly. I am also a Reiki Master. I would could start teaching Reiki and practicing Reiki. Other services I would provide include: guidance on supplements, educating folks on food labels. I would go food shopping with them and show them how to work the store to spend less money and make better food choices.  Here’ a tip:  stay out of the middle isles (if possible).  All of processed junk is in the middle.

I would love to own or be a partner in an eco-friendly Organic Coffee & Tea Shop where I could offer my holistic health Practitioner services including, Yoga Classes, Reiki, Food label reading classes, Nutritional Supplement classes, etc..💫

Some times you just have to give your dreams room to breathe…What’s your dream? Are there any small steps you can take today to reconnect to it?

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(C) 2020 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Coming Out Of Hiding

It happened yesterday afternoon. The moment that I finally admitted the truth that I’ve been denying for months. The truth is – my truth is – I am in the middle of depression. I finally let someone see me…

It actually happened at work by accident but the after-affects have been vibrating through me since. Here’ what happened… I work in large building with many employees. I don’t typically socialize with coworkers outside of work. However, a long term friend, in real life, is also a coworker. She worked on the other side of building but her cubicle was coincidentally moved across from mine recently. I am a new vegetarian and she has been a vegetarian almost her whole life. I was asking her for tips…

Then she says, “Why are you changing your diet so much again, is your stomach still not improving?” Well, the answer to that what that my stomach is still fucked up. I’m not sure what is going on but I’m having an Upper GI on Friday… She then says, “I hear you on the phone and when folks stop by, that job seems stressful! Does that bother you?” The answer to that question was “Yes, it bothers me and I told her If I would have known what I was getting into, I would not have accepted this job. I am also trying to work it out with them. It’s been stressful.” Then she says, “for me – what I think is anxiety is actually depression”. And, that’s when I teared up. We both knew when she said it – that is what happening with me. I am in a depression. I’ve been trying to act normal, work normal and pretend to be normal while I am depressed and sad.

For clarity, I’ve known I was skirting the edges of depression. I knew I was feeling conflicted in many aspects of my life. I just didn’t want to use the word. Like saying the word was admitting I was a failure. So this is me finally admitting it. It’s been manifesting itself as anxiety, likely giving me tummy troubles and making work even more stressful than it already is… Today, I am finally showing you who I really am. Today I will stop beating myself up and just let whatever needs to drop – drop. Here’s is where I let it go. I can’t keep wearing the mask anymore.
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Since last weekend I’ve been thinking a lot about happier times in my life. I’ve retracing  what was happening in my life, what was I doing at that time that made me happy? One major difference is… I practiced yoga five days a week. Yoga was like my chill pill. It’s like smoking pot 🤣 I’ve gotten away from it in recent months.  Given my body has changed and I am older,  I need to approach my yoga practice differently and focus on a slower more nurturing style instead of flow or Vinyasa.  I need a slower soothing practice, I engaged my inner yogi by starting a 21 day yoga challenge on Sunday. I am only practicing 30 minutes a day. I am using YouTube videos instead of putting pressure on myself to go to a studio and I am only doing Yin Yoga. Yin is slower, meditative and you hold poses for longer while doing a breathe meditation. Yin will be more nurturing to me at this time it’s also excellent for stress for anxiety. I just finished tonight’s practice. I used this video tonight and I really like this instructor:

The other change I am making is that once in a while I am going to let myself have that one glass of really expensive red wine with dinner. My stomach isn’t any better without it. Abstaining hasn’t helped my tummy and I do miss sitting and talking to a friend over a glass of wine.  If I am going to suffer anyway, I may was well enjoy a glass of goddamn wine when I am not driving🤣🍷

I got my income tax refund and it’s going towards a retreat in march.  I am definitely booking three nights at The Lodge at Woodloch in the Pocono Mountains. I am also going to do the technology detox while I am there. If anything happens in my family, they will need to call the Hotel Receptionist because I am locking my cell phone up for four days.  I waiting until after I have the Upper GI on Friday to book the trip but it will most likely be mid to late march.

And as far as my crazy job goes … Well, I have risk adverse managers. I am, however, a risk taker. I made a few phone calls today that technically could get me in trouble.. but if it works out, it will be worth it and I may have found a solution to one of our biggest challenges and risks. I will know for sure tomorrow.  So, here’s what I say to that…
namaste Yoga meme

(C) 2020 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Feel Your Energy

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Have you ever felt energy between your hands? Have you touched your Prana and physically felt your lifeforce?

I been working on Energy Attunenents lately with Yogi Shanti Desai. I now can feel the energy passing between my hands. When I give a Reiki session, my hands get super hot from the energy passing through me. It feels amazing to actually feel the energy between your hands. I’ve also been working on feeling and recognizing the energy of those around me. Allowing the good in and blocking the negative out.

I met Yogi Desai over ten years ago and recently started studying with him again. I am truly learning how to harness my spiritual energy so I can live my best life. If you would like to read more about Yogi Desai, please visit his website.
http://www.yogishantidesai.com

Experience Energy for yourself. Follow the below simple directions from Yogi Shanti Desai’s book, “Wisdom For Living.”

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Interlock your fingers and stretch arms upward feeling the stretch in the back.

Release the hands and observe the gravity bringing the arms down while you remain witness. Do not try to resist or force your arms down.

When the arms come down, feel the energy build up in the palms. When the arms are shoulder height, face your palms towards each other and move them slowly together.

Feel the attraction of the palms towards each other.

Surrender and allow the energy to take over the movements.

When the palms touch each other, rub them and apply palming to face, forehead, head, neck and ears.(p.189-190)

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Yoga Retreat Weekend at Kripalu Recap

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It’s 7:30pm on Sunday night and I am sitting on the sofa with my feet up writing this blog. Whew! What a weekend.

Here’s the recap of my Friday to Sunday Yoga Retreat at Kripalu in the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts. 

10 hours driving
Alot of driving but I didn’t need to use my GPS. I knew the way by heart:-)

6 Yoga classes
Including 2 Gentle,  Yin, Moderate and Vigorous.

5 mile moderate hike
Up and down the mountain and also took a break Lakeside

1 nap on a bench under a tree ( I was tired after hiking)

1 Guided meditation that also included a nap. Lol:-)

Every muscle is sore in a good way

One connection made with a Yoga teacher I admire. That was cool:-)

I ate all of my meals in the Silent Dining room and chose to keep this time to myself.

The best part of the trip for me happened when I got home. I feel the same peace at home that I felt at Kripalu. I didn’t have to go away to find peace and happiness. It already lives within me. Isn’t that what “living ” your yoga is all about? Finding peace within!

NAMASTE

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Listen To Your Body

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Yoga is all about listening to your body. Sadly, my body was giving me cues all week long that I was really sick and I ignored them. I couldn’t sleep all week because I felt feverish. But i didn’t care about a fever. I was going on a yoga retreat at my beloved Kripalu Center.

I ended up in Urgent Care on Saturday with a what the Doctor called a “mean sinus and throat infection.” He said my throat was on fire. I picked up my antibiotics and ran around like a lunatic for hours getting stuff done before I left. Who needed rest? Not me!

Well, I got to Kripalu a hot mess today. While asking them where to find Gatorade nearby as the cafe didn’t sell it, the front desk manager told me I really shouldn’t be doing yoga as sick as I was. They then offered me a full credit if I wanted to leave in the morning and come back when I am 100%.

So, I am lying in bed feeling like crap at Kripalu. I am leaving to go home at the crack of dawn. I will then check myself into my own bed for a couple days to rest and recover properly. My body needed sleep and rest this week not stress and yoga.

The bright side is they gave me a full credit. And, I can combined my furlough day, rotating day off and maybe come back next month. I will enjoy it then and be able to enjoy my body 100%.

Now, I’m sick, anxious and can’t sleep. Can’t wait to get home.

The lesson in this is my body was telling me it needed sleep and rest. Instead I resisted and pushed. I must remember to listen to my body and always follow my instincts. It was telling me to reschedule all week long.

At least I got a great picture of the mountain while I was here.

Kripalu in March, Furloughed In April, What’s Up For May?

ripalu 3Life is truly about adapting to change and learning to focus on the blessings instead of the challenges.

Yesterday I received official notice that I am being furloughed 88 hours between April 7th and September 30th due to Sequestration budget cuts. I will have to take one day off a pay period without pay which is a 10% paycut for the next eleven pay periods or until the end of the budget year. While this is stressful and makes me disheartened that our government is so dysfunctional that our Congress did not do their job to pass a budget, I am focusing on the blessing that it could have been worse. The Department of Defense furloughed employees 22 days (20% paycut) and the Department of Labor furloughed their employees 3 days a pay period (30% paycut). I was grateful to learn our furlough would only be 11 days.

I’ve been saving to go on a Yoga Retreat to Kripalu Center http://www.kripalu.orgin Berkshires, MASS for my birthday the week of March 21st. I held off booking this trip until I knew for sure how long I would be furloughed. If I was furloughed more than 11 days, I would not take the trip. However, now that I know my furlough is only 11 days, I called this morning to book my trip from March 19th to 22nd; I was disappointed. They don’t have any private rooms available for that date. I waited too long to book.  As I am going alone, I am not interested in rooming with a stranger for three nights. I was very sad. I worked hard for this trip this year. My body has changed and I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months. It was then I asked the representative if the following week was available. And, Yes, it was. So, I booked my trip Sunday, March 24th to Wednesday, March 27th. I won’t be there on my actual birthday because I waited too long to book but I will be there just a few days later. I will however call back before March 11th and see if they have cancellation for the prior week. While I am disappointed I will not be at Kripalu the week of my birthday, I am still very grateful I can still go on my Yoga Retreat this year and I will still be there in March:-)

Kripalu in March. Furlough starts in April. What’s up for May?

Below are pictures I took at Kripalu when I was there last year.

The Bikram Yoga Challenge

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I started taking Bikram Yoga four weeks ago. Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises done in the same order in a room heated to 105 degrees. The heat is to help detoxification and it helps to loosen the muscles to make them more flexible.

As I am an experienced yogini and I am pretty flexible, Bikram has come fairly easily to me. But, sometimes the body just doesn’t coöperate. Every day is different in Yoga. Some days I am super flexible while others I am tight. It’s all about self acceptance and awareness. If you fall out of a pose, start over. If you can’t reach your toes, aim for your shins. If you can’t balance on the right leg, maybe you will be able to balance on the left leg. And, if you are really struggling, slow down and only do as much as your body will let you do in that moment. Yoga is very forgiving.

Last night was a tough night on the mat for me. I was tired, cold and my muscles were sore before I even walked into the class. But, I went to class anyway because none of my excuses were good enough for me to skip it. For the first time since starting Bikram, I struggled through my whole practice last night. I just couldn’t get into my body. I wasn’t making the mind body connection. About half way through it I realized I was trying too hard and I just relaxed a bit. I stopped competing with myself and started nurturing myself. I slowed down. I didn’t keep the long holds. I didn’t push myself to my edge. I just allowed myself to be exactly where I was. I stayed in the moment. Instead of getting frustrated with myself or my body I just went with the flow and did what I could. Changing my thinking helped me redirect my energies and get more out of the practice. It also built up some endurance in me. I stuck it out and kept trying. That is a life lesson. We all need to nurture ourselves more. We all need to change our thinking once in a while and give ourselves a break. We all need to stick it out and build up endurance. The key to endurance is really in the mind not the body. The mind can push the body past its self-imposed limits.

The nice thing about Bikram is that it is the same 26 Poses each time so you can see and feel your progress. While practice was challenging for me last night, I did notice major improvements in my Balance and Back Bending poses. That made the 90 minutes in 105 degrees and sore muscles today worth it:-)

While Kripalu Yoga is my favorite style of Yoga, all Yoga is good Yoga. But, I must say I do love the sweat of Bikram and I enjoy Warm/Hot Vinyasa(flow yoga)  as well. I always feel like I sweat something out of me when I leave class. It feels cleansing.

Bikram Yoga is teaching me that even at 45 years old it’s not too late to challenge myself and start over.

Namaste!