And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

Throwback Thursday: February 6th

I want to remain consistent with the blog this year. So far, I have been regularly posting 3x/week. So, in that fashion, here’s a post that just includes old posts of mine from this same day years past. It’s interesting to look back and watch the blog evolve like this and see the various days/topics I cover on this day in history: February 6th…..

February 6, 2015 – Fast Friday: What am I running for?

February 6, 2016 – Satya: What is your Truth?

February 6, 2017 – Meditation Monday #27 – What the world needs now….

 

Which is your favorite?

What have you written on February 6th?

TOLT #? – End of Another Semester

Another semester is over and done. Each time one ends I wonder how I could have done better and what I will change the next time around. When the next semester starts I have high hopes and ambitions and nerves like crazy! There’s always a little bit of….what if they don’t like me? In that same moment I think, it doesn’t matter if they like me or not.

For me, my self-esteem is not caught up in my image of how I teach. I know that I am a good teacher. To some I am a great teacher. For myself I am satisfied in my work and my work makes me happy. Every semester I get both bad and good reviews. This semester was no exception.

However, in grading one student’s paper I read something that has really struck me as wise and something I want to remember. She wrote:

My goal is consistency, not perfection.

It couldn’t be more simple than that. Life, for me, is about consistently being in a place where I can be content. I want to know I’m doing a good job and that someone is benefiting from my existence. I won’t be able to make all of my students happy. I won’t be able to get to everything I want to do. I will miss workouts and kill workouts; not send some emails on time and send too many emails sometimes; be tired and cranky some days and overly perky some days; let the laundry pile up and have a completely spotless home; spend hours grading or skip grading to be with my kids; eat too many snacks and forget to eat lunch; write on my blog and then abandon my blog for work or a nap or a workout or to read……I am not perfect and my life is not perfection. But, really, that’s what makes it kind of perfect for me.

At every point in my life I am consistently where I need to be….striving for my best, but accepting that each day is what it is. I am content and balanced.

What does consistency look like for you?

 

Meditation Monday #52 – My 108 Sun Salutations

Welcome to March!

I’ve been sitting on this post for awhile now….unsure of what all to write and which day to post it under. I’ve got a lot to write about this week and so I thought I’d start here with some yoga. Last fall I started building up to performing 108 consecutive Sun Salutations. Don’t know what a Sun Salutation is? Check out my post about how I do mine here. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #52 – My 108 Sun Salutations”

Change of Priorities, Lack of Interest, Laziness?

What causes you to quit things?

It’s New Year’s Resolution time and it’s almost quitting time for many people around the world. We all have been guilty of making them and dropping them and remaking them and the cycle continues. Some people make the same resolution year after year and fail at it year after year. There’s a lot of articles out there about how to stick with it and lots more about why we fail or why we shouldn’t make them in the first place.

I’ve been thinking about this since last Friday. I’ve been debating what to write….if anything on here. Am I too lazy to post? Have I lost interest in blogging? Or are my priorities changing? And if the latter, is it temporary or permanent?

For me, though, the blog problem is two fold.

First, it’s hard to maintain readership on a blog if you don’t regularly write relevant material. When I was posting more about yoga I found that I had a lot more readers and clicks and views and all that jazz. However, the blog has never been just about yoga. It’s been about my fitness and yoga journey. It’s been about my desire to build a community to share that experience with much as I feel I build small communities each semester I teach….but this would extend beyond the semester. It would foster real connections.

And that brings me to the second problem. My own journey. I put a lot of myself out here on the blog. My successes and my failures. But, I don’t share my whole life here and currently my whole life needs a different outlet than the blog. I love that I have started this Year of Wellness and I intend to follow through with it. It’s been very enlightening to read the articles on the Wellness Inventory and to journal my feelings around the material in my scribbled little notes here and there. I want so much to share that with you all on here……but that brings me back to my first problem.

I feel that I can’t regularly commit to writing about something substantial without feedback and involvement. So, for the time being, I am taking my journey off the blog. I don’t currently feel the urge to write openly for the world that doesn’t connect back. I feel like my journey has reached a point of personal vs. communal. I cannot determine how long this feeling will last, but it’s here for now.

This past week I read a piece by John W. Travis, MD, MPH entitled Become a Beginner – Simplify and it said:

Wellness is……..unburdening yourself of all that prevents a natural state of basic healthiness.

So, I have to decide what is preventing me from being well in all aspects and ditch it. I have decided to allocate that “space in my planner” that was reserved for blogging to something else at the moment. I am leaving the blog up and I will be back at some point, I just don’t know when.

I intend to write when the mood strikes me, to keep reading other blogs, and to keep on my journey for the whole year. Who knows where it will take me…..

Be well. Namaste.

Happy Holidays…..See you next year!

This year, like many of them past, has been a challenge of self-study.

In yoga we call this Svadhyaya and I’ve written about it more times than I can count.

In the past I’ve focused on certain areas of study….yoga, fitness, eating, habits, happiness, etc. and it’s all brought me closer to enlightenment about myself.

It has been great doing this study of the self and it continues to help me grow as a yoga teacher, a college professor, a fitness professional, a mom, and as a human being.

In pursuing a deeper understanding of ourselves we become the best version of ourselves because we’re freed from thoughts of who we should be and, instead, find ourselves resting in who we are.

I like living in this place of who I am….of being me.

In 2018 the blog is going to change direction slightly, as it does from time to time.

I’ve chosen to make 2018 a Wellness Journey and I’m inviting you along.

My students do this wellness journey each semester and cover 12 dimensions of wellness. I’m expanding mine to journey over the course of 2018….one dimension a month.

Instead of committing to a schedule of posting, it will be more free form as it was in the beginning. That doesn’t mean that there won’t still be Meditation Monday posts that pop up from time to time, Fave Reads Fridays, and Workout Wednesday. It’ll all be here.

I write this blog so that people know two things:

  1. There is good and reliable information out there from reputable sources on fitness, wellness, eating, etc. I am one of those people. I am certified and have a Master’s degree. I am not here to lead you astray.
  2. It’s not easy for any of us. This is the area I wish to stress the most through my blog. I may have years and years and years of experience with fitness, sport, etc, but it’s never easy to stick with it. It’s not easy to eat well all of the time. It’s not easy to be yogi zen all of the time. Life is hard for us all, but in that sense I hope to build a community with you.

And that’s my last sentiment for you in 2017. This blog is a place of community for you to come, learn about yoga, learn about books and food and exercises, learn about yourself. But, it’s also a place for you to share with me, to share with us (your fellow readers) your experience.

In 2018 I hope that I receive more comments on the material I post. It’s here for you, it’s here for me, it’s here for us all. I want to write more about what you want to read about, but I need your input. I want you as part of my community and part of my wellness journey.

My journey officially kicks off January 2….enjoy your holidays and I’ll see you back here then.

Namaste

Thanks to Amanda and her Spoons Community for sharing this TOLT space!

Meditation Monday #50 – Wisdom from Within

A lot of Gates’ writing in this section of the book talks about discipline (tapas) and turning inward. In Day 82 he notes that we all start out learning from others, but eventually have to trust our own judgements. Thus is the story of life.

Discipline is about creating our own path by following in the footsteps of others before us. Our parents probably taught us differently and therefore we have a skewed vision of the word. But think about it…..

If I am your parent, teacher, trainer, etc….and I want you to follow what I do, then why would I punish you? Instead I should model and teach you to be my disciple, to follow me, to cultivate your own discipline.

I’ve learned a lot about myself through yoga and I’ve learned a lot from others teaching me. In the end, it’s all about choosing what is right for me in life. This is a lesson I’ve learned along the way in blogging too. The “right way” to blog may not be my way.

So, this week I am taking off to enjoy Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. I am taking my own path. I have a pre-scheduled post for Friday, but other than that you won’t see me here until next Monday. My family, my friends, and myself have taught me that holidays are for enjoying. I encourage you to find joy this week….away from the news, the internet, and other things that force us to disconnect from those directly in front of us.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

TOLT – Blogiversary

I’ve actually been writing the One Girl Breathing blog since January 2, 2014. I was inspired to start a blog by my need to do something and reading Jenny at The Bloggess and Kristen’s Iowa Girl Eats blog. I then started reading other food blogs and found out that I could start my own fitness blog for free with Blogger. After that I transitioned to hosting my own site, because I read that that’s what all good bloggers did. I did it for a year, trying to take myself and the blog world a little more seriously.

What I learned through that experience (and from all of the other blogs that I used to read but whom many of them quit writing) was that blogging is a space for shared interest. I, a natural teacher, like to share what I know and what I learn about yoga, fitness, etc. I am on a journey (as we all are) through life and I like to share that with others in the hope that they too will share back. I have 14 followers between WordPress and Email. I’m proud of that small following and imagine that each one of you reads along feeling included in the story.

I came to WordPress last year on this date when I decided to give up spending the money on a blog and to just keep writing for the sake of writing. I’m terrible at keeping to a schedule and, like Lloyd Dobler:

So, today is the 1 year Blogiversary of the official OneGirlBreathing.wordpress.com site. All natural, never artificial and one breath at a time….Thanks for being here!

I’d love for you to share your blog stories today. How did you become a blogger? How long have you been at it? What kinds of blogs do you read?

If you’re one of the OGB followers, what brought you here? What is your story?

And a special THANK YOU to Amanda for hosting one of my favorite blogs and link-ups!

Meditation Monday #38: Living by the Books

It’s been 11 days since a new post went up on the site. It’s been even longer since I wrote. Why? Because of life. That’s the usual reason. This isn’t my only priority in life and during the summer other things come into play. Additionally, and kind of also as usual for me, I’ve gotten off track with how I handle life. One thing that I know to be true about myself is that I like order and I thrive with a schedule and structure. I’m like a toddler that way…..I need it, but sometimes I try to get around it even though it fails every time.

So, I’m back to living by the books:

  1. My planner that keeps me on track and allows me to check off what I’ve accomplished, but limits my list so that I don’t feel like I’m falling under an ever crashing wave with no room to breathe. It allows me to schedule in and make a priority of play dates and exercise, meditation and meal planning, and limits me to 10 things per day. So, if cleaning the bathroom doesn’t fit onto the list that day; oh well….it can wait.
  2. My reading list at the library and everywhere else. I started reading my emails again and the occasional blog post. I found myself recently with a lot of down time and no books to fill it with. What should I do when I’m caught up on work and the house is fairly clean and the kids are playing by themselves? Well, I can always sneak in a few more push-ups, but I also LOVE to read! I’ve found that I haven’t read a book for myself in ages now and I decided to hit up my Book List for 2017 and saw it to be lacking. So I went to my Saved List at the library and checked out the first one on the list….more about that later.
  3. And finally, Meditations from the Mat. It has been years now that I have intended to finish that book for the third time and it hasn’t gone very smoothly. I was doing other things for meditation, but every time I come back to it there is a renewal of my love for yoga and meditation and a way of living my life that is introspective. This week my yoga teaching for the City of Wilmington ends….no more 530am risings. So, this week, more than ever, I seek that connection to this book….to my meditation practice.

I wish that I had more about meditation for you today, but I woke this morning energized to write and then to read, so I promise more in the future, but for now I ask:

What book(s) keep you on track?