Meditation Monday #58 – Fresh Start

Do you know what I love about Mondays? Everything. It’s a new start of the week, it’s a fresh page in my planner, it’s back to things as usual.

Today I woke up late because I had left my phone upstairs, not plugged in, and I never heard my alarm. I missed doing yoga and mediation before others got up. I slept in 2 extra hours!

Most people would be going crazy if this happened to them. Not me, it’s Monday. Whenever I start my Monday it’s a fresh start…..

So far today I have caught up on housecleaning, finished my planned work for the day, and it’s only 2:15pm. Two hours were not lost, they were just used for something else.

Monday is a chance to restart your outlook on everything. Forget the first of the month or the first of the year or the first day of school/work……let’s try starting fresh on Mondays.

When do you wipe your slate clean?

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

Fave Reads Friday #11 – Better Than Before

This is by no means my last post on the subject of habits. I have found this topic of Gretchen Rubin’s much easier to embrace than the idea of a Happiness Project…..it probably has to do a lot with my personality.

She ends this book with a story of how her youngest daughter wrote a sequel to a novel that Rubin enjoys. She titled it Every Day Life in Utopia (also the last chapter title in Rubin’s book). This is my ideal as well. I want to live the life I want to live and to be happier and more efficient in it.

The last section of Better Than Before talks about Clarity, Identity, and Other People and brought up a lot of great questions for me. Like, Is a habit important because everyone else thinks it is or because I think it is? This was a hard one for me because, as a Fitness Professional, there’s a lot of things that I promote for others to do. Where does this information come from? The heads of my industry. But, I also tell people all of the time that they need to find what works for them….find clarity.

Also on the topic of clarity, can I choose to do something that’s right for me, but also meets the needs of others? Super hard for me to do because I’m an Obliger and this means that I always want to do what’s best for others before I worry about doing what’s best for me. It ties into identity in that I identify as a giver, a mother, a planner, an organizer, etc, etc, etc.

Rubin writes about finding clarity on both the habit (good or bad) and the problem with committing to it. What value does it serve? Values are a big part of identity as well. Three quotes from this section that solidify that sentiment:

Our habits reflect our identity. p. 242

We can build our habits only on the foundation of our own nature. p.257

No simple, universal solutions exist. p. 258

Values are a big thing for me…..I feel like fundamental values of who you are don’t change much over time, but the way that you express them may. For instance, I’ve always been a feminist….my whole life! I remember hating the word “chicks” because women are not little, yellow, fluffy birds. It rubbed me the wrong way for so long when I was a teenager. I wore a Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride. I thought that those were the definitions of being a feminist.

Today I take a different approach. I still feel that women are equal to men, but my view on how to create equality is different. From a yoga perspective I try to find inclusivity for all instead of “fighting” for women. I work hard at what I do, support efforts of change, and teach my children that no one group is inferior because they are that group. My value hasn’t changed, my habits have.

Phrasing is also a topic on clarity that Rubin writes about. Fit is a Feminist Issue wrote recently about the phrase “Let me see what you can do”. I have been looking for an opportunity to use that in my classes, but haven’t incorporated it yet. In defining the problem with commitment to a habit, the value of the habit, and the habit itself she considers the words chosen. In personal training we tell people to consider not just what is being said, but also how it is being said (body language, tone, and the care put into the words chosen). In trying to adopt or adapt a habit phrasing can make or break you just as not being specific can sink a SMART goal.

This all leads to more questions of identity….

…..make sure that my life reflects my values. p. 256

My eternal question (and one I will continue to revisit as a part of my yoga practice of Svadhyaya) is WHO AM I? How are others affecting me and my habits? How am I and my habits affecting others? This is a big one when it comes to my children. They are developing their identity based on the world around them just as I did mine. I remember my one uncle always referring to my family as “The Loud Family” and that has definitely carried over into my life today. But, how else do I define myself and how do those definitions affect my habits?

Going forward (and trying to keep with some of the habits I’m working on) I plan to blog on Thursdays about habits and how they’re working for me or working against me. I would greatly encourage you to pick up this book from the library or bookstore and give it a read. I would love (as an Obliger) for you to comment here or on any of the other HABITS posts and join me in this discussion of habit formation.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday for Meditation Monday!

Collecting Words

I will have a proper post for you tomorrow about the strategies I’m working on in my new “Habit Project”. Today, though, I am putting out a call for words. Part of my new project is writing an inspiring word on my calendar for each day. Today’s word is

Because I need to be reminded that now is the time to do anything I want. I have words written on every day for October, but this is something that I want to keep going through the end of 2017. So,

What’s your word?

WOW is Coming Back

It’s Wednesday of this week already and the rain is keeping me down. We’re watching our friend’s dog, hosting a meal train for a friend who had a baby, and preschool starts this week. On top of all of that I traveled last weekend to Asheville for a NETA Yoga Foundations workshop with a wonderful group of women and I’m all out of whack on my training. Oh, and did I mention that my dryer is currently out of commission?

One thing that has also been lacking on the blog lately (and I know I skipped Meditation Monday this week) is WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a video or information on a yoga pose (since April!) and part of the reason has been SUMMER and job transition and life.

This week in particular is bad because of everything I listed above, plus my training partner is out of town and it’s hard for me to stay motivated to workout in the rain when I don’t have anyone to run with…..I’m an Obliger. But, the drive is still there, deep inside of me, wanting to come out. And because I’m switching jobs and won’t be teaching yoga on the regular, Workout Wednesday posts are going to help me maintain my rhythm in that practice. Starting next week I will be posting a small series of poses each week and eventually building up to a longer class. It’s going to be sort of the same way that I was teaching Yoga I and Yoga II at CFCC.

Next Wednesday we’ll be starting at the beginning….Awakening Poses. If you’ve done them before, it’ll be review and a great way to wake up for the day. If you’ve never done them before, come check them out! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Other things to look for from the blog include the return of Guest Yoga Stories on Thursdays (starting tomorrow), continued Meditation Monday (back on Monday), more Fave Reads Friday (working on my Gretchen), and the random thoughts I have popping in from time to time. So, take a deep breath, keep calm, and OM!

50 Years Stronger

50 years ago in the Boston Marathon a woman attempted to compete. She was attacked partway into the race when it was discovered that she was a woman. Yesterday she completed the same event while running one of her fastest marathons ever. This is the kind of strong that I aspire to….not just for MY BEST BODY challenge, but in life. I aspire to be stronger each day. I aspire to stand up for what I believe in. I aspire to get better with age. Kathy Switzer’s race number (261) was officially retired yesterday after she crossed the line.

What will you be doing 50 years from now?

How strong can you get?

Read the whole story here…

Q1 Performance Report 2017

The other day in my inbox I received this from MapMyRun

It was both saddening and motivating. See, it’s not totally reflective of all the “activity” I’ve done so far this year. I no longer track my yoga teaching or practice, my HIIT workouts, my Pilates, nor anything I do outside of walking and running here. However, it was motivating because it meant that I hadn’t totally quit walking and running this year.

In the past few years I have struggled to hit the mythical 500 miles/year mark. This year may be no exception, but I’m still trying. I use MapMyRun because it’s free and I can mark my own routes pretty easily. There’s an app for the phone, but I don’t use it because I don’t have a lot of data. I am not a brand ambassador nor paid for my reviews of the site and the one thing I wish they’d eliminate is the calorie counter. But, I am a loyal user and I love being able to track my mileage, write how I felt about each session, see my pacing change on routes over time, and also to track the mileage on my shoes.

This year I am running with a friend 2x/week. We are planning on doing an 8k in September as my birthday present to myself this year. I am guaranteed to run at least twice a week with someone and lately it’s been about 4 miles of jog/walk as she builds up her endurance and speed. I enjoy this because it also means that I will be doing the mileage. Today is my lone run day and I am gearing up for a nice, stretch my legs run, at my own pace. I’m curious to see how my 2nd quarter performance will be now that we’ve started running together.

Do you like to run together or alone?

How do you track?

What do you track?

Would 54 miles in the first three months be a disappointment or motivating for you?

Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out

Found this sticky in the back of my library copy.

So, I’ve finally finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at what else I read, in terms of blogs, but hers has made it on to my WP Reader. I’m sold! I want more happiness in my life and I’ve started on my own HAPPINESS PROJECT: MY BEST BODY. More and more about that to come in the next few weeks. However, today, I want to talk about 3 things that are sticking with me (not totally unrelated to my own happiness project, but not directly either).

I have to be honest here…..I read the first half of the book feeling so inspired and aligned with the author. I mean, she’s a work from home mother of two who writes. However, I felt like a lot of the things she tackled in the first half of the book are things that I deal with already….tasks to make myself happier that I’ve already undertaken. So, I set the book down….unintentionally…..and when I came back I was ready to address the real work that would lead me to my own happiness project. Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out”

Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book this year. I haven’t quite finished it yet and that’s why you haven’t been privileged to a Fave Reads Friday post on the book yet. But, I thought that it was time for me to define my own Happiness Project. The book has been very inspiring in many ways and made me consider many aspects of my life and ways that I have chosen to live in regards to a yoga lifestyle. Yoga has helped me in my relationships, my professional career, my parenting, and with my mental and physical health. It’s help me define who I am and what I stand for. Now, after a weekend of teaching yoga, I have the ultimate goal of my own Happiness Project….MY BODY!

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project”

Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017

Happy Friday Everyone! I haven’t done a Fave Reads Friday post in quite some time, but it’s something I want to do more regularly in 2017. Last year I did a great job of reading a lot of books, but that left a lot of unread magazines. This year I already know I will be doing some reading for work, so I’ve planned to scale back on the book reading some and spend more time clearing out magazines and emails and sharing with you what I learn. So, here’s my Reading List for 2017: Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017”