The Final Quarter

Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things…. then better yourself.

It’s been a little quiet on here since I have been swamped with teaching, gardening, and I also completed a 30 days of yoga series this month.

We are headed into the final quarter of the year and I find it’s a good time to reflect on your beginning of the year visions and see how they have evolved and what I can do in the final stretch to reach them.

I set out the year with a quest to be more vulnerable. Part of me starting an online yoga yea her forum group was to open my self up to not only questions and connection, but also to open myself up to criticism and accountability. My teaching style in assisted living settings, may be much different than what one might think of when we think of adaptive Yoga.

Just this week alone some of the time I spent in assisted living was holding hands with a lonely 92-year-old woman, and helping her take her hands down to her toes for a stretch. I also rubbed the feet of a 57-year-old man with a terminal disease.

Is that yoga? I believe with 100% certainty that it is.

This year I also opened to myself up to finding someone to partner with me and shadow me to learn how to apply the principles of yoga, without such a strong focus on asana, to those unique settings. As I wait for that person to arrive in my life, I continue to serve and love each day doing it.

What will you do in these final few months of 2023 to come closer to your vision?

How can I support you?

Silver Linings

We have all reflected on the last year. Some of us have grieved the loss of people, the lost opportunities to make memories, some aspects to our livelihood, and yet many of us have also found the silver linings of the last twelve months.

Up until March 2020, I had spent the previous six years working seven days a week. I was in and out of long term care centers sharing yoga with low income seniors and individuals with disabilities. I also was teaching yoga in a fancy health club as well as my own studio. I was basically living and breathing Yoga each and everyday. When I wasn’t in front of people sharing Yoga, I was peddling essential oils and helping people change their lives through health, wellness and personal empowerment. Then, I would come home and turn into the primary caregiver for my adult special needs daughter. This went on week after week. Month after month. Year after year.

On March 7th that all changed. My daughter was no longer able to attend her adult day program and every long term care center and health club closed or stopped allowing visitors.

Boom. Just like that.

Thankfully I not just have a strong Capricorn spirit but I also have no other means to survive financially. I have to hustle.

The first four months of switching all my teaching to virtual programming, I was soaking in the complete life change and loving every single day. Recording videos took about 80% less time than driving all over town and I was actually able to enjoy my days. I was home everyday and taking on all the goodness that comes with having time. True time. Before this, I was rarely home and would usually collapse in a heap at the end of the day and not really even enjoy my life. Now, I was building gardens, riding my bicycle, getting to know my neighbors and basically living. My students were more generous with donations for my videos than I could ever imagine. My income more than doubled and my personal happiness more than quadrupled. Big silver lining.

Summer came and went and even though my donations started to drop a bit, I was finding new online agencies to contract with and I was gaining a few new students for my donation videos. I tossed in some summer yoga in the park classes which brought a nice change to isolation. I was still thriving with my new found joyful living and my bursting-at-the-seams-garden was a reflection of my time to nurture things other than my teaching. Another silver lining.

During the fall season I switched gears slightly and started to offer some virtual classes in addition to the ongoing videos. I wanted to keep feeding that hunger for connection with people and reduce just looking at myself on my laptop. I was hanging in there financially and found my rhythm with teaching more, recording videos, and settling into the cooler temperatures with cooking and a slower pace. My major ankle surgery came and was a time to heal and reflect. Yep, a silver lining.

As I entered into 2021 I wanted to refine myself both personally and professionally. Refinement became my focus and that meant making some subtle, yet powerful changes to my life. Through this time I lost a couple contracts for virtual yoga and my donations had dwindled to a handful of dedicated students. And that is perfectly okay. As things began to return to normal, and zoom fatigue had taken over many people’s lives, I got it. I also understood the desire to meet with people at a studio or a gym. I also understood the initial shock to the world which brought the initial heartfelt generosity to me. For that, I am deeply grateful and is a huge silver lining.

As I move into this next quarter, I am looking deeply at all of the good that has come to me, and how I will discover my footing on solid ground for the next quarter, and beyond. I find myself asking some hard questions.

Do I want to keep recording myself teaching Yoga and Pilates and compete with the thousands and thousands of virtual Yoga teachers online? Am I fulfilled teaching this way? Am I doing my best for my students? Am I supposed to be doing this? Is there something in me searching for more? Does any of it matter?

What does this all mean for the coming months? I do not know the answer to that. For now, I plan to sit with the choices ahead of me. To have the time to do that is a definite silver lining.

Of course the biggest silver lining of this year has been accepting the unconditional love and support by people all over the country who subscribe to my videos. The bonus friendships that I have gained are priceless.

Although my life is very different, I am extremely grateful. I have had the space and time to rediscover a relationship with my daughter since her life came to a screeching halt as well. As I sit in my empty, yet very beautiful studio that overlooks my yard, I am reminded that no matter what changes were made, or what changes will be made, I am blessed with an abundance of silver linings.

Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on Pexels.com

Photosensitive Essential Oils

When I first started using essential oils I had no idea that some oils could cause a burn. Crazy, right?

As we head into warmer months and more outside time, remember that some oils are photosensitive and cause a reaction that is uncomfortable when combined with sunlight.

Be mindful when applying the following if you plan to be in the sun. You can still use them, just apply on the feet or a covered area or take internally (I only ingest pure, certified therapeutic grade oils that I am positive have been tested).

Check out this gorgeous ebook for the basics and be sure to drop me a message if you’re not sure which oils are safe  I’m happy to help.

508506CD-774E-4FF6-8AD2-439D072DF4FB

Freedom

We have all heard of the metaphors of feeling stuck in a cage and not able to be free to fly, or the imprisoning walls that have been built around us. The brick and mortar is often what we place around ourselves that create our own version of prison.  These can include negativity, questions of worthiness, regrets of the past and worries of the future. Similarly the key to the cage that we so often feel trapped in resides in our own hands. It is our choice to stay in the cage or take the key and unlock it.  No matter what circumstance we are in, we ultimately have choice in what we do with it.

We are not our circumstances, instead we are our possibilities. 

As I was planning this month’s classes around the concept of freedom and being liberated, I received a message from a dear friend whose young daughter was just diagnosed with autism. Heartbreaking as those initial words were, I saw within a few short days a woman take on this experience like that of a true champion.  Sure, she cried her eyes out and felt fear for the unknown.  We all do when we hear those words.  The first thing I did was send her the Welcome to Holland Poem.  Then we talked awhile about what may lie ahead as she leaned on my experience to help her navigate the first few steps on this new and scary journey. Then she got busy.

She certainly could have felt like this news was a giant reason to give up and stay stuck.  Many do.  She however, in her warrior spirit, immediately saw a need to advocate and start asking questions about services and community integration for her sweet little girl.  She took this as a chance to make a difference in the lives of her daughter and others.

That is what freedom is.

Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. My friend refuses to feel imprisoned by this diagnosis and she will use the power of her light to act and speak without restraint.

This is just one of a million examples of how we can feel stuck, trapped, locked in, or caged.  Whether it is a relationship, a job, a location or a belief you have about yourself, WE have the power to act, speak and think without restraint and hindrance.  We are in control of what we do with our circumstances.

Do you feel imprisoned?  Are you the one laying the bricks down and filling them with mortar?  Do you hold the key in your hand and refuse to unlock the door?

What would freedom feel like? This month we are going to chisel away the beliefs and fear that build a wall around ourselves.  We are going to slip the key into the lock and learn to fly. We are going to feel free.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 3.37.38 PM.png

To Bloom

Have you ever spent time looking at a flower that is about to bloom?  The rose that is still tight in a bud?  The daisy that is closed and not yet in full happiness mode? Whichever flower you have gazed at has spent months growing into what was about to happen.  Day after day this amazing form of life kept the course of growth, never wavering despite the external elements.

Here we are halfway through the year and if you are like me, you might be thinking about that intention you set back in January.  You know, when the year felt fresh and new?  And yet, it was during the heart of winter you were thinking about growing your goals and dreams.

Here we are in the start of the growing season and it is a great time to look at your intention again and see if some of those seeds you planted in the dormant season have started to take shape into small shoots of growth.  Seeing the beginnings of growth is a great motivator to keep going because in time, the bloom will come.

For me, I am reviewing all of my goals; business goals and personal goals.  I am looking at the areas in my life that I have succeeded, and areas that I have developed some gaps, and how I can fill them in.

As I plan to teach the concept of blooming this month  I am going to return to nature time and time again to be both marveled and motivated.

62114351_1254597814704851_5462716917498249216_n.jpg

 

 

 

How Fast Do Essential Oils Work

The power of essential oils is so incredible. In my personal use and in my yoga business I see this over and over.  A simple sniff of an essential oil can quickly bring a desired benefit. Since a part of our brain known as the amygdala responds to aroma and is essentially responsible for our emotions, state of arousal and memories smelling something can send a natural hormone response in the brain to produce certain hormones that can influence our moods. Think dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. 

Your sense of smell is much more accurate than any of your other senses. Your ability to smell comes from sensory cells called Olfactory Sensory Neurons, found in a small patch of tissue very high in your nose. Those cells connect to your brain.

Each of those sensory neurons has one odor receptor – and molecules released by substances around us stimulate these receptors. Once your neurons detect your molecules, they send messages to your limbic lobe of your brain.

Our sense of smell is 10,000 more sensitive than our other senses. Scent travels faster to the brain with smell than it does with sight, or even sound.

The limbic lobe is a group of brain structures that is below the cortex of the brain – it includes the amygdala and the hippocampus. Your limbic lobe (system of brain structures) is directly connected to the parts of your brain that control many aspects of your body – hormone levels, stress, memory, breathing, heart rate, and more.

The only way to stimulate the emotional brain is through your sense of smell – which is one of the reasons why Essential Oils can work so incredibly well. Feelings of depression, fear, anger, happiness, joy and even anxiety all originate from the limbic lobe of the brain.

Essential Oils can help alleviate symptoms at a cellular level through their therapeutic properties–because that stimulation of hormones and chemicals can drastically affect physiology and behavior.

Essential Oils can be stimulating (Peppermint), calming (Lavender), sedative (Cedarwood), balancing (Frankincense, and so much more.  

Look at how fast essential oils work in the body.  Remarkable, huh?

Enjoy this free ebook on essential oil basics. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 6.31.24 AM.png