my morning ritual

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morning

You might say I am a dreamer.

Meaning, I live most often in my mind as opposed to in my feet. I am constantly thinking, creating and dreaming up ideas about life/ the future- which I feel is great- for me. But sometimes, it can be unsettling taking me out of the present moment. You see, if I lived in my feet, I would be very “in the moment”, present in the world around me. And so because of this my grounding practices- that bring me into the present moment- is crucial to balanced living.

My morning routine is something I love to consistently come back to that provides me with the grounding and stability to feel good. It’s a time where I can always find a few extra minutes {to lay in bed}.

I start with a meditation. Placing one hand on my heart, one hand on my belly, to then focus on my breath in the present moment. After 2-3 minutes of just “being,” I move onto my intention setting portion. I consider what happened the previous day, what I have going on that upcoming day, and what intention will support me to live the best day. Sometimes it comes to me right away, other days it just doesn’t. On those days, when I can’t find an intention, I set an intention to be present and aware throughout my day.

I find this practice to be a reliable way to start my day. No matter what storm comes up the day before, what big meetings I may have that day, or how excited I am for an upcoming event, I know that when I take the time to center myself- I can handle anything.

So I ask you, do you have a morning ritual? How do you stay grounded and in the present? Share with us in the comment section below!  

balance during VATA season

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164H (1)From late fall to early winter the western hemisphere is in the energetic Vata season. When out of balance in this season you may feel excess stress, restlessness, digestive challenges, weakness, cold, anxiousness, or even experience insomnia. Energy can seem to come in sprits leading to burn out and fatigue.

To balance Vata, make choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency to your life. Find a routine and stick with it. Go to bed before 10 p.m. and wake up by 6 a.m., while eating your meals at regular times. Avoid becoming chilled and perform a daily massage using warmer, heavy oils like sesame and almond.

Stick with light exercise that enhances balance and flexibility. DO YOGA. Take care to not push yourself too far and exceed your energy limits. WALK. Drink ginger tea to sooth your digestion and warm you up. LISTEN TO CALM SOOTHING MUSIC. Get a massage treatment. Favor WARM COLORS in your clothing and environment. Burn AROMAS that are heavy and warm like basil, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Take care of yourself. Take breaks when you need. Listen to your body and mind and know yourself to stop before it’s too much. Happy balancing!

how we start our day

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SantaBarbaraDeck

When my alarm goes off in the morning one of my first thoughts is, ‘how much more sleep can I get’. After doing the calculation, I lay back in bed, attempting to fall back asleep. This doesn’t happen simultaneously so as I lie there, I like to set an intention for the day. My intention is often something along the lines of relaxation, patience, or being mindful and so I lay there thinking about my goal, soaking up any remaining bit of rest possible.

When my last alarm goes off, I pull myself out of bed. Once up, I frantically run around the house trying to get ready for the day in the minimal time I gave myself. In this space, I have found that I lose my intention. No matter how determined, how good it sounded while lying in bed, if I wait to the last second and then rush around in the morning, I lose my sense of calm focus.

I’ve come to realize that it’s not an intentional fault on my behalf; rather, it is a missed connection between goals. I didn’t consider how misaligned the two activities were until recent reflection.

So I ask you, what are your priorities today?

Instead of setting them in bed and then moving through your morning mindlessly until they pop up again, can you set them and then consider the actions that will need to follow?

For example, my actions are now aligned with my intention.

I -Get up when my alarm rings- Take a moment to sit, outside of my bed, and hold space for an intention- Make a commitment to move through my day with the intention, creating little prompts throughout to remind me-

Some prompts I find helpful are setting an alarm to go off every two hours with the intention as the subject line or writing out sticky notes to place on the top of my notebook with my daily intention written on it. Keeping our intention top of mind is important to encourage our alignment with our goal after the day moves into full swing.

While intentions are great, actions speak louder and ring truer to how you feel. Consider what your priorities are and align your actions to demonstrate your true commitment to yourself.

 

mindfulness

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active present

I’ve been thinking, talking, and writing a lot about “being present” as it is, more than ever, a reoccurring theme in my life. Fall is this natural time of “airiness” with the wind swirling and leaves falling we feel a sense of movement. Any time we experience movement, it has the ability to uproot us, to make us feel uncomfortable in our own shoes and restless in our mind. One of my favorite ways to find balance in a mental storm is by meditation and focusing on the present.

Oh no, did she just say meditation? Yes, yes I did. But before jumping to a conclusion about your feelings towards meditation, please read on.

Think of a task today that you might typically move through without thinking, as a part of your routine. For example, brushing your teeth. Typically, our mind might wander to what’s next- (the airy movement)- thinking about what we are going to wear, eat for breakfast, and do once we get to work. Instead, can we add mindfulness to these moments by finding the details in the task? Come back to brushing your teeth and focus your attention on each individual tooth, the feeling of the brush over your teeth, and the taste of toothpaste in your mouth. When we slow down to focus, to feel all the sensations, we ground ourselves in the present. And guess what? This is a version of meditation.

You can meditate doing anything you wish.

Meditation is the act of being mindful in the moment. You can meditate as you walk to work, brush your teeth, talk on the phone, and answer emails at work by cutting out other distractions and focusing yourself in the now.

Today, I challenge you to be present in the little tasks, appreciate them for what they are. Use this presence to ground yourself into the fall season and find balance as the leaves start to drop. Be rooted in yourself, your tasks, your life and find stability as the movement continues and the seasons change yet again.

trust

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trustIf you find yourself continually getting frustrated in the search for what’s next, you are not alone.

Occasionally the vision is delicately placed in plain site for us to see and other times it’s hidden deep within. In the later scenario, the search can begin to feel pointless and full of dead ends, making us worry that we are wasting time or money. This is the point where many people stop searching! But what if we were to take it a step further, to STOP SEARCHING AND START TRUSTING. Stop hurriedly looking for the next “great goal” and instead begin to trust that the universe will unveil and give us signs when we are open and ready.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, and not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

Today, take a moment to trust that you hold the answer to what is next. Trust that it will work its way out when the time is right. Forget the what, let go of the how, and focus on the now. Trust in the process and begin to appreciate the unknown.

 

SuperMoon in taurus

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FullMoon Taurus

Tomorrow marks our next Full Moon, this time supersized to the visual eye from the earth, hence the name SUPERMOON.

During this coming week, you may feel a pull to the deep-rooted questions around ‘who you truly are’. These inquiries are awfully tricky because our first reaction typically is to define ourselves by our jobs or our societal status (mother, child, etc.). Instead of veering down this traditional path, can you tune in and ask yourself, sincerely, “Who am I, deep down?” Answering the question with adjectives as opposed to nouns.

Find words like energetic, fun, loving, passionate, inquisitive, beautiful, inspired, and free to describe yourself.

Asking yourself what adjectives describe you? Who are YOU truly?

Defining your core essence and knowing your true self is crucial in loving yourself inside and out. Embrace the dark; acknowledge the whole and then letting go of what no longer suits you. When we honor and love ourselves we create space to honor and love others in a more passionate way.

Love is infinite. Love should not be suppressed. Love is not something you earn and then are worthy of. Love is you, just as you are.

Embrace yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself.

 

 

“don’t be selfish”

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selfish

As a child, I was concerned about acting “selfish”. My parents, who are phenomenal loving parents, knew nothing better than to scold me for acting self-centered at times. I admit, there were days when I didn’t quite think of others. Shit, we all have our days… but this didn’t mean that I didn’t care for or love others wholeheartedly.

 I loved myself and was looking out for my own best interest and guess what- the two are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, when we love ourselves wholeheartedly we open ourselves up to deeper connection and love with others. Imagine for a second, a place where everyone acted a little bit more “self-centered” without shame. What would it look like?

We would take care of their bodies, exercise our minds potential, and ask ourselves whom we truly are, tapping into our SOUL.

We would strive towards finding, being, and living our best life possible. We would live in a Utopian society. In this place, would understand us on a deeper level and be open to understanding others with love, compassion, and non-judgment.

Today, let us release the stigma around being “self-centered” to truly embrace us. “You are your own best friend or your own worst enemy.” What will you choose to be?

And as my teacher says: Love yourself. Love your day. Love your life.

connection

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connection

Connection has come up for me several times this week. And when I think about it, at the root of connection is the relationship we have with ourselves. In yoga, we call this relationship Svadhaya, or self study.

When we are able to peel away the layers, we get down to the juicy REAL emotions and feelings that create us, and we begin to open ourselves up to deeper connections and relationships with others.

The question is, are you willing to be vulnerable, to be seen?

Brene’s talk embodies this wholeheartedly-

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

Check it out…let me know what you think/how it makes you feel. Then ask yourself, “what does living wholehearted feel like for me”?

courage

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flourishThis month I celebrate a year and a half of teaching yoga. Best decision of my life. Life pre-yoga was very different for me. I worked as an Associate Wealth Management Advisor at a finance management company. The company always liked to have mantras for the year; one year it was “Courage to Ask”. As a part of the position, you were responsible for asking for referrals to build your book. While this was uncomfortable, it pushed me to move with courage. Each time I prepared to ask for referrals, the butterflies in my stomach would squirm but I went ahead with it anyway- it was a must. The feeling afterwards was invigorating and exciting. When we move with courage, while it is scary in the beginning, the resulting feeling after we take the first step is a rush of excitement.

Today, work to be bold and to take your first step towards something you want to do. Have the courage to be imperfect in your pursuit, to be authentic, and vulnerable to share a deeper part of you- what you truly want.

When we feel and live wholeheartedly- with courage- we open ourselves up to potential. You are potential waiting to flourish. Tend to your potential, water your soul, and move with courage.