Monday Mantras w: Meg

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easing the transition to fall

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Ricardo Almeida ©

As the rain aggressively fell outside my second story window, I was reminded of the small joys inspired by the season of fall in the Pacific Northwest. The crisp air in the early morning, the colorful change on the trees, and the pumpkin spice aroma wafting about brings with it a delightful memory of the warm fall season.

With school back in session and summer vacations long past, fall brings about a whole new routine. Shorter days gently shift our focus, increasing the importance to refocus to make the best of our waking hours.

Take these four practices with you into your fall to help refocus your mind, body, and soul thus ensuring a smooth transition into this new season.

 

Journal on your favorite activities of the summer.

Allow for a summer wrap up to take place to tie up the loose ends and prepare for the fall months ahead. Take time to reminisce and remember the joys of your summer. What specifically happened that was really great? Do you have pictures from the experience that you would like to frame? Is there an opportunity to make it a tradition next year?

Find a new routine.

As the daylight hours shorten and the weather changes, our routines will shift as well. Find a balance between activity and rest that feels right to you. Specifically, what shifts in your routine do you need to make? What’s a good time for you to wake up, get exercise, go to sleep? What other activities do you need to integrate into your daily/weekly schedule?

Create a meal plan.

Fall months call for warmer, heartier meals. Find a few meals you enjoy for the week and write out the list of ingredients needed before you go grocery shopping. Don’t have time to cook during the week? Add a new routine of prepping your meals on Sundays or sign up for a meal delivery service in your area that will bring the food to you (prepared or raw)!

Practice gratitude and appreciation for all you have.

It can be all too easy to focus on what’s lacking and what you desire, especially as we move into the holiday months ahead. This practice leaves a feeling of emptiness inside. Instead, start early with a regular gratitude practice to get in an appreciation routine. Nothing is too small to be thankful for. Start a daily gratitude journal. Write down what you are thankful for each day. Share with others and spread the joy of gratitude!

 

Refocus this fall season by taking the time to wrap up your summer. Be mindful of the habits and routines you wish to take into the fall and practice gratitude to set yourself up for the holiday season. Share with us tips in your routine that work for you during the fall months and enjoy these last few days of summer!

 

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Megan Kountz

Yoga Teacher & Life Coaching

history repeats itself

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samuel-zeller-249358.jpgDo you ever have that feeling that you have been somewhere before? That you have experienced something like this in the past?

As we grow older and add to our eclectic assortment of experiences, this feeling is bound to happen. We will walk through scenarios that will present themselves again. It’s only inevitable as we grow older.

The question is, will we recognize our past experiences? Will we learn from them? And then, how will we use these experiences to move forward with grace, candor and hindsight as our friends?

History is repeating itself and it’s our opportunity to listen.

Japanese Internment Camps
Hitler Regime
Catholic Crusades

 

We have fought over both religion and race, yet we haven’t learned our lesson. Will we ever learn our lesson?

YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO.

Start today with your community. Start with yourself & your family.

How does your story read thus far? What moments defined you for the good? What moments defined you from the bad?

We experience both good and bad.

What lessons can you learn from these experiences? What would you like to repeat? What would you ideally not like to relive?

How can you take steps to reform around that?

Reform starts on a micro level. We need leaders who are honest and authentic in how they treat themselves and the people around them. We all need to take ownership of the society we are creating. It’s time to step up and lead in our community.

Lead by example with love, truth, honesty, and passion for what’s good. Let’s do this to make this world a better place for not only us but generations to come.

How can you do good today? How can you learn from your history?

 

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Megan Kountz

Yoga Teacher & Life Coach

 

check your expectations at the door

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photo-1473603477862-9d352d4615e1.jpegFor my friends who know me, they can attest to the fact that I am an organized planner. Think- someone who likes to have an agenda and get things done from a list even on the weekend. Yup, that’s me. But as we all know, nothing REALLY goes as planned. Especially when you add more and more people to the equation- hello holiday season. 

 

So let’s all just do this.

Close your eyes. Take a deep cooling breath in through the mouth, creating space for potential, for opportunity, for what may come up. Pause at the top of the inhale. Hold the breath for a moment. Then, when you feel you’ve drank in all the benefits of the inhale, exhale out visualizing a release of any expectations you are holding onto.

You might not even realize you have set expectations at first. There may just be an exhale. But overtime, becoming aware if you do have any expectations of yourself this holiday season, or potentially more challenging, expectations of someone else.

Let the space of the inhale be a gentle reminder to you that we can roll with the punches a bit more.

Note that when we create numerous expectations for how things will turn out, we begin to build a superficial reality, that when it doesn’t go as planned we become upset with. The littlest things can set us off because it is not what we wanted; we planned for something different- a fantasy world. But it’s not reality. 

Reality is in the present moment.

We can only control our reaction to the world. Things will happen, people will respond to us in ways we dislike. Family members will rub us wrong. Friends will let us down. The only thing that we can really plan out or expect is our perspective, our outlook on life. When thing happens- can we embrace the present, laugh it off, and move on?

Share compassion with your loved ones this week. Offer your presence. Maybe even surprise yourself with a release of expectations. All while, using your breath to mindfully create space for the present moment right in front of you. You might actually enjoy it!

know yourself – love yourself. BE YOU

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Of course. The only day I don’t leave the house at 5:30am with a raincoat…it down pours. As the rain beats down against my purple flannel, soaking up every last drop, I raced into the nearest coffee shop, in true Seattlite fashion, seeking warmth.

Sipping my espresso, I turned to look out the window and ponder the last 24 hours of my life. Something I do quite often, reflect, think- just be. It helps me process my experiences and understand what I enjoy/don’t like so I can do more of what I like. Mindfully.

As I starred at the big oak tree on the corner, I kept coming back to my experience in class  the night before. The teacher offered an intention to recognize and appreciate the cycles of life- from birth to death. So relevant for me right now. As the northern hemisphere transitions towards winter many experience, or are drawn towards stillness and warmth, like an animal might through hibernate. But at the same time, she offered a second opinion that really resonated with me. She said, this is for me- I don’t know how it is for you. It could be different. And she gave me the opportunity to explore- hey maybe I am different.

We don’t all fit into typical boxes. And we limit ourselves by seeing the edges of each particular box. But when we open up to the possibility that things can be different- that we are different- we expand our world to the infinite. Considering the fact that someone else might view this situation, each scenario, in a completely different light offers perspective.

You see for me, I am a person of summer. Being a leo, pitta (dosha), born in August, teaching hot yoga, loving burning hot showers, I embody heat. So when the weather turns to align with me in the warmth of summer it actually becomes too heavy. I’m on overdrive and just want to do nothing. Work less, chill more, enjoy the sunshine. Good vibes only. 🙂 So when fall comes around it’s almost like this re-awakening happens. It’s a time to put my head down and get back to business. And while some people see the rain as a time to hibernate I see it more as a time to get business done.

Understanding who you are and what you need during different cycles is incredibly empowering. We are all such different beings- thriving in different lights. And so taking the time to ask yourself how do you move with the planet, what time is your time to go, and how can you move in alignment with what you feel instead of resistance to it?

Don’t assume you fit in a traditional box either. Maybe you jump around. But dare to be different as you move. Ask yourself- who you truly are. Know you are full of infinite possibility. Free yourself from the confines and live your best life ever.

And as my teacher always said, know yourself, love yourself, be yourself.