mindfulness

What Are You Saying Yes To?

Yes ~ (verb) to give an affirmative reply to; give assent or approval to.

I recently listened to the book, “The Year of Yes”, by Shonda Rhimes.  To be honest, I didn’t really want to read it.  I figure that I say yes quite a bit, and don’t need any more.  BUT, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about, and I’m glad I did.  First off, she’s hilarious – I love it when the author actually reads for their audio book.  And secondly, it was really good.  You see, she not only says yes, but examines, and gets underneath, what she’s saying yes to.

It’s one thing to say yes to invitations to speak, or to parties, or a date.  It’s another entirely to examine your habits – your life – and determine what you’re saying yes to.  It’s got me thinking about my “yes”.  What am I saying yes to???

In the book, one example that sticks out, is that she discovered she was saying yes to being fat.  Which is all well and good if you’re happy with that.  But if you are happy with it, own it.  No more complaining , or self deprecation.  Buy the expandable seatbelt for the plane and OWN it.  Or, if that doesn’t work, say Yes to being healthy and begin to make change.  It’s not going to be easy.  You’re likely not going to love every step of the way, but in the end, it feels better and will be worth it.

The whole idea being: do less of what’s good for you, and more of what feels good.
This is a motto I can totally get behind.

And the yes doesn’t have to be huge.  Start small.
If you say yes to happy hour, you’re saying no to your trip to the gym or that evening run around the lake.  Saying yes to sleeping in, could mean skipping meditation and the morning walk with your dog.  It might mean rushing through your morning, rather than ease in getting to work.  And none of this is bad – but know what you’re saying yes to.
You have the choice.

With that in mind, what will you say yes to today?

What’s your body telling you?

It has been said that life is always talking to you. 
Giving you signs and signals.  Whispering to you gently. 
When the whispers don’t work, life throws a pebble and eventually, if it has to, a brick.
I’d say that your body does the same thing.
It’s constantly whispering to you ~ and perhaps, life might speak through your body?

There are the obvious cues:  growls to indicate hunger, yawns when you’re tired, headaches when you lack sufficient water.
What about the subtle cues?  The ones that we might miss or attribute to something else?
An unexpected rash.  Cold sore on your chin.  A pinched neck.  That uneasy feeling.  Or, that feeling of lightness.  Gas tank is full, and all systems go. That know-that-you-know-that-you-know feeling, deep in your gut.

What’s your body telling you? 
What subtle cues does it give?
Are you listening??
I’d love to know….

The more you listen, the more you learn.
and you don’t even need ears.

What experiment are you running?

You, are your own best laboratory – and you’re always running an experiment, whether you know it or not.

Got a rash?
Loving your life right now?
Not feeling 100%?
Shoulder tension, every day?
Uncontrollable laughter, every night?

Whether you’ve got results you want, or don’t, look for clues.  Start asking questions.  How much sleep are you getting?  Who are you spending time with?  What are you eating? What you been touching?

Life, your body even, is a constant experiment – in how we eat, how we breathe, what we think, and how we move.  Are you paying attention?

I used to teach middle school math & science.
Every year I had my students participate in a science fair.  Each student had to run an experiment based upon the scientific method (six steps):

  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results

It was fascinating to see what they’d would come up with – and I’m realizing more and more, we do this every day.  Perhaps not to the same scale, not following every step, and certainly not putting it up on a foam board.  BUT we experiment every day.

What experiment are you currently running?

What information are you gathering (or not)? What questions are you asking?  Are you getting the answers that you seek?

The experiment can be tiny….or grand.  It’s up to you.
A few to think about:
How do I sleep longer and still get to work on time?
How can I wear yoga pants 24/7?
What foods suit me best/fuel me well (no matter what any magazine says)?
How can I seek more joy in my life?
How can I laugh out loud more?
How can I connect more?

and the list goes on….
What will you do?

off to the lab like a mad scientist…

Do you know what you’re thinking?

Ever stopped for a moment to pay attention to the thoughts that run across your mind??  The average person thinks anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts each day, and according to some research, as many as 98% of them are exactly the same as the thoughts the day before.  The more you think the same thoughts, the more ingrained in your brain they become.  It’s like creating a cd for your mind.

What are you thinking??  Have you stopped long enough to notice?

When I was in junior high, every night as I went to sleep I prayed to God.
And my prayer went a little something like this:
Dear God,  I love you so much.  Thank you for today.  Please help me to lose a lot of weight…..
Not sure what came after that, but I can remember thinking these thoughts almost every night.  I don’t know what I thought God was going to do or how praying for it might help, or even what “a lot” was (5 lbs? maybe 10??), or what would happen when/if I lost that weight….but that didn’t stop me.  For the better part of two years, this was my request, and this groove was recorded in my mind.

….Fast forward a few years….

My relationship with God and prayer has changed.  A lot.  Though, I still like to pray as I get into bed at night.  Most of my prayer is gratitude for the day that has been, and I can tell when I’m tired, or distracted because this gets played….

Dear God, I love you so much.  Thank you for today.  Please help me to lose a lot of weight….

It’s like a default to check if I’m paying attention.  When I catch it, I giggle, because I know it’s a sign that I’m tired and not present.  But it’s also a signal to pay more attention to what groove I’m creating at that very moment.

What are you thinking right now?  What thoughts are on repeat in your mind?
Might be time to lay some new tracks.

If you’d like some help, join us in Moving Evolution.  We’d love for you to join the fun!

What do you want?

What is it that you want?
For today?  This weekend?  This month?  This year?
This lifetime?
What do you desire?  From the bottom of your heart….what do you desire?

Desire ~ (verb) to wish or long for; crave; want.

Think about it for a second (I’ll wait).  Get a clear picture in your head.

Now.  Is what you’re doing today, ~ right now even ~ moving you closer to, or further away from what you want most?

A little reminder, and call to action.
move.  toward what you want.
feel your way forward.

Where are you holding back?

We all do it – so be honest, where do you hold back?

Not saying what you really think.
Not going as fast or as far as you can or lifting as much as you could.
Not stepping out on that limb.
Not asking the next question (do you really want the answer?)
Not playing full on.


I notice it for myself on the run (surprise!).  When I’m by myself I fall into a gait that’s easy.  That’s comfortable.  Then I glance at my watch and flip out – because what’s become comfortable ain’t fast.  And not that it always has to be fast – but here’s what I’ve noticed:  When I push myself to run a little bit harder, a little bit faster, it doesn’t take that much more effort (or time).  I don’t usually breathe any harder and don’t feel like I’m going to die. 

Mostly, I have to pay more attention.  I have to be on my game, and step out of my comfort zone, to get me that much closer to my goal, (and getting home faster).  Nothing major – baby steps in fact.  

And if I’m holding back here, there’s got to be other areas.  So I look at the rest of my day – where else do I hold back?  Do I fall into what’s comfortable?  Do I operate on cruise? 

And so I ask you:  where do you hold back?
Take a gander.  You do it.  Admit it. 
Push your comfort zone today.

move.  you are meant to.

No one ever said it would be easy.

I often hear that it’s not easy. In fact, it’s down right hard… getting up the hill.
Eating healthy.
Being mindful.
Finishing the project.
Keeping the motivation going.
…and on, and on.

No. It’s not easy. No one ever said it would be.

And though, it may not be easy, there are ways to make it easier.

It’s not easy for me to get up early every day.
But I know that I’m a much better mama/wife/friend ~person in general, if I’ve had a little time to myself before I engage with another.
I know, that if I run early I’m going feel 100 times better once I’m done – AND I’ve moved, so my day is free for other things – and this is what helps me rise. This helps me beat down my resistance.
It’s not easy – but this thought makes it easier.

It’s not easy getting up the hill. Or staying motivated. Or eating healthy. Or…
How can you make it easier?
A shift in thinking. A partner to hold you accountable. A gadget to track your time. Something. Anything.

What might help you?  I’d love to know.

It may not be easy, but it’s worth it.  (repeat, every day).

Create freedom, every day.

Happy Fourth of July!

Today in the United States we celebrate freedom (technically independence, but freedom feels sooooo much better).  Freedom is one of my all time favorite words, and one of my highest held values.

Freedom ~ (noun)  the power to determine action without restraint

As I explore freedom this year, I’m curious about the every day.
We all have ways in which we seek freedom ~ and if freedom isn’t your word try happiness.  Joy.  Love.
We seek these things in big ways, but what about the every day?
It’s relatively easy to find freedom in travel or on a boat where you can’t see land.
Piece of cake to feel love when you’re in a loving relationship.
Joy – easy as pie when you’re with friends that make you laugh.

But what about the days when you’re solo?  When the grind is a little too much.
When you’ve had it up to “here” with traffic/the kids/your co-workers.
How do you find freedom/joy/love/happiness/____ then?

The challenge:  seek freedom in your every day.
You know the big ways – find the small ones.
How do you create it, each and every day?

In pursuit of happiness.

You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.

~ Toni Morrison

What are you thinking?

Your mind is constantly in motion.
Churning thoughts, whether you’re aware of them or not.

“OMG it’s cold out. Look at that those spandex. Did I eat breakfast? I wonder why Lisa didn’t call me back. Did I say something wrong? I need to go to the grocery store. Baseball game tonight at 5. Geesh, I’m tired. I don’t want to go to work. Will I have time to squeeze in a walk today? I can’t believe I ate that muffin”…..and this is in a matter of seconds.

Most of these thoughts are seemingly random. Responses to your environment. Thoughts about your day. Others stem from beliefs you hold. And they’re constantly running, like background music. A super top secret soundtrack to your life.

Have you ever taken a moment to pay attention?

The challenge: pay attention to your mind chatter. Identify your soundtrack (you may have several). This is especially important when you don’t feel great. When you’re angry or frustrated, anxious or hurt. Know what you’re telling yourself, and be fascinated by what you find.

For me, I have a tendency to be competitive. I’m working on it, and have been for some time. Though it’s easy to fall into the trap if I’m not paying attention. My mind begins to race if I’m not “winning”. Which is a cue for me to be present. If left unchecked, all sorts of thoughts run through my mind all leading to “I’m not good enough” in some way or another. CRAZY.

What is it for you? Choose your soundtrack wisely.
eye of the tiger baby.

Need some help in doing this? Want to change your sound track, but aren’t sure where to start? Join us in Moving Evolution. Class begins on Monday!

How healthy are you?

How healthy are you??

Health ~ (noun) soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment

The instigation this week is to consider your health, and perhaps join me in the Moving Evolution program.  When you think of health, where does your mind go?  Diet?  Exercise??  What if there’s more to it than that??  And, what if improving your health is as easy as learning to listen to your body?

Here’s the thing: I believe that most of us live life from the shoulders up, ignoring or pushing down the cues that the body is constantly giving. We ignore pain, and then walk and move in ways that cause injury. We ignore hunger cues, and diet or fuel our bodies with junk – and expect excellence. We have destructive thought patterns running rampant and assume that we have no choice in how we feel or how we think. We tell ourselves “it’s fine – I’m fine” and push through all kinds of pain.

I pushed through pain for years.  Years.  Trying to lose that last ten pounds (yet never succeeding no matter how little I ate, or how much I exercised).  Unexplained knee pain.  Tightness is my body.  Eating and drinking past the point of full.  Not paying attention – to my body or the world around me. There’s a better way ~ and this program is the culmination of everything I’ve learned thus far ~ of everything that I try to teach and live by.

Moving Evolution is a nine week program designed to develop a mindful mind/body practice. No diets, special gear to buy, or gimmicks. Simply learning to let your body guide you. Learning to listen, and catch yourself before injury, before a full-blown stress attack, before you unconsciously eat that pint of ice cream.  And what better time than summer to make the connection?

For the next week, Moving Evolution is open for registration. This is the best time to join, as the cost is only $65. I’ve made a ton of updates, and once you’re in, you’re in for life.  The price will go up in the fall…so now’s the time.  Go here for more details, and if you have questions feel free to hit reply.

Regardless of whether you join, I hope you consider your health.  How can you improve it today?

let your body be your guide.