Here you will find the ramblings of a yogi and redbloomer. Read along with me and see where this journey takes us...
Here you will find the ramblings of a yogi and redbloomer. Read along with me and see where this journey takes us...
Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone. Big time. I took on a couple of things that were not something I normally do and that made me super anxious. And that got me thinking...
First, I led our Full Moon practice at RedBloom. Our regular teacher was under the weather so I stepped in and led. She was awesome and gave me a ton of support with theme, topic, and sequences (All while at the walk in clinic!!) but this was definitely outside my wheelhouse. I've done moon yoga before, but having Jalene take those classes over has truly shown me how little I know in that area. I had fun with them and provided nice practices, but there was so much I was missing- I was merely a placeholder. Jalene is a wealth of knowledge and provides such spot on practices for each moon cycle with passion and integrity! Those are BIG shoes to fill!
The second thing I did was yoga with 50+ fifth and sixth graders... Whew! (This week was 3rd & 4th...) Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE yoga with kids. They are honest, pure, and joyful. Things I wish I could always be. But fifth and sixth grade is a tough age. And 50 is a LOT of them. Plus yoga is not something that a lot of them have ever done before so I didn't know how they would respond. I had no idea what to expect or how it was going to go. I have never sweat so much in my life...
I did both of these things, one after the other. I was thankful for my breath and my ability to have no expectations. I was able to take these experiences and absorb the lessons from them, honor the successes, and notice my reactions and how my "stories" impact my anxiety levels and my perception of success...
Let's start there. With success... What is that? What does that mean? How do we measure success? For me I have always been a person that runs away from the measurement of success through numbers. Success is not a popularity contest. For me, success is measured by impact. If ONE person takes something positive away from practice or an interaction then that is success for me. Life is a journey and if I can help ONE person navigate that journey a little more clearly, then (whatever) is a success. It seems so often, especially in the yoga world, success is measured in numbers. I get that there has to be a bottom line to keep the lights on, but what purpose does it serve to pack a room and then have little to no personal interaction? I think about those kiddos I practiced with last week and yesterday. I worked to connect with each and every one of them. I at least made eye contact with each and every one of them. I listened to them when they talked, and I watched to make sure what we were doing made sense in their bodies. I could see the changes they felt (or didn't feel), I worked to help them feel included and accepted even if they were sitting down and not doing yoga (that was sometimes more yoga than the movement and postures...), and I watched as many of them walked out of the room still using some of the techniques we had just practiced together. Success through connection!
Let's look at the other side of the coin. I was reading something the other day and it asked the question, "what if what we thought we wanted was really what was holding us back?" We get so stuck in our ideas of what we can and can't do, of what we think we should do and how things should go. We get attached to the concept of success looking a specific way. What happens when we let go of our expectations and open to the possibility of success being something we haven't even seen? Think of how silly it would be for me to walk into this yoga session with 50 students and measure my success by their ability to hold Tree Pose for 10 breaths. To what end? Instead, I entered into that situation with an openness to what ever happens happens. To the idea that I have a "plan" but it is merely a guideline and that we will veer from that plan. So many beautiful things happened in that practice that I couldn't have even imagined. And I was able to respond more genuinely and in the moment to students because I was merely present. It was beautiful- we flew so much higher than I could have ever imagined.
This was the same for the Moon Yoga class I led last week. I realized as I was preparing for class that I was creating a majority of my anxiety myself! I realized that I was getting stuck in my stories of inadequacy and lack of knowledge. My expectations of what that class should be was making it bigger and bigger in my mind, and when I let those assumption go I was able to take a breath and release a lot of my un-realistic expectations. I was able to really tune in to the intent that Jalene had created for class and let that guide the experience. Again, I had a plan, but it was just that and I had the knowledge that we would vary from that plan.
And most importantly, I did these things that created so much anxiety in my mind and body. I learned so much about myself and my view of myself. And I wondered... how many things in my life do I limit because of anxiety or expectations that I unconsciously (or consciously) have? How many times do I feel that I have failed because of my preconceived notion of "success". And what kind of cycle do I create by allowing those patterns to continue?
So today, with mindfulness, I continue. There will always be situations that we are thrown into that make us uncomfortable or bring up old baggage or stories. There will always be opportunities to grow through those difficult experiences. My hope for myself is that I have awareness and grace to move through these situations and grow, to not stop and turn away from difficulty or stressful situations. Because that is what helps me learn and evolve. Those times are really where I learn who I truly am.
The hard stuff, the dirty work, that is the Yoga.
What brings you joy? Real joy?
Look at that face... The face of my 6 year old spinning in her fluffy tutu. Isn't it amazing?! Granted, I'm biased because I'm her mom but just look at the joy! I absolutely love working with and being around children. They are pure, innocent, and tell it like it is. There is no second guessing with them. They feel all the feels and will tell you all about it. It's refreshing and you ALWAYS know where you stand with them.
Clearly my 6 year old loves to dance, but even more I think she loves this outfit. Remember when you were a kid? Did you have a favorite outfit? Did you have a favorite toy? Do you remember the comfort and joy that person, place or thing brought you?
What is there in your life today that brings you that same joy? Maybe it's a person or a place more than an actual item. When I was 4 I had this awesome (seriously, it was the 70's) dress that had ruffly sleeves, was stretchy and comfortable, and striped. And it had a BELT! I can remember the feel of the fabric and the way it swished when I spun (That must run in the family...) It's funny but I always felt like I was bigger and braver in that dress...
Recently I had a friend of mine do a Tarot reading for me. The reading was spot on and one part of it was about finding something that brings me real joy. So... looking at my daughter's joyful face and watching her spin with glee in that tutu made me ask myself, what brings me joy like that? That can be a tough question for adults... We often forget to find joy in life. We often forget to pause and ENjoy. We often don't allow ourselves to feel what is joy or be joyful.
People have asked me, "If money wasn't an issue and you could do anything, what would you do?" That I have an answer for- Exactly what I'm doing. RedBloom. I love what I do. I love this community and everything about it. But that is a different question than "What brings you joy?" Don't get me wrong, RedBloom brings me much joy. But there is baggage with that joy. There has been pain, struggle, and loss tied into that joy. Maybe the joy I feel with RedBloom is "adult joy" that comes with lessons and responsibility. So when I think about PURE joy, like a child, what is it that brings that feeling to me? What is it that brings joy like that to you?
As you go about life today pause for a moment. Look around. Look for that which brings you child-like joy. Maybe it's warm fuzzy socks. Maybe it's an extra cup of coffee. Maybe it's crunching those leaves blowing in the wind. Maybe it's space and time to sit and listen. Maybe it's watching your 6 year old spin in her favorite tutu. :) Whatever it is, find it, dive into it, and enjoy it to the fullest!
Peace, love, and JOY to every one of you.
Fall is upon us. The air is crisp, it's finally raining again, and my heat kicked on the other day... That means that the calm and open ended schedule of summer is over. Back to school, back to schedules, back to work, work, work. I find it interesting that fall is when we energetically want to turn inwards. to slow down. The world begins the process of hibernation. BUT not us! Fall seems to be the time that we ramp everything up! We end up scheduling our selves to the milisecond and then doing three MORE things. And don't forget the holidays are looming at the top of this hill! We are just starting... when maybe we should be slowing...
So how do we manage? How do we care for ourselves? That is the question of the day... I know I am feeling it. I started this slippery slope with a lovely escape to my old stomping grounds, Kansas City, a couple of weeks ago. It was a much needed vacay with just my husband. We haven't done that in 7 years! But that put me behind. And I returned, with my plate already full, to lots of responsibilities and "things to do". And it hasn't stopped. Running a business, yoga or otherwise, is a 24 hour job. It's a lot. And it's something that can never be put away. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE IT! But some days I need to put it away... Because I am feeling the lack of self care right now. In big ways. My smile is off a bit and people may see the glimmer of panic (if you know me really well) in my eyes. I can feel the sensation of "Fight or Flight" rising and my monkey brain is shouting at the top of it's lungs...
Because I have a personal yoga and meditation practice I have that awareness of my actions and reactions as just that- I realize that I am not annoyed at my 6 year old because of anything she is doing or has done, but because I am asking too much of myself. I realize that when I just want to lock my doors and ignore even my yoga practice that it is time to stop and take care. I know that this too shall pass, but I need to help this moment move along.
I see that many of you are there as well. I watch people tear up silently in practice, I see the furrowed brow and hear the silence. And it reassures me that those things dissipate and disappear as we practice together. Or even when people just arrive at RedBloom. I think we should call it the "RedBloom Sigh" ;) People walk in the door and you can visibly watch them let the world go. Hooray! I do that too!
But what do we do otherwise? We practice yoga. We breathe. We cry, scream, sleep, exercise, and much much more. But the thing I forget is that connecting with others helps so much. When we feel upset or overwhelmed we often think that we are alone in this feeling. That no one else feels this way. We are not alone in the way we feel. I know I am not the only one feeling this way. So as we are out and about today and this week, look around. See the person that needs a "hi" or a smile. Take the time to connect. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Accept help when it's offered. Hug someone. Listen. Love.
Today I am hiding... But I am resting (and apparently blogging...) and taking care. And it feels really good. Tomorrow is a new day and I will be ready to face the world! Because I love the world. And I love this beautiful community of people called RedBloom. You are amazing! And in these down moments know that you are what keeps me going. Thank you.