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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

I am all about starting, launching and getting going. Propulsion thrills me. Velocity thrills me. “Your best you. Starting now”, remember?

So, while I’m a big starter, I’m also pretty fascinated by those who are big FINISHERS. Enter the fabulous, inspiring and über-cool Dyana Valentine. Her motto? “Helping self-starters self-finish: one project at a time”.Picture-15-150x150

She’s been on my radar for a while, though it wasn’t until she issued a challenge that I decided to say “howdy”. Her challenge : 40 Days of Our Bodies – a commitment to tending to our bodies for 40 days and noticing the shifts that arise.

I decided to jump on in with committing to 40 days of yoga. No small feat, right? Hatha = hard. Here’s the kicker though. I LOVE yoga. Making room for a daily practice is a challenge, yes, but I started to feel that I was cheating myself out of the substance of this exercise…kinda like a vegan giving up liver and onions for Lent. So I looked a little deeper and I didn’t much care for what I saw…which is precisely when I discovered what I had to do.

On October 3rd, I decided to give up the smokes. FOR GOOD. Yup…that’s right. I had been smoking “socially” for the past two years (again). It pains me to type those words: inner monologue goes something like “you should have known better”; “how can you coach people towards self-care if you weren’t walking the talk”; “yucky stinky” and so on.

But self-imposed judgment doesn’t ever work too well with me (which is why I hadn’t managed to REALLY quit before). Here’s what does work for me:

  1. A good and resonant reason…love. I am 37. My mother died at 59. I am madly in love with my family…and I do not want to cheat them out of ME and what I bring to this life. Ain’t nothing more resonant for me than love.
  2. A good challenge…with accountabilities built in. I shared with Dyana and she’s been a valued source of support, inspiration and giggles. I knew she wouldn’t let me fall. And she won’t.

Am on Day 20. Half-way through Ms D’s  challenge…and 20 days into a new and freer chapter in my blessed life.

What do you need to be finished with so that you can get started on your new path?

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I am enjoying a wonderful birthday today. And why wouldn’t I? I was feted by my family over the weekend, and both my husband and I have booked ourselves off for the day. First order of business? Latte…then moksha yoga. Deliciously hot. Our instructor kicked off final savasana today with a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt. It spoke to me (and not just because I was bathed in sweat) and I wanted to share it with you.

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

For my birthday, I ask that you be kind to yourself too…and know that it’s okay to come up short time and time again.

Off to feast on oysters for lunch now. Yup, it’s a good day to be me.

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Last Friday, I was introduced to a practice of mindfulness and supreme focus by my friend Adam. While he IS a wise old soul, he is neither a yoga master nor a Buddhist monk. He is an 8 year old boy who likes Doritos, Ben-Ten and modeling clay figures of Spider Man and he suggested that I give Fimo a whirl. So I did.

Let me preface this by saying I’ve made it a bit of a mission to find wee food items for my daughter’s dollhouse (custom made by my Dad to look like our house…wall colours and all). I pretend that I’m seeking out the cutest foods for my daughter, but when I’m being honest with myself, it’s a quest for me…something unrequited there, I’m sure! Last week, I spent a WHACK of money at the Ex on dainty teeny-tiny foodstuffs (and felt a little bit like a crazy old cat lady for the experience…miniature doilies, anyone?).

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Fun with Fimo

So when Adam implored me to take a jaunt with him to our nearest art supply store and shell out some bucks for Fimo,  I was in…though just for him. I never thought I’d manage to create something worthy of adorning the dollhouse. Fourteen dollars later however, my mind boggled with the endless possibilities: ice cream cones, sushi, meatballs, cookies…oh my!!!!

We nimbly worked it with our fingers, talked about life, love and bullies. We listened to the rain fall and shared jokes. We counseled each other on our creations and championed each other’s good work.

Given that this delightful afternoon occurred during my working hours, and in honour of my value of hard work, I’ve decided to apply what I learned about the afternoon to my business…and my life. And what did I learn? A lot.

  • Be open to new endeavours…whatever it may be.
  • Want more play in your life? Listen to children…they know how it’s done.
  • Letting go of preconceived notions about how something should be done can give you lots of room for expansiveness. And a quieter mind. Very good for your innate creativity in all you do.
  • Taking time away from business is a good thing…besides, as the one and only Danielle LaPorte tells it, you’re not that important
  • Paying attention to details can make the difference between something being unpalatable or sumptuous. A little more effort can be rewarding…even if it feels fussy and awkward.
  • The only person that expects me to be perfect is me. AND, given that I’m imperfect, what the hell do I know about perfection anyways!
  • There is certain deliciousness in variety. And FURTHER to this, stay tuned for an event that I’m co-hosting with my dear colleague Lisa Chandler. It’s all about sampling a delectable variety of coaching styles…in 15 minute increments. You’ll be AMAZED how a good coach can help you cut to the meat of an issue in less time than that.

I’ll not be doing this for a living any time soon, but was pretty pleased how my little smackerels turned out….fingerprint imprints and all.

So, I ask you to try something new, fearlessly and with no attachment to the outcome. You may surprise yourself…and even clear your mind while you’re at it. And if you don’t know what that could be, ask a kid. They’ll let you know how fun’s done.

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New term alert…“weisure”. Well, it may not be new to you…I JUST realized that “yard sale” was the new “gong show”. In any case, it references the blurring of the line between work and leisure. Clever…even if it does sound like a slacker band name.

I came across an article on CNN about the phenomenon. It reads:

Many who haven’t already abandoned the 9-to-5 workday for the 24-7 life of weisure probably will do so soon, according to New York University sociologist Dalton Conley, who coined the word. It’s the next step in the evolving work-life culture.

Am really not sure what to make of this. Intuitively, I believe *strongly* that work and leisure should be very well separated. However, I am “guilty” of checking my BlackBerry during play time with my daughter, and dabbling on Facebook when I should be doing accounting (though my abhorrence of accounting is well documented).

The article points out that this reflects that work has become more fun. Work being fun = good. Ignoring my daughter for the sake of an email check = bad.

The article points to the flipside in that fun has become “work”…think social technology.

Weisure has been fueled by social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, where “friends” may actually be business partners or work colleagues.

True true.

I’ve been tripping over “weisure” for a while now in my own life. I have a value of being present in whatever it is that I’m doing…especially what I feel very important in my life: coaching clients; playing with my daughter; practicing yoga; and, enjoying time with my husband. By allowing my thoughts (and even actions) to deviate from what I’m focused on, I feel like I’m letting myself down…as trampling on one’s values often does.

In the end (of this posting anyways), I guess I DO know what to make of this….for my own life. I’m redrawing the dividing line in the sand between my work and my leisure. I love them both too much to not be focused 100%.

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After an amazingly powerful and invigorating final CTI coach training session over the weekend, I came home on Sunday night, collapsed on my couch with an exquisite glass of champagne proffered by my championing husband. We toasted the end of my in-class training and the new chapter of my life as a Life Coach. It was very very lovely to sink into it all.

And then, the pain crept into my shoulder. (more…)

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The ellipses in the above question aren’t stylistic. They are intended to allow you to fill in the rest. What do you want…now? What do you want…to do? What do you want…to get over? What do you want…in life?

Oooh…such fun! (more…)

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This morning, the family took a little trip to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to check out the Yoga Conference, or as our daughter kept calling it…”the yoga confidence”. (more…)

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