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?
Don’t wait to be chosen. Don’t wait to be asked.
You’ve got permission…
To sleep in. To be grumpy, or send love far and wide. To eat in a way that serves your body, no matter what the diet says. Relax. To take a break. Say hell yes!! or NO. To NOT be busy. You have permission.
You’ve got permission to run far and fast. Or slow. Down the block. Walk for a stretch. Breathe. Dance, or move – groove even – in a way that soothes your soul. Take your time. Look at the clouds. Be late.
You have permission.
You’ve got permission to say what you think. To talk back. To be bold. Or hang in the corners. Sing out loud. Learn more. Fail, and fall. Get back up. You have permission to not be good.
You’ve got permission. It’s your turn.
What will you do?
When you think of mind-body exercise, do you think of yoga? Pilates?
Something on a mat, in a room, with the focus on breathing or alignment?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
That mind-body connection can be established with any exercise.
Slow moving, or getting your ass kicked.
Crossfit. TRX. Trail Running. Bootcamp. Road Racing. Cycling.
You name it, you can be present with in it.
And in fact, when you do, you lessen the probability of injury, and deepen the exercise.
Take your next workout and pay attention.
What is your body telling you?
These days, we are pretty well trained to look outside of ourselves for answers to our problems.
Shoes hurt? You might need inserts – custom made. Or new shoes.
Back pain? A back brace is always an option, pain killers, or even surgery.
Health issues? Diet. Exercise. Pills.
What if you the first place you looked was in?
Before the fancy new (expensive) inserts, or the back brace, or the stringent diet plan?
What if you started with you?
What if you adjusted how you move, how you eat, how you think, how you live?
Before you head out to fix your problems, go in.
Inside, then outside, upside down.
This is a question I get asked a lot. So here are my thoughts:
Vary your shoes. Different shoes will allow the muscles in your feet to work in a variety of ways. This includes going barefoot. Walk barefoot at home, and when you can, kick your shoes off outside. Walk barefoot (or in socked feet) over gravel, bigger rocks, a sandy beach. This might be uncomfortable, but it’s great practice to strengthen those feet.
Wear the most minimal that you can get away with in any situation, most of the time.
Find a pair of shoes that look similar to the shape of your feet. Ones that allow your toes to spread out and have some room. Socks are important too. Make sure that your socks fit your feet, and allow for room to wiggle!
Minimize your time in heels. **Heels are any shoe with the heel higher than the toe bed. *** You can’t go from a built out shoe to a minimal shoe over night. This takes time, otherwise it will cause injury. The muscles in your feet need time to adapt and strengthen – remember the golden rule: gradual progress.
Bend the shoe you’re about to buy. Can you bend you it? Does it flex? Your foot does, so take that into consideration. Also, if you can, take out the insole. Place your foot on that and ensure that your foot fits inside the lines all the way around – even better if you’ve got a little wiggle room.
Wear shoes that feel good. End of story.
If you’re anything like me, at this point in the year, your inbox is inundated with information about New Years Resolutions.
How they don’t work, or don’t. Eight steps to make them work, or a plan to keep you on track.
Which is all great, and yet, I’ve never been one to make resolutions.
It’s not that I don’t like them – I LOVE goals, but I’ve found that resolutions don’t inspire me.
For years, I’ve set challenges for myself.
I’ve had years where I chose one focus (that tends to bore me…but good learning!), and years where I chose as many challenges as candles on my cake (had to stop that at 30…).
Last year, I decided to share this practice with others and created the MoveMeant Challenge.
MoveMeant, for the body and mind, the entire year through.
Move-Meant = movement with intention.
This year, my movemeant consists of four challenges, and the underlying theme: Nurture.
My 2016 MoveMeant Challenges:
Make Yoga a Practice (at least twice a week). For years I’ve wanted to practice yoga. To do it as more than occasional class. This is the year I make that happen. I still intend to see how I can push my body, and perhaps drop my race times, but I’ll recover more mindfully on the mat, nurturing my body and my mind all at the same time.
Hamstrings! ~ Did I mention that I like to run? A LOT in fact, and my ham strings are tight. My intention is to learn about them, and hopefully loosen them up with that yoga practice and some stability work. Nurturing my body, and perhaps unlocking some mobility.
Read 12 Actual Books ~ an email I received listed a challenge of reading 52 books this year….that my friends, is insane (for me). I love to read. LOVE IT. But my book reading has diminished since having kids. The past 5 years I might have averaged 3-4 books a year. I listen to books on cd all of the time, but I don’t count those (don’t ask). So the goal: nurture my mind with one book a month. *Leave your recommendations in the comments below.
Commute with Kindness. Ahhh….Driving in Seattle – which just implies traffic. And crazy “nice” Seattle drivers (stop for EVERY pedestrian, can’t figure out a four way stop, etc). Just thinking about it creates tension in my body. I consider myself a nice person. Compassionate even, but I get in a car and I lose it, with my kids in the back telling me, “mama, you shouldn’t have said that”. Yes, yes I know. And so this year: nurturing my soul (and those around me) with a kind commute. Go ahead and cut me off. I’m going to send you nothing but love.
If you’re inclined, I’d love for you to join me in the challenge.
I will occasionally be sharing my journey on this blog, and welcome your comments as we move through this year.
How will you move through 2016?
What are your patterns?
Pattern (noun) ~ a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc. forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement.
We all have them.
The route you take to work every day.
The way in which you exercise.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner.
How you start or end your day.
What are your patterns?
This past January, I realized that I had been running the same route (for the most part) on almost every run. As I was about to begin training for a longer race, I decided to mix it up. I joined a local group on a weekend run and ran through a totally new neighborhood not far from where I live. This rocked my running regime. I concocted all sorts of new routes of varying lengths, all because of one run.
This not only changed the energy in my movement, but opened up creative energy in other places ~ how I fuel my body, the projects I’ve been working on, the creative flow in my life.
I loved it so much, I’ve made pattern checks a check in every three months.
And it’s that time.
In addition to asking myself, I’m asking you:
What are your patterns?
How are they serving you? or not?
Is it time to shake something up?
Or be more consistent?
Take a good look at how you move through your day.
Notice your patterns, and change one thing.
Leave a comment below and share what you’re shifting.
I’d love to know!
In tireless pursuit of growth.
Breathing. Something you’ve done every day since birth.
In fact, you take approximately 20,000 breaths each day.
How do you breathe?
Unless you’ve struggled for a breath or two, you likely don’t think much about it.
And yet, the benefits of a deep breath are many:
- it releases toxins
- assists in weight control
- relaxes tension & relieves pain
- relaxes the mind & body, & brings clarity
I could go on, but I think you get the idea: a deep breath is good for you.
How do you breathe?
If you’re staring at a screen, your breath is probably shallow.
And if you’ve been in front of that screen for any length of time, check your posture.
When we sit for hours in front of a screen (t.v., computer, phone, etc.), we are unlikely to take a deep breath. This particular disease has been called Screen or Email Apnea. Attention is focused elsewhere, and posture is typically slumped. Arms out, shoulders forward, lungs compressed. Breath, shallow.
Lengthen that spine. Drop those shoulders, and fully exhale.
That’s the challenge this week: Breathe more deeply.
As often as you can, consciously take a deep breath.
Notice what expands. What moves the most as you breathe? (you can’t get this wrong)
Set a timer for once an hour. Develop a breathing practice. Get outside and get some fresh air. Doesn’t matter how you do it, aim to breathe deeply as you move through your day.
Breathing is a fundamental part of living ~ do it well.
breathe in, breathe out.
That’s the challenge, and the question.
How can this be more fun?
Doesn’t matter what “this” is.
The middle of the work week. Exercise in the rain. A date. That Monday meeting. A road trip. The afternoon melt down. Studying. Lunch alone. Dinner with relatives. Your commute. Saturday. Cooking.
Whether you’re currently having fun, or not.
How can this be more fun?
This is my question of the moment.
I know that I have a tendency to be focused on my to do list, and getting things done. I can get lost in the every day details of life, and lose sight of the fact that this is all supposed to be fun – because if it’s not fun, why do it??
Whether it’s work, or exercise, or taking the kids to school.
How can this be more fun?
Periodically ask yourself throughout the day – especially when what you’re doing isn’t so fun, or you need a little energy. How can this be more fun?
What will you do? Please, share it on facebook or instagram, or reply in the comments below.
Have more fun. On purpose.