practice

MoveMeant Challenge is Now Open For Registration.

MMC2015Do you have a health or fitness goal you’d like to achieve in 2015?
If you’re like many people, you’ve got in mind a few resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.
AND, if you’re like most, those resolutions will be dropped and mostly forgotten by March.
The average person sets the same resolution ten years in a row.

This year, don’t be average – join the Movemeant Challenge.
Gain support, accountability, community, and a little push to not only achieve your goal, but to weave health into your every day.

For more details and to register go here.

Move. you are meant to.

Movement as sacred practice.

What if movement was a sacred practice in your life?
Or better yet, how can you make movement a sacred practice?
Not something you check off of a list, but something you live.
Something you LOVE.

Sacred ~ (adj) reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object; regarded with reverence.

What if you dedicated your movement practice to yourself ~ to becoming more you?
What if you regarded movement with respect?
Movement, either forward or backward.
Movement in the physical sense, but also mentally.
You are meant to move.
Exercising more.  Walking every day.  Running.  Yoga.  Weights.  Pilates,  Zumba.
Engaging and being present in your body.
Yet also, stretching your mind.
Taking a new class.  Speaking up in public.  Getting lost, and finding your way.  Stretching outside of your comfort zone.  Making new friends.  Feeding your passion.
Engaging, and being present in your mind. 
Movement.  As sacred practice.
move.  you are meant to.

 

Need some help in making movement sacred?
Join the MoveMeant Challenge today.

What if every decision you make impacts your health?

What if every decision you make impacts your health?
Ponder that for a second.  

There are the “obvious” health decisions like what to eat or how to exercise.
Dig deeper.
Where do you work?  How many hours of sleep do you get?  What kind of shoes do you wear?  Do you sit all day?  or stand?  How much do you move? Do you travel for work?  Commute?  Do you like your co-workers?  How often do you vacation?  How much tv do you watch?  Do you go outdoors?  How do you relieve stress?  What’s your breathing like?  What are you thinking, right now?
I could go on….

You make decisions every day – many of them, a repeat of the day before.
With each choice, are you moving toward health, or further away?

** disclaimer:  exercising every day and/or eating greens frequently doesn’t guarantee health**

Sometimes, eating that cookie is healthier than the alternative.
Or skipping the gym, opting for a much needed nap that will do wonders for your psyche.
Baby steps toward health.

Know this: You are the master of your health and well being.
And every day you get to decide.
What are you choosing today?

What’s Your Style?

In our fast paced society, it’s all about speed. Getting it done. Having it now. Making it happen. Pushing to the extreme. Pulling. Going big or going home.

Counter to that…or sometimes, alongside of it, is allowing it to happen. Letting it be easy. Relaxing. Expanding. Breathing into it. On the surface, this may seem easier – I assure you, it’s not.

Which one is your predominant style? When you work? When you eat? When you breathe? When you exercise?

Both styles work. They both have their finer points, and situations in which to use them. But do you ever mix it up? Or find that you stick with one way in pretty much everything?

I have to admit, I’ve more of a go hard or go home gal. My motto for exercise has always been “if I’m not swearing in my head, I’m not working hard enough.” If I’m in a class, and I’m not mentally cussing the teacher out, I figure I’m wasting my time. Harsh, I know. But I only have so much time to exercise and I want to leave it all in there. I want to walk out of the class, off of the field, away from the track knowing that I left everything there. Breathing heavy. Sweaty. Done. This has been my approach for as long as I can remember.

Right now, I’m mixing it up. Toying with a more expansive, softer(?) style.
I have been attempting to develop a yoga practice and am now in week three.
Every now and then, I think that I’m not working hard enough. I don’t leave class sweaty or out of breath or even needing a shower. And this morning, as I was on the mat opening my hips in some god-forsaken pose (I’m pretty sure she was trying to kill me), I noticed that I wasn’t swearing. AT ALL. There was no need to. The only thing that would ease the tension in my hips was breathing into it. Gritting it out or tightening up wasn’t going to help. Expanding into it was. Finding a way, within my body to relax a little more, and perhaps find a little more ease.

 Two different styles. Two different purposes. Perhaps, two different outcomes.
Each a challenge in it’s own way. There’s a time and a place for leaving everything on the field. In the classroom. On the project. However, there’s also room to expand. Deepen into it. Allow it to be a little easier (even if that’s not so easy).

Which will you do? Is there room to practice both?

 Move with intention.

The battle.

How do you meet your resistance?
Just before you exercise? On the way to the gym?
As you dial the phone?
Before you sit down to write?
As you’re beginning a project?
When you try to eat healthy?

Mine shows up every morning at 5:45am.
That just happens to be when my alarm goes off.
Perhaps it’s there earlier, just waiting….watching me sleep….
The alarm rings, and the resistance begins.

Thoughts spin in my head….
The bed is soo warm.
It’s cold outside.
Oh wait, was that a rain drop?
Is the wind blowing?
I’ll go later.  (right)
How many times did I wake last night?
I’m soooo tired.

And I face a choice: get out of bed and run or snuggle in and sleep.
Mostly, sleep wins.
It has been my goal this past year to rise early.  On occasion I do, mostly I don’t.
However. However.
Last week, I had one glorious morning when my boy woke me at 4:55am.  As I tucked him back into bed, I decided to stay awake. I did all kinds of things. I meditated. Checked my email. Got four miles in. Rinsed off. Made lunches. Put on make up. I dressed – and not even in exercise gear. It was fabulous.
And my day rocked because of it.

My intention: to recreate that every morning. Now I know, that every morning is not going to be that great. Yet, I also know that I’m a much better mama/wife/nicer person in general when I’ve had a little time to myself. And what better way to start the day?

So my new wake time is going to be 5am.
You read that right – 5:15am (WTF???) Who does that???
I do…now.  Anyone with me?  You don’t even have to run.

I fully expect resistance to show up every morning, and more often than not I’m going to win.
I’m curious though – how do you handle resistance?
What’s your battle, and how will you win?

Where are you checking the box?

You know what I mean.
Getting that workout in, but really just going through the motions.
Sitting in the pew every Sunday, yet not completely present.
Asking “how are you?” and not hearing the answer or even asking the right question.
Showing up for that 8-5, but only doing what’s expected.  Playing inside the box.

Sometimes it’s necessary – just to get by.  And some times, you need a break.
But if you skate for too long, laziness sets in.
You get comfortable, and all of sudden you’re not participating in your own life. 

And to live is an action.

It’s a verb – no matter what label you use…friend, buddist, entreprenuear, husband, CFO, aunt, triathlete, mother, artist, yogi, old-fart.
Whatever it is, it is a verb.  Do it with flare.

So take a look.  Where are you checking the box?
Health.  Career.  Spirit.  Relationships.  Learning.

Where can you step it up a notch?
Go all beast mode if you can!
participate in your own well-being.

Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames.
~ Rumi

Be present when you breathe.

Breathing.
It’s very easy to take for granted.  An automatic reaction – something we don’t even have to think about.
It’s often over-looked, yet so vital to our optimal health.
What if you considered breathing a practice?

If you sit at a desk for hours on end, your breath is likely shallow.  Your posture slumped.  If you can, set a timer every hour to remind you to sit up.  Lengthen your spine, drop your shoulders and take a deep breath.  Even better – get up and move.  A quick walk around the office, or the block will do your mind and body some good.

When you exercise, notice your breath.  If you find yourself getting short of breath, fully exhale.  Push everything out, and allow the inhale to happen naturally.

Taking a deep breath brings you to the present, and allows you to hit “pause” if only for a moment.

Notice how you breathe throughout the day.
Be present, and aim to go deep.

Move more, not less.

This is the twelfth post in a series of Move More. Not Less. 31 days.
Click here to see a list of all posts, updated daily.

Catch Yourself in Motion.

You’ve been walking for ages, right?
When was the last time you thought about how you did it?  How it felt?
Same thing for standing, sitting…moving in general.
When you first learned, you were totally aware of gravity and feel.
As we age we lose that awareness, and also begin to make compensations.
Compensations for injury, carrying extra weight (be it inside or outside of your body), the shoes we wear, tension or stress. Compensations for a plethora of things…
In addition to compensating, we also make excuses. We blame getting older for aches and pains that crop up.
I call BS. Now I’m not saying the body doesn’t deteriorate at all, but life practice has a lot to do with it.

Today, catch yourself sitting, standing, walking…moving.
When you walk, where does your foot land? How does it land? Do you roll out, or in over the big toe?
Do you stand on your heals? Grip your toes?
What does it feel like? Scan your body.
Notice any tension. Notice any aches or pains.
Breathe into it and notice what it feels like.
Become aware of what your movement feels like.
Catch yourself in motion.

Move more, not less.

This is the third post in a series of Move More. Not Less. 31 days.  Click here to see a list of all posts, updated daily.

The last 100 days.

September 23rd marks the last 100 days of this year.
The last 100 days……how will you end 2013?
You have a choice, and now is the time to name what you want.  

For today, take a look at your habits.
Habit is a great way to program yourself to get things done.
Habits can get you where you want to go, but left unchecked, can keep you stuck.

It’s important to stop every now and then to see if a habit is still serving you.

On this day of all days, what’s your best habit? and then, what’s your worst?

In these last 100 days, can you replace your worst habit with something else?
Can you find a new habit that will get you closer to where you want to be?

Eating fruit instead of donuts.
Sleeping in your workout gear, instead of hitting snooze endlessly.
Tea for coffee.  Water for booze.
Doing that one thing, instead of procrastinating.

Note ~ it’s easier to achieve if you replace a habit with something else.
Don’t simply try and drop it, but replace it.
What can you do to end 2013 on a high note, instead of waiting to begin again on January 1?

Set your intention now.  Demand the best.  Ask for success.

Go out with a bang.

I hate this….

During a recent Chi Running workshop, one of the participants mentioned that she hated running.  She ran because of peer pressure, even though she was often the one applying the pressure by signing up for races.  Ironic?
She used the words “dragging” and “painful” – painting a bleak picture of her running life.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard that story – be it running, a job, a relationship, trying to lose weight…the list could go on.

What strikes me in these stories is the amount of resistance and tension.
The amount of energy it takes to “hate” or dislike.
If you hate running, how can you expect it to be pain free?  or even fun?
If you hate your job, how can you expect to be good at it?  To be engaged?
If you hate the effort it takes to eat healthy, how can you expect to do it?

In hating something, you resist it – and your body takes on that resistance.  It tenses, as if you’re waiting for a punch.  Tight muscles, scrunched shoulders, knotted stomach.
Wasted energy, all of it.
AND, if the tension persists, injuries/side effects occur.
You gain weight.  Get shin splints.  Throw out your back.
Often we move through this pain, assuming we have no choice.
We push forward.  Try harder.  Make it happen.

Running is painful.  Eating healthy doesn’t taste good. The job just sucks. 
Pushing through pain is never the answer.  Usually, it leads to more pain.

Instead of moving through this pain, let it go.  Release and relax the tension.
Make an adjustment.  Be open.
I know, I know – easier said than done.
But work with me here – if you hate running, focus on what you do like about it.
The outdoors.  Fresh air.  Flashy running gear.  New shoes.  The feeling afterward.
If you have aches or pain, figure out the cause.  See what you can do to make it go away.
If you hate vegetables, find one that you can tolerate.  Or fix in a way that tastes good (without totally diminishing it’s benefits).

Less hate, more love.  Hell, less hate, more like.
Be open, and let go of the resistance, or seek out it’s cause.
You never know what you might learn, and how easy it is to fix.