presence

How do you know?

How do you know?

There are questions that you can answer definitively.  You can search for historical facts on the Internet.  Solve math problems.  Calculate with a computer program.  Look up nutritional data.  The list could go on….
But there are other quandaries that aren’t so easy.
Those that don’t have ONE right answer, and in explaining how you know, the words may not come so easily.

How do you know?

Know ~ (verb) to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty.
How do you know…

that you love him (or her)?
this partnership will rock?
you should say YES (or no) to the job, deal, project, proposal, date?
that this is THE house?
whether you should go this way, or that?

I’ve made enough wrong decisions to realize that what I thought I knew was really me wanting to know.  Wanting to be sure, and missing all of the signs in the process (hindsight is 20/20, right?!).  I’ve acted against my “knowing” enough to realize what it feels like in my body (tightness, whirring almost in the chest).  To know how it plays out in my mind (obsession, anxiety and stress).

The place that knows is always quieter.  Much more subtle.  Clearer (and cleaner) with the truth.  That doesn’t mean that my “knowing” keeps me from making mistakes, but those mistakes are ones that are easier to accept ~ and feel better in the process.

So tell me, how do you know?
Where does your knowing reside?
How do you know that it (whatever it may be) is right?

The challenge?
Trust that knowing.  And act on it.

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

How will you participate?

Participate ~ (verb) to take or have a part or share in.

The other day I took a yoga class, and as the teacher roamed the room she suggested that yoga invites us to participate in our own well-being.  WHOA.
It was early, and that was deep (or maybe not so deep, but again – it was early) – and that was awesome. 
Yoga invites us to participate in our own well-being.

I know that yoga specifically does, as you are meant to focus on your breath and the flow of your body.
However, I think you can do this with anything.
Walking.  Running.  Lifting weights.  Dancing.  Eating.  Sitting at your desk.  Working…..whatever.

How will you participate in your own well-being?
Not some diet, or new fangled resolution, but really take a part in your own health.
In what feels good for you – with your body, breath, the food you eat and the presence you bring.
The beauty of it is, you can change from moment to moment.
Something doesn’t feel good – stop.  Don’t do it.  Begin something else.
Find your flow.  Follow your breath.
Participate.

wishing you a year filled with love, laughter, health, joy, movement and meaning!

Eye to Eye

You see people every day.
But how often do you really see them?
Look them in the eye.
Perhaps saying nothing at all, but seeing them ~ feeling their energy.

We all have a tendency to go on autopilot.  To zone out.  To rush through the day, thinking about the future or the past, trying to get where we’re going.  Seeing people as we pass by, mostly to not run into them.  And never really seeing anyone.

Instead of that this holiday season, how about a little eye contact?
With anyone, and everyone.

Make it a point to look someone in the eye ~ now we’re not talking a weird staring contest.
Simple and easy – be present when you look someone in the eyes.

This can be uncomfortable – making eye contact with a stranger sometimes is.
I challenge you to do it anyway.
Send your love and light, if only, and especially, through your eyes.

I see you.  Will you see me?

Side note:  I’ve been practicing this for about a month now, off and on.  A few weeks ago I was walking down the street to pick up my kids and passed a gentleman who appeared “off” – I don’t think he was homeless, but he had some challenges.  As I passed, I looked him in the eyes and he turned and yelled out to me:  “Miss! Thank you.”  and I knew what he meant.


Drop into your body.

breatheYour body is always in the present moment.  It doesn’t have anywhere else to be.
Your mind, however, is rarely in the present.
Sometimes it’s focused on the past: This morning, when your partner used all of the hot water.  Traffic on the way home.  That presentation last week.
Or the future:  Your trip next week.  Your work projects for next year. When you lose ten pounds.  That next vacation.  Your to-do list.

When you find yourself feeling rushed or hurried, frustrated or tired.
Before you buy that unnecessary gift.
Before you yell at your child/partner/driver in the other lane.
Before you eat that tenth peanut butter ball or drink that next glass of wine.
Drop into your body.

When you find yourself wanting to remember the moment.
To take in all of the love and beauty that surrounds you.
To truly feel the power of now.
Drop into your body.  

Stop what you’re doing.  Take a deep breath.  Relax your shoulders.  And notice.
What’s going on in your body right now.
Any tension?  Let it go.
Where’s your energy?  Within you?  Or are you throwing it out to anyone that’ll take it?  Pull it back in.
Feel the flow.  Exhale.  Wiggle your toes.
From this place, what’s next?  What do you most want in this moment?

Let your body be your guide.

Do it wrong, so you can eventually get it right.

I tell my running clients this all of the time.
Do it wrong, so eventually you’ll get it right.

Our first session is all about gathering information.
Noticing. Simply notice how it feels in your body.
Notice, when you’re doing it “wrong”.

You see as runners, and humans in general, we tend to ignore our bodies and push through pain.
“Knee pain?  Ahhh, it’s not that bad.  I’ll rest at the next bench.”

I’ve often heard that pain is weakness leaving the body. Bullshit.
Pain is an indicator. You’re doing it wrong.
**now we’re talking about physical pain, not mental. Mental “pain” is your brain telling you to stop.
Ignore that voice, and learn the difference between the two.

The more you notice that, the closer you are to getting it “right”.
Now “wrong” and “right” are two very loose terms, and different for each person.
My definition of wrong is something that doesn’t feel good in the body.
Right is easy. It feels good. It’s more or less effortless.

Knees hurting while you’re running? That’s a sign. You’re doing it wrong.
Stabbing pain in your feet?  WRONG.
Tension in your shoulders.  WRONG.
Toes gripped and tired.  WRONG.
Tense legs?  WRONG.

None of these signs mean stop. They are simply indicators.
You’re doing it wrong, and it’s AWESOME that you noticed.
Now, make an adjustment. Make the pain go away.
Shorten your stride.  Adjust your footfall. Lengthen your spine.  Relax.
Do something.

Find the place where it feels good. Where it feels easy. Where it feels right.

This can apply to anything.
If you notice pain when you do something – anything – it simply means you’re doing something wrong. EXCELLENT! Again, awesome that you noticed.
When you notice, you can adjust.
Find the place where it feels right for you.

Be mindful of the words you use.

When talking about movement, or anything for that matter, be careful with the words you choose.
“I have to go to the gym”
“I should eat salad”
“I need to park farther away or take the stairs”

In each of these sentences the energy is heavy. The power outside the body.
It’s as if there’s a tiny monster barking instructions on what “should be done/has to happen/needs to be”.

bllllleeechhh.

Own your power. Choose your actions.

Instead of “have to” ~ I choose to go to the gym.
Instead of “should” ~ I want to eat salad. It’s my choice.
Instead of “need to” ~ It’s important to take the stairs. That way I get in a little bonus movement.

Changing the words doesnt’ change the action.
It may not make going to the gym or eating a salad any more fun.
But it gives you the power of choice, and with that, you can do anything.
Sit on the couch, eating bon bons if you like.  But make the conscious choice to do so.

Own your power.

Move morenot less.

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

What message are you sending?

I saw this post on facebook the other day from Dr. Christine Northrup.
It blends with the 31 days, and what I believe deep in my bones.
I have clients and friends talk about how they’re getting older.
And I warn them….your body is listening….

message

What message are you sending your body?
Make sure it’s a good one.

Move more, not less.

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

Be present when you eat.

My question for you: How do you eat?
Are you a speed eater? Rushed for time. Gobbling down breakfast as your rush out the door?
Trying to get food in so you can go on to the next thing, take care of the kids, field emails, answer phone calls, etc.
Do you devour dinner before anyone else is even half-way done?

Speed eating can cause health problems, including upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion, weight gain and more.
**(this doesn’t provide motivation to move more….and will likely cause you to move less.) 
A big reason that people eat too much is because they eat large amounts of food, quickly ~ before they even realize they’re full.

Instead of rushing, savor each bite.  Notice every taste if you can.  The texture, the subtle flavors.
Pause between bites.
Give each taste some space.

Eating slower increases your metabolism, gives you better digestion and adds pleasure to every meal.

As you eat your next meal, notice.
Notice how you eat.  Fast, or slow?
This is key in your relationship with food ~ being aware of not only what you eat, but why and how.
And food is crucial in your relationship with movement.

Be present when you eat.
Enjoy every bite, so that you can….

Move more, not less.

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

Food as fuel.

The primary purpose of food is fuel.
However, it has become soooooo much more than that.
A piece of chocolate can be a reward, a sin or a comfort ~ or all three at different times.

What is your relationship to food?
When do you eat, and why?
What do you eat, and why?

Explore your relationship to food as fuel.
Is what you eat helping you to move more, or less?

Move more, not less.

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