Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thirty Day Challenge: Good Things Are Happening!

I'm keeping up with my five minute habits, as part of my Thirty Day Challenge. You should join me--I'm four days in and already, good things are happening.

For one thing, I gave up caffeine again.  I'd been tapering off and then went cold turkey on Saturday. Instead of the ten day SufferFest I had the last time, I really only felt "off" for two days, and then by Monday, I felt FANTASTIC.  Which reminded me why I want to live in alignment with myself in the first place --because it feels really true and right and good. Because I am patient and loving and kind.  There's this...expansiveness of goodness that happens when I'm not feeling rotten as a result of doing things that don't serve me.

I think it's interesting that the things I struggle with the most (especially meditation) are the ones I want the most.

Anyway, I have a big post in the works--actually, I have, like, SEVENTEEN posts in the works --but wanted to pop in for a quick update.  I hope you are feeling fantastic, too, and these little five minute challenges are helping you find your own alignment.

Namaste,
Barb

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thirty Day Challenge: Day One

I'm on a challenge to get back to living my truth, five minutes at a time, for 30 days.  Join me!

My cleanse didn't quite work out as I had planned.  Because I hated it.  Well, okay, I hated the first juice of the day.  I don't really like savory juices --and this was all greens and some lemon.  I added the juice of two pears to get it down.  But then I had to take Jane to get a hair cut in the afternoon and afterward she was starving, so we went out to eat.  I decided that spending time with Jane was more important than finishing a juice cleanse. It's getting very hard to get any time with her these days. Will be doing the juice attempt again tomorrow, but will probably concoct my own juices!

As for the five minute Challenge:
  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to do my own yoga practice every day.  I did a 45 minute Power Yoga practice.  I was feeling sort of weak (maybe because it was my first day completely off of caffeine) so I just did it until I was ready to stop.
  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to find at least five minutes per day to sit in stillness, reconnecting with my breath and working on my meditation. Did this after yoga.  It was amazingly hard to sit still, even for five minutes.
  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to play my guitar for at least five minutes every day. I made it a little longer than five minutes, but not much.  Still, it's more than I did yesterday!
  • I'm going to write for at least five minutes every day for the next 30 days. Am doing this now! It is surprisingly hard to write right now. I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil, but I guess it's like  any skill.  You have to use it or you lose it. Or maybe something else is going on here, I don't know. Will think about this a bit more.
  • I'm going to spend at least five minutes in spiritual study, every day for 30 days. I've been doing this on and off all day. That's been the best thing about today, actually.
So, today was also my first day off of caffeine again.  I tapered off of it until I was down to just 4oz. of coffee and then today was Quitsville.  Tapering was a much better solution that just going cold-turkey like I did last time.  I had a little headache but not THE HEADACHE OF DEATH. And instead of spending three days hating everyone on this planet, I only needed to do about three HOURS in that stage.  Then I lost the will to live briefly, and now I feel pretty normal.  Not like I need to scratch my skin from the inside, like last time.

So, all in all, progress was made!  It's never pretty, you know, to start wrenching yourself out of the ruts and back into alignment.  I was thinking a lot today about how it's a lot like planting a garden. It's a lot of freaking hard work to till up the soil and augment it with good growing material and then sprig tiny seeds into it.  But at some point, the seeds grow and they fulfill your vision of what you knew they could be.  More about that tomorrow.

Tell me how your first day went.  Or if this was just a planning day, tell me how that went.  or if you're just cheering the rest of us on this time around, do that.

love,
Barb

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thirty Day Challenge, Five Minutes At A Time

I've been really struggling.

REALLY struggling.  Like, yelling-at-people-in-traffic struggling. Disconnected-with-myself struggling. NOT-WANTING-TO-PRACTICE-YOGA struggling. I don't feel well --I've been eating things that don't agree with me (vegan things, but too much chocolate is too much chocolate, even if it's vegan.) I've been finding myself irritated by people--sort of in general.

That's not me when I am living my truth.

I think I allowed the world to set my agenda there for a while. There were a lot of stressful things that happened all together and I let it derail me. I lost my Yoga practice--the big Y yoga practice --in trying to serve as many people as I could, helping them find their own yoga practices.  I lost my breathing, I lost my mindfulness, I lost my meditative nature. I gained some weight and was amazed at how my old thought patterns and self-destructive voice just came roaring back. I lost myself.

I think that's what happens when I'm not living in true alignment with my values.
 
Well, okay, I don't want to overstate. Let's just say I backslid. I lost some ground. Nothing is gone forever, and the beauty of Yoga is that it meets us where we are, exactly at that moment.

Anyway, I was wallowing around in a bit of despair for while and then, I started, very slowly, gearing up to take myself back.

I got out my Life of a Yogi teacher training manual and reread it.

I'm almost off caffeine again.

I'm mostly off of refined sugar.

And today?  Well, today, I was ready to take action.

I talked to a Life Coach, Christy Diane Farr,  and am going to begin sessions with her. She's wonderful.  I've never done one-on-one coaching with her, but her energy is amazing and very healing for me.  She's very direct, she understands exactly who I am, and she calls me on anything that's out of kilter with that. You'd like her.

I bought the ingredients for a one-day juice cleanse. (It's new to me, so if I like it, I'll extend for a three day cleanse.)

And here's what I'm resolving:

  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to do my own yoga practice every day.  In addition to my teaching, I'm going to do at least five minutes of my own practice every day. I hope this will end up being a full Power Yoga practice every day, but my resolution is just to go to my mat and rediscover my love for my own practice.
  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to find at least five minutes per day to sit in stillness, reconnecting with my breath and working on my meditation.
  • For the next 30 days, I'm going to play my guitar for at least five minutes every day.
  • I'm going to write for at least five minutes every day for the next 30 days.
  • I'm going to spend at least five minutes in spiritual study, every day for 30 days.


So, if I do the bare minimum, that's only 25 minutes out of every day. Dudes, 25 minutes! I spend more time than that making lunches for my kids!

I'm inviting you to join me.

Here's what you do: You don't have to do MY list--you probably have a list of your own of things you know need your attention --things that fulfill you and bring you into alignment with your values. Things that center you. Maybe it's knitting or quilting or reading or cooking... find what you love to do that you're neglecting. And then throw in one or two things that you do that further your goals, but that you don't exactly LOVE.  Like, I really want to play the guitar.  Right now, I'm just very terrible at it.  But I am enough of a musician that I KNOW I'm terrible and it kind of hurts me to hear myself practice. I'm bringing my self-discipline to bear here, knowing that if I persevere, I'll be further down the road after 30 days.  And then throw something in that feeds your hungry soul --something spiritual. It doesn't have to be religious--it can be wherever you find something bigger than yourself: walks in nature, putting your hands in dirt, walking by the ocean.

I'm going to chronicle my progress--good and bad-- right here on this blog. You can, too.

Want in? It's only 30 days; what have you got to lose?