Happy New Year - This moment!

Happy New Year! It has been quiet over here because we got slammed with the sickness (stomach bug) and then the holidays happened. Am I right? In fact, I got another cold that took me by surprise right before the new year which left me barely with a voice on the start of 2017. I realized quickly that I talk a lot and it was humbling to start the year with more listening and an awareness of the amount that I rely on my voice. I also was oh so very grateful for the flu bug to get not just my sweet little boy, but also me. It shut everything down out of my life and gave me this sense of gratitude for each moment of life that sometimes is easy to forget. In fact, I have let the responsibilities of the week and the transition back to the grind of running to dance and school get the best of me and of course get in my head. But as I type and remember those days of pure gratitude for each moment I am quickly reminded of what I want out of my 2017. 

black-84715_1920.jpg

There is SO MUCH talk about resolutions and how we are going to start 2017 off right and how we can do better and be stronger and, and and. For me I thought I was ready for all of the hype but then 2017 happened and I felt like I missed something big. I felt like I should have wrote more in my 2017 planner for my 2017 intentions and I felt like I should be taking care of myself better with more sleep and less caffeine and no more drinks. As I mentioned I could barely talk on Sunday and Monday, not to mention Monday my husband's last day of vacation he was spent with him in the bathroom getting whatever we had a week before. Needless to say I was in survival mode and trying to heal whatever bug had taken over my throat and chest. I am thankful to say the the Young Living essential oils helped me out a lot, even when I still choose to have a little chocolate and adult drink. 

Either way, my point is this, all of the hype of starting out right can be AMAZING if you have a plan and you kick ass at it. What about if life had other plans for you and you just rolled into 2017 like it was another day? Perhaps I am not alone in this, but I just went on my merry way living and loving. And it felt good the first couple days, but now that we are in week one of January and my monkey mind has taken over I have had a few moments where I clench my jaw and stomach and think, crap I missed this opportunity. But wait, did I? Is there anything magical about a new year? Don't we truly get a new refresh each time we take a breath? Are you tracking with me? For me I love a new moon or a the start to a new month, but that doesn't mean that I am not okay if I do'nt do anything to honor this new beginning. Couldn't it be okay to just honor that each day is a gift and like the mom of my husband taught him, "your day is only as good as you make it!" 

So my friends I share this to say that regardless of how your 2017 has started, I say it doesn't matter. Good job if you are using it as leverage to change something you have always wanted to change or start doing something that makes you feel better. That is awesome and I support you. And if you didn't, may I ask you a favor? Can you join me in honoring that you are amazing right now, whether you had an afternoon coffee, forgot to wash you face, starting 10 things today but finished nothing. Please remember your choice is right now to honor the amazing YOU that exists inside of you each and every moment. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart because i know my own battles try to do x, y, and z and then, and only then can I truly love myself or be satisfied or happy. And that my friends is the farthest thing from the truth. That has hurt me in too many ways and as I type it is clear that my focus for 2017 is to LOVE LOVE LOVE. 

I will LOVE me and LOVE you and LOVE the good times and the times I am barfing in my toilet. Why? Because I am alive. In fact, in a call with my coach just last week we talked about everything being love. Yesterday, when my daughter was freaking out because her shoe was on the porch and it was frozen because it was below zero, I went and locked myself in our tiny laundry room. I kicked the garbage can and tried to breathe. I am sure it was just a bit of wheezing and a lot of face and jaw clenching. I said aloud to myself, "how and the hell is her behavior love? This is crap. It is not possible." I was stumped. So I stood their longer. I grunted a little and for sure held my breath. Until I took a breath and then another and another. I kept thing love. And eventually after about 3 or 4 minutes my shoulders soften enough for my brain to function. I remembered the love I have for her and realized that my job is to use each moment as teachable. 

So I left the laundry room and of course had a lot of words, but they were calmer. It was simply around natural consequences and that because of the drama around the cold shoe we would be late. Also, that I need her help getting stuff ready the night before so it isn't so hard getting ready in the morning. And finally, that despite that intense and not so fun few minutes, "your day is only as good as you make it!" We make better choices when we are calm and avoid going to that place where are at a zero and find our way to ten. We don't accidentally fall down the stairs or run into a wall or kick a garbage can or laundry basket. Yes? We breathe, we choose, and damn it, even if it isn't what you wanted to do or say, you move forward and you choose to be love. You choose not to beat yourself up, but show up and do what is right. It is not worth ruining the rest of a day, a week a month, or even a year. 

I will tell you as much as those minutes yesterday sucked for me as a mom, I am proud to say I came out of it with more grace than a typical morning. And as I think back to it on this extremely cold afternoon I think to myself, that was supposed to happen. That moment was my reminder to me to give myself permission to let 2017 be as it will be. Yes, I will set goals and resolutions (sankalpa in sanskrit), and do everything I can to be my best self. But the whole point in starting this website and sharing my heart is because no rules means no rules. It means each moment and day will be different and we must honor just that. So I might have another small glass of wine tonight or maybe I won't, that moment will tell me thaht. But what I do know is that my intuition and inner guide will know what to do and when I wrap everything up in love, the rest will follow.

Where are you at on this first week of 2017? Have you jumped all in? Are you struggling? Are you grounded? Are you tired? Honestly, wherever you are at, it is perfect. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. I honor you and all of your greatness. Be true to you and I ask you just one more time, be kind to you and love you up. You are WORTH IT! 

In so much love and gratitude,

Kristin

Slow Down Monday Check-in: Sleep and Slowing Down—Dec. 12, 2016

Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. Trust the process.
— Alexandra Stoddard

Yesterday's raw post with the full-moon picture said it all for me, not to mention the quote above: Slow Down. I have pasted my words below for those of you that didn't catch the post. It was a pretty incredible moment that took me by surprise because I found so much peace during such a simple task of driving, when typically my mind would be thinking about my appointment, my class the next morning and more! But for whatever reason time slowed down and it was such a gift. I must continue this and truly trust the process of life and each moment.

Here is yesterday's post on Slowing Down

Have you ever just slowed down? And I mean slow down for real? I am talking about picking an every-day task you do and do it slower. This evening I did just that. I drove slower. I left early because of potentially slower roads because of snow, dark and cold. I drove through the city streets for almost 30 minutes.

Something miraculous happened. I SAW. I saw the bright xmas lights as I passed by, I saw the foggy full moon, I felt my breath begin to deepen and slow, and my thoughts slowly but surely began to follow. As I mention in my yoga teachings and as I experience in my own yoga learning, the breath and the mind are so connected.

But slowing down was what allowed me to feel and to SEE so clear for these few moments in this frigid night in Minneapolis. I was jamming out to a yoga playlist and heard the line "you don't have to be on your own." From the song "A Message" by Coldplay (X&Y). As typical I pulled it into my own context. Damn it I don't have to do it alone and for that I am SO damn lucky; grateful!

The message to me tonight is clear: slow down. Slow down my desire to heal faster, slow down my desire to get more done, slow down my desire to move my professional aspirations forward now, slow down my reactions to my kids, slow down my breath. Slow it all down. Why? To see, to truly see the beauty of life in front of me each moment (and maybe to stop yelling or frowning or holding my breath).

While experiencing this intense seeing I wished I could be in the presence of my kids. I can only imagine their eyes wide open and despite their behavior, I would imagine I could see the life, the desire, the twinkle and drive in their eyes to also see. Somehow as an adult it is easy to forget this important gift.

So tonight I share this in hopes for you to slow down something. Try it out, soften your shoulders (if you can...brrr), soften your gaze, perhaps your grip on your steering wheel or the clock that is ticking while attempting to get somewhere. See what happens! :) I know for me I found peace and a little bit of that part of me that tries so hard to soften, just a bit.


Other updates - Sleep, coffee, and awareness of my positivity of the season!

In other news I am happy to report I am sleeping more. The last five of six nights (starting from last Wednesday) I have been in bed for 8-9 hours and had some nights where I actually slept pretty well. Also, I am down to only one cup of coffee or to be exact two shots of Nespresso with my hot water. I will say, there is nothing better than a homemade Americano without having to leave your house. I love it a lot. However, I am realizing how darn tired I have been with my strong dependency of needing caffeine and a little more and a little more. Only having a little caffeine could be one of the reasons I am forced to slow down because I am tired.

This week I will continue to try to sleep and give myself grace that life might be a little messy and my lists long and unorganized, because if I don't sleep I will get sick and then the little things won't be able to be enjoyed. Am I right? And my hope is that slowing down will help me to not yell anymore and to breathe a bit deeper, and, and and. UPDATE: I wrote this on Tuesday morning and then sickness hit our house. Thus, sleep went out the window, but the slowing down theme remained! :) It is impossible to take care of my sick and sweet little man without slowing down. It is interesting to me that I was ready to slow down before the sickness hit so I have been embracing it and finding gratitude in our overall health. That is definitely the silver lining in spite of seeing him be so sick and my hands so raw from washing them and wiping things down!

And finally, I am excited to say that last year I worked SO hard at forcing the gratitude statements about this time of year. For example, I would say, "I am so very grateful for this time of year because I get to spend more time with my kids. Thank you thank you thank you!" Or, " I am so very grateful for this time of year because I get to snuggle in with those that I love and we don't get overheated. Thank you thank you thank you!" And while deep in my core I still was a bit of a hater during the season, I found glimpses of joy. I am happy to report that this year I think I am truly seeing the beauty of the season. Instead of try so darn hard to be on top of it or focus so much about how flipping cold I am or how I am tried of having the constant cold that won't go away, I am finding true joy in the mess and the magic of the season. While I honestly miss my flip-flops I am embracing and actually enjoying a lot more moments this go round. I guess neuroplasticity is a real thing! My brain is changing.

That is all for this week: sleep, slowing down, and awareness of real enjoyment of a season two years ago I was wishing to be over before it even started. Update: and doing the nurse-mom thing that requires patience, less sleep and faith that despite my knowledge of how it will all shake out or if the others will be hit with the barfs and the fever to follow, I must have faith. All things to celebrate. Maybe I will be singing a different tune next week but today I feel pretty positive and look forward to back to eight hours in bed. What are you up to this week and what can you give yourself a high five for doing or being? I am sure you have something.

Have an amazing week and weekend (since I am posting Monday on Thursday). Why not? Grace is grace. Am I right?

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin

My attempt to avoid the sickness Sunday night - Juicing is fun and messy!

My attempt to avoid the sickness Sunday night - Juicing is fun and messy!

Happy Thanksgiving 2016—Honor all in your heart today

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! :) Today I choose gratitude. Isn't that the theme of the day? Oh I am sure there are so many emotions running through us all today? Why? Because we each have our story. We are each unique amazing beings that have a story that makes us who we are. Because of our story and life experiences, today might be filled with a variety of emotions. There are those that have experienced deep loss and are longing for the loved ones that are no longer with us and there are those that are lonely and just want someone to love and share this holiday with. I am sure there are others that do not feel the freedom that we celebrate in our country and are simply in a place of confusion, sadness and more in the recent happenings of our political and social world. There are some that got stuck in weather, unable to make it home and others that physically or mentally are suffering and hurting in so many ways. Whatever your challenges are this holiday season let me start by saying, I honor you. I honor each and every one of you that might have a part in your heart and body that is challenged or hurting. 

Often times we are so focused on gratitude we forget to honor the part of us that is hurting or challenged. So let's do that for a moment. Take a moment and honor all of you, give thanks to those times of suffering because they are here to make us stronger and to shape us. It actually makes me think of something Rod Stryker shared in our last training together. In discussing one of the books we were studying he explained "self effort is God." That is what the book were were studying and yoga tradition was talking about. This hit home with me and was something that stuck. When we suffer because of things we are dealing with internally or externally, the human condition doesn't like that feeling and thus we strive to feel better. Usually this translates to our own self effort of fighting back from a pain or loss so deep and to rise above.

This battle to keep going on the hard days is absolutely self effort. How cool to think about this self effort as God? And for some you may not use the word God, replace it with something that works for you: universe, spirit, divinity, etc. The point is this, we all have our battles and challenges and they are here to teach us in a way that sometimes we don't even know as we are going through them. But I can guarantee that you are stronger than you think. In fact, a lot of my fears in life are because I don't think I will ever get through x, y, or z. And then I look around me and see the battles that people are facing and fighting and those who are battling don't give up, they keep going and show up in life. I have chills thinking about it. Somehow we all come together and keep on going and that is flippin amazing!

So why in the world am I talking about suffering on this day of thanks? I think because I know that while it is SO important to focus on gratitude and that truly is the way to happiness in our journeys of life I also know that I have suffered and felt physical, emotional and mental pain (on Thanksgiving) in addition to my experience of an abundance of joy, love and happiness. And to ignore that both happen to me seems wrong. In fact, I was inspired to write this on this Thanksgiving morning because I am physically hurting today. I woke up to my hands being numb and the pain in my joints great. My skin and stomach issues are inflamed and I don't feel awesome. Something is off for me physically and I clearly have more healing to do. Additionally we slept in a hotel last night and I don't think I slept the best. However, as I woke up to this morning I realized that I must honor the challenges and pain that I have experienced and am experiencing today, but I also have the power to create the day that I want and so need.

For me Thanksgiving has been both an awesome day but also a day that has challenged me in subtle ways that have, in the past, taken away from the joy and gratitude of life, and in particular this day of giving and experiencing thanks. For me my suffering is two-fold: my body can hurt and challenge my physically (as mentioned above) and my emotional and mental body as well. As I have discussed before, my internal suffering and struggles have a lot to do with food and body-image issues. These are deeply rooted in things that I can get into more in another time, but today I cannot help but think of how some Thanksgivings were pretty challenging for me. Some Thanksgivings I felt like I did it all right and I survived and others I felt like I couldn't wait for the day to be over because the focus of food was just too much. And I know that on those past Thanksgiving days the focus of my worries (food, exercise and health) diluted my ability to enjoy what I had on that day. And that goes for any other day of my life. When I am so focused on this internal battle with food, body, or anything that doesn't seem to be going my way, I miss the joy of life that is sitting right in front of me. And that, my friends is why I bring this up. 

So today I woke up and after sharing my physical pain that my body is experiencing today with my husband I looked at him and said, "I know that I am hurting, but I am determined to be and feel gratitude today because I am so lucky and so grateful to be sharing this day with you and our family!" The point in saying that was me honoring that perhaps my physical and mental body may still have some healing to do, but more importantly that I have the power to choose the kind of Thanksgiving I have and the day after that and the day after that. 

So today, how will I shape the day that I want? With intention and being very clear with what I want: Today I fill my mind, body and spirit up with gratitude so that I can feel every ounce of how lucky I am to live and love so hard that I feel my true essence, I see vitality, innocence and pure joy in my kids. Today I am an example to them of living my gratitude. I know I can make this happen even more if I make my list of what I am grateful for and why. So here is my list on this Thanksgiving day:

 

Here is my Thanksgiving 2016 gratitude....

  • I am so very grateful for my healthy family because they give me back so much love and joy in my heart. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for essential oils because they have helped me a lot this week as I have not felt the best. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for the best parents a girl could ask for because they taught me to be who I am, to believe in myself and life and to love big. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my husband and best friend because he is my rock and teaches me so much in life. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my yoga practice because it reminds me of my true essence and teaches me to be the very best me that I can be. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for coffee because, well, I have been depending on it a bit these last few months and it tastes so good, especially my fancy Nespresso machine that is at home and I maybe missing a bit today. :) Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my friends because they remind me to play and love and they will always be there for me. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my siblings because they are amazing humans and I have so much fun with I am with them. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for other humans and their unique stories, including the joy and the suffering, because watching others live and love inspires me to do the same. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my health and all the resources to support me because I wouldn't be on this healing journey without their knowledge, and support. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for the creativity and simply joys that my kids show me each day because I am reminded that it is the little things and the present moment that matter most. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for my body and its ability to move and play and touch because it is pretty incredible all that it can do. I am especially grateful for my workout this morning and the reminder of the strength I carry each day. Thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for the veggies (see pic above) I made yesterday because I know that eating veggies too will make everything feel better and bonus, if it is yummy I might have a new recipe to share! Thank you Thank you thank you!
  • I am so very thankful that we had a safe drive yesterday, but more importantly we survived a very crabby and needy three-year old. Thank you thank you thank you! (note: see pic below of my sweetheart and I surviving each moment). :) 
  • I am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to write and share because it simple feels so good for my soul and for that I am so very grateful. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!
  • I am so very grateful for another day because each day is a gift and I am determined to create joy, love and truly live my gratitude because I am so very blessed and lucky. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
We are surviving the three-year old freak outs in the back seat: I am grateful I could squeeze between two carseats. :) 

We are surviving the three-year old freak outs in the back seat: I am grateful I could squeeze between two carseats. :) 

Now it is your turn. What is your intention for the day? What do you need to honor that might be hurting and what can you bring into your day that creates joy and happiness? Can you take a moment and list what you are grateful for and why? Feel the feelings in all of you as you feel this gratitude and notice how it lifts you up. Last weekend I did this little exercise when my son stepped on my homemade vegan pumpkin pie and it actually made me enjoy my day even more.

I wish you nothing but an amazing day filled with love, joy and gratitude and present moment, whatever that means to you on this 2016 Thanksgiving day. 

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin