Birthday Reflections

My birthday was last week and it was filled with love, celebration, mommy hood, teaching, staying up past my bedtime and birthday wishes/songs. I also now share my birthday with the death of our beloved Prince who left this world too early. After an amazing day and a day of sadness for the loss of this inspiring legend and a weekend plus of rain, I sit in the quiet of the afternoon. I reflect. I pause. I breathe.

This last year was a year of change, a year of blessings, and a year of a lot of healing.

As I reflect, I cannot help but think back to the end of March 2015 when I completed the Four Desires training with Rod Stryker. This was a critical part of my journey and the start of some clarity and traction for me. It was a weekend of so much honesty and feelings: pure authenticity. It was a pivotal point in my life where I dug deep to see what might be holding me back from my happiness and what might be causing some of my internal suffering. As we all know, our internal struggles and happiness impact those around us the most. You know the saying, “If mama a’int happy, nobody happy!” I think I get that one now. Let’s just say that I left that training with a lot of tears and a new knowledge of my inner compass, my dharma (purpose).  

The Four Desires book (by Rod Stryker) is one that guides you to help you find and live your dharma. One of the amazing trainers with Rod reminded our small group that living your dharma is there to help you know how to act when your house is on fire or you-know-what is hitting the fan in your life. What is your soul’s purpose and how will you act when things are going well AND not going well? My hard work served me well and is still at the heart of my life right now. Are there things that are holding me back? Of course! I am human and this is a PROCESS. But, when I start to freak out on the kids, myself or whatever, I pause and ask myself something like, “Is this congruent with your dharma?” Most often it isn’t and I am forced to take a couple breaths and act a little different.

In addition to knowing and putting words to my dharma, this training also helped me to create a sankalpa (resolution). Part of my sankalpa was to ‘start my blog!’ and to ‘meditate daily.” Both of these I have accomplished. I have a place to write and a consistent meditation practice, that when missed, is deeply felt (more on that later). I want to write A LOT more than I have been writing, but this whole blogging thing is new to me. For example, about two weeks ago I spent time drafting a post while I was dealing with sick kiddos and a hubby in California. Therefore, I never had a moment to edit the darn thing and now it isn’t relevant. I could go back and change certain parts of it, but the fun of a blog, in my mind, is to share the relevant. It is about creativity and the now. Thus, what I wrote then isn’t relevant today. And so I give myself a little grace as I figure my own intention and rhythm of this blog. I know in my heart I feel complete when I write, share, and reflect. And so I will carry on.

I thought it might be fun, since I love lists and all, to bullet out some of my highlights from 2015/2016.

2015/2016 Highlights

  • I trusted in the world and sent my sweet daughter to kindergarten. It was harder than I thought to watch her walk into the school without me by her side. I will never forget it. To see her walk in confidently now and her growth in less than a year inspires me. She is such an amazing light!
  • I went on my first airplane ride (the day after kindergarten started) without the kids and with the hubby since the birth of my first child six plus years ago. It was amazing to be away and have a little space, and connection. It was 100% grown-up time.
  • I ran two 10-mile races in the fall. They were both equally challenging in the different ways, each leaving me feel proud to show up for me and try something difficult.
  • I completed a Barre Training and began teaching barre class at the amazing Blooma studio. It was the next thing I wanted to explore in the fitness world. I am so grateful that I took a leap of faith in me and for ALL the support that surrounds me as I grow through this challenge. I am working on becoming more efficient and confident in each and every class. You have to start somewhere right?
  • For the first time as a married adult, I did my VERY BEST to embrace the holidays and be grateful for the mess and craziness of it. I saw more holiday sparkle in the eyes of my kids than every before. I think I might be able to say that I no longer “hate” the holidays. I know, I was definitely a ba-humbug. This was likely due to the work I have done on gratitude. I will definitely be sharing this with you too!
  • I passed the 1-year mark of consistently teaching yoga classes! I have been teaching for two plus years, but I didn’t start teaching on a regular basis until January of 2015. I am finding my voice as a teacher and am so thankful for all of my teachers to inspire me to keep going on this teaching journey. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am so grateful for this opportunity!
  • I started this blog! I had a few bumps in the road, but it happened with my determination and the right resources and amazing amazing support. I look forward to sharing even more this next year!
  • I have worked HARD on my own healing physically, emotionally, and mentally! From eliminating foods and doing the LEAP MRT Food Sensitivity test and protocol, to challenging my thoughts, actions and fears in ways I have never done. Thank God for my support system…you know who you are. And thank you for those professionals that have guided me on my path! I am learning to LOVE and ACCEPT ALL of me NOW!
  • I rode a bike on a street with cars! Oh my! Yes, we are bike shopping (finally) and I have only desired to bike on a path, but I went for it on Saturday during my date and it was a blast! This likely seems odd to most, but for me this is a big win!
  • I keep showing up for me, and my family to make the most of each and every day the best that I can!

With that I say, thank you for reading. And more importantly, thank you for taking the time to reflect on your moments, days, weeks and years. If you are like most of us you are your harshest critic, and SO FOCUSED on what next, that you forget to tell yourself, “awesome job!” I challenge you to do just that. How can you LOVE yourself up today and feel PROUD of the YOU that you are…TODAY?!!!

To close I want to share with you something I did on Monday night, just a couple days into this new and fresh year of my mid-thirties. I went in the “10 Items or Less” lane with at least 25 items. GASP!!! Okay…in all fairness it was almost 10 p.m., it all fit in my basket and the line was empty…at least when I started. Let’s just say I might not do that again. :) However, the cashier said to me, “rules are meant to be broken.” I smiled back at him with a confident smirk as I thought about the last year and how making your own rules...might just be best.  

In love, light and SO MUCH gratitude,

Kristin 

Hello – Breaking the Rules in 2016!

Happy New Year and Happy February! You made it through the holidays, the New Year's Celebration and what can sometimes feel like a long month. I hope you are enjoying the new year with more routine than the holidays provide and maybe even a confidence of knowing that you are amazing right now! As I think of the first month of 2016 instead of think about my resolution (that I didn't set) I am trying to focus on the real gem: gratitude for my blessings and life right NOW!

Today is my first official Blog Post! You could say it is a New Year's gift to me. I am almost four years into writing blog posts; however, I have been saving them in my folder labeled "Blog." The more that I write, the more I began to realize how much sharing my story makes me feel like I am living congruently with my purpose. It feels right. My good days and good moments are often around the days I feel like moving my dream of blogging and having a website is closer to a reality. I feel like I stand a bit taller with a little extra bounce in my step when I write and share my perspective and journey. I feel giddy. Even as I type this, as I prepare to be live sooner than later, I feel like a child that just met a new friend or started a new sport or opened a new gift.

This writing thing is really happening. What else is happening? My best attempt to let go of perfectionism. As I realize I am not perfect and may never have it all together, I am finding a little bit more joy in my days and moments and I will take that. For example, this year I planned to have all of my Christmas to-dos done by Dec. 1 and I was doing things up to the last minute. However, I decided that if I cannot enjoy the process of life and I wait around to do it perfectly or be it perfectly, then I will do a lot of waiting. And that does not sound like living or any fun at all. The result was one of the best holidays I have had in years. I think the gratitude and enjoying the moments, despite not having it all together, helped tremendously.

What do I write about on my first post? I simply want to share my excitement for being here and my vision for this blog and website. First, the name of this blog is near and dear to my heart because of what I have experienced with my eating disorder and healing journey. In my own experiences through life, specifically through my battle of healing an eating disorder, gut healing and other health issues such as psoriasis, I have learned so much about myself and want to share my experiences (read more here). The current wellness world we live in right now is filled with an abundance of information on what to eat, what not to eat, when to work out, drink water, what supplements to take, etc. For someone that has gone through various diet protocols, supplements (yes, that is where our money went honey) and therapies/support, it is clear to me that there is an overwhelming amount of information and testing out there for a persons' health and vitality. This can be super helpful and healing to many. However, it can be confusing, paralyzing and difficult for many. For example, let me ask you this question: have you ever been at a restaurant where there are 150 choices for your dinner entree? What happens to your brain? My brain quickly shuts down and I typically am tempted to walk out and go home and make noodles or have ‘cereal.’ I am over stimulated by choice and have a hard time listening to what might taste good and what might be good for me on that particular day. I use this analogy to the wellness world because it can be overwhelming. Through the course of my experiences I am coming to find that the best thing I can do is to tap into my inner teacher and voice.

That is very yogi of me to say and I may have lost some of you.  Stick with me. What I am saying is that YOU are in charge. YOU know what is best for YOU. You know if eating carbs makes you energized or groggy or if water with your dinner works okay with your digestion. You know how you feel when you workout too hard or not enough. You know what a shit night of sleep does for you, your mood, appetite and focus. You know what foods might bother you, make you feel energized and satisfied. You know if you can tolerate caffeine or not. Or perhaps you are like me and have ignored the internal shaking that happens when you drink caffeine. I recently weaned myself from caffeinated espresso and am down to one shot. I did this because I was sleeping horribly and my intuition led me to know that I had to stop for a bit if I truly wanted to sleep again. And yes, getting it down to one shot of espresso is a huge win for me. Note: I have gone on and off too much caffeine since I drafted this a few different times. I have yet to have a full caffeine-free day (yup, still working on this). However, the point is this, I will keep listening and allow myself to create healthy choices that feel like they support me right now.

My desire for this blog: I want you to come to my blog to begin to ask yourself little questions that help you to LISTEN to that voice inside, your inner wisdom. I want you to break the wellness rules that don’t work for you and make your own. I want to inspire you to pause and make small and big choices that are in your BEST interest. It reminds me of the marriage retreat my husband and I went to where they told us over again that the success of our marriage was dependent on taking care of ourselves FIRST and ALWAYS. If you think about it, that is pretty sound advice no matter what you are talking about: marriage, parenting, friendship, business, health, holidays, etc. It might sound selfish, but if you do not nourish YOU, then you will find yourself suffering is one capacity or another. You might be angry, or numbing or sad or confused or simply not even present. It is hard sometimes and of course some days you get more or less, but starting to know what your minimum threshold for you time is important. Even more important, once you know what you need, the biggest step is ASKING for it!

I know this is hard for me to admit, but the more that I listen AND take action the more that I find peace in my heart and am able to truly give to those in my life without resentment. This is genuine giving, living, friendships and peace in my heart.

I plan to share more of my story in the days to come. I have had tough recent years with my internal struggles and am ready to share them along with some of my daily inspirations on how to get through the winter, be creative in the kitchen, get your rear moving, and mindfulness. :) I could type, talk and write about this stuff all day long. And If I wait until I am perfect, well, you will have nothing to read at all. So onward I go. I will live my words and keep asking myself what I need on each given day and I promise you I will keep showing up.

Please take a moment today to ask yourself if you are making choices that take care of you first? Do you have something for you planned today or tomorrow? Do you feel content or angry? Do you feel resentful or at peace? Please know that there is not a perfect formula. Rather, each day we make choices and some days we do the best that we can to squeeze in time for us because it can be hard with real life. Remember it all adds up and you are worth it! And remember if you don’t like a rule, go ahead and break it. I have my own recent stories of breaking my rules and it feels so good (more on that soon)!

Thank you for reading and being you!

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin