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!

Monday Check-in: Breathing - Nov. 7, 2016

How am I? 

I am in a rut and I am better than I've ever been! Why? Because despite having a tough week and not feeling the best, I know I have support, tools such as yoga, meditation, gratitude and more to get back up. I consider last week's challenging moments a paper cut. Why was this last week harder than some? I had some tougher moments emotionally this week but it wasn't a whole day; each time it was just a moment. What a gift. Also, based on how I feel, I am reminded that what I'm doing right now for self-care is not the right balance. I am not sleeping enough or eating the right foods or doing a consistent and solid yoga practice. And I know that needs to change. However, I also know that the hardest part is starting. I'm learning a lot right now in my yoga training (online Vinyasa Krama training with Rod Stryker). And in that training he talks about the Law of Continuity. It essentially means like attracts like and thus, we tend to keep doing what keeps us out of balance because it feels good. Sometimes doing the same thing, even if it makes us feel crappy, makes us feel better than making a change. Wow, can I resonate with that because that is exactly where I am. I know what I need to do, but there is a lot of resistance to doing it. I think we all can relate to this in some way. Think of the months where you have a consistent workout schedule. Then life happens and you get out of your rhythm and getting back to the schedule that made you feel good is so much harder.

Below I have quickly broke down a bit of what my rut seems to consist and what I know I need more of. Also, you can read about how last week's Queen Allowina did. And don't forget to think about you. Maybe reading this will get you thinking about what is going on with you because I know reflection can always help me have better weeks, days or moments. 

My rut: 

  • Not sleeping enough 
  • Drinking too much caffeine
  • Being hard in myself, and I mean really hard 
  • My mind is spinning and I am not stopping it (oh I want to write a whole post on this one)
  • Perhaps trying to do too much at once? But I feel the fire, so I will just keep it going with grace and a planner/spreadsheet. 
  • Not as patience or as kind as I know i can be, especially to kiddos 
  • More anger 
  • Food stuff crept in a bit, but knowing my triggers it is again, just a moment and I can move forward and grow!

What do I need? 

  • More sleep
  • More meditation that allows some a.m. practices on the days I am not teaching early
  • More water. I was with my daughter on Thursday and Friday and she drank a lot of water. I thought I would give it a try and I feel a ton better. More days like that!
  • More being and less thinking. That's right. More BEing! One of my amazing teachers would always remind us that we are "human beings, not human doings!" Dang, I need someone to say that to me every day!
  • Continue to give myself grace at the rate I am building my business. It takes time to create something great right?

How did allowing go? 
Last week my theme of the week was to be Queen Allowina! I wanted to embrace the mess of life and allow various feelings, the mess of the house, and simply not being perfect into my week. So how did it go? 

Queen Allowina's reflection of last week:

I was so surprised (and not surprised) that I resisted the heck out of allowing. It was the most painful attempt at trying to be laid back. In all honestly, it showed up the most in my parenting. For some reason the kids were a handful last week and into the weekend. For a good part of the week I thought their behavior and the parenting frustrations were me not being patient until I saw the kids get the best of my husband (he rarely gets frustrated with the kids). Phew, it wasn't just me. As the week progressed I found myself resisting allowing the mess and allowing the crazy morning routines and being behind on what feels like everything. For most of the week I was sure as a mom I have no clue what I am doing; but don't we all have parenting moments when we wonder what the...? 

Last week I found myself having an angry and impatient tone of voice with the kids, and even raising my voice when I they would continue to not listen! The positive: I realize it is important to not allow unkind behavior, but at the same point I realize I must only allow the lessons to come from the place of love. So Sunday, on the way to swimming lessons with both kids, we went over our four rules:

1. Listen to mom and dad the first time
2. Kindness (kind words and actions such as hitting, biting etc.)
3. No name calling (believe it or not I am the worst at this). For example I joke around that I am "mean mommy." After the intense parenting morning (for both my hubby and I) we were going over the rules in the car and my three-year old son says to me "mean mommy is name calling!" Hot damn he was so right. How did I miss that one?
4. No back talk

A big thanks to my friend for helping me create these rules because when I think I might lose it as a mom and feel so lost and unsure of what next I go back to these. And it helps me to realize that these aren't Kid's Rules, but Family Rules. I must be kind in my guiding and parenting, even if they are acting like a-holes.  

As far as allowing others to feel, well I realize this will be an ongoing opportunity because I quickly take on the feelings of others and have it negatively impact my moments. But I know I am solely in charge of my own emotions and others have the right to feel. Thus, Queen Allowina will continue. 

Finally, I allowed my Thursday post to just get posted when I finally can edit and add pictures. It was done on Wednesday and that my friends, is the kind of week I had as far as all-hands-on-dec with the kiddos. Oh well, it is just a blog post. I allow right?. :) :) 

What next?

I am going to keep it simple this week. I am going to commit to my daily practice, water, sleep and grace when it comes to the to-do’s, both work and home. The list is long and the passion is deep, but I am only one person and my best this week will be enough. I realized in being more aware last week that my anger is stemmed by never feeling like I can get enough done or be enough for people or sleep the right amount, etc. etc.

What I know I can control and do Now is breathe. I often joke around that I am the yoga teacher that doesn't breathe. Unfortunately, it isn't a joke. I don't breathe very well most of the days (again, another opportunity for more writing on this gem). This week my focus to support me is "I will breathe!" I will breathe in and out as calmly and deeply as I can. I know how I feel after a yoga practice with intentional breathing. Why don’t I do this in my everyday life? Last week taking a drop essential oil (I have been loving the Gratitude oil) and cupping my hands to smell and breathe helped calm my body and drop into the present moment. The breath is our foundation for life and greatly connected to the quality of the mind. Why not start today? 

What are your plans for this week?

As always, take a moment to think about last week. What felt good and what would you like more of? Is there something you are doing a lot of that is actually keeping you out of balance? Do you need an extra yoga class or some extra sleep? How can you stay grounded and calm in the week we are approaching with Tuesday’s election and I could imagine a busy life and mind? Schedule something in for you if you can. And lastly, are you breathing? Breathe with my please. And tell me how it's going; I would love to hear!

Life is such a gift and feel so very grateful to have the time to reflect, share and grow.

Thank you so much for reading and more importantly, thank you so much for being YOU! Have a beautiful week. 

Peace and love to y'all!

Kristin

The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.
— TKV Desikachar