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!

Check-in Monday: Connection to the Soul—Dec. 5, 2016

Today I am going to keep it pretty simple. Last week's update I wasn't feeling so hot: mind, body and spirit. It was tough to acknowledge, but with the help of my coach, my yoga practice, husband, friends and family I can say that I am moving forward and feel a bit better. My joints are less in pain, my stomach issues aren't as frequent and the best news, I feel more connected to my soul and me than I have in a few weeks. 

This small taste of feeling better and more grounded in me is keeping me going and determined to heal more from the eating issues and the constant judging of whatever I didn't do good enough: parenting, teaching a class, listening to a friend and more. I actually feel oh so grateful for the blip of not feeling so hot because I know it will drive me forward and help me to work through something that has been so deeply rooted in me in many ways. 

So without any more words (usually there are a lot), here is this week’s focus:

1. Weaning from caffeine. I already have a caffeine headache and I still had three shots of espresso on Sunday morning. Yikes. I definitely used caffeine as my way to get through days of less than 6 hours of sleep and sometimes a few in a row. By noon I hit a wall and then I want the second round of caffeine. I am going to switch to decaf or at the maximum, one shot of espresso on the days I really want one. However, Ideally my caffeine is coming from a good grean tea. I will be drinking decaf though because last year trying to give it all up was a disaster and right now I am not ready for that. Obviously I will allow myself to wean as slow as I need. 

2. Staying away from alcohol. I know how much I love a good whiskey, tequila or a glass of wine, but the impact to me recently shows up in not so pretty ways. I often feel more emotional, sad or angry days following drinking. Additionally, even if I have one glass of wine it feels like the next day I have gained 3 pounds. This is not an exaggeration and doesn't make sense. So as much as I crave it, I am taking a break for the month of December. 

3. Slowing down and being present, with the intention to heal my adrenals and hormones. I know they are still off and my recent test results are there to confirm it. As someone that lives in this busy world with kids I am often thinking about what next or what hasn’t gotten done or what happened and spend less time in the present. This morning I gave it a try, I decided to pause the morning routine and snuggle each kid on the couch while looking at the tree. I asked them three questions about the Christmas tree. It felt nice; I noticed things like how they smelled and the smile and twinkle in their eye. Bonus: I think they behaved better too! 

4. Connection. When I connect with others and laugh, listen, am heard, and more, I feel connected to their souls and I feel happy inside. I think I recently read an article that when people have good friendships and family they are happier because of the human connection; it does something to your brain for the better. I will take that!! 

5. Acceptance. Finally, and most important is my intention to accept and ultimately be more loving all around. Obviously this one starts within first, in order to give love to others. I say a lot to myself, “I do not judge _____, I accept _____.” And then comes the love and less frustration or anger or whatever it is that the judgment is focused on. It is in this place where I do not go to shame but rather refocus my energy on the now and moving forward. I will keep trying this technique because so far, it is working!! This technique was all from my amazing coach, Laura Burkey. I am pretty lucky to have her support I have to say. :) 

I think that is it for me this week. I am excited to share more ideas on how to stay balanced as the holiday season progresses, fun recipes and more!

How are you doing this week? What is your intention for yet another new week? How can you still take care of you in the midst of crazy this December?

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin 

The secret to health both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
— Buddha