Breathe into the New Year

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*GASP* Family. Shopping. Wrapping. Cooking. Rich foods. Travel. Late nights. Alcohol. Tantrums (from all ages), on and on for weeks and weeks.

It has begun. Well, the holiday season began a while ago, really, but being 5 days out from Christmas you can feel the buzz in the air. It’s palpable. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, no doubt you are effected by the energy of it. I’d be willing to bet you’ve been barely breathing these past few weeks.

So what do you do?

I always tell my yoga students: you can survive a time without food or water. But how long can you survive without the breath?

Whenever we’re in a heightened state, whether stress or excitement (because guess what? Those both express similarly in the body!) our breath is the thing that can ground us into the moment and signal the body ‘It’s time to relax.’

It’s time to pause before snapping back.

It’s time to let go instead of grabbing for more.

It’s time to connect instead of tuning out. To stay with the hard stuff, the hard people, the shitty situations.

We have the power to completely change everything.

It’s so simple, and yet we forget all the time to breathe deeply and fully. Me included. So, can you find a way to remember? Set a little timer once or twice a day to reconnect with some deep, relaxed breaths? Or some other physical reminder? Like when you get a drink of water or wash your hands?

Take a big breath from the belly up into the chest. Sip in a bit more than you’re used to. It should be so full that when you exhale the air comes rushing out naturally. Right back in with the inhalation. Do this several times minimum. If you can stay with it longer, great! You don’t have to keep going so deep but keep the fullness of the inhalation and the surrender of the exhalation going.

Do it now to practice and tell me how you feel in the comments!

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Free Falling

We didn’t know what would happen, we just knew it wasn’t working…

Have you ever made a decision going on faith and didn’t know how it would turn out? It’s a little like jumping out of a plane without knowing how you’ll land. Scary, right?

That’s kinda how it felt when my husband and I decided he should leave his job. It just wasn’t working for our family and we both knew we wanted life to look different. Continue reading

Tired Times

Who’s feeling tired? It’s the end of the year—one that’s been challenging for many of us and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling it!

I woke up this morning tired after a big weekend. I started getting the kids ready for school and while doing so, I found myself stepping over and around the mess of the house. As I moved through the morning I start to notice my thoughts. There’s frustration, worry, doubt, and fear rolling around like thunder in my mind. I feel my body starting to ache even deeper with exhaustion. I do the school run and as I’m walking back to the the car I notice I’m feeling depressed. Continue reading

Love (it’s a verb)

All day I avoided the TV and Facebook. I dropped the kids off and went about my daily routine.

Then my brother called. My brother never calls. As soon as I heard his voice I asked “So, do you have a reason to move here to Australia now?” He laughed. My heart sank.

Trump hadn’t won yet, but it was close. Too close. I picked the girls up and killed time with a friend after school. I came home a few hours later and by that time it was clear. Trump won. I put the kids in front of the TV and poured a glass of vodka soda water.

I was numb.

You know that feeling when you face something about yourself that really isn’t pretty? That shameful, wretched feeling that rips at your guts? That’s how I was feeling. I could see that I had kept myself in denial. I didn’t want to believe that so many people could side with a person that is totally opposite to my values, and I think I can safely say I wasn’t alone in that.  Continue reading

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Sister Trees [A Poem]

The trees, they are my sisters.

They call up a remembering deep within

Speaking  to me

They tell me not their story, but mine.

My heart beats through their trunk,

their sap runs through my veins,

My breath entwined with theirs since birth.

Recounting the story of where I come from,

of who I was

and who I can grow to be.

Assuring me that no matter where I go, they are with me

That I have roots.

Roots that are not rotten.

Roots that I have tended,

Fed with fertile soil.

Roots that do not feed bitter leaves, but the sweetest fruits.

Roots that run deep enough to ground me

So I can reach up

to Source.

These trees, I feel their embrace.

They envelope me and,

like a sister they keep my secrets

My dreams in whispers running through their leaves

Their wisdom planted, taking seed

My knowing growing in the light.

I reach up, branch out, and blossom in their image

These trees, they are my sisters.

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Snake!!

Well it was bound to happen. After almost 6 years of walking my favorite trail I saw my first brown snake. Actually, I almost trampled on her with my (practically) bare feet. Hey, who needs coffee when you can get a nice adrenalin hit?
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The funny thing is, the reason I was out there walking for the first time in months was because I’d been working all morning and my nerves were feeling fried. In fact, I’ve been exhausted for weeks, which is why I’ve been neglecting certain creative outlets (*ahem* blog, maybe?).

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New Beginnings

Spring is blooming. Our peach tree has the most gorgeous, delicate pink flowers blossoming. A storm is brewing. I run out to take in some laundry off the line and there’s that warm stillness in the air indicating something big is about to hit. The birds have all gone quiet. Continue reading

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I Am. Change(d).

Have you ever come across a piece of information at just the right time? Or maybe you’ve tried to read a book and it just didn’t resonate–until you pick it up a year later and it’s exactly what you need at that moment? It’s almost eerie–as if it’s been written just for you.

When I was 28 years old I was in a bad way.  I was searching. I was depressed. I was asking to be shown a different way.

One day I walk into a book store and wander over to peruse the section labeled “Feminism” (which, by the way, was only about half a tiny shelf). My eyes settle on a book with a beautiful tree pictured on the front cover. It’s titled “Dance of the Dissident Daughter”and I notice it’s written by Sue Monk Kidd. I had just finished reading one of her fictional books. This though, was the story of her personal spiritual awakening.

I didn’t know it then, but that book would change my life. Continue reading

Yesterday I Quit

It had been brewing all week. The feeling of ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore.” I’d been teetering on the edge for days, working through all the old, stale beliefs that came up, pushing up against the boundaries of ‘me,’ and I was exhausted.

So yesterday I quit.

I woke up the night before last in a fitful sleep of anxiety which stayed with me till the early morning hours. When I woke in the morning I knew it was going to be one of those days. So I just gave into it. I quit life.

I quit trying. I quit fighting reality. I quit trying to ‘shift’ my mood. As a person who values self-growth so highly (and who is ridiculously analytical) I sometimes get caught up in the illusion of looking at every little thought, feeling, or situation as some kind of clue in search of the answer to my problems.

So I also quit trying to figure out life. Again. This is a lesson I’m circling back around to….

I kept my big girl out of school (she’d shown signs of exhaustion the day before crying on the way back from school ‘I’ve had a big day’) and I spent most of the day in bed. I let the anxiety wash over me when it came up and I breathed through. I took a hot bath and when it cooled my two girls joined me and I found joy in their company, in their smiles. I had moments of feeling so flat I desperately needed to be alone, so I found ways to accommodate that.

In the quitting there’s a lightness even though the feelings are dark.  I’m not scared to go there any longer. Even in the burning tingling of anxiety that begins at my feet and rushes up to my chest I find Life.

Last night I still slept fitfully. I woke up in the early morning hours today with a sore head. Life hadn’t magically changed, but I noticed the sounds of the birds and my heart felt happy to be here. Instead of feeling flat I felt a fluttering of energy in my body. I felt moved to do restorative yoga in bed. I meditated. My kids got up and I snuggled them tight. I felt inspired to write.

I can feel the wonder of a new day stretching out ahead of me. I wonder what will happen today? I wonder what I will choose today?

For today I choose to quit quitting.

Vulnerability Hangover

Truth: Love Local Fleurieu isn’t your typical networking event. It’s not hours spent pitching your business to other people who are also trying to pitch their business. Claire from Project Work Life has held the vision of bringing women together in open-hearted communication and connection. If you know Claire, you’d know it’s no surprise that she’s been successful in manifesting the opportunity for exactly that. Participants are encouraged to show up, be authentic and be vulnerable.

And vulnerable we are. Continue reading