Monday, February 15, 2010

taking a facebook break

I'll admit it. Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed with facebook. I know that you can choose from many different settings, but it can get especially difficult to reply to friends. I have many projects I'll be working on over the next few months, so I'd like to experiment with deactivating facebook during some or all of that time. This will allow me much more focus, clarity and extra time. Surprisingly, I'm finding that twitter and blogging actually help me during my busy times.
I'm going through a 500 hour yoga teacher training and currently realizing that i've slipped behind a bit. My work schedule definitely has something to do with it and coupled with the rough winter, I've been working much more than normal.
In addition to this, I'm in the very beginning stages of launching a health counseling business. I'm merely in the seed-planting stage, but I would like to focus more attention on this area.

What does facebook have to do with all of this? Facebook is a destructive action for me, much like TV. Now with the ubiquitous smartphones, it's that much easier to remain distracted. Smartphones (in my case, the iphone) can be a destructive action as well, but that's a completely different post!

I'm hoping that deactivating my facebook as well as my february stillness challenge will keep me motivated and focused.
So far, I've only slipped a few times with the stillness challenge. That sounds like alot, but considering the record amount of snow we had and that I was actually stuck at work a few days, I'm not doing so badly!

I'm wondering about your thoughts on facebook: does it help you in your social &/or business interactions or is it a distraction?

Be well!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

February's challenge: stillness

I've been feeling out of sorts for the past week or so. I came back from a fabulous vacation, full of insights on the changes i need to make and when to make them, only to go back to the grind immediately the next day. Over the past week, though, i've realized the way i've been feeling is a result of only one thing: fear.

A couple of years ago a friend spelled out fear in this way:


Wow! That really hit home with me. I've learned that living in the present moment relinquishes most of that fear. Fear of what is to come (the unexpected), as well as what has already happened. Neither of these are the present moment. I find myself coming to a stalling point every now and then, and it's apparent now that i'm doing this purely out of fear. There IS enough time in the day/week/month to juggle everything i'm doing as long as i'm in the present moment. Worrying about how much I have to do next week/next month will not do me one ounce of good NOW. But yet it's so easy to get distracted, especially at the beginning of a new year. A clean slate. A year of momentum and change. But how in the world can one be stalled at the beginning? Expectations. The only way I know to remedy this is through living in the present moment.

How do we get there? This is where my word for 2010 and my February challenge come into play! Kaizen is my word for 2010. Kaizen means "small steps". It took me a couple of weeks to actually understand what that means. I'm always striving for the "end goal" and one is surely to be disappointed many times while making the journey on that path. By using Kaizen, we are focusing on each step in the direction of that goal. The only way to accomplish that is to be in the present moment: mindfulness, awareness, compassion.

So the practice of mindfulness is different for every person. I find the best tools for me are meditation and yin yoga. Personally, I've always wanted to have a regular meditation practice. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it a habit as of yet.
So here's my challenge for February: stillness practice every morning for at least 10 minutes. I will commit to at least 10 minutes every morning. The stillness practice for me will be either seated meditation or yin yoga. Yin yoga is to be practiced in stillness, so I've allowed that option for myself. Both practices are beneficial for me and on any given day, one will be more beneficial than the other.
Don't get me wrong: for me, committing to 10 minutes of stillness every morning will NOT be easy! But now i realize just how badly i need it, so i'm willing to commit to this challenge for the month of February.

Does anyone have any favorite or successful challenges? Has anyone found it hard to gain that momentum at the beginning of the year? I'd love to hear!

Be Well!

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 GOALS

I'd like to post my 2010 goals. However, considering my word for 2010 is Kaizen, maybe goals isn't the appropriate word. Just know that the term goals is used loosely. My list does not include any lofty goals, but rather, fun steps along the way. Maybe I should incorporate a "decade's goals" list and have that be my dream goals. hmmm....something to think about! well, here goes:

1. travel more
2. commit to 3-4 yoga classes per week & continue to practice at home
3. art dates/art nights: at least 1 per month. I've realized that I NEED creativity in my life and this is the easiest & most fun way to schedule it.
4. re-introduce morning pages. my journaling is somewhat sporadic, so bringing back morning pages (from the artist's way) so it becomes a habit again.
5. blog regularly. starting out once/week, then twice a week, and by the end of the year, daily from monday-friday.
6. give more health counseling workshops
7. take private yoga sessions. there are a few areas i've been working on in my own yoga practice and since i've never taken a private, this would be a great way to customize and deepen my practice!
8. learn pilates
9. add meditation and pranayama workshops to my "seasonal to-do's" list
10. explore medical writing. I've just joined the american medical writers association, so i plan to complete some certifications this year, then hopefully do some freelance medical writing.
11. personal/group training certification. i'm toying with the idea of taking a break from my pharmacy life and having a more freelance kind of life. Since health, fitness, and spirituality are my passions, this would be a perfect certification to have.
12. game nights- i miss playing games! it was one of my favorite things to do as a child/young adult and i hope to incorporate that in my life this year.

This list will be my template & I plan to return to this list throughout the year to update/adjust as needed. I'll have to admit that this was a scary blog post for me because I normally keep my goals to myself. However, I think this is a great way to make these goals accountable.

Be well!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

word for 2010

Happy New Year and greetings from Mexico!

I am in the midst of a fabulous retreat at Hacienda Mosaico Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The retreat is entitled: How to be a Gorgeous Genius: the Creative Entrepreneur Retreat. The retreat is being held by Lisa Sonora Beam, author of the Creative Entrepreneur. So far, this retreat GREATLY exceeds my expectations. I can't think of a better way to kick off the new year...rather, new DECADE! So far, I've met some completely fascinating people! It's great when a group of strangers can feed off one another's energy. What a great backdrop for the creative process! Once I return to the US, I will post photos and my overview of this wonderful retreat.

Which leads me to my word for 2010: KAIZEN. Many thanks to Kelly (from the retreat) for her great suggestion! The simplest definition of this word is "small steps". It really resonated with me because I tend to be an extremist in some ways. For instance, if I'm goal setting, I tend to choose either a lofty goal or the final endpoint rather than mini-goals which would act more like stepping stones for the final outcome. The end result is that I would become intimidated or disappointed so much that either I wouldn't continue or I would completely change my outcome or goal.

I'm planning on an amazing year with lots of breakthroughs and shifts, so my word for 2010 will hopefully facilitate me during my journey this year!

Here's to a fun, productive and successful 2010!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

yikes...time flies!!!

Where did the last 2 months go?!?! My apologies to anyone who's started reading my blog since I haven't been posting as consistently as I'd like. My goal is at least a once weekly blog post starting immediately! I've been extremely busy lately, filling my days to the max. Overall, it's been a good thing, but i can sure stand to slow down a bit! Stay tuned over the next few days as I'll be posting what's been going on the past few months as well as my goals for December.

Happy December!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Change Your Routine!

Recently, I've decided to step back and take a look at things. For those of you steeped in yoga philosophy, it's known as svadhyaya (self-study). Lately, everything has become routine and somewhat boring for me. I dislike those phases when you feel like you're on "autopilot", but that's the way I've been feeling. So I decided to alter some things in my daily routine.

First on the list was yoga. Due to my erratic work schedule, I've noticed that I have attended classes with many of the same teachers. When i've practiced yoga at home, I've been more or less doing the same routine. Also, although I alter each class I teach, I've noticed that each class has been very similar lately.

How do we slip into autopilot? But more importantly, when that happens, are we able to recognize it and do we have the tools in place to slip out of that routine? I'm lucky to be surrounded by lots of peers who do not live on autopilot and they're all vivacious and fascinating people. They keep me in check and their fresh perspectives allow me to get myself out of a rut before it becomes a habit.

If you find yourself slipping into autopilot on a regular basis, take a few moments for svadhyaya (self-study). Look at your daily routines. Is there anything that you can slightly alter...a new route to work, waking up a little earlier for yoga, meditation, or journal writing before you start your day? Think of easy, no cost (or low cost) changes to your normal day. Sometimes these are enough to gain a fresh perspective. Sometimes we may also need to take a look at our friends/acquaintances. Do we feel energized after spending time with them, or do we feel drained? Are we surrounded by positive people, or Debbie Downer's and Negative Nancy's?
I think it's really important to periodically step aside and take a look at these things. All of us are presented with choices throughout our journey. From those choices, are we evolving or regressing?

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Recently, I purchased a Vita-Mix. Although it's pricy, I now find it a very necessary kitchen item! If you are currently struggling to get enough vegetables in your daily diet, you may want to look into the Vita-Mix. As I experiment more with the vitamix, I will be sure to blog about my experiences!