Do you want to be more active but still be chill at the same time? OK this is the lazy way to be active but still chill. Great for recovery days or if you want to ease your way into an active lifestyle. Because who likes being jarred anyway?
In the Morning
When you wake up, if your first thoughts are thoughts of dread about going to work or feelings of fatigue, pause and just take a deep breath. Think of something you are really grateful for. You can just lay there and either pray or just think about some beautiful things. Unicorns, puppies, butterflies, swimming pools, water falls, the ocean etc. Breathe and think beautiful thoughts. (That was easy.)
Then you can still stay in bed longer but just start to stretch in bed. Stretch out your legs and breath. Just roll around a bit. Maybe stretch your legs. Slowly roll out of bed to standing. After you go to the bathroom, get a big glass of water and start drinking water because you haven’t had anything to drink in a while.
Got Sun Salutes?
If you feel like it do some sun salutes but no pressure if you don’t want to. But this is a great time to do some. It’s great for you body and mind and your digestion. But if you don’t feel like it, no problem. But do give thanks for your practice.
Take a shower
Take a relaxing shower and just breathe and stay present. Put on some awesome music and throw some eucalyptus or rosemary essential oils on the shower floor in a spot where you won’t slip. I put baking soda on the floor of my shower and then throw the essential oils on that. As you shower stay present and deep breathe and again practice mindfulness and imagine the shower washing away any stress or negativity. There are shower meditations you can do too.
What to do while commuting
As you head out the door whether you are taking a bus or driving, Start to think about your posture and how you can make your neck a little bit taller and your begin to engage your belly button to spine. As you sit down squeeze your inner thighs together and also bring you shoulder blades down your back and list your chest. Practice good posture. Also make a deal with yourself that you won’t get angry at other bad drivers or rude people. They probably slept like hell and are having a bad day. Just listen to some good music and think about how awesome you are. A lil Bob Marley will make your day. Cuz every little thing is gonna be OK. If you want to drink coffee or tea it’s fine but cut back on the sugar and also make sure to drink a lot of water at work.
Walking In to Work
When you get to work park a little bit farther away. And as you walk in keep singing that song of yours. Don’t worry Be Happy or whatever song that lift your spirits. Stand tall with your abs in and walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. Walk heel to toe and look 12-20 feet in front of you as you walk. Walk with your head up and don’t look at the ground as you can strain your neck. Relax your neck, shoulders and back. Swing your arms with a slight bend and don’t arch back forward or backward. Wear some comfortable shoes. Get rid of those heels because they aren’t helping you sweetie pie. Be grateful that you have a job and that you have the ability to work.
Check in Regularly with your posture
If you work at a desk, it is an awesome take to get an ergonomic evaluation. To make sure that your computer is set at the appropriate eye level for you and that your keyboard is in proper set up. And then when you are working take period breaks to stand up and stretch your body, your neck, your eyes to look at the distance and then look back at the keyboard. Do eye circles, wrist circles. At least every hour you should get up and move around. Volunteer to run errands for your boss or anything that you can do to walk around. Sitting is now considered the new smoking. So get out regularly and often.
Are you on your feet frequently?
It would be great if we could have the perfect balance between standing and sitting. But of course that’s not always possible. But if you do get to move around, make sure you are standing and walking with good form and breathe a lot. Wear comfortable shoes do some calf raises if you get the chance, and keep your abs in as you walk and shoulder blades down your back with chest open. Be glad you get paid to be active. Double bonus you get paid to exercise!! Woot Woot!!
Take frequent breaks
You might be unhappy with your work but remember to try to think happy thoughts. Breathe and relax as much as possible. You may not enjoy your work but that doesn’t mean you have to think terrible thoughts. You can think about whatever you want. Nobody has to know what you are thinking. You can think about unicorns, bunnies and puppies galore. Flowers, music, art, dance or your beautiful memories. Think about wishes that can come true if you dare to dream. DAY DREAM and often!! Picture yourself fit and healthy. What would that feel like? It might feel odd but stranger things can happen.
You made it through the day
Freedom at last!! Be glad that you made it. As you walk or drive away, leave your work at work. Don’t think about work instead think about more happy thoughts. Listen to some beautiful music. Do you have a favorite song? Also you can have infinite favorite songs. Be a music hog!! If you haven’t listened to Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major by JS Bach, I highly recommend it. It’s over 300 years old. So very cool!!
What is your favorite physical activity?
Do you like to swim, bike, run, dance, clean, stretch, Tai Chi, Pilates, Zumba, kick boxing, Karate, square dance, tennis? If it’s something you enjoy, it doesn’t feel like exercise. Now let’s say you have a long commute and you’re just dog tired… no problem. If you have a family, tell them you’re exhausted and lie down and take a lil nap, stretch and relax. End your day like you started. Relax baby, you made it!! Try to take a break from social media and maybe listen to this song. Go to 2:30 if you don’t want to hear me talk.
Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She encourages everyone to follow their dreams and therefor enjoying life. This is a beautiful song if you can listen to it.
I am a Lindsey Stirling Fanatic. I love her music. So here I am tapping improvisational to this song. I hope you can check it out. I am not perfect. I am a human. We really need to get over perfection because nobody is perfect anyway. I do pretty good on some balance poses here but more than anything I am having A BLAST. You can see my joy at the end when I just start laughing uncontrollably. When was the last time you laughed? Well here goes me being a goof ball. Try it, you might like it.
Nowadays is it just me or does everyone want to get paid? Uncle Sam, grocery stores, water bills, car payments etc. Come the first of the month everyone has their hands out and we pay these bills because we are responsible adults. That’s just what we do.
What about your dreams?
After you’ve paid all of your bills and if there is anything left over, it’s time to think about investing in yourself. Now you can buy a book to learn about your passions. However whatever that is, you must begin to practice it at some point. And that’s what this article is really about.
What about Video’s for learning?
Let’s say you want to learn pilates reformer, video’s are great for learning for observation, theory and just to watch how the professionals do it. But once it comes down to implementing what you’ve learned, you really want to have professional training. Why? Because you can learn bad habits which are difficult to break, you can injure yourself because maybe you aren’t set up in the correct alignment, and over time doing it incorrectly can cause serious injury. Also you can do things maybe you’re not really ready for but you force it and get hurt. You need the immediate feed back to know what you are doing correctly and what you aren’t doing correctly.
Why would a yoga teacher take classes?
I do understand that monthly hand out syndrome I described at the beginning. Although I have had numerous hours of training, teachers still need training. Recently I made the investment in a Stott’s V2 Max Pilates Reformer Bundle and let me tell you it is a beast. I am not certified in reformer training but somewhere in my mind I thought, I’ve taken enough classes, I don’t think I need to keep taking classes. I’ll just watch some videos and do it that way.
“Warning danger Bill Robinson,” don’t do it. Keep taking the classes until you are really confident that you know what you are doing. Plus watching videos to learn can be quite literally a pain in the ass!! You just want to know a simple answer to a simple question, with a teacher, you can just ask the question. If not, you are literally on your own. Google this, google that and maybe you’ll get the right answer. Many just give up in frustration or maybe they get injured. Also the teacher will be able to look at her students and know what their bodies actually need. She will say, my students need to focus on chest openers and make sure to target that. A video just does whatever it does and you end up frustrated.
Did I want to go the cheap route and quit paying a professional for training? Hell yeah!! Did I do it? Hell no!!! I’ve decided that I am worth the investment to make sure I stay safe and can continue to learn. Plus let’s keep it real, we all need the motivation and teachers motivate us and so do the students. So do yourself a big favor and get professional training. I promise you won’t regret it. Plus baby, you are WORTH it!!!
Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She lives in Northern California and encourages people to follow their dreams and passions. She’s passionate about dancing and fitness and is evolving in her knowledge and training. She encourages everyone to follow their passions.
As humans we are creatures of habit. There are many professionals who have a practice. A lawyer practices law, a Dr. practices medicine, a musician practices their instrument, a dancer practices dance.
So in life pretty much everything we do everyday becomes our practice. If we walk daily, we are practicing walking. If we play tennis, we are practicing tennis, if we watch TV, we are practicing watching TV. If we drink alcohol daily, we are practicing alcoholism, if we eat junk food, we are practicing being a junk food junkie (not that there’s anything wrong with it.)
If you love, you are practicing being a lover, if you hate, you are practicing being a hater and so forth.
What we do daily or weekly are the things we practice in our lives and it becomes who we are. Now maybe you might realize that you have some things you know are no longer serving you and you may choose to change something. You don’t have to change anything but add in that thing you want to become.
Let’s just say you really enjoy bird watching but you spend much of your time watching TV. Well one day plan on going out to watch birds. I bet you will enjoy it so much that you decide to do it again. Say to yourself, I AM a Bird WATCHER. And as you watch birds you are now officially a bird watcher and then you practice watching birds whenever you can.
Whatever you want to do, JUST DO IT and then as my very smart music teacher says, KEEP CALM AND PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Next thing you know you can say, I AM a tennis player, I AM a YOGINI, I AM a SWIMMER, the mere fact that you are doing something makes you that thing. Now it’s a whole other level to be professional. But even someone that takes photographs is a PHOTOGRAPHER. Being PROFESSIONAL has nothing to do with practice. There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH PRACTICING YOUR JOY AND LOVE. Just think about practicing WHAT YOU ENJOY AND LOVE.
Also if you are grouchy and mean guess what you are practicing? It’s OK. You can change it anytime you want. Perhaps you have a good reason to be grouchy and mean, it’s understandable but unless that’s what you want from your life to be GROUCHY AND MEAN, then maybe you might need more sleep and or think about being nice. You’re just stuck in a negative pattern but you can change it just like changing a channel. It’s all up to you.
During a recent conversation with a wise friend, I told him I was freaking out. I had too many things on my mind, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I was very angry and knew I was not thinking straight.
This wise friend told me to get a pen and paper and make three columns:
Column 1)Things that are going good in my life that I have control over them. Example: I’m walking everyday, I am eating fruits and vegetables, I am physically able to do everything I do in my life, I can listen to any song I want at any given time ( whoa that’s huge!!) My sacred dance.
Column 2)Things that I can control that are not good: example recent weight gain (whatever), clutter around my home, my attitude, talking too much
Column 3) What other people think, feel, do, how people eat, commit crimes, other people’s diseases, politics.
After I wrote this down, I realized that I was putting a great deal of my frustration on things I have no control over. I said “Whoa, I need to focus on my own issues and let those other things go for a minute. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about social issues but, take a rest from it for a minute and focus on what you can control for a couple of days.” And he said, absolutely. I kind of had that Dorothy feeling when she found out all she had to do was click her heels together and she could go home.
I instantly calmed down and I didn’t feel so lost. I just have to keep reminding myself, “This is not my problem today.” Then I finish folding towels after I take a deep breath of course.
Many think that whenever it comes to being healthier than it must involve food. While food is definitely important, it’s usually a process to make changes regarding food. So here are some things to consider that do not involve food.
Take a breath to the count of 3,4 or 5. That’s it. Exhale and just feel your body relaxing with each exhale. It doesn’t have to be a big production, you don’t even have to tell anyone your doing it but while your at it, give a little thanks for clean air.
Walk tall: Do you realize how many people only dream about being able to walk? Give thanks to your body for giving you the strength and privilege to be able to walk. A 10 minute walk can do wonders for depression, mental health. Just breathe and walk… Hey do 1 and 2 together. Now we’re multi tasking. If you have pain while walking, maybe a good time to visit the doctor to find out what’s the problem.
Think for one minute about what your favorite song is. This is the song (old or new) that you know the words to the song and you hear it and it just makes you happy. For me it would be Dance Sister Dance by Santana but what’s your favorite song? All you have to do is listen to that song and breathe. Hey if you want you can do 1, 2 and 3 together and you will be a triple threat… But you can listen in the car or shower or wherever you feel like listening to it is cool!! But a triple threat will be cool!!
Feel grateful for whatever you want to acknowledge. If you can walk and talk and breathe, be grateful. How about being grateful for this life that you have been given. Life can be hard but believe it or not, you are a miracle and there is nobody else exactly like you. The mold was broken and you are a beautiful soul. Even if you have done terrible things, your soul is still good. Your body just did some stuff but your soul is pure light.
Have you ever day dreamed? You know just think about whatever wonderful little thing you love or a fantasy that you would love to have come true. Spend a little time dreaming about anything you want but if you want to integrate all 5 concepts. Breathing, walking, listening to your favorite song and while you are at it be grateful that you can day dream. Pretend you are a super hero and everywhere you go it’s just easy breezy and you have cool super powers. What would that feel like for you? If you want to write about it, do it but not any pressure. This is fun stuff. But writing it down would be super cool!!
In the spirit of not giving you more than you can chew, we’re going to end this so you can go on and practice. In the words of my music teacher, Keep Calm and Practice, Practice, Practice.
Recently the European Union agreed to set aside 25% of their budget to stop climate change. Once I heard that I got very happy and made this dance video.
Dancing to I’ve Got the Music In Me by Kiki Dee
If you have never heard this song OMG you have to listen to it. It’s very positive message and it has a really good beat. And Kiki Dee can really sing so good!! I was a girl when this song was popular but it used to be blasted in my house growing up. I sure do LOVE THIS SONG and I hope you do too.
It’s really important to focus on things that bring us joy. There are many beautiful things in life. Let’s just all focus on what’s going right for a minute. There really is a lot going right if you stop and think about it.
Take care sweetie pies. Wishing everyone a great day.
Loneliness kills. This is what new evidence suggests from a range of reputable institutions and studies, to bolster that likely feeling in your gut about this.
To clarify, loneliness is not just being isolated. Isolation is a public health epidemic. You may spend professional and personal time around other people, but just how connected to them are you really? How well do people really know you — enough to know how well you are truly doing, what your hopes and fears are, and how they can support you on your journey or brighten up your day?
Grace Kim explains how Cohousing, which originated in Denmark decades ago, has helped to close the gap between people where they live, encouraging more interaction, friendships, support, and, well, happiness!
It all revolves around a central courtyard, where people’s kitchen windows are faced, and members of the communities and their children are regularly gathering, playing, and celebrating. There are also double doors in the courtyard leading into the “secret sauce of cohousing” — the Common House.
The Common House is a shared space with a large dining room and kitchen that can accommodate all 28 people living in 9 apartments, plus their guests, on regular meals they share 3 times a week. Meal preparation rotates so the average adult prepares a meal only once every other month. It is an intentional way for neighbors to gather, to become closer, to laugh, and to stave off that pesky loneliness.
Of course everything is not “rainbows and unicorns” in cohousing, but it is a model that brings people closer together, gets them to relate more regularly, and incentivizes them to solve problems together.
The cohousing community featured in this video is Capital Hill Cohousing, located in Seattle, Washington.
You can read more about it from Grace Kim in Communities Magazine issue #177: Urban Communities.
Recently I went to Silent Stay Retreat Center. It was very beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. It’s in the hills of Solano County in Pleasant Valley. Once you get here they encourage silence and it was quite refreshing to not feel pressured to talk to the other participants. I found it quite interesting that all of the participants were women except for one of the facilitators. You do a couple of meditations per day in a group but the rest of the time you can do whatever you like. They recommend you leave your phone in the car so that you can really unplug. I did notice I wasn’t the only person who didn’t abide by this recommendation. My excuse was because I needed to be available in case of an emergency with my family. Needless to say it made me aware that I have a real addiction with my phone.
One of the things we discussed is that with all of the busyness of life, we become so work oriented that we don’t know how to get our balance. The silence is what helps us to get our balance again. It helps your soul to come home and give itself a rest. It’s a beautiful concept.
There is a concept of Yin and Yang. Yang being work, education, doing, achieving, making money, pursuing. Yin is about being, accepting, allowing, receiving, silence, inner being and soul work. It’s about getting in touch with that little kid inside of you and realizing what your inner child needs. Maybe it needs to play for a bit or get some rest. It also could need to get rid of stuff that is holding you back. Such as holding on to too much stuff. It’s difficult to listen to your needs without silence. Your inner child gets drowned out with all of the other noises and sounds.
The thing that was nice about having silence at the retreat, is that I didn’t have to feel that pressure to speak to talk to others. They have notes of paper around so you can communicate with someone if you need to. It is perfectly fine to be in the same room and not feel responsible to talk to them. That felt very freeing and made me realize how such a simple thing as silence can have a real benefit to our lives.
Western culture is very much goal oriented, analytical, results driven and forces one to “go, go,go.” When really what our soul needs is just some time to sit back under a tree, and enjoy the cool breeze and enjoy the moment. What would happen if we gave ourselves a bit of time?
There was silence but the birds weren’t silent. In the quiet of the hills, I could hear the beautiful songs of the birds. There were many wind chimes and other wild life. Hearing all of the wonderful nature sounds was very peaceful. There was a beautiful family of turkeys. The baby turkeys with their mom and dad. I took the worst picture humanly possible.
Of course I was reading an Awesome book when I was there that just completely enhanced the experience. I took the book by Michelle Paisley Reed, called Manifesting Miracles and for the first time I was actually able to meet my soul. It was such an amazing experience. My soul is just so happy. I mead ridiculously happy. Kind of reminded me of my puppy when she gets so excited. I was surprised because there are times when I am feeling stressed, sad and feel rushed. When I saw my soul was happy, it just made me feel happy and want to spend more time with my happy little soul. I feel so blessed that I was able to have this experience.
I’ve meditated for years but I’ve never really been silent for days on end and I no longer fear silence. I wonder what would happen if we would all take the time to just shut up for a couple of days. And of course my ego wants to judge people and tell them, “You really need to shut up.” But not only is that not nice, but that’s their choice and we all have choices now don’t we?
Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor. She’s recuperating from a 26 year career in law enforcement. After 9 months retired or repurposed she’s finally allowing herself a chance to truly rest. She’s learning to listen to that voice inside of her and listening to what it wants. You can read more about Valerie here.