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.
Let’s get real EVERYONE wants your $$
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.
What did I end up doing?
I decided that I still need to continue taking classes in person and also continue on my own to learn via books and videos. I really like Pilates Anytime. The instructors are excellent and they really educate you about your body and how it should move.
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.
Why Celebrate the European Union?
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.
For more education and stories on this topic, check out Cohousing in the Communities Bookstore.
To find places like this around the world, see the Cohousing Communities in the Communities Directory.
What I learned at a Silent Stay Retreat
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.
Have you ever noticed how you can hold on to past mistakes long after they occurred? Some of us hold on to things for years!
Forgiveness is a process. It does not happen over night and the process will be different for everyone. But no matter how long it takes, there’s hope! Here are some steps you can take toward that journey:
1. Become clear on your morals and values as they are right now.
The reason most of us feel guilt or shame for actions done in the past is because those actions are not in line with our current morals and values. Our past wrongs can actually clue us in to what we hold important. By identifying our morals and values, we start to get a clearer picture as to “why” we’re hurting over what we’ve done, or what others did to us.
2. Realize that the past is the past.
This seems fairly straightforward, but when we can really wrap our head around the fact that we can’t undo the past, the past is done, those things happened, we open ourselves up to more acceptance. Increased acceptance can lead to the emotional healing we are all looking for.
3. Create a “re-do.”
Never underestimate the power of a “re-do”. Write down how you would have done things differently if you could go back and do it again. In doing so, we affirm that we not only learned from our past mistake, but that if we had the skills we have now, back then, we would have done things differently.
4. Realize you did the best you could at the time.
The way we respond depends on the skills we have, the frame of mind we’re in, and how we perceive the situation at that moment. Maybe we didn’t have as much objectivity, or acted out of survival or protection mode. Maybe we’d let stress build up, which put us at a higher risk of responding poorly. Whatever the factors, cut yourself a break. If you learn from it, it was never in vain.
5. Start acting in accordance with your morals and values.
The best thing you can do for yourself in order to forgive is start replacing the negative behavior and thoughts with more appropriate ones that are congruous with your morals and values. By so doing, you reaffirm to yourself that you can handle situations in the way you want to. This can lead to a sense of pride, which is a huge part of building self-esteem.
6. Identify your biggest regrets.
When I work with clients on moving on from their past, it can be very overwhelming for them because they see so many regrets. It’s often helpful to categorize these things because people often only hold on to a handful of big categories/patterns. Working on patterns of behavior is often more helpful than working on individual regrets.
7. Tackle the big ones.
There may be some regrets that don’t seem to improve, and they’re going to require some extra work. I call it “clearing your conscience.” This means it might take bringing this regret into the room and apologizing for your past mistake.
8. Turn the page.
At some point, you have to accept that the past has happened and you’ve done everything in your power to amend past mistakes. It’s now time to turn the page and accept those events as part of your story. They’ve all contributed to making you who you are. Being grateful for those experiences allows you to move on and truly forgive yourself.
9. Cut yourself some slack.
When we learned how to ride a bike, most of us realized it would probably take a few tries before achieving perfection. New behavior and thinking patterns are no different. They’re both skills. Cut yourself some slack while you’re on a new learning curve. Realize that you’re going to make mistakes. We all do.
10. Move toward self-love.
The last step in building self-esteem is moving toward loving yourself. Think kind thoughts toward yourself and show yourself some compassion. If we can learn to think of ourselves as our best friend, to speak to ourselves with love and kindness, and put ourselves as a priority, it reaffirms that we believe we are worth it. Engage in psychotherapy or coaching if you need some outside perspective in this area. Seek books on this subject. Surround yourself with supportive people.
You are more than your past mistakes, and I promise you, you are so worth it!!
Megan Hale, LPC is a therapist and Certified Purpose Clarity Coach ®. Her counseling specialties include depression, anxiety, and relationship issues while her coaching focuses on.
Meditation is something that I started doing during yoga during Savasana or corpse pose. I am not going to say that it is particularly easy. And sometimes it’s down right difficult. It’s not something that I always feel like doing but, afterwards, I am always glad that I did. It’s kind of like when you first start working out. How at first it really sucks and you’re not really enjoying it. But then something happens one day and you can’t do it and then all of a sudden you’re disappointed because you weren’t able to work out.
That’s kind of how meditation is for me. I did it for a long time before I ever started to enjoy any benefits. I did it because I knew that I should be doing it. But to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling the benefits until I committed to a regular practice of meditation. I committed to 3 days a week of meditation. Three days a week was because of course I was much too busy to do it everyday. But I could commit to 3 days a week and that was after years of doing it not regularly. I just knew that I wanted to become more spiritual, so I committed to 3 days. That was after 12 years of faking meditation. You know just doing it randomly and being mad because I wasn’t getting the many benefits.
So after I committed to 3 days per week, I have to say that my experience was actually quite magical. It’s really hard to describe my experience but I just started to feel really calm, strong and super positive. Things just really stopped bothering me and I started to just have shit really start going right. I just felt that I was being super blessed. If I wanted something, it would just magically appear. I needed a videographer, and I found his card in a coffee shop (thanks Kristian). I needed help with my Blog and someone gave me an awesome Web Designer’s info.
Now obviously there are so many different ways of meditating but I recommend doing a guided meditation and sticking with the same one for a while. Do it at least 21 times. But give it a good chance. And it’s not magic but it could be. But you have to give it a chance. Remember you don’t just brush your teeth one time and think you never have to do it again. You don’t just eat one time and think, “OK I don’t need to do that again.” And obviously you can’t just work out one time and think,”That’s it I don’t like exercising so I won’t do that again.” No you have to do it over and over. (sorry to be the bearer of bad news on this one.)
Meditation is the same way. You have to give it a chance and do it over and over. In this short video, Maggie, my beautiful niece does a short meditation that will give you a little bit of peace. Please watch here.
Here are 20 reasons to start meditation.
Happy Meditating and don’t get mad at me when you start feeling peaceful, relaxed and shit starts going right for you.
Valerie is a Health and wellness coach that lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy. When she’s not dancing, she’s singing. You can check out her moves here. Please subscribe to my youtube channel so you don’t miss out. Thank you!!