Wellness Wednesday

I've been thinking a lot lately about living authentically. As you all know oh-so-well, with yoga I've really started to dive deeper into my being and developed more of an understanding of who I am, what my needs are, my dislikes, my goals, and so on... I'll be taking another trip around the sun in about a month and therefore I've been reflecting more on my life. Facebook also forces me to do this on a daily basis, with those "memories" that pop up...I have so many thoughts on this but will refrain.

Turning another year older is a privilege; each year we learn from our experiences and cultivate more awareness about ourselves and the world around us. It's beautiful, but can also be heartbreaking, if we're gunna get real with it. 

I remember being 15 and thinking, this is the person I am and will be forever. I remember being 18 and thinking the same thing; I remember being 20 living in Paris thinking the same thing; I remember getting married at 27 and thinking the same thing. 

However, the reality is that we are ever-changing and not fixed. We are constantly molded by our experiences, whether they be day-to-day events or rock-you-senseless-to-your-core moments. Feelings and goals and passions and thoughts can change on a daily basis...

Thus, living authentically is living in the present moment. It's honoring your being, your soul, in each present moment, without judgment. It's allowing yourself (with respect to others) to be yourself. 

It cannot be influenced by others; I'm a romantic existentialist, and I believe we are inevitably alone - as they say, we are born alone and we die alone. Our experience is only our own, therefore our authentic selves can only be shaped by ourselves and our perceived experience, not by anyone or anything else. 

Make the time to take a moment to be present, to breathe deeply and engage your five senses and come into that sweet present moment.

Immerse yourself in_this is it,_without expectation or searching for meaning..png this moment is where you'll find your authentic self.

- S

[Women's] Wellness Wednesday

Today is International Women's Day (the reason you're seeing the hashtag #DayWithoutAWoman everywhere), and also Wellness Wednesday. I'm going to keep it relatively simple for this WW post: all I ask is that for today we all together practice kindness and patience.

Be kind to yourself and.png

When you want to react to someone or something today, pause and reflect. Breathe deeply in and out. If you feel yourself becoming annoyed or angry or someone pushes your buttons, pause and reflect. Breathe deeply in and out. If you make a mistake at your work or at home, you spill something or drop something, pause and reflect. Breathe deeply in and out. If you find yourself mad about the weather or something else which is temporary, pause and reflect. Breathe deeply in and out.

Today is not the day to be negative.

Today I will be kind.
Today I will be patient.
Today I will offer compassion to myself and others.
Today I will love and accept all.

Pause and reflect. Breathe deeply in and out.


- S

Invoking a tone for 2017

Happy 2017, all! Can you believe it? 2016 was quite a year. 

This past New Year's Day, I attended a beautiful thought-energizing workshop at my local yoga studio with one of my most favorite teachers; we created a vision board, and before I go further, let me first say I have never been into creating vision boards. I dabbled in college, pinning interesting photos to four cork boards on my dorm and apartment walls, but that was it, it never became a hobby. This exercise, however, felt purposeful and tangible. I have career goals and personal goals, both of which I incorporated into the board; there are things that I want to keep practicing (e.g., health, yoga), and there are some new ideas/challenges I want to incorporate into my life (e.g., deepening my yoga practice). I keep the board in my bedroom in view of my bed, so that I can see it upon waking and before going to sleep. It's a strong visual reminder for me to stay true (my word of 2017!) to my goals and to remember: short term sacrifice, long term gain.

short-term sacrifice, long term gain (1).png

I know many people have come up with resolutions, intentions, plans, dreams, goals, yada yada for the new year, and I say to each their own. The important thing is to do what feels right for you, which may include doing absolutely nothing. 

Feeling overwhelmed about all of it? Here are some useful links to read:

If you choose to set a goal or intention for the year, take your time. Set aside some quiet time to think about what you want to accomplish this year, be it massive or small. When I have a huge idea in mind, it helps if I break it down into smaller steps, little nuggets I can slowly gather one-by-one to get to the whole/big picture. 

Wishing you a year in which you live a wholesome, healthy, prosperous life! Continue to be well.

- S

Eating Mindfully

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Given that today is one of my favorite holidays, but also a day when I and so many others will consume liberal amounts of candy, I thought it appropriate to post an exercise on mindful eating that one can use with candy.It can be done with almost any food, though some say that traditionally the exercise is taught using a raisin (and, believe it or not, it works better if you dislike what you're eating). [I liked this next sentence too much to not include it:] Since it's Halloween, let's bust out the Sour Patch Kids or Milky Way Ghosts or Candy Corn and savor versus inhaling in a zombie-like brainless state! And keep in mind, this can be done any day of the year.

  • SIGHT: Take a long, curious look at the food before you. Notice the colors, the texture. Look at this food like you’ve never seen it before in your life. If you can, hold the food in your hands without touching it and continue inspecting it.

  • TOUCH: Using your fingers, probe the food and notice any different sensations or textures: bumps, smooth areas. Maybe close your eyes and use your non-dominant hand if that enhances your sense of touch.

  • SMELL: Hold the food just below your nose and with each inhale, notice what happens internally in your body, such as salivating, or recalling a memory associated with this smell. Allow the memory or sensation to float by and pass, without dwelling on it.

  • TASTE: Now bring the food to your lips, and notice how your hand and arm know exactly where to position it. Gently place the object into your mouth without chewing, maintaining full awareness of your teeth and jaw opening. Without chewing, roll and swirl the food around in your mouth, noticing how different the texture feels from when it was in your hand. When you’re ready, take one or two sloooow bites, experiencing any waves of taste that occur as you chew. Continue chewing slowly and mindfully, detecting any changes in taste and texture. When you feel ready to swallow, see if you can first detect the intention to swallow as it comes up, so that even this is experienced consciously before you actually swallow the food.

  • HEAR: As you touch the food and as you eat it, can you hear anything? Perhaps the sound of yourself chewing or swallowing, or maybe the food has a distinct crunch to it.

  • EXPERIENCE: See if you can feel any sensations of the food working its way to your stomach. Check in with yourself. How does it feel to have eaten mindfully?

Now resist the urge to plow through the rest of your bag o' treats and continue to savor each piece mindfully. Bonus points if you're eating organic candies, and double bonus if you're eating a healthy chocolate bar like Not Your Sugar Mamas!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone!

- S