Refreshing Mondays

Mondays. Ugh. No one likes Mondays, especially Garfield.

Garfield hates Mondays

They represent going to work and the beginning of the rut that as adults, we’ve seem to found ourselves stuck in ~ work, home, work, home, etc. I’m guilty of trudging into the office, barely awake and grunting responses until the early afternoon when the Monday-pain goes away. Lately though, I’ve been changing my Monday-tude and have realized that actually, there can be Refreshing Mondays.

Sundays are typically my last hangover day of the weekend {which isn’t nearly long enough, by the way} but I was starting to get mighty tired of wasting an entire day, so now, they are catch up days. Whatever hasn’t been finished throughout the week gets worked on during this ‘day of rest’. I’ve decided to make Mondays my Things-to-Focus-on-for-the-Week to get me more excited about the dreaded day and impending work week.

This week my focus will be on:
• Practicing yoga handstands to get me ready for the Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica I’ll be attending next month. Patrick Beach is the expert on handstands and will also be one of the teachers. I’ll be starting with his helpful videos.
• Cleaning up after myself. I have always been a slob in the sense that I leave things strewn about the house, but I really do hate having dirty dishes on the counter. For the last few years I’ve been making much more of an effort to tidy up as I go, but it’s been quite the struggle. I’ll be focusing on folding my laundry and organizing my closet to put it away. It can be even more of an endeavor as my boyfriend is still in the ‘messy’ stage of his life, but I’m sure he’ll grow out of it someday. :)
• Another activity that takes up a lot of my time is preparing food ahead of time for the week. My work, The Picket Fence, has joined the Y’s Corporate Challenge this year and I’ve been doing pretty well as far as food is concerned. With all my experiences in Paleo challenges, it’s been very easy for me to keep my meals healthy and mostly grain-free but the time putting these meals together is ridiculous, especially now that I’m working 2 jobs. Today I will create a menu for the week, purchase any ingredients I need, and prep as much as possible. This is an all-day endeavor as it’s my only day off this week.

The list is short, but intense. I use Todoist.com and app to help keep me on track. It’s a free online program that is cloud-based, so every change you make is updated on every platform. You can prioritize, create custom labels/tags, have reminders, sync with your calendar – everything you need to be efficient. I ♥ this technology so much!

Anywho, wish me luck on my first official Refreshing Monday!

Refreshing Monday

Setting My Intentions

In the first half of almost any yoga class, the instructor asks the class to set their intentions of their practice for the day. I’ve always let that part of class go one in ear and out the other, throwing it out to the Universe if anything. What do I need to set an intention for? I’m just there to stretch and take a nap at the end {thank you Corpse Pose}.

But the other day at Gather Yoga Studio, I realized I had an intention to set.

First, what is an intention? It is not a goal. According to YogaJournal, a goal is an attainable thing, act or outcome. I have plenty of goals that I have set and some that I’ve even accomplished! {Sorry laundry, you ain’t one of them.} When you set your intention, you are

setting a path or practice that is focused on how you are being in the present moment.

I didn’t even realize I didn’t know exactly what this meant while I was sitting in the cross-legged position at the beginning of class. The understanding of this simple practice came to me immediately and naturally. Like a light bulb going on in my head, I knew at once what my intention was that day and the rest of my days until I felt it had been set completely: my intention was {and still is} to heal myself inside and out. I made a

commitment to align [my] worldly actions with [my] inner values.

For sometime I have been feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually toxic. There have been personal issues in my life that have affected me negatively which in turn have made me into a negative person. I don’t like being a negative person. I can’t be supportive. I can’t be understanding. I can’t be fair to others or myself. And I imagine I can’t be very fun to be around.

Rather than send my intention to the Universe, I kept it for myself that day. I am not focusing so much on how I attain my intention, but rather focusing on when to change my negativity as I feel it coming on. This practice also helps to stay in the present which is important to me as I intend to heal myself inside and out.

Thank you Universe for showing me the meaning of setting my intention.

yoga

A New Year, A New Me

I am not an easy person to get along with, for the most part. I am quick to judge, I am brutally honest, I can be a complete hypocrite, I tend to flake out on friends, I can be super lazy and do things half-assed, and, as some of my family members know, I have the biggest mouth.

These aren’t things I’m not already familiar with, and I have always had excuses for all of this behavior:
Some of the people I judged the harshest soon proved me wrong and became my best friends.
I would want someone to tell me if I was making poor decisions.
I know I shouldn’t be doing this after telling her she shouldn’t, but I don’t have a problem.

My friends have flaked out on me plenty of times, so I don’t feel bad for flaking out on them.
Who doesn’t enjoy a day lounging on the couch, binging on Sherlock?

I don’t understand why she’s mad at me, I don’t care who knows all my personal stuff.

Bullshit, isn’t it?

I’ve burned many bridges and hurt a lot of people I valued as friends with this attitude. I abandoned people in their time of need. I kept myself in a dark corner and then became angry if I wasn’t included in what was going on around me, that people hadn’t sought ME out. I would take every little slight personally, thinking that ‘they’re just assholes, what have I ever done to them’. I guess thought I was hot shit.

I first realized I was this way when I was in my early 20s {32 year old here} and it came as quite a surprise to me, after analyzing my attitudes, that I was exactly like someone I didn’t want to be. Someone I had known my entire life, who I had seen ruin relationship after relationship over something completely trivial things. I knew immediately that I had to change, and I started my transformation.

I worked on it very hard for years.
When I found myself starting to think that someone didn’t like me because I wasn’t invited to a party they had, I would at first be upset, but I would then take a breath and think, ‘When was the last time I reached out to them? They may just think I’m busy or unavailable.’.
If I realized I was talking shit about someone, for absolutely NO good reason, just because they may have rubbed me the wrong way, I would stop and ask myself, ‘What did they do to me? And does it really merit all this hatred I’m feeling?’.
I remember more than once someone would have to chide me for repeating something they had told me in confidence, and rather than look at it from their perspective and apologize, I would think how silly they were being, that everyone had issues and why should they be embarrassed? Soon I began to bite my tongue, keeping secrets closely guarded, trying to rebuild the trusts I had broken.
I started to create goals for myself at work and in health that I wanted to reach, and succeed in accomplishing. And I was taking steps to reach those objectives.

Then in the last year, a lot of anger began to build up in me again. It started off as confusion, hurt and sadness. And when I tried to make sense of it, I couldn’t. No amount of self-analyzation helped. I felt as though I was being kept in the dark about a lot of things happening around me and that those close to me were keeping things from me. I could’ve sworn that people were laughing and pointing at me from behind my back. Nothing I told myself helped alleviate these incredibly negative feelings. Over time, the sadness and confusion blossomed into an anger nothing short of rage, and incredible meanness. I was saying and doing things deliberately to hurt those close to me.

I found myself judging people I had never even met, and talking shit about them, not caring if they found out. I started drinking a lot, to the point of being black-out drunk and becoming an emotional wreck by the end of the night and making a complete, and utter fool of myself. It didn’t matter. It’s not like I was the only one with a horror story after a night on the town. And my life was shit anyways, what did it possibly matter?

This anger and hatred escalated quickly over time. I became verbally abusive to the one person closest to me, often trying to make them feel terrible about themselves. Then one night, I actually hit someone, someone that I love more than anything. The shame I felt {still feel}. . . I can’t even describe it. Something had to change, had to happen. How much further down could I go from there? I could potentially lose everyone around me, lose my job, my home, my dogs – my sense of self. I could become completely and utterly alone and the scariest thing is that I wasn’t that far from that happening. It was just around the corner.

Depression set in. It was visible physically and emotionally. My skin started to break out. I had huge bags under my eyes from not getting good sleep for months. I was so tense that I was getting terrible headaches. I was snapping at people for no reason, pushing them away. I soon {and very recently} realized the worst thing – this was exactly how I felt as an angry, out of control teenager. This was the person I had been striving so hard to NOT be, had grown so far away from over the last 8 or so years. And I let it happen in no time at all.

Up until about 1 week ago, I hated myself. I hated my super-sensitivity. I hated my unwarranted anger towards people. I hated letting my emotions fly out of control. I hated who I had become.

But I can change that, I need change that. I’m not making this decision to go back to working to better myself because it’s a new year. That doesn’t matter. 2014 is nothing but a calendar date. I’m doing this because I reached a low point in my life, one of the lowest, and I am scared I am going to do something harmful to myself, or those around me.

I will stop hating myself
I will stop hating others
I will stop being jealous of other people’s lives
I will stop judging others
I will see things from your perspective
I will be understanding
I will practice patience
I will open myself to new possibilities
I will rebuild the bridges I have burned
I will cherish everyone in my life
I will keep my promises
I will smile more
I will treat everyone around me the way I want to be treated
I will keep in mind other people’s bad days
I will stop taking things personally
I will remember that I am loved
I will stop losing people over trivial things
I will keep your secrets & earn  your trust
I will be a better person for me & for you
I will love more

Hope

The Benefits of Practicing Yoga from the Moment You Leave Class

Thank you Huffington Post for all of your open-minded, educational and entertaining articles, and thank you especially for this easy-to-read infographic touting the benefits of yoga, from beginning to end.

I’m still a proponent for CrossFit in terms of strengthening muscles {which ladies, you MUST do to prevent osteoporosis in your Golden Years!}. I find that including yoga in my exercise regiment {which,  to be completely honest, has been absolutely nothing for the last 2 weeks} improves my performance at the CF gym.


yoga infographic

What do you think about Yoga? Are you practically a yogi master or a young novice? I’m on the novice spectrum but will be attending this AMAZING Costa Rica Yoga Retreat with Yogi Master Beth Stuart to strengthen my practice. And to go to effing Costa Rica of course!

A Talent I’d LOVE to Have. . . But Totally Don’t

Where to start! As a former ballerina {a terrible one}, that’s one talent I’ve always wished I had – being able to spin a hundred times across the floor en pointe, kick my leg up behind my head to my head, leap into the arms of an awaiting prince charming – how amazing would that be!!

I wish I was an amazing singer, to other people that is. I mean, I’m no Lady Ga GA, but I think I sound ok. Definitely better than a cat in heat. Of course it would be great to be a talented artist too, or play an instrument by ear, but the lack of these talents doesn’t bother me. There is one though, that would change my life if I had it.

If I could have a talent that I don’t already, it would be the ability to be more friendly. I am what you would call socially awkward {unless I’ve been drinking, then I’m socially annoying} and when you meet me, there’s a good chance I’m going to come across as cold and unfriendly. The reality is that I’m terrified I’m going to bore you to death or sound unintelligent or not be interesting. I’m nervous around you. I think you’re really nice, I really do! But I’m shy, I promise, I’m not trying to be mean.

I feel I’ve missed out on a lot of friendships, job opportunities, events – everything! by not having the talent to come off as a warmer, caring person.

IceQueen