I Don’t Know What to Believe- Coming Out of The Fog

“The decision to believe is the most important decision you will ever make” Whitney Clayton
We all go through different seasons in our lives; various stages with differing scenes of drama come with each season. The thing to remember is that seasons come and go. The hard part is remembering that our mind needs to welcome thoughts, emotions, and feelings in. Your yoga practice helps to maintain equanimity of mind. Purity is staying neutral; not taking sides, keeping your calm, living in the balance between your opposites is the real secret of healthy and happy living. It is your birthright to enjoy peace and health. So welcome disturbance feel it in your body, observe your breath and watch the mind.
When you make a decision to be healthy, you needn’t expect it to go smoothly. If everything were smooth without challenge there wouldn’t be seasons; you’d never be tested to prove that you will stick to your decision. You wouldn’t develop the skills of grit and discipline. So when the tests come how you respond is how you pass the test thus the challenging situation has become an instrument for your personal growth.
Below you see some examples of health. How are you faring? Are you passing the test?
Four Pillars of Health
1) Diet and Supplements- examples, Vitamin C with E, Blueberries, Broccoli, Spinach Seaweed, 20% healthy fat, 40% lean protein, 40% complex carbs
2) Stress Management- examples, Meditation, Mindfulness, Guided Imagery, Breath Exercises, Self-Massage, Chanting
3) Exercise Body and Mind- examples, a minimum of 150 minutes per week Movement, Concentration, Involve Senses
4) Spirit Fitness- examples, Developing Psycho-Spirt Wellbeing, Socialization/Connection, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Patience, Compassion, Empathy, Self-Discovery, Life Purpose, Sense of something Higher than Self, Selfless Service Volunteering
If you do not have four strong pillars, you may be experiencing some unnecessary suffering. At the core feelings and emotions are feedback mechanisms sending you messages. These messages are designed by nature to supply you with information that is necessary for you to survive and thrive. You have the ability to come out of your fog, remove the muck and to be in control of your four pillars. The choice is yours. Find the self-care love and experience the vastness of great freedom in welcoming in your four pillars of health.

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Applied Yoga Philosophy

In this paper you will learn how the classical text of Ramayana has influenced my life and my yoga practice. I will discuss the core principles and/or teachings of this text with regard to historical context and to the contemporary application of it today. I will also describe how the teachings in this text have influenced my role as a Yoga Therapist and how it is applicable to my clients.  Ramayana gives insights into how to live our various dharma’s and ethical standards at times of mental turmoil. It teaches us lessons of mortality and is a guide for righteous living. Ramayana inspires old and young and cuts across all barriers such as income levels, cultures and religions from around the world. The Ramayana story retold by William Buck is one that speaks to me. (Buck, 1976)

Ramayana was originally written in Sanskrit in the tradition of Vedas. The story is about the romance of Rama and the Court and the struggle of good over evil. It contains twenty-four thousand couplets (verses). These verses were written in thirty-two syllable meters called sloka (two line verses with sixteen syllables each). The meter is called anustup, chapters are called sargas and books are called kandas (of which there are seven). Each phrase of the story is connected to the next phase. This text dates back to 880,000 BCE (before Common Era or Christian Era). (Anonymous, “Ancient World History”)

The most important lesson that Ramayana teaches us is the relationship between Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Ultimately we are striving for Moksha and if we follow our Dharma we will obtain Moksha however at times Artha and Kama muddy our ways as we lean toward excess or scarcity in these categories rather than defining what is enough for us to fulfill our Dharma. I love how Rod Stryker describes the four desires. He says: Dharma in simple terms is the drive to fulfill your potential, you might also think of it as your duty (daughter, sister, etc.); Artha refers to material resources that will help you fulfill your dharma; Kama is the desire for pleasures of all kinds and Moksha is the longing for liberation and true freedom. (Stryker, 2011, pp. 20-23)

Ramayana is relevant more than ever in our modern society. Ramayana can be used as a set of values or a code of conduct in how to love our individual life, our family life, our career and how to connect with others in society. The young can learn from their mentors/ elders about wisdom in practicing the lessons taught in Ramayana. Currently in our society I see an undertone of solitary accomplishments being a metric of success. Success equated to worthiness, yet we are born worthy and unity is success. Relationships are being based on economy and greed instead of love, honesty and loyalty. Think of your hand for a moment. What if each finger did its own thing? How much can you accomplish with one finger? When all five units work together what can you accomplish then? We have teens who don’t heed parental advice and parents that aren’t concerned with their teen’s future. We have students that don’t respect teachers and teachers who don’t impart wisdom to students. We are one.  We breathe the same air, drink the same water and put our pants on the same way. Unity is diversity. We must all do our own work to understand ourselves better to be at peace for the world to be at peace.  One of my character strengths is the love of learning. I remind myself every day to take my acquired book knowledge and put it into practical knowledge to live by. “Ramayana is more than just a story. It assimilates principles of science and psychology, within its broader fold of spirituality and wisdom and this affords an all-inclusive solution.” –Dr. Ramesh Kumar Gupta

 How do we preserve our values? We are busy working hard to achieve individual success through greed and disregard for family, spouses, friendships, and fortunes. We have lost sight of what is truly important; unity, connection, loyalty, family, higher power, purpose and love. “Spirituality destroys narrow mindedness and confers unity, cooperation and universal peace.” ~Sai Darshan Pressures to perform deteriorate our life.  Without connection and spirituality we end up losing ourselves and our happiness. (Gupta)

Rama said in the second battle episode of the siege of Lanka: Vibhishanal! Self-confidence is my chariot and my courage and patience are its wheels. Truth and character is my flag while my strength, knowledge and self-control and goodwill are the four horses of my chariot. Forgiveness and uniform behavior are the ropes used to tie these horses. Faith in God is my charioteer while contentment and charity is my sword and axe respectively. My principles are my arrows. Devotion to the Brahmana’s and to my preceptor is my impenetrable amour. What other means of victory can one crave for? (Bhanot, 1992, p. 12)

My life and work is filled with love and through the life lessons of Ramayana. I can inspire myself and others to heal through movement. The fourteen lessons that Ramayana teaches us and I apply in my profession as a Yoga Therapist are:

If I come back to my soul’s dharma code I can relinquish my excess of wants in materialism and sense pleasures. I have dharmas or duties to carry out through other roles such as being a wife, daughter, friend, aunt, Yoga Therapist etc. Working through my four desires and developing clarity on my soul’s dharma code has helped me stay grounded as a Yoga Therapist while guiding my clients in finding clarity for themselves.

 Ramayana’s lesson of being married to one partner in our lifetime is built on long term meaningful relationships that are loyal and respectful of both parties. I like this quote by Kabbalah “We all come to this world as half a soul, we stumble about in this existence, trying other halves, preparing for the day when we will meet our kindred spirit. That’s when life really begins, that’s when it picks up speed and starts to flow and we can cast off. But we can’t meet that kindred spirit unless we discover our mission in life first.” It reminds me to do my work so others can do their work as well. Relationships are not perfect. They require growth, forgiveness and compassion especially after the affinity fades and the relationship changes into something that isn’t as new.  Relationships are a living moving piece of art that is always seeking balance and harmony. By having boundaries for myself and as a Yoga Therapist it allows me to have compassion and empathy. Happiness is obtained from the inside not from the outside.

If we take our time and speak our truth we are keeping our promises and honoring ourselves and others. As a Yoga Therapist I use my tools from Marshal Rosenberg (Psychologist and creator of nonviolent communication) and speak in a style that is non-violent and honor the profession and me. This maybe at times saying “I don’t know, I’m struggling with that myself, I feel this professional would be more helpful, I can’t fix but I can guide you to finding a more comfortable space if you are willing to do the work.”

It is my duty as a pioneer in this field to be respectful of the client in front of me, to my peers and those coming behind me. Reminding myself of my own detachment challenges without disappointment. Reminding myself to stay in a professional role rather than a friendship role with my clients so that they we can detach as a celebration of how far they have come without disappointment.

Not to listen to pointless and useless stories of my life especially stories that are vicious. It reminds me that my personality or way of healing my not be right for everyone and it is okay to excuse myself from a relationship with a client if I feel it isn’t providing healing for the client and a strain on my energy level. There are many needing guidance.

Not to accept valuable goods or presents from anyone, as this does the service of Yoga Therapy an injustice. A fair wage for the session provided is enough. I always tell my clients the greatest gift you can give me is to first heal yourself and then share your story, tell others about this service and then invite them to start their work.

Sometimes things come to you in disguise and to try and not get swayed by suspect attractions. Follow my gut and trust my personal intuition. As a Yoga Therapist I can always ask curious questions to understand things better and to see if what I’m feeling is client’s truth.

To always speak mindfully and to think before I speak sometimes my findings as a Yoga Therapist should be just that; my findings. My words could cause the client harm. They don’t need to know all of my assessment findings right from the start as they are usually coming to me wounded from a trauma of some sort. I want to create a trust, a safe place emotionally and physically- then I guide them through layers of self-discovering and healing as they are ready and ask for the knowledge and specifics.

All people have value and deserve to be treated fairly. No one deserves to be part of a violent act whether that is verbal or physical or be the subject of cruelty or bullying behavior. As a Yoga therapist I always lay out the expectations of what I agree to bring to each session and what I ask my client to bring to each session. It sets a boundary and a tone of what to expect during our times together.

My life and work is filled with love that moves people to heal; I am light in a dark world. I believe love exceeds all barriers. As a Yoga Therapist (I ask first) I always give my clients a hug on the way out. Hugs are healing and so many times I am the only loving touch they received all day. Vitamin L (love) is what will heal the world.

As a Yoga Therapist I am only their guide on this great adventure of theirs. They have to do all the work. I’m humbled and honored that they chose me to guide them.

We are wired for connection, belonging and friendships. As a Yoga Therapist I create times where there is a sense of community at the studio. A place where like-minded individuals can go, belong and friendships can be made. The connections here have a major impact on our local community.

Those that have the biggest bark, the toughest exterior, the souls that hurt others are the ones that need help the most. I pray daily for strength to be given to me, for the wisdom to ask the right question that will help them heal. On the inside they want love, connection and belonging more than anyone.

At times I have to jump into the middle of a fire to set a higher standard. As a Yoga Therapist I hold myself to high standards, others say they are impossible standards. As a teacher I guide my clients to lean into their fears to find calm waters and to set a standard for themselves and role model it to others.

 

References

Ancient World History. (2012, July 22). Retrieved October 19, 2015.

 

Bhanot, T. (Ed.). (1992). Ramayana: Part 9: Battle episode 2. (p. 12). Nai Sarak, Delhi: Dreamland Publications.

 

Buck, W. (1976). Ramayana: King Rama’s way (35th ed.). Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

 

Gupta, R. (2011, April 4). Ramayan for our daily lives – The Times of India. Retrieved October 19, 2015.

 

Stryker, R. (2011). For the purpose of the soul. In The four desires: Creating a life of purpose, happiness, prosperity, and freedom (pp. 20-23). New York: Delacorte Press.

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Selfie Part 1 – Identity Crisis!

Selfie, Selfie, Selfie Stick, Selfie, Selfie…. A selfie is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media. Selfies are very misleading because you can take a bunch of them and only post the one that you feel the best about… where as a canid shot is a better representation of what a person is really about.  A selfie allows us to be more perfect, sexy or swanky depending on what we are going after.  We see ourselves as one thing and others see us as something completely different because they don’t have our eyes and most of the time we only portray our highlight reel to the world with our appropriate mask on. I’ve done this for years and it is only in the last two years I have started to take the mask off and show vulnerability… which (I have to say) is more freeing and empowering.

I have a daily meditation practice and (I have to admit) without it I’d be even a hotter mess than I am today. I always ask: Please give me the guidance to know the right question to ask. What is it that I need to know today? I usually get a response in the near future as to which direction, question, answer I was looking for… it just took getting quiet and putting it the hands of the “me” and the  universe. My bell has recently been rung and I am in a huge, painful lesson of having my faith challenged and trusting my path… that I’m in the right place at the right time under the right circumstances. I am struggling and wobbling… clinging to hope. I’m sure you have experienced something similar.

Deep down I know there is something greater than me in this universe.  I’ve known this since I was a small child. I recall my first experience at the age of seven while riding my horse Nugget. I know that as an adult I need not see obstacles as obstacles and put up resistance, thinking that I am a bad person. Instead, I need to meet obstacles with grace, know that a tuff growing period is on the horizon and that I have the wisdom available to me if I get quiet (and in the right time and sequence of events) the divine order will be presented to me.

Justification is the action of showing something to be right or reasonable. Think of the grass.  It grows when it wants to grow. We get impatient, but patience is a working process for us. It is a procedure of refining where we must honestly be aware of our own shortcomings. How sick are you in your physical, emotional and spiritual body? A bacterium is horrible and to be honest we will probably die of a bacterial infection because not a lot of research goes into this area because it isn’t profitable. Why isn’t it profitable?  Our bodies and the bacterium adapt and within two years the serum to treat the bacteria is no longer affective? Our negativity… our thoughts… infect us just as bacteria do.  70% of our thoughts are made up, so why do we base our thoughts on fear rather than hope? Our bodies are over 80% water and negativity affects the crystals of that water.  If our cells are swimming around in a swamp of poor choices then how can we expect to be healthy in our physical, emotional and spiritual body? The great thing is that we can leave our past in the past and know that we are becoming aware of the damage we are doing to our “self.”  We can choose to create new patterns. Do you really and truly understand how you are hurting yourself?

An identity crisis is a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society. What makes up your identity?  Well, they are things that make you stand out in a crowd. We usually have a public self and private self. So things like appearance, style, personality would fall under our public self while thoughts, feelings, daydreams, fantasies fall under our private self. Our social identity would include things like kinship, ethnicity, nationality, self-esteem, morality, vicarious elements, respect, praise, affection, power, ability, and performance.  Are you working on your outer house or your inner house? Are you creating your identity by what others think of you, your material objects, etc. this is a vicious circle that we can’t win when we seek our identity by external sources only.

You See:                                              Others See:

Failure                                                 Success

Imperfection                                       Perfection

Coward                                                Champion

Spiritual Wreck                                   Individuality

We are wonderful spiritual beings having a human experience. We are perfect just as we are.  We don’t need to become anything other than what we are, yet we try to become perfect which causes stress and strain.  I am an individual expression of life. Don’t let someone or something dull your sparkle.  You are beautiful and whole. Be curious about life and feed your soul. How are you getting in your way? Selfishness, greed, lack of self-care, worry, fear

My mom taught me to appreciate my food and how to cook. She taught me about having good cookware and that good cookware grows better in time as the pans are seasoned. I kind of had “pan envy” as she made it look so easy, yet now I’ve come to appreciate the art of cooking. Pans need cleaning, seasoning, attention, dedication and they get better over time.  You run out and get a cheap set that is non-stick it isn’t a lot of work and the non-stick just lasts short term because it wears off. Insecurity will stop sticking to you and others perceptions will stop sticking to you when you do your work and grow you.

Meditation daily is a tool that you can use to get out of your way and get into living your soul dharma code… your life path. I cherish my meditation times. Meditation is a time to get quiet, to listen to your inner wisdom so that you can approach your life as an adventure with confidence and trust in your decision.  Let the old you out and the new you be ready to rock. Home is where your identity resides. Have you ever noticed that you are sad to leave your old home, you get settled into your new home and you get an opportunity to go back to the old home and it doesn’t feel like it is your home at all? That is because it isn’t the home that makes you; you make the home.  Your uniqueness makes your space in which to reside. Our inner and outer homes are places of beauty and peace. At little cleaning in your home goes a long way, it is the same when we clean our mind.  One choice to change our thought goes a long way; one choice to be consistent in our integrative sustainable movement discipline changes our health.

Quantum creation by Josh Peck lets us see clearly with love I see in every direction. Get out of your way and get into your plan. Become a priority in your life. Be a voice, not an echo.  Be centered, courageous and adventurous so that you can grow in joy.

“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” Buddha

Are you comfortable with your self-worth? For me, not really but I’m working on it.  I appreciate that I have the opportunity to shift an unhealthy belief to a healthy belief, to let go of an old limitation and pick up a new healthy pattern all because I am worthy of having the life I want. I was born with that worth.  We all were.

Today ask yourself what you need to improve your self-care (walk, Thai energy session, read a book, meditate, play with a dog, yoga, pilates, etc.) and give it to yourself.

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Become a Better Lover Part 3: Telling Your Love Story

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

We’ve spent this last quarter thinking/speaking about self-love and I think Dr. Kristen Neff’s quiz on self-compassion and her research is great. She says: “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” How are you caring for yourself these days? For me I know that I need to schedule in my self-care or it gets scheduled out by the demands associated with leading a full life. When this happens I’m not operating as my best self. Take her quiz with this link below and see how you are doing: http://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/ I am high on self-compassion 3.91 with my highest score being in common humanity, mindfulness and self-kindness.

“Love leaves legacy. How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.” – Rick Warren

One way our Mind Body Balance Team Members share the Mind Body Balance Transformation of Love is through our invite cards that we offer our community members. We give you these cards with free services on them so that you can have a tool to share your health journey with others. The Mind Body Balance Team Members work hard to team up and put on our best presentations. We soften our hearts even more for potential new clients and roll out our best welcome mat. Why, because Crazy Good Love encompasses the softer side of love. It is all the warm and fuzzy things about love that make us feel good. This is what drives people to do generous and wondrous things for others. You should act lovingly toward all people, even the people who drive us a little nuts! Who are you going to tell your love of your health story to? Please be uncensored and share the highs and lows because being real, truthful, authentic and vulnerable is what inspires others and it is a language they can understand.

“Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.” – Bill Hybels

Trauma’s happen to all of us and we put up walls where we don’t trust others or ourselves. Research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception. In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation in a process called genomic imprinting the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the character of the child yet to be conceived this research was done by Reik and Walter in 2001. What they are suggesting is that what is going on in the lives of parents during this process of genomic imprinting has a profound influence on the mind and body of their child. Kind of scary since most people aren’t prepared to have a baby, so it makes a difference if you were conceived in love, haste or hate and whether the mother wants to be pregnant, or whether the parents want to have a baby and live in a calm, stable environment free of addictions and supported by family and friends. In fact there has been so much research in the last decade that they are revaluating the mental and emotional abilities of unborn children. Mothers and fathers are in the conception of pregnancy business together the father has a profound affect as does the mother. Dr. Bruce Lipton uses this example: If the father leaves and the mother starts questioning her own ability to survive; his leaving profoundly changes the interaction between the mother and the unborn baby thus affecting the developing child. So conscious parenting is important for fostering healthy, intelligent, productive and joy-filled children from both parents. We are personally responsible for everything in our lives. We cannot be guilty or blamed for being a poor parent unless we already were aware of this information and disregarded it. But once you are aware it is your responsibility to begin to apply it and reprogram your behavior. If we physically hold children and love children and don’t repress sexuality our culture would be more peaceful. A child needs love, touching and physical contact, however when put in stressful environments and deprived of love, touch, etc. the child suffers from somatosensory affective disorders (an impairment of the somatosensory system which is your sensory systems) and is a precursor to violent episodes. Everything always leads back to love, vulnerability, connection, empathy, joy and peace. Simply knowing this knowledge and then waiting on the couch for it to take hold doesn’t work. It is the equivalent of accepting the latest miracle pharmaceutical pill thinking that it will fix everything. No one is fixed until you make an effort to grow and change from your new knowledge.

“A lifetime without love is of no account, love is the water of life, drink it down with heart and soul” Rumi

When storms come our first question is usually “How can I be in so much loss and trial – haven’t I suffered enough already?” Everyone has different definitions of spirituality so we probably have to agree to disagree on this one. In my belief system I think of all religion as one God. I know that there is something higher than myself that governs the universe. How we go about worshiping that God is different for everyone and I respect everyone’s views. In my belief system I think of spirituality as listening… becoming quiet enough with our “self” to find that quietest voice inside to guide us through our life. There is so much anger and hatred in this world and my belief system is that there is a lack of respect, values, education and love. I could go off on a soap box on how I think we are even eating these emotions of fear, anger, etc. from our food supply chain but I’ll save that for another blog. We need connection, vulnerability and love to be healthy. So many people fail at their health and fitness programs because they don’t do the thinking part to exercise, they don’t heal because they don’t get to the emotional body and find the emotional root cause to the disease. We must start talking about this and making it safe to talk about it because it is literally killing our health care system and our cultures.

“When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story; we can write a brave new ending.” Brene Brown

Things are placed on our path for a reason. They are part of us. Find the positive take away. There are steps to loss and recovery:
• Shock/denial/numbness
• Fear/anger/depression
• Understanding/acceptance/moving on

Each stage of recovery is necessary, natural, and part of the healing process. When we are going through a loss we need grace, peace and to find the ability “to ask” for what we need from those around us because feeling loss is:
• Feeling helpless, fearful, empty, despairing, pessimistic, irritable, angry, guilty restless
• Experiencing a loss of concentration, hope, motivation, energy
• Changes in appetite, sleep patterns or sexual drive
• A tendency to be more fatigued, error-prone and slower in speech and movement

My favorite books so far in times of storms are How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold H. Bloomfield and 10 Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma. You have to dig deep and find something that will carry you when you don’t know how to move forward you have to be able to access your higher self, god, universe, Mother Nature.

We are asking you to share your Mind Body Balance self-love story with us this month! Whether it is in a short video or written know that in sharing your story it will have a ripple effect and change many lives. You may be doing Integrative Sustainable Movement for the first time – welcome- it is why your first visit is on us – What will it take to help you start your personal practice today? Hopefully by the Mind Body Balance Community Sharing the experience- Telling you their self-love story – and by the Mind Body Balance Team Members showing how to reach your goals you will become committed to your self-love and to your personal health in a supportive community that is a safe place physically and emotionally.
Over the years we have had incredible stories by those who had the boldness to share. The stories are unique but common. OUT OF SELF-LOVE HEALTH THRIVES! It takes hours, days, months, years to set an “intention” and be sincere about it. Forgive yourself for doing life your way without respect to your self-nurturing needs. Give up perfection. Lean into forgiveness, love and empathy. Take a step of courage and ASK! We aren’t going to give you a list of your negatives, email us through info@mindbodybalance.com and we’ll send you important next steps on how to get started on your Mind Body Balance Transformation today. STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH IN YOU AND TRUST YOUR JOURNEY!

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Your Young Adult Needs Help!

I love seeing parents and teenagers or parents and young-adult children working out next to each other. The energy that is there is spectacular. The parent who has finally taken some time for themselves now that their children are getting older is strong and graceful. This new, empowered energy starts to pull their children toward them and eventually they bring them to a group class. On one hand I love it when a child is struggling and they look over in amazement to see their parent holding steady in their inner strength and resting on their breath. But on the other hand, the child needs some basics and support.

I feel that parents look at their children as young, strong and can do anything so of course they can handle an intermediate to advanced class. In actuality, our youth need to learn a good foundation just as the parent did. While it creates a spark of excitement in the parent that they just showed their children “See, I am strong and can do anything.” This is the ego talking!

I get it. This is a very hard time of life.  A parent may be “empty nesting” or starting to feel the effects of years of putting family first and not caring for their bodies.  Parent and child need to connect as adults now. You no longer have control over a young adult’s every life decision.  This is a way to strut your new-found empowerment too, but let’s do it in a way that inspires the child to movement.

We need to look at the child. How can we take what the parent is learning and share it with the child? Let’s not allow them to start to take back their life (after grad school or in their sixties). Let’s teach them the tools to start their life with inner strength, empowered choices and movement. Our tweens, teens and young adult are struggling with some very real social, emotional and physical issues. Now, I’m not saying that they should get the Hollywood treatment. I am saying that you could share your experience, introduce them to the movement transformation that you have learned and then be like “I’d like for you to learn these tools so you won’t struggle like I did.  If I would have learned these life skills earlier in life this is how my life would be different.”  

Once movement enters both your lives, it can be used as a way of spending time together.   For example, instead of going out to dinner together, how about sharing some yoga classes?  The yoga class is going be something that sticks with them for a lifetime, whereas the food will be gone from them in about 24 hours or less.

While it is good to exercise with the child please remember that they need to have their own self-discovery and journey separate from your own.  They are going through a lot of physical and emotional changes. They are trying to find their independence and using movement services is a great way for them to explore challenges, overcome obstacles, learn consistency toward a long-range goal, push through fears, stress management tools, self-nurture techniques, learn to keep an appointment, to show up on time, etc. All are pretty powerful tools if you ask me.

We get so tied up in raising children that sometimes we forget to teach them the important life fundamentals. If someone took time to mentor you in these areas how would your life be different? You are leading by example, now take it to the next step and mentor your young to make empowering choices regarding their movement because a choice of no movement or movement later in life isn’t an option.

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UGH Time to Go Workout!

Let me just be honest here a moment. I’m an Integrative Fitness Professional and I don’t love to work out.

I know my dirty little secret is out, because (if I’m being honest) there are days I would prefer to stay at home curled up in my p.j.’s all day sipping tea (or wine) and not at the studio.

I remember when I was new to making a lifestyle change and I would have this big argument in my head about going to work out. It was like New York City in there….okay, well, maybe I’m crazy but you know what I’m talking about.

You come up with all these reasons why you shouldn’t go and then as you get closer to the studio you hope that the instructor isn’t there and then even 5 minutes into the workout you are still negotiating to stay there and to be present in the lesson.

The conversation might go something like this: “Oh, I didn’t get to bed early enough last night. I’m so tired….hit the snooze. I think I’m coming down with something…. (starting to get dressed)… I know I’ll feel better when I get there….(starting the car)… I wonder if she’ll text me and say class is canceled. I could use the time at home to get ready for my week. Fat chance, she never cancels. I hate her….. (pulling up outside the studio)… Shit! She’s there. I have to go in…… (walking in the studio)… Why is she so chipper? I’m going to suck as usual in my lesson. I don’t know what she sees in me. Is this worth it? … (first 5 minutes into the lesson)… (The end of the lesson)…I feel great, I’m standing taller, I love her. Oh, I don’t need a medical overhaul " See you next time!”

As we practice the new behavior it becomes easier to embrace the lesson. It doesn’t mean the emotions we feel go away though.

See, when you are doing deep work in your body it brings up a lot of stuff that we have stuffed down into ourselves. Things we may have forgotten were still there. They come up into our consciousness because we have slowed down enough to breathe, feel and move. I guess you could say they have risen to the top surface of the water line, where, before, they were below the water line. Be curious to what has risen because once we are aware of it, we can start to heal it.

Movement is a gift, so not moving isn’t an option. Movement heals us. Two thirds of our medical expenses are because of the choices we make. Be empowered to except the gift of movement and allow it to heal you.

Please share your mind chatter pattern below and tell us your secret to taming it.

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Don’t Approach Your Life with Dirty Dishes

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all have that person that comes to mind that we feel is perfect, never makes any mistakes, never says the wrong thing, never is angry with others or at herself.  This person just loves everyone and everyone loves them. They are admired and humbled.  We focus so much on this person that we feel bad about ourselves. No matter how hard we try we just can’t live up to the standards, the ideal.  It makes you crazy.

I ask this:  Why are you comparing your behind the scenes movie-reel with their highlight-reel?

Few of us would eat dinner on the dirty dishes of last night’s meal.  Why do we approach our life with the same cluttered, self-defeating and negative mind chatter? If you want to tackle your lifestyle change from that of old habits to new habits, you are going to have to put on a new record.

Face it, you are not perfect and you are not a saint.  You are human who makes mistakes.  You love and care for yourself and those around you. Take care of your own self-efficacy concerning health and fitness.  Be honest, faithful and true to yourself. Accept who you are in this moment and embrace your starting point.

Here is an affirmation to try out this month:

I am enough. I accept myself unconditionally just the way I am.

Please post below what dirty dish you struggle with and how you plan to approach it differently.

Because we are sentenced to the consequences of our accumulated thoughts, it is important that we learn to observe and elevate them. Write out some negative thoughts you commonly have and practice elevating them to positive thoughts. As an exercise in helping you observe and elevate your thoughts, imagine that everyone can read your mind. When a negative thought comes into your mind that you would rather keep to yourself, acknowledge it non-judgmentally and then replace it with an uplifting one.

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Determination is Everything

There are some people that just like to go through the motions of movement.

They can barely drag themselves in.

Then they proceed with a list of self-deprication… passively going through the movement… not being present… so that they can say “See? Poor me. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work for me.”
I think they feel it gets them attention. In actuality, others just want them to be quiet and get to it.

Look, we all have our own story (our own baggage) that we try to neatly carry in our luggage. I’m not talking about those moments when our luggage springs open and those around us get peppered by it. I’m talking about the rat race of negativity surrounding every moment of your day, so much so that you can’t be present. We’ve all been there so I’m not judging. I am saying to put a time limit on it and then to dig deep into that will and desire. Look for some grit and make it happen

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Basically, you are missing the work and the gifts that it provides.

Relish challenges because they lift you higher and make you better. Determination is everything to your success. If you have determination, if you do whatever it takes, you will succeed. Be determined today to improve your health.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

If you are fully present in your practice and care about the lesson at hand (the meaning in all of it) you will learn how worthwhile movement is. You will appreciate the lessons learned throughout that practice.

Are you willing to ask “How Can I do better?” Post here how you can do better and/ or tips that you use to be present in your practice.

Being a perfect person, having a perfect relationship, or doing all things perfectly… there isn’t such a thing. Recognizing this increases our day-to-day happiness. What does your inner perfectionist look like? Why do you act the way you do? What are you afraid of?

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What’s your inner voice telling you?

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.” – Earl Nightingale

As a movement professional and coach I allow my clients to turn on their own light bulbs. I’m there as a guide and a facilitator. I’ll help them until they can do it themselves, but at Mind Body Balance we encourage our clients to be independent (not dependent on us). There is a whole world for us to inspire to movement.

There is far greater joy and power to watch someone figure it out for themselves; and they do, as long as you create that “place” in which it’s possible that you will be there for them on the other side. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hope for the best and push through to the other side.

Fear is only as thick as a Kleenex.
The body is fluid and open to change. The mind is concrete.
Overcome the concrete mind and the body is ready and willing to be freed.

When it comes to movement, we all have an Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. I know I’m being cute, but think about it. We have the Angel saying, “Yes. Yes. Buy vegetables, attend your Pilates today. You’ll feel better for doing so.” Meanwhile the Devil is saying, “Ice cream, French fries, be a couch potato. Come on, I’ve been doing this “plates” thing for five minutes it isn’t working. Let’s leave.”

Okay so this isn’t a perfect situation of what’s in our head, but you get the point I’m trying to make. We each have two voices; one that is trying to demolish our goals and self-esteem and one that promotes our goals and self-esteem. Some of us might have a whole committee to deal with.

I was fortunate to have a mother that said I could do anything, that I am a survivor. At Mind Body Balance “Can’t” isn’t a word that is said in our studio. As a matter of fact, it’s grounds for a stern “Kim talking to.”

I will accept phrases like:

“If not today, tomorrow.”
• “Every time I try I get stronger.”
• “Yes, I can.”
• “I release and let go.”… Etc.

We all have a negative voice in our head. My negative voice tells me things like, “I’m not good enough, strong enough or worthy enough to get what I want”, etc. You have these voices too, maybe a mob of voices. These whispers are always with us, good and bad.

Starting a yoga practice can help quiet these voices and put them into perspective. There is something to be said for being still, quiet, peaceful and content with our body and mind in this fast paced world. Our life paths take us through light and shadows, we constantly are faced with choices between good and evil, truth and lies, kindness and coldness. These interior voices face off on the battlefield of the mind daily.

Changing our mind’s thoughts to positive (turning down the volume of those negative voices) takes practice. They can be changed as easily as changing a channel on the television from Jerry Springer to the Discovery channel. We are what we “turn on” at the moment. It requires diligent repetition of positive statements, and constant, consistent, constructive application.

Daily practice. Daily practice. Daily practice. Daily practice. Did I say “Daily practice?”

Over time you will observe your interior voice change. Along with this, will come a change in your results. Take charge of your inner voice today. You can tell it what to tell you. Choose the positive voice. You are worth it, and more.

Is your inner dialogue overly critical? You deserve to be spoken to in encouraging ways. You have the power to change your critical inner voice to a loving and supportive one.

Post your most reoccurring negative voice here and then tell us how you are going to turn it into a positive. Feel free to help each other turn that negative voice into a positive. Remember, we are a community at Mind Body Balance. Inspire others to movement.

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Mind Chatter

Beth Shaw, Founder of YogaFit, first introduced me to affirmations or mantras. I’ve been practicing them ever since. They are powerful and always help me overcome limiting beliefs. I’ve never thought about it until right now, but I guess I’ve used affirmations in my life before without giving them a name.  I’ve used them to overcome health obstacles.  I just always referred to them as my gift for positive thinking and my strong spiritual belief that I could make things happen in my life if I put my mind to it.

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light” – Earl Nightingale

Let’s face it, we all have this mind chatter.  Some of the time it’s negative and some of the time it’s positive. Some of us have just one voice while some of us have a mob of voices. I can have conversations in my head.  If we aren’t careful we can get trapped there.

Okay, so now you all are thinking I’m loopy but really, tell me you haven’t been grocery shopping… and you know you should be buying vegetables… but instead you buy chocolate cake and ice cream. This is what I mean by the two different types of voices. Oh! Here is another example for you.  How many times have you come up with every excuse known to man as to why you shouldn’t show up for exercise?  Believe me, I’ve heard a lot.  You can be on the treadmill already and still talk yourself into getting off and leaving.  You know you’ll feel better afterwards and it is good for your health and well-being.

These voices can either promote or demolish us, our goals and our self-esteem.  I can learn something the hard way and pick myself up and be more successful the next time around. She doesn’t understand why I do what I do but knows that because I’m doing it I will be successful at it. When your negative voice creeps in, you can always count on your mom to give you a good kick in the pants. What does your negative voice tell you?  “You aren’t good enough.  Why change now you’ll just fail.  You’ll never be beautiful.  You’re not worth the effort.”   Do you have this voice?  Maybe several voices? I meditate and practice yoga.  It helps me quiet the mind chatter and still my mind; even if for just a moment. I practice Pilates because it gives me inner strength and I love my body for it. I practice fitness coaching because it gives me the grace and patience to see that every step (no matter how small and what time I start) is better than giving in to the negativity that surrounds us. Our lives are always swaying between light and darkness; we face good and evil, truths and lies, kindness and bitterness daily. You can’t escape completely but you can control the volume of certain voices.  It requires perseverance, dedication, self-sacrifice, and hard work daily.

I’m writing this while watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I’m reminded of some keys to winning.
Avoid Turnovers. Why, when we are on the path to greater health, do we self-sabotage our efforts?  Every time you use the word “Don’t” you set yourself up for failure? “Don’t eat cake.”  What do you do?  You eat two pieces of cake. “Don’t miss an exercise session this week.”  What do you do?  You miss the whole month.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away from our goal.
Build Momentum.  It takes both physical and emotional training consistently over lifetime.  You want it overnight.  Well, you are just starting out on your journey to a new you, a new lifestyle.  It doesn’t happen overnight, because if it did we would miss out on the character it builds going from point A to point B and you wouldn’t understand how to celebrate once you got there.
Play like a champion. Workouts should be called “Playouts.” It isn’t about being perfect and your clock hasn’t struck zero yet, so start today in taking steps to becoming your best self.  Let me and the staff at Mind Body Balance help you become the champion I know you already are.stacked stones with flower

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