Pt. 2

“God has called you to live in peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15.

Sometimes when I begin my solo yoga practice, I begin with no purpose. I allow my body to simply flow. The end result is sometimes fulfilling but rarely immediate. Rather, it is when I return my thoughts and my intentions to that flow that I gain fulfillment. I learn from it. I build my uninhibited flows into my intentional flows. Before I know it, a practice that began with no purpose builds my practice of purpose.

I sat thinking today, I wish I could guide my class through one of my unintentional and purposeless flows. However, I know that my body flows quicker than my mind and my mouth can teach. A class guided with no purpose would be just that – purposeless. In fact, it wouldn’t be guided at all.

As I sat on the couch, with no intention to write, I found myself at the computer – -throwing up words on the page. The writer’s block is over (thank you Kanye).

Just like my purposeless practice – life has taught me that when I act freely – when I act quicker than my mind can process, and my words can describe I find no fulfillment. In fact, in the immediate I find regret. It is when I return, with thoughts and intentions reflecting on those actions that I release my regret and I learn.

My purposeless actions always prove to be lessons. For this, I can be grateful. Some of us act with no purpose but gain no lesson. This is a life with no fulfillment.

I think I will call this Pt. 2. Hellthy and Wellthy Part 2.

I did not guide you through some of my journey. Honestly, the past few months I needed internal inspiration. I needed divine inspiration. I needed that for myself. I needed God. I needed anointment in privacy. I needed God’s wisdom alone. I needed to understand what I was learning and who I was becoming before I could verbalize it.

My yoga journey led me somewhere I never imagined – somewhere better than I expected. Somewhere unexpected. My yoga journey led me right to the arms of God – and I can not imagine a better place to be. A life filled with purpose and guided by the Word.

How? Because there is one very clear distinction that can be made when a purposeless flow evolves into a purposeful class and purposeless life actions evolve into life lessons.

My purposeless flows help me to craft sequential, rhythmic and systematic classes. Classes that can be easily guided and taught to others. Why? Because my body naturally flows with rhythm. I find myself moving naturally from upward dog, to downward dog, to warrior 1, to warrior 2, to reverse warrior, to triangle and finally to half moon. Even when I have no purpose going into practice I sometimes found myself there. With no purpose – the natural flow of my body takes me there because the movement is natural. It flows. In turn, I take that movement – I make it repetitive and it is easy to guide people through it.

Unlike yoga, there is no fulfillment in a life that is sequential, rhythmic and systematic. Sequencing, rhythm and systems do not make life easy to guide. Life – life is not easy to guide. There are far too many choices to be made on a daily basis that cannot be made naturally – the choices need guidance. That is why I had to find guidance. I could not rely on my natural feelings and purposeless actions to fulfill me. In fact, they caused me to be so unfulfilled that I became lost. I needed a guide. I needed a compass.

The guide is God and the compass is the Word.

I am well versed enough to know I have no place to judge so I won’t. I believe that yoga asanas (poses) have proved a great tool to strengthen my body and to heal my physical wounds. I believe the asanas have taught me patience with my body.

I do not believe that yoga can ever or could ever guide me to fulfillment in my mind, my heart, and my spirit. Why? Because the philosophy of yoga requires you to accept that you are nothing. You live here as nothing – to end at nothing – so you must teach yourself to be fulfilled by nothingness. That is the most advanced philosophy of yoga. To accept nothing. Once you have you are enlightened…..

WAIT….. No.

We were put here with purpose. We live on this beautiful earth – among water, land, sky, plants and creatures. We live among God’s children. We live among intentional creation. Not among nothingness.

We live with guidance from the Father on an earth far less than the heaven we will see. We are all something – we are the sons and the daughters of a King.

We live fallen but forgiven. We live unconditionally loved and accepted.

Nothingness is not fulfilling. Achieving nothingness is worth nothing.

Trust that you’re here to fulfill something. To go somewhere. To meet someone. You are here with purpose, live that purpose out.

 

 

Xoxo,

 

Victoria

The Number 1 Motivation to Start Taking Care of Yourself! (Links Included)

“If my life is for rent, and I don’t learn to buy, well I deserve nothing more than I get because nothing I have is truly mine.” – Dido.

val·ue: consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of

Have you ever sat down and thought about how much value you hold? Probably not. It is rare to sit down with yourself to confront these questions. I bet that on a daily basis you are subtly answering this question. Every time you judge yourself, you treat yourself with disrespect, you let others hurt you, or you ignore what your body and mind are begging you for. On a daily basis, most of us are telling our body, our soul,  and everyone around us that we don’t hold much value.

Think about yourself taking care of a dog or a baby. If the dog needed to go outside on a walk, you would take the dog on a walk. This is because we place a high value on our pets. They bring us comfort, joy, and solace. In return, we want our pets to be happy and healthy.

What about a baby? If your baby needed to go to the doctor you wouldn’t even question it. You would take the baby to the doctor, even just to be safe. If a certain food was upsetting your baby’s stomach you would stop feeding your baby that food, even if you thought it was their favorite. If you were pregnant and your doctor told you that you needed to stop eating certain foods and drinking certain drinks you would stop doing it for the baby.

Finally, and worst of all … think about yourself with material items. When you are feeling down or you are feeling accomplished are you willing to invest in that $300.00 purse you have been craving? Are you willing to invest in the leather treatment spray to keep it clean? Would you be angry if someone treated that bag poorly? A lot of us believe that by investing in material things we are investing in ourselves when really we are just investing in an item. So, when was the last time you really invested $300.00 into yourself?

How many of us come home and ignore our own body when it is screaming: exercise!!!!!!??  How often do you feed yourself what is convenient, cheap, or available even though you know it is not good for you? How many us, escape doctor’s appointments because of inconvenience, investment, or because it’s “not that bad.”? I’m not just talking about your regular doctor. I mean seeking out a doctor of nutrition when your body needs help. Seeking out a specialist in grief when your mind needs help. Seeking out a specialist in life coaching when your soul needs help. Seeking out a doctor of chiropractic when your body needs to be aligned. Spotlight Series – Dr. Matthew Murrin: The Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Why You NEED It In Your Life!

Why do we do this? Why would you drop everything you are doing to take care of your dog and baby but not yourself?  Why would you call out of work to take your car to the shop when it won’t start up but you wouldn’t call out of work to go to an appointment when your body isn’t starting up the way it used to. Why would you stop feeding your baby the food’s that upset their stomach but you won’t stop feeding yourself food’s that upset your stomach? Why would you stand up to someone who walks all over your brand new purse, but you wouldn’t stand up to someone who walks all over you?

The answer to this question is simple: Value.

WE DO NOT VALUE OURSELVES! We don’t value ourselves the way we value material things. We don’t value ourselves the way we value the ones we love. That has to change.

TODAY: Sit with yourself and think of how much value you hold.

  • Who values you?
  • Why do they value you?
  • What value do you bring to this world every day when you get up?
  • How do you value yourself?
  • How do you show others that you are valuable? 

If you aren’t satisfied with the answer then all you need to do is start investing in yourself! Start treating yourself with value and let others see that. I don’t mean walk around with ego, arrogance, and entitlement. I mean walk around with strength and security.

When you start investing in yourself you will develop value in yourself. You will feel better and see clearer. You will feel stronger and act on that strength. Listen to your body the way that you would listen to your baby cry. Invest in your health the way you would invest in a purse, or a shoe, or a car. Buy into your body, it is yours.

Here are a few great places to start: 

Doctor’s Nutrition – if you feel like your body is not at its prime (most of us) maybe it is time to take a look. Doctor’s Nutrition is a TX nutrition based program. Dr. Stephen Lewis runs 18 panels of blood work and has a one on one conference call with you breaking that blood work down to kindergarten English for you to understand. Then he makes recommendations and offers many kinds of supplements to help your body get back to 100.

This blood work can answer so many questions. Your regular doctor’s office is rarely ever going to run 18 panels to understand your hormone levels, thyroid levels, blood sugar, iron, etc. Dr. Lewis does. And he does it for a very low cost (the same as that purse you had to have 6 months ago and never wear now).

You can get your blood work done at any Quest Diagnostics in any state. Check out Doctor’s Nutrition here: Pro Health IQ

Chiropractic USA – Spotlight Series – Dr. Matthew Murrin: The Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Why You NEED It In Your Life!

Gaia Yoga App – $9.99 a month to invest in your mind body and soul. The Gaia Yoga app has so much to offer. It is a platform of thousands of yoga videos, guided meditation, and documentaries to feed your hungry brain. Gaia Yoga Online

The Minimalists – In case you need a push to stop investing in things and start investing in life. The Minimalists Website

Yoga Talk Show: Lucas Rockwood – No this podcast is not just about yoga pants and poses. This podcast is actually where I learned about Doctor’s Nutrition and I could not be happier about that. On this podcast, Lucas brings experts in sleep, nutrition, science, meditation, essential oils, therapy….. and on and on and on. It is the only way I drive to work int he morning:  Podcast

Thrive Market – for Organic options at a low price + they show up on your doorstep!

value

 

Why the path to health and wellness is just like driving a car

“To believe in something and not to live it is dishonest.” Gandhi

If you stop driving the car it will crash –

This is the problem many of us face when we are confronted with challenges. We feel like the easiest way to end where we are headed is to stop driving. Instead, we must realize that without a guide our car does not know where to go. If you want your car to change directions you must tell it. You must take control and guide the car where you want it to go. The car cannot take you there by itself. So, when you are faced with obstacles, challenges, or you are headed the wrong way down the road take control.

Turn the car around, take a right, take a left, make a U-turn. Whatever needs to be done, it must be done by you. There is not a passenger in the car who can control the driver’s seat. Only the driver has control over the gas, the brake, the steering wheel and the ignition. While passengers in the car might help direct you, you must decide which turn to make because ultimately they cannot make that turn for you. You must do it yourself. Do not stop driving your car because you do not want to crash. Realize that we cannot jump out of our car for a new one. We simply must guide the car we have.

If you speed to the new path ahead you will lose control –

            The reason I refer to this change as a journey is that it cannot be done too quickly. The path to success, the path to health, the path to wellness is not short and there is a speed limit. This speed limit is designed to protect you, just like the speed limit on the road. It gives you the power to observe your surroundings and the ability to remain controlled. When you ignore that speed limit and test your car’s ability to go faster one of two things will happen. If you are lucky you will be stopped by someone who is looking out for you. Alternatively, you might lose control.

When we lose control, we tend to fall off the path we are on. You may feel the urge to speed things up sometimes but your body cannot handle it. You must listen to the needs of your body and you must act for what is optimal, not just what is possible. Do not overexert yourself or under nourish your body. Do not speed up the process to weight loss by starving your body or feeding it caffeine pills. Additionally, do not speed up the journey to happiness by resorting to bandages like drugs, alcohol, and material things.

On this path, I am often reminded of a quote –

Happiness is like a butterfly

 If you inch towards the path ahead you will never reach it –

            Now, let’s be honest with ourselves on this path. While it is true that you cannot take things too quickly you must not excuse yourself from acting. If you act too slowly on this journey you will never reach your destination. If you put things off until tomorrow and then tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes January you start to lose sight of the destination ahead. Then that destination seems unreachable.

Denial is a challenge you must overcome. We tend to deny to ourselves when we are making the wrong choices. If we are not denying the choices we are making excuses for them. It might be true that today you cannot run one mile, but maybe you can walk it. It might be true that today you cannot do a headstand but you can rest in downward dog. You can even practice getting there.

Be honest with yourself. Do you want to make a change? Do you want to find your true self? Then you must take steps.

“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Stop on the path to reflect on what your car needs – fuel, oil change, a new battery 

            The final thing to keep in mind on this journey is that your car needs fuel to run, an oil change to function, and a battery to sustain. Your body is like this too. Every week sit down and journal about how your week was. Did you feel exhausted or energized? Did you feel tight or flexible? Did you suffer an injury or gain a strength?

When you are feeling exhausted make sure you are taking in the right nutrients. Do you get enough B12 and Vitamin D3? Are you eating enough protein? Are you eating too much sugar? What is your bedtime and how much sleep are you getting? (A fit bit charge 2 will track your sleep for you – it has changed my life). If you are feeling exhausted or a lack of energy often make sure you approach a doctor for your best advice. We are all so different – some cars need regular gas but others need premium. Make sure you are feeding your car the fuel it needs.

When you feel tight listen to your body. Stretch that area but don’t over stretch. For tight hamstrings try a rag doll pose – for 2 to 5 minutes. For a tight chest get a bolster – sit the bolster at the base of your spine – lay back on the bolster and open your arms out in a T position. Sit here and breathe deeply – in through the nose to fill the lungs out through

For tight hamstrings try a rag doll pose – for 2 to 5 minutes.

For a tight chest get a bolster – sit the bolster at the base of your spine – lay back on the bolster and open your arms out in a T position. Sit here and breathe deeply – in through the nose to fill the lungs out through the mouth to exhale. Also, try bridge pose – this pose is my favorite! It opens your chest, neck, spine, and stomach.

For tight shoulders – lean up against a wall with your forearms on the wall – drop your head. Use a strap or a towel if you need to for this pose – reach one elbow up by your ear and drop one elbow down to your side – now reach behind to your back and see if you can grasp your hands together.

All of our bodies are different. A pose in yoga that is beneficial for me might be hurting you. Modify. Use props like a bolster or a yoga block. A breakfast smoothie might be perfect for me but it might be too sweet for you. Modify. Take the time to reflect on what you need. Your car will run longer if you give it fuel before it breaks down, you change the oil before it runs dry, and you replace the battery before it goes dead.

 

Shanti Shanti Shanti

 

The Path to Success – It is this.

“ When the mind is still the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it.”

When I started writing this blog I had a feeling that people would somehow mistake my new path as a less successful one. I would be too focused on happiness and spirituality to be truly dedicated to the same hard work. For some odd reason, people tend to correlate a yogi or a present lifestyle with that of laziness or a total loss of grit. Really this lifestyle can put you in tune with your passions so you are more dedicated than ever. In fact, yoga teaches the yogi to overcome the obstacles of laziness (Alysya) and the lack of mental disposition for work (Styana).

When we think about success we picture hard work, focus, and commitment to a result. That means a commitment only to that result, whatever it takes. We tend to conflate success with stress and therefore make stress a normal part of success. In addition, we are surrounded by people who are working towards the same success so we are in a pool of stressful but successful people. In law school, they warn that if you are going to be hanging out with law students all the time to find something other than law school to talk about it! Probably to avoid this trend of incessant complaining, judgment, and criticism – we call venting. Instead of removing the negative people, things, and thoughts from our life we vent about them. When I did this, I felt better but then I felt guilty or overwhelmed. When I complained, I could not stop complaining!!! But, it was ok because everyone else was doing it. This made me so negative and stressed out that I actually started losing motivation. I didn’t want to be successful anymore if this was success.

So, maybe the key to success is not the idea we have in our head. I believe that if I had stayed true to myself, listened to my soul, and was present with my body I would have had the same success. Had I stayed true to this path I might have felt better and the success may have resonated inside of me. Instead, I lost my balance. I dedicated my focus solely to work and my goal solely to perfection.

You can be successful but also be healthy, well, and present. The reason so many of us are conflicted about this idea is that we tend to achieve our success before we dedicate ourselves to a path of health and wellness. We wait until we are drowning at the other end of the pool to jump out of the water and put our feet on the ground. It often takes the feeling of being down to decide to get up. It is very systematic and accepted in this society to have a reactive instead of a proactive approach. Instead of being present and aware of your problems you put them to the side and respond to them when they get bad enough. This only causes your problems to pile up and you feel out of control.

Imagine the success, the feeling you would have if you were always in control. In yoga, this is why we have grounding poses like chair. You need to feel the sensation that you are grounded to this earth. At the same time, however, you are reaching up – you are balanced. When you are grounded you feel balance and clarity. You stop worrying about being focused on something because you are present with yourself and your work. It changes your life from being a life of habit to a life of intent. A life of intent has even more potential for success.

So, what do you want to be successful in? Choose it – start now – be present with your mind, body, and soul and you can achieve your dream! You don’t have to hit the ground to reach for the sky. You just need balance.

***Keep in mind, that your train of thoughts, your complaining, your venting is no one else’s fault. The people you complain with or vent to might be some of your best friends and dearest companions. As a friend, they are responding to you and probably think they are making things better. Also, as a friend, they feel they can trust in you to complain back and have you respond. This change is about you! It is about you becoming aware of your negativity and your complaining and removing it. Whether that is removing people, things, thoughts, or ideas do it. But, do not blame other people for your own loss of self. In fact, your change to a more positive and more present you might help change others. You might find that your relationships with these people who are actually a lot like you become better.***

 

Shanti Shanti Shanti

Peace Peace Peace

 

Victoria

Playing Hide and Seek with Yourself

“The impurities of the mind are washed off in adoration. The impurities of the intellect or reason are burned off in the Study of the Self.” B.K.S. Iyengar 

           I think most of us have played this game of hide and go seek in our lives. We lose ourselves to be right for someone, to be right for something, or simply because we want or need to be someone else. We hide our true self to be someone else. The problem is this inhibits our path to becoming our greatest self. Every one of us has a unique greatness inside that should never be hidden or covered up. We tend to hide our true selves when we feel that we won’t be accepted, we won’t fit in, we won’t look the way we are expected to look, or we won’t be loved. The way we choose to hide is to cover up in material brands, follow people we want to be, drink heavily, eat too much, binge watch tv, and judge others who are “better”, “worse”, “weird”, etc. This path is a lot like walking from one of end a pool to the other.

In the beginning, you’re excited – you just stepped in, the water is refreshing and you’re getting a little taste of how it feels! This is the part of the path when you are just beginning to become someone else. It feels exciting and even refreshing.

The further you go you begin to feel submerged, but you are still in control. You still feel good. This is when you start to collect a few new material things, hang out with new people you want to be like, and change your thoughts. Alternatively, maybe you start to stay in more – you find more shows to watch to keep you distracted or lost in a world of reality television seeking to be beautiful, thin, rich, famous.

When the water hits your stomach is when it feels really cold! At this part of your path, you are really submerged you are over half way there – your focus is only on being someone else, on collecting more material things, judging other people. You fear expression of your real thoughts or feelings so you adjust them to the “right” or the “comfortable” thoughts and feelings. Your mind and your soul are lost from your true self. Cold and negative. This phase might not be cast on to other people, you may even project happiness and positivity but inside you are lost from true happiness. You are so worried about other people and things or maybe you are worried that it is too late to go back. You are too far gone, too overweight, too anxious, too depressed.

Finally, you reach the other end of the pool and you are totally submerged, drowning in the water. It’s no longer cold though because you are used to it. This is the end of the path – this is when you lost yourself. At this point on the path, you don’t even realize you’re someone else. You are consumed with negative thoughts, other people, having things, and being someone else.

NOT TO WORRY– make the choice to swim to the surface, walk out of that pool, and seek yourself on higher ground. The path to your true self is much longer than the path from one end of the pool to the other. On this path, you will encounter day & night, beautiful things & terrible things, love & loss, fear & freedom. I think this is why so many of us don’t take this path. It is longer, it can be harder, and it requires so much more of our mind, body, and soul. On this path, we jump off of the band wagon,  put our feet on the ground, and walk our own journey!

We need this path if we want to truly be happy and truly be our self. The end of this journey is worth the risk of taking it – even if your just beginning. Begin with me. Hop off that band wagon your hiding on, put your feet on the ground and go seek your true self. We need you.

I found myself drowning at the end of law school. I was at the bottom of the pool searching for my last breath of air. I had become the ultimate law school student and future lawyer but not the one I started out as. I had the new clothes, the professional purses, the heels, and the presence (confident and strong). What I didn’t have anymore was my vision, my spirit, and my self.  During this time, the only thing I remained true to was the self I was to my boyfriend. He brings out the truest happiness in me and when I was with him I was able to catch a breath of fresh air. Maybe this is why I survived so long in the deep end. But, when anxiety took over I could not even focus on that. I was too tired and too on edge. I had to find the strength to pull myself out of that pool and put my feet on the ground. The most ironic part is that finally telling my boyfriend about my anxiety and that I did not feel like myself gave me that strength. I jumped out of that water and started on my path to health and wellness. I will guide you through each step and the experience in the following posts to come.

masks poem

 

Inspiration link – https://eatfeelfresh.com/