Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Intentions 2015: I am Confident

Rather than a resolution, I prefer to set a new intention every year. Last year my intention was to stop comparing myself to others, and by extension, stop caring so much what other people think about me. If you followed my story at all then you know I was pretty challenged by this intention. Be careful what you put out to the Universe!

When I took a moment to reflect on 2014, I came to see that the root of many of these issues was a lack of confidence on my part. That is why I plan to make this year the year of confidence. Besides, I'll need all the confidence I can scrounge up since I've got Big Visions for 2015.

I am confident. 

Some people are born confident. A people-pleaser to the bone, I really have to work on it. Too many times I've shied away from stepping out of my comfort zone or standing up for myself when the stakes were high all because I lacked the confidence to do so. I've allowed people to take advantage of me and by extension been hurt by more than a few people. The times when have found the confidence to do what I thought was right always come with some stress and discomfort. I created unhealthy coping mechanisms and allowed myself to play small when really I want to play big. Now I'm taking a stand and saying it's time to confidently breathe ME again.

It sounds like an oxymoron right? Here I am blathering to the interwebs about my personal life in no-holds barred way and I'm telling you I have confidence issues? I am perfectly comfortable talking in front of large groups of people and I'm the one that needs a confidence boost? Yes, it's true. While I'm confident enough in some areas of my life, there are many others that need a little pick me up. Now is the time.

By coincidence, I took a yoga class on New Year's day and was randomly given this angel card as my parting gift. I love it when these things happen. I guess my intuition was spot on again.

"Moving forward does not necessarily require you to have confidence in yourself. Confidence in God is enough, along with knowing that God works through you and with you in all ways. Lean upon us if your confidence wavers, and we will buoy your courage and faith."'s a deal.

What are your intentions for the New Year? Please share in the comments below and let's support each other for a happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ISO: Big Vision for 2015

I heard on the radio the other day that Americans are more optimistic than ever that 2015 is going to be a kick ass year. Is that you? It's definitely me and as far I can tell from what my friends and family tell me, they are feeling that way too.
found on Yoganonymous
This time of year is the opportunity to reflect on what is and isn't working in your life and then make a change for the year to come. It's a great time to set goals and intentions and get your visioning skills working. You never know what you might manifest!

So what's my vision for 2015? So, so, so much. Here are a few ideas that I have to help you get started.

1) A partner-in-crime. I've got lots of great ideas and looking for someone to help me narrow my field of vision. There's so much I want to do, now it's just about making it happen. Although a self-proclaimed introvert, I am most creative when I can bounce ideas around and get good group energy going. I'm hoping a partner-in-crime (or a group of like-minded peeps) will help me stay motivated and excited about the work I want to do.

2) Consistency. In whatever I end up doing, I am craving consistency in my day-to-day. I'm open to however this might happen and I'm putting all my good manifesting skills to work to help it come in to place. Taking care of baby Noah is my top priority, but being able to be productive and use all this good creative energy I've got brewing would be nice. Consistency is key!

3) Balance. I could use more balance these days because baby Noah makes sure to keep me on my toes. One way is with my activity level and yoga practice. My body and soul crave a consistent practice, but I'm just not there yet. We're still ironing out some kinks. It will happen (and hopefully soon!). One day at a time...

4) Productive creative energy. Here's where the partner in crime, consistency and balance come in to play. I've got that creative energy, but it's up in the air. It's time to pull it back down to earth and make good use of it all. I'm also ready to play with some new tools I'm learning and see what happens.

5) Travel. This one is for fun. With all the excitement of 2014, I barely made it anywhere last year. I'm hoping this year will be full of fun, travel, new experiences and lots of relaxation. Why not?

What are your goals for 2015? Are you ready to get started on a kick ass new year? Share your ideas in the comments below and let's get this party started!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Inspiration is Reciprocal | Fulfilling a Calling to Serve

Confession: I recently almost walked away from teaching yoga and this blog for good. That was until a few of my students reminded me that what I do matters. And by inspiring them, they inspired me.

If you know me or have been following my blog, then you know this year has been filled with tremendous ups and downs. From the completion of my 500 hour teacher training with Sri Dharma Mittra to the unfortunate circumstances that landed me in the hospital for five days and the long road to recovery that followed, to the early arrival of my son Noah, it's been a wild year. While personally life could not be sweeter, professionally things have been a bit muddled and by the end of this summer I was found my self fed up and ready to walk away from it all.

Preparing for Noah's arrival was a good distraction. I landed a position in an office doing non-yoga related work that I admit, I rather enjoy and plan to continue to do. At that time though, I convinced myself that this was my path now and teaching yoga was a thing of the past. It was a welcome respite giving me time to reflect on myself and my feelings towards yoga practice and the industry as a whole.

I hid from the yoga world, logged off of social media and quarantined myself away from all I had grown to love, including my peers. It was easy to do being pregnant and unable to attend many classes. It's hard to accept where you belong when you cannot accept where you are at. Circumstances from my professional life left me reeling and all I wanted was to get as far away from it as I could. I grappled with fear and told myself "it's time to grow up", "what you do doesn't matter, no one will miss you." I really started to believe the crap I was telling myself.

I knew something was off when I thought I might shut down this blog forever and allow my thoughts to dissolve into the ether. Rather that act on that mind game, I reflected instead, too attached to the time I've put in over the years to hit the delete button right away.

In the weeks following Noah's arrival, I struggled with next steps. Do I teach, stick with my office work or try to do both? I kept telling myself that the practical thing to do was give up teaching for the time being; that it would be too hard to do both. Deep inside my heart was aching to serve once again, however I continued to vacillate.

Then I received an invitation from a few of my students to teach a Dharma class at a new studio. At first I hesitated. Could I really do this? I felt so far from where I'd been that I wasn't sure I had anything to offer anymore. Yet, that breaking, aching voice pushed me forward and I decided to teach the class.

I taught said class this weekend and was more nervous than I'd been in years.The last asana class I taught was months ago. Could I remember everything? Would it come back or would I be caught with a case of stage fright and run out of the room? As Sri Dharma reminds us from the Bhagavad Gita, "release any expectations from the fruit of your actions and make every action an offering." So...that is exactly what I did. That class became an offering in the highest sense.Not only to my students to but to my dharma and my purpose to serve. Although rusty, the class went well and I was happy to be in the seat of the teacher again.

I am so grateful to my students for believing in me when I had all but given up on myself. When I saw them, they both kept telling me how grateful they were for me helping them on their path, as both are now doing the work they feel called to do. Although I can't say I had a major part in this, I am grateful to have been a support for them. And now, even though they don't realize it, I am grateful to them in that same way that they gave me the space to show up and connect with my purpose once again. We truly are all mirrors of each other.

I was ready to walk away, but now I am inspired to stay the course. Inspiration comes full circle.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Really Love My...Baby B'Gosh Surprise!

This post will not directly touch on yoga, but I will say that I'm always amazed at the abundance and surprises the Universe has in store.

If you keep on my blog, then you know that Baby Carr, now formally named Noah, arrived early at the beginning of October. It took a while to put the words together, but I finally did and shared our journey in this post.

Following the tweet of the post, I was contacted by Osh Kosh B'Gosh to congratulate me on the arrival of baby Noah. They also asked if they could send me a sweet #BabyBGosh surprise. Being new to the mama game, I'm still learning all the baby brands, but I vividly recall Osh Kosh B'Gosh from my own childhood and was excited to see what a #BabyBGosh surprise entailed.

Oh my gosh, a #BabyBGosh surprise indeed! I was expecting a something simple, like a t-shirt, but never imagined so much cuteness to show up on our doorstep. I'll definitely have to check out the Osh Kosh B'Gosh store near us to keep up the cuteness quotient. Dad and I agree this kid is already more stylish than we'll every be!

A perfectly packaged surprise

I'm in love with these baby suspenders.

Baby Suspenders, oh my!

Baby pea coat and overalls. Yes please!

Cute overalls

Stylish pea coat

And just in time for the holidays....

Grandma's Christmas Cutie

I can't wait to deck Noah out in all these cute outfits. All of the fabrics are soft and durable. He'll definitely be ready for his close up this holiday season. Thank you so much Osh Kosh B'Gosh for your generous  #BabyBGosh surprise. We truly appreciate it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Early Bird Gets...the Baby | Baby Carr Arrives!

I've been trying to put in to the words the topsy turvy feeling I've been navigating for the past few weeks. I have rapidly realized that I cannot put everything in to one blog post, so what started out as one is now evolving into many.

Let me start at the beginning and announce that we gave birth to our beautiful baby boy Noah this October. Although he arrived early, a month from his due date to be exact, he's happy and healthy. With all the excitement I've done my best to breathe, stay as present as possible, be forgiving to myself, and allow myself to become an observer as new life unfolds before our very eyes.

Baby Carr Arrives! 

Baby Noah
All along, I had a strong feeling that Noah would arrive prior to his prescribed due date of November 11. Though my intuition was right, I had no idea he would come a full month ahead of schedule. Not to mention that he arrived on the actual day of his baby shower. No, we did not make it to the shower, but my amazing friends were in town and helped get our house set up for our homecoming. We are so grateful for their help!

I meandered through a haze of shock for the first few weeks and spent much of my time in "process mode." It's taken some time getting used to our new routine, the emotional ups and downs as my hormones and our family adjusts to Noah's arrival, and the crazy way having a baby flip flops your priorities. I believe that having a strong spiritual practice over the years helped me to stay grounded and move with as much grace as I can through it all. Additionally, my practice has also given me the courage to admit when I'm overwhelmed by being honest with myself and trust that even though I feel like I don't know what I'm doing, I'm doing my best.

Our Birth Story

The day I went in to labor started out as any other, with the only exception being I was having some new symptoms which I thought were related to pregnancy, not preterm labor. Keep in mind, I was only 35 weeks along at this point. I had been carrying the baby really low and working a little too hard, so it was easy to make that correlation. I got home from work and took the dog for a walk when low and behold, my bag of water released (although at the time I didn't believe that was what was happening).

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Universe is Wildly Abundant

Fact: the Universe is wildly abundant

Forget what you think you know (and your problems and your worries) and trust that the Universe (or God/Energy Force/Divinity, etc.) is always conspiring to give you what you need. The truth is most of us are too stubborn to sit back and let someone else do the driving. Be quiet, pay attention, and you'll see what I mean.

I don't know about you, but I go through times where I'm down right confused about what the Universe has in store for me. I spend my time and energy fumbling for answers, whining and complaining, when really I should shut up and notice the gifts I'm given each and every day.

Upon recommendation from my yoga cowgirl friend Kathy Judd, I started reading Pam Grout's book E-Squared: Nine Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. The concepts of the book are not new, but she does a good job of making them tangible. In fact, the idea that your thoughts create your reality can be found in...wait for it...The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yep, that's right. Master Patanjali spoke of these same concepts thousands of years ago. In truth, these ideas appeared in sacred texts way before Master Patanjali wrote them down. Pam Grout's version is a modern take on the power of your thoughts with valuable energy exercises you can do to see the results for yourself. Give it a try and you'll be a believer before you get through the first chapter. 

Basic premise: Ask and ye shall receive. 
Basic roadblock: We don't believe, so we don't receive. 
Basic fix: Be receptive and trust that everything is perfect. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm Done with Fear | Getting Back to Me

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about fear. Not because I feel that I need to reflect on this concept, but rather, I've caught myself living in it. This is a topic I visited when I first started my blog in 2009 and discussed Pema Chodron's book The Places that Scare You in my post Facing Fear and again in 2012 with my post The Trouble With Fear Is | Working With and Growing From Fear.

It's hard to admit, but it's true and if there's anything I aim to be, it's honest.

You may be wondering what I'm so afraid of. Perhaps the birth of my baby or becoming a new parent? While those things certainly bring up a lot of emotions, I don't find much fear there. No, that's not it at all.

The past few months have been tough. To be honest, I'm tired of bringing it up, but when you go through something so heart wrenching, it lingers. Never one to stay down too long, I've finally managed to pull myself up by the bootstraps, put one foot in front of the other, and regain some ground. But there's still a lingering fear that has brought me to a place where, at times, I feel I no longer recognize myself.

It's scary to look in the mirror and see a version of yourself that you never imagined would show. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time allowing other people opinions of me shake me down. Instead of finding my voice and speaking with conviction, I found myself acting from a place of fear, which is never productive and not something I normally subscribe to. I wake up in the middle of the night scared of the uncertainty swirling around me. When I reflected, I found that I shrunk.

I don't like shrinking. It's not really my m.o., but somehow I've allowed my fear to keep me from doing the things that I love the most--teaching and writing.

That's right, I've held back and even said "no" on occasion to opportunities that have presented themselves since I regained my health. While I'm still not 100%, there are plenty of things I can do. Why hold back? Because when I teach and write it comes from a place of authenticity, which leaves me vulnerable. Somehow I allowed myself to stay so wide open that the cuts were deep. Let's face it, I don't want to hurt anymore.

I'm so grateful to have a strong spiritual practice in place. While the dark side of all I've been living has made some days downright depressing, the light of knowledge gained over years of study and practice has aided in keeping some of those shadows at bay for long enough that the sun is starting to peer through again.

Here's my action plan for getting away from fear and back to my Self. 

1) Choose not to be afraid. I can't take credit for this idea. A few years ago, when telling my friend Brittanie about a personal issue I was having, she looked me straight in the eye and said "what if you chose not to worry?" I've used it ever since.That's right. Being afraid and worried is a choice. Certainly one should be aware if there are issues to handle, but to allow those issues to slip in to a place a fear does more harm than good.

I choose not to be afraid and trust that everything will work out.