Viewing entries tagged
gratitude

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"Where Have You Been & What Are You Doing Now?"

Hi, friends! Long time no chat.

The last time I wrote I was about a month into my 200 hour yoga teacher training and I had every intention of keeping you updated on that journey, but as I dove deeper into that adventure two things became clear: 1) I was not willing to sacrifice anymore time with my family (and daughter who was too quickly for my liking about to turn one) and 2) it wasn't an experience that could easily be put into words or shared.

Many people say teacher training is life changing, but I would actually say it was life enhancing.  I went to training hoping to be able to teach a different kind of class and came out with so much more, including a better sense of who I am as a trainer and where I want to focus my time.

YTT Grad

Coming into the final stretch of yoga teacher training AND my daughter's first year at the same time made it perfectly clear what my next move would be... prenatal yoga teacher training.  So I signed up for an intensive two and a half week training in NYC where I commuted from NJ into the city.  Monday through Friday.  7am to 7pm.  I said it before and I'll say it again... the right trainings are life changing.  To be surrounded and supported by such strong and wonderful women while LEARNING about how strong and wonderful women are was magical.  Made all the more magical by actually being pregnant during the training.

That's right!  Seven to nine weeks pregnant, height of nausea, exhaustion, and all the other first trimester goodness right in the middle of 12 hour days.  (Shout out to all the working mamas who do that for nine months.  Hats off to you ladies!)

So for the last few months I've been home, working on my site behind the scenes, and getting ready to take on new clients all while growing a tiny human on the side.  (No biggie.)

Big Sister thinks Little Sister is in my belly button.

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl Number 2 and I'd love to have you follow along on this pregnancy journey (and share your own stories with me as well!) and stay tuned for more healthy tips, tricks, meditations, and maybe even some recipes (though full disclosure the only thing I've wanted to eat for five months now are potatoes).

Go ahead and click around the updated website to see what else is new and consider signing up for the Happy Healthy Holidays challenge!  We started on Sunday, but it's never too late to join!

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Reevaluate. Reset. GO!

There's only one way to go.... forward.  Someone recently said to me, "I don't know how you do it all."  I told her I don't.

Why don't people believe me when I say this?  I like to think I'm pretty transparent about what a hot mess I can be. Just because I smile while I say it and laugh afterwards doesn't mean I'm joking!

The truth is for every one thing I get together, two others fall behind. At least that's how it's felt lately.

My workouts and self-care are on point? My house is embarrassingly messy and I haven't blogged in a month.

My house is clean and the laundry is done? I'm stressed beyond belief and skipping out on workouts to find the time.

It happens and it's OK. We can't be everything to everyone all the time. And if people on the internet make you feel less than because of this give them a #nottodaysatan (maybe my favorite hashtag ever) and get on with your life.

I had a birthday recently (Monday actually) and every year on my birthday I reevaluate or set goals for myself. What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? How can I be the best version of myself FOR myself and for the people around me?

I was planning on sharing my short list with you, but honestly it's just too scary for me right now. There are some big things on there this year (not necessarily life-changing big, but may be difficult for this one step forward, two steps back gal). They're so scary to me that it's taken me days to even write this post because this means it's time to get started.

So while I won't share my whole list with you, I will share one piece of it because it concerns you.

This year, I want to give my best to my readers, clients, and class participants. Don't get me wrong, you often get my all and even though I have the greatest job in the whole world... at the end of the day it's still a job. Some days (just like any other job) it's hard to remember just how good I've got it. But my goal this year is to always remember how sweet this life is. How glad I am to see each and every one of you sweating, smiling, maybe scowling, and getting healthier. I promise to do more than just show up and give you my all. I promise to give you my best.

All that being said, this lyric pops into my head whenever I start making grand plans and promises, "And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time."

So while I plan for those big goals, I'm just sending those tiny prayers to Father Time and getting ready for this year's ride. I hope you'll join me.

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"I Love Me" BINGO!

Just because Valentine's Day has come and gone doesn't mean we have to put the lovin' aside... especially the self-love. So what do you think?  Want to play some "I Love Me!" BINGO?

I Love Me BINGO!

Create/Recite an Empowering Mantra Daily “I am capable.” “I know who I am and I am enough.” “I choose to think thoughts that serve me well." “My body is my vehicle in life; I choose to fill it with goodness”

Whatever it is. Find something that fills you with peace, hope, and happiness and repeat it daily. Embrace it whenever it comes to mind or whenever you need it.

Eat Something That Makes You Feel Great. Sure that salad may not taste as good as that decadent chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache for a day, but it will make you feel great from the inside out. Choose something that will fill your body with goodness.

Eat Something That Tastes Amazing. Go eat that amazing chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache just because it tastes amazing. Or better yet… try these vegan dark chocolate truffles! (See! You don’t need anyone to buy you an overpriced box of chocolates shaped like a heart.)

Smile In The Mirror. And mean it.

Write Yourself a Love Letter. You are beautiful, and powerful, and capable, and you do amazing things every day. Don’t forget to tell yourself how great you are.

Do Something New and/or Challenging. If it doesn’t challenge us it doesn’t change us. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. A new recipe, a new workout routine, a new class. Because when you do conquer it, you’re going to feel unstoppable.

Do Something that Makes You Feel Invincible. We all have something that we know we’re good at. Go give yourself a little ego boost and rock it out.

Treat Yo’Self. Even if you just treat yourself to a new pair of cute sweatpants or a box of heart shaped chocolates or the newest Saturday night Hallmark channel movie. Give yourself permission to do something a little indulgent.

So let's finish the month of love with worthy love, the kind that builds us and those around us up... and what better place to start than within!

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Travel Tips From My Dad

I’ve been making road trips since I was only months old. As a baby my parents would pack me up and drive the hour or so to New York to make sure I saw family who didn’t live in the same town. Sometimes we stayed the whole weekend. Sometimes it was just for Sunday dinner. Every Palm Sunday. Every Christmas Eve. For years I’d be willing to bet I was in the car more often than I was home.

Then I got older, went to college (in New York only minutes from the family I was always traveling to see), met a boy… and spent every other weekend traveling to West Virginia. Doh!

Seriously... always in the car.

After we moved to Richmond together those road trips turned into 4-6 hour drives (one lucky time it was 10, but that’s a story for another day) each way just to visit family. Seven years of that and I’m pretty sure you can call me a pro now.

So today I am going to share my absolute favorite road trip tips with you! But before I do, I’d like you to know that these all came from years of traveling with my dad whose birthday is today.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I learned everything I know from you.

“Did you grab enough water?”

Unless you packed the entire case – or at least half – of water bottles, the answer is no. OK that’s an exaggeration, but my dad always grabs one for the way there and one for the way home… for each person in the car. For a one hour trip.

I used to think this was overkill until I realized that aiming to drink both bottles of water before getting home helped me to feel so much better! Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and digestive problems to name a few. Not exactly how you want to feel while stuck in a car. And bonus: properly hydrating before meals can help you feel fuller longer so you might not overeat all the amazing food that’s waiting for you. How often do you forget to hydrate while you’re traveling or even just busy? Just pack the whole damn case and drink the water.

“What snacks did you pack?”

I know everyone thinks the word “hangry” was invented because of him or her, but it wasn’t. It was created after my father and me. Have you ever been hungry, stuck in the middle of the Verrazano Bridge on the way to dinner, in sideways rain, in standstill traffic, at least an hour from food? We have. It wasn’t pretty.

Now we bring snacks. Protein bars. Apples. Bananas. Nuts. Pack light and nutritious snacks that won’t keep you from enjoying all the amazing food that’s waiting for you, but will keep you from yelling like lunatics at each other because you’re hungry.

“I want to listen to The Little Mermaid!”

Remember this bad boy?

Way before cars had TVs built into the backs of headrests, I was a little girl who loved The Little Mermaid. I LOVED The Little Mermaid. Like, watch it on a loop all day long, loved The Little Mermaid. So before we took a trip from New Jersey to North Carolina, my father wired the VHS to the stereo to make a cassette tape (do people even know what these things are anymore?) so that I could LISTEN to my movie while we drove. It worked so well he did that for all my Disney movies.

Life is SO much easier for you now. Grab a book on tape (Audible is awesome) or make a rockin’ playlist so you don’t have to talk to anyone else in the car. (I’m kidding! But really… if you’re driving and you want everyone else to fall asleep put an AM radio broadcast of a baseball game on. ZzZzZzZz)

 

“What’s Up?”

Sometimes traffic sucks. Sometimes the trips are longer than you want them to be. Sometimes you’re tired. Sometimes you’re mad. Sometimes in the middle of it all you wish you had just stayed home. But there’s never a better time to just catch up and chat with the people you love (or are stuck in the car with). So ask them how it’s going. Sing. Laugh. Be. And hope that when you get where you’re going there’s good food and good company.

Happy birthday, Daddy!

© Amanda Reed Photography

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Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Twain MaybeThe Internet likes to attribute that quote to Mark Twain even though he never wrote it down so no one can actually be sure he said it. I like it either way.

If you’ve read my About page then you already know this story. If you haven’t, I’m going to share part of it here.

As an International Business major in my second year of college, I had a moment of clarity while sitting in a Macro Economics class – this is not the life I want to be living.  I had a regular yoga practice at the time and suddenly I was sure that was what I was supposed to do.  I found a program in Baja, Mexico and told my parents I wanted to drop out of school to become a yoga instructor.  To their credit they didn’t say no even though I think you could actually hear their hearts break a little {since I was supposed to be the first person with my last name to graduate college}.

But fate had other plans.

The next weekend I met my now husband and Mexico didn’t sound or feel so right anymore.

If you continue to read the story you’ll see there is nothing to be disappointed in here. I have no regrets.  I have a wonderful family, I still found my way to my passion, and I love everything life has given me.

But eight and a half years later I’m still not a yoga teacher. Until May…

That’s right! I’ve finally signed up to complete my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training.

I feel exhilarated and a little terrified – the way one does when beginning something one has been waiting almost a decade to start.

I almost didn’t do it. It’s too much of a time commitment especially with a baby at home. It’s too much of a financial commitment. I don’t know if I’m ready. What if I’m the worst one in class? What if I suck? What if… What if… What if…

What if another eight and a half years go by and I’m still not a yoga teacher?

That just wasn’t going to work for me. Not this time.

So bring on 2016! Bring on the big life-goals! I’m ready!

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Gratitude

what if you woke up today  

Every once in a while this phrase pops up in my social media world and I love it when it does. With a new baby and a new(ish) business, it’s easy to get caught up in the go, go, go of life and forget to pause in gratitude.

According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people not only experienced fewer aches and pains -- but they also reported feeling healthier than others. Gratitude has also been proven to improve sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength: all good things, right?

I’m all for little tricks that make me happier AND healthier and ‘tis the season so without further ado…

4 Things I Am Thankful For {because 5 is just so expected, amirite?}

1. My Body It is not perfect. It wasn’t in high school. It wasn’t pre-baby. It isn’t post-baby. But it. Is. Awesome. It allowed me to teach 20 intense group exercise classes a week when I was first starting out as a new instructor and was the “yes” person. It allowed me to pass BODYPUMP training even though I had neglected to strengthen it properly before hand. It has allowed me to run three half-marathons, two 10ks and countless shorter runs. It has tolerated me treating it like a garbage can. It has rewarded me for treating it like a temple. And – of course – it grew and birthed a human being. An actual human being. A perfect human being. It is strong and soft and I love it.

2. That perfect human being. I hate when people say you don’t know love until you’ve had a child. That’s not true. There are all kinds of love and each is as valuable as the other. But the love I feel for my sweet baby girl is definitely a very different kind of love. She has changed me inside and out. I love her for everything she is and for everything she will be. I am so thankful I get to be her mommy.

3. My Soul Mate. Some people don’t believe in soul mates. Honestly, I’m not even sure I do. But I can tell you {and some of you can attest to the fact} that the day after I met mine I told anyone who would listen that I met the man I was going to marry. I wasn’t even sure if I loved him yet. I couldn’t possibly have known that after a day, but thankfully – somewhere deep in my soul – I knew I found him. We have endured heartaches and deaths. We have celebrated joy and new life. He makes my heart race and puts my mind at ease.

4. My Coworkers + Mentors Bravo has created an entire network around TV shows full of women tearing each other down. I have known many of these women in my life. We all have. We hope it’s a middle school thing. A high school thing. A college thing. And then they show up in the professional world. But I am a lucky one because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by strong, self-assured, wonderful women who have not only been helpful and kind to me, but who have also shown me how to be strong, self-assured and wonderful to others. Please don’t misunderstand – of course there is competition and jealousy in my profession. It has been directed at me. It has sadly even come from me. But I try to make short work of those feelings, because they have no place in my heart or my mind. I am a lucky one, indeed.

What are you thankful for?

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