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I Attempted To Do A Headstand And...

I Attempted To Do A Headstand And...

...I toppled over onto the opposite side of my mat thankful that I didn't break my neck or back. I failed to do a headstand once again. I have been trying to do this pose for over a year now, and this was the first time I felt like my core was actually going to help my legs go up in the air. Alas, this day was not the day for a headstand.

I could translate this 'failure' into a shameful negative experience, but falling over like a three year old was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It gave me the confidence to keep trying. I will admit, I was embarrassed to fall in front people who seemed to invert their bodies with complete ease. I was also scared to fall over; fearful that I would break a vital part of my body. But guess what? I didn't break anything, and no one laughed at me. In fact, I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training at Be Here Now Yoga in Washington, DC, and I just completed the training. 

On my way home after this yoga class, I thought about how much my practice has developed over time. What's awesome is that I gained the capacity to attempt challenging poses over time. What's not awesome is that I never made time to acknowledge my progress. 

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I remind myself about that poignant moment on the mat when my mind takes over with reluctance, fear, or impatience. What is the point of being paralyzed with thought when my confidence is strengthened through trial and error? 

The day I do a headstand will be a glorious day; I will acknowledge this personal accomplishment, let you know how long it took me to get there, and keep practicing another challenge. Until then, I anticipate having many more failed attempts but I need to give myself credit for practicing. More often than ever we condition ourselves to focus on things we can't do rather than celebrating how far we have come. 

My Takeaways For You: 

1.  Think about all the times you didn't acknowledge the progress you have made but you put yourself down instead.  The next time you put yourself down, think about the flip side. What can you give yourself credit for?

2. Failure is key to immense learning and progress. 

3. Significant rewards are a result of perseverance, patience, and hard work. 

5 Ways to Handle Grief Through Travel

5 Ways to Handle Grief Through Travel

This year has undoubtedly been one of the hardest years I have endured. My mom passed away unexpectedly in February. We were very close, and I have tried to view life through a glass half full. By this, I mean: I hope she passed in a way that was painless for her, and I hope she knows how much I love her with every breath I take. 

I have been treating each day as a precious gift, taking it as it comes, but I also needed to get to a place where I felt a sense of solitude again. I channel my inner peace by traveling, one of my favorite things in the world. My Mom's memories will always be in my heart, but I have been able to handle grief through my love of exploration and mindfulness.

Everyone process grief differently. My suggestions for you are guided by what I love:

1. Spend Time At The Beach: The sound of waves, sand covering my feet, and warmth of the sun (under an umbrella, of course) has always put me in my happy place. I have fond memories being near the beach, especially growing up in Santa Barbara.  Exploring Playa Del Carmen in May was a new yet familiar experience because the sounds and the smells of the beach made me feel like I was home again. 

THE BEACHES OF TULUM, MEXICO 

THE BEACHES OF TULUM, MEXICO 

 

2. Yoga Retreat: Yoga is a practice where I am truly able to be at peace. Where my mind and body are at one, AND I get an incredible workout. A retreat is on my 'to try' list. If I love every session I have attended, why not make a weekend out of it? 

YOGA IS AMAZING FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

YOGA IS AMAZING FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL

 

3. Time In The Mountains: A place where the mountains meet the sky. Another spot that completely inspires me to believe in all the wonders of this world. It is serene, absolutely beautiful, and relatively untouched. It is a place for me to breathe fresh air and to simply smile. 

THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, VIRGINIA 

THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, VIRGINIA 

 

4. Visit A Loved One: Seeing a familiar face and sharing a mutual bond brings comfort to my soul. Being able to talk about my Mom with people who knew and love her is always a good thing. It's an awesome reminder about how she is loved around the world. 

VISITING MY PARENTS IN FLORIDA 

VISITING MY PARENTS IN FLORIDA 

 

5. Go To A Place Where You Have Amazing Memories: I recently went back to Charlottesville, Virginia where I went to undergraduate school. I remember how proud my Mom was seeing me graduate. My roommates and I hosted a party in one of the gardens on the University of Virginia grounds, and I could picture her smiling face wherever I went that weekend. Knowing we shared special moments together, even if it was over a decade ago, warmed my heart. 

Bonus Moment: My Mom loved magnolia trees. To my recent discovery, not only are they planted all around the UVA grounds, the flowers were in full bloom when I was there.  

A MAGNOLIA IN FULL BLOOM ON THE UNIVERSITY GROUNDS 

A MAGNOLIA IN FULL BLOOM ON THE UNIVERSITY GROUNDS 

 

I want to remind you again that everyone processes grief differently and there are no two situations that are alike. Give yourself time to heal, and celebrate precious moments the best way you know how. I will continue to travel, I will continue to be mindful, and I will always remember her everyday through my experiences.