New Beginnings

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So I’m on the precipice of what I hope will be a successful journey in growth.  Of course though, I find myself struggling with self-doubt, worry, frustration, and just overall freak out.  As much as I would like to think I have worked to evolve from these initial freak outs, I’m just not there yet:)  It’s funny, I work with clients to support them as they overcome these worries, insecurities, self-doubts and I know how to do it for myself but it is amazing the power our thoughts have over us.  In one instant, I find myself overcome with excitement to harboring negative thoughts about my ability to succeed or accomplish any of the things I have planned.  So I bring myself back to the work that I do and I focus inward.  I push out the thoughts, settle into the breath and find the resolve that I am looking for.  But, it’s not working!  So now what!  What do I do on the days that the mind is over riding my natural skills?  What do I do when I can’t get out of my own head?  I try to find support in the external, but it’s not working, I try to distract, but it’s not working, I try to ignore but it is so persistent that I just can’t get rid of it.  So… the only thing I know to do is watch Kung Fu Panda 3:)  OK, so I know that was totally random, but I promise it will make sense in a minute.  Here goes…

Last night I found myself with only one kiddo, husband out of town and an entire night to figure out what to do.  At first I was overwhelmed..  My mind won’t stop and I get more afraid when I am going to have too much free time to listen to it or figure out how to shut it off.  But, I went with it and worked to stay in the present.  Sometimes the key really is acceptance.  Accepting that my brain has run amok and trusting that I will regain composure….. eventually.  I was looking forward to having time with only one kiddo because well, that rarely happens, so I allowed the moments with him to distract me and keep me present.  I watched him smile at strangers, act goofy out of excitement, assist me with little tasks and tell me he loved me more than once.  I allowed myself the freedom to just indulge in the moment and it was working.  So when we sat down to watch Kung Fu Panda 3 I just thought it would be a simple animated movie that this particular kiddo would love because he hasn’t outgrown animation like my other two.  But, of course, as the universe always does it left me with a little nugget of powerful wisdom.  There was a quote in the movie that said,

“If you never do more than you can do, you will never be more than you are”

What!…from an animated movie I’m getting this profound thought?!  This really will teach me to listen and be present because even the most random experience has the potential to give you guidance. 

Unfortunately, I fell asleep half way through the movie because, let’s be honest, obsessing and over thinking is really exhausting!  So, I plan to sit with this little nugget today and understand the significance it has on me in this moment.  Even as I am writing this and letting those words sink in I feel my shoulders relax, my head lighten up, and clarity begin to emerge.  So…. with this new big step of allowing myself to grow personally and professionally I will try to remember that I do have the power to overcome the spiral of negative thinking even if it takes a small animated Kung Fu master to help me see it:)

Taming the Chaos…..

I feel it.  The spinning, out of control energy zooming around.  My breath is short, my patience is limited and I want to understand.. . How do I find peace in the chaos?  My yoga practices feel frantic as I try to squeeze them in between all the daily expectations. Even writing this blog post… I’m sitting in my car as I have 5 minutes before the next “to do”.  Breathe….   

Inhale, exhale….I want to do better.  I want to experience life more clearly, but does my life really allow this?  Sure, some of this chaos is absolutely my own doing.  I could take my kids out of activities where I run around all the time, I could not clean my house and make meals.  I would love a housekeeper and a personal chef!  But.. then I have to work more to pay for these, thus adding to the chaos.  Hmmm.  Breathe……

Inhale, exhale….I was once told by my awesome mentor (Kyrsten Barrett:) that I have plenty of time for all the things I need to do.  What I have just figured out about this is that I don’t need to do everything I think I need to when I think I need to do it. But, what if it’s not done on time? What if I am the parent that forgets or looks lazy for not doing what was asked of me? In what order do all these “to do’s” need to be prioritized?   Because it is for sure that everyone else feels that their item on my list is the most important.  And why does it feel like everyone is asking for something lately?!  Ahhhhhh!  Breathe….

Inhale, exhale……come back to yourself.  Now I am asking myself, what do I need to do for me to make things feel less taxing and overwhelming?  That’s what it really comes down to….SELF-CARE, making your own internal needs a priority.  I don’t mean buying more stuff or running away from issues, but loving more mindfully, living more purposefully, and knowing when to set boundaries for you so you can have more to give to others and learning when to say NO.  Slowing down, taking time, making space to breath in your day, and allowing yourself time to express your true gifts as often as you can.

How do you do this you say?  Well, for each of us these needs are different, but a good place to start is to really experience how much time you actually have in a moment by slowing down.  Slowing down to make more time?  I swear!  It makes sense!  Eat more slowly, taking smaller bites and chewing longer than usual. Sip your coffee or tea, taking in all the tastes and sensations rather than gulping it down.  Take anything you do normally everyday and put more focus into giving only attention to that task as you do it.  Not thinking about the next thing, but just focusing on the task at hand and breathe!  Breathe in and out, work on getting the mind to clear and zone in on what your food tastes like, smells like, looks like.  Then, see how you feel.  See if you can physically feel time slow down and your mind ease.  B r e a t h e……………….

I n h a l e, E x h a l e………Go back to the root of change.  You hold the power within to change and adjust what is not working.  If you want more time, then you choose to make more.  No external person, place or thing, will get you there.  They can suggest, support, coach, and guide you as you make change, but ultimately the process comes from within.

Will or Imagination?

So I was posed a question this week… Which do you feel is stronger will or imagination?  

Immediately my mind struggled to pick one and answered that thus are both equally strong and important.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way right?  I thought about this from the perspective of therapy and thought about the amount of effort in equals the amount of result, but that’s really not all there is to it.  What about the times where imagery and positive  thinking create bigger results than digging deep and fighting hard?  In reflection, I see that for myself, meditation, focus, and an objective approach has been far more useful than the grit of struggle.  So where does this automatic response come from, to think that will is stronger than the imagination?

 I believe part of it is the culture in which we are raised.  I was taught that hard work always equals results and that you are lazy if there is no visible effort being poured in, to the point of exhaustion.  So it’s easy for me to understand where believing in the power of creating your experience, from the simple fact of imagining it first, is not an easy concept to give over to.   

Thinking about it draws me back to an exercise I experienced in high school when we had a hypnotist visit our class.  He had us put both arms out to the side and imagine one had a weight tied to it and the other a balloon.  I remember being mesmerized when I could feel my body leaning towards the arm with the imagined weight as it was headed towards touching the floor.  I was amazed… Try it!  It is a very easy experience to recreate and see what happens.  It’s funny… we have these experiences that prove new theories that defy the norm, but we still struggle to jump outside the box.  I even teach my clients imagery and the usefulness of engaging the mind in a way that they release control, but yet, my first intuitive choice to accept this is so ingrained that I continue to fight it.

I think this really is the crux of personal growth.  Overcoming these expectations we learned as we grew up.  Not only from our parents, but from the overall environment and day to day experiences we had.  It is natural that we find the way to fit into our given culture that surrounds us for reasons of safety and survival.  But I think a lot of us begin to realize, at some point, that we may differ in thought and approach than our overall culture.  Then the struggle becomes, how to find yourself within the expectations.  How do we abandon the safety net to forge our own path?

I’ve been testing the waters a bit as I have started my own business venture, but I haven’t given over to is fully yet.  I still find myself needing to fit a mold of “hard work in will eventually lead to results”.  And I believe there is some merit to this, but if I take the time to indulge in imagining my success what will that look like?  Will it look different than the success I am trying to will into existence?  Will it get me to where I want to be?   Or maybe it will lead me to where I need to be.  I’ll keep you posted:)

My Journey to become a better Yogi

So.. I decided to blog my journey through yoga training.   I’ve never blogged or really shared my story, but continue to be drawn to trying this so I’m going to give it a go!  So.. Let’s start from the beginning….Yoga has been a staple in my life off on and on for about 10 years.  Really, if I think about it,  I’ve had a strong awareness of my body since I was young.  Dancing was the first experience I had where I really began to understand the power that movement and expression through the body can have on the mind and overall perception of life.  As I’ve gotten older, yoga became the more accessible version of expression.

When I really found yoga… The true meaning and lifestyle of yoga was at a very low point in my life.

I experienced a bout of Post Partum Depression and Anxiety during and after my second pregnancy that changed my life.  I holed up with my worry and anger and shut down.  Being a therapist helped me at some point recognize that I was not OK and I began to look for help, finding myself again when I came to my mat.

I’m not even sure what got me to that first class, but whatever inner voice and motivation I had that day truly saved me as I found the practice of yoga to be comforting and transformative.  It took a while, a lot of “faking it till I made it” but I eventually found myself again and find myself seeking more of my own truth through the practice and lifestyle of yoga.

So… This is the beginning of the next transition!  I have no idea where this will lead, but that’s half the fun, right?!

Hello!

Welcome to my page!  I’m a licensed counselor and an avid practitioner of yoga.  I use both in my work with clients and am looking forward to sharing my perspective on the mind body connection and the impact it has on the work that I do.  I work with clients with a variety of symptoms and really specialize in working with women….women who are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed by all the expectations.  The expectations of others, but mostly the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves.  Through all stages of life…teens, young adult, pregnancy, post partum, mid-life, and beyond, I strive to help women be who they are and accept where they are and embrace their own purpose.  Mindfully helping client’s find their way back to themselves.