Well..here it is…my first blog post??? Funny, I don’t really even read other people’s blogs; I pretty much don’t even enjoy reading that much! I’ve just felt an urge to start sharing my thoughts and ideas with like-minded people. Or, with totally unlike-minded people, for that matter! I’ve always been one to journal, but that has slowed down over the years. I’m excited about this new platform to share my “journal entries” with all of you.
I walk my golden retrievers, ages 7 and 9, every single day—rain; shine; 100 degrees; -10 degrees; snow; and probably if there was a hurricane—I’d figure it out. They typically get 1.5-2 miles in the morning, and about another mile or so in the afternoon. Most often, I look forward to the time to think, reflect, exercise, pray, listen to music or books, and connect with my pups. Other times, I dread it, and it feels like a chore. I fret; cry; or go on what I call, “the hamster wheel” (which is spinning irrational thoughts out of control until I’m exhausted). Its funny, because when I think about some other activities in my life, I see that same pattern. Take cooking for example. Sometimes its a creative outlet that is fun, and gives me a sense of gratitude knowing I’m feeding my family something healthy, and quite frankly awesome (Yes, I’m a great cook!) Other times, its a boring, monotonous chore that I feel forced to do. In both of these scenarios when I look at the latter option its easy to think, “Hey, just change your mindset! Tell yourself you’re loving this! Tell yourself its the best thing ever!” So, why doesn’t that work??? It often feels like empty words—even fake or forced when I tell myself that. I have a few ideas as to why…
Our brains become wired at a very early age. As babies, and toddlers, our brains are like sponges—even play-doh—they soak up EVERYTHING and are moldable. If we are taught, and modeled certain behaviors, our brain actually changes to fit those patterns. As we grow, we aren’t always allowed to follow the brain and/or the heart’s natural desires and patterns. As infants and children, we so desperately want and need to be loved by our parents, and those that are important in our lives. We do anything and everything to fit in and be loved by them. Even if that means going against the “grain of our brain”. So, what ends up happening? As adults we may discover that these changes that occurred may or may not be how we were DESIGNED and CREATED to be. We feel these feelings of disconnect with ourselves. We may feel underlying tension that we can’t quite explain. We may feel like we can’t just use words to “undo” things about ourselves that feel frustrating or unexplainable. The cool news?? Our brain is still like a sponge—still like play-doh. It may be a lot more water-logged, and even a bit dried up (you know, like when the play-doh lid didn’t quite get sealed on tight enough, but you can still play with it in its slightly crumbly state?) We can still change our brain. We can still re-train it.
I’ve been working on re-training my 46 year old brain for several years now. Some days I think, “I’ve got this!” Other days I feel like I’m 7 years old. My counselor, and life coach reminds me that “unwiring” some of the 46 year-old habits of the brain may take a while (you know, longer than the 2 days that I want it to take!) Do I get sick of trying to be patient?? Yes! Do I think its all nonsense some days? Yes! Do I ever give up hope? NO WAY! Here’s why…
I know I’m okay. I know I’m figuring this out every day. I know I have the most amazing, patient, trustworthy, loving, persevering, honest, sexy, caring, understanding, savvy, smart, and positive husband on the planet. He exemplifies unconditional love in the most awe-inspiring ways to everyone in his life. He’s my daily example of how to move forward and upward in spite of difficulty. I have 3 handsome, intelligent, athletic, kind, respectful, funny, tender, and warm-hearted young adult boys that remind me everyday how blessed I am. I have many wonderful family, friends, experiences, and opportunities to be thankful for. I also have a daily, committed yoga practice in my life that enriches many of my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I’m forever grateful for the chance to teach, and be a student of this discipline.
Yoga teaches us to be selfless AND selfish. Not in the ego-centered “get what I want, get out of my way” manner that is associated with the word “selfish”. But in the, “I want to love myself first so that I can share that love with others” kind of selfish. I hope to share my ideas and ever-growing knowledge on things like meditation (which is a good way to re-train that pliable brain of ours!!); benefits of the practice; funny yoga stories; yogic lifestyle and philosophy; and whatever else?? (I think that’s the point of a blog, right??) Do I have all the answers? Nope. Not even close. But I am passionate about people; relationships; healing—of ourselves and our planet; physical and emotional health; and spiritual connections. And guess what?! Yoga encompasses all of those things and much more!
Albeit cliché, many of you (including my students) have heard the following phrase at least a billion and one times: ”yoga isn’t about the destination—its about the journey.” I hope that we can continue THIS journey together. Let’s travel through some of these yoga chapters to see what unfolds. Let’s keep discovering new pathways on our journey that can lead to self-discovery, and self-healing. I can only imagine positive outcomes for all!