Friday, July 22, 2016

Stewardship

A funny, fancy, formal, old-fashioned word - Stewardship.  That's been my word-o-the-month for July, inspired by one of my all-time favorite podcasts:  Two Gomers Run for Their Lives.

Like me, the Gomers choose a word to help to shape and define their thoughts, goals, and actions for each particular year, and I remember a year or two ago, one of them chose Stewardship.  It always stuck in my mind, and now it's maybe one of my favorite "words to live by" because it cuts across all categories - the gift of my time, my health, my marriage, my family, my friends, my work, the gift of my home, my energy, my city.  And it's less of a word, really, than a constant framework to a question - "Am I being a good steward of my {fill in the blank}?"

For me, it's become a simple way to get ahold of myself when my addiction to election coverage is causing me to breathe fire or a good way to motivate myself to get moving when the makes staying inside so very compelling.  When I know I'm squandering time or doing something not consistent with the habits I want to build and keep, the concept of stewardship pops in my head and makes me think about my actions - and on a good day, improve them.

It's remarkable the power that one little word or phrase can have when we consciously set an intention to be guided by it each morning.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A few words for Nice

I've been in love with the idea of Nice since around 2006, or maybe a year or two before.  I had read The Bay at Nice by David Hare, the one act play that was to be my senior thesis directing project.  True, the play is set in Russia, but its constant evocation of Nice as this heavenly place filled with perfect light and beauty, combined with my pre-existing love of all things French inevitably created a wistful desire to some day go and see it for myself.  I always smile as I remember some college friends teasing and mocking me for my snooty (though it was quite cheap) French wine and my Edith Piaf music as I was immersing myself into writing and directing my thesis.

Fast forward to 2013, and I'm newly married with a French last name, and I'm heading to the only place that's ever crossed my mind if I were to imagine where I might go on a honeymoon.

Over our two week honeymoon that September, we spent 4 or so days in Italy's stunning Cinque Terre, but the bulk of the time was spent, at my request, in Nice.  Our favorite beach was Lido Plage.  Our favorite restaurant, hands down, was Le Bistrot du Fromagere - we loved it so much we went there 3 times. We wanted to be best friends with the owner, who was also our server and the slicer of the home-made bread, which is still the best bread I've ever had in my life.   Our favorite wine was a rose, of course - Chateau de Berne.  Every single night, no matter how much we had at dinner, we got gelato and walked down the Promenade des Anglais.  I cried when we had to go home.

The beauty that I read about, the beauty that I saw in pictures, the beauty that I imagined - absolutely nothing compared to seeing it in person.  Even my own photographs don't properly capture the light and color - the staggering blue of the Mediterranean and of the sky, the spectacular golds and pinks of the sunsets, the vibrant bursts of color of the fireworks at night.  We were so wrapped up in the la-la land of honeymooners that I don't think we ever did figure out why there were fireworks displays so frequently during our time there in early September.  We were content enough to let the occasion be a celebration of the city itself.  Who needs a reason when you're Nice?  A city full of the friendliest French people you're likely to find, the best seafood in the world, endless bottles of cold rose, gelato for days, and simply effortless beauty.

My head and my heart can't keep up with this summer.  Orlando, Istanbul, Baghdad, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas, and now Nice.  And forgive me because I know that list isn't comprehensive - how could it be?  And I can't write an ode to each tragedy, to each city, I can't change my profile picture in solidarity with every act of violence in every culture - to do so would be pointless and madness, anyway.

But oh, how I love love love love love the city of Nice, France.  How my heart aches for the residents and tourists who stood where we stood, looked up at the sky as we did at the fireworks and the stars and the moon, breathed the same salt sea air.  It just aches, and I just have to share it and find comfort in the beauty of the city, and the knowledge that as it always does, out of this tragedy will grow love and brotherhood and fellowship and stories of courage and kindness.

Often it feels like there's nothing we can do in the wake of tragedies, particularly those that occur across the country or across the ocean.  You can always live your life striving to be an agent of peace.  You can strive to be peaceful in the microcosm of your life, and do what you can to allow your love in action affect the macrocosm of this brutal but beautiful world we live in - and it is a beautiful, beautiful world.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fear and Heartache, Love and Change

What a week it has been.  I find myself both at a loss for words of what to write this week, and also overflowing with ramblings thoughts pouring every which way, going down this branch of reasoning or that.  The idea of coming up with something coherent and comprehensive and concise but not reductive is more than a little overwhelming.

This past week was mired in heartache, on a personal level for various private reasons, and of course, on a national level.  Baton Rouge.  St. Paul. And my beloved home during my childhood, Dallas, TX.

I think the root of so much of this violence and inequity is fear.  Black citizens are afraid of police officers.  Police officers are afraid of black citizens. (Dallas citizen Kellon Nixon articulates it much better than I; please give the video a watch.  It inspired this post.) That's what racism - conscious or unconscious - is.  That's why we use the word "homophobia" to describe discrimination or hate against gay people.  Homophobic people feel their own sense of normality and the way the world should be is threatened by this reality wherein it's okay for two men or two women to love each other, and that fear leads to hate.

Like with any extreme, though, there exists its opposite, and there have been heartwrenchingly beautiful moments of connection and peace in the midst of the division and violence.  Protestors from opposite movements crossing lines and embracing.  Police officers and Black Lives Matters leaders and protestors having respectful and caring dialogue, or marching together (as in Dallas, before the protest turned deadly).  Stories of kindnesses, and strangers reaching out to each other in their grief.

I can't pretend that I have a clue what it's like to be a police officer.  To undergo the constant stress of risking your life and putting yourself in harms way every single day.  I can't pretend that I have a clue what it's like to be a black American - to continually see videos of unjust police shootings, and live in a society where so many fellow black citizens are incarcerated disproportionate to whites, and a thousand small everyday injustices and inequities in between.  But I am a citizen of this country, and so I've been grappling with and trying to wrap my head and heart around all of this to see how we can cope.

One thing I've learned as a yoga teacher, doula, and student of my wonderful prenatal mentor, is that the opposite of fear is love.  Fear produces adrenaline; love produces oxytocin.  One produces the "fight or flight" sympathetic response; the other produces what some call a "tend and befriend" parasympathetic response.

How do we overcome fear?  We look it straight in the face.  We get to know it.  We educate ourselves.  Movements progress through dialogue and connection and common ground with your counterparts.  On the small scale, it's reaching out and talking.  Hate speech and violence perpetuate the problem, dig people deeper into their entrenched beliefs, narrow their blinders, and either affects no change or makes things worse - usually both.

My mom told me this week that life is all about change.  That's all it is.  Yoga teaches us that nothing is permanent.  As Lin-Manuel Miranda so poignantly put it - "nothing here is promised; not one day."

Change is scary.  Change usually provokes fear.  This is a situation that has to change and has to stop.   There is so much we can do - and there are many helpful lists circulating online of numbers to call, bills to ask for action on, groups to join, marches to attend - there's so much we can do on our community level and by engaging with our lawmakers.

On a smaller level, the change we should first and foremost be enacting is within ourselves and to our neighbors.  Especially in New York, where the order of the day is to avoid eye contact with everyone you encounter on your commute - make a connection.  Even a moment of eye contact and a slight smile.  Be an agent of peace and love.  Speak out against racism even when it's uncomfortable.  Be kind.

It's oft-quoted to the point of cliche, but Ghandi's, "Be the change you want to see in the world," has never rung more true for me than during these violent and unkind days.  Focus on those kindnesses you see in the news alongside the tragedies that also rightly demand our focus.  Then do it, and be it.  That's how I see getting through this, and I hope many more join.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Control, Risk, and Cliche

I realized after I posted my blog last week that I had completely lost the little spark of inspiration that led to me wanting to write about that topic at all.  In my haste of following my rigid and totally arbitrary standard of posting something every Tuesday no matter what, I found the random idea I had jotted down and went with it...totally forgetting about the root and revelation of it all.

As I was running in a race last month, I had found myself thinking of the 2017 NYC Marathon - which is not unusual, as that's where my thoughts usually tend when I'm running these days.  Then my thoughts shifted to a few variations on the theme of crossing my fingers and hoping that I'd be able to make it through this marathon uninjured and relatively unscathed.

And that's when the thought occurred to me - so much of that is in my control.

We don't realize through the course of living our lives just how much of what happens to us is in our control.  How much control we have over our reactions to events that befall us.  How much influence our previous actions have over those events that befall us.  How much responsibility we bear, how much of a difference we can make.

In the context of running, that of course led me to figuratively smacking myself upside the head and realizing that I could wish and hope that I can do this without getting injured and continue to live in my comfort zone - in this case, doing some PT and strength training when I'm inclined to, but mostly just rigidly following an intense running schedule - or I could actually change my behavior which might actually change my result.

Do I want to change my behavior?  Hell no.  The ways in which I've prepped for a race are challenging but familiar in their challenge.  Changing that will be uncomfortable and require way more effort, but I know it will lead to the results that I actually want.

Now, I know there's no such thing as being totally injury proof, but if I make an active, concerted, real effort to do the work that I know in my head I need to do to prevent injury...that's not just me wishing and hoping and throwing it to the Gods that I don't get injured, but that's me putting in a real effort, making a real change, and actually contributed toward that hoped-for outcome.  And hell, I might make this big change and put in all this effort and still get injured, and that sure would suck.  But it probably wouldn't suck as much as it would if I made a half-assed effort and just crossed my fingers for the other half.

So yes - that's the running context.

In the larger context, I think it has to do with putting yourself out there.  Or with choosing optimism over cynicism.  To admit that you're actually trying to do something hard or new or different or risky or something that doesn't come naturally.  From the small and mundane (attempting to keep a house plant alive would be on my list) to the bigger and bolder (making a career switch, moving to a new city), just making the decision to try, and just making that attempt to succeed is a brave act.

It sounds very simplistic and obvious, I know.  And more than a little superior and preachy despite my best efforts.  But the older I get, the more I realize that often the lessons that are the hardest to learn, the most profound, and the most valuable are the simple cliche's that you've heard repeated a thousand million billion times before.  You hear them, repeat them, let them fly in one ear and out the other thinking that you get it, but then some sort of life circumstance befalls you and you really hear that advice for the first time and get it.

The phrase "putting yourself out there" is probably the most neat bow I can put on what it is I'm trying to talk about here.  It's often easier to accept challenges in life without challenging back.  It's easier - in the short run - to play the victim of your circumstances instead of seeing what kind of space there might be for you to change the course of things.  Because what if you put yourself out there, what if you try to take control, what if you try to make a change - and you fail?

Well, then.  You fail.  And that sucks.  And that's embarrassing.  And sometimes it's even heartbreaking.

But what's the alternative?  I'd rather not find out if I can help it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The (Running) Journey

Everyone know the cliche - "Life is about the journey, not the destination."

We all hear it.  We all "know" it.  When someone says it, it sort of washes over us and through us.  But the only way you really learn it, the only way you really feel it, is through some sort of significant personal experience.

In this particular context, I am, of course, talking about running.  This is a lesson that's been painfully (literally) slow to sink in for myself, and it started with the marathon, subsequent injuries, and more importantly, the subsequent journey into the world of physical therapy, mobility work, and strength/cross training.

Runners hear all the time about the importance of strength training, but I kept myself stuck in a narrative that said that I "can't" do strength work on my own.  I can do it under a teacher's guidance or in a class setting where I have someone to impress, someone to push me harder than I'd push myself, but I just don't have it in me to do it by myself in my living room.  Running is so easy by comparison - you decide how long you're going, and you just go.  No agonizing of decisions over how many sets, how heavy, how long, when you can cheat and when you can quit.

Even after my PT "graduation," after plenty of time of faithfully doing my PT strength homework as assigned, doing that work still felt somewhat temporary.  I regarded it as just a warm-up to do before a run and as tune-up to do when I started to feel any nagging pain.

However, my painful and slow, but ultimately healthy, half marathon last month finally hammered it home.  If I really want to run for the rest of my life - to say nothing of running next year's NYC Marathon - I have to accept so much more than running as part of my journey.

Listening to a special episode of the best running podcast ever, Two Gomers Run for Their Lives, articulated this as well.  One of the Gomers got a lecture from his physical therapist (PT's to the rescue, once again) about how runners and athletes, especially younger ones, put all their energy into the race or the sport/activity itself, and nowhere near enough emphasis on form and technique - aka STRENGTH.  Injuries happen as a result of this - sometimes permanent injuries.  Your speed or personal record race time is not an accurate reflection of being a healthy, well rounded athlete - just as being able to do a headstand is not an accurate reflection of being a "true" yogi.

It means spending less time actually running, and it demands so much more honest awareness.  I used to think that because I taught and practiced yoga, that was all the "cross-training" my body needed.  I felt like I got a pass.  But repetitive motions of any kind, even the sainted practice of yoga, can cause imbalances and potential injury.  The real work of keeping our bodies healthy and active for the rest of our lives is not that exciting.  It's not in the moment of crossing the finish line, it's in all the boring, sometimes tedious, but sometimes tremendously rewarding little moments that lead up to it.  It's all the little moments where you show up - where you foam roll for a half hour in front of the TV instead of sit.  Where you decide to no longer short change the warm up or the cool down.  It's an honest, thorough assessments of points of pain, points of weakness, and facing them unflinchingly.

And of course, it's all a metaphor for life too, isn't it?  We have watershed moments, the big milestones in the personal and professional realms.  But without the hard work to build us up to those moments, they wouldn't exist.

I've been a runner for nearly nine years - but in some ways, I feel like a complete novice.  I feel like for the first time I'm treating my body responsibly, like the fragile and finite - and strong - thing it is.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sleep Tune Up

Today is Day 21 of my 3rd round of Whole30!  Physically, I feel fantastic - my energy is starting to level out (those 3pm crashes are on their way out!), ----, and I'm enjoying one of my favorite Whole30 benefits - better sleep.

Of course, full disclosure - I drafted this post last Tuesday (Day 14), and before a 36 hour birth-a-thon.  So, every night has not been full of sleep, glorious sleep and even-keel energy levels.

One of the best things about Round 3?  I'm really not thinking about food that much!  I was really worried this go-round for some reason - worried because two rounds of Whole30 and I'm not a magical perfect eater who has figured her way out of emotional eating and chocolate/sugar addiction, and I thought that my mind would cling harder than ever to the sugar I was going to be denying it for the next 30 days.  The opposite has turned out to be true.  My brain went right back into Whole30 mode, planning delicious protein and veggie filled meals, with only a passing wistfulness for the glass of wine and dessert I'd be forgoing for the next 30 days.

Because of my brain's remarkable ability to jump onto a Whole30 autopilot (who knew such a thing would exist for me last June when this was such a terrifying new endeavor?), I've actually spent the past three weeks focused on improving other areas of my health alongside the improvements that I'm making by eating a whole-foods, sugar-free diet.

One of the major areas of focus:  Improving sleep!

Living in the city that never sleeps, and working every day with new moms for whom four uninterrupted hours is a luxury, I sometimes feel like I'm all alone on Sleep Zealot Island.  I've been that way mostly my whole life (with the possible exception of college...), and I think it's partly due to my morning-person nature and the fact that my brain and body just shut down when it gets late.  When I don't get enough sleep, I'm emotional, cranky, foggy, and about 30% less smart.

For the most part, falling asleep has never been much of a problem for me, but I find the older I get, the less frequently I can just pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow.  The first days of a Whole30 often negatively affect my ability to fall asleep quickly too, because drinking a few glasses of wine is a great way to ensure I will fall asleep hard! Of course, issue with that comes with staying asleep through the night, but I digress.

As I've been expending way less mental energy on food (can I have chocolate after dinner? how much?  what kind?  can I have another glass of wine? will it really matter if I eat this entire bag of tortilla chips?), I've spent more of my energy focusing on helping myself to a better night's sleep.  I've been (a little) better about not looking at screens an hour before bed, carving out more to read, taking a magnesium supplement, and finally, I'm incorporating the amazing Yoga Tune Up balls to help my to body release tension and my brain to shut the hell up.

Yoga Tune Up isn't so much a type of yoga like Hatha or Vinyasa or Bikram - it's a "fitness format" that focuses not just on stretching and strengthening, but on self-massage, corrective posture, and the awareness to identify and consciously improve problem areas throughout the whole body.  It has been a huge part of my self-care arsenal, thanks to my fantastic physical therapist and to a former yoga teacher who also happens to be a renowned CrossFit coach and an inspiration to my first Whole30, Keith Wittenstein - aka Coach Panda.

For a yoga teacher, I don't always actually use the practice in ways I know I should.  One of the most powerful ways to incorporate yoga into your daily routine is right before bed to wind down and help transition your mind and body from the go-go-go bombardment of daily life to the quiet and ease of sleep.

Below are the two Tune Up techniques I've found to be most powerful and beneficial to sending me off to bed - and bonus points, they reduce the intensity morning headaches to which I've become accustomed.  If you don't have Tune Up balls, try lacrosse balls.

Coach Panda can take you through these better than I can, so I leave it to him.  Click the links below for his detailed explanations and videos.

The Headrest
This is also fantastic to do pretty much any time of day, or anytime you have a headache.  Use two Yoga TuneUp balls in their tote, or two lacrosse balls in a sock.  If you don't have a yoga block, use a thick book or two.  It may feel weird while you're in it, but after you come out you should feel a nice rush of relief from head and neck tension.

The Jawbreaker
This is a must of those of us who clench their jaws or grind their teeth in sleep!  It doesn't take long to gently massage each side, and consistency with this one will yield results down the road.


If you don't have TuneUp or Lacrosse balls, simply doing a few gentle yoga poses accompanied with slow, deep, full breaths in a quiet, dim room goes a really long way toward preparing your brain and your body for sleep.  My all-time favorite before-bed yoga practice is this classic from Jason Crandell, which I'm sure I've raved about on the blog before.

I highly encourage anyone to try adding a little pre-bed yoga - see if it yields results, and tell me about it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thoughts, Prayers, & Action

I drafted a post early Sunday morning - before connecting with the news - as part of my efforts to get back in touch with writing proper entries in my blog.  In light of the horrifying massacre in Orlando this weekend, it just seems trivial to share it today.

Instead I want to provide a list of organizations to which you can donate and things you can do to take action in response to this hate crime, this terrorist act, this worst mass shooting in our history, this attack on an LGBTQ sanctuary, this attempt to decimate freedom and love.

I'm sure a thorough Google search of one's own could turn these up, but it feels like the right thing to do today - to help throw more positive, actionable resources out there.  It should go without saying that my heart, my thoughts, my prayers, my tears are with the victims and their loved ones.  It should go without saying because we say it way too often, and the people who say it the most frequently are the ones who have the power to actually do something.

So without further ado:

Pulse Victims Fund for Equality Florida

Pulse Tragedy Community Fund

"We Stand with Pulse" Victim's Fund

Donation Page for the Orlando Regional Medical Center

Donation Page for the Florida Disaster Fund via VolunteerFlorida

Guide to contacting your representatives about gun control

Sign the petition to lift the ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual citizens

Finally, just turn to your loved ones and let this be a reminder to never ever take them for granted.  Tell them you love them.  Give your love and support for the beautiful gay community of this nation and the world.  On this Pride Month, declare yourself a straight ally to them.  Show love, kindness, and solidarity to the Muslim members of your community, and don't give in to the hysterical right's attempts to simplify this issue by calling it an issue with Islam as a religion.  There are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide.  If they were all evil and out to get us, do you really think we'd still be here?

Have civil and reasoned conversations with family and friends and colleagues who don't hold the same views about all of the various factors that contributed to this horrible crime.  Don't just blindly unfollow that acquaintance on Facebook who supports the un-American ban on Muslims - engage them in respectful debate about it.  You never know - you may begin to change someone's mind and open their heart.  Or if it's too much of a source of pain and stress - step away from Facebook (my own advice is the hardest to take) and keep engaging with the people in your life that you love and remind them every day that you love them.

In short, just love.  Love and love and love and love and love some more.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Overabundance

Happy June!  It's been just over a month since I've posted, and I can't blame it on how oh so crazy life has been like I always do.  It's been the usual amount of busy, plus a wonderful holiday weekend with in-laws, but there really hasn't been any reason for not writing except I haven't been met with the clarity (ha) of inspiration and the time - or more specifically, the time and inclination - to sit and find something specific, articulate and worth sharing.

The two main things keeping me from posting since May 10th are a lack of scheduled structure to when I'm supposed to write in this thing and an overabundance of things to write about.  It's sort of like the opposite of writer's block, but the end result is the same - nothing gets written, and this sits here collecting Internet-dust.  It's sort of like when you have so much to do that you become paralyzed and simply do nothing.

Considering this is a voluntary, just-for-me, 100% not making any money off of this thing blog, it's ridiculous the inner agony that can go on when I think about how I've been delinquent in posting.  Seriously - it's no big deal.  But my upholder nature doesn't like the idea of a half-hearted commitment, and lazy excuses.

So, I'm utilizing the #1 tactic that always works on me when trying to build a new habit - I'm scheduling it.  Every Tuesday, rain or shine, idea abundance or idea desert, I'm going to post something.  And I'll try to make it worth reading.  For me, the simplicity, clarity, and most importantly, the obligation of having something on my calendar is what gets me to do something.  Whether it's a dreaded one time chore that I've been putting off or something recurring that gets lost in the shuffle of unstructured time, scheduling is basically my way of coping and meeting the expectations of Life as a Grown Up.

This may very well be one of the most boring posts I ever share, but it does feel a bit like an important declaration - like putting it out there that I'm doing another Whole30.  If I keep it a secret, I can choose to quit or self-sabotage.  But I wanted to set the stage for the hopefully more interesting things I want to touch on in weeks to come - lessons I'm learning in this 3rd round of Whole30 (spoiler alert: they have almost nothing to do with eating), lessons I've learned from my 3rd half marathon, and my struggles to find rhythm, normalcy, and boundaries between work and rest while leading a career where my schedule is frequently full of irregularity - especially when I'm on call.

I'm excited to jump start this old girl out of the slump we've found ourselves in for the past two years.  This blog did turn 6 years old in April, after all, and I want to continue to let it help me with figuring out the mysteries human nature, yoga, and all the rest of life's madness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Clear

Happy May!  The city has never looked more beautiful to me than in this last month.  The blooms, the trees, the brief but beautiful tulips!  It was also really amazing to be in South Carolina for a week - aside from the obvious joy of being with my nephews and niece - to be surrounded by trees, open land, and big, gorgeous southern sky.

So yes - I am back from another three week period of madness.  So much joy in seeing my best friend get married, spending the week with the one and only Katie Parker, spending a week with my sister and her family.  But - it is good to be back.  Not just back in NYC, and not necessarily just back to my normal routine and my husband and my own kitchen and my wonderful job - but back into a different and entirely self-inflicted madness.

The Brooklyn Half Marathon, my first distance race since January 2014's Disney Marathon, is coming up in 11 short days.  That brings its own variance to my usual schedule and routine, as with today, where I mapped out roughly three and a half hours (including warm up, travel, and going verrrrrry slowly) for my longest training run of 10 miles.  Due to various mental and physical road blocks here and there during training, I have honestly not been feeling as great as I hoped to be feeling at this point.  Happily, however, today's run went better than expected, and I'm relieved to be almost at the starting line with my one and only Laura Frye by my side to cross the finish with me.

I've been very into choosing and sharing a particular word or mantra for each month so far this year, and May's is a very simple one - clear.

Just as my brilliant and fiery niece Zoe can completely reset herself from having a total meltdown to being a perfectly happy child after just fifteen minutes of alone and quiet time in her room, we all have the ability to completely change our mental course throughout the stresses of our days and hit our own reset button.  We all have the ability to clear our heads of useless worry or self-doubt and start over, choosing a new and more positive thought.

It doesn't come naturally to probably 90% of us, but it is biologically possible.  And man is it beneficial.  Just today, on my run, I can think of several times I let my worrying and my negative thoughts the challenge of the run was get the better of me, and then, remembering my mantra, I consciously stopped and visualized just clearing it all out of my head - like highlighting the text of a document and hitting delete.

I've written about this sort of thing in the past - first, just scratching the surface on it when reviewing the absolute must-read book My Stroke of Insight way back in 2010 (which delves much more deeply into the biology of it all), and second just this past fall when talking about the "reset button" I refer to with my prenatal yoga clients.

It's so easy, literally anyone can do it - all you have to do is get out of your own way.  Gretchen Rubin often shares the quote, "It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light."  Sometimes complaining is the comfort zone.  Sometimes it's easier to live in worry than in hope.  Sometimes the habit of being bitter feels easier than taking the chance to let it go and choose to be better.

Just hit CLEAR.  Pause.  Reset your thought pattern.  Choose a positive thought.  Don't judge it, don't over think it, just do it.

And off you go, into a better moment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Savor

April started with one of the most extraordinary weekends - getting away from the city with beautiful women and a beautiful man in the mountains.  A lot is going on this month at work (birthday parties upon birthday parties upon holiday camp...), I'm trying to responsibly train for the Brooklyn Half Marathon next month (i.e. lots of stretching, foam rolling, and icing) and I'm ending the month by flying down to South Carolina to connect with my absolute bliss - being with my sister, her wonderful husband, and her gorgeous children.  (And to finally meet Emma, their saving grace who helps with the kiddos and school!)

Before that happens, and in the midst of all the Karma Kids madness, my best friend in the world is getting married.

I can't even express how excited I am and how anxious I am and how much I want everything to go off completely without a hitch and most importantly, how deeply I just want her to feel as completely and perfectly happy as possible.  I am so excited to see my parents, who are coming up for the event, and some of the best friends a girl could ever hope for who are flying or bus-ing in.

With all of this in mind - work, love, celebrations, travel - I sat at the end of March and decided that my mantra for the month needed to be:

Savor.

As I talked about in the last entry, a monthly mantra can sometimes be a way for me to actively engage in whatever yogic platitude I'm trying to bring into my life.  I think Savor touches on two points - being grateful and being present.  I'm hoping Savor can help me slow down a little bit, and truly enjoy the rare and special time that I get to spend with so many people that I love this month, celebrating so many unique and special once-in-a-lifetime moments.

When I tell myself to "be present," it sometimes triggers a mild little panic of wondering if I'm doing it right.  But to savor something - to savor that glass of wine, to savor a reunion dinner with beautiful friends who just moved home - I know how to do that.

This one is getting married in a few short days, and I can't even handle all the emotions I'm having.  So I'm just going to try to slow down, stay present, be so freaking grateful, and savor all of it.
Ruining her life with love in between her singing our first dance beautifully
and then slaying us with an epic toast.