Yoga/Journaling – Chest & Heart Openers/Love Abides Where it is Welcome

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Welcome! In my yoga challenge this morning, we did chest, shoulder and heart openers. By the end of my practice my breathing slowed down and my chest felt less tight. That tighten of the chest, for me, is due to stress and anxiety. So this practice felt great this morning!

If you’re following along, journal on how you felt this morning. What came up or didn’t? If you had your own practice, what did you struggle with and what came easier to you today. What thoughts came up during your practice?

The journal inspiration today is relating to opening our hearts, welcoming love in…

“Love manifests where there is an empty vessel.
Love abides where it is welcome.”
– Bhakti Sutras, Verse 53

Yoga/Journaling Challenge – Body & Mind Opening

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I’ve been on lull for a bit which caused a break in my yoga practice and writing.  My schedule has been a bit crazy along with a training I just completed to be a volunteer facilitator for a grief support program for children and adults.  Although mostly good things happening in life, my yoga practice and writing has fallen to the way side this past month or so.

Listening to my body and it’s yearning for my yoga practice and my mind craving the passion the write, I’ve decided to create a new challenge for myself and for my followers if you would like to join me.

Challenges for me give me the motivation to get on the mat while keeping a promise to myself.  Along with this daily yoga challenge, I invite you to join me in journaling on what you experienced on your mat; emotionally and physically.  What did the practice bring up for that day or didn’t bring up?

My home practice lets me focus more on my breath and clearing my mind.  While, being in the studio is great for guidance and my teachers are wonderful, one of my challenges has always been to begin and keep a daily home practice.

I am using a free challenge I found online with a simple Google search.   http://www.doyouyoga.com/challenge/

Feel free to follow along with this website or create your own practice.  The videos are about 20-30 minutes long making it perfect to fit in your morning ritual! I will be using the challenge above as the focus for the journaling each day but by no means do have to follow along.  I will provide what the focus was on that day followed by a quote or saying to inspire your journaling.

On to today’s practice J  Hip openers.  After being off my mat for a bit, these were a little tough for me but it opened up more than just my hips.  It opened up blocks and tightness my entire body has been feeling; emotionally and physically.

Opening up our bodies to the discomfort can give us room to see what needs improvement and what we need to work on to give our muscles the room they need to breathe.  It can open our minds to what has been holding us back and how to move forward.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Pema Chödrön to inspire your journaling for today:

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid.”

Daily Journal Inspiration – Henry David Thoreau on Clutters in Life

“Sweep away the clutter of things that complicate our lives.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

For today, as you begin to write in your journal, think about Thoreau’s words…what clutters do
you have in life? Physical and mental clutters that are just complicating things. Write about what small steps you can take to begin to sweep this clutter away…simplifying your life one day at a time ❤

Daily Journal Inspiration – “Yeah Dave” on Time Distortion

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Artwork above is by Evita which can purchased here

Today’s words come from Dave Romanelli, better know as “Yeah Dave” in the yoga world ❤  These words are taken from his book, Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment: Getting to Ecstasy Through Wine, Chocolate and Your iPod Playlist.  His book will make you burst out laughing and at the same time give you awesome insight on living your life in the moment…highly recommended read! 

“Take a moment to imagine a day without a clock.  It might sound refreshing but most of us (especially me) would flinch and twitch on countless occasions seeking the reassurance of a schedule.  If only we could get past this grasping for the familiar.  When we lose track of time, we loosen our grip on life.  And in loosing, the mind opens, creating new space for fresh ideas…time distortion most often happens doing what we love in life.  The challenge is cultivating a willingness to move beyond routine, a curiosity for mystery, and an appetite for insight and revelation.”  

Every weekend, my fiancé and I, along with our two dogs (our children) go hiking in the woods…we pick different reservations/parks in our area to explore.  It’s a complete and total disconnect, a time distortion for us, from time, work, t.v., internet and stresses of daily life for us to talk and appreciate our family.  Sometimes there is no talking and the silence between us is also very peaceful as we listen and admire the nature around us.  We smile, laugh and on occasions get into deep conversations about our lives, the world and our future.  For us, these hikes give our family a weekly connection that we truly look forward to. 

Today, as you sit down to write in your journal, think about a time where you lost track of time doing something you love.  Write about how you felt, where you were, who you were with and how you can take steps to make it a more frequent activity in your life ❤

Daily Journal Inspiration – Yoda on a Child’s Mind

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“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is” – Yoda, Star Wars Episode II

Today’s words come from Yoda (you heard right ha!), from Star Wars Episode II.  I’d like share a short story with all of you about a small moment I had yesterday at work.  I had a boy in my office (about the age of 6 or 7) who had the most interesting things to say.  This was the first I had ever met him.  Specifically, he picked up this small turtle statue I had on my desk (given to me by a very dear friend as present for my birthday a few years back) and began examining it’s details..the colors, the size, the shape, etc.  The description lasted about a solid 4 minutes or so…I was amazed about the detail he pulled out of this little statue.  I’ve always admired it since I received it but never took the time to actually examine it like this child did.  He went on further to say that it should be placed so everyone can see it, not on my desk hidden.  (He added “That’s just my opinion, you can put it where you want to, but I think it should be placed where everyone can see”) ha!.  This little boy had a lot say and I’m glad I met him…his mind was truly wonderful. 

Today, as you write in your journal, try to recall a moment in time when a child has described something that we look at to be simple, with such detail…like he/she has never seen it before.  We should really start to look at the simple things more often through a child’s eyes…the world would surely look a lot more awesome!

Daily Journal Inspiration – Jon Kabat-Zinn on Your Unique Journey

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Let’s thank Jon Kabat-Zinn for his amazing writing and work in the field of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and the help that he given so many people with his words, lectures, research and workshops. Here are a few words from him to spark your journal entry today….

“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?”

Are you living your unique journey? If not, try writing about what YOUR journey would look like and focus on taking small steps to make this unique journey start to unfold. ❤

Daily Journal Inspiration -Thich Nhat Hanh on Smiling :)

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Today, I’ve picked words from Thich Nhat Hanh to share for our journal prompting.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile
can be the source of your joy.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

Write about something/someone that made you smile, the source of your joy for the day. The sun shining, your morning tea/coffee, your morning cuddle session with your pup or the smile you gave to your neighbor…whatever it is, write about the source of joy today.

Daily Journal Inspiration – Robin Sharma on Setbacks in Life

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Today’s words come from Robin Sharma, author of The Monk that Sold His Ferrari and one my favorite books of all time, The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His FerrariIf you haven’t had a chance to read his books, I would suggest picking them up for a quick, inspirational read!  I’ll leave you with his words below to inspire your journaling today…

“The beautiful things about setbacks is they introduce us to our strengths.”

Take a look at some of your setbacks in your life, can you identify the strengths you have gained from them?  Maybe going forward in life, when you’re faced with a set back, remember how the past has shown you your strengths in overcoming and moving on ❤

Daily Journal Inspiration – Loving Kindness Meditation

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Today I’m sharing a meditation that I use when I want to send loving energy to someone (or myself) when in need. This is my own version of a Metta meditation or loving kindness meditation…

May I be peaceful
May I be safe
May I be healthy and free from pain
May I be happy and calm

Now think of someone in your life that you would like these words to go to…someone you love, someone in need, someone sick, a stranger, or anyone you feel may need these words today

May you be peaceful
May you be safe
May you be healthy and free from pain
May you be happy and calm

Sit for a few moments, read the words in your head a few times and spend some time journaling how you feel….

(To find out more on Metta meditation and different versions on the mediation here is a link Metta Meditation)

Daily Journal Inspiration – Henry David Thoreau on Seasons

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“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” – Henry David Thoreau

This is by far one of my favorite writings by Thoreau…get outside and embrace the seasons!! Write about what you see, the snow, the ice, the sun, the trees, the plants…use the practice as a writing meditation and enjoy ❤