Yoga/Journaling – …Rising Every Time We Fall

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Good morning!
Crow pose got me this morning!
I would get one leg up and then fall. By the end of my practice, I was able to get one leg up and hold it for a few seconds. I’m happy with that today! I’m ok with the fact that every time I fell, I got back up and tried again.

My yoga teacher once said these words that keep coming up every time I’m challenged on my mat…”usually the way we handle our challenges on the mat is the way we handle our challenges off the mat”. Those words kept repeating in my head as I pushed myself to hold crow with one leg for a few seconds. I did it. When we are challenged in life, often times we give up. It’s ok to fall, but getting back up and trying again is the part that matters the most.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Nelson Mandela for your journaling inspiration:

“The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.” –
Nelson Mandela

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Yoga/Journaling – Bridge of Love

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Good morning!
Today’s yoga practice was a treat for me! It was a relaxed practice focusing on twists and simple bridges to move the spine and open up the back. Being hunched over at a computer for most of the day, Monday through Friday, this felt great to gently move my spine in a different directions 🙂 On the emotional side, I felt a feeling of unraveling…twisting and releasing…the release from the twist was refreshing and calming for my mind and body.

Whatever your practice was today or will be, I hope your take some time after your practice to reflect on yourself, what came up, what didn’t come up, in your journal. Journaling is one of the best therapies, in my opinion 🙂

Today’s quote for inspiration comes from Martha Whitmore Hickman’s Healing After Loss, Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief. Great little pocket size book that I carry around in my purse.

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love…” – Thornton Wilder

Yoga/Journaling – Sphinx Pose

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Photo credits: Wikipedia

Good morning! Today was a continuation of yoga working on our core.

I truly resonated with the Sphinx Pose today during my practice. I always loved this pose and felt very safe here today.

Even more so, throughout my practice this morning, I realized that my breathe is more in place with the poses (my ultimate goal during my home yoga practice). And I’m clenching less down on my jaw, another habit that I have to consciously correct to avoid headaches after my practice. The teeth clenching I also relate heavily to stress/anxiety. Keeping this promise, sticking with the challenge, is proving to be an awesome benefit to my morning routine. My days are changing beginning early and it continues throughout my day. If you haven’t started the challenge yet, feel free to join me at anytime 🙂 My prior posts have the link for the challenge ❤

Today's quote for inspiration:

"Everything is possible to him who wills only what is true! Rest in Nature, study, know, then dare; dare to will, dare to act and be silent!"
Éliphas Lévi

Yoga/Journaling – Lotus

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Good morning! Today’s yoga challenge brought me to one of my all time favorite poses, salabhasana (lotus or grasshopper). Beautiful pose that works on strengthening your arms, legs and great for posture.

After somewhat of a late night, getting on mat this morning was a challenge in itself. Ending in the empowering lotus pose today made me realize how important my daily home practice is to me.

Today’s quote for inspiration:

“For everything there is a season…a time to break down and a time to build up…a time to weep and a time laugh…a time to mourn and a time to dance…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

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

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 – Pema Chödrön on Healing

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Today, I chose words by Pema Chödrön to prompt your journal entry. Her words have been very influential in my life. Make time for yourself today to write and reflect on her words below…

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chödrön

Are you letting there be room for grief, for relief, for misery and joy in your life?

365 Days of Journaling – Challenge

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Do you remember that diary you kept underneath your pillow at night as a child? It was probably very colorful and had a lock attached to it with a key. I loved my diary. It had a gold lock and key that I kept stored away in a very safe place for fear that someone would read about my tribulations on the playground that day! Today, diaries are digital and have large plastic fancy locks. Either way, I believe it is a great way for children to get their feelings out and on paper.

My childhood diary writing could be why today I love journaling. I have a journal next to my bed (still colorful) and I carry my leather bound journal in my purse wherever I go. Journaling has become a ritual for me and has helped my healing throughout the past three years of my life. Writing my thoughts down has helped clear my head on days when my brain feels like it is going to explode with thoughts/feelings and also helped on days when I just needed a little inspiration to get me going.

What better way to start this new year by making a ritual of journal writing! Writing, specifically journaling, has been studied by psychologists for years. In an article published by Psychology Today, John F. Evans, Ed.D explains “the literature of several healthcare professions suggests that for many people wellness and writing can be closely connected, and that writing is useful for obtaining and sustaining emotional, physical, and spiritual health. You can read more specifically as to the psychologists and their studies at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/write-yourself-well/201208/can-i-write-myself-well.

Why not take a challenge with me for this new year? 365 days of journaling (well 360 days now ha!).   I will give you some tips and ideas below that have helped me in the past but feel free to make journaling yours; it’s really your own free expression to heal, put your creativity to paper or to simply clear your mind.

Lose the planning…

When I first started writing in my journal, I planned what I would write in my head before writing it like someone else was going to read it. This is your journal, so feel free to write about anything and everything. My best mornings/nights are when I just take a pen to paper and write about any thought that comes into my head. So what if it doesn’t make sense. Your mind doesn’t make sense sometimes, hence why journaling is a great way to clear out the confusion to make room for clarity.

Break free from guidelines…

There are no guidelines to your journaling so don’t make any up. If you feel like writing two words on a Friday night or several pages on a Sunday afternoon, then so be it. I was once told by a friend that for years she struggled with journaling because of the lines on the paper; she felt like she had to fill the lines on the page. Once she bought an un-lined journal, she felt free to write away; wherever she wanted to on the paper. I think this is a great idea! Doodling encouraged…creativity is produced when guidelines are broken! Break free for your self imposed guidelines on time, quantity, quality, topics, etc. Just write…however and whenever you would like during the day.

Aesthetics for some…

Some people find it more relaxing to pick a journal that is aesthetically welcoming. Although, I’ve known others that like to use a simple $1.00 notebook. Find what works for you. I found my beautiful leather bound journal at Barnes & Noble which has a removable leather bound cover that I can put on a new simply lined journal once my old one has filled up! (My crafty/creative side has recently come up with an idea to design DIY journals as gifts in the new year and began selling them recently on Etsy.) Again, this is your writing…your time. Make it however you wish.

Find a quiet space to be alone…

As I know this can be difficult for some people with our busy lives, children, family, etc., finding a space and a few minutes alone is very important each day. In order to clear my head, I need quiet; no phones, computers, T.V., no distractions. This may be different for some people. I’ve been told by others that they enjoy listening to music while journaling. Whatever works for you, but I would suggest to be alone during this time so you can really let go when writing.

Make it a point to journal everyday…

This is key and the challenge for your new year! I know that some days are longer than others. Work can very stressful; life can be exhausting. Keeping a commitment to yourself of journaling everyday will be well worth it at the end of year and a practice you will hopefully continue for the rest of your life. Use this commitment as a daily gift for yourself.

I hope you give the 365 days of journaling a shot and join me in the challenge for 2014!   Most importantly, I hope that you enjoy the time to yourself, time for self expression, creativity and clarity!