Themes for 2015

Happy January Y’all. Tis the season, of Inventory, resolutions, and motivation.  Last year I listed off several goals/resolutions/projects… and like most people they kinda fizzled out a few months in, though I did use my juicer SO many times, and I did succeed in taking January off from beer drinking. Alas, I still haven’t seen a nutria in real life (and I’ve been told by a few people that if this was my goal, I need to dream bigger.. but whatever… I did some pretty amazing things in 2014, I don’t think having the goal of seeing a giant gross water rodent should deter from all the awesomeness that transpired last year. And lets be honest, a Nutria is pretty much the closest thing to a Rodent Of Unusual Size I’m ever going to see, so I still maintain, it was a legitimate goal… clearly I need to get up earlier and hang out by more water… anyway I digress.)

Last year I also decided that I wanted to draw inspiration and focus on a few key words and ideas in my daily life, and for me this was a much better approach to the whole New Years thing. Because, setting an intention and seeing how that unfolds in your life is just as rewarding as setting a tangible “I’m going to do this specific thing.”  To some, I’m sure it doesn’t feel as satisfying as saying “I’m going to run a half marathon” or “Be a vegetarian” or “Floss my teeth twice a day” and typically I am a giant fan of tangible lists, but when it comes to setting goals and intentions for the year, I’m more of a right-brained individual.

This year, I have 3 major Themes that I’m trying to focus on and I’m excited to explore where they will take me.

Themes for 2015

Themes for 2015

1) Self-Care
The same people who are skeptical about Nutrias have also commented “What are you talking about, you are great at self care! You go to yoga, you eat healthy.”  And these things are true, but a few weeks before Christmas I was sitting in a restorative yoga class (literally strapped in and propped up in a supported boat pose) and I just couldn’t shake the idea that I needed to start taking better care of myself. Not just in the physical sense, but also mentally and emotionally.  Yes, I DO teach yoga and barre, and I DO try to eat healthy, and I am oh so very good at letting myself put my feet up and relaxing with a glass of wine when things get stressful, but I think there is more to it than that.  For all the aspects of self care that I’m really good at, there are others that I’m pretty terrible at. I don’t get enough sleep, I sleep with my cell phone and laptop next to me, I don’t push myself to exercise daily, I drink too much coffee… the list goes on… and overall I don’t think these things are terrible, but I know there are times when I could be making a better effort to take care of myself… I’ll probably still eat boxed mac and cheese from time to time, and let’s be honest, the coffee isn’t going anywhere, but I’m excited to explore Self-Care as an overall theme for the year. (afterall, I’m turning 30 in 2015!) And I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know exactly what this is going to look like, but I imagine it will involve drinking a lot more water, and a little less booze. Being outside more, making meaningful connections, and taking more yoga classes. Spending more time in meditation, drinking a little more green tea, and a little less coffee. Incorporating essential oils into my daily life,  reading more books, taking more introverted re-charge moments, and also pushing myself out of my comfort zone more. It’s giving myself permission to say no, and inspiring myself to say yes. It’s going to bed a little earlier, and turning off technology at 10pm (ish). Its taking  occasional Spa days, and grown up vacations.   And what I love most about this idea of Self-Care, is that I know it’s going to look different every day. It’s not an all or nothing thing that says “You have to do ABC to achieve XYZ”  It’s more about tuning in to how I’m feeling in each moment, and giving myself the support that I need physically and mentally.

 

2) Authenticity 
This year I’m going to try and focus on being the most authentic version of myself. I’m not saying that I have a tendency to be fake or in-genuine, this blog is pretty real!  but Authenticity is another word that keeps coming to mind when I think about 2015. It’s interesting, because I feel like there is so much encouragement out there to celebrate what makes you unique (and I fully agree with this!) but sometimes I think maybe We (I’m using the general WE here, and) are a little guilty of pushing our uniqueness on people. Maybe pushing isn’t the right word… Let’s say we tend to lead with what makes us different, as a way to stand out to make an impression. And overall, I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with that. I think people need to own their quirks and what makes them different and celebrate their unique view of the world, but I think sometimes in doing that it is easy to lose other parts of yourself. I know that I sometimes play to my audience, I highlight areas of my personality that I think other people will be interested in, I post photos on social media that I think other people might like etc… And its ridiculously easy when we are building our own personal brand to put a spotlight on a few key things we want people to remember, while we squirrel other things away. Again, I’m not saying that I have this secret life, and that I’ve been creating a false persona… But I am saying that in 2015 I’m not going to worry about playing to my audience or pushing things into the foreground. I’m going to focus on having authentic interactions, I’m going to own my opinions, (even if that means jumping on some bandwagons) and I’m going to let my authenticity be the thing that attracts people.

 

3) Gratitude
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Gratitude is a game changer, and this year I’m going to try to focus more on the things that I’m grateful for. Big stuff, little stuff, totally random off the wall stuff. Whenever those little nuggets of negativity start creeping in, I’m going to try to focus on the good and have a sense of gratitude.
What are some of the themes you are wanting to focus on in 2015?

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Little nuggets of gratefulness

The past few weeks I’ve been doing a fair amount of mini “working on me” projects. I started a 21 day meditation series on Happiness, I joined the Kitchen Cure, a month long kitchen cleaning excursion, I’ve signed up for a 21 day juicing challenge, and I’m getting in my last few practice runs before tackling a half marathon next weekend! It’s a crazy busy life, but I’m loving the little daily tasks, and am feeling inspired, revitalized, and on track with my ever-present goal of living a life in forward motion. But with all the busyness, I’m finding it is even more important to take those little nuggets of stillness everyday. To actually carve out time for meditation, and to slow down and focus on the things in this life that I’m grateful for. As my dear friend Kali would say “Gratefulness is a game changer” and yesterday as I was out on my very long, and very slow run, I started to piece together a few of the everyday things in my life that I’m grateful for this week.

I’m grateful for :

The fact that even though I'm 29, I have parents who let me rummage through their refrigerator for leftovers on a regular basis. "Do you have plans for this salmon?" "Can I take some of this mac & cheese for lunch tomorrow?"

The fact that even though I’m 29, I have parents who let me rummage through their refrigerator for leftovers on a regular basis. “Do you have plans for this salmon?” “Can I take some of this mac & cheese for lunch tomorrow?”

 

My body, and that it allows me to do semi-crazy things like train for a half marathon, and take crazy fun outdoor barre classes.

My body, and that it allows me to do semi-crazy things like train for a half marathon, and take crazy fun outdoor barre classes.

 

That I have two wonderful bosses who had enough foresight to install an espresso machine in a clothing boutique. And also, that they do amazing things, like purchase almonds in bulk so we can snack on something healthy when things get a little nutty.

That I have two wonderful bosses who had enough foresight to install an espresso machine in a clothing boutique. And also, that they do amazing things, like purchase almonds in bulk so we can snack on something healthy when things get a little nutty.

 

That even though my best friend doesn't like dessert, he keeps a freezer full of Choco Tacos for when we have dinner parties.

That even though my best friend doesn’t like dessert, he keeps a freezer full of Choco Tacos for when we have dinner parties.

 

My students,Who show up to my yoga and barre classes every week with open minds, and let me teach what I'm feeling in the moment. I'm so blessed that they keep coming back week to week (and have for almost 4 years!) even when I ask them to do some semi-ridiculous things that get them out of their comfort zones.  Photo Cred: Ryan Jones.

My students, who show up to my yoga and barre classes every week with open minds, and let me teach what I’m feeling in the moment. I’m so blessed that they keep coming back week to week (and have for almost 4 years!) even when I ask them to do some semi-ridiculous things that get them out of their comfort zones.
Photo Cred: Ryan Jones.

That I've been able to cultivate relationships/friendships with local farmers who grow amazing things and who help support my pretty much constant craving for pardon peppers & fermented vegetables.

That I’ve been able to cultivate relationships/friendships with local farmers who grow amazing things and who help support my pretty much constant craving for pardon peppers & fermented vegetables.

 

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padrons and kimchee in a sparkle bag, the usual Thursday MO.

 

That I have friends who say things like "Oh you haven't showered either? Great! We'll be smelly together, lets go get drinks!"

That I have friends who say things like “Oh you haven’t showered either? Great! We’ll be smelly together, lets go get drinks!”

 

A Niece that orders bear pancakes

A Niece that orders bear pancakes

 

the cutest nephew nugget around

the cutest nephew nugget around

 

The space and the ability to grow my own food

The space and the ability to grow my own food

 

 and always Tobias Wakefield, heart of my hearts.


and always, Tobias Wakefield, heart of my hearts.

Here’s to the good life!

Here is something I find to be a little irksome. The fact that I have to clean my kitchen every. single. day. How does that happen? I mean sure, I cook quite a bit, but it seems like every time I turn around there is another dirty dish in the sink, crumbs to be cleaned up or a dishwasher that needs to be emptied. You would think that I would be used to this by now… especially being single and roommateless… it’s not like there is another person going around and messing up my kitchen when I’m not looking… and yet every day I seem to think “Wait, I have to do this again? I JUST cleaned!” Le sigh… someday I will get this whole real life grown up thing figured out… in the meantime I will grumble under my breath as I unload the dishwasher.

Here’s the other thing I find a little irksome…. that my computer cannot transcribe  the first drafts of blogs that I write in my head (usually while doing something lame like Cleaning the kitchen.) I swear, I sit there being the multi-tasking queen and think of topics, anecdotes and experiences, and in my mind everything is witty and fabulous and the stories are funny, and the moments are memorable, and I think “writing this post is so effortless and fun” and then somehow  by the time I finally get to my laptop what I actually write as a first draft ends up being something like “Its Summer, and Magical and I don’t have time for this.” (which is true… but not exactly inspiring by any means.) And the writer in me really struggles with this because I want to do each moment justice and take the time and really figure out exactly what it is I want to say about each experience, and tweak it and edit it and finally then push publish and have it be this epically beautiful and perfectly crafted post.  But the thing about life is that it keeps happening around you, and then before you know it these incredibly great experiences are fading into the background and A) you haven’t been able to carve out the hours it takes to write something that does it justice, and B) you keep going out and living even more epic moments that deserve your attention, and just as much blog time, and so in the end sometimes you just put it all out there in the inevitable mess and jumble that fell out of your brain and onto the keyboard and hit publish anyway. Sometimes you just have to!

This past week has been filled with some pretty dreamy moments… beach adventures, river swims, wine tastings, seeing The Princess Bride in the movie theater… And I would love to be able to sit down and write and write and write about each little moment, how I felt, the texture of the light, the memories, the smells… but life keeps moving, and moments keep happening, and tonight I’m just going to embrace these moments in their entirety. I can’t wait to pour myself a glass of wine and get my hands in the garden soil. I’m ready to fling open the kitchen doors and make myself a lovely dinner, and grumble about having to clean the kitchen yet again….

But in the meantime, here are a few short glimpses into this past week.  This is the good life folks!

 

water dog

water dog

sandy face

sandy face

toes in the sand

toes in the sand

beach life

beach life

the happiest camper

the happiest camper

padron peppers

padron peppers

swimming in this river for hours

swimming in this river for hours

farm bouquets

farm bouquets

outdoor dinners with new friends

outdoor dinners with new friends

first tomatoes of the year

first tomatoes of the year

alfresco dinner at yamhill river farm

alfresco dinner at yamhill river farm

garlic from yamhill river farm

garlic from yamhill river farm

garden bounty

garden bounty

all in a days harvest

all in a days harvest

the start of our first staff meeting

the start of our first staff meeting

 

hanging out in wine country with these ladies

hanging out in wine country with these ladies

wildflowers at Soter

wildflowers at Soter

dreamy

dreamy

pinot noir at its finest

pinot noir at its finest

 

Dear Universe: Merci Beaucoup. An excercise in gratefulness.

My 28th year seemed to come and go at an alarmingly fast pace. I know they say that time speeds up as you age.. perhaps this is true. This past week I’ve been doing that typical birthday thing of thinking about what I want my next year to be like… naturally my mind starts to wander towards planning my 30th birthday party, but I’m trying to keep mostly focused on goals… Goals are great, putting ideas and intentions out into the universe seems to come as naturally as breath, but every now and then I have to remind myself to step back into the present moment. To stop projecting into my future and just live life in this exact moment. Sometimes I have to remind myself to embrace the now.

And this is where gratitude comes into play. Because how can you possibly expect to be living your life in forward motion without taking some moments to really stop and be grateful for the things in life that you already have? I just finished reading “The Tools” (I would highly recommend it) and one of the major themes throughout the book is combating your negative internal voice with little nuggets of gratitude. Because it’s amazingly difficult to live under a cloud of doom and negativity when you are constantly reminding yourself to be grateful for the weird, tiny, everyday things. Yes, it might feel a little “first world” to sit down and think “I’m so grateful for this cappuccino.” but in reality, if you can’t find joy in the everyday stuff, life is going to get boring. I say, embrace the joy, even if its coming from something trivial…    And here is the thing about gratitude:  it’s contagious. Even if you aren’t sharing out loud what small things you are grateful for,  it radiates out of you and fills the space around you, it has an energy all its own…  and I don’t know about you, but  I’d rather be the type of person who has an aura of positivity than a Debbi Downer cloud of doom! (and trust me, I’ve been that girl… we all have… sometimes it happens. Sometimes negativity is just there, and frustrations abound, and misery loves company, and for whatever reason it is just easier to complain and be an ass-hole or pout and bitch and moan … sometimes. And sometimes people don’t want to be around you… and sometimes that is ok, because a lot of times you don’t want to be around people anyway… BUT in the long run as my mother or grandfather would say “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  )

My sweet friend Kali has been doing a really great job of this lately on her blog. Even while having Mono, she is finding the silver linings and cultivating a sense of gratefulness. She captures the little everyday things in the most amazing photos, and every time I read her posts I think “I’m so lucky that I know this person.”
I’m sure I will still have moments filled with cynicism and snarkiness, mental eye rolls, and personal anecdotes filled with sarcastic comments and “people be crazy!” That is just who I am. But going forward I’m also making an effort to open up and let the amazing little things in life totally overwhelm me with gratitude.  And I think that is a good place to start.
Some things I am grateful for:
This Troll Baby

This Troll Baby

Nephew Nugget

My Nephew Nugget

My Niece and Nephew Nuggets

My Niece Nugget

Friends who go on random adventures with you

Good friends who are willing to go on adventures

Sparkling Rosé

Sparkling Rosé

Bee Balm, and other things blooming in the garden

Bee Balm, and other things blooming in the garden

New Adventures

New Experiences

Garden Fresh Strawberries

Garden Fresh Strawberries

The new barre space and being able to teach there

The new barre space and being able to teach there

September is for meditating, booty shaking, and fighting the fall funk.

The time has come, the walrus said…. Not that I’m comparing myself to a walrus or anything. September is here, and with it comes a lot of things. Mostly a little bit of restlessness. I’ve come to expect this every year, and sometimes even crave it along with the cooler days, the occasional rain, the change of leaves and the start of harvest. I’ve said it before (probably in a blog post from around this time, oh every year since I’ve been blogging) but I think we are programed from a young age to expect change every year. September brings the start of school, a new season, and from the time we are little September brings around change. So its sometimes a harsh reality when we reach adulthood, and realize that jobs don’t change every year, nor do living situations (well I mean they can….) and part of growing up is often settling into that stability, and yes sometimes stagnant routine.

I feel it this time of year especially, because this is when things start to slow down a little bit with work, my two best friends start to travel extensively for their jobs, and as the days become cozier I tend to become a little more introverted.  Well this year, I’m getting a jump on the stagnant feeling, I’m combatting the lonely, and trying to fill my days with manageable change.

Let me just clarify, I’m not bored. I wish I had enough time to be bored… but every waking moment is pretty much jam packed of things to do… but I can tell already that I’m heading for my fall rut, and might actually be prematurely there due to my broken toe/ the collapse of my summer project and goal of running a half marathon.  I became a bit of a slug the last six weeks, and though I’ve still been practicing yoga, I haven’t been motivated to do much else as far as moving my person.

So I’m re-focusing my energies this month, and am being proactive about doing things that are good for me mentally as well as physically, and I’m making small adjustments to my day-to-day routine to make sure that I am living a life that feels fulfilled and meaningful. My friend Amanda over at The Savoury Soul is encouraging people to build their best life. I wrote a guest post for her  blog this week, and am trying to refocus my energy and remind myself that I need to be my own champion, figure out what I need, and take little steps on a daily basis to make my life a little bit happier and healthier.  Amanda has really inspired me lately, and here are  a few of the things I’m going to do/ focus on this month to try and build my best life.

1)   I’m going to be awesome at my job. Not that I’m not already trying to be a successful and productive employee, but  I know there are days when I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and sometimes defeated. I’m going to approach each day with a positive attitude , I’m going to learn from each experience, and everyday I’m going to try to be better and more efficient. I’m going to be filled with gratitude that I have a wonderful job, understanding bosses, and co-workers who are (mostly) supportive. I’m going to be thankful that I have a happy and healthy work environment, and I’m going to focus on the positive, and let go of the negative.

2)   I’m actually going to start meditating again. Whenever life feels out of balance, I think this is a good place to start. Even if it is just a few moments a day, I’m going to make a conscious effort to take a little time to turn inward.

3)   Kick my butt into high gear. I’ve been off my feet for too long, and out of my exercise routine, and I’m feeling a little doughy. I recently purchased a package at Barre 3, and plan on finding new and fun ways to move my person. (barre 3 can get a little spendy, but there is a great deal for new students, also they recently had a deal on living social…its right up my alley with a cross between ballet, yoga and pilaties. Yes please. Also I know its probably not true, but after one class I swear my cellulite is less noticeable… for reals)  I’ve already gotten my hula hoop out of the garage (mom, bring it back!) and in another week or two I’m going to get back into running. Baby steps.

4)   I’m doing a 3 day juice cleanse next week. This I’m actually really excited about. It will probably be hard, and I will probably get grouchy somewhere around, oh the first 2 hours, but I think it will be a healthy way to detox my body, and jump start some healthy habits.  (I’m giving up caffeine and gluten tomorrow, and probably dairy the day after that to ease my body into it… so lets be realistic, I will be grouchy tomorrow… but I’ll try to compensate) I’m going to be doing this with 6 other women, so hopefully we can all support each other (and not kill each other) and it will actually be a fun bonding experience. We are going with Portland Juice Press… I’ve heard good things, and they are willing to deliver all the way to Dundee. I’ll let you know how it goes.

5)   I’m going to be better about corresponding with friends, through the mail. I love getting snail mail, and it takes literally two minutes and like forty something cents (I actually don’t know how much postage is these days, I always buy forever stamps…) and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that someone is going to open up their mail box and have a surprise note. God knows I’ve been collecting fun greeting cards and stationary since I was 12, and have moved all of it with me about a zillion times… might as well lighten the load, work on my penmanship, and start writing some letters.

6)   I renewed my passport today. I always thought I was the kind of girl who kept her passport at the ready in case an exciting adventure called me away at a moment’s notice. So when I pulled out my passport earlier this summer, I was pretty disappointed to find out it expired in February. Good thing I haven’t needed to flee the country.  Realistically I haven’t left in the country in oh, 6 years, but I like to think that my next foreign adventure is right around the corner (Pfeff I am 100% seriously looking into tickets for Paris…I’m just putting that out there)

7)   I’m going to watch less tv. It’s a noble goal. I have a lot of books I want to read, and though I do enjoy being able to mindlessly unwind when I get home from a late night at the restaurant, I’m pretty sure my life will be a little bit more balanced with a little less CSI NY. I’ve started to find myself wondering what sort of forensic evidence I’m leaving in my wake at every single place I visit… if I crime ever happens at the yoga studio, I’m totally going to be a suspect. Especially since I took toby to class this week, and he was probably shedding, and even though I swept I’m sure there is some lingering pet hair, and that will definitely link anything back to me even if I’m not involved in a crime in any way. I’m just saying… THIS IS WHY I’M CUTTING BACK ON TV.

8)   I’m taking a yoga sabbatical. After working 60+ hours a week, I needed to step back a little bit, and recharge. I’m still going to be teaching one class a week, but being responsible for teaching two classes on my “day off” was beginning to be more of a burden than a joy. I adore my students, but needed to respect my own limits, and give myself a change to re-coup.  I think as a result I will come back in a few months as a better teacher.

What steps can you take this month to make your life a little bit better? How are you fighting the Fall Funk?

Life lessons from my garden

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Blogging from my phone is one of my least favorite things, but after spending a few moments out wandering through the garden I was inspired to write… Phone post it is.

I moved into this house almost exactly a year ago, and this time last year I was painting trim & frantically trying to get some seeds in the ground before it was too late to grow anything good for the season. One thing I didn’t have to worry about though was the bed of raspberries hanging out in the back corner of the yard. Hello painting snacks! Friends would come over to see the place, and I would quickly file them into the back yard to ooohhhh and ahhhh over the garden potential, and we’d pick handfuls of raspberries and meander through the yard.

Flash forward to this year, all the painting is done, the garden is 100% planted, things are settled ( just don’t look in the garage) and it is once more raspberry season. I’m amazed, I picked a bunch of fruit this morning, and I was just out there and did the second harvest of the day. A few extra hours of sun and voila, more ripe, red, goodness.

Not to get all cheeseball on you, BUT… Being out in the raspberry bed I’m constantly reminded that sometimes all you need is a little change in perspective to see what you are missing right in front of you. ( I haven’t exactly applied this to my real life yet…) I go out, and pick everything I can see, an then round a corner or bend over and suddenly it’s like a whole new world of berries pops up. Really they were there the whole time, just waiting… I just didn’t see them until I changed my vantage point.

A lot of things have changed in my life over this past year. Roommates have moved in and out, relationships have come and gone, jobs have ended, new ones have started… And like the raspberries I feel like just a little change in my point of view has really helped bring things into focus, things that were there all along, I just didn’t have the right vantage point.

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A few things I’m loving about the Spring.

As expected, life is feeling a little nutty since I’ve been back at work, and my days off have been spent trying to connect with friends, and take care of my personal life (you know the usual, laundry, cleaning the kitchen, going grocery shopping, menu planning, exercising… and a little bit of vegging)  But I did want to write a quick post about a few things I’m loving about the Spring.

Firstly, I love Spring in Oregon, because it is the season in which there is all of this hopeful change. The days are getting a little longer, and plants and flowers are budding all over the place, and we are starting to get a little break from the dreary Oregon winter. It just feels like the perfect time to be starting something new, and I feel like I’m bringing that energy with me to my new work environment.

I love that I can walk into the grocery stores right now and get bouquets of ranunculus, which are my all time favorite flower. I think they are so delicate and whimsical, and they come in an amazing array of colors. Right now I’m swooning over these peachy pink ones that are currently living in my bathroom, but last week I was tempted to buy about 7 bouquets of them! They have this deep purple ones that were super sexy, and this burgundy wine color that was amazing. I also picked up some yellow ones for a little pop of color in the kitchen… I’m so glad that I get joy out of the small things in life.

photo(109) photo(108)

Spring also means that color is slowly making its way back into people’s wardrobes (lets face it, it never left mine, even at times when it probably should have…. Don’t have anything that matches? Just add another color and walk out the door… seriously, most days I look like a very colorful yoga clown, but whatever.) I also feel like I can wear super bright nail polish and be seasonally appropriate… currently I’m rocking this Siren colored polish… but I can’t wait to get out the mint greens!

Please ignore the terrible manicure, and my gross dry dragon hands... my body is adjusting to life in a restaurant

Please ignore the terrible manicure, and my gross dry dragon hands… my body is adjusting to life in a restaurant

Also last week at Salt & Straw they had Lucky Charms ice cream to celebrate St. Patrick’s day…. Sweet Jesus, that stuff was good. Good enough to make it on my list of things that I’m slightly obsessed with/ loving this spring. I know it was a limited time flavor, and it is probably gone… (which is really too bad for all of you reading this now… cause it was pretty mind blowing).  But eating a scoop of it last Tuesday was quite possibly the highlight of my week.

 

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Magically Delicious

My yard is exploding with flowering things right now… I’m kinda on a time crunch, and it’s a little dreary out, so I don’t have any pictures to post, but the bleeding heart is emerging from the ground, hundreds of teeny tiny daffodils are starting to pop out, the fruit trees are budding, and I can’t wait to get outside and start planting my garden! Stay tuned for pictures and updates.

 

2013 Vision Board Project

I created my first Vision Board almost five years ago…I think this was right around the time The Secret was at its height in popularity. And though I never read or watched it…everyone knows the basic principles… you have to put out there what you want back. AKA go boldly in the direction of your dreams…  Miraculously I have moved this poster board with me 4 different times  ( clearly I have issues with getting rid of things).  Currently, that original vision board lives in my storage shed… but a few months ago when I stumbled across it, I realized it might be time to make a new one. After all, my life has been in a huge transition period, and also just about everything on that original board I’ve already accomplished. Time to start new!

My Vision Board from 4+ years ago

My Vision Board from 4+ years ago

I always struggle with getting a little too specific… I think it is great to manifest something, and work towards things and sometimes that is exactly what you need… and with my last vision board it actually worked really well… I did get a bulldog named Toby, I went to Fenway Park, I got my RYT certification, and I am blogging… I didn’t get the tattoo that I was planning, but I got one I like better, and sure, I don’t have a kumquat tree… but I’ve had 3 Meyer lemon trees in the meantime, so I think that counts for something! Some stuff on there is stuff I no longer really want… like attending the University of Montana, or weighing 135 pounds (ok I still want that, but it probably doesn’t need to go on a vision board… Being motivated, sure. Healthy choices. Yes. Having perfect abs? Not so much…Ha, what was once important to me at the age of 23 now seems a bit shallow, go figure.)

This time around, I’m not as worried about specifics, as I am trying to manifest a direction I’d like my life to go in, and focusing on the things I value and things I want to incorporate more of into my life. Creativity, Love, developing my yoga practice, creating a home…  These last few months I’ve had to really take a step back and completely revise what I want to do with my life and kind of start from scratch  as far as how I identify myself and what goals I want to work towards…it’s a bit challenging to manifest specifics when life seems to be going in every which direction… so I’m going a little more abstract… and what I found was that as I was searching for materials, I was less drawn to pictures, and more drawn to words… which as a writer, I think this makes a lot of sense.

I also did a little “research” on vision boards, and actually found this article on Oprah.com really interesting.  Like its important not to over-think it, and just go with what you are drawn to. “When you start assembling pictures that appeal to this deep self, you unleash one of the most powerful forces on our planet: human imagination. Virtually everything humans use, do, or make exists because someone thought it up. Sparking your incredibly powerful creative faculty is the reason you make a vision board. The board itself doesn’t impact reality; what changes your life is the process of creating the images—combinations of objects and events that will stick in your subconscious mind and steer your choices toward making the vision real.” ( by Martha Beck. Read the full article here.)

And I think this is mostly true… for me going through old magazines and finding those few things that jump off the page is really therapeutic. And I think that is probably a huge part of the vision board, is trying to focus in on what things resonate with you, and taking the time to cut them out, consciously making a decision that “yes, this is something that I want to focus my energy on.”  Cutting stuff out, and finding those key pieces is the hard part… gluing things together is where it gets a little more creative.  I have been assembling collage supplies for years (just ask my parents how many magazines I have refused to let them recycle/ how many folders of things they had to move out my childhood home.) I started making collages when I was in high school… I even have a collaged bookshelf sitting out in my garage… (and that has moved with me 11 times… 11. It’s not even my aesthetic anymore, and wouldn’t really fit anywhere in my home, but I cannot part with it! )  and today I went through a few of the folders just making sure I didn’t have something perfect for my vision board squirreled away. It was pretty hilarious to see some of the stuff I’ve cut out over the years. Some things are very much what you would have expected a 15-year-old to hang onto (I really can’t even tell you how many magazine cut outs of Prince William there are… it’s pretty sad)  but some of the stuff just made me think “yup, I’ve always been an old soul.” And then there was an awkward moment when I started to sift through things and realized that stuff I had cut out of fashion magazines is actually now currently living in my closet… I guess manifestation really does work… because the amount of things I had cut out that I now actually own is a little creepy.

I literally have over 10 years of collage materials (condensed into one expandable folder, for the most part), and I am happy to say, that today upon the completion of my vision board, I actually recycled all the old magazines I had around the house. I’m slowly purging… it’s the little victories in life.

Once I had everything cut out, I tried to organize the pictures and words into categories or pods. There are basically 3 main themes running through the board… Yoga, Love, and Everything else (meaning, working on me, life, motivation, goals etc.)  And I tried to arrange them on the board in a way that they were concentrated in their groups, but also connected with each other, so it had a natural flow… And here it is… here I am, putting these thoughts, and this energy out into the universe, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes back as I’m starting this new chapter in my life.  It is definitely a little busy, so I tried to get some different sections so you can see more of the details.

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Little Things

I’m kind of a pessimist… I really don’t mean to be, but when things get rough I tend to be more of a glass half full kind of person… I’m trying to work on this, because I know that no one wants to hang out with the Debbie Downer… and I know that it tends to bring people around me down as well… It’s a little funny actually, because one of my fatal flaws is that I want to believe the best about people… I always give the benefit of the doubt, I make excuses for people, I think that everyone out there has good intentions…even when people are being jerks I tend to give them an out and day “oh well so and so has this happening in their life right now, so he/she has every right to act that way.”  But I’m pretty sure sometimes people are just jerks… I’m also pretty sure that even though I’m going through a bit of a rough time right now, I don’t want to be pessimistic Debbie downer jerk face who brings everyone around her down… so I’m trying to focus on the little joys in my life.

Someone I once knew told me that when you ask the universe for something you also need to put out there what you are thankful for… (I’m pretty sure he got this from The Secret… which I haven’t read or watched… but it seems like a reasonable thing) and he used to think about what he was thankful for while he was washing his hair. Shortly after he told me this, I started to as well… and it was a little generic, but a step in the right direction. “I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my job, I’m thankful I have this person in my life, I’m thankful for my friends, that I have a place to live”etc.  and it was a brief little morning reminder that life was good.

Weeks went on, and when this person was no longer in my life I switched to “I’m thankful for my family, I’m thankful for my job, I’m thankful that I met this person, even though things feel shitty right now, I’m thankful for my friends, that I have a place to live, I’m thankful for my bulldog…” etc.

A week ago I got into the shower, and had a fleeting thought that if things kept up the way they were I was going to find myself with a very short list… and so I started trying to focus on the smaller things that I was thankful for, rather than the big picture things. I’m still thankful for my family, my friends, that I have a place to live, for the trundly bulldog who recently barfed up a chunk of one of my shoes and a Christmas ornament…  But my challenge to myself is to find the little everyday things that I am thankful for.

Today and everyday I’m thankful for my yoga students. Even on the days when I feel like I don’t have it in me to teach, they show up with joy, and thankfulness, and no matter what I have going on mentally or emotionally, they are always happy to see me and share a practice with me. They make me feel needed and appreciated (especially now, when I need to feel needed and appreciated) I have so much gratitude for them…

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I am thankful that the Winter Daphne right off my back patio is about to start blooming…

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I am thankful that I have people in my life who meet me at sports bars to drink wine, and who bring my charming little crocs of homemade peanut butter

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And I’m extremely thankful that my troll of a dog slept on the couch for six hours yesterday without doing anything bad or eating anything of my roommates while I was out teaching yoga, and networking. (Victory!) I’d be more thankful if he vacuumed the house while I was gone… but  still thankful that I didn’t come home to some sort of messy destroyed carnage of furniture and chewed up skivvies…

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I know I’ve posted this poem before, but it seems to fit into the theme, so I’m posting it again

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I tell my students                                                                                                                                                                                                       “Inhale, and fill your heart with gratitude”
I think of this, as I put the quinoa on the stove
the front door open,
I can hear
the summer rain.
And isn’t it just perfect?
I want to run, barefoot into the street
to fling open my arms to the sky…
instead I stand in the doorway,
licking my beet stained fingers
and think about the bounty and
the gifts of the earth
And I too, inhale.

So this is what it is to be blessed.