Are you on the right path? Here's how to find out.
So I recently came back from a trip to NYC to visit friends, and it got me thinking.
Am I where I am supposed to be?
Were the choices that I made the right ones?
Does life really work out the way you think it will?
And the truth is, I don’t really have the answers. I had dinner with a bunch of old friends, and as I heard them speak about their lives, the ups and the downs, the wins and the losses, I was touched to be surrounded by friends who echoed my same concern - are we doing this thing called life right?
And what does doing life ‘right’ even mean?
As I looked around the table, I realized that we were all in different places in our lives. Some friends were single, some married, others with kids. Some in jobs they love and building businesses, others unemployed, some just working to pay the bills. In general, we all had some levels of happiness in some areas, and in other areas were still trying to figure it out.
And as I near another trip around the sun, (I turn 33 on Sunday) I start to get more and more used to the idea of impermanence. The idea that nothing is forever, and that the only thing constant in our lives is change. So, the more present we can be with that which is right in front of us - the happier our existence will be.
As a wellness expert, I have the privilege of coaching clients on a daily basis, and have been able to gain a lot of insight into how the mind works. This ‘fly on the wall’ perspective has led me to draw many conclusions about our thoughts, emotions and how we generally operate, helping me to understand how to optimize everyday life and heal our wounds.
The main conclusion that I reached is that we are a lot more similar than we are different. We all have dreams and hopes. We all compare ourselves to others at times. We all suffer. We all thrive.
So as you flow through life and ask yourself the question, am I doing this right? If you follow the list below, the answer is yes.
Be gentle with yourself. - remember yourself as a child. The innocence, the rawness, the vulnerability. How would you treat him or her? Certainly with kindness. So why are you being so hard on yourself? Next time you trip up remember your young face because it is still inside of you.
This too shall pass. - remember that life is about ebbs and flows, ups and downs, triumphs and sorrows. We can’t have the good without the bad, so learn to embrace the tough times too. There is always something to learn.
Set an intention - a great way to know whether or not you are on the right path is to set an intention. This will help you create a roadmap for where you want to go, and you can continually check in with yourself. My girlfriends and I like to do this every new moon (every month) and write it in down in journals. This way we are able to check on where we followed through, and what we still need to put some work towards.
My "Love" List - May
What I’m reading now:
Expectation Hangover, by Christine Hassler
Life happens when we're busy making plans, right? When things go as expected, everything is awesome. But when disappointment happens instead, we're left feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable. Loving the tips offered in this read!
What I’m listening to for inspo:
I'm obsessed with the Goop podcast right now, especially the first episode where GP sat down with Oprah herself. Every word that O said still resonates as golden wisdom. Listen, bookmark, and re-listen!
What I’m listening to for motivation:
I'm currently streaming a variety of different beats: "7 Feathers" by Nahko and Medicine for the People, "God's Plan" by Drake and "Black or White" by Michael Jackson. I love keeping a variety of music on my playlist, so I can listen to whatever I am in the mood for!
What I’m drinking to get energized:
Been loving my homemade golden milk lattes these days! I make them with 1 scoop of Organifi "gold" powder, hot water, a teaspoon of coconut oil, and a splash of almond milk blended in my Magic Bullet to make it frothy.
What I’m excited about:
The "Revitalize" retreat I'm co-hosting with my friend & top fitness instructor Marlie Cohen, of @Kale & Krunches, taking place in Toronto on Saturday June 2! Yasss!
See more details here - only a couple of spots left!
Happy Monday to you all. We hope you've had a good couple of weeks. Sorry for our brief absence, we have been a bit busy with travel and moving and other work obligations, but we're back with you all today, hooray!
For today's #MindfulnessMonday post we want to talk to you about the word, "no". One of my (Erinn) yoga teachers taught me that no is a complete sentence. Whether you are saying no to something or someone personally or professionally, no is and should be enough. However, don't you find that too often we feel the need to justify our "no"? That for some reason declining an invitation, an opportunity or even a piece of food seems to require a whole backstory as to why?
And, why is that? When we say, "yes!" nobody seems to need a whole explanation why. And yet, no can be problematic. Well, we are here to tell you that is ok, and more than that, it is important to embrace and own your no. To set boundaries and limits in relationships and even with yourself. We are all about seizing the day and making the most of every opportunity and taking on life with a positive attitude. But, even that has its limits. You cannot be everything to everyone all of the time. You cannot like everything all of the time. You simply cannot say yes all of the time. And that is okay. In fact, it is more than okay, it is necessary and it is not something that you should ever feel bad about. As long as you are respecting yourself and others, you are always allowed to say no.
We are going to take stock of our boundaries this week. We encourage you to do the same - and if you don't want to, no problem!
No is a complete sentence.
Have a wonderful week. Namaste.
Is Hi, Everyone.
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We hope it was everything you wanted it to be. Our weekend has actually inspired today's #MindfulnessMonday topic, which is listening to our bodies. How many of us are victims of the "gotta go, gotta move, gotta be productive all the time" phenomenon? We know we are, even on the weekends! We tend to think, great a day without work, so let's make sure we work out, run those errands, meet that friend for brunch and then be sure to do something fabulous in the evening. And all of that can be great. But, sometimes, we just need to chill. And, for us "gotta go" kinda people, this can be a challenge.
So, it is important to find balance. It is important to truly listen to your body and know if you are just maybe being a little lazy, or if you really need a day to lay in bed until 11:30am. This is especially true when it comes to physical fitness and holistic wellness. With social media, it can be easy to succumb to the pressure of #nodaysoff. But, if we really educate ourselves on fitness and wellness, we learn that our bodies NEED rest. Too often though, it takes us getting sick or injured to learn that.
And so, while we may have planned to get that run in before work, or the yoga class in at 8pm, plans can always change. If your body is telling you it is exhausted, listen to it. Take rest. Maybe choose to meditate instead. Or, make yourself a cup of tea. Or, take a nap! Is vacation an option? We have been loving Fresno. Be honest with yourself and the benefits will be greater than the calories you may have burned.
We're trying to listen closely to what our bodies need this week. We encourage you to do the same.
Have a good one! Namaste.
Happy Monday! We hope you enjoyed your weekends. A fellow yogi recently shared a post on Instagram with the caption, "Calm is a super power" and it totally resonated with us right now, and so that is what we will be talking about on this #MindfulnessMonday.
I think we can all agree that someone telling you to relax when you're stressing it out is potentially one of the most infuriating things ever. And sometimes those people mean well and other times they are intentionally trying to get under your skin. Regardless of intention, it is very annoying, but the rationale behind it does have merit. Freaking out, crying, yelling, stressing are all natural reactions to frustration, stress and just overall things not going our way. But, we need to recognize that it's easy to get anxious. It's easy to lose our sh*t. What's hard is to remain calm and rationale in the face of big life challenges and/or inconveniences. Cultivating and harnessing this sense of calm truly is a super power. And it is not easy to do. We know we can get frustrated by the littlest things like subway delays, bad weather or even not being able to nail a pose on our mat. But, if we can learn to breathe through our aggravation in small moments, we can then learn to harness this power for the bigger moments too.
Some things we like to do to strengthen to power of our calm are:
BREATHE: Sounds simple, but deep belly breathing actually helps to physically reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body.
Make lists. Writing down all the things you have to get done can make it all more manageable. And then when you can cross things off the list, you realize it's not so stressful after all.
Talk it out. Whether this means speaking to yourself out loud or getting on the phone with a friend, sometimes just releasing your fears into the universe can make them way less scary.
Do yoga! Get on your mat and just breathe and move through your blocks and challenges.
We are trying to go through this week with a sense of calm and peace. We encourage you to do the same. Have a good one!
In this modern age we live in, it's more important than ever to understand mindfulness and how to apply it in your life. Things are dramatically different to how they were even just ten years ago. The internet and social networking have taken up a huge part of our attention. Where we used to digest new information once or twice per day, we now see news stories and friends’ updates from around the world in an endless stream of data.
It's clear a lot of people are addicted to this new development in human culture, which is why mindfulness is so vital and the perfect antidote for feeling overwhelmed, sucked in and drained. Being mindful gives you a personal area that you can enter whenever you wish, away from the hustle and bustle.
So how do you switch off, even just for a few moments in this sea of chaos? Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, and in fact, you can make almost anything a mindful activity. If you're on the commute to work traveling via trains, buses or walking, grab a coffee or drink you enjoy and take sips as you go about your journey. Focus on the sensations of the liquid touching your lips, entering your mouth and the taste forming. Use all your senses to anchor you in the present moment.
Meditating for 20 minutes each morning before you start your day will help you develop an awareness of your mind activity. Focus is a skill that can be enhanced through meditation, so if you feel flustered and bogged down with too much going on in your head, an effective remedy is to grow your awareness and concentration levels.
Learn to become a spectator of your life. Through watching your thoughts, you begin to see which will benefit you and which will harm you. Become selective as to what mind activity you wish to engage with, and be careful that you only choose positivity. Just because everything is moving fast and rapidly outside of you, it doesn't mean you have to reflect that on the inside. Move slowly; feel every breath and step you take. Leave your phone alone and bask in nature.
Take Advantage of Technology
It's important to remember technology is manufactured to make life easier for humans; it wasn't devised for us to be enslaved by it. However, it's apparent that, unfortunately, the latter has become true for a lot of people. If we approach technology from the point of view that it aids us, we can use it to help us become more mindful. There are apps designed for mindfulness and well-being that are proving to be very effective. However, it's important you protect your data.
Setting alerts and reminders on smartphones is actually changing the way people view them, as they're forcing people to become healthier. These alerts usually come to the rescue at most points of the day, whether you're actively using your phone at the time or busy doing something. It's like receiving a nudge from yourself telling you to slow down and be healthful. Using your phone in this way will ensure you take more breaks and look after yourself.
Have any mindfulness tips for busy lifestyles you've found effective? Leave a comment below.
Author bio: Faith is a health and wellness blogger who enjoys keeping up to date with the latest tips and methods available. She also loves teaching others the importance of a balanced lifestyle through a mindful approach.
Faith is a health and wellness blogger who enjoys keeping up to date with the latest tips and methods available. She also loves teaching others the importance of a balanced lifestyle through a mindful approach.
Good Monday morning. Before I dive into today's topic, I (Erinn) want to give a shout out to the security guard at my office building in NYC. Every morning when I walk in (amongst many other people walking in at the same time - my office has about 5,000 people in it) I get a , "happy Monday", "happy Tuesday" etc. He always seems to be in good spirits and having him greet me every morning is a lovely encounter, so I just wanted to give him some props for the positivity he is putting out into the world. It's always the littlest things isn't it?
Onto today's #MindfulnessMonday topic, we wanted to share a quote from Bryan Kest that reads, ""Yoga doesn't ask you to be more than you are. But it does ask you to be all that you are". Sometimes getting on our mats can be intimidating. We look around and see super bendy people "warming up" in full hanumanasana (split) or others with a really strong inversion practice hopping and holding all kinds of fun things upside down and we start to think, "well, I can't do that, so I am not enough- not good enough at yoga, not strong enough, not bendy enough" and it goes on and on and on. But, as we all know, this is not the goal of yoga. It is not about how much you can do, but it is about how much you can commit to being present. It is not about pushing beyond your physical or mental limits, but it is about being fully where you are. This quote asks that when you show up on your mat (and in your life really), you fully and truthfully show up with all that you have. And, that can be different from day to day. And, that is okay.
We are going to try to be all that we are this week - no more and no less. For us, this means, we won't over commit and over schedule ourselves, but we also won't make excuses or stories about why we can't or don't want to do something. We will acknowledge where and who we are, practice presence and try to live up to the best versions of ourselves. We encourage you to try to do the same.
Have a good one! Namaste.
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We hope it was wonderful! Anyone watch the Grammy's? Anyone just burst into tears for Beyonce and Adele and all the epic beauty of those two!?! No? Just me? Okay!
On this #MindfulnessMonday we want to talk a bit about mortality. Death is one of the biggest fears of living beings and yet, it is one of the few absolutes in our lives. One day, we are all going to die. We're not trying to be morbid or a downer, but it is a fact. What happens in between now and then though, that's up to us. That is why, we say, let's live! Let's live out loud. Let's take advantage of this beautiful, challenging, amazing, heartbreaking, mesmerizing life we have and live it to the fullest. And that doesn't mean we have to jump out of airplanes (although speaking from personal experience, it's fun) or do karaoke in Times Square, but it means to engage, to connect and to go for the things you want. Commit to activities that matter to you and take advantage of opportunities that are presented.
My father battled cancer and won at a very young age. As a result he is a major do-er! If there is snow on the ground, he is on the ski hill. If there is sun shining he is playing golf followed by biking then windsurfing topped off by a midnight kayak under the stars. If there is a classical music concert at the local university, he is there. People say he's nuts, and he kind of is, but no one can say that he doesn't live his life and make the most of all it has to offer him.
Too often it takes a major life event, be it an illness or a death to make us stop and remember to take advantage of all of our opportunities and capabilities. Let's not wait for those things anymore. Let's dive right in whenever, wherever!
Have a great week, everyone.
We live in a society where we’re always giving away our energy. We’re working hard, caring for family, spending time with friends, trying to be healthy.... constantly on and going going going.
We end up feeling drained and resentful, which can lead to burnout and unreasonable amounts of stress. Stress is the #1 cause of chronic disease and can show up in our bodies as weight gain, acne, anxiety, indigestion, and many other things we’re better off without.
The thing is, we can’t give away something that we don’t have. What do I mean? If you want to have loving and fulfilling relationships you need to create one with yourself first. In order to do that, you must put yourself before everybody else. I know this may feel counter-intuitive to being the superwoman (or man) that you want to be, but in fact it is the most self-less thing you can do for the people in your life, and great for you too!
So with love in the air -- love yourself first!
Here are 6 easy ideas to show yourself some TLC, every day:
1. Morning mantra: We have a choice to start every day with love. Instead of letting your to-do list wake you up, try this: as soon as you get up, look in the mirror and say (or scream) I LOVE YOU!
2. Indulge in a hobby: When are you most in the zone? Whether it’s reading, cooking or channeling your inner Picasso with some adult coloring books, find a passion that lets you unwind.
3. Make time for sex and romance You might be super tired once you climb into bed, but making time for some Vitamin Lovin’ with your significant other can lead to better sleep.
4. Watching your fave show: Allow yourself to fully be present and really relax, so when it’s time to get back to other activities, like work or cleaning up your home, you can be fully present in those moments too.
5- Take yourself on a date: Whether it’s seeing a movie, trying a restaurant you’ve always wanted to check out, or walking around in your favorite hood, it’s all about YOU
6- Schedule it in! Notice how you never miss a meeting or dinner reservation? That’s because you’re honoring the commitment you made to others. Honor the same commitment to yourself by scheduling in time for self-love.
Happy Monday! We hope you are all doing well despite all the turmoil that has been going on in the U.S. and around the world. Inspired by the conversations around discrimination and equality, for today's #MindfulnessMonday topic, we want to talk about the meaning of Namaste.
Namaste is translated or interpreted in several ways. Examples include, "the light in me honors, the light in you", "the G-d in me, bows to the G-d in you", "the divine in me, honors the divine in you". As you can see, these are all variations of the same thing. When we say Namaste as a greeting or to close a yoga practice, we are essentially saying, I see you and I respect you. I honor your presence and your gifts. I know that the light that lives in me, also lives in you. We are one and we are reciprocal beings of this universe.
There has been a lot of conflict lately and a lot of talk about boundaries and barriers and borders and lines between us keeping us apart. Keeping us separate. Keeping us different. Today and every day we want to say to all of you, Namaste. With love, gratitude and honor,
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.