The season of Lent began last Wednesday. Appropriately it turns out since I was vacationing in Hawaii at the time and loving every second of it! I completely let go. Of EVERYTHING. I stopped caring about GMO’s and eating organic. I didn’t know or care if I was getting enough greens. I drank coffee in the mornings, enjoyed margaritas in the evenings and drank copious amounts of champagne throughout the week. I woke up when I wanted, didn’t bother to check my temperature (It’s a FAM thing), fell asleep when I wanted, and even napped a bit on a breezy beach. I read, I relaxed, and I realized that I have been a tight wad of stress in my life back home. It all goes back to that whole balance thing and it’s where that whole 80/20 rule comes into play. MOST of the time I eat healthy. MOST of the time I’m pretty good at moving my body, and MOST of the time I take my supplements and am religious about my meditation. That’s not what life is about. It is about enjoying, and that is absolutely more crucial than what you eat or how you sweat. If you aren’t enjoying life, you won’t be healthy. Simple as that. So yes, I took advantage of my week, but I came back with crystal clear skin, shiny hair, and even though I accidentally ingested buckets of butter (which I am allergic to) I didn’t have a single reaction. I came back happier, healthier, and with a few more freckles on my skin. This is living.
Lent is Here!
Thankfully, about halfway through my vacation I realized my life needed to stay this way. Also thankfully, halfway through my vacation Lent started. Perfect excuse! Lent is the period of 40 days leading up to Easter in which Christians can decide to do one amazing thing for themselves. Many have used the time to lose weight, quit sugar, do an alcohol fast, or hit the gym. But Lent isn’t about getting a better body. It isn’t about giving up your “sins.” Lent is about doing something that will greatly improve your relationship to the Divine. If something is hindering yourself from God, remove it. If you need to embrace a little extra love, do it. Personally, I need to remember that God is within me, and I forget that quite a bit. This business, my program, my yoga instruction, is how I serve God in others. But I forget SO DARN OFTEN that God is in me. So I sat down to a big Valentines day dinner with six of my closest friends and my favorite husband at enjoyed the heck out of fresh mahi-mahi and late night laughing with friends. Then I got probably 5 hours of sleep (darn roosters) and I didn’t care in the slightest. Oh yeah, and I feel LOADS healthier.
Extreme Self Care
That is what I need out of these 40 days. I need myself to be in good working order. Lord knows I can’t be a good Young Life leader if I’m not connected with my God. I can’t help women with their health if I myself am not healthy. I can’t even teach a good yoga class if I’m not going to yoga myself! Those three things are my purpose on this planet and I know it all starts with me! So this Lenten season, I promise to practice what I like to call extreme self care. I’m still going to eat healthy, I’m still going to work on my own emotional well being, but I realize that it takes more than that to be happy and healthy. The most important part of a woman’s well-being, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, is the pursuit of pleasure. Of enjoying life. Of feeling passion and loving the experience. Of living life to it’s very fullest and doing all the little things that make you scared half-to-death. Do what you need to do to be healthy, after that, just enjoy it!Read More
Ahhh I love so much when reoccurring themes pop up in my life. I popped onto my computer last night to find that two of my favorite blogs were on the same topic- and its one I needed desperately to hear. If I told you to simply BE GRATEFUL, you probably wouldn’t give it a second thought. Absent-mindedly you’d think, yeah I know. That’s what I thought too!
Listening is new to me right now. I’ve heard the same things over and over again without absorbing them. It’s like when you read a full-page of your book only to realize you didn’t actually comprehend it. That’s what I’ve been doing with gratefulness. Earlier in the week I listened to a podcast about it, considered buying a book about it at Barnes and Noble, in fact, all the time I think about how grateful I am for my life! Yet it wasn’t until last night that it all clicked into place. I simply needed perspective.
Smile with your Heart- a blog by an adventurous nurse with awesome zeal, posted an incredibly blunt article chronicling the emotions behind her recent trip to Haiti. Having seen true hope in the face of despair, she no longer has it in herself to feel sorry for a man who is impatient with airport security. YET- how many times have I been that airport security man? (ok woman, but you get my drift). How many times have I near about cried because my hot chocolate fell off my car as I pulled out of my driveway? How many times have I felt upset or troubled because a food product was manufactured alongside gluten (which I’m allergic to)? Talk about first world problems! (LITERALLY!).
Now this morning, I find that my awesome friend and co-Young Life leader wrote a post about being grateful while writing an excruciating term paper! Talk about hammering the point in!! (I GOT IT!! Thanks for the message!). Did you ever see the movie Bruce Almighty? I’ve always related to the moment when he is crying out for a sign and a truck full of signs pulls in front of him. He still doesn’t get it. Yep that’s me! Once again it all comes back to listening. It’s time to crack my ears open and stop being the one to chatter. Apparently big things are in the works here. I’m all ears!!
So how to be more grateful? Appreciate what I have, which is A LOT! I love my job, which is actually not very common. My husband travels quite a bit, which affords me time for all my Young Lifers. I used clean water in my tea this morning, which many countries don’t even have access to. I put a shirt on this morning that I haven’t even worn before while many people only have one (if that). I brushed my teeth this morning with fluoride hardly realizing that without that my teeth would have rotted out before the age of 18. There are so many large and itty-bitty things that I am thankful for, and remembering all of those things can make a HUGE difference! Afterall, some of the most desolate and poverty ridden countries are full of some of the most grateful and hopeful people on earth. Who am I to not feel the same way despite having so much?
It’s a beautiful life, and I plan on living and loving every second of it!Read More