Find Your Strength Because You’ve Got It

Sometimes things happen that we don’t agree with or we didn’t anticipate and how you handle these things can make you or break you.  I’m by no means an expert, but I thought I would offer a few things that may help if you find yourself in a tough situation.  

First of all, don’t let anyone tell you to ‘feel’ a certain way.  If you are sad, feel sad. If you are happy, feel happy, and if you’re angry, be angry or find something to punch.  I’m saying this because to feel things is good and healthy. Next, surround yourself with friends, family, neighbors, lots of people.  Find your people! Give yourself time, as much as you need. It is certainly true that whatever feelings you are having, they won’t last forever.  Draw on God, the universe, a higher power and pray. Write out affirmations and things you wish to manifest and be clear, like crystal clear. If there is someone who has wronged you, forgive them.  As I once read, this releases you and them from suffering. Do things that make you happy. If you’re into yoga, do it, a lot. Meditate. Breathe. As my friend, Jerome says, “You Do You”!!  

At the end of the day, we only have one life that is filled with ups and downs.  Find your strength! It is within all of us!

Carry on and kick ass!




My injury named John Mayer

My journey with squamous cell carcinoma began about a year and a half ago with an injury my good friend, Stacey, named John Mayer.  We joked for quite a while about it, but who knew it would be the start of numerous procedures and biopsies and even a surgery.

I should probably explain how Stacey came up with the name, John Mayer.  Four of us went to the John Mayer concert in Indianapolis. We were leaving early to avoid the crowd and were cutting across the parking lot and had to swing our legs over some guardrails.  Well I didn’t clear one of them and felt my shin hit. I didn’t realize until we got back to the hotel that my leg was bleeding because blood was showing through my jeans. Stacey and I got it bandaged up and I really didn’t give it a thought until it didn’t heal and instead grew into what looked like a mini volcano over the next few weeks.  

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I went to my family doctor and they said they had never seen anything like it.  Let me tell you, you don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you hear that. They biopsied it and called me later saying it was squamous cell carcinoma.  They referred me to a dermatologist who then cut it out and stitched it up. That was just the beginning. For some reason I’ve been just unlucky enough to have squamous cell carcinomas grow out of the incisions.  At one point I had two growths and my dermatologist decided I should see a surgeon. It actually ended up being same day surgery, getting put under, the whole deal. I still remember sitting on the bathroom floor and taking the bandage off several days after the surgery, talking to Jeremy on the phone, and crying because the incision was so much bigger than I thought.  I should mention that all of the growths ended up being on my left shin, well almost. And then the incision wouldn’t heal. Again, call me lucky, but I have what’s called venous hypertension. Basically, I don’t have good circulation in my lower legs so I had to wear compression hose for what seemed like months.

I began to dread going to the dermatologist, although they have all been awesome.  I dreaded the numbing shots. I dreaded the stitches. At one point my dermatologist referred me to Dr. Lim for the Mohs procedure.  I actually had to ask for Ativan because I was becoming very nervous each time I went in. My niece, Paxton, had to drive me home. My boyfriend, Jeremy, had to take me several times.  My mom even had to drive me.

I thought I was in the clear because I went about two months without any new growths and then I noticed a spot on my left upper thigh in January.  Dr. Lim removed it and stitched it up with 8 stitches. Again, it was squamous cell carcinoma. I just had the stitches removed this morning. At this moment there are no new spots or growths and I’m hoping and praying that maybe they have run their course.  

But the point of this blog, besides warning you about checking yourself for spots and staying out of the sun if you aren’t wearing sunscreen, is that this has been the toughest time yet for my yoga practice.  Just when I was able to get back to yoga, I would have another spot removed and another round of stitches. I’ve had to be very patient and accepting of the times and I could and couldn’t do my yoga practice. It has been a long year and a half to say the least.  

Tonight, I showed up at Yoga 101 for a nice, hot yoga class that basically kicked my bootie.  I can tell I am stronger on one side than the other, but I made it through the class and felt great afterwards.  I am just hoping that I can continue to take classes and get stronger without anymore friends of John Mayer showing up.  

Take care of your bodies my friends!  This includes your skin!

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The 8 Days of Christmas

 

 

The year I finished 8 days instead of 12 of my yoga Christmas countdown. 

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A couple of years ago my yoga friend, Carrie, suggested I do a countdown to Christmas using yoga poses.  I thought, what a great idea!  So I did, and it was a huge hit plus I really enjoyed doing it.  Last year I did the same thing.  This year I started it and quit after posting my 8th day.  Why you ask?  Because, honestly, I ran out of steam and energy and time.  I struggled to come home from work, change into a yoga outfit, do a couple of poses, try to get a decent picture and then post it in a creative way.  There were Christmas presents to wrap, shopping to finish and all of the things I love about Christmas.  The 12 days of yoga Christmas poses just wasn’t coming together.  So I quit at 8.  I was a little disappointed in myself, but mostly it was ok.  

The last two years were different because I worked from home doing a consulting job like I have done for many years.  This July I started a full-time job outside my home and it has totally changed everything.  I had no idea it would take so much of my time and energy.  I blogged after working at the job for a while about needing to find balance or at least a routine.  As of this writing, I still feel I have not found a balance.  Working from home gave me the extra time I needed to do more yoga at home, work on yoga projects (including 12 days of yoga Christmas) and have more time for myself. 

I know that with the New Year rapidly approaching I need to put yoga on the top of my list of things to do more.  I’m feeling more stiff and sore than ever before.  I know that yoga will help me with more than just my physical health.  It helps with everything!

So I’m not making any resolutions except to take better care of myself and spend time with people I love.  I am blessed to have a great boyfriend, kids, family and friends that I love.

I know also that a lot of people are ready to say goodbye to 2017 but I actually loved it, mostly all of it.  I’m sort of sad to see it go.  It means another year has gone by, plus my favorite numbers are 7 and 17. 

In 2018 I am looking forward to graduating my first 300 hour yoga teacher training group, starting another 300 hour group, holding a couple more 200 hour yoga teacher trainings and hosting a yoga gathering. 

Ok 2018.  I guess I’m ready.  Happy New Year!

Balance WTH!!

What does balance mean?  In yoga it means being able to stand on one foot without falling over or staying steady in a triangle pose, or standing on both feet in mountain pose, firm, grounded.  In life it can mean many things.  I recently took a full-time job working outside of the home Monday through Friday; I’m talking the real deal.  I haven’t had to do this for years, so it has been an interesting transition.  I am fortunate because I like learning new things and I like my coworkers, but I am struggling to find balance with my home and yoga life.  

I had the perfect yoga routine down.  I was teaching 4 to 5 private classes each week along with a corporate class during the day and one evening class.  I am currently down to teaching only the one evening class and trying to work out times with my private students.  I know a home practice is so important, but honestly, I’ve been exhausted at the end of each day and haven’t made the time to get on my mat.  My teacher training’s are suffering a bit because I haven’t put the effort into advertising them.  I currently have one training started along with my 300 hour pilot group which isn’t bad for also having a full-time job.  I have the November retreat coming up which also needs some attention.  

I knew that going back to work was going to be difficult, but I didn’t anticipate feeling so tired and stiff and sore to the point where not much gets done in the short evening hours that remain once I walk in the door. I think back to the years when my girls were little and I juggled working full-time and taking care of them, plus all of their activities and I’m wondering how I did it.  

I am not meaning to complain.  I know a lot of people work full-time jobs.  I know it will just take a while to establish a routine and find some balance between my work life and yoga/home life.  In the meantime, I am giving myself a break at home knowing that if not everything gets done, it’s ok. I try to do a few minutes of yoga here and there, and I do take some deep breaths during the day.  I guess this will have to be enough for now knowing it won’t always be like this.   

Did someone mention playing the lottery?  It sounds like a good idea.  After all, someone has to win!

I may just do it again next year!

As I am wrapping up my time here in beautiful, sunny Florida, I find myself feeling so grateful.  Grateful for the family I have that was supportive of me being gone a month.  Grateful to my yoga friends who helped cover my yoga training and classes as I was gone, and grateful for the blessed life I have that has allowed me to actually do this.  

I was talking to someone just today who said, “I don’t know anyone else that could go away for a whole month.”  Wow, they are right.  Most people I know have jobs, families and commitments that would not allow them to spend this much time away.  I just know that I am so, so happy that I actually did this while I could, as we never know what tomorrow may bring. 

I haven’t accomplished all the things that I put on my to-do list for this month, but I know that I feel like a better person for having spent so much time on my yoga mat, taking walks and taking care of myself.  As a matter of fact, I may just do it again next year!  

Is a distraction always a lesson? I'm not sure...

I've been taking a lot of yoga classes as part of my month in Florida (escaping part of the dreary Winter in Indiana) and I had a funny, distracting thing happen the other night in class.  

I was in my yoga ‘zone’ and was lying on my back when the teacher told us to stretch our arms up overhead and stretch out long.  Of course, it felt amazing.  Then she said to bring our arms down by our sides.  As I did this, I could feel a hair wrapped around my fingers (it was a hot yoga class so I was sweaty).  I started fidgeting and trying to get the hair off my hand.  Then the teacher said to sit up and reach our toes.  So I did.  We then lifted our legs up towards the ceiling.  I then felt the hair wrapped across my toes.  When we brought our knees in to our chest, I reached for the hair, which I caught with my hand.  I then spent several seconds, which seemed like minutes, trying to rub my hand on the floor, my mat, etc. to try to get rid of the hair.  The thought then crossed my mind, was this my hair or someone else’s?  This whole exchange with the hair lasted several minutes total but took me out of my yoga ‘zone’.  Some of my airy, fairy yoga friends may have said to “let the hair go from my mind”, “to be one with hair”, etc.  I honestly knew I had to ditch the hair because it was distracting me.  

So I thought after class, was this a lesson?  Ultimately I decided that not every distraction in yoga class is a lesson.  Sometimes a hair wrapped around your fingers or toes is just a hair and it had to go!

You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should do them!

How many times have we told ourselves that we would wait until next year, next week or next month to begin something or do something we've always wanted to do? We have all done it, over and over, we tell ourselves that now isn't the time and we have reasons, or excuses, why.  Some are valid, some are not.  Sometimes things we want take planning, I agree, like my trip.  

I am currently in Florida for the month.  This is something I have thought about for several years.  I don't do Winter well in Indiana.  I don't like the cold, gray days.  So last year, about mid-year, I decided to make it happen.  I researched places to stay.  I looked at my calendar.  I worked on keeping it as clear as I could and here I am, on the beach for 31 days. 

If there is something that you are wanting to do, start, begin, etc. get clear about it. I was very clear.  I could see myself walking on the beach over and over.  Write it down.  Journal about it.  Have it on your vision board.  See it.  Believe it. Sometimes waiting is the right thing, but sometimes it is just an excuse.  

I hope this inspires you to do something you've always wanted, something you've dreamed about.   

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 12: Santa

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  I hope you have practiced along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL CELEBRATE WITH SANTA. Merry Christmas Yogis! 

Thanks for following along on my 12 days of yogi Christmas.  It's been fun to share a thought and a yoga pose for 12 days straight.  Merry Christmas my friends!

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 11: Giving

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL GIVE.

We always think of Thanksgiving as a time of giving but at Christmas we give presents to friends, family and those we love.  This is giving at its finest.  But there are other ways to give.  Like offering a helping hand to someone in need or volunteering at a soup kitchen.  Have you done some 'giving' besides the giving of presents this holiday season?

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 10: Faith

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE TENTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL FIND FAITH.

Faith is something I carry inside of me.  I have faith that although some things truly don't seem fair in life, we have to have faith that there is a reason for everything.  I'm curious what the word 'faith' brings up for you? 

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 9: Believe

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE NINTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL BELIEVE. 

Oh to believe.  As my daughter always reminds me, thoughts become things.  She's got this tattooed on her!  Believe it to be true.  It seems too simple, right?  But today may be a good day to remind yourself of this.  Maybe write it on a sticky note or say it to yourself as often as you can.  Can you think of any other way to remind yourself today to believe that thoughts become things?

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 8: Spirit

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL CONNECT WITH OUR SPIRIT. 

Some days feel tough to get through.  Some days we dig deep to draw ourselves out of the dark and into the light - the spirit.  I like to think that every time I go to yoga, I connect with my spirit.  I especially notice it in relaxation (savasana) at the end of my practice.  Do you have a way that you connect with your spirit, your soul?

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 7: Rejoice

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL REJOICE.

The word rejoice reminds me of Christmas carols.  I remember being young and walking through the neighborhood singing Christmas carols with the other neighbor kids.  Those were fun times and fun memories.  It's not something you hear about much these days.  So even if you can't go door to door singing carols maybe you could turn on a little Christmas music and maybe sing along.  I'm curious if you have a favorite Christmas Carol.  Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorites. Yours? 

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 6: Happiness

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL BROUGHT OURSELVES HAPPINESS. 

This is one of my favorites.  I love the idea of happiness.  There are many ways that I find happiness.  One is to spend time with my kids.  Another is to wrap Christmas gifts while listening to Christmas music.  What can you do today to bring some happiness into your day?

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 5: Calm

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE FIFTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE ALL FOUND OUR CALM. 

Many of us get stressed about the holiday season.  There are usually a million things to do but in the midst of the craziness, we need to also remain calm and reach for our own inner stillness.  I know I find calm when I step on my yoga mat.  What helps you remain calm?

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 4: Silence

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE FORTH DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, WE FOUND WITHIN US A SILENCE.  

 

It is the time of year for hustle and bustle but at those times when we are the busiest, it is also important to be still, to be silent.  Can you think of a way that you could spend a little time in silence today?  Meditation for me is one of the easiest ways to find silence.

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 3: Merry

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE THIRD DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS, OUR DAY WAS MERRY AND BRIGHT . 

When I think of the word 'merry' it makes me smile.  It is such a happy word.  So for today, what could you do to smile more?  Maybe while you are doing your mountain pose today just put a big smile on your face! 

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 2: Love

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next few days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

ON THE SECOND DAY OF YOGI CHRISTMAS WE ALL FELT LOVE.  

12 Days of Yogi Christmas -- Day 1: Peace

With the holiday season quickly approaching,  I thought it would be fun to play with the 12 Days of Christmas - YOGI STYLE.  Over the next 12 days I will be bringing you ONE pose each day! I would love it if you would practice along with me. Here's to a joyous Holiday season full of love and kindness.  

On the first day of Yogi Christmas we all found our Peace.  

In a word or two, tell me what you do to bring peace into your life at this busy time of year?

In a word or two, tell me what you do to bring peace into your life at this busy time of year?