Be a YES!

Be A Yes!Greetings, my fine friends, and Happy Friday!

I remember one of my first Baptiste yoga classes (Dad don’t hit delete yet!), when the Instructor told us, as we grew taller and stretched deeper into our pose, to “Be a Yes.” At first, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by it. I think we may have been in tree pose at the time, or one in which hands could reach towards the sky, chest shining out, with spine and shoulders dropped into the back. I actually thought we were supposed to feel the sensation of making a “Y” with our bodies. A “Y” for yes. Makes sense, no? Ever-eager to please and play good student, I tried desperately to radiate the sensation of a ‘Y’, hoping I was doing the right thing and didn’t look silly. However, this meant only getting too caught up in my head – analyzing and over-thinking – that even if I was doing the ‘right’ thing, I wouldn’t have reaped the benefits anyhow.

After a few more classes, I eventually realized that being a yes did not mean physically with our bodies, it meant being a yes in life. Trying things. Going after things. Playing big. Saying yes to new things, before that voice within our comfort zone perks up and tells us to say no.

Over the weekend I was asked/strongly encouraged/lovingly harassed to sign up for what is called the Tough Mudder event. I had never heard of it before, and although I had no idea what it was all about, I’ll admit I was intrigued. Not wanting to disappoint, and wanting to exercise being a “yes’ (see the movie Yes Man… you’ll understand this concept a lot more! Plus, it’s pretty entertaining…), I took a brief look at the website as we chatted and signed up. Why not, right? Um, so yeah – I have since learned it may turn out to be a tad more intense than I initially realized (10-12 miles of military style obstacles, created by the British Special Forces, including running through live electric wires and swimming through dumsters of ice — take a peek for yourself at toughmudder.com — there is still room on our girls team for those who are interested?!?). However, it’ll be certainly be an experience. Worst case scenario, I can’t complete one or more of the obstacles, but I have a fab time trying, right? And I’m pretty sure everyone still gets their beer in the end!

So, this week I have a challenge for each of you. Say ‘yes’ to something you may not normally say yes to. Instead of over-analyzing or over-thinking what you could or should do, or giving in to the little voice inside your head that says you can’t, choose instead to listen to your own voice that says YES YOU CAN! Say yes. And it doesn’t necessarily have to mean saying yes to something big and scary or completely crazy. But dare to live on the edge a little. Say yes to staying up late to watch another episode of your favourite show. Say yes to eating ice cream before you’ve had dinner. Say yes to someone’s invitation to have coffee even if there are dishes to be cleaned. Say yes to the dress even if it’s a few dollars above the budget. Live a little! Who knows what may happen? You may just surprise yourself, learn something new – and have a little fun while you’re at it.

Have a FAB week everyone!

inhale. exhale. repeat.

inhale. exhale. repeat

Happy Friday!

One of my professors in Springfield had a t-shirt that read these words:

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

I have to say I found it quite amusing. And it was so apropos for her, as she was such a ball of energy and it was go go go all the time. I suppose I could relate. Have you ever had those days or weeks where you are so busy sometimes you simply just forget to breathe? Well, I seem to be experiencing one of those right now. We have a family wedding tomorrow (actually, it has now turned into today!) – which is very exciting – but in true carol fashion I have left far too much to the last minute. You’d think I’d have had more time on my hands what with M in Wales and all, and yet apparently I made sure – whether consciously or not – that I would have absolutely no time on my own! Dare I have a moment when I could potentially register that I may be lonely.

I mean, it’s not as though that would likely have even happened, as I quite enjoy being on my own, but I somehow made sure there couldn’t possibility have even been the opportunity. Besides my teaching two nights a week, I also began another German course, which takes up another two evenings a week. There has been overtime at work, some yoga, late night bike tours and runs thrown into the mix, a birthday party, a Hamburger Fish Markt, a doctor’s appointment, a choir rehearsal – and that was just this week. And somehow I needed to then squeeze in dress and shoe shopping, a much overdue hair appointment, wedding gift shopping, plus all of the organizing of the 50’s style costume pieces and garb, and accompanying scrapbooking supplies, for the photo booth we are setting up. And oh yes, I also I wanted to get the place spic and span for M’s arrival. phew. 

Now as many of you I like being busy – but there is a fine line being busy, and being absolutely crazy. And sometimes in the event of the latter, you can forget to breathe. And then it’s no fun anymore!

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. I feel as though there are many ways in which this simple unsolicited t-shirt advice could be read. Just breathe – yes, that is important. Take a moment for yourself every now and again to notice your breathing. To really be in the moment, if only for a moment, and to enjoy that moment. It also reminds us that life doesn’t really have to be all that complicated. We breathe in, we breathe out, and we do it again.

Sometimes we (and myself included here!) want to make things so much more complicated than they are, or need to be. Sometimes we move a mile a minute and have no time to even notice the flowers, let alone take the time to smell them.

And sometimes life seems so overwhelming we don’t even know where to start… So, let’s just start with the inhale, and then the exhale. Take it s-l-o-w.

It’s fun to be busy, but we also need to be okay with not having a jam-packed schedule, and to perhaps take a moment or two to do absolutely nothing. Perhaps I should listen to myself… well, perhaps one day soon. But not this morning! We leave for the ceremony in a few hours and still lots of wrapping and writing and prettying up to be done!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Carol

do you wanna look good, or feel good?

look good or feel good

Happy Friday!

No day but today, right? So, today is the day. Today is the day I make a goal – or maybe even a commitment (ooh, big scary word for me!) – to send out a mini update, or perhaps some ramblings, just because, every week. And seeing as how Friday just so happens to be my favorite day of the week, it seems like the perfect day to do it. And I’ve been saying Happy Friday for as long as I can remember, so why not share the happy?

So this week I was struggling over what to do with various job opportunities, and a new colleague simply told me You need to do what is right for you. Now I am sure I’ve heard that many times before, but in that moment, right then, it just sort of clicked. I may not want to let anyone down, however, I also need to think about myself. My goals, my desires, my needs. And that doesn’t mean having to be selfish. It just means looking after myself. Of course I am pulled by wanting to do the right thing. Doing what I think I should do. And yes, doing what I feel will look good. But should’t the more important issue be to do what feels good? Feels right?

I had this morning off. I was going to attack the list of things that have been creeping up – and as the holidays are upon us (again, crazy how quickly time goes by) – that list seems to be growing faster and longer than Santa’s beard. I wanted to get all my Christmas cards written, a few more presents off to the post office, laundry finished, bedroom tidied, dishes put away, and my e-mail inbox cleaned up. Guess how many cards I wrote? Zero. How many presents got off? Ziltch. E-mails sent? Nada. Actually, that’s not quite true, I did get through a few… but you get the idea. Instead, I did a yoga class (podcasts can be pretty handy that way). And although it took a while for my mind to shut-up, but it was good. I enjoyed it. And you know what? It was probably exactly what I needed to do. And then all of a sudden I hear the Instructor Mark White say this: “We need to learn to taste life, not just inhale it.” Oh how true. Sometimes I feel I’m inhaling my way through things just to get them done. Now where is the fun in that?!? I have my lists - I’m sure we all do – and all of the things I feel I should do. And I love accomplishing these things, crossing them off, and feeling good about myself. But sometimes I wonder who I am doing these things for. For myself? Or do I merely want to do the right thing, do what I think I should do, or do what’ll make me look good?

As the holiday season approaches, I am going to try to remember I want to taste life, not just inhale it. That I can put myself first sometimes without having to feel I am being selfish. And that sometimes living in the world of ‘shoulds’ can be dangerous. Who am I trying to look good for anyway? The Jones’? I don’t think I want to keep up with them. I think I simply want to enjoy the ride.

Have a great week everyone!