what colour glasses did you put on today?

what color glasses are you wearing?

Each of us views the world from our own unique perspective. This perspective is a combination of all that has shaped us – our environment, experiences, both the numerous influences and influencers – that we have encountered in our lifetime. And all have served an important role. I wouldn’t be me, and you wouldn’t be you, without our unique histories and stories.

At the same time, however, they are not to credit nor to blame for how we show up every day, live our lives, or react to the trials and tribulations – both the ups and the downs – of the daily grind.

So while this unique perspective may very well have an affect on the lenses through which we see the world at any given moment of any given day, we are not limited by it. We have a choice as to how we will react, or instead respond, to what happens to us.

At the risk of sounding too coachy or high-levely here, we can be at the cause of our life, rather than at the effect of it.

It is totally understandable if sleeping through your alarm would cause some anguish (which I just so happened to do this morning!) but it doesn’t have to mean the whole day is ruined. Similarly, finding yourself in the slowest checkout lane, yet again, does not necessarily mean you are getting picked on by some higher power. Maybe there’s an opportunity underneath that – a special connection awaiting you with the check-out clerk, or an eye-catching article about the Kardashians (are they even popular right now?!?) or little Prince George that you have a few minutes to read.

We have the power to choose how we react or respond… to everything that happens to us.

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret ~ I happen to like people watching. And the airport is a fabulous place for it! So this morning in the customs line there was a mother and a daughter in front of me, clearly in a little bit of a row. “If you say that one more time…” and with that there were long faces and the foul tension between the two palpable. And then at the end of the winding lane we were in, one of the attendants was singing in rhyme to all those passing by. “It’s a happy day, where’s the smile, now what do you say…’ I couldn’t help but chuckle.

This gentlemen must have put some hot pink or multi-coloured glasses on this morning, and he was spreading the joy to each and every person that passed him by.

For those of you logical folk or mathematicians out there, I think it comes down to a simple equation. The more energy spent in guilt, upset, frustration – the less energy left for all of the fun and excitement and opportunity that lies out there. And it really does!

So go grab a pair of your favourite-coloured glasses, and slip them on. Allow that smile to sneak onto your face. It might just make you all warm and fuzzy inside. Do it! I double-dog dare you.

And please, let me know how it feels ~ I’d love to hear from you!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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the power of silence

the power of silence

When you think of communicating with someone, connecting with someone, how often does your mind go straight to speaking? How often do you rely on your words to express how you’re thinking or feeling? To show support? To express your love (words of affirmation anyone?!? One of Gary Chapman’s 5 ‘love languages’… but that’s for another happy friday!)

Now I will be the first to admit I enjoy talking, I do! And I place a lot of energy and importance to the words I am using. And yet, speaking and communicating are not synonymous.

There is a well-known study that breaks down how we tend to communicate, and what it is we are really responding to when others communicate something to us. The results are pretty interesting: 55% of our communication is conducted through body language, 38% in our tone of voice, and only 7% of what people respond to are the actual words that are being said.

After one evening program at my yoga training a few short weeks back, we were told we were going to practice what is called Noble Silence. We weren’t able to speak or use technology to communicate to anyone, and were to stay in this silence until after meditation the following morning. At first I was almost distraught! We had just completed this intense exercise, and now I couldn’t even debrief with my roomie?!? Yet in the end, it was an enlightening experience. And although I found it difficult at first, I took away some valuable insights and ah-has:

  • Not only is communication possible without using words, but it can actually be quite powerful
  • You can really see others – let others in, when you are not hiding behind the words
  • Without words, I felt no pressure to say the right thing, to have all the answers, to come up with a solution to ‘fix’
  • Without words, I needn’t worry about how what is being said might land or be interpreted by the other party, nor about being judged or liked through my words
  • All of a sudden, a whole new possibility for real vulnerability opens up
  • You can express yourself quite powerfully through body language
  • Speaking and communicating are indeed not the same thing

When we’re going through good times or bad times with those around us, it’s natural to want to get excited with, empathize, express ourselves, and connect with – using words. And yet, consider that you don’t have to say anything at all to achieve these things. You also don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to have the winning phrase. You don’t have to know how to alleviate fear or fix the situation.

You may not have all or even any of the answers; you may not have anything to say at all. And that’s okay! You can still be there for someone, connect with someone, hold space for someone, powerfully. Arguably connection on a deeper level is possible. Listen. And I mean really listen, to what it is they are saying. Listen beyond the words – listen to their soul. Listen and speak, even in the silence.

Because even in silence, powerful communication is possible.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

 

Ode to Downward Dog: nuggets learned from yoga camp

ode to downward dog

Happy Friday!

So I am still at yoga camp ~ and besides doing a whole lot of downward facing dogs, and sweating it up with 53 other people on mats placed inches apart, we have also done a lot of ‘inner work’. Discussions about our stories and what we’re making them mean, how to give up the lies we tell ourselves, and what our authentic self looks like are the norm.

I may have already lost some of you, and that’s totally fine! I get some of this talk may come across as a foreign language. I do, however, think taking the time to look inside and get real with who we are being, as well as who we want to be, has definite value.

In an effort to dispel any myths or perhaps lift some of the fog around what happens here at yoga camp, this week I’m going to share some of the questions and themes and principles that come up. Now my intent is not to preach, nor do I want anyone over-analyzing this stuff! But rather I invite you to read and perhaps reflect upon some of them if so desired…

Be a YES.

If you can, you must.

There is no such thing as try, there is only do.

How you show up here, is how you show up everywhere. And everywhere you go, there you are.

You are either now here or you are no where.

What do you need to let go of?

Every new moment is a new opportunity to begin again.

Trust your gut. Trust the process.

Don’t rush the process.

Be still.

Do less, be more.

Who are you being right now?

How are you showing up? How do you want to show up in the world?

Who or what are you standing for?

Consider we’re all a concern for looking good and not looking bad.

Go to your edge – that’s where growth starts.

So what?

Shift your vision.

Relax with what is.

You are both student and teacher.

Drop what you must.

Drop the expectations.

Seek the truth.

Don’t let your stories define you.

What is your intent and what is the impact?

Be willing to come part.

Understand that the whole is the goal.

Be your true self.

Show up as a 10.

Remove whatever is in your way.

Commit to growth.

You are ready NOW.

If not now, then when?

Have a FAB week, everyone!

 

 

I’m curious… do any of these questions or considerations in particular resonate with you? Are there any thoughts or questions that come up? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!!!

give yourself an ‘A’. and give others all ‘A’s, too.

give yourself an A

Michelangelo is quoted to have said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue, and one need only chisel away at the excess material to reveal the work of art within. He never knew what he was going to sculpt before he began, as he believed whatever it was already existed and just needed to be set free. In other words, we are already whole and complete – and have that beautiful statue, soul, being, energy – inside each of us, ready to come out and play.

The idea here is that we don’t have to try to create anything, be anything, or fix anything.

One of the books on my yoga teacher training pre-work reading list, The Art of Possibility, discusses this idea and explains that taking it on eliminates the need to compare and measure up to. Instead, it focuses on how to chip away at the stone to reveal each person’s own mastery, self-expression, and true brilliance.

They call this process: “giving an A”. It is a way of approaching people that has the potential to transform both you and them. It is a shift in mindset that allows you to speak freely about your thoughts and feelings, while at the same time support others to be all they dream of being. “The practice of giving an A transports your relationships from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility.”

The authors were professors at an esteemed music conservatory, and felt that so many of the students were all too consumed by the measurement of their performance they were less willing to take risks and really experience the music. And so, they simply decided to give every student an A at the beginning of the semester. The only condition was that each had to write a letter to the teacher dated a year later, as if they had already completed the course, explaining why they had received this grade and what had happened to them as a result.

Some of these letters were amazing. I’ll let you read the book if you’re interested, but consider how this notion may be applied to all areas of life. Instead of being upset with the server for getting your order wrong, give him or her an ‘A’. Give your partner an A, even if they leave the dishes out. And that driver ahead of you in the fast lane, whom you think perhaps could move over one lane, give them an A, too.

Come from a place of trusting that each person is doing the best that they can. And trust that you, too, are doing the best that you can. Instead of placing judgment on where you are in your experience versus where you think you ‘should’ be, or looking at what you may or may not be feeling as compared to what you think you ‘should’ be feeling, consider that you have already earned an ‘A’ on your experience. Only you have the mastery within to be, do, or feel whatever is right for you.

It is not about fulfilling an expectation, but rather living into a possibility.

So give yourself an ‘A’ right now in whatever you are doing, whatever you are dealing with. And give those around you A’s, too. Why not, right?!? Who knows how your relationship with yourself, as well as with those in your life, may transform into a whole new way of being.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

 
What action are YOU going to take to give yourself, or someone else, an A right now? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂

Words of wisdom from the wise… Ode to Betty, 91 years young

Ode to Betty

Photo taken at the Bean Counter Cafe, Picton, Ontario. Credit to miss Julia Lydall.

Today I am going to take a bit of a different approach. Today I am going to share a little story with all of you. I hope you enjoy.

This past weekend was a special one, as a pretty special group of girls celebrated one of my best friend’s upcoming nuptials. We did it in style, of course, renting a lovely house in Prince Edward County – a growing wine region peaking increased interest and for good reason. Besides an amazing wine tour (or two!), we indulged in girlie time together sipping on sangria, posing with wigs and printing polaroids, BBQ-ing up a storm that would’ve put the boys to shame, playing fun games, roasting s’mores, relishing in old memories, and laughing hysterically at photos of some of us (and some of our ridiculous hairstyles!) from 20 years ago.

All of these moments from the weekend will be treasured always, but one that will stay with us for the rest of our lives only took place the morning after. That’s when we met Betty.

On the Sunday, we decided to give our planned early morning bike tour a miss and opted instead to head into Picton for a very necessary cup of Joe. We were all just happy to be together, getting a kick out of this lovely quaint town where parking on the main road was free all weekend long, and even Monday through Friday a nickel actually bought you time. I think we underestimated just how big of an effect a fun group of girls from the city would have on this here town! We got waved at, honked at, hollered at, and then as we entered the local Bean Counter Cafe, beamed at by an excited elderly lady dressed to the nines perched at one of the outdoor tables.

Well this is definitely a special occasion!” she exclaimed, eager to find out what we were doing there and who to congratulate. When she found out one was a beautiful bride-to-be, she grabbed her arm and, full of genuine excitement, screamed “Congratulations!” And then with conviction and gusto, “Enjoy it, she emphasized. She also said how lovely we were there together… that it’s all about friends. She had us all at hello.

We go in, order our delish liquid boosts of caffeine, and found a cozy corner with couches and chairs, somehow perfectly accommodating our group. The book on the coffee table read Be Here Now. So apropos. It was one of those perfect moments that only ever take place in movies, except we were actually living in it, and soaking it all up.

Just as we were speaking about how cute this lady outside was, in she walks, and with a bright smile totters over to us telling us what a beautiful bunch of girls we were. We started talking, and were instantly drawn into her energy, her words, and her spirit. She shared some of the story of her life, and had seen a lot in her 91 years thus far. Her name was Elizabeth. “But my friends call me Betty!”’ Of course they did; she was definitely a Betty.

Our soon-to-be bride asked her what advice she could impart so that we might live a life whereby we, too, may be so lucky to be as happy and youthful and vibrant at her age as she was one day. And oh how I wish I had had a tape recorder! Yet although I was so tempted to jot it all down as she was speaking, I also didn’t want to miss out on the moment! So, I shall share here some of the golden nuggets she offered… I scribbled down as many as I could as soon as we said our goodbyes, but it may not be word for word:

Find a partner – man or woman – to share your life with. And if your husband ever gives you grief, kick him in the shins!

Always see the funny side of things.

You need a little bit of this (as she scratched her palm indicating some mula!), to be able to enjoy come niceties in life.

We have to protect our girls growing up… today everyone seems to be caught up in success, success, success. The world is a complex place. Don’t make it even more complicated with all this technology stuff.

And then she pointed up at the sign above us with the Bean Counter Cafe’s daily quote and said “You see that? That’s what it’s all about. It read: …focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. ~ Greg Anderson.

And as she walked away, she said “No accidents girls. Only good ones.”

Oh Betty. Her story was precious. And even at the ripe old age of 91, she still had so much life left in her. She had an infectious energy about her, exhibited such a youthful spirit. She was pure joy.

It was a special moment indeed, one that left a few of us in tears. One that we will not easily forget.

Thanks goodness we didn’t take the bikes out. Everything happens for a reason. We are all supposed to meet a few Bettys in our life. They arrive in front of us perhaps to teach, perhaps to remind, perhaps to spread a little love and a little joy. Be present to meet them, be prepared to let them in.

We took a Polaroid picture with Betty, and gave her a copy. She got all choked up, and told us she would treasure this moment forever.

So will we Betty, so will we.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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Are you shuffling, dealing, playing, or tossing in?

shuffling, dealing

Happy Friday!

In life, we are always somewhere in the cycle of change. And we need to allow ourselves to be in whatever phase we are at any given moment, before we will be able to transition into the next one. This past weekend I attended the second live module of my life coaching course with iPEC. Again, a very powerful and positive three days. And at some point I was introduced to the metaphor of a card game to illustrate this cycle of life idea. It turns out we are always in one of four areas:

The shuffle:

  • Almost like a ‘time-out phase’ to reflect and research, or perhaps emotionally heal. It’s a period where we detach from what may not be working in life.
  • During this phase we work through the feelings involved in the ending of the last life cycle, which then allows for a new beginning and new possibilities.
  • It may include fear of the unknown, have ups and downs, but by the end of the cycle we are enthusiastic about a new game to play.

The deal:

  • A time of action – experimenting, training and networking – we are putting into play the ideas and plan we may have created in the shuffle.
  • During this phase we develop confidence, begin to look at life as an opportunity, and are ready to explore, stretch, and make things happen.
  • It may include fear of failure or success, the desire to take it one step at a time, but high energy and enthusiasm is likely.

 The playing of the game:

  • Now we’re really in it! This phase is mostly positive, as we are living our dreams and reach a state of well-being.
  • During this phase we begin to feel a sense of success, and it’s a time to really live in the moment.
  • It may include some self-doubt or self-sabotage, but also likely is a sense of fulfillment, peace, and purpose.

The Toss In:

  • Inevitably, everything in life at some point will come to an end. It may end with ‘success’ or ‘failure’, but something is going to change.
  • During this phase there may be some resistance or a possible lack of hope, or include a period of ‘hibernation’ of sorts.
  • It may include feelings of loss, fear of the unknown, isolation… but it is creating the space for a new adventure.

Depending on where we may be in this cycle of change, we are going to be thinking certain things, feeling certain things, and either getting ready to, resisting, or wanting to take action. And wherever we are, whatever we may be experiencing, is perfectly normal. As I’ve said before, wherever we are, we are exactly where we need to be.

I’ll admit I’m ready to make things happen in my life — to launch my business (more on that next week!), to get somewhere, to be someone — like NOW. And what’s ironic, is that my thinking is, the faster I’m there, the faster I will be able to really start living my life. When in fact, the opposite more often occurs. Trying to rush through the phase I am in now in order to get to the next one is exactly what is preventing me from living and enjoying the present moment.

And so it is, especially true when going through transition. I have just tossed in my life in Wales, and am trying to ‘shuffle’ on through the shuffle phase, instead of honouring the importance of really experiencing this phase. I hope to be in action soon enough… so now is a time to reflect, to perhaps experience the out with the old and make space for the new. It’s exciting! And although I am eager to start playing a new game, I can’t start dealing or playing before I have properly shuffled.

Let’s ensure we take whatever time we need to really be where we are, and live in the moment. Because that is where life takes place. Right here, wherever ‘here’ is, ready to play.

Have a FAB week everyone!

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What are your thoughts on the cycle of life? What are you experiencing right now? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Always give someone, or somewhere, a second chance to make a first impression

Happy Friday!

from where I sit, the last Friday I shall be here in my cozy little home on Colliery Road, in Wrexham, Wales. Funny to think my time here has come to an end… it’s all gone by so quickly, as it always does. And how differently I feel now about this place than I did when I first arrived…

I had a lovely last week – which is bittersweet in a way, as I was just beginning to feel connected, to feel at home. But isn’t that just the way. I suppose it’s a good thing to leave on a high. And believe it or not, there are some things I’m going to miss about this place.

Power Yoga Jam

The photo above highlights much of what my week was all about. Two power yoga jam sessions (which collectively and impressively raised £250 for Breast Cancer Care!), the straggler glow bracelets, a few leftover goodie bags, lovely cards from lovely students, unexpected gifts of flowers, Cuski bamboo shawl wraps, ‘Canadian’ club and Welsh cakes, a certain somebody’s study notes…

Reflecting on my time in the land of the sheep and the rolling hills, there are a few key lessons I will take away with me and would like to share.

When you find yourself in front of a big puddle, grab your galoshes and go through it anyway.

We often have a choice when it comes to a puddle, or an obstacle, blocking our way. Go the long way around, avoiding it completely, or take the plunge and get in there. Of course it may mean we get a little messy, but somehow we’ll get through it and figure it out. And chances are we’ll experience a lot more living while we’re at it.

I was desperately trying to find a yoga class when I first arrived, and it wasn’t before long I realized Power Yoga hadn’t really hit this nook of Wales yet. I contemplated starting my own classes, but was pretty darn fearful. Would they take off? Would anyone even show up? Who am I to teach here? Well, I felt the fear but I did it anyhow. And although I had only one show up (and accidentally, too!) to that first class, slowly they grew, and I was teaching five classes in three different locations at one point. I just counted… 95 yogis I had try out my classes… and excited to say they will be able to continue on their yoga journeys with various instructors that will be taking over these classes when I’m gone 🙂

Always give someone, or somewhere, a second chance to make a first impression.

I’ll admit I may not have been overly enamored with Wrexham when I first arrived. But it has grown on me. And I have begun to see it, to understand it, and to appreciate it for all that it is (and for all that it isn’t). Sometimes these things take time. But as long as we keep an open mind, and try not to give up, we may just see our situation or environment with a whole new set of eyes.

It’s not the buildings, nor the weather, but the people who make up a place.

Only a few short months ago I felt I had no ‘friends’ here. I wasn’t sure I belonged. I mean, there was no one I had met whom I could call up to go and meet for coffee. I tried attending Welsh classes, found and frequented our local, even invited the neighbours around for coffee and cake. Alas, nothing seemed to work. But when I stopped trying to force it, and just did what I enjoyed doing, in time I was able to really connect with people.

Only when you really share of yourself with those around you, and when they are able to see you for who you truly are, is real connection possible. This week I was so touched my so many, had surprise goodbye gatherings and social engagements every night… and I realized that it really is people who make up a place, and people who make the world go around.

Of course there are many more lessons I have learned and could share, but my eyes are getting sleepy and I have the marathon on Sunday after all! And apparently, the night before the night before matters even more! So, it’s off to dreamland I go.

See you on the other side of the pond!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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when was the last time you broke the rules?

breaking the rulesI have been in deep deliberation – as I often am  – as to what topic might be pertinent to discuss this week, inspired by the happenings in my life. If I were to reflect on my rather chaotic week (I seemed to have found myself running around like a bit of a crazy chicken much of the time, going from networking breakfasts to virtual English lessons to meetings with GPs to looking at venues to yoga classes to coaching calls to training runs to goodness knows what… now I do thrive on being busy, but there is a fine line between busy and manic!) it would perhaps make sense to speak about slowing down, remembering to breathe, or managing balance delicately… but we’ve somewhat discussed those themes previously.  Besides, my intention is not to use this platform as a way to disclose my own time management issues!

But all of a sudden, just as I was beginning to panic over the fact I still wasn’t sure as to what I would write about, it came to me. 5:00am, running on less than four hours sleep, in the womens’ toilets of the Manchester Airport of all places (you just never know when that pang of inspiration is going to hit!). I walk into the stall, and right as I was about to pull a 360° and march on out again – I know you know what I’m talking about – I realized low and behold those dark pieces of matter were actually nothing more than floating ashes! Nothing scary, nothing to fear, just the rebel before me who snuck into the toilets for one last fag before the flight! After my initial sigh of relief, I quickly let out a little chuckle. And in that moment I had a little aha… breaking the rules… yes! Let’s talk about that! Why? Because sometimes, breaking a rule or two is exactly what we need to do.

If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. ~ Marilyn Monroe

Now I want to make one thing clear here. By no means am I condoning this woman’s act of smoking in the restroom – I’m a fan of the non-smoking rule not only in restrooms but in all public, indoor arenas – but I would like to use this story to illustrate an idea. Breaking the rules (although not necessarily the laws!), can also mean doing something a little out of the ordinary or against the grain, thinking outside of the box, acting out of the norm, or defying expectation. Sometimes ‘breaking the rules’, so to speak, may actually help us to discover that difficult solution or get us to where we want to go.

There are numerous examples of key players, events, or inventions where the breaking of conventional rules has actually led to making significant differences to our world:

  • Breaking the laws of science and gravity allowing for airplanes to fly and rockets to shoot up into outer space.
  • Challenging the ideas of the woman’s place in politics. Thanks to the pioneering work of some amazing suffragettes and women’s leaders we went from not being able to vote to successfully running countries.
  • Breaking the rules of fashion – we have now found out that polkadots and stripes can actually work together – as can red and pink – and I bet it won’t be long before velcro and bell bottoms are all the rage again.

In the words of Thomas A. Edison, “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”

This idea of breaking the rules doesn’t necessarily have to mean breaking the actual laws of society, the laws of science, or even the laws of conformity. Sometimes we have imposed rules on ourselves and in our lives that may be limiting us in ways we aren’t even aware of. And breaking these rules every once in a while may allow us to see the world in new ways we never thought possible. It may also help to break us of our habits. Maybe you sleep in one day until 7:04 instead of rising at 7am on the dot. Perhaps you try an Earl Grey instead of English Breakfast at tea time. Or maybe you order a big, fat piece of chocolate cake for dessert next time you’re out even if it isn’t indulgence day just because you can.

Sometimes we just need to be prepared to break the rules every once in a while. Not only can it help us discover a world we may never have known previously (have you ever had ice cream for breakfast?!? It’s kind of fun!) we may be able to find new ways to solve our problems or achieve our goals. It may also prevent stagnation, throwing in the towel, or better yet – introduce a little bit of an exciting thrill into our day to day happenings!

So, how are you going to break a little rule this week, perhaps go a little crazy? I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Carol

wherever you are, you are exactly where you need to be

 HAPPY FRIDAY!

wherever_you_are..._www.copyblogger.com_3c9f8aa17ae088210aI like being happy. I mean, who doesn’t, right? And although I do consider myself a happy person for the most part, there are also going to be some days where on the happiness spectrum I fall more to the left than I do to the right. I used to think this was a bad thing, that I needed to do something quick to get back to the bright side. But there are a range of emotions out there for a reason. And just like rain every once in a while helps us to appreciate the sun, perhaps sadness, frustration, uncertainty – whatever it is we may be feeling – can also help us to appreciate the happy.

This week my mood somewhat mirrored the weather today ~ mostly sunny, mixed with small dark pockets of cloud. There were some moments when I felt fully energized, enthusiastic, excited… and others when I felt tired, a bit down, or lacking motivation… And when I found myself wanting to press snooze one too many times, I immediately passed judgment on my state of being and behaviour; internally I labeled it as ‘wrong’, or ‘bad’. And then I quickly found I was wanting to pull myself out of there! I mean, we can choose to be happy, right?!?

Well, perhaps there is some element of choice involved, but trying to force myself into a place where I was not, and not allowing myself to be okay with where I actually was, also meant I wasn’t allowing for some self awareness. Why might I be feeling this way? What are the underlying triggers at play? Trying to get to somewhere new – and fast – is not really living and experiencing the present moment.

I used to think being happy was the goal. But perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps it is to be present and true to where we are, whatever we may be feeling, and to be okay with it.

Some of my yoga students this week were commenting (and being hard on themselves!) about how they just couldn’t get their balance on. I assured them that every time we come to our mats we are in a different place. It could depend on the thoughts running around rampant in our heads, the sleep we had the precious night, what we’ve eaten or had to drink… everything affects everything. Some days we may have great balance, others maybe only on the right leg, or sometimes it may appear as though we have none at all! But wherever we are at – on our mats or in our lives – is where we need to be.

When we are fully present – present to our feelings as well as to our surroundings – we are open to experience life and to be affected by all that life can offer us. When I finally surrendered to my mood, perhaps with a little less spunk than I would have liked, I was also open and vulnerable enough for change. Sometimes I walk into my yoga classes wondering how many, if any, will show up. A tad fearful, perhaps with a tang of self-doubt. I felt that this week ~ until I had 12 show up to my Tuesday night class ~ and left feeling totally energized by what my students gave me. I walked in one way, but by allowing myself to be present and be affected, I left on a high.

Where you are right now – with respect to your mood, geographical location, career, family, relationships, or balance in yoga – trust you are there for a reason. Life moves pretty fast, and you may not be there for long. So you may as well enjoy wherever it is you are at in this moment.

If we try too hard to get somewhere we’re not, how could we possibly be enjoying where we actually are? (Perhaps I should really take these words to heart every now and again!)

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Carol

what makes you happy?

What makes you happy? (www.allshinyandnew.com)

Happy Friday!

Okay, so although the sheer fact that it’s Friday is enough of a reason to bring a smile to my face, it’s not enough to make me happy right down to my core. And plus, Friday only comes around once every seven days. And I don’t want to be happy only one day of the week!

I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy every day (expect the days that I want to maybe be a little sad, because we all need a few of those thrown into the mix every once in a while, and that’s okay, too)

So, what makes you happy? When was the last time you even asked yourself?

Each week I read an excerpt from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart in my yoga classes, and the page I just so happened to randomly flip to on Tuesday talked about the importance of finding happiness in the everyday.

How often do we really take time out of our busy day, out of our busy lives, to ask ourselves what it is that makes us happy? And even if we do, do we really listen to what our heart answers? I can only speak for myself, but I’ll admit it is certainly not something that takes place everyday. And certainly not these past few days.

These past few days, instead of figuring out what makes me feel happy, I’ve been trying to figure out what makes me feel overwhelmed! Although it does make me happy to think I am working towards my goals and dreams, sometimes I feel there is just so much to do and I don’t even know where to begin. And when I allow myself to dwell in that place of uncertainty, if only for a moment, I start to doubt, question, lose faith, lose confidence… it’s a quick and vicious spiral into a place where happiness definitely does not reign.

It’s great and important and exciting to be working towards something, towards something bigger, but we must take care not to assume that thing is responsible for bringing us happiness. “I’ll be happy when…” can be a dangerous statement.

If we’re not happy in the here and now, today, chances are we’re not going to be happy regardless of what we may achieve, or what our life may look like tomorrow, either.

So, what is it that makes you happy? What could you do right now that would make you happy? Enjoy a nice cup of tea? A cuddle with your dog, child or grandchild? A walk outside? A phone chat with a girlfriend? An episode of your favourite sitcom? Take the time to do these things. To indulge in these moments of happiness. They’re important. After all, these moments are what make up real life.

Ask yourself today, right now, what it is that makes you happy. And really listen to how your heart responds. You may just find that the answer is within reach.

Do-More-of-What-Makes-You-Happy (maijasmommymoments.com)

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Carol