you have time. #MeditationThoughtMondays

you have time

Here are three things you NEED to do today:

1.  eat

2.  sleep

3.  smile

Anything else you accomplish today is just icing on the cake (or icing on the vegan pumpkin bar… like this recipe).

You have time.  Seriously.  Use it wisely.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who feels very overwhelmed and anxious– she always feels like she has to be doing, doing, doing, and she can still never “do” enough.  I feel that way too– working from home (expect when I am teaching classes) means that my down time is easily confused with work time.  My work hours begin at 5:30 am and end at 9:00 pm during the week AND I work every weekend. In addition, my profession is my passion.  How do I keep my sanity?  How do I keep myself from working ALL the time? This has been my biggest struggle the past year.  Out of necessity, I’ve spent much time and energy bringing balance back into my life, which was previously overwhelmed with obligations/ e-mails/ work/ exhaustion/ anxiety.

Here’s what works for me:

Firstly: I schedule daily Meditation Breaks.  (If you are new to meditating, check out this article.)  I meditate, or sit quietly, for five minutes before every yoga class I teach.  Most people aren’t afforded the luxury of being in a yoga studio three times a day, so my suggestion is that you schedule (literally: put it on your outlook calender) your daily 5 minutes of sitting still and breathing.  When five mindful minutes is a non-negotiable part of your schedule, you are more likely to stick to your routine.

Secondly: I use my iPhone as tool for mindfulness.  

Reminders

Every day, my phone reminds me to take a big breath.  It reminds me that my self-worth is not contingent on how much I work. And it reminds me to take note of the many blessings in my own life. (Find out why you should  write down your blessings.)  I schedule into my day short reminders that I am blessed to be alive.  I got the idea from Max Strom’s book There is No App for Happiness.  He writes:

“Many people schedule every part of their day–except its most important parts– time to cultivate their deepest beliefs and convictions.  Schedule time that inspires you to do more with your lifespan.”  -m. strom

I also organize my apps so that I’m not unconsciously wasting time.

time wastersMy Ironman laughs when he sees this heading for my app collection of Time Wasters, but I’m totally serious about it.  If you are going to spend idle time on social media, be conscious that you are doing it.  Don’t be that person who checks her Facebook 53 times a day and then complains that she doesn’t have time to take a walk and smell the roses.  Increase the quality of your time and your time increases.  Be conscious about how you spend your time.

Thirdly: I’m diligent about Airplane Mode.  Since I realized my morning alarm would still sound even if my phone is on Airplane Mode (yea… I’m not the most ‘tech saavy’ person you know…) my phone goes on Airplane mode the moment I walk in my front door after my evening yoga classes.  Why is this important?  I shouldn’t be checking my work e-mail at 9:00 pm!  My time is my time.  Blue light from electronics disrupts sleeping habits, so e-mails and texts can wait until the next morning.  Airplane mode.  It’s a seriously great habit.

you have timeI’m still negotiating an appropriate balance between ‘work time’ and ‘life time.’  But these three practices have been instrumental in alleviating my anxiety over ‘not doing enough’ or ‘not having enough time.’  They’ve also been instrumental in cultivating quality time with the people I love.  These people deserve my time and attention.  I still have many things to do.  I still work two jobs and teach 17 classes a week.  But, when my to-do list gets overwhelming, I take a short walk outside and find something beautiful to marvel. And I remind myself that there are really only three things I need to do today: eat, sleep, and smile.  When it’s put that simply, it’s easy to believe:  you have time.  

How do you find balance in your life?  What practices happen in your home that help your family find more time to be together? I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Time-Saving.

-lisa

say thanks. #MeditationThoughtMondays

Every afternoon I look forward to checking my tiny blue mailbox for post.   I’m excited every time its hiding a card addressed to me (not a bill or a coupon encouraging me to buy more things I don’t need) and am even more excited when it is a note of gratitude.  Here are some of Thank You cards I’ve received this spring. Each one has brightened my day beyond belief.  Each card has been a surprise, each card has been purposeful, and each card has caused me to pause and contemplate by own gratitude.

Today, Say Thanks. When said with sincerity and integrity, a small expression of gratitude can change the world.  Or at least it can change the moment.Thanks

As I was healing my left shoulder/ rib / back the past few months, my yoga practice routine has been forced to change drastically. I could no longer maintain my Second Series Ashtanga Routine and then still teach all my classes because the fatigue was too great.  I could no longer go straight from practicing to teaching because I had to go home and ice my shoulder in between every class.  I could no longer rely on my two hour moving meditation every morning to ‘shake all the thoughts out of my head.’  I discovered the challenge of long, deep stretches and a personal restorative yoga practice. I discovered a new love for the anatomy of the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff as I delved into possibilities for yoga as shoulder physical therapy.  I discovered that I could still love myself even with an injured shoulder.  It was a long process full of tears, fears, and self-questioning.  And of course, it included letting go of my idea of ‘the perfect pose.’

Even in my times of greatest pain and frustration, I tried to remember that I could be grateful for the things my body COULD do, instead of focusing solely on the things that it COULDN’T do.  (Most people don’t do six hours of yoga a day… it turns out… so there was no use in comparing myself to anyone else.  But I still tried!)   I tried to be grateful that I even had a body.  

I started using the mantra “healing and gratitude” during my personal meditation sessions.  I tried to smile toward my shoulder, not scowl at its slow progress. I even went so far as to write my body a Thank You card.  The card was realistic: it recognized that my body could not perform backbends, chaturangas, twists, or any of the poses that I wrote on my 2015 “Resolve Board” at the moment, but it said “Thank You” for being a body that could breathe, walk, hug, and teach.  It was cheesy.  And really, really, wonderful.

Are you grateful for your body?  Have you told it so lately?  How can you say “Thank You” to yourself?  (Hint… a yin yoga class at Westport Yoga KC and a luxurious bath?  a healthy green smoothie?  a moment of sitting still? )  

Say Thanks today.  There’s someone in your life who deserves a little gratitude and it might be you.  Happy Healing,

-lisa

say thanks.  #MeditationThoughtMondays