A series of unexpected events over the past week put me far behind on my to-do list. Some came in the form of happy accidents: a delayed flight for visiting family allowed more time to connect. Others – such as an unexplained internet outage and a case of croup – were less redeeming. Irrespective of their inherent value, the effect on my productivity generated panic. How on earth would I complete today’s to-do list when I hadn’t cleared the slate from the day before - or the day before that?!
After wasting precious time attempting to devise a strategy, I simply began. I combed the list, identified the most time-sensitive matters, and started where I was. By the end of the day, I had addressed the most urgent issues and reminded myself the remaining items would not suffer from another day's delay.
What is overwhelming you today? Can you alleviate anxiety by starting wherever you are?
Are you longing to live a more full and tranquil life? Beginning next Wednesday Kimberly Wilson, tranquilista-in-chief, is launching a four-week e-course outlining tools to help you get there.
From meditation and mindfulness to self-care and smoothies to practical guidance on managing your time and money, Kimberly will provide students with a private blog, weekly podcasts, and videos to help them engage and grow. Online registration is available, but space is limited. Reserve your spot today!
Have you ever read a blog post or column that made you nod in recognition, or feel your heart leap, or think to yourself, “I was just saying the same thing!”? I am constantly discovering writers who speak to what I am experiencing or offer new perspectives on challenges I am facing, but the sheer volume of new voices emerging each day can make it hard to keep up!
In this feature, I will highlight voices that encourage and inspire me. I hope they can do the same for you. If you read something you believe deserves a wider audience - or are a writer who wants to share your perspectives, please send me a note.
For the first post in this new series, I am featuring a friend and fellow yogini mama whose reflection on how motherhood changed her yoga practice resonated even before my baby girl started "scooting" and I discovered adult bodies are not meant to travel on all fours...
Follow the Read More link to read Heather's essay, or see it as it originally appeared on the Tranquil Space Blog.
New Beginnings are what Kent Julian is all about. From youth pastor to life coach and motivational speaker, the subject of today’s Trailblazer feature has helped thousands of men and women discover their passions and given them the tools they need to pursue them.
Kent and his wife Kathy have been role models and friends for more than two decades, and I am beyond excited to feature the story of his new beginning here.
During a discussion in the fertility yoga workshop I am currently leading, one of the women shared this quote. I was struck by the power carried by the seemingly simple sentiment.
It can be so easy to identify with our challenges or shortcomings that we forget they are simply one piece of the much larger narrative of our lives. And it can seem impossible to believe we will learn and grow from the experience, emerging stronger and more compassionate than we began.
Can you see beyond the struggles you currently face? Can you envision a life made more full by the experience?
Yoga and Christianity: a unique combination. For some, the two seem completely at odds. But a growing number of men and women of faith are turning to yoga as a way to help deepen their worship experience.
I was fortunate to study alongside Wendy Maines during my advanced teacher training in 2012. For her thesis, Wendy - a woman of faith and a beautiful teacher - explored the nexus between yoga and Christianity and offered concrete examples of how yoga can help facilitate a worship experience. She has since transformed her thesis into a series of workshops being offered to the public during the upcoming Lenten season. Beginning Tuesday, March 11, Wendy's four-part series will incorporate yoga, spiritual discussion, centering prayer, and daily reflections designed to assist in the observation of Lent. Students can register for the four-week series or individual sessions here.
Have you been looking for a new way to explore Lent this year? Consider incorporating yoga into your spiritual practice.
I have spent most of my adult life perfecting the art of efficiency. And why not? Efficiency is lauded as a high art and cultural ideal. Professors and bosses have praised me for my multitasking prowess: balancing as many projects as they could send my way and beating every deadline set before me.
From a day-to-day perspective, efficiency is incredibly useful. I know the precise combination of zigs and zags between my home and the yoga studio at which I teach to minimize waiting at intersections and maximize the use of pedestrian-right-of-way crosswalks. I have mastered the art of ensuring multiple dishes are finished at just the right moment for an elaborate dinner party. Upon entering the front door of my house at the end of the day I am singularly focused on the five tasks I must complete - and the order in which I need to do so - to clear my head and prepare for the morning.
But efficiency has its downsides too. Heaven help my husband if he makes an unexpected trip downstairs to ask about my day before I have crossed the intended tasks off my to-do-list. And don’t even think about delaying my precisely calculated 12 minute commute to the studio by saying hello. Pity the poor dinner guest who arrives at my home 15 minutes early or late and finds their otherwise gracious hostess perturbed by unplated appetizers or fixated on how the minor delay will affect the first course.
Efficiency has served me well in many circumstances, but I am growing to realize it leaves very little time for connection and interaction – and is utterly unconducive to a life outside my own head. Intentional exercises of inefficiency do not come easily, but I have found them incredibly freeing. Choosing a less direct route to the studio – and making eye contact with passersby – has enabled me to recognize and interact with friends and neighbors I encounter along the way. Setting my things down and saying hello to my husband – or peeking at my sleeping daughter – before delving into tomorrow’s plans and preparations has created opportunities for a meaningful debrief on the day. And it turns out dinner guests don’t mind watching the appetizers come out of the oven.
How can you be less efficient today? Where can you create margin for relationships and happy accidents?
Gratitude is powerful. We have already discussed the benefits of expressing your gratitude to others, but there is great value in taking a moment to acknowledge gratitude - even just to yourself.
No matter our circumstances, we can each find something for which to be grateful: the blue sky that defied forecasts of wind and rain, a smile from a stranger, or the knowledge that tomorrow has the potential to be better than today.
One way to practice the discipline of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. The specifics aren't critical: you can keep records in a good old fashioned spiral notebook - or a beautiful journal - or start a blank document on your computer. You can write a few words - or several pages - or cut and paste a symbolic image from a magazine. What matters most is the act of acknowledging and recording something for which you are grateful in a way that allows you to look back and reflect on brighter times or see small rays of light in dark seasons.
Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis who is recognized for his work in positive psychology, has offered research-based tips for making the most of your gratitude journaling experience:
Can you start a new practice of gratitude today? If you already keep a gratitude journal, have you found it helpful? Share your tips with fellow readers in the comments section below.
When it comes to creating a thriving business from scratch, Kimberly Wilson sets the gold standard. Her transformation from stressed out DC 9-to-fiver to best-selling author, designer, small-business owner, and do-gooder is a blueprint for success - and she makes no secret of the keys to success: hard work and chutzpah!
I was fortunate to stumble into Kimberly's cozy yoga studio in Washington DC nearly a decade ago, and her encouragement has been critical in my own steps toward a life I am loving more and more each day.
Read on for my interview with the inimitable Ms. Wilson.
Thank you for visiting the Starting Over blog. Stop by anytime for a dose of inspiration, tools to help you achieve your goals, and a community of fellow travelers. I hope to see you often!