Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's YOUR Love Language?

Sometimes we have moments or days that are just bad. They are exhausting, long, tedious, overwhelming and just plain ol’ bad. They are full of doubt, self-hatred and many other negatives. Each person deals with these days a little differently, and how we react can make or break someone on that particular day.

I have a long-time girlfriend who can be a bit rough around the edges when she wants to be, but is also a big soft red panda on the inside! I love her to bits and pieces, and know that when she has a bad day, the worst thing that I can do is tell her the world is full of rainbows and light. It’s not in her immediate nature to want positivity on a day when things look gloomy and long, she wants real insight, quick witted jokes and a little bit of subtle love.

For myself, personally, I need love. I need rainbows and teddy bears to brighten my days. Without it I seem utterly lost. In my own life, I see no point of moving on until I see the sparkle and light.

Each person has a unique way of dealing with each day and each moment as we move through our lives. Although I wish everyone could see the positive side in each and every moment, I know that some folks need subtlety. Some people need to find the positivity on their own path and don’t need rainbows shoved down their throats!

I believe that in order to truly help someone heal, we need to give them the medicine that they seek. Most people speak in subtleties. In order to reach their world, all we have to do is ask. It may seem odd at first, but if you just ask the person what they need, you can really help them through their own process. Something as simple as “are you okay?” “do you want to talk about it?” “how can I help you?” can be just as effective as, “It will all work out” or “there is a lesson or message in this experience.”

By asking someone what they need, we are able to work into their lives and help them solve their own issues, or come to their own conclusions. With my girlfriend who needs subtlety, I always ask her what she needs. More often than not, I ask her if she wants to talk about – and when she says no, I ask her what she does want to talk about, or what she needs in that moment.

There are those days that we cannot make better. We need to take a nap, to disappear into our pillows like giant lions being swallowed by the earth. We need to cry. We need a shoulder. We need to be alone in our thoughts. Or we need love, cuddling and lots of positivity and light. 

Whatever path you are walking, someone is walking with you. You may not know it, or even know them, but someone out there is experiencing something very similar to your situation. What would you do to comfort them? If you were not the person having an off day, what advice would you give?

Take a moment to think about it – and then ask yourself – or your friend: what do you or I need in this very moment? It could be as simple as a hug, or as complex as mending a broken heart. But whatever it is, asking what someone needs could be the first step to healing, and the first step to helping a friend, or yourself.
A few years ago, I was taking a class during my undergraduate class that talked about our love language. Each of us speaks and responds in a different language:
1)    Words of Affirmation
2)    Quality Time
3)    Receiving Gifts
4)    Acts of Service
5)    Physical Touch

Through these five love languages, we respond, interact and experience life with one another. While some may give cards and send words of affirmation as a giving tactic, perhaps they are the same person who needs to receive physical touch in order to be healed. There are many quizzes and much information on the five love languages, and it is an interesting process to learn about!

By finding out what YOUR love language is, you will be better able to communicate to the ones you love what you need when you are having an off day. Do you, like me, need rainbows, love, light, yoga, naps & cuddling? Or do you, like my friend, need real words, quality time, popcorn and rootbeer?

Each of us has our own light, our own way of communicating with the world. Help yourself by finding your language and communicating what you need to others. By simply asking “what do you need?” we can accomplish a lot and begin helping someone to heal.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's in a name?

Over the past few years, I have read a lot of labels. At first, I was reading labels because of weight watchers. I would look at the calories, fat & fiber. I cared a lotabout how many calories were in each item. The way the old system of weight watchers worked, an apple cost as many “points” as a 1/2 snickers bar. Sometimes I made the logical choice of eating the candy bar instead of wasting my points on a less satisfying apple.

In the past few years, weight watchers has redesigned their point system into a much healthier version. When I went back for a visit last year, I realized they were using something called the points plus system. This system had you look at a label for fat, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Calories were said to be less important and no longer a factor in how many “points” you were eating per day. It allowed for a healthier system. Also, (most) fruits and veggies now have 0 points plus value. I would ALWAYS choose an apple for 0 points!
After a while, I began to realize that I never looked at the ingredients, only the nutrition labels. When I began The Clean Program Cleansein January, I had 21 days of searching labels for ingredients, as opposed to nutrition. It was a lesson in understanding the industry, and not only how much fat was going into my body, but also, what products and ingredients.

I began to realize that the less ingredients a product has, the better it likely is for you. Tropicana has a new orange pineapple juice and the ingredients are: orange juice & pineapple juice. I choose this product now, over all the others, because of its low ingredient list. Other juices contain cane sugar juice, chemicals and other such things we do not need in our diets. The same goes for any food item on the shelves.

For the past few months, I have been very into reading labels on our food products. I want to make sure that hubby & I are eating well, with nutritious foods and yummy snacks that keep our energy up! Just this past weekend, as I was in wholefoods (for a special trip!), I realized that not only should I be reading labels of our food, but also our soaps, lotions and cleaning products. 

With Apollo & Digger, I am always sure to buy them dog/cat food that has no by-products and contains healthy & nutritious ingredients. If I am even anal about my pets food, why would I not be concerned about what we are putting into our environment and bodies as well!

I emailed a friend last night and she immediately suggested JASON for body products. Last night, I went to the natural section in the grocery store and gotJason’s body wash, and kiss my face peace lavender hand soap. I also bought new counter wipes that contained less alcohol, as well as new face wipes! It was such an adventure to try all these new products. They works just the same, but are better for our bodies and the environment.

I am looking into nutrition schools and have dug up a lot of information on what types of schools are out there. This same friend who gave advice on the soap, also warned that certain schools make profit over promoting certain types of lifestyles while learning about nutrition. I want to make the right choice, and make sure that when I am ready to journey back to the learning environment, I am prepared with not only prior knowledge of my own, but background knowledge of the school I choose!

I hope you are all looking into your labels. Whatever your journey is with products (food and cleaning alike), I hope you take some time to discover what you are putting in and around you & your family! It is sometimes the smallest adjustments that we make, that create the biggest progress and growth.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Magical Monday & Chocolate Almond Butter!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Alicia: love, inspiration & light! 2012, isn't it amazing?

People come into out lives for a variety of different reasons. Some enter our lives for the long-term, while others enter our lives for shorter periods of time – presumably to teach us a lesson, or give us a gift from the universe. It could be a simple sentence, a yoga pose, an assist, a smile or a life lesson. One of my new girlfriends, Alicia Matthewson, is here on this earth for so many divine reasons. One such reason, I believe, is to inspire others.

Last night, I went to her CD release party and met so many people from her world that collided with my own. Friends from my new church, yoga friends, musicians I had never met before, her family and loved ones. Each person had a gift to share and after acknowledging such, Alicia made us all promise to share our consciousness with the world. She made us promise to share our gifts with the world and help to create a bigger, better and more powerful world.

Journey to Hope is here to do just that – but so are many other loving and wonderful organizations. SQ Wellness is an organization that is near and dear to Alicia’s heart. Yoga Reaches Out is an organization that is close to Jill’s heart. Journey to Hope is my passion and organization that I wish to share with you all!

I believe that Alicia’s main purpose in life on this day is to share her inspiration, love and energy. I was so blessed to be a part of the evening, and couldn’t be more thrilled to share her page and song with you all today. Please listen, asAlicia sings from the heart!!

We are so blessed to have her join us on March 30th at our benefit class at The Heavenly Massage & Yoga Studio. 6pm. Please join us then to share in bringing health and wellness to the Cape Cod community, as well as to hear her sing and share in her joy, love, light and inspiration! I am blessed to call her my friend, and even more blessed to have her share in our mission, bringing yoga to those in need.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Connection: what degree are you to me?

It is truly amazing how connected we are in this life. Recently, I read a networking article that claimed we are no more than six degrees of separation from everyone on this planet. The person who is your friend is a first degree. A friend of theirs (whom you know, but not well) is a second degree. A third degree would be that person’s sister and so on. It makes sense that we are all connected in this way, and gives a lot of insight into the networking connections you can make by just stepping outside your door in the morning and saying hello to the stranger on the sidewalk, or at the bank!

Not only are we connected through friends, family & networking, but I also believe we are all connected on a higher level as well. I often find that my co-workers/friends and I will teach the same or a similar kind of yoga classes in the same week. Often times, without even having been in one another’s class, a friend will say an exact sentence I used from a class I taught three days prior, or use a similar yoga asana sequence. It is odd to be in class and watch a sequence you taught, being taught by someone who hadn’t attended any of your classes that week, but it happens – often!

It’s similar to the concept of women getting their periods aligned when they live in the same house for an extended period of time. After a while, the women seem to sync their cycles, completely naturally – the universe wants us to all be connected.

It’s why you hear from an old friend a few days after you were thinking about them, or are not shocked when you hear news that a distant relative passed away. We are somehow cosmically connected on a much higher level.

In church this week, we were asked to hold hands during the benediction. As this is a new church for me, I did as I was asked (with a little voice questioning all the while) – and was amazed at the connection and the spirit. There was suddenly a room full of love and light. Each of us as one, and yet all of us connected and intertwined.

Although yoga is not a spiritual practice (in terms of "religion"), it does ignite a connection with the divine, whatever that definition is for you. Spirit, in many ancient languages, also translates to the word breath. The spirit, God, universe, or a connection is a part of who we are, whether it is your breath work in yoga or attending church on the weekends.

It is my hope that you find a connection today, wherever you need it: a smile from a stranger, the laugh of a child, the wind in your hair as you walk the beach. If we look hard enough, we will find it – as it is always there waiting for us.

Our world works in mysterious ways: lessons, lows, laughs, and love. Isvara Prandihana is a belief that God (or the universe) will provide to us what we NEED in each moment (not necessarily what we want). It is the belief that things will work out the way they should. I hope that each of you is able to trust in the universe, as our world changes from day to day – and that you believe in the power of Isvara Pradihana to guide you through each moment.

Trust in the universe. Look for clues as to where you believe you should go – and then grab the reins. We are almost always given what we need, but in order to be successful, we need to take control of our own destiny and take charge of the opportunities and lessons presented to us.

As we are all connected, through “degrees,” friends, family, spirit and breath – we can all strive to create a better world together. One step, one moment, one day at a time: we can make a difference.

Go out there today and look for a connection!
Do yoga, have an adventure & make life sparkle!!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Magical Mondays & The Power of Grapefruit

Good Morning!

As I write to you this morning, I have already watched the sunrise from our bed, wrapped in our (new) comforter – with a green smoothie, my cat & dog (whom are not anywhere near one another....we’re still trying). I’m about to partake in a grapefruit as well, which I swear has magical qualities!!

Over the past few weeks, hubby & I have been working on a secret mission idea. His dental office has an extra room – and we both need an office! This week/end we bought a desk, a chair, a bamboo plant and some folders, to create a new space. My side of our desk will be used for Journey to Hope. I am so blessed to now have some place to write in peace and work on grant writing, blogs, legality, lawyers and other such paperwork. Thanks Hubby!!!

This past week was full of magical adventures! Our board meeting, last Monday afternoon was very successful. We confirmed our July 14th date & location for our major fundraiser: dancing, Nia, food, raffles, silent auction... I hope you’ll join us after a long day on the beach. It will be a blast!!

We received a donation mid-week, and it was a very fun package indeed. My home church and youth group sent Journey to Hope 20 new blocks and 10 new straps. They were packaged individually, so it was a lot of fun for both myself & Apollo to open our gift! We have many mats, but are in dire need of yoga props – many, many thanks to my friends & family back home.

I am also blessed for constructive crictism, which I was blessed to receive on Wednesday from Jill. It is always so wonderful to hear honest feedback after I teach a class. Typically, I only hear this from my mother, so I am thankful for a boss who understands the importance of giving feedback in a genuine way!
The little things I am thankful for this past week: watching the SERIES finale of Nip/Tuck with hubby, Tin Tin, Brazilian BBQ, homemade chicken roll-ups, mom-in-law surprise visits, hubby cooking 2 nights in a row, Indian snacks, our new office, beach walks, green smoothies with kiwi, pats cheerleader try-outs, YOGA surprise meetings, and my new church!

Things I am looking forward to this week: a secret meeting, my little brother coming to visit, Alicia’s CD release party, Apollo’s vet visit (see how much he weighs!), leftovers, date night, spring weather, going to yoga (for myself), and watching the Elmo documentary this week!!

I hope you all have an amazing and blessed Monday!!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Home Practice Video!

This is our first video from our questions post! I am hoping to upload a few of these in the next couple of days. Comments, suggestions and hints encouraged, please!!

Please let me know if you would also like me to write out these questions & answers. Some people are readers as opposed to video watchers, and I wouldn't mind adding in my notes.

*If you enjoyed this video, please let me know. I would be more than willing to create classes (1 hour) that cost $2 each. All proceeds would go to Journey to Hope and I could upload them weekly if you are interested.

Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Magical Mondays: Please Help!

Good morning Monday!

I’m not sure about you all, but there is something about Monday’s that I just love. Reflection, counting my blessings and the ability to look at the coming week with a wonderful sense of anticipation.

Before I get into the blessings and adventures of the past week, however, I want to give you a little insight on Journey to Hope’s financial situation. We hired a lawyer two months ago on a three month payment plan. We desperately need to raise the last $200 by the end of the month and NEED you help! If you feel so inclined, please press the donate button on the left hand side and donate to us through paypal. It would be greatly appreciated in order to help us pay our lawyer and become a legal 501(c)3 non-profit.

I am so blessed to be part of a community that cares about bringing yoga to each other. Because of you, we are able to provide yoga to those who cannot afford it, or do not have access to it!

I am also blessed in many ways this past week! I spoke to two old friends, Ashley & Beth. I met with both of my bosses and caught up on their lives and what is going on at Power Yoga of Cape Cod & The Moving Meditation. I took a class last night at Power Yoga in our new studio!! It looks beautiful and has such a loving and vibrant vibe.

Yesterday was full of yoga, church (I think I finally found one I like!), brunch with the hubby, windy beach walks with Apollo, Once Upon a Time and a smoothie with kale (for the first time)!

This little things I am grateful for this week: finally seeing Wanderlust, kale in smoothies, teaching sunrise classes, visiting Apollo’s new doggy daycare, teaching English (I love my other jobs), Hugo, brunch, pre-made food for unexpectedly long days, St. Patty’s day parade in Yarmouth, puppy kindergarten, chocolate PB & green apples, teacher meetings, birthday parties, take-out & birthday girls, martini’s, magicians, friends, love & the amazing support of our yoga community here on Cape Cod.

I am also a little famous this week, which is very exciting! Click here to see the article of how I combine all of my interests in one.
I feel so blessed to wake up everyday in this wonderful life I have created. Do you?? What can you do to make your own world sparkle with love & light?

Please share your thoughts, love & inspiration in the comments. *and if you feel so inclined, please donated to JTH!

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,