Be Yourself

Of course, it’s all so simple! Except it isn’t, is it? This right here, this is my life’s work. Who am I underneath all the faces I wear outside. What is it to embrace my whole self, rough edges and all? What is it like to be you? The deep down, real, totally authentic you […]

New Feature: Monday Motivation!

There’s just something about Mondays, right? I like to think they can set the tone for the rest of the week, so I’m introducing a new category for the blog- Monday Motivation!

First thing on Monday morning I’ll post something I find motivating with a sentence or two about how I plan to act on it. I really hope some of you will join in in the comments with your own ideas. Let’s start our weeks off on the awesome foot!


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Today I’m going to add extra time to my self-care activities: 5 minutes to meditation, 10 minutes to yoga, and 30 minutes to reading.

What can you do to make today the best?

10K- Hooray!

    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe I had a simple running goal for this year: I wanted to run an 8K before Eternal Winter returned. Imagine my surprise when that turned out to be pretty easy for me. Well, maybe not easy, but I got […]

Challenge Accepted

I wrote about a recent realization I had about my own physical capabilities. In a small way, I have experienced what it’s like when your body “betrays” you.

That feeling still lingers in the periphery of my awareness, that tiny little voice telling me, “you can’t” when I start to consider whether or not to push myself harder. It spoke up when I decided to start taking kettlebell and boxing classes (which I absolutely love), and it spoke up when I decided to start running again.

Sure, the last time I took up running was when my wrist issues were just starting and I had no idea what was coming. I ended up running for a couple of months and stopping when I had chronic hip pain and bronchitis. That was a fun summer.

I have to remind myself sometimes that I really have changed my relationship with my body in the past two years. I give it love and care that it would never have occurred to me to give back then.

So this past Sunday morning I had a little thought, one of those little sparks of inspiration that only hit me when I’m outside in the fresh air, I should run a marathon the year I turn 35.

That means I should aim to run a half-marathon next year and go the full monty the year after that. That seems just over the line of what’s possible, like I’m being a little overly-ambitious. Good.

I’m putting this new idea out on the blog now for two reasons. One, putting this intention out there for all the world to see will be great motivation. And two, because even if I don’t do it, even if I fail (oh no, not that word!!), there’s a lesson waiting for me here.

So, any favorite marathons to recommend? I think I might as well go someplace a little more exotic than downtown Chicago in case 2017 is my only attempt. Next up: better running shoes!

Daily Mantras

I love mantras. I used to think they were silly, but that was such a long time ago that I honestly can’t remember what changed my mind. Now I use them all the time. Whenever I feel upset, anxious, or just disconnected from my body, I have a lovely little touchstone that’s always right there.

I like this journal for mantras and general life-improvement ideas and plans.
I like this journal for mantras and general life-improvement ideas and plans.

I’ve had what I might call a life mantra for several years now. It changes every few months as my life and needs for it evolve. Whenever I feel adrift or unfocused it’s nice a nice reminder of where my life is right now.

This past weekend I was finishing up my lymphatic drainage and visceral manipulation training, and I was feeling a little apprehensive about it. It takes a great amount of trust for someone to allow their organs to be manipulated. I am literally moving around the fluids and tissues of their soft underbelly. The practitioner needs to have a clear intention of what they are working with, and be absolutely attuned to their client.

Add in the distraction of the other students, the traffic noise outside, and the general nerves that come from being new to a technique and it can be hard to focus.

A mantra to the rescue! Both mornings before class I would sit and write my daily mantra in that cute little journal. Whenever I felt nervous or in danger of losing my intention I had the right words to bring me back.

It was so helpful, that I’ve decided to continue the practice in my everyday life. Taking the time to sit quietly, come up with the right words, and then write them down is a wonderful way to start the day.

Making Peace

I’ve joked about how poor my sleep has been lately, because at this point I’d prefer to see the situation as humorous. Being self-employed gives me a lot more control over my life than the majority of my readers (and I know how lucky I am, believe me), which makes it possible for me to cut myself additional slack these days. I’m not going to let this setback interfere with my hands-on work.

One of the mental shifts I’ve made during this most recent bout with insomnia has been to give up the need to control my sleep. To be clear, I’m not giving up on getting better, I’m giving up on worrying about when it happens. I’m shifting my focus to trying new interventions and then observing the results.

This ability to choose my perspective in a deliberate way is one of the most profound mental shifts that practicing mindfulness has brought to me. In years past this level of insomnia would have caused me much distress, further aggravating the situation. Now, by pausing and accepting my current status, I can allow myself a space for change to happen.

This is My Work

I know I’ve already written about  the profound effect reading “Show Your Work” had on me. It’s geared mainly towards artistic types, and I was reading it from the perspective of a writer who takes photographs. I figured it was going to mainly inspire my creative writing, and maybe just spill over a little bit to this blog.

Then the weather was beautiful and I sat outside with my notebook.
Then the weather was beautiful and I sat outside with my notebook.

As you’ve already seen, my activity online has increased quite a bit in the past week or so. It was this past Friday when I had a pretty important realization: this blog is a part of my work. Duh. Some of my most important work is improving my own wellness, and this blog is the map I’m making as I go along. It’s the kind of obvious truth that just glides under my radar until the moment comes when it hits me in the face. Like some kind of inspiration pie.

I’ve realized that one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to have a creative outlet. It took some bouncing around from class to class, but my life is so much richer now. That creative energy infuses all parts of my life, I’m practically jumping out of bed every morning (no small feat, because sleep and I have not yet made our peace) ready to see what my day has in store. Today it’s rain and technical difficulties with my main computer, tomorrow could bring anything!

Find your creative outlet, something that brings you satisfaction and joy. Don’t forget to share your work.