Category Archives: inspirations

Rest your mind, soothe your soul.

Though I continue to feel as though I struggle with mental mind games, ridding myself of the guilt prison and easing up on the rush-rush-rush of life, at the same time, I know I am thisclose to that breakthrough that I am craving. Freeing myself of the need to overcomplicate my day, week, and season, going with the less-is-more approach to all things social life, family life, and home life, and, almost, if not more importantly, that same approach to my workouts, my eats, and my ‘fit life’ generally.

It’s easy to overdo it in the workout department when I love what I do, what I teach, and all things runtasticness. 

But when you step back and make each ‘me’ moment count, you realize less-is-more is actually far more effective than jamming in too much. I continue to learn this and strive for this and think I am finally finding my ‘happy place’ balance of the best of both – doing and resting.

It’s easy to get into the excitement of the season and try to jam in too much to each day, week, and month.

But it’s far more worth it to sometimes say no (Lindsay says it so well here!), reset and focus on priorities and those that matter most – even when sometimes those that matter most is yourself! I am working on this balance, and helping those around me who also fall into this yes-itis habit to step back, think, then say yes or no whatever it may be that’s on their plate.

It’s easy to get up-in-my-head about myself and comparision-itis sets in.

But when I step back and see how far I have come, how inspired I am and can be to others, I realize the mental mind games aren’t worth it, they aren’t productive and they are self-defeating.

And when I read things like this beautiful devotional from Holley Gerth, it all comes full circle. I need to rest my mind far more than I do. It makes me feel chaotic, and anxious, and more busy than I actually am, and not nearly as balanced as I strive to feel and be.

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Less is more. And it is utterly soothing for the soul. (the below from my ‘angel’ Lindsay – the most perfect words that I just can’t quite put into words as well as she does here).

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The guilt prison.

I’ve been lamenting this topic for awhile now – both personally and experiencing it around me, at the studio, on social media, amongst friends.

The guilt prison.

The self-imposed guilt *we* put on ourselves – whether it be to get in that workout, run faster, longer, more, push through a cold, jam in a zillion errands into an hour because you’re racing the clock to your next meeting, commitment, plans etc. or any ‘imaginary’ self-imposed deadline you put against yourself – because it’s usually either a) unrealistic, or does not *need* a set timeframe or deadline to complete. We just put that on ourselves as a deadline, which then in turns to unnecessary pressure, unnecessary stress and ultimately? The guilt prison.

Because we didn’t meet that imaginary deadline or goal or number we were trying to reach.

So we guilt ourselves, we turn to negative self talk, we beat ourselves up, or even worse, still try to find a way to meet this ‘deadline’ or (usually unrealistic or unnecessary goal), even if our heart, mind, or body isn’t really into it, but our minds take over and tell ourselves we need to do such-and-such or we are a failure.

I realize I am speaking in the proverbial ‘we’ when I am of course talking about myself, BUT I am also talking about seeing this in action just about everywhere I look, lately.

The negativity, the pressure, the anxiety – and all of it? Completely and absurdly unnecessary. Completely arbitrary. Completely self-imposed ‘deadlines.’

For what?

What do we accomplish by guilting ourselves into doing things vs. doing them out of intention and because we truly WANT to?

Absolutely nothing. 

The guilt prison is entirely draining and self-fulfilling, really, too. And partially because whatever we’ve set our minds to, is sometimes too much, or motivated by the wrong reasons, so it will naturally fail, as a result.

5e854ace1c41ff3afe31ff66716e6d77For me, it goes back to intention – my word for 2014 – and doing things out of want, not because I ‘need’ to or because I feel a need to keep up with a certain routine, but literally because I want to. This could be social plans, plans with family, a b9 class, a run,  or even food. Eat out of intention. Do out of intention. Work (out) with intention.

Strip away the guilt. Get back to basics. Let’s break free from this guilt prison. I know for one, I am entirely exhausted of it, from my own tendencies too, and my natural inclination to do more, more, more, when sometimes less and simpler is truly best. I am ready to shed this inclination fully and finally, and I hope if you struggle with this, you will work towards a guilt-FREE life, along with me.

Introducing…the MFEO chronicles.

I’ve recently been admiring those around me, near and afar, and the marriages, partnerships, and teams (of two!) they’ve created, and, in parallel, my marriage to M, and the partnership we are creating.

And there spawned my idea.

The MFEO chronicles. (MFEO = made for each other)

I plan to chronicle some stories from some of those I admire in this community (and outside of it, too) and what makes them MFEO. From the good, *and* the not so perfect.

Because, this is, after all, the perfectly imperfect me, right? And what better way to remind myself and you, that to be ‘made for each other’ doesn’t mean perfect. This also holds true for life, generally, and our individual selves. It’s not about perfection. It’s about striking that ‘just right’ balance that makes us who we are, and who we are together so natural and right.

With M, I know we are MFEO because…

…he can make me laugh like no other. It could be the crassest joke, to the simplest – yet funniest – word choice, but I just laugh – like, really really laugh – when I am with him hysterically, all the time. Daily, even. We ‘get’ each others’ humor eerily well, and even when *my *particular jokes don’t go over as successfully as his, he still laughs, or at least amuses himself that I am cracking myself up 😉

…I trust him with all of my heart. And he trust me equally as much. Trust was something I realized I didn’t know how or when to trust, when I started dating after divorce. How long does it take to trust someone’s words at face value? After being with someone for 10 years, that trust is second nature, and you don’t really realize *when* the trust began, so when you start from scratch, when to trust becomes a scary, scary thing. I started out trusting immediately, and got burned, immediately, and once I met M, I wanted to trust so much, but was afraid to. But I soon realized then, and even more now, that he is, of just about anyone in my life, the most trustworthy – and respectful – man I have ever met.

…we can argue, and be frustrated, and get mad at each other. And it’s still okay. In fact, it brings us closer. It could be a simple misunderstanding blown out of proportion (guilty as charged, more often than I’d like), or it could actually be a longer standing issue that takes awhile to get through, that takes many reminders and conversations and frustration. But working through that, and really talking about it, even when it gets uncomfortable, is what makes us better individually, and together.

…we respect each other’s strengths and lift up each other’s weaknesses. We are a team. Isn’t that truly what a partnership is all about? He’s chill. I’m…type A, more rigid (than I’d like to be…working on it!). He calms me. I add structure (where needed) and GSD (get sh*t done) when sometimes he may be procrastinating. We motivate each other,  we keep each other going, and we make goals together *and* achieve them.

e5080839a21e01b222d9c642ba859286It’s been a little less than 3.5 years since we met, and 8 months of marriage, yet I know our foundation is strong, we are strong together, and strong as individuals, and I cannot wait to see what our ‘MFEO’ years look like 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. And I can’t wait to share stories from those that HAVE been together for this many years, to explore their stories, and embrace the lessons they’ve learned.

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Cheers, friends.

After a crazy week, it’s just okay.

It’s been an exceptionally crazy week.

One of those weeks where I realized stuff has to give, and it’s just okay. 

In my journey towards letting go, loosening my death grip on routine and perfectionism and putting undue pressure on myself (there’s enough pressure in this world, why do I add MORE to it?!), it was one of those weeks where I had to put my money where my mouth is.

And not stress the extra laundry (gasp!), stray dish or two in the sink for more than an hour (gasp! gasp!), or class I wanted to take (today, but after an especially trying two days, I just have nothing left, so I let this go too).

And step back, take a moment to sneak in a few extra intimate moments with M this morning, since we’ve been ships passing in the night (our sole dinner together was Monday night, sadly), and embrace the time we did have this week – running outside twice together, a few extra mushy IMs or texts during the day, an extra ‘I love you’ or two.

It was also a chance for me to take a step back and reset my focus, and reinvigorate things at work. Though the last two days, in particular were mentally and physically tiring (just long days out of my comfy cozy home office, big meetings and lots of them), I came away from it feeling a bit more energized, and if that’s not a good sign, I am not sure what is, when it comes to work.

It was also a chance for me to test my patience in all things sickies. Last week, the stomach bug that had me appreciating what rest does, and this week? A cold that would not relent. The snot just wouldn’t stop coming. So.much.snot. Gross, I know, but seriously, it was of epic proportions. And it added an extra layer of stress to my two days of meetings where I felt less than professional with my box of tissues, raw nose, hoarse voice and cough. But I made it through, I took it day by day and I didn’t try to do too much. I know it made a huge difference to the severity of this cold (for as much snot as there was, I didn’t ‘feel’ that sick, thankfully!).

I am feeling ridiculously relieved as the week comes to a close, and pleasantly surprised at what letting go and practicing what I preach has done for me this week. I think that deserves a cheers or two, or three, don’t you? 😉

On compromise and allowing for imperfection

In my quest to continue my journey to letting go and giving way to better balance, I have started to notice some signs that I may just be coming around.

By way of compromise.

I am the queen of anti-compromise. I am all for *other* people compromising, but when it comes to compromise myself, I fully admit I am kinda bad at it. (my sister Jess is likely nodding her head right now…stop nodding so hard, I know, I know!)

Some of these signs of compromise are smaller, some of them are bigger, but they are all signs that maybe, just maybe I am capable of compromise and letting go of the need for perfection and my ‘particular (aka type A like whoa…) ways.

For example…

My numbers fixation. I used to stress about how many workouts I did – my ‘me’ workouts compared to those I teach. Now? I have gotten into a good cadence of balancing those ‘me’ workouts with how many classes I teach in a week. If I teach more, I pare back, if I teach less or equivelant to my ‘norm,’ I go by feel. If I feel good, I’ll try and hit that fourth run of the week, if I am tired,  I may not. Or maybe I’ll – gasp – cut a run short. Something I NEVER would have done a year ago. I’d think about that number too much. Now I have not a clue how far I run usually, unless I know the route already (and I never usually look at the mileage on the treadmill, but go by length of time, if anything). To me, this is  huge progress. Smarter, not harder, ‘phase two’ – my evolving workouts just work for me, I have never felt better, I feel fit, I feel worked, but I don’t feel exhausted, *too* sore (in a bad way, just a good hurts-so-good way) or running on fumes. I feel like I’ve hit the balance I need, and the ‘happy place’ in my mind too. It’s not a constant battle anymore. Compromise does a body good.

Another way? I have eased up – somewhat – on my neat freak attitude. Just a little (‘cmon, this takes time, people, this is a deep seated one!). I actually – gasp – LEFT a dish in the sink overnight soaking and didn’t feel the urge to wash it. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about it, because I was too engrossed in watching ‘Sideways’ with M (though that movie is somewhat depressing, all of the wine humor and scenery gets me every time), with a cup of tea, curled up on the couch. *That* is much more important than a dirty dish, no? Compromise makes for a less stressy mind, and home.

I’ve also tried to slow down – continually – in my quest to enjoy more each day, and stop stealing my own joy, rushing through the mundane or day to day moments, and tried to enjoy every day, not just weekends, not just when I am with M, or my sisters, or my friends. This one also takes work and concerted effort, but I think the more I focus on it, the more aware and in tune with the ‘in-between’ moments as Jeff Goins would say, I will be. Compromise – choosing battles and calming down – has made me happier day to day.

So, I guess you could say I am feeling pretty peaceful right now, I am allowing for compromise, and imperfection, and simply, just changing my way of thinking just a little, and it’s going a long way.

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