Practice. Every day.

“Practice. All is coming.” — Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Lately I’ve been thinking about the dualities of life and how there are so many different realities present in each of our lives — in every single day we live in multiple worlds, each requiring a piece of us regardless if we want to hand it over or not.

We may create a safe, secure bubble where we’re free to practice yoga, meditate, or spend time in nature, but this bubble is only so large and can only contain our bodies for so long. At some point, we have to emerge from this space and face a different world. One filled with cubicles and deadlines and traffic and bills. A world that isn’t usually calm, isn’t often conscious. A world that, personally, I’d rather avoid more often than not.

However, this is 2014 and this is life on planet Earth. We have to face that fast-paced, polluted world and it’s up to each of us to develop a strategy for living that works for us. A strategy lets us, ideally, maintain a calm centered space, capable of handling each obstacle with grace. For me, my yoga and meditation practice, my nature hikes and dog walks, and my clean cooking and self-care routines have helped create a solid foundation I can stand on, always, regardless of which world I’m forced to encounter.

Maintaining your center takes patience and practice, but it's worth it <3

Maintaining your center takes patience and practice, but it’s worth it ❤

I work in an office filled with constant stress and deadline pressure, yet somehow, I am almost always relaxed. I sit in traffic with everyone else, with honking horns and white-knuckle wheel grips, but I’m patient. I make very little money, but I somehow have faith and trust that the Universe will provide (and it always does). I am rooted in a world I love, that supports me always.

This isn’t always easy of course, and getting to this point took practice, dedication, and an intentional effort each and every day. It all started with a mindful decision to live better — to think better thoughts, to make better choices, to be a better person. Then, it all came naturally. I started listening to my heart and my body, and living for me instead of for everyone else. …best decision I’ve ever made.

So today, ask yourself if you’re ready to let go of the stress, the worry, the frustration, and if you’re ready to draw in peace, patience, and joy.

It’s possible to be amazingly blissed out! Regardless of circumstance.

But first, you just have to want it 🙂

If you want to hear any tips on how you can specifically change pieces of your life, shoot me an email and I’ll do what I can to help out.

Recognizing our body cycles

“I’ve been thinking a lot about waves and cycles lately…” -Casper, the Dutchman.

Energy, moods, attitudes — everything has its own cycle. Before I left the states I wrote a note to myself reminding me to honor and appreciate all that my body is. To love the ups and downs and to listen to my body each day to help guide my actions and if possible, my thoughts.

There are days when my energy is low and there are days when I’m in a bad mood and can’t seem to shake it. There are also days when I’m a grump toward the world and feel like I need to isolate myself, separating my mood from the moods of everyone else. Instead of becoming frustrated with these less than pleasant realities, I’m learning to embrace them.

Our bodies and minds are truly incredible — they can tell us so much about ourselves, like when we’re out of balance and something needs to be put back in check. Our diets, our actions, who we’re surrounding ourselves with… When we’re anything less than ideal, we can listen to our bodies and figure out what to do to re-center.

Take, for example, that few days every four weeks that us women just feel off. We’re not quite our normal, happy, productive, light selves. We’re a bit moody, agitated, or sad. We’re PMSing, but that’s ok. In these days, I’ve found that giving my body the love it needs is all it takes to make these off days a bit better. I may not regain all the goodness from a couple weeks prior, but I find a way to appreciate the swings and the energy loss by treating myself with nice food, lots of tea, writing or yoga or swimming if I feel like it, and probably the most important thing, lots of alone time.

Alone time can do miraculous things if we let it. Put me by myself for a few hours and I’ll almost always crawl (or gleefully skip or hop) back to my center point. When given the freedom that comes with alone time, I’m able to naturally flow into an activity that my body craves.

In all times, be kind to yourself.

If it’s just impossible to rid yourself of a bad mood, the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it. Being frustrated that you’re frustrated isn’t going to kick the frustration now is it? Having a sense of humor about our moods instead really does help. If you’re pissed off at the world, take a moment to remember that you’re not always pissed off at the world, and that the world is still revolving just as it did before and that at some point, sooner than later, you’ll stop being pissed and you’ll move on to a different emotion — and if you’re lucky, maybe it will be a good one for a few days.

Emotions never last too long — any emotion, even the good ones. So, be an observer of the emotions and appreciate them all. The ups, the downs, the swings, and the lulls. Everything is cyclical, and trust that it’s all ok, and that this too shall pass.

Learning patience, whether I like it or not.

It’s a Tuesday night. And I’m not getting ready for work. And I’m not making myself dinner. And I’m not doing laundry. Or paying bills. Or bathing the dog (which rarely happened anyway, what am I talking about…) And I’m not stressing about what’s next.

Instead what am I doing? I’m sitting on a patio (seemingly built for one) enjoying a fresh organic banana milkshake. I’m waiting for my vegetarian lasagna and caprese salad, and watching the hustle and bustle of San Jose’s rush hour traffic go by. …and there’s a Burger King next door, but let us forget about that 🙂

What’s important is that I am taking time for me. By myself. To really reflect on the past week of farm life. I came to San Jose to fix my computer (which doesn’t seem like it shall be fixed — but should I buy a new one?), and I’m deciding to stay a couple days to do ME.

The farm is tough work. Physically and mentally, a lot of strength goes into this process. The first couple of days were quite stressful and bewildering with always so much going on and it’s difficult to feel like it’s ok to NOT be moving when there’s always work to be done. But, I’ve had to remind myself, I’m here to learn and push myself, but I’m also here to focus on me and what it is I want out of life. Where do I fit in the big scheme of things?

In these past couple of days I was able to do more of the less labor-intensive work like cleaning and watering plants and checking to make sure everything is in working order… And shredding coconuts for three hours (seriously — what a new thing that was haha). But, I was still helping to keep the farm running and the people fed and happy, but I wasn’t kicking my own ass and wearing down my mind in the meantime. It’s been better. And I’ve been happier. And I love that.

But for me, for now, I’m still trying to put all the pieces together of the life I’ve lived until now and use that puzzle to hopefully make some sense of what I want to continue with and what I want to cut out and replace with better things.

For one, patience. I’ve realized in just one week that in the states we live in a very fast paced, high-production world. I’ve asked several times when learning a new thing, “Ok so how long should it take to do this?” Or “can we do this faster?” And, I’ve always been responded to with a simple, “however long it takes to do the best you can,” and “all we have is time.”  Such a different view, and one that I think we could all benefit from if we kept that in mind.

“however long it takes to do the best you can.”

Also, going from a remote farm in the middle of a jungle to a city like San Jose takes time. A lot of time. First, get a ride or walk (seriously) the 10-15 kilometers to the closest bus stop. Then take a bus about 1 hour to another bus stop. Then another bus to San Jose. Then walk to find a bus stop or a taxi. Then good luck finding your destination because addresses really don’t exist here. But… If there’s a will then there’s a way. And there’s no sense in rushing a process that requires its own pace… So, I’m learning and living patience.

I’ll be writing a couple more posts soon, so stay tuned. And let me know what you think I should do about writing (as in.. should I purchase a way to do that?).

A few of my favorite recent shots

Best friend - the basil plant.

Best friend – the basil plant.

The nicest produce stock picture.

The nicest produce stock picture.

beautiful costa rican view near puriscal

This is what the view was today. Amazing.

The simple things are the best. Like this "crema" I had today.

The simple things are the best. Like this “crema” I had today.