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Motivation

I haven’t been here in a while. A LOT has changed and yet still remains the same.

However, I’m picking up running again. I just decided on it this very instance. You see that torso?

I have fallen out of sync with fitness and it’s not because I don’t enjoy it, but because it got cold, I got lazy, and my ego has gotten the best of me. I stopped concentrating on the physical changes of working out (always a plus, but I needed a more meaningful goal) and thought of many more reason to work out. One of my top five is amazing sex. Working out does great things to your sex life. Although I am quite single, I want to be ready for what this torso has to offer.

Feels good to be back. See you soon.

Anybody out there?

I’m not going to lie, I’ve neglected this little space here I’ve attempted to create within the inter webs. I’ve thought about writing. A LOT. The act of actually organizing my thoughts and being somewhat creative, however, has been a bit of a challenge for me lately. Adding to that, my plate is FULL.

  • I’ve started yoga teacher training! I had my fourth weekend last week. Sooooo much has happened in those four weeks and even attempting to articulate it all right now would not be doing this process any justice. It’s amazing, exhaustive (mentally, physically, emotionally), transformative, enlightening, uncomfortable, peaceful, joyful…I could go on and on AND IT’S ONLY BEEN FOUR WEEKS. I’m literally immersed in the yogiverse right now and loving every minute of it. 
  • I am also finishing up on a degree I started a few years ago and had temporarily abandoned because I’ve decided I want to go somewhere new with my career life. Since I am only one semester away from completing what I started, it is important for me to FINISH. My next venture will still be there when I’m done. Classes are eating up any time I have outside of yoga (and work) but overall life is best for me when I’m busy, productive, and working purposeful toward a specific goal. 
  • I’ve embarked on another meditation challenge, along with several fellow teacher trainees. It’s Deepok Chopra’s Abundance 21-day mediation challenge. I was not able to make the commitment to meditation that I’d hoped after doing it the first time, so I decided to try again. So far so good (four days in). 
  • And finally, to complete the body/mind connection, I have reaffirmed my commitment to work on my eating habits. I was doing really well on whole foods plant based eating and then a chicken and dumpling recipe fell into my lap, along with bags of Halloween candy, and well, it’s been a rough road lately. I’m in the current stage of giving up sugar and things haven’t been going well. I don’t like the way that sugar makes my body feel but the taste and the cravings are my biggest downfalls. Nine days in and nine days failed. This is my November challenge…HELP ME.

I haven’t really been doing much outside of teacher training, studying, and homecooking (I need to post recipes!). I’m still working on some of the goals I outlined in my “It’s-almost-my-birthday” post (other than maintaining this blog, obviously), which involves reserving capital, so I’m currently lacking in the social sector of life. I think I need to work on a Philadelphia winter bucket list so I can schedule some fun and adventure in the mix. 

~D~

Tabouli

Summer is ending. I wish I was sad about it, but I’m not. Fall means scarves, changing leaves, adding layers, pumpkin lattes, and riding boots. Before I get too caught up in what’s to come, I’d like to share a recipe I wish I would have tried at the beginning of summer. I used some inspiration from various yogis around the Internet to come up with this amazing kale tabouli. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
Whole wheat cous cous
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Kale
Tahini
Salt
Course black pepper
Onion
Pepper (red or green)
Tomato
Parsley

Cooking:
Make the cous cous per package directions. When done, add 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Fluff it all together then prep the kale. Cut kale and place in a freezer bag. Pour in desired amount of tahini and a little salt and pepper. Massage the kale so that the tahini completely coats all of it and let sit for about 15 minutes. While you’re waiting, mix chopped onion, tomato, red or green pepper, and parley in a food processor or blender. Combine cous cous, kale, and blended veggies. BOOM tabouli.

Carpe Diem

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It’s almost my birthday. I basically celebrate for an entire month, and have been doing so, please excuse my hiatus. I started out this month very focused but the closer I get to the day I turn 27, the more I’ve been letting loose.

I’m viewing this turning of a new age as more of a renewal than the turn of a new year. 26 was an awesome year, in fact it was my golden year, I turned 26 on the 26th day of August. I accomplished a lot personally, did a good amount of traveling, and had a lot of new, fun, and exciting experiences. I’m going into 27 believing that I will accomplish even more and with the faith that there are good things in store for me.

In thinking about my intentions and desires for the upcoming year, I’ve come up with the following:

•more blogging
•more yoga
•leaving the country in 2013
•visiting two new states (last year my goal was one and I hit five!)
•claiming fiscal responsibility (ie budgeting, saving, and clearing debt, being frugal)
•I will be pursing a degree in nursing

Full disclosure: writing all that out gave me butterflies. I’ve got some big (potentially expensive!) goals on my plate. But honestly, half of the things I’ve done in the last year, I didn’t believe I would accomplish. The same amount of time I took to acknowledge the fear that lives inside of me, I also am declaring not to live in it. I won’t let it fester and become this unthinkable mass of useless emotion I can not overcome.

In putting these desires and intentions out there, I am not attaching myself to an outcome nor ignoring the potential for obstacles to create detours on my path.

Simply putting it out there just feels damn good.

Traveling and maintaining progress

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Greetings from St. Louis, MO! I’ve been absent from my little spot on the internet preparing for my trip, doing yoga, cooking meals, farmer’s marketing, and now that I’m here, spending time with family.

While traveling, I completed my 28-day meditation challenge with Yoga Journal. I was pretty disciplined with my challenge. I missed one day out of twenty-eight. Not bad. Most days I would wake up, do a few stretches, and sit and do the guided mediation of the day. Some days I’d miss my chance to do a meditation before I got out of the house but I’d make sure to do it when home from work and settled down. The one day that I actually missed doing my mediation was when I had a family member visiting. I initiated the challenge because I want to incorporate meditation into my daily habits. Has it become a habit? Well, it’s almost noon and I have yet to do a meditation. I’d like to still remain discipline in that practice but now it will take more effort on my part because it’s not something I’m “challenging” myself to do.

Lifestyle changes are hard to incorporate into your life, especially if those close to you aren’t familiar with the types of changes you are making. At the moment, I am focusing on plant-based eating, finding my spirituality, holistic living, and yoga. Some of my friends consider that to be “weird eating”, “Psycho-babbling”, and being a “modern hippie (hipster)”. I get it, to some extent, it’s more common for people to be ignorant to change than accepting, especially if it’s not something that interests them or they have no connection to it. Often times, I feel alone in my practice and lifestyle choices but I am learning to seek out more like minded people and socializing a little more when attending yoga classes and other workshops.

It’s tempting to abandon all the diligence you put into whatever habits your trying to modify or add into your daily routine when you’re not around like-minded or supportive individuals. For example, since I’m visiting family friends, I’ve been indulging in foods I don’t typically eat at home and I haven’t had much “me” time. I’m not being hard on myself though because I’M TRAVELING and spending time with people that I love. The best part is the indulgence, and I admit that I have not reached the point where I am discipline enough not to take too much advantage, but we’re all a work in process, aren’t we?

Let’s all take a moment to reflect: Where can you use a little more discipline in your life?

Hope you are all getting a sweet start to your week.

~D~

Raja Yoga

Every thought, feeling, perception, or memory you may have causes a modification, or ripple, in the mind. It distorts and colors the mental mirror. If you can restrain the mind from forming into modifications, there will be no distortion, and you will experience your true Self.

There is an element of magic to my practices with Ashley King. They are blissful, centering, and empowering. I went back to her class last night for the first time in almost two months, and today the Universe blessed me abundantly. It’s been almost 24 hours and I’m still marinating in my post yoga high. How sweet it is.

 

(quote via Swami Satchidananda)

Seeing Red

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Words I associated with the color red: Blood, spicy, watermelon, fire, raspberries, cranberries, wine, cherries, romance, anger, passion.

Words associated with the Root Chakra: Security, survival, power, courage, and resilience.

The first step in my personal transformation is to destroy. If I were looking to “cosmetically” change an emotion, feeling, or state of being, my goal would be to manipulate appearance, think of the saying “fake ‘it til you make it”. I, however, am entering a period of transformation where I’m literally knocking down walls that have been built as a result of past experiences. Transforming is about reshaping and remolding. It starts at the foundation. The root. It’s where strength is built, affirmations are made, and security is developed.

With a faulty base, it’s hard to remain standing. We wobble and often get thrown in different directions, but with a strong foundation all you will eventually need every now and then are a few “cosmetic” changes.

My initial thought was to work on a different chakra each week, but I think I’m going to spend a little more time and invest a little more energy into the root. I’m still in the “setting goals” process. It’s been an interesting week of exploration, deconstruction, and discovery. I kind of like it here, in this place of possibility and assurance. This is only the beginning. I want to make sure I take my time and do it right.

Why am I doing all this? 

I asked myself that today. Well, like I said earlier: I like it here! I can stand myself so much more when I am actively cultivating a positive mind, body, and soul. I like feeling well nourished, physically and mentally. Connecting with myself allows for better authentic connections with other people. I like participating in the karma exchange. It’s not all pretty, and I plan to keep it real with myself and others. I’ve done it here. I’ve acknowledged the good and the bad. It’s a process, a journey, with twists and curves, and fuck-shit-fuck moments.

So why not? Why not talk about what transports me from just living to living blissfully. Why not take the journey? Why not choose openness and love over caginess and hatred? Seriously, why not?

~D~

Mental Health Day

This morning I woke up with the following thoughts:

  • I’m not ready for Monday.
  • I need a good mind purge. I just want to sit around and write all day.
  • I neeeeed a good run.

New obsession: quinoa, gluten free granola, chai seed, nectarines, blueberries, & raw honey with almond milk.

So I hit the snooze, laid in bed for another hour or so, then I started my day of mental rejuvenation. Meditation…check! Hot water with lemon and journaling…check! Entertain my bipolar relationship with running by hitting the pavement….check! Healthy breakfast (pictured above)…check! I can feel the space opening up in my brain already.

I’ll be spending the rest of my day goal setting, researching, and tackling some tasks on my to-do list. Oh, and sneaking a little nap in there somewhere.

Hope you’re all getting a good start to the week as well!

~D~

 

Be: Grateful

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The weekend is the perfect time to sit and reflect on all that is good in your life. There’s always something good. For starter’s you woke up to see another day. If you’re fortunate enough to experience life at a slower pace on the weekends, there’s no better way than to celebrate with gratitude.

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Today, as I had the opportunity to explore a Farmer’s Market I’ve been dying to get to for over a year, I stopped to be grateful for nourishment. I’m grateful that the seed has been planted in my mind to seek food that fuels my body the right way. I’m also grateful that I have access to fresh, local, wholesome food. I spent a very blissful day in the kitchen, followed by a delicious nap.

Today was a good day. How’d you spend yours?

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