I want to share with you 2 resources I created for coping with the new global health pandemic COVID19.
The first is a guided meditation. Fear, anxiety, and panic weaken your immune system. Whereas, mindfulness and meditation can boost your immune system. These practices can also relieve feelings of anxiety and fear. Take a moment to pause and breathe with me in this guided meditation.
The second is a video with 4 tips for how to stress less while social distancing. The number one thing you can do right now to protect yourself and the community is social distancing. So, assuming you are doing this already, how can you maintain your well-being while at home? This video answers that question with 4 practical tips to help you take care of your body, mind, and emotions.
Please let me know how you are doing with all this. How are you coping? Is there a topic you'd like me to cover in a blog or video in the upcoming weeks? Leave a comment below to let me know!
The thing with running is your recovery days are as important as your long run days. When I was teaching yoga at studios, I used to guide my students into child's pose midway through the class. I'd have them rest there for a few moments. And, I'd always say to them, "These moments of rest are as important as the moments of activity. It's in these moments of rest that you allow your body to integrate."
The same holds true in running and in life. My knee started acting up about 8 weeks into training. I've had this knee pain in the past, and so I knew how bad it could get. I also knew that if I want to get to the starting line of the marathon, then I needed to nurse my knee. I needed to be mindful with how I chose to proceed with my training. And so, I extended my walking intervals. Instead of 30 sec: 30 sec run:walk intervals, I extended it to 30 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. That was even too much for a few of my long runs, so I ended up walking the entire thing a couple of times!
The interesting thing about these intervals is that I'm able to go further and feel better. My pace is relatively unaffected, and my body is able to recover better. What that says to me is that my performance and recovery actually improve with resting.
This makes sense for other parts of my life too. It's only when I create space to rest that I'm then able to return to laptop to write. When I allow my mind to rest on my days off, then I'm more alert and focused while at work. Whereas when I find myself pushing through, it takes a greater toll on my body, mind, and emotions. Those moments of rest actually make me better and more productive in other parts of my life.
Research on productivity show that taking scheduled breaks improves your workplace performance. A recent study found a ratio of 52 minutes on and 17 minutes off to be optimal for work-related tasks. The study also emphasized the importance of taking actual breaks. Like standing up, moving away from your laptop, and doing something non-work related. They cite going for a walk as being one of the best types of break. This makes sense to me because you’re bringing movement to your body. When you bring movement to your body, your brain releases endorphins. This shift in neurohormonal balance naturally leads to a shift in your mindset. Your perception moves from being singly-focused to more broad. In other words, you open your mind and expand the horizons of possibilities. You find more innovative solutions when you’re not actively engaged in your work.
This is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed training for the marathon so much. The chunks of time I’ve blocked off for running give me space away from everything else. It’s in that space that I find healing, inspiration, and solutions.
So, I challenge you this week to schedule in breaks. Notice how you feel. How much more you get done? And, more importantly, how effectively you’re able to get it done? I want to hear from you! Comment below and let me know how it goes!!
It was my first long run without my training partner. We'd been doing our long runs at the park, and he usually led the way. So, I was on my own to navigate the trails. In my mind, I had it all planned out. I'd follow a similar path as what we took last time. I didn't look at a map. I'm terrible at maps anyways! I knew it in my head.
Well, I came to an intersection 1 mile in that I'd never noticed before. When I'm not leading, I tend to not pay as much attention to things like which way to go when faced with an intersection! So, here I was, on my own, and I had to make a decision. Well, I went right and soon realized that wasn't our normal path. I decided to keep running. I had a general idea where it would lead me, so I wasn't shooting completely in the dark. I also knew that it'd eventually meet up with the trailhead I intended to hop on. So, another mile in, I came to an intersection. I saw a sign for the trailhead, but again I could go left or right on the trail. I couldn't remember which way to go, so I turned left. Well, that took me on a loop back around to that first intersection!!!
Eek! So, I was 3 miles into my 12-miler and I hadn't even made it onto the actual trailhead! But, you know what I realized?
It's when you get lost that you find your way.
I now know exactly where each of those intersections lead. Had I not explored it myself and let myself get lost, I never would have learned it. I had been relying on my training partner all these weeks and never noticed where the path led.
I also realized that miles are miles. My goal was to cover 12 miles that day. It didn't matter if the miles were all on the trailhead, or if 3 of them were me exploring my way onto the trail!
The fact is life is life. It's days, one leading into another, of experiences and lessons. You'll have days that you get a little lost. Can you enjoy those days with a sense of adventure trusting that it’s all helping you find your way?
You may not know this about me, but before there was yoga, there was running. I started running when I was 12. Slow and steady was my pace. Long distance was my jam. I remember my high school cross-country days when I first dreamt of running a marathon. Flash forward 22 years (whoa!!), and I'm going for it!
Why in the world would I run 26.2 miles?
I knew this would be an important question to answer when I set out for this goal. You may remember from my Thriving in 2020 video about the importance of your "why." Because in those hard miles on race day, I know I'm going to keep going back to my why. Just like in life, when those obstacles come up, your "why" is what gets you through!
So, here's a bit of my why:
I hope that sharing my story and some of my "why" inspires you to go for your goals! It's never too late. Is there something you've dreamt of? What's holding you back? It's taken me 22 years to start training for a marathon, but here I am! And, once you pinpoint your goal, get clear on your why. It'll propel you forward, I promise!
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You're well into 2020 and haven't even thought about your New Year’s goals. You've checked out everyone's posts about their New Year’s goals on social media. You've studied their vision boards with admiration. You may have even thought, "That's great! Look at what she's planning to do this year. I should do that too..." And, it may have fallen on one of your to-do lists that you're now feeling guilty about not having gotten to yet.
Well, I'm here to tell you, it's not too late! I never finish my goal setting and visioning by December 31st. Heck no! My process goes well into January every year. So, I give you permission to let go of the guilt. It's ok. Life is always unfolding. Honestly, life is unfolding whether you set goals or not. The only difference is are you going to play an active role in the process or a passive one? Are you going to react to life, or are you going to lean in with intention?
Here's the deal. The days of setting resolutions are long gone. You know the drill with resolutions. You set these super high standards. Things like, "I'm going to work out every single day of the year." And, then it feels more like a chore than something you feel excited about. By the end of January, you feel like a failure because you didn't make it to the gym every day. So that resolution goes right out the window! Nothing about that process makes you feel good about yourself.
That's why, instead of resolutions, it's now all about intentions, goal setting, and visioning. Here you'll find my version called Thriving in 2020!
Let me break it down for you here:
An intention is a word, phrase, or idea that you choose to come back to over and over again. This word becomes your guiding force. For example, in 2019, my word was align. The Universe brought massive shifts into my life. Some of these shifts included moving to a new city, starting a new job, and bringing new friendships into my life. Of course, with any new beginnings, also comes endings. The end of 8 years in private practice, leaving my home of 8 years, and the dissolution of relationships. Throughout all these changes, I kept bringing my awareness back to my intention, "align." The fact is your intention may or may not determine the events in your life. But it WILL definitely determine the meaning you give to the events in your life. If I didn't set my intention, then I may have allowed myself to get swept up in all the erratic shifts of the past year. But my intention allowed me to stay anchored in the greater purpose of it all. I knew that all these shifts were leading to a greater alignment in my life.
2. Goal Setting
Goal setting is coming up with specific and measurable accomplishments for the year. This is often used in entrepreneurship, corporate culture, and most all professional settings. So, you may be already very familiar with this one! I like to see goal setting as one part of the process though. You can set many goals, but if they aren't backed by a strong "why," then those goals have little value. Goal setting is important, but your "why" is even more important. Your "why" is what gives you the juice and excitement to work towards your goals. It's what allows you to celebrate once you achieve those goals. And, celebrating your progress is what gives rise to your sense of fulfillment. How many times have you achieved a goal, and then went right on to your next project? Not even taking a moment to acknowledge the amazingness of what you accomplished! I've done that SO many times! So, in my process, you'll set goals AND you'll also get clear on your why.
Visioning is the fun part. This is where you get your imagination going. You get to be like a kid and let whatever ideas, no matter how crazy or far off they seem, to flow through you! I'll be honest, it took me awhile to figure out how to vision. I'd gotten used to my structured, analytical thought processes. The idea of letting my imagination run wild was hard to wrap my mind around! It takes practice.
Life conditions you to think that you can only achieve things within a certain perimeter. Have you heard the story of the elephant tied to a pole? A rope tied this baby elephant to a pole. He could only walk a short perimeter around the pole before he'd feel the tug of the rope drawing him back in. When the elephant grew up, his owner untied the rope. He was free to roam the world! But, do you know what he did? He continued to stay within the small perimeter of the pole. That's all he ever knew. He could explore the world, yet he stayed tied to an imaginary rope. You, my friend, are free to roam the world! You have the power to untie yourself. And, it starts with your thoughts and imagination. Your imagination is divinity flowing through you.
One more thing before you get started...
I've designed this process to allow space for the Universe to take you where you're meant to go. Here's what that means. The fact is that visioning doesn't mean that life is going to show up exactly how you envisioned it. There's your vision and there's also allowing space. You need to allow space for grace to show up in your life in all it's beautiful, unexpected ways. I've seen so many New Year's processes that hyper focus on all the nitty-gritty details. The fact is that you must allow space for life to unfold in ways that you can't imagine. If everything unfolded exactly as you write down on your paper, then where would the magic be in life?
Also, I've seen people pour hours into their New Year’s processes. They put so much pressure on themselves to "get it right," otherwise they feel their year will be a mess. That's so far from the truth. Like I said earlier, life will unfold either way. Whether you do this process or not. The only difference is this process helps you understand yourself better. It helps you get in touch with your deeper self, your intuitive sense. And so, I encourage you, as you go through this process, to jot down the first things that come to your mind, and trust that. It doesn't have to be "perfect." It just has to be whatever is most true for you in the moment. Generally, what's most true is what comes out of you instinctively. Trust your gut. Anytime that I reasoned my way out of trusting my gut is when I experienced the most suffering in my life. Your gut is your intuition. It's that place within you that's connected to your Highest self. It's where divinity comes in to speak to you.
With that, enjoy the process! Download your "Thriving In 2020" Guide for FREE here