23 Lessons I learned in my 20’s

I recently turned 31.  A week after I turned 31, it was time to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Turning 31 and celebrating Mother’s Day made me think about where I am now compared to my twenties.  So many lessons… Well, 23 to be exact.  (I’m sure there are more.  I wanted to hit 30, but was drawing a blank lol)  Some from my experiences, some from my Mom that have just now sunk in, and some from becoming a mom myself.  (And a lot of Mindy, Tina, and Amy quotes to back up my lessons… because everyone needs a few funny ladies in their life!)

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Yoga Home Practice

Yoga has really helped me both mentally and physically.  It has allowed me to be present in the moment, set an intention, and let go.  For me, the benefits come from a quiet mind.  I have a hard time settling down and yoga helps me be still (and to be ok with being still).

Keep Calm and do Yoga

I don’t really have time to get to class right now, and I LOVE going to class.  The collective soul of a yoga class and chanting OM in unison gets me every time, but I need a solution until I can get back to class.

I’m starting home practice.  The best part about a home practice is that you need literally nothing (not even a yoga mat) for your body and mind to start benefiting from yoga.

If you’re a beginner, I would highly suggest seeking out a beginner series that is an ACTUAL LIVE IN PERSON CLASS.  You can seriously injure yourself in yoga if you push yourself too far or do certain poses incorrectly.  It’s helpful to be under a teacher’s instruction in the beginning days.  I’ve been doing yoga for 8 years now and I learn something new from every class.  So all that rambling to tell you don’t try this at home if you’re a beginner, or do but be careful and mindful.  Maybe pick up a copy of Light on Yoga.

So onto the home practice tips.

1.  Find a quiet place where you can’t be interrupted. (this is hard for me.  You can find me in the bathroom, my closet, the kitchen…)  I usually do yoga after the kids are in bed, but the puppies love nothing more than snuggling.  If I’m doing yoga with them in the same room, Maddie curls up at the top of my mat and licks my face every time I chaturanga!

2.  Find a podcast.  It will make you feel like you’re in class even if you’re in your bathroom.  I like podcasts much more than  the yoga videos with the ocean in the background and calming music.  It’s not my scene, but if it’s yours go for it!

3.  Dim the lights and light a candle.  Candlelight yoga is my favorite and gets me motivated to start my practice.

4.  Make a playlist.  I play it in the background of the podcast.

5.  Get your savasana on.  This is the part of yoga I used to duck out at the end of class for when I was a beginner (I know I know shame on me!)  I couldn’t get settled down and just be.  Savasana has taught me to be quiet, reflect, and calm down.  It’s a nice reward at the end of class.

New Year Mantra

Last year I used a mantra for the new year, instead of setting a resolution or goal.  A mantra is just a fancy term for something you repeat while meditating or in situations to pull you away for reflection.

I am in love with my 2013 mantra.  It really helped me put things into perspective.

{Be Kind To Yourself and to Others.   Let Go, Have Less, Do More, Try More, Be More}

I’m not saying I’ve been even close to perfect with the mantra from last year, but having a mantra was calming and reminded me of how I want to react to certain situations.

My cousin posted a quote by Martin Luther King Jr on facebook yesterday.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

―Martin Luther King Jr.

It was rather timely for me, as I’d just watched the documentary, Blackfish, the night before on netflix.  I have always loved dolphins and whales.  My favorite christmas present, one year, was a big book about sea life.  Free Willy was one of my favorite movies, and I dreamt of swimming with the dolphins.  When we went on a family vacation to Oregon, we stopped and saw Keiko in his rehab tank before they released him into the wild.  We were all so excited that he was going to be released into the wild.  (ok, I was so passionate about it that I think I rubbed off a bit on my parents and brother)

On our honeymoon, we decided to swim with the dolphins.  I was ecstatic.  Finally, I would get to see the animals up close.  As soon as we got there, I knew something was wrong.  The tank looked like a large public pool.  The dolphins were behind a grate in an even smaller area and had scratches all over them.  There was a walrus standing and posing with people for pictures.  We should have walked out right then, but we didn’t.  We got in the water and swam with the dolphins.   I could see the pain in their eyes.  One dolphin actually jumped out of the tank while we were there.  I am still haunted by the look the of the walrus.  He just looked numb.  I knew it was wrong and I should have said something and left, but I didn’t.  I won’t make that mistake again.

That was really hard to write, but I’ve come away with a new perspective and an updated mantra for the new year.

2014 Mantra

{Be kind to yourself and to others, let go, have less, do more, try more, be more}

{Never, never be afraid to do what’s right}

Happy New Year!

Guest Blogger on Not Pasty!

I was honored to recently write a guest post for my friend Jen.  Her site, Not Pasty, is all about sun safety, self-love, and beauty.  Their mission is to inspire women to think differently about themselves.  It was really tough for me to share my personal struggle, but I’m so glad I did.  If I can help at least one other person, it’s worth it.  Check out my journey to being me here!

Thinking of you Boston

I remember exactly where I was when the first plane hit the world trade center on 9.11.  That moment will be forever etched in my memory.  I imagine that the heinous acts of terror that went down Monday at the Boston Marathon will hold a similar place in my memory.  In the wake of this tragedy, I pray for the victims, the first responders, and our nation that we may heal and come together for peace.

It’s hard not to be scared, but I am comforted by our police, military men and women, and citizens who seem to be more aware of their surroundings and acting upon suspicious activities.   I think the LA Police Chief said it best.  “I’m not in the business of hoping for the best.  I’m in the business of preparing for the worst.”