Tag Archives: intuitive living

When you just need some writing therapy

I kind of can’t believe I wrote the previous post back in January, I feel like I had jumped ship a while ago and I’m just happily surprised this little space still exists.

I hate to be redundant, but again a lot of things have changed since I last posted. I’m still at the same job with the same hours, and I am still a humble student of yoga, trying to stay sane through lifestyle shifts. Some things feel really good right now- I just snagged a church job that I’ll be starting in the fall with a wonderfully sweet community, and I have finally nailed down my living situation for the next year as well.

Singing has definitely been on the back burner, but continues to simmer away with thought of returning to school for a performance diploma prominent in my mind. That and auditions for Young Artist Programs, as well as taking a couple weeks at the end of the year for an artistic retreat-style program. There are so many possibilities ahead of me that I’m almost paralyzed by the thought of all of them…

I landed at a pretty significant realization this morning, that was centered around my current relationship, but really applies in all aspects of my life.

Nothing is certain and anything could change at any time. But instead of seeing this as a limiting belief that could really paralyze me, it’s like a glorious awakening to possibility. Nothing is guaranteed and therefore everything is sacred and should be enjoyed and experienced in the moment. Energy shouldn’t be wasted on the what-if’s or shouldn’ts or couldn’ts, and that is a beautiful realization. This is not new information, but the way I am processing it is akin to flipping a 180 on the road. It’s always been there, I just wasn’t looking in the right direction. I’m not trying to get crazy existentialist over here, but this newfound understanding is helping me release some of the doubts that have crept into my head.

Of course I could spend hours worrying about what will happen tomorrow or 3 weeks or 10 years from now, but that doesn’t actually do anything. It doesn’t prepare me for the way I’ll react if I have a wonderful pregnancy one day, or on the flipside if I have a miscarriage (Only examples, of course). But what is DOES do is rob today of the wonderful experience that is RIGHT NOW. And the excitement that could come from a phone call with a friend, or a surprise visit from a loved one. Or even something as simple as getting on my yoga mat and leading myself through a personal practice because I know that is what my body is craving.

 

I want to live unabashedly here and now, even though my anxieties try to wrench me into the future or drag me back into the past. But it’s ultimately MY decision. And I choose to be here.

 

I’m not sure when I’ll be back on this site, but I hope I won’t neglect it for quite so long again.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from you.

Love,

Happiness Starts Here

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Self-love

Good morning!

I’m blogging early today because I just finished my first run of marathon training at the gym! I woke up this morning and just felt like this was the day to get back to the gym and do the damn thing. And boy was it hard. I remember 2 years ago when I was running 6 miles easily about five times a week, and I had to keep reminding myself to push through for another few minutes, just for another quarter of a mile, but I am really proud of myself for doing it!

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because it’s been quite a while since I’ve seriously committed to running, and weight lifting makes me strong but doesn’t condition me cardio-wise the same way running does. So I focused on my breathing, and kept promising myself the next mile would be easier. And it got through 4 miles with a little cool-down afterwards! My goal was to get at least 3 miles in, and I hoped for 5 but today I am extremely grateful for my 4 miles. I kept a pretty good pace for myself as well and although now I’m suffering from SEVERE red face (how could I have forgotten that existed??) I am also excited about having set a goal for myself that will help keep me accountable for training.

As if I needed any other reasons to feel awesome this morning, one of my lovely friends who I saw the regional auditions with, started asking me about running and we’ve decided to sign up for a 10k in April together! Although I’ve always been a solitary runner, since I really enjoy the time to think and sweat and jive to really good music, I’m looking forward to having a partner in crime to for this race! It’ll be great timing since I’ll be whole-hog into my marathon training and the 10k will remind me what it feels like to be in a race situation.

I also wanted to touch on another thing that came up for me, being at the gym for the first time in a while. I notice myself doing this and it totally bugs me!! I see other girls at the gym and start to compare myself to them- what they look like, what they’re doing at the gym, and it totally leads me to feel negative about my own accomplishments. I know as women we’re constantly bombarded by what “beauty” is in the media, and now how we should be “fit” not “skinny” thanks to the elite athletes who have 5% body fat, and although I applaud those women who compete at such incredible levels of fitness, that is simply not realistic for the rest of us. Not should it define whether we are strong or beautiful or accomplished.

I feel pushed to compare myself to others because for some reason, that’s the way I’m supposed to know how to feel about myself. How stupid is that?! I want to feel proud of my body and all that it can do, WITHOUT these qualifiers, like; I’m strong but I don’t have a six-pack, I’m beautiful but my thighs do touch, I’m smart but I’m not getting special awards for it. Why can’t we just accept our flaws and decide that we are not beautiful and incredible despite them, but BECAUSE of them?

I know that I feel my best when I don’t allow that external negativity get to me, and instead try to think of all the ways I’m grateful to have a healthy body that CAN run 4 miles! That CAN get through a super tough power yoga class! That CAN sing really beautiful and legato phrases! That CAN finish reading a 500-page book in a matter of days! That CAN express my love for my friends and family on a daily basis! These may sound silly, but those are the important things, that we need to remember to hold onto when the negativity can seem overwhelming.

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So today, I am proud of my awesomely sweaty and tough 4-miler and I know that in a couple weeks I’ll look back and WISH that was the longest run I had planned for the week! I choose to focus on the positives and I know that is what continues to make me a happy and healthy gal. 🙂

Spread the love, what are you proud of yourself for doing today or recently??

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

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Breathe it all out

Today I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. As I’d previously mentioned here, I’ve gained a bit of weight since beginning my journey through recovery and finding out about intuitive eating. However, it’s been difficult for me to accept my body with this additional weight. Although I know some of it is healthy, I feel like I am bigger now than I’m happy with, and not in an exaggerated way. I am trying to love my body as it is, but I also think that I can be more mindful about what I need to eat and what will nourish me.

I’ve also been spending considerably less time at the gym because of the cold, but I think I’ve been kind of using that as an excuse. I’ve decided I really want to get back into running but strength training is really important to me too, so starting tomorrow I’m not giving myself excuses anymore. I love sweating and working out, and I am glad I took a bit of a break from hardcore workouts for about a week and a half, but I know it’s time for me to get back to doing what I know feels good for me and what will truly make me happy.

So on this Sunday, I’m going to breathe through this negativity I’ve been feeling and exhale it all out. I’m continuing to learn about my body and myself, and I know to feel my best I need to kick myself in the pants to get back to business. I’m not allowing myself to be lazy about my singing anymore, so I’m going to spread the motivation throughout my life and get moving! 🙂 Here’s to a great new start on Monday!!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

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In the spirit of sharing

Today I’m happy about: being fortunate enough to celebrate Christmas Eve with my family! After a full-on feast for my brother’s bday yesterday, we’re taking a more relaxed approach to dinner tonight and getting a lot of our wrapping done this afternoon.

Now amidst all that I am grateful for, I’ going to get a little deep here. As I have been pretty honest about previously, I have struggled with disordered eating for many years and over the past 3 months I have made huge strides in recovering and getting in touch with my body by eating intuitively, as well as trying to exercise intuitively. Today I had a fantastic crossfit-inspired workout at the gym and felt so proud of myself and strong while there and even upon coming home. However, when I got back I did an “ab check” to see how my stomach was looking. Now, my body is not one that gets visible abs unless I’m severely underweight and at a body day percentage that would be incredibly detrimental to my overall health.

Over the past couple months that I’ve been trying to eat intuitively, I have gained some weight. Probably between 5-8 pounds and I know it was healthy weight to gain. However, now when I look in the mirror, I see the much larger girl I once was (I lost 35 pounds in my first year or college), and I feel horrible about myself. Despite the incredible strength I am building in the gym and my improved singing as I’ve begun to fuel my body more appropriately, I still feel that I am not enough. My body is not thin enough, or muscular enough, and I hate that I feel that way.

This is such a disordered way of thinking, and I am grateful that I can at least recognize it. Although I have been struggling with these feelings more recently, since I’ve been home and I am not able to control every little thing, I am also beginning to see the light in a different direction. If my body decides that weighing a few more pounds is where it feels best, then it will settle on a weight itself, without my overly obsessive control over it. By listening to my body and treating it with respect, it will naturally gravitate towards a happy and healthy weight that I can maintain with my lifestyle.

I’ve also been able to look at this obsession with weight through a different viewpoint, since my happiness has been so exponentially higher in the past few months. The truth is, weighing less will not truly make me happier. Fitting into a smaller pair of pants will not make me a nicer or more thoughtful person, and my friends won’t like me any more or less. I have spent too much time trying to achieve an aesthetic that is not maintainable, nor healthy, and I have sacrificed wonderful moments I could have enjoyed with family and friends, but chose to opt out of for fear of losing control and gaining 20 pounds in one evening (because that’s not ridiculous thinking right!?).

I choose to celebrate my life everyday and bask in the power my body has to perform difficult workouts, to hug my friends, to laugh hysterically with my brother, to sing at the top of my lungs, to run half marathons, to travel to foreign places, to practice yoga, to share my love and appreciation for life. I don’t want to be controlled by a disorder that has no place in my current life. It took over for many years, but I refuse to lose any more precious minutes giving in to the negativity.

I may not be where I want with my love of my body quite yet, but I know I am on the right path, and I am excited for the future and the continued freedom from the negativity, that I deserve.

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this is a time to be with the ones you love and to share traditions and be joyful.

Thank you so much to all you who stop by and take a few minutes to read this little blog. I am so happy to be able to share my story with you. Warmest wishes to you and yours!!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

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He’s all grown up!

Today I’m happy about: celebrating my brother’s 20th birthday!! I am beyond happy that he’s finally home from school and that I get to have my partner in crime back. We had a great workout at the gym with our two best buds and our family surprised him at dinner with those guys joining us! What a wonderful night, we shut down the restaurant just talking and having a great time. 🙂

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Hope you had a marvelous Monday!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

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Silence the voice that’s keeping you down

Today I’m happy about: not giving in to my inner voice’s negativity. I had planned to workout this morning but just didn’t feel like leaving my cozy bed. I had a nagging guilt that followed me all morning because I didn’t go, even though I was listening to my body.
Since I began my journey into intuitive eating over the past 3 weeks, I have felt much freer and was able to let go of a lot of my self-imposed rules. However, this has also caused my body to change in reaction to this, and although I know it’s for the best, and I am feeling stronger than ever during my workouts, I am worried that I am ballooning up and gaining too much weight.
The reality is that I probably haven’t gained more than a few pounds, and it’s just my body’s way of adjusting to being fed what it craves rather than being constantly deprived. But even though I know these changes are all for the good, the part of me that has relied on control for so long, is having trouble letting go.

Although this was a challenging day, I am really happy I didn’t give in to these feelings, and still enjoyed a day of delicious and nutritious meals, without worrying about how much I should or shouldn’t have.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

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