This summer has been transitional and transformative for me in many ways. I began a masters program in Psychology as it relates to Spirituality and the Mind-Body connection. This program has already and will continue to allow me to go deeper in subjects such as positive psychology, Buddhist meditation practices, selfless entrepreneurship, artistry and spirituality, and many more soul-searching subjects that look at the intersection of science and spirituality through the lens of psychology. While I’m still not sure how to fully describe what I have begun or why (it has been described by many as Hogwarts and I’m not totally convinced it isn’t), I love every second of it.
Investing myself fully in this program means going deep. It means looking at my own shit and working through the ways that I may be getting in the way of truly stepping into my authentic, best self. It’s hard and at times pretty messy. It means clearing space for integration and as the amazing Dana Trixie Flynn puts it: making room for magic.
That said, one of my personal struggles since as far back as I can remember has been the tendency to take on too much, oftentimes at the expense of my own health and self-care. When I left my corporate job more than two years ago to pursue a career in wellness, I took a giant positive step toward self-care. I left a career that was slowly killing my soul for something I felt incredibly passionate about—helping others reach their wellness goals and come back to their own authentic selves. At that time, I made a promise that I would begin taking better care of myself—the daily green juice, a regular yoga and meditation practice, taking time to nurture my relationship with my self and my partner, eating a mostly vegetarian diet, etc. etc. etc. (insert all the good things good yogis do here). FAIL.
Before long, as habit would have it, I was back to jam-packing my schedule out of fear of lack—not being enough, not making enough, not being able to just sit with myself and truly work through the stuff that I have so beautifully been denying for a long time. And although I have come a long way, at the end of the day, I was still putting others first at the expense of my own health—it left me feeling kind of like a fraud. How could I genuinely teach wellness if I wasn’t actually practicing it myself? Something had to give.
This program is making me realize I need to clear some space to take care of myself and allow myself to dive fully into this program. Here’s four ways that I have begun to make room for magic in my own life in hopes that it may inspire you to do the same.
1. Set the alarm clock for 20 minutes earlier than normal.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re busy; then you should sit for an hour.” ~ Old Zen Saying
I have to admit, this one has been a doozy. I teach at 6 a.m., so getting up at 4:30 a.m. as opposed to 5 a.m. has been a challenge. However, the mornings are such a sacred and clear time for me to sit and do a Loving Kindness or Compassion Meditation. Although technically it is adding in ‘one more thing,’ the clarity and freedom that meditation brings is worth the early wake-up call.
2. If it’s not an absolute ‘yes’ than it’s most likely a ‘no’
"No is a complete sentence."
Part of honoring yourself is knowing when to say ‘No.’ No to plans that don’t excite you, no to people who don’t make you feel great and inspired, no to ‘shoulds’. (Besides the occasional dentist and doctor appointment of course.) This lesson keeps showing up in my life and it is something that I have to continue to refine and tweak. It may mean letting some relationships go that aren’t serving you or even unintentionally hurting someone’s feelings, but time is our most precious gift. You deserve to be picky about who and what you allow in.
3. Be realistic about work commitments
I love to work and I am so happy to say that I love my job, both teaching and working with my Yoga Anytime family. That said, I have had to get real with myself about my limitations. Teaching ten yoga classes and working full-time is not an option for me anymore. Luckily (and intentionally) I have the most amazingly supportive mentors and boss ladies in my life who not only allow, but whole-heartedly encourage me to take the time I need to make my program and downtime a priority.
4. Technology Detox
Guilty as charged. I love myself a good Instagram story or Facebook wormhole for a few hours, AND I understand the need for me to put the phone and computer away so that I can be more present to all that is happening. Try this: no electronics for an hour before bedtime and an hour after waking up. Notice the difference. Even just this small change can really allow for more peace of mind and space in your day.
Here’s my new fall schedule and stay tuned for more online offerings! I look forward to seeing what this new space brings and what we can create together.