Category: mental wellness & clarity

Finding your focus

The other day, I met an entrepreneurial little boy.  He looked to be about five years old and was sitting in the back of an old pickup parked on the side of a road that leads to some beautiful, wooded trails. As I approached him, he made a tempting offer: for only five quarters, he would give me a dollar bill. I didn’t have five quarters, so I just gave him a high five and chuckled as I walked on. The exchange, while playful and lighthearted, got me to thinking…

what are you forfeiting

right now

in exchange for something that would be worth

more

to you in the long run?

An obvious example in my own life is my forfeiture of stability and predictability for a career that is unpredictable but fulfilling. My job as a lawyer was like that beautiful, crisp green bill.  Like a diploma, it’s easy to frame and show off.  It feels more valuable.  It has more substance to it.  There’s something very satisfying about running a few dollars through your hands as you count them off. Paper money is regal and is the ultimate status symbol.  Alas, a dollar bill is only worth $1, not $1.25.  To me, that extra 25¢ is worth the effort.  Coins are loose… more difficult to keep tabs on.  They are chaotic and heavy to carry around. Their diminutive nature and our flippant use of them makes coins feel less valuable.  Nevertheless, the construction of best inversion tables is sturdy and enduring.  It may be easily lost but not destroyed.

This week, before the week gets busy and our intentions are crowded out by our obligations, take a moment to remember what your true vocation is.  Are you honoring that vocation? Or is something else– something that is safe or pretty or instantly satisfying– taking precedence over your long-term calling?  Which path would you feel better on? How can you get there?…

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Five tips to improve your health today

Recently, Will Lenzen of FounderHealth.co interviewed me about my entrepreneurial endeavor (CB!) and my health habits as a yoga instructor.  As part of the podcast, Will always ask the same question to all interviewees: What is one thing founders can do this week to improve their health?

While the podcast episode won’t be out until August, it got me thinking about how else I wanted to answer that question.  You’ll have to wait until August to hear my answer, but here’s five for the road, folks:

1. Wear a non-chemical sunscreen every day.  I like this one made by Josie Maran.  Physical blockers (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) don’t contain any endocrine disruptors.  Happy face, happy hormones.

2. Buy fresh flowers at least once a month.  A luxury? Maybe.  A mood booster? Definitely.  If fresh flowers are too expensive, consider a potted plant.  Snake plants, Easter Lilies and many others boast improved air quality.  Orchids are beautiful and cheap (helllooo Trader Joes! tip: buy a grow light if you can handle the hue- your orchid will bloom forever!).

3. Find somewhere to walk to once a day.  Maybe it’s to the store.  Maybe it’s on the treadmill. Maybe it’s around the block.  Wherever you go, make it a fun experience- wear comfortable shoes, charge up your iPod or grab your FitBit and feel even more accomplished.  It doesn’t matter how far you go- really.  If you make it a pleasurable experience, you’ll find yourself getting out and around more often, and that’s when you’ll start to see the real health benefits. Bonus: Walking outside balances melatonin, improving your circadian rhythm (read: better sleep quality!).

4. All water is not created equal. Drink LOTS of clean, non-fluoridated water.  Make it easy.  Have a water provider deliver a dispenser and a few five gallon jugs.  Set your account  on auto-pay.  Go out and buy some pretty tea bags in delicious non-caffeinated flavors.  Stock up on stevia, monk fruit or honey.  In no time at all, you’ll watch your appetite disappear and energy improve.

5. Smile. It’s the fastest way to feel happy, get calm and look gorgeous.…

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Are you being shoved?

Recently, I began studying with a new yoga teacher.  This teacher is compassionate but pushes me hard.  She makes it difficult to attain my goals.  New goals that I did not have before I met her.  Contrast this to a prior teacher, who wanted to be compassionate but was not.  This former teacher made it impossible to achieve my goals, but still told me to try anyway because by trying, I’d be better off than I was.  My new teacher is a pusher.  She’s the girl lending a hand down to help me climb up the stairs so I can enjoy the slide on the playground.  My old teacher was a shover.  This is the person shoving you off the stairs when you reach the top just to see if you can climb up again.

Being pushed can elevate us; it can take us to higher levels of understanding and appreciation of a situation.  The push creates space in us, to be  filled with love, compassion, drive, or any number of positive emotions.  Being pushed is a great thing for three reasons: (1) it creates a clear goal we are striving to attain; (2) we gain the support of the pusher, be it a person or motivation; and (3) we are held accountable for reaching the goal by the pusher.

Being shoved only denigrates us; we are pushed back into the muck and the mud- often with little tools or support to help find our way out.  While this develops a resilience to adversity within us, it is not helpful for gaining the strong sense of self and support we crave– a sense of self we need if we are going to be elevated and elevate others.

If you are in a situation that is uncomfortable, be it a relationship or a yoga pose, ask yourself:

Am I being pushed or shoved?

 

If you are being pushed, how lucky for you! You clearly have someone who loves you or love for yourself that is capable of fostering a healthy sense of development towards your goal.

If you are being shoved, begin seeking ways to get out of this situation- it does not serve you and you will be hurt, physically or mentally.  For me, the breaking point was physical injury with my former teacher.  Encouraged to continue a practice in the face of a severe hand injury, I realized this person was not pushing me from a place of compassion- they were shoving me to fit in the box they had created and couldn’t figure out what to do when I didn’t fit.

If you come to the realization that you are in an unhealthy relationship or situation and don’t want to be shoved anymore, take solace in the fact that there are better things headed your way.  When I left my former teacher, I was very confused, angry and worried.  I felt abandoned by the person I trusted and scared that I would never find another teacher to support me.  What happened instead is that I found a teacher I felt more confident in, more trusting of, and as a result, I am becoming a stronger student, a better teacher and a more compassionate person.

It seems so simple but if you are being shoved, try to treat yourself kindly and know that this is a great experience to learn from.  There will be richer opportunities in your near future.…

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