Balance

3 hours past my alarm clock - and the practice begins....

photo-2 turns out that diving into a routine that involves a 5:30am (ish) wakeup time, 6 to 7 days a week, on a Sunday morning following a late night closing out the biz might not be the best way to get something regular and sustainable rolling. yet i practiced on - albeit 3 hours past when my daily yoga practice was pitted to start.

sustainability took on a whole new meaning this saturday as i sat in a room of probably 50 yogis. less was the conversation about minimizing our impact on our environment, or about eating less meat and making a smaller and more sustainable world contribution, and moreso was the conversation about us - every single one of us - and what we do as our daily practice. outside of our 'routines' - get up, bathroom, put on coffee, shower, make smoothie, paper, hair, face, clothes, make lunch, roll out - the workshop was focused on a true daily yoga practice.  shudders down my spine as i learned that the next two hours was going to be exactly what i didnt think it was going to be (i wore my most moisture wicking stretchy pants in anticipation for what i thought was going to be a sweat-fest) - and that i would be sharing my every excuse about what draws me away from a daily commitment to myself.

a very sweet, very bearded ryan leier was our guide into contemplation and consideration. after spending two months in Pune, India with none other than BKS Iyengar (this dude has MAD skills - and the BEST eyebrows i've seen on anyone - ever) and moving through his daily routine and a very most intense yoga practice, ryan returned ready to share his take aways from his time with the master. the focal point: daily practice.

what i heard in our conversation:

  • it doesn't take much. it is and can be simple - for anyone and everyone. 3 postures a day. 12 to 17 minutes. done.
  • regularity and routine in how you commit to the practice creates flow and ease. (EVEN if you sleep past your alarm one day....or two)
  • it looks different for every single one of us. every. single. one of us.
  • yogis DO drink coffee (Iyengar takes his with sugar and a bit of milk - 2 cups a day. #truth #thankthejavagods)
  • as much as it is a practice, it's a process. and for all those achievers out there (yep, i'm with ya on this) - learning to be ok with it not looking 'perfect' might be one of the biggest lessons you'll experience.
  • you choose your practice. you choose your balance.

we talked about what postures we needed.  we talked about time of day to practice, breathing techniques, research and learning, meditation - the list goes on. what i couldn't move past was the concept of sustainable practice. my athletic pursuits have always been just that - pursuits. driving the bus to a rad destination, yet without an idea of what i'm going to do when i get there.  which, admittedly feels great - for a while. then, the pushing, sometimes forcing, feels to be too much. and i fall off the proverbial bandwagon. my shift? committing to what works - what feels right, in each moment, in each day i practice, and going with that. i've got this raging awareness about how hard i can make things - how little time i choose to afford myself, and how tough i can be on myself when i am in the pursuit of something. how NOT living in the moment is THAT?

i digress.

so, i will practice. daily. four postures. 23 minutes. and take each day and its' practice as it comes. whether that is at 5:30am when my alarm clock rouses me (yeesh), or if it is at 8:30am when i recover from a particularly deep slumber. i practice. and each day will be absolutely everything it needs to be.

i love me some reading

i get caught up in books like nothing else. if i am captivated by the content, get drawn into great character development or have a burning and passionate curiosity to learn about something, i can be that lost soul in Chapters/Barnes and Noble listlessly ambling along the aisles and plopped into corners thumbing through the latest releases or the most classic of classic novels. the book store is one of my happy places. what i have noticed as a product of my 'do everything august' this summer of 2012, is that i got super out of practice and nearly fell out of love with reading. sadly enough, i saw it more as an impediment to my schedule and less as a contribution to my best-jess-life. truth be told, i was only cracking the cover on books i 'wanted' to read on nights when i was struggling to fall asleep (which really was my fail-proof plan for making my eyelids slam shut). so, here, at the end of September, with a chill in the air and my wooly socks being withdrawn from the back of my sock drawer, i am hereby recommitting to reading - and doing so before i hit the sheets.

the first book i have thrown myself into: The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO - by Robin Sharma.

funny how we attract things to our lives when we need them the most - isn't it?

page by page in this novel of truthbomb novelties, there are multiple opportunities for the reader to reflect on themselves - on their life, their impact, their obesssions and their struggles. and reflecting, i am. the main character, Jack, sets out on an epic adventure to meet some of his estranged fathers' teachers. with the lessons of how to live wisely, love well and serve greatly before him, each teacher Jack encounters shares with him their own unique, yet somewhat related, ideas and insights. in not too many words, three seemingly simple (and i am only on his encounter with the surfer where he is discovering what it means to 'love well') thoughts are the foundation for so many opportunities of contemplation, consideration and connection to myself and my life. i'm plowing through the book - and am coming up for air to share the mind melting and forehead slapping 'duh! moments that i'm experiencing - more or less with anyone who will listen. so be prepared for more!

i'm back on the train. i'm in practice of what i know i need to do to be in my life - at the drivers' seat, on course to greatness. i've got a clear picture of where i am heading and at the same time, am flexible in how i get there.  that's the sense of adventure about life - in being ok with hopping off the freeway to check out a dirt road and see where it leads you.  it's all about the ride.

i'll part ways for today with this:

'For your life to be great, your faith must be bigger than your fears...' - Robin Sharma, The Saint, The Surfer and the CEO.

got a best-YOU-life practice? something that when you let it slide you miss it, and feel the need to reconnect? just like a bicycle - you haven't forgotten how to ride it. you just have to get back on the saddle and take the handlebars.

new month!

holy heck, welcome to september!! the creative spark that put me up to the challenge of reconnecting with my passion for writing sent out an email the other day (to other inspired, creative and productive individuals that she had challenged with the same tempting feat of committing to taking on their passion for that something special that gets us all excited) to check in, check up, and rechallenge.  and not a challenge in a negative connotation where you feel you can say 'no', but a re-offering of giving yourself the space to connect with your creative side, and keep up with the projects we had all set out to work on, work through and develop through the month of August.

and thank you, miss laurel, for doing so, as i was more than starting to make excuses and let larry the ego (im pretty sure thats the name we landed on for him......) tell me that i needed time to find a purpose to write something - that the value was falling out of what i was writing about, and that the things that have been going on in my personal life took precedence, and were not to be used as insight or content for my online voice and what i want to share.  i became convinced that compartmentalizing was the only way to make an impact.  which truly is silly and goes against the way i live day to day. 

helloooooooo inauthenticity.

work, personal life, health, all go hand in hand.  while perhaps the content does not always flow from one part of my life to another, who i choose to show up as, how i represent myself and the principles that i operate under are constants. non-negotiable.  i am a coach and mentor who shares openly to create space for the development of authentic relationships. i am a loving friend and family member who is a constant and clear stand for the happiness and wellbeing of others.  i choose my attitude and who i am going to be for others each and every day.

THUS: i choose to take on this project for september without excuse, complaint or ego.  just doing it because i love writing, i love sharing, and i love relatedness.

and i love love.

just sayin'

xo j

New Goal!!

I make a homecooked, healthy, balanced meal with a guest (friend, family member, acquiantance, love, etc) once a week, paired with a wine by recommendation from the Kitsilano Wine Cellar on Cypress and 1st.  

In cooking for one, I have been getting lazy.  Lazy in the form of 'oatmeal can be dinner, right?' and 'i'll just fill up on blueberries and grapes......that should tide me over until the morning'.  The process of getting creative around dinner time and expending the energy to make something both healthy and interesting has been a seemingly daunting task lately.  BUT, it takes only one night of co-creating something tasty and relatively fast and easy, with a punch of healthiness to it, to reignite the flaming love of cooking and hosting friends.

It was a simple trip to the grocery store, with a bill of little more than $30.  Paired with the Church & State Winery (Oliver BC) Church Mouse Pinot Nior (2009), the green curry that we whipped up tonight came topped with fresh cut pineapple, great laughs and a memorable creative process (that might have involved noshing on hummus and a ginger-mango stilton prior to the consumption of our thai-inspired main).  Chatting away made the kale boil up faster than usual, made the sweet smell of the coconut milk that much more rich, and had us laughing with our glasses raised in no time.

So i am committed to moving forward with this routine!  Once a week, new and old friends, come on by! Propose a meal that you want to try to make, tell me about a great bottle of wine and we will sort out the food around what would pair well!  Let's bring back the home meal - lounges are great for weekends - but let's make mid-week the new Sunday, and get cooking together!

shout it out - what do you wanna get up to in the kitchen?

(side bar: no land animals. sea creatures and veggies only, please and thank you! otherwise i will be watching you eat and that can be awkward.)

xo j

post production beach bums

I have always identified being in a career as being in early to the office, pounding out the hours, chat around the water cooler, jump into and out of meetings, and stay working well into the evening before running home to cook a dinner, repack your life into two to three bags for the next day, then off to bed for another round of the same.  five days a week.  52 weeks a year. however many years you choose (or your bank account tells you to).  evenings weren't so much for shenangians like lolly-gagging on the beach with a frisbee, taking in the evening sun - but for catching up on what was missed in your emails that day. a bleak outlook, i know.

considering life as a 'career woman' today, with the company that I so ECSTATICALLY find myself working for, looks so very, very different from my long term idea of what it meant to be in a career.  a very good different, let me be clear.  I actually only recently shifted my thinking to look at the work that I do daily to be my career and my career path.  the 'C' word always had some taboo, negative, 'nose to the grind' type connotation behind it that i definitely shyed away from wanting to identify with.  i was much more comfortable knowing that i was doing work that i loved for a company that i was passionate about, and sat in that place of contribution and dedication without definition.

who knew you could have both?!?

in realizing that loving what you do in all aspects of your life (personal, health, professional) creates a life you love, and in fully being expressed in each of those aspects of what makes you YOU, you become a complete, authentic and fully engaged representation of your happiest, most loving self, and find opportunities for success left, right, and center.  they can be right under your nose waiting for you to realize your potential for happiness...... so open your heart to open your eyes, and grasp what's in front of you!

i spent my post production (apres work, if you will) hours relaxing on kits beach people watching, taking in the activity of the night, and celebrating the athleticism that is Kitsilano (open water swimming trainers, you rock my world!).  I knew I had put in a productive day, and that the chance to find that balance, grab some vitamin D, and really take in my love for my environment would up my happy factor.  All good reasons to close down the work station and leave those emails for tomorrow :)

own your love of life, share it with the ones you love, and celebrate often!

xo j