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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hot Mama has a Sweet Life

Have you tried hot yoga yet?  I've been talking about doing it for three years.  Last Friday night, my cousin, Aunt, and I sweat every ounce of water out of our bodies while we stretched our minds and muscles as far as they could go... at hot yoga!  Three hot mamas, and hot we were.

This class was probably one of the most rejuvenating classes I've ever attended.  And it was packed!  I was the 59th person of 60 participants.  I have gone to overlapping mat yoga classes before and, frankly, did not enjoy them.  I like my space... I like the mind and soul part of yoga as much as the body part.  However, last Friday night I didn't pay any attention to those around me as sweat dripped onto my mat while my head hung low in downward facing dog (OK let's be honest, who wouldn't notice that really fit woman who could turn her body into a pretzel?).  The room was quiet space anyway.  There was absolutely no talking for 90 minutes during sweat time.  It was purely invigorating.

After class I had an epsom salt bath.  Yes.  That's right, I have an eight month old and went to yoga AND had a bath all in one night!  It was Daddy time:)  As I relaxed my muscles, making sure the epsom salts reached my inflamed neck muscles (always), I closed my eyes and listened to a meditation podcast. I'm not kidding.  I was really taking advantage of hot mama time!  It was the sweet after the sweat.  And I'm also not kidding when I say my face was all shiny and bright and my energy was high even though it was the end of the week.

With all this mind clearing, I could focus again... get stuff done - and I have a huge list for someone that doesn't currently 'work' outside the home.  Interestingly, a yoga pose I have trouble with is one many people have trouble with, often getting nauseous or dizzy when doing it.  In hot yoga class while doing this pose, I, however, lost my hearing!  I have not attempted this pose in years because I injured myself and completely broke down last time I did it.  As my hearing briefly disappeared, I could barely hear the instructor continue to softly talk us through our feelings.... telling us to just be with whatever comes up... don't beat ourselves up... take a break if we need to.... I relaxed and breathed and my hearing returned - only to leave me thinking.... I have to listen more.

That's my lesson.  I have to listen more.  Listen to others.  Listen to my body.  Listen to the universe.  So when my bootcamp instructor challenged us to cut out sugar for a week, I listened.  I never listen to these things..... but I have a bad neck, a muffin top, and weakening knees and reducing sugar could be so good for all these things.  It's time to listen.

You know... life is very sweet without the sugar.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Know Your Tell

I just read on Facebook, "If plan A didn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.  Stay cool."

I'm on to Plan B (it's actually probably Plan G or H).  For my wedding that is.  Our venue was confirmed but there will be renovations going on at the time of our wedding... so it's now out.  On to plan B to find another venue.  And I'm staying cool.  I feel pretty non-bridezilla actually.  I never thought of myself as a bridezilla type anyway.  The wedding is about the love and commitment we are sharing.  Everyone will have fun no matter where we are.

When I got the news initially, though, my chest constricted, my thoughts started going a mile a minute, and I started with my defenses.   What if I can't find another venue?  What if I have to change the date and some people already have their air tickets booked?  What if I can't afford the next venue?  What if... what if....??  Ahhh.... the what if dilemma!  Worrying about something that isn't yet and probably won't be.  I remember when I read Wayne Dyer's book "Your Erroneous Zones" and felt freed from worry (sort of) when he described all this nonsense about worrying about things that have not happened.  That was a long time ago... so thank-you, Wayne!

What was interesting about all this is my 'tell'.  Yes, I spelled that correctly.  I attended a leadership webinar yesterday, and it was a great review of things.  But I learned something new!  I learned that I do not know my 'tell'.  Your tell is your outward sign of you getting defensive or angry.  Often others see it before you do, and they will know you're angry before you know yourself.  So knowing your tell is pretty critical for having strong, positive relationships... and definitely for leading and managing.  I'm now aware that my chest constricts and my neck tightens.  Surely, I have other tells and I'm now on the lookout.  Planning a wedding is a great way to find them!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Presence for Presents

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  A lot of people were lonelier than normal.  A lot of people were cynical.  And a lot of people celebrated their love for their loved ones.  I am thankful I'm one of the celebratory ones, but I was once lonely and cynical.

One year my best friend left a voice mail on my work phone singing "Happy f***ing valentine's to you" to the tune of Happy Birthday.  As hilarious as that was, we were both single and this was exactly how we felt at that time.  But... we did talk to each other and that was, as always, wonderful.

Another Valentine's day I was working into the night... single yet again... and a colleague and I decided to go to dinner.  We went to a fancy schmancy restaurant that was filled with loving couples staring into each other's eyes.  Roses and candles adorned the tables of two and there was a Valentine's special for dinner.  We made our cynical remarks and then had a fabulous dinner with great conversation.

I learned over the years that Valentine's isn't just for couples!  Yahoo for that!  Of course, I always treated my oldest daughter to treats on Valentine's day.  But I created a wall and didn't want any stereotypical Valentine's gifts, even if there was a man in the picture.  Yes, give me wine:)  And chocolate... but not the heart shaped box... I want the kind I like.  And yes, pick flowers and arrange them yourself and write your own poem and bake cookies from scratch... indeed all those things would have been wonderful.  But don't go to the supermarket and buy me flowers and a heart shaped box of chocolates!  And, so, I didn't get anything - even if there was a man.

Well, a few years ago I met Terry... my most amazing and wonderful Valentine.  Cynicism has gone out the window!  Our first year together he gave me a dozen colorful roses.  We were snowboarding in Corner Brook - I had work there, and he flew out of there for work in British Columbia.  He had them laid on the hotel room bed when I came back from my long couple of days managing a final retreat for a project I led.  My eyes lit up and I was sooooooooo happy to receive them!  Seriously.  And he likely picked them up at a supermarket along with the hundreds of other men.  I was totally ok with that.

Last year we were in Singapore.  He arrived home with a bunch of flowers for me, a bunch of flowers for  my daughter, and a bunch of our favorite foods to have for supper that night.  Perfect.  Time together.

This year, we opted for no presents, rather presence.  We went to a heart flow yoga class together.  It was a perfect way to connect and celebrate love.  And that's what it's about.  With anyone and anything.  With yourself.  I highly recommend it for singles and couples.


P.S.  I gave my teen chocolates and my time (while she had a hard time not being attached to her phone), and my babe gave me kisses and nips.... errrr... snuggles... to the breast.