Hello my friends,
I have just finished a run, the first one in a couple of weeks due to tendonitis, and I feel like I could conquer the world! I felt like Forest Gump… like I could keep running and running, endorphins releasing, bathing in a sea of these beautiful sensations. But if you think this blog is about running and its benefits, I assure you it is not- for that you can check out Vanessa’s inspiring last blog. The intention of this piece is to encourage you, inspire you, to find something in your life which gives your similar sensations to mine- that personal release button that gets your out of your head (and those often untrue stories we create in our minds about ourselves), so we can get you to that place where you realize you can do anything.
As many of you know, I am primarily a mama to two beautiful but very busy and curious kids, age 4 and 7. My days are a continuous cycle of trying to manage homeschooling, cooking healthy meals for the whole family, cleaning, and teaching. As is so true for many of us, there is barely any time left for me. Late in the evening when I finally have everything done, I’m usually so exhausted that the idea of my own personal practice is like a bad joke, and my creativity is zero!
I have always been naturally physically active, but with the arrival of my children, that physically active me drifted to the background… I was practicing yoga or pilates here or there but not with consistency. After a couple of years of putting my needs last, I started experiencing more anxiety, stress, insecurity, and doubts, to the point where I ended up in a doctors office. My doctor asked me…..have you tried running? And then we started talking about how I used to run on a regular basis, but with kids it was so hard to carve out time for myself. At that moment, what is so obvious, what I was teaching but not living, is that it is essential for me - for all of us - to have our own time and space for ourselves. Lack of this personal time affects us all in different ways, but for me, if I skip this personal time, tension in my body builds and I can become a monster… a person that neither I nor my kids like.
So my question to you is… what is your release button? What activity do you like to do for you and only you? What gives your life a spark and helps you to get out of your head, clears your mind, and opens your eyes and your heart? Though I am a passionate yoga and pilates instructor- for me, somewhat unexpectedly, running in the forest has been that reset button. When I force myself to put myself first, put my sneakers on and leave my kids behind, I am in a different world. I am with myself, alone, quiet, and very present to my beauty, and in touch with the beauty of the world around me. At that moment, I can easily let go, get out of my brain, see things from unexpected perspectives, have new ideas come out of nowhere, all while being very present with my moving, huffing, and puffing :-). This is a state of complete acceptance of myself in the moment, not trying to change anything, not judging, just pure openness, listening to my inner self. It has been a joy to find myself at my most creative during these times, coming up with ideas for my blog or classes, open to exploring my dreams for life, while allowing peace to take over my heart, soul, and mind.
After my runs, when I get back to my normal rhythm of life, my mind often starts contracting, coming up with doubts and insecurities, and that is where my years of yoga practice kick in - yoga teaches us to catch ourselves during these moments, to take some deep breaths, and to remember that those doubts and insecurities are just stories in our heads. The beauty of yoga is that we can take it off the mat and practice it in any situation. But for me lately, that thing that allows me to get away, shift gears and really take time for myself is running.
And now I would like to know, what is your release button? What is your story? What helps you to unwind and makes you who you really are? It could be getting on your yoga mat, running, it could be any physical activity, or gardening, cooking or reading a book! If nothing comes to mind, that may be a sign you really need to carve out this time for yourself - something honest and authentic… that allows you to be you.
As always I love to hear from you! Please share your stories so we can help and inspire each other! Love and peace to you all!