21Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 12: Get Shit Done! #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4589.JPG

This is an easy day for me as getting shit done is my nature. I do a great job of it on a regular basis. So today’s list wasn’t all that long thankfully (getting back to Aruba is on my list!). This is a picture of my son’s new shoes and lunchbox. School starts tomorrow, and my two kids are ready. My oldest, a senior in college, is also ready!

I am so good at getting shit done that over the years I’ve learned to chill out and be ok with it, not feeling guilty that I should be doing something or calling myself names if I feel like being lazy for a change. It’s one thing to be able to multi-task and be productive, but it’s also valuable to learn to relax and just be without judgement or guilt. I enjoy both ends of the spectrum and strive to find the balance in between.

I’ve been through a lot of changes this year and feel proud of all the shit I’ve gotten done. Besides going through a divorce, I managed to get an A in Trigonometry, tutor math privately, sell and move out of my house, move into a rental, and continue being a happy healthy mom to my kids. Not to mention I’ve gotten about 180 handstands done for the #handstand365 challenge. When I put my mind to something I do it!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

IMG_4332.JPG

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 11 Random Act of Kindness #yogagirlchallenge

Today was the Day of the Rag Doll in Sweden, where people gather in Stockholm to scream symbolically for the kids who are sexually abused and don’t have a voice to scream themselves. In the U.S. one in ten kids has been sexually abused.

IMG_4684.PNG

Thank god I don’t know what it’s like to be sexually abused. I sure would scream. That’s horrible and crazy!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 13: Be Fearless #yogagirlchallenge

Today I started a calculus class at the age of 46 because I want to take it!

IMG_4609.JPG

Calculus is typically a college freshman class, but nobody ever made me take it in college. These days many kids take it as high school seniors since they have the opportunity to excel one or two years in math.

Click here to read about my love affair with math.

I didn’t want to pursue a math related field when I was in college so I didn’t really care about it back then. When I became a teacher in 1998 I fell in love with math and realized I was good at it. Ever since then, I’ve specialized in math and have been tutoring math privately since 2001. I am certified to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12, but once kids finish Algebra 2, I usually have to refer them out.

I quit my teaching job in 2004 to be a stay home mom and have wanted to take calculus since about 2007. When I decided to do it, I found out that first I had to take college algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus. So I took college algebra in 2007 and just finished trigonometry this spring 2014. There was a long break I’m between due to personal stuff. Since I got an a in Trigonometry and my algebra is so strong, my professor let me skip precalculus.

So here I am, being fearless and taking a class out of desire that most people would rather have a root canal than complete. I’m not scared. I am going to do my best. If it’s super hard I will work super hard. I’m not scared. It can only help not hurt.

21 Day Yoga Challenge Day 10: Get Creative! #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4545.PNG

I did it. I wrote a song! No I’m not sharing it. But I did it. Never been bold enough to sit down and write a song, but I’ve wanted to for years. Now that I’m checking items off my bucket list, this was my inspiration after yoga and meditation. Rachel asked us to listen to ourselves. This is what came out of my head, heart, and hands. It’s a love song. It’s imperfect just like me, and now that I have the first draft out, I can continue to work on it and other songs too! I have ideas for all kinds of songs.

It’s written in the key of C and uses the c, g, d, am, and c add9. I wrote a couple verses and a chorus.

If you’d like to see me play guitar and sing, here are a couple of links to my YouTube channel.

Blackbird

Short Blues

Good Riddance

Did Ashtanga vinyasa, sat in meditation, committed a random act of kindness (donated to a charity), drank lemon water, and was on time everywhere! So grateful for everything and every one.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

IMG_3123.JPG

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 9: True Forgiveness #yogagirlchallenge

Forgiveness is today’s challenge, to let go of past grudges and hurts, to let go of blame, shame, and guilt. Forgiving others and ourselves is a powerful way of releasing negative energy and freeing ourselves from the clenches of the past. It’s a way of accepting things the way they are instead of being upset and wishing they were different.

Over the years, I feel that I’ve already done a lot of work in this area and have forgiven others who may have hurt me and have let go of any grudges I held against other people. I feel much more peaceful inside and willing to go with the flow of life. I’ve also forgiven myself for things I’ve done wrong and have stopped judging and criticizing myself.

Today, the person I need to forgive is myself-for eating foods that I know I can’t tolerate due to allergies/sensitivities.

These are dyshidrotic eczema blisters on my finger that I get as an allergic reaction to offending foods. They are painful, fluid filled blisters that itch intensely and pop open then crack and bleed as they split into fissures. This painful condition affects the feet and hands. I also get regular eczema (red, itchy patches) on my face, neck, and body as well as hives and a stomach ache for a while.

IMG_3207.JPG

This is what happens after just a few meals of no-no foods. If I continue to eat what I like it will get really bad. So I try every day every snack every meal to make the right choices. It’s a very restrictive diet (no grains, sugar, eggs, vinegar, nightshade vegetables) and most of the time I have a lot of self-discipline. But sometimes I mess up and then I pay the price for about a week or two. I won’t fall on the floor and die, but I will continue to get sicker and sicker if I don’t stop.

Click here to see more pictures and read an earlier post about my dyshidrotic eczema (before I changed my diet in may 2013. It used to be really bad!

It’s kind of a vicious cycle because I will eat really clean for a while and feel great. Then I will have a craving and think maybe I can handle a little bit. So I will eat something that’s off limits, and even though my mouth and my stomach are happy at the moment, the reaction happens every.single.time. You would think I would learn that no I can’t handle even a little bit!

I forgive myself for messing up a few times in the past week. It’s tough to have self discipline all the time every single day. My body is telling me it needs a clean diet to run properly. So I’m thankful I have figured out why I used to have so many symptoms and how to change my diet so I feel healthy and well. Just like falling off the Paddleboad during yoga class on the ocean, I will get back up and try again. Tomorrow’s a new day, and I can start again.

IMG_3180.JPG

I’m loving this challenge so far and trying to weave as many days together as possible. Did some yin yoga at home today as I felt super tired and needed some relaxation and restoration. I’ve been on time everywhere I’ve needed to go. Drank lemon water, walked my dogs, meditated before bed and in the morning. Cassidy’s educational fund grew even more, and I’ve been kind to everyone I’ve come into contact with.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 8: Manifesting Dreams #yogagirlchallenge

Now that we’ve practiced having an attitude of gratitude, today’s challenge was to share something about our dreams.

IMG_4722.JPG

IMG_4721.JPG

I’m working on these three yoga poses: grasshopper, scorpion, and royal pidgeon. Rachel taught us how to access the arm and forearm balances so now I can incorporate them into my practice. One day, I will be able to do them.

I am working hard on my core and hope to have six pack abs one day. Not just because they look good, but also because core strength is such an important component of overall fitness, posture, and ability to advance athletic performance.

Thinking about my next tattoo and loving the idea of a lotus flower. Not necessarily this one, but this one is cool especially with the om symbol (the symbol of universal vibrations). The lotus flower grows in the muddy water and blooms when it reaches the light.

I’m keeping Aruba and the lessons I learned there in my heart and dreaming my way back there. Definitely plan to return as soon as possible.

I’m focusing my energies on gratitude, love, and being myself. The law of attraction says that we attract what we think about. So, I’m thinking positive. I’m thinking that life and love are pretty darn awesome.

Following my passion for math and taking calculus this fall after years of wanting and wishing. Never took it in college, took college algebra (pre-requisite) in 2007 and trigonometry (pre-requisite) spring 2014. Finally making it happen at 46 years old!

Have been keeping up with previous days of the challenge as much as I can. In addition to focusing on manifesting dreams today, I started my day with hot lemon water, did a long yoga class with meditation, spent some time outdoors being grateful for the lovely weather, was on time for yoga class, and walked my dogs.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

IMG_0541.JPG

IMG_4499.JPG

IMG_4495.JPG

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 7: Thank You #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4683.JPG

Rachel challenged us to express gratitude to the world around us, to the people in our lives, and to ourselves.

I try to be grateful every day. I really appreciate every thing and every one in my life.

Today I am super grateful for many things starting with another day of life on this beautiful earth. I feel my best when I’m connected with nature, whether it’s at the beach or my normal life in Texas. One of my favorite parts about living in Texas is seeing the incredible sunsets. The landscape is flat, so the sky is a large canvass every night. I love to look up and notice the sky both during the day and at night. It reminds me how small I am in the big picture.

I’m thankful that my kids are healthy and happy. They’re each in different stages of life (9, 14, and 21), and I cherish every moment with them. When I’m not with them, I am thankful knowing they are in good hands and are enjoying themselves. I want them to be happy above all else. They are on vacation with their dad this week, so I am missing them, but I am happy to see their smiling faces in the pictures. I’m thankful they are having those experiences.

I’m grateful that my life offers opportunities to rest and relax without judgement or guilt. I understand that listening to my body is important and that rest and sleep are just as important as regular exercise. It was healing to slow down and take a nap this afternoon. When I woke up, I felt like I had just given myself a gift.

My heart is full of gratitude for love in my life. Small surprises like colorful flowers on the doorstep make me smile and feel loved. Sharing a strong friendship and deep connection with another person is special, and I’m thankful for all the joy and peace that love brings.

IMG_4685.JPG

Keeping up with the other days as much as I can (except for getting up early). I’ve been meditating, doing yoga, drinking lemon water, and walking my dogs so far.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 6: Start a New Routine #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4616.JPG

IMG_4618.JPG

IMG_4621.JPG

IMG_4622.JPG

Today, I started my day drinking hot lemon water. I crave coffee first thing, but I made it a priority today to have hot lemon water first. Apparently, it’s healthier to have it on an empty stomach after a night of sleep. I can see that. It’s science. If it works, I will try it. And then I will have coffee haha!

Then, I took my doggies for a walk. Marley is a Boston Terrier (almost 7 years old), and Daisy is a Chihuaua/Hound mix (just turned 1, our rescue puppy). We walk the circle around the neighborhood and take in all the sights and sounds. I love walking my dogs. Sometimes I get lazy because I can open my back door and let them out. So I figure they can run around and take care of business.

I do think it’s better all around if we walk every day. I will try to start this as a new routine. Hot lemon water and a walk with the dogs. Let’s do this!

Thanks for reading this entry Peace out!!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 3: Rise & Shine! #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4355.JPG

For today’s challenge, Rachel challenged us to set the alarm an hour early, get up and use the time in a healing way of some kind. Incorporating yoga and meditation from days one and two were great ways to use the time. I just happened to need to get up at 5:00am that day, so it was perfect timing for me. I am not a morning person at all but have been working on going to bed earlier and getting up earlier for a few months now. I got up early, drank lemon water then coffee and had a quiet time at my house. After a little while when the sun was going to rise, I took my two dogs out for a walk in the neighborhood. The picture above is from that sunrise walk. It was refreshing to see the sunrise for a change. I usually savor sunsets here in Texas, in fact that day I got to see both the sunrise and the sunset. They were both beautiful.

When I returned home, I did pilates and sat in meditation for a while. It was a wonderful feeling to start the day that way. I was so tired during the day though! I had to take two naps. I don’t think I’ve caught up yet from all the travelling and all the late nights recently. After a week of doing yoga twice a day, I have been craving it in the morning and at night, so I like this idea of getting up a little early so you can get some things done before the day starts.

My kids are on vacation with their dad this week, so it’s an excellent time for me to catch up on my sleep. I keep setting my alarm early with the intention of taking this challenge from day to day, but so far I only did it that one day! Whenever I turn off my alarm and go back to sleep I get another couple hours, so I think my body needs it. I will try to incorporate this idea more in the future when I actually have to get up to get somewhere.

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 5: Get Rid of a Bad Habit #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4396.JPG

I’m working on being early instead of running late. It was the perfect kind of morning for staying in bed and staying at home. It rained all night, and thunder woke me up in the morning. Heavy, loud thunder every few minutes with rain pouring on the house and down the street and flash flood warnings indicated it was not a great day to go outside and do anything. But, I love my yin yoga class on Sunday mornings, and since I’m doing Rachel Brathen’s challenge, I’m committed to doing yoga every day and incorporating as many of the daily challenges into my life. Yin yoga is mostly meditative, so it was a great mix of days one and two of the challenge. While I didn’t exactly wake up early (day three) I did get to class early.

Yoga classes at my gym, Lifetime Fitness, are not on island time. Class starts on time, and the door closes. If there is room in the class, they will open the door again after meditation at the beginning of class, but most of the time classes are full. Being late means missing the class. In fact, they advise getting there ten minutes early. Yogis line up at the door and wait to get a spot. Getting there early means extra meditation time at the beginning of class for me. I like to lie down on my mat, put a small towel over my eyes, and relax while I wait for class to start.