Posted in Entrepreneur, getting fit, health, self care, stay at home mom, yoga students

Parallels Between Yoga and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is an interesting ride. One moment you are flying high and doing well the next minute you are hoping to meet your next client or make ends meet. One moment everything is flowing and growing the way you want it to  and the next minute you are stuck, unable to reach the next level, and things are not going as planned.

Entrepreneurship is a lot like yoga. One moment you are flying and soaring in your favorite pose, the next minute you might be wobbling and tipping over and unsteady in that same pose. Sometimes you are flowing from pose to pose with ease and other days you are struggling to hold and focus in poses and you lack flow and feel stuck.

The parallels are incredible and practicing yoga regularly gives me the opportunity to explore those parallels. Usually when I am stuck in business or life I find that it shows up during my yoga practice as well. Same holds true in the opposite direction when I am stuck or unsteady on my yoga mat, usually there is something going on in my life or business that I am struggling with or unsure about.

For me personally I am usually stuck when it comes to trusting myself and I find that I have the hardest time with poses that require me to trust my gut and strength. Poses where this shows up are in balancing poses, and poses that require concentration and steadfastness such as the warriors. An example of this for myself is when I practice Warrior II. This strong grounded and focus pose was and still sometimes is challenging for me because I would find myself questioning everything, unable to focus and not feel confident in my ability to hold still. In poses like Warrior III and Eagle Pose where core strength is required sometimes my ability to tap into this strength to engage my core was and sometimes also still is a challenge and I believe a direct correlation between how well I listen to and accept my intuition and gut feelings and my response to them.  When I am steadfast and steady, I know that I am in alignment with my intuition and my direction. When I experience wobbliness and instability I know that usually I am struggling with change and decisions.  I know that when I am feeling this way, at the end of my practice I consciously take the time to sit quietly and allow myself to gauge how well I think that I can either let go and allow myself to trust that everything will be OK or if I need to question further and investigate more the choices and decisions that I am looking to make. My goal is to make sure that as I grow I stay in alignment with my business while also choosing options that allow me to grow and thrive with in that value.

This is why I am so dedicated to my regular practice. As I have practiced, my ability to listen to my gut and trust my intuition has gotten so much stronger. My ability to trust that I can persevere, and reach my goals is now focused and and grounded and continues to keep getting more focused and grounded as I spend time growing in my yoga practice. This has allowed me to make decisions for my business and life that are positive and allow me to reach my fullest potential and expression in all areas of my business and life.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Calm, exercise, Fit facts, Fitness, fitness instruction, getting fit, health, health lifestyle, healthy, healthy life style, me time, mind body fitness, motivation, natural solutions, relaxation, self care, Uncategorized, Yoga

Why I Love Yoga During the Holidays

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can really leave us drained and needing energy. The thought of getting exercise in seems impossible with the endless things we need to get done on a daily basis.

What I love about yoga, is that it leaves you feeling like you can take on the day. Just 3-5 yoga poses can completely shift our thinking from a negative mindset to a positive one.

5 of my favorite poses to help bring me energy and leave me feeling ready to take on the day no matter what time it is are the following.

  1. Cat and Cow
  2. Downward Facing Dog
  3. Warrior II
  4. Reverse Warrior
  5. Child’s Pose

What is it about each of these poses that possess the ability to lift our spirits?

Cat and cow helps to liberate the spine. Having flexibility in the spine helps to prevent back pain, it loosens the muscles of the back helping us to feel like we have space to move and feel free.

Downward Facing Dog is a nice way to get blood to the brain in a safe and effective way. Increasing blood flow to the brain increases our energy naturally. This pose also helps to elongate the hamstrings, the muscles in the back of the legs which helps to stave off low back pain and it lengthens the spine to help us feel taller and more confident.

Warrior II: What’s not to love about warrior II?  It is expansive, strong and expressive. Warrior II is grounding giving us a sense of stability and it fosters our inner strength.

Reverse Warrior: This pose is awesome for helping you put things into perspective! Sometimes we feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions especially at the holidays. Reverse warrior helps us to come to peace with that feeling because it too pulls you in different directions while maintaining the same position at the same time. Physically you are maintaining most of the Warrior II position but the slight modification with the arm reaching up and over your head lengthening your side body. Energetically however, your are being pulled up and over, forward, back and in. If you can handle doing all of that you can handle anything!!

Child’s Pose: Besides stretching the lower back and hips, Child’s Pose is a very relaxing and self reflective pose. Our lower back and hips hold a lot of stress & tension. That stress and tension build up can cause us to feel chaotic and out of sorts. Child’s pose liberates the hips and lower back helping you feel less tense and stressed. It also is an introspective pose in that it allows you to look inward and close yourself off from things that can cause you to be over stimulated over the holidays.

Give these 5 poses a try and see if when you are done, you feel ready to handle the holiday season with grace and energy.

 

 

Namaste!

Jules

Posted in exercise, healthy choices, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, massage, me time, self care, wellness

Wellness means everything

Today I went and conquered my fear…it was very liberating and very relaxing! Today I got a pedicure. While one may not necessarily associate health and wellness with pedicures, let me tell you otherwise.  Wellness is not just about running until you puke or lifting weights til your arms fall off. Its about taking care of yourself on all levels of your life. I would say that I am fit, I workout three to five times a week depending on my schedule and I eat healthfully. I take time to see the doctor when necessary and get a good nights sleep.

However, until today, I never associated a pedicure with wellness. Soaking in the warm bubbling and soapy water, my feet slowly began to melt into a full state of relaxation. It hit me then and there that my poor feet get shoved into shoes, covered in sox, stood on and ran on all day! They never really get a break! Then the pedicurist showed me how to work the massaging chair I was sitting in.  As I sat back and enjoyed the moments that ensued, I realized that this too is wellness. The stress that I was carrying that day dissipated as the pedicurist wrapped my shins in warm towels and the massage chair rolled up and down my back.
Finding ways to eliminate or reduce stress can help us live a much more productive and satisfying life. I’m not saying all stress is bad but our body reacts the same whether it’s good or bad. Our brain may be able to decipher what is good stress and what is bad stress but our bodies internal reaction (adrenaline) is going to kick in regardless.

My recommendation to combat stress…a pedicure. What I learned from this experience is that not only did I need to conquer a fear (a stressor)  I also gained a new way to alleviate stress, while at the same time gave my feet the royal treatment that they so desperately deserved.
Written By Julie S.

Posted in essential oils, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, natural solutions, Peppermint, self care

My Minty Experience

*Photo courtesy of digidreamgrafix at freedigitalphotos.com

When I met with my DoTerra sales rep for the first time one of the things that she had us do was smell and try some of the oils that she had to sample.  Honestly, I was a bit freaked out by the whole idea that oils can cure and they are the new wave of the future for treating illnesses, but I am willing to try things at least once so I went along with the pitch.

As she had promised, the lavender was soothing and it helped to clear up the bags from under my eyes. The orange was refreshing and invigorating, but it was the PEPPERMINT that had me at first sniff! On my first inhalation, my nasal passages opened, my sinuses cleared and a burst of energy filled my nose, mouth and throat. I was hooked. Now, I will admit that I still take OTC’s for my allergies and when I have a bad cold. I still go to the doctor when I am really sick.  However, the peppermint essential oils helped aid in the process of clearing and shortening the length of my cold. It helped alleviate the symptoms of my allergies that the OTC’s could not get at and it gave me that little burst of energy to get through the rest of the day when I thought for sure the allergy/cold pills were wearing off.

What is it about peppermint that allows it to have such awesome benefits? One of the biggest properties of peppermint is menthol. It helps promote a clear respiratory tract, nasal congestion, bronchitis, colds and coughs.  Another big benefit of peppermint is that it aids in digestion, and alleviates motion sickness.  Also peppermint contains iron, magnesium, calcium folate, potassium, and copper. These are minerals that our body needs. It is also a source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Vitamins A & C.

Of course, as always, it is important that you speak with your health care professional or physician before beginning a new regiment with essential oils.  These are or can be very potent and could interact with any medications that you are currently on. Therefore it is important to make sure that you speak with your doctor who can make sure that what you are doing is safe and for your own well being.

Ways that you can use peppermint as an essential oil.
1. Diffusion into the air.
2. 1 drop added to your glass of water (can not use plastic the oils will be absorbed by the plastic)
3. Topically: rub on your chest, forehead or stomach depending on what you are trying to alleviate. For example, for chest colds, coughing, congestion, apply to your chest.  For motion sickness or digestion apply to the stomach, and for sinus related issues such as allergies apply to the forehead and sinus area.

I personally love the peppermint diffused into the air it is amazing for what it has done for me and my sinuses during this season when cotton wood has been at an all time high. It also was a huge help to me during cold season. I am so grateful that I found this oil.

Posted in health, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, personal health, self care

Make the Time!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Make time? For what? Well there are many things for which we should make time for,  grocery shopping, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, taking the kids to what ever activity they have,  work, you get the idea! Did you notice that none of these things say, me time? What!?!? Make time for ME?? That’s ludicrous, selfish, there’s no time for that!  I hear this all too often and I personally am 100% guilty of saying these things too, but it is vital to our sustainability and our ability to keep on giving to those we love and care about. I have been on a journey, a sort of personal crusade to make time for myself and what I am coming  to find is that when I make time for myself, the time for everyone and everything else just seems to fall into place. I am becoming more productive, a better wife, a better sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. I am happier, healthier and my stress level has at least decreased in half.

Alarm rings,  6:00am, I hit snooze, I know that I have to be to work at 7:30 and I know I am pushing the envelope but, I’m beat. I didn’t get home the night before from work til 9:00pm and my day had started at 7:30AM same as this particular morning.  9:00 pm is not all that late, but after a long day, making time to stay up and watch TV with my husband, seemed like the only fair thing to do, so bed didn’t come til 11:00pm and by the time I settled my mind and actually relaxed to sleep it was close to 12:30 am.  As I ran out the door at 7:00am I thought to myself, here we go…again.

I was riding the wave in an expansive sea of things to do! Big ups and low lows. I felt like I was running a rat race in a hamster wheel.  The more I went the smaller and smaller the sea became, the faster the wheel spun, until I was riding those same waves in a fish bowl and unable to keep  pace with the wheel.  I lost track of the days. The days became weeks and the weeks became months I was just going and going not paying attention to how small my world become and how stifled and miserable I was. I was living a lie really, faking niceness, forcing time into my day to feel like I was giving to others and prying a smile from my lips to try and remember to be polite.

I was getting ugly, my attitude was changing. I snapped easily and saw the worst in everything and everyone . The doubts started creeping in and I was pretty much at a point where I was ready to throw in the towel. I approached my business partner with this news explaining that I could not do it any more, I was done, I was wiped out. I just want a job, get paid for my 8 hrs and just be done til the next day. This running a business thing is tapping me out.  She listened and thought about what I said, then looked at me and said you need a vacation, you need to step back and away, you need to take control of your schedule. I looked at her with disbelief, really that was her advice? Take a vacation…who has time for that? If  I am not here keeping the doors open who will? She looked at me like I had ten heads.  Her response was, “What about me? I am your business partner, what do you think I do here?” Oops, she was right, I kind of forgot that little bit.  I felt like jerk, had I stooped that far that I could not even remember to lean on my business partner for help? I was still not done yet because she had then said I needed to take control of my schedule. What does that mean? She sat me down in front of the calendar, I was working 7 days a week 12 hours a days. I was letting everyone else run my schedule I was a door mat for anyone and everyone.

 My thought process was that it was my duty to be where ever I was needed when ever I was needed.  That mentality was wearing on me and she was seeing it. She then asked me what I tell my clients about taking care of themselves. Yeah what about it? They take time out to workout with you, right? They take vacations right? They spend time with their loved ones right? Yes to all three questions. She then reminded that people will appreciate me more if I too take care of myself and live the life I preach about. Okay, I had no argument to come back with and I hate when I am wrong! I was still disgruntled at being wrong but she continued with her advice.  She then proceeded to hand me a pencil…”block off when you will not be here, take time off. ” So I sat there and created the schedule I wanted to see.  I felt weird giving myself time. I felt guilty for not making myself available…
When I got home, my husband said, you need to plan for the first week in July, we are going out of town to visit my family. GULP… panic set in, I didn’t plan for a vacation, it was bad enough that I was backing off time from being at the studio, that was a hard pill to swallow on its own now I have to deal with this news.

Okay, I will let my business partner know and I’ll plan on it was my response, but my brain wanted to shout absolutely not, go alone! Back at work the next morning I brought the news to my business partner, she was ecstatic so happy for me. I sat there disgruntled because I was losing control and everyone was happy and giddy for me.

The vacation was three weeks away, so that helped me relax a bit as I thought “oh I have lots of time!” Three weeks came sooner than later and the Friday before I left came and went even faster.  As I was boarding the plane, I knew there was no turning back, I HAD to trust that my business partner was going to take care of things, and I had to let go.  The first two days of the trip were hard for me, I was constantly checking the email, texting my business partner and fretting about possible missed calls, missed emails, unanswerable questions.  Finally, I was able to slowly let go after I talked on the phone with my business partner. She was so calm and easy going. Her ease about the past few days was reassuring and finally I was able to let go and actually enjoy the vacation.

When I came home, I had a whole new perspective on my outlook for my personal life, my business life and the well being of the business in general. My world had reopened. Having spent time with my husband, real quality time, I came to appreciate him and our marriage more than before. We took walks together, had real conversations and we were able to  just be husband and wife.  The schedule that I made for myself, suddenly became a reality, I had a day to sleep in, I had a day to stay home, visit my sister & grandma. I was REALLY truly being a good sister and granddaughter because the time I spent was quality, unrushed time,  my time.  No longer was I feeling guilty that I was being fake and forced to do these things.

My clients molded to my schedule and the more I stuck to it, the more valid and accepted it became.  This much needed change, recharged me, it put me back in control on a positive note. Rather than the negative control that closed my doors and narrowed my circle, this positive control opened me up. It brought me a sense of appreciation for all the things I could do. It widened my circle and expanse. This time however, the expanse was as wide as it was, was not has wavy and turbulent, it was calm and the waves were small and manageable.  I could see as far as the eyes could see and beyond.  My resentment for my business decisions diminished and I was finding that I was more productive and felt more fulfilled at the end of the day rather than drained.

It is a great feeling and something that I wanted to share with all of you and the people you know. I always preached how important it was to make the time, but I never really lived it. I thought I was, because I talked about it so much, but the fact of the matter was, I wasn’t.  I am going to offer you the same bits of advice that I was given.  Go to your calendar and schedule “me time.” It does not have to be a whole day maybe 15 minutes maybe 2 hrs whatever works for you. During this time phone goes way, computer gets shut off, and you do something that you have always wanted to do.  Next look at your schedule and plan a vacation or a staycation, 5-7 days where you get to spend time, real quality time with your family and friends. We all get vacation time, its part of almost every benefits package if you work a traditional job, and if like me, and you own your own business, take it anyways and get someone you trust to run things while you are away.  Finally find ways to be in control that are positive.  If you have the weekends free, you have a choice to either spend it doing work or getting a cup of coffee with a friend. The work will always be there for you when you get back, take positive control and spend time with your friend. It will refresh your mind and give you a new perspective on what you are working on in the long run!

On your first attempt at this, you will find, as I stated in the beginning, that it will be hard, you will feel agitated, disgruntled and scared. I did! The what if’s will start flooding your brain and it may seem easier to just keep things at status quo.  I wanted to! However, I urge you to fight past these feelings, that is all they are, feelings.  If you can do that, actually, when you do just that, you are going to see things so much clearer. I did! Your fish bowl will become a beautiful calm sea and your hamster wheel will slow down to a manageable pace.  Mine did! Truly, you will be happier and be able to live life how it was meant, to the fullest!!
Namaste!!
Written by Julie S.