Last month, my husband and I started a commitment to road trip every month or so to explore the wondrous surroundings of our southwest desert location. In the past, we’ve done some traveling to Joshua Tree, Bisbee, Moab, and other Colorado locations but when we lived in Sedona, that locale was excellent for exploring and hiking so we often stayed put. Other trips were primarily based on family visits, leaving us little opportunity for new wanderings and discoveries.
Recently, we planned a three day trip to Escalante, Utah. Our main impetus was to check out the glamping opportunity at Yonder Escalante, a new upscale campsite offering elevated amenities such as comfy cabins, spa-like outdoor showers, an indoor-outdoor clubhouse and assorted meal, cocktail and s’more kits for creating your own campfire fun. We took the cabin with the private bath and extended patio for more privacy because, frankly, we are slowly sliding into the idea of camping so that it sticks.
In the midst of summer, many of us are feeling the power of heat or fire. Although we can’t control the weather outside, we can learn to balance our inner fire to make the external heat more tolerable.
For some of us, the heat of summer is especially intense because we get overheated internally. We get aggravated from the list of chores we need to get done, the people in our lives inflame us because they aren’t doing things the way we think they should be done or, because we just can’t find enough time in our day, we tend to burn the midnight oil – which creates even more heat.
The primary way to get our inner fire under control is to balance the energy of the solar plexus chakra. If we can tame the fire within, we are able to cool and refresh ourselves both inside and outside.
If you are feeling insecure, unsure or fearful, you need to ground. This condition happens to all of us at one time or another. Transitions, major changes or traveling have the potential to uproot us. While we know that nothing is permanent, we still need something to hold on to.
The COVID pandemic has left many of us reeling, feeling unsteady and uprooted – from our routines, from our families and our friends, and from ourselves. We have had to wonder about how we are getting food, work, and for many of us, a roof over our heads. All of this scarcity has challenged our survival and sense of security. It has even led to anxiety and fear.
So, when we become upended, we know that it is essential that we gather our roots and establish ourselves again. But how can we do this?
For many of you, this site has been the home of Yoga Posts for over 4 years. When it began, the purpose of the blog was to supplement my classes and provide more information on the topic of yoga. It originated from a desire to share knowledge with my students near and far as we became separated by space and time. It was a venue for documenting discoveries, resources, and inspiring yogic journeys. Eventually it lead to the publication of my first book entitled “Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Week at a Time.”
When I left Sedona, after 15 years of living and teaching, I thought the time had come for the yoga posts blog to end. Although I was retiring as a yoga teacher to many students, I wasn’t ready to end the connection I had cultivated.
So instead of completely wiping out the blog, I chose to rename it. And, since the name of our new street was Wellness Way (not kidding), I selected it as the blog’s new title. Keeping the old site alive still allows us to access all 212 original yoga posts right here – just use the search bar to revisit challenges, tips and the methodologies I have shared with you.
My plan was for the renamed blog, On Wellness Way, to reflect a broader journey. One that could document my own intention to create a healthier lifestyle, incorporating fitness, essential oils, gardening, plus yoga and all the other ways we can enhance our joy, vibrancy, sustainability and longevity.
So, as I settled into my new community last spring – creating a home and checking out my surroundings – I was looking forward to the journey ahead…
…of course, never expecting what was to eventually happen.
The COVID pandemic made many of my new health goals occur much faster than I ever predicted. Not wanting to shop at the big box stores for groceries or anything else, I turned to my local farmer’s market and discovered a plethora of resources: local produce, eggs, bread makers, honey harvesters, and flower growers just to name a few. Suffice it to say, the months of March through June were awesome and I learned how to create so many delicious and nutritious foods. I purchased an Almond Cow to make my own nut and oat milks, started a small backyard garden and incorporated daily hiking and essential oil recipes into my life. I was truly on the road to greater wellness!
Then a series of events occurred which turned everything upside down. My step-father was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer. As he transitioned into hospice, I felt that it was imperative to give my 81 year old mother the support she needed. I had quarantined well for 4 months so I didn’t have worries about being contagious. I felt it was safe to stay with my mother and accompany her to the hospice center (unlike hospitals and nursing homes, hospice allowed visitors so that their loved ones could say goodbye). And, I am thankful for the opportunity because after a mere 4 days, my step-father passed away.
Unfortunately just prior to his passing, I began to experience symptoms typical of COVID-19 which made it impossible for me to continue connecting with my mother. I felt her pain as, all alone, she mourned the death of her husband.
After 2 weeks of fever and weakness, I started to bounce back. Luckily, my mother (to this day) never presented with any symptoms. I then began the task of helping her reinvent herself after 30 years. So many things to contend with after such a life change. Interpreting trusts, wills, bank accounts, charge cards, utility bills and relocation options was overwhelming to all of us involved. The months of July and August were a blur. But I have not regretted having my mother closer than ever and helping her transition to a new home nearby.
It’s interesting how life provides you with exactly what you need. My journey this spring, with all of its twists and turns, has provided me with a greater strength and new perspective on the value of health. I have learned so many new life lessons and have a ton of helpful tools to add to my bag.
As part of my path to wellness, I am starting to delve into Ayurveda a bit more. I find this to be such a natural extension to my yoga teachings and practice. It will be a great new exploration for me and I hope to finish the first stage (wellness counselor) next fall.
But for the time being, and because I still love to share, I am developing a series of classes on the use of essential oils in yoga practice. I hope to launch my new zoom classroom soon and will keep you “posted.”
There is a lot of information to be had on the subject of contentment. How you get it, ways to keep it and why it is so important.
Happiness is vital to our physical and mental health. When we are happy, each day is a joy to greet, we look forward to being with others and eagerly anticipate our future.
There is a reason for this. When we are happy, those feelings of positivity connect us with the universe. When we are in sync with nature, we are aligned with the vibration of love, joy and contentment. Attuned to the universal flow of energy, we accumulate support and guidance and are able to receive what it is that we most desire. Wow, that sounds powerful, doesn’t it?
A new move to a new town in a new year has undoubtedly brought me a fresh perspective. By now we have unpacked the boxes, at least most of them, and the excitement of reestablishing a home and all that goes with it has dwindled. I am beginning to look ahead to my next “phase.”
Before my transition, I researched materials for planning this next journey because I’ve learned, from previous moves, that a new environment is a great opportunity for reevaluation and fresh prospects. I knew that my latest transition would need reassessment and I wanted to start out with a good system for designing and organizing my new intentions.
I ended up purchasing a MaxOut planner. Its selling point was that it could help me “unlock my full potential, set meaningful goals and succeed in accomplishing my biggest dreams.” This particular journal/planner is complex with pages for goal setting, affirmations, reflection, tracking and, of course, planning the months, weeks and days. However, the first step to beginning the process is to ask yourself the big question:
If you have a strong desire for something, is that necessarily wrong or bad for you? The way I see it, nearly everyone indulges in pleasure from time to time. And, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, indulgences, like everything else, are fine in moderation.
Indulgences are usually things we can live without and may even be considered unhealthy – like alcohol, smoking, and sugar. But there are times when we have to go on our computers and phones or shop for an item and, certainly, we all have to eat – these activities are not considered indulgences or luxuries but they can still lead to binging and addictive behaviors.
What is the difference between binging and addiction?
This phrase is a simple way to state that what you put into your body truly creates the individual you will become. What you eat (and drink) not only affects your physique but your outlook, your productivity and how you relate to those around you. It is especially significant when you are trying to establish a steady yoga practice.
As you bring more self-discipline into your practice, you will increase your level of confidence. This “I can do it” attitude leads to greater contentment. Ultimately you will find that when you persevere in your practice (and your life), you feel more balanced, purposeful and joyful. A little work will release your attachments and free up your consciousness for higher realizations.
Just like the daily practice of yoga, the process of writing requires discipline. As I continue to edit my book, I have found some crucial ways to keep focused. Here are my tips: Continue reading “Tips to Stay Disciplined”→