This summer has been filled with everything from canoe-in camping with dogs to presenting at a national conference in Philadelphia, and leading the h&t yoga + goals retreat in June! I have found that the more I stay open to experiences that light me up, the better I am able to greet the unexpected and stay present in the face of intensity and yes, fear. When I do the things I love, like teaching yoga, public speaking and sharing my story, I ALWAYS get some butterflies. I’ve long since learned that fear is just the tax I pay on doing what I love. My personal mantra has become “I don’t let fear get in my way”. It gets to hang out, but I keep on groovin all the same. Here are my notes to self for staying grounded in the face of 🦋’s:
Be gentle. I am 100% human and moments of anxiety, distraction and fear happen. When I find myself here, I don’t get angry or judgy I just gently bring my myself back with a reminder to feel & breathe.
Say yes to friends. When I spend time in connection to friends, I soak it up. I bask in their smiles, stories and eye contact. This process of showing up, and truly being present with the people in my life keeps me grounded and connected.
Gratitude. When I feel any kind of emotional spiral coming on, I just remind myself of all that I’m grateful for and what a privilege it is to share what I love and have a public voice, however tangential, eloquent or shaky it may be.
It’s not a competition. I remind myself that I am in competition with nobody and all I am asked to do is to stay present, be my authentic self and keep showing up moment-by-moment. This doesn’t mean that everyone will like and accept me, and that’s okay too. As my amazing yoga mentor MaryBeth LaRue likes to say “it’s not my job to manage your perception of me”.
Mindful breaks. When things gear up and get uncomfortable, my lizard brain usually wants to escape. Instead of surrendering to every impulse, I mindfully schedule time to tune-out temporarily with things like an hour of reading a juicy novel or watching few episodes of BBC Fleabag.
Physical practice: in times of stress, I both resist and crave my physical practice of yoga & mediation more than ever. These things are my oxygen mask in times of intensity and I make it a priority to get my butt to the mat or pillow on a regular basis. At my conference I woke up early each day to watch the sunrise, drink my coffee and then move my body into a few poses, ending with meditation. My practice was not advanced or pre-planned, I just followed my body where it wanted to go, even if that was a restorative pose on a giant pile of hotel pillows.
What I’m reading & listening to:
+Judith Lasater “Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life”
+Amber Rae @heyamberrae on Instagram