Weekly Words of Wisdom – NURTURE

Weekly Words of Wisdom: N is for NURTURE – The definition of NURTURE is to ‘care for or encourage the growth or development of someone or something.’

In nature, we nurture our garden by making sure it gets plenty of water and sunshine. Sometimes plants must be pruned – relieving them of dead parts and leaves. Once the parts that no longer serve the plant are removed, it’s able to grow to its full potential.

We nurture relationships by being of service to someone we care about. It can be a simple as a kind word or pat on the back in times of need, or as extravagant as a home cooked meal! We nurture others when we care for and encourage them to grow and prosper.

We can nurture ourselves by being mindful of the way we take care of our body and mind. Like plants in the garden, we must have plenty of water and sunshine, and it helps to have the ability to shake off the dead leaves (release what no longer serves you) for maximum growth potential.

We nurture our soul by being mindful with our thoughts. Creating healthy habits around the way we think and talk about ourselves helps us to feel worthy, and may even help us to be more nurturing toward others.

What are you NURTURING in your life? Do you feel NURTURED and cared for? How does your garden grow?

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – MEDITATION

Weekly Words of Wisdom: M is for MEDITATION – What image comes up when you hear the word “meditation”? Do you picture a thin yogi sitting in a pretzel shape, thumbs-to-index fingers with a blissed out facial expression? Or do you know that a meditation practice can look very different from that stereotypical image?

The key to meditation is to practice something that is soothing to your mind and body while remaining very present where you are. Meditation can be as simple a sitting still and following your inhalations and exhalations for a few minutes. Being truly in the moment with an activity you enjoy such as painting, drawing a mandala, playing a musical instrument, or taking a walk outside – anything that is so enjoyable to you that time flies whenever you do it – that can be your meditation!

Having a regular meditation practice can significantly improve the way we handle stress. By taking time to be mindful and still, we reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Meditation boosts our immune system; relieves muscle tension; improves concentration and focus; reduces fatigue and irritability; and creates a sense of calm and well-being.

Do you already have a regular meditation practice? If not, I hope you’ll join me over the next 100 days. Take a little time out each day to refresh and regroup with a simple 5-minute meditation practice.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – LINGER

Weekly Words of Wisdom: L is for LINGER – As in, take your sweet easy time.

We live in a busy world, my friends. Many of us move from one thing to another every day, all day, day after day. We go from this app to that email; from this list to that webinar; from morning till night. Our mind (and nervous system) stay in a state of constant motion, and then we wonder why we feel so tired and irritable all the time.

As a yoga teacher, I see students rushing all the time. I see them innocently anticipate a twist to the opposite side so they hurry up and go there. I see them hurry up and lift their arms when there could be more ease and grace in lifting slowly. I see them come to yoga class full of hurry, and leave with a sense of wanting to linger.

Doe Zantamata said, “Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.”

There’s great power in the pause, for it is there that we rejuvenate and fully appreciate our blessings. We calm our nervous system and revive our bodies with intentional time-outs.

This week I invite you to LINGER and notice the pause. Whether it’s a mental pause between emails, or the physical pause between twisting to the opposite side in a yoga class. Notice the pause after your inhale ends and just before the exhale begins. Resist the urge to react to a situation, lingering instead in the pause so that you can respond with more compassion. Finish a delicious meal and linger once your fork is resting in order to fully appreciate what you’ve just enjoyed.

Here’s an invitation to slow things down this week, dear one. Make time to appreciate yourself and others in that sweet spot called the pause.

How does it feel for you to linger?

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – KINDNESS

Weekly Words of Wisdom: K is for KINDNESS – You might think of yourself as kind-hearted by nature, but when was the last time you were intentional with an act of kindness?

This week I invite you to participate in intentional acts of kindness. Begin each morning by setting an intention to look for ways to do a little extra for those around you throughout the day.

We can be intentional with our acts of kindness by planning ahead. Write inspirational quotes or affirmations on slips of paper and leave them for others to find. You can write things like, “You matter!” or “You’re doing a great job!” Trust that it will land in the hands of the person who needs it most.

Plan ahead before you grab your morning coffee and pay for someone else’s order. Be super helpful at the grocery store and offer assistance to someone in need. Thank someone for great customer service. Compliment a stranger. Smile at someone who isn’t smiling!

Robert Ingersoll said, “We rise by lifting others” and I know this to be true. I feel my best when I am able to help someone in need – and I’m always mindful and grateful when I am the recipient of kindness from others.

Go out of your way this week to be intentionally kind. You’ll be so glad you did!

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – JOURNEY

Weekly Words of Wisdom: J is for JOURNEY – This past weekend we had the honor of watching my niece exchange wedding vows with her beloved. That sweet baby girl I held in my arms 27 years ago is now someone’s wife! We traveled by car to get there. A 10-hour drive to California was a journey in itself, but I’m not writing about a road trip today; I’m writing about the JOURNEY of life.

My journey so far includes growing up in the safety of a small town. It includes my time as a young mother with my own precious baby girl; my work as a corporate employee; time as a single-mom busy earning a college degree; meeting and marrying the best man ever; holding my mother’s hand in hospice as she completed her own journey; and stepping completely out of my comfort zone to become a yoga teacher. And now as we prepare for my own daughter’s wedding, the path ahead looks sweet and promising.

My journey has been wonderful and difficult and glorious and dark. There have been rough patches and smooth sailing; tears of sorrow and joy; times of angst and jubilation. There have been lessons too numerous to recount here, and I rest easy knowing my capacity for resilience.

I love all the lessons of my journey so far. True, some of the lessons were more fun than others, but as a whole they make up this amazing JOURNEY of my life, and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.

How’s your JOURNEY going so far? Are you able to see the path you’ve taken as one big culmination of significant lessons? No matter where you’ve been or where you’re going, you are resilient too! I’m so happy that you and I are sharing this JOURNEY!

PS: Click here to sign up for my email newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up to date on my yoga projects, events and announcements.