At our annual Costa Rica Retreat, I remember Lori stating that her Yin Yoga Practice had taught her to not only better listen to her body, but she had learned how to better listen to her loved ones. I’ve thought a lot about her comment since then. I knew it was just a matter of time until I asked Lori to be in the Spotlight. Read on to learn more about her experience with yoga, meditation, and life.
Last week I fulfilled a dream. Kellie Codianna and I led a group of amazing women on an Eco-Yoga retreat to Costa Rica and it was so successful that we already have a date and theme set for next year's retreat. The theme of our retreat was "Unplugging and Tuning In" and that's exactly what we did. We unplugged from our digital lives, ate delicious food, listened to the sounds of nature and to each other, and tuned into ourselves, our minds, our bodies, and our souls through yoga, meditation, hiking, and journaling. I went into the week knowing that I wanted to experience clarity about my business and personal goals. I have been back for one week now and yes, I am seeing things very clearly now and it feels great! Here are a few things I have realized.
You don't have to spend a week in Costa Rica to experience clarity. How ironic, right?
I learned from my week away that you don't need to go away in order to tune in. Granted, getting away from your job, your family, your old familiar ways can be really, really, nice, however, you can experience moments, even minutes of clarity and calm in your regular old life throughout your day. You just need to take the time out to do it. Please get the image of you, in lotus, on a pillow, with your eyes closed in a monastery meditation for hours in silence out of your head. You can actually "unplug" in a matter of minutes, pretty much anywhere! Keep reading and ask yourself:
Can you begin your day with a moment of reflection before you get out of bed or before your cup of coffee?
Can you end your day with a moment of gratutude before you go to bed listing everything you are thankful for?
Can you take a moment in the car while you are waiting to pick up your kids to take some deep breaths and tune into how you feel physically, scanning for and releasing tension?
These simple tasks can help you focus your energy on areas of your life you would like to see grow and expand.
Why waste your time with worry when you can focus your attention on gratitude, your loved ones, and your positive goals for the future?
Having a regular eating schedule can be life-changing.
In Costa Rica we had a regular schedule (early breakfast at 6:30 am, regular breakfast at 8:30 am, lunch at 12:30 pm, and dinner at 5:30 pm). My body loved it and my energy level was really steady. Coming back home I realized that I tend to lead a crazy life! I rarely eat breakfast at the same time and can go hours without realizing that I haven't even eaten lunch. Of course, my energy level hadn’t been steady! I am now making it a point to eat regular meals at around the same time each day. I'll let you know how that goes!
By becoming quiet, my dreams were better able to come to the surface.
It was actually on the plane ride back to the States that one of my business goals/dreams came to the surface and the message was loud and clear. I need to help parents and caregivers by launching my online course, "A Better Bedtime: A Hands-on Course for Parents and Caregivers."
Ever since I started my Reflexology Training and worked on my own children, I have wanted to share these techniques with other parents and caregivers. I filmed the course in August 2017 and then things got really busy. Sadly, I put the course on the back burner. Now that the retreat is over, I have time to launch this course and I am thrilled! I know this course will help empower parents and caregivers and help them all live lives with less anxiety, less pain, and more presence and open-communication. I am ready to step into the role of online teacher and support. Bring it on. BTW, if you are interested in learning more about the course, click here and get your first lesson free.
So that's it. Make time to unplug and you will be rewarded with insight, clarity, and possibly even calm! Good luck to you!
Much love, Julie
I am so thankful for Kellie Codianna from Divinely Rooted and my mentors Justin Michael Williams, Karen Mozes, and Connie Holen for helping my dreams come true. I am also thankful for all the beautiful and amazing women who trusted me with their lives and experienced Costa Rica with us. What a journey! Let me know if you would like me to lead any retreats you have in mind for 2019. I would love to do another. I've actually been dreaming of rock climbing and a dude ranch in Wyoming lately. Contact me and let me know if you are interested!
"Bucket list? No thank you." The idea of a bucket list has always felt a little morbid to me quite honestly. What do I want to do before I die? Really? Well, if you reframe the idea of a bucket list into a "to do list" then things change for me. A "to do list"? Now that is something I can get behind! I love writing "to do lists" and usually write my "to do lists" the night before and have even titled them "shit to do lists" (I don't mince words here). Lists help me see where I'm going and step-by-step, help me get there. So, what's the difference between a "to do list" and a bucket list? To me, a bucket list is a bit grander and more long term than a "to do" list. Like "go to Italy one day" versus "go to an Italian restaurant this week."
So, where am I going with this? Being a yoga teacher I often hear people say things, "I know I should do yoga, but I don't have any time, “or "I've always wanted to do XYZ, but..." What many people are really saying is that XYZ isn't a priority to them and that is just fine. When you think about all of the time we spend on our phones all week, can we honestly say we don't have time for XYZ? I'm just saying that we all have time for things, it's just that we have to decide how we choose to spend that time. I realized about a month ago that I needed to re-prioritize some things in my life. I was super busy with work and I had been spending way too much time indoors on my computer. I decided that I wanted to get outside more and I made myself a promise that I would do that. Now, being the extrovert and out-going business owner that I am I didn't just pack up my bag and my dogs and go. No that is way too simple for me. I decided to open this challenge/experience up to anyone who was interested: friends, colleagues, neighbors, clients, and yoga students and anyone they wanted to invite was welcome too. And so began our weekly meet up "Sleeping Giant Through the Seasons". We are 5 weeks into this meet up thing and it has been great! I'm always pleasantly surprised to see who will be there and how many dogs will be there, too. We hope to have at least one hike where the dogs actually outnumber the people, but we will see. So, what started off as something on my bucket list "Hike Sleeping Giant at least once a week" has now been transformed onto the mundane weekly "to do" list and I am so thankful for that!
So, why should everyone have a bucket list?
Life is short and having the "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" just stinks. Go out and write that bucket list and then get to writing that "to do list" so you can make that bucket list happen. Take yourself that much closer to changing your life for the better. And hey, if you are in the area, feel free to join us on one of your Thursday hikes! Rain or shine! Now I need to invest in some boots, yak tracks, and maybe even snow shoes. . My pink running sneakers aren't going to cut it for long. Bring it on New England!
And since I do love lists, here are my top 6 reasons of why I love to hike "Sleeping Giant Through the Seasons"
1. I get outside and out of my own head.
2. I get to talk to and meet awesome people.
3. I see strangers becoming friends before my very eyes.
4. I witness and am part of face-to-face interactions.
5. I get to hang out with dogs.
6. I witness the seasons up close and personal.
See you on the trail!
A few months ago I added a little something special to my website. I call it "Student Spotlight". For full disclosure, I totally stole this idea from my CrossFit gym. They have a monthly "Spotlight Athlete" every month and I really liked the idea. I enjoy getting to know more about fellow athletes and I thought, "Why not try it out with my own students?" And so I did. And the results were...amazing!
When people learn that I teach yoga and meditation, they often assume a few things about me. The biggest and “wrongest” assumption is that I’m calm all the time. I love that! Anyone who knows me, knows that I AM NOT CALM ALL THE TIME!