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Tag Archives: growth

Toss another LOG on the fire

Struggle is just another word for growth.

I like to think each is another log on the fire. Burn it for fuel. We usually try and avoid struggling.  Or find the quickest route out of it.  And with this we have tiny little fires that don't keep shit warm.

Yoga -- escape valves

In alignment based yoga, when we encourage (strongly sometimes) the body to stay in alignment, it's harder, but we find rewards if we stick. Example: Seat forward fold. And you let your feet rotate like a monkey. This results in missing one of the hamstring muscles. If this is habitual, then you got part of the hamstring that's tighter than the rest. OUCH. Takes a bit of nagging, but learning to keep the four corners of the feet equally pushing out results in happiness.

Sometimes it's ok to turn and avoid the lesson, but not because we don't have the skill to stick.

If you have what it takes, you KNOW what the heck your doing, and you decide, to turn back. OK. That's educated. Not blind without courage. Some days you just don't have the energy to stick. You might need to pull back, collect yourself, go at it again later. BUT...you might need to stick. Or learn how to stick. Learn to keep the fire burning hot. Check out this experience. It hammered me so much, I laid on the couch for most of the day. My first open water swim was good. Went smooth, no big deal. So I thought to myself..."CHECK. Another struggle concurred. Fire's burning HOT!". hahahaha. Either I was foolish or I didn't remember to knock on wood. My second open water swim was a much different experience. It was windy. Strange things were going on in my lungs. OMG. Either I drank too much lake water or I had an asthma attack. Either way. It was REALLY hard. And I was pissed. It wasn't like the first swim AT ALL. That pissed me off. I couldn't really get things in check, that pissed me off. Having my "struggle" unchecked, that...you know, pissed me off. first-open-water-swim1I wanted to cry like a baby and quit. THAT pissed me off. It was a REALLY BIG CHALLENGE...to try and go back to it. Face in the water, relax, roll, breathe, stroke, relax, roll...come up sputtering, cough up a lung, sputter sputter...relax, roll, breathe, stroke... I had to shorten the swim, everyone else did 3 laps. I did 2. That...you know, didn't exactly piss me off, I was starting to feel defeated at this point. Made me want to cry, throw a tantrum, throw in the towel, get out of the water. Yank off my stupid shark fin swim cap and go home saying, "fork it", "what the heck do I need to do this crazy stuff for anyway..." My coach kept telling me I did awesome. Part of me was thankful he was there, giving me comfort and warmth, another part of me was saying "whatever, that SUCKED, liar liar liar". Who was louder...I have no idea. I was feeling really bad, like I was folding in on myself. crazy. All I knew was that I was going to get on my bike despite how HORRIBLE I felt. I was going to stick. Push through. Wasn't like I hadn't done this before. Got it done. Got home. Thank goodness. Laid on the couch for HOURS. Resting. Recovering. Licking my wounds? Today I was talking to myself. "You know, Rockstar, that was hard stuff. Probably not the hardest (OMG), but...you made it through it. You STUCK. You learned. You're stronger for it. Fire's burning nice and hot today." So I guess I should apologize to my coach for calling him a liar in my head.  :) Because I AM A ROCKSTAR. Burning nice and hot. And isn't that a lovely picture he took of another team member. Just beautiful. That's what I'll focus on for next time.

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Ironman >>> Power = Engery * Potential

I'm a mechanical engineer. Crazy good in math and science. So my view of things is a bit different. I don't think things are necessarily good or bad like we tend to label them. Just energy in one expression or another. I think everything, EVERYTHING, gets recycled. Mountains and volcanoes. Rain, clouds, lakes, ice and oceans. Laughs and tears, smiles and frowns. Words and actions. Thoughts and dreams. In college I studied the bigger thoughts about science. And it's totally CRAZY interesting how...10 years later, here I am, an employed yoga teacher using my engineering degree more than I ever have. WOOT!!!! And revisiting all the thoughts presented to me in those crazy classes. Just crazy awesome. Anyway. (I might type "crazy" just a couple more times before I'm done.) This has been on my mind for awhile. When I rested on "YES, I'm training for a 1/2 Ironman", I asked myself MANY MANY MANY times...WHY WHY WHY? So the rest of this is why. If you get it... I hope so. I want to be powerful. I want softness. I want wisdom. I want to find the balance that I CAN ACHIEVE. I believe all of these things fit into the equation of personal power. So for me...those limits are different than others, I push myself in different ways. Learning the same things. I want to move through this challenge from the heart. To travel through consciously and always having fun. Finding lessons along the way. Learning to honor myself, love myself, take care of myself, learning to keep the  ego at bay. It's yogic. I can't help but get back to this "power" idea. This poor word... power. It's inherited some bad flack. (EGO + POWER = ???) Power: without it, NOTHING HAPPENS. It's just want it is. The ability to do something, with a couple of systems to define it. Electrical, mechanical...It's what gets you off the couch. Gets that car moving when you push the gas pedal down. Gets you into that situation that that isn't all that great. Takes power to have courage. Power to get to you to the next crossroad. Overcome the obstacle. Takes power to push through to the next cycle.

Definition of power

1. Capacity to do something: the ability, strength, and capacity to do something 2. In physics, power is the rate at which energy is transferred, used, or transformed. 3. equation

So what are we learning?????

The ability to turn on the power, keep it on as needed, then to shut it down. To be fully charged...full of power. A FULLY charged battery without much crust. Able to use what you got to do...X, Y or Z. We learn this on the yoga mat, on the track, etc. The difficulty lies when we let the EGO add too much pooh and mess things up. We push too hard. Forget what in the world we are doing. Start competing with the...instructor, teacher, neighbor, magazine cover. We lose ourselves. That's not uncommon. We do it all the time. It's a habit. To lose ourselves. (fyi, it's the power that gets us back to center.) headstand-balance-1We center ourselves. Turn on the power. Start driving down the road we feel drawn to. Sometimes you just got to throw it down! Bad ass style. Sometimes with more finesse. Sometimes you let it go by you with just a bit of a nod. Learning to deal with the power, it's important. Like learning to race a super fast race horse. Where do we practice that? On the mat, the track, in the pool, in the meeting room, at the kitchen table. It's everywhere. It's just the words you put to it. It's like breathing. If things move, there is power. You want more more of it, learn to use it. If you want to be more efficient, learn to use it well. Live It OUT LOUD. Anything else is...not human.  :) FYI, starting a power yoga class. This is what we will be learning.

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The Train Station called Change

It's interesting how life is mainly change, yet we have get a pretty good habit of avoiding change, being very resistant to change. Change can be scary. The unknown can be scary. It seems that we are being programmed to "plan ahead", "think ahead", "have all your ducks in a row", etc. I think planning is important, but not to the point were we aren't flexible enough to duck and weave. The other day I was meditating and a picture of a train station come into my mind. A big train station, like one you could experience in New York City. LOADS of people, and sounds. Things going really fast. The trains, the suitcases on wheels, the billion conversations that breeze by the ears. The peeping and bells, the dings and doors opening and closing. The hustle and bustle. The URGENCY. I was thinking that I'm feeling like I'm standing in the middle of all that, with my life. With all the change going on. Things coming pretty fast. LOUDLY, from all different directions. It can get a bit overwhelming. Couple thoughts seemed to tone it all down. Remember, you're standing in the train station. Not everything I see and hear needs my attention. My time. My effort. I can tune some of it out. Just look around, stay focused, use your plan/guide to help you know which you can tune out. If you're not going out of the country, don't look at that sign or sheet. You can still go slow, even if everyone else is sprinting. Sometimes you might need to hurry your backside along, I think more often we can easily not hurry. No location is bad. Just different. You'll learn something along the way. If you can't choose with train, make the best guess. Knowing the last mentioned thought. And putting this one with it. You can ALWAYS get back on when you get there and return. You might see something you never expected, maybe even something you needed before you get to the train you "were suppose to be on". Change can be unpleasant. Difficult to remain relaxed and in harmony. Change can also be liberating. Insightful. Fun. Keep your sense of humor about you. Your plan/guide. And smile.

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Finesse. It’s not just a brand of shampoo.

When's the last time you got in trouble? When is the last time you did something, and OOOOPPPPSSSS, you made a mistake. Big one, small one...does it matter, we don't like making mistakes. It's so darn uncomfortable. What's to do??? I'd like to start out by saying, I know I'm like a bull in a china store. I know. I'm working on it. I do come by it honestly; my mother is FULL BLOODED German. I'm type A. I was an engineer for 15 years. I'm stubborn. I'm HIGHLY competitive. I spent a lot of years needing to fight for myself, to survive. I'm sure many can relate. So the unraveling of those knots (samskara for the yogis)...it's a process. Or a roller coast ride for the adventurous. Here is what I've come to know in the last six months or so. The roller coaster ride NEVER stops. Ha ha ha ha. That's fantabulous right! So you can vomit each time or you can change how you respond. How in the world do you do that? Well, lots of ways to get at it. Yoga has got some good stuff. Faith in God is a winner too. But this blog isn't really about that stuff. Maybe my superstar friend can blog about that! She's got more of this...FINESSE to talk about those things than I do. :)


Skillful management  of your words or actions. (my definition) Here is Websters.
fi·nesse [ fi néss ]  
  1. physical skill: elegant ability and dexterity
  2. tactful treatment: a delicate and skillful approach in dealing with a troublesome situation
  3. tactic in bridge: in bridge, an attempt to win a trick with a lower-value card while holding a higher card not in sequence, hoping that the opponent to the left will not play a card of intervening value
Synonyms: skill, flair, grace, elegance, poise, assurance, refinement
REACT instead of RESPOND. We might feel we need to DEFEND instead of COMMUNICATE. We might want to close down and protect ourselves instead of being open and maybe consider the possibility that...their side is valid and worth considering. It's hard to listen how...maybe...you...made...a...mistake. These things go a long way. "I hear you. I understand. I am sorry, that wasn't my intention." And in the background, or perhaps the fore-ground, ask yourself (REAL FAST): where am I in this, as far as my personal values, ethics, integrity, being authentic. Be honest with yourself. The answer will rocket out at you. Then respond accordingly. Because being in CONFLICT doesn't mean anything BAD. It's not something to shy away from. Granted, it's uncomfortable, so we do tend to shy away from it. But get this. It's in those moments of conflict that you receive a lot of clarity. Personal growth. Understanding. Assuming you are paying attention. How do you get to having that much intentional thought? Presence of mind. Self control over emotions. Meditation / Quiet Time
Self Study
Patience.  Practice.  Disciple.
Conclusion: I don't think FINESSE is about having this ability to function day to day and never have conflict, discord, issues, blah blah blah. I think it's about being able to communicate what's in your heart. Mistake or no. In the moment. My opinion, if it's in your heart, it's good stuff, needed somewhere. P.S.  Mistake = opportunity for growth. Perhaps not a "wrong", in relation to "right". A perception. Interactions with humans is messing business, it's not black and white. So my use of "mistake" isn't a clear "you did wrong". Just a...ticket for the Orient Express.

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Whats on your Dream Board!?!?!

A couple of years ago, my Juice Plus mentor suggested that I make a dream board. And I said..."a what??". A while later, Dream Board training under my belt, I felt empowered and inspired to attempt to do this "DREAM BOARD" thing. You might ask, so what did this training consist of. This mentor of mine, who I totally look up to in a big way, did some sharing and chatting about her dreams and the journey where she saw those realized. WOO HOO. Got me all pumped up. Until the scissors were out, the magazines and that BLANK piece of paper. But I pulled myself through it. It was a small one. I dutifully hung it up where I could see it each day. BECAUSE I truly believed that if she said it would work, then it would. And besides, whats the harm. Ha ha. And DARN IT if all those things didn't come true. And fast. It was super cool. And the next obvious thought comes up. I am an educated woman, wouldn't expect any less from my highly educated mind that I'm still paying students loans for..."hey smart girl, why didn't you put cooler, bigger, better stuff on there???" SERIOUSLY! And I thought about that. Are we afraid of dreaming? Do we already judge whats possible before we even let our hearts go? Have we put up these fences, to keep the wild horses in? To be safe? So I tried a different thought...lets pretend that we are itty bitty, roll the clock back to what we were thinking and dreaming about when we were 10. Give ourselves the freedom to dream that big. That wild. That WHATEVER! And cut THAT picture out. Because you never really know whats in store. Know that if you put the fence up, you are sure to know what to expect, you've been living that already. The unexpected might be a bit scary, but it could end up to be totally super cool. Just a bit of faith. So would you be willing to share your dreams. BIG. BOLD. OUT IN THE OPEN?!?!?! If so, post to facebook. Post on this blog. I would love to know what your dreams are. My heart believes 100% and 100% more that when you tell your dreams, share them with your lovies, YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE. dream-board1 And if you HAVE one. and it's tucked away...pull it out. Look at it. Love it. Then do another one. A FRESH one. Things change. You change. Everything changes. It's ok. Don't be afraid of wanting, of having desires. Of wanting different things than others. We are all so UNIQUE. Our dreams will be too. That's what makes everything to stinkin' JUICY. LIVE OUT LOUD!

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