Resonating Moments: Lessons From the Week
Welcome to "Resonating Moments." Each week I share one lesson from parenting, teaching yoga, practicing on my mat, and simply living life. I like to think of this blog feature as a conversation about the stuff of life. My intentions for sharing these lessons are twofold: (1) to make a personal effort to record moments that resonate or ring true (Chime) with who I am at my core, and (2) to offer what I have learned in hopes that you can relate and share about your experiences in the comments below.
Here's what I learned this week:
Lesson from life: The hard lesson of the week is that I need to spend less time on digital devices. If I am not on my laptop or tablet, then I am frequently on my phone from the moment I rise until I close my eyes at night. Constantly keeping up with the digital world is counterproductive. I am less available to myself and family, my mind never rests, and I am sleeping less. The constant influx of stimuli is mostly more distracting than beneficial. It will be challenging to not regularly check my phone for notifications throughout the day or check my email, Facebook, Twitter, and Feedly in bed at night, especially as a business owner. Have you found ways to unplug or disconnect here and there from the digital world? Please share tips on how you did it the comments.
Lesson from my mat: Surrender and effort are concepts most of us generally understand, but how do we feel the visceral difference between the two in our yoga postures and then, by extension, in our daily activities? This is the question I asked my yoga students as well as myself this week in class. What I learned on my mat is that breathing itself is an act of surrender.
Consider bow pose, a backbend in which many of us clench our jaws, narrow our eyes, and hold our breath. When I was in bow pose, I realized how remembering to breathe creates a sense of ease in the parts of my body in which effort is not essential, like my jaw and eyes. I even felt my shoulders relax some. This experience taught me that, in moments of physical, mental, or emotional exertion, when my mind and/or body are pushing hard, breathing deeply is an act of surrender that creates more ease and less excessive effort. Is there a pose in which you tend to tense up and hold your breath? Please share tips in the comments on how you find surrender in that pose.
Lesson from teaching yoga: At my Wednesday morning class I taught a sequence that I have been teaching for several weeks, if not months. Do you know what? I completely screwed it up. I missed a key cue and then proceeded to confuse my lefts and rights. There was no hiding the mishap—I made several mistakes and my students knew it. To my relief, they just chuckled, which then made me laugh and joke it off. Here's the thing, no matter how long you have been doing a job, at the end of the day, we are all human and DO make mistakes. As a recovering perfectionist, it is mighty hard to accept that truth. I invite you to share a time you messed up at your job. How did you brush it off?
Lesson from parenting: If you are a parent, you can probably relate to the feeling of intense frustration when your child runs away from you as you try to get them dressed or put on their shoes. I feel my shoulders tense as I resist the urge to raise my voice. This morning, Zoe, my 2-year-old, ran away as I was trying to get her coat on to go to school. I felt tension in my whole body as I stressed about getting out of the house on time. Somehow in the moment, I paused and consciously chose to let go of the frustration and turn the situation around. Instead of hearing my voice raised, I opted to hear my daughter laugh. I made a game out of getting on her coat, which resulted in laughter and smiles. Obviously, not all parenting situations can be handled in this way, but this lesson taught me that not all frustration needs to be acted on. We can shift the mood, lighten up, and share a positive moment marked by laughter instead of anger. How do you channel frustration as a parent? I think all parents could benefit from your ideas, so please share in the comments!
Perhaps some or all of these lessons resonated with you as well. If so, I’d enjoy learning how! Please share in the comments below.
Other Tidbits of Inspiration and Information
On Self-Care and Creativity
I love to color. I find it incredibly calming and meditative. Turns out I am not alone in the attraction to coloring. In 5 Reasons To Give In To The Adult Coloring Book Trend, Daria Song shares findings from research about why coloring is such a soothing activity and how it benefits the brain. If you need an excuse to buy an adult coloring book, this article is it! One of my favorites is the Mindfulness Colouring Book. Check it out.
On Writing Inspiration
Michelle Margaret Fajkus suggests sentence starters categorized by the chakras to use as writing prompts. What an interesting and unique concept, right? If you are looking for inspiration to ignite your writing, I highly recommend reading Writing Down the Chakras.
On Educating Kids About Mental Illness
"If you’re a parent and you or another family member has experienced mental health concerns, you might be worried about talking to your children about them. Should you discuss it at all? If you do, what should you say?" David Susman offers 5 practical and helpful tips on how to talk to kids about mental illness. How refreshing it would be for our kids to grow up with a healthy understanding of mental illness.
Do you have any good reads you would like to share? Leave them in the comments!
WORKSHOP ALERT! Save the date!
Yoga in an Overwhelming World: Exploring Sukha and Sthira
November 15, 2015; 3-5 PM; Shine Yoga, Perkasie, PA; $40
I invite you to join me and my dear friend and fantastic yoga teacher, Colleen Clemens, for this special workshop! Learn more and register here.