Thoughts From An Overly Aware Mind

What is the point?

Does anyone else ever ask themselves that question? Like really… What is the point of anything? Or, dare I ask, what is the point of everything

I literally question the purpose of everything in the world around me. It gets annoying & discouraging. It makes me frustrated with the world. It makes the idea of things ever improving seem hopeless. (I work in the criminal justice system, so I find myself questioning the point of my work ALL the time). It makes me tired sometimes because of the extent of my thought process..

It also gives me satisfaction. It gives me something to work for- if I’m able to identify things I think are wrong I have passion to fuel me. It keeps my mind active (without school that can be relatively difficult believe it or not); with my brain I’ll never become an idle member of the world. My thoughts won’t let me! 

There are times when I would like to turn off my brain, to get some peace, to just have quiet & blindly accept things. But I can’t. That’s not who I am, not how I’m wired at all. & I have recently come to accept that..now the noise in my head doesn’t drive me crazy. I can sit with my thoughts & find peace in the chaos. I’m okay with the fact that I think too much about everything I experience/see/hear. I’m glad I over analyze situations & society & the world I find myself in. It helps me have an awareness most people find annoying…but really I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some may say that I am ~woke~ 

Yes, I feel like an outsider in most situations. It’s hard to find other humans who can truly relate to me/my mind. I feel crazy sometimes. 

BUTT. I will always have a plethora of thoughts to occupy my brain.

So long story short, I am a textbook intellectual introvert…… If that wasn’t screaming at you yet… But I’ll have a more organized post on that in the days to come. 

If you analyze everything around you & within you to the point of mental exhaustion- you’re not alone! It’s something we should embrace rather than suppress. Be at peace with your awareness. Let yourself find a sense of calm from your thoughts. Empower yourself!!

Be well, & remember: everything happens for a reason. 

~peace & all good~

Overheard at Work

Oh wow your hair looks so bad! That’s not like you…it’s usually so nice & styled! 

…. Well, I expect you’ll look better next time. 

– woman, to her ‘friend’

Ummmmmmm………. THE WOMANS HAIR LOOKED GREAT SO IDK WHAT HER FRIEND WAS TALKING ABOUT!!1!1!!

People can be so mean. This wasn’t even a big deal but it made me stop & think (pretty much anything can do that). Why do we criticize eachother so much? What did that woman gain from telling her own friend that her hair looks terrible?? I mean really…how fantastic did she expect her friend’s hair to look on her way out of the gym?! I don’t know..but it’s an interesting thing to ponder. 

Next time you hear people (or even yourself) talking, try to pay attention to what they’re saying. We’d probably be surprised at how often people rattle off comments like the one I overheard. & they probably do it without thinking about their words. On the other hand, there’s most likely a large amount of people who also say nice things without conciously doing so. Everything is multi-faceted, humans included. 

It’s also interesting to consider the standards we hold eachother to. This woman executed her friend to always look her best- even when she’s at the gym….a place typically not associated with people’s best appearances.. 

Does this stem from the standards we feel we can’t meet ourselves? Or is it because we hold our friends to high standards? Is it something totally different? Do we say mean things because we’re food-deprived? Do we need a drink to shut the mean voices up? Am I asking pointless/irrelavant questions? Is this whole post just a product of my overthinking? (yes, it is)

ANYWAYS….

We should all strive to be aware of what we’re saying. Always make an effort to infuse some kindness/positivity into your words! 

~peace & all good~

How Yoga Has Helped Me Fail

Yoga is a very complicated subject… I feel like it’s viewed as either something extremely boring, extremely spiritual, or extremely foreign. Maybe even all of the above. Maybe none of the above. 

What I do know, is that my yoga practice has helped me become more comfortable with my never-ending thoughts & my imperfect self. I’ve only been practicing consistently for about a year…but you’d be surprised what such a short amount of time can do! 

Flexibility has always been somewhat of a strong point for me.. I’m relatively strong (physically).. My balance is decent.. Yoga for me isn’t about these things that we typically associate with it. I’m not overly concerned with how on point my poses are, or how twisty I can get, or how long I can stand on my head (although being upside down is my favourite place to be). 

Clearly I’m not all about how perfect my poses are…

   Handstand? Nope. 
   Hips & shoulders aligned? Try again.. 

*the following image may cause you to laugh your abs on*

   My favorite fail ever captured on camera. I was trying to do a tripod headstand & fell as soon as the timer went off. Crying..I hope you are too lol.

For me, I’m more interested in how taking time to appreciate myself can improve how I deal with things. I enjoy the time my practice gives me to sit with my thoughts & acknowledge my mind. 

I like that I can just breath & observe the way my body & mind react to things I do. 

I like that I can fail a bunch of times & find it funny (also slightly frustrating…but more funny). 

I can use my body to give my mind what it needs at a given time. 

And just to re-iterate how hilarious/normal/OK it is to fail & get things wrong:  

  HAHA nope, not even close to correct. 
  Still funny.. & still not correct!!

So I hope this at least gave you a laugh, & maybe even gave you a new view on yoga. Do what you need & forget the rest! 

Being Human & the Inconsistencies That Follow

*Sunflower picture is irrelevant but I took it & liked it so there it is..*

As far as I know, everyone reading this is a human being.. & we all understand what being human means (for the most part). It means that everyday you wake up is different from the last. Your feelings may be inconsistent from day to day, your mindset, motivation, energy level, ability to perform various tasks…all changing on a pretty regular basis.

Today was one of those days where I really felt the inconsistent nature of being human.

I woke up feeling pretty good. I’ve been sore for the past few days because I’ve switched up my workout routine, but today I wasn’t too sore. After breakfast I played around with some head stands (upside down is my favourite place to be), stretched out, & drank some mate.


Head stands were on point & I was ready to take on my workout after a day of rest yesterday.

About a week ago (ha) I was able to reach a new weight while squatting.

I love squatting… I do it every time I go to the gym & lift. But because it’s something I do so regularly, the fluctuation of my daily mental/physical abilities really shines through. Today, my form was slacking & I was struggling to move the weight I usually use to warm up.

When I got home from the gym, I was hungry… (duh). I made a salad with:

  • spinach
  • seasoned black beans
  • yellow pepper
  • goat cheese
  • multi-grain chips

  It was as delicious as it looks! It was super quick to make & even quicker to eat 🙂
However, before the salad came a poptart…. Pumpkin pie flavor to be exact. I wouldn’t recommend it. But I ate it anyway.

So far, my day has been the epitome of the ups & downs that come with being a human. It’s frustrating to experience the downs, but the way our bodies & minds are set up allows us to roll with whatever comes our way. It is more than okay & perfectly normal to not be on your A-game everyday. That’s what makes us human!!

For me, I had a frustrating lifting session that wasn’t up to my normal standards & ate a snack I wouldn’t normally subject my body to. However, I also had great balance & focus in my yoga practice & made a healthy salad. This whole journey is full of learning opportunities that I think are really important to take advantage of.

If your day has you feeling down, just know that things will be up again- probably sooner than you think 🙂

~peace & all good~

Just Breathe.. Right Now

Seriously, do it. It’s the middle of the week…maybe even the middle of your day. You have to breathe anyway in order to stay alive, so why not get something out of it?

I wanted to share a quick breathing practice I do when I’m feeling lost/anxious/confused/frazzled/off-balance/crappy/etc..

Put yourself in whatever position is available to you at the moment- sit, stand, lay, do a handstand, whatever suits your current location. Take a minute to close your eyes & just assess where you are mentally, emotionally, & physically. If you’re like “OK I think I’m on the edge of losing my mind” ….I’m right there with ya…pretty much every day of my life. I think my mind may be very lost & it’s possible it will never be found. But that’s a different story for another day.

Wherever you feel you are at this moment, try to be fully aware of yourself. How does your body feel? Are you hungry? Thirsty? Tired? Energized? What thoughts are running through your mind? Maybe there’s way too many to every process, that’s okay!

Take a deep inhale in through your nose for as many seconds as you can. Exhale for a few seconds longer. Try to do both through your nose, but don’t stress if you’re a mouth-breather…it happens.

While you’re taking deep breaths in & out, start to repeat a positive thought to yourself. Here’s an example: “I am going to have a successful day”, or “My life has a purpose”, or “I am letting go of today’s frustrations”, or anything else that you feel will brighten your mental space.

Once you feel like you’ve de-stressed, gotten rid of some anxiety, or get interrupted- restart your obligations with a calmer mind!

*** If taking some deep breaths isn’t enough for you to clear your mind & you’re under extreme stress- try Bach’s Rescue Pastilles. These little chews are all-natural stress relievers. They’ve helped me numerous times when I felt I was going to be taken over by anxiety.. So! I highly recommend them if you experience high stress/anxiety. You don’t have to do it alone 🙂

YOUR SIZE DOES NOT MATTER

Read that again. One more time..

You, my friend, are not a number. Whether that number you always stress about is on a scale, the inside of your jeans, the back of your bra, the inside of your shoe. It’s not you. Let go of those stupid numbers.

I’ve observed a lot in my few weeks at this new gym of mine. The way people dress, the difference in people’s demeanor as they enter the gym vs. when they leave, what classes people go to. The biggest learning observation I’ve made is this: size/weight is NOT an indication of being fit.

IMG_8681

It starts with the group exercise instructors. These are some amazing people. They represent all different shapes, sizes, personalities, & ages. I’ve taken almost all of the hour-long group exercise classes available. None of them are easy. All of them are fun, & all of them are led by people who are full of unending energy.

But let’s start here: You walk into a cardio class. Most of the people in the class appear to be of varied fitness levels (you’re making this assumption based on the way they look- size, shape, etc.). The instructor isn’t the typical ‘Cardio Queen’ image that running magazines & fitness brands have painted for us. So you’re like ‘ok, this shouldn’t be so bad’… WRONG. As the class starts you realize that everyone around you is holding their own quite well. The instructor is doing all of the movements and talking. Not just saying things that you can’t decipher, either…she is giving you direction, encouraging you to keep up the good works, & occasionally singing along with the music.  You can barely keep up! So now you feel like an ass & realize that your ideas were wrong & you want to sit down to think about why you judged people’s physical ability based on how they look…. Thank you social media & incessant advertising of skinny = fit. *middle finger*

Next. You work in a fitness & health club. A place people come to de-stress, build strength, take selfies in front of large mirrors, maybe lose weight..maybe not, & grow into better people. There is not a single scale in the entire building. Why? Because your progress is not representative of what you see on a scale. How you feel is representative of your progress. How you are able to suddenly lift more weight, or walk for 10 extra minutes, or take your yoga pose to the next level is representative of your progress. Being able to sleep better, healthy choices becoming second nature, taking time to yourself- all representative of your progress.

My whole point is that we shouldn’t be caught up in the numbers of our journeys. We’re so conditioned to look in the mirror & critique the things that are ‘too big’ or ‘too small’ or ‘too jiggly’ or ‘gross’… We should all make an effort to stop this nonsense.

You may have fat on your body, but you are not fat. You are a human being with a personality, a heart, a face, a booty, a stomach, eyes, ears, a soul, a distinct laugh….there’s a lot going on in each one of us! Even if you see things that you compare yourself & your journey to, at the end of the day try to let your thoughts end on a positive note that applauds everything you’re doing.

So get out there & laugh in the face of all those numbers that have been torturing you!!!! Laugh your abs on. Laugh your way to the bank$$$$. Do what you gotta do to make sure your scale/pant size/whatever doesn’t rule your day.

~peace & all good~

Soul Food: Hike to Heal

Hiking is a loaded form of exercise. It’s obviously great cardio, but I think there’s so much more to gain from a good hike. I might be reaching here- but bear with me!

 ~Bull’s Hill in Cold Spring, NY~

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do (although I don’t necessarily do it that often). I really enjoy the peacefulness of the nature around me, even though I usually can’t breath for most of the time I spend on a mountain… Within about 15 steps I’m probably sweating & losing my breath….but that’s beside the point!

I’ve had a lot of realizations while on hikes. Usually keeping them to myself, sometimes sharing them with whoever I’m with at the time. The main one that I think should be shared is that hiking parallels life. It takes a lot of the same things to be successful in both.

Be in the Present

The path up a mountain is not typically well-cleared. There are rocks & bumps & tree branches & other treacherous qualities about trails. It requires you to stay focused solely on the path that’s right in front of you.

If you look ahead to try & figure out what’s coming up, it’s almost guaranteed that something will trip you. Trust me, I know this from experience…& not just once…

Looking back means you stop moving forward. Of course it’s always cool to look back down the trail you’ve travelled once you get to a high point. You keep trudging for who knows how long, & all of a sudden when you turn back the place you started seems so small & far away. But if you look back too often you’ll slow down your trip & it’ll take you forever to get to the top!

  a view along the way up Bulls Hill

How is this like life? Wellllllllllllllll. If you focus too much on the future, you won’t have time to enjoy what’s going on right now in your life. Challenges you need to face in the present will pass you by & your progress will take a hit. You’ll be too concerned with what may/may not happen to truly observe & appreciate where you are now.

And if you only focus on the past….we all know that’s a bad idea. I’m sure everyone can relate to the thoughts of ‘ugh my life was so good when I had _____’ or ‘wow I was so happy when I dated _____, why can’t i go back to that? *sadface*’. Yeaa…..stop that. If you never turn to move forward you won’t get anywhere. However, looking back is great when you’ve made accomplishments/met goals because it lets you see how far you’ve come.

Determination

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Hiking is not easy…it’s tiring, can be boring in some stretches, it makes you hungry & sweaty.. But once you get to the top it’s so worth it. Imagine if you stopped right before the best viewpoint because you decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. That would really suck because you were so close, but let the difficulty turn you away from your end goal.

In life, we have to be determined to reach our viewpoints. Whatever goals you set for yourself, you have to remind yourself of them to keep yourself motivated. It’s so important to give your determination fuel during your journey. I like the idea of vision boards- they’re a simple reminder of what’s important to you in life. Even just simply taking the time to actually think about what you want to accomplish can be super motivating. Whatever you do, keep your eye on the prize 🙂

  a little yoga at the *almost* top of Lamb’s Hill in Fishkill, NY

So, maybe this will make you want to go for a hike…I’m hoping for one soon too.

Maybe you’re going to take more time to enjoy your journey.

Maybe this will give you the extra push you need to keep working for what you want.

Maybe this just made you laugh..

I don’t know! But I hope you enjoyed the read & hopefully got something out of it!

~peace & all good~

SELF ESTEEM SALE

This Sunday isn’t the usual skin care post. It has to do with taking care, but it’s a little deeper than skin.

I’m writing this while on a break during my roller blading.. sitting on a rock, getting bit by Mosquitos, & sweating. A very pretty picture if I do say so myself (lol NOT). I decided to stop because a few thoughts popped into my head that I didn’t want to lose. As hippie-cliche as it sounds~ My mind is at its clearest when it’s in the middle of nature.


While we’re here, I have a random PSA: if you see someone coming toward you on roller blades, don’t stare at them…get out of their way.. Like I am on wheels, people. I can’t control where I go as well as you can on two feet. Also, I’m serious when I say I don’t know how to stop on these things. Please please please do us all a favor & respond when I am flying toward you & say “excuse me!!”

ANYWAYS…

I was talking to someone about a person who has low self-esteem & did something they thought would help them fit in. The person said, in regards to the low self-esteem, “well they should get some”.  My response was sarcastic as usual, something like “Ohhhhhh yea, I think Forever 21 is actually having a sale on self esteem! They just released they Fall 2015 Confidence line!!! If you go today you can get two for the price of one!!1!1!11″

OK. Two things:

  1. self esteem/confidence/faith in yourself is not something one simply goes out & acquires. You don’t go to sleep hating yourself & wake up the next day loving who you are…
  2. it takes a lot of work to build it. You have to commit to nurturing yourself in order to maintain it

I think it’s easy for people who have a high amount of confidence to overlook the challenges someone else faces when trying to be happy about who they are. Noone is perfect- but some people have a natural tendency to overlook the negative parts. Lucky them!!

We always see standards set for us by people we don’t even know, or someone who’s ‘better’ than us, or what we wish we could be. Well….fuck that! (sorry for the language) But really. No one deserves to feel badly about who they are!

The people you envy on social media because they always post flawless selfies?

  • how long do you think it took them to get that perfect picture? Probably way longer than you would ever want to spend taking pictures of your own face..
  • how many edits/filters did they apply? (to be determined, probably a lot)
  • maybe they’re just naturally photogenic. Applaud them for that & celebrate the wonderful human beings both of you are!

With all things that make us feel less than great about ourselves, we only see the end product (or picture) but never the steps someone took to get there. Everyone has struggles, some are just more apparent than others.

I have a challenge for you. You can call it my ‘sale’ of self-esteem.

Every day write down three (3) things about yourself or your life that make you happy.* Do it right now, when you first wake up, before you go to bed, or right after your first poop of the day. Whenever you want- just do it! It can be things you have control over, or things you don’t…totally up to you.

Here are my 3 pieces of happiness for the day:

  1. the sun was shining
  2. I got to spend time alone with my roller blades & my thoughts
  3. I bought a new tea that is delicious (The Republic of Tea, Be Active Teas: Get Burning Hot Cinnamon Ginger)

If you start doing this consistently, I’m sure your good days will start to outweigh the bad days. You may even start to think in a positive way & smile more & just be overall happier!!

Give it a try!

~peace & all good~

*I’ve learned this little trick so many times, but was reminded of it today at a work meeting. gotta give credit where credit’s due!

Be Here Now

Consciousness, energy, love, awareness, light, wisdom, beauty, truth, purity. It’s all the same- any trip you want to take leads to the same place.

– Baba Ram Dass

What does this mean? I’m not entirely sure at the moment, still trying to figure it out.

But I think it gives a different perspective to decision-making. You will end up where you’re supposed to be eventually. You just have to be aware of your purpose & where you want to go