Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 14: Breathe

How did you make space + peace for yourself in 2011?  Contributed by Megan.


I’m not sure I really did this in 2011 all that much.  This year was all about moving and doing for me.  Sure, I took a yoga class or two (which I love), but I don’t think of 2011 as a year that gave me a lot of peace or space.  And maybe that’s ok.

I feel alive and awake in a wonderful way, and I want to keep this momentum up.  I feel like space is what I gave myself for many years when I let myself fill up on excuses or food or not working out.  This past year was my time to awaken all that I want to become. Which is not to say that a little peace can’t be a part of that, too.

Maybe it should be.  I know that if I had more peace days like Monday wouldn’t get to me so much.  I have gotten so much better than I used to be about not sweating the small stuff, but I still have a long way to go.  I am the classic type-A personality for sure.

As I mentioned the other day, I see myself creating more peace and space by focusing on living healthy.  Taking a walk with just Sofi and my thoughts to guide me.  While reading a book and getting lost in the narrative and the character development. Or breathing deeply through a Bikram yoga class.

And actually, it just hit me.  This summer, when I was swimming by myself were the moments where I felt the most peace and spaciousness surrounding me.  I was completely present in the water, counting my breaths, pushing my limits, and getting to be a stronger swimmer.

Of course this blog gives me the most time to just sit, reflect, and breathe.  I get to share my life, figure out some deep-seeded issues, struggle, persevere, and ultimately triumph.  All in my little corner of this blog world.

So I guess even in the midst of all that DOING, I did find a bit of peace.

What about you?  Where/how did your peace emerge this year?



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This evening LC and I tried a whole new type of yoga – Restorative Yoga.  We’d both had full weekends and I thought it would be nice to do something that sounded so rejuvenating.  I was thinking it was more along the lines of Gentle Yoga, but it was actually quite different.

What is Restorative Yoga? I really like the way Restorative Yoga is defined here.  In a nutshell:

The antidote to stress is relaxation. Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation, renewal, effortlessness and ease. Blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props safely support the body in various postures which allows the body to move towards a state of balance. This practice soothes your nervous system, helps you quiet your mind and invites you to release deeply held tension.”

Or, as the yoga instructor put it, “guided napping.”  LOL.

It was actually a really spiritual experience for me.  I’m not very religious, but I found it really calming and a nice way to end the weekend to be reminded that “we are all part of something more than ourselves.”  That, “we are all divine – no one is better than another.  We should not criticize ourselves harshly, nor should we judge others harshly, either.”  LC told me on the car ride home that those beliefs are the basic tenets of yoga.  I had no idea, because they’d never been mentioned in any class I’ve ever taken.  I am going to try to remind myself of these ideas throughout the week, because I am both ultra-critical of myself as well as overly critical of others too much of the time.

The teacher gave us an invocation (my word) to repeat internally throughout the class:

Yoga is the unity of consciousness and the heart.”

That was such a calming thought, and I have to say that I’ve never felt my mind become quieter than I did today. Throughout the class we were giving a guided meditation which was really relaxing and renewing.  I wasn’t worried about a million little things – I just concentrated on my breathing and the image the instructor was creating, and let everything else go.  It was amazing.

There are a series of five poses that we got into throughout the 90-minute class.  We held each pose for at least 10 minutes, which some of them held up to 20 minutes.  These aren’t exactly what we did, but they’re fairly close.

I’ve been having really severe pain in the form of a pulled muscle in my back.  So bad that it hurts when I breathe deeply.  (And yes, I plan to contact the doctor tomorrow about the muscle pain, because it’s gone on far too long).  Tonight during class was the first time in a month that I was pain free for an hour and a half and it was wonderful. I’m going to use some of the poses (like the reclining pose) when I go to sleep, because it just felt so good.

While I don’t think I burned many calories, although a couple of websites said that a 200-pound person could burn 238 calories in an hour of restorative yoga.  Since the class was 90-minutes and I’m about 90 lbs over that example, I logged 238 calories burned into LoseIt, just to be safe.

All in all, it wasn’t at all what I expected, but Restorative Yoga was exactly what I needed.  I don’t know that I’ll go back to a class, but I will try to practice a form of it from time to time at home.  Maybe even with LC.

If you get a chance to give it a try (even by using an audio or a DVD), I’d highly recommend it at least once. You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed, and let’s face it, we lead such hectic, stressful lives that we could all use a little mental and physical stillness every now and then.


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Lately I’ve been doing OK  with my eating and working out (overall), yet there is this underlying feeling of frustration that the 34 lbs that I need to lose in order to get on the waiting list for lap band surgery isn’t coming off as quickly as I’d like or feel that it should.

Part of the frustration is that one of the reasons that I want/need to have the lap band surgery is that I find it difficult to control my portions.   Very difficult.  And yet they want me to lose 30 pounds (which is no small amount!) on my own.  Now, I totally get that they want to see that I can stick to an eating program and that losing the weight will aid the surgery, because there will be less fat around my organs, etc., but it’s still overwhelming for me.

So much so that I get really upset with myself.  I wonder if I should have quit smoking when I did, because since quitting the scale has crept up, not back.  I’m seeing numbers I never, ever wanted to see.  I’m battling myself to deal with the cravings that hit every once in a while to have a cig.  Which does not mean that I’m going to start smoking again – I’m not.  And I’m proud of myself for staying smoke free for 99 days.

But that doesn’t negate the fact that I am snacking more than I should, and it’s showing up in the scale.  And  that’s so upsetting to me, because I am putting so much pressure on myself to finally show some results on the scale.  I have a clear goal, lots of motivation, so WHY CAN’T I DO IT?

These are the thoughts that roll through my head throughout my waking hours.

And then last night I had a dream that was so comforting, so reassuring that I woke up with a sense of calm and peace.  I can’t remember exactly what the dream was even about, but when I woke up, I KNEW that I would lose the weight I needed to. I knew that this time it would work.  That if I just gave myself a little more credit, and was a tiny bit patient with myself, I would be on that pre-op liquid diet before I knew it.

And that was such a relief!

I think this dream was meant to show me that I need to keep going, that I’ve been on this journey for over 2 years, and I’m FINALLY making small progress, so I shouldn’t give up on myself.  I need to keep the faith that I WILL be able to lose the weight to get on that list so that I can start the real journey of losing over 100 pounds.

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Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

This quote from Oprah is a great reminder that when I’m struggling with something in my life, all I need to do is nothing.  Just breathe.  Just take a second to myself and see how it all plays out.  I’m a very “take charge” kind of person, and I like being in control, so letting go isn’t easy for me.  But I have found that in my times of greatest stress, letting go is the way to calm down.

This week off is like one long, exhaled breath.  I get time to myself without too many plans, so that I can center myself.  My plan is to refocus myself.  I want to remember how much I enjoy working out and exercising and being active.  I sort of lost that “fun factor” for a little while, and I’m excited to get it back.

I’ve slowly come to a few huge realizations about myself and this weight loss journey, which I will share with you in time.  I’m still working through them and figuring out how it all fits. I find that in the moments when I give myself a break, I find the most clarity. I’m hoping that’s true this week, as well.

The photo I chose above is so serene and peaceful and really makes me want to do some yoga this week.  So I’m going to.  I may end up doing a DVD at home, but I’m hoping to make it to the yoga studio to do some Bikram, because I still have a few sessions worth of credit there.  I may even go today.

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