As I am getting my packing and cleaning done to travel down south for our Thanksgiving week, I am filled with a wonderful feeling of gratitude for where my life has taken me. I would usually be a nervous wreck, juggling preparations to Airbnb our home out while we are gone with a dog and a toddler in tow, but I told myself that I should enjoy this day. I will finish my chores and get to my destination without gaining some more gray hairs if I have anything to do with it.
This time of year is so go-go-go, but since moving to the retreat center, away from the bustle of the suburban life I had before, I have felt a major shift in priorities. At first, I felt cut off from civilization, wondering where the closest movie theater was or where I was going to find some decent sushi in a small town like Oscoda. I was so used to UberEats and take-out and quick solutions to boredom and dinners. Everything I could ever need was a short car ride away. With the change in availability I had to reassess how to live.
My wife always knew when we had to get out of the house and do something. She told me ‘ You have ants in your pants, let’s go find something to do so you don’t go crazy.’ She was right. I never felt content to just sit and chill out. I always had to have a running list of things to do and buy and finish. My to do lists were long and never complete. This made me feel itchy, like I always was forgetting to do something.
Now I have this beautiful home which is such a source of calm, with Lake Huron as my meditation teacher. My wife is with me to face any hiccups along the way, and there have been plenty. My daughter is healthy and goofy, dancing every morning with her smile that melts me. I can be a stay-at-home mom while still pursuing my interests and dreams of creating a retreat center and yoga studio. Even though my family and friends are three hours away, technology brings them into my living room whenever I need them for support and company. Instant gratification is overrated, and planning my trips to civilization is that much more fun when I know I can’t get that amazing sushi on a normal basis.
I am so grateful for where I am today. I am loved by so many and I am beginning to love myself too. That has been the hardest journey of all, to see my worth and that I deserve the love that has been given to me. I deserve to be happy and you do too!
So from my seat here sipping coffee with the newly risen sun on my face, I am grateful for you. I hope you have a Thanksgiving full of happiness and that you can stay in the present moment. Take more deep breaths and put down your phone between pictures. Look deeply at your loved ones and overlook your differences. They are small and only lead to suffering. Enjoy the time and every conversation or action you take will create your future with them. Remember you are loved and worthy of your abundance!
I just returned from an amazing weekend on retreat in Texas with some amazing women. My teacher training is based near Dallas and it was the perfect time to recharge and reset my intentions in my practice. #yoga4love
The move and upheaval of everything in our lives has left little time to go within and create a self care routine like I was trying to maintain prior to the chaos. I was able to let a lot of my shadows take center stage this weekend and it felt good to know that I am where I should be. Everything that happens, I can handle, and if I keep in the present moment and not in what happened in the past, I create my future in the choices I make. That is a freeing notion. I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control what my reaction will be. Most of my darkest moments were when I felt out of control. If I only had taken a breath and centered myself, I would know that I can break the negative patterns and choose another path, one that is free from the hangups of bygone decisions.
My word to end the weekend was ‘thrive’, and I fully intend to do just that now that I’m home. I was just getting through everyday by the skin of my teeth before, stressing about every choice and worrying that we had made the wrong ones to get us here because so much was going wrong. But we are here for a reason, and I can’t wait to live every moment of this beautiful journey with renewed fervor and knowledge that I am so blessed and I am all I will ever need to feel complete. Remember to take care of yourself. Fill yourself up. There is only so much of your energy you can give before its gone and your are spiraling. The only way to keep your levels charged is fueling up with good food, deep breaths and positive thoughts. Practice makes perfect and I’m right there with you.
Selling and Buying a house at the same time is a stressful endeavor. I really don’t recommend it, lol. We have had a complete upheaval of our lives in as little as a month and we barely have had time to breathe and take in the beauty that our new property has to offer. I think it has started to sink in finally that each morning we will wake to crashing waves and a sunrise that is never the same as the last.
I have loved sitting on my meditation cushion right in front of the windows overlooking the lake each morning and doing my sun salutations on the deck. Making that my first priority when waking has gotten my days off to a good start, regardless of my hectic to do list.
In busy times, it is crucial to cut out time for yourself. Even just taking some deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed or stressed can make a major difference. I have had to scrape time out, but I am more level and happier for it. I’m looking forward to more steady times but all of the change is welcomed and brought into being with hard work and positive thinking.
So we did a thing. We purchased Anchorage Cottages on the shores of Lake Huron to run as a Retreat Center and Rental property! My head is spinning with all of the ideas that we want to do with the place.
It was a strange but rather direct journey. Everything seemed to fall into place like it was meant to be. The universe threw us signs to follow and we walked the path put before us. Such an amazing feeling to know that you are doing what you are meant to do.
Follow that little voice inside, even if it scares you! We did, and now we have manifested our new path and we are so grateful for the opportunities ahead to make community, help others and raise our daughter in a beautiful place.
I revised my Self Care Journal to have a place to put my yoga classes. This is mostly for yoga teacher training, but anyone can use it if they want to document their weekly progress in their personal practice.
I am fairly new to this motherhood club. Some days it still feels strange that I have a one year old running around. And she IS running now. Everything changed so quickly and it feels like time is going faster than it ever has in my life. That might be because my daughter’s changes seem to come fast and furious.
I was fortunate to get an entire perfect day with my wife and daughter yesterday at our lake house. It has been a while since we could carve out a day to go, but we forced our way up I-75 before the labor day holiday traffic and visited our safe haven. Every time I look out at ‘our lake’ and listen to the wind through the trees I can feel the weight of daily life slip away. I can breathe easy again. It’s amazing what a special spot on the earth can do for your psyche when you only associate it with happiness and peace.
We spend a good portion of our day at the beach and it was Deb’s first time in the water other than a baby pool. After the initial anxiety of doing something new, you could actually see her relax in the waves and her gaze became unfocused and distant. After our fun, we took a nap together and I woke before our daughter and watched her sleep. She looked so perfect, so unfiltered by the stresses that plague many of us. I stared at her in disbelief that my body could help create this little masterpiece. Her personality already shines bright and I cannot wait to see all the adventures we’ll share together as she grows.
Time is flowing. It only feels like it goes faster because we wish it would stop so we can appreciate this time with our daughter as a child. I try to feel gratitude every moment I share with her, even the meltdowns and crabby bits. Time is our most precious resource and the way we mothers spend it with our children will be what we create for their futures. It is a lot of responsibility, but it reminds me that I had that for myself all along. My outlook on life and reality will one day shape hers, and if that doesn’t shake me out of negative head space, nothing will.
To mothers: We forever shape the future. Try and make it a happy one!
I am reading “What To Say When You Talk To Your Self” by Shad Helmstetter, PhD and there are a lot of Self Talk scripts in the book. I have been reading out loud to my wife at night when we are falling asleep. The author says that listening to positive self talk or affirmations daily can help to reprogram your brain and get it to start believing the new information you are feeding it. So here is my affirmation for the day. Feel free to use it if it speaks to you:
I was given a journal from one of my close friends a while back that has writing prompts on every page to inspire and discover something about yourself. I really found it helpful, especially getting away from my normal journaling routine of ‘I did this…then that…then another thing.’ I think I will start to add some of my journaling here when I feel the urge.
Writing Prompt: I am excited by these chances I am taking…
My life has completely changed direction in the past year. I gave birth to a beautiful little creature that I need to protect and teach daily. My wife and I are trying to navigate working full-time while keeping Deb out of daycare. The chances in this last year started with the decision to begin in earnest my yoga journey with teacher training online and making the commitment to have my certification to help others down that same path. Only a month after doing that, I made the biggest decision thus far in my adult working career to leave the well paying job that I held for 11 years. I left without a plan for what was next, I just knew that I couldn’t see myself there anymore working 50 plus hours and never seeing my family. The pain of stress and upset was too intense and it was a long time coming. I made that leap.
I had many interviews and felt out my choices, but I stuck to my gut and went for a sales position that I had no experience in, knowing that it was what I was meant to do at that moment. It was a major pay cut, and that worried us, but I kept my positivity up and started training. Only a week into training, the position received a near 40% increase in pay! It felt like the universe was listening to my need for financial stability and brought that into my life. It was amazing!
Since starting this new position, I have made it my daily mission to practice mindfulness in every part of my day. I read one of my books for yoga TT on the shuttle to work. I get outside on all my breaks to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. I try and stay hopeful and happy regardless of the task I am doing at work. I smile and greet everyone I pass by and I remember to be grateful for my every breath. This has helped me immensely with the stress of meeting new people and starting from scratch in a new career.
I truly feel that the chances I took have brought more happiness and peace into my life. My outlook has shifted to the point that everyone around me is starting to feel the ripple effect. My wife is meditating with me, my positive attitude is rubbing off on my colleagues, and my family situation couldn’t be better. Knowing that if I follow my inner voice it will lead me to the right answer is so empowering that I hope this inspires someone to try to listen to theirs. The universe is connected, just tell it what you need and it will come to you!
Love and light!
Prompt from “An Inspired Life: A journal for thinking, dreaming, and discovering.” by M. H. Clark
I’ve always talked about doing meal planning, and the major obstacle for me was I felt like I didn’t know much about cooking. But I had a great time today making meals for the week and trying new recipes.
I decided that I was going to use Sundays as my prep day. I searched the internet for some yummy recipes, went to the dollar tree for the microwavable plastic containers and created a grocery list.
I always get most of my groceries from Aldi because it’s way cheaper and the items they didn’t have I bought at Meijer. The primavera chicken with veggies turned out really well and I’m really proud of what I could accomplish in just a few hours. All in all, I made five lunches and seven dinners for two.
I think what had to change to make all of this successful was my attitude. True, I’m not the most proficient in the kitchen and I need to review a recipe at least 6 times before putting it away, but I really told myself that I would have fun today and it gave me a great sense of accomplishment when I was done.
These days with my wife and I working full time and our one year old daughter needing all of our attention when we’re home, meal planning will be crucial to making healthier food choices and more time with the family throughout the week. A few hours on Sunday means less stress in the long run, especially when you want to keep it healthy.