STOP RUSHING AND READ THIS

I'm sure; you know a situation like this one: 

Last week on Tuesday I left my house right on time, prepared for a day with a tight schedule.

And you know what? I caught traffic at an unusual hour. On the A5, to my second Yoga session. Even the app WAZE couldn’t redirect me on to a secret lane.
 

I arrived 20 minutes late. For Portuguese habits acceptable. For me: nope. I felt like the red devil emoticon.


To the third class, I rushed up and down the hills of Lisbon for about 15 minutes; my veins were pumping.

With my last power, I pushed myself up the stairs to Aravinda Yoga Shala, because the elevator wasn't damn working.

The students waiting in front of the door and I crashed my heavy bag down and fell into the victim mode.

Without breath I stumbled something: Oh, I’m always running from here to there, from there to here. This traffic! And I’m so sorry I’m late.
 

We were laughing. I heard a sweet voice welcoming me: Stef, it’s ok. You’re here! My heart melted into ease.

 

Sometimes, there’re days I just don’t get it together. I’m on the run. Trying to catch the carrot ahead of me and, of course, I’ll never reach it.

On other days my ten years, Yoga practice pays off.

 

Here’re my five favs to slow down on a tight and hectic day:

  • Breathe! It's THE first action to do.

    That’s why you practice yoga, to be able to connect with your breath, come back to presence and figure out, what matters right at the moment.
     

     

  • Surrender! You can plan your day. Some happenings aren’t in your hands though: traffic, broken down car, strikes, accidents, heavy rain, your sick child, an argument with your partner. Take the situation as it is. Adjust to the circumstances! And, trust.

    That’s what we practice on the mat, too. At some point the only thing you can do, while moving through Yoga postures, is surrender. It’ll take time to make it to a habit. But it's worth your effort.
     

     

  • Have clear transitions! Before you go to your next thing in your cal, wrap up the one before, breathe, set the intention and move on!

    The Ashtanga Yoga practice’s got transitions too, called “Vinyasa”. They’re as important as the actual postures. They neutralize and get you ready for the next pose. Thank god to Brendon Burchard who also showed in his book “High-performance habits”, that high-performance people do that: they take transitions seriously.


     

  • Take a break! When you feel, you rush around like a mad chicken, stop for a moment! Sit down on a bank on the way to your next appointment! Don’t look at your mobile when waiting for a red traffic light. Look around and do nothing. 1 minute, 2 minutes, a few more, they can occur like an eternity, help you to recollect yourself and take the next steps of your day from there.

    On your mat, you take rest after your practice. That’s the part to let it sink in. Rest isn’t the opposite of activity. It’s complement.

    So hey, you’ve got permission to pause!


     

  • Love your fam! On a messed up day, come home, throw your shoes in the next corner and chill out with your fam. Zion and I we do fun. Dance! Scream! Watch a short movie! It brings me back to what matters most - to connect with myself and my son, to love and share life. Then I feel ready enough, to tackle the last tasks for the day, review and plan the next day ahead.

    After all, I believe, that’s what Yoga’s about: to cultivate a sense of self-love for yourself and act from there. 

 


Chose one of these actions, you could take into your life right now! Write it down, post it to be reminded! Give it a try for at least a week!
 

Or have you got something else magic in your pockets? Share in the comments below your favorite habits to calm down! We can learn from one and the other. And feel, that we’re not alone with the daily hustle.
 


If you want to give Ashtanga Yoga a chance to figure out, how to stay cool on hectic days, then drop me a line for Private Sessions and Group classes: roomformyself@gmail.com with your mobile number and availability to speak over the phone.



So what’s left to say: Thank you for reading! And, have a good one tomorrow ;)!
 

With so much autumn love,


Your Stef

ACT WITH LITTLE THINGS

It is a spontaneous moment on a winter weekend. How I love them. 
Zion and I we’re taking a walk along our house beach into the sunset and ended up having fun with a couple of new friends on a new sport circle round in the dawn. 

While hanging in the ropes Zion discovers this heart. He says: oh Mommy look, there’s a heart. Then he’s spreading kisses all around.

IMG_6976.jpg

Im inspired by such purity. 

How about living the December with Advent, Christmas and New Years Eve like this - with awareness and an open heart, joy and gratitude, reflection and change IN ACTION. 

With these spiritual practices!


“Slow is the new fast”

Write your last list of 2017.

  • write EVERYTHING DOWN you want to do/have done/shop/craft/say BEFORE or FOR Christmas and NYE. Don’t shy away, let it all down on a blank piece of paper. 
  • then check in with your schedule and evaluate the time you’ve got besides your working schedule, daily family life and personal commitments (like Yoga).
  • prune your “EVERYTHING LIST” to those “to Does” that are truly important, valuable and that deserve your heart, schedule them, involve your family when you like and take it easy! 



Practice Gratitude

Take 5 minutes every day, choose the best time for you, and write three points of gratitude.

  • someone you’re grateful for: look also in the past, to encounters, colleagues, doctors, athletes; anyone who left you with something for your life
  • choose an event/happening/moment from the day before
  • something small and often taken for granted: the smell of your coffee in the morning silence, the smile of your child, the precious love of your partner

 

Shift the intention of your Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Love your body. Respect the limitations of the day. Practice along with that. And except, how you’ll feel. 

 

Be generous!

Some action of kindness to those, who help us through our daily life.

  • Say thank you and mention their names to those women and men collecting the toll along the highways! 
  • Smile to a stranger! 
  • Express what you like about someone, you know or have just encountered! For example: Hey, I like your hair today!

 

Be free!

  • Do a sunset walk! 
  • Dance like nobody’s watching!
  • Have your friends around for some pancakes on Sunday morning!
  • Melt away with little things!

 

Humble ideas for presents

  • Write a letter to someone and let her or him know, what you appreciate about her or him.
  • Books! Give Books! 
  • A Dream Planner or Joy Planner by my dear friend Rita Sambado for EUS - School of Being
  • Donate toys, clothes, food!


Let me know below in the comments, what's your choice or share yours! Im curious. 
There're endless acts to pay attention, to contribute, to participate, to love and walk the own way through an often hectic and stressful Advent and Christmas time. 


OVER TO MY VACATION
This share from Buddhist Teacher Dr. Joan Halifax in Brené Brown's latest book "Braving the Wilderness" delivers so perfectly the message for me in my Christmas vacation! In a conversation with Brené Dr. Halifax says: 

Tonight we will exhale and teach. Now it’s time to inhale. There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it’s easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale.
— Page 148. Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown


I'll INHALE & be out from 21 Dec 2017 and return to my regular schedule Thursday 4 January 2018 with news about Room For Myself. 

 

Looking forward to you in 2018!

In meantime, choose love!

Your Stef