Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food for Thought

Happiness comes with the achievement of little goals. With little tiny steps that you take every single day, you'll have a little accomplishment that will teach you a different reality. I'm telling you right now, that you have everything that it takes to achieve anything that you want. And it will not be easy, but it will be WORTH IT.
-Jillian Michaels

Weakness Wednesday

People do these wordless Wednesday posts, but even that is too much for me today.  So, here are my weaknesses today, and reasons for not blogging yet about my awesome weekend...



Messy House.

SORE body.

Better posts soon, I promise!  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

10th Annual Run to Remember

Tomorrow morning, I'm doing the 10th Anniversary Run to Remember, aka the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  I'm just doing the 5K, because I was finally balanced enough to not bite off more than I could chew.  And I'm glad.  If I had signed up to walk the half marathon (13.1 miles!!!!!) with my friends, like I wanted to, I'd be really kicking myself now! 

I have a ton of things to write about, but it's 10:00, and we have to get up at 4am, so it will all have to wait.  But I have kick-ass girlfriends up here in Oklahoma, and even though I've been gone for three years, it's just like it used to be.  Everyone took the time to come out and see me, and I'm so glad to have been able to say hi and chat and relax with them.  My OK girls rock!

I'll talk lots of pics and probably tweet a little once I'm done with my short course and waiting for them to finish their 13.1.  It's a very moving experience.  It defines the word awe to be down there and part of it.  I'll share it with you later.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

May Today...

I got this in one of those make-you-feel-guilty-if-you-don't-forward-it email chain letters.  I hate forwarding those on, but I loved the message in it, so I decided to share it with YOU. 

May today there be peace within. 
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. 
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. 
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. 
May you be content with yourself just the way you are. 
Let this knowledge settle into your bones.
Allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. 
It is there for each and every one of us.
May you have a blessed and balanced day! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wear Your Pj's To Work Day!

Seriously.  Today is National Wear Your PJs to Work Day!  How cool is that?  Now, I kind of feel like I'm cheating, since I work at home, but I'm still going to wear my Pjs all day!  Why should my kids get to be the only ones to wear their pjs to school once a year?

Okay, in all seriousness, I'm wearing my PJs today, not just because I want to, but for a really good cause.  The Pajama Program donates pjs and books to children in need who might never get tucked in with a bedtime story.  Never know the security of having their own pjs and mom or dad to read a story to them every night before bed.  Bedtime/storytime is one of my favorite parts of my day.  No matter how much my boys are making me crazy, or how bad I feel, I always love snuggling with them and reading a story together.  It breaks my heart that some children never know that gift.

So, while my introverted self cringes, I'm going to go  Starbucks for coffee, and when they say "How are you?" I'm going to say, "I'm great!  It's national wear your pjs to work day, and I'm supporting the Pajama Program!"   I have little slips with the Pajama Program logo and website on them to hand out. I'm taking my son to school (the one where you have to go in with him...) in my Pjs I'm going to my pjs.   Maybe I'll be really brave and go inside the bank to make a deposit! Why does that seem worse than going to starbucks? Oh, and my boys and I are donating the money we made at the jbf sale to buy pjs for this great cause.  We were able to order 14 sets of Pjs for Pajama Program boys and girls.  Now that's a sweet dream!

Would you like to donate?  
Go HERE for ways to help Pajama Program directly 
(including online donations.)  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yin Yoga... Oh Yeah!

I tried a new yoga class at Divine this morning, Yin Yoga.   I had misread the schedule for the last two months and thought this was the same as the Yang-Yin class I had tried awhile back.  Oh, no!  This class was awesome.  All stretchy and relax-y and feel-good-y.  (Yeah, I know those aren't words, but work with me!)

We really need rain.  It's dry, and there is pollen everywhere that needs to be washed away.  So, the teacher said she had put together some music from different Native American nations praying for rain.  It was kind of cool to listen to the music, with the sounds of rain and thunder in the background, and stretch and relax.  Actually, it was perfect.  (Well, except for when I couldn't get rid of the thought that the rain sounded more like bacon sizzling in a pan...But that didn't last TOO long...) 

The yoga definitely helps my asthma.  It makes the aching go away, and hopefully, it will keep making it better.  I felt a lot better today than I have all week.  Day 8 (Tuesday) I did 30 minutes at home in between other stuff, and although I was feeling really bad, it totally helped me get through the day.  Day 9 I skipped, again.  Can't really say why, other than laziness and feeling bad, which aren't real reasons.  I just didn't try enough to get it done.   Today was day 10 of the 40 days, and I'm so glad I spent that hour at the yoga studio this morning!

Ooops...gotta go... my boys just ripped the soap dish off the tile bathtub wall.....Gotta go balance that!  ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Putting Feet To Our Faith

Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.  
1 John 3:18 (Contemporary English Version)
Last week, my wonderful friend, SomeGirl, took part in TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign. They spent the day barefoot, donated shoes to Soles4Souls, and prayed for people around the world who have no shoes.   If you're ever looking for encouragement,  or happy, positive posts to read, stop by SomeGirlsWebsite and check it out.  It's about love and good deeds.  The world needs more of that love to counteract the stuff we see on the news all the time.  SomeGirl is encouraging us to do good deeds, Love One Another,  and put feet to our faith.  Not just have faith and believe.  But do something good with it. 

My way of putting feet to my faith started last December.  Leading up to Christmas, my church took part in the Advent Conspiracy(Advent is the season of waiting, leading up to Christmas, just in case you were wondering...)  AC is about giving presence, not presents.  It's about giving something that matters, instead of so many material things. (Don't get me wrong, we still do presents too).  To do the Advent Conspiracy is to:
Worship Fully.
Spend LESS.
GIVE more.
Love ALL.
We saved money, collected coins, and at the end, donated what we had collected to build clean water wells for villages in Africa. Our church donated to Marion Medical Mission, whose effort is aimed at preventing medical problems through providing clean drinking water.  They have a program where they help villages build shallow wells that are sealed against surface pollution.  It only takes about $350 to build a well for 100-300 people.  That's not even a dollar a day.  How many of us spend more than that just at a drive-thru, or on junk food, or candy, or some other not-necessary-for-survival treat?

I was really sad at the end of the Advent Conspiracy that I didn't have much to give.  No where nearly enough to donate a full well.  Because I had bargain shopped for Christmas presents in January, most of the shopping was already done.  But I gave what we could, and kept thinking about it.  By the time January 1st had rolled around, I had hatched an uber-complicated plan.  We would keep doing AC all year!  Thankful for the clean water I had to drink from my tap, my fridge, and in bottles, I decided to donate a dollar to my AC fund for every lazy bottled water I drank.  Ashamed by how often we drove lazily thru a drive-thru, while others walked miles a day, just to find clean water, I decided to tax myself five dollars for every drive thru visit.  I had this grand plan about saving money for a good cause, losing weight at the same time, becoming more aware of my actions.  I even pictured myself proudly telling everyone next Christmas what a great job I'd done with this all year AC plan.  Well, I never had dollar bills to put into the collection box I'd designated for this plan.  I had to start adding them up in my head, and then plan to go to the ATM to get cash out to put in the box.   Never happened.  Way too complicated.  I finally decided that I WAS THE ONE putting all these stupid, complicated rules in place.  I COULD CHANGE and simplify the plan!  Duh.
Now, I no longer have plans to show off and brag about my success at the end of the year.  That's not the point of all this, and I'm glad I realized that.  I'm still dedicated to saving/giving money for the a water well.  But I'm just putting in a dollar a day.  A dollar a day can buy a well by next Christmas.  Putting in $30 at the beginning of the month is easy enough.  I can give 100-300 people a Christmas gift that will give back to them every day.  A gift that will keep them from getting sick.  A gift that will show them God's love in the world.

How are you putting feet to your faith?  
What good deeds do you do?  
SomeGirl and I would both love to hear about it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whispers from Heaven

My grandfather was a wonderful guy.  All four of my grandparents are/were awesome, but today I'm thinking about Papa Jack.  Growing up, we lived far apart, so we only got to see our grandparents during the summer for a week or so.  I have wonderful memories of visiting Grandpa and Grandma in upstate New York.  Feeding the squirrels off the back porch.  Sitting on the front porch watching life go by.

After my grandmother passed away, Grandpa came to live with my parents.  (Thank you mom & dad, for making the sacrifices you did to make that work.  It was a blessing to him, and to me, and to the boys.  You guys rock!)  I am so thankful for this, because it gave me the chance to get to know him better.  To see him several times a week.  To include him in our family celebrations.  To see my boys get to know their great-grandpa.  (That's how he became Papa Jack instead of oldest re-named him and it stuck.)

Grandpa was always a very quiet man.  Not much to say most of the time.  In fact, very little to say.  That's what got me to thinking about him today.  It must be where the quiet introverted streak in me came from.  The most I ever heard him talk was to my boys.  He would talk and laugh and play with them.  He could barely walk, and yet you'd find him down on the floor, 90 years old, playing with the boys.  Full of joy just watching them.

Today, it's been two years since Grandpa passed on and made his way up to heaven.  Late at night sometimes, my oldest still sighs and says, "I miss Papa Jack."  I do too.  I thought about him this morning.  He served in the Navy during WWII, on board a ship in the Atlantic.  He was there on D-Day.  At his service, there was a military honor guard.  The words "On behalf of the President, and a grateful nation..." still ring in my mind.  I have a whole bundle of stuff from his naval career that I plan to put together into a shadowbox and scrapbook to honor and remember him.   I need to start on that this summer.  I was mentioning that to a friend, without realizing that today was the exact two year anniversary of his passing.

This evening, cooking dinner, I thought about him again.  I was thinking about how he was so introverted and quiet like me.  And I thought, I should post about him.   Maybe on his birthday.  So, I went to look up his birthday, how old he would have been this year.  And I saw this...

John Howard Teetz
June 16, 1915 to April 13, 2008

Exactly two years ago, today.  Isn't that funny?  That I would think of him twice on this day, before realizing that today was the day?  It's happened to me before.  Something pops into my head a couple of times, enough for me to go look at something about it, and it's exactly the date the same date, but a year or two later.    It's like a nudge from above.  A whisper from heaven.  Who knows.  Maybe it was God giving Papa Jack the chance to whisper 'hello'.  Or maybe it was simply God reminding me of my blessings.

We miss you Papa Jack.  And we love you, for always.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Just checking in with a quick update for my 40 days of yoga.  I have some other, better posts to write, but today my asthma is winning and I'm feeling terrible, so they'll have to wait.

As for the 40 days of yoga, I have a confession to make.  Day 4 and Day 5 I didn't do any yoga.  I planned to.  But it didn't happen.  Day 6, yesterday, I wasn't feeling great either, and I worked on some music playlists so that I have something to do yoga to at home, without having to watch a video.  Kind of a stretch, but better than nothing.

Tonight, Day 7, I am exhausted.  My chest hurts.  My lungs ache.  A lot.  I've been waiting all day for the chance to crawl into bed.  But I promised myself I was going to do these 40 days.  Yes, I've already missed a couple.  But I'm not going to give up.  I'm going to keep going and keep my promise to myself.  So, I put my boys to bed, then pulled out my mat.

Day 7 is done.  I feel better.  Better for keeping my promise.  Better from the yoga itself.

Now, off to bed.  Finally! ;)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

3 down, 37 to go...

40 days of yoga.  Three days down.  37 left to go.

Last night, I went to Hot Yoga at the studio.  It kicked my butt.  I don't know if it was the heat, or the asthma, or not eating dinner first, but it was hard.  I thought I was going to throw up.  I thought I was going to literally pass out (at which point I skipped a balancing posture sequence in favor of child's pose).  It was hard, but I kept going.   I kept the mean voice at bay.  I finished the class and felt fantastic when it was over.

Right now, I'm measuring my progress with two different things.  The first, is a simple forward fold.  You know, bending over and touching your toes?  Well, when I first started, I really couldn't even touch my toes.  Now,  I can pretty easily fold over and place my hands flat on the floor next to my feet.  If I'm really warmed up, I can even slide my hands, palms up, under my toes and completely under my feet.  Hooray for progress.    Seated forward fold is less flexible, but at least I can more than touch my toes there now too.  I think my hands were only able to go about 1/2 way down my shins before.

The second way I'm measuring my progress is with crow pose. This is a pose that I saw at the beginning and completely wrote off.  I will NEVER be able to do that one.  Go see what it looks like here.  Okay, so now you see what crow looks like.  In crow, you are completely balancing ALL of your body weight on your wrists.  Did I mention that I broke my wrist and have a titanium plate and four screws in there?  My wrist just doesn't bend all the way anymore.  So, this crow pose?  Not gonna happen.  No matter how hard I work. Or so I thought.

Last week, I was brave enough to ask my friendly yoga instructor if she had any ideas on how to make things easier on my wrist.  Sometimes we hold poses on it that are just really uncomfortable.  Or that I have to quit early.  So I asked if she had any advice.  She told me to buy a wedge to use for support and try that.  So I did. 

Before the wedge, when it was time for crow, I'd balance on my wrists, with my knees up on my elbows, but with both feet completely on the floor.  More weight on my feet than my arms.  Not even close.  Then I'd watch everyone else and be really impressed.   Tuesday, I got up on the wedge with my wrists, high enough on my toes, that I could take a tiny, nano-second, hop up onto my wrists before falling back onto my feet.  Just a fraction of a second, but MY FEET WERE OFF THE FLOOR!!!  The next night, last night, I managed to get up into it again.  I was all the way up with just the very tippiest part of my toes just barely touching the floor.  SO close.  I  could hold it there for several breaths.  I CAN DO THIS!  I can do CROW!  Not yet, but I will.   And when I do, I'll be posting a picture of it here for all to see. 

How do you measure progress? Is there something that seems almost impossible that you are working on, too?  I'd love to hear about it.

Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) American speaker and motivational writer.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kicking That Mean Girl's...You-know-what

So, 40 days of yoga.  I'm looking at that now with only 1 day down, and 39 to go, and it sounds daunting.  What was I thinking?  I am so already sore from just last night's kick butt Hatha Fusion practice.  It was great.  It was HARD.  It was exactly what I needed.  But that mean girl in my head keeps saying "You can't do this.  What a stupid idea.  You'll never follow through with it... Who do you think you are, anyway???"

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Excuse my language, but I am going to kick that mean girl's ass.  Seriously.  40 days of yoga.  40 days of telling that mean girl to shut-the-hell-up and step to the curb.  Get out of my life!  GO AWAY!

Why?  Because I realized something during a yoga class last week.  I was struggling, and miserable, and all this anger was coming out.  (It sounds weird, but sometimes in the middle of class, emotions/stuff just come out, and this time I just suddenly got SO MAD!)  So there I was, holding some pose or other, and just fuming mad.  Don't know why.  Then the mean girl started talking to me.  "This is stupid.  Why are you here? You don't belong here.  You're way too fat and out of shape.  You don't belong here.  You shouldn't be here, fat girl."  And I held the pose, and listened to her.  I even repeated it to myself "I don't belong here."  And then I realized something kind of earth-shattering for me.  That mean girl in my head isn't me. That mean girl in my head is the voice of... well, I'm almost afraid to say it because you'll think I'm crazy, but... the devil. 

Now, you may not believe in the devil.  Heck, you might not believe in God.  You might believe in part of it, or none of it.  I did.  I used to not believe in any of it.  Then I believed that there was something bigger, but it wasn't God.  Then I believed in God, but not about Jesus and the resurrection.  Then I believed in God & Jesus, but not the devil.  Until one day I heard something along the lines of "If you believe there is good and evil in the world, and you believe in God, and that God is good, then you kind of have to believe in the other side too, that the devil is there on the side of evil."  And so, at the risk of sounding like a looney-tunes religious nut, I believe in the devil too. 

My friends and I have had many conversations lately about our inner mean girls.  I've even said that we should talk to ourselves nicely, like the way someone who loves us, or God would talk to us.  Someone who loves us would be encouraging and supportive, not destructive and mean.  But it's so hard to shut up the mean girl!  I'm trying to be nice to myself, and do good things for me, but she won't shut up.  She keeps coming back, trying to tear me down.  And so, listening to her in the middle of my yoga practice, I suddenly had the thought... That's the devil talking.  That's not're trying to make yourself a better, healthier person.  That's an evil voice trying to tear you down.   And just like that, the mean girl shut up and vanished, and the anger melted away.  Huh.  How about that.

Go out and kick some mean girl butt today!  ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010

40 Days

Remember how I wrote about giving up my messy house for Lent?  Well, it worked.  Not that there are no more messes here, because it was way worse than 40 days could cure, but it's a lot cleaner in here.  And I never felt overwhelmed or unbalanced, because I just cleaned a little something every day. 

At the beginning of Lent, I wrote: So, what am I giving up this year?  I'm giving up the clutter and chaos in my house.   It keeps me from being as good as I could be for my family, it frustrates me, and it takes up too much of my time that I could use for better things.  Gone!  To ashes!  I commit to turning at least one pile/drawer/cabinet full of clutter 'into ashes' each day during Lent.  Check back on Easter and I'll let you know how much of a difference it's made!

Easter came and went yesterday.  Alleluia!!  There is less clutter sitting around, and it's become a habit to clean things up a little at a time.  Five minutes?  Throw in some dishes.  Ten minutes?  Fold and put away the laundry and restart it...  Less chaos.  Less frustration.  Less mess.  More time for family and the things that matter.  I'm going to keep doing this, cleaning and uncluttering at least one thing a day, until I feel like things are under control.  Yes, I have a feeling that I may never actually get all-the-way there, but at least I can get closer than I am now!

Because the 40 days of Lent were so successful, I've decided to tackle another 40 days, now that Easter has passed.    40 days of yoga.   I am promising to do 40 days of yoga.  At least 30 minutes a day.  Restorative counts, as long as it's in class.  (No cheating by working on my breathing in bed when it's time to go to sleep.... :)   I had planned to do this, but hadn't told anyone yet, when my friend sent me this email:
According to yogic science, it takes :
40 days to change a bad habit into a positive one ;
90 days confirms the new habit in you ;
120 days allows the new habit to become who you are ;
1,000 days ensures you have mastered the habit

How's that for timing?  Pastor Mike is always saying something to the point of: "You go nowhere and do nothing by accident.  God always a purpose for your life."  I love it when God's timing shows up in visible ways.   My friend had no idea I was planning on doing something like this, but just thought I'd be interested.  And I was reinforced in my idea for 40 days of yoga by her email.  How wonderful!

Here's hoping that 40 days will create in me a positive yoga habit.  Is there a positive habit you'd like to develop over the next 40 days?  I'd love to hear about it and support you if you decide to join me.  Leave me a comment and let me know.

May you be blessed and inspired to try creating your own positive habit over the next 40 days. 

Putting on Blinders (and a little Monday Motivation)

 I've been putting off posting for  few days, thinking about where I'm going with this blog.  I started out doing this only for me.  Just to document my progress with yoga and see how far I've come trying to find balance.  Then a friend started reading it (I'm glad she did!), and I started thinking about her when I wrote.  Next, I found some very inspiring Christian blogs, and I realized that side of me really needed an outlet, so I started thinking about that when I wrote.  Several other important people in my life started reading this blog, who may or may not share my beliefs, and I started thinking about them when I wrote.  I found out about a blog conference, and the women/bloggers who are going, and started reading their blogs, and wanted them to start reading, so I started to think about them when I wrote. 

Can you see where I'm going with this?  It's all very UN-balanced, and scattered all over the place.  No wonder I couldn't decide what to write about or feel like what I was writing was "good enough".  So, as of today, I'm putting blinders on.  You know, like racehorses wear, so they can't see stuff that would spook them?  I'm putting on those blinders.  I'm not going to think about all of you and everyone else, I'm just going to stick to my original purpose: Finding balance and my yoga journey.  Now, that said, I'm glad you're here.  I hope you find something interesting or thought-provoking, or helpful.  I'd love to hear your comments and hear what you think about what I write.  But I'm going to put the blinders on when I'm doing the writing.  It's what I need to do in order to find my balance.

It's Monday, and I'm looking for motivation today. I wrote an email planning a trip to see some wonderful friends, and that helped a little.  Enough to get me over here to write, anyway.  Maybe this post will motivate me to get up and accomplish something else next.  Who knows?  I'm very sleepy and lazy...a side effect of the asthma, I've figured out.  Now if I can just figure out how to fix it.... The meds help the breathing part, but I can tell that I'm still not 100% when all I want to do is lay in bed all day and stare at the wall or the tv.  Actually, I was motivated this morning to go out and work on my flowerbeds, but with a thick, and I mean THICK,  layer of neon green pollen covering everything outside my house, I figured it would be better for the asthma to stay inside.  Seriously, it looks like someone colored the whole driveway with neon green chalk.   It's insane.   I'm praying for a huge, long, rainstorm to come wash it all away.

Are you motivated today?  How do you get motivated when all you want to do is lay in bed all day?