Set Your Intention: Indulgence

"Every once in a while, you just need to indulge yourself. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured."

When you hear the word indulgence, chances are your mind immediately goes negative. Rightfully so, because typically when we hear "indulge", we usually then think of gluttony, entitlement, and privilege. And yes, sometimes that is the case. There are plenty of people who regularly over-indulge, which can lead to arrogance and an excessive collection of "things". This has resulted is us feeling guilty when we indulge in anything, even when it's something we’ve earned or deserved.

I believe it's time to change our perspective on "indulgence". When an indulgence is chosen and used in moderation, it can be a wonderful thing. An example I like to use is a chocolate chip cookie. Let's say you find yourself craving a singular chocolate chip cookie. But you're trying to remain healthy. So you find a box of reduced fat crackers and chose to eat that instead. But because you didn't feed your small crave, you wind up eat the whole cracker box in an attempt to curb your crave. So, which is better for you? A singular chocolate chip cookie at 78 calories or a box of so-so crackers at 1040 calories. Sometimes embracing that small indulgence can be healthy. Besides, life is far too short to go without the occasional chocolate chip cookie.

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"Instead of indulging in 'comfort food', indulge in comfort meditation, comfort journaling, comfort walking, comfort talking, comfort manicures, comfort reading, comfort yoga, comfort hugging. It's a healthy indulgence."

Can we have truly healthy indulgences? To indulge means to take pleasure in an act. If you can find pleasure within a healthy practice such as yoga, why wouldn't you indulge yourself in it. If yoga isn't your thing, then find your healthy indulgence. Meditation, running,  journaling, reading, are all excellent options. The point is, if you have found something that brings you joy, gives you pleasure, and is non-harmful, why wouldn't you indulge in it?

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"In order to give of yourself to others, you must first have something to give. So enjoy your life. Have fun. Indulge yourself. Be good to yourself. How can you hope to bring happiness to others, if you are not happy?"

By allowing yourself these precious moments do to what you crave, you will begin to redefine your self-worth. You will become healthier, happier, and stronger. Then, you will be able to take this strength and happiness and pass it along to those who matter to you. Then, hopefully, from there, you can grow those relationships beyond what you could have imagined.

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"Keep you sunny side up, keep yourself beautiful, and indulge yourself!"

Please feel free to join me this month at Corepower Yoga.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like

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Set Your Intention: Your Self

Self-Worth

"No one can validate you enough to make it last. Outside approval feels great but true self-worth lies in the ability to give it to yourself."

What is your worth? How do you value yourself? Different from self-esteem, self-worth is about who you are, not about what you do. Those who determine their self-worth on external factors lead more stressful lives and risk issues with their mental health. But for those who determine their self-worth on internal factors lead happier, fuller lives. While real accomplishments are wonderful and should be celebrated, your self-worth should focus more on your unique qualities.

Self-Care

"You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first."

Take this moment while I'm writing the first draft of this post. It is nearly midnight on a Sunday. I'm tired and I have to teach yoga in the morning. But I stay awake writing and stressing myself over a self-imposed deadline.

When we are stressed, self-care is the first thing to go; which only just makes things worse. Abandoning essentials like sleep, meals, and physical activity are damaging to your mind and body. Self-care isn't a reward. It isn’t something we treat ourselves to when we’ve finished our to-do list. It should be one of you highest priorities. 

Self-Talk

"When you do talk about yourself, to talk to yourself… try to picture your talking to your own daughter or your younger sister. Because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful, and you wouldn't be lying. Because she is. And so are you" - Amy Poehler

Self-talk is not discussed enough. We hear a lot about self-worth and self-care, but self-talk is it's own animal. The things we say to ourselves, about ourselves can be meaner then anything we would say aloud. It is hard to identify in a friend because we don't know what someone is thinking. For some people, these thoughts are pronounced and overwhelming, and they are hard to avoid. We need to go easy on ourselves, and remember we are just trying our best. 

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Self-Love

"Worry about loving yourself, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you."

To start, abandon this idea that self-love means you're selfish. Doing things for yourself and taking care of yourself is wonderful. We There is nothing wrong with loving who you are, flaws included. This is life. Life isn't about being perfect. It isn't about living happily ever after. It's about working on yourself, finding yourself, and loving yourself . It's a simple idea, but so hard to achieve.

Please feel free to join me as we further explore our selves throughout August at Corepower Yoga.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Yoga Playlist Vol. 2 and Set Your Intention: Creativity 

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Yoga Playlist Vol. 2

I put together together another yoga playlist that became insanely popular with many of my students. Since the response to this one was as good as the first, I thought I would share it as well!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Creativity and Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

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Set Your Intention: Creativity

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Am I creative?

"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play." - Henri Matisse

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I am creative person.

The truth is, I do have a natural gift in art and design. So by traditional standards, I am creative. As I grew up, I ventured further down the artistic path. I obtained a degree in Advertising and have been doing graphic design work for the last 6 years.

Today, my creativity comes through in my style, my home, DIY projects, and more. But the older I got, the more self-conscious I became of my creativity. I’d get called out by my friends and family for "going the extra mile", or "making something special". They were being sarcastic, of course, but I never knew how to respond other then an awkward laugh and a smile. The follow-up was usually, "I don't know how you do that; I'm not creative."

I began to question, "why I am considered the creative one?". My instincts are to do things differently and my execution comes from research for inspiration. (Thank you Pinterest!) It was then that I began to consider what is creativity and why do people say I have it? Upon further thought, and some light googling, I came to the realization that creativity can be show in different forms; not just in the traditional sense. 

Creativity of the Mind.

"Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles. You're asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom : "Why do I have to obey the rules?", "Why can't I be different?", "Why can't I do it my way?" - Twyla Tharp

My creativity comes from a need to surround myself with beauty. I firmly believe this desire is embedded into everyone. The true difference is not whether a person is creative, but rather how they define beauty. To be creative, you must be searching for a unique solution, for something different, for an unbelievable sight. However, this idea doesn't solely identify itself to art and design. This applies to all parts of life.

My husband claims he's not creative, but he can solve any computer problem. He has the ability find creative solutions to issues I can't fix. My mother-in-law claims she's not creative, but she is creating beauty in the world with her amazing garden and appreciation for nature. I have what I refer to as a "black thumb"; I can't grow a damn thing. I have several family members who are teachers and claim to not be creative, but everyday they come up with creative and unique ways to teach and inspire children. I don't have that level of patience.

My point is simple. Everyone has the ability to be creative in their own way.

Creativity of the Body

"Creativity is experimenting,  growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." - Mary Lou Cook

Yoga is creativity of the body. By coming to yoga class and moving through the flows you are being creative. But let's hold onto this thought for a moment.

Moving your body can effect mood and perspective on your life. Your mood and perspective are critical to your creativity. There have been several studies proving movement improves thought process, problem-solving, and creative work and development.

But, aside from the obvious physical and mental benefits of movement, yoga itself is a creative activity. Think about the poses you take on in each class. Whether it is something as simple as Mountain Pose (Tadasana) more challenging like Crow Pose (Bakasana), you are moving your body in new creative ways. You are taking yourself outside of the norm of walking, standing, and sitting. You are a creative person simply by attending a yoga class. By realizing this, youare rejecting the notion that you are not "creative". Don't feel held back because you claim you "can't". So, in your next yoga class:

Experiment with yoga.

Grow in new ways.

Take a risk and try a new pose.

Break the rules you think you should follow.

Make a mistake, even fail!

But above all have fun.

Creativity of the Soul

"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world." - Brene Brown

I believe this: If your creation is authentic and true to yourself, it will be a window into your soul. Other people are able to see through your eyes. They can see your love, your hate, your perspective on all parts of life. It's rather remarkable.

Catching a glimpse of someone's soul can be incredibly powerful, but also incredibly scary. It's a vulnerable situation to be in, which can easily be overwhelmed with doubt and criticism. Creativity requires a tough exterior because, unfortunately, it's subjective. Take this entire post for an example. One may read it and think it's a creative piece, while another may think otherwise. It can be scary putting myself out there like this, but it's one of the ways I exercise my creativity.

So I encourage you, rather I challenge you, in whatever way you express your creativity, do it! Do it now! Take this opportunity to embrace your skills, your gifts, and your creativity. 

Please feel free to join me as we further explore creativity throughout July at Corepower Yoga.

Inhale Possibility. Exhale Creativity. 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind and  Set Your Intention: Accept Support

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Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

This week, I offer the intention to "Find Stillness in Your Mind".

With the spring ending and summer quickly approaching, our schedules tend to get busier. Weekends fill out with weddings, parties and day trips. Typical Monday through Friday norms are shifted with kids home form school and vacations to new places. It is very easy to get lost in the constant movements both physical and mental.

So as we entire the busy summer, I encourage you to find time for yourself. Let your mind be still, let your mind wander, get lost in your own thoughts. Take whatever actions you need to make this a reality. This can be during your yoga practice or on your time. Either way, find it!

" The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness."

- Sakyong Mipham

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Accept Support and Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

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Set Your Intention: Accept Support

This week, I offer the intention to "Accept Support".

In yoga , we have the option to use blocks and straps to help deepen and elevate our practice and postures. They are available for every class, but do we use them to their maximum potential? Probably not. These tools are there to help and support us, yet many of us just ignore them. Our ignorance of these tool could have originated from different places, including embarrassment. I used to be sheepish over grabbing a block before class. I was fearful that my practice would appear weak or unstable.

Similarly to every day life, sometimes it can be difficult to accept help or support from people for fear of looking weak. This could not be further from the truth. It takes a strong person to know when they need to accept support.

Blocks and straps turn our practice from "I can't" to "I can" to "I did". A strap can take you from Extended Side Angle to a Bind to Birds of Paradise. A block can encourage you to engage your inner thighs, deepen your twist, and lengthen your spine. * We use them until they don't serve us anymore; and we return to them when a new challenge faces us.

Accepting support can takes us to poses and places we otherwise thought unimaginable. It's rather amazing what we can accomplish So this week, both in your yoga practice and in everyday life, I encourage you to accept support.

"Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. You don't have to go at it alone."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Yoga Playlist Vol. 1 and Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner

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*Ed. Note: All these examples are based off my own personal practice!

Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

I put together this yoga playlist about a month ago and got such a  positive response from it! After almost every class where I played it, at least one person came up to me to compliment the playlist or ask about a particular song. In fact, so many people have asked about it, I thought it be best to post it here so it's available for all to see!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner and Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness

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Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner

This week, I offer the intention to be a beginner. We tend to look upon beginners as fragile, youthful, and unaware. But the truth is, they are excited and they have fresh eyes. Beginners can look on a situation in a new light and can offer fresh perspective to stale situations and problems.

Beginners are people who try something new. To learn a new skill, one must become a beginner. To master a new yoga pose, one must become a beginner. To start over, one must become a beginner. Sometimes we must be a beginner again.

Let yourself start over. Let yourself try something new.

"Don't be afraid of being a beginner."

 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness and Set Your Intention: Ask Why

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Saturdaze: March '17 Update

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March flew by, and I mean that literally because the weather was insane. Hot one day, cold the next, a tornado warning and endless rain. Hopefully what comes of this is sunshine and warm spring days! Despite the rain, we had a lot going on in March.

In March, I…

Watched: Vanderpump Rules on Hulu.

Heard: Lala Land soundtrack.

Read: Still reading What Remains by Carole Radizille

Traveled: Nashville, TN for my friends Bachelorette Party.

Saw: My first Sporting KC game and the pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which I cannon recommend enough!

News: The launch of Demas Designs!

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, then you will also like Saturdaze: February '17 Update and Saturdaze: September Update

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Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness

Last week while waiting for one of my yoga classes to start, I overheard an acquaintance speaking to a friend. The acquaintance revealed that she had just lost her job out of the blue and wasn't sure what to do next. Despite disliking the job, the shock was still intense and hurtful. Everything she said reminded me of when I lost my job last year. I thought about chiming in with my own story, but I didn't want to disrupt the conversation.

After my class, while getting ready to leave, I saw the acquaintance sitting alone. I was packing up my bag, when I began to debate whether or not to say something as I passed by her. Part of me thought she would like to hear that someone else has gone through this before. Another part of me thought she wouldn't want to talk about it with someone she barely knew. I decided to follow my instinct and say something.

I told her I went through a very similar experience last year, and that I am actually stronger and happier as a result. I told her good things will come from this in time and that it's okay to be sad and upset right now.

This encounter was just a few minutes, then I left.

The next day, I received a text from the acquaintance. She thanked me for reaching out and talking to her. She said it brought her comfort to know that people have experienced exactly what she is going through and to know that in time, things will get better. I was so touched by her response to our short conversation. It amazed me that I even questioned whether or not to take the few minutes of my time to sit and chat with her. It reminded me that small act of kindness can have drastic effects on those around us. By no means did I change this woman's life, but I was able to help bring some light into her darkness. This small act reminded me to take the extra step with the people I encounter.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" - Leo Buscaglia

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Ask Why and Set Your Intention: Anger

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Set Your Intention: Ask Why

Children by nature are curious.  They want to know and understand everything around them and aren't afraid to ask. Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time with a child can attest that their ability to ask questions is endless. In fact, it can get rather annoying. As we grow into adults, we lose that curiosity. At the risk of sounding annoying and dumb, we refrain from asking multiple questions. We except the first answer to the questions we ask, without additional follow up. However, knowing the first "answer" doesn't always solve any problems.

This week's intention, Ask Why, was inspired by an article I read last week. The article talks about how asking just a few more questions a day can help solve more problems. It’s about getting to the root of the problem.

So this week, I encourage you to ask "Why?" In fact, I encourage you to ask it multiple times. Learn about your friends, your coworkers, your clients, yourself! Dig deeper into the problems you encounter and challenges you face. The resolution could be simple by just asking a few more follow-up questions. Remember, not to let fear of sounding mundane, unaware, and most importantly curious, stop you. 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Anger and Set Your Intention: Embrace Your Inner Child

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Set Your Intention: Anger

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Anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is what comes out when we try to mask our true feelings. From personal experience, I know when I look deeper down into myself when I'm angry, I realize my true feelings can be confusion, jealousy, regret, or disappointment. When I begin to feel anger, I try to take a step back, examine the situation, and try to realize my true feelings; then go from there. 

Anger is mean, aggressive, and irreparable. Upon my deeper research of "anger" I found this story and I feel it will explain "anger", better than I could.

Once upon a time, there was a young boy with a very bad temper. To teach the boy a lesson, his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 26 nails into the fence. That's how angry he was! Over the next few weeks, the boy began to control his temper. And so he hammered fewer and fewer nails into the fence. The day finally came when the boy didn't lose his temper, not even one. He was so proud of himself. He couldn't wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper. Several weeks went by and soon the boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. Then the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. "You have done very well, my son," he smiled. "But look at all the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you're sorry, the wounds will still be there."

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Let go of your anger."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Embrace Your Inner Child and Set Your Intention: Moving Forward

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Set Your Intention: Embrace Your Inner Child

The intention for this week sprouted from something rather embarrassing: I discovered Girl Meets World on Netflix and have been binging it.

If you were a child on the 90s like myself, odds are you loved Boy Meets World. I loved watching Cory, Shawn, and Topanga and all of their friends grow up. As a kid, I did my best not to miss a single episode when it aired on TGIF on ABC.  It brought me a lot of comfort when networks started to air old episodes in syndication. And in 2014, when they announced Girl Meets World coming to Disney Channel, I was very excited. So a few days ago, when I saw the series was on Netflix, I immediately hit play.

Yes, the show is corny, fairly unrealistic, and quirky, but I can't help it! I'm hooked. I love seeing some of my old favorite childhood characters back on television. Plus, they do a fantastic job of poking fun at the original show, like obscure it was for Cory, Shawn, and Topanga to have Mr. Feeny as their teacher every year.

But what this show has done for me this week was inspirational. I enjoyed time traveling back to my childhood and watching my some favorite characters again. This show is simple, easy, and light ,just like childhood. There are many times in life where I crave those qualities, praying they would find their way back into my life. Unfortunately, as an adult, like can't always be simple, easy, and light; but there are time when it can be. So my intention of "embracing my inner child", means finding those moments, capturing them, and enjoying what they have to offer, because they will leave all too quickly.

"Your inner child gets it all, believes it all, hopes for it all, and is the only guardian worthy of your heart. That child knows that life - which runs on love and feasts on creativity - is on your side and that the Universe conspires with you, not against you, to help you spread that wild, crazy, messy love thought your own story."

To accompany this intention, I have a playlist inspired by my childhood; all Disney songs! Enjoy! Playlist below.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Slow Down and Set Your Intention: Perspective 

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Set Your Intention: Moving Forward

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For this week, my intention was moving forward. There wasn't anything personal that has happened to me to inspire this intention. Rather I let my intention come from my C2 sequence for the week. In this C2, I have my students entire several more advance poses, including Warrior III, handstand, and Revolved Triangle.

It is very easy to get caught up in one particular pose, espeically when it is not successful. SO I wanted to encourage my students to let what has happened go. In their 60 minute class, but also off the mat.

"Today, remember to keep walking forward. Your will be met with many obstacles in life but always know you are capable of great things. Keep going on your own path. It's up to you to keep on walking..."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Celebrate! and Set Your Intention: Slow Down

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Set Your Intention: Celebrate!

This week's intention was initially chosen for CorePower Yoga at Hawthorne Plaza's One Year anniversary party. (Which, by the way, was absolutely amazing! Thank you to all those who came!) I was teaching the C1 class for that evening and wanted the intention to reflect the theme of the night; so I chose "To Celebrate".

This theme obviously fit well for the evening, but I liked it so much and got such a positive response, I decided to carry it through the rest of the week. I began by encouraging my students to celebrate big accomplishments, small accomplishments, really anything they want. I encouraged them to celebrate this moment, this class; to be proud of themselves for even making it to class that day. 

I included the playlist I used for all of my classes this week below. I know I typically don't do that, but I got so many compliments on this playlist! Plus it is very in theme. I truly had a great time putting together this playlist and researching great celebration and victory songs.

"Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. Celebrate every tiny victory. "

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Slow Down and Set Your Intention: Perspective 

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Slow Down

My intention for this week, to slow down, sprouted from a moment on Sunday afternoon. My husband and I were hanging photos and art in our living room. Despite having nothing else to do that day, I felt the need to rush through this task. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to get this done quickly to move onto… nothing. We had nothing else to do that day.

Once I realized, what I was doing, I had this moment of shock. I didn't gain anything from rushing this process.  In fact, this was a task that required time and patience. As Steve put it, "once their up, that's where they're staying", so I should have been taking my time!

But my shock didn't just revolve around hanging photos. I made me realize how many things in life I try to rush through for no reason. It seemed so unnecessary! Rushing through cooking, cleaning, phone calls, driving, for no reason other than to move onto the next task that I would inevitably rush through as well!

I felt inspired and determined to slow down, to be in the moment, and to most importantly, not rush what doesn't need to be rushed. So in my yoga classes this past week, we slowed it down. We took our time to hold each post before our slow transition to the next. But beyond this week, I truly want to extend this intention through the rest of my life.

Editors Note: Tonight at CorePower Yoga on Hawthorne Plaza's one year anniversary celebration! For those of you who live in the Kansas City area stop by this evening for a free class of yoga in celebration!
4:30 - Hot Power Fusion
5:30 - C1 - I'm Teaching!
6:00 - C2 - Glow Flow
7:00 - Yoga Sculpt

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Perspective and Set Your Intention: Second Chances

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Photo Credit

Set Your Intention: Perspective

This week, my intention was Perspective.

My reason for choosing this as my intention was two-fold.  First, to encourage the reminder that everyone in this world is on their own journey, has had their own experiences and as a result has their own personal perspective of the world. Assumption and lack of communication are true killers, We all perceive the world differently. We've all lived different lives and as a result, we have different values. It is essential to understand that before getting mad at someone for not believing what you believe.

Second, I needed the personal reminder to not sweat the small things in life. I am a very anxious person. The smallest thing can send my day into a downward spiral and it is just unpleasant. It can be a struggle, but I am trying to keep my perspective and question how this small blip will effect my future. More often than not, it wouldn't change a thing.

"Live by the 5 by 5 rule. If it's not going to matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes upset about it."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Second Chances

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Second Chances

Welcome to Set Your Intention, a new series on Kaleidoscope Spinning. In this series, I will be discussing my Yoga Intention for the past week.

This week, my intention was second chances.

This intention was inspired by the few days following the New Year. On Jan.1 many people wake up with their resolutions on the mind. But unfortunately, and usually unintentionally, people drop their resolution far too quickly. But the thing I believe many people forget is it's perfectly okay to try again. There is nothing wrong with picking up a dropped resolution in April, June, or November. You don't need a "new year" to create a "new me". You need determination, a positive attitude, and the willingness to fail and try again.

So take a second chance on yourself. It will be worth it in the end.

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."