Monday, September 26, 2016

In the World of Wellness: Know Thyself

In the World of Wellness: Get to know yourself a little better

"There's always going to be part of me that's sloppy & dirty, but I like that, with all of the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself fucker?"
Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany; Silver Linings Playbook

Society6
Samantha Zaruba

Wellness isn't just about what you eat, how much exercise you get, or what cleanse you tried last week. Wellness is about your mind, your emotions- knowing yourself. It's about having awareness of who you are and what makes you think, feel, and act the way you do.

Here are some free online tests (that I have personally tried and tested) to help you get to know yourself a little better.

The Enneagram System 
You know how personality tests are: you can always connect with at least part of what the results say about who you are, but the other half...not so much. Well, this one's probably the best I've personally ever tried. It's a little complicated, but once you read through it you'll be fine. Trust me.

The Enneagram System helps you better understand your specific personality as it relates to the nine personality traits believed to be the most distinct in individuals. It's designed to help you find your most domineering personality trait. That being said, you'll find that you may have characteristics in some of the eight other areas as well, as all are interconnected to each other. This will show up in what they refer to as wings, or parts of your personality that branch off into other areas.

Once I had my results I could, rather clearly, see how I would fall into the areas I did. In fact, I agreed with the test. Then I had The Fiance take the test; his results were shockingly accurate as well. On the Enneagram Institute site you can also find out what your compatibility is with other Enneagram types, so of course I had to do that next. Once again, I was pretty blown away. I compared us both and it was ridiculously appropriate.

I've taken many, many tests like this- everything from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the Gallup Strengths Finder to "What Color/Bird/Shape Are You?" I've done it all and this is the best, in my opinion.

Take the test here and read this very helpful overview.


Project Implicit Bias Testing by Harvard
After having a great diversity and inclusion talk with my Work Husband, I went looking for tests that would better help me understand my unconscious influences. What does that mean, you may be wondering? It means that no matter how well we think we know ourselves, the way we react and look at the world may very well be biased because of our perceptions. Everything from childhood memories to how we saw certain behaviors modeled has shaped our perspectives- and we aren't even aware of it or how that plays out in the way we think and act every single day.

What types of things might you be implicitly biased about? A lot more than you may expect. You may hold unconscious biases toward people of certain age groups or based on their weight, or even because of United States Presidents. That last part boggled your mind a little bit, right?

Take a variety of tests offered here and get to know yourself a whole heck of a lot better.


Friday, September 23, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: Thinking, Feeling, Breathing, Hearing

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments
Society6

Thinking, Feeling, Breathing, Hearing

Overcrowded, overflowing-
Seven million thoughts abound.
Not one moment can I sit here
Lingering where nothing’s found.
One more breath, one more moment,
Focus, focus- fizzle out.
Sounds are ruining my silence,
Thoughts of who and when and how.
Sit up straighter, find the missing,
Searching out where nothing is.
Everything has found me quicker-
Overwhelmed, my mind gives in.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Mantra: Honoring Fear and Imperfection

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.


Monday Mantra: You are very special. You are more than you realize, more than you fear
Society6
Andreas Lie

When I was a yoga teacher, I'd plan each of my classes around a different theme and I'd encompass yoga poses that matched that theme. For instance, if we were doing heart opening poses my theme for the night would be around love; all the ways we give, receive, and perceive love.

While everyone was seated with their eyes closed - preparing their minds for the night full of stretching and balancing, breathing and flowing - I would read them a story or quotes about love. I would help prepare them for the night. At the end of class, as I was walking them through savasana, I would tie everything together and finish out the story or the theme for the night. Like a book, open and closed.

I was going through some of my old class plans and stories and stumbled upon these two; honoring imperfection and understanding the power of fear. We can all learn a little something from both of these.

The Cracked Pot
An excerpt from The Treasure in Your Heart: Yoga and Stories for Peaceful Children

Every day, a farmer carried two pots to the river to fetch water. Each pot hung on the end of a pole across his shoulders. The pot on his right was new and perfect. The pot on his left side was older and had a crack in its side.

The new pot brought back all the water the farmer put into it. But the cracked pot leaked out water in a little trail. This went on day after day for two years. The little cracked pot felt terrible. "I am so ashamed of my imperfection!" One day, it spoke to the farmer.

"I must apologize. I only deliver half my share because I leak out water all the way back to your house. You should just get rid of me!"

The farmer said, "Do not despair. Look behind you. Do you not see those beautiful flowers along the path? Those are on the left side where I carry you. I knew about your special feature so I planted flower seeds, and you have watered those seeds as I walked home. Thanks to you, I have fresh flowers on my table. Thank you, little cracked pot. You are very special."

The Bear, The Fire, and The Snow
Shel Silverstein

"I live in fear of the snow, " said the bear.
"Whenever it's here, be sure I'll be there.
Oh, the pain and the cold,
When one's bearish and old.
I live in fear of the snow."

"I live in fear of the fire, " said the snow.
"Whenever it comes it's time I must go.
With it's yellow lick flames
Leaping higher and higher,
I live in fear of the fire."

"I live in fear of the river," said the fire.
"It can drown all my flames anytime it desires,
And the thought of the wet
Makes me sputter and shiver.
I live in fear of the river."

"I live in fear of the bear, " said the river.
"It can lap me right up, don't you know?"
While a mile away
You can hear the bear say,
"I live in fear of the snow."



Friday, September 16, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: Fantasy Land

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments
Society6


Fantasy Land
(Written to a Tune)

I count to ten on my fingers,
I’ll stop at seven for now.
I turn the corner to catch you
Now I’m facing a town.
The streets are dusty and windy,
The stores are empty and fake.
This town is haunting my senses,
I’m being shaken awake.

I’m in my PJ’s and slippers,
I’m having pancakes and tea.
You stare at me through a window,
Then dash off through the trees.
I’m in my boots and a raincoat,
The air is heavy and sweet.
I’m running fast in a forest,
I’m being slammed by the breeze.

I must be dreaming, this can’t be real.
I’ll keep on dreaming if it keeps you here.

I’m staring up at a chalkboard,
There’s ringing sharp in my ears.
A paper airplane just missed me,
Some girl just burst into tears.
I’m facing time in detention,
I feel a flick at my ear-
You’re sitting there, right behind me,
This is all so unclear.

I must be dreaming, this can’t be real.
I’ll keep on dreaming if it keeps you here.
I must be dreaming, a fantasy.
I’ll keep on dreaming of you here with me.

I’m being spun through the air,
You’re sitting right next to me.
The lights are loud and uneven,
I’m smelling cotton candy.
I’m going fast, round in circles,
I’m  dizzy, careless, and free.
You grab my hand and we’re off now
To a new fantasy.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Mantra: Make Everything Beautiful

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.


Monday Mantra: Find the mission statement for your life
Society6
Norman Duenas


When it comes to skills and marketable assets, I have some pretty good ones.

-Able to walk a giant labrador retriever (who does not know how to walk like a normal dog on a leash) and a tiny doxie (who doesn't really want to go for a walk) at the same time without anyone losing a leg, including me. (You should see us. We're a hot mess.)

 - Knowing when anything is out of place at any given time in the house and keeping a mental list of those items until they are corrected and put back WHERE THEY BELONG.

 - Flossing like a boss.

 Damn, those are good. I should really add them to my LinkedIn page.

I'm not sure I'd count this next one as a skill, but I would call it my mission statement: I want to make everything beautiful.

Companies use mission statements to describe their purpose as a business. Maybe we, as individuals, should start creating out own missions statements to help communicate to others our purpose as, well, people. Why we are who we are, do what we do, dream and live and think the way we think. Maybe, just maybe, we could more quickly get to the depths of the person in front of us.

Imagine meeting someone new for the first time. You introduce yourselves, exchange niceties, but then instead of wasting the next hour or two or three or four weeks getting to know each other, you share your mission statements. Within minutes you would know what was most important to each other. You would have more than just a glimpse of this person, you would better understand what makes them them. 

I want to make everything beautiful. Everything.

The arrangement of words. Homes. Trees and rocks and abandoned buildings. The thoughts inside people's heads.

I want to make everything beautiful and that is what makes me tick.




Friday, September 9, 2016

The Reflection of Shadows: You Sleep When I Don't

The Reflection of Shadows
A collection of moments
Society6

You Sleep When I Don't
(Written to a tune)

Here I go again,
Emotions overload and then: no sign of hope again-
I’m broken,
I’m broken.

I fake a smile,
It lasts a little while: I’ve fallen in denial-
I’m broken,
I’m broken.

You sleep when I don’t,
When I’m damaged and broken,
Fighting back all the tears-
I’m choking,
I’m choking.
I muffle the cries
In the pillow at my sides,
I suffocate my life in
These moments,
These moments.

You sleep when I don’t-
When I’m damaged and broken,
On my tears I am choking,
I’m broken,
I’m broken.

You sleep when I don’t-
When we’re damaged and broken,
On these fears I am choking,
We’re broken,
We’re broken.

You sleep when I don’t,
When I can’t,
When I won’t.