Inspire

Who is an “Engaged Spirit”?

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An Engaged Spirit is someone who actively pursues an inner positive transformation and who seeks to find peace in themselves in order to engage with others around them and create a positive change in the world.  They are an activist for peace and a change agent in the communities they belong to.  They are the ones that seem to never loss hope for the future.  They are the ones that aren’t ignorant to the evils in this world, but believe that there is more kindness than evil.  They are the ones that are out in their communities speaking up for the speechless.  They are the ones that are standing up for injustices.  They are the ones engaging with the people around them to create thriving communities. They are the ones spreading their light.  

My goal is to truly live the life of an Engaged Spirit.  What about you?  Are you an Engaged Spirit?  Join our community by entering your email at the bottom of page! 

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Engage

Breaking the Cycle- Living with Ease

Harness inner peace and abundance through doing things with ease. 

100 miles an hour.  100 things at once. Stress levels high.  Anxiety high.  More coffee in my veins than blood. Nothing checked off the list. Crashed. Defeated. Depressed.

I am tired of this cycle. It’s not productive, yet for some reason it is praised. Who can be the most stressed?  Who can have the most things on their to-do list?  Who hasn’t taken a day off in 6 months?  Gold star for all of you.

No thank you.  No more. I’ve been on a journey to fight this cycle.  Sometimes I can fight it with an OM, but other times, it wins and when it wins it wins big.

This week my intention is to do things with ease. So instead of my to-do list being something that has to be all done in one sitting, I pick one thing to do at a time.  I take time for actually eating, and connecting with people, and writing thank you cards, and writing blogs and goals, and just cuddling and watching Netflix, and doing yoga.

I think this shift will bring about the abundance and peace I desire.  I think I will be able to create the life I dream of by simply living with ease.  Not stressing. Not running at 100 miles per hour.  But living.  Doing things in a way that creates a space for creativity and love.

So this is my intention for the week. To create ease. Because I am tired of the cycle that leads to no where.

Have you set an intention for your week?

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Move

My Yoga Intentions

If you have taken one of my classes, you probably noticed that I enjoy starting each class with inviting my students to set an intention.  “You can set your intention on something physical, maybe it’s to become more flexible or to get stronger.  You can set your intention on something emotional, maybe it’s to let something go, or take something in. You can even set your intention on something spiritual, maybe it’s to connect to something bigger than yourself, or maybe it’s to just connect to yourself.” Your intention can change as frequently or as little as you want, but putting a “why” behind your practice is so important to find the healing and support that is available to you in your yoga practice.

For me, yoga has always been a more spiritual practice.  It has helped me connect.  It has helped me let go.  It has helped me find peace.  I think I found this because my intentions for my practice have always been spiritual themed.  Let me explain how I use spiritual intentions to go deeper in to my practice and how I adjust my intentions based on the day or week or month I have been having.

“You can even set your intention on something spiritual, maybe it’s to connect to something bigger than yourself…”

Do you ever have those days where your ego is just so large that everyone around you just seems so unimportant?  Or those days when you heard someone who did something that you swear you would never do and you are judging them so harshly for it?  Or where you feel so disconnected from the people in your community or maybe even in your own home?  I can definitely relate to having days like these (even though I hate to admit it).  On days like those, I like to set my intention on connecting to something bigger than myself.  To me that bigger connection is on God.  To spend my practice with the intention of worshipping God and finding my connection to that presence.  We all can connect to that presence, and that helps me take my focus off of my self and realize that we are all cut from the same cloth.  I am no better than the person next to me.  Each person is filled with the divine so within each person I can find a piece of God (bye, bye ego).

“…or maybe it’s to just connect to yourself.”

Now, on the other spectrum.  Do you ever have days that you feel like you are insignificant?  The days when you feel like you are the worst human that has ever walked the earth, like everything you touch turns into dirt?  The days when you are so hard on yourself and the only thing that plays through your mind is negative self talk? Yep, I have been there too, more times than I want to admit.  On days like those, I set my intention on connecting to myself.  To find the divine that is in me.  If I can see the God in everyone else, I must be able to find the God in me.  I focus on allowing my body to flow with grace.  I focus on the power that I hold inside me.  I focus on all the good that God has done in my life. I open my heart and feel the love that my body is filled with.  I feel the forgiveness that I am able to receive. After practicing with this intention I tend to feel more empowered, more filled with love and I can feel this sense of peace that washes over my entire body.

Intentions can be a very powerful tool in your yoga practice to help you find healing.  Because of this, I want to emphasize the importance of setting positive intentions before every practice. If you don’t set your intention and are feeling very negative, you might just fed into that negative mindset as you practice, instead of inviting in a transformative energy.  If you don’t set your intention and are feeling very egotistical and cynical, you might fed into that as well, instead of creating an open heart and open mind.

So write your intentions down, maybe try one of my intentions, or create your own.  We are all on different journeys and we all need different things. So play around and see what works best for you!

Have questions? Ask me!  Tried it? Let me know! Namaste, Engaged Spirits!

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Move

Is Goat Yoga Worth the Hype?

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​I have taught 3 Goat Yoga Classes so far and I have been asked by so many people, why Goats? and why goats and yoga? To be completely honest, I was wondering the same thing when I first heard about it (well, after my mini sequel of excitement with just the cuteness of the whole thing). Yeah, baby goats (kids) are adorable and cuddly, but why is goat yoga such a big thing? Well, after teaching it a few times, I can say, I finally understand why goat yoga is a thing, and why it is such a BIG DEAL. Here is why I think Goat Yoga classes are so valuable and totally worth the hype…

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​The presence of goats keep you in the moment, when it’s just a teacher, it seems to be so easy to just zone out during class, and even easier to let your brain wonder, but with the goat present that seems to change everything. Your mind is no longer making giant to-do lists during class (this can’t just be what I do, right?), instead your completely present in the moment, always aware of what the goats are doing and silently praying one will jump on your back to capture a picture perfect moment

The goats also create a light-hearted atmosphere. No serious faces, no stresses from the week can distract you from the goats goofiness. (I always thought I was a klutz, but the goats are a whole lot worse). This really allows the class to be free from any negative energy and creates a safe space for people to truly feel able to open their hearts, enjoy the practice, and love on the goats.

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​The goats also force you to be flexible (I’m not talking about physically). You never know what a goat is going to do. It might come decide to take a nap on your mat (or pee on it), and you have to just be able to work around it. You have to adapt and realize that being flexible is okay and just going with the flow isn’t all that scary or hard. You just have to look at the scenario and think, hm… how can I adjust to this? I think this is so important to learn on your yoga mat because once you can get it down on a yoga mat you can take it with you through all other areas of your life.

The goats make yoga accessible for everyone. Whether you want to come to a goat yoga class and just lay there and let the goats climb all over you, or if you want to actually get a practice in, you can at goat yoga (and there is no weird looks because well, honestly most of us are there just for the goats). As a teacher, I would hope you would at least try to do a few postures with me, but honestly, if you are smiling and enjoying yourself, I don’t care what you are doing.

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​I’m sure the more I teach goat yoga the more I will have to say, but for now those are all the reasons I think goat yoga is worth all the hype. It truly allows for such a dynamic, open, light-hearted, present class that is filled with the soft “maaaaaahhhhh”-ing of the goats. If you haven’t tried it yet, I would highly suggest checking out a class! If you are in the Tampa, Fl area we have classes at Hat Trick Ranch! Follow us and Grady Goat on Facebook for more information.
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Eat

Chocolate Protein Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

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​This protein packed chocolate quinoa bowl is a delight in the morning. Confession… I haven’t gone grocery shopping in well over two weeks… I have been surviving off of sweet potatoes, frozen veggies, and vegetable fried rice from Trader Joe’s that I stocked up on the last time I went grocery shopping. However, now I can add this to my list. With only 8 ingredients to bring this bowl to life, its the perfect bowl for when grocery shopping has been pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. And did I mention its CHOCOLATE!

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​Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tbs cacao
  • 1 square of dark chocolate (you can use any chocolate really, my boyfriend bought me Godiva dark chocolate squares the other day so I used those… thanks babe!)
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • Honey (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Almond Milk

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To make the quinoa just do 1/2 cup quinoa to a 1 cup of water.  Bring to boil, and then lower to medium heat.  Put a lid on the pot and let cook until the water is all soaked into the quinoa.  Usually takes around 5-10 minutes.  Once quinoa is cooked you can add the tbs of cacao and stir to mix fully (this can be a little bitter so you can add a tsp of honey to mix in as well).  You can scoop your quinoa into your bowl and stick in fridge as you make your toppings.

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Turn the burner to medium heat. In a skillet pour (or if you hate cleaning multiple pans like I do, you can just use the same pot you used to cook the quinoa) the coconut oil, and add the oats (I like to add a pinch of cinnamon here).  Allow oats to to turn a toasty brown color stirring them around occasionally to make sure they are all evenly toasted.  Then take off heat, add in pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate.

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​Take the quinoa out of the fridge it should be a slightly cool now. Pour in milk of your choice (I personally love it with almond milk), then top off with granola and enjoy!

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​I think next time I want to try mixing in a chocolate protein powder in my quinoa instead of the cacao.  I’ll let you know how it goes! Also, the other day instead of chocolate I added cinnamon coated sweet potatoes into the granola and added a little bit of honey to the quinoa and it was a delight as well.  Hope you enjoy and play around with it, let me know what other quinoa breakfast bowls you create in the comments below.
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Inspire

The Ugly Side of Day Dreaming

 

Oh, how easy it is for me to get lost in a day dream… Today I literally spent 2 hours looking up Ford Econoline vans. Why, you may ask? Oh, well I plan on selling everything I own so I can move into the van and travel the country for a year after I graduate… yep, because I obviously know what I am going to want a year from now… and I obviously need to start looking at van prices right now… and design what the inside of my van is going to look like. Maybe, this is an extreme example of day dreaming (or maybe its nothing compared to yours), but either way, I can safely assume we all spend way too much time day dreaming about the future instead of just living in the present moment. Then we reflect on our past year and realize we didn’t accomplish anything we wanted to and we get no where closer to reaching our dreams. It’s a terrible cycle that is so easy to fall into. I am so guilty of this. The thing is, I am mindful of the effects my day dreaming causes not only for myself, but for others around me. My day dreaming tends to be very selfish and can cause certain relationships to suffer because I start to think my day dream should be a reality and I will start to ignore people who don’t like my day dream or who I think just don’t fit in with it. Getting caught up in the day dreaming trap also tends to send me into a state of depression because I start comparing my “day dream life” to my life right now and feel like it isn’t good enough (COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY! yes, even if the comparison is with yourself). Because I am mindful of the effects that my day dreaming ruts cause for me I found a simple exercise to help me get out of it before the depression gets unmanageable and before I cut ties with everyone in my life. If you ever feel like you are in that day dreaming rut, why don’t you try it too?

What you will need:

  • A journal
  • A pen or pencil
  • A comfortable chair or blanket to sit on

To Do:

  1. 1. In your journal, write down all of your day dreams. This way they are no longer floating around in your mind. You want to write an entry before meditating just to make sure your mind is clear, but you can add to the journal anytime a day dream comes into your head (the best part is looking back on your journals and seeing all of your ideas). You can also start to pick out certain themes in your journal entries. For example maybe all of your day dreams involve traveling, or down sizing, or maybe it involves saving for a big purchase, or moving somewhere, (the list could go on and on), but once you find that theme you can start to do things that are in alignment with that overarching theme and that will help make all your day dreams come together into you living your dream.
  2. After you write the day dream journal entry, write a journal entry on everything you are grateful for in your current life. This helps you come back to the present moment and helps you notice all the amazing things in your life right now.
  3. Close the journal and come to a comfortable seated position. You can do this sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. If you are sitting in a chair make sure your back in up nice and straight and that your feet are firmly planted on the ground. If you are sitting on the floor make sure that your weight is evenly dispersed between your two sitting bones and that they are nice and grounded.
  4. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. The main goal of meditation is to be able to clear your mind (way easier said than done). However, even just being able to clear your mind for a split second or to concentrate solely on your breath for a hot second is heading in the right direction. Our goal is to become mindful of where our mind is wandering so we can bring it back to the present quicker and stop getting lost in our day dreams. If you have a day dream come up during your meditation, allow your self to notice it, but then let it go (sometimes it helps, if I just say to myself “these are great ideas, but not yet.” The “not yet” isn’t as harsh as a “no” and it makes it easier to let go). Practice meditating for just 5 minutes and then everyday just try to sit for a little longer.
  5. When you finish meditating feel free to journal anything you discovered during your practice. If nothing came to you, no worries, just spending that time in stillness is so beneficial and will start to help you break that day dreaming cycle and help you start living and appreciating the present moment.

Did this help? Let me know in the comments below!

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Inspire

5 Tips to Have a Productive Monday… or any day


Today is my first official day of summer.  No more school, which means no more textbooks to read (besides Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, but that’s just for fun), no more papers to write, and no more tests to study for.  During this time it is so incredibly easy to become… well… a lazy bum.  However, today I already went through my entire plastic bag collection for my Recycled Chanel products, I took all my clothes I have been meaning to get rid of to Plato’s Closet (scored myself $30 cash) and then took the rest to Good Will, and wrote this blog you are reading now, all before 1 o’clock. Kendrick Lamar’s new album might have something to do with my get s**t done attitude, but there are definitely a few other things that have helped me get the motivation to be productive.. even on a Monday.  Here are just a few tips to get your week started on a productive and happy note!

1.  Pick one thing that has been on your to-do list for forever and day and just get it done.  For me, it was taking my clothes to Good Will.  Once you knock that one thing off your to-do list you will feel such a weight lifted from your shoulders and that feeling will make you want to knock more things off your to-do list.  It’s really interesting how being productive can actually feel so good (tomorrow I tackle cleaning my car… wish me luck).

2. Create a Monday morning playlist (I know… so lame, right?).  But this is probably my favorite tip!  Music can really set a mood (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that **wink wink**), so setting up a playlist that helps you feel motivated, energized, and up beat can really set your week up for success.  I personally enjoy rap at the beginning of the week because I have a very go with the flow personality and the rap is a sharp contrast to my normal personality which helps build that energy I so desperately need.

3.  Treat yo’self!  No, don’t go blowing through your budget for the week, but give yourself a little something to look forward to.  My personal favorite is a vanilla iced latte in the morning because the rest of the week your girl is running on iced americano’s or some instant coffee at home. Just do something for yourself that puts a smile on your face and gets you moving.  (another personal favorite is splurging on a Bikram Yoga Class, the heat helps build a fire inside that keeps me going all week)

4. Eat right, ALL DAY.  This one is really big for me because your Monday truly sets up the rest of your week.  So start your morning with a clean breakfast, make or buy your self a healthy lunch (this should be your biggest meal of the day), then finish with a healthy and light dinner! Also drink plenty of water!  This not only will keep your energy up through out the day, but will also help motivate you to eat healthy the rest of your week.

5.  Shake things off. Remember it is Monday… People tend to be a little extra grumpy (obvi they didn’t read this blog), traffic tends to feel worst than usual, all the work you have been avoiding all weekend is finally catching up to you… but hey, guess what, you got this! And complaining about it or getting grumpy with everyone else isn’t going to get what you need to get done, done.  So instead just shake those negative vibes off.  Jam to your kick a** playlist, enjoy your healthy meals, your iced latte, or your other treat yo’ self gift and just enjoy your Monday.

Time to get your week set up for success- go knock that to-do item off your list, create that playlist, make that meal, and enjoy your productive, boss self.

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Inspire

I Found My Forever Lover…


Do things with ease and let the universe guide you.  Allow you and the universe to be so connected that you ebb and flow with perfect harmony, indulging in your desires and embracing pleasure all through life.  Become the Universe’s Lover.

Do you ever put your dreams on hold because of some social norm?  And do you constantly feel a calling to follow that dream?  Does that cause you to feel depressed or out of sync?  That is the universe screaming at you.  Screaming at you, “PLEASE, DON’T MISS YOUR PURPOSE.”   You know, you have a purpose to why you are here and the universe wants to conspire with you to create that into a reality.  The problem is, when you fight against the universe, everyone suffers… including you.  It turns into a toxic relationship filled with anxiety, depression, exhaustion, lack of motivation (I could go on), instead of a relationship filled with passion, purpose, and excitement.  You have the chance to listen to the universe’s calling, the one that is drawing you near.

For the longest time, I was trying to create a life that fit into social norms.  A 9-5 job would be the end goal after I graduate college, I would make a decent income working under someone and then focus on building a family.  But living a life like that never felt right.  I would wake up in the middle of the night on the verge of tears, thinking “this is so wrong, that is not suppose to be what my life looks like.” (I wish I was exaggerating).  I finally decided that my life doesn’t have to look like that at all.  I don’t have to fit into the box of social norms that were set in front of me.  I can create the life that fits my purpose.  I finally decided to stop living in conflict with the universe and instead decided to become one with the universe.  I decided to the let the universe guide me and inspire me on my journey and that has made all the difference.  I became the Universe’s Lover.

Don’t fight against the Universe. Allow It to hold doors open for you, allow It to inspire you, to motivate you, to support you. Allow It to protect you, to close doors/keep doors closed for your safety.  Allow It to hold your hand and guide you to your next exciting adventure.  The universe just wants to be there for you.  It wants to be in unison with you.  It doesn’t want to be in a toxic relationship with you filled with conflict.  It wants to be in a conscious relationship with you.  One filled with growth.

Listen to that calling from your lover.  Listen carefully. Allow it to light a fire in your soul that connects you back to your purpose.  Let it guide you on this journey. Become the Universe’s Lover.

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