Rejoice In The Way Things Are

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MONDAY MANTRA: Rejoice in the way things are.

There is an important distinction between happiness and excitement. So often in life we think, if I only had this or that, I would be happy. The truth is that we already have everything we need to be happy.

Happiness comes from being connected to who we are. It is the byproduct of believing that everything is exactly as it should be. Good things happen, bad things happen. It all works together to teach us to appreciate the blessings in our life. When we are grateful, we feel happy.

Happiness is very different than excitement. Excitement is what we feel when when we achieve a goal, or receive something that we feel we are lacking, such as a new car, a promotion, an invitation to a party.

Unlike happiness, excitement is not sustainable, because it is dependent on circumstances. Happiness is only dependent on self-awareness. It is what we feel when see ourselves with clarity, and remember that we each serve an important, unique purpose in the world.

At our core, we all want the same things–to know that we are seen, that we are heard, and that we matter.  This is what makes us happy, and it’s not something that we can buy or be given. It lies in how we see the world.

When we believe that we already have everything we need to be happy within, the whole world belongs to us.

I Am Peace

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MONDAY MANTRA: I am peace.

December is, for many of us, the busiest time of year. Ironically, though, it is also the time of year that we talk most about peace on earth and goodwill to men. So, how do we reconcile the demands and extremes of the holidays, with our fundamental hope for peace?

By recognizing that peace is not something to wish for in the future. It is not some elusive ideal that we can only hope to achieve. Peace is a state of mind, a choice we make to practice ahimsa (non-violence) in every moment of every day.

Ahimsa is one of the highest values in the yogic practice. It is much further-reaching than physical non-violence. Ahimsa teaches us to refrain from negativity in all aspects of our life, including our actions, speech, and thoughts, about ourselves and others.

Every single one of us can be peace, by reminding ourselves that peace is a state of being. Any time it feels out of reach, use the mantra “I am peace” to remind yourself that peace is a who you are at your core. No matter how circumstances in life may change, peace is something that is always waiting within, ready to be revealed and shared with others.

40 Days To Go!

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There are 40 days left in 2013, and we have a choice to make. Will we embrace this crazy healthy life, and reject everything that gets in the way? Or will we fall back into old habits, only to regret our indulgences later?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have fun, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy the fabulous offerings of the season. It’s all good in moderation! We get a little sideways, though, when we are not intentional. So, make a plan now, as to how you will stay on track in these last few busy–and wonderful!–weeks of the year.

I’m offering help on the Facebook page for My Crazy Healthy Life, by posting “Power Poses” every day until the end of the year. These are the poses and sequences I do, when I am short on time, but need to squeeze in a workout. You can practice one each day, or string them together into a sequence, for a better workout. I suggest practicing for a few minutes each morning and night, but it’s ok if you can only manage once a day. Just do the best you can, and give yourself grace on the days that you can’t.

Crazy healthy is a lifestyle, and you don’t need a New Year to embrace it. All you need is today.

I hope you will join us, and let me know what else I can do to help you get crazy healthy before the year comes to a close!

Namaste,

Amber

Keep Calm and Merry On

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December 24th used to be the most stressful day of the year. I would run around, trying to make sure that everything was just right for friends and family. I spent countless hours decorating the house, wrapping gifts, and cooking unhealthy food. Not because I wanted to, but because it was the “tradition”. I was so attached to what I thought others expected at Christmas, that I forgot to enjoy it myself.

Now I know better. Yoga has taught me to approach the holidays with purpose, and non-attachment. It’s one of the most valuable lessons in life (and the theme of this blog!): if we want to live well, we have to let go.

It makes me think that Jesus must have been a yogi, too. And I wonder…does it makes him sad, to watch me run around with my hair on fire, on his birthday?

So I ask myself, WWJD at Christmas? I am pretty sure he would honor his body with yoga, and mediation. He would remind his family how much he loves them, and teach them that today is about celebrating grace, lovingkindness, and peace on earth. And then I think he would prepare a crazy healthy meal for his family.

I’m going to try to do all of these things today, in my own less-than-perfect way. As soon as I return from one last trip to Target for stocking stuffers.

After that final mad dash through the store, I will return home, hug my kids, wrap the stocking stuffers, and prepare a healthy meal for my family. While everything is in the oven, I will get on my yoga mat, and give myself a yoga break. And that will make it a lot easier to be merry the rest of the day.

I think you deserve a break today as well, and this 10 minute yoga practice with Steve Ross is a great place to start. Do a little yoga, breathe deeply, be present, and remember that today, more than ever, we are supposed to keep calm and merry on.

Namaste,

Amber