just be…

I’m back from sunny paradise (a.k.a. Nica)…

… back to this:

But alas, c’est la vie.

Nica is this incredible place where I can truly let my body, mind and soul rest. It’s the place where I can really connect with myself and those I’m fortunate enough to spend my holiday with. On this trip, someone said something offhandedly that really resonated:

“you can tell she just let’s herself be. she just is.

Hmmm.

This culture of ours is so goal-focused, so driven, so speedily pursuing some future version of something that I think we often forget the art of just being.

How often do you let yourself just ride the subway or bus without checking your phone, reading or listening to music? How often do you just sit there and take in the ride?

How often do you have a conversation with someone when you’re truly listening to them, without thinking about what you’ll say next or what they might be thinking of you? How often are you just there?

I wrote about this awhile ago, but I feel like it needs to be said again (translation: I need to hear it again). But really, how often do you just let yourself be?

Once you move past the initial anxiety of not moving at 1,000 miles a minute, you might just find that there’s something so beautiful in the stillness. It’s actually quite joyous.

So much love,
mxo

unstuck list…

Good morning!

I woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover from last night’s teary-ness. Rather than wallow, I decided to shift my energy! I decided to practice this joy business. 🙂

So, I got busy:

  • I made the most delicious lemon and ginger elixir, and followed it up with a “Peep in My Step” juice (recipe below).
  • I did my exercises and stretches.
  • And enjoyed a few minutes of silence.
  • I had a super healthy breakfast, and took every possible staircase I could to work.
  • And now this, liquid joy:
Americano from Mercatto, made by Alice. Joy.

It’s almost three hours later and I feel new. Brand new. It’s that simple. 🙂

OH, and yes, this:

Last night I stumbled upon Robin Sharma’s 62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013 and absolutely loved it.

Here are the top 25 that really resonated with me:

  1. Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise.
  2. Stop watching TV. (Bonus points: sell your tv and invest the cash in learning and self-education).
  3. Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete.
  4. Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).
  5. Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.
  6. Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).
  7. Smile more (and tell your face).
  8. Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.
  9. Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
  10. Stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional people adore ideas).
  11. Do a nature walk at least once a week. It’s renew you (you can’t inspire others if you’re depleted yourself).
  12. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.
  13. Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.
  14. Achieve 5 little goals each day (“The Daily 5 Concept” I shared in “The Leader Who Had No Title” that has transformed the lives of so many). In 12 months this habit will produce 1850 little goals–which will amount to a massive transformation.
  15. Write handwritten thank you notes to your customers, teammates and family members.
  16. Use the first 90 minutes of your work day only on value-creating activities (versus checking email or surfing the Net).
  17. Breathe.
  18. Keep your promises.
  19. Brain tattoo the fact that all work is a chance to change the world.
  20. Spend more time in art galleries. Art inspires, stimulates creativity and pushes boundaries.
  21. Read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter.
  22. Remember that you empower what you complain about.
  23. Become the fittest person you know.
  24. Become the kindest person you know.
  25. Know your “Big 5″–the 5 goals you absolutely must achieve by December 31 to make this year your best yet.

Hope you can find something that inspires you this morning.

So much love,
mxo

P.S. My “Peep in My Step” juice involved apples, kale, celery, swiss chard, and lots of ginger. Yum!

wagons…

Here’s the thing about wagons: they are notoriously difficult to stay on. Especially when they look like this:

File:Baraboo circus wagon.jpg

No thank you!

Lord knows I’ve had a hard time staying on them. My usual strategy is to get on and speed so quickly that I go flying off. My wounded ego (and sometimes broken bones) then take awhile to heal before I get back on.

It’s not a good stragedy. So I’m trying something new: go slow/ be kind (I couldn’t decide which one to go with, so I’m going with both).

In my many years of yoga-ing and exercising and dieting and cleansing and otherwise being a happy, healthy yogi, I’ve come to learn this: the secret to success is to start slow, to incorporate your new goal into your life, because when you try to rework your life to meet your new goal, it often doesn’t stick (this is why the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions flop a couple of weeks later).

So when you’re planning your New Years resolutions, I would suggest this: write your resolutions, then write your plan for how to arrive there. Break it down. Be detailed. Think of your resolutions as where you want to be in 12 months, your end goal and not where you must be immediately.

Example:

  • I will go to the gym five times per week. Unless you’re already going four times every week, I suggest this modification: I will go the gym five times per week by December. In January, I will start with one day a week and I’ll find the time that works best for me (i.e. maybe you’re a morning gym rat). In February, I’ll go two times per week. Etc.

I say all of this to myself first and foremost because I need to hear read it.

I’ll post my 2013 goals soon to keep myself accountable. Yikes!

Hope you’re all having a Happy Happy Holly-day! And please indulge now. Live a little! That’s what the holidays are for. January is for dealing with the aftermath. 🙂

Much, much love.
mxo

let yourself be…

Over the passed few years, I too have gone through quite a few “I shoulds”. Many have been documented on this very blog. This past year, I have tried very hard to unlearn each of them.

I should do yoga every single day. I did that and I ended up exhausted.

I should wake up at 5am and go to yoga, pilates, or the gym. That was fine until I burst into tears one night when I set my alarm for 4:55am.

I should sleep the same amount at the same time every night. All I have to say is that it sucks leaving a dinner party early to make it home for bedtime.

Oh yes, and then there was the whole no gluten, no animal products, no coffee or alcohol thing. That landed me in the hospital.

It took me awhile to learn that the “should” strategy just wasn’t working. The hardest part was the ego, but that tends to be the case. But I was desperate, so for the past several months, I have tried another strategy: let myself do, eat, not do, and not eat whatever the moment calls for. I’ve tried hard to let myself be (two steps forward, one step back each and every day). And guess what, folks? It’s working!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe in what drove me to all of the above – the power of yoga, healthy eating, challenging yourself, etc. But here’s the major, major game-changer: moderation, and as is best for you – your unique you. The moment a healthy life decision become a stressful dogma, it has defeated its own point.

When I think of letting myself be, I think of this… Cali.


Life is too short to miss out on pleasure, too long to be miserable, and too complicated to fit into anyone else’s mold.

Find your own balance. Be kind to yourself. Listen to your gut, and all that jazz.

mxo


divide and conquer

It’s Wednesday… I think.

I have spent the last two and a half days hiding in the woods.

This was my view at breakfast yesterday whilst I ate my massive salad and rested my sore legs after our treacherous uphill run (my friend totally kicked my rump!):


It was nice to unplug.

Aside from eating massive salads, running, and Golden Girls marathons (you read that correctly), I also did quite a bit of reading. One of the best tidbits I stumbled across was the idea of divide and conquer.

In her book Your Best Body Now, Tosca Reno writes:

I break down each seemingly unsurpassable challenge
into little, manageable pieces that I can wrap my mind – and my solutions! – around.
It’s so much easier to tackle a huge issue when you divide and conquer.

So simple, and yet so powerful.

For example,

  • If you need to lose 100 pounds, don’t get overwhelmed thinking about the entire 100lbs. Instead, think about the 3lbs you plan to lose this week.

  • If you need to quit smoking, concentrate on not smoking this hour, this day, or this week.
  • If you want to become more active, don’t worry about all of the gym time you need to put in this month. Instead, just take the stairs every chance you get today.

The power of this is twofold:

1. Small tasks are far more manageable.

2. If you fall off the wagon, it’s a lot easier to get back up again. Rather than feeling like you failed at the entire goal, you simply dust yourself off and attempt the next small step.

So, on this lovely spring Wednesday, think of a goal you’d really, really love to achieve. Now break it down into itty bitty pieces…. and tackle the first piece now.

Wake up with a plan for the day, and focus just on today…

I’ll share a few of mine soon. 🙂

Happy t&s,
mxo