Peace & Quiet in Sin City

Nothing beats solitude when you need to do some serious thinking and for the last three nights, I was able to do just that.  How, you might ask?  By holing myself up in a suite on the Vegas Strip, of course!

IMG_1003

Now, you’re probably shaking your head in amusement, thinking that a trip to Sin City is anything but a nurturing, soul-searching experience.  However, I assure you that for me, it is.  I love the fact that I can get a beautiful suite at The Palazzo for a very reasonable rate.  Once I’m there, all of my needs are footsteps away – top-notch dining, a well-equipped drugstore, plus a gorgeous gym and spa with terrific yoga classes.

I escaped solo in order to devote my undivided attention to my Buddha House Yoga Day Retreat.  Prior to Vegas, I was attempting to bring this retreat into the world by frantically snatching bits of time here and there.  Needless to say, that was not working.  I owe this retreat more than that.

So escape I did.  And boy, were these three days INTENSE!  But my time in Vegas turned out to be cathartic and powerful, too.  I was able to fully develop the content for the entire day – from our 8:30 am arrival time until we say goodbye at 5:00 pm.  I also designed and wrote the Yin/Restorative sequence.  The only thing I have left to do other than fine-tune is to write the Vinyasa Flow sequence.  I have a good idea what I want to do there though, so it’s just a matter of sitting down to commit it to paper.

All in all, I am EXTREMELY proud of the work I’ve done during this trip.  I conceived a program which (I hope) will allow participants to stand more strongly in their power.  I feel like this retreat – the yoga as well as the other things I have planned – will really impact people’s lives.  If nothing else, it will certainly give folks a lot to chew on and mull over in the weeks and months to come.

It’s been deeply rewarding to watch the retreat fill.  In fact, while I was away two more yogis added their names to the roster.  That’s incredibly validating.  And I take this responsibility very seriously.  If you’ve already signed up and you’re reading this, thank you for placing your trust in me.  If you have been considering joining us, don’t wait.  As of this writing, I have 10 spots remaining.

Some Days Everything Feels Like an Uphill Climb

Teaching yoga is a demanding job.  It requires a lot of energy out and if I’m not careful to replenish those stores, I’m left feeling depleted and run down.

hike

To be honest, that’s been my reality lately.  My responsibilities have increased and with that shift, so have the demands on my time.  Everything feels like an uphill climb.  From the time my alarm buzzes me awake until I tumble into bed at night, I am in a constant state of frenzied forward motion.  To make matters worse, my Hashimoto’s disease has been flaring badly (no doubt due to an increase in stress).  One of the many symptoms I suffer from is unrelenting insomnia.  For the past month, I haven’t been able to fall asleep until after 3 am no matter what I try.  This only leads to more exhaustion and stress, which fuels the cycle to continue unabated.

I wanted to scream.  Or cry.  Or both.

Something had to change.  I could not go on like this.  Of course, I made an appointment to see my doctor so that we can align my medication with the current state of my thyroid’s decline.

Then I got out paper and pen and made two lists:

THINGS I CAN’T CONTROL
and
THINGS I CAN CONTROL

With regard to the things I can’t control, I made it a point to come to a place of acceptance and then lovingly set that list aside.  Burden lifted.  It is what it is.

Next, I took a careful look at the second list.  This list was filled with the daily tasks and responsibilities that are within my control to change.  I scrutinized each item like an IRS agent performing an audit.  Where was there “fat” or wasted time?  Was there a way I could streamline my workflow and tighten up the way I process things?  Which items required timely action and which could be grouped together to be handled later?  Was there a way I could get more done during those little gaps in my day, like when I arrive early to class and wait to teach?

I pulled out another piece of paper and drew a grid with the days of the week at the top, broken down into chunks of time below.  I scheduled in all of the permanent pieces first (ie. those things that are not within my control to change at this time).  Then I fit in everything else.  The pieces within my control got added in a way that not only makes sense but also allows me time for the things that refill my well – like journaling, meditation, reading, exercise, etc.

What a difference!  I now feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  Even though I have yet to face the week and put it all to the test, I feel better just knowing there’s a plan in place.  A way to move forward that takes care of me to the best of my ability.  It all comes down to self-care.

Can you relate?  I know you can because I hear as much nearly every time I teach.  Our current culture leaves a great many of us feeling as if we are forever moving uphill.  It is my sincerest hope that in sharing this experience you might be spurred to examine your own life with an eye toward streamlining your responsibilities while increasing self-care.  In so doing, maybe we can finally crest the summit and skip merrily downhill together.