Most people just exist. This is true. If you are reading this, most likely you lead a privileged enough life to have internet access, read blogs, and worry about living a fulfilling life. Don't just exist. Live intentionally. Live fully. Live a life where you take risks, love wholly, feel the range of emotions intensely from shame and sorrow to excitement and joy. Allow yourself to fully connect with others and to be known and seen for all that you are from the secrets you feel most shameful about to the parts you take pride in. Seek out experiences that force you to grow and music that makes you feel. Read. Travel. Continue to evolve and learn lessons. Do things with passion, and find outlets for creativity. Don't just exist. This is your life. That is all. Happy weekend.
Hi wonderful love + yoga family. We want to announce big changes to come for the blog as well as Sarah's departure from the blogosphere. Sarah will sadly be leaving us at Love + Yoga. She's feeling burnt out on blogging and just wasn't fulfilled or inspired by the blogging process. And... if you aren't enjoying it, you shouldn't do it. I, however, still love blogging and writing, as a creative outlet. I'm hoping to make some big changes here as I discover what my solo style is. I hope you will stick around and join me in this process (which may include a name change and overall makeover)!
Sarah will be missed, and fingers crossed she makes a cameo here every now and then. At the very least, you should be getting glimpses of her on our Instagram account since we are besties. Please stick with me through this process, and follow along with Sarah on her journey via instagram @sarahdigrazia.
Everything is more luxurious when done in bed. Think about it. Coffee in bed. Newspaper in bed. Breakfast in bed. While I do love my tablet for browsing the internet, I gotta say, I prefer the feeling of a book in my hands, the satisfaction of turning the pages with the passage of the story. With the weekend coming up, this simple pleasure is an easy one to indulge in. It doesn't matter what you read, be it a book, newspaper, or awesome blog ; ) but make sure you're doing it in bed, pajamas still on, hair a mess. Have a good one.
Just having returned from a vacation, I think it fitting to write about their benefits. Vacations aren't just fun, but they also provide benefits for the mind and spirit. Below are the top 5 benefits of vacations:
- Something to look forward to. Time spent, planning, thinking about, and anticipating a vacation can be just as beneficial to our minds and spirit as the vacation itself. I notice higher resiliency at work, brighter moods, and a more positive outlook when I have an upcoming vacation scheduled.
- Exposure to new cultures, environments, and people. Traveling, exposes you to new ideas, ways of living, and diverse groups of people, which is not only a learning experience in and of itself, but also fosters compassion and open-mindedness.
- Break from Stressors. Vacations take us literally away from work and life stress, allowing time to recharge. Stress is toxic, and getting a little break from thinking, about and dealing with our everyday stress can be a nice little reset button.
- Change in stimuli and routine. Life can get mundane if we don't switch things up every once in a while. Vacations provide you with all new stimuli (e.g. environment, smells, culture, activities) thus shifting our minds out of autopilot, and have been shown to stimulate creativity and productivity.
- Time to connect with loved ones. Everyday life is full of distractions that take us away from connecting with those we love. The break from stressors, and change in stimuli and routine (see points 3 & 4) provide an optimal context to truly connect with family, friends, children, and/or your significant other. Bonus points if your travel location doesn't have cell service or WiFi.
If you haven't had a vacation in a while, schedule something soon. Even a weekend away provides the above benefits. Below are a few pics from my recent trip to Southern California with my husband.
Hey you guys, I thought I'd share this flatbread recipe we just discovered. Unfortunately, I can't take any credit for the recipe, but it is super quick and easy to whip up. This flatbread would be an awesome accompaniment to any dips, salad, or soup. One thing I've really missed since going gluten free is having some nice bread to dip in my soups. This recipe is a game-changer. In the photos, we just served it alongside our cheesy cashew cream sauce. This sauce recipe will be a future post, but it's also delish.
This is a great quote by Rachel Brathen to start the weekend off with. The postures are not the point, they are simply one part of yoga, one means of access to the yoga. It's easy to get caught up in focusing on the asanas, and forget the purpose of yoga in the first place. Use your next class to feel. Feel what it is to be connected with your body, feel stress melt away, the emotions you've been holding onto and carrying with you, the energy you didn't realize you absorbed throughout the week. Let go of any expectations, of any desires to "accomplish" or "achieve" in yoga class, and just observe the experience you have. Happy weekend.
We love our seasonal bucket lists over here. They get us in the mood for what's to come and remind us of the unique beauty during different parts of the year. As I mentioned last week, celebrating the seasons is a simple pleasure of mine. Immersing myself in every aspect of what makes this time of year so magical; the change in temperature, foods, decor, and nature is what it's all about for me. It was so much fun to create this bucket list and it made me even more excited for the Fall. I have big plans to decorate pumpkins like those I made a few years back, and of course, to bake my favorite pumpkin cookies! What's on your to-do list? Anything I should add to mine?
I love it when the seasons begin to change. I've been noticing different scents in the air, leaves turning golden and red, fall vegetables and fruits coming into the markets, and weather shifting in subtle ways. This is a time I enjoy creating my own transitions to celebrate the seasonal shift. I do this with food and decor among other traditions. I switch to cooking hot soups, and heartier casseroles. Sweater weather also brings a color change to my wardrobe. Autumnal colors replace the light neutrals in my home and on my body. I'm drawn to the scents that mimic what attracts me outside, pumpkin candles and spiced tea suddenly are just the thing to create a mood. Noticing and celebrating each season is a simple pleasure.
I'm coming off of a month where I had been working a lot, picking up extra shifts. It was too much. Even though I love my job, I didn't have balance. During this time, I felt this sense of dis ease, something wasn't right. I felt unsatisfied. I felt like I was working towards nothing, as though I had been working harder, but it wan't getting me anywhere. I bought more things, justifying my extra work days as time that had gotten me that extra treat, but I was still feeling unsatisfied, and down. Finally, I realized that I had been working for "things" and those things, didn't satisfy my heart or soul. I was using the extra shopping to numb out to the fact that I had lost balance. I felt like I was working for nothing because I was, in a sense. I was working for "things" which had no value as far as the heart is concerned, and using things as a means of feeding the sense of dissatisfaction that arises when one's soul isn't satisfied. It got me thinking....what do I need to feed my soul. I didn't need more beautiful things in my home to feel happier, or to feel satisfied by life. I needed to get back to living in a way that feels satisfying rather than seeking without for that satisfaction.
We all numb out with something, thinking that if we could just have (fill in the blank), we would feel happier. We all use something to decrease feelings we don't want to feel. Drugs and alcohol are an obvious, but buying stuff, dieting, staying busy, constant traveling, television, social media and internet, overexercising, eating disorders, self-harm, sex, flirting, can all be ways we humans numb out to the fact that something isn't working in our lives. Most of the aforementioned can also be part of a healthy life as well (with exception of self-harm, eating disorders, and overexercising), it's how we use them that make them either healthy or unhealthy. I can tell you from experience, that if you use them to numb out, these things will only leave you feeling more unsatisfied. They will feed and fuel your dissatisfaction, forcing you to either realize what's going on and grow, or propel you into using these things even more to numb out of the now greater dissatisfaction. Only you can stop and reflect on your behaviors and determine which of them are used to numb out. Only you can determine whether you have balance in your life, whether your life revitalizes your energy or drains you of it. What do you need to feel satisfied with the life you are living? Everyone's balance looks different, but you'll never find it if you don't take the time to inquire.
I know, I know, majority of America just isn't set up for walking and biking, leaving us dependent upon oil via cars, and/or buses. It's so nice when you can be your own mode of transportation though, to work, brunch, shops, or meet ups with friends. The wonderful thing about being your own mode of transportation is you are able to enjoy the journey. Focus subtly shifts from destination to also encompass the journey to your destination as well. Walking or biking slows down travel and you are able to notice the environment on a deeper level. I've found that walking to restaurants or shops, also gives me a deeper sense of connection to my community. If you're walking/biking to a restaurant, the journey home is a nice way to burn off calories and help digest your food. My husband and I often walk to the local supermarket to pick up groceries for dinner, and then walk home. It turns out to be about a 20 min walk each way, but it gives us a sense of satisfaction to know that we got some exercise and had a chance to truly connect without distracting electronics along the way. If you live in a big city, you already get to enjoy this simple pleasure, but if you're part of a suburban community, it may be a bit more difficult. Sometimes, we drive to town, park and then spend the day wandering around, walking to a coffee shop, looking in shops, and then walking to lunch or dinner.
You could even make a day out of it, biking to and from town, locking your bikes and then walking around in between. Give this simple pleasure a try while the weather is still beautiful out.