High Five Friday: 5 things I’m grateful for this week

high five friday

I stumbled upon the High Five Friday concept while browsing the blogosphere and decided to join in on the fun! The purpose is to share five things that you are grateful for this week, so here we go.

1. Jack is back! Did you see the trailer that ran during the Superbowl for the return of 24? My husband and I are such huge fans…our cat is even named after the show. Meet our Jack Bauer:

orange cat photo

2. This article on Huffington Post made me feel inspired: This Guy Stopped Charging Clients And He Has Zero Regrets. I’ve been considering a similar business model for my online marketing consulting business. My idea is in its infant stage, but reading the article gave me hope that my goals are achievable. So thanks for the gift economy inspiration Adrian Hoppel!

3. Making snow angels with Cole. We had a big snow storm this week and I captured a little video clip of some of the fun we had on Instagram: Cole’s Snow Day Adventure

4. I did a headstand on a balance board! Inversions have been my most recent yoga obsession. I’ve been taking a Balance Board class at Windsoul Studio in Tyngsboro, MA. The balance board is meant to mimic the feeling of being on a paddle board in the water.

5. I highly recommend reading The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. I finished it last night, and after reading some pretty heavy books over the last few months, this book was like a breath of fresh air. It’s a wonderful, light-hearted mix of comedy, family and a bit of history.

The All-Girl Filling Station Reunion

There is my list for High Five Friday! What are you grateful for this week?

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You’re not a person, you’re a mommy

Kids say the darndest things. Cole came out with this gem the other day after I finished explaining to him that I’m just one person and therefore can only do one thing at a time. He stared back at me as if I had just said the most hysterical joke he had heard all day and giggled, “You’re not a person, you’re a mommy!”

I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time. It’s an adorable observation because in truth our kids should only think of us as their moms and dads, and not as individuals, until later on down the road. On the other hand, Cole inadvertently hit a bit of a sore spot for me. It’s easy to get lost in parenthood, or anything for that matter, and forget to keep in touch with the things that make us feel like a real person. Describing a person as real might seem a little weird. Like, aren’t we all real? I don’t mean real in the physical sense; I mean real in the spiritual sense.

Last month I challenged myself to start setting aside some time to reconnect with myself. My journey to rediscover the person outside of the mommy has led me to writing, running, a meditation group, and most importantly (for me) a yoga studio. I’ve always been able to count on yoga to bring me to a happy state of being, but I’d forgotten how important it was to me. Unrolling my mat was like reconnecting with a dear, old friend. Apparently being a human pretzel is all it takes to snap me back to life!

Maybe there is something you’ve lost touch with too. For a moment, think about all of the roles, responsibilities, lists, noise and clutter that we face throughout the day. Now think about doing that thing that lights a fire in your belly and makes you feel good and balanced. The thing that makes you feel like you’re putting some sort of good energy out into the world. Did something come to mind? I bet if we all set a little time aside each week to do something that makes us happy, really happy, then our other roles and responsibilities would become more manageable and enjoyable.

Set a date with yourself and have a happy week!

happiness

Vinyasa Flow at Banyan Tree

It felt so great to get back on my yoga mat! Since I moved up to NH in summer 2012 I haven’t been practicing much. I came across Banyan Tree Yoga online and decided to check out the studio. So glad I did! They offer everything from vinyasa flow and yogalates to prenatal and family yoga. The lighting and music playlist during the Vinyasa class was perfect and created a lighthearted and friendly atmosphere. Maureen, our instructor, maintained a perfect balance between giving technique and breath reminders while cracking a joke here and there throughout the class.

We did a transition of poses I had never done before and thought it was so fun I wanted to share. During class I turned to my mat neighbor and said “That was cool… I felt like a rocket ship!” Things you don’t expect to hear in yoga class, right? Anyway, we transitioned from crane pose to plank or bakasana to chataranga. Please understand that I am not a professional yoga practitioner. I just thought this pose was fun and wanted to share! Just a quick video my husband made for me.

 

I’m also looking forward to checking out some of Banyan Tree Yoga’s upcoming events and workshops. The two that caught my eye are Natural Remedies & Green Living with Young Living Essential Oils and Inversion Submersion Level 1: The Basics. I’ve always wanted to be able to do all that handstand stuff! If you live in the area please join me.

Being pregnant in the gym and on the mat

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to work up a good sweat.   Not only do I enjoy the physical benefits of exercise, but it also helps to keep me sane!  Naturally, I’ve always known that I would continue to exercise during pregnancy.  In fact, I can remember the week after I found out I was pregnant I hit the gym a few times and completed some decent mileage on the treadmill.  And then morning…pardon me…all day sickness hit.  For the rest of my first trimester the most exercise I got was speed walking to the nearest restroom in my office (discretely of course).

However, one sunny September day I woke up feeling like myself again.  I was ready to take on the world again, and the gym.  Doctors say that as long as you are in good condition you can continue your pre-pregnancy exercise routine with very little modifications.  Just the other day Greg and I saw a woman at the gym who must have been 8 months pregnant doing a lifting circuit.  I thought the baby could have just dropped out of her onto the mat then and there!  I admire her tenacity and I always thought I would be just like that.

The truth is that every woman’s body reacts differently to the beautiful miracle growing inside of them.  It’s up to us to listen to our bodies, listen to our hearts, and make healthy choices for our baby.  When I go the gym my workout consists of low-impact cardio, like elliptical and walking, and then a lot of stretching.  My favorite prenatal workout?  YOGA!  The poses and classes are extremely modified compared to the yoga classes I took before I was pregnant, but they are no less valuable or satisfying.

Yoga class creates moments to connect your breath to your body.  Prenatal yoga class creates moments to connect your breath to your baby.  Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to think that every bite of food, every positive or negative thought, every move you make affects your baby.  A pregnant woman is no longer the same “I” she has always associated herself with – she has become a host for her baby!  I feel empowered and blessed to be a woman and to have the gift of giving life to another human being.

I started this post by saying that exercise has always “worked out” my body and mind.  More than ever I’m realizing how important the mind-benefits of the gym and yoga are to me.  Because it’s during these moments on the elliptical and on the yoga mat that I feel most connected to my baby.  My mission from the moment he was conceived is to make sure that he has the tools he needs to be healthy, be happy, be strong. Prenatal exercise and yoga feel like the natural foundation to carrying out this mission while he lives in my tummy.

Namaste.