Getting Caught in the Frenzy

It’s the last week of school, Grad classes are moving full steam ahead, we had Mother’s Day, school carnival, baseball games, wedding shower prep, taking down my classroom, teaching yoga classes, bible study and not to mention every day things like, oh yeah, eating and sleeping.

It is so hard not to get caught in the frenzy.

One of my biggest weaknesses is being present in the moment. So often I am doing one thing, but my brain is 3 activities ahead. We remember activities based on what we give our mind to. It’s very hard to fully experience, let alone enjoy, something when you are constantly running through mental to do lists.

When I teach yoga classes I will often say, “Set aside your mental todo list, it will be there when you are done. Take this time to fully focus your mind on your body and on your mat.” I had a teacher say this in a class I was taking and, though simple, made me stop and really think. Making your last mental note before jumping full focus into an activity is a good exercise to help you be fully aware of the current experience.

I had some great counsel recently on grounding. Grounding is the act of rooting yourself and your thoughts in this moment. Think of it literally: when we ground ourselves on our yoga mat, in the classroom with kids, or in your living room with family, you are feeling the ground beneath your feet. You are rooting yourself in that location and even in a conversation. If you often find your mind wandering, your body pacing or constantly moving, you probably are not grounded. Allow yourself to settle and enjoy.

The counsel I received was this wonderful exercise. When you walk into a new room or a new situation as your day progresses, think through these 4 senses:

Take a deep breath, look around and
4:
Note 4 things that you SEE
3. Note 3 things that you HEAR
2. Note 2 things that you FEEL (touch or feelings)
1. Note 1 thing that you smell

Feel free to mix and match and take time to observe your environment. If we allow ourselves to get caught in the frenzy we will be swept away by stress, doubt and sleepless nights. There can be peace and enjoyment in the frenzy. For me the goal this week is simply to ‘experience.’ As I get better at this exercise the goal will be to truly ENJOY. We all start with baby steps.

What 4321 things are you experiencing right now?

 

34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34

Ahimsa, Hope & Truth

I love when the universe collides. You know how someone mentions one thing to you and then all of a sudden you’re seeing it everywhere? Or when you’ve been reading about a topic and all of a sudden it pops up in something totally unrelated?

That’s some real life magic right there.

adriene-sidebar
Yoga with Adriene

This month I got a Yoga with Adriene email newsletter. Adriene Mishler- the creator and teacher on Yoga with Adriene– always has an uplifting point of view. I love that she is just so real and QUIRKY. She is just so fun. I’m currently doing one of her yoga challenges you can find here.

I followed a link to a blog post about a little something called Ahimsa. This was a topic I studied in yoga training and have always enjoyed. Ahimsa, by definition, is the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. It is a building block of yoga and one of the first yamas.

Anyway, the idea of nonviolence is crucial to our happiness and to finding truth in our lives. Violence does not necessarily mean fighting or physical violence. We show violence to ourselves in many ways, and always to our detriment.

Not forgiving a friend produces resentment. Eating unhealthy foods in excess isn’t treating our body like a temple. Being angry while driving sets your day off on the wrong foot. Not taking time to rest, doubting ourselves, saying harsh things about your appearance or abilities…all these things are so common and are examples of violence.

Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence. It’s taking the time to realize what things you need to be more kind about. For me, it has been battling negative thoughts about my relationship with friends and coworkers, or even my relationship with myself. I could sit and wallow in that for days. My act of Ahimsa has been journaling and making distinct efforts to understand my friend’s ‘Love Languages.’ I’m also being kind to myself when I start identifying more with my faults than my strengths. We all have both of those things, it’s what we do with them that matters.

Perhaps yours is negative self talk. Today your Ahimsa could be listing out the negative feelings that constantly bombard your brain and counteract it with some TRUTH. Next to the negative things write down a truth that counteracts each of those thoughts. You can even write down solutions to those struggles.

How can you start practicing Ahimsa?
Start taking time for yourself.
Start a gratitude journal.
Show love to that odd coworker instead of talking about them in the lounge.
Take time for a yoga practice or regular walks.
Give yourself 5 extra minutes in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Allow time in your schedule for changes.

Stop and think of that thing, person or activity that reallllly pushes your buttons. Don’t let that anger or self-talk take over your day. How can you practice non-violence, or love, towards these situations? If you don’t like something then change it.

So I’ve had Ahimsa on my mind. Then that thing happened where you start seeing other connections.

Recently at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we were reading about showing love and encouraging others. We read in Romans 15: 5-7

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

and then Romans 15: 13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

These messages began to fall so perfectly together for me. The idea of being filled up with joy and peace leaves our spirits to abound in hope. When you are filled up with joy, peace, hope and truth there isn’t room for violent thoughts.

When we are filled up we are then called to do the same to others. We are to encourage and lift up those around us. It is our duty to build them up in the same way The Word has built us up.

That’s some serious Ahimsa.

Today I hope you take time to work on nonviolence. To allow scripture and words and love fill you up. When we are feeling fulfilled we can better combat those violent lies that creep in. You have to actually invest time and effort to see progress, so why not start now? It’ll only result in a happier self. You’re worth it. Perhaps your first act of nonviolence will be taking this time and making changes for yourself.

Namaste,
Shelby

Wine Women & the Word, a blog

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.

I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.

I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.

I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.

I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.

I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.

I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!

Girl power.

So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.

Enjoy.