Posts Tagged gratitude

Please support Team Tiger for Chelsea!

There we are… the mama tiger and the little tiger.

It’s unbelievable to me that it has nearly been a year since we took this photo at the finish line of the 3rd annual Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K. What a year it has been! There has been so much inspiration, so many changes, and so many miles covered. And much of it I can link directly to momentum that began during the preparation for last year’s race.

Last year, I wrote a post about my involvement in the race and my connection to a beautiful, radiant soul whose life was taken too soon, Chelsea King (you can read it here– please do!). It was an especially intense process for me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I wrote at that time that I would carry in my heart the lessons I had learned long after the race had ended. I was right. On all of those levels- physically, mentally, emotionally, I have never been the same.

One of the most readily apparent changes is that I became a runner. A real runner. At this time last year, I was amazed that I could run 3 miles without stopping. Now, a 5K fun run is actually fun for me. Three miles is a light running day. I have even gone on to compete in several 10Ks over the last year.

In each of those races, and on most other days I run, I wear a little orange bracelet that I was given at the finish line of last year’s Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K. On one side, it says “Chelsea’s Light Foundation,” and on the other, “They can because they think they can” (the foundation’s motto). Whenever I put that bracelet on, I am instantly reminded to count my blessings. I am reminded to be grateful for every opportunity I have to do my best. I am reminded of Chelsea. If Holly is feeling lazy and making excuses about lacing up my shoes and hitting the road, then do it for Chelsea. That always does the trick.

The foundation’s motto has also become a mantra for me. So much of my progress as a runner is a result of mental, rather than physical, fitness. As long I keep my thoughts in positive territory, I continue putting one foot in front of the other. If an “I can’t, this is too hard” somehow creeps in, my body stops before I realize what is happening. This is a lesson I learned early on in my fledgling running career, and it is one that I’ve learned applies in everything I do. I call upon it daily, as a mother, as a runner, as a yoga instructor, as a human being who wishes to do good in the world.

Admittedly, my preparation for this year’s race has been quite different from last year. For one thing, running a 5K is not something that I need to train for months to do. For another, I will be nearly 8 months pregnant on the day of this year’s race. I have continued running throughout my pregnancy, though distance and pace went out the window months ago. Since this year’s race is guaranteed to be an entirely different experience for me, I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to approach it and what would be the best way to honor the spirit of “Chelsea’s Run” this time around. I decided that doing everything I could to hold space for joy, hope, and positivity with every step I take in those 3.1 miles would be a fitting way to honor Chelsea’s legacy. How best to do that? Bring my little tiger. He has become a runner in his own right in the last year, competing in a couple kids’ races, winning some medals… you know. Although he can really tear it up when he gets going, it’s usually in short bursts. He’ll be a great running partner this time around. I just know it.

So there you have it… the 4th annual Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K will be a family affair for me- both of my children will be coming along to support me and the cause. It is quite fitting, in fact, since the Chelsea’s Light Foundation aims to create a better world and a brighter future for children. The 5K is the foundation’s primary annual fundraiser, benefiting their Sunflower Scholarship Fund. This fund provides educational opportunities for exceptional students who might not have access to them otherwise. Additionally, this year’s event is being co-sponsored by the Girl Scouts, an organization that was a big part of Chelsea’s young life.

Now, the rallying cry, my friends… please support Team Tiger in our efforts to help Chelsea’s light shine! If you feel moved to stand up and support our cause, we have a fundraising page that will be accepting donations through race day on Saturday, March 1. This is such a wonderful foundation and an amazing group of people that I truly want to do all that I can for them. Click here if you agree!

A huge thank you to you for your time and support! And, as always, thank you to Chelsea, the Kings, and the Chelsea’s Light Foundation for being an endless source of inspiration!

FOR CHELSEA!!!

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#28daysofgratitude

I’ve been doing daily gratitude posts on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, and I wanted to share the love here as well.

This picture is from last week, but it was so good it turned into more gratitude with gratitude leftovers. One of my awesome students, a master gardener, brought these home-grown goodies for me- spaghetti squash and passion fruits.

I don’t have a great deal of experience with spaghetti squash, but I am now a huge fan. I found this recipe for roasted spaghetti squash with parmigiano-reggiano and used it in place of pasta with dinner. It was ah-may-zing. The shallots and garlic gave it so much flavor, and the squash itself is the coolest thing. It’s like magic. It pulls away from its rind into noodle-like fibers when it is roasted. Super easy. Super cool. Even my five-year-old was a fan.

So there’s my gratitude upon gratitude for the garden gift basket I received last week. Shout out to Wendy the gardening goddess!

What are you grateful for today, yoga lovers? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Kamelien loves you!

We look for the blessing in the boulder we cannot remove from our path and come to be grateful for our lives, accepting the journey that is ours alone to live. The point at which we stop asking, ‘Why me?’ and accept that some things can never have rational explanations marks the beginning of our acceptance of the spiritual mystery of divine will.

~Caroline Myss, PhD, Invisible Acts of Power

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Thank you, everyone!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to offer a deeply heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported me in my involvement with the 2013 “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K. It was a huge success on so many levels, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

In the end, we raised $555 for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation through my fundraising page, exceeding my goal of raising $500! I am in awe of the support that came in from every direction. It was truly a team effort, and we did it!

I also gave my all to represent our “team” in the race. I clocked a sub-30 minute 5K, which was a personal performance goal for me. It was that much more challenging because of the enormous number of participants in the race. I’m not sure of the exact number yet, but it was around 6000 people. The huge number of people who stood up for Chelsea and committed to “finishing her run” certainly made for more traffic to negotiate through during the race, but it was also very inspiring. Some racers carried sunflowers, some pushed strollers or wheelchairs, some had their dogs with them… people of all descriptions coming together to stand up for hope and positivity.

It was a beautiful experience that I will not forget, and it was that much more special to me knowing that I had cheerleaders all over the country backing me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you… from the bottom of my heart! I can’t wait for next year to do it again!

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Yoga this week!!

This week, I’m a woman on a mission! On Saturday, I will be participating in the “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5k, which is the primary annual fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation and their Sunflower Scholarship Fund. I’ve written a blog post in which I’ve tried to convey why this is so important to me. If you are interested in learning more, you can find that post here.

Since I’m giving this race all I’ve got this week, this week’s class is inspired by my experiences in the weeks leading up to this race. It will be an exploration of gratitude and Being. 100% of the proceeds from this class will be passed along to my fundraising page for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.

Please join me on Thursday at 10am to take it to the mat and give thanks for the simple gift of having the present moment to express the very best of ourselves.

See you on the mat!

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Practicing gratitude

“The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.”

~from Kundalini-Teacher.com

My inspiration for class this week came from this quote, which I initially found for my Thanksgiving class last year. My memory being what it is, I had a foggy recollection about gratitude and something about the solar plexus chakra… so, here it is again.

When I dug it up this time, it spoke so powerfully to life at the moment that I decided to take it onto the mat again.

I don’t know about you, but things have felt a bit topsy-turvy for me lately. Words like ‘turbulent,’ ‘discombobulated,’ and ‘chaotic’ have been coming up a lot. This Mercury Retrograde period has especially been a challenging one. At present, I’m down a computer, a mobile phone, an iPod, a vacuum, an electric toothbrush, and as of 5 minutes ago, my camera won’t turn on. Sooo… that about covers all of my activities in an average day. Honestly, it’s left me feeling like I’m not quite sure what to do next. And it could easily lead to an attitude of ‘OMG! What next? What else can happen to me?

But as my amazing friend reminded me yesterday (and others have pointed out often in recent weeks), the time has come for the snake to shed its skin. Everything that came before is falling away to make room for what’s now. Maybe everything has to break in order to force a fresh start.

By searching for the bigger picture lessons, I open up room for new (positive) possibilities to move in. I’m co-creating a new reality here. Will I create it from a place of fear or one of gratitude? Will my attitude attract more chaos or more blessings? Will I realize that things are happening for me, not to me? Will I give up resistance and surrender to the truth that everything is happening in perfect timing? These are the challenges that the quote clarified for me this week.

I built my class around the connection the quote makes between gratitude and the solar plexus chakra. Twists are the category of poses associated with the solar plexus, so I dug up twists and twist variations that I hadn’t done in years. We twisted our little hearts out- opening, activating, and connecting to the solar plexus chakra and our sense of gratitude.

We also practiced “surrendering” with deep forward bends and hip openers. And as a special treat, we practiced counting our blessings as we held certain poses. That was my personal favorite part of the class this week because it stayed with me off the mat. Counting my blessings with every breath in Pigeon Pose prepared me in a new way to deal with “things” as they are presently. When I found myself resisting an activity or situation, when I felt my inner brattiness stomping its feet at having to do something, I switched to thinking of things I was grateful for at that particular moment.

Try it and see! Sitting in traffic, chopping onions, holding Gomukhasana, whatever… count your blessings and see a whole new world of possibilities open to you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Namaste.

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Kamelien loves you!

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Happy Monday, my friends! I know many of you have some time off this week. Some of you may be traveling. And I hope that all of you will be doing something special with friends or loved ones for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

I kicked the week off with a group yoga practice that explored ‘gratitude’ and how we can express it on and off the mat. More about that later, but first…

Doreen is here with the Saints and Angels. See what important guidance she has to share about this special week.

And like she says, don’t forget to count your blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Yoga this week!!

‘Tis the season to be grateful!

I will be teaching this Monday at 10am. Our gentle, flow practice will focus on gratitude- experiencing and expressing gratitude through yoga.

Kick off your Tofurkey week on a grateful note with me!

And to those who cannot make it… Happy Thanksgiving and I’m grateful for you!

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Daily reminder

“Think love. Live in appreciation and gratitude. Invite change into your life, if only through your attitude. And remind yourself continually of the message of all great spiritual masters worth theur salt: keep your spirit in the present time. In the language of Jesus, ‘Leave the dead and get on with your life.’ And as Buddha taught, ‘There is only now.'”

~Caroline Myss, PhD, Anatomy of the Spirit

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