Things that make you go hmmm …

quietAs I am sitting in traffic, my mind starts to wander …

Wow, so many cars? Why are there still people holding a phone as they drive? Seriously! When will we get some rain in California? You get the picture.

But then I start to go a little deeper. How did we get to this crazy place of how we live our lives today? I’m sure in many ways our lives are richer because of technology and white-collar jobs and transportation to whip us around town and all over the country. But still, sometimes life feels so unnatural.

Maybe it’s the yoga practice I’ve been following over the past year, but I’ve started to wonder how my body and mind would be different if I really listened and followed its cues.

Today, I generally wake at 5:15 a.m. to start my day with a workout and hustle to get the kids to school and then drive to work. What if I woke up when I actually felt rested – closer to 6:45 a.m.? Hmmm …

Today, I commute to an office 35 miles from home. My body stiffens in the traffic. My hips are tight. My senses stressed by the time I arrive. What if I worked closer to home? Hmmm …

Today, I sit most of the day. I type away. I sit in conference rooms. I participate on conference calls. What if I had the chance to move more throughout the day? Hmmm …

Today, I stare at screens … A LOT. I am constantly on my desktop or laptop at work. I am always checking a phone or iPad. I get home and check into my technology some more – and maybe even watch TV before I go to bed, or read on my Kindle. What if I unplugged? How would I feel? Hmmm …

Today, I generally feel rushed. There is so much to accomplish, more I want to do, more knowledge to take in, more work to create. What if I gave myself some time to sit and breathe? Found a way to carve up my day differently to create? Hmmm …

I don’t necessarily have answers to these questions. With career, kids, a full home life and the desire to exercise and feed my brain, I’ve come to realize this is my world right now. Ever so often, perhaps on a slow Sunday or a summer vacation day, I get off this high-speed train. I recognize I am surrounded by people, friends, colleagues who are in this same phase of life, so I know I’m not alone.

But like I said, as I sit in traffic and watch us all consumed by this crazy life, I wonder if this is natural? Have we made our lives better, or have we made things more complicated? Hmmm …

What do you think? Time to become a farmer, or live in an Amish community, or head to some island far, far away? 😉

Wishing you a restful and happy weekend!

 

Learning to Roll With It

d92e6105795e5ff3bd16e1e03cb1d520On Saturday morning, I rolled out my yoga mat, started stretching and chatted with a few friends as we waited to begin our 8:30 a.m. power flow class.

At 8:27 a.m., the teacher had still not arrived, so the owner made a call to see what was going on.

I could hear her conversation just outside the door, and after a quick minute she moved into the classroom and said the scheduled instructor had overslept.

“Just give me a quick sec to change and I’ll teach,” she said. “Cool, I never teach on Saturdays, so I guess this was meant to be.”

This woman did not miss a beat. She didn’t seem irritated about her sleepy-head employee. She didn’t appear stressed about needing to change her routine. And most surprising, she was chipper and positive about the unexpected opportunity to teach.

Chalk it up to her being a yoga teacher and her Zen outlook on life, but as I watched this scenario unfold in a matter of just five minutes, I found myself admiring this individual.

She simply embraced the moment and made it work for all involved.

How can I be more like that, I thought.

Lately – and I’m sure I’m being a tad dramatic – it feels as if the universe is working against me.

Three weeks ago there was the news about my company relocating to Texas. A week later, I backed my car into another car – minor damage, but still a pain. Then there have been the technology delays and glitches with a major project I’m managing at work. We’re supposed to launch this week, but every day has delivered a new fire drill.

On a good week, I generally feel like I’m walking a tightrope with the juggle of kids, career and life. Lately, it seems I am gripping that same tightrope by a fingernail, and it doesn’t feel so good.

Still, as so many people have told me, I can either worry and stress, or do my best to “roll with it.”

Without a doubt, motherhood has helped me realize things often go off course. Schedules change, kids get sick, tantrums flare, treasures get lost, and sibling battles erupt.

I’ve always had a high threshold for stress, and I am wired to work quickly. Those years of journalism training helped me learn to write with noisy crowds and file stories at payphones mere minutes after a sporting event concluded.

I transitioned those learnings into the corporate world, making changes to executive presentations with ease, responding to media inquiries and sucking it up when budgets and projects were cut.

I’ve been called a “cool cucumber,” and colleagues have told me I never give off the vibe of being stressed. I am definitely not perfect at home – and I fully admit I “lose it” on the kids when they take me to the edge.

But now, more than ever, I feel out-of-control. I feel pressure and stress and the need to solve all of these issues by myself.

This new wave of disruption – or maybe I should call it opportunity – has smacked me around and taken me to my knees.

Each day, I’m praying for the strength to process these changes in a positive, healthy way. I don’t think I’m quite as Zen as that yoga teacher, but perhaps in time I’ll learn how to “roll with it” and discover the universe is not really working against me, but nudging me somewhere new – to a place I’m supposed to be and just haven’t yet realized.

How do you handle intense moments of change and stress? Do you “roll with it” or fight?

Thoughts from a Yoga Newbie

yogaAs an avid runner and cardio junkie, I never saw myself as a yoga person. After all, I could very likely win an award for the most inflexible person in the world, thanks to my tighter than tight hamstrings. I’ve totally neglected stretching for about 10 years. I’m not kidding!

Still, the past few months of stress got me thinking about the need for change and new challenges. I joined a yoga studio about a month ago, and am now loving every humbling session.

Today, I’m delighted to share my thoughts on this new journey at one of my favorite blogs – The Fierce Diva Guide to Life. Ilene, the site’s creator, describes herself as “a yoga teacher, writer, single mom, runner, lover of eyeliner, incense, and skullcaps, believer in possibilities, and highly flawed individual.”

I absolutely adore her beautiful and honest posts on all things life, and her words have often brought me inspiration, solace and joy. She’s humorous and kind and wise, and a girlfriend I wish lived much closer – Ilene is on the East Coast.

I hope you’ll stop over and visit Ilene today. You’ll love her! And check out my post on her site about Gaining a Little Perspective as a Yoga Newbie.