What if I don’t know anyone? You’re already one of us—you seek connection, rest, and nourishment and so do we! It won’t take long to break the ice and feel open and comfortable with the group.
What if I have a food/allergy concern? E-mail us and we’ll find a solution.
What if I’ve never done yoga or meditation? You’re in for a treat! We’ll enjoy all levels practices for all ages, stages, and sizes.
Is it possible to arrive early or stay late? Maybe! Please contact the venue directly.
What if I have to cancel? Your registration is non-refundable, however you are able to transfer registration to someone else (ie. sell you spot). Keep in mind, this is a gift and investment in yourself.
Hi lil ommies,
Well, it’s been quite a summer.
We left DC the day the kiddos got out of school and made our way up to CT to spend a bit of time with my family before we headed over to Nantucket to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary with some of our wedding party. When we come back in August we will have been gone 7.5 weeks!
We felt so lucky to have folks come back to the Island and celebrate with us. Nantucket is a very special to me because my grandparents had a house there when I was little and I spent many childhood days alone walking the trails, going to the beach, and riding bikes mostly by myself. I love sharing the beauty of the island with people I love, and this year was extra awesome because Saylor organized and led our renewal ceremony on the beach. It was definitely a night we won’t forget!
In early July we relocated to Hartford, CT where my grandmother lives. This is the same house that has been in our family for 96 years! Talk about memories! The kids have been in various camps, having so many interesting New England adventures. We went to Maine last weekend and now we are preparing for a quick weekend visit to Vermont to see our dear friend (and former LO teacher, Kate)! It’s truly been a wonderful, interesting summer.
One thing I LOVE about social media is seeing all my friends and family on their travels, with the growing kids and the big smiles and the ice creamy faces. BUT I also know that some of that can cause us to feel a bit “less than” or F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) or negative sad feelings around social media. Listen, get real with yourself and if you DON’T feel good when you are scrolling – GET OFF THE PHONE or COMPUTER- and do something that DOES make you feel good! Put the technology down and take 5 deep breaths. Go for a walk, pet your dog or cat, HUG a real HUMAN! Reach out on the phone to someone you love. I have been calling people this summer to catch up on the phone, just like old times! It’s been a wonderful way to connect to the people in my life.
I also have had some really nice work time when my kids are at camp. While I am not working TOO much right now (mostly taking long walks and reading), I have enjoyed studying and learning more about doTerra essential oils and using them this summer as much as possible, selling them to students, and introducing the benefits of aromatherapy to people. I’ve even had time to map our my fall schedule and offerings!
I REALLY miss seeing everyone in person, but I’m excited about the Fall! I’ll be teaching a monthly Family Yoga class at Washington Yoga Center (registration will be available through washingtonyogacenter.com), two Yoga for Women sessions at IMCW, various Retreats, workshops, my 8- week THRIVE online course, private coaching, and NEW holistic healing offerings such as reiki and AromaTouch massage! Our website is regularly updated, so you can learn more there and sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already!
I have also been reading books that people have suggested to me, mostly subjects around healthy finances, parenting, and writing as well as FINALLY getting into some fiction, which to me is EXACTLY what summer is all about. What are YOU reading this summer? Anything awesome?
Listen, as much as I have found love and joy in these gorgeous summer days, the weight of the world is also creating unrest, there is a deep unsettled, low level anxiety that lies right under the surface. As a yogi, as a compassionate human being, as a woman, as a mama, as me, I deeply care about our future as a country and as a people. And where it gets a bit sticky and challenging is that in spiritual practice when things get complicated we try to simplify. We don’t put out the anger and darkness and fear with anger or violence. We have to keep loving, we have to keep peaceful, we have to listen and hold one another. We have to communicate, donate our time or money to the causes that are near and dear to our heart. I know I have been reaching out to others as a way to help support connection, offering my time and resources to an idea one of our students has that will greatly support families, as well as thinking about the way I personally can impact change in our area! More on that coming soon!
Below are a few things (links to articles, videos, etc) I have read and listened to over the past few weeks to help me– I hope they help you. I know it’s not changing the world or ending racism or bigotry or going to put an end to gun violence. Ya know what? It’s not going to guarantee anything because in this world NOTHING is promised to us. NOTHING is permanent. Waking up to the truth of the pain of the world, while serving our families and our communities and living in love as a choice, every day is powerful. Pay attention to your own suffering and anger and do what you can to heal yourself. It starts with us! Then we model for our children, our neighbors, and we stand together in our awareness, even when it’s painful.
“My hope, for all of us, is that we will not shy away from the hard conversations. May we continue to have them with our loved ones and our friends, on our Facebook pages and in public spaces and, especially, with people who see the world through different eyes. May we choose in each of these encounters and communications to heal rather than humiliate, to honor rather than to hurt. May we listen well and respect each other. May we resist the urge to dehumanize others. May we practice the art of empathy, which is to say, may we put ourselves in the shoes of another and willingly walk their mile. May we be living examples of kindness. May we act in accordance with our deepest human values: love, compassion, integrity, fairness, and hope for a better future. May we read more deeply and think more expansively. May we continue to educate and stretch ourselves. May we not retreat from complexity, but embrace it. May we be practical rather than partisan, thoughtful rather than reactive, generous of heart toward all rather than protective of a few. May we seek and find common ground here, in our America.”– Katrina Kennison
I often listen to music and just sit. I journal. I breathe when life feels too big, too heavy, too dark.
I don’t have any answers. I don’t know the way or the path of healing the world. As my personal mission- I just share with others perspectives, stories, insights that may be helpful to some. Meanwhile, doing everything I can in my tiny tiny world to be strong and brave and show up every day for myself and my family and our community. I take my life very seriously. I take each day with love and gratitude because I know this time is precious. I know living in love is the right choice for me and that means gathering people, creating, sharing and being a student.
I love you and thank you for being part of my life.
Here is sweet Milo, who turned 5 this summer, sleeping on me. Every night I put him back in his bed, and every night he creeps back in with me. And a picture of the flowers at our local park which I just love. I document all of this daily here.
I LOVE connecting with people, so email me firstname.lastname@example.org or join our lil omm life facebook group to keep the conversation going and to share with me things that help you during tough times, to connect over ways our community might be able to help, or just introduce yourself.
Join me here!
My friend Alex asked me to participate in this blog tour and my answer was ” HELL YES!” I love having Alex in my life as we share so many interests and are raising are kids in the same neighborhood, co- teaching together and just generally support one another in the work we do to support families through the good and the bad.
And this topic means SO MUCH TO ME.
As someone who formerly struggled with overwhelm and the “crazy-busy” syndrome I am passionate about spreading the self care, mama love message to all who are ready to make the changes. It all starts with us.
Without guilt, without fear, without despair.
We can build lives that matter for ourselves, for our own joy and on our own terms.
You have permission.
The Find Balance Feel Joy Blog Tour was born to provide an honest look at what goes into “having it all” or “getting it right” as a modern mother today.
My journey begins and ends with yoga. Yoga has led me to interesting cool places in my heart and on the map. Yoga teachers and teachings have given me strength, courage and confidence to FULLY EMBRACE my own me, my own way, my own heart.
Slow, quiet practice filled with breath and movement linked to soul- now THAT can change your life.
This journey of study, contemplation, reflection and movement is a powerful combination. It led me HOME to my true self, to my own way of being that encouraged me to switch careers, take risks and LOVE my children in ways I did not even know possible.
But, all b/c I began to put myself at the top of the list. Listening to my own heart and soul.
Carving out time for creativity, rest and quiet. saying NO to the schedules and parties and needs and desires of others, in order to put my family TRULY first.
You can do your own thing, find your own way… but it takes a bit of practice.
Self awareness, self knowledge is the path to freedom. A path to joy and living WHOLE in a world that so often wants to break you down. You see, there is a deeper place within- that lives- that wants to be heard. But we have to slow down enough to hear her.
Welcome to sacred ordinary life. A life in which dishes and laundry still have to be done alongside a deep respect for our home, our families and our lives. It looks like candles in the kitchen, relaxing music playing while cooking dinner or bringing other rituals and routines into our lives and SHARING them with our children. It looks like having enough space and peace in our own heart to deal with the chaos around.
It looks like getting the help we need at home and at work, in order to truly discover who we are , and where our own joy lies. This is where
Approaching ALL the moments with a sense of wonder and curiosity – even to the little things. This approach ( to our yoga practice and to our life) can profoundly shift the mindset… the choices we make, the space we hold. And helps us to see the thought patterns that are not serving us.. the ones we need to let go of.
Intentionally place yoga mats, meditation pillows and other reminders in your home so that you can practice together as a family OR so that you have a place to go to when you need it! ( I sometimes go to my mat RIGHT before they get home from school to give myself some nourishment right before the dinner/ bedtime rush) and then I find myself so much more patient and loving and interested when they walk in the door.
Read inspiring books or listen to podcasts about yoga, meditation, mindfulness and creating joy.
I always try to find women who are doing what I want to do and asking- WHAT DO YOU READ? What are your routines? What can I learn from you? I KNOW there are mentors and supporters out there- so I seek them out- and ask lots of questions so I can learn how to do this whole mama/ life/ work/ balance thing. This also helps me discern for my own life what works and what doesn’t.. and clarify my own values and mission ( which I am constantly refining)
Glance at your life ( ZOOM OUT) and see what parts are causing stress. Is there anything you can DO about it? if not, what other things need to be released in order to make time for YOU while you continue to have uncontrollable stress? let’s have a healthy relationship with our stress- not trying to FIGHT it or get rid of it- but more realizing it’s apart of our modern life.
Challenge Homework! Spend a day with yourself. Plan it now. Put on the calendar. Carve out the time to take yourself out on a date. Reflect and get quiet. meditate and stretch. journal and create or just be. no tv, no phone, no netflix.
Dear mama, it’s all so real this life thing….so intense, so emotional, so transitional and the only thing we can truly, truly control is our own breath right at this moment. Our own glance, gaze, word, thought or action.
With a grateful heart,
Alex launched In Essence Coaching, LLC in 2011 after training with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Professional Coach. She is an active member of the International Coaching Federation, committed to upholding a high level of coaching standard.
Prior to this, Alexandra dedicated 18 years of her professional career to social change as an international development researcher and practitioner. She got her BA in Environmental Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and her MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the U.K. She’s lived and worked in Africa, Europe, South and North America, and speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
In Essence Coaching, LLC is Alexandra’s private coaching practice dedicated to helping mothers suffering from stress, to find balance, joy and self-empowerment. She hosts a free Clear Mind | Present Mama Challengefor busy mothers suffering from overwhelm, offers on-line Calm Mom Coaching Circles to mothers everywhere, and works one-on-one with a small group of women through her Mama inJOY Mentorship Program.
Alexandra loves her coaching projects second only to her three mischievous and vivacious children and her loving (ever patient) husband who now (after three international moves!!) live, love and laugh together in Washington D.C.
Don’t miss the Mom’s Up Retreat this fall co-hosted by Alex and myself in Meadowkirk, Virginia (just 1 hour away from DC). Learn more about the retreat, accommodation packages, and more.
On Monday, I broke a bone in my foot. And they said, 3 days, at least- in BED.
It already feels a ton better.
I anticipate that I can “get back to moving” soon.
In the meantime, I have had quite a week. Spent some time watching shows, I read a book, I answered emails, I had a few great phone calls and I caught up with my best friend.
This stopping did unleash a bit of “what am I doing with my life?” Because I have noticed that when I stop doing so much, I start questioning more.
I have been in the space of doing for so long, that now that I am savoring my energy for only projects I WANT to work on, and being more thoughtful about who I can serve and how, everything has changed. And old habits pop right back up.
Hello old friend. Hello negative self talk. I gently reminded her that I was healing and there was no time for her to come and play today. She was not welcome. I was going to just lay low. And I DO Know what I am doing with my life, I’m DOING it.
But watching it all, while I had to surrender to my bed was fascinating. I really could not move around, help with the kids or take care of anything. I had to stop. And in some ways, it was nice and in some ways it was hard. But being present through it all and not running away with my emotions was important to me, in order to keep my mental health!
I invited a private client to the house today, and we had a great health coaching session and once I was able to do a little work, with another human being, I started to feel like myself again. Because the truth is, I feel ALIVE when I help others, when I am in conversations. When I learn and when I give.
And so the Magical Art of Laying in Bed is this…
All experiences are opportunities to learn more about yourself.
Laying in bed gives you a chance to connect with people you love and be loved.
The more I practice asking for help and receiving it ( a drive to an appointment, people bringing dinner or popping by to say hi) the more I model for my children how to accept and ask for help. This is definitely something I want them to know and learn as they grow.
Today, I sat up in bed and took some deep breaths. I rolled around in my bed and did some gentle stretching and I know that just being and feeling is the kind of life I want to live.
Here is what I read and listened to over the past few days- ENJOY.
Talk on importance of connections and relationships to health, Taking Time In.
I read the book, The Miracle Morning. which I LOVE and will write a post about.
Remembering the work of Dr. Neff, which I love.
I have a whole new list of podcasts I have been listening to..any good ones that you love?
A few weeks ago, Michelle Mitchell and I presented a workshop called Purpose, Passion and Planning at The National Kids Yoga Conference.
It was SUCH a lively and curious group- and we hope to expand the workshop next year.
Since we are rounding the corner on 2015, thought I would share with YOU the tools that we used for some of the workshop.
I have created these worksheets for you from a variety of sources, readings and information that I have collected over the years! Hope this helps YOU start to dream about your 2016. If a question is not relevant to you- then SKIP it!
Pull out your favorite markers. Grab your journals. GET GOING!
Start to Dream… Get CLEAR
Begin by being grateful for your life. Release disappointments from the past or judgments of past experiences or any SHOULD HAVES or COULD HAVES. Just DREAM. Acknowledge yourself. Clarify your path to your vision and begin to take inspired action. Inspired action is about embracing uncertainty and listening to your heart.
Questions to Consider
If money, people’s opinions and judgments, and fear were not factors – what would I want to be, do, or have?
What beliefs or things would I have to let go of if I were to allow this into my life?
What would I have to believe in order to be, do, or have these things?
What really matters to me?
BE ( I am…..) WHO OR WHAT YOU WANT TO BE
This includes – how you feel each day, your purpose or mission, how you show up in life, your strongest traits, the kind of parent or partner you are, etc. If there are traits that you already love about you, include those as well!
DO (I travel, start, arrange, create) WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
This includes travel, starting a business, offering a new program in your current business, learning a language, marriage, kids, playing the piano, etc. Write these in descriptive sentences or as a list. Really explore the options. Don’t limit yourself in any way!
Have ( I have) WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE
This can be anything from a house on the beach, to free time, to a yoga studio, to a great wardrobe, to three kids, etc. Let yourself dream big here. Lots of people get a little freaked out and feel greedy if they admit to wanting. But, just open up to those “have” desires. Knowing what they are can guide you to the places where you resist or block your own success.
Who is the person I respect most in life? What are their core values?
What are the traits of the people I spend the most time with?
If I could have more of any one quality instantly, what would it be?
What are three things I hate? (e.g., cruelty to animals, credit card companies, deforestation, etc.)
Which three people in the world do I dislike the most and why?
Which personality trait, attribute or quality do people compliment me on the most?
If I were to teach someone about values that would give them the best opportunity for success in life, what would those be and why?
If I had enough money to retire tomorrow, what values would I continue to hold?
The top 5 qualities of the “ideal” man or woman or leader (boss) or partner?
Now take a look at your answers above. Do you notice any reoccurring themes?Taking what you’ve observed in others, what others have observed about you, what you want for others, and things you would fight for or against, create a list of your top 5-10 values (in any order) below.
I want to work with/teach…….
A day in my dream life would be…….
My personal mission statement is…….
My “work” mission statement……..
My friend Michelle sent this to me, from Elizabeth Gilbert’s FB page. I LOVE THIS.
I wanted to put it here on the blog so it would not get lost and so those who just wander over here time to time, would be able to find it , read it and contemplate.
Hope it stirs up some shit for you- helps you get clear- and let go of the crap you don’t need anymore.
it’s your life- set the intention. Who KNOWS where it will go- and what will happen between now and then..
I can’t stop thinking about this idea, so I thought maybe I should share it here and open up the conversation around this concept.
First of all — does everyone understand what the quote is saying?
Here’s the simpler translation:
“If you don’t have a plan for where you’re going to be in five years, then — after five years has passed — you will still be exactly where you are right now.”
Holy cow. That’s bracing.
A little scary. A little exciting.
Look — maybe you absolutely love your life, exactly where you are right now. Maybe you feel like, “If my life looks just like this in five years, then I will be the luckiest person in the world.” If so — awesome! Just keep going just as you are, you blessed soul, and count your lucky stars.
But maybe you can’t bear your life where it is right now. Or maybe you feel stuck and you want to shift things for yourself. Or maybe you like your life, but you dream of something new.
If you haven’t put some kind of concrete plan in place for how to change things, then it is very likely that five years will pass (more quickly than you can imagine) and you will “already be there” — which is to say, you will still be right here.
So let’s talk about making plans.
My wonderful husband always says that our past doesn’t matter nearly as much as our PERCEPTION of our future. So let’s carefully try to perceive our futures in the best possible light. If you can imagine that your future might hold some promise, some difference, some transformation…then happiness can start to grow, even in this present moment.
What might it take, to perceive a different future for yourself, five years down the line?
I’ve heard that the only way to make your dreams come true is to begin by writing them down. I do think this is the truth. Writing down your goals and dreams creates a disturbance in the universe — calls down the attention of your guiding spirits. Writing down your goals also causes a disturbance in your own soul — wakes you up, and makes you take notice of your own desires.
So this is my Friday challenge, everyone. Take a moment today and write down exactly where you want to be in five years. Be honest. Be brave. Be ambitious. Be aspirational.
Who do you want to be spending your time with (romantically, or otherwise) five years from now?
Where do you want to be living?
What do you want your health to look like?
What do you want your creativity to look like?
Where do you want to be working?
What do you want to have put behind you by then?
If you are dreaming of an escape plan, what might that escape plan look like?
How much money will it take to make that dream come true — REALLY?
What are you willing to give up, in order to have what you really want?
Do you honestly need all the things (and people) that you think you need, or might there be a smoother, simpler way?
And what steps can you imagine beginning to take right now…to transport you from HERE to THERE.
Because one way or another, five years is going to pass. In half a decade, you will either be standing exactly where you are right now, or you will be standing somewhere completely new. You might even have turned into SOMEBODY completely new. (Biological science teaches us, after all, that five years from now, every cell in your body will have been replaced, and thus you will be a completely different biological entity than you are right now. Talk about a resurrection story! Pretty cool, right? So how about becoming a completely different emotional entity, as well?)
I made my list this morning: WHERE LIZ WANTS TO BE IN FIVE YEARS.
My list surprised me. My list involves getting rid of even more of my material belongings, giving more to charity, and living on a beach. My list involves a lot of travel with the people I love most. My list involves a trip to Japan. My trip involves driving across Greenland, and walking trip along the coast of New Zealand. My list involves writing for a TV show. (WHO KNEW?) Most of all, my list involves a radical emotional shift in the way I handle resentment, forgiveness, anxiety blame and shame — which might mean I need to be doing some serious work on my psyche over the next five years.
OK, then! I’m up for it!
I didn’t even know I wanted all these things…but apparently I really want these things.
Now that I have seen it all written down, it has become real. Now I must work toward getting there.
What about you?
Five years from now. Picture it.
WRITE IT DOWN.
Make it real.
I’ll meet you in five years, everyone — and we can compare notes!