4 Simple Ways to Live with Intention this Fall

TDFW13shootLondonWEBREZ73It’s that time of year again. When the world seems to speed up even faster. Things need to be planned. To be scheduled. To be added into your already busy life.

It’s when the children are heading back to school and holidays become memories. And the time of year when we start to worry about all the things that need to get done, rather then of all the things we want to enjoy.

But my goodness, they are some of the most beautiful months of the year.

As we move forward into a busy-making time of year, I just want to remind you of the true nature of this time of year. 

While everyone is running around adding in weekly meets, daily schedules, monthly events and everything in between, nature is reminding us that this is the time to let go.

Surrender, transformation and letting go are all qualities of the world around us during the Fall months. 

And isn’t it ironic that while we feel the need to control, build, add-to our lives – that nature around us is taking its time, eliminating the non-essentials, letting go of the need to grow, push and expand.

The leaves slowly start to change from green to gold. The garden reaches it’s most bountiful. The sun falls a little sooner leaving us cooler and more contemplative.

Just as the Summer draws us out into the heat to grow, achieve, do, push and strive – the Autumn season calls us back into receiving, allowing and surrender.

Even when we don’t feel like we have the time for it. 

We are reminded to slow down and dress with a little more mindfullness – warmth and comfort in mind.

We are blessed with the fresh vegetables as they come into the end of their growing cycle – nourishing us a little more deeply.

We are invited to reflect on all the things that we need to let go of in our lives – as we begin to restructure our daily lives.

Today I want to share with you a few things you can do to step into the next part of the year with grace and ease.

Especially in those moments when you feel like you need to do this or need to be there.

This week – choose to be on purpose with the things you add to and release from your life. 

It can be way too easy for us women to allow the world around us to dictate what we will do next, where we should go and how we should spend our time and energy.

But as always, we have a choice. And with that choice, we have the ability to offer the people around us the best version of ourselves.

Maybe taking some extra time out will make you a better partner. Maybe saying yes to yourself will make you a better friend. Maybe investing in yourself will make you a better person.

Maybe you matter more then you are willing to admit. And saying you will take care of your body next month, next year and next is very different then actually setting the intention to make the change. 

In this moment, choose to live with Intention this Fall and repeat after me…

“This week I will live with intention by choosing…

 The Way I Spend My Time - I will schedule in non-negotiable time early in the morning and just before bed to relax, nurture my body and take time for meditation and reflection. If this means getting up earlier or cutting back on television/internet time I will make the changes I need to in respect for myself.

The People I Surround myself with - I will get really clear on the people I choose to spend my time with and energy on. This includes both in person and online. If there is someone I’ve been missing, I will call them up and set a date to meet. If there is someone who is draining me, I will limit or eliminate the time I spend with them, lovingly and with kindness.

The Places I Spend My Time -  I will be mindful of where I spend my time and how it feels to be there. If my living room feels messy and disorganized, I will take time to tidy it up and change things around till it feels fresh and inviting. If I drive the same way to work, I will change it up and walk. If my bedroom is a mess of clothes, old magazines and things I no longer need – I set time aside to create a sanctuary.

The Things I Put in and on my Body - I will be aware of the things that I eat each day and how those foods make me feel and the energy that they give me – including the water I drink. Equally, I will be mindful of the products I put on my body, always asking myself- are they natural? do they make a difference? is there something less-toxic I can use instead?

Here’s the the thing, you may not feel like you have the time to join the gym, do a detox or make it to yoga every week.   You may not even be prepared to simply start meditating or moving your body each day.

But you will still have to move through your life with the energy, wisdom and clarity to make a difference in the lives of the people around you. 

Because you care about your family. You want to be a wonderful partner and friend. You have dreams you want to reach and goals you want to achieve.

…and because if you choose to put yourself last, it’s not only your mind, body and Spirit that will pay the price.

It’s the people who care about you. 

So for this week and the rest of the year, I invite you to live with intention. Especially in how you spend your time, who you surround yourself with, where you live/go and what you nourish your body with. And let each choice be loving, kind and intuitive. 

Because in the end, you are really the only one that knows what’s best for you. 
amber86Amber Chalus is a Free-Spirited Adventurer, Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Certified Yoga Teacher. She lives in the heart of Saskatchewan with her charming British husband and adorable rescue dog, Indi. You are invited to join her growing community of spirited women at her online sanctuary, AmberChalus.comHer mission is to help and inspire women to nurture their physical and spiritual health through yoga, holistic nutrition and radical self love. She believes that every woman deserves to feel connected to her body, radiate with confidence and live the life of her dreams – naturally! She is also the co-creator of the 30 Day Wildly Nourished Challenge at wildlyvibrant.ca

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How to Set Intentions with Mala Beads

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Balancing Act: 5 Ways to Balance Mind + Body + Spirit

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 1.51.40 PMLife is all about finding balance. Striving to create harmony within ourselves and within our lives. If we do too much in one aspect of our life than the others suffer and the same goes if we don’t do enough, then we become stagnant and stop growing. Listening to our instincts and our bodies when it signals overflow can be difficult when we all have so much to do but it is crucial for proper balance and ideal health. The yin and yang. The male and female. The giving and receiving. Finding the courage to expand and move forward but the wisdom to know when to rest and have reverence.

Here are 5 yoga and spiritual practices that can help you find “The Balance” in your life.

1. Yoga. Yoga is amazing at balancing the body and mind. There are certain poses that you can do that specifically focus on the physical aspect of finding balance. Vrksasana or Tree Pose. Mastering how to balance physically translates spiritually. The attention it takes to find balance in difficult poses, helps you to clear your mind. If you find tree pose easy then try Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose). Remember that balance doesn’t always mean stillness, it is more about being adaptable and giving more or less depending on the situation, it is constantly changing.

* Vrksanana – Plant your left foot into the ground, foot pointing straight ahead and pressing all four corners of the foot into the mat. Bring your right foot high into your inner left thigh and resist your foot with your inner thigh by firming your standing leg. Rotate your knee to the side by drawing your tailbone down. Bring your hands to prayer at your heart or reach your arms up to the sky. Find something to focus on that is straight ahead. This is called yoyr drishti. For more advanced, try looking up towards the sky. Repeat other leg.

* Natarajasana – Start with your left leg strong and firm just as you did in tree pose then with your right hand, grab the inside of your right ankle. Avoid dropping the chest and instead resist your leg with your arm and reach your leg and chest high up towards the sky. Try to keep your shoulders and hips squared to the front of the room and bring your left arm forward into whatever mudra is comfortable for you. Find your drishti and balance as long as you can. Try the other leg.

2. Pranayama or Breathing techniques. Prana meaning life force or vital energy. Nadi Shodhan or alternate nostril breathing is a perfect technique, as it is known to clear out blocked energy channels in the body, creating calm and balance.

* Nadi Shodhan- Sit on the floor, cross-legged. Leave your left hand on your leg palm up or down and bring your right hand up to your face. Closing your first two fingers, this is called Mrigi Mudra. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring and pinky fingers. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril and repeat. Continue to do this a couple of times then go back to your natural breathing.

3. Figure eights. Close your eyes and make slow figure eights with your eye balls. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t take much to do and you can do it almost anywhere, although you might look a little crazy. Drawing the infinite figure eight with your eyes is a way to balance the male and female within yourself.

4. Balance your bodies ph levels with diet. What you eat effects your bodies chemistry. If you are too acidic you will feel off and vice versa, but most Americans diet make them more acidic then too alkaline. Eat whole organic foods, free of processing, microwaves, additives, and excess sugar and alcohol. You can buy a saliva test kit online to check your ph levels at home. Notice how you feel after you eat certain foods. If you swing too far into a diet regimen then you could be missing out on some fun but too much fun becomes a breeding ground for disease.

5. Sleep & Exercise. Try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Irregular routines can cause stress hormones in the body that can cause serious health issues. This complex reaction or “fight or flight reaction” is a natural alarm system that should not be constantly under attack. Proper sleep can prevent you from feeling “off” and creating a spiral of eating bad and feeling unbalanced. Exercise is just as important. Breaking a sweat and getting your heart rate going everyday is ideal. It is important to know the difference between being exhausted and being lazy. Some people need to learn to rest and not over do it, while others need a little more motivation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 1.52.28 PMJesse Golden is a model, yoga teacher, mother and woman living with an auto-immune disease.  Every challenge she’s  had throughout life she’s chosen to take an optimistic approach and accept the Universe’s opportunity for her to create more light.  She wants to help others by sharing all the different tools that she’s learned that have kept her going through life’s challenges. 

Website: www.thegoldensecrets.org 

Instagram: @jessegolden

10 Things to Think about Before Planning a Yoga Retreat

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 3.08.55 PM1. What do I need in my life right now?
Create an intention for what you would like to achieve from a Yoga retreat. Attend regular Yoga or meditation classes to gain clarity and focus about what you currently need. Ask your body the question…’What do I need?’ Trust in the higher intelligence of your body to give you signals that will guide you towards your highest needs. Consider what you are looking for to decide on the most suitable retreats that will best fit your needs. Study the retreat descriptions carefully and find the one that speak loudly to you personally. Seek the ultimate retreat that appears to be customised just for you! When I design a retreat I’m aiming to create an experience that will refresh the spirit, reignite passion for living, rediscover balance in life and deepen our yoga and meditation practice.

2. What do I yearn to learn?
Retreats offer all kinds of different benefits and learning experiences. Exceptional retreats will offer a combination of many benefits and topics with an overall theme focus. Here’s a few to consider regarding what you may need and what may excite you.
• Restorative and nurturing yoga classes
• Energizing and dynamic yoga classes
• Advanced yoga postures
• Yoga philosophy
• New healthy rituals
• Ayurvedic lifestyle rituals
• Personal development
• Self healing
• Letting go of negative emotions
• Self love rituals
• Detox and cleansing
• Nourishing and energising food
• New foods and cooking demos
• Positive thinking and manifesting dreams
• Chakra energy centres
• Chi energy flow
• Learning new Yoga styles
• Peace, tranquillity, harmony
• Daily meditation
• Chanting
• Mantras and mudras
• Healthy weight and positive self image
• Self time; down time
• Adventures : skiing, horse riding, surfing, stand up paddling, snorkeling

Shambhala_Hangin Hammock _Bern copy3. Do I know the organizer or teachers on the Retreat?
It may be your own teacher or a teacher from your local studio who is running the retreat and you aspire to learning more from their lifestyle and wisdom. Does this teacher make you feel supported and cared for? Are they warm approachable and knowledgable? If you do not know the teacher then it’s best to spend time researching their credentials and experience and importantly check out their guest testimonials on past retreats. Feel confident in asking the teachers or organisers what their professional intention is with the retreat? You want to feel reassured that they are designing and guiding the retreat with a deeper passion to help, transform and improve peoples lives while immersed in the depths of Yoga practice, spiritual and healthy rituals.

4. What type of Yoga do I prefer?
Some retreats are based on specific types of Yoga styles (Hatha,Vinyasa, Anusara, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Yin, Acro etc) Enquire about the type of Yoga if you’re uncertain about the descriptions. Also check out the level of yoga (beginner, intermediate, advanced, all levels) and make sure the retreat you choose will accommodate your personal level of practice so you feel supported or challenged as much as you need. Unless specified as ‘advanced’, most retreats will cater for all levels Be prepared to embrace your individual journey without judging your ability or level. Most guests are surprised at the broad range of different levels and how comfortable and accepted they feel as they immerse into the retreat experience.

5. Location…location!
What landscape, culture and climate most inspires or deeply relaxes you? Are you more relaxed near the rainforest, by the ocean or in the mountains? Do you need adventure, culture, exotic locations and other elements to be included as part of your pre or post retreat experience. Retreat locations can be a monumental influence on the whole retreat experience. An amazing location will provide a powerful and positive flow of energy and negative ions, it will host a picture perfect backdrop and establish a beautiful soft ambience.Consider the location that most relaxes or excites you. Perhaps you’re interested in discovering a new location and new country and you can include the retreat as a healthy start or finish to your overseas holiday. Consider If you prefer luxury 5 star options verse basic rustic accommodation. The retreat accommodation should be clean, immaculate, stylish and esthetically pleasing. The layout should be feng shui considered to optimise a positive energy flow and additional touches such as crystals and ancient mythology statues will also support the energy and spiritual nature of the location.

Banyan tree entrance6. Does it look professional and organized?
The retreat description should clearly outline the theme, style, dates, location, costs, general overview of activities and all inclusions. You can also submit prior interest in the retreat to receive the itinerary or schedule to gain more information on what to expect on the retreat and how to be prepared. Once your booking is confirmed you should also receive the comprehensive time schedule with your daily rituals, preparation guide, packing list and a health medical questionnaire form to assess your health status and intentions for the retreat. The greater the attention to logistics, the more nurtured and supported you will feel during the transition from your home to the retreat. Your dietary preparation pre retreat and your special food requirements should also be requested and recorded.

7. What are the Costs?
Most retreats should be inclusive of accommodation, food, yoga and all activities except airfare. Additional extras may include optional spa treatments and massages. Retreat costs will vary greatly depends on the number of nights stay, the luxury elements of the accommodation and the exact location. Choose retreats within your budget but also be prepared to save and invest in the retreat of your dreams!

8. When should I go?
It’s ideal to be organised well in advance however, if your life is completely off track and you feel desperately out of balance then don’t wait to start healing, rebalancing and renewing. Get happy and harmonised! Go now!

9. What foods turn you on?
Yoga Retreats will vary greatly with food choices and some may only offer vegetarian or vegan options. Some retreats will encourage you to eliminate certain foods pre retreat to alkalise the body and enhance your retreat experience with more energy and less joint stiffness. Remember that Yoga retreats are designed to energise the liver, nourish the adrenal glands and support the body from the inside out. Try to accept the cleansing of sugar, toxins and acidic products from your diet as the beginning of a whole new anti-aging and happier lifestyle. Ask to see the retreat menu and check that the food is supplied from fresh organic local suppliers if possible.

10. Is there soul surrender time just for YOU?
Choose a retreat that offers down time and personal surrender just for you. On a quality retreat even the yoga is optional. Choose how much or how little you want to participate.

category_images_9 (1)Madonna Williams is a modern day Yoga and meditation therapist, health presenter and educator with a soulful approach to celebrating the body’s wisdom and inner spirit. Internationally accredited as a Yoga teacher and personal trainer, Madonna is the author of the successful book ‘Zen Soul Your Life‘ and the creator of the community Yoga movement ‘Zen Soul Yoga‘ that offers weekly Yoga classes and regular Yoga retreats. She is also the creator and presenter for the upcoming new online series ‘Yoga Zen Soul’. Trained in Zen Thai Shiatsu healing and food/nutrition coaching, Madonna also offers personal mentoring, healing massage and life coaching. Her work has been featured in media platforms such as Well-being Magazine, Cove Magazine, Get It Magazine, Gold Coast Magazine, Dolly Magazine, Channel Nine and the Gold Coast Bulletin. Madonna is a leader of body-mind-spiritual teachers and intends to help others ‘peace, nourish and nurture’ and always aim to ‘manifest your best’!

Aim True with Kathryn Budig!

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7 Great Reasons to Do Yoga in the Comfort of your Home

10635954_814680641906049_4928240045228069362_nAlthough in-studio yoga classes are a must, there are several benefits to practicing every day at home, too. Why go the online yoga route? Check out seven reasons that are sure to get you inspired!

1. You can practice whenever you want, wherever you want. One of the advantages of using a platform like My Virtual Yoga for your practice is the flexibility it offers. Whether before work, during baby’s nap or right after dinner, you’re just a few clicks away from indulging in a bit of well-deserved yoga.

PSST: For those of you who are constantly travelling, know that online yoga can be done in a hotel room before a business meeting or right after a long flight. We love how yoga can be adapted to your busy lifestyle!

2. You’ll find a variety of styles in one spot. You like variety, and making new discoveries—we totally get that. Hatha on Tuesdays, Vinyasa on Wednesdays and Yin on Thursdays: anything is possible! With an online platform, you can easily switch up your practice. It’s simple!

3. It’s an excellent way of complementing your in-studio practice. Most of us have a favourite studio: a place where we gather with others who are passionate about yoga, too. This weekly meeting is necessary so your teacher can correct you, but online yoga allow you to really develop your practice and better integrate what you’ve learned in the studio. 1+1 = 2!

4. There’s something new every week. Are you always on the lookout for what’s new… just like us? Online yoga practice is a great way to test-drive new ways of learning, new techniques and new themes. It means allowing yourself to be in tune with what’s new and have fun, too. Oh, look: there’s something new to try!

5. You can take your favourite teacher with you everywhere you go. So you’ve fallen under the spell of a specific teacher who offers AMAZING CLASSES that seem perfectly adapted to your needs. With online yoga videos, you don’t need to wait for a specific time every week to take your teacher’s class: whether on your iPad at the cottage or on the TV in your basement, your teacher is waiting!

6. It’s a question of comfort. The weather will never make you miss your class, nor will you be able to make excuses for not wanting to leave your OH SO COMFY home. Yup: as far as yoga is concerned, you’ll never be able to use excuses like there being too much traffic, or the metro being late. From now on, it’s all about comfort… and nothing else.

7. There is a yoga class for all levels. Does your beau want to try yoga? No problem: there are videos for every level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The yoga  videos are adapted to your body and what you’ve learned so far.

Namaste!

My Virtual Yoga

Sign up for My Virtual Yoga using this promo code and get a free one-month subscription: tinydevotions

Happy yoga-ing!

Confessions from a Boho Fashionista: 6 Ways to Kiss Summer Goodbye

mala-beads-yoga-tiny-devotions-photographer-photographer-richelle-hunter-photography-summer-of-soul-369Hey Boho Beauties,

We may be experiencing the final days of summer, but gypsy bella’s know that with the passing of every special season comes the excitement and wonder of another new one. For months we’ve been lounging under hot rays, learning how to ride waves, taste testing lime gelato, and going to the uncharted. It’s a bittersweet goodbye, but it’s time to say farewell to summertime. The best way to say hasta la vista to the sweetest days of summer is to celebrate the most cherished moments of the season and revisit them in style. Let’s talk about the top 6 things a bohemian queen should always do at the end of summer.

Drive Up to the Pier and Watch the Sun Set: You may not live in SoCal (or near a pier!) but if we all live under the beauty of the sunshine. So find a pretty spot with a boho boy or gal pal and watch the sunset while the air is still warm and the fireflies are still buzzing. Take a cozy blanket, some snacks and beverages, and share your most special memories of the summer as the sun makes it’s decent and the moon fills the night sky. These kinds of moments are magical, so be sure to take some snapshots to remember them forever.

Take One Last Long Day at the Beach: Whether you’ve been chilling on the coast since school let out or this is your very first day near the waves, this last day at the beach is imperative. Invite all of your fave friends to the water, pack beach balls, burgers, beverages, and beyond, and prepare for the best day of summer. It’s usually the final days of summer that you’ll remember for a lifetime to get ready to have the best day of the season. Make this one a noon to midnight ordeal, and prepare for lunch, dinner and even an evening bonfire! (Oh, and don’t forget your bathing suit, boho bella!)

Make a Seriously Magical Vision Board: This summer you’ve let your dreams and heart run wild, as all goddesses do. The ending of this season doesn’t mark the ending of such freedom, but is rather the catalyst to new and exciting adventures this fall. Make a vision board that expresses all of your desires and intentions so that you can carry the sweetness from summer with you into autumn.  Be sure to choose words and pictures that express the emotions you feel when you think of your dreams and intentions.

Have a Bon Fire with Your Best Gal Pals: On the very last weekend of summer, build the biggest, best bonfire a gal has ever seen! Invite all of your soul sisters over and stay up late in the evening enjoying one another’s best stories of summer.  As the flames roar, share s’mores, roasted dogs and popcorn, and remember all of summers’ magic with your besties.

Soak up One Last Weekend at the Lake House: Load up the car, jump in and jet off to the lake for one last weekend to lounge with your babe and besties. There’s still time to sit by the water, enjoy a beverage and go for a dip in the lake. As summer turns to fall the lake is perfect place to reflect on the best moments of summer and get ready for the exciting season to come. Invite your favorite friends and your honey for one last weekend to enjoy one another’s company with yummy food, fun games (like taboo or UNO), and the great outdoors! This is a serious must-do, so put it in your planner on the double.

5fcbf4fc856fa7fd745541b9faa9157dHave a Fairytale Kiss with Your Summer Love: Do you remember puppy love as a teenager, when the dog days of summer would wrap up and that cutie from camp finally gave you the peck on the cheek you’d been dreaming of for months on end? Let me tell you something: that sweet gypsy princess still lives in you and your fairy tale summer kiss is a must do! Go grab your honey, find a pretty sunset, and kiss them under the stars, just like highschool. You see, life may not be a fairytale, but magical moments happen all the time and it’s your birthright to experience them. Now go get that kiss!

These are the top 6 things you should always do at the end of the summer, but I’m sure you have a couple of staple things you do to wrap the season up, and I’d love to hear all about them! Comment in the pink section below and let’s chat about summer’s grand finale ;)

libpicPeace, Love and Magic,

From Your Resident Boho Fashionista, Libby xx

My 5 Mantras + What they Mean to Me, Koya Webb

 WScreen Shot 2014-08-28 at 2.06.37 PMhat do you do to inspire your community? 

I love traveling the world teaching holistic health and wellness. Whether it’s delivering a motivational speech, whipping up a raw vegan lasagna or teaching an Acro Flow Yoga class, I love sharing how harmony with all parts of ourselves brings happiness.

 What brought you to the mat for the first time? 

Yoga came to me as a gift, a painful gift that I didn’t want to open. I remember my first class…I cried. I was a track and field athlete in college who put my body through everything it could handle until one day I dropped to my knees from a striking bolt of pain that I later found out was a stress fracture in my 4th lumbar vertebrae. My season was over…my full scholarship threatened, and I all I had to offer the world at that point was an overflow of tears.

A concerned counselor suggested I try yoga. I’d never really heard about it before and remember my first class being full of pain and tears. Somehow I found myself halfway on my head and I thought my head was going to explode. I think if I had a way out I wouldn’t have returned for a second class but I signed up for the semester so I was stuck.

Day after day inch after inch I saw myself improving. After a week I’d cried all the tears my body was capable of and my teacher suggested I focus on my breath. I stopped thinking about the poses and only thought about fully breathing the entire class. After a month my spirits were lifted and I added swimming and biking to my routine to heal my body. I forgave myself for being so hard on my body without proper rest and after a year of therapy and self love I returned to the track to win 3 Championship titles in the High Jump, Heptathlon and Mile Relay which led my team to Wichita State’s first Women’s Track and Field Championship title. My continued practice of yoga has helped me strengthen my body, mind and spirit in SO many ways. I truly believe everyone should experience this gift.

I also use mantras in my daily practice to uplift me when I’m feeling down and set the tone of my day.

My favorite mantras are:

I am a being of love.

Saying this mantra takes me quickly out of feeling like a victim and empowers me to be a creator. A being of love can find the love in even the darkest situations and bring light to the toughest times.

Love is all there is.

When I say love is all there is it reminds me that no matter what happens I can always choose love. When I am outside of love it is usually because of fear and when I return to love things seems to magically work out.

I am healthy, wealthy and wise.

Health is extremely important to me because I am a teacher and entertainer. When I’m healthy, have an abundance of cash flow, and making intelligent decisions, I’m more beneficial to the planet.

I am beautiful.

Being a fitness model you are judged a lot on how you look. Some say I’m too thick…too skinny…not enough muscle…too much muscle. If I’m not careful I can sometimes feel insecure and try to change myself to fit some unachievable mold. When I chant “I am beautiful” I remember I am beautiful just the way I am.

Thank You.

Chanting thank you is my favorite expression of gratitude to the universe for always providing what I need when I need it. Sometimes I think about something I want to manifest and I chant “Thank You” to express gratitude because I know what I need is on its way.

_MG_0024columnKoya Webb is an internationally recognized holistic health and wellness coach, author, motivational speaker, and professional fitness model who is helping revolutionize raw/vegan cuisine, yoga and the holistic living landscape.

Website: www.koyawebb.com 

Instagram: @koyawebb

Facebook: Koya Webb

Back to School Soul Search: 6 Things I’d Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

TINY-DEVOTIONS-LIFESTYLE-mala-beadsBack to school is one of my favorite times of year. The fall weather (warm days and cool nights), pumpkin spice lattes, flowy boho tops paired with crops and leg warmers and nice big mugs of love when meeting friends in the city on a beautiful afternoon. For over 20 years I was in school and loved every moment of it: from grade school to grad school and a stint of teaching in between, books & highlighters are my jam.

But somewhere in the last few years, I have been without traditional schooling and have been instead embarking upon the lessons of life. This year I’m taking a guitar lesson and saving money for my third yoga teacher training to get into the spirit. Seeing my friends children enjoy the first day and teacher friends arriving back in their classrooms this week has me thinking: what would I tell my 18-year-old self? There are quite a few things I wish I could go back and explain, but I’ll let you in on the top 6 secrets I would have told my younger self.

 1. Ignore the haters. Somewhere in your high school and college career a few people will tell you that you aren’t good enough. They will tell you to quit journalism and that your writing will never make it. They will encourage you to do other things in life and beg you to choose another path. Ignore them. Use those years of anger for writing instead of crying. Develop your skill because in a few years you will rock it! You are meant for big things, so learn to ignore the haters early on.

2. Your intuition is spot on. You are always asking WHY – Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? How can I help the world? This is because you KNOW that you are destined to bring love to the world. You’ll find it I promise. Just keep searching and listening to your intuition. Those tarot cards you friends pull out during slumber parties, the feathers the universe gifts you as you walk down the street and the hidden message box from your aunt that holds your intentions – they are your intuition screaming at you. Pay attention and hold on for the wild ride!

 3. You will make LOTS of mistakes. And that’s okay. Seriously. Life is a learning experience and a big lesson. Keep moving and keep trying because these mistakes are just tiny little blips on your path to success. You may not know what you want right now, but if you keep moving forward you’ll find them. And remember, a mistake is not a failure: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison.

4. Boys & the scale are NOT everything. I don’t know how else to say this but: get over it. Wow are you dramatic. You have a flare for it and in fact you majored in it! But let me tell you something, the amount of boyfriends you have and the number on the scale do not define who you are and they never will. Those silly magazines will get into your head and convince you otherwise but it isn’t true. You are beautiful, so beautiful it hurts and you have no idea. Look in the mirror and appreciate who you are. Put down the diet coke and the salad slathered with fat free dressing. Walk away and find a delicious, nutritious meal and love yourself and your girlfriends more than you know is possible. Boys are not meant to be fixed and when you are ready to accept that, the perfect man will arrive in your life. I promise.

5. Your parents will become your best friends. Your mom and dad are going to become your best friends. And it’s great! I know you “hate her” but your mom loves you beyond belief. Don’t worry you’ll apologize when you’re ready — but someday she will become your very best friend. It’s not stupid to end up like her in fact it’s a blessing. When you’re in the middle of a hurricane and you’re the only friend on Facebook with back-up candles (and board games), or you’re driving down the street and know all the back roads to avoid traffic or score an amazing deal at TJ Maxx in the clearance section, you’ll have her to thank. When you remember how to change light bulbs and remove doors to make room for new furniture in tiny places or make a killer business networking connection, you’ll have your dad to thank. Listen to their advice: the silly and the serious because it will take you pretty far in life.

6. You will become an amplified version of you! In ten years you will still be you, but you’ll be so much better. You’ll be happily married, rescue a puppy, own a yoga studio and write every day as your actual day job. You’ll read tarot cards and meditate and drink vegetables. I know some of this sounds so far out of your comfort zone right now, but all of it ends up being the biggest blessing of you life. Take life as it comes: one step at a time. Hold on for the wild ride and accept whatever comes your way. Your life is amazing and will get better as each day passes so keep on trucking and let go of all the things that are no longer serving you. I suggest starting with that diet coke!

1157699_383157768473367_247012539_n-199x300Jenny Ravikumar is the owner and a yoga instructor at Barefoot Yoga Shala.

Twitter: @Jennyravikumar
Instagram: @Jennyravikumar