HOW AWARE ARE WE?

Hi there lovelies, hope you're having a beautiful Sunday.

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

Photo By Erik Almas in Dubai

How aware are we I ask?  

We can be aware of the obvious things for sure; emotions we feel, our responsibilities, the routine of how we move through our days, food we eat, amount of exercise we get, what we tune-in to and tune-out, judgments we make on ourselves, energy we put out into the world… you get the idea. Do you ever wonder if you’re just going through the motions of life missing out on that deeper connection to your self-awareness? And even more importantly, how does your answer make you feel?

A few helpful questions to increase your awareness with the examples I listed above:

  1. Do you push away emotions or invited them in? 
  2. Are you enjoying or dreading your responsibilities?
  3. How present are you as you move through your day?
  4. Do you make food choices that support your health and goals?
  5. Is it important to you that you get daily physical exercise?
  6. What kind of environment are you creating for yourself? 
  7. Are you judging the choices you make with compassion or negative self talk?
  8. Would the people in your environment say you are kind, loving and joyful to be around?
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I truly believe, through our awareness it as just as easy to create wonderful, life changing habits as it is to fall into bad ones. It’s the desire to be aware that will dictate how much you enrich your life and strive for your greatest potential. We all want this don’t we? Take a moment to smile here and thank yourself for the awareness you have and trust that you are only going to expand and grow from here on out! 

Various circumstances and mainly excuses kept me from committing to a yoga practice many years ago and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to meditate. Sit still and be quiet, oh my... I couldn’t do that, that’s just weird unless I’m sleeping… would have been my inner monologue. When I landed in a yoga practice I loved, I began to lean-in to how I could expand my awareness and that uplifted me. Being a witness to the challenges I faced on my mat revealed the same challenges I had in life and I wanted to look at that. Yoga was becoming an emotional experience filled with vulnerability, happiness, resistance, letting go of ego, challenges, peace and a wonderful sense of increased awareness. Not to mention, keeping me in great shape. I fell deeply in love and made it a commitment I knew I had to share with others. 

There are days I’m extremely proud of my progress with being aware, present and connected and there are days I ignore my significant other as I create a social media post while I juggle car keys, grocery bags and getting the mail
— Andrea Bogart
Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I love inspiring a mindful lifestyle in general and as a yoga instructor I have a responsibility to my students to encourage them to connect to their awareness.  My hope is that it propels each person to want to live a mindful life filled with happiness. Being an instructor doesn’t make me better, more self-aware or give me super powers but I see it as a beautiful gift that serves my life well and supports my core beliefs in the effort to practice what I share.  

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently
— Anthony Robbins

It's such a pleasure to sit and think and write about things I love and that helped me along the way. If it speaks to you in some way, comment or share something with me.... I love hearing from you guys. Have a blessed day filled with awareness! 

Connecting With Yourself

Can you take a moment each day to connect to your energy source? Can you let it ground you, center you and create space for that connection to carry throughout your day? YOU CAN. We always have choices to connect with our awareness and use this connection to challenge ourselves in situations that take place all day long. This awareness creates change. It allows you to feel into a response rather than quickly react. Be brave with your ability to expand and grow!

Ask yourself, what is one thing you do every morning as you wake up and start your day? With-in these actions, can you fold-in a mindful act that connects you to yourself? 

As I sit myself up and turn the alarm off, before my feet hit the floor I take three rounds of deep inhales and exhales, each round includes an internal "thank you for..." (takes less than a one minute). Does it happen every morning you ask? No, is the answer but it happens more often than not and that's better than when I never did it at all.  May I inspire you to start thinking? 

Great pockets of space I've found for me are: 

  • Brushing my teeth, sometimes I do squats. Yes I do:)
  • Taking a shower, say at least three gratitudes. (my man gave me that one)
  • Driving, take my deep breaths and internal thank you's, if I missed it as I woke up.
  • Putting on make up, I listen to something inspiring, my new jam is Becoming Wise podcast by Krista Tippett (short ones)
  • Washing dishes, as much as I dislike doing this I'm finding podcasts to listen to or simply enjoying the calm, the quiet. 

Important reminder: You are not me, you are you, get creative with where this can work for you and your schedule and the life you currently have. You got this!

We can always create space we just have to put our thinking caps on and bring some awareness to it. I'm starting to challenge myself to find more little pockets of time in a busy day where I can enfold something mindful. It's also been encouraging to slow down as well. Do you feel too busy, too overwhelmed, too chaotic to even think of what you'd do? I certainly have days like this so creating the patterns is what has helped me most. I know that when I wake up I'm going to take those deep breaths, I'm going to say some thank you's and jot down gratitude's and going to feel more connected to myself with these choices.  You can do this too. Start with anything, just start. 

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you. A joy
— Rumi

Have a beautiful day connecting!  If you have any tips that are working well for you please do share! If you need more ideas let me know, I'm happy to make suggestions for you. Thank you for popping by!

SETTING AN INTENTION

How do you set an intention for yourself?

Photo by  Erik Almas  on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India with a  Sadhu  (Baba)

Photo by Erik Almas on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India with a Sadhu (Baba)

I am reminded through Oprah and Deepak meditations, how the power of setting intentions drives our personal reality. Aligned with your beliefs and values, intentions create wander and put positive energy into your mind and out into the world. Why not give yourself such freedom to be creative and enjoy how it can uplift you as you believe what you see?

Before I started practicing yoga and meditating, I believe the only intentions I set were through prayer as I grew up going to church with my family, which to this day, I have such appreciation for. I didn’t have awareness around consciously setting intentions until I started hearing it in the yoga classes I would take and responding happily to it. As a competitive dancer and tumbler in my youth I definitely remember those crucial moments right before performances or competitions as I hit my mark, found my beginning post and suddenly a rant of thoughts went through my head; I'm scaredjust breathe, don't mess up, do your best, don't forget to smile, just have fun Andrea, stick your landing, use facial expressions, don't bite your lip, I hope I don't fall... you get the idea. I had no idea how to control this mindless chatter with fear often highjacking the positive.  

When I shifted into being an actress in my twenties, audition filled days caused a free-flowing stream of these types of rants in my head all over again. Thoughts would hang on me as I entered rooms causing me to feel in limbo between having fun and doing my best or flopping and leaving frustrated. I've always had my things I do to prepare but as I grow, I dig bringing awareness into simplifying thoughts which leads to more clarity when I need it. 

As "intention" setting in yoga class migrated its way into audition rooms, my morning rituals and meditations, I knew it would be an important thing to share in the yoga classes I instruct.  Encouraging others to take the moment to get still, feel right where you are, take a deep breath in and out and let an intention come to mind is a moment worthy of exploring. 

After recently spending time with my nieces I realized sharing the importance of how to set an intention could inspire them as they prepared for their dance recital. When I asked them if they were excited about their show, they reminded me of myself when I was young.  All the same fears and worries overpowered them being able to relax and say positive things to themselves. What a perfect time to share with them my past similarities and what I've learned that can be calming in these nerve racking situations.  I reminded them that it's ok to feel nervous and that sometimes it's just excitement brewing too, which can be the little adrenaline rush you use to give it your all! 

There are several ways to get to intention setting, here are a few tips to the process I often use:

  • Close your eyes, get still and connect with your inhale and exhale.
  • Ask yourself where you would like support?
  • Think short term and in the moment.
  • Invite in clarity with-in your thoughts.
  • From that thought grab a positive word or phrase that inspires where you want that support.
  • Your intention is set, say it to yourself as you breathe in and out a few times and let it uplift you!

Example of mine today: I will nurture myself with compassion and be proud of my accomplishments today. 

I decided to have some more fun with my nieces in sharing this "intention" setting process through a company I love, called MyIntent. I met founder, Chris Pan about 2 years ago at a sunset rooftop yoga I was leading and immediately connected with him. As Chris has grown MyIntent into something authentic with purpose behind it, I get excited to share the goodness that he’s paying forward, spreading light into the world. 

The girls and I sat together at the kitchen table. They all wrote on their cards what their word was and why they chose it and I took to my craftsmanship to make them their bracelets with the MyIntent maker kit. To sit and have these moments with them is priceless and better than any post I could share. I'm a fan of creating an open dialogue with our youth which gives us all permission to share what we are feeling and bring light to what we'd like our intentions to be. I'm proud of my nieces for the inspiration they give me and are putting out there for themselves. 

I'm on my third word and bracelet since meeting Chris.  As we shift and grow our intentions can change. I'd love to share mine because they've greatly reflected what I've brought into my life. My why included was written during the time of choosing that word. 

  1.  2014 was Let it Happen: I often worry about the future in many aspects and even as I feel like a motivated, genuinely happy person, I create unnecessary stress by seeking results or needing to "know" how things will turn out too often. I aspire to be more present and let things organically happen. Embrace what IS here and now. Let It Happen.
  2. 2015 was Perspective: I catch myself easily slipping into thoughts of self doubt, frustration, and having my opinions about the way I feel about things that can be judgmental. I will challenge myself in these moments to be open and shift my perspective in a positive way, respecting all beings and inspiring a stronger sense of self acceptance. Perspective.
  3. 2016 is Compassion: This one was chosen for me by my guy, Erik Almas, whom also made it for me. Erik encouraged me to have better "self talk". I will be aware of the things say aloud in front of others and in my own inner dialogue. I will acknowledge the way I look at myself and see things with tenderness and compassion rather than be so critical. Compassion. 
Photo by Chris Pan at roof top yoga

Photo by Chris Pan at roof top yoga

Photo by Erik Almas at  Rise Nation  

Photo by Erik Almas at Rise Nation 

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If you've done some intention setting for yourself, let me hear about it?  Or perhaps you're sporting a MyIntent bracelet... what's your word? I'd love to hear from you. Have your intentions helped? Keep this circle of light swirling! Thank you guys. 

Namastamy featured in photos.