How To Give The Gift Of Being Present

Have you ever wondered how to be more present? We hear it all the time, we potentially think we are and yet so easily our minds wander, our attention bounces to the past or future and suddenly we're missing out on what's happening right in front of us; here and now. 

Wellness Influencer, happiness blogger, Sonoma New Mamma, yoga Instructor Andrea Bogart with Photographer fiancé Erik Almas get present.

Thanksgiving just kicked the holiday season into high gear and I'm thinking about how to give myself the gift of being more present in all that I do... are you ready to join me? I know we will benefit from this awareness and I can assure you the people and situations you interact with will appreciate it too. With a million ways to be distracted today... being present is a GIFT to rapture in. 

There are so many examples throughout the day where I am deeply connected to the present moment and others where auto pilot is taking me through the motions and I'm not present at all. Does this sound like you too? Of course this is natural but my gosh, doesn't it feel good to catch yourself and breathe into that realization and just be in the moment? It's a practice. Like with most things, if we take the time to practice this, we get good and this particularly should feel simple rather than like a task.  We will always have distractions, interruptions and a multitude of things that can cause worry but if we truly work on being present we can alleviate the external emotions often attached to these deterrents.

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Check-in with your moment to moment awareness in some of these areas;

  • Making dinner... cooking can be such an enjoyable process, tasting & sipping
  • Driving... see your surroundings notice the trees, a house you love
  • Playing with your kids... I'm not sure there's anything better than this one
  • Doorways... what space did you just enter, why are you there, who is there
  • Social Media... how much time is spent here, whats your purpose
  • Spouse or partner... daily wrap up with significant other, yummy intimacy
  • Work environment... offering support in a meeting, for a co-worker
  • Daily schedule... smooth sailing or over committing, smiling throughout your day
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers
— Thich Nhat Hanh

My Key Helpers

  • Yoga– making time for this regularly is a game changer for my ability to be more present. Dropping into my breath, linking the mind, body, spirit connection activates your awareness and focus on the here and now. There is often a sense of release I feel from anything that's been bothering me. The eight limbs that are explored in yoga have a way of sneaking into your everyday life offering more lasting vitality. 
  • Meditation– learning to be aware of your mind, quieting down all the chatter and disconnecting from the complexity of the world can bring you to such simplicity and stillness. I've replaced a ton of waiting times with meditation and it's incredible how different my energy is about the circumstances. (Examples; pumping breast milk, casting rooms, Dr. offices, dentist visits, airplanes) 
  • Digitally disconnecting– unplugging or powering down from our digital accessories for specified times is essential today. The phone is probably one of the biggest distractions to date, we rely on it for everything and often feel lost without it. Leaving it at home, turning it off,  putting it in another room, are all great ways to NOT let it rob delicious present moments away from you. 

My favorite part about all this is that it is actually pretty basic when you think about being present. It doesn't mean it doesn't come without it's challenges... but I believe it's the world in which we live with an unbelievable amount of stimulation that has altered are senses of how important it is to just BE. I heard on a Tim Ferriss podcast recently, "remember we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS," I love that. Find gratitude in everything that you do, appreciate the smallest of tasks, seek joy moment to moment and feel how amazing anything can be. Remember it's a practice. Each step is a step with grace and wonderment. 

Thank you guys for dropping in! Cheers to the happiest holiday season and being more present in all we do! You are always welcome to leave a comment or tips for me... we're in this together. 

xoxo Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Mindful Ways To Invest In Yourself

When you think of mindfully investing in yourself what do you think of? Why is it important to do this for ourselves? Getting to the "why" does wonders for taking action... give it a try.

Nothing happens until YOU decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward
— Oprah Winfrey

This can look different for all of us depending on what your priorities are and where you are hoping to find growth. Mindful investments in myself mean something a little different than investing in say; getting my hair highlighted because it makes me feel presentable or buying that pair of boots that suit me just right. You catch my drift here? So let's play with four ideas that help me over and over again. 

QUIETING THE MIND

Stopping our minds from the endless chatter of rapid thoughts firing all day long is difficult to do. As we create some awareness around it, think less about needing to stop it and more about slowing it down. Find a place that feels calming for you. Get comfortable and bring your attention to your breath. I have found this to be the most efficient way to unwind the mind. Having a consistent meditation practice is wonderful and while I encourage you to strive for that, there are many suitable forms. Simply taking time out of your day to be present and find stillness is essential to your wellbeing. I find a quiet mind when; I practice yoga or nursing my baby-girl, my dad does mowing the lawn, my mom, reading a book, my fiancé, Erik finds it when he runs. Explore some and trust that whatever you do to get quiet will lead to you doing it more as you discover it's many benefits.

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EAT NUTRITIONALLY

I have a pretty 80/20 rule with this. Once you really get in tune with how the food you eat makes you feel, you are a lot wiser with the choices you make. I love food and I've found so much joy in learning about how to make my own tasty, clean meals. I don't shame myself for indulging in things I really want to enjoy that may not be at the top of my healthy list either. I have found the less rules, restrictions and negative talk I have about my choices, the healthier I am. I'm personally dedicated to choosing organic for myself and our family whenever I can. That lead to removing all processed foods and addictive sugars out that have made it into our food and beverages far more than necessary. We can not rely on anyone but ourselves right now to take action when it comes to what we put into our bodies and our kids need our help. I have concern and care as I learn more about our food industry and all the hidden dangers that are detrimental to our overall health and quality of life. So many of our ailments; joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, stress, etc.... can be transformative and dramatically improved with proper food and balancing what makes the best sense for you. 

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JOURNALING

Isn't journaling wonderful? I implore you to write a little bit everyday. There's a great book called The Five Minute Journal I often gift to friends that is perfect place to start. If you're not a big writer, try an amazing app I've blogged about called Gratitude 365.  My daily journaling of three gratitudes has been consistent for a few years now and made a signifiant impact on my happiness and daily perspective. Meditating and then free writing can be incredibly theraputic and a great way to filter out fear and worry and transform it into positivity. If you happen to be a traveler like me, I love to write about places I've been and what those experiences have brought to my life. I'm newly experimenting with Moleskins Smart Notebook as I love handwriting things down but for blogging I am always wishing some of those ideas and journal entries would magically appear in my notes or documents on my digital devices– and this does that. I'm kind of a journal junky... ton's of creative inspiration and clarity come from writing regularly. Have fun doing it and take note what it does for you. 

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STRETCH YOUR BODY

I love moving my body so this is a natural one for me, but I realize not for everyone. I thank my mom who put me in dance at age three and I grew to love it. I've been actively stretching my entire life so far.  I don't know about you but as I age gracefully I want to maintain a nice range of motion in my body. Let's not confuse healthy stretching with the need to be abnormally flexible, that is not what I'm suggesting. When I see elderly men and women out walking, stretching in a park or showing up consistently in my yoga class, I'm inspired, knowing that's the kind of vibrancy I want to have. Both of my grandmothers were pretty active women and as they stopped moving regularly their quality of life declined significantly too, it pained my heart. Our activity level will naturally slow, muscle mass will weaken but stretching can help us reverse the aging process and improve our agility. I rarely miss a day of stretching but I noticed several things show back up while I was recovering from giving birth. That was a circumstance of slowing down I was going to honor but it was interesting that my joint pain in my knee I haven't felt in years came back, shoulders stiffened and tightness crept in. I started stretching my upper body again first and returned to my yoga practice after six weeks. The decline of mobility occurs when we become inactive. I was able to help my dad with suggesting some stretches I thought he should do daily at 68 years old and he does them everyday now and say's he feels such a difference. I'm a believer that even if you don't get in the fitness routine you'd like to, daily stretching is going to contribute to your overall wellness forever. 

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These four suggestions are not rocket science but sometimes we just need a little nudge to put investing in ourselves into actions... so consider this your nudge and a lovely reminder for myself I may add! Thank you for popping by and your suggestions, comments or perhaps your own experience are always welcome here. Enjoy the last few days of October...we are cruising through fall. 

 

xo Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Evacuation Experience from The Sonoma Fires

I'm still in shock with what was a beautiful start to a day taking such a dramatic turn for the worst. Nothing could have prepared Northern California for the devastating fires that have swept the lands this past week. 

Let's Rewind

Last Sunday morning was a special one for me. While Cornerstone Sonoma offered to let me host my first yoga event in their Garden Barn and word had been spreading throughout the community, I was feeling the warm welcome from many. Kevin Paris, our talented musician soothed our senses playing his acoustic guitar as we flowed between utter bliss and joyful tears.

Inspirational Addict wellness influencer Andrea Bogart leads yoga and live music event with Kevin Paris at Cornerstone Sonoma Garden Barn 

It was a great turn-out and everything went so smoothly. As one yogi commented after saying “I wish we had this every Sunday, it felt like going to church,” I was delighted. I took the feelings of a loving, supportive community home with me and couldn’t wait to start planning the next one. It was a beautiful day…

Inspirational Addict wellness influencer Andrea Bogart leads yoga and live music event with Kevin Paris at Cornerstone Sonoma Garden Barn

Cut To The Evening

Later, back at home, the sun started to dip over the mountain and the weather took a shift. The wind howled and haunting sounds took me to bed. That jumpy feeling you get from watching scary movies swallowed me… Aaaaand BLACK OUT, suddenly we loose power. Candles are lit and there’s a quick shuffle around to find flash lights. I resettle myself, read our baby girl a few books (a little more for me than her I think) and tried to comfortably tuck in. We finally sleep. Just after 1:30AM I’m awakened by hearing our names being shouted outside the window with a flash of light peering past the curtains. Our neighbor, an Angel, waking us with the news that there is an entire hill side across the way is on fire and we should evacuate our home. She says to grab some things for a few nights and get out as fast as we can.  She gave us a meeting place if we needed support.

My heart pounds. I see our baby-girl sleeping so soundly and take some deep breaths. I can’t even begin to describe what kind of fear sets in knowing this is not just about our safety anymore, it’s about this little human you will do anything to protect. But I quickly decide fear is not an option. It’s; think fast, keep it together and get out safely.

Erik and I make a quick plan to get down from the mountain. We need to get our renters in our Airbnb evacuated and our neighbor there who manages our property whom we couldn’t reach by phone. The drive down was daunting for many reasons… I’m focused on the winding road as there are huge branches and debris down everywhere. I can see the entire ridge to the East on fire, it’s massive. This just got even more real. We divide and conquer, pounding on the doors and yelling to get everyone out and succeed. We headed to some friends just off the square to regroup and decide what’s next. It’s approximately 2:30AM and the usual quiet streets are packed with groups congregating in various areas clearly not sure what to do.

We spend the next hour+ taking in the situation, getting opinions of neighbors (a retired fire chief being one,) and mulling it over with all our friends who’ve met here. We are well aware the smoke is getting worse, we know we have to get our three month old out of this. Erik secures a hotel in about 45 minutes toward San Fransisco for us and we take off. Roads are closed on the way out but relatively clear. An hour later, now 5:30AM we are checking in and getting our wee one tucked back in safely. I won't take you through a play by play for the next seven days as all the details are unimportant. I will tell you that I’m grateful we got out when we did as it was the best decision for our newborn and her tiny developing lungs and I’m in awe of how amazing my love, Erik, is time and time again.

I share a part of this all with you today to express extreme gratitude and heartfelt condolences. The fires are not over but after we got confirmation today that our home survived the fires and our rental property did as well, we feel so incredibly blessed. When two of the larger burning fires became one by Wednesday and the winds kicked back up we really questioned what could happen as our homes sat in the middle of it all. We prayed and we asked everyone we knew to pray for us and all those in the midst of extreme duress. It has been an emotional roller-coaster of getting notifications that things are ok and then it would all change at a moments notice. One of our closest friends lost their home like so many have. The sadness you endure for others is real, the unknown of what your own reality may be is almost paralyzing. We spent our days being consumed by updates and news hanging onto any hopeful information that came our way. Having a newborn is a godsend. They keep you in good spirits because they sense what you're feeling. I started to really loose it multiple times and Em's little lower lip curled down and I could see she was going to loose it too... I did't want that. We sang and played and were able to take a lot of down moments and relish in the joy of having her. I practiced non-attachment daily knowing that having each other in the end was all we needed and the rest is replaceable. It's NOT EASY... you think about all that you'd loose and it hits you like a brick wall. I really love our home. I really love where we've settled to start our family life. I couldn't make that go away. I did however keep praying for the best. I visualized people returning to their homes and a strong community coming together to support the process of rebuilding. That will all continue. Sonoma Country and Napa County will need a lot of love in the coming years. 

Our firefighters and first responders are our hero's. The hours and effort it's taken to bring so many of them together to manage the unmanageable is unbelievable and deserving of so much support and praise. I know our family will be forever grateful for their courage and do whatever we can to join others in giving back. We have been overwhelmed with support from our families and new and old friends during this time. Erik, Em and I thank you so very much. Prayers are constant for so many of those who’ve lost everything and continue to struggle with the unknown fate of these fires. Stay strong and believe there are wonderful people all around who are coming together to support each other. 

If you've been affected by the fires please sign up for disaster relief assistance at www.disasterrelief.gov

I'll work on putting together a great list but here's a place to start if you'd like to donate https://www.youcaring.com/victimsevacueesandfirstrespondersforsonomafires-977708

Little Bit Of Our Story

We, like so many others hope to get to return home soon. All my love and blessings. 

xoxo Andrea

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NOTE: All Photos of Fires pulled from Internet resources-I take no credit and used just to show visually the Northern California Fires near Sonoma Valley of Oct. 2017.

Essential Insight To Postpartum And Bundles Of Health

Questions about postpartum? Well, let me introduce you to Bundles of Health who had some questions for me...

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

When a smart group of Northwestern University Students launches a platform supporting the holistic health of mom's reaches out and say's we'd like some of your input... I say "how can I help?" Considering I love to write and have so many thoughts on being a new mom I want to share, their questions only helped propel me into getting information out to all of you even quicker. 

Why is health and wellness important to you?

Without health and wellness we have to ask ourselves, “what kind of life are we living if this isn’t important to us as individuals?” I would encourage it to be important to EVERYONE. I could go on forever about this… but in short; As I learn more about how nutritional food plays such a significant role in our mind, body and spirit health I challenge us all to take a serious look at how we care for ourselves. As a society, I wish we had nutrition, yoga & meditation courses throughout our education systems starting in pre-school through master programs that reached even the medical field more significantly. My personal journey has been transformative as a growing interest in the wellness industry had me asking questions about my value in the quality of life I was experiencing. Several years ago I fell into the pool of many, who get caught waiting until something is wrong to make changes. A scare with an auto immune disorder developing gave me great insight to how I could be living a much healthier, happier life. Curiosity and passions have led me to educate myself through literature, documentaries, courses, podcasts and even using social media as a platform to take better care of myself. I then ask, how I can pay it all forward? I want to live a long and vibrant life and I have control over the food I eat, how active I remain and the lifestyle choices I make to support that longevity I'm striving for. I hope to inspire others to do the same. Finding the recipe that’s right for you with things like; organic healthy food, yoga, exercise you enjoy, meditation and sleep are vital to our health and wellness. These important, quality of life elements often are the first thing we neglect and do not prioritize because we are too busy working or taking care of everyone and everything but ourselves. When we are living in a time where we are likely to die from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, I pray we honor the things we have control over and do our very best to live an abundantly healthy life.

 
Photo by Erik Almaa

Photo by Erik Almaa

 

While pregnant, did you think about how you would take care of your health postpartum?

I went into my pregnancy feeling great! I planned to continue on with my mindful lifestyle and listen for any adjustments that this special time might call for. I absolutely thought about maintaining this postpartum, with the addition of allowing myself to fully heal before jumping back into how physically active I usually am. My biggest concern was my emotional health. In my case, two months prior to our due date, I moved after living the past 17 years with a flourishing career and wonderful friendships in Los Angeles to Sonoma, California to settle into a quieter life with my fiancé. Moving in general is challenging not to mention doing it seven months pregnant with your new home under renovations. Leaving friends and my career naturally had me wondering how I would handle it all as I became a new mom. I mentally prepared with mediation practices at the forefront, focusing on all of it being a positive experience and how greatly our family would benefit from this decision. I was equally excited about the change so it made visualizing myself in a wonderful new environment that much easier.  Daily gratitude about it all still serves my mind so well. 

Not knowing what kind of birth experience my story would turn out to be also took some preparation. By about 35 weeks I referred to resources of what types of things would help your recovery period and made sure to have them at home ready. We also hired a doula who was an amazing guide during birth and gave great insight to what kinds of things we could expect and how she’d assist with postpartum. There are plenty of articles you read that can be scary as well so I chose to be aware, but not slip into a place of worry and anxiety. Most importantly I made a commitment that I would be very open about how I'm feeling as bonding with our baby girl and my loving fiancé took over our lives.  I’d continue eating healthy meals and ask for support with all the specific self-care I would need.  As independent as I’ve been, I trust that if there’s ever a time to really ask for help this would be it... and I do. 

It takes a village to raise a kid. How has your village helped you through both pregnancy and as a new mom?

So much support is necessary during pregnancy and as you become a new Mom. Having a village is crucial. I’m blessed with an incredible man who has tremendous communication and has fully supported my ever-changing emotions during everything so far. If I was to itemize the things he’s done since we found out we were having a baby to make this time so joyful and easier on me, this blog would be really lengthy. He’s present and helpful every step of the way. The only thing he can’t do is breastfeed if that gives any indication to everything he does to help out. I know how lucky I am with him. Both sides of our parents have come to visit since our baby girl arrived and been incredible with respecting our time for bonding and taken on house chores, making meals and grocery store runs. They’ve allowed us to be completely hands on with our baby and let us guide them when it’s ok to take her for a walk or hold and play with her. We are so grateful for Emerie’s Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and all they do for us. The support and guidance from girlfriends has been a delight. From paying forward baby registries, sharing lists that helped them and girl talk about the entire process has kept me smiling and pointed in the right direction if I’ve had questions. Two of my very best friends just gave birth right before me and we’ve had a ball sharing stories, tips, photos and the miracle of becoming new moms all together. Erik, my fiancé, and I had decided we wanted to do as much as we could all on our own and that hiring Kate Coletti, our doula would be the only outside help we’d have until we felt we really needed more. Kate is special and having gained our trust and a natural comfort upon meeting her we knew she was aligned with our needs in the birthing process and postpartum. I think the most magical thing about having her expertise is how she helped the bond between Erik and grow even stronger before, during and after we welcomed our baby girl. Her guidance has created an overall wonderful experience for us especially as questions or concerns arrive.     

Photos by Kate Coletti

Photos by Kate Coletti

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 What’s the hardest thing about being a new mom?

For me it’s not so much about being hard, as it’s just full of adjustments. There is joy beyond words in being a mom and holding a tiny life that you created with another human. I always hoped to be a mom and with a partner like Erik, it makes it even more amazing than I knew it could be. Some of the adjustments that are challenging me are things like; the posture my body has taken on breastfeeding 24/7… it’s a terrible slump, I’ve tweaked my neck, my back and shoulders are suffering and since I’m slowly getting back to my yoga and everything I’m used to doing, I feel stiff and tight, not normal for a yogi. As much as I love slowing down and relishing in just holding our baby, I have to remind myself I’m not juggling work like I was and to just enjoy being a mamma. I’m a creative being though so I crave keeping that flowing but it takes blocks of time to focus and that isn’t always possible right now. Learning to trust your instincts and not google search everything you may have doubts about is something that I struggled with right away and thankfully has really settled now. You spend so much time with this little person you do just naturally have all the instincts together that help guide each other. And everyone does say sleep is the hardest… It’s no joke, I could feel myself whimpering like a 5year old some nights not knowing how I could sit up in this terrible posture and breastfeed one more time, but you see their sweet little eyes and face just communicating to you they're hungry and then you do and I can fall back asleep pretty easily so I have that going for me. I’ve felt more rested than I thought I would but I thank Emerie for that, so far she’s been a pretty darn good sleeper for us and we are the queens of naps. 

Photo by Mike Byrne

Photo by Mike Byrne

How could you see Bundles of Health being beneficial to new moms and the people who care about them?

There are not a lot of companies out there that are focused on the postpartum aspect of how to help mamas holistically in these new roles and I love that about Bundles of Health. I can see how a lot of mom's may not care for themselves the way they'd like to or perhaps once did when a baby arrives, as it is incredibly hands on and the hours can just drift by with loosing site of even the simplest things, like drinking enough water. Having a place where healthy, mindful gift packages are put together to send to a mom in need or for a mamma to refer to is so wonderful. I bet most mamma's out there would trade a $75 bouquet of flowers sent to them for an organic salmon dinner or an at home massage or even a snack pack filled with nutrient rich products any day. Offering a virtual doula is another resourceful component that I can see many new moms using. Many like me, don't have family living nearby and that's difficult at times, when you wish they could be closer.  When asked, "what can we do" or "how can we help",  I would love to refer family and friends to a place like Bundles of Health just as I would like to choose things from there to send to the mamma's in my life I can't be with. The convenience of giving mom's the Add To Registry button is handy as well. You have some wonderful items already listed that I have used during my pregnancy and postpartum. I think you're on a roll and have a beautiful business that will flourish. 

Andreas Most Essential Postpartum List

Thank you for stopping by and a special thanks to Bundles Of Health for reaching out to me and having me share some of my story & tips with all of you. Please check out their site and support one of the mamma's in your life. If you have any questions or comments for me, bring it on... I love hearing from you guys! 

xo Andrea

HELLO LITTLE PERSON GROWING IN MY BELLY

Hello to all my lovelies who've experienced the joy of having a blossoming bundle of joy grow inside your belly. How truly magical is that feeling?

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I often find myself just staring at my tummy waiting for any sort of movement that instantly makes me giggle and shockingly gasp like it's the first time, every time. It triggers a love fest with my belly that I simply cherish right now. Somedays I'm in disbelief that I'm going to be a mom and a wife and that there really is a tiny human inside there growing everyday. And as things have progressed, I catch a glimpse of my newly shaped profile looking like I've swallowed a watermelon, feel her fighting for space to stretch her tiny limbs and I relish in happiness again and again. She's just waiting to bless us with her presence and say "hello world, I am here." Gush right?  

A grand adventure is about to begin
— Winnie the Pooh

It seems to be quite common that many women in their last trimester have made those decisions with their partners to see how many things they can do at once with the hopes to be settled before the baby arrival day. Anyone else move, change jobs, get married or perhaps did all three during your nine months of preparing for mommy hood and can relate to this? I'm bearing witness to it not just being a cliche the pregnancy books write about but I genuinely feel my body and mind begging for everything to slow down. Widely referred to as the "nesting" period. I'm listening loud and clear now and getting settled is wonderful and something I truly am grateful for.  I hope the same for any of you.

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

I've delighted in my yoga practice and have continued to teach as much as I can for the calming aspect it brings to my soul regularly. It's lovely to know I'm getting a gift from my classes and private clients as we share in something that remarkably benefits my mind, body & spirit during this process. I give major props to all the women out there juggling whatever various tasks, jobs & activities you may be involved in during pregnancy– you are truly women of strength and courage. 

Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom
— Harriette Hartigan

Sending so much love and blessings out there to all the women embarking on a dream of being a mama, those whom are and those currently preparing... may we give each other support & inspiration always. Let's make magic. 

xo Andrea

ACCEPTING WHAT IS, HOW DO WE MASTER THIS?

Do you love or loathe the idea of acceptance? Are you attached to outcomes constantly? Questioning, worrying and shaking your crystal ball trying to predict situations before they happen? Does this clutter up your happiness?

When you get still, can you release your resistance to accept things as they are and move into a more mindful place?

These are important questions I ask myself, not just once but consistently and especially during challenging moments. 

Photo By  Erik Almas  | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

As I pack up 17 years of living in LA and head up North to Sonoma to start a new chapter, my emotions seem to be running wild in every direction. I've been catching myself in a place of limiting thoughts & anxiety recently. Although I'd like to chalk it up to having third-trimester-pregnancy hormones mixed with moving to a home that’s in renovations and leaving my close friends and career during it all… it’s time to check-in. I’d prefer not to use these as excuses or be factors that dictate my daily joy or the joy of the people closest to me! 

Who loves a good reminder to check-in with yourself when you have a lot happening and you feel your attitude slipping into glass half empty mode? Take a deep breath… right now and SMILE if you do…we just created some awareness together.  

This a a beautiful time of life for me, I’m really enjoying pregnancy and I’ve always been one to leap into change with my heart open ready to take it on.  I’m surrounded by tons of love and support so it's almost frustrating to sense my negativity internally and then give it more weight by vocalizing it all to anyone who is forced to listen. Do you ever annoy yourself in this way? I hope I'm not totally alone here… the good news is our awareness can propel us into a place of getting still. By doing this we can release the things that no longer serve us with clarity and peak in happiness over and over again as we accept WHAT IS and our judgments dwindle away. Let’s do this.

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

MASTERING ACCEPTANCE TIPS:

  • Where do you go to get quiet, connect with yourself and breathe? Sometimes it’s in a yoga class for me. Often it’s anywhere I can pause for 15-20 minutes. To hear the rumblings of the chatter in my mind to start to dissipate as I use a mantra or phrase to repeat internally and begin a meditation. Challenge yourself to create a consistent practice with a form of meditation that speaks to you. 

  • Try not to forcefully push the negative or limiting thoughts away but see them and say “hi there, I hear you” and as gently as a fluffy cloud passing by in the sky, release them. If using a visual of your choice helps, do it. I love putting them in a balloon that I release or feel a gentle breeze lift them off me and carry them away. Get creative and change it up.

  •  Honor yourself with compassion as distractions and the rumblings most likely find their way back in. Consider the importance of observing your thoughts to be far more effective than emptying your mind out. Make sense? Continue to repeat the process of deeply breathing accompanied by your choice of mantra, visualization or simply getting quiet & still that supports non-judgmental acceptance. 

  • Clarity will start to arrive no matter what form of meditation you create for yourself. The pause from your daily schedule is what will significantly affect your ability to connect to acceptance more gracefully and consistently. Present state of awareness is what we’re going for whether for you; that’s on a hike, in a gym or sitting somewhere quietly. Rejuvenating the mind is how we can let go of the overwhelming feelings & pressures that can get in our way of being more calm on a regular basis.

  • Pay attention and notice how this peaceful state influences your reactive mind and responses to the situations that might ordinarily get you flustered. We all want to be a happy as we can be right? So if there’s a way to use our mindful practices to assist in our moment to moment well being, I ask— why wouldn't we all want to do what it takes to slow down the chatter in the mind we are inundated with from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep? 

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

May I inspire you to check out the various styles of Mediation at  THE SECRETS OF YOGA for a wonderful & brief breakdown of each to explore. My personal favorite is Vipassana (and I too just learned it's called that.)  

resources I love:

What jumpstarted my practice that lead into a commitment has been guided meditations by Deepak Chopra and Oprah as they offer Free 21-Day Experiences periodically. I love them and often use them at night as well guiding me into a peaceful sleep. Going to the library and choosing one for a family member or friend makes for a great gift too!

Mindsail is a fantastic App that I was more than delighted to do the VOICE for the MoodBoosts component which you can access prior to subscribing. Two of my wonderful yoga clients developed this self-help vault giving you unique insights and tools to make better choices and live a happier more fulfilling life.  Is it strange to listen to my own voice to boost my mood sometimes... cause I do:)

I also have mad love for ZIVA Meditation as I deeply related to Emily Fletcher's lifestyle which lead her to study and create ZivaMind

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked
— Patañjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

My hiatus from actually publishing blogs recently has not felt great! I love sharing stories, tips and connecting with all of you regularly so these last few weeks I've had to honor that life has offered me priorities that won over some of the other things I was hoping to achieve. I don’t think there is a person out there that can’t relate to that feeling at some point. It's hard to accept isn't it? When you want to be doing something you somehow can't make time for.

I often share that getting on my mat to stretch, breath and connect with deeper sense of self and meditating are my healing resources. They are. The challenge is to maintain a reflective state of mind to that calm, peaceful state when things in life feel the opposite. I’ve been making time to meditate, get on my mat and today I honor that I was able to write on an entire flight! It feels so darn good. 

Thank you for popping by. We're all in this life together, never forget you are not alone. We have the ability to connect, communicate & relate to each other through our experiences... thank you for letting me share mine with you. You know how much I love hearing from you. The comment boxes are yours to share back... sending all my love and happy blessings each and every day! 

xoxo andrea

OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE YET, A LITTLE ONE IS ON THE WAY

What has been your greatest adventure to date? Has it been visiting a place, a crazy experience, a milestone event or ____________ ? You can fill in the blank.

ADVENTURE:

An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.[1] Adventures may be activities with some potential for physical danger such as traveling, exploring, skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting or participating in extreme sports. The term also broadly refers to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, or other major life undertakings.

Life has certainly been filled with a multitude of great adventures thus far. Each in their own element. Often life changing, empowering, liberating, humbling, powerful...etc. I can't imagine that anything will compare to the adventure of becoming parents! Yes, you heard me correctly. Erik and I are graciously embarking on the adventure of a lifetime as we prepare and step into becoming parents this year.  We feel incredibly blessed and share our excitement with all of you. 

Photo By  Mike Byrne

Photo By Mike Byrne

This news completely rocks your life in the best way possible and suddenly every decision you make is now with thoughtful intentions about becoming a family. All of you who've experienced this know what I mean right? With a glorious, deep breath in and out, I look forward to this journey.  Erik and I are over the moon!

As a mamma-to-be in my late 30's there are a lot of varying circumstances that can add worry and fear to what's suppose to be a blissful time. So far yoga, meditation and mindful eating have helped me every step of the way with staying healthy, vibrant, accepting of all the emotions and changes I'm discovering. Having support from an incredible partner, family and friends makes this process even sweeter than I knew it could be. I'm thankful. 

As I continue to share life's greatest inspirations here, this will be another wonderful way I get to connect with you. For you amazing humans out there considering, trying, already experiencing parenthood... I send you oodles of love and light in your adventure and always know this is a shared space of community supporting each other.  I cherish hearing from you guys, comments and tips, fun stories... you name it, they're always welcome here. 

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body
— Elizabeth Stone

XO ANDREA

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! 

We Are Never Too Old

Hello lovelies— Have you ever asked yourself, "how old do I feel?"  And if so, on a fairly consistent basis, would you say it is younger or older than you actually are? If the answer was older don't get discouraged here... we're just going create some awareness and maybe even shift our perspective if necessary.

In recent years, as my birthday rolls around I continue to ask Mom & Dad, "are you absolutely sure you had me in when you say you did... I'm feeling like I should see my birth certificate?" The smiles beam through the receiving end of that call. I'm proud to say I feel younger than I am.  I know for sure it wouldn't be this way if I didn't re-arrange my lifestyle about seven years ago and make my health and wellness a priority I'm committed to.  

As I climb up into an old oak tree, I'm reminded of my youth and how many trees like this I've climbed over the years to play and see things from a different view. Comparably, this is how I look at my current age; playful & from a different view. 

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

After an inspiring chat with my one of my best friends last week about her turning another year older and how she too can't believe our actual age (we cringe) because our physical age feels much younger (we laugh), I got excited to write about this. She is one of my most adventurous and brave girlfriends who nurtures her health and wellness and challenges herself to great heights as that once a year event continues to strike. We wrapped up our talk with love and laughter as I wished her a Happy Birthday and the best of luck on a climb she was headed for. She just completed it Friday with her husband, who is equally motivating and sent me a breathtaking photo. Here's an example of her great heights...

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank ( Namastamy ) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

Andrea sporting an Inspirational Addict tank (Namastamy) + awesome hubby, Matthew Edler 

We did it! 8,844ft Half Dome summit in Yosemite! 18 miles with 4,800ft of elevation gain, whew, my feet hurt! Thank you to my hubby, Matthew Edler, for enduring the pain with me to celebrate my birthday
— Andrea Link Edler

I read an article awhile back on Medical Daily that caught my attention about your biological age being different from your chronological age. Naturally, I want to know!  Well, I'm thrilled to report after a series of questions answered truthfully, I'm 12 again? WHAAAAT? Now that's just a little young but I'll take it. Want to find out your Biological Age? Leave me a comment if you do it. Remember, fun + awareness. 

I share all of this because creating a consistent yoga practice, adding clean organic food into my daily eating habits and quieting my mind with a mediation practice has changed my life. Physically, I don't suffer from severe joint pain any more. I'm stronger and more flexible than when I was 18 years old and a professional dancer. I rarely get sick. I honor where I'm at each day when I get on my mat. I treat all of this as a practice which gives me the freedom to enjoy the journey and accept all the imperfections in the process. So when a best friends says she feels young and vibrant I get to graciously say, "I'm so happy for you, me too".  I wish this for everyone. As we navigate our way through the food industry, explore exercise we enjoy, expand in our minds and create the life we want to feel our best in, can I inspire you to NOT let your chronological number be something that stops you?  If you're telling yourself you feel old, you're too tired, you won't see a difference with your efforts... that is potentially all true. So stop that. Shift your perspective, replace excuses with actions that support you and embrace all the power you have even in your thoughts to be thriving, visualizing yourself doing all the things you want to be doing. It's never too late to get curious and make changes about how to live a better, healthier YOU. I'm proud of you already! 

This 96 year old Yoga Instructor, Tao Porchon-Lynch has some wonderful, uplifting advice for us.

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm going for it 

I'm going for it 

Tune into your body and you will experience it. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds.
— Tao Porchon-Lynch

I'm inspired by so much and so many. Thank you for supporting me in my journey to share stories and connect with all of you. Any comments and questions are always encouraged and welcome!

Happy Memorial Day

Expand your heart and send out love and gratitude as we honor all of our leading men and women who have fought for our country and lost their lives in battle. We celebrate your bravery, courage and for the unwavering support you've given the U.S.. May our love and prayers give healing to the victims family's. 

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In case you didn't know....

"Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War.

Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.

The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. When Memorial Day became a federal holiday, it was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. Since many companies close for the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is three days long for most people. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season that lasts until the first Monday in September, which is Labor Day." For more about Memorial Day and other Public Holidays see PublicHolidays.US

I'm so happy to see how yoga and meditation has become a healing practice for many of our veterans needing forms of rehabilitation and support. If you have any interest in volunteering your services or donating, check out a few companies doing tremendous work below and click the link for more information on how you can get involved. 

Give Back Yoga Foundation

What are your Memorial Day plans? BBQ, travel, relax, family, friends... whatever you decide, enjoy your long weekend and be safe! Thanks again, as always for stopping by Inspirational Addict. 

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. 

YEP IT'S PILOT SEASON

I love opening up DEADLINE and seeing friends, students and acquaintances take over the headlines, it's incredibly inspiring!  Hollywood Life can constantly remind you of what you don't have or haven't accomplished yet, like many other career paths, but my BIG AND BOLD question to us all is.... WHY WOULD WE LET IT?  

I take pride in always striving to show genuine love and support to others. Joining the philanthropic women's goals group THE NEW HOLLYWOOD last year reassured me that my excitement to be motivated by others is steadfast and ever growing.  TNH wants to inspire everyone to rise higher, shine brighter and give back.  Heck yes, this is my kind of people!  I'm thankful. 

All my actor pals out there know the vibes that exist in the variety of casting offices we land in. You're running your dialog in your head over and over, waiting for your turn to shine. You look around checking out how each other dressed for the part, probably bump into a friend or two and say a quick hello, not to distract each other from remaining focused and take a moment to ground yourself.

My tips for getting grounded quick:

  1. Feel your feet in your shoes, feel the support from the floor beneath you
  2. One to three deep inhales and exhales (in the nose out the mouth)
  3. Say a little mantra or prayer if that's your thing, mine is: "I release myself from needing this job, the work is done, let's have some fun"
  4. Smile, send good luck vibes around the room and maybe even a "break legs" to the others waiting as you leave

We've all put in some dedication to our craft if we're getting into rooms to audition.  Doing the work and hitting home runs is what is in our control.  Accepting whom ever is meant to get the job will get the job is what helps me let go of any comparisons or drifts into negative thoughts. Believe in yourself and let go. 

Between meditation and a consistent yoga practice, I trust my 'tool kit' I've acquired and allow myself to continuously expand. This is a practice. I think our natural tendency is to go right to the things you don't have, wish you were doing more of and cling to failures rather than successes.  I also think most would agree, we WANT our natural tendency to lean into the positive rather than the negative, right?  So lets make it happen. We have the power with-in!  

Monument site at  Sarnath, INDIA  where Buddha delivered his first teaching. Photo by Erik Almas

Monument site at Sarnath, INDIA where Buddha delivered his first teaching. Photo by Erik Almas

Massive congrats out there to all of you working hard, showing up for yourself with some compassion, gratitude and dedication toward all that you're up to.  For those visible in the headlines, I'm so proud of you!  I'm inspired to continue on my own personal journey of thriving as an actress, sharing my passion as a yoga instructor and loving writing and sharing with you all right here through Inspirational Addict

There's a beautiful song I love by Trevor Hall called "You Can't Rush Your Healing."  One of the lyrics is;  'you're not running out, you're really running in,' which holds a lot of strength and power for me as I embrace becoming more self aware and appreciating who I am. All the parts, even the ones I don't clap for.  

One last tip if you are curious and interested in beginning a meditation practice or growing a more consistent one, Oprah and Deepak do a wonderful FREE 21-day challenge a few times a year that really helped me get started. My first time I only managed 8 days, then the second round I really committed and now I am proud to say I regularly meditate. It was a challenge for sure, it still is some days. Enjoy the journey.

Click for the intro about the Mediation Experience  and register if you like. It starts March 21, 2016.  

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Be your own cheerleader. Surround yourself with others who will support you and encourage you. Be brave and loving as you give that same support to others who cross paths with you. 

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
— Buddha

MY MIND IS RIGHT WITH TMAC FITNESS

THE LOOKER by TMAC FITNESS

You ready?  You too can work out with TMAC FITNESS by founder, Todd McCullough, like I did to get one heck of a work out in just 20 minutes. Take a cruise around Todds' website and your interest in getting your MIND RIGHT will be effected instantly. Clear some space and give it your all for 20 minutes. We can all sweat, smile and feel like a bad ass together!

Take TMAC with you as he's curated some amazing fitness programs for everyone that can be done anywhere. He encourages opportunities to create a healthy lifestyle for the busy individual.... and who isn't busy these days? 

I was introduced to Todd a few years ago and he's been an incredible source of inspiration and wonderful human being to get to know.  After picking his brain a lot about how he maintains and continues to grow his fitness business and seeing how grounded and spiritually connected he is, I knew he was someone who would become a great friend. 

When Todd asked if I'd like to be in one of his 20 minute videos I jumped at the opportunity to work with him.  Creating an overall healthy lifestyle has been much of my focus the past several years. With teaching as much yoga as I do, I often neglect doing cardio and exercises that get my heart rate up on a consistent basis.  After shooting THE LOOKER I was inspired to work on my tush by incorporating more squats into my weekly fitness routine; like the 10/2 jump squats and single legged squats you see (and hopefully will try) in our video. 

I'm thankful Todd has been encouraging for me and is always connecting like minded people creating partnerships that compliment each other's work and aspirations. 

Know the WHY behind everything you do. I work out because it makes me better in every aspect of my life-it empowers me. I encourage you to think of your workouts with more of a holistic perspective. The physical results will happen because you are shifting your mindset from short term gains to an empowering lifestyle.
— Todd McCullough

Happy MLK Day

Happy MLK Day gang! I was scrolling through Pinterest  last night to read some of the many great quotes from our beloved Martin Luther King Jr. and felt inspired to read a little more.

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Thank you to President Reagan for pushing through the hesitations and early objections about making MLK's birthday a national holiday and creating this day in memory of the extraordinary things Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. did for the world.  It's an opportunity for our youth to learn about how they too can grow to be strong individuals with a voice, live bravely, be leaders and experience freely from their hearts.  I believe when we strive to work from this place, our spirits soar and wonderful things develop. 

I bow with gratitude to all people who so eloquently use words and create great phrases which give us strength and empower us and we draw motivation from.  This is part of my practice as a yoga instructor and it's my hope that through teaching, I too can impact anyone who may take away something that resonates or feels good to them as I guide a practice. 

Be grateful for the leaders that help shift and grow our views of the world and may it inspire you to have an open heart and be a leader as well!

I stumbled upon a great article What to know about Martin Luther King Day at TIME.Com by Tessa Berenson @tcberenson - Check it out, it's a quick, informative read/ view.  If it inspires you, share it out loud with your family or friends.  We encourage ourselves by encouraging others.  If you have anything you want to share about MLK or your favorite quote please share it!

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