Addicted to Breath

It amazes me, truly amazes me, how impactful taking two deep breaths can be on a person. It amazes me, how if you focus on your breath your nervous system and anxiety can be adjusted.

From a young age we are told when upset to take a deep breath. I can attest to this as when I’ve babysat or been around parents with infants crying they say exactly that. Actually, it is more of a question asked, but you know what happens?!

The child LISTENS! They listen, they begin to take a deep breath, they start to calm down and then are able to listen to what the parent, guardian, or babysitter are telling them.

Slowly over time being asked to take a breath became being told to take a breath by someone of authority if we were emotional. (I don’t say upset because we all have been told it in varying degrees). I would be lying if I said that I didn’t get fired up once in a while if someone told me to take a breath.

The difference is I have become addicted to breathing. I have become addicted to the way it calms me down, addicted that natural ability to defuse my emotions, addicted to the ability to take a natural pause.

After taking two different style yoga classes in the last week I became even more aware of this addiction. One instructor taught a basic vinyasa flow with guidance and focus on breath and movement. The second instructor taught at a much more advanced level and didn’t queue breath and movement together. While I embraced the challenge of the second one I almost walked out.

Then I remembered that I control my own breath. So instead of continuing with the rest of the class I allowed myself a minute. I sat back in child’s pose and focused in on my own breath.

In doing some more research I was re-educated on the fact that shallow breathing is tied to our fight or flight instinct. Shallow breathing is most often a factor/result of stress, anxiety, depression and fear. In taking deep breaths it allows the heart rate to become normal, better oxygen flow within your blood stream and helps release the tension within your body.

My breath has helped my anxiety and my fear. It has helped me take a step back from allowing myself to throw my hands up after one week and say “Okay I did it” and beg for my old job back.

Take two deep breaths, then see where you are.  Do you notice a difference in your heartbeat? Do you notice you feel a bit clearer in the mind? Your breath is entirely within our control, there is a lot we do not control in life, but this beautiful gift of breath is one that we do. Use it!

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beyoufindyou@gmail.com

Expectations

Living up to expectations, how do we do it? How do we know what the expectations are for us? Are they taught, are we told, do we learn by example?

Many of our expectations stem from societal norms.  At the theatre you are expected to be quiet and not chit chat during the performance or movie.  At work you are expected to put business first and personal stays outside the door.  As a child you are expected to behave when company comes over or when out in public.  As a teenager/young adult you are expected to act as such if you want to be taken seriously.  Even as a significant other you are expected to behave in a specific way.

In all reality though, how many of us live up to those expectations?  In all reality, how many of us have created expectations that we can not even rise up to?

One of the oldest and long living expectations is that of the expectations in a relationship.  Many fall pray to what I will describe, and if you already know what I mean from the previous sentence skip ahead.  In many many relationships it is often a point of view of one partner or the other that they should not need to explain or communicate what they want or need.  It is expected that the other partner just knows!  I would really love to know how as a society we fell into this because I have gotten stuck, and continue to do so, many times over.  I blame the romantic movies I love so much.

What about the expectation of someone’s character?  What about the expectations you have for your sibling?  As the oldest sibling I often felt like I had to be the care taker if my parents were go.  I had to be the best example I could for my sister and not falter.  I expected myself to be the smartest and best I could be.  What happened is she ended up being much smarter then I am.  She got a better job then I did, and I still beat myself up about. it.  But whose fault is it, my won?  It’s my own fault because I have set those expectations upon myself of what defines my failure.

We can anticipate that as humans we expect someone to be kind and be a “decent” human being, that definition may depend on the person who has that expectation.  We also can anticipate that when out to eat we each have an expectation, depending on the business of the restaurant, how long it takes for our food to be ready.  We even can anticipate that we can expect to sit in rush hour traffic at 5pm on a Friday evening.

Simply put, every single one of us has expectations.  What of those expectations however can we let go of?  It is hard work to first of all even recognize that ourselves or someone else “did wrong” simply because we had an expectation set.  This expectation may have been known or unknown to us, regardless we set one and because it wasn’t met you are left feeling mad, angry, frustrated, sad and/or disappointed.

Expectations are a reality, they are a tough reality but they are there.  The best we can do is try and voice when we have expectations and understand if we are setting ourselves or anyone else up for failure.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou
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Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

It’s a New Year!

Go figure right?  By the time you are reading this it’s January 8th and many of you have started making yourself a brand new person with your New Years’ Resolutions.

My question is what’s wrong with the person you are? I’m not saying don’t go and set goals for yourself but just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that’s what you HAVE to do.  If we’re going based off that then tomorrow’s a brand NEW day, why not start whatever resolutions then?

I realized some time ago how new years became a toxic thought spiral.  It’s the time of year where everyone amps up to set resolutions and keep them.  So if they fail at going to the gym every day each week in a month what happens?  Do they give up and say “Well I tried”?  I know many that have and then beat themselves up, all themselves a failure and say “Well I just can’t do it.”  I say to that individual, YOU ARE WRONG! I can do it but you know what?!  Life happens!  You get sick, your schedule gets full, and some days you’re just damn tired.  Well, you are a HUMAN BEING; not a SUPER human so cut yourself some slack, wake up to the new day tomorrow and try again.

For instance, the month of January I committed myself to doing the 30 Yoga Challenge hosted by Yoga with Adrienne. It’s day 5 and let me tell you I have not done the yoga sequence in two days.  Friday I was exhausted from shoveling myself out and yesterday I had a boot camp/yoga event in the AM and a party in the evening.  Getting home at 10pm, while I’ve done yoga that late before, I was exhausted.  So do I feel like crap because I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain? Yep! For some reason I think that Adrienne knows I haven’t done it, that the Yoga with Adrienne community knows I haven’t done it and they’re going to think less of me.  Is this true?! HELL NO!  It is entirely in my head, and if they do feel that way well, it is their problem.

In the few short days of 2018 so far I have realized that my goal isn’t to complete something consecutively per day, my goal each day is to be active in some way.  Whether this may be yoga, working out, hiking, snow shoeing, shoveling (lets face it it is an activity) or simply going for a walk.  I want to be active every day, I want to get my body moving and stretching.

What I am trying to say with this post is set goals for yourself, or if you wish call them resolutions.  Make them every single day, don’t think you need to wait for a new year to occur to create them.  I am constantly adjusting my goals, I have a Passion Planner, that I never thought I would ever use, to help me do so.  My mom had gotten me one as a gift a few years ago and I thought it was a great idea but was entirely confused as to what to do with a blank slate.  I mean literally a blank slate, no dates, no holidays marked, NOTHING! It didn’t even have cute little designs in it.  What it did have were quotes every week to help guide me and suggestions on what I could do that week to give thanks or reach out to those I love.

We may feel that each new year is a blank slate, and sometimes that is true but it’s not because it is January 1st.  It is because we decide it to be, just like we decide that tomorrow is going to be a better day then today.  So I ask of you, know that you are a human being who can only physically and mentally control so much.  Recognize that goals will and can change and it’s a beautiful thing.  Most of all, I ask that you realize your “New Year” can start at any time that you wish; it isn’t determined by the date January 1st, it is determined when you say “It’s a New Year for me” and you choose to start changing and going after those goals.

I can tell you right now that my “New Year” started July 10th, 2017 when I started this blog.  I decided to change and share my thoughts, actions, fears, and life with those who would read it.  My New Year started then as I decided to get out of my shell and put myself out there in an entirely new way.  My New Year started with this blog because I decided then to work on a life goal of creating a community where others felt like they were not alone.

Happy 2018 everyone! I look forward to sharing my year with you and hearing about yours!

Email: beyou_findyou@gmail.com
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Instagram: @beyou_findyou

Crawl. Walk. Run.

A favorite idiom of mine is we must crawl before we walk, we must walk before we run.

I feel this applies to almost anything in life.  Before you can excel at something you must learn how to do it.  You must accept and be happy with pieces of you before you can be happy with your entire self.  To get over an ended relationship you must be able to get out of bed in the morning before you can go through your day.

I believe for anyone who has self confidence issues, you need to start by appreciating the “small” things about you.  You start small by appreciating the color of your eyes, your freckles, your smile or maybe it’s your sense of humor.  Recognizing and appreciating small things, like I just mentioned, are where you begin to crawl. Once you start appreciating that one thing about you, that you grow to love about yourself, or you believe is your best feature you start finding others.  

For instance, as I’ve mentioned before, I have curly frizzy hair in a world of pin straight hair.  For many, many years I used the word “hate” when I discussed my hair.  I would flat iron it constantly or put it up so that the curls were not visible.  Even when it was straight it had more volume than those around me and it was frizzy.  Finally when I hit high school I decided I needed to come to terms with the curls.  They were clearly not going away and my hairdresser at the time was constantly telling me I just needed to let them be and that they were in fact beautiful.  Slowly, in my own time, when I didn’t think many of my peers would see me, I would wear my hair curly on the weekends to allow myself to see it and appreciate it. I began to crawl.

Once you begin to crawl you want to walk right?  You start to get curious what the world looks like from two legs.  For this you start looking at who you are, what your morals are, what you are passionate about.  You begin to love your passion for woodworking, animals, art, reading, anything that you are passionate about.  You begin to recognize the parts of you that make you, YOU!  Not just the physical aspects of you but what some might call your morals, your soul, or your personality.  

When I was younger I got teased for being a “goodie two shoes”, I rarely took risks that others did, I never really lied to my parents, I didn’t smoke or drink in high school.  It’s not how I was raised and honestly not what I wanted to do.  I spent time with my family, stayed home and watched movies with them, my sister is and was my best friend.  Family is what I am passionate about, this is how I walk.

When you run, that’s the best feeling.  I believe when you run it is you running head on at life.  You have the self-confidence in not just your physical appearance but how you present yourself to the world.  Having found what makes your life meaningful, whether it be family, a sport, an activity, anything at any given moment that can put a smile on your face.  The running step in this idiom to me is all about how you personify yourself.  These last few years, while I began working on this blog, I ran the fastest I have ever run.  I had the confidence in myself to cut off all of my hair into a pixie cut, put myself out there in relationships and lastly put myself in front of those at work to get to where I wanted to be in the company.  I ran and took risks and I don’t regret it for one moment.  It’s been clarifying and eye opening on how much I have grown as a person.

Now when we do the reverse, when we run before we crawl, we can hurt ourselves.  When you believe you’re the hot shot in art class, you’ve been told you can paint the best fruit bowl, feels good doesn’t it?  However then the teacher says the next piece you do will be in charcoal and you just come up with a black blob, do you get frustrated?  Do you feel deflated?  You might, then your circle of self doubt could start over again, you could spiral down fast and never go to an art class again.  I’ve seen it happen, heck I’ve done it personally.  You know the most disappointing thing, I ended up being my own worst enemy.  

What we need to truly remember is that when we are able to see the little things in ourselves that are what we find the most attractive, then truly others will.  If they don’t, are they really worth it?  So let’s crawl, walk and run together and find ourselves.

Instagram: @beyou_findyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

Choose Yourself

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” ~Mandy Hale

This quote sums up everything that has been brought to my attention as of late.  I have had a lot going on in my life and this reminder has just kept reoccurring in different forms.  This may be posts I see on Social Media, the news, articles I read, or just people sharing their experiences as of late.  There is a large common theme of “Focus on yourself, what makes you happy, figure it out and it will all work out how it is supposed to.”

I have spent a lot of time pondering:

What do I want to do?
What makes me happy?
What people do I want in my life?

The largest part though, trying to focus on choosing and putting myself first because ultimately my well-being, whether it is emotional, mental, or physical, is the most important thing.  It can be difficult to put yourself first as others may see it as you being selfish.  No offense to men, but as women we are expected to be able to balance every one and every thing.  Whether this is said verbally or not, it is implied in different conversations or actions.  With this in mind it becomes very hard to put ourselves first. To be quite honest, I think both men and women have varying degrees of this roll built into our brains.  I think women hold the roll in their head much more often and that’s where the stereotype lies.

I admit I myself fall into this mindset and put myself into that stereotype.  It’s frustrating because despite knowing that we are putting ourselves there we still do it.

I have a difficult time stating my needs or wants in a relationship or even admitting to myself what I need.  Most recently I had a realization that I need to be okay with independence.  I need to not be afraid of wanting to do things on my own or be afraid of upsetting someone by stating “I’d rather do this solo”.  This is hard for me as I am an individual who likes doing things with others as I like to share in the memories.  I also like to find common ground with others and have something that we enjoy doing together.  I am also a HUGE people pleaser.

Now as an individual you may struggle with saying “No” to work, family, friends, significant others, anyone and anything.  You may be known as the person people rely on for things such as help, shoulder to lean on, trading schedules, picking up the slack on a project, etc.  While this is all well and good there comes a time when you can say “No” and if they get mad at you after you do then can ask yourself “Are they really someone healthy to keep in my life?”

I have had to ask myself this question when I have had friends, colleagues, and family act in this way.  I also then look at myself, metaphorically but yes in the actual mirror sometimes, and ask myself what am I doing?  I ask this because they are only coming to me because I have allowed it to happen.  I have said yes every time without putting myself first.  Doing so, thinking that if I did otherwise I would be disappointing someone.

At the end of the day you hurt and disappoint yourself when not doing what is best for you.  Now, I do understand there are times when the right answer may be what is best for the other individual, these situations DO happen.  However, at the end of the day if you are not satisfied with yourself and your choices isn’t it worth it to look at them?

It’s tough sometimes to recognize when we stop choosing ourselves or putting our-self first.  It most often is recognized when we are deadbeat tired, we get angry quickly, we start feeling bad for ourselves, or we start resenting some one or some thing.  When we start wondering why our life sucks?  Why do other people seem so happy?

(I know you know what I’m talking about)

When this begins happening it’s my reality check.  I start asking myself those three questions I started with:

What makes me happy?
What do I want to do?

What people do I want in my life?

Then I start doing things for myself again, even if it just means I sit with myself, a cup of coffee, on my porch in the morning to start my day.  By that simple act I’ve taken time for myself to be with my own thoughts and begin thinking happy thoughts.  By that small act I choose myself, by that simple act I can begin working to choose myself more often.  I am not saying I’m perfect at it, clearly I’ve needed the reminder lately.  However, the more I practice that the more I can improve on choosing myself and putting myself first.

Instagram: @beyoufindyou
#beyoufindyou
Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com