Monthly Moment: July 2015

Lake at night

My monthly moment in July is a beautiful scene from the Fourth of July at Belews Creek in North Carolina.This year’s July 4th was a day with family, friends, and relaxation. We went out on the lake at the end of a wonderful day to watch fireworks and I was awestruck by the beautiful scene. It reminds me that when asked the question “Would you rather go to the mountains or ocean?” I’ll always choose the lake.

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My Journey to Mindfulness: Yoga

The answers that you seek quote

In 2015 I committed to focus on mindfulness. In an effort to improve my awareness of the present moment and strengthen my mind, body, and soul I decided to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine. It was not until I tried yoga that I learned how challenging it is for me to be still and experience the present.

My mind is almost always going 100 miles per hour. I have a hard time taking a break and doing nothing (for better and for worse). Mindfulness is important because it brings the individual back to the people and events surrounding them. Elon offers a wonderful wellness program for employees that includes yoga twice a week, so I was able to ease into beginner yoga classes starting in January.

During yoga practice you are asked to clear your mind of all thoughts and focus on your breathing. Do you know what happened when I started attending these classes? I would get to class, stretch out on my mat, and then start thinking about work, meetings later that day, and my plans after work. I would be thinking about my friends and my love life (or lack thereof) – I found a way to think about everything BUT my breathing. It is very hard to turn off the mind! Over time, and through the words of the teacher, I have learned to let these wandering thoughts come into my mind and then flow out of my mind.

It is a work in progress, but consistently practicing yoga has helped me be better at living in the present moment. When my mind wanders I am most often worrying about something, so I try hard to live in the present moment and soak in everything that is happening around me. There’s other positives too: a few months in I was able to flip my dog! Yoga is giving me strength – in mind, body, and soul.

How is your year going? What have you done to focus on your one word for 2015?

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Monthly Moment: May 2015

Greensboro Yoga Image

My monthly moment for May is a picture I took at a free outdoor yoga class in Greensboro this month. I picked this image because this was a perfect day with my friend Jessi. The yoga class relaxed me and I was excited to be taking part in activities like this outside. Fitness by the Fountain is just another reason I love Greensboro!

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Monthly Moment: April 2015

My friend Veronica Roman recently invited me to join her new linkup group, Monthly Moment. This invitation provided the perfect excuse to get back into a blogging routine. My posts have been scattered since starting my full-time job at Elon and I still find myself searching for my blog identity.

Veronica says share a single photo to capture a moment for the month that you want to pause and savor. My one word for 2015 is mindfulness, and this monthly linkup will provide another avenue for me to reflect on positive experiences in my life and be more mindful.

When I look back, I remember that April has been a challenging month and an amazing month at the same time. There are a few things not represented in the photo I chose but worth mentioning. My family celebrated the life of my one of my biggest heroes, Mama, and I also made forever memories with friends from all areas of my life, including seeing Kenny Chesney on the front row in Greensboro and road-tripping to Athens, GA to be with CSAA cohortmates again.

But for my monthly moment I chose an image from my best friend Taylor’s beautiful wedding. The wedding reunited my close group of college girlfriends (we currently live in 4 different cities) for a long weekend. This time together reminded me that no matter what happens or where we are we will always be the best of friends. And that I always have something to learn from these amazing women.

Chandler and college best friends