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?
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!
Click monthly moment below to link up and join the fun!
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.
Today we are celebrating the life of my sweet grandmother “Mama”. She left us a very special book of memories as well as her favorite quotes and other advice. I will cherish these stories forever and recommend everyone take the time to record special memories like this for their loved ones.
Here are some of Mama’s favorite quotes:
“Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings”
“Be true to your own self”
“The honor that is lost in a moment cannot be restored in a hundred years”
“The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
“Dream dreams and act on them”
“Some things that happen are good, but there are going to be bad times also – I want you to learn how to deal with both” – Kathleen Zimmerman Thompson
I loved all of my time spent with Mama – she taught me to care for others before myself, to always write handwritten notes, and best of all she taught me how to cook her most delicious recipes – including macaroni & cheese, chocolate chess pie, and homemade biscuits. I am very thankful for all of the time we got to spend together. Love you Mama.