Back in my corporate days, I dreaded the annual year-end review with my boss. Who doesn’t? But sitting down with her to go over what I’d accomplished and set goals for the year ahead gave me major anxiety. Of course, this probably had something to do with the fact that my boss was a lunatic known as “Vomiting Vicky” 😉
Now that I’m out from under her corporate dictatorship, I actually love finding some silence and solitude to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect and set goals for the year ahead. Here’s my take on the previously dreaded, now delightful process: I hope it works for you too!
If you’ve taken a workshop with me, you know I custom-blend corporate tools, yoga tools, eastern thinking and western thinking to create what I’ve found to be the most effective (and enjoyable) processes. So…I guess tou can take the girl out of the corporate world, but this girl is taking the best of the corporate world with her. And one of the most effective tools I still use is this year-end review…with a twist. I hope it works for you too. 🙂
Got questions? Comment below or message me on social media! I love to chat about this stuff!
I’m thrilled to have my first piece featured on the Athleta Chi Blog! Check out my how-to guide on going “OM for the Holidays: 5 Tips to Keep You Zen“–for when your back’s tight from the plane, your belly’s too full, you can’t sleep, or the ever-loving fam is driving you crazy (um…not that MY fam or YOUR fam would ever do that!) 😉
Friends, grab your camera, bathing suit, camera and even a yoga mat. I am SO excited to announce I’ll be teaching yoga as part of a private tour through beautiful BALI Oct. 3-10.
Join us as we breathe fresh island air, take in lush landscapes, explore rice fields, bike through back roads of charming villages, eat nourishing, healthy meals, partake in an ancient meditation ceremony, hike up Mt. Batur (pictured below), take a Balinese cooking class…and of course optional daily yoga with me 🙂
The amazing Jess K. at My Adventure Travel put together a holistic tour to make sure you leave the island refreshed and inspired. I can’t wait and I hope you’ll join us.
Did I mention it’s really affordable?
Learn more here.
Need more inspiration??
After countless rounds of edits, denigration at the hands of my critique partners, flattery from friends and family, and many glasses of wine, my very first book finally made its way into the hands of actual readers on June 11, 2013.
You can also order a signed, personalized copy straight from me here on the Book tab!
Oh well, according to the article, I’d be in good company.
Here’s the thing though: when I’m not reading anxiety-inducing articles about anxiety, I’m actually fairly calm. Or at least calmer than I used to be, which was a high blood-pressure insomniac with a racing heart. But over the years, I’ve used wine, more wine, gallons of wine yoga as a tool to lower my anxiety and its many unpleasant side effects.
Here’s how you can too.
Repeat this 4 times.
Next, sit down (on the floor, on your desk chair, anywhere). Close your eyes and breathe 5 cycles of extended exhale breathing. Return to your intention. Open the eyes. You’re done!
Anyway, an influx of newbies usually means disaster that it won't be the best class. The newness of students (both new to yoga and new to me) often means they'll struggle in my class: alignment will be crappy, mindfulness noticeably absent, and frustrations (theirs) high. (More on this another day.)
But last night, for some reason (I could delve into my yoga theories on why but I'm feeling merciful today so I'll spare you), this particular class was amazing. Amazing! The kind of mindful, hardworking, beautiful class that makes teaching feel vital and joyful and worthwhile.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one to notice. Two new students came up to me after class, dizzy with their yoga buzz, and gushed about how awesome they felt. I wonder if they'll ever come back. Then two regulars came up, yoga buzzed and somewhat puzzled, and said, “That was an especially awesome class!”
We talked about why there were so many new people (a mystery) and why the class had been so mellow (also mysterious). Then one of them, a super-fit dude (who I'll call Super-Fit Dude) who looks like he'd be more at home busting out a triathalon than triangle pose, hesitated. “I actually had a vision tonight in savasana,” he finally confided, looking a little uncomfortable. He looked like he's usually more comfortable debating the merits of muscle milk vs. protein shakes.
I tried to lift my jaw off the floor. “Really? Uh…I mean that's great.”
“Yeah, it was like my mind went totally blank and I had no thoughts and just peace at the end.” He tried to sound like it was no big thing but his face said, What the heck happened to me??!!
I could barely contain my glee/amazement. “That's awesome!! That's what yoga's all about! That's what everyone's trying to get to!!”
I stared at him. Didn't he know? This what monks and meditators and yogis and Buddhists and Hindus and seekers of all kinds are trying to get to: mental stillness! peace!no more monkey chatter!
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, which is like the yoga bible, maps out an eight-limb system. Its first lines, in Sanskrit, obv, are: “Atha yoganusasanam. Yogas chitta vritti nerodaha.” Which, as I learned it, translate to: “And now the continuation of yoga (teachings). The goal of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind.”
Holy crap. Super-Fit Dude chitta (mind) vritti (restless fluctuations) nerodahah'd (ceased/stilled)? That's amazing!!
“Well, only for like a few minutes,” he demurred modestly.
OK, this bears repeating: Super-Fit Dude chitta vritti nerodahah'd! That's freaking awesome. I'm not sure who was more surprised: Super-Fit Dude or Super Fit-Dude's teacher!
Anyway, you may recall from my very first post ever that once upon a time, I was a corporate drone/PR maven. Then I realized I was les miserables and I traded cubicles for yoga mats.
Truth be told though, I still do PR work. The difference is that now I work on a freelance basis, which means I get to choose my clients and projects. Currently, one of those projects is Dead Man's Burden, an independent film that debuted this past Saturday at LAFF. It was a huge success–the first showing sold out (actually the Festival over-sold it by 30 tickets and thus had to deal with 30 extremely disgruntled ticket-holders who had nowhere to sit!), the reviews have been AMAZING, and the after-party, planned by yours truly, was described as the best industry party ever.
And you know as well as I do that LA/film people are only ever brutally honest. They'd tell you if your party sucked. (Wait…right? Um…guys?? RIGHT??!!)
When I wasn't working the premiere, I was teaching yoga to LAFF attendees, cast, and crew.
I was excited to bring my brand of yoga teaching to LA for the first time, to see how it resonated, and what people thought. The students seemed to react to it with a mix of, “Holy crap this hard!” to “I've never done yoga before–this rocks!”
As for me, it was a brain-twizzling experience to merge my two selves (or two of my selves, my author self stayed home) and blend PR and yoga. Previously, I thought that'd be like ice cream and ketchup (yuck). Turns out, it's more like ice cream and chocolate. It works!