Image courtesy of markuso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I know how precious time is for busy moms… even more if you are a single mom. Sometimes it feels like you are taking care of every one except yourself. Even going to gym might seem like an onerous task, but you keep hearing left and right how you need to exercise for good health, and it seems like you can never fit it into your schedule, or you are simply too exhausted to do anything!
What happens, if you’re like me, is you start with good intentions and then there’s a hick up and it all falls on the way side, and then you are down on yourself for not being able to sustain it.
So let me share what works for me. It has to be simple, doable and not take 2 hours of my time. The idea is to do a little bit every day and build it into a routine.
I try to do stretches in the morning using a quick yoga routine, and then I do an intense 5 minute workout. Depending on my work schedule, I will also work into my schedule a relaxing night time relaxing yoga routine (or just stretch). And I do all this from the comfort of my home. This is my new routine and I am hoping to work my way up to a 15 to 30 minute routine 2 to 3 times a week in addition to the 5 minute routine. When I get to that point I’ll keep you posted. Thing is, it’s not perfect yet but it sure is better than doing nothing. And when you see the links that I will send you to, you will understand that these short intense workouts, although brief offer great benefits.
I love Anita Goa for her yoga/fitness/palates routines. She is a personal trainer and offers a variety of videos for all types of levels (beginner to advance; relaxing to more challenging). She also has Philosophy Friday where she offers great wisdom and tips.
Here is a brief description of what she offers on YouTube:
Fitness Vinyasa™ is a dynamic flowing workout that connects traditional yoga poses, plyometrics, strength training and aerobics into creative combinations (vinyasas) linked to ones breath.
Fitness Vinyasa™ is a wholeistic approach to working out. It’s a workout designed to get your body strong, flexible, enduring and toned while having a lot of fun.
By using yoga as the foundation for this yoga inspired fitness workout you will flow, breathe, sweat while connecting to your body, mind and spirit. Fitness Vinyasa™ is not a yoga practice trying to give you a fitness workout or a fitness workout trying to give you the yoga feeling, it’s a workout that is thoughtfully crafted fusing the two into one. On the mat you are put in positions where you will learn organically about your body, mind and spirit so you can trust yourself enough to follow your own flow whether it’s on the mat or off the mat to live your life to your fullest potential.
Here are two videos I really like, the night routine and a quick 10 minute stretch routine:
I also really enjoy the intense and short workout videos that Zuzka Light has to offer.
Here is how she describes her workouts that you can find on YouTube:
Short, high-intensity workouts get your heart rate up and your metabolism moving fast. The idea is to push yourself with max effort for a short period of time, 10-20 minutes. I implement an innovative wrapping format of cardio exercises with other complex move-based exercises. This puts the body in a state of stress management to break plateaus and get real results. The exercises alone are not always complicated, but put into this complex wrapping format, the exercises together become challenging and body-changing. I like to change my workouts on a regular basis and program different move-based exercises to focus on specific areas like abs, butt, core, upper body, etc.
Here is one of my favourite leg exercise:
Finally, another type of quick but effective workout routine is called Tabata. It is a high intensity interval training. completed in 4 minutes.
Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Each workout lasts four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
Here are a couple of example you can find on YouTube:
Anyhow, try it out… schedule these in. Keep me posted and tell me what works for you!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Audio Version of Blog Below:
When you realize that your reality is created by all the choices that you make, maybe you will make better or different choices for yourself, and maybe you will stop blaming others for the outcomes of your life.
Take a moment and look back, carefully put down that defensive wall. For a moment step away from that perception of yours that tends to blame the other person, and consider that you might be responsible for the outcomes that come before you. Except for unique circumstances (e.g., being a victim of rape, of a robbery,or reckless driver, or a natural disaster), we rarely are victims of other people, especially if it seems to have become a pattern in your life.
Your choices, or the lack thereof (e.g. your passivity), do have an impact it is unquestionable. That is just the reality, for all of us. If you look carefully, usually there is a chain of events that have lead you to where you are now. At every crossroads you have a choice to take road A or road B, and with every choice is attached a different outcome. At times you need to weigh your choices more carefully. When we make choices out of fear, or guilt, usually these are choices we regret later in the future.
If, at times, you choose to perceive a situation as having a negative outcome, as being a negative situation, or a trauma, or an injustice, how you respond to that situation is your choice and your choice alone. You can choose to be victimized by a situation or you can choose to find the gift in adversity and grow and learn from it, and subsequently make better choices in the future. You can select to break negative and dysfunctional patterns. Your past is over and done with. It no longer exists but you are the only one keeping it alive in the present moment. It is no longer. Move ahead.
As long as you look outside of yourself for answers, as long as you blame others for the life you are living, you will continue to make the same mistakes and place the responsibility of your life in the hands of others. Know that you always have a choice. Even in jail, you have choices. You can make the gates your prison and let it consume your internal or external freedoms, or you can decide that the confinements of your space will not rob you of the freedom of your thoughts and of your spirit. Deep inside, we are always free.
It is quite an act of courage and of growing up to take responsibility for our own lives and our own choices. When we cease to blame others, it means that only we can be accountable for the outcomes that ensue… not everyone is ready to make themselves responsible in such a way. It is much easier to blame others, our past, our circumstances. This way we don’t have to grow up…and we can continue to be angry at the world.
However, the flip side of doing this, is that the price to pay is high… loss of freedom, loss of joy, loss of happiness, missing out on wonderful opportunities, big and small.
There is no failure in my book. Mistakes, poor choices, are simply life lessons that can make us stronger and wiser, and in the end better people.
You can go through life thinking that some people have all the luck and that you simply got the short end of the stick. But, is that really how things are? I beg to differ.
I have heard time and time again this saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” and I have experienced it myself many times. In fact, it is not a matter of luck at all.
When we set out an intention to do something, whether it be as concrete as change how we live our life (e.g., quit smoking, lose weight, leave a marriage, find better friends, change jobs, etc), or more abstract as decide to interpret the world in a more optimistic manner (e.g., stop playing the victim, stop looking for the negative in things), somehow opportunities, people, circumstances, seem to appear out of the blue.
In reality, it simply is that those things were always present, but we were unable to see them because we were not in that state of mind to see them, we were not ready. Our focus was on other things, things that would follow the flow of what we were living at that time, things that would confirm our views and beliefs (see the attribution bias).
If you stay in a job you hate, or are bored of, simply because of the benefits or the pay, and you are not considering looking for another job, you won’t notice awesome job opportunities that come your way because you are NOT looking for them. You won’t see the advertisement in the newspaper, you won’t hear it on the radio, you won’t notice when people mention it, simply because your mind is not there. However, had you decided in your heart that it was time to move on, when those opportunities would come up, you would notice them, and grab hold of them.
It’s all a matter of perspective and attitude. Thus, when you are “prepared” for change, you start to notice the opportunities that will present themselves to you. It has nothing to do with luck!
Action step: Try this exercise for fun. Set the intention that in the next 48 to 72 hours that you will see something that is not that common (e.g. a pink car, a purple butterfly), and keep your eyes open for those opportunities. Chances are, if you remember that this is your intention you WILL see what you set out to see or hear. It is important for this exercise that you DO NOT limit the form your intention will take, just as in life, opportunities do not always show up dressed up the way we expect them to, nevertheless they show up.
Let me give you a couple of examples. I set out the intention one day to see a pink car… well, these are not that common as you may know, yet I saw many versions of my intention. They were: a pink cement truck (! how rare is that!!). a child being pushed in a plastic pink toy car, a pink Jeep, a pink Mini. This is what I mean by do not limit the shape or form it should take, set a general intention. Another example: I set out to see a purple butterfly. I don’t think these exists where we live…. Anyhow, I was nearing the end of my 48 hours, disappointed that my exercise had not worked (this had been my first attempt at this exercise recommended by Pam Grout in her best-selling book E-squared), when my daughter gave me a piece of paper, and on it, a while back, I had drawn 5 purple butterflies!!! I did not notice immediately, but a few moments later, I shouted with Glee “It works! That’s what she meant by don’t limit your intention !” My daughter and I were excited that we had succeeded in manifesting a purple butterfly! That is when we after decided to see a pink car.
Children let out their genius through play, not through forced learning of facts to increase their IQ. Let them play freely and watch the genius come out of those wonderful bodies!… and then teach them perseverance!
Some people who suffer from anxiety fidget a lot and like to keep their hands busy. For some that means holding a cigarette, fiddling with their keys, etc. I have found that in my practice, many anxious individuals find it relaxing to handle the playdough that is on my shelf. So why not make your own?
Not only is it natural and non-toxic, but you can add essential oils to it that have a soothing effect or any other desired effect you may seek.
The process of making it can also have beneficial and relaxing effects, keep your mind off things, and may even have a meditative effect. While you are at it, why not practice mindfulness while in the process of making your own playdough?
Mix the following organic ingredients (non organic ingredients are ok too):
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup of sea salt
1 Tbsp of oil
2 Tbsp of Cream of Tartar
Food coloring or use natural spices for color (e.g. turmeric for yellow)
A few drops of an essential oil (eg, lavender for relaxation).
It is up to you to choose other essential oils if the purpose is other than relaxation… read up on the properties of rosemary, geranium, chamomille, peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, etc..Adjust ingredients (flour or water) until you get the texture you like.
Place in a sealed container.
If you would rather buy it… go on Etsy and for a tutorial on How TO, go on You Tube there are quite a few tutorials!