I have always tried to be active, and I had joined Ora during the previous year while on mat leave. What I didn't expect from this challenge was the profound mental shift that has occurred these last 12 weeks. I have always tried to see things differently (hence the name of this blog), but this challenge pushed me to stretch myself even further.
When I first "dipped my toes"into the yoga studio I was leary, even hesitant, about the power of this room. I had heard about the physical benefits of the infrared, but I was going to do just my 1 class/week to satisfy requirements of the challenge - and my goal....to fully commit and trust the process. Little did I know how much that first heart-core class with TracyLynn would impact me. I left that class feeling physically challenged, but I also felt that she spoke directly to my heart. I had never experienced someone who was able to speak directly to my soul - it was a feeling I would soon start to crave - a void that needed to be filled was finally being filled. I was starting to heal from the inside, as cliche as that sounds. Wounds that I didn't know existed (ok, I knew they were there, but I was ignoring them) were starting to be healed. A power that I had inside me was starting to be awoken. I knew I had to return the following week and try that class again.
3 weeks into the challenge a shift had happened inside of me; I was no longer " happy" in the gym. I liked the challenges that the new classes in the yoga studio brought. Cardio has never been my forte, and now doing it a heated room....now that's a challenge!!
While I was enjoying these classes, there was still a piece of my puzzle missing...enter Soulidifly! This is a class that a year ago I would have laughed at, but now its a class that I am missing immensely (get better soon TL!). Over the years I have built up many walls in my life - self preservation is key! This class finally allowed me to slow down enough to actually break through some of my walls. My first class I left not knowing what I had experienced, but knowing that I needed more of it in my life. Having fed myself negative self talk for so many years, I NEEDED to hear the messages given in this class. I am good enough, I am strong enough, I am worth it and I love myself! These are messages that I desperately needed to hear....and add to my own self talk daily. I HAVE been through harder and survived! I am a fighter! Slowing down and noticing the beautiful things around me has really changed my perspective on many things.
Things I have learned over the past 12 weeks:
1) I am a force to be reckoned with - a few people have commented that I am a leader and people look up to me and what I am doing. People have commented that they heard me talk about a class, and tried it because they value my opinion. I have never felt that way about myself, but I am owning it!
2) Being selfish isn't selfish, its self love - As a parent, being away from your child is often considered selfish. I am done work at 2:45, and could get my children by 3:00, but Im selfish and go to the gym first. I work a busy job and I need time to decompress after work. This makes me a better parent when I do get my children. I am present, healthy and setting a good example of physical/mental health for them.
3) When you slow down and take the time to be present, the world is amazing! Over the past several weeks, I have done random acts of kindness, but I have also been on the receiving end of them. In the past, I wouldn't have either recognised it or taken the time to acknowledge them. Slowing down, being grateful and showing appreciation are important.
4) The world works in mysterious ways and people come into your life for a reason, when you need them. Being open to see them, greet them and accept them is key.
5) It ok to not be in control - as a type A teacher, I am used to having a lot of say over how things go in my day to day life. The truth is, not having this control scares me. I like routine. I like predicable. I like knowing the plan! There are things in life that we cant control...and when those things come up, I need to remember that its ok and that I do have control over how I react to them.
6) Its ok to be vulnerable - life is tough and its ok to ask for help, have a bad day and cry. I have done all of these things recently and have come back stronger. Being emotional isn't a weakness, its a strength.
7) Slowing down is important - the stretch class, meditation class, 5 minutes at the end of class are JUST as important (if not more) than the high intensity class. Our days are so busy, and sometimes our bodies just need to rest. The most changes happen in recovery.
8) My inside has changed more than my outside - I wish there was a way to measure the health of our insides as I feel they have healed so much over the last 12 weeks. I cant explain this one well, but I feel like my joints, muscles, organs and skin just feel healthier.
9) My physical body is amazing and I dont give it enough credit! While I may not have had the inches/pounds lost that I would have liked, I feel so much better physically. I need to remember to thank my body for all it does for me daily and all that it has done for me. I push myself in every class I attend, and my body accepts that push!
I have also had 2 very extremely high risk, difficult pregnancies and 2 traumatic deliveries (not just the c-section, but the circumstances that required them happen) and my body was still able to bounce back in ways I am in awe of. My body grown 2 amazing children, has protected them both during pregnancy and delivery, and has nourished them - and for that I am eternally grateful. Things easily could have gone more sideways, and 1 or more of us could have easily not made it out the other side. All 3 of us not only are surviving, we are thriving and doing things that other people might see as amazing! Its just normal for us! I am learning to thank my body for all it has done, rather than be upset about the things it is still working towards.
This challenge was great for pushing me out of my comfort zone, making me balance my workouts more and stretch myself emotionally. This is not the end for me, this is the end of this chapter and I cant wait to write the next one....with some more kick ass classes! As I said to Emily tonight, this is just 90 out of the my life, Im here for the long haul....