Listening & Learning

I talk, a lot.

 

That’s why I blog.

 

I have opinions about EVERYTHING and I love making them known. Due to this chatty Cathy lifestyle of mine, I can be a pretty shitty listener. With my intentions to cultivate love and creativity this year, I’ve decided that February will be about listening.

 

By listening to the world around us, the people around me and my body I will continue to build the foundation for the loving, confident, creative woman I want to be.

 

I was inspired to begin listening externally by the 2016 election results and the stories shared at the historic fan-fucking-tastic Women’s March on DC event that took place on January 21st. I was inspired to begin listening to my body through my yoga practice.

 

It is obvious to me that a large portion of this country has felt ignored by current politics. These are people that I originally wrote off as morons. I assumed that if you were able to vote for someone who believes in taking away the rights of my friends and myself that you were an idiot. While I do still believe that it takes someone with an inflated ego to think that their money is more important than the rights of others, I’ve decided that I have to listen to what the other side is thinking. To protect and defend my friends it is time to listen to what the opposition has to say, take in their concerns and see what a polite conversation can do for us.

 

On the other side of that coin it is time for me, as a white feminist, to listen to the stories of all the women of color, members of the LGBTQ community and other oppressed minorities. My story, or one similar to it has been shared thousands of times. It is time to check my white privilege, get off of my soapbox and learn about the struggles of minority women in our society. It is important for me to listen without asking those who are oppressed to educate me. I’m very excited about this journey and already have a couple ideas in mind for reaching this goal. I’m starting small by listening to feminist podcasts like “2 Dope Queens” and “Call Your Girlfriend”

 

I am also going to listen to my body. I am known for pushing myself to unhealthy limits from time to time. Instead of taking a rest day I will work in a quick set of squats. Instead of clocking out at 5, I am known to stay an extra half hour just to make things perfect. This results in my body hitting its breaking point and I pass out for 12 hours during the weekend. My Yoga with Adriene journey in January taught me a lot about listening to my body and breath as a team. I want to learn to listen to my body when it is tired and let it tell me when I’m overworking it without letting my brain take over and turn me into a lazy couch potato. While I’m still working towards a healthier mind and body with fervor, I intend to listen to my body and take that extra rest day when I need it.
These are my intentions for February. A short but important month.

I will report back what I learn by listening. Stay tuned, my friends.

Cultivating Love & Creativity in 2017

Happy 2017! We all have our opinions about the trainwreck that was 2016 but now it is finally over. On to a new and brighter year! For 2017 I have chosen a word to represent my goals for the year.

 

Cultivate.

 

Specifically, I’ve decided that after the year we had as a collective group I want to cultivate creativity and love in my life and share it with others. Although, right now all I am able to cultivate is a glimmer of optimism and hope for our world under Sir Cheeto of the United States I am hoping that with enough hard work and meditation by the end of 2017 you will all be reaping in the joy of knowing me (even if it is just through the internet). I am taking the year 2016 gave us and turning it into a personal challenge to spread more love and combat all of the hate we harbor in our lives.

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Big fucking goal, right? Yeah, I thought so too. So yesterday I decided that my quest to feelings happiness and creativity is best broken down into small chunks. By taking the quest one month at a time I will be putting less pressure on myself to conquer something that is so abstract. At the end of each month I am going to check in with myself, and you, and decide what I need to work on next to complete this quest.

 

I am so fucking excited to see where this takes me! Are you ready?

 

January 2017 is going to be all about self – love and gratitude. I’ve gotta love myself so I can spread my love to others. Below you will find my bite sized goals for my January 2017 journey to self- love and gratitude.  My two first steps to cultivating love and creativity.

 

  1. Turning “I’m Sorry” into “Thank You”. To create feelings of gratitude I am going stop apologizing for things that are out of my control and thank others for their patience around them instead. For example when I am supposed to meet B and the gym and am late I will thank him for waiting for me instead of apologizing for running a bit behind due to work. This does not mean I will not apologize when I make a mistake or when I am wrong, it will only replace the unnecessary I’m sorry’s.
  2. Daily Guided Meditation. Every day, probably before I go to bed, I am going to do a guided meditation to bring myself into the present moment and ground myself and my emotions.  I love using the Calm app for this. I am going to begin the month with the “7 Days of Gratitude” series and then move on to the “Loving Kindness” themed meditations for the rest of the month. If you would like to know more about the Calm app check out my Relaxation Station post or check out their website here.
  3. Yoga Revolution, a 31 day Yoga with Adriene program for January. As I mentioned in my Fitness is Fun post, I love Yoga with Adriene. The queen of “finding what feels good” is once again doing a yoga camp for January and I am, once again, hopping on board. I love Adriene’s relaxed yoga style. She removes the stiffness from yoga and replaces it with an opportunity to get to know how your body reacts to movement and stretches. I am the most excited for this journey with Adriene and the yoga community. If you would like to join, it is not too late. Sign up for her newsletter here!

Well, there we have it. Those are my bite sized goals for cultivating love and creativity in January. Let me know if you have any long term goals and if so how you are breaking them down! Let’s kick some ass this year.

 

XO

Em