A Family Vacation

For the past 3 years, my family and I have opted to celebrate Christmas via a vacation to Mexico using my parents time share. I am here now, on day 8 of 13. I highly cherish this time, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows!

Have you spent 2 weeks on vacation with your closest family members lately? What words would you use to describe this experience? Two weeks with anyone in close quarters can be a lot: we do nearly everything together, our living space is 2 joined hotel rooms, and there isn’t work or household chores to distract one’s self from the interpersonal difficulties that may arise.

Part of why I cherish this time so much is that I don’t see my family for most of the year. They live in Ohio and I live in California. There are a few 1000 miles between us usually, so this time allows us to connect and spend some quality time together. I love quality time. What’s interesting though, is that my definition of quality time is not that same as someone else’s. This is an important fact to understand not only in this situation, but in all of life: there are many versions of the “internal code book” and communication, as well as knowing when not to communicate, (!) is key.

I also cherish this time with my family because it helps me confront my past as the “new” me. For the last several years, I have, and still continue to, work extensively on improving myself, my habits, my views, my mindsets, my behaviors, my faith. In Mexico, I get to apply these new skills and insights in the midst of old ways, old patterns, old familiar situations that used to so-often upset me. I also get to extend grace to myself when I realize that I have yet some more opportunities for growth. It’s very humbling and enlightening.

The other big reason I enjoy this time with my family, besides the obvious that I am on a tropical beach in the middle of winter, is that this is the time I set goals for the year. This is the time I get away to evaluate where I have been and where I am going. One of the many books I am reading here is “The Millionaire Next Door.” It clearly outlines this very reasoning: millionaires are “less price sensitive when buying services that help them control their consumptive behavior” and “when it comes to allocation of time, (millionaires) place the management of their assets before other activities.” I want to have millions of dollars and so I study the people that do. Yes, I do this at home, but this time in Mexico removes all the distractions of work and other commitments and allows me to honestly evaluate this goal, and others. I liken this study of successful business owners and millionaires, their mindsets, their habits, their life, to a school or a “service that helps me control my consumptive behavior” and this is something I need and want to improve. The immediate loss of work and income doesn’t dictate my actions. I am gaining much more by coming here. I make this choice. It’s not an easy one, but I have my eye on a bigger future, a big goal and this helps me make decisions.

So, yes, it is AMAZING that I get 2 weeks in sunny (mostly), warm (mostly), Mexico, with family, and I do so with seemingly paradoxical sacrifice. It is hard work here. I’m living out the Proverb (27:17) of “iron sharpening iron.” What’s incredible is that we all are better off because of it.

I bless you in your endeavors! Be the change you want to see! We CAN change the world. One, interpersonal interaction, communicative, and goal setting behavior at a time.

Namaste!

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Bali Yoga training: Day 17: peak

This is the final week of my yoga teacher training! I can hardly believe it, yet it does feel like it’s been a long time. I’m very, very happy to be here, in hot, humid, sweltering Bali while there is SNOW in Redding! God is so perfect. I am not opposed to snow, at all, but it does present a challenge to leading/teaching a stand up paddleboard yoga class with On Water Yoga when the lake is frozen. I actually hope that it begins to warm up for when I return! I would love to be able to take my new skills to the water, but one step at a time, which leads me to this video.

I am scheduled to teach an active Vinyasa Yoga class this Thursday morning with my group of 7 (8 total including me). We will be the last group to teach and so far we’ve seen 2 groups go already. It’s been really nice to slowly take our time, practicing, gaining insight via what other groups have done, continue to learn adjusting techniques, sequencing, alignment, etc. I am really happy with my group, our choice of poses, intention, meditation and opening, and the peak pose I picked and am leading. Each of in the group teaches 15 minutes of the 2 hour class.

A Vinyasa Yoga class is designed around a “peak” pose so that the warm up and middle of the class is designed to prepare one’s body to be ready for the most difficult, or the peak pose. I picked one we haven’t done yet here in Bali and one I have introduced to my land yoga classes in Redding, but would like more guidance and skill at teaching, particularly the modifications. When I asked my yoga instructor Gabrielle about the pose and it’s name she said, “Wow, you’re not messing around! Going straight into it!” Well, yes! Yes I am! It’s been a good challenge for me and the group to think how to structure for something we haven’t done in class and which no one in my group has ever done before, yet, it’s been easy at the same time. I am really happy with the way my group is working together, being supportive, open, and up for the challenge. There was really no questions asked, just an ok, let’s do it attitude!

There has been an overall sense of things starting to wind down and come to an end, along side the energy around us teaching classes. Today Chris, one of the co-founders of the Awakened Life School of Yoga, talked about meditation after our training is over and suggestions for how to integrate it in to our everyday lives. I have to admit that when we first started I wasn’t that interested in the meditation component as was presented in our pre-work assignments, but I can really see and feel how meditation can be used to tame the wildness of the mind and let our spirit be our guides. Before this yoga training, I had only done contemplative prayer meditation (choosing a verse, some words, or other such inspirational teaching and turning the mind repeatedly back towards it for a set amount of time) but now I’ve done several different types of meditation here, maybe 5 or 6 different ones. I’ll probably write more about this in another entry. It’s late now and I’m starting to fade, but to touch on it briefly, I am beginning to think about how I can incorporate more meditation into my life back in Redding.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for praying for me! I pray that you are encouraged, enlightened, and that you experience more freedom and happiness in your life from reading this.

Until next time, namaste!