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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Why I practice yoga

I practice yoga because it brings me life, it brings me joy, it brings me peace, and it brings me healing. I practice yoga because it brings freedom.

I often come across naysayers to yoga, for a whole host of reasons, you can probably think of some right now, but the spiritual aspect of yoga is really what makes the whole exercise or practice so alluring for me. I am a Christian and in a world of Buddha and Hindi Goddess statues, I can get a lot of push back from what I am beginning to really understand are my own insecurities, fears, and lies. This is what I love about yoga: it embodies growth not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Yoga allures and provides an opportunity to reach and obtain heaven on earth, a higher place, and an ecstasy if-you-will, in peace, love, and joy through all three aspects of ourselves: spirit, body, and soul (mind, will, and emotions). It is unlike any other form of exercise or even learning opportunity.

 I began my yoga practice 13 years ago and admittedly have been a weekend warrior for most of that time. I grew up doing gymnastics, cheerleading, and dance, but it was just after college that a friend invited me to a yoga class. That first instructor was so empowering and encouraging, she embodied what I now know yoga, and God, to be about: she planted a seed of hope and exploration that has shaped my practice, and life ever since. I see how my childhood activities prepared me for the physical asanas or poses of yoga, but those can come with regular practice.  We are all born with an innate hunger for the Divine and yoga allows us to explore Him, however inflexible we may be, IF we so choose. The seemingly paradoxical safe-challenge of yoga is unlike any other. It allows for our whole self to explore together thus creating a synergy found nowhere else. For me, yoga has become a transcendental way of growth in the Divine as I explore and now teach others the physical asanas, breathe, mental, and spiritual awareness that is inside a yoga class. Yoga has become a gift, which like God, is never ending and fully good. As with all things the depths of your personal practice is a choice. I like that and it is one more reason I practice yoga.