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“To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” ~~ Howard Zinn

Happy February, everyone! I sure hope the start to your 2017 has been filled with positivity and happiness. Unfortunately, if you’re one of my readers here in the United States, I fear that many of you may be having a bit of trouble with positivity and happiness right now. I’m not going to go into politics…Goodness knows we’re getting bombarded by that everywhere right now. But what I will be talking about here in this post…well, I just hope that it does at least a little bit to lift your spirits if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts.

Throughout the month of January, I found myself getting all out of sorts with a variety of things. I had a lot of different things going on with my full-time job, with Toastmasters, with my family, with my yoga classes. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say that it was one of those phases where I’d committed to WAY too many things. I think we’ve all found ourselves in this situation at some point in our lives, am I right?

Well, there I was, completely stressed out over trying to do too many things, and feeling like I was being pulled in all sorts of directions at once. I noticed that I was more short-tempered. My sleep was impacted. I was cursing over every little thing. My Lyme symptoms started to flare up. I felt like a HUGE failure! Try as I might, I just wasn’t able to provide the self-care I needed to keep things in check.

If this had only gone on for a day or two, things would have been just fine. But here I am, five weeks in, and things are still feeling out of control. I do see an end in sight, but some damage has been done, emotional and physical, that needs to be addressed.

Thankfully, this last weekend, I had the opportunity to get away for a weekend workshop on Restorative Yoga. It was held at a beautiful yoga studio in Mount Airy, NC called Sacred Space. It was just what I needed!

I was fortunate that my friend, Lidia, was able to join me. She lives in my area, so we drove there together and rented a nice room at a super cute B&B called Heart & Soul. When we checked in, we were in awe of how gorgeous this place was! We were within walking distance to the yoga studio, so we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and walk over.

For those of you who don’t know, Mount Airy is the town that Andy Griffith’s town of Mayberry was modeled after. We enjoyed looking at all the stores, and we were even treated to an old-timey police car driving by us. Already, I was smiling, which I sorely needed at that moment.

The workshop was small, with only seven of us in attendance. When I took my first Restorative Training, there were over 30 people. Don’t get me wrong…that was a great training. But I’ve always preferred the smaller trainings, where you can really get to know each other and walk away feeling you’ve made at least one true friend for life.

me_lidia_sacredspace
(Me and Lidia, after training on Sunday)

By spending so much time on the mat in a gentle and restorative practice, I was able to sit with my thoughts, really dig in to what’s going on with me, and show myself a little compassion. By spending some quality time making an effort to begin and grow friendships, I feel I was able to walk away being able to show compassion for others a little more effectively. It’s amazing how, when you really stop to think about it, we are all part of a web of people who love US, and who WE love. This web is growing all the time, as long as you take that time to allow compassion in.

So to my friends who read this blog, and to my readers who I may never have met in person: If all the things going on in the world right now seem to be too much to bear, show yourself some compassion. Find the time to make time for YOU, incorporating any self-care rituals that rejuvenate and empower you. Find a way to reconnect with old friends, do something that will allow you to make some new friends, tell your best friends and family how life wouldn’t be the same without them. Be there for them, showing them compassion as they may be working through tough times, too.

Tap in to this compassion, rooting yourself to the present. You might find it’s just what you need to reset and recharge.

Namaste,

Melanie

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“Peace. It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~~ Author Unknown

As we move into the last week of May, we will be completing our focus on being grounded. If you’ve been reading my blogs or have been able to attend one of my classes, I hope you have noticed in your life some of the same things I have been noticing in my own life lately.

This past week, I shared in my classes how calm I feel in my life right now, even though there is chaos swirling all around me in a variety of areas. I didn’t even realize it until I was teaching class on Friday night…we were at the end of class, and as I was wrapping up class, it just hit me. All of a sudden, I realized that all this hard work I’ve been doing to ground and root myself amidst the chaos going on in my world right now is paying off.

The old Melanie would be having panic attacks, crazy insomnia, mood swings, impatience. But none of those things have happened and it feels amazing! I feel at peace. Calm. I am waiting to find out about a few things going on, but I am able to do so patiently and it feels really nice…unusual but nice! I sure hope you’ve been able to find a little more peace and calm in your own lives this month, and if so, don’t stop! Keep it going…it can only get better, as the journey is just beginning.

As we start to make our way into summer, I am trying to decide where to go from here with this blog. I desperately want to reach as many people as I can, as yoga has done so much in my own life. So help me out, dear readers. What do you want to know more about? Alignment, particular poses, yoga philosophy? Or do the musings of my own practice and life resonate with you more? Also, I’ve been posting weekly, but is that too much? Would monthly make more sense?

Any feedback you can provide would be most helpful. I write this blog not for me, but in the hopes that somehow I am able to write something with substance, something that can help a person or two in a positive way on their journey.

Many thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.

Namaste,

Melanie

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