Permission to Fail

What if we grew up in a world where we were told it was alright to fail? Oh the possibilities and life lessons that would arise. We would be a society of adventurers and optimists never worrying about what others thought or being embarrassed.

lynnhotyoga

I ventured to Lynn’s Baptiste class at noon today. Sorry I cut off your face, Lynn, but I want to get the message out that this is a class to attend. After working all morning, I wanted movement, and Lynn’s class was just what I needed.

The messages that flow from yoga can be life-changing if we let them in. Today in tree pose, Lynn basically gave us permission to fail. She wanted us to flow, rise, and bend enough in this pose so that we fell over. This threw me off a bit, and at first I had a hard time getting into the pose. But then I reached down to form my foundation and lifted up stretching my tree toward the ceiling. It felt good, so I reached back further and then a little more, surprised by how far back I was able to go. I kept reaching. Then I fell over.

I went back into it, but kept couldn’t get my balance. It didn’t feel like failure, because Lynn was there. She said it was alright to fall over. It happens to everyone, but what happens internally is what gets us. We become self-conscious, angry with ourselves, and often don’t try again. Who wants to embarrass themselves in front of everyone else by falling?

But as Lynn said, what would happen if you laughed and went back into it? What would happen if instead of putting yourself down, you showed compassion for you? If my friend fell over, I wouldn’t call her a yogi fail, I would encourage her to try again. So why is it so hard for us to do that for ourselves?

I’m glad I ‘failed’ today, because I went deeper into the pose than I ever do. That was the purpose. Through that failure, I found success. I found compassion for me.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

What would happen if you tried something and did fail? How would you show yourself compassion? Think about a time when someone you loved failed, write down what you did or said to them.

What have you learned from your failures?

I learned today that laughter is the best way to get me back into a pose. Don’t take myself so seriously and go with the flow. After all, we are like the oak tree. We may bend, but we won’t break.

Catching the Moment–Gratitude Day 24

I am grateful to have boys who remind me to catch the moment and be in the present. Stephen continually reminds me to pay attention to what he is saying or what we are doing instead of trying to take photos or write down daily details. I can’t seem to help it. I have always been that way. In a way it’s a good thing. If your kids grew up with mine, there’s a great chance I have some awesome photos of your child.

It can be bad, because Stephen hates getting his photo taken. I may be at fault for that! I love capturing those moments, but it’s true they are never quite as pure or true as when they are happening. And when they are happening, my face is behind the camera. I miss the good stuff.

Take today. During a break in the rain, I took Zoey and Dakota out for a walk. I left my phone in the house (I know it’s a shocker!) and we strolled down the road. I was immediately in awe of the clouds. Some were laced along the sky while others were floating by like shreds of cotton balls. Flurries of birds flipped through the air. There were so many and they flew so erratically, they looked like black leaves just released from the trees.

And fall trees. They are my favorite. Deep red scarlet, burnt orange, buttery yellow, golden brown, bronze, and green hues. The brilliance reminds me of the beauty this world can hold. I was surrounded by it and knew it mattered. That moment, not the photo that I could have taken, but being in it right at that time and place.

You’ll notice there isn’t a photo for this post. It’s in my heart and my mind. I hope you take a moment to enjoy where you are right now.

By the way, in my dream the other night, Nick told me to put down my camera and take in the whole picture. Messages are all around and for that I am especially thankful.

Crazy Apple Picking–Gratitude Day 3

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It all started with Olivia wanting to go apple picking when she was home from Miami and grew into a crazy adventure with my soul sister, Iris. When you throw in a ladder and a tractor, you know this isn’t your typical apple picking tradition. (Being the voice of reason once again, Alyssia put an end to the possible tractor ride!)

There’s something nostalgic about apple picking, the family connection, remembering the boys and their cousins going on a hayride, eating tons of apples, and capturing their sugar coated faces in a forever smile.

As much as I wanted to go apple picking, there hasn’t been time, and it’s a lot more fun when you have a group of people.

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Luckily I have many adopted daughters who don’t mind me tagging along. At least I provide some comic relief for them!

Today I am grateful for my Cuban family and all the laughter, joy, and craziness they bring into my life. It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed quality time with my girls. Each moment with them keeps me on my toes, because I never know what adventure Iris will lead me on next.

Thank you ladies for making my day special!

A Month of Gratitude

janineandlukewedding

October. It’s a month of oxymorons, contradictions, and irony. The most joyous month of my life for so many reasons, yet the most devastating as well. It’s a month of transition and fun traditions as we welcome in the fall, but those traditions now are hard to handle. It’s a month of beginnings and endings, happiness and tears, hope and disappointment.

For the past 9 years, it’s been a month to just get through where it used to be a month of excitement and family gatherings.

When I teach the different types of journaling, one of the most powerful is journaling to heal. Writing has most certainly saved me from despair and has served as a friend when I couldn’t find my voice, but my hand could hold a pen.

I have been fighting a nasty head cold for five days, and today, my husband, Luke, encouraged me to go for a ride. Not trusting myself on my motorcycle, I rode on the back of his. It was a beautiful fall day. The kind of day that opens the sky to heaven. I held onto the moment and thought how thankful I was to be there with him. To have a husband who knows what I need, even when I don’t.

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I felt a great deal of gratitude for this man, who sometimes seems like an extended part of me. So many times we act as one, and it makes me smile.

So for the month of October, I’m going to share my gratitude journal. It’s not something I have really done, but I have always believed that even in the midst of the most horrid tragedy, there is always hope. There is always that spark of love, light, and possibility.

janineandluke

Today, Luke is that light for me. He has held me up when I couldn’t fathom going any farther. He pulled me out of the dark when I couldn’t see the way forward. When we lost our son, Nick, 9 years ago to cancer, after weeks of being lost, we decided to start Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation. Luke told me to do what I needed to do. Give this foundation my heart, and he would stand beside me. That is what I did. I had no idea how the foundation would grow and how many people it would help. It has been hard for us doing the work, but nothing powerful ever happened without working hard.

Today I am grateful for Lucas, my husband of 26 years, who ironically is my polar opposite, but balances me perfectly.

Begin your month of gratitude by writing about what you are grateful for today and why. If it is someone in your life, let them know.

Fall Pickings

Even though it’s 80 out, fall is just around the corner and apple picking is supposed to be fantastic this season. Fall is a time for hikes, enjoying the leaves changed, drinking hot apple cider, and preparing for the cooler weather.

This past week, I held my monthly journal writing workshop at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library. Some of the new attendees were nervous about all the washi tape, paper, and stickers I had strewn around the table. Yes, journaling is writing, but it’s so much more. It’s whatever you want your journal to be, and you’ll be amazed how creative you can be when you have the tools.

 

Fallpickingsmichele

Journaling can keep us on track in life whether for our life path or what we want to do for the month. One of our activities was a fall picking journal entry. Everyone shared what they love to do in the fall. Above you can see some of the fun activities Michele wanted to do. Yes, my sister came to a workshop and yes, everyone knew we were related! She had a great time, and I enjoyed having her there. I plan to join her in some of these great ideas!

Here are some more everyone came up with:

Leaves turning and viewing

Making pumpkin muffins

Apple picking

Make soup

Tea by the fire

Hike

Halloween

Costume parties

Pumpkin patch

Thanksgiving

Haunted hayride

Ghost tours

Carving pumpkins

Taking walks

Reading books—which ones?

Flower peeping mums

Fall motorcycle ride

Decorating the house

Football

Hot apple cider and cider donuts

fallpickingssarah

Sarah’s fall bucket list also included self-care and personal well-being, which is a wonderful reminder throughout the year.So often we get excited for certain activities and traditions during a season and then life gets in the way. Before we know it the season is over and all the apples are picked. This list can be placed right in your journal or on a larger decorative page like the two examples. Place them on your fridge or somewhere you will see it regularly.

We did this during the summer and I didn’t go to my Shakespeare plays, but I did get in some great rides, saw people I had been wanting to visit, and enjoyed my summer more, because I did what I loved to do.

What are you going to do this fall season? Make a list, then get a creative as you want. Just don’t forget the list once you finish and enjoy this beautiful season!