Tag Archives: Life

Photography by Lululemon, Chelsea Abril.

HAPPY ALOHA FRIDAY,

You guys, I did a thing. Actually two. My mind has been percolating on goal setting over the last few weeks. While it is most definitely one thing to set the goals, it is quite another to go after them. We’ve heard this phrase again and again, but today, I asked myself the question: why am I playing small?

This question alone is a provocative one. Am I afraid of my own success? Do I feel undeserving of success? Why should I withhold my skills and knowledge? Don’t others deserve to live this beautiful practice? These questions were a transparent wake up call for me. Like a splash of cold water to your face in the morning, I feel READY. Because the answer to all of these questions was ‘oh my goodness, LM get started! And do not wait another moment.’

I realized, I have all of this knowledge to share! So much to share, and I want to share it! I am not quite sure what sparked this re-ignition to my goal setting and my lifestyle company as a whole, but it has already happened. All things in due time, right? This week, I have been churning out content for you.

The first announcement is that I will be hosting an online offering of my Goal Chaser Series. If you have completed the Goal Chaser Series once, twice, or three times before, I am still here for you! I would love for you to join again.

If you have never been through my Goal Chaser Series, it would be an honor to have you join. I think now, more than ever, as we navigate through this precarious time our goals become that much more important. As we strive to stay on our path of living our most authentic life, it is important to lean on each other while also holding each other accountable.

As I enter the fourth year of my PhD program, the uncertainty of my future come May 2021 has me all kinds of stressed out. For the first time in my three decades of life, the path forward is an unknown. It is simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I think I have been carrying around subconscious stress related to this CHOICE. Goal setting and living authentically is all about choice.

Only recently, with a toothache of all things, has this question mark in my life become conscious. Do I have a toothache because of this stress? Is that a thing? Turns out, the stress didn’t cause my toothache, but it certainly did not help the situation. Nonetheless, this among other recent events have catapulted me back into this important life work, and I want to share it with you.

The choices we make now, dictate what follows. I am putting in the work now, to assuage my worries about my upcoming graduation. And there is some serious work to do. I want you onboard with me!

Two weeks ago at my Sunday morning yoga class, I shared the smallest piece of this goals work. It ignited my own fire. Since then, I have been on a personal mission to achieve and live in total alignment with my goals. From getting the right amount of R&R, to proper amounts of daily exercise, to work goals (I am getting published!), and beyond.

Goal setting and vision work is about structuring your life, and truly implementing the work moment to moment. Not by May 2021, but right now.

Every single time I share the goal chasers program, I learn something new. I learn about the world, the people around me, life, and most importantly myself. I realize how much it fills me up to see others reach their goals and live their purpose. And ironically, helping you is a part of my ever evolving purpose.

Because here is the thing about our goals, they change! Life is organic. We can’t predict every change in the tides, we need to live moment to moment. Which is why the majority of the goals work is about the present moment. It is about how you show up and live, right now. Hint hint, it might not be the same way you showed up two years ago.

I recently read a phrase in a book that deeply resonated with me, I will paraphrase: “if you’ve got it, share it.” What a wonderful life philosophy. I thought, how cool, my Sunday yoga class is doing this right now. We’ve got a sweet crew of students who show up to their mat and donate, and we’ve raised over $500 to benefit Aloha United Way’s COVID-19 community response and recovery fund.

Then I asked myself, what else do I have to share? I thought, I need to share my goal chaser series again. And as I mentioned, I got the sharing started at my Sunday yoga class two weeks ago. My next thought was, well I am scientist becoming an expert in anatomy and biomechanics, maybe I ought to share this knowledge with the world? And I will be.

I am thrilled to announce the upcoming Anatomy of Movement Training Series. This week, I have been recording lectures and content. The Anatomy of Movement Training Series is a hefty one, I will be covering A LOT in this training. It has been in the works for years, to be honest. Finally, the Summer 2020 timing is perfect to release this to the world.

I will be sending out a separate announcement for each of these offerings. This email is simply to announce these two happenings: I am hosting both an online Goal Chasers Series and an online Anatomy of Movement Training Series. ALL HAPPENING THIS SUMMER (double trouble)!

Yes, it might feel like an LM Summer Camp, but there will be plenty of other people to connect with and grow and learn alongside.

Here are the dates you need to know:
 
Goal Chasers Series (online):
 
Monday, June 15th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, June 22nd, 5PM (HST)
Monday, June 29th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 6th, 5PM (HST)

Anatomy of Movement Series (online):
 
Monday, July 13th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 20th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 27th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, August 3rd, 5PM (HST)

If you are interested in either of these offerings, please email me at info@lauramarylinsley.com!

I seriously cannot wait!
 
Goals, goals, goals,
LML

Photography by Aaron Mizushima.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”-Albert Einstein
 
Aloha yogis,

I would say this quote sums up why I’ve chosen the career of professional student,  I love learning. When it comes to changing our thinking though, there is no magic snap of the fingers to facilitate this and at times it’s not easy.

Like most things in life, it’s work and dedication, and checking ourselves, moment to moment, to see if we are living with intention. The other morning I wrote in my journal that I simply wanted to be intentional with my time. What a different type of day I had, by ironically, setting an intention to be intentional. It felt like I was being true to myself, in all ways. From getting work done, to doing the dishes, to running, and yoga - I chose these activities. I also chose my words and interactions with others and myself. I think this is piece that makes the challenging work doable, we won't resist it as much mentally and physically, if we check in on our own intentions, our why. 

 Why am I studying inverse dynamics and fluid dynamics? And why am I writing a paper on how software processing variation yields wildly different outcomes in knee adduction moment? Oh yes, because this fits my bigger why. And so, while a lot of my day to day work is ‘hard’ and might not come easy, no it’s plain tedious, by incrementally challenging my brain and self to think differently I am getting one step closer to my bigger goals. And in the process, through the grind, albeit with intention, expanding my mind and changing my thinking. Thus, changing the way I interact with and see the world. And by checking in and seeing the work for what it is, it is less intimidating.

I am no psychologist, but I did work in a psychiatric hospital, many moons ago. I also was an undergraduate psych major and I did research in cognition and neuroscience for my undergraduate thesis. Plus I read, a lot. And I've learned, and the research supports, that to name these feelings in our mind, 'that's fear, that's anger, that's anxiety' is to demystify them and render them less threatening. I think this concept of identification, holds true when it comes to components of our work and patterns in our thinking. We don't need to love the moment to moment, but it is important to connect the things we do with our time to a larger purpose, even if indirectly.

 Yoga has been the key to unlock a lot of these connections for me lately. It has been an absolute constant these days. Quarantine life lends itself very well to academic pursuits, less the data collections themselves. And I am finding this need to stop the brain grind work and let go, through yoga. There is a need as well to break the cycle of inactivity with a few yoga poses throughout the day. To connect mind and body, with soul and purpose, I find myself on the mat daily. Truthfully, I have not practiced yoga to this extent in a long time. Now, this daily connection is currently a must, I simply must schedule in a yoga practice. It has been a godsend.

Living with intention is a breath of fresh air and clarity, in a world that currently feels a mess and at times even scary. 

I feel I am expanding my mind and body over these strange months. Together on the yoga mat, we are all building mental and physical sweat equity, and I am excited to see what comes next, for all of us. It is one thing to be in quarantine bummed, sad, scared, or all of the above, but it is quite another to feel you are growing and learning from these moments in your life.

We are witnessing the once linear thinking patterns of the world as they are being stretched and pulled, torqued, and well you name it, it is happening. We have all been forced to expand our thinking to accommodate the odd circumstances at play, and we are doing it! We are making the most of it, but I think we should be really intentional with this time and try to grow and learn. If not about the world, certainly we can learn about ourselves.

It is tough in many ways. Even more reason, to take the time to connect, to hit pause, to step away from the laptop, and simply sit with yourself and breathe deeply. How do you feel? Meditate on it. Write it down. Be purposeful. Be intentional. 

 Join me tomorrow morning for the Sunday Yoga Flow, (every week from 8-9:15am) via the same link as every other week. Email me for the link and password. 

We have already donated $500 to Aloha United Way, let's keep it going! Make this a cannot miss weekly appointment, you deserve this time, to process the week, to connect and feel all the feels. 

I hope to see you tomorrow (Sunday) on the mat!

Big love,
LML

Aloha yogis,

What a week. I hope you are all hanging in there. I have progressed through the many phases of quarantine life. The first week went something like this, “wow, I am actually going to be able to sit down and write my dissertation, which means I will graduate!” The second week went like this, “gosh, my back is stiff from all of these zoom meetings, and three hour long lectures via zoom; I no longer stand up to move from A to B.” The third week, was a mad rush to submit to an academic conference, and I was bizarrely productive. And this week, the fourth week, well, it was hard, in some ways.

I wasn’t prolific with my academic work, but I did cook, bake, clean, and workout. Goodness, my daily workouts turned into three hour affairs. Regularly, I run and then I practice yoga. This is standard for me. Now, I run, and then complete what I have dubbed my ‘parking lot workout’ – yes, it takes place in an empty elementary school parking lot behind my condo building.

I have this intense urge to be outside and feel the sunshine on my face, and I think this is why I became motivated to extend my run into this parking lot charade. To be clear, no one is outside, anywhere near me. It feels glorious, to be both working hard physically, and to breathe fresh air, all while outside the confines of my 500 square foot condo. And of course, the sun-drenched dose of Vitamin D helps as well. The parking lot workout consists of squats, forward and side lunges, slides, high knees, kick butt, high skipping, heel lifts, duck walks, but also lots of jumping and dynamic stretching.

After I feel satisfactorily worked, the workout continues, but the locale changes. I walk home and lift weights. And finally, I cap the night off with a juicy yoga practice. It is basically my whole evening, or so it feels. But surprise, it’s only 7pm! This week, my workouts started to creep to earlier and earlier start times. Can you relate?

Alas, the evening continues, I begin cooking up some kind of creative dinner with the groceries I bought a week prior. Who knew that all of these life modifications that we made due to a quarantine would yield so much more free time for us? I did not. I love it, in some respects, hate it, in others. I hate the unknown, the fear, the wondering – did I already had COVID-19 this January when I had the flu? Do I have it now? Does my husband have it? He just coughed…

In sum, this week, I have been a workout machine and a prolific chef/baker. I was actually feeling somewhat upset about my shortcomings in the normal sense of productivity, but I decided to cut myself some slack. As I am sure you have all been reading in every outlet, these are not normal times; of course we don’t need to read that to know that to be the truth. What does this mean for us, then?

My interpretation: it is okay to not be productive, it is okay to be sad, to be frustrated, to be scared, or even to feel grateful for the precious time you now have for other things – family, hobbies, connection with loved ones, or simply cleaning. Honestly, it’s okay to sleep more, nap, rest, or relax. All of these thoughts and feelings are valid.

As I mentioned previously, I have progressed through all of the phases of quarantine life. Initially, I thought, quarantine living fit my needs, as a self-proclaimed academic-introverted-homebody, fairly well. Now, I can safely say, I miss moving all over town, I miss walking from my office to a meeting down the hall, I miss Jacque from the local grocery store, who I used to see almost every day. I miss seeing friends’ faces, in person. The biggest adjustment, however, is feeling at peace in the present.

Once I got over my own productivity debacle, I had to put in some serious work to calm my nerves when it came to thinking about my family and loved ones, but also, global concerns. There are so many unknowns, health and financial, and it’s a little bit much to wrap your head around at one time. So give yourself the time, cut yourself some slack, ease up on your own expectations. After all, you are trying to figure out humanities issues alongside your own, that is a lot for one person to handle!

My mind oscillates from feeling this sense of impending doom to ‘wow, it’s really great to have my husband in the adjacent room – I am grateful.’ What in the heck? It is a confusing time. And it is okay, to feel joy and fear, to feel productivity in your work, or to up your sloth game for a bit and sleep more. Strange times, take some adjusting, and maybe some strange measures.

I am not prescribing sloth-ing around, I am simply saying, be more gentle with yourself. I am saying, amen, to equal part sloth-ing and producing. It is a wonderful time to learn more about yourself – your tendencies. Observe how you are dealing with the events of today. In fact, my own personal greatest insights into my handling of the COVID-19 quarantine, have revealed themselves in my journal. I shared some of the thoughts in last week’s yoga class, the theme was gratitude. This is  a big cliché, in the yoga world, but hear me out.

I was looking at my to-do list with a lot of heaviness, thinking I have all of these things to do. I took a lunch break to eat and read the New York Times. I read about the outbreak in NYC and the toll this virus truly takes on you, mentally and physically. I thought, rather morbidly, I better appreciate what I have right now, while I have it. Others cannot, simply enjoy an evening run, it’s not a chore, but a gift. Others cannot, roll out of bed, get ready to lecture and pop on the computer to give a lecture to 30 eager undergraduates via Zoom, they’ve lost their jobs. My job is a gift.

I started to look differently at the opportunities I had in front me, because they were just that, opportunities. From this new perspective, they looked a whole lot more like gifts, now. And I was grateful, I am grateful.

I am grateful to the quarantine period, thus far, because in addition to doing my part and feeling as though I am a contributor to the greater good (albeit in the smallest way), it has shifted another perspective for me. It has given me a no BS attitude when it comes to many things. Any excuse that you are about to give as to why you can’t complete this work, go for that run, enjoy that yoga practice, bake that bread, walk your beloved dog, or even veg out with your husband and watch that show, LM – yeah, well I don’t want to hear it.

It’s as though, we can’t fool ourselves, and we are able to get to the heart of the matter. The juxtaposition of quarantine living lessons has me confused too, on the one hand it has taught me acceptance (of productivity, laziness, sadness, happiness, worry, fear, joy, love, and hope), but on the other, it has taught me to get-er-done, no excuses.

I haven’t fully made sense of it yet, which is why my thesis to you is, to just let it be, and learn from yourself. Be honest with your why. You don’t need to provide an excuse. It’s just you - and your - work, workout, hobbies, cooking, home, life. Everyone is struggling through this funky time, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could emerge much more self-aware?

Finally, my initial hope with writing you, was oddly enough to simply drop you a note to let you know, I have a new and improved yoga shala (see the photo). My intention was simply to invite you to join me tomorrow morning, Sunday 8-9:15am (HST), for a live vinyasa yoga class via Zoom (but of course). You will be able to see me flow in full camera view, my head will make the frame now, thanks to my husband and his technical skills.

During this quarantine period, I will be donating 50% of the proceeds of each class to COVID-19 community needs. Furthermore, as we continue the fight against COVID-19, I want to support those serving on the front lines. Class is free for all first responders on the front lines, nurses, doctors, paramedics, fire fighters, and police officers. I want to thank you all, for everything you are doing, all we have to do is stay home.

I have always taught donation yoga, and it fits now more than ever. For everyone else, I know times are tough. If you cannot make a donation, please take class anyways. For anyone making a class donation my Venmo username: @LauraMary-Flynn 

Please email me if you would like to join class!

Sending you all love,

october 2016 email
What would you say to your 20-year old self?

Write everything down because it’s all very fleeting.

Do you know when you are sitting in meditation or savasana and you are in that characteristic state of flow? The ideas (your ideas) are simply flowing, effortlessly. You are semi-aware of their fleeting state yet surprisingly not worried about writing them down, as though you know the experience of flow is more beneficial than cutting it off to write down some thoughts? Well, I have been having this a lot lately. Of course, the moment you come out of your flow-like state to consciously take a moment to write down your genius thoughts, they are now gone. POOF. Such is how my week has been going.

Inspiration is flowing. Yoga is flowing. Reading is flowing. When I regularly practice yoga and read, I feel so much more inspired. Pepper that with getting outside in nature and it is simply my recipe for inspiration. Try it. Yesterday, I completed two books. I was definitely in the beloved flow state. I also, hiked and practiced yoga outside. Needless to say, I was feeling good. The day before yesterday, I finished another book. Granted, Derek is away, so I do have some extra time on my hands. On top of that, a few of my private students are away right now, which leaves me with bundles of time. You could say I am in the work of self-helperry (yes, that’s right, self-helperry). Add to that my studies and work experience in psychology, and it’s no wonder I am truly fascinated by the mind. I am fascinated by happiness, flow, and living the best life possible for you. My mission statement has evolved into something that truly gets me out of bed each day: To empower and inspire you to realize your potential to elevate the world.

“Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of—that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.” -Ryan Holiday

As an athlete, I know our mind and bodies are inextricably linked. We need to equally focus our life practices on both. We can’t let the noise of the crowd get to us, be it positive or negative. As a college athlete, if you allow your attention to wander to “What are the spectators thinking? Is the coach going to leave me in? Man - I can’t believe I missed that shot!” your energy will flow there and you will be counterproductive to what you intended to achieve: playing time, a win, success, goals, whatever.

The amazing human and athlete, Simone Biles, comes to mind. Gymnastics is an extreme pressure sport. If she were to let the Olympic expectations get to her head, she would as they say in sports, choke. She has mastered and implemented transitions and tumbling series that no one else even attempts and she sticks them! Now, if she measured herself against others, rather than herself, she wouldn’t attempt those never before tried tumbling passes. You are both your biggest advocate and your worst enemy at times. We all live and deal with ego, but what our success and failures depend on is that we will practice control of the ego.

I wanted to write you all because I have read a book this week that I can say has changed my life. I’ve never before finished a book and immediately began reading it again, until today. True story. Add "Ego is the Enemy" by Ryan Holiday to your wish list!

“Don’t bow to gatekeeper, you are the gatekeeper” -Ego

Ego is...

...an unhealthy belief in our own importance.

...a magnet for enemies and errors.

...the root of every conceivable problem and obstacle.

...when we don’t seem to have what we want, or maybe we get what we want and always want more.

...the proverbial “sick man, ignorant of the cause of his malady.” -Lucretius (a few thousand years ago)

...always there, undermining us through everything.

...“inhibits true success by preventing a direct and honest connection to the world around us.” We can’t improve the world if we don’t understand it or us.

...“If you start believing in your own greatness it is the death of your creativity” -Marina Abramović (performance artist)

...“False ideas about yourself destroy you.” -Frank Shamrock (UFC champion)

I’ve heard someone describe their practice of reining in the ego by purposely putting themselves in the position, weekly, to be the worst in the room at something. I love this because never have I ever felt so silly as when I was learning to surf. Well, I am still learning. Meanwhile, Derek’s 8 year old niece is bravely conquering surfing after 30 minutes. Then there are the yoga postures that humble you. Some I refer to as “humble-asana”.

Life begins and ends at your comfort zone. We can see how the ego easily grows thorns if we are never failing. Conversely, if when we do fail (and we all have) and we plumet hard into a downward spiral of negativity, that too reveals the steady grip your ego has on you. Make a practice of steadily receiving praise with an even mind and noticing what went right and steadily receiving feedback while noticing what went wrong. As Holiday says, “you can win and be lucky or an asshole.” We aren’t here to be jerks, so let’s rock life and rein in the ego. Get outside of your comfort, fail with grace, and pick yourself up the better from having failed. There is a difference between confidence and ego.

Pursuing great work, is often terrifying. Our ego calms the fear...sometimes even paralyzing us with excuses so that we never even begin. We are afraid to bruise our precious egos, well I say shoot big, and when you fail, learn from it!

The problem today is largely due to the world of social media and, with that, self-promotion. On our Instagram accounts, as Holiday points out, “we can claim ourselves as CEO of our exists-only-on-paper company, we can publish articles about ourselves in sources that used to be reserved for objective journalism.” This is a slippery slope, because for many companies, and I could put myself in this group, we have to share and market ourselves. We can’t pursue our work, our purpose, if we keep it to ourselves. I think there is a difference between confidently putting you and your work out into the world because you believe it is powerful (confidence) and shouting from the rooftops your amazingness (ego).

Ego and macho-ness work for some, but actually it’s most successful with regards to its interference in our failures. Egomaniacs actually perform their best when they tame the ego. Only when we are free of ego and baggage can we actually perform our best. From an athlete’s perspective this couldn’t be more true. When you step into the state of flow that I referred to earlier, you block out the sound and signals from others. You are you and in this present flow state less interference or noise comes in from anything outside.

A year ago, a student gifted me George Mumford’s “The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance”. He knew I was a college athlete and now a mindful yogi and thought I would enjoy the read. He was right! I think college athletics would have been a completely different experience for me had I read this book. I was too much in my head, in dire need of mindfulness teachings. I put tremendous pressure on myself not just to get straight A’s but to perform well on the field.

Mumford is the mindfulness and meditation coach to many NBA greats, including Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant. “It’s more a monitoring aspect with more-- rather than ‘I got to make this shot’ -- no just shoot,” Mumford said. “You’ve trained your nervous system to do it, so now your conscious thinking needs to be quiet and let your body do what it does… Nothing exists but this moment and what you’re doing.” The flow state is a magical place to be. We should try to enter it on a daily basis. For these elite athletes, they could easily hinder their own performance by allowing ego to take a mental center stage. Mindfulness, flow and humility are their present moment practice. Hard work and discipline trained their bodies, now they need to let go of the mind wanderings in order to step into their strengths and perform unhindered by ego.

This week, join me in a practice of humility and discipline. If I fail (when I fail) I won’t be wrecked by it. I will be gracious in my success and resilient in my failures. You are unique. It’s not to say, don’t be inspired, but let’s keep our ego in check by remaining humble and knowing that we, just like our neighbor, are imperfect. Perfectly imperfect.

We all vacillate between humility and ego.

"When we remove ego, we're left with what is real. What replaces ego is humility, yes— but rock-hard humility and confidence. Whereas ego is artificial, this type of confidence can hold weight. Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous." -Ryan Holiday

“They that soar too high, often fall hard, making a low and level dwelling preferable. The tallest trees are most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of fortune. Buildings have need of a good foundation, that lie so much exposed to the weather.” -Dale Carnegie

Ego can be managed and directed. We can be both great yet humble.

With Love,

laura mary
Photograph by Derek Linsley at Haleakalā

Blog_Rumi

“Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.

Don’t try to see things through the distances. That’s not for human beings.

Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.

Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

-Rumi

My undergraduate alma mater’s slogan was “creative thought matters,” at the time, I admittedly thought the slogan was a bit silly. As I was more on team jock/science nerd in the division of our liberal arts campus. The large part of my school was composed of artists: musicians, studio artists, writers, and actors. Many go on to New York City and work in theatre or open an art studio.

With every year passing, I find myself more and more aligned with that slogan. Creative thought really does matter. We all have this wonderful and vibrant yet individual creative energy within us that we must unleash. We need to go within in order to not go without, in order to not go without realizing our potential. If you left that creative bulb of energy within merely settle at your core and in your heart, because you fear expressing yourself, you might never find out what you are capable of. For instance, if I had continued taking art classes through high school, who knows what I would be doing now. But I didn’t. None of my friends were enrolled in art classes, and as a teen who was part of a very close knit group of friends, I was scared to break away from that status quo.

Flash forward to college and there I was at a hippy dippy liberal arts school, where the art classes were graded so harshly that majority of students received C’s. In college, my fear was lowering my GPA and thus I never quenched that creative thirst. Post-college, I found myself lost without athletics, I found yoga. Really found yoga. I was committed to a daily practice and I wanted more. I was thirsty for knowledge, and I wanted to quench this spiritual thirst as well. I signed up for yoga teacher training, even though every fiber of my being was terrified. I was always nervous, incredibly nervous, of speaking up in classes from elementary school all the way to college. Despite feeling my stomach twisted up in knots, I managed to hold myself up in front of a class, and share my voice through teaching asanas (postures). The process of teaching yoga and expressing my creative thought, listening to my inner voice, and sharing it all has been incredibly healing for me.

Today, this Rumi quote has reminded me that we all need to stay creative, play music, paint, dance, write, and express ourselves somehow. Tap into the inner world within you, who so badly wants to express, wants to express something to the world. Whatever you do, don’t let fear stop you. Fear of not fitting in, fear of receiving a poor grade, fear of falling, and any other fear that you’ve conjured up in your head. Let it go. Let this creative thought and expression bring your closer to finding what you love, so that what you do on a daily basis is also what you love. Today, go within, so you don’t go without. Namaste.

With Love,

laura mary

Hello November,

I am not quite sure how you arrived so quickly. Let’s not talk about how long it has been since I’ve posted!

Life can get busy. We are all guilty of rushing from one thing to the next, always piling more onto our ever busy and overwhelming schedules. Even if you love what you do, sometimes, you need a break. When an unexpected break is handed to you, take it! Whether that break is a sweat session on your yoga mat, a trip to the gym, to your meditation cushion, to the beach, or to a coffee shop … s.a.v.o.r the time. We don’t allow ourselves enough breaks, where we can truly pause in soak in the feeling of treating ourselves and clearing our mind of all the clutter of life. Pausing to feel grateful for even being here in this world and to truly enjoy our lives.

This week, I had a few unexpected breaks; the universe will hand you ‘me time’ for a very important reason, so when it happens, enjoy it. Go bury yourself in a good book, write in your journal, go for a run, fold/twist/bend/handstand on your yoga mat, and smile as you enjoy some sacred time for yourself! That’s right, I think you should go nourish yourself! No, it isn’t selfish. In fact, by devoting time to yourself the time you spend with others becomes that much more valuable to both you and them.

Step back and reflect on how good you really have it. You are here, breathing, living, and surrounding yourself with people you love and in some manner sharing your love through your passion(s). Fill up on gratitude for all of those goodies that you already have in your life.

I didn’t have to search high and low for my gratitude-fill this week. This has been one gratitude filled week. Even though life has been quite busy, I am incredibly grateful for my life: my loving guy, my family, my forever friends, my students, my body, my health, and beautiful Oahu.

Love List for October/November:

1) Homemade soap (thank you Tawney), the soap is way bigger than it appears in the photo, she gave me a huge chunk!

The Sacred Pause

2) Homemade vegan baked treats (thank you Jules), these were indescribably delicious. She also made vegan pumpkin donuts at the Wine'd Down with Laura Mary class that were equally as drool worthy.

The Sacred Pause

3) Homemade CDS grouped by genre (thank you Larina and Shelley), this was the sweetest surprise present.

The Sacred Pause

4) Magic Island Beach Yoga Class (Thursday at 5:30), my favorite class of the week!

The Sacred Pause

5) My beautiful and adorable niece, Catalina (the ladybug).

The Sacred Pause

6) Vacations to Maui and epic adventures and discoveries (including this tidepool on the side of this cliff) with Kaho'olawe pictured in the background.

The Sacred Pause

7) DoTERRA- I use Deep Blue rub on everyone in yoga class, it is truly amazing! I actually liked it so much that I signed up to sell it. If you want some DoTERRA products/oils, let me know and I can order whatever you want. Here is the link to my page to place orders.

The Sacred Pause

8) Ava Anderson- The most transparent cosmetic company. I use all of their toxic-free products (shampoo/conditioner/facewash/chapstick etc.). I also liked this company so much that I signed up to sell it. Let me know if you are interested in anything from my site. Here is my page too place orders.

The Sacred Pause

Have a beautiful week!

With Love,

laura mary

Okay, let's not talk about how long it has been since I've blogged. Let's just not even go there.

Life has been VERY busy and busy is good when you enjoy the content of busy. Before and after my vacation, i've had a packed schedule of teaching studio classes and lots of privates. LIFE is good. There are so many benefits to simply taking a break, for one, your body can rest, your mind can rest, but most importantly, you deserve a break. Taking a break is so valuable. It refreshes you, re-inspires you, reminds you that you are one productive busy bee. Switching off your monkey mind to pause, reminds you of all that you do.

By the time my wonderful vacation was over, I was ready again to jump into my full-time teaching schedule.

How was vacation?

One word: Magical.

Kauai, you are so gosh darn beautiful, none of the pictures on this blog post will do justice to your beauty. I will try to share as best I can. I went to visit one of my very best friends, Robin. Not only is this girl so adventurous, fun, lively, and beautiful, she reminds me of all the reasons why being alive rocks so much! Robin, is living in the moment. I had an amazing time with her. Here we go.

Right after landing, our first stop was to Kauai Juice Co., for some DELICIOUS, fresh, cold-pressed juice!

Kauai StyleNext, we stopped and soaked in some beautiful views en route to her North Shore abode.

Kauai StyleThen we decided to stop at the BlueRoom Cave. No one has EVER found the bottom. It is called the "BlueRoom Cave" because the way the sun hits and reflects on the water turns everything in there blue. I thought I was in heaven. The water is freezing cold, but rather than make you shiver to the core, it is like magic water that invigorates you and fills every cell up with energy, I know crazy, right? It was so refreshing, kind of creepy to swim in, knowing there was no bottom. We swam to the back of the cave. It was so awesome. Robin, always gets me to do stuff outside of my comfort zone, one of the many reasons I just adore this lovely girl. There is said to be a ginormous gecko that lives in the water. The trip was off to an amazing start, to say the least.

Kauai Style

Kauai Style

Kauai Style

We went to beach after beach after beach after pond after river...Did you know Kauai is one of the wettest places on earth? With an average of over 472 inches or 39 feet (12 meters) of precipitation each year, Mt. Waialeale on Kauai is the rainiest and wettest spot on the planet.

Kauai StyleKauai Style

Kauai Style

One of my favorite aspects of Kauai was the slow paced lifestyle, I mean, it is really s.l.o.w. Check out the one car bridges:

Kauai StyleWe made a quick stop at cold pond, which sure was cold, but it too was invigorating. It's no wonder these folks from Kauai are so damn happy and beautiful. Around every corner they see beauty and there is a natural way to bask in the beauty whether it be in the ocean, a cold pond, river, or the blueroom cave.

Kauai Style

We had so many amazing moments on Kauai and I was continuously blown away. From the fields, to the canyons and waterfalls, to the napali coast, to the sunsets, to the hikes, to the mountains, to the cute town of Hanalei, this blog will never be able to do the beauty of this lovely island justice. Robin and I had a great time. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Enjoy all of these unedited photos from my iPhone 5!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Kauai Style

Kauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleKauai StyleFlat Tire Welcome Home

I landed in Honolulu after one amazing trip only to begin another vacation as I was meeting my friend Lauren in the airport! This time is was a staycation (with lots of yoga still to be taught) while my friend was here for one week. Our plan was to go the beach right away, however, the car had a flat tire. Wamp, wamp. Moped it was...Kauai Style
Kauai Style
Kauai Style

I guess being "home" isn't too bad. I am so beyond blessed in my life. Love to you all!

With love,

laura mary

Today has been up and down. I've felt energized one moment and then tired the next. The juice had me thinking at times throughout the day that this cleanse was a good thing, and at other times, my body was telling me it wanted more. One thing is for certain, my body is very happy about the amount of fruits, vegetables, and greens I am consuming. Mentally, I miss eating food with substance. I miss eating chocolate (daily occurrence), drinking coffee, and feeling like my normal self.

I woke up this morning, had one juice that was leftover from yesterday (thank god). Then I taught a beach yoga private right here.

Juice Cleanse: Day 2

I picked up my juices, shots, and salad at Juice Box Hawaii around 10:30am.

Next, I gulped down this delicious "Spicy Carrot" juice.

Juice Cleanse: Day 2

Followed immediately by this "Green Lemonade," so GOOD!

Juice Cleanse: Day 2

I then bounced off to teach my next class, though I am not sure if it was quite a bounce.

When I got home from class I drank the "Summer Salad" juice. I did a bit of work at home and within 1 hour, I decided to eat the salad. The salad tonight was delicious. I ate it too quickly to take a photo.

I have two more juices left "Red Queen" and "JuiceBox Hero" and one lemon-ginger shot. Overall, I am consuming a ridiculous amount of fruits and veggies and cleaning house pretty well!

Full Disclosure

I am the worst juice cleanser, ever. I've noticed a major mood shift in myself because I haven't consumed enough today. You've been warned, don't mess with this girl until Thursday. 

In an effort to improve my funky mood, I decided to jump in the water tonight for sunset, and I got lucky, there was a big double bow!

Juice Cleanse: Day 2

 

 

 

 

With Love,

laura mary

I have about 1 billion spotify playlists. I am a lover of music, and I generally have music playing at all times. I wanted to share a non-yoga playlist that I've been listening to around the "house" aka apartment. I've been known to always refer to my living quarters as a house.

Here is what I am jammin' to lately! Thank you Graciegirl for inspiring me with a few of these gems (i.e."Diamonds on the soles of her shoes").

I love my girl's blog, if you follow the belief that health=wealth, check out her blog!

"House" Jamz:

Alicia Keys – Wait Til You See My Smile
Elvis Presley – Only Fools Rush In
Aloe Blacc – Here Today
Paul Simon – Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Ben Harper – By My Side
Guster – Happier
Ben Harper – Strawberry Fields Forever
Blind Pilot – The Story I Heard
James Vincent McMorrow – And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop
Amos Lee – Baby I Want You
Timmy Curran – Blue Eyes
Farewell Milwaukee – Coming 'Round to Get You
Van Morrison – Crazy Love
Ed Sheeran – Drunk
Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew
Blind Pilot – Half Moon
Josh Ritter – Girl In The War
The Weepies – Gotta Have You
Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
Counting Crows – Holiday In Spain
The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
Norah Jones – Humble Me
The Avett Brothers – If It's The Beaches
MGMT – Kids
Ryan Adams – La Cienega Just Smiled
Farewell Milwaukee – Lovable/Kind
Ryan Adams – Lucky Now
Dawes – Moon in the Water
Ryan Adams – My Love For You Is Real
Blind Pilot – One Red Thread
Blind Pilot – Paint Or Pollen
Adele – Rolling In The Deep
Norah Jones – Seven Years
Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
Norah Jones – Shoot The Moon
Bon Iver – Skinny Love
Harper Blynn – Start All Over
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
Fun. – The Gambler
Ben Folds – The Luckiest
Gregory Alan Isakov – The Stable Song
Coldplay – Til Kingdom Come
James Vincent McMorrow – We Don't Eat
Farewell Milwaukee – Always Be Your Man

Enjoy!

With Love,

laura mary

 

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” – Henry Ford

I AM: A BelieverHave you ever had a teacher, coach, teammate, or leader, who believed in you? Who really believed in you? To the point where, it made you start to believe in yourself more than you had previously? A person who’s positive influence and inspiring spirit lifts you up to your highest potential? Effortlessly. Because they are believers themselves, it is natural for their believing powers to also extend to you. Those are the people I want to surround myself with.

be·lieve
biˈlēv/
verb
1. accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
2. hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.

Growing up I had a basketball coach, who thought I was the next big thing. He had such high hopes for me. His faith, made me feel like I could go anywhere in life, not just because I was a good basketball player; beyond my skills he simply believed in me, he wanted me to succeed in all areas of my life and he knew that I would.

I had a club soccer coach, who actually had my teammates and I lay down as a team to meditate and visualize our goals, right before the first whistle blew. This coach would check-in with us periodically to make sure we were earning good grades. This coach cried when he had to step down as head coach. He believed in us, and not just our ability on the field, but in life.

In high school, I had an inspiring English teacher, who is now the current high school principal. He also happened to be the high school track coach. Once upon a time, I quit playing high school lacrosse (for one week) and joined the track team because there was a conflict with lacrosse practices and my club soccer schedule (I prioritized club soccer). Wow, I sound like such a jock. When I joined the team he was ecstatic. Thankfully (for me but not for him), I was able to re-join lacrosse and miss a few practices, with the okay from my lacrosse coaches and therefore I left the track team for good (thank god). I was worried that the English teacher/track coach would be upset, but no. He still believed in me, he still wanted me to succeed, he still wrote my college recommendations, and he still continues to inspire hundreds of students to this day as the high school principal. He actually had me fully believing that I was a skilled writer, that I had great class contributions to make, that I was talented at giving speeches (oh lord was I nervous for the speech series of class - stay tuned for a future post on public speaking), and that I did a stellar job on my midterm and final. As far as I am concerned, convincing a high school student that they are good at anything is an achievement in and of itself, I am glad those days of insecurity are over.

I will carry the imprint that these coaches and mentors have left on my life forever.

In college, I had teammates that inspired me. Teammates, who were so selfless and hardworking (cough Rachael, Anna, Jess, Linds, the Sara(s)) that their efforts on the field made me work harder. I had one amazing professor in particular who touched my heart. I already wrote an entire blog post on this amazing woman, but she too believed in me. I’ve had excellent bosses. At McLean Hospital, my boss was so brilliant, compassionate, and personable, it made working for her inspiring. She too believed in me and offered total support in whichever career path I decided to take, despite her very busy schedule. Currently, I am surrounded by inspiring coworkers and yoga teachers, such as Miss Coco and Miss Marissa, who inspire me in my teaching and practice and really believe I can do more. I remember Coco would say, you can do x, y, z backbend of sorts… “I saw your whole wheel.”

It is that true belief or faith that these mentors have had in me, which has stretched my mind to its fullest proportions. These are the types of people I want to surround myself with, the believers, the ones who inspire, the ones who say ‘I can,’ ‘You can,’ and ‘We all can.’ The ones who are always thirsty, searching, ready, and constantly growing themselves, they are never stagnant. This realization got me thinking about how we can all become more self-sufficient; I am not de-valuing the benefit of having these amazing rock star people around as members of your tribe. Rather, I started thinking, how can I inspire myself in the same way these mentors do, to be the absolute best version of myself? The application of this concept applies to your yoga practice tremendously, especially, if you practice at home, alone. When it is just you and your mat. How do you pick yourself up? How do you stay present, focused, and how do you keep growing? We all desire constant growth.

What I learned? Tell yourself you can, but don’t care about the outcome.

A few days ago, as I was lying in savasana after Marissa’s class, feeling nothing short of awesome, I was just about to leave, when I decided to play with handstand press; it had been a while. I practiced it months ago on my own at home, and then I left it on the backburner to simmer, probably out of frustration at making turtle-paced progress (but that is yoga). Cruising on my yoga-high, I randomly decided to come back to it, and voila, I did a handstand press for the first time, ever. Naturally, I circled back to this phenomenon later, because I couldn’t quite understand why that had happened, after taking so many months off of practicing this Holy Grail transition to handstand. Why now?

Here is what I came up with:

-Many hours of practice.

-Devoted core work.

-I was unattached to the outcome.

-I went into it telling myself that I could do it; I pretended for a moment to myself, that this transition was already apart of my practice, and then...IT WAS!

With that said, my tribe remains super important to me, I want to continue to surround myself with the believers everyday. Not only do they make things happen for themselves, which inspires, but they believe in the best that is within you, and help you shine to be your best. Those are the keepers.

“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” –Albert Einstein

Are you a believer? Can you begin to share that belief you hold for yourself with others? Or perhaps you believe in others, can you borrow some of that confidence for yourself?

With Love,

laura mary