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Ma~Maste

/ MAH – məs – tay /

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Looking Out For Number 1

The human heart is a fascinating mechanism. Each day, it beats roughly 100,000 times and pumps somewhere around 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. This blood has the very important task of delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells, as well as removing metabolic waste. The circulatory system is so efficient that it only takes about one minute for the blood to make its round trip from, and then back to, the heart. And it’s a good thing it is so good at its job because the job is never-ending.

Perhaps the most intriguing part though? As incredible as it is that the heart continuously takes care of everybody else, it makes sure to take care of itself first. Let’s break that down. In rudimentary terms, the right side of the heart sends old blood to the lungs, where the blood is oxygenated. The lungs then send this “new” blood to the left side of the heart, which then pumps it into the aorta, where it prepares to make its journey through the rest of the body. And HERE is where the magic happens. Coronary arteries branch off of the aorta and lead to the heart itself, allowing this amazing muscle to receive fresh, glorious blood before anyone else. In other words, the heart is always looking out for number one when it comes to its own health and wellbeing. And for good reason.

What would happen if the heart did not take care of itself before taking care of everyone else? It’s the same reason the airline stewardess instructs you to first put on your own mask before attempting to help others. And it boils down to the number one life lesson I’ve learned to date: You cannot take care of others without first taking care of yourself. You’ve heard it before…you can’t pour from an empty cup. You can try as hard as you want, but it’s not feasible, and it’s certainly not sustainable. Eventually, you will wipe out energetically, putting yourself in danger of physical, mental, and emotional turmoil.

There’s a lot of pressure on the heart to perform well. And like the heart, you may have a lot of people who depend on you to be your best. By taking time to find out what it is that fills your soul and then taking the steps to ensure that happens, you will set yourself up for much greater success, and you will be able to pour into others from the overflow you will experience in your own life. Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it is necessary. We are called to serve and to love, and it begins right at home. It begins with number one.

5 Tips for Dealing with Change

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“Now it’s like this.”

I was at Wanderlust Festival here in Nashville a few years ago, where renowned yoga teacher and all-around inspirational badass Chelsey Korus was leading the group yoga portion. “Now it’s like this,” she kept saying over and over, weaving this beautiful mantra throughout the hour long practice, encouraging us to understand and embrace that the only real constant in life is change. Now, it’s like this…in a moment, it will be like something else. Of course I already knew this, but now to have the permission I needed to let it be what it is? Game changer. I’ve literally thought about this mantra just about every day since first hearing it, and the older I get the more I realize that perhaps truer words have never been spoken.

Here’s the deal. Impermanence is inescapable. It just is. Here in Tennessee, all you have to do is simply look outside and observe the changing seasons. It’s currently springtime, one of my favorites. I’m reminded that the old dies off and that new growth is just around the corner. That time makes this transformation inevitable. That change is inevitable. And just like in nature, your life is constantly shifting and moving, keeping you on your toes and teaching you extraordinary lessons…should you choose to pay attention.

For instance, you might find yourself in a place of warm, fuzzy comfort, only to be hit upside the head and have your entire world rocked by change. No matter what you do or say, you can’t stop this change from happening.  How do you react? Do you resist? Do you hide? It’s like that moment in yoga class when you fiiinally make it through all the standing postures and get down to the floor with one thing on your mind…Savasana…but then your loving teacher (me!) leads you into 10 minutes of really freaking hard core work. You know what I’m talking about! Can you change the story in your head? “Um ok, so Savasana isn’t happening YET. I’m going to rock this core work and show it who’s boss. I am fierce.  I am willing.  I am capable.  I embrace this moment because now it’s like this. Soon, it won’t be like this. Then, it will be like something else. But now, it’s like this.”

On the contrary, you may find yourself in a time of extreme discomfort, yearning for change to happen and to happen fast. How do you react? Do you resist? Do you hide? Once again, it’s the same in yoga, where we move from one pose to another. You may find yourself stuck in Chair Pose for far longer than you wish. Body trembling, sweat dripping down the face, internally cursing your teacher (again, me!) and swearing to yourself that if she tells you to “sit an inch lower” one more time, you’re out and that’s that. Can you change the story to look a little like this…”Yeah, this really sucks. But I’m here. Now it’s like this. I’m alive. I’m growing stronger. I’m connected to my breath. I’m connected to my body. I’m aware of my thoughts, but I am not my thoughts. And in a moment, it will be like something else. I embrace this Chair Pose because now it’s like this.”

When you resist change rather than trusting the process, you are setting yourself up to miss out. All of it…the good, the bad, and everything in between…is there to teach you and to help you grow into a bigger, better version of the amazing soul that you already are. It’s not easy, but guess what…it is what it is. It IS. And here are 5 tips to help you move a little more gracefully through these times:

  • BREATHE. Take a beat. Breathe in deeply and know that you’re breathing in. Breathe out deeply and know that you’re breathing out. Repeat for a few rounds of breath.
  • REPEAT CHELSEY’S MANTRA…”NOW IT’S LIKE THIS.” Remember that change is the only constant and that it won’t be like this forever.
  • BE GRATEFUL. Find even the tiniest sense of gratitude for this shift. Even if you don’t fully understand it yet, be thankful for what’s yet to come.
  • WRITE IT DOWN. Frustrated? Write it down. Angry? Write it down. Completely at a loss? Write it down. Get it all out. Then crumple up the paper and throw it away. Get it out of your system then move on in faith that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
  • TRUST GOD AND TRUST THE PROCESS AND ITS TIMING. There are much bigger forces at work. Enough said.

Raw Kale Salad

Aw, kale yeah.  This raw kale salad is a staple in my house.  It’s so easy to make and so tasty to eat.  Everything about this salad says raw, fresh, and healthy.  Give it a try…it’s a great way to get your greens in.

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Raw Kale Salad


Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and finely chopped (Hint:  Food Processor!)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (Don’t skip the toasting step…it adds so much, I promise.)
  • S & P to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil and drizzle over chopped kale, tossing to coat.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and mix.  (I told you it was easy, didn’t I?!)

Monday Morning Necessities

Am I right, or am I right??  Make it a great week!

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