The dance studio I go to (although really, it should be referred to as a life studio or community studio because they offer so much more than dance classes) is having an instagram challenge where people post a picture and a caption with their thoughts on each day’s theme. The goal is to spread loving kindness, as well as enable love over fear. I’m 3 days into the challenge, and I have to admit, the challenge’s timing couldn’t be better. I started this week with a different kind of challenge— a life challenge, and not the fun kind, so it’s been really nice to take a few moments in the morning and reflect on positivity. And that’s probably the whole point of the instagram challenge to begin with, so in someways I feel like I’ve already won.
Apologies to everyone who also follows me on instagram and will be getting repeat content for the next two weeks.
Day 1: Movement
No matter how busy life gets (and with a 5-month-old and full-time production job, life is plenty busy!) I always try and find time for my yoga practice. Starting my day with movement calms my mind in ways nothing else can. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside you” - Deepak Chopra.
Day 2: Nutrition
I’ve always tried to be healthy and eat right, but it was mainly due to vanity. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son and am now nursing him that I started to be lovingly conscious of what I’m fueling us both with. As a result, I feel so much better physically and emotionally. I’m no longer stressed about what I eat or how I look because my son has motivated these healthy habits. And what better motivation is there than love? “Our bodies are our gardens, our wills our gardeners” - Shakespeare.
Day 3: Family
I like to think of your nuclear family as being its’ own private island— you have your own rituals and routines, and then when you move out, you “leave” your parents’ island in pursuit of your own. When my son was born earlier this year, it felt like I finally found my island. I’m so lucky to have my whole family nearby, but it’s these two (and Cardinal!) that are my core. If they’re happy, I’m happy, and in challenging times I try and remember that. This picture was taken by a dear friend in the first couple weeks of Jack’s life and I think it perfectly captures the love we have for each other.
Day 4: Flexibility
Flexibility can mean so many things, but I like to think of it as a state of mind. Being a chronic planner and scheduler (as evidenced by my photo), flexibility is something that I struggle with, but it has also proven to be a great gift. Life is not always going to go according to plan, and that’s okay. As long as you stay present and can remain flexible, things tend to work themselves out. Returning to work after having my son has greatly challenged my need to plan everything. There are actually days that I don’t make a to-do list at all (Gasp!), but it’s also through my flexibility, my work’s flexibility with my schedule, and our caregiver’s flexibility that we’re somehow making this work, and for that I am so grateful. “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach” - Tony Robbins (https://www.tonyrobbins.com
Day 5: Friends
Where would we be without our friends? They are the ones who you can count on to celebrate milestones with, pick up the phone at 1am when you need to talk, offer a hug when you don’t want to talk, hold your hair back when you’re puking, and everything in between. I am constantly blown away by the support of my friends and feel so immensely lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. Just this week when I was dealing with a stressful situation, so many people reached out to offer help or reassurance. My friends are my lifeline and just thinking about them fills me with so much joy. I love this picture of Dani and I (one of my oldest and dearest friends) because it perfectly captures so many of my friendships: someone to literally lean on when you need it. “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart” -Eleanor Roosevelt