Monthly Archives: January 2015

Discover #28 ways meditation improves your life: Daily Sitting

                 ~ Day 10 ~
~ Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 ~
        Get Wise to Your “Why’s”
Reason come first. Answers come second.
– Tony Robbins

Cheyenne-

Completed my anchor habit today for about 5 minutes (didn’t time it today). I did standing poses from Om Yoga. Chanted a little bit before and meditated in savasana for a couple minutes. Didn’t have a lot of time before work but it felt good to get it done.

I have added meditation to my anchor habit, and it has felt great to meditate daily. Today I meditated after yoga, and I also meditated for at least 5 minutes while driving, I’ve only been doing it for a couple days but I already feel the benefit. I like the idea of equanimity meditation, the metaphor of a still pond in the face of the wind. I would like to go into this holiday with family free of expectation, because the holidays can be such a time of pressure and expectation.

Today’s action:

For each of your one-year goals, write a paragraph about why you are so committed to making it happen (in the case of the one-year goals that are stepping stones to longer-term goals, you can combine the short- and long-term goal since the why’s will be similar). Make sure you describe the following three things, with as much emotion as possible:

1. Why you’re utterly determined to achieve this goal — for whom, for what?

2. What will happen if you don’t follow through (make this one painful, and really let yourself feel that pain)

3. Why you know you absolutely can make it happen — and get excited about that!

Alternatively, create a huge list of your reasons for each goal. I personally find that writing paragraphs stirs up more emotion than a list — and that’s the purpose here — but choose the approach that works best for you (or do both).

Why’s

Get finances under control and start saving – open a space – buy a house

I am a late bloomer to the realization that finances are the foundation to everything. I have spent most of my young adult life rejecting the narrative of saving and frugality imparted to me by my dad growing up. I seem to have forgotten many of the lessons he painstakingly taught me during my adolescence about not a accruing credit card debt, managing my money, and being thrifty. Somehow since moving back from Chicago Remy and I have never paid off our credit cards. This makes me feel shame even though I don’t believe money is all important. I have wavered almost constantly in my relationship to money: wanting more, not wanting to get stressed about it, getting stressed about it anyway… And while I was agonizing over these things I forgot that it does take careful financial planning to make your dreams come true. I need to improve my credit score to be able to apply for loans, and I’ll need loans to start my space. I’ll need a loan to buy a house someday. I realized through making and prioritizing my short and long term goals that my life calling will not bring me fame and fortune, my calling is to serve community and make enough money to live comfortably. I don’t see myself ever making more than $40-50,000 per year at most. So I will always need to be mindful about my finances, so that I can be responsible with my income and not fret about money all the time.

If I don’t follow through with getting my finances taken care of – which means paying off credit cards and making regular payments on our student loans – and start saving, I’ll never raise the money to go to yoga teacher training, to meditation training, get my DONA certification, or put down a down payment on a house. I’ll become even more financially stressed if I have a baby and my finances aren’t under control. I absolutely know that I can do this becaus Leos are determined, confident, and ambitious. If I believe in myself and hold myself accountable I can achieve anything, in high school I got amazing grades, was super involved, and excelled at everything it felt like, it would feel great to feel that way again. All I need to do is exercise a little restraint in the short term and I’ll get what I want in the long term: a space, a baby, a house, time to travel, and lots of joy in life, I already have so much joy, and I can’t wait to cultivate more!

Yoga Certification – open a space
Meditation certification – open a space

I love yoga. My daily practice is important to me . I could never list the benefits of a lifelong yoga and meditation practice. I want everyone to become aquainted with yoga in their life, and I hope that many choose to make practice a part of their lives in one form or another. I want to contribute to a more intentional, mindful, spiritual, and active world. Being active was something I loved about working at MPIRG, and it helped me realize that I want to be active in my career. I want to help people believe that everyone can do yoga. I want to help people. I would love to just start teaching yoga right now, but I wouldn’t be any good. I need to complete yoga teacher training so that I can truly serve my students, not to mention so I can depend my practice. Yoga certification and meditation certification

Get DONA Doula Certification – open a space

I am determined to complete my certification because of the experience I will gain and the help it will be for my doula business. I want to become more than a trained doula, I want to be a well-informed, and experienced doula with education to back up my career. I like to learn, and the parents that I work with deserve for me to be knowledgable. The first of many steps in my journey to be a doula is to understand the technical and literal aspects of pregnancy and birth. I am excited to take a childbirth education class and a breastfeeding class, and I’m excited to write my birth essays. There is a lot of knowledge I can get from the books I will need to read, and the experience of three births will give me some foundation of understanding for birth itself. The DONA certification will give me additional credentials for my doula business

Arrange personal sperm donors – have a baby

Why do I want to have a baby? That’s an impossible question. I want to have a baby because the sky is blue, because there are rainbows, and because I think my puppies would love them. I want to have a baby because they are beautiful, I love human beings and believe in their innate capacity for goodness. I want to have a baby because I think I could be a good mom if I work really hard. I want to have a baby because I think I can be an even better parent than my parents were. I want to have a baby because I think more people like me should have babies in the world. Before I come off sounding arrogant, I don’t mean to say and it is me who is special, I guess I mean my values. I want my child to be their own person, but I also want to show them how wonderful veganism can be, how great being queer is, how freeing gender can be and how constraining sometimes, I want to be honest with them about how the world really is, and I want to teach them yoga, art, music, sports, and theater. I also want to go through the experience of birth at least once. There are many reasons to have a baby, and if I don’t or can’t have one, I can try to adopt or foster. I can also do LGBT host home either way someday hopefully. I know if I put my mind to it I can probably have a baby.

Read 12 books – read all the books we own

Why am I absolutely determined to read all the books we own? Because I’ve helped shlep them all over hell in all our moved, and I’ll be damned if I kept them around to not read them! I moved these books from University Ave, to 8th St SE, to a storage unit, to 37th Ave S, to Chicago, and most recently to 16th Ave S. They were heavy, if I don’t get to read them I’ll be pissed, so I better just read them. If I read 12 per year I’ll read 120 books in 10 years, which should get me pretty close! Woo! Let’s do it!

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Accomplish #10 things you didn’t think you could do: Make a 10 Year Plan

~ Day 9 ~
~ Monday, December 22nd, 2014 ~
Make the Plans
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is everything.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Cheyenne-
Completed my anchor habit today for ~15 minutes. I did sun salutations from Om Yoga. Actually did the whole process – sit first, chant, daily warm-up, then sequence, then savasana, sit, chant, and offer up my practice, it felt good to do the whole routine!

Today’s action:
Create plans for the achievement of your goals. Be as detailed as possible without making this an overwhelming task that causes you to procrastinate. Set both long-term and short term benchmarks, getting more specific in your plans as the time frame shortens.
Since each of your long-term goals has an associated one-year goal with it, you can combine each pair into one plan, which increases in detail as the time frame shortens. For any additional one-year goals you set, create separate plans for each.

Plans

This week:
X Read DONA certification packet
Research business/nonprofit models
Pay bills and make a credit card payment

Next week:
Finish “The Birth Partner”
Fill out DONA paperwork, start scheduling births
Research meditation retreats and meditation certifications

January:
Read a book (DONA)
X Attend birth 1
Meet with Matt and any other potential sperm donors
By end of the month: finish your research on business/nonprofit model, decide which one for “the space”
Take childbirth education or breastfeeding class

End of Q1 (March):
Write business model/nonprofit plan for “the space”
Read 3 books (DONA)
Have $600 saved for yoga teacher training (YTT)
Start artificial inseminations
Take childbirth education or breastfeeding class

End of Q2 (June):
Research funding sources for “the space”
Read 3 books
Have $1200 saved for YTT
Attend birth 2
Attend birth 3
Continues artificial inseminations
Doctor visit?
DONA basic knowledge self-assessment

End of Q3 (September):
Fundraise for “the space”
Read 3 books
Have $1800 saved for YTT
Artificial insemination working? Evaluate at 6 months.
DONA membership + application fee
Write birth essay

Year 1 (2015):
Get finances under control and start saving*
Participate in a 3 or 10 day meditation retreat
Get DONA Certification
Read 12 books
Have $2400 saved for YTT

Evaluate conception efforts at 1 year

End of June 2016 (1.5 Years):
Have $3600 saved for YTT
Read 18 books

Year 2 (2016):
Have $4800 saved for YTT by end of December
Read 24 books

End of June 2017 (2.5 Years):
Have $6000 saved for YTT by end of June
Yoga teacher training

Year 3 (2017):
Be 50% self-employed (20 hours self/20 hours Brightmont)
Have $1200 saved for house
Meditation certification
Read 36 books

Year 4 (2018):
Have $3600 saved for house
Read 48 books

Year 5 (2019):
Have $6000 saved for house
Read 60 books
By 30th birthday:
Have a baby!
Open a space! Be 100% self-employed

Year 6 (2020):
Have $8400 saved for house
Read 72 books

Year 7 (2021):
Have $10,800 saved for house
Read 84 books

Year 8 (2022):
Have $13,200 saved for house
Read 96 books

Year 9 (2023):
Have $15,600 saved for house
Read 108 books

Year 10 (2024):
Have $18,000 saved for house
Read 120 books
Buy a house (make it green)
Read all the books we own

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Try #23 new physical experiences: Restorative Yoga

                 ~ Day 8 ~
~ Sunday, December 21st, 2014 ~
               Take Action
Take one action for each of your one- year goals.
– Matt Frazier

Cheyenne-

Completed my anchor habit today for 21 minutes. I did restorative poses from Om Yoga. There were only three poses, so I held each one for 7 minutes. It felt good to ease into a pose and just sit in it for a while. I’ve never done restorative yoga before, but I liked it today. It’s essentially “gentle yoga”. You use pads and blankets to stay comfy and you just sit for a while. It’s nice for Sunday when you have nowhere to be… and it was a good way to prepare for my Wake Up activity for the day, Take Action!

According to the Yoga Center of Minneapolis, Restorative Yoga classes goes like this:

A class of postures supported with props to soothe the nervous system, facilitate deep relaxation, and bring the body back into balance. Class may also include warm-ups, mantra, mudra (hand positions), and visualization to rejuvenate and replenish.
http://yogacentermpls.com/class-descriptions/

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Today’s Action:

Today, take one action for each of your one-year goals — the reason this activity is scheduled for a weekend is so that you have time to actually go somewhere if you need to. Don’t put this off!
– Matt Frazier

Actions
Open space – Today I met with my favorite Jivamukti style yoga instructor about yoga teacher training school. She went to Yoga Center of Minneapolis for her 200 hour training, and then she did a 300-hour Jivamukti training in Costa Rica. She strongly encouraged it. But she also encouraged me to do the basics quickly and cheaply and then do additional training in Jivamukti or yoga therapy because “the basics” is just the basics, and it doesn’t totally prepare you to teach anyway. She encouraged me to learn from all teachers – even ones whose teaching styles I may not want to follow. She thought Go Fund Me was a good idea and encouraged me. I am really starting to feel like this is possible.
Last month I interview yoga therapist Lisa Fecarotta from Veda Yoga Therapy in Edina Minnesota. Even though her business model wasn’t amazingly compatible with mine – because she was a massage therapist first and that continues to be a large part of her business – our visit gave me some great insights. She has to do a lot of education to earn yoga therapy clients – and a lot of them come to her for other services to begin with. One of them is Reiki healing actually. I’ve always been interested in that. Maybe I’ll look into diversifying in a couple of ways in order to attract more clients. She also said that she does a lot of corporate contracting – she goes and does massage therapy for office workers – and teaches yoga classes as well. This is an interesting idea too. I’m glad I met with her.

Finances – transferred $100.00 to savings!

Meditation – I researched Common Ground meditation retreats and sittings. Put some things on my calendar.

DONA – I ordered my DONA International Certified Birth Doula Application Packet!

Sperm donor – I texted Matt to take him out to lunch/dinner in the next couple weeks.

Read 12 books – I commit to read The Birth Partner by the end of the month.

Find #9 people or things that inspire you: Setting Big Goals

~ Day 7~
~ Saturday, December 20th, 2014 ~
Set Big Goals
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Patch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain

Direct from Wake Up – 31 days to take charge of your life!

Today’s action: 

Set Massive, Obsession-worthy Goals!

Step 1. Take a quick look back at the areas of your life you listed a few days ago that are not at  the level you deserve. Then quickly review your  victories list, and let yourself feel the emotion  those accomplishments stir in you. Do what it  takes to get amped up for this!
Step 2. On a sheet of paper or your journal (I  like to actually handwrite for this step), make a  huge list of all that you’d like to accomplish, acquire, and experience in the next 10 years. Don’t think about what’s realistic, just dream, as if a genie were going to grant you your every wish. Write for 10 minutes straight here, and try to get as much down as you possibly can — don’t let your pencil stop moving if you can help it. We’re not concerned about details at this stage; just write enough so that you’ll know what  it means later.
Step 3. Go through your list of dreams and quickly put a timeline on each one — the amount of time in which you’d realistically like to make each happen. No need to get more detailed than “1 year (or less),” “2 years,” “3 years,” “5 years,” “10 years.” Make sure you’ve got several goals that are short-term and several that are long-term.
Step 4. Go through your dream list and pare it down a bit. Cross off any that you wrote down that, while perhaps fun, you aren’t really willing to work for, as well as those for which you’d have trouble coming up with a strong “why.”.
Step 5. From the goals that remain, choose your top three long-term goals (those whose timeline is longer than a year), up to 10 years out from now. Circle, underline, or star each one. Here, it’s especially important to be balanced — you wouldn’t want all your long-term goals to be financial, for example. Make sure you’re willing to start creating each one now.
Step 6. Next, choose your top three one-year goals and circle each one or put a star next to it. Aim for balance again here; try to choose one goal from each of three different areas of your life.
Step 7. Now, look at how your one-year goals line up with your long-term goals. Do any of them match up with (and act as stepping stones to) a corresponding long-term goal that you selected back in step 5? For any long-term goal that does not have a one-year stepping stone goal, choose another one-year goal to add your list. It may be from your dream list in step 1, or you may need to think of a new one-year goal that would represent the perfect stepping stone to the long-term goal (while still being exciting for its own sake).
Step 8. Finally, from your one-year goals (you’ll have three or more), choose one to be your most important, “banner” goal for the year — the one thing that if you accomplished it and none of the others in the next year, you’d still be pretty darn ecstatic.
Step 9. Check your goals. Are they specific? (For example, don’t say “I want to get faster”; choose a precise time in which you’d like to run in a certain race.) Are they positive (focused on what you DO want, not what you DON’T)? And most importantly, do they really excite you, so much that you can’t wait to get started on making them a reality? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then adjust accordingly.
Step 10. For each of your new goals (you should have a total of three goals longer than one year, and at least three for one year or less), set a precise deadline for its achievement and write in your journal a positive, first-person, present-tense statement about it: For example, “I run a marathon in under four hours by December 1st, 2016.”
*Repeat every 6 months

Completed my anchor habit for 16 minutes. Did inversions from Om Yoga. This week I am committed to journaling right after completing my anchor habit. Today is day 1! I remember my anchor habit better immediately after and it feels good to just get it done. Today I really enjoyed inversions, and when I learned that shoulder stand is a thyroid balancer it totally changed my perspective on the pose. Before knowing that I found it awkward and it was one of my least favorite poses. Now I see it’s healing nature and I am drawn to doing shoulder stand more often!
I also went to Elise’s yoga class at Svasti for Jivamukti yoga. Her class always makes me feel incredible. By the end of class I usually have my heels down in downward dog. I love her style of teaching and I love her music choices. Today during savasana she played a singing bowls song that got me incredibly relaxed. Finished with sitting meditation for 5 minutes.

Big Goals:

Short Term (1 Year)
Get finances under control and start saving*
Participate in a 3 or 10 day meditation retreat
Get DONA Certification
Arrange personal sperm donors
Read 12 books

Long Term (2-10 Year)
Be self-employed/Open a space for yoga, meditation, art, family planning, ecstatic dance, meetings, art, markets (5 year)
Yoga teacher training
Meditation training
DONA certification
Have a baby (2-3 year)
Buy a house (make it green) (10 year)
Read all the books we own (10 year)

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Find #9 people or things that inspire you… or maybe 16!

~ Day 6 ~
~ Friday, December 19th, 2014 ~
Find Your Inspiration
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
– Jack London

Today’s action:
Get motivated! Do whatever it takes. Then let your mind wander into the territory of what you might do to address some of the challenges you identified yesterday. Soon, we’ll make it official, so be ready!
– Matt Frazier

Completed my anchor habit for 10 minutes. Did back bending poses from Om Yoga. Pigeon pose with bent leg is getting easier. Holding half-wheel with one leg up was harder than I expected, and so was two legs up, laying on back!

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What inspires me?
These people are sources of inspiration for me. Who’s your inspiration? Comment below.
1. Buddha
2. Thich Nhat Hanh – Buddhist poet
3. Elise Radtke-Rosen – Jivamuktiyoga instructor
4. Seane Corn – yoga instructor
5. Ash Beckham: Coming Out of Your Closet – TedEx Talk
http://youtu.be/kSR4xuU07sc
– This person may not be Buddhist but they’re definitely in touch with the universal nature of suffering. 🙂
6. Audre Lorde – writer
7. Barbara Kingsolver – author Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
8. Nicole Wilder – friend
9. Sylvia Rivera – activist
10. Anne Phibbs Ph.D. – mentor
11. Sharon Gannon & David Life: Founders of Jivamukti Yoga
12. Om Movement Studio: Portland Oregon
https://www.facebook.com/Ompdx/info?tab=page_info
– Self-ideas for the space: Yoga. Meditation. Art Studio. Doula office. Cooking Classes. Craft Bazaars.
– Their space: Bellydance. Tango. Capoeira. Yoga. Ecstatic Dance. Meditation. Dance and theater rehearsals. Men’s and Women’s Groups. Networking Meetings. Benefits. Fundraisers. Local artist holiday markets.
13. Remy
14. Mark – Founer Common Ground Meditation Center
15. Kristin Kali – MAIA Midwifery, Los Angeles
16. Briohny Smyth – Daily Burn Yoga Instructor

Learn #15: Get Clear on Your Fears

~ Day 5 ~
~ Thursday, December 18th, 2014 ~
Get Clear on Your Fears
Set aside a certain number of days, during which you should be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself all the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’
– Lucius Seneca

Daily action:
Define your worst-case scenario fears of what could happen if you took action to change the aspects of your life that you listed yesterday. Once you’ve described your fears, in detail and in writing, consider how painful they actually would be. On the off-chance that these worst possible outcomes actually did come to fruition, what steps would you take to rebuild?
– Matt Frazier

Completed my anchor habit for 8 minutes. Did seated poses from Om Yoga. Balancing in squat with my heels down is stil hard. I was in a hurry this morning so I kind-of hurried through my last few poses after my 5 minute alarm went off. At least I did it!

Fear of failure:
If Remy and I save up the money for me to get my yoga teacher training, go to yoga therapy school, or if I want to open a yoga studio and meditation center, there is the chance that I could fail. What if it’s too hard to build a clientele and I’m too impatient? What if there isn’t enough interest in yoga to sustain another yoga studio in Minneapolis? What if people don’t like my teaching style? What is my teaching style? How will I get people to respect me as a business owner and manager? What if I don’t do a good job running a business due to lack of knowledge/experience or simply laziness?

What if I save up all that money and start something, and it does completely fail? What if I lose whatever I’ve built and push us further into debt? Do I think my partner would support me if I failed like this? What if we couldn’t afford our rent, got evicted, and had to move in with friends or family?

I think I can handle waiting and working to build clientele. I may be frustrated, and have to work hard not to overwhelm my partner with my worries, but I know I could get through it. I may take it personally if new clients don’t come back, or if my friends or family refuse to support my business. This may be painful, but if I am frustrated it will be because I’m excited about my new business and even more excited to share it with people. And I’m a pretty creative person, so if things weren’t great I’m sure I could use my ingenuity to figure something out.

I should do some research to discover more about the market in Minneapolis: where are studios located, what do they charge, and how do they work? Is bet there is room for one more! Especially in an area where there are no studios. I want to serve community rather than make huge profits. I trust in myself and have confidence in the fact that I am likeable enough to gain a regular following. I worry about being a small woman and trying to be taken seriously. There are two choices for people like me I think: try to change myself to present a more “mature, powerful” image, or pursue my dreams as myself and work for acceptance and respect as such. I don’t think I’m willing to conform and present a more acceptable image, so my route may be longer but I’ll get there.

I think for the first few years my excitement and energy will keep me working hard to succeed. If I lose my commitment to my business it’ll be because I’m disappointed in how it’s performing. If I don’t have as many customers as I want, or I’m unhappy about something, I am slightly worried I might mentally adjust my commitments without actively making a plan. I saw the owner of the Coffee Hag do just that – she let her business slide until it was no longer profitable and she didn’t even seem to care. Being your own boss means having discipline and knowing when to call it quits if it comes to that.

If I do ultimately fail to build something I’m proud of, and my whole life falls apart, I guess I would feel ashamed and guilty. If I let Remy support me financially and emotionally along the way and then I fail I would feel responsible for not only “ruining” my life by his as well. But when I think about it, Remy isn’t nearly as stressed out about money and debt as I am, and I think he would support me no matter what. We would rebuild. We have friends and family that we could live with in the short term, and I have lots of other work experience. I could go back to teaching or tutoring, fundraising, or GLBT work. And I think if I can trust in those good possibilities, I don’t have to be so afraid. 🙂

Find #5 things you like: My Job

~ Day 4 ~
~ Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 ~
What Has to Change?
You get what you tolerate.
– Mike Ditka

Today’s action:
Make a list of things that are not at a level you expect and demand. Choose the area or areas you’re most frustrated with, and write two emotionally-charged paragraphs about each, describing why you deserve more, why you’re committed to changing it, and (just as importantly) what will happen if you don’t make a change.
– Matt Frazier

This morning I was committed to doing my yoga before work. I have now realized that if I don’t do it in the morning, I end up doing it at work because I know I’ll never do it at night when I got home. Frustrated by how bothered I feel about doing yoga in my office (I always feel a little like I’m going to get “caught” even though I do it on a break), and knowing I wouldn’t do it tonight when I got home, I did my yoga first thing this morning. When my alarm went off at 7:30, I didn’t stay in bed for 15-30 minutes like I’ve become accustomed to this week, I got up and unrolled my mat. My sequences always end up going over the 5 minutes, and by then I’m fine with it. It’s all about getting over the hurdle of getting started.
Completed my anchor habit for 8 minutes. Did balance poses from Om a yoga.
Silent meditation for 5 minutes.
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1. Unfulfilling career/lack of certainty with career direction

I deserve better than a boss I don’t respect. I love the kids at my school, but I never really feel like I can be my full self around there. My boss is so scatter-brained she blames me for taking her off task when she’s the one that drew me into conversation. She makes me feel like a lot of my job is keeping her happy. And the way she talks about other employees makes me feel like she probably speaks negatively of me when I’m not around. I don’t like the full time lead teacher there and I feel like she talks down to me. I have slowly been feeling worse about my job there since the fall school year started. This summer was different because Ihad a lot more freedom and responsibility (we didn’t have a full time lead yet). I don’t get to see or talk to her much so a lot of our interactions are via email, and a lot of them are negative. I’ve been trying to find ways to interact positively, but we’re both very busy.

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I want to get in a better place about my job so I can make the best of my time there. I also don’t see myself staying in education forever, so I also want explore other options. I have decided I don’t want to seek a full time position there, but I am committed to putting more effort into my job after holiday break. There are lots of good things about my job, the flexibility in scheduling, the other teachers, and the work-life balance it allows me. I can really excell at this if I put my mind to it, and I want to save up money and get a good recommendation when I’m ready to move on. If things don’t change I will probably continue to be disappointed by my job and my boss for years. I likely can’t get out of there and run my own business for a few years so I am determined to make the most of it!

Take on #8 acts of self-expression: Victories List

~ Day 3 ~
~ Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 ~
Victories List
Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.
– Coco Chanel

Today’s action:
Create your victories list in your journal… Make a list of your life’s greatest victories. And I’m being liberal with my use of the word “greatest” – I want you to come up with a list of as many wins as you possibly can, hopefully 50 or more!
– Matt Frazier

Completed my anchor habit for 6 minutes. Did standing poses sequence from Om Yoga
So I don’t think my anchor habit is really a habit yet. Motivation did get me started, and last week it helped me do yoga for 5 minutes right when I woke up each day. Even though I felt tired and nauseous I would get on my mat and stretch. This week I haven’t made time for it either morning. This morning I laid on the couch for 15 minutes trying to get some more rest. Then I thought I was going to have time for yoga, but I decided I wanted a shower instead. Once I took my shower and took the dogs out, there was only a few minutes left before I needed to leave for work. At least today I made time for yoga before my first class instead of after lunch. I told myself I was going to do it right when I got to work, and I did. That felt great. It even took me more than 5 minutes because my timer went off in the middle of a sequence and I decided to finish my flow.
Silent meditation for 8 minutes.
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~Victory List~

Getting glasses
Playing sports
Qualifying for nationals in 12 and under softball
4th grade teach Mrs. Neadeau appreciated me and let me assist her
Learning to cook
Hired for paper route in 6th grade
Reading The Hobbit in 6th grade
Nannying for Richter family
Getting my driver’s license
Becoming friends with Matt and Jenny
Hired at Coffee Hag
Hired at St. Peter Food Coop
Becoming vegetarian
Qualifying for state in diving
Doing PSEO in high school
National Honor Society
Co-president of high school GSA
Attending first OutFront MN Lobby Day at the Capital
Graduating high school
Coaching Lacrosse camp
Going to Austria, Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic
Getting accepted into U of M
Hired at QSCC
Lacrosse Travel Coordinator
Qualifying for college lacrosse nationals
Hired at NARAL Pro Choice MN
Hired at the GLBTA Programs Office
Volunteering for Harm Reduction Shot Clinic
Falling in love with Remy
Writing Remy a love letter
Joining Transgender Commission
Organizing World AIDS Week 2009
Beating Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess
Going vegan
Running a successful Etsy store
Taking Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Getting the GLBTA Student Scholarship
Summer Road Trip
Training Spencer to fetch
Going to Burning Man
MTHC volunteer coordinator and board member
Performing in The Naked I
Always “going the extra mile” at the GLBTA Programs Office
Learning to make necklaces
Curating an Art Exhibit for the GLBTA Programs Office
Planning Lavender Celebration
Getting the “Outstanding Student Intern Award” from the GLBTA Programs Office
Graduation from University of Minnesota
Summer biking with Remy
Going to Amsterdam and London
Education Coordinator of MN GLBTA Campus Alliance
Birth doula certification
Joining SPIRAL Collective
Accepted into Teach For America
Hired at CICS Washington Park
Hired at Huntington
Hired at Green Zebra
Learning to teach math
Starting my “Journey to Improve My Life with 30 Goals” blog
Learning to tutor ACT test prep
Trying out for Windy City Rollers
Average ACT score increase of 6 points at Huntington Learning Center
Standing up for myself with Liz at Green Zebra
Hired at Brightmont
Completing the Minneapolis Bike Tour
Making Remy a love scavenger hunt
Joining Dharmacore Queer Meditation Group
Card from Julie praising my successes as a teacher
Abortion doula training
Reaching 20 posts on blog
Cooking a five course meal for 4
Making yoga and meditation a priority in my life
Starting Mindful Queers & Allies Reading Circle
Successfully starting and maintaining a new habit!

Discover #28 ways meditation improves your life: DharmaCore Queer Meditation

~ Day 2 ~
~ Monday, December 15th, 2014 ~
Success Journal
A life worth living is a life worth recording
– Jim Rohn

Today’s action:
Find or set up a journal, and write the first entry. That first entry can be as simple as a note that you did your habit today, but even better would be a short, written commitment to yourself that you’re going to do all 31 days of this program, no matter what, and why that’s so important to you.
– Matt Frazier

Cheyenne-
Completed my anchor habit for 10 minutes. Did sun salutations sequence from Om Yoga. Here is an example of sun salutations.

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I woke up late today and didn’t have time to complete my anchor habit this morning. Monday morning are always a challenge. I stay up too late on Sunday night and then I snooze until 7am, only giving me 30 minutes to get ready. When I realized I didn’t have time for even 5 minutes of yoga before heading out for the day, I felt worried that I might not get to it today. Luckily during a break at work I was able to complete my anchor habit. I did 5 minutes of yoga in my office. I was even interrupted halfway through by a coworker, and afterwards I didn’t want to finish. But it was only a minute and thirty seconds, so I held myself accountable to my full five minutes and finished. I also discovered another new pose that’s great for glutes, it’s called temple pose. I only held it for 8 breathes twice and my butt already feels sore.

Went to DharmaCore Queer Meditation group again. I’ve been going since the beginning of October and it’s been great. I love the community of mindful people and I always find it easier to focus the mind during group practice. I’ve heard that it’s good to practice in community every once in a while to boost your energy for the ritual. I find I already look forward to going once a week.

Every other week we do a silent meditation then a guided meditation, and this week we did guided meditation for 30 minutes. This was followed by the usual discussion. I felt distracted by the guide and my mind kept drifting to being present in my physical body. I did eat quickly and then rush to get there quickly, perhaps I was physically stressed. I eventually did follow the guide though the meditation, but not until the very end. In the discussion we talked about the 4 Brahmaviharas, or mental abodes. These are known as loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. The guide and the speaker Jeffry spoke most about empathetic joy, which is the ability to feel happy for what brings others joy. The guided meditation instructed us first to think about what brings us joy, and wish for this love to continue, and to grow, and to never end. Then we were guided to think of someone close to us and wish them the same. Lastly we were told to think of someone with whom we have a difficult relationship with, and wish them the same.

Jeffrey mentioned a story about peasants wishing joy to a jeweled man on a golden elephant parading through town. One person asked if there are people such as the man on the elephant who misuse their power and wealth, do they deserve for us to wish them more of that? I found I shared this persons sentiment, until Jeffrey said that it’s not about wishing them more wealth or power. He explained, “Even someone like George Bush, that a lot of people would say abused his power, is a human being who desires to avoid suffering and to find joy. When he sits down and drinks a cup of coffee or eats a dessert he truly enjoys, he is human. That is the joy we are wishing him.” This shifted my perspective completely. Everyone deserves 5 minutes of joy each day, and time to be alone with themselves for at least 5 minutes a day, free from distractions. Unfortunately too few of us actually get it.

Discover #27 ways yoga improves your life: My Anchor Habit

Today Remy and I official started a 31 day challenge to start a new good habit and set life goals! The book is called:

Wake Up!
31 Days & Actions to Take Charge of Your Life

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It’s by author Matt Frazier, the No Meat Athlete. Today was Day 1.

~ Day 1 ~
~ Sunday, December 14th, 2014 ~
Create Your Anchor Habit

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Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
– Jim Ryun

Today’s action: Create your anchor habit, commit to a start date, and set the conditions for success.

Your job today is to give yourself the gift of developing that important, but not urgent, daily habit that would fulfill you the most. Not just because you think it would make someone else happy, but because it’s something you love to do.

Helpful Hints: Be specific about what you’ll do and for how much time each day (remember, start small!). Identify a trigger, post reminders, add some accountability, and do whatever else will destroy the barriers to getting started… Then, tomorrow – or today, if you just can’t wait – start your new habit, and do it each day after that.
– Matt Frazier

Remy and I “started” our 31 day challenge for the first time on Tuesday, December 2nd. I chose yoga as my anchor habit on Day 1. Completed my anchor habit for 10-15 minutes today. Did Inversions sequence from Om Yoga.

Yoga was an easy choice because it’s an opportunity for exercise and it improves my mental clarity, relaxation, focus, and attention. The book Wake Up recommends starting on a Sunday, and we didn’t start on that day, so we opted to follow its recommendation that we simply continue our anchor habit each day until the next Sunday. Even though we started on a Tuesday and I successfully completed my anchor habit each day, by Sunday I forgot to read Day 2, so I missed my opportunity to move on. I simply opted to do my anchor habit each day again, and while I skipped my anchor habit on 2 days that week, I never skipped 2 days in a row. It’s important to me to not miss more than one day before getting back to my new anchor habit!

Today I started over again! I completed my anchor habit this morning. I love this Om Yoga book! Even though it’s Sunday, I decided to do the Saturday workout – inversions. I love it when I find a new pose that I’ve never done before. Today it was the L-shaped handstand I did against the wall. I love strengthening the poses I already know, but let’s be honest, newer is always exciting-er!

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