It's time to find out.
As the parent of a two-year-old, I have a lot of questions. Friends, family, strangers in the grocery store, and of course the internet, have UNLIMITED advice. Most of it is contradictory. Some of it is outdated, too new-age, or just plain weird. All of it gets very loud - not volume loud, but taking up brain space loud.
So what's a mom to do? We ask our own moms (and sometimes do the opposite anyway - sorry mom!), we consult google, ask complete strangers on message boards and in Facebook groups, and trust our children's most fundamental experiences to so-called experts who convince us they have the perfect approach. A simple amazon search for "parenting books" yields over 200,000 results. Clearly, there is no perfect approach.
Because it doesn't work... somehow all of that time tested advice is lost on your kid - whether they are one day old or 45 years young. They can't fall asleep "drowsy but awake," completely reject the meal that was their favorite last week, and forget to tell you when they are coming to visit. So what's a mom to do?
Happy New Year!
Wishing you and your families a wonderful 2018! To start off the year, a little inspiration:
I'm happy to support or accompany you along the way.
Here's to a fabulous 2018!
The holiday season has begun! I am very grateful that the darkness that characterizes this time of year is interrupted by light - on trees, in fire places, and on the faces of friends and family. It's a time of year filled with celebrations- which can be both invigorating and overwhelming.
I think it's a great time of year to settle in - to make time for the things that ground you and make you feel connected. Which is often hard with holidays, travel, expectations, and more. But choosing one thing per day or a few things per week that fill us up with light can help during this season when we're expected to share so much with others.
So in addition to spreading cheer and generosity and gratitude, be sure to fill your own cup - through your recently-developed gratitude practice, a yoga class, gathering with friends, a nap by the fire, or whatever else brings you joy. Once your cup is full, it will be a gift to share with others!
I hope your holiday season is full of light and warmth.
There is endless (often contradictory) advice on how to be happy. For example: mindfulness meditation is the direct way to happiness and happiness is other people. Just like there is no perfect diet for everyone, there's no ONE path that will will lead us all to happiness. Sometimes we will need to look deeper, finding contentment within ourselves and other times connecting with a friend is exactly what we need.
November's gratitude challenge - a practice proven to lead to a happier life - can be both or either. You'll commit to take a moment out of each day to write down what you are grateful for and then choose to keep it to yourself or share it with friends (or with the world on instagram or twitter). Best of all, its free!
Join the Gratitude Challenge
I hope the coming month is full of happy and grateful moments for you!
It's heartbreaking to read the news. To not know the solutions, or even to know them and have them feel so far out of reach. To feel afraid, to search for hope, and to hold our children tight. I can't always turn my feelings into words, but this poem by Mason Bolton captures most of it.
I do know this - we need each other. We need to see and be seen, to offer support free of judgement, to believe in peace and change, and take action.
So as much as we want more time, to automate our tasks, to let technology take some of the burden, what we really need is community. I see it every week in my mamas circle - the reaching out, the tears, the love that fills a room when we make real connections and truly support each other. It's like the weight of the world has been lifted off of our shoulders, the load distributed. I see it in yoga classes when students return week after week, not just for the asana practice but to be together and breathe together.
I believe that if we are to have a bright and wonderful future we need to be WITH each other. Re-create the village we've replaced with technology and make true connections. So, in addition to teaching and coaching, I'm leading a Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training to teach other women how to bring yoga, mindfulness, and community to moms and their newborns. It's been a labor of love 2 years in the making and I can't wait to share it with you early next year.
And in the meantime, I hope you'll find ways to be together - with your communities and families, or even those new friends you made last month. Because we truly need each other.
In this back-to-school season I've been reflecting on friendship and how making friends changes when you are an adult. You don't have to invite everyone in your 2nd grade class to your birthday party anymore (thank goodness) but it's also not as easy to walk up to someone new and ask them to sit with you at lunch (even if you want to). It's often hard to meet new people and as our lifelong friends move to different cities and countries, we can sometimes long for the days we lived in neighborhoods or dorms full of our favorite people.
So we seek other avenues - connecting with work colleagues, joining a kickball team, bowling league, or yoga class. As new parents, we quickly realize the need for the long-lost village and seek out like-minded moms to help us navigate this new and unknown world of raising tiny people. We relate around shared interests, locations, or the simple connection we'd like to make.
Summer is here!
The joy of children (and teachers) as we approach the end of the school year is a part of all of us - I remember long afternoons of running in and out of the sprinkler, picking raspberries in our backyard, and ice cream melting down the sides of the cone and all over my hands. It seemed like the days went on forever!
Often as adults we don't find the same excitement this time of year. We may even feel left out of the school year cycle and summer celebration, but there are ways you can reclaim it! Read on for a few of my favorites.
do you remember where you were 4 years ago? If you were one of my lucky original newsletter subscribers (aka friends and family members who were unknowingly added to my email list) you were about to get your first taste of Siena Wellness!
The first week in May of 2013, I send out my first newsletter. The next day, I met with my first client. Between then and now I've worked with hundreds of women and men to improve their lives while positively impacting the world we share. We've practiced yoga together, eaten delicious local homemade meals, been through the challenges of sleepless nights with newborn babies, and shared amazing healing moments.
I am so honored and humbled to do this work that I love. To spend my time helping people nourish their bodies, connect to their children, make radical changes in their lives, and to create wonderful and supportive communities in the midst of the very real challenges of our world today.
And it wouldn't be possible without you. You have accompanied me through the amazing moments and provided support when things were tough. You came to workshops, classes, mamas circles, and gatherings. You make it possible for me to be a small business owner, mother, friend, and more, and for that I am eternally grateful.
This month, I'd love to hear how I can continue to support you. What would you like to see from Siena Wellness before our 5th birthday? Find me at a yoga class, reach out to schedule a coaching call, or simply send me an email.
I can't wait to hear from you!
Time to let go a little. Or a lot.
We have a desire to control - we choose our schedules, what to eat, where to go, and how to interact with others. We plan, save, and work hard to create the lives we want to live. Maybe it comes out of knowing that there are so many unknowns in life - wonderful people who will bring us pure joy, tragic events that will change us forever, and everything in between.
But this same control creates a challenge. On a narrowly-focused path or during an over-scheduled day, we end up feeling out of control - like our lives are moving forward with someone else in the driver's seat. We can get frustrated by our circumstances, bogged down by what's socially acceptable, or by getting "stuck" in a job, relationship, or other commitment.
Today I googled "antonyms of control" to see what would come up. It wasn't very encouraging. The list started with chaos and disorganization. Freedom was thrown in but followed by lawlessness, mismanagement, and neglect. We clearly have a positive association with control and a negative one with the opposite.
But aren't the best adventures the ones that flow freely? Without plans or structure or timelines? Without big expectations or even big budgets?
We spend so much time trying to fit everything in to this life - work, friends, family, maybe even a little time for ourselves - that we often don't have time for those moments. Our desire to control ultimately leads to feeling stuck, overworked, bored, or even disengaged. Let's fix it.
The signs of spring are here! The days continue to get longer and flowers push up through the soil and stretch into the sun (or rain). The feeling of expectation hangs in the air, the promise of new life and more.
Spring also brings its challenges. You may find yourself looking around and thinking: How did I ever have the time and energy for everything in my life? Why am I so annoyed all the time? How does everyone else have it all together while I'm falling apart?
I'll let you in on a little secret - a LOT of other people are asking the same questions.
This year, I've found answers and guidance in the traditions of Eastern medicine. As spring's energy rises around us and within us, we're often not prepared for the changes coming with the new season. As a result, anger, the emotion associated with spring and the wood element, often gets out of control. We quickly blame ourselves and others when things go wrong and find it difficult to resolve this emotion. Anger can cause liver imbalances - resulting in increased tension and toxins in our bodies. All of a sudden we're tired, angry, inflexible, and it's hard to look forward to the beautiful weather, flowers, and growth that is possible in spring.
The good news is there are ways to find balance and calm to more peacefully transition to spring.