About

My name is Val Boyko and I live outside of Philadelphia, USA. I’m originally from Scotland and hold dual citizenship.

You can take the girl out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland out of the girl!

As a registered yoga teacher with over 10 years of experience,  I guide my students to become centered and accepting of themselves on their own yoga journey. I was also a professional coach for 15 years, and am grateful for helping clients navigate their careers and life transitions.

I take a coach approach to my yoga teaching, wanting to bring out the best of each individual in a safe and caring environment – helping them be present, be compassionate towards themselves and connect to their inner wisdom.

One morning  I woke up with these words in my mind:  “Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. And find contentment in your Middle Ground.”

Find Your Middle Ground blog is where I get to explore, reflect, share and have fun with very cool peeps like yourself.
Thank you for checking in and being an inspiration on my own journey.

Namaste,

Val

Middle Ground Theory

Finding Your Middle Ground is about finding balance in life, and coming home to our selves.  When we take time to pause and be mindful of the present moment, we open a door to our natural state of being  – accepting, loving, peaceful, kind and happy. It is there for every one of us.

When we begin to live from our Middle Ground – this centered way of being – we are able to let go of judgments and how things should be. We allow ourselves to open up to what is happening in the moment. We connect to our authentic being and life energy. We find contentment no matter what occurs in the highs and lows of life.

As far as I know there isn’t a Middle Ground Theory …. but I have a couple of ways of looking at it 🙂

The first is your Pendulum of Life:
IMG_0680The pendulum of life often swings from extreme highs to lows. Your middle ground is when it is closest to the ground, instead of being up in the air and out of touch. When you slow down and find your feet, you become centered and grounded. You find your middle ground. In the pendulum of life there is always movement.

Take a moment and notice where you might be on life’s pendulum right now.

The second approach I call the Waves of Life:

IMG_0679

Sound waves and ocean waves naturally crest and and fall. In the flow of the movement they pass through an undisturbed position. Waves can’t rest here, but you can. You have a choice. You can slow down and not let your emotions and thinking take you on a crazy roller coaster ride.

Most people think they must keep riding the crest of the waves in order to be happy. They cling to the highs in order to avoid the lows. Their middle ground gets overlooked, but its the place when there is no disturbance.

Take a moment and consider your own attitude towards these highs and lows, and the part your middle ground plays in your life.

In our Middle Ground we are able to let go of judgments and how things should be. We allow ourselves to open up to what is in this moment. We connect with our authentic being and life energy. We find contentment no matter what occurs in the highs and lows of life.

Bringing Peace to the World

I  believe that we can all contribute to world peace. It starts with being kind to ourselves and finding peace within ourselves. Helping others is a good place to start, but the real work is ours to do for ourselves. We must find our Middle Ground

This poem by Chade-Meng Tan (Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and author of Search Inside Yourself) is my inspiration:

With deep inner peace

And great compassion, self compassion and fun

Aspire daily to save the world.

But do not strive to achieve it.

Just do whatever comes naturally.

Because when aspiration is strong

And compassion blossoms,

Whatever comes naturally,

Is also the right thing to do.

Thus you,

The wise compassionate being,

Save the world while having fun.

139 comments on “About

  1. You are a true inspiration Val! Thank You for your wisdom and grace.

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  2. Thank you Val for stopping by my blog. 🙂

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  3. It feels good to connect Suz!

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  4. You have a really interesting blog here. Found you through Sue’s interview Fellow Blogger. You just got a new follower.
    Irene

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  5. Hi Val, Nice perspective on the highs and lows. Graceful is another way of flowing with life. Thanks for following my blog. I look forward to your insights. Brad

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  6. Putting a little Sunshine in your life with the Sunshine Award. Details in my post
    http://suzjones.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/sunshine-on-a-rainy-day/
    Bless you my friend.

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  7. Hi Val, I just love that philosophy about the high, lows and middle-ground. A huge inspiration for today. Thank you!

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  8. John Knebels

    I enjoy your blog, Val! Appreciate the theme of centeredness, balance, and harmony. Mooing my best to accept my highs and lows – key word bring “accept.”
    See you in class!!

    John

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    • John, welcome! Its good to have you visiting. Thank you for your affirming words. One step at a time will take you there. Namaste

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  9. Thank you so much for following my blog, and for your wonderful interactions so far. I am so grateful to have found you–I love your blog and perspective and energy. All of it really resonates with me. And I lived in Philly for a couple of years in graduate school too! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!!

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  10. I am so happy to hear you found me through Nancy’s blog Val, she writes some great stuff! Thanks for following my blog and I must say, I’m looking forward to following you too..

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    • Thank you Barb! As a mum to 3 welsh terriers and an animal lover I’m looking forward to your blog as well! Welcome 🙂

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  11. Hello Val! Thank you for following my blog! I’m looking forward to exploring and following yours too :)!

    With blessings,
    Meliza

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  12. What an inspirational blog you have. I am so glad to meet you, and thank you for following my blog.

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  13. This is such a lovely and positive blog. Following!

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  14. I came to investigate where your Scottish self lives these days ~ we lived in Cherry Hill NJ for 8 years, just over the river from Philly.

    We had a fun time visiting Philadelphia ~ Dickens’ Pub, Liberty Bell, Reading Market, Rittenhouse Square, Philly Zoo, Elfreth’s Alley, etc.

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    • We may have been almost neighbors Nancy! I live 20 miles from center Philly in the western suburbs. It feels like country, but is close enough to town if needs be! The geographic middle ground I guess… haha! Thank you for stopping by my Welcome page 🙂

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      • Thanks, Val. There are some pretty areas around Philly. We especially loved Bucks County with all the old stone buildings.

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  15. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! For the full details, please see here: http://mylightbag.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/blog-award/ All the best, Polina

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  16. Thank you Polina for being such a supporter and nominating me for this award. I really am honored!
    One of my philosophies at this stage in my life is to not acquire things and to practice letting go. I hope you can understand if I gracefully decline the award but give you a thank you hug instead.
    <>
    Val xo

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  17. Very nice and inspiring blog, Val! Thanks for following “Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean”. 🙂

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  18. thanks for your visit to my blog c.of.l. – and your comment. I never expected to have to write such a post. It came about due to constant speedy likes, whereby the post was published, then within a second, or so, i’d have 3-4 likes… I then understood the post had not been read. I hope the post will be of help to many new to blogging.. About you, looks like you have a very informative blog here. No time now to read, but will do so during the new few days.. thanks you eve.

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  19. Loved your blog, Val…will be back for more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A beautiful and inspirational blog. Your words on the “highs and lows” is what i too believe in. Will keep in touch. Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great blog and I will be following.

    As a retiree, I have let go of my past and develop a new chapter of my life which I have done and I have discovered happiness, contentment, and I re-centered myself by simply accepting my new chapter in life..

    Again, great posting.

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    • Thank you for visiting! Its wonderful to have time to pause and find meaning in life after years of work. May this chapter be the best! Mine definitely is 😉
      Val x

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  22. hi val, thanks for reading and following my words. i like the look of your site, you seems to have such a wonderful approach to life. i look forward to reading more – best, beth (ps, i’m 1/4 scottish )

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  23. ha! thanks, val )

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  24. Hello Val…

    I just wanted to catch up and say “thank you. I appreciate your ‘follow’, knowing how many interesting and entertaining blogs out there.

    Blogging since June 2013, my aim is to deliver an eclectic offering of posts, from my ‘point n shoot’ attempts at basic photography, to the sharing of my travel adventures over the decades, as well as day to day happenings here on our fruit farm in southern Turkey. I also add my observations on life and lighter-hearted stuff thrown in for good measure.

    The blog has grown to some 1150 posts now; so if you are at a loose end one day, you’d be most welcomed to stay a while and have a trawl through. There are plenty of drop-down categories within the menu to help in said digging process. Saying that, if you have any comments, suggestions or concerns, feel free to let me know.

    Thanks again and hope you have a great day…

    UNCLE SPIKE
    uncle.spikes.adventures1@gmail.com

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  25. Hi, nice to meet you! I like your words “about” 🙂 and indeed you have interesting blog! Happy blogging. Bye. Kamila

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  26. Very inspiring philosophy. To me middle ground means a balance in life . Thank you and regards.

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  27. Val, what a wonderful connection. All a result of your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. Thank you. Jean and I are a couple of ex-Londoners who met in Mexico and ended up living in Oregon – with our 9 dogs, 4 cats and 4 horses! Would love to have a guest post from you from time to time, bonny lass!

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    • I haven’t been called bonny lass for a while … and I thank you Paul 🙂
      You have quite a menagerie ❤
      I look forward to sharing doggie wisdom for the soul.
      Val x

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      • After I hit the ‘publish’ key, I realised that it should have been spelt, “Bonnie”! But there’s a Southerner for you! 😉

        Yes, feel free to repost anything you come across over on Learning from Dogs. Re the ‘zoo’, when I met Jean in December, 2007 she had been living down in San Carlos, Mx. for many years with her late husband, Ben, rescuing and re-homing Mexican street dogs, of which there were many! There were 14 dogs in her home then!

        I had been invited to spend Christmas in San Carlos with Suzann, the sister of a long-term Californian friend of mine. Suzann and Don, her husband, had a second home there and Su and Jean were friends and bot actively involved in finding new homes for ex-feral dogs.

        Jean and I just had, and still have, a magical relationship from the start. We were born 23 miles apart in London!

        Of our animals here, only 3 dogs and 2 horses are not ex-rescue animals. (Drop in here to read about our rescue horses: http://learningfromdogs.com/2014/06/02/celebrating-ben-and-ranger/

        Whoops! Went on a tad!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi,

    I’m Tokoni i’m a student and poet. Its nice to meet you i would like to invite you to my blog, http://www.insanitybeautiful.wordpress.com if you’re interested. Thanks!

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  29. Hi Val. Congratulations I’ve nominated your lovely blog for the One Lovely Blog Award. I hope you will accept. Details here: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/one-lovely-blog-award-thank-you-2/

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  30. Thank you for stopping by my blog Val. Yours is full of inspiration and a joy to read 🙂

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  31. Hello! You have very excellent blog! It is a lot of interesting information! I enjoy you! Continue also! The best regards! – Vlad 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you so much for following. It’s always good to have a fellow traveler along. And I expect if I lived near Philly, I’d search you out for yoga. Alas….

    Liked by 1 person

  33. You went and done it. You went and followed Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. You are now one of Uncle Bardie’s Band of Merry Followers. Just so you know, Uncle Bardie’s a hoot, and he’s got quite a few whoppers in his bag of stories. Some funny, some not so funny. But all told for your entertainment. Thank you for following his blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Small Circle Big Circle

    Beautiful website Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. learningtocry

    Thanks for following my blog Val. And for the likes. I am excited about following yours as well! I love what I have read so far. And beautiful images as well. I think we are kindred souls. Thank you for connecting with me through cyberspace. Isn’t modern technology amazing!?!
    With love,
    Suzanne
    learningtocry.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Hello Val! I am so thrilled to have stumbled across your blog. I definitely believe that finding middle ground is an imperative part of becoming a truly whole and happy person. I look forward to following you and learning all that I can.
    Please stop by my place and give it a browse.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Those lovely words you woke up with….exquisite. Thank you for sharing and being.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hi Val, I stopped by today after reading many of your excellent posts on Ann Koplow’s blog. I’m a therapist and Buddhist meditator, as you are a yoga instructor and life coach. I bring meditation and Buddhism to my work, and I find that psychology informs my understanding of Buddhism. Nice to make your acquaintance!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. A beautiful blog it is!!! I connect to it so much!!! Lovely indeed ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Cardboard Express

    Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your content insightful, refreshing, and apt!

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  41. Carol Ferenc

    Val, thank you for liking my post! And what a beautiful blog you have. I love your tagline “Life is a series of highs and lows . . . ” Very wise words to live by!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Namaste. Yoga definitely balances me, and helps me find my middle ground. Nice to meet you here! I grew up in S. New Jersey (just half an hour from Philly), and now live in New England.

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  43. Nice knowing you Val. You are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope to find some solace here.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Val, thanks so much for all your kind words and comments on my site, and THEN choosing to follow along.

    I imagine the folks you coach consider themselves blessed. Keep shining the light, sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Hi Val,
    I really enjoyed reading about you, and especially how you worded your approaches to yoga and coaching -intertwining them beautifully. I’m sure you are incredibly good at both.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Hi, Val. I discovered your beautiful blog from a comment you left on another poetry blog. I view it as serendipity since it brought me to a blog that has a lot of appeal. I look forward to exploring more of your work. ~ Best wishes, Mary

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  47. Hey Val! thank you so much for stepping by my blog and leaving an awesome comment! You are truly inspiring to me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Val, I’m wondering if I may use your Award Free Blog image if you don’t mind? You took the words right out of my mouth, exactly how I feel! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Hi Val – thank you so much for visiting and following Beauty Along the Road. Reading your About statement, I realize we have a lot in common. I am originally from Germany and have lived in the US for decades – but I am still German, just like you are still Scottish 🙂 Even though, they call me “the American” when I visit my folks in Germany. I love yoga and have been doing it for over 20 yrs. I also re-tooled as a life coach (after a career as a psychologist). I was in Scotland about 3 yrs ago and fell in love with it. It gets under your skin and seeps into your bones….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and the follow. 💛
      I look forward to connecting more. There is a special bound between expats … And Scottish blood of course 😉

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  50. I just found you through a comment left on one of Nancy’s posts.. You really have some wonderful words of wisdom here on your blog. 🙂 Sylvia

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  51. I like your quote at the end as today I am trying to find my middle ground. Thank you for stopping by my blog to like a post. I shall enjoy exploring your lovely blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Val I’ve nominated you to take part in a three day quote challenge here’s the link if you’d like to have a go – no pressure whatsoever to do so – https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/quote-challenge-day-2-nikos-zazantzakis/

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Thanks, Val, for following.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Lovely tone and calming vibe here. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Val, very nice to meet and learn about you. Thank you for following my blog, I will certainly take time to visit yours as well. I hope your day is a happy one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Happy to discover and follow our beautiful blog
    Anita
    https://femmeetinfos.wordpress.com

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  57. Hi.. Your writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader . The on-looker who passes by has the feeling of your writing being rained upon . Not the feeling that it is raining :)! But definitely it pours on more.. I am looking forward to read more from you.
    Ishu 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Followed your blog, check mine out sometime.

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  59. Just found your blog. Looking forward to following you on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Love that iconic gravatar of yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  61. I found your blog as I’m new to yoga and I recently started doing yoga every day. ‘Middle ground’ resonated with me. In therapy I have been doing, it is expected that you find the middle ground in life, between the extremes of emotion and rationality. It’s a very helpful philosophy.
    I look very much forward to reading more of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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