Haiku – Stranger

~
Feel like a stranger
Living in a foreign land
Miss my family
~
Childhood memories
From a different time and place
Miss my country
~

Thanksgiving didn’t used to be a sad time of year for me, until a couple of years ago. A lot has shifted in these past two years, and I feel more and more disillusioned about living here. Perhaps it’s a sign of growing older, or looking back with nostalgia on my own childhood get togethers.

I am grateful for loving friends and connections, good health, yoga, a past rooted in Scotland…. and America as my adopted home.

Carry on Thanksgiving.

 

Inspiration – Gratitude and Yoga

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and yoga students 🙏

Photo from Yoga Journal

Gratitude and yoga go hand-in-hand, and both are essential to well-being.
Yoga teaches us to be grateful for the present moment.
It reveals to us how the union of body, mind and spirit can come together through our breath, postures and meditation.
It allows us to appreciate the full spectrum of life, from pleasure to pain and joy to sorrow.
Through the practice of yoga, the darker moments in our lives allow the lighter times to glow ever more brightly.
When we acknowledge each other with the word Namaste we are expressing our gratitude for the connection that we have with each other and the light that shines within us.

I am grateful for every moment of my life and for sharing the transformative practice of yoga with you.

Namaste

* 5 Tips for Finding Your Middle Ground in the Holidays

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for feeling gratitude and sharing with loved ones … and it can also bring a lot of stress and unresolved family issues. Here are 5 tips that may help you find balance over the Holidays.
Val x

Find Your Middle Ground

One of the biggest stress makers during the Holidays is when you spend an extended length of time with your family. Here are 5 tips for finding your Middle Ground … and feeling more balanced this year.

Let’s face it, spending 24-7 with anyone can be stressful, so here is some wisdom to help you make it through this year with less drama, tears and opening of old wounds.

perfect thanksgiving family

1. Lower your expectations. This isn’t the movies, this is real life. And life has its ups and downs! We may put a lot of work into the decorations, food and the family setting to make it look perfect, but it can it really be like in the movies? Accept that there will be emotional baggage being brought into the house and through the Holidays. When we recognize that, we can think about how we want to handle it –…

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Surviving the Holidays

One of the biggest stress makers during the Holidays is when you spend an extended length of time with your family. Here are 5 tips for finding your Middle Ground … and feeling more balance this year.

perfect thanksgiving family

Let’s face it, spending 24-7 with anyone can be stressful, so here is some wisdom to help you make it through this year with less drama, tears and opening of old wounds.

1. Lower your expectations. This isn’t the movies, this is real life. And life has its ups and downs! We may put a lot of work into the decorations, food and the family setting to make it look perfect, but it can it really be like in the movies? Accept that there will be emotional baggage being brought into the house and through the Holidays. When we recognize that, we can think about how we want to handle it – before we get triggered. So reset your expectations and accept the reality that things don’t always go the way you planned them or hoped for.

2. Let it go. Have you ever noticed that you end up having the same argument or rehashing old sore points year after year? It’s time to let it go. This is not the time to get into an argument wishing your mother would not interfere in the kitchen. She will. Let her. It’s what she has always done, so be kind and let her feel useful.  This year resolve not to get sucked in. If your brother, sister, cousin, father, daughter or son  has a tried and true aggravating behavior … take a moment and ask yourself. Can I let this go this year? Is this truly a battle worth fighting?…. What’s more important to us as a family?

3. Be smart and be present with what you are saying and doing. Don’t over indulge as a way to escape. You can’t control other people, but you can control your own attitude and behaviors. If you want this year to be more peaceful and loving,  then take action that comes from kindness rather than being right or getting back at people! Whenever you notice you are being judgmental and critical, then take a deep breath … and choose to be kind. Resolve not to add fuel to the fire but to be the peacemaker.

take time out

4. Take a time out. If you find yourself starting to feel resentful or lashing out in your head, give yourself permission to have down time. Leave the room, take a walk, have a bath, take a nap, meditate or hit a yoga class. You need to unwind and recharge – and that’s okay. Encourage others to do the same. We all need a break from being “on” 24-7. Remember that laughter and deep breathing release dopamine and serotonin in our bloodstream and make us feel good.  Direct that pent up energy in a positive way and let it move through you!

5. Appreciate. Make a list of the positive reasons to spend the holiday with your family. There must be a reason, you show up every year! – And the family does too! Pull out the list whenever you hit a rocky moment. One thing about families is that you’ve got a long history with them, and unlike your friends, you have no choice.

On the other hand your family are just that – yours. Be grateful for them. Without them you may not be here …. and you would definitely not be the person you are today.

Resolve to let gratitude in, keep your heart open and be present.

p.s. Refer to the guide on practicing being present by clicking here.