Three Ways to Take your Yoga Practice off your Mat

Life has a way of getting us to slow down sometimes. Think back to the last time you got sick or experienced an injury. Were you going hard the days leading up to it? This happened to me this week and I’ve been in bed recovering for most of it. I haven’t been able to do anything physical in four days which feels like forever! But the great thing is this time has allowed me to explore the other aspects of yoga besides the physical or asana?practice. In this post, I’ll be sharing three ways to take your yoga practice off your mat.

1. Acceptance

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Anytime we face a setback or experience discomfort or pain, the natural tendency is for us to want it to go away as quickly as possible so we can go back to living our lives. Lately, I’m learning that our experiences often want to teach us to sit, accept, and feel. So much of physical healing and emotional or mental wholeness comes from resting. It comes from knowing you are enough.

2. Breathing

One conscious breath – in and out – is a meditation. – Eckhart Tolle

No matter what happens around us, we always have our breath. When we are healing from an injury or recovering from being sick, we may not be able to exercise our bodies but we can still breathe (even if it’s a little difficult with all the congestion haha). Intentional breathing has been the biggest help when feelings of restlessness or frustration arise.

3. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. -?Mindful Magazine

Yoga is so transformative because it teaches us to be mindful, but we can be mindful without the physical practice of yoga. In any moment, we can tune in and choose to be present. This happens in the smallest of ways. It could be noticing the detail of your hands, observing the eye color of the person across from you, or asking yourself how you feel. Something amazing happens when we connect in this way, we realize we are alive and well.

??Bianca

Thank you so much for reading.?Let’s keep in touch!

 

Define and Overcome your Fears with this Strategy

Our fears can often paralyze us from action. We’re afraid of a lot of things. Sometimes, the fear is so deeply rooted in our subconscious that we don’t realize we are making decisions that ultimately shape our lives from a place of fear. Why does it seem to have so much power over us? We’re afraid of rejection, of failure, of not being good enough, of getting hurt. We fear not having enough, that our finances and investments won’t grow, that our loved ones could be affected by tragedy. We’re even afraid to realize our full potential and truly succeed at something. These are very real, concrete, and fair concerns. It comes down to our needs. The need for safety, connection, and fulfillment.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. -2 Tim 1:7

Personal Share: Facing my Fears

The second half of 2017 has been marked by facing my biggest fears and acting in the midst of them. At the end of July, I left my career in accounting to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. I worked in financial services for six years- three years in audit for a public accounting firm and three years in investment accounting for an insurance company. I started teaching yoga back in 2014 and got involved with Girl Get Outside?around that same time. Like many of you, I discovered my passion for yoga and wellness. I often dreamed about leaving the corporate world. It would come up in conversations with people and I always shared that when the time was right, I would feel it.

April 2017 came. I felt like God was asking me- Are you ready to go on an adventure with me? Where you have to trust me every step of the way and rely on me for strength and provision? When I first felt that, I couldn’t believe it at first. I was so used to being self-sufficient and loved my career because of the financial freedom it provided me. Then I really leaned into it. And I realized the only thing stopping me were my fears.

During that season,?I spent many nights in stillness, contemplating what this meant for me and my future. I listened to countless sermons and podcasts, read my bible, and prayed. I knew in my heart I needed to take this step to unlock the next level. Almost like there were blessings connected to this one decision. So I took the steps to prepare. I left my job at the end of July 2017.

Personal Share: Learning to Manage my Fears

It’s been a month and a half since I made the leap.

I’m learning so much about vulnerability and growth in this season. I’m learning the importance of training my thought life.

One Sunday, I was so gripped by fear. I hit a wall mentally and couldn’t think about anything else.

I knew I had to get on my yoga mat because that’s where I can quiet my mind enough to really understand what was going on.

Right before class, I wrote down everything I was afraid of in that moment.?

It was overwhelming getting it all down but it was powerful. There’s something about writing down your fears because if any of them are irrational, you can quickly see them for what they are and put things into perspective.

When I got home that night, I wanted to understand fear better and why it got such a hold on me earlier that day. I came across this video from Tim Ferris. While I don’t personally hold everything he talks about in the video, he introduced a really valuable strategy that opened my eyes completely- fear setting.

The Strategy: Fear Setting

Visualize the worst case scenarios in detail that you fear, preventing you from taking action, so that you can take action to overcome that paralysis. -Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris created the lists below and I took screenshots of them from this video. This exercise was so powerful for me that I wanted to share it with you.

One

Ask yourself, what if I __________? Fill in the blank with that fear that was gripping you.

Define

Write down all of the worst things you can imagine happening if you take that step.

Prevent

What could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening or at the very least decrease the likelihood?

Repair

If the worst case scenario happened, what could you do to repair the damage even a little bit, or who could you ask for help?

I rewatched this part of the video more times than I can count because I thought it was so genius. It helped me organize my thoughts so well. When you’re going through moments of fear, your mind is far from calm and steady. So having it broken down like this made so much sense.

Two

The next question Tim Ferris proposed was,

What might be the benefits of an attempt or partial success? -Tim Ferris

I loved this question because it encourages hope and optimism but in a reasonable way. It gets to the root of the fear which is the risk factor. It’s an objective way to see why it’s worth taking the step to begin with.

Three

We don’t usually consider the cost of staying the same. Ask yourself, If I avoid this action or decision and similar ones like it, what might my life look like six months, a year, three years down the line?

Sometimes we can no longer continue in the same place.

This part of the exercise is so so key. What is the impact? Is the risk minimal or permanent and life changing?

 


This fear setting exercise is going to stay with me as I journey through life. If I found about about fear setting back in April, I believe I would have came up with the same decision to take the step of faith.

What are some of your deepest fears? Can fear setting help you get unstuck and back on the path to living your best life?

??Bianca

Thank you so much for reading.?Let’s keep in touch!

 

5 Tips to Progressing in Your Yoga Practice

How long have you been practicing yoga? If you’ve been practicing for some time, I’m sure there have been times where you feel uninspired in your yoga practice, feel like you’ve hit a wall in your progress, or I hate to say it, just bored of yoga altogether.

My first yoga class was in 2012 and my yoga journey hasn’t been linear. There were times where I only made it to my mat once a week or less because of work and life. I remember a stretch where I was pretty bored of yoga and took time off and actually considered no longer teaching.

But I also have been really inspired and eager to learn and further my journey. I would say that is where I am today. In this post, I’ll share with you 5 tips to progressing in your yoga practice. Read on! They may bring back the love you felt when you first got into yoga!

1. Try out a new studio, instructor, or style of yoga

Think back to your first yoga class. Most likely, a friend brought you to his or her yoga studio. That’s how I got started! A friend brought me to try a free week and I got a membership right after. It’s great to find a home studio and a community to grow into. After a while though, when you’ve been going to the same instructors, classes, and studio, it can be a lot of the same thing. Same is good, but sometimes you need to infuse something new in your practice. Try out a new studio, instructor, or style of yoga.

Back in March, I tried?my first Ashtanga class?and I loved it. A little over two weeks ago, I started practicing Ashtanga regularly through Kino MacGregor’s online yoga platform, OmStars. Also earlier this year, I started practicing at other studio on a regular basis. I currently take classes at YogaWorks, CorePower Yoga, and Equinox?and there’s a lot of variety there.

Don’t be afraid to change things up! The best feeling is being a beginner at something and seeing your progress.

?2. Be consistent

Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity. -Bruce Lee

I’ve been seeing that the key to progress in anything is consistency. I’ve been noticing this in my new meditation practice (18 days in a row today!) and daily ashtanga practice as well. The great thing about yoga is it is relatively low impact, so you can get on your mat everyday and your body will feel good. Maybe doing yoga everyday seems like a stretch. What if you added one minute of stretching before you go to sleep or one minute right when you wake up? We spend countless of minutes just scrolling among other things, so I know we can carve out time for this.

A little on a consistent basis is better than doing a double one day a week.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to be consistent with it and my body feels so much more open and my hamstrings have become more flexible.

3.?Develop a home practice

I love taking instructor-led yoga classes. Going into that room without any distractions, listening to the instructor’s voice and tuning into my breath is my favorite thing. When I can, I try to take a class. But lately, most of my yoga has been out of the studio setting. I mostly practice at home or at the gym on my own. There’s a lot of yoga subscription services online and YouTube has great free content. As an instructor, I have a limited amount of time to take the class through integration to savasana, so we can only work on so much in those 60 minutes. But when you practice at home, you can stay and break down that pose for as long as you’d like. You can really customize what you want to work on and find all the videos and tutorials. You get to be a student of your body. Home practice also teaches you discipline and focus since you have to be more intentional about that time.

4. Challenge yourself

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote says it all. I think we don’t challenge ourselves enough at times. I know I don’t, that’s why I like taking certain instructor’s classes because they really push me past what I think I can do. We’re all at different levels in our yoga practice. But if we only stick with the poses that we’ve mastered and have locked in, our practice won’t grow. I think I have a mental block of falling from inversions so I’m still working on that with headstand and forearm stand. It’s been said that the poses you avoid are the ones you need the most.

Commit to moving beyond the poses you always go to, with safety and alignment in mind of course!

5. Have patience

Lastly and most importantly, have patience with yourself, your body, your journey. Progress takes time. Know and accept exactly where you are. Understand your strengths and areas of improvement. This will keep you from the comparison trap. When you know exactly who you are and the incredible value you have to offer, you will feel fearless, on and off your mat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope this was helpful! I’d love to hear any stories you may have of times you’ve felt uninspired or bored of yoga. What got you out of it? Leave me a note in the comments below.

Thank you Charlotte for these beautiful photos!

??Bianca

Let’s keep in touch!

 

How I Feel After Meditating 3 Minutes a Day for 10 Days

For a while now, I’ve heard and read about the benefits of meditation. I love to observe and learn from people doing amazing things- CEOs, athletes, artists, and other leaders in various spaces. One thing I noticed was that they maintained certain daily practices. The most common ones were: waking up early, doing physical exercise, and meditating. In my own personal journey, I also noticed the power of thoughts and how they have the ability to change our brain.

I believe our thoughts shape our reality.

Tony Robbins said,

Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.

As I started to train my thoughts, I realized that I had more power over them than I previously had. It was amazing to be able to take a step back, observe my thoughts, and filter them through the framework of truth that I live my life on.

Intentional living had become a lifestyle that complemented my yoga journey perfectly. The only thing is, I had a hard time sitting still.

It’s kinda funny because you would think yogis would be professionals at meditating but there’s more to it. When you practice yoga, it is a moving meditation. It’s the best. But it’s another thing to sit down and do nothing but breathe.

With everything going on in life, sometimes the only stillness we experience is when our head hits the pillow right before we fall asleep.

After my recent exciting career transition (more about that at a later blog post), I knew it was time to commit to a consistent meditation practice.

Making the Commitment

The strength of your commitment, lies in pre-deciding what you want.?

I set out to start off every morning with a seated meditation. On the first day, I told myself I would take 10 long deep breaths and that counted as meditation for me. Honestly, those 10 deep breaths felt really long! As I sat there breathing, I felt at more at ease and grounded.

 

 

The next day, I came back and added 10 more breaths to it. It was challenging to sit still so I would count each inhale to stay focused. That week, I added 10 breaths each day and got up to 40. I liked that I finally found a meditation routine but I felt like it was starting to be another thing to check off the list. Like okay, count my breaths, and then get on with my day.

Creating Headspace

Then someone inspiring told me about Headspace. I’ve heard of it before but haven’t used it! It’s a meditation and mindfulness app that has themed sessions designed for people with busy schedules.

I started with the Basics pack. It consisted of 10 meditations that were 3 minutes each.

I loved how simple the app was. The guided meditations are led by Andy Puddicombe’s?and his voice is so relaxing. The app takes you step-by-step and explains mindfulness techniques using the cutest animation videos.

Feeling Connected

What I noticed the most after two weeks of practicing meditation is how much more calm I have become. My energy is usually pretty grounded but this feels really good. I feel more connected with my emotions. I’ve also noticed I’m able to slow down more throughout the day. I’ve been an observer of my thoughts these days and letting them pass through with more acceptance.

I feel empowered too. If my day ever feels stressful or an issue comes up, I know I can always come back to my breath.

This is the beginning of my meditation journey but I see this becoming a lifelong practice. Today, I tried a ten minute one, and it didn’t feel long at all!

Tips for Meditation Success

Schedule it in your Daily Routine

Include it as part of your set routine, just like showering and brushing your teeth. I meditate right after getting ready in the morning and before leaving for the day. It usually helps to do it in the morning since fewer things tend to come up and you have more control over your time.

Find Your Ideal Place

Choose a quiet space and meet yourself there everyday at the same time. I meditate in my room on the floor. I get up early so the house is quiet and it’s still dark out.

Set the Mood

Find something comfortable to sit on. This helps so you won’t be fidgeting as much! I love my Tushies meditation pillow in Fearless. I bought this one when I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship last month. It symbolized the intention I wanted for myself, which is to be fearless. I leave the lights off in my room and turn on my Himalayan sea salt lamp that my roommate got me for Christmas. I’m a fan of the scents lavender and tea tree so I have this aromatic oil from Tea Tree Hair Care, an?unscented coconut oil?which mixes well together, and a lavender lip balm both from Organic to Green. These help set the mood and you can even light candles or have an essential oil diffuser going!

 

Final Thoughts

I hope this post sparked your interest in meditation and intentional living. I couldn’t wait to share with you because of how I feel from just 3 minutes of meditation a day for 10 days. I’m looking forward to keeping it going! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you meditate?

??Bianca

Let’s keep in touch!

 

Can We Do It All? Three Strategies to Help You Regain Momentum

Can we do it all? In this post, I’ll share why I took a blog break in January, how I balance my investment accounting career + yoga teaching + GirlGetOutside + fitness + friends, and?three strategies to help you regain momentum in all your pursuits.

I’m back! I missed you in January. I took a break from the blog the first month of 2017. January is the busiest month of the year for my team at work. Knowing this, I wanted to be fully present for my team. The first few weeks after 12/31, my team works a few holidays and weekends to meet our deadlines. (If you’re curious, the investment prices get locked in and that’s when my work begins.)

I spent some pretty long hours at work (thank God for my standing desk and Spotify premium). There were more than a few days where I skipped my morning workout because I had to get to the office early. The winter bod situation was getting pretty real. Haha! To add to that, there were days and weekends of rain, which made it difficult to create content outdoors. You can say I had moments of frustration.

I wanted to be working on my craft, creating, sweating at yoga and the gym, moving #GirlGetOutside forward, and so much more.?

In those moments, I learned a few things. When we experience feelings of frustration?or defeat, I discovered that mindset is everything. Your circumstances may stay the same but the way you frame your situation can make all the difference.

So here are three strategies that helped me get back to my flow and I hope you find these helpful too!

1. Zoom Out

To me, balance is achieved on a weekly, monthly, or even an annual basis. I had to tell myself-

Hey, when taken as a whole, you are still able to work on your passions and goals, it just won’t be for two hours a time. It may very well be 5 minutes a day.

I feel like it’s important to take a step back sometimes. Because when you’re in the weeds day in and day out, little setbacks and minor inconveniences seem so much bigger than they really are.

Think about your last three or six months, or the last year. Would you say you are experiencing?more and more balance, freedom, and fulfillment in your career, creative pursuits, and relationships? If you’re?on the path you want to be on and you’re taking the steps (even the smallest ones), that’s?what counts.

2. Think Abundance, Not Lack?

The earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have, and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be. – Amy Poehler

I 100% believe that living out of a place of provision is the key. It’s easy for me to access lack-driven thoughts. To be honest, those creep up regularly. My most predominant lack-driven thought is, I don’t have time. What would you say yours is?

In the beginning of this post, I talked about sharing how I balance work, teaching yoga, GirlGetOutside, fitness, and keeping up with family and friends. I think abundance is how. I feel like this season of my life is teaching me to trust in God and live in His provision. It’s really been an adventure so far and I’m truly grateful.

I also know that sometimes we can find ourselves in dark places where the last thing we want to do is think about abundance. I think our pain isn’t purposeless. Your resilient spirit won’t let you quit. Dig deep in those moments.

3. Create Silence

This week, a friend sent me a message from Reality SF about the practice of silence.

Silence humbles us to listen in a noisy world. -Reality SF

I find that it is so important to press pause. Because of my schedule, I find myself going most hours I’m awake and not around people. It takes conscious effort to stop and find inner stillness.

Silence helps us tune in. We meet ourselves where we are at that moment. Often times we’ll find some interesting thoughts or feelings bubble up to the surface when we’re quiet. Let’s try 2 minutes of silence before bed and see what happens.


So, can we do it all?

I would say yes.

Just not all in one day. 🙂

Thank you for reading! If you connected with anything I shared, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

??Bianca

Resistance Part II: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

In this post, I will share strategies to overcome resistance based on?The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. As promised, this post is the continuation of my first blog?where I talked about what triggers resistance in our lives. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you check it out here and then come back to this post.

The more you love your art/calling/enterprise, the more important its accomplishment is to the evolution of your soul, the more you will fear it and the more resistance you will experience facing it.

Have you ever put something off for months??The War of Art?has been on my reading list forever and I finally finished it yesterday. I think I procrastinated so long because I was slightly nervous to find out what?Steven Pressfield?had?to say about overcoming resistance. It’s like the point of no return, right? When you find something out, you can’t unlearn it. Haha!

Well I finally overcame my own resistance to finishing the book and I’d love to share with you what I learned from it.

How do we win the inner creative battle? The strategies below are from?The War of Art?by?Steven Pressfield.

Win?the Battle by Turning Pro

Steven Pressfield says we will overcome resistance when we turn pro.

The professional plays for keeps… To the pro, it’s his vocation.

Whatever your craft is, I think this is the turning point in your journey where you decide you’re all in. So how I interpret this is not necessarily quitting your full-time job (although it might be for you). I see this more as a mindset shift. To me, this is a lifestyle.

To share with you all, my craft is the integration of where I am at this moment: finance professional, yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast, and blogger. What is your craft??If you are currently reflecting on what makes you passionate in life, check out my post on discovering work that you love?here.

Once you have found your craft, there’s a decision you have to make. That decision is, are you ready to go pro?

If you’re ready, Steven Pressfield talks about the principles a professional lives by. He says that these are principles we already practice at our “traditional” jobs. You and I will apply these in different ways but I think the ideas behind them are valuable. Here are a few:

1. Show Up Everyday

I think everyone has that innate sense that tells us we can’t miss work or show up too late. We don’t really give ourselves a choice.

2. Show Up No Matter What

This is similar to #1 but this hints at showing up even when we don’t feel like it. We have to listen to our body. But sometimes we have to take the split second to ask: do I genuinely not feel good and need to rest or am I facing resistance?

3. Commit for the Long Haul

Your journey, interests, and creative pursuits will change as the seasons pass.?I love that life is a journey of learning to love ourselves, love others, and live well. Once you go all in, it becomes a lifestyle.

4. We Accept Remuneration for our Labor

We are here not only to have fun and contribute our gifts but to earn a living.

5. Resist Overidentifying with our Work

We must build our identity in something much deeper than our circumstances, resume qualities, where we live, the things we are surrounded by, and the list goes on.?It is worth asking the question: What am I building my identity on and is it shifting sand?

6. Master the Technique of our Work

Practice, practice, practice. This is where time and discipline come in.?Nothing comes overnight and many times you will work and no one will see anything for a while. But you know you’re working on your craft. We have to start somewhere and doing little by little every day counts.

7. Have a Sense of Humor about our Work

I think having a good time should be part of every moment. If anything, we should be professional fun-havers!

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How Do you Know You’ve Turned Pro?

Steven Pressfield says you know you’ve turned pro when the following qualities become a part of you (just sharing a few here but they are all so good):

Patient

We live in such an instant gratification world. It’s so easy to want everything yesterday. Once you turn pro, you almost always live in a state of delayed gratification. But you can’t let it frustrate you. Trust the process. I wrote more on the timing of life here.

Acts in the Face of Fear

I think pros just do it. From what I’ve observed, the more a thing scares them, the more they do it. It’s almost like a compass. We can prepare to our best abilities but then at some point we just have to do it, even as we’re shaking inside.

In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield shared a long list of fears we face daily. But you know what he said our biggest fear is?

Fear that we will succeed. That we can access the powers we secretly know we possess. That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are.

I was mindblown when I read that. I’ve always felt that fear deep within?and it’s crazy seeing it articulated into words.

Asks for Help

Asking for help is something that comes from a place of humility. It’s letting go of pride and tapping into the wealth of knowledge and resources around you. It requires vulnerability.

Does not Take Failure or Success Personally

This one is so good. And really hard to do. It’s staying grounded and being one level detached from your work, so that if it is received well or poorly, your self-worth and identity won’t rise and fall with it.

Self Validating

This one is also one of my favorites. You have to cheer yourself on and I feel like you can’t live for the validation of other people. That’s our own job. It’s not about the number of followers, likes, or comments. It’s getting our validation from within and knowing your worth. This?goes hand in hand with our identity.

 


 

When I first read these concepts, I had to take a few days to simply absorb it. It’s a lot. That’s a high bar. But I’ll end this blog post with an excerpt from The War of Art that serves as an amazing call to action.

Thank you for reading. I hope this connected with you somehow. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Until next time!

??Bianca

When Lululemon Takes you on an Urban Adventure in LA

What happens when Lululemon brings Marcus Buckingham and 64 inspired souls together for a Snowball Party?in West Hollywood to celebrate the opening of their Melrose?location?

You’re about to find out!

What’s a Snowball Party?

I had the opportunity to?go on this adventure and I’m excited to bring you in on the fun. If you know me, you know I’m always up for new experiences and I love connecting with people so I thought this would be the perfect way to spend my Saturday night!

What’s a snowball party? Yeah, I was wondering the same thing too. Here’s how it works!

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So with the concept down, I was?ready to go. Lululemon emailed saying they would get in touch Saturday afternoon to tell me where we were supposed to meet?our fellow Snowballers. I love surprises!?Can you tell?

At 2:56pm I received this text.

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So fun! 🙂 I made my way to West Hollywood and got to enjoy golden hour on my drive. I arrived at the meeting spot and?quickly found the other two Snowballers. Yep, we actually did scratch our heads!

Our first mission was to go to a department store, dress up in Christmas outfits, and send the Snow Patroller our family photo.

We did just that! We sent our Snow Patroller a selfie of us wearing red and gold ponchos holding up Christmas garland and a sled. True story. Too funny.

Then our next clue came in and asked us to go to a sports bar where we had to say “snowball” to the bartender. The bartender led us to a booth with three other Snowballers. What once was three had become six.

We got to know our new friends over drinks, appetizers, and an icebreaker game that had us reveal a scandalous secret that no one would guess just by looking at us.?But we won’t talk about that here. 😉

When in LA…

Our adventure continued, which included but was not limited to: singing Christmas carols on the streets of LA with a red hat out (guys, I found my next side gig), giving genuine compliments and hugs to strangers as we walked by, competing in a relay race in a random parking lot (our team won of course), going to a climbing gym where hot whiskey cider was served, and enjoying the company of the other Snowballers as we multiplied in size.

I later found out that other groups were assigned different missions such as yoga at the park, decorating cupcakes, and other fun?stuff.

Our final destination was the Lululemon Melrose location.

We walked in and the first thing I saw was the incredible spread of small bites and juices (yeah, I kinda love to eat). It was pretty amazing. But once I zoomed out, I saw the design of the Melrose store. The store was sleek, modern, and elegant. Lululemon laid out a campfire-like scene. There was live music in the form of a passionate singer jamming out to cover songs. We mingled for a bit. It was great to see familiar faces and Instagram friends.

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Marcus Buckingham & The Love and Work Movement

Then we took our seats and got ready to hear?Marcus Buckingham speak. Here’s a quote taken from his website that provides a quick glimpse into his perspective:

?My hope and dream is that you find a life in which you get to express the unique spirit that is You, in the most intelligent, most contributive, most meaningful way possible.?

This perspective is so meaningful to me because lately I’ve been in a season of intentionally stepping into?the gifts and abilities I’ve been blessed with. Mr. Buckingham’s words resonated with me because of the journey I’m currently walking.?The timing of life can be pretty spot on sometimes!

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I sat there in stillness listening intently to Mr. Buckingham share his heart. Here were some of the things that stood out to me:

We all are unique

Marcus Buckingham shared that each person is unique. He said our uniqueness is the key to our contribution to the world. He talked about the moment he?realized how different he was from his brother and sister even though they were all raised in the same home. I was drawn in when he talked about his sister who danced for a prestigious ballet company, which was one of my?dreams when I was little.

Then I started to think about my own siblings and just how different we are too. My older sister?is softspoken, caring, and such a good mom. My older brother is artistic. He loves to draw and once pursued a career in animation. He also plays guitar and sings. My younger brother?seems to do it all. He is an entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and aspiring recording artist/music producer.

Take a few moments to reflect on your uniqueness. What moves you?

Weave your life and work using the Red Threads of Love

Let’s turn love into contribution – then we all win.

I believe that once you discover your unique talents and gifts, you have to find ways to share it. Moving beyond ourselves is the key to living a life of purpose. So when Marcus Buckingham started to talk about the Red Threads of Love, I was all ears.

He had us picture someone who was living their best life- someone who’s life was vibrant. In his words, what these people?had in common was that they took all the red threads of the stuff they love and decided to weave all of those things together until their whole life “blanket” was made up of red threads.

It was so cool to hear Marcus Buckingham describe these red threads?because it’s what I’ve been reflecting on and working towards these past two years.

You may not know but I have a career in investment accounting. I love how intellectually stimulating it has been to learn about the investment industry these past five years. But halfway through, I found yoga and realized that connecting with people was my gift. So since then, I’ve been on this intentional living journey where I use what I’ve been given and the place I’ve been planted to hopefully inspire those around me to live out their best life.

Take what you love and turn it into something useful.

I’m?learning every day and hearing Marcus Buckingham share his insights on this was confirmation that I’m on the right track.

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How Do you Find your Red Threads?

Have you ever been in love?

Marcus Buckingham asked us that. He said that people who are in love experience these feelings: time flies when you’re with that person, you think about them when you’re apart, and you can hardly wait to see them again.

Marcus Buckingham shared that we experience those same?feelings with the red threads of our work and creative activities.

He gave us a call to action. He said to do this for a week: every time you’re doing something and you experience those feelings of love, write it down. These may very well be your red threads.

It doesn’t mean every task or job we do will be life changing.

I think the hope is that over time, we can weave more and more love into our lives, and extend the love to those around us.

??Bianca

Thank you for reading! I hope this post sparked something in you today. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to Keb Doak of Lululemon LA for these photos.

Resistance: What Happens When you Pursue your Dreams

There’s something that happens when you start moving?in the direction of your dreams. You will experience resistance. It’s not one specific thing you can see or name, it’s mostly a feeling. In The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, resistance is:

an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.

In this post, I’ll talk about what triggers resistance and how I’ve experienced it in my own life. My hope is that you’ll start to see it in yours too.

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I felt resistance a lot more than usual this past week. With every yoga class I teach, each Instagram post I share, and each project I work on, there’s a little voice in me that wants to shrink back, not share, not open up, not be vulnerable, and not put myself out there. It wants me to stay safe and not create.

Have you felt this too?

What triggers these thoughts and feelings?

The War of Art?outlines 11 activities that trigger resistance (in no specific order):

  1. -The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
  2. -The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
  3. -Any diet or health regimen.
  4. -Any program of spiritual advancement.
  5. -Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.
  6. -Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
  7. -Education of every kind.
  8. -Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
  9. -The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
  10. -Any act that entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
  11. -The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.

In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.

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When I first read this list six months ago, I was floored. It became so clear to me why some days felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill or swimming upstream in a river. If you’re reading this, I know for sure you are engaging in three, four, or even five of these activities on a daily basis.

Once we are aware of the negative forcefield that prevents us from creating, we can look it in the eye and push through.

What ways do you experience resistance?

Resistance can be overcome. Stay tuned for a future blog post?on ways we can break through. Thank you for reading!

??Bianca

Slow Down to go Fast

We live in a results-driven society. We are busier than ever these days. The world we live in places a high value on achievement.?At first it seems like the formula is to work harder towards building the life and future we truly want. In this post, I want to share some things I am learning. I want to share how taking it slow and cultivating an inner stillness can open the door to our best life yet.?

Time

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It’s interesting to think about our perspective?on time. Have you considered it? Whether it’s realizing how old we are going to turn when our next birthday comes around, to wondering where 2016 went (the first week of November has come upon us), sometimes it’s easy to feel like time is on fast-forward. Because of this, I think setting an intention of slowing down is so important.

The thing is (and those of you who are more type A will probably resonate with this), when we slow down, sometimes we think, well if I don’t work at this right now, it won’t get done. It won’t happen.

I’m starting to see that this isn’t exactly the case.?

Here’s what I’m learning-

Slow down to go fast…?I’m starting to see that time is on my side. Time is on your side too. I think this applies to pretty much everything! Maybe you are looking for a new job. Or maybe you just started dating someone. Perhaps you are working towards certain fitness goals. Wherever you are right now,?I think taking your time is the best thing you can do for you.

But it’s not just taking it slow. It’s realizing that the things at work in your life are happening for you even while you rest. While you sleep. While you aren’t putting in the hard work at the gym, work, school, etc.

Why is that?

Live Life with an Open Hand

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I think the reason why taking your time and getting “rest” are worth it because if it’s for you, it will happen. This is something I have observed to be true time and time again. You will never have to force anything that is meant for you.?This is true in all areas of life- career opportunities, relationships, friendships, basically everything.

When you live life knowing your intrinsic worth and how loved you are, the game changes. You stop operating from a place of lack and move into a place of provision.

For me,?I am able to know my worth and understand my value through my relationship with Jesus. It’s a sweet journey to be on just knowing that it’s all a gift. It’s that ultimate rest from striving, proving myself, and being on the proverbial hamster wheel.?This is what helps me live life with an open hand.?

This leads me to the next thing-

Be Thankful for What you Have While Working for What you Want

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We have a natural?desire to be fruitful and progress in life. I think it is so important to have goals and pursue them with our best abilities. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be thankful for what I have now, while working for what I want. It is really easy to get so focused on the destination.?I’m learning that it’s about the moments in between.

It’s easy to spot this in our own lives. Have you ever found yourself thinking, “when ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ?happens, then I’ll finally be happy.” I do sometimes. I counter these thoughts by?remembering the days that I prayed for what I have now. ?

When I was a sophomore in college, my friend’s biology class had a field trip at Little Corona?Beach?in Corona del Mar, California. The field trip was centered around observing all the living things in the tide pools during low tide. Once we got to Little Corona, I fell in love. I thought to myself, “wow, I’d love to live here.” That day, I saw my very first sea star and tons of purple sea urchins and teal sea anemones.

I always had CDM in the back of my mind since then. I finished college and started my career. After three years of working, an opportunity opened up to move to CDM.?My dream of living in CDM came true. It wasn’t a linear path and I didn’t know it would happen. I say prayer of gratitude every time I come home.

I look back to that memory because it’s a reminder of how life can surprise you. Sometimes you’ll get exactly what you wished for, or sometimes life gives you something better.?

What are some blessings you are standing in today? Does slowing down to go fast resonate with you?

Thank you for reading!

??Bianca

5 Tips to Pursuing your Passion while Working in the Corporate World

If you clicked on this, there’s a good chance you have a dream you are working towards. You know what lights you up from within. You know all about those early mornings, late nights, and weekends “working” on this passion. I say “working” because it hardly feels like work. You just love it. There’s one thing though. You also have a career. You know, the one you went to school for. The one that pays the bills and then some. The one you’ve invested in for years and actually enjoy when taken as a whole. In this post, I’ll share with you 5 tips to pursuing your passion as a corporate professional.

I’m figuring things out as I go, but it’s so much fun discovering and living in the flow. So let’s go!

1. Vision First

vision-firstDuring my yoga teacher training in 2014, Lacey Calvert?led a little meditation exercise for our group. She had us sit in a comfortable position, close our eyes, and visualize the future. Where does your mind wander off to? What you find yourself dreaming about?

Try this meditation exercise in a quiet and comfortable place. In this exercise-

? Picture yourself six months, a year, three, or five years down the line. Pick one point of time in the future.

??Where are you?

? What are you doing?

? Who are you with??

??How do you feel?

Visualization is such a powerful tool. When you have the vision in mind, you can work backwards and figure out what you need to do now to set yourself up.

Keep your vision or your “why” ever-present. It will?serve as an anchor through the times of uncertainty and doubt. Your vision is your ultimate motivation.

The vision is clear but the process is open-ended.

2.?Nail your Non-Negotiables

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Everyone is blessed with 24 hours in a day. I wish we had more sometimes. Because of that, we have to use our time wisely. Given this, it is so key to nail down your non-negotiables. Your non-negotiables are your primary commitments.?It will take some reflection to assess what is really important to you.

Here are some of mine. I’d love to hear yours in the comments below!

? Do physical exercise (yoga, circuit training, cardio, weight lifting, etc.) six days a week when possible.?

? Attend Rock Harbor?mid-week life group and Sunday service.?

? Stay connected with family and friends.?

Your non-negotiables will serve as another anchor as you navigate your schedule. There will definitely be busier times and you might have to take time away from these primary commitments. I have noticed though,?that maintaining your core priorities is important to?living a balanced life. When you take too much time away from these things, it is easy to feel depleted.

3. Maximize your Power Hour

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Time is seriously so valuable. I’m sure your schedule is full and vibrant! And I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

I am not necessarily a planner by nature, but I’ve learned to plan better to fit in all my commitments. Here’s a short breakdown of my busiest day of the week– Monday.

6:30 AM to 7:30?Take yoga class at CorePower Yoga

7:45 to 9:00?20?Minute sprints or stairs at Equinox?+ get ready for work + drive to work

9:00 to 11:45?Work?

11:45 to 1:00 PM?Power Hour

1:00 to 6:00 Work

6:00 to 7:00 Change + eat dinner + drive to yoga class

7:00 to 9:00 PM Teach yoga class at?CorePower Yoga?(includes front desk time)

Power Hour is that one hour in the day where you can work on your passion projects. Maybe it’s at lunch time for you like it is for me. You’ll often find me at Whole Foods with my Macbook out. You have to find time to fit it in.

An hour a day is a great place to start. If you do an hour a day, in a week you would have worked 7 hours on your passion project. You can get a lot done in that time! 🙂

4. Connect with your Community

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Community makes life sweet. As you pursue your passions while working your professional career, make sure you are staying connected with your family, friends, and other loved ones. They are your biggest supporters and the people you want to celebrate your successes with.?The best part about all of this is you will continue to meet amazing people along your journey! When you start doing things you love, you’ll cross paths with people who also have that zest for life. When you pursue your passions, you vibrate at a higher level and will attract the same energy.

5. Rest, Relax, Repeat

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Someone once said-

If you get tired, learn how to rest, not quit.

Relaxation, self-care, rest, and fun are so necessary. Schedule it.?Spend time in nature. Watch a sunset.?Take it slow. Breathe. Unplug. Listen to music. Sleep. Go somewhere or do something new.

Take a step back from time to time and zoom out. This is especially helpful when you?experience moments of frustration or discouragement.

When you rest, you will feel ready and energized to take on life again!

Take care of yourself.??

I hope these tips were helpful! I’d love to hear other ways you are able to find balance as you pursue your dreams.

Until next time.

??Bianca