spiritual self-exploration through health, fitness, and nutrition

Archive for the ‘well-being’ Category

Attitude in My Practice and Daily Life

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I have been wanting to write on this topic for a few days now, but I couldn’t find the inspiration. Rule of thumb: want to be inspired? Go to a hot flow class. In San Diego. At Pilgrimage of the Heart. With Rachel Lubich ūüôā

Rachel shared with us a story from her training immersion, and how the entire group was asked to give up one thing from midway through their training until completion. She chose “letting go of negative thoughts.” Then she welcomed us to set our intention to approaching our practice with a sense of curiosity and adventure, while leaving behind any negative thoughts.

This instantly put a smile on my face because I related to it instantly. Coming out to San Diego for teacher training was not just some spontaneous idea that I came up with one day. It was a process of wanting to go deeper within myself to explore or learn a part of myself that I didn’t know about before. I ventured to find what was within, and discovered way more than I expected–the kindness of complete strangers, and my own empathy and sensitivity to the suffering in others. I began to see more of the positive…in everything. Even through my darker hours and tears, I emerged more vibrant than a lotus flower at dawn.

My attitude has shifted drastically within a matter of six months. I’ve learned to accept selfless love and let go of selfish love. I’ve chosen to see the positive in all things and detoxify the negative. I attribute most (if not all) of this attitude shift to my increased frequency of practicing yoga and meditation, as well as the encouragement/support from my friends and family. I’m less critical of myself on and off the mat, and find myself finding inspiration all around me.

That said, I still have my “bad” days (we all do), but along with my improved attitude…I can view those days from a different perspective and not let them knock me over!

And for all of this…I am grateful ūüôā

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Gaining Perspective

This has been a very interesting week. On Monday, I celebrated one year of maintaining my pescetarian diet! This was a huge milestone for me considering I’ve been a carnivore most of my life¬† (although I did go 6 years without red meat). I feel healthier, weigh less, and am at more peace with myself knowing that I’m doing my part in helping the environment and animal welfare.¬†It was much easier than I thought it would be. I guess the only annoying part was having to explain to people what it meant to be a pescetarian. I usually kept my answers short and to the point, and moved on. I plan on continuing the diet going forward, perhaps with a little more leniancy.

Speaking of moving on, Monday was also a day I faced some serious personal issues¬†when a¬†HUGE road block came my way. I found myself reacting and defending myself at first, but slowly accepted that the road block was there and there was nothing I could do to change that. Tuesday, I evaluated the block and how I could get around it. By Wednesday,¬†I retracted and found myself reacting¬†again, so I went straight¬†back to being present, loving myself, and accepting the situation on the best note I could leave it on.¬†By Thursday –¬†and after much reading of inspirational quotes¬†and watching hilarious YouTube videos & late night TV(laughter really IS the best medicine!)¬†–¬†I was already seeing so much progress. This goes to show that PERSPECTIVE, OPTIMISM, and ACCEPTANCE¬†can be such powerful tools. I’ve been blessed to have a solid head on my shoulders and while my emotions may get the best of me sometimes, my resilience always come through at the end of the day.¬† Yoga, great friends, a sense of humor, and¬†my loving family helped me along the way, in their own individual ways. Today, I open myself up to new experiences and thank God for blessing me with another day to live.

How do you cope with the major road blocks in your life?

Bottomless Tummy

Week 4 of P90x is almost complete, and I have to be honest – I’m surprised. I thought this “recovery week” would be easy. Instead, I’m finding that I crash hard once a week (falling asleep as soon as I get home from work & sleeping through the whole night) AND… my appetite is endless.

I literally will eat anything in sight. All. The. Time.

Well… except for sweets. And this is coming from someone with a significant sweet tooth! I’ve cut sweets out for the most part except for Fridays, which is when I give myself a free pass.

My roommate’s boyfriend, a personal trainer and body builder,¬†suggested upping my calorie intake.¬†I’ve slowly begun to do this but have been careful because I don’t want to revert all the progress I’ve already made (lost 5 lbs, toned up like crazy).

Being conscious of all this, I’ve been getting better about keeping healthy options around me so I’m not gorging on nasty junk. It’s hard though, since my 1-year anniversary¬†of pescetarianism is coming up on August 8th —¬†sometimes I still feel like my food options are still limited and I find myself sneaking a fatty egg sandwich on starchy white bread at 7-11 on the way home after a late night. However, this all goes back to my lack of motivation to COOK! All it takes is a little extra planning at the beginning of the week. More thoughts on this to follow.

For now, think healthy snacks.

Next step, meals on the go…

Today is the Day…

While my sweetheart is on a 4-week trip overseas, I decided it would be a good idea to keep myself busy by embarking on a 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge. I figure I have a year of experience under my belt, and what better time to detox my body and welcome in the new year?

Today is Day 1. I intend on keeping a log of my experience here. I’ve read up as much as possible on this and have been trying to recruit people to join me. I’ve received some interest but no commitment. Nevertheless, I’m doing this for myself so I won’t need to rely on anyone for help… but it would be nice to see some familiar faces every now and then ūüôā On the other hand, I need to stop being such a shy person and start socializing with the people at my studio.

Here we go… starting at Tysons, ending at Rockville

Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz, is a book that my professor recommended to me this semester. Although I do admit that I haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet, the idea of it really grabbed my attention.

This TED video, commentated by the author himself, really sums it up:

Schwartz categorizes two types of people: “‘Maximizers,’ people who, given a choice, will exhaustively search all the options, seeking all possible information, in order to make the best possible choice”; and ‘Satisficers.’ those who settle for a choice that is ‘good enough’ for them. These people are generally happier with their choice, and spend less time choosing, leaving them free to enjoy other things.”

My parents brought me to the U.S. at a very young age to give me and my younger brother better opportunities. I am pretty certain that they thought that all the choices that would be available to us would ultimately benefit us and make us happy in our lives. Ever since middle school, my parents would tell me that I could do anything I put my mind to. While I was skeptical even at a young age, this actually helped in that I became interested in many things; I was on the swim team, played piano, tried some other sports, picked up a few casual hobbies,  volunteered at various jobs, etc. When I finally got into college, my interests were so broad that I officially changed my major three times! I went from Pre-Pharmacy, to Psychology, to Economics, and finally to English. Funny enough, I chose English because I felt that my choices would be broader after graduation.

As Schwartz puts it, this abundance of choice has two negative effects:

  • Produces paralysis rather than liberation: with so many options, people find it difficult to choose at all
  • Even if we manage to overcome the paralysis and make a choice, we end up less satisfied with the choice than we would be if we had fewer options to choose from

When I was accepted to Georgetown’s PR/Corp Comm master’s program, there were moments that I hesitated because I wasn’t sure if it was exactly path I wanted to take. But I’m glad I made the choice and now see myself as more of a “satisficer” than a “maximizer.”

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"When people have no choice, life is miserable. As you start adding options, you increase wellbeing. However, you reach a point where the curve flattens out and there are diminishing marginal effects. At a point in the curve, satisfaction drops and you are worse off than when you were neutral." -Luke Wroblewski

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