Say Yes to New Experiences

Saying yes to new opportunities is scary. There’s the overthinking that comes with the courage to even get up and get out the door to show up, wondering who you’re going to talk to and if it will have been worth your while to go at all. Then there’s the part of saying yes to a new opportunity that’s an entirely new activity that leaves you wondering if you’ll enjoy it, be good at it, or find that others are already well practiced. Bottom line: saying yes to new experiences is an incredibly vulnerable thing to do and you should be proud of yourself for doing it.

Last week I said yes to attend a drum circle with Alive & Well Women on a 100-degree evening in LA. I had zero idea what to expect, but told myself to go into it with an open mind and think of it as something I have never done before and add it to my, “A drum circle? Why yes, I’ve done that,” list. I walked into a lovely home set against a mountain backdrop and put a smile on my face and made small talk with kind women—mothers, friends, daughters, and teachers. We were led into the backyard where chairs were set up on the lawn in a circle, and heavy duty fans were brought out to cool us down, but really it simply created that warm breeze you can only experience on a tropical getaway…and I loved it.

With it being the Summer Solstice and a Strawberry Moon that evening, we were instructed to introduce ourselves and say something we were hoping to bring to fruition with the new season, or simply state what we were grateful for in the moment. With lots of feelings of positivity and an overall sense of oneness now established amongst a caring group of ladies, the drumming began.

Our leader for the evening, Katy, instructed us on how to beat the drum and led us through some practice rounds of repeating after her. Once we felt the rhythm we let the flow of those around us take over and as dusk began to fall, the sound began to rise; triangles were introduced as well as shakers and different shaped drums. Eventually, a tambourine-like instrument that elicited the sound of an ocean tide waxing and waning joined the circle and for a brief moment I closed my eyes, felt the warm breeze, and was transported to a Fijian island.

Watching the women get up and literally dance to the beat of their own drum, leave inhibitions aside, and give in to the childlike nature that is so easily lost amidst the demands of our daily “adult” lives was so invigorating. I felt moved by these women that I did not know minutes prior, and felt such a sense of community in the short time we spent together.

At one point we were asked to break up into small group of three or four to more intimately discuss this coming season of our lives and what our focus would turn to. One woman shared about flying to her home country to take care of her ageing parents, and another spoke about how the death of one of her father had brought her closer to her mother and she will focus on nurturing that relationship. One more spoke about how it was time to relax and focus on extracurricular endeavors that would be fed by being in a new, creative, environment that would hopefully inspire productivity.  Again, I was moved. The insight I gained from spending ten minutes with these ladies left me with a memory for a lifetime.

As the groups disintegrated, the strawberry moon was rising to take its place in the night sky, and in the moment of awe we all shared I quietly turned my palms up in thanksgiving to God for allowing me the courage to say yes to a powerful new experience. 

You Are Made to Move!

Happy Summer everyone! Gosh, is it ever hot out! Early mornings and later into the evenings seem to be the best time these days to get out and get moving. I know it’s hard when a work day leaves you exhausted and all you want to do is sit down to dinner and Netflix, but more and more research is finding that movement boosts your mood!

Part of the reason I fell in love with fitness and decided to incorporate it into the way I make a living is because without it, I’m simply not as happy, motivated, energetic, or mindful throughout the day.

The Huffington Post recently published an article (with creative info graphics) that discusses the science-backed way movement increases your mood. In their findings, researchers discovered regular physical activity enhances mental health, and without it feelings of anxiety, depression, confusion, anger, and a more negative outlook overall start to creep in.

Don’t think you need to hit the gym or sign up for a race (although, those are great too!) because just 5 minutes of exercise is enough to improve your mental outlook! There’s a reason I take clients on walks outdoors as well. Mother nature fosters greater feelings of revitalization, positive engagement, and energy.

Take your lunch break outdoors or simply park in the last spot at the grocery store and take the time to walk further and spend more time in fresh air. Any little bit helps.

I will leave you with the quote of the day: