I miss my little Scully

After 10 years in our little family, we said goodbye to our sweet little Scully yesterday.

I hope 24 pictures aren’t too many. I just couldn’t make any more cuts.

You’ll notice there aren’t very many pictures of her without us. Because if we were home, she was on top of one of us. She loved to cuddle as close to faces as possible. And the majority of these pictures show that. It was just who she was.

She was probably the most loving creature I have ever met. And I am starting to notice how much I will miss her. She was just always there. Right there.

Every time I think about how heavy my chest is today, I remember how it used to be heavy because she was laying on top of it.

She was so silly. And she was so loved. She was our little Scully girl.

Friends, love your pets. Fiercely. Don’t be afraid to take too many pictures. There is no such thing.

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find your flow

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expect great things from God

Sometimes I walk away from a situation and know that I have been changed.

And this past weekend at Curve Camp was one of those times. I have thought that I lived in a pretty body-positive (internal and social) environment, but I realized how much work I have to do at home. For an entire weekend, I didn’t think about my body. I didn’t worry about what I thought about it or what others thought. I wore sports bras for three days. I wore yoga pants and tank tops (yikes, was it hot in Nashville). I got some sun on my shoulders. I fixed my hair and wore makeup. I walked everywhere I needed to go. I felt like me.

I celebrated my body for what it could do, and I released what it couldn’t or wouldn’t. In the warrior poses, I bent my knee as far as felt good instead of as far as I could. I learned small adjustments that made huge differences, and I took them without guilt or fear of judgement.

I feel like I started to truly understand that movement is something that feeds me, not taps me dry. Movement can be something that gives me peace instead of adding chaos and expectations and shame to my life. I tuned in to what felt good, how much I had to give, and what felt challenging but not discouraging.

I started to sincerely make peace with me and how I want to define exercise in my life.

attempt great things for God

attempt great things for God

I came home and started to look for peace in my day, even when I’m uncomfortable. I’m learning to use it on my run/walks, with kettle bells, and even with food and sleep.

Do I like this? Does this feel good? How could this feel better? Would something else feel better? Am I pushing hard enough? Am I pushing too hard? What do I need? What shift can I make to get that right now?

I feel like being body-positive is less about silencing the pressure I feel from society and instead amplifying my voice of truth and making it the loudest voice that I hear. Not my voice of fear and judgement and expectation, but my voice of freedom and curiosity and appreciation.

And I’m digging this voice. It isn’t always the loudest, but I’m learning to seek it. And find it.

All of this stuff about curiosity and grace and dash of potential discomfort within a regular movement practice? This. This voice is what I want you to have. This is the voice I want to teach you to listen to.

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And we’ll get there through video lessons, encouraging emails, private pinterest pages, facebook livechats, and optional one-on-one support.

We will spend 4 weeks, beginning Friday, July 11th, learning to approach movement with an attitude of play and curiosity.

We will use observation to figure out what types of movement feel most affirming and fulfilling.

We will create a toolbox of movement options that are flexible and exciting with less pressure and emotional charge.

Click here to register or find out more. And you can comment here or email me at Krissie@committedcoaching.com with any questions.

I am super excited about this, friends. I hope you come along!

Curve Camp – the first of many

Friends. I have no idea how to even begin to tell you about my weekend in Nashville at Curve Camp. I just can’t even. So, for today, I am just going to show you a few pictures from my phone library. I haven’t even downloaded my camera photos yet.

I came home changed, friends. I think it was building with my work from #CurvyBeloved, but it just exploded from there.

You will hear – and see – so much more.

But this is where I can start.

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#curvybeloved

I do a lot of B work.

I start a lot of books that I rush through. I make training plans that I sorta follow. I make menus and grocery lists that kinda happen. I buy a lot of offerings and workbooks from others in the coaching world. But I would usually give myself a B. I do things at my own speed. I make amendments. I listen to my own voice when I get uncomfortable. I follow through with things, but I do so my own way. I put emails in folders and work through them when I’m feeling stuck in my journaling or blogging. I follow-through, but I don’t follow programs.

But then Curvy Beloved (from Anna and Vivienne) happened.

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And I would give myself an A+. Sincerely.

My reason for signing up was pretty logical and unemotional. I wanted to spend more time with yoga and with the fancy camera I got for Christmas. That was it. I joined this program entirely to build habits and skills in yoga and photography. I did not join this program to gain body acceptance or build my self-esteem or change the course of my life.

So one of the more automatic decisions of the past few years has had the greatest impact.

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I followed the program to the letter. I did not miss a single day. I looked so forward to the daily emails that I read them in bed as soon as the alarm went off the first time. I got up earlier in the mornings to allow for time to take and edit the picture if wanted to take a morning shot. I met my goal of spending time daily with yoga and photography.

But I gleaned so much more than that. I learned about not just body-acceptance, but body-love. I learned to be pay attention to my surroundings and look for opportunities to take photographs. I learned how to place my body into beautiful situations and feel beautiful.

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I learned how to just keep taking pictures until I had one that spoke to me. And that the one that spoke wasn’t always the one where I looked prettiest or happiest or thinnest or had the best pose. I learned to talk about what I was doing – to security guards, to people that pulled over and asked if I needed help, to the boy that rode between me and the camera on his skateboard – in a way that was  unapologetic, sincere, and not minimizing.

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I learned that I love yoga. I love practicing yoga. I love taking what I learn in yoga and generalizing it to the rest of my life. I learned that I am able to become a yoga teacher as I am, and I made plans and commitments to follow that dream.

My heart is full of feels that I just don’t have the words for. This program changed me. At my core. I am genuinely so so sad that this course is over. But I am incredibly proud of the work that I did over the past month.

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You can find the full collection of my CurvyBeloved self-portraits here. I will continue this daily series. Because it is habit. And because the benefits are glaring at me. And from me.

Enjoy your Monday, friends.

hands to work, hearts to God

There are few places in the world that I love more than Shaker Village.

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I am not exaggerating when I say that I have taken hundreds of pictures here.

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There is something about this place. The peace that the members of this community felt. The equality. The openness. The ability to cherish their beliefs and still cherish people who believed differently.

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If I had lived then, I would not have been a Shaker. Some of their ideas are just beyond me. But I like to think that I would have attended their worship services. And I would have been a friend.

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As I have started to really study the practice of yoga, I have noticed that I am seeing many similarities in belief and practice of my own religious traditions. I am not embracing spiritual beliefs that are not my own, but I am loving how I am being spiritually challenged and growing my current beliefs.

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I have been searching for jewelry that both reminds me of my yoga mind and my belief in God. It took a little creativity, but I found the perfect thing this weekend.

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The beads are a nice, wrap bracelet that came from a craft fair. (They are actually dried acai berries.) And the charm is from a silver smith in Berea representing the traditional Shaker image, “Hands to work, hearts to God.” It resembles the Hamsa, but is strikingly different. And very Christian in origin.

I just adore how connected I feel to this piece of jewelry. It feels like I created something that is mine. That I can explore this balance. That I can be challenged but still at peace and at home.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

I am still running.

I don’t always believe what I tell other people is true for myself.

Today’s example: I tell other people that if you run at all, you are a runner. But I’ve convinced myself that the only way that I am a runner is if I’m training for distance.

And I am learning that I have viewed this self-talk incorrectly. I have thought that this was an example of me be just being critical of myself. That this was somehow a function of my inner critic telling me that I wasn’t good enough or disciplined enough or focused enough.

But through my reading, I’m learning that this pressure isn’t coming from thinking that I’m not the same as everyone else. This pressure is coming from an inner desire to be better than. I’m placing higher expectations on myself than other people because I want to prove that I can excel. Sure, someone else can run a few times a week for a few miles and call themselves a runner, but that’s not me. Nope. I am a marathoner. I started a running group with hundreds of members. I can – and should – be maintaining 30 mile weeks. Otherwise? I’m not living up to my running potential. And I’m not a runner.

My inner runner critic isn’t just telling me that I have to be enough to be a runner. It is telling me that I have to be training to be a real runner. That I have to be pushing myself. That I have to be 100% committed to running in order to receive the benefit.

And I do not believe that this applies to other people at all.

So I’ve been neglecting running. I’ve believed that if I can’t go 100%, then I’ll just go 0%. Or, more accurately, I’ll go 100% once or twice a week and then not even think about it the rest of the week. Because running was miserable.

That’s not how I want to be. I am a runner. Running is in my blood. It is how I feel strong. It is how I feel powerful. It is how I somehow get out of my head and deep into my head at the same time.

But I didn’t know how to find a middle ground. I knew that I couldn’t fit distance running into my life right now. I just have too many awesome things going on. I knew that I couldn’t fit social running into my life the way I have been. My schedule needs to be more flexible. I knew that I wanted to run, needed to run. But I’ve been bouncing from 0% to 100% for months and I’m not a strong runner right now. And I didn’t know how to find a place where running felt rewarding instead of discouraging.

Enter Yoga for Living (thanks so much, Anna!). The chapter on discipline shouted at me. I felt like it was a lightning bolt/neon sign sent straight to me. The assignment was to pick something that I wanted to incorporate into my life and make a commitment to do it for 15 minutes a day for the next 30 days. Not 14:50, not 15:10. But 15 minutes.

That’s what I decided to do. I know I have not been the biggest run streak supporter, but the people I have seen struggle with it have been training for distance and adding extra runs in on rest days. But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m running for 15 minutes a day for 30 days. That’s it. Not watching pace or mileage or any other metrics. Taking different routes so I’m not competing with myself. Just 15 minutes of straight running and then walking home if I misjudged the route. Not 14:50 if I’m feeling weak. Or even 15:10 if I’m feeling super strong. Just 15 minutes.

And I feel different. Glorious.

I feel more like a runner when I run straight instead of run/walk. (To each his own, of course, but I know what feels good for me.) I feel more like a runner when I can rock a mile and change as opposed to struggling through 3 or more. I feel more like me when I can celebrate an uber-short run than being disappointed in a run with distance.

It took a book to give me permission to do less to learn where my sweet spot is for today. I had to learn that the pressure comes from a place that is selfish as much as self-critical.

Will I stay here? I don’t know. Who knows. But what I do know?

I am a runner.

And I am still running.

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thinking

I am here. I am thriving. I am writing by hand. I am connecting with the beFULL’ers. I am being quiet. I am learning. Life is good.

Have a fantastic Thursday, my friends.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. – Rumi

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