Tag Archives: Personal

Taking a break…

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My dear friends and family,

I hope this note meets you well. I feel I owe it to you to mention that I am taking a mini-vacation from the blog these upcoming months. I don’t usually post as much during the summer anyway, but on a more deliberate note, I am attempting to reduce the time I spend online in general. After writing the setting goals post, I now realize a thing or two about my blogging habits and what my priorities are in life at this time. Below are my top three priorities that are crowding out my time for blogging.

Yoga

Photo from yoga teacher training, courtesy of A. Williamson

Work

One part of my choice to take a break has to do with current life satisfaction. In the past I used this blog as a way to channel creative energy that had no where to go in my “real life” so to speak. When I wasn’t working in wellness I needed something to help me organize my thoughts around health. However, I feel blessed to say I have found plenty of avenues to put my creative side to work both at my job at the hospital as a wellness coach, as a doula for private clients, and now as a yoga teacher (I graduated on Sunday!) Thank you to all of you who have raised me up along the way. I couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement. I feel my vocation is finally coming together 🙂 What that means is that now I feel less motivated to blog and more motivated to get out there and put all my thinking and hard work over the past 5 years into practice hopefully into a business model. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Story-telling

At the same time, I do recognize I have an underlying need to write. I graduated with an English major, and I have been a long time journal junkie – so there is a personal need that the blog does fulfill.  However, recently I recognize that I have another story within me that I need to write. This story is not so much about health and wellness or spirituality specifically, but more so is my own life story, which of course includes health, wellness, and spirituality but it is more raw and vulnerable; it’s more about beauty than meaning and its more about feelings than information sharing. Recently I wrote a few posts for the blog and by the time I finished I felt like they could be a good chapter in a book. So I am considering what that would look like – what shape would this story take? I did not delete the stories but instead saved these “posts” for a future compilation of some sort. Synchronicity might also play a role in all of this as I recently befriended a lovely writer, who is a great mentor, and I won a workshop on writer’s block that will likely align with and reinforce my latest decision to take a hiatus from online writing. I am excited to explore what my new writing practice will look like.

Relationships

The last and most important thing I found is that at the bottom of it all, I love people. I love stories. I love community. And while online can be a wonderful avenue to create community and connect with people, at this time, I feel drawn to do the relationship building work in “real life”. A couple weeks ago I attended a conference where James Fowler spoke, and his message hit home. He mentioned that as much as social media and networking impacts the world and ourselves, that it really is the people who are near and dear to us that influence us the most and vice versa. Well this really resonated with me and it made me realize that as much as I like sharing with people afar, that I first need to spend some time on the ground with my family and then my friends.

Some things that excite me around this work is that I am developing a yoga sequence to teach my mom and dad, and I plan to teach them until they can do the sequence on their own. After years of having my dad walk by me in high school when I was practicing yoga, saying (mocking), “AAAAOooooommmm”, I am proud to say 13 years later, I am being asked as the expert to share that experience with him. How amazing to see how you can influence your loved ones over time? I feel more than honored.

Another piece I am working toward is a trip to Korea in November. It has been 6 years since I’ve been there to visit family. In that time both of my older sisters have been married, two nephews and a niece have been born, the family cow gave birth to twins, and they got a new family dog!

This past weekend in my frenzy of worrying about my test out for yoga teacher training I received 5 videos of my Korean family members wishing me luck. Immediately I relaxed and realized what is important in life – not the outcome of my teaching but the supportive relationships and family that I have. With that said, I already made plans for the visit, so these upcoming months I will need to emotionally prepare and ponder any questions I have about my family’s past, of my past. The last time my sisters came to visit I learned my birth story. It was powerful. I am excited to take some time to be with family and learn more about my roots.

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I have to leave you with this – when I told my youngest sister we were coming to Korea yesterday, she wrote, “My heart bounce bounce.”

I love that image and her words. It inspires me to do more of what makes my heart bounce bounce; I hope we all can find time to do more of that in our lives.

In the interim,  if you want to keep up with me in the real world, feel free to send me an email at mandalareflections[at]gmail[dot]com. I look forward to connecting!

Take care and talk soon.

Blessings, Kali

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Setting goals

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I’ve been staring back and forth between my to-do list and this blank page. Back and forth. Back…and forth.

I’m feeling uninspired, and I wonder why.

lack of motivation

But actually, the more I think about it I don’t wonder at all. I guess I failed to mention that between glancing at my list of tasks and my computer screen, I have also been watching the snow falling tirelessly outside my window. It seems to never end.

I will skip detailing my Earth day/global warming/look outside and see the evidence speech (although I feel it stirring within me a little), because most of our spirits would not benefit from that right now. I know it certainly wouldn’t motivate me, and right now I need some motivation.

So, how is it that I continue to type? Because I am in the business of goal setting. The goal I set for myself that is due for tomorrow is “to write a blog post”. What is interesting about this goal I set is that when I ask myself the question, “why is it important to me?” I draw a blank…

Why do I write blogs?

If I had to play coach on myself, the immediate answer I guess is simple, I write blogs with the hope to share information and stories that I believe may be helpful to others. Is that enough to motivate me to write? No, not always.

I’m sorry. I do love you all, but it’s not enough to get me going everyday – especially on a day like today. And if I put on my coaching hat, I understand that my tendency is completely normal. External motivators will not give me the strongest push to follow through with the goals I set in life. The best motivation comes from within. It has to be connected to me and nobody else. I have to care (unlike the fellow in the photo).

Lucky for you/and me, I am quite stubborn, so despite having no idea what this post would entail as I started, I came on anyway and am doing it just so I can cross it off my list. Am I proud of that? Not necessarily.

So what does this all mean, then?

What it means for me is that I need to look more carefully at my blogging practice and determine what it is that I really get from it. Because as altruistic as I’d like to be, I know that if I am not able to answer the question in a way that connects my goal of writing a blog to a personal need, then it is going to be tough for me to sustain it in a way that is genuine and enjoyable for everyone. By understanding why it is important to me, I will be able to deliver content that is more meaningful for all of us, and theoretically I would not have to drag my feet so much (resist) when I come on to write.

From prose to practice

Next time you set a goal and you find your progress is stalling, ask yourself, why is it important to me? Wait patiently for the answer to come and see what you learn. Give yourself some time. Don’t rush the process. If you wait and wait and still can’t figure it out, ask yourself how you can shift your goal in a way that would create more meaning for you.

Or book an appointment with me and we can talk it through together 🙂 Email me at kali[dot]j[dot]higgins[at]gmail[dot]com. Stay tuned for more details/website launch coming soon! 🙂

Fall & Recover

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“There is a split in the human psyche between each person’s rational and intellectual side and our chaotic and emotional being. The true essence of modern dance is the movement that happens in between these extremes.”

“Dance occurs in the fearful moment between falling and recovering by the arc swept by a body moving between equilibrium and uncontrol.”

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fall and recoverI am not a dancer, but I love this concept. Mainly, I want to live this concept.

People always talk about balance as being so important to our well-being. I used to be one of those people. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not simply about balance and stability. It is about a rhythmic balance. It’s not one or the other, it’s somewhere in between. Its not about smooth sailing. It’s about rising after falling.

Life doesn’t work in a way that’s completely balanced. There isn’t one good day for every bad day. Being a good person doesn’t stop bad things from happening to you. That’s just not how it is. In life there are ups and downs, and what’s important is to make some sort of rhythm out of the highs and lows. We must find the space between equilibrium and uncontrol that allows us to live our lives on the edge. We must trust the rhythm of falling and recovering.  We must not be afraid of falling, and we must know how it is that we recover.

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Yesterday, I mumbled and stuttered through my 75 minute yoga sequence – the sequence I am to teach to graduate from my teacher training. It was supposed to be a rough draft, and it was certainly rough. After I taught it I almost wanted to crawl back in bed and quit my training all together. Isn’t teaching supposed to be easier? I thought. No, it’s not. After talking with my husband I realized that I need to put more effort into my teaching if I really want to become a great teacher.

In order to fall, we must put ourselves out there, but we must be real with our efforts. Over the past few years, with my holistic lens and many interests I have always had one foot out the door throughout many of my experiences. For example, when I was working a nice gig in a “green” job, I found myself signing up for a couple weekend programs related to wellness. I even started volunteering as a doula at a hospital. I wasn’t totally invested in my day job, and because of my multiple efforts I could not engage fully in the world. Living that way certainly got me to fall but not the kind of way I am talking about in this post. Now I am aiming for the kind of fall that happens when you put yourself out there and you put all you have into it. Whatever the it may be.

Today I taught a 30 minute yoga sequence to some teens and it was amazing. Just one day after questioning my choice to be a yoga teacher, I had a reality check. While at first I was attached to my bad teaching experience and then became attached to my awesome experience, I realize now, that I cannot be attached to either outcome.

Now I see that both of these outcomes are part of life, part of the rhythmic balance – the dance. And I know that the more I put myself out into the world, the more I will fall. And as long as I fall with integrity and full engagement, I know it will become easier to recover and grow stronger with each new experience.