Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Gratitude Monday - Grateful For The Low Days

Sunday was a hard day, I felt emotionally mixed up, somewhere in between emotionless, anxious, tired and sad. I have had a few days like this throughout my pregnancy, the emotional ups and downs have been the most uncomfortable part of this journey for me.  I have done my best to simply ride these waves and not fighting how I feel, trusting in God that this is just a temporary feeling and if needed, having a good cry.

The low days are not fun but even in those days, I know there is a reason for my feelings.  Maybe I need to have the low days to truly appreciate the high days and its possible that learning how to move through these bad days, makes me stronger in general.

I know that as I get older, I cope with these types of days better than I have in the past.  Learning to lean on God has given me some healthy tools for dealing with emotional pain.  A few years ago I would have maybe turned to some unhealthy options which normally magnifies the discomfort in the end but even in some darkness I am learning to find comfort.

On this Monday, I am grateful for the low days, the lessons I have learned here and the perspective they give me on all the other beautiful sunny days that fill the majority of my life.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

My First Year Of Practicing Yoga

I have been practicing yoga for a year now, I started my yoga journey while on vacation last summer in Muskoka with my friend Randi.  Our cottage, and that vacation was the perfect place to be reminded of the importance of taking time to reflect, meditate, pray and take care of my body.

When I got home from vacation I started practicing yoga regularly, on my own with some yoga teachers I found on YouTube.  I would set up my mat outside on the back deck or in a our spare bedroom and practice.  Below are some of the best yoga channels I have come across and I am excited to try their new videos when I am no longer pregnant.

Ali Kamenova

Yogi Nora

Ekhart Yoga

After practicing on my own via YouTube and reading a book a friend had given me, I started to feel like I needed more.  I wanted to be challenged and taught so I signed up for some classes at Inner Dawn Yoga.  I was hooked right away, the quality of yoga class far exceeded any class I had taken previously.  Lisa (owner and teacher) was welcoming and passionate about her work.  Lisa's yoga classes were not just about the physical movements, she was also teaching us the meaning of yoga and to understand the connections between the movements of our bodies and the effects of our practice on our minds, and beyond the mat.

For the next few months I practiced, studied, could feel my body become stronger and was experiencing the many positive benefits that yoga can have on an individuals life.  I was less stressed, more grateful, made more time for prayer, and just generally more at ease.  I was feeling great physically and mentally.

And then, I found out I was pregnant.  I continued my yoga practice and other fitness activities and did my best to maintain my activity level as much as possible.  Inevitably though, I started to slow down, at first because of how tired I felt and secondly because of my changing body.

While I could feel myself actively regressing in yoga, I still found practice beneficial.  During this time, more than the previous six months, is when I truly started to understand the purpose and benefits of practicing yoga.  Because I knew there were limitations to what my body could do physically, I started to focus on the mindfulness of my practice, my regression in strength was where I learned my greatest yoga lesson yet.

I couldn't move, sweat and stand on my head as I did before, but I could train my mind to meditate and connect deeper with my body while it moved.  It has been a very humbling journey, the yoga class room is definitely not the place for competition and I would even say there really is no room for competition anywhere in yoga at all, not even with yourself.  Its a practice and lifestyle that enhances you, makes you better for the people around you and allows you to evolve.  I have learned you need to be present with your body each day and wherever it is at that moment, you need to be accepting and grateful for its current ability and the lessons its trying to teach you.

I am so excited to get back on my mat post labour and begin physically challenging my body once more with my yoga practice but I will attack these challenges with a new level of understanding of what my mind and body connected, is really capable of.  I am so glad that I discovered yoga before  pregnancy and continued my practice through this phase of my life, I know it has made me more capable during this journey.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Make Yourself Happy

Its my second week at home and it is a little bit of an adjustment from my regular schedule.  I am enjoying some aspects of my time off but there has also been some emotional lows.  Most of all, I don't want to get lazy and unproductive which would make me feel bad about myself.  So, today I decided I wasn't going to let that happen and that I am in control of how I feel each day.

I did a few errands in the morning and then showered up and did my makeup and hair.  I have no where to go today except to take care of some work from home and take Charlie to the vet but darn it, a fresh face of makeup makes me feel good about myself.

What are some simple things you like to do, to make yourself happy?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Maternity Fashion 30 to 36 Weeks

I am officially on maternity leave now and while I am still tying up a few loose ends for work from home, I am really enjoying making my own hours and mixing in a little nesting, yoga, napping and walks with Charlie. 

At 37 weeks pregnant I am still feeling good, just a little more tired than usual so I have been taking naps, which I love, I have always been a napper (fingers crossed our babe is a napper too). 

Below are some of my favourite looks from the last few weeks.  At this point in my pregnancy I am not sure how much more fashion I have left, I am feeling a little limited at this point as some of my shorter dresses are now too short and my non maternity tops are just barely covering the bump.  I have also been spending a lot of time doing work around the house and those outfits consist of workout clothes that still fit. 

Dressing my bump has been fun and as I get closer to the end of my pregnancy I am filled with mixed emotions about this phase of my life being over.  I am so excited to meet our baby, find out if it is a boy or girl and what this new littler person looks like.  At the same time, I am little scared about labour and am a full blender of emotions about becoming a mom.  

I have enjoyed recording the growth of my bump with my fashion photos and am happy that I have these memories.  Thanks for sharing this fashion phase with me. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

To The Women In My Life

This is a letter I shared with the group of women at my baby shower last night.  I am so grateful for their love and support through all the phases of my life and now as I become a mom.

Each of you are special to me and are someone I admire. As I move into this next phase of my life and become a mom there are so many things I have learned from each of you.

Most of you are moms already and if not technically, I am sure you mother to someone in your life. Women are amazing creatures with innate nurturing capabilities and these qualities are prevalent in each one of you. 

I want to thank all of you for your continued love and support.  When Tyler and I got married I really realized what this community of women was all about; you take care of each other like family, and celebrate the big and little moments that life has to offer, together.  Now as Tyler and I become parents, its comforting to know we are surrounded by a family of friends. 

I also want to thank you all for showing me what it is to be a mom; selfless, loving, disciplined, strong and innovative, and you fill all of these roles with your own unique flare and style.  This gives me the confidence that I will be able to fill this new role with my own personal style. 

In addition, you have all shown me what it is to be a woman with many facets in addition to being a mom; caretakers for many, amazing friends, beautiful souls, sports stars, creators, healers, teachers, lovers and the list goes on. 

I am provided with an endless supply of inspiration from the women that sit before me today and I want to thank you all for being unique and being a part of my life.