Please reset.

You know how sometimes you see the ‘please reset’ button on your hairdryer and have to go through the rigamarole of pushing that little button in at the *exact* right time and angle so when you plug it in, it actually resets and doesn’t just sit there lifeless on your bathroom counter?

Well that’s kind of how I feel right now — in need of a reset

I kind of feel like that hairdryer — sometimes it takes a few tries before the reset actually works. You know the drill — you think you pushed that button just right and plug it in and then: nothing. So you try again — and nothing. And after the third or fourth time, you finally figure it out and the ‘reset’ actually sticks. (this can be the most obnoxious process, am I right ladies??)

I was doing so well with ‘just being’ me. 

With learning to disconnect more to reconnect. 

With being present. #present2013

With letting go of perfection and striving for excellence. 

With seeking out silver linings vs. harping on the little things that frustrate you but are out of your control. 

But just like any habit, sometimes it’s hard to truly kick the habit without concerted effort and (for lack of a better word) practice.

So what’s my ‘please reset’ plan look like? It’s quite simple — it’s about getting back to basics. I’m going to use this long weekend to reconnect with friends and family, to let my mind go and just be, to stop stop stop vs. go go going, and to focus on excellence above all else…not perfection.

This is a toughie for me — I’m not great at admitting faults or weaknesses or flaws or imperfections and I’m *really* not too great at letting go of perfection and my Type-A-ness. I know, I know. I’m too hard on myself. I know this. BUT — I have gotten *so* much better at letting go more, I really have. I’ve just gotten out of the habit and it’s time to reign it in before the spiral happens (and we all know what that spiral looks like – ala ‘chill the eff out’ remember that?). 

So anyway — this post was really more for me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Sometimes blogging it out (and/or blabbing Scott’s ear off incessantly) is the only way to gain clarity. And clarity is exactly what I needed today.

Reset: let’s go. 

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The #presence2013 project: conclusions

So today is Easter. Which signifies a million things today, of course.
…but in #teamsutera land, today signifies the conclusion to the #presence2013 project.

But here’s the thing — I don’t want it to end. The past 40+ days have opened my eyes to a whole new world. A world that was staring back at me this entire time — I was just too damn distracted to fully see it.

I mean, just typing those words makes my heart a little bit sad. I have a great, fabulous, wonderful life — am married to my best friend, a guy I adore more than words could ever describe; I have a beautiful, small circle of friends who I would trust with my life, and two amazing sisters who I don’t spend nearly enough time with.

So when I think back to how much time has been wasted by, what, connections? Being uber plugged-in all the time?
…it’s just…enough.

And that’s my conclusion — something I’m thinking about a lot tonight as I sit with my husband on the couch, savoring a glass (or two!) of wine after a fabulous Easter brunch with my in-laws. It’s just enough.

I’m not really even sure what ‘enough’ means — I just know that I’m ready to continually embrace presence. To embrace and love this life I am so blessed to be living. With utter abandon.

…because presence is just too important. And this past 40 days has proven to me that presence is joy. It’s made even the simplest of moments 1000x better because I was fully in the moment. So I guess that’s my conclusion…even though I might not have the right words to describe it, or fully define what it means to me. I just feel it. I sense it. And I want to live it.

Presence is joy. #thatisall

presence

Everyone needs a little me (workout) time

I hear this a lot — both from clients at the studio, from family and from friends who just don’t think they deserve, need or are ‘allowed’ to have ‘me’ time. Particularly when that ‘me’ time is of the workout variety. It’s seen by some as a frivolous activity, a nice-to-have versus a need-to-have or it’s a selfish thing to want or need that ‘me workout’ time.

But truly? Everyone needs a little me (workout) time. 
Everyone.

Yes, even I need it. 

You see, I’ve been working on a little experiment these past few weeks. Instead of looking at my me-workouts as nice-to-have activity in between all the teaching that I do each week, I’ve been looking at it as need-to-have time. Obviously within reason, balancing it out with the working out that invariably happens while I’m teaching class. But yes, I’ve been making my me workout time more of a priority. Even if it means shifting my focus a little bit — instead of wishing for or yearning for x amount of miles, I get excited about running a quick 30 mins after class or slotting in a fitdate with a bestie mid-week when schedules allow.  And yes, I #makeitcount.

So I have been committing to my ‘me time’ of the workout variety more these past few weeks and I’ve noticed something. Yup, you guessed it — I’m happier.

It’s not rocket science people, putting yourself first and chasing those endorphins produces, yup — happy, joyful energy. 

Sure, I still love, love, love all the hours I spend teaching, watching clients transform right before my eyes. LOVE. But I also love that me time either at the barre or on the mat where I have time to focus on my own muscle strength and endurance. Or the time I spend in my favorite sneakers, running 3 miles or 7, or somewhere in between, those miles don’t matter distance-wise — all that matters is that they are my miles. Miles I fought for particularly hard for on Sunday in the chilly, windy air. But it was worth it. SO, SO, worth it. Especially because it meant a #teamsutera reunion. ❤

photo (46)

So here’s my thinking — I will continue to make my ‘me workouts’ a priority. Within reason, of course, and while still respecting the rest time my body needs. But clearly, based on just the past two or three weeks alone, my mood is just happier, less stressy, more centered. I KNOW part of that has to do with the #presence2013 project. But I also believe it has something to do with the me-workout thing. It’s just needed. 

And please, I hope you all will take that time to remember that you are just important to make a priority as everyone and everything else in your life that is important and that you love. You also love yourself, right? So watch that (self) love blossom, and respect the me (workout) time as much as you can. It’ll only make you a happier, healthier, more content wife, sister, friend, mother, auntie, and daughter (ditto this for the boys who may be reading this post!). It’s important, truly.

The #presence2013 project — (almost) 30 days in

It’s been almost a month since Scott and I proclaimed that presence was the ‘thing’ we were going to focus on during Lent this year.

Hence, the #presence2013 project was born.

As I sit here looking at the calendar, I’m realizing we’re almost one month into this project, and I’m finding myself pretty surprised at how quickly that time went.

But then, I look at how my blogging has been going since the #presence2013 project proclamation, and it’s no wonder the time has flown by.

…I’ve been blogging less. Far less.

…I’ve definitely been tweeting less.

…and yes, even texting less, too.

And all of this disconnecting hasn’t just been for Scott’s sake, but it’s been something I’ve been extremely cognizant of with friends and family too. Any time I’ve been in the presence of friends or family since we kicked off this project, I’ve felt downright rude if my phone has been out — unless there was a real purpose or need for it (like to snap a quick pic or something).

But back to the time flying by — it’s been flying by in a good way. Not because I’ve been too busy with my nose buried in my computer to notice the world and the people around me. But because I’ve been so busy LIVING and enjoying each day, cherishing dinner chats with Scott more, spending more time talking on the phone to friends and family versus just texting them, and just spending altogether less time on all things electronic.

I’ve honestly found myself annoyed if I need to use the computer at night, actually. And that’s never happened before. I’ve just been realizing more and more that I spend SO SO SO much time on the computer for work all day long that I seriously do not need to be on the computer (or my phone) so much at night.

I think the best part of this #presence2013 project has been that feeling of connection between Scott and I that I sense a LOT more lately. It’s a hard-to-describe feeling…presence…but once you have it and harness it, you know what that feeling, that sensation is all about. And you start to miss it…a lot…when presence goes missing on you. It’s like nourishing your body with good food (and good wine, ha), but instead of nourishing your body, you’re nourishing that connection.

And it’s that realization, that nourishing of connections — which is telling me that this #presence2013 project should not end just because Lent ends. It should be a constant evolution towards better balance between plugged-in and unplugged time. And that’s what I’m working towards, very happily so, I might add.

With that, I’m going to go ahead and say a big ‘ol TGIF to all of you right now, it’s been a LONG LONG week and I’m more than ready to cheers to the weekend. It’s just too bad that it’s not wine thirty quite yet. 😉

I will, however, start early with my cheers (since you won’t hear from me tonight on that front!) — so this is me, cheers’ing to #presence2013 (and beyond).

Source: Jess on Pinterest

On #presence2013, fitdates and things

I’ve been meaning to blog all week, but for some reason the words just weren’t there. But today? I have a few thoughts on my mind, nothing all that earth-shattering but I wanted to jot them down while they were fresh. I hope you haven’t missed me too terribly — can’t believe it’s been a *week* since my last post! 

On the #presence2013 project…

In a word, I’m finding myself equally surprised, stunned and amazed at what a little disconnecting can do. This #presence2013 project has already left a lasting impact — I shall count the ways here (in no particular order)...

  • My mood – 1000x less ‘stressy.’ My mind is calm, far less cluttered and a whole heck of a lot less “OATT” like than it’s ever been. You know big change is happening on the mood front when your husband starts a text message with “don’t be mad but…” and then proceeds to tell me how amazed he is in how much happier I seem lately. Less anxious. Less scattered. Less unfocused. And a helluva a lot more present. The #presence2013 project: needed
  • My days — far less jammed up. I’m finding myself pulling back on that urge or push to be constantly in ‘productivity‘ mode. Let’s take today for instance. I had a few things on my mental ‘to do’ list that I wanted to tackle. Instead of continuing to add, add, add to that list, I capped it. I told Scott what I wanted to accomplish, he shared what he wanted to accomplish and we agreed to limit ourselves to a couple of hours of ‘go’ mode before we’d shut it down and focus on ‘weekend’ stuff like rummy wars, book reading, and yes, wine drinking. <–y’know, the *really* important stuff…
  • My fit focus – grateful. More on this one in a sec.

I could probably go on for a few hours about how glad I am that we (i.e. ‘#teamsutera’) are embracing and learning from this #presence2013 project of ours, but I’ll stop here. I promise, I’ll share more as the words come, but for now? Just know that the gift of presence has been the best gift I could ever give or receive. ❤

********

Now — onto that ‘fit focus’ I mentioned. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about how different my fit focus has been lately. I’ve been out of training mode for a good 4ish months and haven’t missed that structure. (I *have* missed running outside in the early AM, counting bunnies along the way…but that has more to do with it being the dead of winter and a lot less to do with training…)

But what I have missed?
…fitdates.

Fitdates for one. Or fitdates with besties. Or fitdates, #teamsutera style.
All of it.

I finally had a chance to take a barre n9ne class last Thursday (my sister took a titch too much glee in kicking my ass I’ll tell you that much lol) and when I tell you I was downright grateful to be in that room working out beside one of my best friends ever (mwah) and among some of the most fun clients *and* to have my sister in the center mat? I was: utterly grateful. It was such a needed set of fit moments for me. Of pushing myself through countless sets of tricep presses and pushups. Of finally getting my shake on at the barre and literally seeing the sweat pour down my cheek, drip from my hair and slide down my shoulder. And, at times, shutting out the rest of the room, closing my eyes and just being presentin my fit moment. 

It was during that workout that I suddenly longed for more of these fit moments and fitdates. Sure, I’ve been making time to get my runs in on the treadmill during the week and/or weekend as much as I can, but I haven’t been putting my own desire for fit moments first as much as I’d like to. And no, I’m not trying to add to my plate here (I know that’s what you guys are probably thinking!) — but I am committing to fitting in those fit moments and fitdates where I can. Even if it’s just one class per week that I take vs. teach, I’ll be grateful. Sure, it might not happen every single week, but where I can, I will.

I’m also getting really, really, really excited for the clocks changing — it’ll mean that it’ll stay light enough at night for some potential rundates with the hubs, #teamsutera style here and there. And as we inch closer towards spring? It’ll mean the potential for some early morning running, NOT on the dreadmill, too. Perhaps I can wrangle my sis into some of those early-AM rundates as the weather and clocks shift, hmm? 😉 A set of fit moments I’ll try my best to patiently wait for. (tick tock, tick tock!)

For now? For this week? I’m SO excited to be signed up to take one of my bestie’s barre n9ne classes on Wednesday morning. Since she got certified a few months back, I’ve been itching to take her class and I finally have my chance. And you better believe I’ll be doing my best to stay present in that fit moment.

#Presence2013

Last week marked the start of Lent. Now, I’m not Catholic but my husband is (I’m Protestant, not that it matters…) and he tries to give up something for Lent each year. One year it was soda, another year it was candy.

This year? Scott asked me to join him for Lent. The ‘ask?’

Be present when we’re together.

No iPhone attached to our palms at all times, no texting or instagramming or facebooking our nights away. If someone wants to reach us – novel idea: give either of us a call. Just don’t text us because neither one will answer. At least not instantly.

That was all he asked of me. It might sound like a simple, almost silly thing to some, but to me? It was monumental. It spoke volumes about how Scott has been feeling but hasn’t been fully sharing with me.

…he wanted my presence.

Presence is something I’ve battled, and have openly admitted that here plenty of times. And yes, I’ve tried, tried, tried, to be more present especially at night and on weekends. I’ve gotten a bit better. But old habits die hard. It’s become scarily natural for me to constantly be checking my phone, scanning through various social networks — totally mindlessly too. It’s not like I’m looking for anything in particular, it’s just become such habit.

…but that habit is stealing the joy out of my time with my loved ones, this much I’m already realizing in the short time since this #Presence2013 project began.

A couple of things I’ve noticed so far…

In the car while driving around doing errands today, I noticed how patient of a driver Scott is. We were pulling out of the parking lot at the Container Store (a ridiculously addictive store, red alert) and normally, I’d be sifting through my phone while Scott’s driving (again, a mindless habit), not paying any attention to him at all. But, today I did pay attention and I noticed something new about my husband. I’ve always known him to be patient but as a driver? I never, ever noticed. He takes his time at the stop signs, letting others pass by versus peeling out in a mad rush to get to our next destination (hmm…who does *that* sound like…), and never seems to get ruffled as a driver. A simple thing, sure. But I never would’ve picked up on it had my nose been in my phone the whole time. We’ve also had some of the best conversations in the car the past few days quite simply because we were both in the moment instead of plugged in, texting, emailing and facebooking away.

While playing rummy the other night (a game I am seriously getting worse at with each hand we play…), I stopped and looked at Scott and really paused and looked at him. Straight into his eyes. I put my cards down and cradled his face in my hands and just looked at him. He let out a big sigh, a small smile and said he hadn’t gotten that much focus out of me in months. It was that moment that brought me to tears.

Have I been that disconnected from him lately? That plugged-in to the rest of the world instead?

I curled up in his lap and apologized, and just sat there comfy in his arms and so content. Nothing else mattered. And then, it happened. The song changed on Pandora to “We Danced” by Brad Paisley. Scott whispered…’listen, it’s our song.’ The song we danced our first dance to almost 9 years ago. Scott whispered ‘what a sense of humor…’ which is true: that song playing? A sign from a certain Someone telling me and Scott that this presence thing? It’s important. A lot more important than perhaps either of us realized when we first announced (on Facebook no less, how ironic…) that we’d be disconnecting from our phones for Lent.

I am sharing all of this here with you for two reasons:

  • To remain accountable. I *will* do my best to fully commit to this #Presence2013 project, not just with Scott but when I’m in the presence of friends and family, too. They also deserve my full attention and presence when we’re together.
  • I also share it here in an effort to get you all to think about how present you are with your loved ones. I’d take a wild guess that more than a few of you could stand to be a little bit more present in your life. If you dig it, I would love nothing more than for you to adopt the #Presence2013 mantra however you can. Life is too short to live it online, face buried in your phone or on your computer.

…at least I think so.