Adventures in Trusting the Universe

One serendipitous encounter. A conversation with a stranger. A teaspoon of bravery. A dash of trust in the universe and one big, daring adventure.

That’s how I started my career.

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Via.

Over the past few years I’ve been focusing on listening to my gut. I’ve made mistakes, moved 4 times, bought the ticket, took the ride. I tried everything, even seafood.

There were a lot of opportunities that didn’t fit into my puzzle and there were a lot of questions in my mind as to why. Fortunately, even more than either of those voices in my head were goals I couldn’t quit chasing.

I met my current boss while I was waiting tables this past August. I wasn’t supposed to. He wasn’t supposed to be put in my section, but, for some reason that we were soon to understand, there he was with a long time friend laughing and chatting up a storm.

We all started talking. It turned out that I was an intern for some friends of theirs the previous summer. I told them what I do now, this blog and my children’s book. My experience seemed to fit this project he hoped to launch so perfectly, but, my soon-to-be-boss had barely any details to give me about this business he was working on.

The New Yorker in me doubted it all terribly but something in me said, “Trust.” So, I did.

Soon after I received a phone call from his employee (1 of 2) and a few assignments. As a freelancer, it’s easy to trust the wrong person and get burned. There is always the concern of someone stealing your work, or even worse, your money or identity.

A month later, I was invited to be flown to New Orleans, Louisiana. Again that New York girl said, “Oh no, ohhh no. Not a good idea! You’re going to become the lead role in Taken 3.”

Again, “Trust. Something big is working underneath the surface.”

Flying over 9 states to my biggest adventure yet, my parents were doing their best to not completely freak out. I met my boss for the first time since the summer night when I was simply some girl serving him swordfish in upstate New York.

Everything went exactly as promised, which, may or may not have been the first time in my traveling history. We went to all of the best restaurants. We reviewed the project, designed the logo and created a plan for the future.

I pinched myself once every ten minutes.

This is the product of opening your heart to all of life’s greatest possibilities. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s terrifying, but, “What you seek is seeking you,” as said by Rumi. It’s your job to keep your heart and mind open to these blessings that are working to find you.

This is how I’m starting my career as a full-time writer. A serendipitous encounter. A splash of intuition and a whole hell of a lot of trust that the universe has worked its magic.

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Four Eco-Friendly Fitness Clothing Companies

Did you know that in the U.S. 1,500 water bottles are used every second? Did you know that plastic is not biodegradable? It’s estimated that plastic thrown into the ocean could last hundreds and hundreds of years.
Did you know that conventional cotton is one of the most destructive crops? That it’s grown with pesticides that are extremely harmful to the agricultural world?

An active lifestyle often inspires awareness to social and environmental conflicts. The yogi who believes in the tree of life, the runner who is hoping the weather is just right, the man on the mountain, the hiker leaning on a newfound walking stick and the swimmer dipping into clean water all connect with the environment on a personal level. It’s only natural to care about nature!

Many companies are focusing on their responsibilities outside of simply selling and looking at how to reduce their carbon footprints allowing their athletes to make eco-friendly footprints instead.

Here are Five Eco-Friendly Fitness Clothing Lines:

1. Patagonia’s mission statement is, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” They believe it is our responsibility to be as eco-conscious as possible. Read the incredible story of how in the spring of 1988, this company’s employees were effected by air pollution in their new facility. The problem inspired a movement towards organic clothing that would be safe for employees and the environment.

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2. Teeki is a company that creates athletic attire by collecting plastic containers from community recycling centers, cleaning, melting, extruding that to make into fiber, that fiber is then baled and created into fabric. The founder is passionate about our oceans and began with swimwear before expanding to other pieces of clothing.

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3. If you’ve heard of Teeki, you may also have heard of ZuVi, a very similar company created by a mother and daughter passionate about fashion, nature and yoga. They also use recycled plastic but practice a different technique to recycle it into cotton and create their clothing. They mix their yarn, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, with spandex, making them 84% recycled PET and 16% spandex. Hopefully, that clears up an skepticism against the fit and flexibility these clothes provide! ZuVi is worn by tons of incredible athletes causing them to be proven to work. Get yourself a pair of these colorful and creative yoga pants!

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4. Atayne founded by Jeremy Litchfield thanks to one red t-shirt. The dye stained his body, shoes and running shorts. What Jeremy felt in reaction was a sense of disappointment that while he was aspiring to exercise to become healthier, harmful chemicals were being absorbed into his body. The reason why was outdated technologies still in use to create performance wear when newer procedures with less harmful consequences and better performance quality were available. Litchfield is determined to inspire others to care for themselves and their environment. Atayne was created in 2007.

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Yes, this is exactly what Relephant Matters is talking about with the “Minds of Matter” section. Great minds that make moves toward changes that will benefit the world. What can we do when we find something we are passionate about changing? Well, change it of course!

Wake With an Open Heart: Day 1

Can your good deeds calculate the good that enters your life? Being a good person brings only good into your life, right? I always was told that you were rewarded for your kindness unto others, your pristine moral compass and so on. Now I realize that to bring only good in is to only allow good into your life and radiate that no matter what the odds. We have all been betrayed and beaten down by life but it is in how we rise that will determine our happiness. To rise, I find we must wake everyday with an open heart and rejoice. Pay gratitude towards our bodies and the wonderful fact that you have in fact woken up to another day and that, my friends, is a wonderful gift.

If your heart is open you allow everything to reach you, good and bad. I believe that living with a welcoming heart means waking up with a quick stretch and meditation to decrease stress and physical ailments. This release will help clear your mind and open you to daily possibilities.

I first dreaded waking up. Hated leaving my bed. Hated everything that forced me to leave my cotton covered, plush palace where I rest my head every night. Now, I meditate my way out. I bend my knees. I inhale a new beginning, preparing to paint my day how I please. I reach up, legs lengthening, back bending …and I roll over and close my eyes. I love my bed, I really do.

Alas, we must voyage out on a new journey, to responsibilities, jobs, exercises, chores, food shopping… shit, reality. Bed.

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Anyways, reality calls…

Wake With an Open Heart

Instructions

DAY 1

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Upward Facing Dog
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

From a position lying on your stomach, place your hands next to your shoulders and push up until your arms are locked straight. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana can be as deep of a back bending stretch as you so choose. It took me many practices to get where I am today and I hope that you do not compare any of these photos to your accomplishments.

Upward Facing Dog is beneficial to the digestive system and improve posture. In some cases it may help with sciatica and asthma. This will open the heart chakra and assist in curing mild forms of depression. Toning will occur over time in muscles such as the gluteus and arms.

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Childs Pose
Balasana

Pull your hips back in between your heals and rejoice in the relief of your back, thighs, neck, shoulders, and hips! Child’s pose will calm your body mentally and physically if you allow it. It’s a rewarding pose to ease in and out of as you flow through your practice.

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Cow Pose
Bitilasana

Are you flowing with me yet? Wake up sleepy head! To shift into this asana, bring your knees in beneath your hips and your body to a tabletop position.

Cow Pose benefits your body by improving focus as you coordinate it with breathing and with it’s sister asana the Cat Pose (to be discussed next). Bitilasana stretches the front torso while also soothing spinal and belly organs.

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Cat Pose
Marjaryasana

Soon we will discuss transitioning. As Cow Pose benefits you mentally, so does Marjaryasana. A perfect opposite to combine with Cow, the Cat Pose stretches your back torso and neck (a feline favorite) and massages your spine and belly organs.

Cat and Cow pose go hand in hand so you will actually use the tabletop position as a constant while changing and progressing.

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Back into Child’s Pose.

Keep your practice playful!

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Leg Up the Wall Pose
Viparita Karani

This gentle inversion influenced my practice to begin before leaving bed. I learned it at a rewarding 6 a.m. yoga class and Yoga Mandali in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. We elevated our hips with pillows to feel this pose’s incredible effects on the body such as circulation, increased energy, relaxation and even some medical benefits. With your feet high above you, your blood begins flowing to parts of the body that really need a little extra attention to heal ailments such as arthritis, insomnia or blood pressure.

How do I get my legs up there?

I usually just roll up to the wall but everyone is different so listen to your body. I usually lay on my side with my legs along the wall, have a pillow behind you also against the wall. Release your breathe and swing your legs straight up against the wall. Adjust the cushion underneath your hips. Relax. Allow your arms to fall where they please and let your body sink, stretching your spine effortlessly. Inhale. Exhale…

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Happy Baby Pose
Ananda Balasana

Keep your spine relaxed, reach for your knees and while exhaling, pull them into your chest. Take the pillow or blanket out from underneath you when  you’re ready.Your spine should rest flat. From here, grab your toes, straighten your legs and let them fall to either side. Rest here for a few breaths and breathe out focusing on stretching that groin muscle a little bit more with each exhale.

When you’re done exploring this asana just pull your knees back towards your chest and roll to your side as you prepare for the next posture…

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Big Toe Pose
Padangusthasana

Big Toe Pose has a lot of variations and can be performed with a strap (a tie or a belt could suffice) to assist those of you who can’t always reach their toes. You can sit and grab your big toes with your pointer and index fingers or you can stand or recline onto your back. Reach for those toes in whatever way that works for your body.

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Upward Salute
Urdhva Hastasana

Begin in Mountain Pose or Tadasana by standing with your feet flat, arms at your sides and shoulders square with your hips. Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms straight.

Feel the comfort and discomforts of your body before moving into Upward Salute or Urdhva Hastasana. If you have neck pain or shoulder injuries please, be cautious. If you feel a little tightness in your shoulders like I do after a long night’s sleep then you may be ready for upward hands to loosen up. Stretch towards the sky with straight arms, reaching through your fingertips. Enjoy the rush of energy this asana will present you with!

Namaste.

What if?

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What if when you die they ask, “How was Heaven?”

This blew me away. I have been struggling to find my gratitude this past week due to a series of misfortunate events. This blew my mind and put it back together with the correct mindset. Everyday is a gift. Our lives are ever wonderful holidays when we are grateful for the present.

I thought I would share. I hope this helps you as much as it did me.

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