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Archive for November, 2010

“Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”

Danzae Pace

I recently received this email from a sweet Prana Power Yoga student, Prana Restaurant enthusiast, and Super-mom.com reader

Dear Taylor,

I know you are probably super busy with your new twins (so exciting! congratulations!) and everything else, and totally understand if you don’t have time to answer this! No pressure, but I just really wanted to write to you because I’m struggling a little bit and thought you might have some advice. Your articles and advice on Super-mom.com have helped me so many times before, so I thought that maybe you’d be able to turn my thinking around on this as well.

This winter, I was really disciplined with my yoga, and practiced every day and listened to the Abraham-Hicks CDs, and I was really happy and things were going really well (I wrote you a few gushing e-mails, LOL!). During that time, I pretty much lost interest in drinking and going out at school, and although my friends recognized that I was happy, they missed me and what we used to do. I just wasn’t interested in doing that, which is a huge part of the social life here (a tiny college in the middle of Ohio).

When I got back to school after spring vacation, I don’t know if it was the good weather or what, but I pretty much went back to my “old self,” although it doesn’t feel as good as it used to. Lots of staying out late and drinking with my friends, not eating as well, hangovers, etc. Alcohol really kills my desire to do yoga, and sometimes I think about stopping drinking altogether but worry I’ll miss out on the social aspect of it, which I do find really fun in the moment. My friends are really happy and keep saying the “old me” is back, which feels good to hear, but doesn’t really satisfy me in the way I thought it would. Sometimes it feels like I’m two different people or something!

I guess what I’m struggling with is finding a balance that makes me feel good. I really look up to you, and sometimes I think it would be easier if I could just fast-forward to the future, when I’m out of this environment, with a job and husband I kids I love! I know that is ridiculous but I can’t help thinking it. I want to go downstream and feel good all the time but sometimes it just feels like too much.

I talked to a counselor at school, and it helped, but I didn’t really feel like she “got” what I was asking.

Have you ever dealt with this before? How do you stay so motivated when you’re tired/stressed out (I would say hung over but I’m sure you don’t drink!)

I’d love to read an article about your experience in college.

I would really appreciate any advice you have!

Thank you so much!

***********************************************************************

This student asks some excellent questions that all Super-people have dealt with at one time or another:

How to stay motivated?

How to maintain balance?

How to decrease stress and fatigue?

She also asks me to talk about my experience in College.

Whoa…those files are closed. ?

LOL—just kidding.

I’m happy to talk about my experience at Brown, even though it feels like a lifetime ago.

I absolutely LOVED my college experience.

I was thrilled to high tail it outta my childhood home, rife with pain and bad memories, and be on my own, finally.

I arrived in Providence in autumn of 1983 with 2 suitcases, 3 tennis rackets, and a big, huge smile.

I traveled to the East Coast from the West alone, didn’t bring any sheets or a winter or even fall coat, but was elated to be in such a wonderful community, filled with amazing people and the best opportunities ever for joy, freedom, and the best life ever.

I had never drunk alcohol in my life. I’d been a “serious” athlete so it had never occurred to me to do so.

I’d also always been into healthy living—even at a young age.

I loved going to parties at Brown and began drinking at those parties with my friends (often holding my nose to drink that keg beer because I didn’t like the taste—LOL) and girl, it took me all of about 4 sips to feel “out of my body.”

It didn’t take much, but looking back, I drank regularly—if not in large quantities. Every weekend, on one weekend night, I’d drink something while at a party.

It’s funny to look back, because I can’t even imagine drinking now (even though wine is raw—LOL). I just have no desire to do so.

Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking (in moderation), but it’s just no longer my thang.

I’m so hopped up on PRANA—life force—that that’s enough for me.

Eating raw foods, practicing yoga, thinking positive thoughts, and living the best life ever is all the buzz I need. It’s the best ever!

But how to get to this point, and maintain it?

That’s what my sweet student is asking.

So to wrap up my experience in college (closure is important for me—and many other readers—LOL), it was really the best ever, for that time in my life and what I was going through, learning, and drawing to myself.

Although I lived through an eating disorder and drank alcohol on a regular basis, I cherish those years at Brown. My memories are beautiful, wonderful, and heart-warming.

It was a magical time filled with magical people, most of whom I’m still close with. I am forever grateful that someone on that admittance committee in 1983 chose to give a kid with no money and a lot of heart and vision a chance. My parents had no money and I was accepted during the most competitive year in the history of the college to get in…The Universe was looking out for me.

But now as I look back, I marvel at how my college experience would’ve been different—even better—had I had yoga and known about raw food and deliberate creation.

I’m so happy to hear that a large percentage of my readers are COLLEGE AGED, and I smile at the thought of them utilizing even some of the tools for the best life ever that I describe weekly on my blog (and throughout my upcoming book as well) utilizing stories of day-to-day life.

So, yes, I have dealt with this before (to answer my student’s original question).

And how do I stay motivated when I’m tired/stressed out?

Another excellent question.

I’m never tired, or stressed out.

KIDDING!

LOL.

Seriously, though, the irony is that the more that you practice the discipline of yoga; the less often you are fatigued, stressed, and/or anxious.

A yoga practice is not primarily exercise or a workout—even though it is also these things.

A yoga practice is first and foremost a discipline.

What this means is that there is many a time when Super-mom has absolutely no desire to get on that mat.

But I do.

There is many a time when Super-mom has eight billion “things to do” and my mind tells me “I don’t have time to practice.”

But I do.

There is many a time when pretty much anything else looks more appealing than doing my practice.

But I do.

I credit this hard-wired discipline mainly to my years as a comptetitive tennis player, and more to my time living in Nick Bolletieri’s home in 1979.

At age 12-13, thanks to Nick, I learned how to discipline myself, and Girl, after that year, anything else was pretty much cake. ;)

So what if you never went to Nicks? (Lucky you—lol).

No worries!

Just take it a day at a time, my Sisters.

And do your best.

The more you get on the mat, the more you will get on the mat.

The more discipline you practice, the more discipline you “have,” and the easier it becomes.

I promise.

And you don’t need to do a whole flow or go to a yoga studio, for Heaven’s sakes.

Just get on your mat and breathe.

A practice can look many, many different ways.

Find your practice each day.

Maybe you do a rag doll and a few sun salutation A’s and B’s before you shuttle your kids off to school.

Or maybe you breathe in down dog for a few minutes before you catch the train to work.

Or maybe you inhale and exhale through child’s pose when you get home from a stressful day in classes.

This is your path.

This is your journey.

This is your life.

Create it as you wish.

But be the victor—not the victim.

Operating from a victim mentality is sure to put you on the fast track to the opposite of joy.

And joy is your birthright!

As is freedom.

So claim it Super-people!

Your freedom, your joy, and your truth is different than everyone else’s.

Find it.

And follow it.

And the eating?

How do you stay on track with that as well?

Same principles.

And the same with the positive thinking (my thoughts create my reality—otherwise known as Deliberate Creation).

It’s really all the same.

Which makes it all quite simple.

Until our minds get involved and do their job…making us suffer. Making us miserable.

But you now have the tools to overcome that mind misery.

That’s old news and you don’t have to buy or read that paper anymore.

Create your life—the best life ever—right now, in this moment.

The past is over.

Let it go.

Begin again—now.

It’s NEVER too late to begin again.

“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.”

?

Maureen Killoran

“Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted.”

David Steindl-Rast

“As you focus on the abundance rather than the lack in your life, you will be designing a wonderful new blueprint for the future. This sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work, transforming your dreams into reality.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

“What you put out comes back. The more you sincerely appreciate life from the heart, the more the magnetic energy of appreciation attracts fulfilling life experiences to you, both personally and professionally.”

Doc Childre and Sara Paddison

“A basic law: the more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.”

Norman Vincent Peale

Being grateful. That’s the first step to the path of Joy.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s interesting to shift our thinking a little bit away from turkey and stuffing and more toward gratitude.

Gratitude is by far and away the highest vibration on the planet. When you’re steeped in gratitude, everything flows. Everything lines up. Everything happens FOR you, not TO you.

It’s easy to find things to be grateful for, if you are awake and aware—open to what is right in front of your eyes.

If, on the other hand, you are in the robotic “check things off my list” and “get to the end of the week” mode where you can all too quickly fall into the role of “Victim” instead of “Victor,” gratitude ain’t easy to find.

“I have so many problems Taylor!” you exclaim angrily. “You have no idea what it’s like…you have no idea what I’m going through.”

Or, “But Taylor, you wouldn’t believe what he said and she said…you wouldn’t believe what she did and they said.”

Oh, yes, people, I would and do believe, and I’ve been there.

But what I’ve learned in my lifetimes thus far is that in ANY situation, I have a choice: love or fear. And time and time again, if I choose love over fear, I am filled with light-infused gratitude.

Then my vibration is so high that all of the previous “problems” vanish effortlessly. The Universe takes care of it all, and mighty quickly. In ways that I never (in my wildest dreams) could’ve imagined.

And I have some pretty wild dreams. ;)

So right now–not later—STOP! Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?”

Make a list. Write it down, write it down, write it down.

And manifest you will.

Read that list now and read it again later.

Then read it when you feel a shift happening—from love to fear…from Victor to Victim.

I’m not sayin’ that you haven’t been through a lot.

I’m not sayin’ that sometimes our Spirits create curveballs in our lives to help us to grow and evolve.

What I am sayin’ is to wake up, breathe, and find gratitude.

And then watch miracles and magic happen.

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Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:

I expected motherhood to change me.  How could it not?  Everything was new.  But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together.  It was all at once brutal and gratifying.  I am grateful for all of it.  I have learned who I am and how great my support system is.  I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us.  It’s not just me who is a super mom.  It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family.  Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her.  The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU.  She was a full term baby but a very sick one.  After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched.   She thrived.  And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong.  It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart.  She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed.  I needed to feel again.  Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself.  I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day.  I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was sleepwalking.  I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!).   Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help.  I began to piece myself back together.  It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice.  It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again.  I experienced such joy in finding myself.    I had really missed me!  But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey.  It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected.  It’s often what I need most!  I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad!  Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.