Thursday, April 24, 2014

3 Ways to Make Your Run a Moving Meditation

Solo running is a form of meditation for me. A chance to be my best self, release my worries, breathe in the present moment, and connect to my spirituality. My solo runs are meditations in motion.

After a solo run I feel energized, refreshed, more positive, and present.  Use your time in your running shoes as you do your time on the yoga mat--as a chance to breathe, to practice self-love, and connect to the world around you. I guarantee, you will NOT regret using your run as a moving meditation.



Three Tricks to Transform Your Run Into A Moving Meditation:

1. DITCH THE MUSIC.




I know this may be hard for many of you, but to really connect to the now--you need to shut of the tunes. Leave the music at home.

Turning off the music allows you to tune into to YOU. Listen to your breath as you inhale and exhale. Hear the birds chirping around you, cars honking, cyclists passing you, and the buzz of life around you.  Music is great but it can take you away from the present moment and make you less aware of your surroundings. Let your breathe and the noise around you be the music to move you along.

2. RUN SOMEWHERE SCENIC.

View from a run in St. Petersburg, Florida
Even if you live in the middle of a crowded city, try to get outside and run somewhere pretty. When I lived in Manhattan, I did all my runs in Central Park. In Tampa, I run along the water on Bayshore Boulevard.

Find somewhere pretty to run that makes you feel good. The treadmill is fine for rainy days, but when the weather is nice--get outside, run somewhere beautiful, and appreciate the great views around you. Even if it's just a neighborhood filled with houses, get outside and appreciate the houses as you run by. No matter if you run the same route every single day, there is always something different to appreciate about it. Feel the air on your skin as you run, the sun beating down (or clouds covering the sun), and experience the wonder that is the great outdoors.

3. SMILE WHILE YOU RUN.


Have you ever tried smiling while you run? I can't stop! When I run, I feel so excited that I literally am ALWAYS smiling--no matter how hard I'm pushing or how fast I'm going. I feel more positive, more connected to the universe, and better able to love every aspect of my run with a smile on my face. (Even if it's a long run and I'm feeling tired or cranky!)

Try a smile. Keep it on your face for your entire run. Enjoy! :D

BONUS: SING WHILE YOU RUN. (Because that's even better than smiling.)

I dare you! :)

What are your favorite ways to turn your run into a meditation in motion? 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Annie Guest Post: The Hardest Lessons are the Most Important

Today, I am privileged to give you a guest post from my friend Annie. (You may remember her from a previous post in February about her half marathon with Best Damn Race.) 

About Annie:


Annie Ermanis is 30 years old and lives in St. Pete Beach, FL. She was adopted from South Korea, and recently went back to meet her birth family. Annie loves running, and will be training soon for her first marathon in November 2014. Writing is her passion, and by sharing her feelings through it, she hopes to reach others in a positive light and help spread awareness in the importance of love and compassion.

Read on for Annie's recent examination of judgement and embodiment of #PassLove. If the world was filled with more Annie's, I cannot tell you how awesome of a place it would be! Thank you Annie for always inspiring me to be a better me, to analyze my own faults, and to love fully. You are the best!! :)


Recently, I learned that some of the hardest lessons are the most important.  Those are the ones that give us strength, and the ability to keep growing.  The most recent lesson that crossed my path was not to judge others so quickly.

I have learned that my judgments of others’ imperfections are a reflection of my own insecurities.  When something bothers me about another person, I’ve recognized that it’s probably something I do as well, and need to look inward and figure out how to transcend that. 

While it’s been a long journey to get to this realization, I also want to point out that it’s definitely okay to not be okay all the time.  Being able to sit with any emotions that come up is much better than stuffing them down and pretending they don’t exist; because they do.  We are where we are in life, and I choose to make an effort to honor everyone’s paths with compassion.  That does not go without saying that it can be very difficult to do at times.

Breaking free from our own beliefs about ourselves and others is extremely hard to do, and I have come to realize that at times, I was the only one holding me back.  I am trying to become more mindful of the thoughts that run through my head, and how I can change them to allow more positivity into my life.

I realized that thinking and saying something are two very different things.  I want my thoughts and words to be congruent.  What I project is what I want to feel.  A lot of times people will lie when they tell someone something, but are thinking something completely different in their heads.  I am the first one to admit I have done this before, and am consciously trying to break that cycle.
  
I want to live an authentic life, and feel free to express myself honestly and openly.

I oftentimes catch myself making negative judgments of others, and I have to stop and backtrack to start changing my way of thinking.  It’s so easy to make a snap judgment of someone or a situation,  that we forget to tune in to what else could be going on.

We are all human beings with beating hearts; instead of working so hard to hurt one another, we must transform those efforts to work together.  After all, we all have the same goal.  And that is to love and be loved.  #passlove

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Believe in yourself: 5 ways to be your own cheerleader

Always believe in yourself.

You can't rely on others for your happiness, to support your efforts and goals in life, or to lift you up when you need a boost.

You have to start by believing in yourself and being your own best cheerleader.

I love Marathon Monday.  This year, especially, our capacity for compassion, generosity, excellence, and drive was on display in Boston.

While I have not run the Boston marathon (I'm not that speedy--yet!), I have run many races. The cheers and signs can make a huge difference in how your race turns out.

Here I am cheering for friends (with a broken toe) at the 2013 Rock 'n Roll St. Pete half marathon.  I'd like to think that our cheers and smiles helped others to push themselves a bit further and smile a bit more brightly on the run.


Ultimately, however, race achievement is due to your own inner drive and your own belief in your ability to succeed.

We need to be our own best cheerleaders and always believe in ourselves the most. Because our love for US is what can allow us to truly soar higher and bigger than ever before.


Here's five ways ways to be your own cheerleader: 

1) KNOW WHAT YOU WANT & BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE WORTHY OF IT!

Set realistic goals. Aim high. Know what you want in life, don't be afraid to ask for it, to go after it, and to believe that you are 100 percent worthy of success!

2) ACKNOWLEDGE THE LITTLE VICTORIES ALONG THE WAY

Sometimes we forget to give ourselves pats on the back. We climb a step, but are so busy looking to the stop of the staircase that we don't remember to realize that we're on a new level. Every step deserves to be acknowledged. Every step brings you closer to your goal, closer to your dream.

If you are on a weight loss program, you have to acknowledge when you feel better, when your pants fit better--even if the scale doesn't say what you want it to.  If you are writing a book, every chapter, every sentence is worth being proud of.  Maybe your dream is to do a handstand in the middle of the room--the first time you kick up at the wall is worth celebrating.

Acknowledge when you are making strides along the way. Maybe you're on mile 12 of your half marathon --- you are almost done and that is awesome! Remember to tell yourself such. Because you are the person who talks to YOU the most. The thoughts in your head are powerful, let them be positive.

3) SMILE

My friend has the running mantra of "one more mile, one more smile." When the going gets tough, keep smiling! Smiling is proven to boost mood and reduce stress--plus, smiling is CONTAGIOUS! Smile big. Smile bright. Smile even when no one is watching. Smile RIGHT NOW!

4) DON'T GIVE UP

It can be so tempting to stop. To give up. To say "I'm done with this" when you have no one but yourself to hold you accountable. These are the times we need persistence the most. Keep going, you can do it!!

5) LOVE THYSELF 

Remember to #PassLove to YOU. Because when you love yourself, you allow others to love you and open yourself up to greatness. Need some inspiration on loving yourself today? Check out my post from earlier this month: five ways to love yourself today.

Plus, this quote always helps me to love me:


What are your favorite ways to #believe in yourself, #PassLove to you, and be your own cheerleader?