Deep Breathing Challenge – Day #30

I didn’t give an update for my last two weeks, because I didn’t really have one. I have noticed a lot in my first two weeks of this challenge and there are also some realizations I have accepted through the process. It’s been a deep growth period for me and one I have truly enjoyed to the fullest.

I no longer get lightheaded,

when I deep breathe for yoga or meditation. Now that my body is used to spending, roughly half, of the time deep breathing naturally, it is better able to accommodate those activities where deep breathing is involved.


 

I can run farther, faster.

My strides are long as if I’m seven inches taller. My body takes off and flies through the scenery. Coming from a hometown in high altitude and thin air, it was already one thing to experience such thickness in the air here; being so close to sea level. Deep breathing has given me back my power to match my breathing to the environment. I used to compensate my breathing when I ran here, unsure of how exactly to measure my breaths. Sometimes I would breathe a lot of faster and sometimes just a little too shallow. I now understand the rhythm and flow to serve my body the best functioning for runs, jogs, and now… hikes!


I’ve stopped craving junk food as often.  

It was cookies every single night, chocolate of some sort every day, skipping meals and craving chocolate of any kind. Milk, carbs for all three meals, late night snacks, decrease in activity. The sluggish feeling became overwhelming. The clear thinking I have had from deeply breathing has not only filtered out unnecessary thoughts and slowed down my pace of speech, but it has given me clear and concise communication with the part of my brain that tells me when I am hungry and/or thirsty and what nutrients I actually need to fuel my body. I am listening intently as I gather what I need. The bag of Cadbury eggs in my fridge are not being touched [as often] as I thought they would be. They may just last until Winter…. don’t worry about the amount I bought. That’s not of importance. Fruits and veggies and water are once again, the biggest part of my diet. I crave cherries like I craved cookies. My breaths allow me to really feel my lungs expand and my heart beat at an appropriate rate. I feel the beating getting stronger everyday. My own heart is regaining it’s strength due to my breaths lengthening, inhibiting my mind to decide accurately what it is I need to put in my body to make this function last.


 

I have learned and accepted, that I can’t breathe deeply every single breath of every single moment of every day, but I can come back to deep breathing when I have stopped doing whatever it is that takes the focus of mind.

Such as conversations, being in the moment with friends, laughing, watching suspenseful movies, and even sleeping. Educating clients, reading a book. There are some things I do, where I just don’t think about my breathing. Although my breathing is no longer shallow like it used to naturally be, it is not as naturally deep as I had hoped. Although, can every breath be naturally so deep, comparable to meditation? Would we then be focused so hard on breathing that we actually get pulled away from being in the moment? That aspect was never my goal. Although, because I have spent every possible moment in these last thirty days, giving attention to my breath, I have learned that I am now spending half my time awake giving an in depth rise and fall of my rib cage, full expansion to my diaphragm, and a piece of mind to my body. I am less toxic on a cellular level, which in turn frees my mind, endocrine system, and skin of toxicity.

When I am engaged in something active, whether it be a soccer game, conversing with workmates and friends, indulged in books and movies, or exercising, although my breath is not actively opening up as when I am focused, it is opening much, much more, than it used to. My natural breath is now three times deeper than it used to be. I am calmer as a person in all aspects of my life. I am more confident without having nonsensical anxiety and worrisome thoughts. I take the time in all I do. I no longer rush my days. I no longer stir my brew of self-sabotage mixed with ingredients of time, fear, attention, and perfection.

 

This challenge has been one to remember forever. It has undoubtedly, answered the questions I could never have answered for me. It has forced me to look within not with shame, but acceptance and patience. It has allowed me to conquer aspects of myself I feared I would never be able to do. It has taught me that nothing about ourselves is permanent and we can improve our spirits in anyway we seem fit; all we have to do is commit.

I am twenty four mortal years old and am learning things I have not learned in all the others years my soul has walked this Earth. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, and it’s moving. Thank you for allowing me to share this 30 day challenge experience with you. As always, I encourage you to venture on a 30 day challenge of your own! Big or small, physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental – challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is one of the best experiences we can give ourselves. We thrive, we grow, and even surprise ourselves along the way.

We are all strong and wonderful.
Challenge yourself, today.

Another Historical Moment in the New Millennium

It’s no hidden fact, that since the beginning of our new millennium, we have made monumental moments in our history that have been captivating,

In 2001, the first iPod was introduced by Apple, Inc. and it was a month before that we had a terrorist attack on our nation and Historical Afghan cliff carvings of the Buddhas are blown up after the Taliban deems them idolatrous.
In 2002, Banksy smuggles one of his own works into Tate Britain: The nation’s favorite graffiti artist, Bansky, smuggles one his pieces into Tate Britain; earning himself a place in the art establishment
In 2004, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg
In 2005, YouTube was created and Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans
2006 brought us Planet Earth, The God Delusion, and our first E-Reader by Sony.
Paul McCartney proved anyone can be a record label, even Starbucks, when he signed in 2007.
The year of 2008 brought us our first black President of the United States
Pop Icon, Michael Jackson passed away in 2009.
NASA took its final mission in 2011.
We survived the apocalypse on December 21, 2012
The Selfie, The Belfie, “Bae”, Instagram, Snapchat, iPads, Facetime, Radio on the Go…….


Now, in 2015, we have yet again, made our mark in history as a wide clan of humanity. We have given evidence to show what it means to be united and stand together as one. Different parties have come together, different religions have come together, and different generations… have come together. We have the done the undoable and accomplished the accomplishable….

Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage in all 50 states. 


White House Turns to Rainbow
photo credit: Mladen Antonov


A display of the colors as shown: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
That is seven colors that correlates not just the number, but the order, in which our Chakras run. (Root, Hara, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown).

Coincidence? Nothing is coincidence.

The colors are based off the the order and creation of the natural phenomena, the rainbow. (Notice how “rainbow”, in itself, is seven letters long?) The rainbow appears after rainfall and is said to be God’s promise to mankind that he won’t ever again, flood the Earth. The rainbow is a sign of promise, peace, growth, love, opportunity, cherishment, and love. These seven colors literally, run from the shade before it into the shade following it. The red fades into orange, fades into yellow, fades into green; all the way until the indigo fades into violet (our crown chakra, that when opened, gives us ultimate, open communication with the Divine), shining so brightly, that as the violet sheds those sweet purple and lavender hues, they become filled more with pinks; bringing us back full circle to a bold and leading red.

7 Colors
7 Letters
7 Dominating Chakras through the center of our body.

There is no denying that the message of the rainbow has clearly been lost throughout society as we have grown in less than favorable ways throughout the centuries of occupying Mother Earth. But here it is, again, forcing us to open our ways. Forcing us to pay attention to the moral laws set forth by powers greater than we will ever know. We are made of the components that the message brings. We were made up of all the colors that run in and out of each other. One color is every color and no color is no such thing. It proves the connection among all living things.


The ruling came on June 26th, 2015 from a very close 5-4 ruling in the Supreme Court, denying every state the power to prohibit same sex couples seeking marriage. The moment the gavel came down in favor of the marriage rights, it was instantly legal; giving every gay man and lesbian woman the right to enjoy their marriage rights that every opposite-sex couple has enjoyed for thousands of years. Obama gives a pretty straight forward speech in this short video here.

Said President Obama on the night of the ruling, “This is a great step toward our March in equality.” And he couldn’t be more right. The Defense of Marriage Act was denied in 2013 by the Supreme Court, after millions of eager citizens were waiting to hear the news on what their future of freedom would hold for them. Millions of people have fought blood, sweat, and tears to make this moment happen. They have endured name calling, unlawful physical attacks, hate messages, judgements, disownment from families and friends, and even the development of fear. They have stayed true to themselves through the fire as they walked across the coals of other people’s wrath and envy. People are born with bravery. It’s a quality one develops.

Our country has much to learn about the concept of courage, bravery, and integrity. For so many years, people have taken it upon themselves to play God. They have taken ownership of the right to judge others, sentence others, condemn others; just because they believe in different views.

There are some things, I can only shake my head at, such as the outcries of our nation’s senators and political figures. Which is when I turn to the man who has taken my response to these people, right out of my mouth and in doing so, has allowed me to laugh with millions who also viewed this treat on Monday, June 29th.


 

LET THIS BE KNOWN AMERICA:

YOU ARE NOT BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. 

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYBODY OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF.  

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO CONDEMN THOSE WHO SEE DIFFERENTLY.


Absolutely adorable is when kids are asked their views. Now, kids are literally a by-product of their parents and daily environment. They speak their mind because they are pure of heart. They see things a number of adults don’t see because they haven’t lost their depth of imagination. They understand things a number of adults do not, because they love wholeheartedly. So when asked what their opinion is of gay marriage, they said this.


 

This picture below, is what it looks like when the nonbelievers utilize the space in between their arms for accepting individual thought and lifestyle, instead of utilizing it to hold onto their pride.

The White House is blanketed in rainbow colors symbolizing
photo credit: Molly Riley


 

quote from Obama on Gay Marriage

Obama said the ruling was the “consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents — parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts and stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”


 

Gaining support in this triumph is ever growing. Even churches are beginning to recognize the strength and beauty in opening their minds to accept other beliefs as genuine individual thought. “If we were all the same, we’d all be eating at Taco Bell,” my mom always says. And she is right. How boring would that be if we all thought and lived and ate the same? Diversity is what America was made for. Against what Senator Ted Cruz thinks, it is exactly, what our founding fathers wanted for our country.

Life. 
Liberty.
Equality.
Freedom.
Pursuit of Happiness.

Ditching the Daily Routine for Vacation


 

I recently got back from an eight day trip to my home-state, visiting family and friends, and watching two soccer games. It was amazing to see everyone I did, although, there is never enough time in the World to see everyone, because there is a huge list of people I still would have absolutely loved to see.

Going all around Salt Lake, laughing, seeing friends, hanging out with family, eating and making some great memories; I was lucky to have gotten the chance to run, walk, ride my bike one last time, and hike.

What I didn’t do however was: finish my plank challenge, squat circuit challenge, drink nearly enough water, read any of my book, or write in my diary once.

If it wasn’t for the cardio I did everyday, I would have completely disregarded my entire fitness and nutrition routine. There is no excuse why I didn’t write, read, or drink water.

That brings me to our topic today.
What is it about vacations that influence us to go off our routine almost entirely?



 For the majority of us, something happens to us when we start moving in the sight of vacation. Our lazy alter-ego takes over and prevails in our convincing that we don’t need to worry because we are on vacation. As if for the entire time we are away from home, our bodies won’t store a single cell of fatty tissue and our other fulfillments will take care of themselves, while we pretend like our being is on a real break from life.

That’s when it happens. We selectively forget that a good diet keeps us balanced and happy because… that brownie just looks way too good. We don’t want to pay for x amount of days at the local gym because to us, it’s just not worth it and for some reason, we don’t even consider a home workout or jogging outside. There’s more than necessary excuses as to why we can’t do a home workout other than, “I am here on vacation. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to think. I just want to relax”.

We push our routine away from us. We deny the voice inside that says, “Hey… You know you should be getting in some form of exercise right now. You know you will regret this if you don’t.”

Then we wonder why we feel like a bag of sand when we get back home to our bed. We unload our bags, put away our souvenirs and look in the mirror in disgust. “I don’t think I stopped eating the entire time.” Where does the “I’M FULL!” signal go when we forget our routine? Down with the hobbies and the email checking and appropriate water intake.


 


 Falling off my daily routine wagon confused my body, my mind, and my motivation. Only today, I started my routine again. I woke up early and got fresh and clean. I sang happy birthday to my boyfriend with candles on his favorite treat and got ready for work. I am off this afternoon and looking forward to the workout I have planned for myself as well as my dog while my Birthday Hunk is down at work for the big match today. I have been spending the last three days catching up in my diary as well as keeping track of any new events or thoughts that have passed since the days, to add them in as well. I unpacked my bags and did all the laundry in the house and cleaned and swept and today is the first day where my “vacation brain” is woken up. Cogs are turning again! I thank my boyfriend for taking on the role of permanent accountabilibuddy, because without him, getting back into my routine would be challenging against myself.


So when you recognize where you’ve fallen off your wagon, what steps do you take to get back on?

Where do you turn? Who do you turn to? How do you keep yourself inspired?


 

This is something we could print off and keep with us on our travels! I found this on google, and as what I’ve learned from it, other than being one of the more popular searches for “Getting back on Track” in the images section, this list of 10 is one of the most reposted, redesigned piece of advice for people. Why? 

Because it works.

When you don’t know where to turn to get back on track, start with the mirror.
Talking to ourselves in the mirror is extremely powerful. When we can visit with ourselves in the mirror and remind ourselves how far we’ve come on our health and our hobbies, it is the fire starter we need to push our spirits into the path of greatness!

Don’t get stuck with “vacation brain” and let yourself sink into a slump of laziness. Don’t be so disappointed with yourself that your bad week turns into a bad month. You worked so hard for what you have accomplished and now isn’t the time to deny that! (Is there ever a good time to deny that?)  And don’t ever be afraid to call upon your trusted accountabilibuddies!! That’s what they are there for. To reinvigorate the spark for your fire and help you see what you love the most. They are there to remember your why when you forget it.

We aren’t perfect beings, but we can do our best everyday to keep doing what makes us happy. And after all is said and done, happiness is the closest to perfection as the “perfect” illusion can get. And if you’re happy, then that’s good enough.


 So when you ditch your routine while you vacation and you come back home and the Real World life sets back in, don’t freak out and don’t lose hope and everything else you worked for! Remember why you made your routine, a routine in the first place, and go from there. Use your resources and take some time to zen and think, and even consider if your vacation is one that inspired you to change your routine. (because sometimes that happens too)


Stay strong! Keep the inspiration up and the doubt low! It’s okay to take full blown vacation, but settling back into a routine is not only comforting, but necessary for our sanity 😉

Have any other suggestions on how to get back into your daily regimen? Post your thoughts and comments in the section below and thanks for getting involved! Your words matter 🙂