Regaining my life in new territory.

I was becoming exhausted just being in my own body. Another suffering cause was the fact that I hadn’t been giving attention to my hobbies due to the change in my life. Moving here had turned my world upside down. I started to feel suffocated in my own house, trapped by my chores, agonizing over the memories I missed so much from back home. It was tearing me apart. I looked at myself like a quitter. Giving up on my routine and my hobbies of gardening, belly dancing, kundalini yoga sessions, dog parks, making a big breakfast every morning, going to crystal shops, hiking, going to church, etc. I had stopped doing it because I didn’t know where any such places were. I was accepting the fact that the Towne Park a mile away was enough to suffice, because the few dog parks Danny and I did check out, the dogs were all aggressive. Giving up on hiking, realizing that this isn’t Utah, this is the woods. Giving up on gardening because I no longer had a yard to do it in and overestimated the cost for indoor plants. Giving up on yoga because the classes here were just so expensive. I had succumbed to my own mental prison and wide range of excuses. Work and dog walks is all I will be doing here,  I thought, trying to hold back my tears. I just kept breathing and praying for something to change. Please, anything to get me back to a state of well-being, I begged. When you stop doing what you love, you stop being the person you are and you allow yourself to lose your spirit, it not only affects yourself, but everyone around you. I started feeling sad, depressed, and irritable, out of the unhappiness I had felt within myself.

On a day like many others, I was cleaning our house and sleeping the floors and organizing the DVDs on the shelf and that’s when I saw it: The yoga DVD I had bought at a pawn shop last Autumn! I stared in disbelief as tears of relief swelled up in my eyes. It was when I stopped looking so hard and so desperately, that it came to me at the right time. The next day, I met a neighbor who lives 1,000 feet away from me. Cristyn’s dog is the same breed as Zai and six months older. They run, they play, and I had found comfort in someone with a very similar lifestyle to my own. A holistic yoga instructor with a Masters in Sports Psyche raised by a homeopathic, animal loving massage therapist. My soul was fed. The bond was cemented and a friendship was born.

One week after that, I go across the street to get Danny some slices of pizza to have ready for his return after a 12 hour day of work. The same manager who was working is the same fellow with whom Danny and I are acquainted with there. Making small talk with Kade, I tell him about the beach in Stamford and he recommends a secluded and quiet beach in Norwalk for me to try. I say, it’s expensive, but I’m sure one day on a special occasion, it will be perfect. He knows Zai, and throws in a few other recommendations. Stone Hill Road, off route 137 and 124 has a dog park that is a wooded trail. It’s quiet and in nature. There are creeks and it’s off leash, he says. And as an added bonus, tells me about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, not even 10 minutes from my house! It’s a 5,000 acre piece of land where people take their dogs, horses, and go just to enjoy nature. Sometimes there are workout classes there or meditation classes. You can even go camping! Lakes and ponds everywhere. Lots and lots of hiking too. Maybe not like in Utah, but you can certainly venture there, he adds.

My salvation was returning and my depression was diminishing. 

I have accepted the fact, that I may not find a belly dancing class here for a while, but why should that stop me from belly dancing in the comfort of my own home? The same day I went to the Stone Hill Road dog park is the same day I stopped at the library and got a library card. One week ago, Danny bought me house plant. I am not just gardening again, but building upon my happiness that is growing and connecting to Earthly life inside the comfort of a home that has no outside options.

I have met four neighborhood dogs, with amazing owners who I now walk with everyday and our dogs play together. Amazing women of all ages.

My spirits are up and my mood swings are down. My happiness is much and my depression, very little. I have a hunger to do things now. I clung to Danny when I had nothing of my own and it had put a strain and pressure on our relationship that neither of us could escape. I was dependent on him to give me what my hobbies had given me. I didn’t know who was happier when these past few weeks have filled my life with my answered prayers! The strain has been lifted. Being with each other is a choice everyday that we make and it’s enjoyable to make it now. I no longer feel guilty for clinging to him for comfort and a way to be alive. He’s happy for me that I have regained my own life I once had. The life that he loved seeing me have, a free woman who flies by what drives her and interests that she puts her heart into, he says. That’s what made his eyes unable to be taken off of me.

My days are much different now. Filled with moments of care-taking and soul work. Ego releases and breath of fires consume me as I sway around my house cooking and cleaning and running with Zai, falling onto my yoga mat and exercising until I am swimming in sweat to then relax and read whether in my home or at the beach, taking the time to paint my nails and sugar scrub my body and research and write and smile and kiss the Sun every morning that I wake, with a profound sense of fulfillment that must be worked for in life.

I am happy and I am free from my mind’s solitary imprisonment.


 

It’s hard to move to a new place and feel like you’re losing your sense of routine and then feel helpless and succumb to the overwhelming sadness that fills the void. What makes us happy is just too damn important to disregard or make ourselves believe we can live without it. No matter what it is we love, we do it for a reason. It will take a moment to make a new life in a new place and to figure out where your hobbies and craft fit into the schedule of the new environment. It will take a moment to hunt down the places you love going to and finding replacements for the ones you miss.

Moving and rearranging your schedule, routine, and timing for things when you uproot and move to a new place are inevitable. But if it’s an event you think you might ever do, it’s best to prepare for it. Unlike myself, I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time with coping. And assuming that, was my biggest error.

So, first step: Prepare (even if you end up being fine)
Consider what will be different for a bit and what will be the same. Research ahead of time, nearby places that you like to go to and map out areas you will be in a lot. Develop a sense of time that you will spend driving or doing things in your new area.

Second step: Confide in somebody you can trust and be comfortable with. Let them know if you feel like there is something missing and it’s hard for you to sort out your emotions on your own, because, sometimes it is. It’s a time where we can become confused and disoriented.

Third step: Make a plan for the future on what your days will look like at best. Fill in the blank areas with that of which you love doing. Make it realistic and make it count. Don’t wait like I did and struggle with heavy emotions and irrational thoughts. The more you prepare for, the less will surprise you if it happens and the calmer you will be in dealing with it.

You will remain happy, because you did.

 

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.

Deep Breath In, Deep Breath Out

This past Friday evening, Danny and I came home to a record high, 88 degrees in our house. With humidity; that’s comparable to a sauna. We couldn’t escape the heat and only two windows in our apartment (out of six) open up. We decided it’s time. The air conditioner from the attic got brought down and set up in the living room. We couldn’t seem to get it filtering through the house fast enough for us to cool down. He took a cold shower and I took many deep breaths (as I normally do in the saunas and steam rooms to deal with the overwhelming heat and sweat factors).

After moving our mattress into the living room, we finally got a place of peace. Cool air and one super happy dog. Since we haven’t yet got a couch, we figured, why the hell not? I will tell you, it’s like living in a studio and I love the daily adventures Danny and I have together in this apartment. This being the newest one, inspired me on a new 30 Day Challenge.


Last night,  we were laughing and exhausted after dinner and cleaning up. We had some time to kill after we used the rest of our data to watch Orange Is the New Black: Season 3. That was when I suggested we geek out together: massage therapy style. I was so excited, I jumped to the bookshelf and grabbed my anatomy book and started flipping through it.

“Name me all the Deep Hip Rotators from Superior to Inferior!” I said, and when he would get stuck, we would go through the analogies together. “Go Go P Quick! What’s it stand for?!” and there was “Name me Two Majors & A Miss!” “Where is it at?!” “YEAH!!!”

SO MUCH FUN! Geeking out with your boyfriend when you both know what you’re talking about, is about as fun as going to an amusement park with no lines for the rides; in my opinion. We went on like that for about an hour and laughing so hard.


He started talking to me about yawning and deep breathing versus shallow breathing. I was intrigued about everything he had to say about the topic and realized, other than in meditation, when do people breathe deeply? And if we made a conscious effort to deep breathe every waking moment, what kinds of positive changes would we manifest in our reality? Would it change anything at all?

“I’m going to find out..” I said, “I am going to do a 30 day challenge and I’m going to breathe deeply for thirty days, as consciously as possible no matter what it is I’m doing and I am going to see how it affects my life in any area.”


So here we are, Day #1:

So far, the only thing I have noticed is that I am yawning a ton. When you go from shallow breathing, to deep breathing, you are in-taking more air than is recognizable for your body to sort through. There is so much oxygen to process it becomes overwhelming to the vessel and results in a yawn. This is why, when most of us do yoga or meditations, we feel ourselves yawning when we are breathing and becoming fully aware of our body.

Lots and lots of yawns.

I will admit it is a challenge to keep mindful of deep breaths during talking, walking, cooking, driving, or singing….. things we literally never think about breathing with. Sometimes I will forget and catch myself moments later suddenly wondering, “Oh wow, have I even been breathing this whole time?” and quickly realizing, it’s a learning system. I am essentially teaching an old dog new tricks. Redesigning my lungs, their capacity, and my diaphragm.

Can these get sore, like working out makes our other muscles sore? Hmm… food for thought.

Until the next update, I’m Zynnia. And I hope you all have a great day! 🙂