Category Archives: Gratitude

What it’s all about

Today I had a deep and newfound realization of how important it is to have close friends by your side throughout this crazy life.

And the realization came about while on my yoga mat.

Let me explain…

I just finished a six-week yoga challenge that was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things i’ve voluntarily done in quite awhile.

To complete the challenge, you’re required to take four hot yoga classes plus one educational workshop every week for six weeks straight. Not only was it challenging from a scheduling perspective, but it was also incredibly demanding on my body and a whirlwind on my mind.

Luckily one of my best girlfriends, Hannah, was there by my side. We signed up for the challenge together, and even though we didn’t take every class together, we were there to hold each other accountable and push through to the finish line.

It was not always easy. By week five I was in a “screw this, what the hell was I thinking?!” mood and nearly quit. I was so frustrated that I honestly started to resent yoga altogether.

But having a close friend to help me keep the silver lining in sight got me through it.

Tonight they held a celebratory yoga class for everyone who completed the challenge, and I was so drained that I almost bailed on it. I figured “I already did the challenge, why go to another class now when i’m exhausted and just want to stay home and read?”

But then two things happened:

  1. Hannah said she was going, so at least I knew I wouldn’t be there “alone”.
  2. My friend Brittany sent me the sweetest text message that, unknowingly to her, actually encouraged me to go because I knew it would be in the interest of good self care.

So I went. And shocking to probably no one, I had the BEST class.

There were over 60 people there so the positive energy was contagious. I had so much fun. I laughed. I smiled. I kicked ass in some of the more challenging poses i’ve been working on. And I just felt good.

As we closed out our practice my heart felt full and my body felt strong. In my mind, I thought back to the conversation I had with Brittany and realized, “this is what it’s all about.”

It’s about celebrating your accomplishments.

It’s about listening to your gut and being true to yourself.

It’s about recognizing who is by your side.

You need people in your life who can redirect you, nudge you in the direction of kindness, and guide you back to your best self.

After all, having friends there to remind you of those positive moments in life is what it’s all about.

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Show up

Does anyone like attending funerals?

No?

That’s what I thought.

No one likes funerals. But ever since my brother passed away a few years ago, I basically avoid them at all costs.

However, that clearly poses a conflict every so often. You see, in my family, we were raised that no matter how difficult the situation, you show up and pay your respects. And although that’s easier said than done, it’s something we take seriously.

While i’m hesitant and protective over what I expose myself to, my sisters have stepped up to the plate more than their fair share. But this week the tables turned on me when I found out a childhood friend’s dad passed away and the services were coming up.

Immediately I thought, “I’ll send a card. I’ll make a donation. I’ll reach out, but I just can’t attend the funeral. It’s too much.”

Physically I wanted to be there. Mentally I wasn’t ready.

But when my twin sister wasn’t able to make it, I knew it was my turn to step up like she has so many times before.

Because my childhood friends are my family. They always have been. They always will be. My hometown is special and that’s how we were raised.

So I went.

And I’m so glad I did.

Because even though I fought back tears during the service and then let them out on my drive home, it was important to be there.

And here’s why.

First of all, you can’t avoid funerals forever. Death is a part of life (as my Dad has so wisely taught me).

But more importantly, sometimes you need to put your own shit aside in order to show up for the people who matter.

It’s important to be there for your friends, your family, and your community.

It’s important to pay your respects.

It’s important to honor those who have passed.

Because after all, those who are no longer living teach us how lucky we are to be alive.

And that’s worth showing up for.

 

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