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Mindful SelfCare

My skin got a beating this winter. The cold air, the forced heat in my house. Throw in some dehydrating beverages and I was struggling to keep my skin in youthful condition. So I listened to one of my favorite podcasters, Jackie Michele Johnson of Natch Beaut and got a facial in the name of self care. (I also got some home products and cleaned up my beverage choices).

But as I was lying there getting lovely products smeared all over my face, my brain took over. I started reviewing my latest screw up, analyzing poor behavior and judgement and thinking about how long it will take to regain trust and how much it added to the total number of times I’ve made the same mistake.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my meditation practice, learning to be present and suddenly I caught myself. I reminded myself that there was nothing I could do, at that moment, that would fix what I had done. The only outcome of me giving into that thought pattern was me feeling shitty about myself. That is not self care.

I’ve been practicing mindfulness and meditation for three years now, and I still feel quite new to the whole concept. When I feel myself drifting away, I’m reminded that bringing myself back IS the practice. I will have to course correct from time to time, but the work of the practice is the prize. And during this facial, the work paid off. I enjoyed myself. There were a few more instances where I had to get out of my head during that one hour, and I did just that. I noticed and course corrected.

If you notice that your mind takes you to a negative place when things slow down, during self care for instance, then please remind yourself that you are a human being who makes mistakes and STILL deserves to enjoy life, even pamper yourself. If you need a justification, here it is. How much better will you be at repairing torn moments with the ones you love if you’re rested and cared for? Also, doing the work of changing behaviors is self care. Its challenging self care, for sure. When you meet those challenges, stand up to what you need to adjust in your behavior or judgement calls in order to have a happier experience, that may be the deepest form of self care.

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Fab Feb !

It’s the month for Love!! And I’m happy to say I’m doing what I love – teaching Yoga!!!!

I have officially started a Sunday Yoga class at YoGail Studio’s new official home at the Bodyworks Wellness Center’s community room. I am incredibly grateful to have this space available because it is so warm and cozy and has everything we need to enjoy a yoga class that will set you up for a happy week.

I’ve also started my weekly newsletter which has been going for a whopping three weeks!! If you’d like to be receiving these emails, please email me and I’ll add you!! You’ll find class reminders, a weekly bit of education – we’re just starting to explore the Yoga Sutras – and soon I’ll be running a Groupon Special, which will be announced in the newsletter!

I’m going to keep this month’s post brief, just like the month of February.

So I’ll leave you with this: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu.

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New Year Cheer!

It’s the last Sunday before the new year.  The last yoga class.  The last moment before its time to start all over again.  I was listening to Martha Stewart on NPR this morning, talking about how she doesn’t make new year’s resolution because she’s already very regimented. At first listen it sounded a bit snobby, but she was able to put a nice spin on that stating that she breaks new habits almost immediately and that she’s so impressed with people who can make big changes.  Although I’m not anywhere close to being as regimented as Martha, I still agree with her.  I don’t make new year’s resolutions because I am a work in progress.  The thing that is different about this year is that I feel like I’m no longer trying to heal.  I do the work and see the results, or I don’t do the work and I have to deal with the consequences that follow.  It feels amazing to longer identify with pain, or what I got wrong or didn’t do right.  I still have those thoughts but I recognize those thoughts as (for the most part) habitual memories.  I’m a recovering chaotic person, who realized this year that I’m doing really well. And so, in honor of living my healed life  –  here are the things that I look forward to refining for myself in 2019!

  1. Putting more effort into my news letter.  I have a lot to say and I intend to say it, by typing it out. 
  2. Then I will turn that blog into my  podcast.  This will require more journaling. 
  3. Journaling.  I’ve already started that.  Its been a lovely thing that I’ve come back to.  As a child I was an avid journaler. 
  4. I’m looking forward to getting back to the things that I was curious about as a child.  I loved a good schedule, I really did.  And now its time to get back to having a solid schedule – a bed time and a wake time that is consistent. 
  5. And lastly, but maybe more important – my personal yoga practice.  Refining a practice that leaves me feeling strong and capable. 

So, now that I’ve put this all out there I’d better follow through.  I think my voice has a lot to add.  I check out the top ten lifestyle blogs and I am left a bit concerned with what is being left out.  I hope to add some information on moving forward, gaining control over our emotional intelligence, and more.  Also, below is a link to the interview with Martha – if hosting a rad party is on your list, give it a listen!!

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/30/679804207/here-are-martha-stewarts-tips-for-hosting-a-terrific-new-year-s-eve

Huggles,

YoGail

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Transition

Even though it was only a year ago, roughly, I can’t remember the exact months that we did IVF for the third time, but I do know that by December of 2017 I was not pregnant, anymore.  I had chronicled the process on Instagram, but deleted those posts about six months after I knew it hadn’t worked.  But it DID work, at least for a few days.  I had breast tenderness and peed a bit with each ahhh-choo!  But from start to finish I don’t think I was pregnant for more than a week.  I do have two beautiful children from the first and second rounds of IVF.  I’m blessed.  They’re healthy.  Funny.  Really hooked on poop jokes.  So, when the third round gave us a hard NO, I felt I needed to brush it off, as if to be sad or disappointed would be really cheeky, considering I had a boy and girl and they fill my days.  

Still, around October of 2018, I started to see posts on Facebook about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  And all of the emotion that I had stuffed down in my backpack of feelings-I-Don’t-want-to-deal-with that had to do with the failed pregnancy started to emerge.

Link https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/awarenessmonth/

In my imagination that pregnancy would have yielded twins, so I tend to think “The babies would be here now, if it had gone as hoped.”   In a few days I’ll be 38 years old.  Its hitting me in more ways than the final days of fertility.  Career, taking charge of my life, my family, and even my physical space – my home – are in need of a lot of attention – in a way that feels almost, all of a sudden.  What I already have on my plate is a lot and requires a lot of me.  And yet, as my dear friend Mona said  – then there is this fleeting moment of dreaming of what another little life would add – not her exact words, but an appropriate interpretation for this post.  

And so, we’re done, my husband and me.  We’re done making babies.  We’re fully immersed in raising, not toddlers, but CHILDREN.  My son, Gus, 6 and my daughter, Lucinda, 4.  (the other two would have been Oscar and Magnolia….make your judgements).  There’s a lot more to my thoughts on pregnancy, the loss of pregnancy and infants and how we carry that into the years ahead, but that is for another post.  Now, I’m thinking of how I transition on from my time of creating babies, to my time of raising babies (my current past), kids (my current situation) and teens (Dunn Dunn DUNNNNNN).  

I found out I was infertile when I was 28.  I had a lot of problems with my cycle, pelvic pain, an STD.  And all those powers combined filled my fallopian tubes with scarred tissues.  I went for  a test where they inject dye in to the tubes to see how it flows.  I didn’t flow.  The dye just stopped, mid tube.  It was definitive.  The tubes had to come out.  I was at risk for an ectopic pregnancy.  I was alone at that test.  My husband and I were on different teams at that time.  Each for our own reasons.  I don’t know if I even invited him to the test.  Maybe I knew what was coming and didn’t want him to see my failure.  

These were intense times.  Bearing children was at the forefront of my mind.  But so was making the best out of a sad situation.  During those years my husband and I moved from the DC area to Des Moines, Iowa.  We went from a very stress filled environment to a much more relaxed, us-centered, way of life.  He and I reconnected as a couple, and made new friends and drove easily down the highway with no grid-lock!  Life was fun and carefree.  We were up late, making cocktails and making out!  Good times.  And it kept on getting better.  We finally decided to start the IVF process again.  There were a few stops and starts and but finally in February of 2012 we had a successful round of IVF and in November I delivered a healthy baby boy.  And at the very end of July 2014, a baby girl.  The next two years were even more intense and I was tired, wired, and caffeinated.  We moved to Upstate NY and I found an amazing yoga community.  I got back into my yoga teacher training, which took two years of hard work and study.  And I’m balanced because of it.  Again -another post. 

So now, my tale has been told.  Up until now.  And here’s my current dilemma – moving on to the next thing – my career as a yoga teacher.  I’m thankful everyday that I’ve had/took the opportunity to dive deep in to my yoga studies.  Its helped me see myself more clearly.  It also gave me the tools to get myself shiney again!!  And I’m on the base of myself, starting to reshine.  And here’s where my yoga and my fertility come together.  Because the truth is, I did not LOVE baby phase.  I LOVED my babies, and still do, but that was a bit much, what, with the no sleep and everything else.  Ages 6 and 4 I get.  I can steer this ship.  But to letting go of having a third child was really hard and I had to examine why I was holding on so hard.

I came to THIS- because getting pregnant was such an ordeal, and babyhood was so challenging for me, I feel like I just did it all wrong.  And if I have JUST ONE MORE, I’ll know how to love it right and do it better.  But that is not the case.  What I love is my silly, poop joke loving six year old boy.  And I LOVE my pink loving, doesn’t want her hair brushed or there will be hell to pay, daughter.  And of course there is my love, my husband, my compass.  He deserves some of my time too.  And I need him and some of his attention. 

So a door that I’ve propped open for so long, since childhood, is now closing.  Its been a hard transition, but I feel good now.  HBD to me, almost 38.  I’m looking forward to it.  

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Its September

Actually, at this point its the middle of September.  The last days of HOT weather, the start of school, new schedules, and NEW WEBSITES!!!  Thank you for taking a moment to come and visit mine.

This is a very exciting time for me.  I’m about to start my very own classes in a beautiful space!!  I’ve joined a networking group that has me feeling super charged to get things done.   Also, I’ve decided to push myself and signed up for a 5k marathon.  If, a few years ago, you would’ve told me I’d be running for any reason than to save my life, I would have laughed you right out of town.  And yet, here I am, using that Couch to 5K app, jogging at a snail’s pace, and actually enjoying myself.

Its an energizing time of year and I’m making the most of it.  If you’re in my area and looking to take on new challenges, make new habits and/or move away from old habits that are holding you back, please think about trying some one-on-one sessions with me, or even trying out one of my new classes.  I’m creating an environment of friendship, fun and fitness.

If you have any questions please reach out via the contact page!!

Happy Harvest!

Gail

PS – if you don’t live in the Albany area and are looking for some coaching, its possible!!!  Fitness plans, dietary education and more!!