Meditate on Thanks: Days 4,5,6 & 7 of the #thankfulforvacation Challenge

Today is Day 7 of the #thankfulforvacation challenge. I formulated this 2 week challenge in preparation for Mike and I’s upcoming vacation, as we’ve been anxiously awaiting this for months! Thanksgiving is a little over a weeks away as well, an awesome time to reflect of what you have to be thankful for.

1st day of the season at Two Bothers Deli
1st day of the season at Two Bothers Deli

For the past few days, I’ve had amazing Colorado adventures. From my first ever Warren Miller film, to exploring the Denver Botanical Gardens in the snow, to receiving my @offthematyoga poster in the mail (and having fun posing & spreading their amazing message!) to snowboarding for a whole day (ok, not the whole day, 3 runs….buuuuutttt I thought it was pretty good!!)

Denver Botanical Gardens
Denver Botanical Gardens

Mike’s sister and husband were visiting from South Carolina, so showing them the life we have built, in such a cool city, truly made me happy! They got to experience the city, tasting the delicious food around town (we brought them to The Universal, Scratch Burrito, Colorado Plus, The Kitchen in Boulder, and Shiso) as well as the gorgeous mountains that literally take your breathe away. Being able to say I live here makes my heart swell.

Tofu stir fry & pumpkin oat squares
Tofu stir fry & pumpkin oat squares

So yesterday (Day 6 of the #thankfulforvacation challenge) was back to my routine – it’s easy to get derailed when you have house guests! I started my day with a delicious smoothie & some gentle morning yoga (super sore from all that snowboard learning!) and after work headed to my Asana studio for a glorious Vinyasa class. That evening, Mike and I relaxed with some maple tofu & sunflower stir fry and polished off with some pumpkin & dark chocolate oat squares covered in pomegranate seeds. I’m currently obsessed and actually made a YouTube video on easily de-seeding one.

Posing for #offthematchallenge tonight
Posing for #offthematchallenge tonight

I’ve been ending the evening with nightly meditation. Nothing fancy, just keeping still, flowing with my breathe, and letting go of the day with gratitude. Each day of my little challenge has brought more mindfulness, more calm and clarity to me and I am so grateful.

Snowboarding at Copper Mountain
Snowboarding at Copper Mountain

Having dinner this evening with my mom, we spoke of happiness and reflection. Can you truly be happy if you don’t reflect, look inward honestly, and reflect gratitude and love? I’m not sure, but I know this is what I strive for. Our journey begins within, so that’s my hope for all who seem lost or sad or unhappy. To travel inward to find what you’re looking for.

Tomorrow, day 8 of the challenge, will begin with full commitment and intent: a full morning flow, followed by a delicious breakfast. No excuses & no house guests!!!

Happy Tuesday!

New Season: No Excuses, No Apologies, No Time Wasted

This summer has literally been a blur, and looking back, seems that I may have been slacking a bit…with blogging, working out, exploring things on my own. I have the best intentions at the beginning of each week: wake up a half an hour earlier, greet the day with yoga, or a run, get out in the evenings to explore my new city (Denver has SO much to do – free stuff, culture, restaurants, art, music, bars, trails, lakes, comedy, the list goes on & on!).

Well, that hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked this summer and I’m pretty disappointed with my efforts. Again, my thirst for drinking in everything in my path exceeds the norm. But if I’m not pouring my self a ‘drink’, putting effort into quenching that thirst, well shame on me, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been sitting on the couch eating chips (we don’t have cable anyway!) and I do appreciate those days and nights that are filled with the necessities and nothing else (cleaning, laundry, working, demoing, yard work, emptying the dishwasher.). Life doesn’t need to be one long series of activities without down time built in; it’s what makes you appreciate new experiences.

Spaghetti Squash bowls

The one thing that hasn’t waned: cooking. There is a constant there.

I’ve come to realize I need to stop using excuses though, there aren’t any. I need to stop apologizing for things I want to do but don’t. And I really need to stop wasting time. When you commit to yourself, hold yourself accountable. It’s important to fulfill your own wish lists, even if it’s as small as ‘check out a new hiking trail’ or ‘go to the local farmers market’. Knowing when to give your body, mind and soul a rest is just as important. Finding a quiet, peaceful moment for yourself doesn’t mean you’re wasting the day. Be present with where the day takes you and honor yourself. There are 24 happy hours in a day, so use them wisely. A new season brings with it new chances for new adventures!

Here are a few things I’ve spent my hours on this summer…and this didn’t even scrape the surface!!

Trying two new restaurants in Cherry Creek & two new DOG-Friendly breweries in Edgewater (Hogs Head & Joyride Brewing)

Red Rocks, Denver

Getting back into working out with the help of Pearl Street Fitness & Asana Studio

Demoing our Retaining wallWall demo

Demoing (helping) our outside retaining wall, watched as it was reconstructed, then helped put 4 tons of rock into the side for drainage!

Evergreen Off-Leash Dog Park

Scoping out Evergreen Lake & Elk-Meadow off-leash dog park with the doggies

Zucchini Fritters

Cooking several new recipes (red bean meatballs; citrus & honey brussel sprouts; zucchini, kale & LightLife ground ‘meat’ Stromboli; Tofu fried rice; Zucchini fritters; Spaghetti squash bowls with faux meatballs,  Zucchini ‘lasagna’, Barley veggie soup to name just a few!)

Bird of Paradise on Mt. Sherman

Climbed my first 14’er (Mount Sherman!) and visited Leadville for the first time

Leadville, Colorado

Participated in a 21 day Yoga Challenge – amazing – tomorrow is day 21 so I’ll blog about that experience later this week

Mountain Biked for the first time at Table Mountain

Phish, Dick's Sporting Good Stadium

Went to my first Phish show, did my first public handstand, and visited shakedown street for the first time. Yikes!

Lots more to list….but even more to come. Can’t wait for fall!