2015 To Do List

As explained in previous years, I don’t make resolutions. I make “to do” lists, to help inspire me to complete tasks that I would otherwise skip. Sometimes it’s something around the house, sometimes it’s learning something new, and sometimes it’s actually self-care (last year: go to the dentist after 3 years). I have the entire year to get these things done…or not. At the end of the year, I give an update on how I’ve done (see the 2014 How Did I Do? post).

I’ve noticed that as I’ve looked toward 2015 with the changes in my approach to life that I gained in 2014, my “To Do” items got a little more long-term oriented. Perhaps a little less measurable than before. I’ll try to create some kind of measurement for each one, if I can.

2015 To Do List | Living Consciously Blog

1. Keep track of the money I make (or lose) in essential oils. If you know me in real life, or even just casually read the blog, you know that I don’t actively SELL oils. I mean, I am a distributor for essential oils and I buy them myself. I always have a link at the top of my blog if you want to buy from me online at retail prices (“Product List” in the navigation), or sign up under me to buy wholesale (“Sign Up Here” in the navigation). But I don’t push them. I don’t mention that I sell them very often. I do allow my local friends to order oils through me when I put in my monthly order and I only charge them what I pay. I pay the ($10-$11) shipping myself and don’t charge them for that. Unfortunately, I just realized last month that some of the oils I order for others are also taxed — and with some of the more expensive blends this can be as much as $6 — but I’ve never charged anyone tax. I often have someone tell me on Facebook that they want me to order an oil for them, I order it, and when I attempt to contact them to drop it off and collect payment, they never respond. Likewise, it is not unusual for me to deliver an order and not be repaid for as many as 4 weeks.

Basically, I am a terrible business person. I am horrible at math, bad at conducting business, and I don’t like to ask people to pay me.

I think the first step in the process of figuring out if I am even breaking even (probably not) is to open a separate checking account for the EO purchases. That way I can track the cash going in and out. I have avoided doing this since my husband and I have all joint accounts and having a separate account feels dishonest to me, somehow. But unless I want to keep losing our joint money, I have to separate these expenses.

Measurement: I should be able to at least give a rough guess as to whether I am losing money or gaining money, even if it’s not an exact number.

2. #handstandby40  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that in January 2014 I took a yoga arm balance workshop and almost immediately became obsessed with arm balances and yoga challenges. I vowed in 2014 that I would learn to handstand (a straight yoga handstand, which is done in complete stillness, no “walking” on the hands to maintain stability) by the time I turn 40. And by that, I mean be able to arrive in handstand reliably without falling and stay for as long as I want to, without falling due to instability. I literally practiced handstanding every single day from January to August, 8 straight months. If I was tired, if I was sick, if I hadn’t done a full yoga practice that day: handstand. 

In August, through practicing the yogic yama satya — truthfulness, including truthfulness to self — I realized that my body needed a rest to reach the next level. So I backed off of the handstand part of my practice. I actually saw an improvement for a few months! Less intensity was beneficial.

And then I got lazy about handstanding. At this point, I’ve lost the ability to arrive in handstand reliably, and cannot seem to maintain stability for as long anymore. I need to pick it up again with the handstand practice. I only have 3 years!

Measurement: Obviously, I’ll still have a little more than 2 years left until 40 at the end of 2015, so not having nailed handstands is OK. Let’s say that I hope to be able to arrive in handstand reliably. I shouldn’t have to fall over 5 times before I catch some air.

3. A less intense cleanse. I learned this year from my macrobiotic cleanse and my shorter liver detox, that cleanses are do-able. I was on the fence about cleanses until 2014. Now that I know I can do it, and that a short term cleanse (like the 2 week liver detox) does make me feel better, I’d like to investigate doing something more simple and short term a few times a year. Maybe something I even make up myself. Nothing expensive, and no more of these 30-day things. Just 3-5 days of very clean eating and lots of veggies in the Vitamix, perhaps?

Measurement: One cleanse, of any type. Bonus: 2 cleanses.

4. Learn to wear jewelry. Let’s not get crazy here. I am not a flashy person. I have worn the same silver hoops in all 6 of my ear holes 24/7 for the past 5 years at least. I am going to say that Hot Jewels count as jewelry here. And diffuser necklaces count too. But I really need to work on at least changing my earrings once a month. I think I might start documenting my success on Instagram. Maybe with the hashtag #learntowearjewelry?

Measurement: A few pictures on my Instagram this year showing that I wore jewelry of some kind without being forced (i.e., by a special occasion that requires jewelry).

5. Morning Time. Another practice I developed in the latter half of 2014 was getting up before my family is up and reading scripture and meditating. When it was warmer and I got up early enough, I also did some yoga. Since the weather turned cold, like a lizard I cannot maintain enough body heat to leave the blanket in the chair where I’m reading to do yoga in the morning, but I digress. The morning time has been good for my patience as a mom and my overall view of the ebb and flow of life throughout the day. I even feel like catching up on social media that early in the day is profitable because it keeps me from having to check my phone constantly while getting the kids ready in the morning.

Measurement: I’d like to be able to say at the end of 2015 that I maintained my morning time as a regular habit. That I committed to morning time more often than not.

#YogaEveryDamnDay: why challenges are fun for me

Even though I might take a break from blogging every once in a while to catch up on real life, I never stop Instagramming! Why? Because I participate in daily yoga challenges on Instagram. These challenges are run by yogis (often well-known yogis, most frequently instructors of some kind) who partner with each other and with yoga-related brands to present a pose each day during the challenge. The challenges are identified by hashtags, which is how things are found on Instagram and Twitter. In April, I did #BackbendMadness2014 and #SpreadAhimsa. Each day, I did the yoga pose presented by the hosts and posted a picture of myself in the pose (or attempting it!) with the hashtag of the challenge and tagging the hosts. At the end of these challenges, the hosting brands give away the fun prizes to random participants drawn by the hosting yogis. Last month, I actually won the Dolly Moo gift package from the #SpreadAhimsa challenge hosted by @yogagoddess_jo, @dalima26 and @sequellife_bp. Their challenge was also my favorite because it was small enough that we could all talk to each other and encourage each other! I really feel like I got to know the hosts.

I was so excited about winning these products that I had to share them with you. Please note, nobody paid me to share these! I just won them as part of a challenge giveaway and love them so much!

Dolly Moo Handmade Essential Oil body products

In this bundle:

Sage smudge stick – never used these before but looks neat!

Tangerine Oat Body Scrub – probably my favorite! I am embarrassed to say that I have been addicted to Arbonne Ginger Citrus body scrub for a long time even though it contains tons of toxins that are terrible for me. This is a much healthier, handmade product with NO TOXINS! Love it so much!

Lotus Aura oil – I haven’t used “perfume” in years, just versions of essential oil blends in natural body products. This blend is so yummy that it is a great perfume replacement! I believe it is also supposed to help enhance meditation or something, but I don’t know anything about that.

Lavender Essential Water – this spray has so many uses! I sprayed it on my face right away for cooling and calming when I returned for our trip. I have also sprayed it in our bedroom and in the bathroom to get rid of odors.

Handmade Lip Balm Trio – with combos like Peppermint Clove and Lemon Lavender, these balms are so smooth and luxurious smelling that I actually threw away some of the waxy, bland lip balms that I had lying around.

 

Aside from even the amazing gifts from Dolly Moo and the camaraderie of the #IGyogafamily, I very much enjoy the way daily challenges force me to be in a yoga mindset all day, and to make my practice daily instead of random. I also learn some great new poses that I have never tried! This month’s challenge has been #YogaToTheCore with @kinoyoga, @beachyogagirl, and @stoked_yogi, which is dear to my heart because it intertwined yoga with Pilates.

Next month (um, 1 day away!), I am going to be participating in the #MayIHandstand challenge where I will tackle my slow but steady progression to handstanding by the time I am 40 years old (follow my hashtag #handstandby40 on Instagram). I have taken some serious ground since January, but I still have a long way to go. I’d love it if you join me!

Gaiam Yoga Mat Finder -- Find your perfect mat(ch) with the Gaiam Yoga Mat Finder!

Yoga and Patience

If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice that I’m participating in several daily yoga challenges.

Daily yoga challenges on Instagram by @conscientious

I am having so much fun with this! I just love learning new poses and the fact that it forces me to practice yoga every day!

In fact, it’s kind of difficult for me not to get carried away with it. I have these grand plans to get my RYT200 certification once my children are in school. That’s a loooong road, because 200 hours is a lot of hours. I know it will be such an amazing growing experience, intellectually and physically. I can’t wait! But wait, I will — until my youngest child is in kindergarden and I can go through the training without impacting our time together during the day. Because I already have issues being a SAHM saying “yes” to more things than I should.

I am also trying my best to wait patiently to learn how to handstand.

Every single day, handstanding against walls and trees and doorways. Falling, falling, falling.

All those 20-something yogis on Instagram, hopping right up into handstand like it’s no big deal!

And me, falling into a tree and skinning my knee in my *cough* upper 30’s *cough*.

My goal is to be able to handstand by the time I am 40.

If I wait to start my RYT200, I hope to be certified by then as well.

So I am waiting.

In both my yoga practice and in life.

Listening to my body. Trying to live in the moment without rushing anything.

In yoga, one of the Niyamas called Tapas applies. Tapas is:

…the practice of both mental and physical discipline. To practice Tapas is to exhibit determination in pursing daily practices and your life’s mission, while remaining joyful in the knowledge that outer discipline will lead to inner discipline.

…Stay in the present moment regardless of how uncomfortable it becomes.

– Beth Shaw’s YogaFit, Second Edition (affiliate link)

In Christian terms, disciplines are also very important. See this series on spiritual disciplines.

What are YOU waiting for? Let’s wait together.