5 Reasons: Positivity Matters – Be Kind to Yourself

THE HARDESTPositivity and self kindness are qualities I feel our society often lacks. We tend to want to drive to the furthest reaches of success and accomplishment and often don’t take the time to see what we have left in the wake. Unfortunately for us as individuals the people getting the harshest put downs, criticism and being sliced up with negative vibes are ourselves.

Like negativity, positivity is something that grows. It is up to us as individuals to make decisions that will help promote happiness or sadness, anger or elation, contentment or envy. With it being spring and nature encouraging us to clean up, turn a new leaf and move forward I thought it would be timely to talk about cleaning up our thoughts. So here are 5 reasons why turning to the positive is such an awesome thing to try and do:

  1. “Whether you believe you can or you cannot you are correct”. I heard this statement in a yoga class one day and it resonated in me so much that it is now over a year later and I still know it to be true. For me what this statement is saying is that you decide, you can tell yourself over and over again you are not going to be able to run a 10k, can’t clean up your eating, etc. OR you can tell yourself that you can complete a 10k, that changing your eating habits might be a challenge but attainable. It is all about mindset, if you set yourself up for failure before you even get going how can you expect to envision success.
  2. We are often harshest with our words/actions/thoughts when it comes to ourselves. I believe we often look outwards for kind words and actions, and we take the time to send our own positive words and actions out to others without taking a moment to do so for ourselves. It can take time to cultivate our own positive voice but it is our responsibility to find that voice for ourselves, unfortunately this isn’t something we can contract out.
  3. How we talk to ourselves can be a stressor. We all live in a world where our calendars are jam packed with work commitments, family obligations, exercise, meal prep time, finding our own leisure time, volunteer work, etc. When you add negative affirmations on top of all of that we are unknowingly elevating our stress levels. Sometimes telling ourselves that it is okay to commit to doing nothing or okay to say no to things without shame or negative sentiment is all our mind, body and soul needs to release a little bit of that stress.
  4. It guides our perception of our lives. How we describe our life events, recall our past, how we interpret day to day happenings all affect our overall perception of our lives. Because something bad has happened does not mean you have a bad life, it means there has been a bad moment. Of course feel how you are feeling, but then try and find your happiness again, don’t let those negative, stressful, dramatic, traumatic, irritating moments define your life. You get to define your life.
  5. It opens you up to possibilities: Positivity is something we all have, some of us might have a lot some of us might have a little, the amount we have is often dictated by life events and how we perceive the world around us but the amount of positivity we own is never set in stone. Like most things in life it is up to us to define how things can and will be (see #4), allowing yourself to see the positive in even the most shitty (excuse my language) situations simply helps you to build your ability to perceive things in a positive light. As I write this I have to laugh, because finding the positive in things isn’t always my strong suit, my big sister is ridiculously good at this and sometimes it irritates me at how effortlessly she can find the positive in (what feels like) everything! The more I watch her and others find even the smallest silver lining I am always amazed, and encouraged to continue to work on this for myself.

gingersneezes.comNow that you know why being positive is so important maybe some homework? Let’s make this something where turn all of our frowns upside down, and help infect others with our community of positive people. I challenge everyone to be kind to themselves and find their positive; maybe the next time you catch yourself rolling over to the dark side, so to speak, you then take the time to write out three complements about yourself. The next time something irritating happens instead of throwing your arms up in despair take a moment to find one positive in the situation.

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It’s Running Season – Tips for Injury Prevention

Spring has official sprung and the residents of Ottawa have definitely emerged from their homes, packed up their winter clothing and are sporting flip flops and shorts. It is that time of the year where all of the extreme runners, fair weather runners, first timers and weekend warriors start heading outside in their brightly coloured tank tops, running shorts and their newest pair of light weight running shoes.   As running season approaches and people get excited about moving, being outside and shedding the “winter weight” it is good to take a second just to go over a couple reminders to keep us all healthy, happy and injury free as we start to increase our kilometers, speed and endurance.

Running HappyKeeping your Body Happy during Running Seasons:

  1. STRETCH! I lead a run club for women in the summer months and this is probably one of my top struggles as a run coach. I can tell you to stretch and I can be there to make sure you you have a quick post run stretch, but once you get home I can’t make sure my runners are grabbing their foam rollers and going to town as suggested. So I beg of you please for the love of your joints, muscles, range of motion and injury prevention stretch! Get on your foam roller, find some yoga tune up balls, or follow a running magazine stretching sequence, no matter what JUST STRETCH! Our joints and muscles take a serious beating when we run so it is important to show them some love.
  2. Drink more than you think you need. This might sound like a real silly reminder but we don’t always feel thirsty. Maybe it was cool out or maybe it was raining, sometimes the weather surrounding our runs makes us feel more hydrated and in less need of water than we really are. It is important to consume water before and after your runs and to bring some along when running anything over 5km, ESPECIALLY when it is super warm out.
  3. Running gear can be cool, but it is also useful. I said it, running gear is cool, it is fun and gets me motivated to lace-up my shoes and hit the pavement. You don’t need fancy running gear to get out there, but things like a good pair of light weight socks, a running hat, a fuel belt for your water (see #2), a supportive/comfortable pair of runners and some light weight clothing will go a long way when running outside in the summer.
  4. Strength training. Chances are you may have picked up running because you are more of the endurance type, than the “let’s pick up heavy things and move them” type. However life is about balance and so is running. Similar to stretching you are much less likely to suffer an injury if you strength train regularly. I am not suggesting you go out and buy yourself a fancy pants expensive gym membership, however I am recommending committing to at least 2 strength training (with weights or body weight) workouts a week in addition to your runs, heck they can be after your run, right there outside in the sun. Focusing on building and supporting the muscles (think glutes, hamstrings, quads, shins, calves and core) involved in supporting your body during your running sessions.
  5. Turn your runs into learning opportunities.  As runners (new or veteran) there is a tendency to push through, because let’s be honest if we didn’t “push through” on a regular bases we probably wouldn’t last longer than 10 minutes. It is in our nature to ignore pinches, pains, and aches and instead wear them like badges. Feel free to continue to be proud of those sore quads after a good run or those tight calves as you roll them out on your foam roller (see #1), but be sure to take a step back and listen. Our society has gotten away from listening to the tips and clues our body gives us, we numb the pain with Advil/ Tylenol, we rub on joint relief creams and slap a brace on it, but don’t take the time to understand what our bodies are telling us. So if that heel, hip, knee or whatever hurts after your runs take stock, take a step back and figure out what your body is telling you.  Maybe you need to get checked out by a sports doctor, perhaps more stretching or more strength training is in order.  Regardless of what the “fix” is support your body instead of telling it what to do.

Now that you are geared up, stretched out, strengthened and hydrated lace up those shoes and get a nice run in.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Gingersneezes Turns 3

Turns out today is Gingersneezes Birthday!   She is turning 3 years old today, and although over the past 8ish months the site has gone a little dead I do still check in and am always sure to post on our Facebook Page, Twitter and the Instagram account. So if you are going through kitten withdrawals or missing delicious food posts or motivational quotes head on over to one of those three spaces to stay connected.

originalIn the mean time have some fun traveling down memory lane with some delicious posts:

Salmon Risotto – an all time favorite of mine!
PB&J Cups – who could resist these tasty treats!

Pineapple Surprise – if juicing it is more your style try out this super tasty juice, it is great as a breakfast.

And after you have snacked on the above maybe testing out some good old workouts if you have yet to have the chance:

Try this killer ab workout to build strength to your core, or perhaps firming up your legs is more your style. If so try this awesome leg circuit out, it will have your legs feeling like jelly in no time.

 

Summer Time!

This summer seems like it is really trying to wrap itself up. I am definitely not ready for the warm weather and sun to be over though so hopefully time starts to slow down a little bit, so I can add in some more relaxing and outdoor time.   In the mean time this summer has been a super exciting one for me. I have wrapped up a handful of challenges and started new ones.

My goal this summer was to start getting myself out there and working a bit more to achieving my goals of teaching yoga in an established yoga studio.  I have been class time from a local studio since I received my yoga teacher certification but there is something comforting and encouraging about having the opportunity to be apart of a yoga studio and the yoga community in your hometown.

I am proud to say that this past month has brought with it many successes, one of which is having the opportunity to sub at a studio in our Byward Market here in Ottawa and another one happened this morning.  I had the opportunity today to be on a live news broadcast to tell everyone who was awake and tuned in this morning about my Rock n’ Roll yoga class.   It is something that I came up with before even heading off to Costa Rica for YTT and I am so happy I have the opportunity to share what it is all about with people through a new medium.

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A huge thank you to CTV Morning News Live and to Studio X Ottawa for giving me this fantastic opportunity to talk about something I love, and love to share with others. If you want to see the whole little segment click on the link (News Clip)

I also have one more surprise, but I am waiting for it to be announced officially before I share it with everyone here on my blog.  So stay tuned to find out what my other big adventure/opportunity is!

blissI am so excited and feeling so blessed and lucky for all these positive and awesome things that are seemingly happening all at once. Thank you for all the support from you my readers and from my friends and family.

Hope you are all having a glorious Tuesday!

 

Birthdays and Getting Old

I love birthdays. I love the opportunity to spoil a friend or family member just because they are alive. Sure you can do that any day of their life but to get to celebrate the day they came into being and started living their lives is just so special to me.   Generally speaking I not 100% a fan of my own birthday but other people’s birthdays let me tell you I can definitely get behind that!

This year is a little different. I am ending another decade and unlike 20 this one feels like a bit of a bigger deal.  Sure 20 was a big deal I was no longer a teen and I was officially in my adult years, but let’s be honest I was still a teen for at least a couple years after that birthday. I didn’t have any major responsibilities other than showing up to work on time and getting those essays in on their due dates. Aside from that life was pretty easy.  Now there are all kinds of payments; mortgage, insurance, school, utilities, blah blah blah right?  Although I do think back every now and again about how easy life was before I turned into an “adult” I would seriously never go back.20140306-075901.jpgWhy wouldn’t I ever go back?  Well because my 20s were fun however there was so much learning and development, I mean I wouldn’t trade it for the world but why on earth would you ever want to do all of that again? Figuring out who I was, learning to be 100% responsible for myself, and trying to figure out what my life was going to be (still figuring that one out by the by) .  Aside from all that “have to do stuff” my 20s were fun, I met so many amazing people, many of whom are still in my life, but all the caring about what other people thought, gawd no thanks.  Not that I have become some sort of heartless beast just that I have learnt to “do me” and be unapologetic for who I am and what my beliefs are, that being said I have also become a lot more tolerant of others and their view points.

Besides me turning into a pretty different person than I was as a teen or in my early 20s I am not 100% how I am feeling about turning the big three-oh.  There are moments where I think “bah it is just a number” and then there are other moments that I stop and think “oh gawd I have to be a real adult now”.   All I know right now is I am excited for my birthday party and celebrations with my loved ones.  In the mean time I am going to mediate away my neurotic impulses to freak out and just enjoy the last 2 days of my 20s.

But enough about me getting older.  Here is a fun little quick sweat it out to keep you moving during this never ending winter.

birthday melt downHow was it for you when you hit a milestone birthday? Were you excited? Freaked out? Indifferent?

Happy Thursday!

Weekend Round Up

This past weekend was great.  Friday was a busy day of gym going, running errands and getting ready for my Rock N’ Roll yoga class on Saturday.   All of this had me a bit worn out and I was ready to call it in early and get a nice long sleep in to get me ready for the rest of my weekend.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and headed over to the gym to get a bit of a sweat on before my yoga class and the rest of the fun planned.   Saturday’s Rock N’ Roll yoga class was great, I had the opportunity to give a bit more attention to my student and to modify the class on the fly to accommodate my pregnant student.  It was a ton of fun and a great learning experience for me.

After yoga my girlfriend and I headed out for some tea and chats. It is always nice when we take the time to sit down the two of us and get to catch up on everything that is going on in each other’s lives.   It was a perfect little Saturday afternoon.

After yoga and tea it was time to head home to get ready to celebrate our good friend’s 30th birthday.   Earlier that day I had gone to a party store and purchased some ridiculously large helium ballons to add a little something to the wrapping of his gift.  Still days later looking at the size of the balloons makes me giggle.

20140202-164247.jpgAfter we gave him his gift his fiance gave him his big surprise and it was such an awesome gift.
20140202-164210.jpgThey opened the fridge together to a beautiful of 30 beers from around the world. She had gone and with the help of the liquor store clerk she selected 30 of some of the best beers from around the world, one for every year of his life.  Then she took the time wrapping each bottle separately.  It was such a thoughtful and surprising gift.

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Once all the presents were exchanged we went out for a delicious meal and celebrated with some champagne.  It was a great evening and it is always so fun celebrating your good friends…especially if they are older than you, gives you the chance to feel young for just a bit longer.

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Sunday was football, but I am not much of a football fan so I decided to spend my day relaxing at home and having some Brittany time.  Just did some reading, relaxing and chilling out with my kittens. It was a great way to finish off the weekend.

Now it is back to the grind. Happy Monday everyone! 

Check-In from the Jungle

So I have been living in the jungle for four days now and I have finally seen my first monkey and boy those guys pack a punch when it comes to their howl…guess that is why they are called howler monkeys.  For the longest time I thought it was some crazy monster dog sound, but nope from tiny little adorable monkeys, I don’t have a picture but I am sure I will have some more for you in the weeks to come.

So checking in, where to start, it feels like so much has happened when really I am only starting my third day of training.  It is all so overwhelming in a happy positive emotion filled kind of way.  So let’s stat somewhere simple, my little abode. I think I briefly mentioned last time that I am staying in a bachelor style casa or cabin in the jungle from what I have heard I have a pretty decent set up so that is pretty great, I mean the place is pretty perfect for me, minus the daily ant wars, but I am living in their jungle after all.

Pretty awesome view of the jungle.

Pretty awesome view of the jungle.

The on thing living in the jungle has done so far is wonders on my cleaning skills. Instead of leaving stuff to “soak” or “getting to it later” the abundance of so many different types of creepy crawlies has definitely made sure that all dishes are washed right away and I sweep the house at least 3 times a day, and the deck once.  Otherwise it seems that the ant population gets a bit nutty, and several of the species are bitters.  But enough about the bugs or I will start envisioning them crawling all over me.

Training has been pretty amazing, it is a lot but it is a lot in a great way.  Every morning starts out at 6am with 2 hours of yoga with meditation followed by a little break for some breakfast.  The afternoon is then broken up into an early and late session.  These sessions are a combination of learning, hands on assists and more yoga. I think in a day I do about 5ish hours of yoga.

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The one thing I have noticed is my back muscles are definitely not used to sitting up right all day long and most of the students are having similar back “sensations”, if you will. I am hoping that by the end of the week my back is just so used to it that it doesn’t matter anymore.

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Aside from all the yoga a lot of time has been spent at the beach and wondering around and meeting my class mates.   The beach is just amazing.  It isn’t the typical built up full of sun chairs beach, it is definitely a local beach where surfing is the main activity.  At low tide it will be great for a morning run, and at high tide it seems to be excellent for surfing and playing the waves.  Although I am more of a pool person (I like knowing what is in the water with me)  I do love hearing the waves crashing and I am always game for heading down to the beach to watch others surf and have a blast.

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Well I should do some course reading and maybe even squeeze a nap in there before heading off to class again for the rest of the afternoon.  Hope everything is well in your part of the world.

Happy Wednesday! (I totally thought it was Tuesday)