Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

Give yourself credit….

winter yoga walk

Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

For those of you who might not be aware I spent my formative years growing up in Africa, and although I’ve been living in Canada for almost 30 years, winter always catches me by surprise.  I know it’s coming I change my wardrobe, get my house ready, purchase updated protective gear for my kids, celebrate Christmas and then winter comes.  AGAIN!!! I KNOW!!!

It’s CRAZY that I’m surprised every time!! I’m surprised by all the challenges that living with such cold weather brings; surprised by the physical effects, by the emotional effects. I’m surprised every year!

Then I realized something; sometimes  it can be this way with feelings.  You may find yourself in a difficult situation. You may think you’re ready and then it happens and all those feelings and everything else comes back.  AGAIN???  Surprise!!!  You thought you had prepared and here you are AGAIN.

You know what? It’s OK; you are allowed to have those feelings. Because like me and winter, you get to choose how to deal with them.  Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective.

I go for Winter Yoga Walks. I bundle up and look for things that make me happy and I give myself credit for getting out of the house and coming up with the concept of a Winter Yoga Walk. Then instead of curling up into a ball; I give myself credit for going outside.

I start giving self-credit for every darn thing that it takes for me to handle winter. You know what?  When I give credit for every little accomplishment that I have made; winter can be tolerable. With a change of perspective so can your situation. You are much stronger than you may feel at times. Give yourself credit.

 

Love Danielle

Guilt free chocolate eating… a Valentines Yoga Meditation…

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Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

 

If you know me at all you know that I am not about depriving oneself of anything.  I know for some who have embraced a different path however this time of year may be difficult; what with the items in the picture above being presented in abundance.  I offer this suggestion on how to enjoy this treat at this time of year with the knowledge that you are doing a good thing.

 Mindful Eating.

This mindful eating exercise may be especially pleasing to some because it involves chocolate.  If you have food issues there’s no need to fear; this exercise is waistline friendly as we only need one or two pieces of chocolate, or at best three.

In order to complete this exercise you will need one or two squares of chocolate, alternatively a couple of chocolates or a small chocolate bar cut in half.  It’s Valentines weekend so I imagine that you may be able to find some quite easily.

Step one:

Examine the  chocolate be aware of the packaging and the smell that comes through the paper. 

Feel the anticipation; open the bar or box and watch how the wrapper comes away, how it crinkles and crackles; then reveals the chocolate within.  Notice how the chocolate looks, observe the texture, the aroma, any imperfections made in its manufacture.

Break up a square and breathe in the aroma. Look at it carefully, observe the sheen, the decoration on it, the way it has broken off from the bar.  You don’t have to stare at it just look at it for what it is.  How does it feel in your hand, smell it again; the sweetness

Take a bite or place the square in your mouth.  Feel the sensation as your tongue savors the flavor of it. What can you taste?  What is the texture like rolling around in your mouth?  Pay close attention to the changing texture and taste.  Notice how it starts to change from what was once a solid.  Can you focus on all the characteristics until the chocolate has been eaten and all that remains is the lingering aftertaste?  Did you enjoy it? Can you feel the flavor that’s left in your mouth?

Step two-the comparison step

Take the second piece of chocolate but eat it how you normally would.  Which for most of us means to pop it in your mouth give it a couple of chews and then gulp.  Did you experience any difference?  Did it taste the same; worse or better?

Which one was better the first time or the second?

I’m willing to bet all my Valentine chocolate that the first experience was much more pleasurable and satisfying! You may have even been content with just the one taste. All your wants or cravings for chocolate may have been satisfied.

After number two you most likely felt like doing number one over again.  Its ok you can it’s Valentines after all.

Love yourself.

XOXOX Danielle

Are you a crook??

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If I was to ask you: “What would you steal? “Chances are you would likely answer “Nothing, not me!” I am no thief.”

This question may prompt one to think about Robert Nixon or robbing a bank or shoplifting. Eating a grape from the super market or not being honest when you get the incorrect change back in your favor.

But stealing can be more than that.  We steal from others unconsciously all of the time.  It may be not material goods but we are all guilty of it.

The green eyed monster can strike in many forms.  We can experience jealousy or envy of another’s success. This is a form of energetic stealing.  By not being supportive we are taking away from their success which steals from our own sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

Last year at the start of 2014 my three boys and I jumped in frozen Lake Ontario as part of the Polar Bear Challenge. It was a baptism of sorts. As a family we had a terrible 2013, my husband and I had almost lost one of our children.  It was not a good year and I vowed to change everything.  What better way than by doing something so crazy and silly and brave. As well as bonding with my boys at the same time with Daddy filming and looking on.  We were so happy and proud of ourselves.

We had great big smiles on our faces and wanted to share the experience with one of our close family members.  “Hey listen and look at what we did!” as we showed them the video.  They looked at us with a blank face, combined with an eye roll and responded: “Try doing it if you are not prepared to. That would be really something.”

Wow!  We were crushed. Our joy and excitement had just been robbed from us.  Stolen right out of the air we were breathing, it felt awful.

Consider your response the next time someone shares good news with you.  Can you genuinely be excited and happy for them, or do you feel the need to “one up” or diminish them?

The more you celebrate the success of others, the more success will flow your way. This I can attest to.

Resolve to Let Go

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Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

 

Most of us become quite reflective at this time of year – and for me this year is no exception.

As the final hours of 2014 start winding down, I have found a different approach to the yearly tradition of writing down my goals and resolutions that I decided to try last year is making this time of looking back more of a pleasant experience.  Back in 2013 I suggested the following:  Let’s embrace the idea of self love, and by doing this we will only feed our body and mind with the best. Making these my resolutions…

  •   I will give up limiting beliefs, relationships and habits, even if doing so leaves me naked or vulnerable.
  •   I will ask for help,even if doing so makes me feel or look weak.
  •   I will dig to find out more about who I am, even if I don’t like what I find at first.
  •   I will embrace my true self, even if it’s hard.
  •   I will speak up and stand up for causes and beliefs that are important to me, even if I offend.
  •   I will pursue my dreams with passion and daring, even if I have to sacrifice personal safety or comfort.
  •   I will take risks in business and in life, even if I’m unsure and don’t have all the information.

AND I DID.  This year I accomplished more than I ever thought possible for myself, my family and my clients.

 So you won’t see me be scribbling the usual “This year, I will do this/that” My focus won’t be on how I can change this or how I won’t eat that.  It won’t be on staying more organized or achieving new goals.   

This year, my focus will be on letting go.

What will I be letting go of?  Lot’s, I’m talking truckloads of “stuff”.

Emotional stuff, physical stuff,  my ego stuff, control stuff and all the stuff that isn’t real but hops on our back and weighs us down (like the stories we make up about how scary life will be if we let go of all this stuff!)

  • I will let go and attain a delicious freedom that can propel me into a world of adventure and magic.
  • I will let go and, discover the wonder and clarity that come with living a simplified life.
  • I will let go, and make space for shiny new opportunities that make my heart glow.

By letting go, I am telling the Universe: I AM NOT AFRAID….

And I am pretty sure the universe will answer back…“Okay Friend, it’s about time.  Let’s live your life now!”

I am letting go.  How about you?

What are you willing to let go of in 2015?

Can you have the courage to know that letting go makes you stronger than holding on?

 

Summer Parenting Moments using Family History..

Sharing their lives with each other

Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

Its summer time and most young people want to be as far away from learning as possible. However summer with its long rides up to the cottage, sun sets and waiting for fish to bite provides an excellent opportunity for you to hang with your kids and re affirm family values.  As the gang was heading to a family reunion this past weekend.  I started telling the kids about the people they were going to see…and where they came from. (Not the Birds and the Bees but our Family History).
Now there may be parts of your family history that you are not proud of, not every family has empty closets. However your family history is just that… History… It’s done and over… It is History… You can tell an edited version of any family story, and use it as a parenting tool. Perhaps you have some issues in your family that are not so nice…For example Uncle so and so who likes to drink lots of beer and tell jokes that make other people uncomfortable.  “Why does he do that Mom???” ” Well  Son if you take into perspective that Grandma was married at the age of  19 to Granddad who was 40 and a wounded World War Two Veteran it’s no surprise that sometimes things were a bit rocky in their relationship… and Uncle So and So had to step in when his parents were not handling things well.  That’s why Uncle So and So acts the way he does sometimes, and is why Dad does not like to drink.”

Lesson taught, perhaps not quite learned, but it’s out there to be used as a parenting tool as situations present themselves.  As I have mentioned before in previous blogs it works better with my kids when I admit that I have done something wrong or dropped the ball.  The kids know that I am not perfect and nor is anyone else.  But there are better ways to handle difficult situations and sometimes it’s best to know the whole story before you judge a person.   And really what pre teen does not want hear the story of  Great Grand Mother Betty who was married 3 times had 12 kids and was  shipwrecked off of the coast of Newfoundland…She lived to be 98…and had bunions…just like Mom…and that’s why you have to carry that stuff because Moms feet hurt… (Warning if Mom has Great Grandmas feet she may have her extended expiry date…So be ready to have her around for a while!)” Please Mom stop now!!” How about you do you use Family Lore as a teaching tool??? Is History really History??? Let me know.

Danielle

 

www.balafonyoga.com

 

 

 

 

Be My Yoga Valentine?

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Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem As we come upon another gift giving holiday a rather significant one for me (it also happens to be my wedding anniversary 16 years!) I started to ponder the idea of love and charity.  As Valentines Day approaches I see the stores become a sea of red white and pink, and listen to my offspring tease my partner about the pressure of having Valentines Day and our Wedding Anniversary on the 14th, and how is Dad going to show Mom that he loves her? Not vice versa so much, I am not getting pressured on what it is I am going to do for him or them for that matter, they know that Mom will kiss Dad, put up some red and white stuff around the house bake cupcakes and boom the holiday is over.  But my real question is what’s with giving stuff to show your love???  Why don’t we perhaps just be more charitable??? How about some Non Bendy Yoga Valentines?

Instead of giving your loved ones more stuff why don’t you..

Donate things you don’t need. Some of the easiest items to donate include clothes, books, utensils, shoes, and toys. Charities with thrift stores will sell these items to raise cash for their charity. Day cares, hospitals, and churches may also accept donated items. Donating older items you don’t need anymore is a great way to practice charity for those who have a tight budget. Recently on a Cold Day I gathered up some of the books that have been passed onto me, some of the extra mugs that were taking up space in the kitchen and a couple of boxes of tea and dropped them off at the local Women’s Shelter.  That felt like love.

Volunteer. Our time can be as valuable as money or donated items. As a volunteer, you are working to further to goals of whatever organization you choose. Often times, volunteers are needed for community projects and by helping, you are helping your community. Volunteers can also serve those in need more directly by working with children, in soup kitchens or in retirement homes. Serving warm soup in weather like this feels like love.

You can also be charitable in your everyday life. If you see someone who needs a hand, help them out. This may include giving someone a battery jump, helping someone move, or helping someone with directions. Or giving a hug or an ear if they are having a crappy day. These situations happen at random, but by keeping an eye out we can find instances where we can demonstrate charity.  That really feels like love.

Kids and grownups learn by example and by showing charity you set a great Non Bendy Yoga Example.

Happy Valentines Day XOXO

Danielle

www.balafonyoga.com