Groundhog Day. An example of the possibility of kindness in a world desperate for warmth.

So far this winter is dark, cold and most of us have had enough of ice and snow and according to the local Groundhog, spring is still far away.

I don’t know about you but this past January treated me to some of the worst blues that I have had in years. It could have been the weather or the after holiday season let down or just what was going on in the world but I noticed that I was crabby and not kind.  So this  past Groundhog day I decided to make a new resolution to stir my self out of hibernation and to be more kind. Here is how I decided to go about it.

What I did learn is that there is no secret or trick to being more kind, it’s something you just have to do. However, increasing your own kindness is easier when you have a plan or a path to follow.

First, I focused on increasing showing kindness to myself. This meant treating my body and mind with respect. It did not mean splurging and buying treats or gifts. I had had enough of those already! But for example, if I had a stressful day, gave myself time at night to reflect, unwind, and meditate. This process also included things like working out, or taking a relaxing bath. Treating yourself with kindness can also mean eating healthier, getting a proper amount of sleep, and avoiding negativity.

Next, I started to work towards showing increased kindness to friends and family. How you do this may depend on your situation; use common sense to identify ways where you can give someone a friendly compliment, a favor, or a gift. However, don’t overdo it or you’ll appear like you have some ulterior motive. Doing little things here and there is the best way to gradually increase your kindness towards others, while at the same time adjusting your habits to a new standard.

Once you have increased your kindness to yourself and to friends and family (and are consistently doing so) you can move on to showing more kindness to strangers and people whom you are not well acquainted with. For example, if you happen to pass someone by, smile and say hello. Don’t worry about what they do in response. Obviously this won’t work if you are in a crowded area, just use good sense to figure out what is appropriate to your situation. Keep an eye open for opportunities to show kindness to strangers and if you see a chance, take it.

I am not suggesting that these steps will fix all that we are currently dealing with in our lives but they did make me feel a little less blue and more for lack of a better word, Kind.

How did you deal with any blues you may have had this past month or are you still dealing with them.

From deep inside my burrow with chirps and growls and snores.

Let Me Know.

Danielle

 

 

 

 

Dear God its me Danielle. A breast cancer story.

 

Are you there God it’s me Dani. Mom gave me a copy of the new Judy Blume Book, Are you there “God it’s me Margaret” and I just finished reading it.   What a really cool book. I was wondering God if you could help me out like you helped out Margaret.

Margaret really wanted her period to happen I don’t really care about that, but I’d really like to grow some boobs. Laurie and Sylvie have them, and it looks like Bev and Tiffany are starting to grow some too I don’t have anything. All I have is that stupid picture of me that we took at an amusement park where I’m wearing a bikini. It’s not a real bikini my face is shoved into hole with a painting of some cartoon figure that’s got a way more developed body than mine. Bruno says he would kiss me if I had boobs that big. Nobody wants to kiss me now.

Please God? Hail Mary full of Grace

Hi God it’s me Dani. I’ve been praying for boobs now forever! Every night for at least two months! And I have grown nothing. Not even a pimple.

Please God? Hail Mary full of Grace

Are you there God it’s me Dani I start boarding school next week and I still don’t have boobs and in setting me up Mom bought me a bunch of bras. She won’t be around while I’m at school. Lucky Her! Mom will be back home. So she bought me “One of every kind!” Kind of a waste of money I think.

Please God? Hail Mary, full of Grace.

Are you there God it’s me Danielle. I’m using my real name now because I am tired of the other girls calling me “Danny Boy” I thought I might be getting fat a because now I’m eating as many chips I want to for the first time in my whole life. (Mom is not around to nag). Chips are not making my face look any better. “It looks like a flower garden full of white and red roses.” As Mom would say. However I think I might be getting boobs!

Can you make them this big please God? Hail Mary, full of Grace.

Are you there God it’s me Danielle thank you for the boobs it’s totally cool going back home for Christmas and finally having boobs! I’ve packed “One of every kind of bra” just for the hell of it!!

Thanks God! Hail Mary, full of Grace.

Are you there God it’s me Danielle I need some help with these boobs. Please help me get them to work. I know it’s been at least 15 years since you and I talked about them. Thanks for them, they worked great! I filled out my prom and wedding dress with them and my darling husband loves them. But right now I’m sitting here with this squalling creature trying to stuff my nipple into its mouth. They are huge and they hurt and this tiny creature can’t seem to get its little mouth onto something that’s the size of its head.

Can you help please God? Hail Mary full of Grace

 

Are you there God it’s me Danielle I’ve had a million people handling these boobs and no success going to the breast-feeding clinic please this baby is not gaining weight as he should. Can you help please God? Hail Mary full of Grace

Are you there God it’s me Dani. I know we’ve spoken about other topics quite a bit in the past for the past few years. But I’m asking another favor about my boobs. I know a bitched and whined complained and said they were too big and too small or leaky or saggy but right now I just like to be able to test negative and be able to keep them.

Please God? Hail Mary full of Grace

Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

Give yourself credit….

winter yoga walk

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

Are you a crook??

theif

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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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?

 

Be My Yoga Valentine?

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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

Fall teaches a lesson in Change

Balfon Yoga- Increase self esteem

rake and autumn leaves

When your roots are most firm, your branches steady in the winds, when you are the most prepared that’s when everything changes.

Believe me, it’s true.

As I watch the leaf pile raked up yesterday blow back across the lawn this morning it is again apparent no matter how much you prepare something unanticipated will happen.

You wake up, you know, the ritual, the players, the script, what the backdrop is, it is the same every single day. Partner,  kids, moods, songs, food. If it does not go as planned you may get grumpy, (someone used the last of the milk) it sets the tone for your day, or does it???

It can be changed in an instant, a word or gesture, a call. The world has changed, you have changed, life is different and so are you, we may be resistant to change but it is a constant, which can be counted upon.
It’s good to have a constant even if it is change.

I guess this time I will put the hockey net over my leaf pile…That will hold them until the Kids play Ball Hockey.

 

Have you noticed any big changes this  Fall Season ????

 

Let us help you embrace change in your life!  Call today for a consultation.