The World We See…


A Geologist’s Perspective

The world we see is a projection of our physical senses. We can see with our eyes the world around us. We can see the beautiful waterfalls and the unique geology of a mountain landscape. We can smell fresh flowers blooming in the spring. We can taste the sweet nectar of fruit fresh off the bush, and we can hear the gentle rolling waves of the ocean at sunset. Our physical projection creates the earth we inhabit. Because I have an optimistic outlook about our earth, the above sentences are what comes up when I think about the beautiful planet that we live on. Someone else could easily have the opposite perspective. They could see pollution, smell the garbage wafting out of the dumpster, and hear the symphony of horns while stuck in traffic on the freeway. There is nothing wrong with people that think this way. Honestly, our society kind of breeds us to have this kind of outlook. It is much easier to go through life this way, accepting what we see, taste, hear, and smell, and accepting other’s perspectives as our own. The struggle begins when we start to realize that it is we who breathe life into those projections by believing in them. Our 5 senses are a lie! 

 

A Yogi’s Perspective

The world we see is a projection of our thoughts. This, in my opinion, is the deeper work that we are all called to do, but whom only a few choose to accept. Have you ever sat quietly and watched your own thought process? If you have, you know how quickly and out of control the stories in your head can spin. When I was going through my 200hr yoga teacher training, my teacher called those thoughts, “the annoying roommate.” That annoying roommate that never leaves, is always making a mess, and is quite egotistical. We live with that person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of us have accepted our fate, never trying to upset or kick him/her out. But what happens when you do?

 

A Course In Miracles Perspective

The antidote to projection is extension. Extension means that we recognize the godly attributes within ourselves, and we extend them to enfold the world we perceive outside of us. Projection splits and disowns while extension includes and embraces. We all live on this earth, but each of us perceives that ‘earth’ as something different. When we let go of our perceptions, we can start to see more clearly that we are all one. The world that we all wish to live in already exists, but cannot be seen through the muck of our own thoughts. ACIM states, “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.”

 

What Does it all Mean?

We are all one in the same and we have the privilege to inhabit our planet, Earth. On this day, can you let go of some of your perceived thoughts and projections and instead extend love? Love for this earth and love for every human being you come across? If you can do it for today, maybe it extends in to tomorrow. Maybe it extends to someone else you connect with and they start to extend their love. And so it begins. This, in my opinion, is how we can all have a part in changing the world we see.

 

Thank you for sticking around and reading my thoughts. Happy Earth Day!

 

Extending my love,

-BG 

 

 

 

In honor of my 8th anniversary of turning 21, here are 20 thoughts on my 29th birthday! In all honesty, I thought by the time I hit 29 I’d be begging to be 21 again but that is simply not true. My early and mid-20s were a rough, trying time for me. Constantly on the search for acceptance and love, doing whatever it took to receive that. As I near my 30s I am finally starting to feel content with who I am, who I’m becoming, and who I’m meant to be. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through as it has all lead me to this moment in time, but I can’t say I’m sad about moving forward and *gasp* getting older! So here are some thoughts, in no particular order, as I near my 28th revolution around the sun.

My 1st Birthday

Random Thoughts on my Birthday

  • 29 is not as old as I once thought it was. I know, I know, every 10-year-old kid thinks 30 is old, but I’m glad I’m nearing the end of my 20s. I feel happier and healthier now than I did in my early 20s (when I was smoking and drinking every weekend). Go figure!
  • I have blocked the fact that David Bowie is no longer of this earth from my memory. I cry every time I remember.
  • I was a very creative kid. I loved to draw, paint, and craft. It is something that I have not given much attention to in my adult life and I intend to change that this year! 

 

  • 29 is the year I take back my body. I’ve spent the last 11 years trapped in a prison of anorexia, body dysmorphia, and        negative thoughts around food and my body. This year is all about self-love and self-care! *Expect a blog post, possibly several blog posts, around this topic in the future!
  •  I was watching Thor: Ragnorok the other day with Josh and I officially think Tom Hiddleston is more attractive than Chris     Hemsworth.
  • The thought of having kids, even in my 30s, still terrifies me.

 

  • I have thoroughly enjoyed winter this year. I know this will be an unpopular thought with many other Texans, but I could not be happier with the weather this year! It snowed twice this season and has been in the 20s-30s several weeks in a row. Thank you, Mother Nature!
  • I have THE best friends in the world. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the same few best friends since elementary and junior high school, and I know they will be my best friends for the rest of my life.
  • I have been called “cold-hearted” more times in my life than I’d like to admit. I am naturally a future-thinking person and I think in the past that has allowed me to be non-attached and emotionless in situations and towards people. As I try to live my life more in the present moment, I find myself becoming overwhelmed and awe-struck more often. I have welled up with tears two times in the past month; the first time was during the full moon/lunar eclipse on the 31st of January. I was totally taken aback by the beauty and wonder that is this life. The second time was when I was working outside on a beautiful day, waiting to take a yoga class. The wind blew through me and I literally got chills, overwhelmed with how amazing this life is.

 

  • Mustard is, and always will be, the bane of my existence.
  • Yoga has completely changed my life and has put me on a totally different path than I ever thought I’d be on.
  • Moving to The Woodlands was one of the best decisions I have made thus far. Leaving the city was hard at first and I questioned it for a while. But surrounding myself with nature and trees and fresh air again is unparalleled. I have also made some amazing friends and relationships with other people here and for that I will always be grateful.
  • Breakfast foods > all other foods.

 

Enjoying some of that sweet 1st birthday cake

  • Anytime you are feeling down or upset, remember that things can always be worse…BUT that doesn’t/shouldn’t diminish your feelings. You must feel it to move through it.
  • I don’t know where my life would be without Josh and Bowie. Josh and I have been friends for over 8 years. Our romantic relationship came at a time when I wasn’t looking for anything and completely took me off guard, but has proved to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. I didn’t know what true selflessness and sacrifice was until Bowie showed up in our lives. She brightens my life everyday and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.

 

  • I think one of the main reasons I can’t comprehend kids is because there is still too much traveling I want to do. Josh and I are taking this year off from any major traveling but for 2019 we have planned New York, France, Belgium, and hopefully more!
  • I tend to always be on the move, never slowing down and never taking a break. The universe has a way of forcing you to slow down when it’s needed.
  • Getting a stress injury the week of my birthday is not what I had in mind, especially since I’ve been planning my annual birthday camping/hiking trip for months! But, it has taught me a few lessons:
    • Things don’t always go as planned. You can either resist the change or go with the flow. Can you guess which one I chose? 😉
    • Sometimes you have to SLOW DOWN! Pretty sure those two words are not in my vocabulary, at least not when put together. I had to take several days off of work completely to rest and although it was hard, I made the most of it. I got so much work done while I was stuck on the couch!
    • Things can always be worse. We all know this but we tend to forget. Thankfully the doctor is saying *hopefully* only 3 weeks in the boot instead of 6. I’ll take it!
  • I have always been a control freak and I am just now realizing how much it has impacted my life. From my childhood where it caused me to constantly worry, from my adolescence where it caused me to become hyperaware of food and how my body looked, to my adulthood where it has caused extreme anxiety…it has ruled my life. I hope I am on the path to changing that this year.
  • I feel so incredibly grateful for the life I am living. I have a sweet, supportive husband and a family that are encouraging and cheering me on to create a life built from passion and love.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for being a part of my life. My journey is just beginning, and I am so grateful that you are on this ride with me!

 

Shine On.

-BG

Good morning all, and Happy New Year! It has been quite some time since I last wrote a blog post. Oops! It is my intention to post more in 2018 so if you’re reading this, be my accountabil-a-buddy and hold me to it! Ever since we rang in the New Year I’ve been wanting to create a post that expanded a little more on my 2018 word of the year to follow up on an Instagram post I made back on the 1st. If you missed it, check it out here! The first New Moon of 2018 is tonight (8:17pm CST) and what better way to celebrate than to share a little bit of my rituals and intentions for this year!

First things first; what is a new moon?

Scientific explanation: the first lunar phase in which the moon is in conjunction with the sun, so it is not visible from earth.

Metaphysical explanation: symbolizes new, fresh beginnings. It is a great time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be (aka intention setting and goal planning)!

 

January’s New Moon in Capricorn

What does it mean? January’s new moon in Capricorn is especially magical because of Capricorn’s traits. Capricorn is the most disciplined of all the zodiac signs. They are responsible planners and strategists. Capricorn is an earth element so it also provides us time to get really centered and grounded on what it is we are working so diligently on. 

Intentions for this new moon can be focused around anything you are desiring at the moment. With the new moon being in Capricorn, it is a particularly energetic time to get focused and clear on intentions surrounding career goals. 

 

Ok that’s great and all, but what do I do?

Below are some simple rituals that I personally do around the new moon:

  • Create a quiet, inspiring space and gather items you want to use in your ritual.
    • My house has a yoga space in it and I have created an altar for these types of rituals. On my altar will be some crystals, candles, and sage. I will have a journal close by.
  • Set the mood of your space.
    • Light a candle or incense. If you use sage, smudge your space and any crystals you might be using. 
  • Write down your desires, goals, dreams. Anything you are hoping to accomplish or manifest. 
    • If you are having a hard time coming up with those answers, here are some prompts that might help:
      • What does success look like to me?
      • What am I truly passionate about?
      • How can I create a solid action plan to achieve what I desire?
      • Where have I given my power away?

 

Lastly, don’t forget to SHARE some of those desires!

The universe will only give you what you are asking loud and clear for, so don’t be afraid to tell a close friend, family member, or even strangers on social media what you are working on!

My 2018 WOTY is “vulnerability.” In honoring myself and my word, below are some of my new moon intentions for the next month and year ahead.

  1. Self-love. This is so incredibly important and I have been denying myself in a major way. Be on the lookout for a blog post going deep, DEEP into this.
  2. Letting go of self limiting beliefs that have been holding me back. This has been a work in progress for the past year but I am dedicating myself more time and energy into truly letting go of the stories and judgments I have created about myself.
  3. Growing my business to become my highest source of income. This is a pretty audacious goal, I’ll admit it. Right now I have several jobs which I all love dearly. I don’t plan to leave any of my current jobs but I am definitely signaling to the universe that I’m finally ready to pick up the pace in forging my own path!
  4. Learning. I have already signed up for a handful of workshops year, (yoga and entrepreneurial related) and am currently enrolled in a yoga therapy course that will be ongoing for an entire year. 

 

And there you have it! Remember that the new moon happens every 29-30 days so you have plenty of time to set new intentions or evolve the ones you’ve already created! Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and give gratitude for all you have created and accomplished so far! I hope this has been beneficial for you. Comment below and let me know some of your new moon/New Year intentions!

 

Shine on,

-BG

 

 

 

rob fleming, one year wedding anniversary

Woah, woah,woah. How can it possibly be one year since Josh and I got married?! If I think about it too much I end up traveling down the rabbit hole of time and how impossibly fast it moves. Since I am currently on my one year wedding anniversary trip, I’d rather spend my time in the present enjoying beautiful New England! Below is a recap of our wedding ceremony and part 1 of my wedding series!

 

Wedding Ceremony

For those that don’t know, Josh and I did things a little unconventionally when it came to our wedding. This caused quite an uproar with my family in the beginning but they have since mentioned that the entire day was perfect. And it was.

first kiss as husband and wife
First kiss as husband and wife!

If you know me well, you know that I am far from the center of attention. I’d rather blend in to a crowd and observe than to be in the mix of it all. The thought of walking down an aisle with 150 pairs of eyes watching me make the most important decision of my life shot my anxiety from a 2 to a 10 real quick! I thought a mountain top wedding (the Rockies, to be exact) with a few close friends and family would be perfect for Josh and I! We did get engaged on a mountain top, after all. OK, to be honest, my initial plan was for us to just go to the JoP and have a little party afterwards. However, Josh was having none of that. NONE. ZERO. ZILCH. It actually took me by surprise and his resistance to my idea caused more than a few heated conversations. I feel like no one talks about how much arguing wedding planning can cause between partners, especially when both parties have strong opinions about how they want their special day to be. I am here to tell you that the arguments were REAL, but it was good practice for problem solving and compromising as a couple. And compromise we did!

rob flemming, one year wedding anniversary
Rob Fleming Pavilion

Josh wanted all of his friends and family at the wedding while I wanted to be a little more selective. Our brilliant solution was to split the ceremony and reception up. Josh and I are morning people so we chose to have the ceremony in the morning. Our initial thought was to have a sunrise wedding but that was quickly shot down by our family members. We settled on 10am and set out for a location. Something I was unwilling to compromise on was the overall feel and aesthetic of the wedding. I knew I wanted the morning to feel natural, organic, and earthy. Having the wedding at a park made the most sense to Josh and I. With the help of my Aunt Nancy, we visited Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands and immediately fell in love! 

rob fleming, one year wedding anniversary
Rob Fleming during the ceremony

The Deets

  • The morning of October 7, 2016 was a B-E-A-UTIFUL morning for us Houstonians. It was sunny and cool, not a cloud in the sky! The other important detail Josh and I were unwilling to budge on was the officiant. Josh and I knew as soon as we got engaged that we wanted Jenny, Josh’s (and now my) sister-in-law, to marry us. She [thankfully] agreed to be our officiant and it was definitely one of the highlights of the ceremony. The ceremony she delivered was a beautifully crafted blend of God, love, and personal stories that still makes me tear up when I think about it. Shout out to the best SIL ever!
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Jenny!
  • The bridal party was more than I could have asked for. I had my 4 best friends standing next to me and I am so incredibly grateful for that. A bitter sweet moment of our day was the fact that Josh’s best man could not [physically] attend our wedding. George Thomas was Josh’s best friend, who was unfortunately killed in a tragic accident near the end of 2016. Paige Boyd graciously filled in as best woMAN and fulfilled the title, and George’s honor, with pride and love. Thanks boo!
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Bridesmaids
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The Groomsmen/woman

 

  • Josh and I are not only morning people, but we looooove breakfast foods! After the ceremony we treated our guests to some of our favorites; HEB’s old fashioned cake donuts (if you haven’t had one before, finish reading this post and then go grab one ASAP!) and Cafe Kraftsman assorted pastries. When Josh and I lived in the Heights, we used to walk to Cafe K from our apartment every weekend to pick up coffee and a pastry. Providing those delicious treats on the morning of our ceremony was also a non-negotiable for us!

 

  • There was only one little hiccup the entire day, and that was caused by my father. The night before the wedding I stayed in a hotel suite with my bridesmaids. In the morning, my parents came over to the hotel to get dressed and drive me to the park. EVERYONE, except for my dad, was ready to go. When it was his turn to go into the room to change, all we hear from the room is, “Oh Shit.” While this line is very common in everyday life, it is the LAST thing a bride wants to hear 30 minutes before walking down the aisle. As it turns out, my father had packed his entire outfit, sans a dress shirt. We frantically started to call stores around our hotel that could possibly have dress shirts but none of them opened until 10, and that was of course when I was to be “given away” by my now shirtless father. Thankfully my dad’s brother, who happens to live just 2 minutes away from the ceremony venue, grabbed a shirt for my dad and was back at the venue before we arrived. Now, if you don’t know my dad, you might think that he would call my uncle when we drove up to the park so that my uncle could bring my dad the shirt. NOPE. My dad strolled up to the ceremony space, with all of our guests seated and waiting, bare chested with just a tie around his neck and his suit jacket draped on his shoulders. Luckily everyone there is pretty familiar with my dad and his desired trait of never feeling embarrassed, and they all had a good laugh! I told myself that if that was the worst thing to happen on my wedding day, then it would be a pretty spectacular day. 
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My dad giving me away

 

And a spectacular day it was! Stay tuned for part 2 of my wedding anniversary recap where I will talk about our reception and post NEVER BEFORE SEEN pictures of our party!

**Special shout outs to Aunt Regan and Erin for decorating the ceremony space, my parents for all of their dedication to making the day run smoothly, Grandstan and Heidi for the readings, Josh’s entire family for providing and setting up the tables and chairs, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Mike for the bridal party flowers and picking up the HEB donuts, my bridesmaids for being the best and most supportive friends ever, my best friend Colby for his badass usher skills, and our photographer Dayton for capturing the magnificent day!

 

Shine On.

-BG

bowie, addison's disease, megaesophagus, adopting, adopting a dog with special needs

 

Adopting a Dog with Special Needs

We officially adopted Bowie on November 24, 2016. We knew from the moment we saw her that she belonged with us. Her foster mom gave us all the gruesome details of her early life. Abandoned by her owner(s), left to survive on the streets, pregnant at a young age, and heart worm positive. Her foster mom urged us to keep her on the slow kill method, and we did. We knew that adopting a dog with special needs would not be easy, but we were ready for it. We had a long road ahead of us!

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The week we adopted her
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Our pretty girl

 

Within the first few weeks of having her she had finally started to warm up to the idea of us being her parents. By the time 2017 rolled around she had come to accept us as her family and things got better and better as the days passed by. Fast forward to May when Bowie and I were out for our morning walk. Bowie suddenly began to shake as she was walking. She would have to sit down and regain composure but would start to convulse upon walking once again. I immediately turned around and rushed her home. I found the closest emergency clinic to the house and within the hour she was diagnosed with an infection, given antibiotics, and was told to rest.

 

A week later when she was able to move around again, we hesitantly took her out for another walk. She seemed better but still not her usual energetic self. Over the next month we ended up taking her to our [old] vet several times begging him to do something. She had lost her appetite, her stomach was getting upset, she would pick a spot to lay down on the floor and not move for hours. We are a bit [over]obsessed with Bowie and Josh and I knew deep in our hearts that something was seriously wrong. He kept passing it off as an infection, giving her more antibiotics and medicine to ease her stomach. She continued to lose weight. Her once soft fur coat had turned coarse and wiry. Her eyes had completely lost their sparkle.

 

Josh had finally had enough. He called up the vet and demanded her paperwork, we were taking her elsewhere. Luckily, a different vet at the same facility begged us to take a look at Bowie’s chart. This new vet had a hunch that Bowie had Addison’s disease. Um, WHAT?! I had heard of this disease in human’s but never in dogs. We took Bowie in to see the new vet the following morning and by that afternoon Bowie had been diagnosed with Addison’s disease. Addison’s is an adrenal disorder that prevents humans, and dogs, from creating the necessary hormones they need to survive. Finally, we had an answer!

 

Treating the Addison’s

Bowie would now have to take a steroid pill every day and receive an injection every 25 days. It was an expensive answer, but an answer that we accepted and were willing to take on. We were able to rest easy that night knowing that we had the answer and a solution. When the next day rolled around, however, we noticed she was wheezing and coughing. I took her in to the vet once again and they did an x-ray. The results left me in tears. On top of the Addison’s, Bowie also had megaesophagus. Her esophagus had basically stopped working. When that happened, all of the food we thought she was eating over the past couple weeks was actually just sitting in her esophagus, stretching it out. She would have to eat or drink water ONLY when she was in a vertical position. She would also have to stay in that vertical position for 30 minutes after eating so that gravity could work the food down. We had truly adopted a dog with special needs.

A “normal” esophagus
adopting a dog with special needs, megaesophagus, ME, megaE
Bowie’s enlarged esophagus

 

 

 

Treating the Megaesophagus

Our morning and evening routine quickly turned into a 3 hour ordeal in order to treat both the Addison’s and the ME. All of her food had to be blended up with water and fed to her like a shake. Josh built her a chair that would make her have to stand up on her back legs in order to eat or drink. She was obviously not very fond of this, but quickly realized she had to get in it to eat. And Bowie LOVES to eat! I’m not going to lie, the first 2 weeks of this new routine was pretty rough. Not only did it take hours to feed her, but we had to be sooooo careful that the food moved down. If any of it sits in the esophagus she could cough and have it aspirate into her lungs. She had aspirated on her food the day she had been diagnosed with Addison’s, that’s why she had started wheezing. Aspiration can be very dangerous; causing infections and even death if left untreated. Neither Josh nor I were sleeping very well and her routine was exhausting.

 

Thankfully we stuck with it and after a few weeks we started to see some improvement. Her energy, appetite, and overall sparkle started to come back! She had also gotten so used to using the chair that she started getting in to it herself! The vet had told us when she was diagnosed with ME that there was a possibility it was caused by the untreated Addison’s and could eventually go away. We were hopeful, but not holding our breath. Sure enough after a couple months of treating both the Addisons and ME, her megaesophagus had gone away! I cried again, but this time tears of joy!

A Happy Ending

Josh and I took Bowie to the vet earlier this week for her annual checkup. She was updated on her shots, had blood drawn, and had a heart worm retest. We honored the foster mom’s wishes and did the slow kill method which takes about a year. Although it’s less harmful than the fast kill method (it kills off the worms more slowly), it means that the heart worms could have been doing damage to her heart until all of them were gone. Either option is risky but we felt pretty confident in keeping her on the slow kill track.

A dog’s life

 

I am happy to announce that Bowie’s test came back negative and she is officially heart worm free! Her Addison’s is manageable and under control. The vet gave her a clean bill of health and once again ya girl needs some tissues! I can’t express how happy I am that she is happy AND healthy. All Josh and I wanted was to give her a great life and I finally feel like she’s living it. Adopting a dog with special needs is expensive and time consuming, but completely rewarding. I can hardly remember what life was like before her and I don’t want it any other way!

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please reach out if you have any questions!

 

Shine On.

-BG

Hurricane Harvey has come and gone; leaving in it’s path devastation, loss, and years of rebuild and regrowth. I feel extremely lucky that my home and no one in my immediate family had any major issues with the storm. The same cannot be said for thousands of Houstonians. The silver lining in it all is being a witness to the community come together to help friends, neighbors, and complete strangers. Becoming one unit and standing together, hand-in-hand, in the face of adversity is the only way to overcome it, and it fills my heart [and my eyes] with joy to observe the love being spread around my city.

I have been doing my own to help with the relief efforts where I can, and this blog post is one of them! Although I did not lose material possessions during the storm, a few things did escape me over the last several weeks; sleep, exercise, and clean eating just to name a few. As those slowly started to reenter and make home in my life once again, one thing did not; creativity. To be honest, this week is the first week I’ve had my creativity and motivation back since before the storm hit in August. Below are the top 3 actions I took to reignite and restore creativity in my daily life. 

 

1. Do something artistic

This can look different for every single person. For some it may be painting, for some it may be photography. Writing, drawing, journaling, dancing, the options really are endless. Doing something artistic simply means to spend some time reveling in an activity that brings you joy as well as concentration of the mind. When we are in our artistic element, whatever that may mean to us, we stop thinking about all our “to-do’s” or “should be doings,” and instead focus our efforts on allowing the mind to do what it does best; flow. 

 

Josh and I are creeping up on one year of marriage (what?!), and I am just now finishing our honeymoon scrapbook! I worked on this every night that we were in Europe last year, sans a few days at the end, but once we got back home I put it in a drawer and haven’t touched it since. Not only was it exciting to stroll through the memories of our honeymoon, but getting crafty was just what my mind needed to help ignite that creative spark!

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Honeymoon Scrapbook Cover

 

scrapbooking, honeymoon, creative, europe trip

 

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2. Mentorship via books or podcasts

I rarely listen to the radio or music anymore. As much as I love music, and I really really love music, I’ve found myself passing my time while in the car or on the stairmaster by listening to motivational podcasts. My current favorites are below:

For living a happy, productive lifestyle: Earn Your Happy Podcast

For yoga inspiration: Yoga Crush Podcast

There is also a book I started 2 weeks ago (normally I’d have it finished by now but it is literally SO good that I don’t want it to be over) that has literally pulled me out of my inspiration funk and sent me speeding down a creative highway! Unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve probably heard about the book-turned-big-screen-movie Eat Pray Love. The New York Times best-selling author, Elizabeth Gilbert, completely outdoes herself in this ‘self-help’ book, Big Magic. It is a MUST read if you are looking for creative inspiration!

 big magic, elizabeth gilbert

3. Meditation

I’ll admit that I saved this one for last because it is the most challenging for me. Sometimes I even resist meditating; fighting my body every step of the way as I walk to my meditation space. As I reluctantly sit down on my cushion with crossed legs, my brain runs rampant. Meditating for me is hard work, but it has started to become easier. I forced myself to meditate during my creative block and day after day it was the same struggle. Until one day when it wasn’t. Magical things happen when you can finally allow your cloudy, task-oriented mind to be relaxed and clear; a vessel connecting the brain to the vast space of energy source, divine spirit, the universe. Once I sit patiently through the fog and muck, I make it to the other side. My mind is open and ready for whatever creative or inspiring ideas pop into my head. It can be very intimidating to just sit down and start meditating on your own. Guided meditations are extremely helpful in this regard. My current favorite is Tara Brach. She has some short meditations too which are great when you’re just starting out.

 

Although there are countless other ways to reignite your creativity, the above mentioned suggestions are a good place to start. They can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, adding just a few minutes for meditation in the morning and a few chapters of reading or podcast listening at night. What do you do for creative inspiration? Comment below! Until next time…

 

Shine on.

-BG

And the winner is…

 

**Drum roll please**

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Congratulations Olivia! You will be receiving a separate email from me with all the juicy deets so be on the look out for that!

And if you didn’t win this time, don’t sweat it! There will be more giveaways and lots of freebies in the future. As always, thank you for supporting me, visiting my site, and reading my newsletter. I am truly grateful.

 

Shine On.

-BG

Hello and welcome, friends! I know it’s been a hot minute since I posted last. I knew that I wanted my next post to be non-yoga related, but I wasn’t sure what to write about. After some thought and a couple brainstorming sessions, it came to me. What better way for you to get to know me than to read 10 fun facts about me! Have FUN reading these, and let me know if we have any in common!

 

10 Fun Facts about Bridget Guisinger:

In no particular order…

  1. David Bowie is my favorite artist. I was 3 years old when I first saw the movie Labyrinth and it quickly became one of my favorites. I re-watched and rewound that VHS tape countless times before my mom accidentally taped over it when trying to record one of her soap operas (ah, does anyone else remember those struggles?!). Thankfully by this time, DVDs had been invented and my mother replaced that old VHS (I now own 5 digital copies of the Labyrinth, in case anyone wants to borrow it ;-)). I love David Bowie so much that I even named our dog after him. Granted, my dog is a girl, but it works! When we adopted her, the foster parent had been calling her “Bonnie.” Josh and I were not a fan but we didn’t want to change the name up too much and confuse her. I thought Josh would completely shoot down the idea of naming her Bowie, but to my surprise he loved it just as much as I did! Ok, maybe not AS much as me, but he agreed and she’s been Bowie ever since (Oh and she loves it, by the way, just in case you were wondering ;-))

BowieDavid Bowie

 

This is one of the first pictures we took of Bowie when she met one of her sets of grandparents (my parents). Can you see the resemblance?! David Bowie lives on in that sweet, little face <3

 

2. I am a Texas gal, born and raised. I was born in a tiny (not so much anymore) town in the northwestern part of Houston called Tomball. When I was a kid I had big dreams of moving away as soon and as fast as I could, and now I live just 20 minutes east of that tiny town. There is still plenty of time to move away but for now, Texas is my home and I am proud of it!

 

3. I will pick the mountains over the beach any day. Perhaps my infatuation with elevation is derived from my Fun Fact #2? If you’ve ever been to Texas you know that it’s #flat. I have always gravitated towards the mountains and thankfully, so has my husband. We got engaged in the Rocky Mountains, took our honeymoon in the Bavarian and Swiss Alp region in Europe, and we will be taking our 1 year anniversary trip (in October) to the Appalachian Mountains in New England. 

Chasm Lake
Rocky Mountains on the Chasm Lake Trail
Swiss Alps
Swiss Alps on Mt Titlis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. I LOVE to dance. But I am (admittedly) not very good at it. You guys are some of the first to know that I will be starting ballet and tap classes in the fall! They are 6 week introductory courses for adult #newbs like myself. I haven’t taken dance classes since I was 5 and I’m super stoked about it!

P.S. It is a secret fantasy of mine to tap dance in a Broadway show. Maybe it’s not so out of the realm of possibility? We shall see! 😉

 

5. My favorite color is purple. Yes, you’ve heard me correctly! That is the first time I have admitted it to myself out loud (or on screen). My favorite color has, for as long as I can remember, always been orange. But I have found myself over the last year gravitating towards the color purple. All of my yoga mats are purple, most of my newer clothes and jewelry are purple, and the color scheme for this website is (obviously) purple! Whew, It’s about time I finally got that off my chest.

 

6. Owls are my spirit animal. If you have met me in person before, this is probably obvious due to the owl tattoo on my back. It is even more obvious once you walk into my house. Upon entering Casa de Guisinger, you will immediately notice owl artwork, owl figurines, owl dinner plates, and even owl pencils! Owls have always been my favorite animal and you could probably trace this all the way back to when I was 3 and watching Labyrinth for the first time. For those who have not seen the movie (first of all, what are you doing with your life? JK…sort of) Jareth the Goblin King (aka David Bowie) turns into an owl several times during the movie. And if that doesn’t make you want to stop what you’re doing and go watch it, I don’t know what will. But finish the blog post first!

 

7. I am a proud big sister to a 25 year old brother named Brandon. We have finally gotten to the age where we don’t need tape separating our space in the car on road trips. He has turned into a pretty cool dude.

Brandon
Here’s us from his college graduation last December!

 

8. I graduated from the University of Houston in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. Throughout undergrad and up until this past January I worked in a geochemistry lab; first as a laboratory technician and then as a Project Manager. Science has, and will always be, one of my greatest loves. But sitting at a desk behind a computer 50 hours of the week is not what I am called to do, and that is ok! Geology has already weaved it’s way into my yoga love affair and I have BIG plans for combining them in the future.

graduation
It was really sunny that day!

 

9. My (practical) dream car is a Subaru Outback. Laugh all you want but this car was made for all of the mountain terrain I plan on exploring!

subaru outback 10 fun facts

 

10. I LOVE to travel. I have not gotten to do it as much as I would have liked in my early 20s, but Josh and I have promised to take at least one (bigger) trip and a few smaller, local trips every year. Next year we have California and Canada on the list! My bucket list items include, but are not limited to; Alaska, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, and France. 

Scotland
All the #hearteyes for Scotland

 

Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I had writing them. Now that you know me a little better, let me know if we share anything in common! Until next time…

 

Shine on.

-BG

Cobra Pose

Hello again, friend! Can you believe it is August already?! With the new month comes a new pose! August’s pose of the month for Finding Your Yoga is Cobra Pose, or Bhujangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna) as it’s known in Sanskrit. It is a gentle back bend that can prepare you for deeper back bends in the future. 

Cobra Pose

 

I cannot praise this pose enough! As some of you know, I have been dealing with a bulging disc in my low back (L5-S1) since the beginning of the year. I was seeing my physical therapist once a week for core/glute strengthening and low back relief. I’d feel better  but would ultimately end up back in his office after a short time. This went on for months (yes, months) until one day I was like, “Wait, I’m a yoga teacher. Surely there must be some poses I can do to help with this.” I started to incorporate back bending and spine lengthening postures and stretches into EVERY yoga class I took and taught. I have not seen my physical therapist in going on 2 months! Don’t get me wrong, I have still been strengthening my core and glutes to help protect my lumbar, but creating space in my spine has been a game changer. Cobra pose, and it’s variations, are a MUST in every yoga class. Read below for how-to instructions, modifications of the posture, and all of its juicy benefits!

 

Asana Symbolism (taken from the ‘Yoga Toolbox’):

  • The snake represents the forces of the natural world. As the cobra rises up, it represents opening to receive spiritual energy. Grounded in the earth and open to receive spiritual energy, we meet life with a willingness to embrace all experiences, both positive and negative, as part of our process of learning and awakening. 

 

Step-by-step Instructions:

  1. Lie flat on the belly with the tops of the feet resting on the mat hip width distance apart.Cobra Pose Step 1
  2. Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing forward and elbows drawing back and hugging in towards the ribs. 
  3. Ground your hands down into your mat squeeze your elbows back, drawing your shoulders away from your ears. 
  4. Press down through the tops of your feet and pubic bone.
  5. On your next inhale, begin to lengthen your spine and lift your chest (your head will follow) using only the strength of your back. Keep your gaze down at the mat to start and keep your low ribs on the floor. 
  6. Draw your shoulders and tail bone down towards the toes while your heart reaches forward, creating a long line of energy in the spine.
  7. **If this is challenging enough, stay here for 30 seconds of full breath cycles before lowering to the belly**
  8. If you want to take the pose further, begin to straighten the arms, lifting your chest off the floor while pressing the tops of the thighs firmly into the mat, pubic bone stays grounded. Elbows remain slightly bent.
  9. **Allow the lift to come as a natural extension of your spine, lifting your gaze is space allows (no crunching in the neck!)**
  10. Keep pressing your shoulder blades back and down, allowing your heart to boarded across the collar bones. Feel the lengthening in your spine from the crown of the head down through the toes. Create space between each vertebrae. 
  11. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds. Slowly release on an exhale, lowering down the belly, chest, and forehead. 

 

Modifications and Variations:

  • Place a blanket or bolster under your torso close to the pubic bone to maintain comfort in the low back.
  • Stay in a low cobra, stopping at Step 7, and lift your palms off the ground to ensure the back muscles are engaged.
  • Place a block in between your thighs and squeeze together on the inhale for extra strength.

 

Benefits of Cobra Pose:

  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • Aligns and lengthens the spine
  • Massages the internal organs
  • Opens up the heart

 

So there you have it, go give this pose a try and let me know what you think!

 

“As I open the doorway to my heart, I naturally receive wisdom and guidance.”

 

Shine On.

-BG

 

 

Why Choose Private Yoga?

Yoga, especially to the beginner yogi, can be a very intimidating thought. If I received a dime for every time I heard the sentence, “Oh, I can’t do yoga; I can’t even touch my toes!” I’d be an abundant gal! Er, more abundant! 😉 Walking into a room comprised of [what we think are] advanced students living the yoga sutras and breathing ujjayi pranayama is no easy feat! I am here to tell you that yoga is for you…and you and you and YOU! No body contortion experience necessary! Choosing private yoga sessions over public classes benefits everyone from brand new students to the advanced yogi.

 

Five Benefits of Choosing Private Yoga with Me:

  1. 100% customizable sequences, completely tailored to meet your individual needs. In a public class setting there can be an upward of 20+ students. Individual focus and attention becomes more difficult as I try to teach to the class as a whole versus focusing specifically on one student. What are your specific goals and needs? What pose do you want to learn or expand on? What areas of yoga most excite you? Let’s focus on them! Upon reaching out to me for a private class, I will send you a document that asks these questions, along with others, so that I can direct my drishti (yoga term for attention) to those specific areas and create a class that fits you; mind, body, and soul. 
  2. Location of your choosing. Not only are the classes designed with you in mind, but the location is as well! Don’t feel like leaving your home to practice? No problem! I can come to your house at any time or day that is convenient for you. I also have plenty of space for yoga at my own place including an indoor room with air conditioning and an enclosed outdoor space for a heated practice. Want to practice ‘out of the box’ completely? Yoga can be taken anywhere! The park, a brewery, by a lake or pond…the world is our playground!
  3. The ability to be open and vulnerable with me about health concerns, injuries, aches, or pains. Class settings can be overwhelming for the beginner student or any students with injuries or limitations. A one-on-one yoga session can create a sacred space between teacher and student so that you, the student, feels comfortable enough to disclose any information necessary to create the best experience possible.
  4. Diving deeper. Although I have mostly focused the beginner yogi, the experienced practitioner also benefits greatly from private yoga sessions. As discussed above, public class settings do not allow much room for individual attention. Private instruction can allow the advanced student to take their practice to the next level. Correct alignment, hands on adjustments/corrections, and a deeper knowledge of yoga can be applied in private sessions to enhance your already established practice.
  5. Mentorship. I can be a constant resource for you on and off the mat. During practice, I am there for support and guidance for any questions, thoughts, or feelings that might come up. The same mentorship can be applied off the mat as you continue to deepen your practice. I am available through phone or email to answer any questions or thoughts that occur after our private session.

So there you have it! Only a handful of juicy reasons to dive in to the wonderful world of private yoga with me, Bridget Guisinger! I hope our paths may cross in the future, on or off the mat!

 

Shine on.

-BG