Thursday, August 17, 2017

Invitation

Well, so I think I'm doing the 30 Days of Yoga.

My regular faves haven't appealed to me the last two days, so yesterday I did day one of the challenge because it's a nice gentle practice and easy to follow. Today, I got up and got on my yoga clothes, opened up my computer to YouTube, and.... nothing.

No inspiration on which favorite video to do.

I texted my trainer.

He said, "Do the 30 day challenge."

I thought about it a second and said to myself, "why not, I did day one yesterday, so YouTube is prompting me to go to the next video anyway."

So, I hopped onto the mat and began. And you guys, it felt so good! So I want to invite you to join me on this 30 day journey. Just start day one now and notice each day how you feel before and after yoga. Approach it with the intention of doing this for your body, for your health, and to see how you change. Approach it with curiosity, without judgment. With compassion for your body as you begin this new thing that may be challenging and frustrating at times. It's all ok. Just begin.

Join me! And start here by watching this 5 minute video from Adriene.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

How's Your Health?

The IRS, I bet some of you shuddered just by reading that word. Some of you loathe giving your money to the government, money that you worked so hard to earn. Some of you do it knowing that it must be done, it's just a part of life (death and taxes, right?). And some of you may even do it gladly because you know it pays for government programs that you support. (And for those of you who don't pay taxes....)

When I started working on my taxes this past spring, I found out that I owed about $3000 to the IRS, which is about a month's salary for me. (Long story short, I had received some incorrect advice on my with holdings, and not being a tax professional, I didn't know any better.) I went to a tax professional to see if this was really the case, and sadly it was. He helped me find some deductions to knock it down a bit, and then he advised me to start a small business because it would give me more tax deductions. 

I thought about possible small businesses I could have; I do pet-sitting/house-sitting, I tried being a personal chef for a friend, I thought about teaching knitting. Those all were great ideas, but pet-sitting isn't a regular gig, only when needed. The chef thing didn't work out because my friend had medication issues which affected what they could eat. And the knitting classes didn't pan out due to time constraints. So I ended up applying for and getting a job in retail this summer. With that income I've knocked out my debt to the IRS. 

Which got me thinking.... I still have a lot of other debt. I'm working on paying off my credit cards (which I haven't used for a year and a half and I've gotten one of two paid off), a car loan (making great progress!), and a student loan (they are the devil - avoid getting a student loan at all costs!). And after taking Financial Peace University, I'd really like to get all that debt eliminated, increase my savings, and start funding my retirement account (because I basically have nothing right now).  I wanted to boost my income, but not spend my all my waking hours working. I needed something. 

A business opportunity with Young Living kind of fell into my lap. God brought it around at just the right time. I shared some oils with my grandma, they helped her, and then she bought some. My best friend wanted to try it out, so she bought a kit the night I held my first class teaching on essential oils. My principal's husband happened by during the class. We put some oils on him, he fell in love, and his wife bought a kit. 
BAM! I had the beginning of my team and my first commission check. My business is growing. But I needed to learn more. I went to the oil convention, I bought some books on building my business. I started praying about my business. (More debt!)

And then BAM, another thing hit me! It's that this isn't (just) a business. It's about relationships. I have relationships with the people who are on my team. They saw what oils have done for me and experienced it for themselves, so they wanted it, too. And yes, the financial part was the start, and is an important part of it, but most important are the people. 

The oils have blessed me in so many ways. As a teacher, I need to support my immune system so that I can be at work to bless my little students. Oils do that for me! As an emotional, feel-y person, I use oils to support me as I process and work though situations.
  • I drink Ningxia Red which contains wolfberries, a powerful antioxidant. I apply Thieves to my feet and diffuse in the air; I don't quite understand all the science (yet, but I'm learning), but it supports my immune system, too. 
  • When I'm feeling stressed by a crazy parent (or coworker, or friend, or -fill in the blank for yourself-) I apply Stress Away or Peace & Calming as well as diffuse it. It helps me find mental clarity.
  • When I'm doing yoga I diffuse Frankincense to help me stay grounded and focused on my yoga practice. (Also good to diffuse during prayer times!)
  • When I'm getting ready to teach an Essential Oils class and feeling nervous or anxious, I apply Valor and Clarity.
  • If someone has wronged me and I need to let go of the hurt, I apply Release and Forgiveness, especially when praying about it, as well as diffuse while I sleep so that bad feelings don't disrupt my sleep. 
  • I take oil-infused capsules to support my physical health, like Agilease for joint health support, Immupro to support my immune system, and Allerzyme to support my digestive health. 
There's so many wonderful things that the oils have done to help improve my health. I am so in love with these products and they way they support my healthy lifestyle. I want everyone to know how oils can help them support a healthy lifestyle, too. 

I'm using the oils to support my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. And my oil business is supporting my financial health. And I want these things for you, too, my friends. Let me show you how easy (and inexpensive) it is to get started with an oily lifestyle. To start using the oils you just need a starter kit. To build a business, you need your kit and a script (which I can help you write). I'm telling you this, because I care about you, my friends, and I want you to have a healthy life, too!

P.S. Oh! And I've even been using my essential oils with the stray cat my roommate adopted. He was stressed when he first arrived, so I diffused and applied on the back of his neck Stress Away and Peace & Calming. He's a happy cat now! Snuggling up to me instead of hiding in the cupboard under the bathroom sink on top of my clean towels!

P.P.S. My IRS debt is paid and now I'm working on improving my financial health in other areas. If you want to improve your financial health, too, let me show you how a Young Living business can help. It's easy to get started; unlike other at home businesses, you don't have to carry inventory, so your only startup cost is the purchase of your kit!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Yog-ahhhhhhh

Early in my journey I lived for a sweaty, hardworking workout. If I didn't end my workout exhausted then I didn't think it was a good (enough) workout. And I had to workout at least five days a week or I didn't think I'd done enough during the week. Even when starting with my trainer in December 2015, I was working out almost every day; running or elliptical for at least 30 minutes plus weights every other day. And maybe one day of yoga each week.

Earlier this year I shifted from living in the gym five days a week to doing weights twice a week, HIIT on the elliptical a couple times a week, and yoga once a week with more regularity. And then somewhere in the last few months it's changed again. Dance has become my cardio and I don't push myself to the limits on the elliptical. I still do weights twice a week with my trainer, and yoga happens about 3-4 (or more) times each week.

And I've been telling a lot of people lately about the yoga that I'm doing and people keep asking me to share links with them, so I'm gonna share them with y'all so everybody can enjoy!

I stumbled across "Yoga with Adriene" a year and a half ago as "exercise" I could do on vacation in Denver when I wouldn't have access to the gym and it would be too cold to run outside. At first I tried a different video each day from her "30 Days of Yoga" series. I found it a little too challenging for me because I had lost a lot of flexibility, on top of my knee issues due to the osteoarthritis (I can't do lunge poses and a few others).

But I didn't give up! I kept searching until I found a video I liked and could do. At the start of this year I came across the "Foundations and Flexibility" video. Forty minutes seemed like a doable length and the poses were just challenging enough but didn't bother my knees.


I did that video for several months before I started to get bored and wanting to expand my repertoire. It was also around that time that I realized how much my flexibility improved. I also realized that I needed something extra to really work on flexibility in my hips and back because I was still tight there. (It felt very evident to me when dancing.) I found this 30 minute video targeted for back pain. I like it's slower pace, especially when my back is feeling tight and sore after a long day on my feet or a strenuous activity that has tired out my back.

 After a little over a month of doing both those videos on rotation, I decided to go back and try the "30 Days of Yoga" series. I stopped after day four because I loved that video so much. It's another good one for the back, but not as long as the previous one PLUS it has some good core work with the plank variations. A good core is key to back health.



I hope you enjoy these videos and take some time to explore others in Adriene's series. I am in the best shape of my life, yet I don't live in the gym. Stronger and healthier than I was before and getting better every day.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Essential Oils 101 Class schedule

Learn how to kick toxic chemicals to the curb at an Essential Oils 101 class this month! Classes are held every Saturday either in person or online. Click the links for each event page to learn more!



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Everything Changed

So many things have been on my mind lately, I don't quite know where this will go. But here goes...

This morning I was doing yoga and had to fold my hands together. I realized that my hands and fingers feel smaller, or thinner rather. And last couple of weeks while wearing my old dancing shoes I've noticed that they feel different on my feet. My trainer says that it's because my feet aren't as fat. That sounds about right because it feels like there's less padding, cushion under the ball of my foot.

And dating, I'm kind of at a loss. I'm tired of browsing profiles on eHarmony. And I don't really want to go back to Match. No one is contacting me. No one is responding to my contact. I'm just going to let my membership expire when the 12 months runs out soon. Maybe something will happen offline!

And oils. I've been so focused on reading my "Gameplan" book and building a business, that I forgot that it wasn't just about that. I mean, that's why I initially became a business builder - for a business that would generate income. But as I've been reading the book, Sarah Harnisch keeps mentioning that it has to be about wanting to share a healthier lifestyle, not about the money. Yes, the money is a blessing and benefit, but when I talk with people (prospects) about the oils, it has to be from a place in my heart of wanting to help them improve their health.

Today after I finished reading my chapter for the day, I was doing the assignment on prayer. I was praying for my business: for specific goals like sales, teammates, class attendance, and then I got to a point of praying for the words I speak to be effective. And something inside of me changed. The words I was speaking changed to no longer being about just increasing my income, but about really changing people's lives for the better. That the words I would speak to people as I share about the oils would reflect how they have improved my total health: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially.  Because that's really what "Urban Hiker Girl" is all about.

Urban Hiker Girl is about the journey through life and improving health in all those areas: emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, and financial. And I want to show others how oils can bless them in those areas, too.

It's not just about selling starter kits, but about helping people (you!) on their own (YOUR OWN) journey, urban hiking or otherwise. Oils can support you in reaching your goals! I invite you to come to one of my free classes (in person or online) to hear about how they have helped me. And soon, I am adding testimonials of how oils have supported other Young Living Essential Oil users so you can hear about other ways that the oils are helping people and how they started their journeys.

The words of my prayer changed, without me even trying or forcing them to. As soon as I asked God to help me have a change of heart and change of my approach, the words I was speaking changed and tears of gratitude flowed freely. God is good! And He is doing good things right here, right now!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Surprise!

Well.... so this just happened:


I was just reaching up to floss my teeth and my bicep accidentally flexed. (No, REALLY! It was totally accidental. I'm not in the habit of flexing my arms in the mirror at myself while going through my evening grooming rituals.)

I was so caught by surprise that I dropped the floss and texted my trainer. He "LOL'd" at me and then congratulated me.

Meanwhile, I started crying happy tears. I have had body issues for so long, y'all, that I can't remember the last time I was so amazed and proud of my body.

So, I'm just gonna savor the moment by closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths while I think about this and appreciate my body for all it's done for me. And smile.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Welcome & Rest

Exhausted.
Overwhelmed.
Frazzled.
Restless.

My mind won't stop. Even during yoga.

I've been too busy and I just need to slow down and rest. But I don't know when that will happen. I was even reading a 4-day email devotion series about slowing down to rest, just last week. It resonated with me. And yet this week I've felt non-stop. This week has rushed by, yet Monday seems so long ago.

I just want life to slow down. I want to have nothing to do today so I can rest. I need rest. Yet in an hour I'm off to my part-time summer job. Then I said I would stop by a friend's house. Then I want to go dancing tonight so I can see people I know instead of sit home alone (and learn the next part of the choreography for the flash mob). And I need to work on preparing for my in-person class I'm teaching in the morning. And I need to prepare materials for online class I'm going to teach soon. And. And... the list goes on.

But I just want to stop.

Isn't this why God created the Sabbath? He knew we needed to slow down and rest. And yet I haven't had a true Sabbath in ages.

I found myself yesterday wishing for the start of the school year to get here so life would slow down (crazy, I know)!

But this is life. It doesn't slow down, at least not permanently. It keeps going. We all have to learn how to manage our stress in healthy ways. So today I've got my "Stress Away" essential oil blend on and I'm going to give myself lots of grace and love. (And perhaps a nap after work.) And tomorrow, after class, I'm going to give myself a Sabbath. Total permission to care for myself. Some napping, some yoga, some reading, some healthy cooking, and some exercise.

This place today feels hard, but I won't be here forever. And I am loved. I am loved by my Creator; He calls me His beloved daughter. I call him Father. And Friend. Healer. He is my safe place to go when life is overwhelming. Friends, do you know that you can go to Him too? His arms are open wide waiting for you, no matter where you've been or what you've done. You are always welcome in His arms.

And this is a safe space, too. In the Urban Hiker Girl world, in my life, we are authentic, open, graceful. You are welcome here. You are loved, just as you are. May you feel the love of our Father pouring over you and filling up the empty, hurting places inside. May you feel His healing touch in your life. May you remember that you are ALWAYS His beloved child. NO MATTER WHAT.