It’s currently Sunday evening and I’m sitting on my couch, cozied up in a blanket with Nina beside me. The rainstorm outside put a damper on my plans of going down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, so instead I figured this was the perfect opportunity to write to you all. The past few weeks have been extremely busy with long days at work, traveling and preparation for some upcoming brand partnerships. To be honest I’m feeling a little burned out, so after some contemplation I thought a reset was in order.
Many of you know that I began practicing yoga in late 2013 and started up an Instagram account by the handle “Melyoga1” to document my progress. For over 2 years I solely shared photos of myself attempting yoga poses that were a part of various yoga challenges.
I loved participating because it made me feel so connected to hundreds of random strangers who were all just trying to reap the benefits of daily yoga practice. I’m sad to say that after moving to NYC, I stopped doing any yoga challenges. In fact, after taking a 6 month hiatus from posting to Instagram last year, I was seriously contemplating getting rid of my account all together. Of course in hind sight I’m super thankful that I didn’t make that mistake.
After ‘Headstands and Heels’ was born earlier this year, I’ve been focusing on building up the content that you’re all used to seeing now – my home yoga practice mixed with other fitness tips and general lifestyle posts. It’s been such an incredible experience but this past weekend I couldn’t help but think back to my old days of monthly yoga challenges and miss it. That’s why next month I’m going to reset my intentions and bring it back to how it all started by participating in a full yoga challenge beginning November 1st.
Since @BeachYogaGirl hosted the first yoga challenge I did back in 2013, I found it fitting that I’ll be participating in another challenge of hers in November – #TheGratitudeChallenge. I’m not in it for the prize and I may not even post the specific pose every single day, however the sentiment behind the challenge is what resonated with me and what I’m going to try to stick to.
Every day we are challenged to post about something that we’re grateful for. This small little sentiment of gratitude will hopefully push us all to look past the negativity in our life and dwell on all the good. I’m so guilty of complaining, gossiping, and seeing the glass half empty at times, and this month I want to refocus my thoughts on all the wonderful things I’m thankful for.
In the spirit of gratitude, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me through some dark times in my life and left me with a feeling of calm positivity. Most of it has been very much rooted in prayer but there are other small things you can do to flip your perspective and see situations in a very different light.
Appreciate The Small Things
Shift your focus away from the big things that you’re missing out on and onto the small things you’re thankful for. Maybe you don’t have your dream job but you do have something that is providing you with steady income. Or perhaps you don’t have the house you’ve always wanted but you do have a lovely, spacious apartment in a great neighborhood. When you start focusing on what you do have and not what you don’t, a thankful heart will come very easily.
Approach Obstacles As An Opportunity For Growth
Didn’t get that promotion? Going through a tough break up? Failing a class? We’d be ignorant to think that life doesn’t come with it’s fair share of obstacles – but the happiest people are the ones who can find the silver lining when life is at it’s bleakest. Instead of complaining or feeling sorry for yourself, try to see the obstacles you’re facing as an opportunity to learn and grow. Use it as motivation to try new things and try to envision a brighter future. You’d be surprised at how many beautiful opportunities can sprout from the most terrible tragedies.
I’m not ready to share yet, but one day I’ll go more into detail of how this particular notion helped me go through one of the hardest obstacles in my life.
Write It Down
I’ve been journaling since the 8th grade and at this point have filled up about 10 books. Aside from recapping everything from my latest crush to cheesy moments to rants about school, I used my journal to detail things that I was thankful for. Some people keep a very specific “Gratitude Journal” where they write down at least one thing they’re grateful for every day. Along with the 30 Day yoga challenge I’m doing in November, I’ll also be doing my best to write down a thankful thought every day and share it on Instagram.
Soak Up The “Cheesy” Quotes
Yes quotes can be super cheesy but sometimes an uplifting note of encouragement is all you need to feel instantly better. Try keeping a bank of go-to quotes, verses or quips in your back pocket so you can refer to them when you’re feeling particularly low. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone else went through a similar situation as you to feel instantly better.
A little gratitude can go such a long way and I’m very excited to set this sentiment as my intention for the next month (and beyond). I’d love for you all to join me in this challenge! Tag me in your posts so I can cheer you on.
In other news – I’ll be hosting another yoga challenge myself in December so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, wishing you all love, light and lots of thankfulness.