Doing the best I can

Several years ago, Lauren and I were talking, and she said " You know I try to operate from the idea that everyone is doing the best they can in that moment." I didn't really jump on it as something I believed right away, but it was an idea that tucked itself away in my brain, certainly, and surfaced ongoing in the next few years. 

I am imperfect. I am a human who has flaws and zits and make decisions that looking back I wonder what the hell I was thinking. But, you know, in the last few days, and again, just last night, those words surfaced in conversation with Sean. " I am doing the best I can," he said.

Ah. It helped me see him. So this morning, of course, from the sky of Universe, some words that Liz Ferro gave her Girls With Sole Program a few weeks back when I was with her, these words, and this piece of paper that I decorated with stickers to personalize it, it was lying on the ground just outside of the laundry room. 

"Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don't know something for it gives you the opportunity to learn..  [be thankful for]; difficult times; because you grow; for limitations because they give you places to improve; for new challenge to build strength and character.; for mistakes, to teach you;

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for setbacks." 

To choose over and over and over to recommit to taking a look and admitting when I'm wrong or was operating out what I knew at the time; geeze, that can be so hard. When I want so badly for things to just fall into place and work and the energy it takes to choose differently is exhausting, the words, "I'm doing the best I can" look like failure to another. But I am. I promise I am. 

There are stages of change that have been researched and captured to better understand just how much goes into "choosing differently." They are pre-contemplation: the NOT knowing that anything should/could/might be different. Then comes contemplation: the recognition that maybe something might benefit from being different but change does not occur. After that is preparation: the recognition that change is a good idea and planning starts to take place. 4th, is action: the doing part and finally maintenance: keeping up with the change. 

That's a lot, right? So imagine taking a microscope to a singular change. For example: I am going to get a dose of nature everyday. There's 1. not even knowing that's something that could be different. Then 2, realizing that's something that should be different. 3. Thinking about how I could go about being in nature everyday. 4. Actually getting into nature everyday and 5. Continuing to do that. 

It makes me tired thinking about it; and in the same sentence, I know small changes are part of the steps to changing my "I'm doing the best I can, and feeling like I'm failing," to "I'm doing the best I can and I know it's not perfect ( because I'm not perfect) but I'm going to keep trying to do this anyways and see what happens." 

It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to show up and look at my own places and spaces of life that challenge me. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to live in pre-contemplation; not knowing anything could be different. I wasn't promised waking up and making choices that cultivate a better version of myself was going to be a walk in the park. And sometimes I'd like to run really far away and see how that goes. ( I mean, Mexico is so beautiful). And the beautiful reality of having a heart beat, and getting a chance to breathe in and breathe out, means that I don't have it all figured out. That challenges and mistakes, and limitations, ultimately, do require attention + love. 

This morning, after an evening of challenging conversation that got me thinking I really don't have any of this figured out, I decided to pull out some vision and goals questions to peruse. (which is pretty hilarious that when I feel like I  have nothing together, I decide it's a perfect time for lofty goals). Court called and realized quickly that if she didn't show up in the next ten minutes I might be purchasing something bizarre, book a flight to the Northern Lights, or snot up my entire sweatshirt; so TGFC; her rogue arrived at my drive to talk. 

I am in ( and we all are) every stage of change in some part of my life. There are several things I don't know I need/could change that hang out around the edges and will show up in time. Lots of thought currently resides in contemplation; how can I be a better partner? What could I do differently to make the studio feel more _______? What do I want my life to look like in 10 years? 

Some parts of my life are in the prep phase: taking steps to create change. Like my new vitamin game, and decorating the house so it feels festive (yup, no Martha Stew over here). Action and Maintenance phase: grad school certainly, opening and operating a business, being in a relationship, friendships that I actively pour love into. 

I realize that even the version who I was those years ago, talking with Lauren, the one who was doing the best she could, I'm different than her. I have learned so much in that time. I committed to changes that absolutely have changed the trajectory of my life. I moved through these stages of change,sometimes with grace, other times with grit, and some moments dragging my feet and swearing. The years ago version of me would not see that I have more humility. The years ago me may not have known I would be softer, loving, and more rooted. I think I might even look back at her and let her know that I knew she was doing the best she could in those moments, and what's ahead is not easier, and it's not perfect, and it's still worth the journey to be thankful for the things that ask us to look deeply at imperfect selves, knowing what we've chosen has been what we knew to be best in that moment, that change can feel like a real doozy, and to try it anyway. 

 

xxoo Halle

 

 

 

 

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You're doing a pretty good job

I was born a do-er. From a really young age, I was a ball of moving energy. I moved until I couldn’t move anymore. I was exhausted from a hard day’s work ( or play). 

And each time I completed something, onward! And so naturally, I accomplished quite a bit without really noticing.

I have so rarely in my life looked back to reflect on all that I have … well… done. As soon as an ending approaches, the next door is being knocked on, maybe pushed open, and run through. The goal is the golden nugget at the end only to open yet another door and continue on. 

Walking with a friend this week, I felt so uncomfortable. I have completed a large portion of my Master’s program and the last few months are here. Wow. Two years ago I was just beginning. I was just opening books and wondering what counseling was all about. I spent my evenings cramming, questioning, and soaking up. And now I am spending my hours practicing, seeing, and listening.

I usually catch the “messages” of life when I hear them in more than one place or from more than one person at a time. Sitting down with my supervisor this week, she asked how I felt after completing my national exam. I responded, “I think, okay!” She peered over her glasses, tilted her chin down, and repeated, “ I think, okay. hm.” She and I discussed that sometimes in life it’s okay to celebrate that well, I’m doing a pretty good job. That I have found a space in connecting with others that allows me to serve what my heart has to offer. She ordered me to make a note on my desk “ I think I am doing a pretty good job.” The note sits in a special place to read, and re-read over and over. 

I don’t know if I hear it quite yet. I am in this in-between space of hoping that what I am doing is enough and good and helpful and making the world better, in some way. And yet, still a voice inside asks me, “Now what?” 

I have contemplated on why I have this urge nudging me forward without hesitation to look back, reflect, and enjoy. Part of conceptualizing has led me to upbringing. My parents are strivers. I mean, both are Dr’s in respective practices and in each arena of life, boundaries continue to be stretched. My Dad didn’t just run, he ran marathons. He ran a 200 mile relay, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with a $30 backpack. My Mom didn’t just go back to school, she studied for eight years and completed a Doctorate program. She opened her own practice. 

Another reason perhaps is that I was born busy. I think my insides sometimes are like busy bees working all the time. (they don’t sting!) The settled bee hive has its moments, but more often than not it’s work in there! 

I also think I have high expectations because I know I have work to do while I’m on this planet. I want to give as much as I can for as long as I can because that’s what it’s about. We leave with nothing, so what can I give? 

Regardless of its roots, I grapple with the two sides: Holding the belief that I am doing a good job and knowing that there is more. 

I think of it as a teetor-totter; and the goal is balance. When I am having a hard time believing that I am purposeful and accomplished I :

  • list goals I have crushed
  •  look in the mirror and smile at myself
  • put on my running shoes and hit the pavement
  • listen to hilarious college music to take me back
  •  write down things I feel proud of  

And when I am eager for what’s next I :

  • get quiet and ask myself simple questions like what do I need? how can I get there?
  •  make lists
  • breathe deep
  • try to take it one step at a time
  • peruse the internet for ideas
  • connect with others
  •  talk it out. 

Although balance is beautiful, it is rare. More often we are at 60/40 or 30/70. A small nudge may be all I need to remind myself that I am already part of something beautiful and so long as I’m here, there’s more to do.

 

xo Hal 

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S.T.R.E.S.S.

Stress

 

We all feel it at times. Usually it’s brewing before I recognize it. It reminds me of the plaque buildup on teeth. I don’t see it at first, but I know that a check up every now again will reveal that I actually needed a cleaning.

My stress is like that. It quietly hides and builds, and after a little while, I feel it. There are everyday practices I turn to when I’m feeling stress like deep breathing, or getting to the lake for a few minutes of reflection. I can clean parts of the house to declutter and distract, but still, I maintain a level of anxiety that comes from being human and an added level based on my DNA makeup.

About a year and a half ago I was staying with a friend out of town when the crest of the anxious wave hit me. I wanted to be home and not where we were, joy was fleeting and the stress of the world felt like it sat on my shoulders. So, being the good friend that she is, we took coffees and talked and talked some more and she asked me if I ever considered trying medication, even if just for a little while. She explained it to me in a way that made me feel scared. “Think of all of the things you’re doing right to subdue your current stress. You workout, you hit up yoga, you go enjoy nature, you get to sleep on a regular schedule… so medication would be another /one thing/.”  When I got to the Doctors I wept. I knew I needed to be there, and the courage it took to show up and admit life felt too big was a lot. Especially for a person who really works pretty hard to keep life together.

But the reason I knew it’s the right decision is that It didn't make me feel elated. I wasn’t completely removed from an emotional response, but I did feel like I could-- maybe kinda possibly handle it a little differently than before. I was at least able to face some things that before were such a pile up, I avoided. I still get stressed. A lot actually. It is in fact a part of the intensity that drives my passion and excitement for lots of things. And like that build up, sometimes I don’t realize its intensity until it's made its way through the doors I’ve built to block it.  So today was one of those days for me. I have tended, in several ways, to my stress today. I took a coffee to the lake, ate a good breakfast, went to a friend’s birthday brunch, and all seemingly fine. But the undertow of assignments, a house that’s not going to clean itself, a fridge that could use more items for the week, and being alive knocked me right over.

So how do I reset?

  • Well, I float. I just started and I think it’s fantastic. If you’re interested, go. If you’re unsure, go anyways. It deprives your senses from stimuli and you tune into your breath. You are buoyant and still and it's a peace pod.
  • I call a friend. I vent a lot. First I’ll ask “Do you have enough time to hear me out?” If the answer is yes, I say thanks a lot, and I talk  a lot. And I usually let a friend know if I’m seeking advice, an ear, or a “I totally get it.”
  • I make a list. What CAN I do that will trick my mind into thinking I’ve got this life thing figured out? I do those things.
  • I call my therapist. When I exhaust my friends, I know it's time to ask someone who is specialized in it. I use resources that are on this earth to help with the problem!
  • I meet my monsters, like laundry and cooking.( my least fave)
  • Physical Activity. Running. Something hard and fast. Blow off steam. Release.
  • I meet it. I know it’s not going to be solved in a day. My mind wants efficiency. It has deadlines and goals and lots of stuff once all of those items are checked off! I remind myself to live in it. Through it. With it. And resist less.

We are holding a 4 week series on stress at the studio called The Learning Lotus Series  Sign up on mind body (by clicking) to share in the #sistertribe support as we all walk on this earth together.

 

Xo Hal

 

 

 

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today's tank

TrueRest 

Aging

I'm 35 and I'm aging.  I feel like that line could be uttered at an aging anonymous meeting.  Our society sends us messages all day long that looking older is not ok.  That gray hair, wrinkles and cellulite are not the preferred look of today.  Commercials tell us to stay young and look young.  All things considered, I guess I still am young, but I am starting to notice myself age.  If I am lucky, I'm probably just over 1/3 of the way through my life.  Suddenly though, 40 is closer than 30.  People all around me are having babies or their kids are growing older.  I notice people in my life are aging.  We are all aging, but for some reason I'm just beginning to really notice it.  Many people ...older and wiser than me told me "Life moves fast" and suddenly, I agree.  

 

Watching my son change by the day is precious and eye-opening.  Each week he gains a new skill or awareness.  I pray for good things for him.  I try to be patient when he whines & know this time is short.  Time zips by.

 

I was speaking recently to someone recently who survived a terrible illness.  They mentioned how lucky they felt that they get to age.  That it is a privilege.  I am working on adopting the same philosophy.  So when I look in the mirror and notice another foot on my crows feet  on the side of my eyes, I keep smiling.  When a stray gray hair catches my eye, I am working on thanking universe for the privilege of age.  When I see cellulite on my legs or my arms jiggle, thank you Lord for legs and arms that function.  When I notice my teeth aren't as white as they used to be, gratitude that they still chew and are part of my smile!  When my memory fails me, being happy I remember the good times in my life more readily than the bad.  When my wheel pose doesn't feel quite as easy as it used to, wow, how amazing my spine that still bends!  I appreciate this body in all it's forms, all it's days.

 

Thank you for the gift of being able to age.  Thank you for letting me experience another season of life in this body.  I hope I still have wrinkles to gain and blankets to knit in my future.  I hope I get to eat early "blue hair" dinners with my family and tell my grand-childen stories about how life used to be back then.  "Back then" is happening now.  Soak it up.  Ain't life grand?!

A celebration of Independence

I re-claimed a little bit of myself this week.  In preparation for a pending life-shift, I find bits of myself slowing shifting, almost coming back around from a place they’ve been quieted.  These little nuggets range from small to large – speaking up, re-piercing my nose, investing in my house, connecting with inspirational friends.  It got me thinking about the luxuries – again big & small - we all experience, opportunity & choice.  I am afforded the right to buy a house for myself because women before me fought for that right.  I can go back to school at 33 because it’s been demonstrated for me that it’s always a good time – old or oldish – to learn more and re-direct.  I can hop on a plane to Costa Rica for research and fun, alone or not, because I am confident I’ll either figure it out, or my family will help (thanks Dad).

All of this wondrous activity got me thinking, appreciating truly, about all of those that have paved this path of opportunity.  The fighters and resistance, the traditionalists and stories that have been passed on, the brilliant minds; the curious and brave global citizens, Americans included, whose decisions wove together in such a way that we get to choose the life we want to live. 

The people I am most grateful for, in this regard, are my parents, John & Cam. 

Both of my parents live a life unapologetically their own, but at either end of the spectrum.  Dad is such a wonderful example of family, tradition, and a dose of unpredictability.  Dad’s run the Boston marathon, climbed the hardest path of Kilimanjaro, and pretty regularly entertains the idea of hopping on a plane to somewhere for an unprecedented amount of time.  He can tell you the name of nearly every person that walks through the 3sisters doors, and makes a point to know them.  Dad cares in a committed, obvious, and need-nothing-back way.  In this way, he is fearless.  Cam went back to school at 40, achieving both her Master’s and Doctorate.  Cam drops truth-bombs and can host spiritual and cerebral conversations while bouncing in and out of hilarious quips.  She does so without apology or explanation.  Mom walks a fine line of promoting consistent self-growth and supporting integration.  In these obvious and not-so-obvious ways, they have always encouraged my sisters and me – both verbally & by example – to make decisions for ourselves and live a life as unique as our thumbprints.

So on this holiday of Independence, I wanted to recognize those that fought for our Independence; the veterans and family members that support them. But I also want to celebrate the people that have embraced this fiery spirit of independence.   Because of my parents, I never think twice about getting on a plane alone, internationally or domestically.  I never hesitated to dream up what my unique life might look like, and actually pursue it, even if it didn’t look like everyone else’s. 

Mom & Dad, in the moments that you’ve partied until you fell asleep on a parking meter or allowed a man to live in the backyard, even in these ways you allowed my sisters and I to color outside the lines.  So thank you, for being you, for living a true-to-you-life by example.  I can’t think of a better way to honor the American Spirit than to embrace the opportunities won by those before us. Mom & Dad, you are a true example of fearless, dynamic humans.  Thank you for loving Laur, Hal, & I through our wacky decision making and supporting our American dream.  You’re in a league of your own.  lots of love - Court

How Teacher Training Impacted my Life by Kelly Brown

Carrie is one of the best people I have ever met. I am truly grateful for her. Her knowledge of yoga is beyond what I could have imagined to receive from anyone else. Her belief in being unique and finding your own voice by being authentic is what led me to chose her to be my teacher. I had not met her before starting my teacher training. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I went into yoga teacher training without thoughts of wanting to teach yoga right away but instead, with the idea to learn more about both yoga and myself. It was challenging, time consuming, stressful, wonderful, enlightening, and (best of all) fun. I enjoyed every weekend I found myself making that hour journey to the studio to spend time with one of the best groups of people I have ever found myself surrounded by. We grew as a family together, spending 20 hour weekends together which were intense and some of the best I’ve known. We shared personal and profound stories about ourselves, our lives, and our loved ones. The workshops were great. I loved that some were open to the public. It allowed us to share with the community a little bit of what we were learning, what we were experiencing. It also gave us opportunity to open up to others outside of our group.  We did these wonderful exercises that really allowed us to open up to learn not only about the other person, but also ourselves as well. To me this was the best part. I learned things about myself. Yoga teacher training opened my eyes to many possibilities and wisdom beyond what I could have learned solo, and to a happiness I am glad to have found.

 

Read more about Kelly and follow her over at her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/yogibabe7/

 

 

 

Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown

Anger inward

I absofuckinloutely deserve it. Anger. Liberation. Grinding my teeth. Breathing shallow. As I work to change my old belief that the expectations I set for myself were so high that I really couldn't reach them to acceptance of who I am right here, right now and trust in my own pure intention, anger has surfaced. How did it take me so long to love my crooked unique path? Why did I buy in to the notion that who I was wasn't enough? Why does it feel so hard to change? 

 

I haven't felt anger in a long time. I suppressed it. I dismissed it. I didn't let myself feel it. But for the last 6 years I have been trying to love myself. 

 

And the longer I walk in life the more tools I've collected to get there. I write love notes on my mirror. Leave Affirmations in my car. I breathe deep and meditate. I run. Incorporate a lot of movement. Journal. I pause and feel my heart expand when I think about the idea of loving myself. I engulf myself in nature. And question.

 

When I grew up, high expectations were a thing. Whether self induced of parent or environment, one wouldn't be able to break that down. But good grades, involvement, selectivity, moderation, it was there and it was real. And it worked. I remained not only in tact, I thrived. Fear of fucking up left me with one option, head down, run towards the goal. Get to it. Expect it. And while I accomplished a lot, I'm not sure I really believed that they were accomplishments. They felt like expectations. 

 

And I hadn't stopped to ask myself, "what do I believe?" Which leaves me in self conflicted question. 

 

I trust that the last 30 years of my life have been absolutely breath taking and hard and beautiful.  And I operated in what I did know. Which worked. But the feeling of fear that motivated me as opposed to love, I'm letting go. 

 

I want to love myself as I am. With legs that grow dark hair in two days, a heart that is as big as my whole middle section, a curious mind that seeks knowing, and a self that doesn't know a lot. And be more than okay with that, be proud of that. I don't know. I'm not sure. Im so willing to ask and find out, but my expectation is that life is so much more graceful than what I've been living. So much softer. Less judgement. Less need to control. Because I love the idea of life as it is. And I love the idea of embracing my own sweet life day in and day out. 

 

So I Question. Question my knowingness with ease and love And I break away from a really old belief in order to see differently. In order to love more. I drop the expectation that I have to know in order to be worthy. I drop the control that I thought existed in order to feel worthy. I deserve it. I absolutely deserve it. 

 

 

Ps. After rereading my blog and a discussion on a beautiful sunny breezy shoreline, I wanted to share more. 

 

I write this blog for people who do feel anger inward. I had a professor who said depression is anger inward. I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. But he was right. I had bottled up anger towards myself for not having seen things sooner. For dismissing gut checking moments. And so you too, you're allowed to be angry. And it's even okay if you're angry at yourself for all of the things you could have said or done and time that feels wasted. How frustrating. And. Release it. Release that you have to be it all. With human condition, you will absolutely choose wrong. Love yourself then, too. 

 

Sending love from my self love bank to yours,

Xo halle 

"Difficult Roads often lead to beautiful destinations" -author unknown

This quote perfectly sums up my 4 trimesters.  Yes, you read that correctly, the 4th and least talked about trimester is the first few months of motherhood....and it's THAT one that really knocked me on my you know what!  

 

I didn't exactly enjoy pregnancy.  I was nauseous for the first 4 months and then the last month gets pretty uncomfortable due to size and sleeplessness.  So, as you might expect, I couldn't wait to pop that baby out and start the journey back to what I thought would be a blissful life of pushing a stroller with my super cute babe while wearing my fancy Lululemon pants in the same size that I wore pre-baby with a huge smile plastered across my face from all the joy I was finding in my newfound role as mother.  I delivered Paxton on 12/12 and within a week or so, I realized how OH.SO.SO. wrong I was about ALL the pre-conceived notions I had about how I'd look and how I'd feel about motherhood.  As you've probably gathered, this blog is not about yoga in the asana sense although motherhood feels very yogic to me.  It is about me finding balance again and it also relates to a topic that is far too UNDER discussed... post partum anxiety and depression.  On a somewhat side note, kudos to Chrissy Tiegen for making is a talked about topic.  I appreciated her candor on her experience.   Google it.  If you haven't read it and are interested, it's worth the read.

Ok back to me, because the only place I can write from is a place I've experienced, one that was dark and had me second guessing my decision to become a mother at all.  I hate writing that statement.  I still find that shame surrounds some of the feelings that I experienced during the worst days of my post partum depression.   But, I was brought up to be an open book, have no secrets and share my life with others in a way that feels true to me.  So I'm just gonna let it all hang out.  Post partum anxiety & depression sucked.  I felt completely paralyzed for about a month.  I did not leave the house alone with baby.  I cried .. a LOT!  My body felt life-less even though I had just delivered LIFE...what an oxy-moron.  I was emotional.  The anxiety is something that I had never experienced and gives me so much compassion for those with on-going anxiety.  I was not able to sleep more than one hour at a time for the first few weeks of Paxton's life due to extreme anxiety and panic attacks that sent shivers through my entire nervous system.  This led to me feeling that psychosis was setting in some moments.  I felt anxious about every little thing including leaving the house with Paxton, changing diapers, feeding, cutting his nails, bathing him, sleeping next to him, etc... pretty much everything baby related drove me into a tail spin.  My 3 dogs put me absolutely over the edge.  Thankfully my mother in law came to the rescue and watched them for over a month while I put myself back together so that they didn't have to suffer the brunt of my PPD.  For about 4-6 weeks, I felt unable to care for myself and Paxton in the way I wanted to and I definitely could not do the things for Kleyton that he had become accustomed to me doing.  There were a few different occasions where I passed the baby to Kleyton during a fit of tears and desperation and told him I just could not deal with it at that moment.  I remember clearly an evening where I doubled over in my kitchen, told Kleyton I had just had a panic attack and assured him that I was 100% incapable of being a mother. 4-6 weeks sounds like a blink of the eye and can feel like an eternity when you are living it.

About a month after my son was born, I knew things needed to shift.  With the encouragement of some new friends at a mom's group and my own mother, I began taking Zoloft.  I had so many pre-conceived notions about medicine and people who take Rx drugs.  Life has a funny way of showing me things that I judge.. that was one of them.  Well, judgment no more.. these meds have helped me immensely to feel like myself again.  In addition to medication, the support of an awesome baby sitter who allows me to do things like take a yoga class, work on the behind the scenes stuff at 3 SISTERS that I love so much and go the dentist, etc.  That helps a ton.  So does my supportive husband and other awesome people in my life including family, friends and other moms and even some strangers who have helped me along the way.  Everyone needs support in this life.  I'm convinced more than ever that no one can or should do this motherhood thing alone.  

Fast forward to now, Paxton is 4 months old and (almost) every single moment I love him a little more ;).  Our bond is stronger than ever.  I am finding confidence as a mother and finding my way partially back to the old Lauren too.  The Lauren who loves Sauvignon Blanc and travel.. she's still in there, she just doesn't show her face as often and that's ok for now... in fact, I'm very blissful staying home snuggling Paxton in my pajamas.  

This post feels important for a few reasons.  One is that I felt like my instagram account of cute baby pictures was not showing the whole picture, it felt a little bit like I was hiding something.  But much more importantly, I want any mom out there who is experiencing PPD&A to know that it is 100% temporary and that while it feels long and arduous right now, it will pass.  You are strong and will be even stronger because of this.  You can do it.  You are a good mom.  Don't forget to be good to yourself too.

 

XOXO

Student Feature: Hope

When I think about what commitment looks like, Hope is a person that pops into my head. Intermittently, I go on the computer and check to see the frequency of people's visits for our #squad250 club {visit 3 sisters 250 times!} And, recently, I checked in with our software, and I couldn't believe it. Hope was nearing 250 classes. Now, we have several members who have been on our #squad250 mat, so what makes Hope one that shines? Well, Hope didn't find 3 sisters that long ago. Her first visit and her 250th visit were only 419 days apart. 

 

So you've visited 3 sisters over 250 times in a little over a year! That is incredible! 
Would you be willing to share how it has felt incorporating yoga and fitness into your daily routine? 

3 Sisters is unique in the way that the studio offers both yoga and fitness under one roof.  I can enjoy a morning of an energetic cardio and challenging muscle building fitness class and follow with a yoga class to unwind and find peace in my body and mind.  With each class, I  can look forward to learning new poses, new techniques, new perspectives and new people.  The friendly studio family definitely helps to keep me motivated, to show up and be present. No excuses!

What would you want to share with someone who was just starting?

3 Sisters is so welcoming to new clients!

The more you practice, the better you feel and the more you’ll want to practice.  Celebrate the strength of your own body. Never compare yourself to others or feel intimidated. 3 Sisters helps encourage, inspire, spread positivity, and ensure the success of participants of all yoga/fitness skill levels.  


What makes 3 sisters the place that felt like the right fit for you?

There are a lot of fitness and yoga studio choices in the area.  I chose 3 Sisters specifically for the range of class offerings and the wonderful instructors and friendly staff.  Each instructor has their own unique way to make working out and practicing yoga fun…joyful! They genuinely care and take the time to get to know each and every person.  

3 Sisters also has a wonderful community presence and I’ve enjoyed many classes held at local businesses (Glowga, Lunchtime Yoga on a lawn in Crocker Park, running with a group in Avon and planted sunflower seeds!)  The studio has a variety of workshop offerings and I’ve enjoyed learning about Chakras and making Malas and tried yoga poses on a paddleboard! My daughter loves Kids Yoga and the Kids Camps and my husband tried the Intro to Yoga class…we’re becoming a 3 Sisters family!

And! Walt!  He greets us all every morning with a smile and helps brighten each of our days!


How have you celebrated your tremendousness!?

My health and fitness journey has it’s ups and downs but I try to celebrate the positives of each day, one day at a time.

So far, I’ve had 250+ days of joy!

A quote and words of wisdom you live by? 

Hmmm…

Eat Cake for Breakfast! 🥞

Always have kindness in your heart. ️ 

If you see Hope in the studio, give her a high five, or a hug, or a way to go! Thanks Hope for sharing and being a part of the tribe. the community. and the love. 

pictured: Hope and her daughter Alexa

pictured: Hope and her daughter Alexa

A Bali Beginner

My trip to Bali is coming to a close and as I reflected with Courtney over Balinese instant coffee in bed, I decided to write. 

Traveling is always a teacher and this trip was my first time acting as a co-facilitator in this type of setting. I had so many questions and question marks. What was my role? How did it look? Who was my tribe? When could I ask? What should I know about the country to share with the group to enrich the experience? With a group that trusted our lead, I quietly wasn’t sure how I was supposed to do…. well just that. 

In my own skin, my “lead” felt like a floppy fish. I couldn’t quite grab hold, it fought back,  and even tried to jump back to safety several times. I craved a better sense of knowing what I was supposed to "do." In a common setting,  I naturally like to take reigns, but I’d never been to this country, nor stood as a co-facilitator in a yoga retreat; I didn’t feel yet equipped. I was, very simply, a beginner at this. 

I learned by leaning and stumbling and falling and getting back up. I learned by watching and listening. I gathered information through experimenting and being silly. I  learned because even though it’s deeply uncomfortable to be in a foreign country with little idea of my role, I stayed. 

There were parts of the trip where I clung to an identity because it felt safe. Little sister, cousin, young, serious, counselor, break-down mode, let my hair down, Ohioan… because even if it was awkward, I knew the in’s and out’s.

I’d like to take a moment and thank my sister, Courtney, and my cousins, Annie and Tyler for their wisdom, expertise, and humor.  Your guidance and quiet modeling provided me with so much wisdom. I am grateful. forever! 

 And the group, I have tremendous big breaths full of gladness for being a “lifer” group for me; one  that welcomed me to learning the balance of an identity when I could use some extra care. 

Uncertainty and the not knowing is a place of growth for me. I may live my life in a way that looks seemingly relaxed and playful, but there is also a nagging ego often asking me to do it better and “get it right." And there is a part of me that just likes to know. It runs in my bloodstream as the little sister, the curious questioner, and the student. 

I remind myself that there is possibility in the not knowing. (Even typing that is hard). I remind myself to be gentle and that falling is a way of learning too. Floundering and awkwardness provides me with whole lot of information from which I can take a look at curiously, too. And of course, there is always room for laughter.

Treading gently and embracing a sense of unknowing is a lesson I'm ready to embrace. And Colleen Alber, your words were like a a huge Bali air embrace as we sat in an Indonesian coffee spot on a cloudy hot afternoon, “ We’re all doing the best we can.” 

Ultimately, this trip asked me to be a beginner and in a raw way, I tried my very best.

 

Thank you to all of it and all of you. 

xo

Halle 

Window Shopping

I strolled through my neighborhood suburb this morning in an effort to enjoy the particularly warm weather and grab my favorite ritual of my mornings: coffee. I passed big houses and small ones, bright homes and dark brick, a whole spectrum of styles and many in the middle. 

And although the neighborhood is a beautiful one, most every home has just something that's not quite buttoned up. Whether it be a driveway with a large hole in it, a gutter that has seen better days, a winter's wear on the siding of the home, each one showed its life.

Just last week I visited my sister and brother in law, and I met some of their friends. Taking a stroll with Lauren I shared with her that when I meet people I so deeply want to know what makes them human. She suggested I don't start with that statement as an opener.  :)

But it's something that for me to connect, I really crave knowing. Because how often does someone put on their mask to open their door and step out into the world? And isn't there grace in what makes you so human. The humility in recognizing that just like those beautiful and unique homes, each of us has something that's just not quite buttoned up. It's kinda what makes us ... well so great. 

What makes me human? I am intense and sensitive. I love me some gummi bears on the reg. I am currently paying medicaid for dental insurance. I quit my job to pursue a dream. I have a big ole' crease between my brows from all the thinking i've done. What makes me human? I wonder if the outfit is right for the occasion. In times of doubt, I compare myself to others. I love really deeply. My love for life cracks me open early on in friendships. and in life. I have a killer sense of intuition and sometimes it leads to me not doing the research. I thrive on recognition. I drive too fast. I grind my teeth at night. What makes me human? I'm alive. 

And so this morning on my walk, I imagined all of the people inside these homes. Each of them so human. And I wonder what that means for them. I found a sense of peace in the unique expression of their four walls. And I was impressed with the houses reflection of being alive. And so, I ask you, friend. What is it about you that may bring a sense of vulnerability and simultaneously creates a really beautiful version of what life is?

What makes you human? 

XO 

Hal

super human moment. dancing is also my jam. and i prefer to dance alone. 

super human moment. dancing is also my jam. and i prefer to dance alone. 

A decision to heal.

Recently at breakfast with Halle, our conversation turned a bit deep (as we often bounce between laughing at farts and/or falling and unpacking our psychology behaviors).  The topic of life decisions came about.  It got my mind moving through the on-paper big milestones: my parents divorce, moving to Spain, relationships, heartbreak, Cincinnati.  So it surprised me when prompted about the biggest one, and out popped “when I decided to heal”.    Halle thought for a minute, and said “i noticed when that shifted.”

It started with the yoga room; 75 minutes a day, 30 days in a row; discipline, boundaries.  Then it wandered off my mat, out of the studio doors.  I made little decisions to put my own life first, which wasn’t a habit or practice of mine.  This showed up in small ways, like telling a friend i couldn’t meet until 7 instead of 430.  I said no to some things, yes to others. Then it showed up in big ways, like ending something because it wasn’t healthy. 

Over the next six months, the mirrors in the studio where i practiced changed.  My body, my weight, started to look different. Although the scale didn’t necessarily change dramatically, i started to see myself differently.  The little voice of constant comparison got quieter.  Leaving the house didn’t require 5 outfit changes; body dysmorphia faded. I stayed in on a Friday to practice Saturday morning.  If work was stressful, i made sure i got to class.  I noticed I wasn’t so angry anymore.  I was learning, I was healing.  

And my life changed.  

In truth, the real work was about to start.  This work - self-work - shows up.  It’s been eye-opening and raw, and embarrassing, powerful, and barf-city.  It’s led me to fantastic therapists, deep connections with friends - old and new, workshops, teacher trainings.  I’ve healed and re-built old and new relationships with family and friends. Temptation has shown up during this practice and this process.  I’ve failed.  I’ve fallen back into habits of obsessing about my weight.  I’ve ended up continuing old relationships that not only don’t serve me, but hurt me.  Because I am human, and 32.  But time and time again, my mat doesn’t judge.  It just hits re-set.  We begin again.  

This work is endless.  Life will continue to challenge, amaze, betray, and love us.  I have a deep, deep gratitude for it all.  I feel humbled to teach this practice that impacted me so greatly.  i feel lucky to share this path with friends, students, family, my sisters.  There is so much left to learn.

"there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do--determined to save the only life you could save." - Mary Oliver

-xo

Court

To where I am now

Some days are easier than others. I mean that kinda goes without saying. You have days where you jump out of bed ready to dance and do and live big. And others where the comforter’s embrace and your heavy eyelids would just rather stay shut.

And I mean it when I say there are days I just have to convince myself that it’s going to be a good day. If that means I have to dress up for an occasion with nowhere to go or stay in my favorite too big to stay up pants for the day, well it’s a compromise I’m willing to make.

Yet, I have never felt more like the steps I’m taking are directed at SOMETHING. It may not be immediate. It may look like a mess to some, but my life,to me, has never been so honest.

I took a pretty big leap last year. I started graduate school part-time while teaching middle school full-time and contributing to 3 sisters. It was a lot. It felt like a lot. And there came a time where I knew one thing had to move. I knew it was time. But it didn’t make it any less terrifying. And I weighed options. A lot. Before bed. In my dreaming and journaling. I imagined living the life of each hat with dignity and grace. But I knew. I knew I was not in alignment long-term and being honest is the greatest gift there is.

So, I took a step back from my full-time title and job of being a teacher. It was an identity I had learned to live and it had become, almost, habit. In some instances, I could predict the outcome of a story we read or when the laughter of the class would rise because the familiarity of my days. I take partial responsibility for this, too. I would like to add, I love kids and being a teacher is an honor. To stand and shape students day in and day out and have them shape you, it’s a really powerful and beautiful thing. The district was supportive and proactive. But there are sides of teaching that didn’t work for me. Teaching the same thing 5 times… 5 hours. Each hour the same lesson with a sprinkle of change more or less. Over 120 papers to grade and endless standards to reach.

While there’s liberation in letting go, there’s certainly grief, too. The faces of beaming kiddos, your favorite teachers to catch up with, the daily greatness of that which is middle school… it was sad. But I knew. And once you know, you must.

I began my classes studying Counseling full-time. I took the reigns more at 3 sisters. I uprooted my life’s everyday’s and re-sculpted them to better guide me towards my purpose.

I have never felt so invested in the shaping of my own life. I go to class eager to know more. I meet internship with curiosity. I am diving into the path that asks me to show up and be honest with me. I am reading books about trauma to genuinely better understand.

And are there days where it still is hard to get out and exercise? Absolutely. Are there moments where I wonder how the hell I’m going to manage student loan debt? You betcha.

But the steps of a new way?. They actually feel familiar, like I’m walking up my best grade school friend’s driveway. The dark pavement and uprooted pieces of cement are predictable because conversations with colleagues are deeply inquisitive, deepening, and enriching, self-reflection is a tool I’m honored to use daily, and self-care made the cut. All of these items I dreamed of incorporating and feel like home, they have arrived.

 Don’t get me wrong, my path, some days looks more like a tricky circle with no beginning and no end. But, those days, where I feel just plain tired and lost, I still, am reminded in a way that I wasn’t before, that my choosing, my risks, my having to let go and grieve, brought me a little closer to the life I have been dreaming.

Xo

Halle

current read 

current read 

"You should be proud."

I sometimes forget where I started. Three years ago I had a few months left in a lease. Three years ago I was asking Lauren and Court if I could move into the basement of their home for a temporary time. Three years ago,  Lauren, Courtney, and I sat on the couch and began talking about the idea of running a business together.

We had independently fallen in love with yoga and enjoyed eachothers company enough to consider tackling running a business together. Each of us connected with various friends and other business owners to hear really what it was all about. So this pow-wow, what I think to be one of our first business meetings,consisted of us sharing our strengths and weaknesses. We promised to be honest and loving and we were. 


Shortly thereafter, we started looking at space. One of our mentors told us that really we needed a home base even if the traveling yoga sisters was going to be a thing (like a circus for the Plagens clan). And we did find a home. We walked into our now space, and it contained every gizmo and gadget you’d want. A bike? Check. Mon-ami? You got it. Lumber? The list went on. But beyond the “stuff” sat potential. And so the adventure started.

Three years ago, I was a full time Language Arts teacher. My heart was bursting at the seams for kids in my class who needed more than I could provide. Kids who had been impacted by sudden tragic moments and I wanted to be a bigger support.

Less that 1100 days ago, this was my life.

I think sometimes I forget that I have worked through a lot of muck to be here. It’s a pattern of mine (and of many) to only look ahead, eye on the prize. Bigger. Better. More. I am so human in that regard.

So the other day I received a message from a friend who took a yoga class at our now 2.5 year old toddler business, and it read, “ You should be proud.”

 

And it sang in my heart like a baptist chorus on Christmas eve. She was so right. I have my head down, alot. But looking back, I have tended to what my heart called me to do.

I am in a master’s program working towards helping those who need with just a year left. 
I am, with the beauty of my family and friends, running a business that gives people inspiration from within.
I am failing pretty much daily at time management and deep breaths, and I’m working through it anyway.
I am asking for help when it’s something that I can’t do. And then I’m not feeling bad about it.
I am learning. 

 

I am setting boundaries where I need space.

I looked at Courtney the other day and I said, “ I’m doing it. I’m like actually doing this whole life thing." She gave me one of her, "yea, you are!"s
Some days I’m really jazzed and lit up. Other days I’m struggling. And I think the we can remind ourselves more of where we’ve been, of how each decision has brought us to a clearer place. And ultimately, We should be proud of that.

 

xo

Hal