staying in the moment. trying not to anticipate.

Last weekend, I attended a lovely yoga retreat at Shaker Village. As I sat around the final circle that chilly Sunday, I expressed what I wanted to carry away from the retreat. I had noticed my tendency to anticipate.

What pose will we do next? I wonder what guided meditation she'll use. What will I get off the snack table? How will we process this activity? Oh! I could use this activity with this client!

Noise, noise, noise. I have a tendency to think several steps ahead instead of just being where I am.

I want to be more present and with that comes being more proactive in the moment that I am in.

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Today I found myself playing around on the internet. Looking at websites of yoga teachers and yoga studios, just to see what I liked and didn't like. There's a website revamp on the way. But before I do that? I have to settle on a name. So this led me to Hipster Business Name Generator. And then the potential names for my yoga stuff got even more murky. And then I found myself looking for studio space, because (yup) that's logical. And then I took a step back and started looking at branding agencies. And then I started doing the math to realize that I could put back every spare penny and still probably not be able to afford the type of creative branding services that I think would be ideal. (Wait. Were there prices anywhere? Do I actually know this? Nope.)

And then I got super overwhelmed and worried and discouraged and panicky. What if someone takes my not-yet-purchased domain name (which I don't even know yet)? What if someone takes my perfect studio space right out from under my nose (that I probably couldn't afford anyway)? What if I'm a terrible teacher? What if no one wants to learn with me?

I came home in a panic. As I sat on the couch, my leg rubbed up against yoga teacher training bag.

Whoa, Krissie. You're putting the cart way in front of the horse.

I pulled up this picture from my phone. I tried to put myself back in that space. On my mat. With the super cold breeze blowing under the door.

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Live in the now. Let the anticipations and fears just float by. They aren't wrong. They aren't right. They just aren't for this moment. They aren't for today.

So what is for this moment? Rolling out my mat and doing a practice focused on my hamstrings. Outlining teacher training materials (probably with Law and Order SVU in the background). Then settling into bed with a book about meditation.

Today. One thing at a time.

One word. Plus bonus words.

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I love what respond means to me. It isn't just action. It is understanding what I want. It is understanding what is too much for me. It requires understanding and curiosity toward myself and my current state. And then responding. Reacting. Taking chances that feel right. Trusting my body to tell me what movement and food fill me and responding within those lines.

But I'm not stopping there. Several months ago, in a course with Hannah Marcotti, I created this post-it wall of phrases that build me. Light me. Guide me. Speak to my truest wants and drives.

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Each week, I'm choosing a bonus word from this wall and creating a weekly focus phrase. It goes in my planner right under respond.

Last week: Find awe in the common.

This week: curate a lived-in life.

It feels like a smaller experiment within a yearly focus word. This phrase is just for a week. And I have a whole wall to choose from.

I love the concept of having more short-term intentions. Allowing myself to try things on and see how they fit. To be able to pick something each week to reflect that week in particular. And it also helps me process through my almost-but-not-quite-perfect potential intention words for the year.

I like being able to move on not just year-to-year, but also week-to-week.

Happy January, sweet friends.

courageous foundation long

Courageous Foundation started today (!!!) with a video and a tracker. Wednesday will be a Q&A. Friday will be an audio meditation. All focused on building trust and friendship with your body. I will teach you how to read what your body is telling you about food, movement, and beauty. The process is led by an attitude of curiosity, so I think there is an ease and peace to it. I'd love to have you along. It isn't too late to get in!

respond. 2015 Day 1.

For the last few years, I have chosen an intention word for the year. 2013 was momentum. 2014 was assured. And for 2015? I chose respond.

I had allowed several opportunities to pass. Because I was lazy or scared. I am starting to respond to the needs of my body and I want that to continue. I just want to pay attention to what is out there for me and respond.

I wanted to start that in a big way. I had talked to the director of Nathan's dance studio a few times about holding a yoga class there. And after looking at a draft of a text for several days, she and I talked about it. And this was born.

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I am sitting here crying from joy as I write this. I am just so loved.

Yesterday morning, Nathan opened up the studio for us. It was a difficult decision for me, but I decided I didn't want him in the class. I was afraid that I'd teach to him. That he would just put my emotions over the top. He was right there with me up until I started class. Being the welcoming committee. Chatting everybody up. That man is why I'm here, friends.

Miranda came down from Cincinnati. She was the only person I had taught prior to this class (other than classmates at training). She was so fantastic for my nerves. I love this girl. All she wanted was to know what I needed and to be there to fill whatever it was. And, as usual, a good giggle pretty much filled me up.

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There are no words for what happened. People just poured in. Friends I used to run with. Dancing friends I've grown to love through Nathan's experience. Dancers from the studio. A few relatives of friends. And Cassie. I may have lost my shit when she walked in. Actually, there's no may to it. I was just on the verge of the ugly cry. I gave so many hugs. So many people. So much happy.

32. THIRTY-TWO people. (We squeezed in 3 or 4 more after we took this picture.) My first class ever. There are no words for this, friends.

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Part of me wants to be all self-deprecating and say that I was nervous and that it was awkward and that I don't know how I feel about doing it again. But all of that would be a lie.

I locked the front door. I sat on my mat. I opened my mouth. And I was home. (And I'm crying again.) It was the fastest hour+ I've spent in a long time. It was ease. I just felt like so many of the things that I have done brought me here. I see that my experience in so many seemingly unrelated areas come together to make me good at instructing yoga. (I'm sending a newsletter out Friday afternoon that talks a little more about this. You can sign up here.)

I feel like I have arrived. And it hit me in the first standing tree we did, maybe 15 minutes into the practice. I almost lost it again. So many friendly faces that I know and love. I stood in the front (and the side) of this room and just felt loved. So, so, so loved. And I also loved that I could tell them that. I could take a moment to get composed and then continue.

Thanks so much for taking this picture, Cassie. It means the world to me.

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We did mostly standing poses. There were a few points where the playlist hit like BAM. The things I worried might be a smidge-too-hokey seemed to go over well (especially autumn tree). I led my favorite meditation. One that I've been teaching and practicing since I was doing therapy with kids 12 years ago. I sat in savasana with gratitude and prayer and maybe a few more tears.

Here we all are, sorority style. I am surrounded by friends. New and old. Local and traveling. This is where I belong.

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Then the traveling bunch wrapped up the afternoon with pub food. My goodness, how cute is that baby. (Not pictured, my adorable Nathan and Cassie's adorable Craig. Because someone has to take the pictures.)

IMG_0306As much as the phrase is overused, I just can't even. I just can't. The words just don't come. My heart is full. My dreams are huge but non-specific. In a 24 hour period before and after this class, I had three conversations about opportunities to teach when I'm certified in May. My role is to evaluate and respond. I have laid the foundation. Now, I respond.

To those of you that made it to the class, I am sending you my sincerest gratitude. You brought an amazing start to my year. My friend Tatsiana told me yesterday that there's a Russian saying that talks about how the spirit and attitude that you begin the year in will set the tone for the rest of your year. I could not ask for a better spirit.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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A lot of my inspiration for writing the sequence for the class came from the work I did with Courageous Foundation. I believe that the connection I am building between my mind and my body allows me to bring that to others. I'd love to have you along for the January course. Six weeks of various kinds of activities - videos, audio meditations, yoga classes, journal prompts, google chats, facebook q&a. Lots of fun stuff where you'll learn to start listening to yourself. And truly responding. The program starts MONDAY, January 5. Click here for more information and to register.

Happy New Year, friends. My wish for you is to be aware. And respond.

#reverb14 // prompt 29 // a day in the life

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#Reverb14 | Prompt for December 29

Day in the life: Describe a typical day-in-the-life.  Give us details!  Give us pictures!  Sometimes our days can seem boring.  Is that okay?  What do you do to make your days feel a bit special?

Today (erm, yesterday?)  was the return of my friend the smoothie!

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I felt super cute today. Picture in the elevator at work!

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I love that the lobby is still decorated for Chistmas.

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After an uneventful work day, I came home and checked off a very annoying task that had been weighing on me. To celebrate, I broke into some nuts from Cassie.

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And then the FedEx stalking of my Christmas present to myself continued.IMG_0215

I finished the playlist for the yoga class I'm teaching on Thursday. Here it is on Spotify.

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I found one of Nathan's old shirts in the clean laundry pile he folded for me. It is mine now.

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Standing poses while hair color sets? Yes, please!

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Leftover Irish Stew for dinner. I love when Nathan helps with the menu. We end up with lamb and fancy stuff.

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One last look at the planner. Everything is checked off! And I'm about to imitate Herschel Cat, but I'm going to bed. I'm too good for the floor.

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Courageous Foundation starts in ONE WEEK! We'll work to build a friendship with our bodies. We'll change how we look at and pursue health. We'll create a foundation of listening and respect. This program is super, friends. Follow this link to register and for more info!

I'm always early.

Fashionably late. I don't know how to do it. I get excited for parties and movies and concerts. If you tell me a time to be somewhere, I'm typically 10 minutes early. And if I can't come in? I'll be sitting in my car until it is appropriate for me to enter. That's just how I am.

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That's how I'm feeling with the New Year this year. I'm not making any resolutions. I'm not going to give any numbers that I want to accomplish. But now that my Christmas responsibilities have passed (lots of them incomplete and no consequences), I'm feeling the itch to get things even more together.

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I feel like I have been consistently making progress in understanding my body. I am recognizing hunger and fullness and antsy-ness more. I'm allowing myself to rest and sleep without frustration of not getting things checked off my list. So much of this is a result of creating and working through Courageous Foundation (which starts 01/05!).

That being said, even though I am doing a better job of listening, I'm not doing all that great with responding. I'm not always following through with my body's desire to move. I'm guilty of finishing a show when my body is telling me to go to bed. I have a tendency to eat 2 or 3 bites past fullness (because I'm being a brat). But I'm getting better.

I'm not waiting until January 1st. I'm trying things out today. (Or I have been for several days, actually.) I don't know what things will end up being habits, but these are the places I'm playing right now.

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I'm playing around with a second instagram account at krissieresponds. I'm not sure exactly what it will end up looking like, but I recognize that a lot of my instagram followers might not be interested in the details of my health processes. Feel free to give me a follow!

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I'm also trying out Argus. I like it so far. I enjoy how it looks and the ease of documenting things. I also like that it syncs up with other apps and trackers. It seems like a place where I could have some accountability with some friends. But I thought the same thing with Two Grand, and it didn't last long. So who knows. Are you on Argus? Find - and friend - me at Krissie Bentley.

I'm not on a diet. I'm not counting calories. I'm increasing my awareness. I'm holding myself accountable to what I really want. To listen, respect, and respond. I'm not out to get skinny, but I am out to get closer to a spot where my body truly feels healthy. In a way that is gentle and intentional and true.

And I don't need a calendar to tell me when I should do so.

courageous foundation long

Interested in learning more about the process that got me to this point? Courageous Foundation is a six-week multi-media course on learning to listen and respond to what your body is trying to tell you. This course is both gentle and world-shifting. There are two options to determine how much attention you want from me over the course. There's one for you. Course begins January 5. But register by midnight tonight and receive a free video yoga class on New Year's Eve.

What class, you ask? The same sequence that I'm teaching live and in person on Thursday!

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Are you in Lexington on Thursday morning? I'll be leading my first yoga class. We'll use our bodies to help us process 2014 and start 2015 grounded and renewed. I finished the sequence, and have flowed through it twice, and I dig it. All I have left to do is finish my playlist and find a fantastic closing reading. You know you want to come. Click here for more info!