Thursday, January 1, 2015

five truths for 2014...

At the end of 2013 I made a decision that 2014 would be the year of letting go. I had no idea just how much I’d continue to go of throughout the year in order to create space for better things to take their places. In some aspects letting go was good for me – we sold our house and bought and renovated a new one. We traded a car in to buy a new safer one. I realized a few friendships were not what I thought and in letting go of them I found a whole new level of loyalty and trust amongst my other friends. Other acts of letting go, i.e. cutting down on hours flying so I could focus on teaching fitness more resulted in disciplinary action. So as I stand on the edge of 2014 here’s what I learned about myself and attachment or what the Buddha calls, “The root of suffering.”

Five truths from 2014:

1.       Buying a house in Colorado is a nightmare. Want to test your faith, your marriage, your sanity and your nerves? Try selling and buying a house in Denver. While the market may have cooled off slightly towards the end of the year, 2014 was definitely the year of the house hunt. I probably looked at a house every single day and when I wasn’t seeing one in person I was browsing them online. I became obsessed with the perfect place and the best deal and there were many tears in the process. Buying a house your first time is exciting but as a second time home buyer your approach is a little savvier. You know what you want and what to look for and how the whole game works and you aren’t willing to settle for less. Our patience ultimately paid off and then was extended to remodeling the house we finally purchased. Through this process I learned it wasn’t just about letting go of the house we sold it was about letting go of every house where the offer wasn’t accepted. Suffering for me, was anytime I latched on to the idea that a house could be ours before our offer was accepted. Suffering for me was moving and losing items in the process through damage or lack of space. Suffering was draining our bank accounts that we had built up so we could afford it all. I learned the only path to happiness in all of this was the fact none of it lasted forever. The less I attached, the less I suffered and the more things unfolded with the flow of the universe just as they were supposed to.

2.       Branding yourself is hard work. This was the year I launched my first retreat featuring hiking and yoga in Telluride and really set out to brand myself. While I work at several studios and training centers here in Colorado I realized if I wanted to really further my career I had to start thinking of myself as an entity. My friend Lisa who is a graphic designer and someone I’ve known since high school designed my logo for me and playing off my LLC, Yogi Magee Expeditions was born. For my first retreat I marketed it through Facebook, Instagram and Happinessseries and made flyers and posted them wherever possible. Selling out my retreat was one obstacle but I began to realize that marketing yourself is a job in and of itself. At the advice of my friend Sherry I broke down and bought my domain and created a website. I created a Facebook page and Instagram account for my business and started following others who were successful at doing the same. I learned so much from hosting my first retreat and decided to take it one step further and co-host another in Belize next year in addition to my Telluride yoga + hiking retreat. Here’s the truth – branding yourself is all about risks. You can’t be attached to what others will think and you have to be authentic to yourself. The danger in becoming a full time fitness instructor is getting stuck in one dimension and not evolving and staying connected with the community that ultimately supports you. The first step was believing in myself and the second was convincing everyone else to do the same. Being your own boss is hard work because we are generally harder on ourselves than anyone else would be. The lesson here is to keep going and saying yes to every adventure and opportunity that comes your way.

3.       Being a toddler mom requires infinite patience. This is the year Charlotte turned one. Life stopped being about maternity leave, nursing, sleep training, pumping, introductions to solid food and the rear facing car seat. We evolved to reading books with actual words, playtime involving imagination, running, imitation from words to yoga poses and temper tantrums. When I’m home with Charlotte I feel like an assistant to a tiny diplomat whose demands are never satiated. The good news is however, I’m no longer attached to how life was before Charlotte. I now know that I’ll be getting up anytime between 6:30-7:30 no matter what time I go to bed if I happen to be home on a weeknight. I know she’ll nap for approximately 2.5 hours and after flying all night that’s my only chance to sleep as well. I know as soon as I make her lunch then sit down to mine that she’ll throw half her food on the floor or feed it to the dog and I’ll spend half my lunch time cleaning up her mess. I also know that as she grows she becomes more fun and I’m just as eager to teach her about life as she is to learn. I know I only have one child and there are women out there who work as well and have more children than I do but I’m not about comparing or complaining. 2014 was the year I embraced, and I mean fully embraced, what it is to be a mother. Along with my expanded knowledge of children’s songs to sing I’ve gained more patience that I realized previously existed. My advice to new moms out there is the less you become attached to your idea of what your life should be with a child the less you’ll suffer.

4.       Say yes to new adventures. The year I had Charlotte was a year I had to say no a lot. No to dinners, no to happy hours, no to birthday parties and no to taking on too much so I could focus on myself and my family. 2014 I may have overcommitted myself on one too many occasions but once I started saying yes it became addictive. Yes to adding new classes to my schedule and teaching at new locations. Yes to selling Pressery juices on the weekend at farmers markets and at events. Yes to climbing 14ers even if they scared me or I’d climbed them before or taking people along I wasn’t sure could handle the challenge. I said yes to babysitters and date nights, to daycare days so I could nap and family visits. Sometimes when I said yes, like to climbing the Via Ferrata in Telluride or Pyramid Peak, it was beyond rewarding. I tested my physical and emotional limits and saw I was stronger and more capable than I realized. Other times, like when I’d agree to teach three classes and babysit for a friend on my only day off after flying all week I regretted my choices. Over committing became my theme for 2014 and as I sit here on the edge of a new year I can say I’m thoroughly exhausted from it all. But here’s the truth, as long as there’s life in my veins I’ll continue to push myself. It’s easier to say yes then admit you can’t do it all to me than to say no and not even try. So for 2015 I’ve already said yes to new adventures and new jobs. Some may work out and others may flop but I’ll learn something either way. I read a great quote the other day that said, “At the end of the day you should go to bed with your feet dirty, hair a mess and eyes sparkling.” Yes to that.

5.       Marriage makes it worth it. January 2015 marks 9 years that my husband Chad and I have been together. This past year we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and it’s been five years of work, of tears, of happiness and of growth. Sometimes I think Chad and I argue less than we did when we first started dating because we know each other so well now. On the other hand there’s bills to pay now, a daughter to raise, house projects to complete and work schedules to coordinate. We aren’t the carefree people who first met one another at a club dancing so many years ago. We’ve had our highs and lows and sometimes the lows can make you question if it’s all worth it. How do you know you’ve met the right person? How do you know the decision you made five years ago is the same one you want to stick with today? I don’t even know what I want to eat a week from now and that’s not nearly as important a life decision. Here’s the truth- when I came home from my first retreat in Telluride in August Chad had not only cleaned and organized the house but he had dinner waiting, a bottle of wine, flowers and a gift and card for me. Chad hardly ever gets me cards that express how he feel so this was a big deal. In the card he wrote how proud of me he was and how inspiring I was to him. I realized that success wasn’t meant to be squandered it’s meant to be shared and without someone to come home to then what did any of it mean? What did I do matter if no one saw the behind the scenes and appreciated all my sacrifices and hard work? Marriage to me is about finding the person you can team up with like super hero’s and face all the bullshit life throws at you. You won’t always agree, you won’t always be happy but when you find someone who you can come home too that loves you for you…well that makes life easier.


So there you have it, my five truths for 2014. For the upcoming year I’ve decided to seek out and be open to more adventures. I want to travel, to continue to build Yogi Magee Expeditions, to inspire others through healthy living and to change lives through fitness. I want to expose my daughter to as much of the world as possible and hopefully teach her as much about it as I can along the way. I may be continually tired, over-worked and over-committed but as long as there is life in my veins I won’t stop moving and putting myself out there. I’m ready to learn, I’m ready to dive in, I’m ready to work and I’m ready to sacrifice now so I can live the life I want later.


Bring it on 2015.

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