Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Music - Shout Out To My Hometown!

I love songs that shout out my hometown...MOTOWN!  Something about hearing your city in the lyrics just makes you want to crank the volume up!  Or is it just me?  What is your favorite "Hometown" song?

Here are two (2) of my favorites!

"Hello Detroit" ~ Sammy Davis Jr.

"Detroit Girl" ~ Raphael Saadiq

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Life Rhythm ~ "Feeling Old?"

Today I went back to my yoga practice.  Let me just say, there is nothing like the practice of yoga to bring you back to the reality of the condition of your body.  No makeup, no spanx, no stilettos...none of the things I use to enhance my look & body image.  With yoga its just me, my body, breath, and mind.  And as the class started I began to feel old, not because of my age because there were plenty of people older than me in the class.  I felt old because movements that I previously did without thinking were almost impossible. 

Now in yoga practice, you are to breathe and honor your body while opening it up to more possibilities. In doing so, your mind becomes clear and for me I experience inner honesty.  In that moment, the truth could not be ignored...I had allowed by body to age beyond its natural years.  Inconsistent sleep, diet, exercise, and stress levels had brought me to this point.

Thankfully, I still honored myself for coming to class and committed to continue and do my best. And as I flowed, my body released and responded to my thoughts.  I was able to do more poses and found myself smiling sometimes in between breaths.

After class I walked home and thought...."What is old?  Had I created a lifestyle that would prematurely age me?"  I reflected on how much of a change my transition from the DC suburbs to Toronto urban lifestyle.  It was a bit of a shock. I wanted the change, and I simply thought it would be easier.  But it wasn't...a smaller living space, walking everywhere, public transportation, eco-living and more.  I felt old trying to find my rhythm in my new world. 

Yes...I had let a few elements of my life get a bit rusty.  So I am in a place of evolution. Thankful for aging because it means that I have the gift of life.  Now, I'm reviving a youthful spirit and focused on creating my NeoSoul Lifestyle. A lifestyle of experiencing the things I love more fully...family, friends, travel, music, & food! And having the physical, mental, and emotional strength and stamina to experience it all!

Have you ever felt like your lifestyle is aging you?  

Let's take a message from the lyrics of Rod Stewart....

~Living NeoSoul Style

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Power of a Morning Experience

Now that the May lifestyle experiment is over (just in case you missed it, May Experiment ) , I always try to challenge myself to sustain some elements of the experiment.  For the rest of this month, I'm going to focus on creating a morning experience.  Let me be clear...I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.  In the past I had convinced myself that my mornings didn't need to be revamped because I always "made things happen". Yet, I am now more understanding of the importance of starting your day off right. I began to admire the people that seemed to get more done by noon than I did by 6pm. I became even more motivated to change when I read the book "The Power of Less" which also affirmed a lifestyle of quality morning time. (take a peek at this blog post from the author Leo Babauta 10 Benefits of Rising Early... ) Having a positive morning experience creates momentum for the day, and prepares you for the things that may no go so well (both expected, and especially unexpected).

When my lifestyle is off balance my morning kinda looks like this...
  • Wake up late
  • Shower
  • Panic over having "nothing to wear"
  • No breakfast
  • Look for my keys
  • Get almost to my car and realize I forgot something
  • Go back in my place, find the forgotten item, and sigh at the mess I created while rushing
  • Get in the car and tell myself "I've got to do better"
  • Grab a caffeine fix and snack out of the vending machine at work
  • Spend the rest of the day trying to get myself back on track
When I think about creating my morning experience (especially during the work week) there are several things that I'd like it to include:
  • Music
  • Healthy Breakfast
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Prepared Wardrobe (accessories included)
It sounds so simple, but for me it has been a struggle. Yet, I am committed to this change because I believe that it will completely refresh my NeoSoul Lifestyle.  I've already done a few things to get things moving in the positve direction! I bought a closet valet to put my wardrobe on, created a morning playlist, and got a healthy cookbook for breakfast ideas.  Also, I'm still working on going to bed by 10:30pm so that I can wake up to have time to pray and exercise.

So my goal is a wake up time range of 5:30am-6am, and be out the door by 8:15am.  That's almost 2.5-3 hours daily! 15 hours during the work week!  Time to invest in my well being. 

Have I motivated you to create your own NeoSoul Lifestyle Morning?  I hope so! And please...don't be limited by my morning experience.  Create your own to enhance YOUR life.... surely there are plenty of other things to consider....
  • Listen to motivational audio books
  • Yoga
  • Get some fresh air and take a walk or run
  • Too tired for sex at the end of the day, why not start the day with it!
  • Tickle your senses with an aromatherapy shower
Do you have a quality morning experience? Please share your insights!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Experiment

It's May! Can you believe it?! We are almost at the midpoint  of 2011!  What plans did you have for this year?  Are you on course and ready to turn things up a bit? Have you gotten off track? Didn't have any plans?  Whatever phase you are in, I hope that this month's experiment will spark some clarity in your mind by bringing some newness into your lifestyle.

Let's begin creating YOUR NeoSoul Lifestyle!   You'll find that while designing the experiment this month I've continued to mix old and new exercises to help you sustain the practices your previously developed and explore new ones too!  Here's our May experiment...

DETOXIFICATION - In this component of the experiment we practice behaviors to cleanse our life.  I always like to have a water element as a part of this process!

  • Make a glass of water your FIRST drink of the day and drink a glass with every meal
  • Select one (1) day to ONLY drink water
  • Turn off your computer, tv, and phone OFF one (1) hour before you go to bed
  • Select one (1) day to not watch tv

RESTORATION - Now that we have cleansed a bit, we now have room to restore something in our lives. And yes...I'm still keeping sleep as a part of the experiment :)  We will also take some time this month to take invest in ourselves and things that are still able to be utilized, yet we have neglected to take care of so that they can operate at their full potential. 

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Make appointments for any medical exams that are overdue
  • Is there someTHING in your home not working in its purpose because it simply needs repair?  All things in your possession should be performing their purpose or purged! So identify one (1) object and get it fixed! 

FLOW - This is the part that most folks like to jump to because we sometimes just want to move forward.  I must re-affirm how important it is to ensure that you commit to all elements of the experiment.  I don't want your FLOW to be interrupted by the entaglements of things that needed to be DETOXED, and we need the RESTORED things to give our FLOW power! Get it?

  • Create a breakfast time experience....this means NO drive-thru fast food, NO eating at your desk, NO eating in front of the TV! Instead try new options like a new restaurant you've heard about, surprise your child at school, make a date with a special someone, find a place to listen to your favorite tunes or read a LEISURE book. For some, actually having breakfast will be new in itself!
  • Create a morning ritual. I encourage you to create something that will not only make your mornings more efficient and less stressful...but also more enjoyable

KARMA- As we live in this world and take better care of ourselves we are able to give to others. Simple and plain. NUFF SAID!!!

  • Give a compliment to a stranger (I can't tell you how many times this simple act has brightened my day!)
  • Ask for forgiveness. Do you owe someone an apology? Start the healing process.  Be cautioned that you can't force someone to forgive you, that is their decision. Yet you can start your healing by acknowleding your mistake and speaking the words in sincerity

So there it is....seven (7) days to invest in your life (5/1-5/7).  Simple, practical, and meaningful.  I'll be sharing my story (I call it my "Life Rhythm"...I LOVE music), so you can know that I'm walking this past with you and not just putting words into the universe.

I hope you'll share your some of your experience too! 
You have lots of options:
  1. Leave comments on the blog
  2. Tweet me @NeoSoulCEO & use hashtag #NeoSoulXp
  3. Join the NeoSoul Lifestyle Experience Facebook Fanpage

 ~ Living NeoSoul Style