Finding Yourself: Planning for a Sabbatical, Anticipating Self-Discovery

Finding Yourself: Planning for a Sabbatical, Anticipating Self-Discovery

Planning a Sabbatical

If you’ve been feeling out of sorts and under motivated, wondering how much longer you can keep cranking out one 8-hour day after another, it’s possible you need a change of scenery. Or you may need something more – possibly a change of venue for an extended period of time. If you take that thought to the next level, it could mean you’re approaching personal and professional burnout and could benefit from a sabbatical, and that’s far more meaningful than a week’s vacation. It takes courage to leave your life behind for an extended period. Taking a leave of absence from work and possibly, leaving family behind for a time, can be jarring. It can also be transformative in a very positive way.

Identify your objective

It’s important to understand why you’re going and what you hope to accomplish. Otherwise, your sabbatical could have no more meaning than a long weekend. For example, if you’re interested in exploring a humanitarian lifestyle, you should count on spending several months in an underprivileged part of the world to find out what’s missing in your life. In any event, do plenty of research to find the right destination before taking your plans to your employer and loved ones.

Financing

Taking an extended sabbatical requires plenty of money. You’ll need enough to achieve your objectives, so figure out financing travel, paying for multiple accommodations and transportation (you may need to buy a vehicle rather than renting one or taking public transport; consider purchasing an RV if you’re covering long distances), and covering food and incidental expenses. Make a budget, and plan for an emergency fund so you know whether it’ll be necessary to delve into savings or investment earnings to make it happen, especially if you’ll be without income from your employer (some companies will allow a paid sabbatical if they believe it’ll benefit them). Using credit cards or taking out a loan are also options, albeit less desirable ones, if yours will be an unpaid leave.

Planning

Settle on a central location, a “base” from which you’ll do some exploring and spending time with the native population, wherever that might be. Not surprisingly, money is often an obstacle, but people have gone on months-long sabbaticals on less than $10,000. Visiting a less expensive region is a good way to make financing a sabbatical easier, though you should factor in things like medical care in case you become ill. Remember, research and knowledge are your best friends when planning this venture.

Venture forth

Once you arrive and get settled into your base, you may experience a reluctance to get out and explore. It’s a natural human reaction to unfamiliar surroundings, even if you’ve been looking forward to it for months. Take it slow, and don’t rush yourself. You don’t need to scale a mountain on day one or jump right into a conversation using a language you’ve only recently learned, so take it one step at a time. At the same time, bear in mind that getting out of your comfort zone is what it’s all about, and it’s the only way you’ll learn what you came to find out.

Safeguard your assets

An extended leave of absence means leaving your home and assets behind. Why not protect your home and belongings by renting the place out while you’re away? You’ll also generate income, a good thing if you’re going on an extended unpaid leave. If renting is your intention, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to clean your house and make it easier to stage for potential renters.

Check out online resources that can help you prepare your property to attract motivated renters. If you don’t have a home security system, this is the right time to add one. Most systems allow you to interact with it from a distance, meaning you can monitor what’s going on through video access. Incorporating smart automation features will let you manage the thermostat, door locks and lighting, as well as identify would-be intruders approaching your property.

You go through months planning, saving money and anticipating a potentially life-changing experience on your sabbatical. Try to avoid building up unreasonable expectations in advance of your trip. A sabbatical isn’t about checking off fun activities and interesting sites from an itinerary. It’s about broadening perspective, coming to a better understanding of yourself and, possibly, reaching a decision about where your life is headed.

Courtesy of Pexels.com.

200  hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Georgina

200 hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Georgina

I have been so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be the lead instructor for a 200 hours yoga teacher training and to create Choose2be yoga school. It has been amazing to spend 8 weekends with these 12 beautiful beings, like Georgina, and also incredible to have 15 different instructors to come lead part of the training. It was alreadyIt has been a really rich and amazing journey in so many different ways. This Spring 2019 YTT was the second YTT that Choose2be had offered and had already improved so much from Spring 2018 YTT. Stay tune to see the headline and details from Spring 2020 YTT.

Part of the participants homework was to write an essay on the topic of their choice and they were aware that I would be posting it on my website. We also did an exercise in the first weekend to create a life affirmation and core desire feeling, I invited them to share it with us. I am so humbled and touched that I got to support these amazing beings on part of their journey and I am looking forward to witness how life unfolds for them.

Georgina Core Desire Feelings: Balance, Joy, Gratitude

Georgina Mantra: I am a network of roots whose deep balanced nature encourages strength and growth.

Stress is a psychological and physiological response that we all deal with in day-to-day life. It can be influences by fear, change, discomfort, it can be nutritional, emotional or environmental. The response to stress can show differently for many people. The feeling of being stressed often takes many different influences before a person becomes overwhelmed and it effects their everyday life but becoming overwhelmed can vary for everyone. The response can depend on the tools they have to work through the stressor, the health of the body, the situation and many other variables including; community support, school, jobs, relationships, life changes, financial struggle, and health.

The body’s response to stress can very beneficial! It makes it possible to act fast in the face of danger like being chased by a bear…but how often does that happen. However, letting stressors build up without management can be detrimental to the body, mind and spirit. Emotions, thoughts and sensory perceptions are all transmitted through our nervous system and our nerves are the ‘electrical circuit’ of the body. When this circuit is overcharged or overrun because of stress it will affect all other body systems.

The stressors we deal with today are not only the ones we have discussed, we also deal with environmental toxins like cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, gasoline fumes, even things like your personal hygiene products can cause a stress response in the body. When in the face of a stressful situation or product the body stimulates the nervous system which then releases a variety of hormones including adrenaline, cortisol, nora adrenaline, aldosterone, testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone and 60 steroids are also produced. These hormones and steroids are produced by our two adrenal glands. We call this the “fight or flight response”. This constant fluctuation of adrenal hormones results in exhaustion. A stress response causes a domino effect of chemical reactions in the body, raising blood pressure, influences the heart to pound harder and faster, our muscles tighten and our digestive, immune and reproductive systems slow to preserve energy and nutrients. Dealing with stress can also leave you mentally depleted with so much going on in your mind both conscious and unconsciously. Constant worries and fears take up lots of energy potentially leading to depression, anxiety and inability to deal with new stressors.

Some signs of stress include insomnia, irritability, nervousness, inability to concentrate, hunger or loss of appetite. If you believe you are dealing with being overwhelmed make sure you take the time to support your body with nutrients, stress management tools to ensure there is less long-term damage to the body. Alongside yoga to support the body dealing with high stress increase vitamins B rich foods and avoid added sugars. Supplementation of specific nutrients depleted in a stress response can also be helpful; vitamin C, B complex including pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin E and NAC. NAC (N-Acetyl-Choline) is a precursor to the body’s strongest antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione has many benefits including reducing cell damage from oxidative stress, improving insulin resistance, help fight against autoimmune diseases.

The practice of the asana (posture) increases our body awareness allowing us to become present and inhabit the whole body in each moment and not just the mind. Asana teaches you to move in a more integrated way to build strength, endurance, increasing flexibility and through time allows the ability to become more aware that you control your thoughts, your thoughts do not control you. Not only does the practice of posture build strength and endurance it also stimulates digestion and elimination and harmonized energies of the body releasing congestion, blocks and rigidity in the body.

Practice of asana also teaches the art of prana (breathing). The growth, repair and maintenance of all the cells in our body require an energy source, this energy is created in our bodies from a complicated series of reactions that required nutrients and oxygen. Every inhale sending oxygen deep into the lungs exchanging with carbon dioxide. The oxygen then dispersing throughout the body in the blood stream to every nook and cranny. The essential links between the atmosphere and every cell in your body is your inhale. There is more than oxygen and nutrient to prana. As you inhale your lungs expand your ribcage which allow your torso and organs to shift. The movement of the diaphragm this muscle in the center section of the torso that separates your chest cavity and your abdomen. When the diaphragm contracts and relaxes during prana it can provide a little massage for all the organs in your abdomen, stimulating their functions and improving our quality of life. Using a drishti (focus) to help slow down and deepen your breath can leave you feeling both energizing and relaxed.

Good news, it will take your whole life too perfect a successful yoga practice. Yoga is not a goal or achievement. It is not a race to be the most flexible or strong but a forever process of living and learning, a way of life that allows us to flourish, grow, gather and rebalance. Using Yoga as a stress management technique doesn’t have to be done in a studio and cost a lot of money. The benefits of yoga come from the whole journey:

Putting the time aside for yourself

Using focus to calm the mind

Your breath

Movement of the body

Nourishment of cells

Patience and self-love

“If we practice yoga long enough, the practice changes to suit our needs. It’s important to acknowledge that the practice isn’t meant to be one practice for everybody. The beautiful thing about yoga is that there are so many different approaches. As we go through our life cycles, hopefully we are able to find a practice that suits us. And if you practice yoga long enough, that will change many times. What exactly that looks like is going to be different for each person.” ― Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine

Resources

The Nutritional Symptomatology Handbook for CSNN Students 15th Edition,2016

Yoga Teacher Training Handbook

Make sure you check Georgina website: https://athyriumwellness.ca/

Athyrium Wellness hold’s a modern approach to health and vitality.

 Through consultations I am able to recommend changes to assist the body in finding balance to achieve optimal health.  I will support your health journey by identifying imbalances, then using my education to create a personalized health plan to nourish your most authentic self while achieving your goals. I am excited to take the first steps with you in your healing and will be there every step of the way.

200  hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Matthew

200 hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Matthew

I have been so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be the lead instructor for a 200 hours yoga teacher training and to create Choose2be yoga school. It has been amazing to spend 8 weekends with these 12 beautiful beings, like Georgina, and also incredible to have 15 different instructors to come lead part of the training. It was alreadyIt has been a really rich and amazing journey in so many different ways. This Spring 2019 YTT was the second YTT that Choose2be had offered and had already improved so much from Spring 2018 YTT. Stay tune to see the headline and details from Spring 2020 YTT.

Part of the participants homework was to write an essay on the topic of their choice and they were aware that I would be posting it on my website. We also did an exercise in the first weekend to create a life affirmation and core desire feeling, I invited them to share it with us. I am so humbled and touched that I got to support these amazing beings on part of their journey and I am looking forward to witness how life unfolds for them.

Part of the participants homework was to write an essay on the topic of their choice and they were aware that I would be posting it on my website. We also did an exercise in the first weekend to create a life affirmation and core desire feeling, I invited them to share it with us. I am so humbled and touched that I got to support these amazing beings on part of their journey and I am looking forward to witness how life unfolds for them.

The importance of daily practice for teachers by Matthew

Why does doing yoga by myself suck so much?This is what I was asking myself in my head for years. The yoga teacher takes the seat as the guide for a potential transformation. How can this be done most effectively for others to have the most potent environment to experience whatever it is they need in the moment? I believe it comes down to the importance of a daily practice for the teacher to create that environment.

With years as a beginner yogi and little experience facilitating groups of people in any regard, I needed to know that what I was bringing forward was valuable. What compass could I follow and what are my criteria? To facilitate an effective yoga class there are many moving parts. However if we are not progressing in our own practice how are we to guide our students to new places? In my experience, we teach what we need to learn most.

For years I have known the value of a daily practice – the benefits to my body, my mind and how to carry myself in the world with peace. Even with these intellectual realizations I had never been able to find a sense of joy in practicing regularly, or at all. Still exercising daily, I drowned my lack of yoga by training my muscles at the gym and building an aesthetic physique.

The realization to evolve my personal practice came down to this: once I had sat with myself long enough in silence, breathed through enough postures and felt an unfamiliar release of emotions I knew my body and heart was longing for something I had been unwilling to give it. Through my teacher training, the classes we were guided through affected me deeply, often leaving me in a brilliantly vast state of “thought-less-ness” where I was transported from the shackles of my mind into the ever changing beauty of the present moment. It was a slow progression, yet as the hard walls of my mind began to soften I could hear my body and my heart surrendering to the joy and discovery of the breath and the asanas.

What started as resistance to even lay out a mat transformed into a physical yearning to move my body in this unique way. What started as uncomfortable and unfamiliar is slowly becoming welcomed and celebrated. This discovery is what I must teach, because it is most authentically me. If I am to bring my best self, my best teacher, to the front of the room and show up for my students I must teach what I am. If I am not evolving my practice how can I expect my students to evolve through my teaching? Simply bringing a smorgasbord of poses on a list to the class to recite out loud is not my idea of teaching.

The word is embodiment, and if I am to guide people back to themselves through their breath and carefully selected sequential movement then I must embody my teaching – I must become it. If this sounds vague let me simplify: it is the difference between doing and being. I can put on my yoga teacher hat and recite out a series of poses or I can be a yoga teacher by developing my own practice and sharing my discoveries and experiences with my students through my classes. When I found the strength to surrender, I found the joy in the practice.

Matthew Yeomans
Yeomans Enterprises Ltd.
Multi Media Storytelling and Consulting
Photography & Videography

Matthew creates beautiful videos, like the one below, and he is also a talented photographer, make sure you check his page: https://www.facebook.com/yeomansphotoandfilm/

And his website: https://www.yeomansphotoandfilm.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqP22inaWC4

200  hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Melissa

200 hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Melissa

I have been so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be the lead instructor for a 200 hours yoga teacher training and to create Choose2be yoga school. It has been amazing to spend 8 weekends with these 12 beautiful beings, like Melissa, and also incredible to have 15 different instructors to come lead part of the training. It was alreadyIt has been a really rich and amazing journey in so many different ways. This Spring 2019 YTT was the second YTT that Choose2be had offered and had already improved so much from Spring 2018 YTT. Stay tune to see the headline and details from Spring 2020 YTT.

Part of the participants homework was to write an essay on the topic of their choice and they were aware that I would be posting it on my website. We also did an exercise in the first weekend to create a life affirmation and core desire feeling, I invited them to share it with us. I am so humbled and touched that I got to support these amazing beings on part of their journey and I am looking forward to witness how life unfolds for them.

Melissa mantra: I am the moon who’s illuminating glow radiates love for all <3
Melissa Core Desire Feelings: Abundant, Divinely Feminine, Sovereign

The Healing Power of Sound

Written By: Melissa Corbett

Sound healing is becoming an ever-increasing go to for healing the body, mind and soul in western culture. It can be attained through various techniques and technologies by using the human voice and or objects that resonate to stimulate healing, thus making this beautiful therapy that is accessible for everyone. Sound Healing is founded on the premise that all matter is vibrating at specific frequencies. Science has proven that sound, or vibration, has a strong impact upon substances. Due to the Law of Physics- Everything Vibrates, the umbrella of types of sound healing is rather large, below are a few of the most common forms of sound healing and the benefits of each;

Chanting:

Research shows that chanting can stabilize heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, produce endorphins and aid the process of metabolism. Chanting can also help the mind focus, which alleviates stress levels. For example, repeating the syllable “om,” considered one of the most important mantras in yoga, is said to foster a deep mental clarity and promote a sense of connectedness with a higher power.

Drumming/Clapping:

Recent research reviews indicate that drumming accelerates physical healing, boosts the immune system and produces feelings of well-being, a release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self. Shamanic drumming is known to take people into altered states of consciousness.

Singing Bowls:

Whether metal or quartz crystal, a singing bowl sings when you run a felt-tipped mallet around its edge. Along with rhythms produced by striking the edge of the bowl, the vibrations and tones slow down breathing, brain waves and heart rates, producing a deep sense of calm and well-being.

Humming:

Humming not only lifts your spirits, it clears your head. According to a study conducted by Swedish researcher and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, humming may actually help keep your sinuses clear and healthy.

Tuning Forks:

Originally used to tune musical instruments to the proper pitch, tuning forks have long been used by orthopedists to detect stress fractures in large bones. Now, sound therapists use the vibrations of tuning forks to increase the amount of energy in parts of the body they are trying to heal or energize. These good vibes can support relaxation, balance our nervous systems and increase physical energy.

Nature:

The vibrational sounds of natures, such as the leaves rustling in the wind, the birds singing in the trees or the distance sound of rushing river are being proven to decrease the body’s sympathetic response and increase the parasympathetic response.

Although modern day science is just starting to scientifically prove the benefits of sound healing, it has been known for many centuries in our ancient civilizations and cultures the importance and sacredness of sound vibrations. The Ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing, as they believed vowels were sacred. Their priestesses also used musical instruments and presided over healing chapels. The aboriginal people of Australia used an instrument called “didgeridoo” that has been used as a healing tool for at least 40,000 years. The Aborigines uses it to heal broken bones, muscle tears and illness of every kind. In yogic traditions with the use of “bija” which relates to mystical “seed syllables” contained within mantras. Tibetans are also well-known for the use of their healing singing bowls, considered “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting”.

Today, sound healing is increasingly embraced as the oldest and most gentle method of healing that exists. With modern science we can use right frequencies in the right combinations to achieve effective form of treatment for a number of common disorders such as; insomnia, stress, attention deficit disorder, various immune system issues and emotional disorders to list a few. As we look to the future of sound therapy, we can apply the past traditional knowledge and bridge it with the current advancements in technology to create a profound healing experience for the mind, body, and soul.

References:

https://www.health.com/stress/why-nature-sounds-are-relaxing

https://experiencelife.com/article/the-healing-power-of-sound/

https://www.learnreligions.com/drum-therapy-1729574

https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/what-sound-therapy

200  hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Holly

200 hours Yoga Teacher Training homework essay from Holly

I have been so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be the lead instructor for a 200 hours yoga teacher training and to create Choose2be yoga school. It has been amazing to spend 8 weekends with these 12 beautiful beings, like Holly, and also incredible to have 15 different instructors to come lead part of the training. It was alreadyIt has been a really rich and amazing journey in so many different ways. This Spring 2019 YTT was the second YTT that Choose2be had offered and had already improved so much from Spring 2018 YTT. Stay tune to see the headline and details from Spring 2020 YTT.

Part of the participants homework was to write an essay on the topic of their choice and they were aware that I would be posting it on my website. We also did an exercise in the first weekend to create a life affirmation and core desire feeling, I invited them to share it with us. I am so humbled and touched that I got to support these amazing beings on part of their journey and I am looking forward to witness how life unfolds for them.

Holly Mantra: I am a tree, whose love and calm nature encourages others to feel comfortable with themselves.

 Holly Core Desired Feelings: Fearless – Strong – Self Discipline

YTT – A Continued Journey

When I first arrived I walked into a cozy little room where everyone sat on their mats looking towards the door to see who would arrive next. I found an open place and unrolled my yoga mat, scanning the faces around the room, curious about whom these people were and what was their story? I’m not sure any of us knew exactly what to expect but I think deep down we all knew we were where we needed to be and that we would bonded in some way from this journey.

Over the next few days we were all invited to feel safe, and venerable with one another. The social boundaries that can sometimes inhibit us to feel connected as beings were broken down and one by one our hearts opened. I learned very quickly that others shared many of the same reasons and feelings that had brought me here in some way or another. I feel like we all wanted or needed some change in our lives and that we all needed to connect a little more with ourselves and perhaps others.

Over the next few weeks our layers continued to shed. We learned from our teachers, learned from each other, and learned from ourselves. And as I learned I realized how invaluable these skills were. I learned how to connect with my true myself and how to listen better to others. I learned new things about my mind and my body. And while further developing our own physical and spiritual practices, our group created a support network of beautiful warriors.

On this path I have connected with lovely people who share a slimier light, I have found encouragement, friendship and confidence. I was able to work through a tough patch in my life and embrace the power of I can’t do that “yet”. I’m filled with love and gratitude for our teachers and for all of the yogis in the classroom that empathically listened to me and supported me. I would like to extend a massive great big hug and thank you to Vero, an amazing woman, who knows the value in sharing this program and who works so hard to create this gift. I know that the effect of the lessons I learned will stay with me forever, and I’m excited to know that for me this was only a stepping a stone to a greater journey.

­~ Namasté

Holly