Whenever You Are Ready

Whenever You're Ready - image via Brian Wolfe on Flickr | kaileenelise.com

Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence.
Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth.

In early 2012, I applied for a yoga teacher training program. The year before, I lost my job and interviewed for a position with lululemon. I made some friends through the interview process, and one of them encouraged me to consider teacher training. It felt like a good idea at the time. My Mister was in business school, busy with group projects and classes. Teacher training could be “my thing” and at least a way to deepen my yoga practice.

In my application I wrote,

Growing up, I was a nationally competitive swimmer and earned a college scholarship to UNLV – the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In high school I coached and taught swim lessons during the summer, and in college I pursued a degree in Elementary Education. I have always valued the relationship between student and teacher/coach/mentor. And I have developed a strong interest in wellness through the past few years.

I want to become a yoga teacher so I can combine my passion for healthy living with my natural abilities as a teacher and my innate desire to learn something new every day.

It’s strange to read these words now. The first paragraph is 100% true and close to how I’d describe myself today. The second paragraph is half-true. I do have a passion for healthy, happy living. I am not sure if I wanted to be a yoga teacher. I wanted to learn what my teachers knew and become better at yoga.

I herniated a disc in my lower back right before the teacher training program began. Weeks after starting, I had to drop out to have surgery and focus on healing. I re-started the 200 training in January of 2013, and by then I knew my Mister and I would have to move away from North Carolina (and my home studio) at the end of it. I was out of shape, unsure of what the future would hold, and a huge part of me wanted out of the program altogether.

There are decisions we make that seem right at the time, but less so down the road. That’s how this felt.

It was a huge time commitment, and it was demanding work. As someone who has a tendency towards an all-or-nothing attitude, I often felt as if it would be better to give up. I studied and practiced enough to get by. My personal yoga practice was wobbly and I was in constant fear of re-injuring myself. I was not ready, but carried on anyway.

Along the way I decided that teaching was not for me. I was nervous speaking in front of class, but not in the energizing sort of way. I felt like a fraud, and I wondered if the other students and my teacher could see through me.

I learned about anatomy, the history of yoga, and a specific sequence of poses. I bought a lot of books during the program and half-read a few of them. I enjoyed being part of the community, I also felt like an outsider. We did a fair amount of emotional work on ourselves, and I questioned if I was ready.

Later that summer, we moved to Austin. I had a few observation papers to write before finishing the program, which pushed me to explore some local yoga studios. I found an amazing one just a few blocks from my apartment and I’ve been a member ever since. I hoped to get stronger and more confident in my own body.

I wish I could go back and tell that sad, out of shape, and lonely girl that, “It’s OK, I’m OK, Everything is OK.”

In the past year, I have practiced more yoga than ever before. I have spurts when I go to class for 5 days in a row, and I try to go at least twice a week. My practice is more steady, I am stronger, and more confident in my body.

I remind myself of this story, and I share it with you, to say that we aren’t always ready — and that is ok. Even when we’re the one who signs ourselves up for something, we aren’t always ready. That is ok.

Whether you are ready or not, everything unfolds exactly the way it’s supposed to. You might not use what you have learned immediately. You might question why you learned it in the first place. But the information will be there for whenever you are ready.

Image via Brian Wolfe on Flickr


iPhone Woes / Instagram Loves

iPhone Woes / Instagram Loves - image via Unsplash | kaileenelise.com

An unshared life is not living. He who shares does not lessen, but greatens, his life.
(Stephen S. Wise)

Earlier this summer, my beloved iPhone 5 stopped working. I really wanted to replace it, but I had a functional iPhone 4 hiding in my junk drawer, so I’m using that instead. The technology updates from the 4 to 5 were significant. The camera on the 5 is way better and the phone is much faster. I feel like I shouldn’t care, but I cannot wait for the new iPhone to come out. Does this make me a total technology diva? Ugh, maybe.

When I first started using the iPhone 4 again, I had this crazy idea to strip the phone down to the very basics. I deleted all my apps and did not connect any email accounts. My plan was to use it as a phone and texting device, nothing else. That did not last long. I missed Instagram and my other favorite apps too much.

On Instagram I follow a mix of real-life friends, bloggers I have “known” for years, and total strangers. Every time I scroll through the photos, I find inspiration. Here are five of my Instagram loves lately:

@elisejoy - it’s so fun to follow Elise (and her baby girl!) on their daily adventures
@kellypurkey - what’s not to love about gorgeous photos from a blogger living in Paris?
@megangilger - stunning and simple photos from The Fresh Exchange founder
@tracyshutterbean - my food-blogger crush shares the sweetest little details of her life
@ashleytia - this girl’s pics and beauty videos are full of pretty inspiration

Do you have favorite people to follow? Are we following each other?

Image via Death to the Stock Photo


Packing Tips for Multi-Purpose Trips

Packing Tips for Multi-Purpose Trips - image via Unsplash | kaileenelise.com

To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is
to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position
in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
(Bill Bryson)

Hello, sweet friends! Remember when I said we didn’t have any travel planned for July? Well, that was true until my Mister had a work trip pop up. He’s heading to Philadelphia and New York for meetings, and I’m tagging along so we can meet up with friends and make a weekend of it.

We love traveling together and now that I can take my work with me, it’s hard not to find a reason to join him. While he’s away on business meetings & lunches, I will be writing, blogging, social media-ing, and exploring two delightful cities.

Last summer we went to Europe for 19 days with just 2 carry-ons, a backpack, and large purse. For this 6-day trip, we were determined to keep our luggage light. The warmer months make it slightly easier to pack less, but keeping our luggage lean for several days with various occasions was not easy. We have business attire, casual clothes, things to wear out, and workout gear, all bundled together in one bag each.

Here are a few of my favorite packing tips for multi-purpose trips:

Start with shoes and work your way up

As much as I want to bring cute heels, I know we’ll be walking a lot. I’m wearing black flats and packing my new Sperrysbrown sandals, and light-weight running shoes.

Build outfits, make a plan, and roll-up

I know this is super nerdy, but I keep an Evernote to plan out what I’m wearing each day. It’s not that I have to stick with the schedule, but it helps me to see things in writing.

For this trip, I’m wearing a more business-y dress on the first day because my Mister will be traveling in a suit. I have a few other dresses that will transition from day to casual nights, depending on the accessories. I also have a pair of running shorts, yoga pants, and two tank tops. It’s easier to get a workout in while traveling if you arrive prepared!

I started rolling my clothes for our Europe trip last summer and I haven’t looked back. It reduces the amount of wrinkles, helps my suitcase stay more organized, and it seems to help me pack less.

Travel-size your toiletries

I love shopping on Sephora.com because they send free samples with every order. I hold onto my samples, trials, and travel sized toiletries for trips like this one. It makes getting ready on the go just a little sweeter. A few of my recent discoveries are Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo and Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil by Fresh — both available in smaller sizes.

Remember the essentials

Are there things you rely upon every day? For any trip, I know I will need my headphones, laptop, iPad, Kindle, and chargers. I’m hoping we will find time to work out 2-3 times, so I’m bringing my Fitbit and heart rate monitor. Since our schedule will be largely dictated by my Mister’s meetings, I packed some tea, EBOOST, and Kind Bars… in case I get caught without lunch or coffee. I also packed our vitamins, a notebook, my favorite pens, and sunglasses.

I hope you find these packing tips helpful for your next adventure! I’ll be sharing some pics on Instagram and of course would love any NYC or Philly recommendations!

Image via Unsplash

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