Understanding self-assessment and self-compassion

Self-assessment and self-compassion is not self-criticism or self-pity. It is taking the time to process an emotion or situation and feeling how that emotion or situation makes you feel.

To survive in this crazy busy world we have become very good at self-criticism. We learn to tell ourselves off for what we perceive as failures. With this can come depression, sadness, isolation and under performance. While suffering is a component of the human condition, if not recognized it can defeat our overall happiness…and that sucks.

Before going into problem solving mode and giving ourselves compassion we have to notice our suffering and pain. Stop and really feel the pain that goes along with self-judge. OUCH! Taking the time to notice and acknowledge our pain and suffering is mindfulness. Mindfulness is actively feeling in the now, not thinking in the past or future. The past is long gone and the future is yet to come, so be present and process how you feel in the now moment.

After taking a short amount of time to not wallow, but rather process your feelings of pain, stop being so mean and unkind to yourself. Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself. Ask yourself ,“would I talk to a friend or a love one like this?”.
Give yourself the permission to be kind. Say loving things to yourself. Write a letter to yourself from the prospective of someone who loves you unconditionally. Do not worry about sentence structure or grammar. After writing this letter set the letter aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes read the letter. Say the compassionate words allowed. Feel the words as they are being read and know that this is the true and authentic story assessment you.

When face with challenging situations that may potentially lead to self-criticism, know that no one is perfect. While you may not hear about the lineage of failures that led up to someone’s success, know that they occurred.

For more information of the practice of self-compassion, contact me at yogagalleryandwellness@gmail.com. I invite you to reach out to me by either commenting on this blog or privately by emailing me.

I am here to help you to feel your very best!


10 Benefits of Barre Classes

10 Benefits of Barre Classes

1. Challenging on your muscles, kind and gentle on your joints. The small, controlled movements reduce the pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine. Regular Barre classes will improve your core strength and posture.
2. No experience is required. Instructors will guide you through the movements. Each person is challenged at their own level in class without affecting anyone else’s workout experience.
3. Full body, head to toe workout. Your muscles will feel challenged and invigorated.
4. Fatiguing muscles to failure. This is a good thing. The tiny motions of Barre with intentional squeezing and pulsing, isometric moves, forces your muscles to tone.
5. You will receive quick results. Most changes are noticed in as little as a month.
6. Barre can be done at any age or level. Barre exercises can be modified for the beginner, pregnant or even an injury.
7. Increases you flexibility. Barre compliments yoga by improving range-of-motion while increasing flexible and strength.
8. Loss weight and inches. Toning the large muscle groups will burn more calories and raise your resting metabolic rate.
9. You will never get bored. Enjoy the upbeat music and ever-changing choreography.
10. Feeling of well-being. You are sure to leave class feeling wonderful and looking forward to your next class.



I have a confession to make…

So I have been a bit of a two face. I teach and preach self-care, but I don’t always follow my own teachings.  I tend to live my life by a to-do list. I tell myself that tomorrow will be different, but the lists seem to never end. I put such pressure on myself and often times I feel I am sacrificing true happiness for productivity. Being struck by the flu this week has blessed me with seeing the error of my ways. It was left me somewhat helpless and reliant on others to help me in accomplishing some of my day to day tasks. I realized that the world does not come to an end if I take a few days of rest. I was discussing this with my sister yesterday evening.  She reminded me of the inflight instructions to always put your mask on before assisting others with their masks. This holds true in general life as well.

By self-care I don’t mean just physical care and eating right, I also mean emotional self-care. We tend [and by we I mean I tend] to be harsh on ourselves.  We say things to ourselves that we would never say to our child or love one.  We ruminate the same negative message about ourselves over and over.  Often times I play out negative scenarios like “she must think I am incompetent for missing that” or “they did not return my calls so they must be upset with me”.  This week I missed a friend’s son’s birthday party and I found myself waking up at night beating myself up for forgetting about the party.  I must have said to myself 25 times, “I can’t believe you missed the birthday party”. But in truth, my friend seemed to totally understand my missing the party. When we find ourselves having these unproductive, negative conversations in our heads we need to be fully aware of the damage we are doing to ourselves.

While it is good to be productive and accountable, we need to treat ourselves with the same kindness we would treat our child, love one or friend. Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Love yourself and don’t feel you need to do all and be all.  It’s okay for that list not to be accomplished and try putting self-care and self-love on your list.  Tell yourself on a daily basis that you are a winner, beautiful person and totally awesome.  Because you are…and so am I.

Sending you kind and loving thoughts,


Don’t believe the stories that other people tell you…

Don’t believe the stories that other people tell you….

What I mean is don’t believe the negative stories that other people have about you, your dreams, your ideas and your future successes. I recently had lunch with a friend who began our conversation with saying “no one can successfully start a business while working full-time”.  Oh yeah, just watch me. These types of comments can cut you deep, especially when your business is quite new.  People don’t mean to be cruel.  At least most people are not trying to be cruel. If they are meaning to be cruel, then it is time to distance yourself from them. Run for the hills baby. Most of the time these comments from friends are more about them feeling like a failure and less about them worrying about whether or not you are going to fail.  There are many reason they feel this way.  One could be that your successes remind them of their own failures or weakness. Not your problem. Another maybe they were more comfortable with the “old” you. The idea that you may change in some way may make them feel a sense of loss. Once again, not your problem.  Yet another reason could be they are fearful that you may get hurt or loss money.  But regardless of whether it comes from a place of envy or compassion, it is not your story, it is their story. I am the boss of me and you are the both of you. Believing other people’s negative comments has killed countless ideas and splendid plans.  Don’t let other people sabotage your brilliance.  Own your own ambition.  The world needs people like you.  Don’t deprive the world of who you are.  Always remember, no one will value you more than you value yourself.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do.  Begin it NOW.


Practicing Mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness simply means a state of active awareness and an open attention on the present. The term “mindfulness” is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of some Buddhist traditions. You can practice mindfulness anywhere at any time.  This is done by focusing on what is occurring the very moment you are observing it.  In nature this may mean breathing in the smell of the air, listening to the sounds of nature, noticing the shape of the trees and taking in how this makes you feel.  I love to practice mindfulness by looking at my son Aubrey’s face.  I cannot help but to feel filled with gratitude when I look in to his eyes and see their sparkle.

The practice of mindfulness is strongly associated with greater well-being and perception of health. Mindfulness has been shown to improve well-being by increasing life satisfaction and savor life’s pleasure.  Other physical health benefits include stress reduction, lowing blood pressure, and a reduction in chronic pain and improvement in your sleep.

As quoted by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book Full Catastrophe Living; Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, “Life only unfolds in moments. The healing power of mindfulness lies in living each of those moments as fully as we can, acception it as it is as we open to what comes next-in the next moment of now.”

There are endless ways to practice mindfulness, but an excellent way to begin your practice is to be mindful while in the shower. This is a good time to be mindful because you are disconnected from most stimulation including electronics.  Bring your full and non-judgmental attention to the way the water feels, the sound of the water, the smells of the soaps and the way your skin feels when it is washed.  Be in the moment and tell yourself “this is happening to me right now”.   Get out of your head and experience what is happening in the now.

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book on Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness