Operation: Better Myself (An Update)

Hello world!
 If you watch my YouTube videos then you might know that this year I’m experimenting with a plan to better myself (by effectively making 2017 my bitch.) For each of the next 12 months, I have one goal that I intend to focus on in the hopes that by the end of that month, it will become something of a habit! For January my focus was super innovative and something you probably never expected: health and fitness! *dripping in sarcasm* And for February the focus was self care. Some of you were asking if I’d be doing updates on how the goals were going and I thought this was a really great idea! I know writing down my progress will definitely keep me in check and perhaps it can even help some of you to stay motivated if you’re working on any goals yourself! So for anyone curious, here is a breakdown of my progress, by month, so far! 🙂 
January- Health and Fitness


Staying true to this goal throughout January was pretty easy at first, as I was living at a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica where all of my meals were vegan and vegetarian (*cough* and cooked for me *cough.*) Was it a bit of a cop out to choose to work on this goal when I knew it wouldn’t be difficult there? Perhaps… BUT! Most people often begin to derail after things get too difficult, so I figured easing my way into things wouldn’t be so bad! Every morning I woke up with the sun, started the day with a yoga class and pigged out on all the healthy and delicious meals I wanted! It was a dream! And by the end of the month I basically felt like a unicorn. I noticed my skin breaking out a little, which I attributed to the detoxification my body was most likely going through but for the most part, all that sun, fruit, and exercise was doing me a world of good! 
And then I went home.
 Things got A LOT more difficult once I was back in my natural habitat. As a yoga instructor, I was still able to maintain a pretty healthy balance of exercise (and laziness hehe), but my relationship with food became a struggle. First off, I have a HUGE sweet tooth. Always have and I imagine I always will. But since it was once again my own responsibility to prepare all my meals, it began to feel very tedious very quickly and I found myself just going for whatever was easy as opposed to healthy. But I hated the way I was beginning to feel. I was constantly sleepy, my mind felt a lot less sharp and all around, I didn’t feel quite as bright as I did while in Costa Rica. I also IMMEDIATELY slipped back into terrible habits of staying up WAY too late, spending way too much time on the computer, etc. (Goodbye Veronica the Unicorn.) I really didn’t like how fast I was to throw all that magic away! Because that was not the point of this experiment! I didn’t want to work on something for 30 days and just let it go come the first of the next month! No, these things were supposed to build upon each other! 
So in short, I learned a valuable lesson! This wasn’t going to be as easy as perhaps I’d bargained for. These goals are still going to take time, effort and mindfulness in order to achieve them the way I’d hoped! Which is perfectly okay! I’m not giving up and getting down on myself! After feeling crappy for so many weeks after returning home, I wanted to chase that “sparkly” feeling, if you will, I felt in Costa Rica so I’m still currently making little changes and doing my best to make healthy choices as much as possible! It might not have been a cake walk (…poor choice of words?) to stay consistent, but I’m so glad I did have that month to show me how I’d like to keep feeling for the rest of this year and hopefully the rest of my life! 
February- Self Care
Now this was a month I was very excited for! A whole month that I could dedicate to pampering myself and not feel guilty for it? Yes please! But I suddenly discovered something I never expected; this goal was difficult too! I actually had to put in EFFORT to relax! I had no clue I was so much of a workaholic! See, my plan was to focus on two things: taking a long hot bath once a week, and staying really consistent with my skincare (and eventually I’d obviously transform into the glowing goddess that’s been hiding beneath under eye circles and dry, neglected pores.) All of this sounds magical right?! That’s what I thought! But whenever it was time for me to take my long awaited bath, or use one of my face masks, I noticed that I’d be so wrapped up in my work that I’d keep putting it off for an hour, and then another… and then another until eventually I’d just say “eh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And sometimes it would be days before I actually sat down and forced myself to do it! It sounds so crazy that I had to convince myself into something as glorious as relaxing with some bath bombs but there I was, too wound up from daily life to even remember how to chill out! 
apparently not Jamie Lee Curtis, apparently not.

Nonetheless, if I’m going to be honest about my shortcomings then oh by gosh, by golly I’m going to be honest about my achievements too and say that I did manage to EVENTUALLY take my bath at least once a week! And it’s a ritual that I enjoyed so much, that I’ve still managed to take baths pretty frequently since then! I did pay very close attention to my skin (not impeccable attention but much better than usual and that’s the goal right?) and after a while, I genuinely began to look forward to grabbing one of those face masks and giving my epidermis a little love! I realized that this was something I used to do all the time in High School and I missed having such great motivation and care for myself, not to mention it shocked me that somewhere along the way I’d lost track of that!
Perhaps the most exciting result of all this consistency (however inconsistent it was…) was that in at least one little way, my plan kind of worked! I now have a pretty great routine each night; after I brush my teeth, I cleanse, tone and moisturize my skin before bed and I genuinely notice a fabulous difference! I’ve been feeling so much more radiant and glowy! And I now love to sit in the bath WITH a face mask on and just zen out. Evidently, for a person like me, forcing myself to really find time for self love is so important because otherwise, it just won’t happen! And it’s crazy how I teach yoga and make that space for others to “zen out” but then I can’t do it myself!
As a creative, passionate and quite naturally energetic person, finding those little moments to sit down and let the world fall away are so necessary for more than my exterior; they’re vital for my mental health! I realize that now and it feels awesome to form that relationship with myself! Once again, the goal for me was never perfection, but rather to learn more about myself and my habits, and hopefully create more balance within my life! These changes might seem small and insignificant but for me, they’re really exciting and I’m so proud to see my growth, no matter how slow it might be! So wish me luck for the next couple of months! March is all about selflessness and self control and I’m not totally sure what April will bring yet! But stay tuned, and good luck to you as on your journey through life! Feel free to let me know whatever progress you might be making as well and just know that even failures are successes in disguise! Until next time everyone!  🙂

Beyond the Risk

There’s nothing quite like this place. 
We have done so much in such a short amount of time! From swimming in waterfalls, to milking cows, to the crazy rainbows we frequently wake up to, it seems like every day is more magical than the last! Perhaps I should better explain how exactly my wonderful boyfriend, Jeff, and I ended up here though. 
  
A while back the two of us had a weekend trip to New York City planned. We excitedly hopped on our train looking forward to all the glorious adventures we’d soon be having in the Big Apple. Little did we know however, that this train was driving us toward much larger adventures in a future we had no clue would be ours. Ironically, I was quite annoyed that morning. See, we’d left much later than I wanted to (as I like to get my NYC excisions started as early as possible.)
But it wasn’t just Jeff’s need to make a a very elaborate, pre-NYC sandwich that put us on the later train…
it was Destiny.

  
We rode along for about an hour, and suddenly, as the train hissed to a halt and let a new crowd of passengers on, I saw a very familiar face. 
“DESIREE?” I asked.
“VERONICA?” she returned, recognizing me.
There was my yoga instructor sitting just a few seats away. 
We got to talking and she began to explain how she wasn’t supposed to be on this train either, and how she’d been trying all day to figure out an issue with her passport so her and her family could officially make their move to Costa Rica. 
This was news to me! And after explaining all the crazy details, she mentioned how she’d love for me and Jeff to come visit the yoga Retreat Center she was going to be running down in CR.

  
Jeff and I were dealing with the confusion and disappointment of some other adventures we’d been planning for that kept falling through. But this suddenly had a flame sparking in each of our hearts and from then on the two of us couldn’t let the idea go. 
I wasn’t sure how or why or when exactly it was going to happen, but, a strong believer in the Law of Attraction, I put it out there like my life depended on it (at the very least my sanity did.) 
Soon enough, the opportunity showed itself.
 Desiree and her wife would be running a Yoga Teacher Training Retreat that seemed perfect for Jeff (who was interested in getting certified) and a New Year’s Retreat all about finding yourself and your life’s purpose that seemed perfect for me!  They overlapped one another so we could go together and it just felt like everything about it was screaming that this was the right thing to do. 
Still, the next few months were up in the air; should we go? How will we manage? Is it worth it? Etc. 

  
Jeff would need to leave his job in order to focus on this new career path and such a huge change was terrifying. But I’m here to tell you that growth, adventure and magic lie only beyond risk. 
Coming here has been such a profound experience. Waking up every morning to do yoga, eating the most delicious, natural food you can imagine, and being surrounded by people who can’t help but exude gratitude and pure joy for their lives… it’s moving, cleansing, humbling and inspiration for our own lives.

  

You can live the life you want to. You can follow what makes your heart sing and you can exist in realms of passion, miracles, beauty and adventure. It’s all waiting there, beyond the Risk.