'tis the season to keep calm #1

'tis the season to keep calm #1

Let Go of Notions of Perfection

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Table settings not perfect? Present wrapping not pinterest worthy, christmas lunch doesn't look like it was styled by Nigella Lawson ... these ridiculous expectations we place on ONE day a year need to be loosened.

So as an extension of gratitude, I want you to try + surrender your notions of perfection. Instead try to maintain a realistic notion of what can and cannot be accomplished during this time of year.

While we'd like it to be 'picture perfect' the truth is, the gifts don’t have to be perfect, the meals don’t have to be perfect - the point is to get together with loved ones in the same room + celebrate. And sorry to be the bearer of mind blowing news here, but chances are those relationships won't be perfect either and it may somewhat resemble the Griswalds ... ala my family. :P

My advice, instead embrace the chaos!

Surrender that voice in your head that is insisting you do more or better, and recognise that slip-ups are an inevitable part of any day. Don’t get caught up in the trap of perfection, recognise that things will likely not abide by all of the ideas you have in your head, and try to accept whatever happens as an opportunity for growth and learning.

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'tis the season!

'tis the season!

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What we need most is to lean on relaxation, meditation, yoga + self-love techniques, we need the positive self-talks - the "everything will be ok's".

By all means if you want the stress, overeating, binging, alcohol overload, arguments with your loved ones, skipping regular exercise, missing your yoga, not getting enough sleep + all in all, neglecting your needs this post is not for you. 
But if you'd like to have a happier, calmer holiday season, stay tuned as each day I bring you a new tip on how to keep your sanity at this time of year... 

Until then, keep those Santa hats on straight. 

X
 

Cumulative Stress

Cumulative Stress

I had a bit of a manic weekend, where I felt l like I was trapped in a storm in a teacup. All of my fears, my insecurities, all of the shit i'd been ignoring - popped up to say hello... 👋

Eventually I realised the issue: stress, and stress is cumulative.
I take on so much, just keep adding more and more to my pile, slowly letting self care, and nourishment fritter away as I add to my to do list instead.

And surprisingly (I know) at some point, the burden becomes too big and I get exhausted, injured or depressed.

This snowball of stress starts to roll so fast that it pushes you to the edge. But take a step back and realise that cumulative stress is something that you're dealing with even when it isn't a matter of life or death. The stress of extra workouts or additional work projects. The stress of building a business or finishing an important project. The stress of parenting your young children or dealing with a bad partner or caring for your aging parents, or whatever it may be....

It.
All.
Adds.
Up!

The solution? You need to keep your cup full. Your cup for you that only when that is full and overflowing can you begin to give to other people and if you want to keep your cup full, you have two options:

  1. Refill your cup on a regular basis.
    That means catching up on sleep, making time for laughter and fun, good company catch ups, eating enough to maintain solid energy levels, and otherwise making time for recovery.
  2. Let the stressors in your life accumulate and drain your bucket. Once you hit empty, your body will force you to rest through injury and illness.
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Recovery is a non-negotiable.
Make time for you! - I honestly cannot stress this enough

Why?

Because recovery is not negotiable. You can either make time to rest and rejuvenate now or make time to be sick and injured later. Keep your cup full, you ARE worth it, you are enough, just be kind to yourself.

I know what it feels like to be your own biggest hater, your own worst critic, but it's not helpful, not one big. We need to get back to loving and cheering ourselves on.

It's a new week and i'll be spending it filling my own cup.I have a massage booked, I plan on saying no to the extras and I plan on nourishing me, and that actually feels good!

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Diwali

Diwali

Diwali is the biggest + brightest of all Hindu Festivals.
Diwali is marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates your soul from dark to light. 

Spiritually it signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

While the festivals preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. And that just happens to fall on the weekend of my October Yoga Retreat ... little coincidence! 

Before Diwali people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. Then on Diwali night, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps + candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of fertility and prosperity.
After prayer we there is the illumination of candles, lights and sometimes even fireworks. A family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts or pleasantries between family members and close friends then follows.

diwali

In each legend, myth, and story of Diwali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil.
It is with each Diwali and the lights that illuminate both our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope.

From darkness unto light—the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of firecrackers, joy, togetherness, and hope.
 

THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF DIWALI

Beyond the lights, food, and fun, Diwali is a time to reflect on life and make changes for the upcoming year. With that, there are a number of customs that revelers hold dear each year.

Give and Forgive. 
Forget and forgive the wrongs done by others during Diwali.
Allow an air of freedom, festivity, and friendliness in to your heart. 

Rise and Shine.
Rising early is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work, and spiritual advancement. It is on Diwali that everyone wakes early in the morning. 

Unite and Unify. 
Diwali is a great unifying force and it can soften even the hardest of hearts.
It is a time to mingle in joy and embrace one another with love.

Prosper and Progress. 
At this time you can pray for success and prosperity for the upcoming year. 
Traditionally everyone buys new clothes for their family, with employers, too, purchasing new clothes for their employees.

It's time to illuminate Your Inner Self!
The lights of Diwali also signify a time of inner illumination. Hindus believe that the light of lights is the one that steadily shines in the chamber of the heart. Sitting quietly and fixing the mind on this supreme light illuminates the soul. It is an opportunity to cultivate and enjoy eternal bliss.

During the weekend of Slow; Yoga + Mindfulness retreat we will be completing a Diwali ceremony to welcome in new energy to help us prosper + thrive!  

I still have a few spots left, they won't last long, check it all out at www.danichristie.com/retreats
 

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Finding home

Finding home

In case you didn't know it already from my million palm tree + coconut photos on Instagram (@dani_christie) i'm in beautiful balmy Bali. 

I came here to magical Bali to further my yoga journey on a 5 week YogaCoach immersion led by Guru, Mark Breadner.
I joined 11 other beautiful handpicked souls to share the adventure with.

Let's rewind.

Pre-trip ...

I was feeling overwhelmed, uninspired, directionless and a sense of unfulfillment.
Not a great place to be in when you associate with being a perfectionist, a procrastinator and a borderline control freak with tendencies to self destruct and self sabotage.

What I needed was a place to land.
A space to come back home, to me.
I needed to press the reset button, to start fresh, to feel re-inspired, refocused and re-invigorated. 

Why I like to burn myself out + into to the ground before I stop, or god forbid put my hand up and ask for help? I'm still working that one out, but i'm getting better at bouncing back, and that's a fact. 

Trust that life is giving you exactly what you need practice in...Everything, EVERYTHING is an opportunity to learn and grow. 

The good, the bad, the nasty, the sweet. All of it. 

I'm learning to trust. 
Trust that life is giving me exactly what I need at any given moment. And you can too!

The burnouts, the break ups, the jobs that didn't work out, the friend that is a total flake. 
These are the EXACT lessons we need to help us grow, and enable deeper healing.
Strengthening our beings. Opening our big beautiful hearts. Inviting more light in to our lives.
So that we can stand more in flow and more in our personal power. 

So, what if we could choose to live this way?

What if we could trust? Trust that it's all going to work out, one way or another, what would we get in return?

Peace. Acceptance. Joy. Power. Happiness. Courage. Beauty. 

I'll be honest after the past 7 weeks in Bali, getting accustomed to a life of sun, warmth, palm trees and coconuts, am I longing to come home? Nope.
Did I reconsider the whole damn thing? Yep.
Was I resisting? Absolutely. 

So today as I enjoy my final 24 hours in Bali I choose to trust. With all my heart, that life has got my back. And everything is as it should be. And that once again I have found my way back onto my path and I can see the light again, and all is well.

All is well. 
All is well. 
All is well. 
All is well. 
All is well. 

Namaste. 

D

I believe fast is a curse ....

I believe fast is a curse ....

I believe that being fast becomes more of a curse than a blessing.
We’re impatient. We lose focus. We forget what is important!

Productivity has increased hugely in the past century, but working time has also increased!
Surely you'd expect that if you manage to achieve more with less, you wouldn’t need to work so hard... nup!

It's a vicious cycle ...
achieve more > want more > create more > then we need to work more. It's never ending!
Some people have started to break the cycle, and I am one of them. I call it the SLOW movement.

I'd love to take you on a weekend slowing down with yoga + mindfulness.

A two night weekend retreat focusing on you, slowing down + coming home to you, where all the good stuff resides.

Slow down, take your time, learn to breathe again, reset, eat nourishing food, connect with like-minded people, say YES to you!

Sign up today and mention this post to receive $100 off the retreat price!

www.danichristie.com/retreats

yoga

Red thread of destiny

Red thread of destiny

An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.
— Ancient Chinese proverb

The Red Thread of Destiny is a belief that comes from an old Chinese proverb. Also known as 'The Red Thread of Fate' or 'Red String of Fate', it means that people who are destined to meet are tied together with an invisible red thread.

According to the Chinese proverb, the gods tied an invisible red thread around the ankles of a man and a woman who were destined to meet and get married. In the Western world, we'd call these Soulmates.
I've had this weird fascination with the colour red lately, anything red I can get my hands on - I was all over it, including handmade red Balinese bracelets.

Wearing red thread bracelets is a great way to symbolise the strong bonds with the loved ones in your life now, (maybe that's the home sickness?) and the ones you haven’t even met yet. It is a constant reminder that we are all interconnected. Our lives are invisibly tied to those whose destinies touch ours... makes my heart feel kinda fuzzy! 

SLOW; reconnect and recharge

SLOW; reconnect and recharge

Something happens when a group of like-minded individuals gather together in a beautiful location to share the practice of yoga and reconnecting to themselves. What a magical way to escape for a weekend. Whether it is by yourself or with a friend or two, a yoga retreat might be a truly transformative experience and an effective way to recharge your life.

1. Deepen your yoga practice. 
I know how it is, we're all busy and finding the time to go to yoga can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. A committed weekend of yoga could be just what you need to dive a little deeper into your practice. On this retreat you will have a total of 5 classes over the weekend.
Practicing each day you will notice the changes not only in your physical body, but in your mental state as well. And who knows, coming home afterwards, you might even be inspired to start a new home practice or take your existing practice to a new level. 

Slowing down is sometimes the best way to speed up

2. Create new perspectives. 
Exploring a new and different place creates an opportunity to see the environment, and yourself, in a new perspective. Experiencing the unknown is a guaranteed + accelerated way to grow and learn. On this retreat you will have the luxury of time during the day to do just what you want to do, should you wish. There will be optional activities available too! 
When you change your routine and your surroundings, you'll notice you start to see things in a different light.

3. Slow down - Relax. 
Being on a retreat is about getting back to you, and yes it's all about YOU, your yoga, eating nourishing healthy foods, slowing right down and learning to relax.
Sometimes it is easier to give yourself that indulgence when you leave your comfort zone of home and get away in the surrounds of nature. 
This retreat is all inclusive, so all you need to do is show up! We'll do all the thinking for you.

4. Surround yourself with others willing to relax
When a group of people on a similar path get together in a beautiful place, new friendships are bound to happen. It is inspiring to surround yourself with other yogis from around the world and to practice together. Gathering like this in a group is sometimes the perfect mirror to remind us that, although everyone is unique, we are all in fact, connected. 

5. You deserve it. 
Let's face it, it's 2017 and we live in the age of multi-tasking. Always aiming for more, and more, faster and faster! But it all comes at a cost, we very rarely spend time in the moment and enjoy things as they are.
We work hard in our daily lives and can always find reasons why we should or shouldn't do something for ourselves, But when you immerse yourself in a weekend of yoga, you find the peace, calm, creativity, clarity, and focus that was lacking prior just waiting to come out. 
You may not only reconnect with yourself, but when you go home you might just share it with others.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to book your next yoga retreat!

Our early bird price ($595) ends June 30th! 
Click on the Retreats tab for further info and to sign up. 
 

Hope to see you there! 
With love + light, 
D
 

Grief

Grief

Grief, it's not very glamourous, and it's not something we often talk about openly. But death is part of life and therefore grief is too. 

I was lucky enough to spend 22 years on this earth without the loss of a loved one, not even a pet slipped past me. Whether or not that made things easier or not, i'll never quite know.
But then one afternoon in February, six years ago everything was pulled from underneath me, I'd received the worst phone call of my life and had learned that my dad had taken his own life. From that point forward the world as I knew it, would never be the same.
First up was shock. I sat down - there were no tears, no screaming, no crying, just moments of silence and still. In fact I did the only thing I knew how to do; run. I pulled on my trainers and walked to the oval around the corner from my apartment at the time, at first I sat and watched others run and wondered what they were thinking, how had their days unfolded, what was running through their minds. 
I got up and I joined in, I ran too. 
Lap after lap, after lap. Around and around the oval, I lost count how many times I went round. The sun set and before I knew it, it was dark. How long did I run for? No idea - I was full of adrenaline and part of me wanted to run forever, run from my problems, run from the tears and the grief that awaited me.

Grief can be a beast all in it's own. Messy, complicated, unresolved, angry, confusing - it's torturing and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

I found myself so lost in the year that followed that call. I tried hopelessly to make sense of what had happened, what was happening, I looked at websites, support groups, websites - I struggled to talk to others about it. How could anyone understand this pain and loss as I did. I got caught up in my own head and so lost.  

What I learnt is that there is no one single way to grieve. I wish someone could have explained grieving and grief a little to me in preparation for the tumultuous years that lay ahead of me. 
Here are a few things i'd love to share about grief... 

You may grieve something other than a person

I was young, only 22 when this all happened. All of a sudden any chances of my Dad and I meeting, interacting again was definitively taken from me. The idea that my father would one day hold my hand and walk me down the aisle was snatched away from me - and things like sharing my own children and making my Dad a Grandfather were completely a dream now. 
It's then that I began to realise how much I'd been counting on these future milestones, maybe even had taken them for granted that they'd come.
Sadness deepened with every passing week, as my brain had more + more time to accumulate more and more - "Daddy will never be here for ........ and Daddy will never experience ....... etc."

In the lead up to my dads death he had bought me some jewellery, I had become obsessed with these 2 pieces after he died. I wanted something physical to prove I’d been important enough, that our relationship had been real, that my devastation was justified. As if me being half of his DNA wasn't enough? 
Last year I lost one of those pieces and devastated would be an absolute understatement and it took a few months to realise its presence would have offered little comfort in the long run. 

Identifying the source of your grief is integral to moving on; it is difficult to treat a wound if you don’t know where it is.

There is no right way to cope

What I want you to all know is that there is no right or wrong way to grieve! It's such a personal thing - and two people may grieve the same person in 2 totally different ways.
Maybe you gain weight, lose weight, feel numb, or feel devastated.
Maybe it's talking to a counsellor that helps to soothe you and your incessant thoughts of what if? Maybe it's talking to friends to try and make sense of it all. But for some, much like myself I chose to loathe talking about it - I wanted life to get back to normal as soon as humanly possible. I didn't like the attention this series of events had brought to me.  
BUT if you're finding that your grief is interfering with your work to the point that it is endangering your career, or maybe you’ve cut yourself off from friends, family and colleagues for too long, or if you’re having thoughts of hurting yourself, there are small but active efforts that will help you toward healing that might be the lifeline you need. 

I used simple mindful tasks to help me get on with my day to day business of living: cleaning the house, laundry, homework from design school.
If my mind had gone on a rampage with thoughts and images of Dad, that were making it too damn difficult to focus on anything else, I’d try a grounding exercise and name objects in the room. (Table. Chair. Fridge. Window. Vase. Rug. Lamp.) Sometimes I’d have to name 15 things before my mind could disconnect from the grief and attach to my here and now. Sometimes it was something as simple as wiggling my toes around in my shoes and really feeling that sensation. 

Radical acceptance was a hard one for me to come to terms with. To became familiar with the acceptance of the fact that Dad wasn’t coming back, and that I really was going to have to go through life without a father. For a verrrry long time, I lived in a place in my mind where I had frequent thoughts of this whole scenario being some sick game that everyone was in on - maybe Dad wasn't dead, maybe this was like the Truman show?

If anyone ever said they had a surprise for me, I automatically thought that my dad was coming back, and I am so aware how crazy that sounds. But your mind has crazy, weary ways of coping. I had to come to grips with the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye, and that this pain wasn’t going anywhere for now. It was never comfortable, but it was less exhausting than the effort of constantly trying to fool myself otherwise. 
Sometimes I set aside time to cry, time to really lose it, times when I knew I wasn't going to be interrupted, when I could close my front door, turn my phone off, sit with my dog, play sad music and wail. I found that helped. A lot. 

Breaking my day up into mini tasks was a really great way to get through the tough days. Getting through things just one at a time was an achievement in itself at the best of times.  
If I couldn’t manage the idea of a simple thing like going to school, for example. I didn’t just think ‘Right Dan get dressed and go to school’; I simply had to get up. Next, I had to shower. After that, I’d find clean clothes. Next, I’d put them on. Then shoes. Now I’d find my bag. My laptop. Next, I’d get my diary. Finally, I’d pick up my keys. Drive to college.

Each task was one more thing done, one very manageable thing in a straightforward sequence of manageable things, during a time when I didn’t feel I could manage very much at all.

Be gentle with yourself

I’d always been a quite 'together' person, I wasn't outwardly emotional and the idea of public grieving on social media or to friends was out of the question to me. The idea of presenting myself as hysterical to the world would have been deeply humiliating to me.
But in hindsight I wish I would have asked for help sooner, someone to talk to more it would have made the whole scenario more manageable —and less painful. I wish I would have extended myself the compassion that I would SURELY  extend to someone I love going through a tough time.
When grieving, allow yourself bouts of unreasonable sadness. Yes - unreasonable sadness! Stop beating yourself up because you needed time, or that you didn't reply to everyone on social medias sympathies. Forgive yourself for thinking your dad will knock on your door asking to see his daughters new apartment. One day soon, you will thank yourself for your own generosity and kindness.

You will discover emotional time travel is possible

Grief is a mother fucker. Sometimes 2 years feels like day 2 and sometimes one hour of grief feels like two weeks worth of grief crammed into 60 looooong minutes of pain. 
I was once told grief is a 5 year thing - I can wholeheartedly say that for me, that is not true. I'm 6 years in and sometimes it just hits, at the strangest moments - sometimes it's the happiest times when it hits. And i've talked to enough people to back me up on that. 

So for grief there really is no timeline, know that grief definitely has stages and how long YOU take to for those stages is personal, sometimes it's weeks - sometimes it's months or more. Just be ok with it all, and take things at your own pace.

Previous experience doesn’t adequately prepare anyone for the messiness of grief.
It would make sense that the earliest days would be the hardest - trust me they’re not necessarily! We may imagine that the moment someone passes is the moment we’ll accept it. Instead, the idea that someone is permanently gone takes an unsettlingly long time to fully sink in. You probably imagine the funeral to be the worst day. But for me and for many others there is so much going on that day! The funeral is fueled with so much frenetic activity and endless support surrounds you. The funeral in itself can be distracting, so absorbing, exhausting enough that grief is funnily enough not front-and-center on what would be considered the saddest day.

Anniversaries can be the hardest. Birthdays can be the hardest. The first morning you visit a store and see something they’d like can be the hardest. Random Tuesdays can be the hardest. There can be a multitude of hardests. 

Yet, mercifully, some things will be easier than you imagine. Walking into their room, seeing their picture, watching their favorite movie; some of the things we imagine will be another paper cut to the wound may be weirdly soothing. 

Of course, one person’s hardest will be another person’s easiest. Mourning is as individual as people themselves. There isn't a one size fits all. 

Grief is not a straight road you walk down metre by metre. Grief put simply is like a maze, just when you think you've got it all figured out you find yourself looping back to where you were before. But that doesn’t mean you’re not working your way, steadily, toward the way through it.

If you or anyone you know are struggling with grief, dealing with a lost one or are considering any form of self harm - please seek help!  
Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/
13 11 14
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services

Crystal healing

Crystal healing

Danburite and Kyanite are both what's known as high-vibrational crystals... they resonate on an elevated spiritual frequency, and work to boost your personal vibrations when worn, held, or meditated with. They open us to Divine Love, and help heal past trauma and heartache. I love crystal jewelry as it can be both so visually appealing, and used as a sacred healing tool.. simultaneously.