The joys of having a baby is more than anyone can ever describe, and as a mom of three, myself, I have found that unless you consciously choose to incorporate your little yogis into your practice, we often then choose not to practice at all. And for others, the choice is to practice (exercise) without that little ball of joy nearby or incorporated into that very important part of your life.
Yoga is a huge part of my life and my family’s life. From day one my kids became my little yogi buddies and walking buddies, they did (and still do) everything I do. Because to me, my mindset was my kids were going to be a part of my life, a part of my practice, and a part of my studio, I wanted them to know no different. Some parents want their kids to learn a certain prayer or family tradition, I wanted my kids to learn to live a holistic-yogic lifestyle from early on.
Like many, exercise to me is important, but a mindful practice where it is a part of your lifestyle is even more important.
Here are some examples: We all go for a walk (dogs, kids, and husband) and we talk about why fresh air is important and how Mother Earth loves that we enjoy her and that we don’t litter (we usually are on a quest to pick it all up) and why that isn’t a good choice. I have taught my kids how to breathe and how they can use their breath to help them in stressful situations. I have a yoga room and my children adore spending time there, we take turns using my reformer, weights, and yoga mat, we teach each other poses, bounce on the bosu and I explain how bouncing is healthy for the lymphatic system and stretching is good for your muscles and mind, and building strength will help you get big and strong like your Momma and Papa.
For some in today’s society, the parents may be healthy but they keep that to themselves, for many, eating salad and lean chicken at dinner, but then feeding the rest of the family greasy foods. Or going out for a hike or tending the garden but leaving the kids inside watching T.V. At my house if I want to practice yoga (while my kids are awake) or go for a walk it’s either with them or nothing. And more important than me staying physically fit, is for them to see me take care of myself in all I do and incorporate them into it; so as they get older it’s no different than brushing their teeth, reading books, and taking a bath. To them, it is simply how things have always been, and these skills are skills that can and should be taught by the parents.
Now sure my little yogis crawl all over me in plank and slide down my back in Downward Dog, and that at times gets to be a little much, but that won’t be forever and yoga to me is more than exercise it’s tapping into the inner self and connecting, isn’t it for you?
From even before I had kids I knew several key points that would become the cornerstones of my parental approach. I feel very passionate about my kids seeing themselves as unique (like most parents) but in that uniqueness I wanted them to understand what it was like to develop individual skills and interests before engaging in the big wide world of pee-wee sports. We chose to skip the pee-wee games and guide our kids towards self-confidence using self-discovery and independent activity development. That meant family fitness activities. I know this is not for everyone, but for us-our kids getting down and dirty means playing in the mud, dancing in the rain, and walking in our woods searching for deer tracks and turkey feathers. I believe whole heartily that this is the foundation of childhood and developing into an independent-thinking adult. Yes, that’s right, family fitness is a foundation for our kids.
And within those independent activities, I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as possible because there will come a day that they don’t think I’m top dog and will want to join the other team. But from the start, the team we wanted them to know they are on first is team “Krebs”.
Fitness is essential to me, and family fitness is even more important. The idea of keeping my kids active might not be what you are thinking because my suggestions won’t reference tee-ball, soccer, or dance. My suggestions are practical. They are beneficial, hopefully, to celebrate the little things because the little things are the foundation for your child’s future and who they will become as an adult and maybe one day as a parent.
Every movement matters.
In our house movement is super important. Now that my kids are school-aged, I recognize the extended periods of sitting and studying mean we need to prioritize movement once school activities are complete! I try to have them soak up every hour of daylight outside possible: jumping on the trampoline, climbing on the playset, chasing chickens, riding bikes, and making up games. And as easy as it is to send the kids outside, when you make an effort to go out with them they are not only more likely to explore, but it will make an impression that parents play too. I want to encourage you that if you tend to be a “go play outside parent” to set a timer for 20 minutes and go play with them, and then see what happens. I bet you that 20 minutes will quickly turn into an hour, because in the grand scheme of things- dinner can wait.
Family fitness walks.
Those in town who know me will vouch to say that they have seen me with my red stroller, two dogs, and two kids on bikes all over town. I need my movement, and because I work from home means I’m with my kids almost 24/7, so where I go, they go. And this has its perks. I used to fight for my personal time (I still get it but in other ways), but then I realized that the message I would be sending to my kids was exercise and fitness for adults is always separate. And after ten years of following this philosophy, I can honestly say it has paid off. I have gotten so much out of our walks together and I know I am planting the seed for years to come; plus, my kids love coming, they love my presence and I theirs. I use this time to talk to them about health, staying active as well as singing and playing eye spy. This is one of my most cherished non-winter experiences.
Family chores can be fun.
We have a very large backyard and woods and with all the tree cover a light breeze will drop tree limbs and black walnuts in an instant. My husband and I are not able to pick up this all ourselves and if we did we’d have no time for anything else. Staying active is super important to me and my family, but learning life skills is too. I know that when my kids become adults the impressions I set on them as kids will heavily impact the choices and decisions they make in their adult years. Picking up sticks is always a family affair, and I have to be honest they don’t always love it, but the older they get they realize: it’s not going to change anytime soon. Being outside in the warm sun and fresh air we race to fill our buckets first, who can pull the most roots, who gets the most walnuts and we often celebrate with lemonade and lunch outside afterward! We can easily spend two to three hours together (and don’t get me wrong there can be a fair share of complaining, but that is also part of the process) and after my husband always thanks them and asks them to look out and see what a great job they did. Seeing my kids notice their hard work and efforts and see them as they receive positive praise for helping in the household is a huge bonus too.
Encourage your kids to get dirty.
As parents we often let the end result cloud our willingness to let our kids run free. Stains on their pants, the time needed to then bathe, the worry of if they will get hurt, and the age-old excuse of not enough time. But I have to be honest, there is nothing more liberating than getting dirty with your kids. Sliding down the dirt mound outback with them. running barefoot in the rain, building sandcastles and mud pies at their side. When my husband and I get down and dirty with them, I get to see their eyes light up, not because of the dirt (although that is a big factor) but because we are dirty with them. I can feel the connection between us and our kids grow stronger and for me, it’s liberating as an adult to give myself permission to be a kid again and not try to be perfect all the time. When we get dirty we are reminded that life is messy. The mess is part of the experience.
Now these might not be wild and crazy ways to have fun, but they are free, fun and family orientated. When we instill in our kids that fitness, health, and fun cost money and require fancy equipment or continuous social engagements, we are limiting them in their own self-discovery process and creative development. Plus the time we get with our kids when they are young and we are the greatest thing since sliced bread is limited and I refuse to limit that even more.
Now go out and enjoy some family fitness!
How to step into something new…
I can’t believe it’s November already.
>>This past year has been one of a kind.
>>This past year has been one for the books.
>>This past year has been a good one…for me.
Last year I decided that no matter what I did, what I stepped into, what came my way, I was going to approach it with a good attitude and a never give up mentality.
It’s November and I don’t think we say it enough…
I’m proud of myself.
*Proud of myself for doing new things.
*Proud of myself for stepping into unknown territories.
*Proud of myself for doing things even when I didn’t want to do them.
Here’s what I’ve learned…
Thinking about doing something new is only step one… Well, it’s more like a Pre-Step, like Pre-Kindergarten.
And then it’s deciding to pull the trigger. But I’ve discovered that there cannot be ANY doubt in your mind that what you are about to do is wrong, not going to work, a bad idea.
I’ve been working really hard this past year on catching myself immediately when I see ANY doubt creep And when it does I noticed one thing…
If your decision you are about to pull the trigger on is DIFFERENT IN ANY WAY get ready for doubts, a struggle, or an internal debate that it’s not going to work.
This realization was KEY in my pressing on.
And I want to share that with all of you today.
If you want things to change, get better, be different (call it what you want) you NEED it to be uncomfortable or at least have that feeling for a moment that’s your signal that you are stepping into uncharted territory.
AND THAT IS A GOOD THING.
I was nervous the night before I got married. I knew I wanted to marry my husband and had known I was going to marry him since the 8th grade.
That night looking at myself in my bathroom mirror, I had a wave of doubt run through me if this was the right decision.
But I knew that the doubt I was feeling was nerves from something new, the unknown.
And because I pressed on, we’ve been married for 14 years, have 3 amazing kids, and built a life we love.
>>>>>When you get to the edge of what is familiar you have a choice.
Go back into your typical patterns and stay exactly where you are…. Or press on.
*Press on even when it’s hard.
*Press on even when you don’t want to.
*Press on even when your decisions don’t fit into the status quo.
You guys I created my own pain relief cream. Not a cream I’m filling in my garage.
Like my own REAL product. (Find out about STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream)
How did this happen?
I made a decision I wanted to do this and every step after that decision was made I did not like my old thinking or learned feelings and responses derail me from the goal.
To step into something new:
I took risk.
A lot of risk.
I invested my own money.
And now have to pick up the phone and call people.
Ask others for support and help and put me out there every single day with the chance others may not like me.
But I know and choose to never let doubt and negativity loom in my mind for longer than it takes to think that thought even for a second.
It’s exhausting to be on yourself like a bloodhound hunting in the woods. Constantly calling yourself out on thoughts, beliefs, and actions most don’t even see happening.
But now almost a year later of this diligent practice. I’m bearing fruit (I had a lot of internal negative self-talk to work through).
I see those periods of discomfort as markers I’m moving in the right direction and mentally stop and breathe, think, and feel the positive outcome. Where before things not working out always loomed in my mind.
THAT WAS MY ISSUE.
I was doing all the right things but when I got to the edges of my familiarity I was canceling out all my efforts with my internal dialogue, thoughts, and intentions.
I created a pain-relief cream!
I created the BEST online program I have ever built!
I coach business clients who want to hear what I have to say!
I get to work with people I never thought possible!
I share this not to brag, but to hopefully inspire you. I did this.
To step into something new:
*I allowed myself the right to think bigger than what I was.
*I allowed myself to dream bigger than I thought I was allowed to.
*I allowed myself to be bold despite the negativity would come up against.
You can do this.
You can step out.
You can get there.
Stop saying 2020 is horrible.
It’s different and that’s that.
Figure out a way.
Stop using 2020 as a reason to stay where you are.
I know this might not be what you want to hear. But it’s the truth.
I saw 2020 as the best time to step up my game and reach for more. Even when most of the signs around me said it was a bad idea.
What can you do today?
I’d love to hear about it.
How to get out of a rut?
Have you ever been there? In a rut?
Where your bored, lifeless, unmotivated, unhappy, irritated, would rather sleep your life away than get up and go?
For the last several months I couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. Of course with a global pandemic going on we are all feeling stressed and overwhelmed but this felt different. For a while I thought, I’m working too hard and need a break. But a break didn’t change anything. Then I thought I was lacking vitamins or vital nutrition. Maybe it’s too hot, too humid, too cold, too damp. Nope, not the case. Then my mind goes racing, and what if I have an autoimmune disorder. Common Hope, get a grip…
For months this has been going on, tired for no reason, dragging, and honestly, unmotivated. What’s up???
I’m in a RUT! Stuck on repeat, a skip in the record of life and nothing was changing.
My family rocks, I’m healthy, alive, I am moving forward towards my BIG dreams. What gives? Why am I in a rut?
What gives, is I was holding on. TIGHT. Like death grip tight. Holding on to things that don’t serve me, my mission, my soul’s purpose. I was holding on to things that were expired, like leaving old nasty food in your fridge and trying to convince yourself you’d choke that down tomorrow.
Holding on. But why? I’m in a rut.
Well funny thing, I listened to a LIVE on Facebook and it sparked in me that it’s time to hit the RESET BUTTON on my goals and targets. Time to get specific, zone in and tune in to those, and then reflect on where I was spending most of my time.
Well, NEWS FLASH, they weren’t aligned AT ALL. Well maybe like 30%, but I was living the life in my old goals and trying to move towards my current ones. And there was no LONG-TERM clarity within my vision insight. My life had “I’m in a rut” written all over it.
This depressed-like state, this exhaustion- was boredom. No fire within, no zeal, no drive to go for it, because I didn’t want “it” anymore. I wanted out of this rut. I wanted something else.
When you find yourself in a rut, one thing that is happening is you are focusing TOO much on you. Your shortcomings, your faults, where you should have done this, or that or the other thing… On how bad you feel, how bad your finances are, how everyone else is doing better than you, how your job sucks, your family sucks, blah, blah, blah.
And that was exactly what was happening to me. I was nitpicking everything I was doing, my faults, micromanaging my old goals trying to make my efforts fit with something it just wasn’t aligned with.
And for many people including myself I have spent most of my life numbing myself from all of this to not have to feel or deal with it. I used food, drugs, isolation, and a very negative self-talk to keep myself from having to feel and deal with anything.
Five Ways to Get Out of a Rut:
- Shift your focus off all that “you” stuff and shift it back to a goal, how are you going to help people and as a result help yourself?
- Ask yourself, what are your goals? Like take five minutes out of your life and ask yourself “what do I want”.
- Now, write them down. All of them. Then go back and look at them and see what of those are truly your goals.
- Reflect on how you are spending your time. It’s one thing to relax a bit, it’s another to do something or nothing because you are bored.
- You must do it. Yep, you have to just do it anyway. You will never get out of the rut if you don’t do something different. But if you don’t do the above, you’ll never know WHAT to do.
If I think too much about my “stuff” it’s like I just can’t get out of that deep dark hole to nowhere. But when you shift your focus and realize that a shift in thinking is all you need to make that change and get out of your rut. BIG things can start to happen. Like a little pep in your step and maybe even a newly discovered goal!
You got this!
And to help here is one of my favorite quick reads! Because a little extra encouragement never hurts!
Dear Driven Woman,
Keep going. I get you–I see you–I am you. Even though you may feel alone at times, you are not. To get where you want to go isn’t easy. It will take every ounce of you but I know you can do this. I believe in you.
I AM DIFFERENT
It is said that adversity reveals one’s true character. For me, this couldn’t have been truer.
I never really put much thought into the “type” of person I was. Growing up, I realized at an early age that others didn’t think like me. They just weren’t motivated like I was. However, as I struggled with an eating disorder and an endless list of additional “problems”, it wasn’t until then that I truly saw the depths of my own character. I WAS different.
CHOOSING TO THRIVE
As I was working through my recovery, not one but THREE doctors all told me the same thing–“Best case scenario, Hope, is that you need to learn how to ‘function’ in this world, on medication.” I KNEW that wasn’t my destiny and I wasn’t going to be satisfied with simply surviving in life. My destiny was to thrive and I was going to do it my way–because I was different.
Hope Zvara of Mother Trucker Yoga
We are all different and have different values. There are certain things that drive us, motivate us, and push us over the edge. For me–I love working and enjoy contributing. Idle downtime is the devil for me. My idea of “downtime” is yoga, going for a walk, working out at the gym, or playing with my kids. Working and contributing allows me to thrive in life rather than simply surviving. To be honest, working and contributing helped me recover and continues to help me stay the path. That’s me. For you–you might be the complete opposite and that’s okay. It’s what makes the world go round.
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING YOU
Continually over the last 15 years, countless onlookers have said to me:
- “You are so busy.”
- “Hope, you do way too much.”
- “How do you have time to do ______?”
- “You should slow down and take a breath.”
- “Hope–you just never stop, do you?”
- “Listen, you should slow down and take a breath.”
Well, guess what–this is just HOW I AM! I never see working or contributing in life as “doing so much” or “being busy.” I have goals, dreams, and the determination to get there. I am driven and recognize that no one will build the life I want except for me. My purpose surrounds my family and my job. Both enable me to stay healthy. I built a successful business and my family continues to thrive. I will not apologize for this–ever. I’ll never apologize for being me.
So, what you may view as “busy,” is me being me. When you say, “Hope, your plate is too full”, well that is me filling my cup with great things. When you suggest that I “need to slow down”, it’s me actually being driven and focused. Furthermore, you should never judge a book by its cover.
BUSY VS. PRODUCTIVE
I learned a long time ago–there is a difference between busy work and doing things that build something great. No matter who you are that may be worth reflecting on.
Being busy just for the sake of being active is a waste of time, energy and will eventually break you. But entering into tasks, ideas, and projects that build what you want and where you want to go, is a smart and effective use of your time and talents.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I’ll leave you with this: To all those out there who are highly motivated, go-getters, and dream seekers–keep doing you I see you, I get you, I’m cheering for you.
For those people that have time to judge the actions of others, I urge you to consider that maybe you could be a bit more motivated, driven, or purposeful. And, please, consider what comes out of your mouth and how it may affect the person you are saying it to. Words hurt.
PS. I am confident that someone will read this post and take offense. To those people, I urge you to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself why. You may be surprised as to what you find.
My life has been filled with some super deep, dark lows, fantastic highs, and everything in between. I’ve projected my own shortcomings onto other people. My self-sabotaging behavior has occurred more times than I’d care to admit. Worst of all, I rarely even realized I was doing it.
The truth is, I had become a master at standing in my own way.
Changing My Ways
Our personality and life experiences determine the ways we think and react. I grew up observing people in my life, blame, judge, and criticize those around them. So, naturally, that was the pattern I fell in to. It was easier to blame others than take ownership and responsibility for my own actions. However, at some point, I decided that I was in charge of my own journey.
Creating New Habits
Without realizing it, I had been living a life of self-sabotage. My negative ways of thinking and feeling were controlling my everyday life. Instead of focusing on the things I couldn’t control, I decided that I had to focus on the most significant barrier in my life. It was the one that I had the most control over–myself.
Learning to get out of my own way and pivot was a process. It wasn’t easy. I had to dismantle the sole self-defense mechanism that I had been using my entire life and develop new ways of thinking. I decided that I was going to get something out of everything. I was going to learn from everything and always ask myself before I speak, type, or share: “How will this help me or others?”
This simple mindset shift helped me get out of my own way. It made me:
♥️ Swallow my pride.
♥️ Move forward and let things go–even when I didn’t want to.
♥️ Press on and keep on so I could move on.
If you worried you’re getting in your own way, too, here are my tips to help you overcome your old ways.
4 Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way and Pivot
Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing? Who benefits from what you are about to do or say? What value does it put back on life after such an engagement? Getting clear here will help you speak and begin to live more confidently.
1. Focus on What is Essential
It is easy to get distracted by things that don’t matter in life. Before you know it, that “thing” is consuming everything you are thinking about and everything you do. Every day, take a timeout minute and think about all the things, people, and experiences that make you grateful. Bonus- write them down. Doing so helps get your mind in the right frame of mind because nothing good comes from anger and hate.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
I know this can be challenging because we faced with unrealistic perfection in today’s world. Filters, edited life moments, what some call the “highlights reel” of someone’s life, makes the stress of not being enough can be overwhelming. A few years ago, I stopped looking at the tabloids and magazines in the checkout aisles. Why? Well, I realized that looking at celebrities’ perfect lives and bodies was giving me anxiety and pushing my mood and mind in a negative direction. So, I stopped looking at them. I limited social media scrolling and took time to notice trigger people, feeds, and posts. And I stay away.
3. Change the Script
There was a time in my life that I would look back on my life and only see struggles and unfair circumstances. When I recognized that I wanted to get well and didn’t want to be a spiraling out addict anymore, I started to change my internal script. Instead of seeing all the bad, that happened to me as a punishment. I began to look at it as learning things I needed to learn and preparing me for something bigger than me. I began to see the challenges as opportunities to help me. They helped me later connect with my audience, students, and friends and give perspective I would not have had without my unfair struggle.
4. Give Yourself a Timeout
I know there are mixed feelings about giving a time out. But timeouts can offer us a moment to breathe, feel, and process. Yes, I am that parent that uses timeouts with my kids. It’s not so much a punishment as it is a time to breathe, feel, and think. I approach those timeouts as moments where they can figure out what they are feeling, breathe, and calm down so we can have a conversation and communicate. Timeouts, when done correctly, can be helpful tools for all parties and can both teach and foster personal growth and self-control. As an adult, I have learned first hand the full value of stepping away and then using the timeout not to think negative thoughts. But to process the situation and how I feel.
The Choice Is Yours
Today, as you read this, I believe you have two choices. You can either continue to be wrapped up in your own story, your struggle, your fears, worry, jealously, and sadness OR you can GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY AND PIVOT.
No one but you can get you to move out of your own way. You are in charge of your own destiny. So, the choice is yours: Do You Want to Thrive or Survive?