by hope | May 21, 2020 | Lifestyle
If you had asked me what a safe relationship was as a kid or even a young adult, I would have responded that the other isn’t physically harming you. But there is more to a healthy relationship than what goes on physically. Open, honest, and safe communication is a fundamental part of any healthy relationship.
It has become apparent that there were many emotional processing and communication skills I was lacking and, unfortunately, never learned as a growing kid and teen.
Years ago, I had an addiction and survived because that deep dark struggle brought forth the need for these necessary skills.
Now in my thirties, I am so grateful to have learned:
- Boundaries, what they are, why they are necessary, and how to set them
- Effective communication
- How anger is a surface emotion for sadness and hurt
- Sharing how I feel is to help, not hurt.
- It is not my responsibility as to how others receive my feelings.
- There are healthy ways to communicate even scary, uncomfortable things.
Years ago, I would not have known how to communicate safely and healthily. I would not have known how to validate another’s experience because I would have been too overwhelmed with my own. I would not have known that I could feel one thing and someone else feel another and still be OK.
We all have the opportunity to grow. To learn. To expand. To be stretched.
That the way we respond to situations and things is often more about us than it is about the other person. When I finally understood that my relationship with life, others, and I made a massive shift.
We all can make a shift. That shift can be an uphill battle, or it can be a process where we can all learn from the way we have done things in the past, how others respond and grow from them. Learning effective communication has been a game-changer for me to transform my relationships with my husband, my kids, clients, and my parents. I am no longer tied to the back of their car as they ride the rolling hills of their life and emotions.
If you want to create safe and healthy relationships, you must effectively communicate (PERIOD). Going through the process of recovery has taught me that the first relationship I need to improve is the one with myself. I had to relearn how to process my emotions because the two strategies I was taught were exploding, and holding it in, wasn’t working. That process was long and, at times, overwhelming. But moment by moment, month by month, year by year, things began to change. And for me, yoga had a lot to do with that process. I used my yoga mat to learn to feel, learn to process and learn to take action. Yoga became a place where I rekindled my relationship with my Higher Power and slowly with those that I love. My yoga mat helped me understand that what I was feeling didn’t have to dictate how I lived. And teaching yoga taught me how others felt didn’t have to run my life.
My hope for you today is to step back and breathe.? This coming from the girl who had explosive reactions and took everything personal-step back and takes a breath.
Doing so requires you to do two simple things:
- STOP and step back (literally, step back).
- Inhale and exhale.
Being stuck in our heads makes taking any action twice as tricky. That is why the yoga I know was pivotal in my recovery and learning these vital skills to better communicate with myself and others.
And do not be afraid that even after taking a breath (or many breaths), what needs to be said may not be warm and fuzzy, but it needs to be said…⏩Press on.
Other people try to complicate this process and make you buy into a profound complexity of how it is to learn better, more effective communication. And sure there are additional ways to dig deeper, but what I’m telling you is, until you can stop, step back and take a breath in those moments, all those other fancy steps won’t work. They won’t work because you haven’t called time out. Just like my 11-year-old need a time out to take a moment, breath, and emotionally calm down so he can feel and better communicate. We as adults often need that too.
A business coach once told me some conversations are more effective when there is space (time) put in-between them.
Now some people are against time out because it seems harsh or cold. But a time out gives you time to feel, breathe, and process so you can come back and respect the conversation and relationship. It helps you decide what is truly important to communicate when approaching a time out from a whole place. There have been hundreds of things I wanted to say to the person on the other end. But when I gave it time, I discovered that it was something else, something more profound, or it was more about me and how I was feeling from another situation than the one that was currently in front of me.
My yoga mat was often my time out. I would go there to feel, process, and step away so I could figure out what was going on. See the pattern, see the conversation in a new light, see what I want to say, and sit with the feeling I was having around that conversation, that person and the relationship.
?I have a mantra that I tell myself daily: “I cannot control how others perceive and receive me and what I have to say, as long as I say it with kindness…say it”.
One of the BIGGEST skils I have cultivated when it comes to healthy and safe communication is the ability to “sit” with feelings, and even more sit with the possibility that someone else may not have liked what I had to say, and may project unhappiness towards me. But knowing I have control over how I respond. And within receiving that, an opportunity to learn from it has now become a blessing. So keep breathing my friend, keep feeling, and remember that validating another in no way invalidates you.
May those that need to hear this find it ♥️.
by Hope Zvara | Mar 23, 2020 | Lifestyle, Yogic Living
Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. So, how do we banish stress in our every day lives?
As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. Yoga has helped me a great deal with handling stress and the side effects of stress. It helps to relieve tension by keeping me focused on my breath rather than all the thoughts racing through my heads.
Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is a great way to find stress relief. So, to help you on your journey of finding ways to banish stress, here are three of my favorite yoga poses.
3 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly
This pose is such a surrender for me. When I go here, I instantly let go. As I work to widen my knees slowly, I feel relief to feel such space (even if it doesn’t look like it). The freedom of my body letting go into the safety of the floor for a few minutes is all I need to feel a bit more like myself.
Legs Up With Support Pose
Legs Up With Support Pose
This pose is a go-to to help relieve the physical, emotional, and mental symptoms of stress. The feeling of my sacrum flat to the hard floor and my spine realigning without the burden of gravity is genuinely liberating. This pose allows me to let go. I totally give in to the fact that, at that moment, I am only human and not superwoman. What often starts as just a minute on my mat quickly ends up as ten, and trust me, you won’t be complaining.
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
This pose is often used in yoga therapy to help manage depression. It is also known to soothe headache and anxiety and reduce fatigue. The feeling of bending forward eases the mind. My warm breath against my thighs brings me full circle to the simplicity that I am okay the way I am.
Be gentle to yourself so that life can be gentle back to you. Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. If you are new to this pose, it helps to hold a strap around the feel. If you are incredibly tight, place a rolled-up blanket under your knees for added support. The more you relax in this pose, the more naturally your body will open up.
You Are Worth It
Making things drawn out and complicated only stresses us out more. Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the mental discipline to hop onto your mat, and that is okay. I get it. However, what I have discovered is that if you do make the time for yourself, you will see how yoga can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are worth it and you owe it to yourself to make time for you.
And if you want to get professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes all in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You must check out my online studio. No travel, no hassle, no sitters, and no fuss. This is not your typical yoga or fitness studio–it’s a fresh approach that I know you will enjoy.
If you are experiencing stress right now, here are some other helpful resources:
Meditations for Stress Relief
Mindful Ways to Reduce Stress
Navigating Stress In Life
by Hope Zvara | Feb 28, 2020 | Simplify Your Life, Working With Hope
Have you ever said to yourself, “My life is a mess and I have no idea how to fix it”? Well, you are certainly not alone. We all have mental clutter and distracting thoughts that take our focus off of our priorities.
I think we all have had a feeling of hopelessness at one time or another in our lives. The truth is, life gets messy sometimes.
Sometimes you might feel like your life is such a mess that you don’t even know how you got there. You don’t think you are going to be able to handle it any longer and the thought of trying to dig yourself out is too overwhelming to even consider.
For fifteen years, my life was messy. It was a constant tornado of highs and lows. I was living a secret life.
Mental clutter pulls us out of the present moment– anything that keeps you from thinking straight. All that mental clutter takes up so much space that we hardly have any room left for what we’re meant to do.
Having spent my fair share living at rock bottom, I know firsthand that there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, YOU have to be willing to step up, show up, and get uncomfortable in order to make change happen.
So, if your knee-deep in a messy life or you feel like you might not have anywhere to go, I welcome you to join me in clearing the mental clutter once and for all.
5 Steps to Clear Mental Clutter
1. Put Down the Instant Gratification Devices.
Growing up with technology has made us dependent on the idea of always being connected. Information, entertainment, and communication are only a click away all day, every day. I recently read that an addiction to social media and the “likes” (so to speak) you get on these social media sites give you the same endorphin boost as someone who is suffering from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc. So, put down your devices so that you can truly experience life around you rather than just document it.
2. Enjoy Nature.
When is the last time you stepped outside and just took in a big breath of fresh air? The blue skies, the singing birds, the refreshing breeze–all of these things help to restore your mental clarity. Stepping away from life’s distractions gives us the opportunity to enjoy what is in front of us more fully. Goodbye mental clutter!
Don’t think of meditation as some big and scary monster. It’s actually the opposite. Meditation changes brain function and helps to improve focus. Meditation is simply a matter of you stopping for a few minutes and breathing, unplugging and reducing yourself to nothing more than every inhale and exhale. Even if it just for a few minutes. Step into a mini oasis with me for just three minutes a day with my 3 Minute Meditation. Clear your mind, focus your thoughts, and open yourself to a fresh new perspective.
4. Join A Community.
My FREE online Facebook community, Daily Dose of Hope, is dedicated to helping others purposefully excel through the messiness of real-life, both on and off the mat. This group is about reclaiming the health and well-being of all its members, inspiring each member to see they are worth it and assisting in the cultivation of each person becoming the best version of themselves!
5. Clear Your Mind.
When your mind is in overdrive, sometimes you just need to hit the reset button. My 3-Week Clearing Mental Clutter Mini-Course shows you how to banish your mental roadblocks by recognizing what they are and how to do something about them. Weekly affirmations help to keep you on track, short mindful movement sequences to help you step into your body fully, and a private accountability group helps to support you in clearing the mental clutter and creating monumental clarity. What are you waiting for?
Your journey awaits. What are you waiting for? After all, you are well worth it.
by hope | Jan 3, 2020 | Lifestyle, Working With Hope
As you may or may not know, I’ve spent most of my life struggling. Struggling to survive. I survived an eating disorder, a laundry list of addictions, and the loss of a child. My journey to reach the place where I am at today hasn’t been easy. It took a lot of hard work and I met some amazing people that helped me to find a purpose in my everyday life. Thanks to the people who helped me, I am blessed to now be able to help others by offering a coaching program, Practices for a Positive and Productive Life.
I am SO excited to OFFICIALLY launch my Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass. It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, this virtual coaching opportunity and online course will help you get crystal clear on your life priorities, health needs, and how to achieve your goals.
The beta launch starts on JANUARY 15, 2020.
SIGN UP RIGHT NOW
The best part? Sign up before January 10, 2020 and receive $1,000 off to participate in the Beta Launch of this program!
You will get access to the entire Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass for only $497 (a $1,497 value)!! I know how VALUABLE this class is. Which is why I want as many people as possible to have access to it. The Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass will without a doubt help you jumpstart the new shift in your life!
This Beta Launch is offered to you at a SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT in exchange for your participation and feedback.
By signing up for this course and coaching program, you will get:
SIGN UP TODAY
- Group coaching calls every week to ask questions, deepen your understanding, and connect with others.
- Email support from me, whenever you need it!
- Weekly videos including meditations, affirmations, and journaling
- Private Facebook Group Access
- Free $10 Starbucks Giftcard and Leather-bound journal, sent directly to you!
If I can go from a walking corpse, stricken with a deadly eating disorder, to a healthy mom of four, I can only imagine what is in store for you.
by hope | Oct 15, 2019 | Inspirational, Lifestyle
How to Ditch Your To Do’s and Start Thinking in Results!??
I have struggled for years feeling like I would always get so close to what I wanted, and then, I don’t know how else to explain it, but I just couldn’t get there.
What the heck was going on?
I could start the engine, but boy oh boy, why was it not taking me across the finish line?
Maybe you can relate. You see the vision, you know what needs to happen (at least most of it), you get it started, then WAMO! Something happens and all this other stuff starts to get in the way.
I mean, sure, it’s kind of important stuff. But none of it ever seems to help you reach your goal. There is just always MORE stuff piling up.
Yesterday morning I was gently reminded this morning that it’s not about a to-do list it’s about a results list.
For most of my life, including most of my adult life so far, I’ve only looked at the tasks in front of me.
AKA the overwhelming mountain that is just about impossible to climb up.
I pondered for a quite some time about the idea of looking at what you want versus what needs to be done.
And was reminded again just yesterday morning, through a morning motivation, that looking at the tasks in front of you as to-do items- already frustrated, complicates things, and build an even bigger mountain.
It’s like: “Someone help me, I’m drowning!”
But here’s the kicker and it’s not fancy. Things don’t change because of external circumstances. Things change because of internal circumstances.
Where instead, if you think about the results that you want to happen in your life. And then ask yourself, what do I need to do to get there?
One small thing at a time.
And stay away from unsupportive people. It’s an energy suck and YES! You will lose momentum.
Your focus is no longer all on the items that you have not yet done.
But on the positive result of that what you want to achieve.
Not to mention how many of us always pick the easiest to do list items and avoid the big ones that are going to push us towards our Dream results anyways?
I know I do this.
Why work on a big project proposal when I can clean the kitchen?
Total transparency… My brain often wants to choose the easier tasks, because then if by chance I fail, I’ve already protected myself from it.
I’ve had to train my brain to just start looking at life this way. To stop sympathizing with the side of me that likes the overwhelm, that validates my frustration with a mounting to do list. And a poor me mentality.
?What do I want?
?What are the results I’m trying to achieve?
?If I keep my eyes focused there, I’m going to stay more positive, and probably make better choices.
Remember this, change is hard. But it’s not impossible. It’s only impossible if you’ve already told yourself it’s going to be…
So today make it a point to physically write out your “Results List”... What do you want!? Keep that list handy and in easy sight. And when you start to engage in tasks, ask yourself “are these tasks, activities moving me towards my end game? Towards what I want most?”
After you write out your Results List reflect on why you want these things in the first place.
I wanted to land a big partner for my Mother Trucker Yoga company. I had one in mind. I thought about that partner all the time. And knew that would be a home run for me. Everything I was doing I was working to gain the notice and respect of that company. Then I landed an opportunity to work with them on a trial basis. I could have felt defeated in that I had to do a lot more than I had thought initially. And it was frustrating at times. It could have been easier to just do the minimum required. And when I got frustrated, I a few times found myself doing things that had nothing to do with landing this partnership.
HOPE WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING! I got so overwhelmed in those moments with other things, that in the end didn’t really matter. And would actually go away, and get handled later if I could land this partnership. But I let myself get distracted by those small tasks. Because achieving those small tasks gave me temporary happiness. Where climbing that mountain towards my BIG WIN, required a bit more grit.
Think results not tasks.
Think results no to do lists.
Think results no instant gratification.