Friday, January 25, 2013

Progress

Recently,
on The Empowered Way's Facebook page, I posted this picture.



This is a very special sentiment to me because it is something I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself of when I try something new.  When I was younger- I had to be the BEST. The fastest, the strongest, and the MVP. If I wasn't any of those things.... I quit. If I wasn't naturally talented in something, I just gave it up. I was not a great way to handle my life but in my eyes at that time, I was the best at EVERYTHING I did (for this reason). Boy... was I missing out.

I had a paralyzing fear that I carried around pretty much my whole life.  I felt ashamed, and crippled by it. Then one day... a few months before my wedding... I FACED IT! I just didn't feel like I could move on to adulthood carrying it. SO- I let it go. I conquered it. Facing that fear changed my perspective of what was possible within me.... although I didn't recognize it yet. 

When I moved to Korea, I wanted a hobby. I was limited in my options. (I thought) But I saw a flier at a local restaurant for a private yoga teacher that spoke English!!! I immediately shuttered... the thought of yoga and stretching terrified me! But, again... I knew I couldn't be a mother one day and STILL let these little fears hold me back.

So I began lessons with her-

If you are in Seoul and need a good yoga teacher, please contact Miri Jeon. vikippong@gmail.com
Working with her changed my life. Some classes were so hard I would tear up. I would be so frustrated with my body for its lack of perfection. Yoga is BY FAR the hardest thing I've done.

I am SO naturally inflexible that it humbled me to study and practice yoga. Usually I would have given up because I was so NOT "good" at it. But I knew my body needed it and I started to see changes happening. My teacher was so gentle, and so kind. I would go over to her apartment and drink jasmine tea and we would talk about food and health (other subjects that frightened me at the time).
I was on the verge of something...

I'll never forget the first time I could touch the floor with the very tip tops of my fingers. Could it be... I had worked at something and progressed?! This was literally a first for me. School and sports just always came easy to me and I never really had to try. Yoga was different.

Me during yoga retreat at Kaizen headed for one of the most difficult poses for me.
See that lovely lady in black helping me? What an encouraging person to have when you are headed for the most uncomfortable position that your body can be in.
I've been blessed with amazing teachers! Sorry that my feet are strategically placed in front of your face!

Yoga made me crazy, and yet it filled me with love. I felt a deep connection to it. The breath, the stretching, the focus. Yoga has taught me so much. So, so much. I've learned about my mind and my body.

Here are 7 lessons that yoga has taught me:
- Breathe through the pain... it really does help.
- I can withstand anything.
- You go where you place your focus.
- Life isn't a competition with anyone, except who you were yesterday.
- The things you have to work at most, end up being the most rewarding.
- If you want to get fit, just show up first.
- Whatever I avoid, is what I need to face.

Sheeeeesh- talk about some hard lessons to learn! I didn't say I mastered those lessons yet, but yoga has been trying to teach me these for 3 years now! Sometimes they "sink in".

I love this picture because it was taken after a WONDERFUL class at a yoga conference in Seoul.
My face is glowing with yoga!
The other lady in the pic is a wonderfully energetic teacher and all around great person, Callie!

If you've been thinking of joining a yoga class, just do it! It doesn't matter where you are physically or mentally.... yoga will always meet you there. No prepping or pre reqs needed. :) So much empowerment and self esteem will come from starting something new and seeing even the tiniest teeniest bits of progress. The small things really count in life.

You may be making progress daily, just acknowledge it!
If you just ran your first lap around the neighborhood....

If you were able to keep your head cool when you normally would have stressed....
If you just signed up for a gym....

If you were able to have money left over at the end of the month and didn't blow it all....
If you did your homework on time for once....

If you chose herbal tea over coffee....
If you ate less meat and junk food this week....

If you have just completed page 1 of a novel you've been meaning to write....

If you have beaten your 5k time by 6 seconds....
If you dusted off the juicer and made yourself a fresh juice today....

If you only flossed your teeth once this week....

If you can only cook one thing from "scratch"....

If you stood up for a friend THIS time....
If you chose water over soda or "pop"....
If you woke up early today....

If you bought the ingredients to make your first vegan meal...

If you didn't let fear control a decision you made today...
If you didn't take the easy way out....

If you have added a new fruit or vegetable to your diet....
If you researched something for yourself that you normally would have just followed the crowd on.... 



CONGRATULATIONS!
You are making progress!
Chin up, chest out!
BE PROUD!
You are moving in the right direction!
Good things are coming your way. :)




I really believe big things are coming. Can't you FEEL them on their way? Something BIG is afoot.

Until then, let's have fun in the NOW-

Meg

GIVEAWAY WINNERS:

Two lucky ladies really DO have great things coming their way soon. Today was the last day of The Empowered Way New Years' Giveaway! I have selected the two winners using www.randompicker.com!

And the winners are.............




CONGRATS LADIES!!!!!!

I will contact you soon to get details on your personal preferences for your prizes!!!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone that participated, liked, and shared this contest with other women!! I really encourage you to buy this amazing guidebook on your own and make magic happen in 2013! 

Love to you all.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Yearly Ritual + Giveaway!


I'm SO excited to talk to you today about something that has been absolutely instrumental in changing my life by giving me direction, inspiration and has helped me grow my self-esteem and my personal empowerment. It has also been partially responsible for The Empowered Way.

I have talked to a very few close friends about this before- but this is basically the first time I am sharing this "secret ritual" with the world.

For the past two years, I have started the new year by using this guidebook planner from Leonie Dawson. I hate the word "planner" because it sounds so dull and BORINGGGG. This is more than just your run of the mill "planner". I like to refer to it as more of a "life workbook".

The workbooks that changed my life. 2011 and 2012.

As you are lovingly taken on a journey through the pages of this book, you will first be asked to reflect on your past year- what you learned, what dreams came true, how you have changed, what you let go of, what you discovered about yourself, what you are grateful for, etc.

You will give your past year all the final attention that it needs, and then, you will be asked to 

LET. IT. GO.

The Completion Circle Ceremony


That's right. LET IT GO
The past no longer serves your new year or the new you.

For the remainder of the book, you will be gently and mindfully lead on what you want to accomplish this year, yes. But much much more.

In this book, you delve into yourself. You will be asked to think about things that you normally don't give attention to. You will be asked to write out:
- 100 Things I Want To Do This Year
- Lists of things to do "When Everything Sucks"
- Affirmations to yourself
- "Ten Things I want to celebrate about myself"
- A pie chart of "How I currently spend my time vs. how I want to spend it in the new year"
- A diagram of "How my body feels now vs. how I want it to feel in the new year"

And so, so much more.
The whole book is filled out by YOU. Leonie will ask questions that will make you think and plan and dream. This is not a "self-help" book in the sense that someone else is telling you how your life should be. This is a "self-help" book in the sense that YOU become empowered to help yourself! The answers you are looking for are waiting inside of you. You just need to think about the right questions to bring them out.

Here is one of my most loved pages from the 2011 planner.
It really helped me out a couple times that year.
I was very interested in Sikhism that year... no turban jokes, please! :D

This pack also comes with a desk calendar. This is my first year using it and I am really LOVING it so far.




All of these pages were hand water colored and illustrated by Leonie herself. You can literally feel her love and inspiration coming through the pages of the book and being transferred straight to you.

Here she is talking about the guidebooks, you can get a sense of her passion and her personality. The books are a mirror of this love and wisdom as well.




I view this book as a very sacred thing in my life. I keep it in my "sanctuary" room, hidden away. This is the first time I've ever shown a page to anyone- including my husband. I only choose to work on it when I feel in the right mood. I dedicate the first weekend of the new year to working on the pages reflecting on the previous year, then I do the rest of the pages. Sometimes I do them out of order or I just skip some all together.

I have seen ~*MaGiC*~ happen in my life after writing in these pages.
Her book has done so much good in my life, I feel like I HAVE to share it with the world! There is just something so powerful about sitting down and thinking out your year, then writing it all out.

This year, she is making 2 types of these books. One is for personal life and the other is for business entrepreneurs.



Check them out HERE!

If you are seriously interested in changing your life this year, I would highly recommend making the tiny investment in these books. You can click the link to buy on my sidebar to the right, or click here to buy the book and have it in 10 seconds. All you need is to print it off and you are on your way to what will undoubtedly be the most transformative and empowering year of your life!


Since I am so passionate about these books, 

~ I AM DOING A GIVEAWAY ~

for my beloved LIFE EDITION -or- the new BUSINESS EDITION (winners' choice)! 
I just love sharing things that have changed my life
with my friends and blog family. Soooo
I will be giving away TWO of these incredible planners. 
I will either have it emailed to you straight from Leonie (you can get it right away) 
OR 
I will have it printed out and put in a lovely hardback notebook and mailed to your home 
as I have done below. (will take a little longer to reach you)

My 2013 planner, hot off the presses!

There are a few ways to enroll in this giveaway:
1.) Leave a comment on this post. *Don't forget to leave your name and contact info*
2.) Comment or "like" the Giveaway post on The Empowered Way's Facebook page.
3.) "Like" The Empowered Way on Facebook
^The above will get you one entry in the contest per number. Possibility of 3 chances to win!
4.) SHARE this blog post on Facebook
5.) SHARE or suggest your friends to like The Empowered Way page on Facebook
6.) SHARE this post on your personal blog
^The above will get you TWO entries in the contest per number. Possibility of 6 chances to win!!

Was that confusing? I hope not.

So, basically you have a possibility of getting 9 entries in this giveaway!!!!!!!!

After you have done any of the steps listed above,
just send me a message on here or Facebook to let me know how many entries I should put in for you. 

I will close the drawing on Thursday, January 24th so as many women have the chance to enter as possible! Tell every woman you know! Get them enrolled! 
I will be using Randompicker.com again to choose the winners on the 25th.



Regardless of what happened to you last year- THIS year is all in your power! 
Plan, cherish, love, think and dream! 
It is guaranteed that whatever you put into your life, you will get back ten-fold! 

Whether you use Leonie's Planner, or not- putting pen to paper will put thoughts into action! 
She also has lots and lots of other wonderful programs to inspire and nurture you in case planners are just not your thing or you want even MORE. 
Check out her shop HERE.
You can also find some cool free videos, podcasts, ebooks, posters, programs and other special things HERE.


Happy WONDERFUL, INSPIRED, LIFE-CHANGING, ABUNDANT year ahead.
I can't wait to see all you do,

Meg




Find Leonie Dawson On:
 - Twitter
    @Leonie_Dawson
 - Facebook
    www.facebook.com/leoniedawsonpage
 - Her blog







Monday, January 7, 2013

Holding Your Passion In Your Hands

In December, I celebrated a huge accomplishment in my life. 
I became a published writer in an actual, tangible magazine! 

This One!

I feel so passionate on the topic of holistic health and living. It feels so great to let my passion just flow. Nothing is forced. A topic just "comes" to me and I just go with it. I never had this kind of passion before. In university, I majored in Business Marketing, and I was very interested in the topic. But at interviews, and resumes, and "meet and greets", I just felt like everything was forced. It wasn't me. It was stressful! I am so happy that I found something that IS me. It feels so great to see your passion encourage and help others. THAT is why we are here to begin with.

Yay! I can hold my writing in my hands!
In The Contributors Section

The topic I chose to write about is probably something a lot of you can relate to right now. It's about New Year's resolutions. I think a lot of people have great intentions when they set their goals for the New Year, but they never usually last. WHY?

That is something I have covered in the article. Our focus is wrong. Usually our focus is on the outward appearance. Focusing on something shallow will only produce shallow results.

Check out my article below to see some easy, yet super effective tips to help you meet and exceed the goals you have set for the new year!

Check out the article in Busan Haps Magazine by clicking pic below:

New Year's resolution


Let me know what you think! Good luck to everyone out there starting off their new year on the right track!

Remember- never aim to be skinny or buff. Aim to be healthy and to love your body and mind. They will pay you back in abundance.


Wishing you health and peace of mind to begin the awesome year ahead,
Meg

PS- Isn't that a stunning pic of my beautiful friend and yoga teacher, Mindy!?

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Morning Ritual (updated)

Hello everyone!

I'm sitting here a little after sunrise looking across the rice paddies beside my guesthouse in Ubud, Bali. It is such an amazing experience to be up at this time for "no good reason".


While most of us snooze this time of the day away, nature is busy at work. I've been watching a group of ducks searching for their breakfast in the fields below. I've seen birds, dragonflies, dogs, ants, spiders, and farmers already busy starting their days.

A farmer already up and busy with his day
Ducks having their breakfast. "The early duck catches the... whatever the thing is that ducks eat"


I'm just now smelling insense, so that means the owner of our guesthouse is up and doing the morning ritual.

This woman is even performing the ritual for a restaurant.
Offices and other places of business participate in this ritual as well.

The morning ritual or "ngejot" is performed by women every morning here. Women wake up early and prepare the food to be offered to the gods. Once the rice is cooked, they assemble the offering baskets. The baskets are small and consist of rice atop a small piece of banana leaf. They also put in other beautiful things to appease the gods and thank them for maintaining balance and harmony between the world of the gods and humans. After the baskets are assembled, the women dress in a traditional sarong and say prayers over the baskets, sprinkle them with holy water, and burn incense. These baskets are then placed in multiple areas of the home and businesses on little alters/chairs and even streets!

A typical chair/alter that can be found around Bali. This one was at a restaurant in Nusa Ceningan.

Street offerings in Nusa Lembongan


A woman and her daughter coming back from doing a morning ritual in Ubud, Bali

And they must do this all BEFORE they eat breakfast themselves!
Women here attribute their longer lifespan to the fact that they are faithful in doing this ritual every morning, as it makes them strong and gives them a pretty close relationship with the spirit world.

Mornings for me are never so glamorous and meaningful. I am NOT a morning person. I think most of us in the west are not "morning people". We are jolted awake -from what little sleep we get- by our alarm clocks.

Then after hitting snooze a few times, most of us stumble down the stairs to make the all-important, life-giving coffee. Then there is the usual struggle and fighting to get kids up, fed something really processed and sugary or really fatty and out the door to school- fully dressed, groomed, and with everything they need for the day.  


The Google Images version of "a morning routine in America"


This may be a little more accurate.
Photo from Orpah's "Three Ways To Stress-Proof Your Mornings"

I always hated the mornings as a child because of what this picture shows! Mom yelling to wake you up, yelling to get you dressed, yelling to get you in the car, yelling because you forgot your homework. What a horrible way to set the tone for the day.

YELLING, YELLING, RUNNING, RUSHING, YELLING! 

But, this is the morning ritual most are faithful to every morning. 

After being here in Ubud, Bali. I really have a new found LOVE of mornings. It's hard to wake up in my high-rise apartment in Korea feeling so disconnected with the natural rhythms of the Earth. But I long to be in a place where I am more connected to this energy. It is so easy to wake up with the sun when you are in nature. Roosters and the occasional group of ducks provide a gentle, yet effective alarm clock. Waking up is gradual- a perfect way to ease yourself into the day. Sitting here, I have just jotted down a few ways that I hope to incorporate a new morning ritual in my life when I get back to Korea. Since I am an EXTREME hater of mornings, I am starting out small with steps 1-3. Then I'll work my way up to steps 4-6. I try to be realistic when setting my goals so I can reach them.

My New Morning Ritual 

(beginning ASAP)

1.)  Set the alarm for when I want to get up: 
      Instead of hitting snooze for a full hour before... yes- I do that. Sorry, Dave. 

2.) Do a morning affirmation in the mirror before I leave:
     I became inspired to do this when I saw a video one of my favorite Raw Vegan food coach's son.  
     This is his morning ritual. How beautiful would the world be if all children were taught this.

   
3.) Morning journal pages: I am going through the book "The Artist's Way" with a group of amazing women. This is a 3 month program to  and everyday we are asked to do a morning journal. We just write a steady stream of thought for three pages. 
More info here

-Rituals To Be Added Soon-

4.) Have breakfast as a family with my husband:
     Not taken in a to-go cup and drank on the bus. 

5.) EXERCISE!:
     I've been wanting to do this for so long. This would really ease my schedule of things to do later in
     the day.

6.) Meditate & Pray:
     Setting an intention for the day and taking time in the morning to breathe and focus my energy.



I guess I have been on the path to getting a good morning routine for some time. I get daily emails from 


I read both emails and reflect upon them on the bus on the way to work in the mornings. Both have brought so much wisdom and encouragement to my life. They are both very special to me. Check them out if you're interested.

I think in most cases, rituals are very meaningful. They keep us organized and focused. They also help the human mind find the predictability that it craves so much. 

Do you all have any morning rituals that inspire and help you? I would love to hear about them. I'm in need of more ideas to add to my list.

I have a very important and very soulful and meaningful YEARLY ritual that I have performed for the past two years. I can't wait to tell you about it soon. Be on the look out for the coming post, " My Yearly Ritual".


Wake up early tomorrow and listen to the beautiful music that the universe plays in the wee hours,

Meg


PS- I wrote that on my phone while I was still on vacation. I waited to post until I was back at home so I could add pictures. I'm now back in the wintery coldness that is currently Korea. :) 

This was me today. But after 11 days in tropical paradise,
I didn't mind so much.