my weekend out & about in #CLE (Groundswell Collective’s #CLEismyOM edition)

Good news: Three months in and I finally feel like Hans and I are getting into the swing of this parenting thing! But a part of my “old normal” that I’ve been craving is time to myself — to specifically fill with movement based activities. While I’ve dabbled with spinning and practicing yoga at home, there’s nothing quite like your grand return to a group setting. When it came to my yoga practice, that first class back had to be taught by one person — my good friend, Ylonda of Awake To My Soul. So when Groundswell Collective announced their second CLE is my OM event at 78th Street Studios, I signed up immediately.

CLE is my OM 78th Street Studios

By 3pm that Sunday, I realized my nervous tic of licking my top lip had taken its toll on my now chapped lips. Why was so I nervous? I had asked a few friends to join me, knew other friendly faces would be there and that there was a high chance that I’d have one hell of a time — so what was my issue?

cle is my om photo by Tim Kelly

Photo by Tim Kelly via his Instagram feed

As we settled in and Ylonda started the practice, I realized why the nerves appeared. I knew it was going to be HARD WORK. Yes, in the physical sense — ’cause when Ylonda tells you that she’s going to throw some “yin” in there, you know it’s going to be after several rounds of horse squats, ha! But what I was nervous — terrified about, apparently — was the mental and emotional work. As a long time student of Yo’s, she has a knack for guiding her students into their un-comfort zones and asking them to stare down their fears. And boy, how she took us there.

ylonda singing bowls gong

Interestingly enough, Yo asked us to use the prayer “I choose me” for the practice. Breathe in “I choose”, breath out “me”. She would nudge us from time to time with the reminder to return back to the prayer to ground ourselves in the importance of what that meant for us. And to end the practice, she bathed us in the glorious sounds of her singing bowls and gong to seal in the practice… or bring the building down (as it started to make these wild settling sounds during the sound bath!!)  By its end, I felt taken care of. Cared for. Embraced in that feeling you get when eat a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. All was well within me in that moment. It felt good to feel that way again!

Already physically blissed out from the yoga practice, Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr from Rock Your Bliss took over the reigns to get us grounded in a space of love. In our “bliss tank” at 78th Street, Mary Beth and Jacki teased their Seven Weeks To Bliss program, which includes seven modules to guide you through crafting your bliss filled life. What is unique about Groundswell’s edition is that it will include local ambassadors hosting sweat + social meet-ups during the seven weeks. What a fun way to take the online process offline with like-minded Clevelanders! To learn more or register, visit Groundswell’s website.

In last night’s “bliss tank”, the ladies of RYB asked us to reframe a thought associated with what was holding us back. As shared on Instagram this morning, I came to the realization that I was so used to asking “what’s next”. The planner in me couldn’t give us the enjoyment of having long term goals and taking steps towards achieving them. But if parenting has taught me anything it’s to learn to how to be more in the moment. To not worry so much about the next hour, the next day, the next month. To just STOP and BREATHE and LOOK and ENJOY. So my “what’s next” became “I am here.” Jacki suggested the addition of the word “now” to my phrase to add some urgency and emphasis, which I full supported.

As the formal part of the event ended, I snagged a cup of brew from Cleveland Tea Revival from Sweet Water Caravan‘s station and two half wraps from Cleveland Vegan: the first a spicy Buffalo Tofu, the second a Chickpea Salad. With its combo of chickpeas, carrot, celery, onion, pepper, coconut bacon, greens, tomato and cajun seasons, I’ll be recreating that one at home soon. As I chewed on dinner and chatted with my gal pals, I had my new mantra — and my new prayer, c/o of Ylonda — in my head. I AM HERE NOW. The old, pre-mom me would have never stayed there for long. But this new, #momlife me? She’s enjoying the scenery… and the new member of my support system. Because I choosing me, I’m choosing her. I’m choosing us. I’m choosing RIGHT NOW.

brenna bear February 2017

This is really just an excuse to include a photo of our Brenna Bear.

Many thanks to the ladies at Rock Your Bliss for finding your way to Cleveland again and providing such inspiration and, dare I say, bliss! Follow RYB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be in the know for their programs and offerings.

Follow Groundswell on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out their current event schedule. And if you do ANYTHING after reading this blog post, go take Ylonda’s class at Hedge Gallery, a part of Groundswell’s programming. It starts at 6pm Wednesday, every week.

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One comment

  1. Holly says:

    The first three months are survival. The first year goes quickly, I think, because of that three-month blur. So the first year really feels like 9 months.

    I remember my first yoga class post partum. I took an “easy flow” class and could not even hold a plank.

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