Category Archives: Daily Life

Why I get off Instagram + back on my own mat

What kinda Instagram posts do you get lost in?

Workout videos of beautifully toned and beautifully tanned women?
Health bloggers with perfect recipes photographed in perfect bowls?
Or maybe the private lives of your favorite celebs,
or just the everyday lives of your friends?

You ever observe what’s goin through your mind when you’re scrolling through this stuff?
Are you inspired? Envious?

Like, does it make you wanna get in the kitchen and whip up your own buddha bowl? Or drop everything and get to a boxing class so you too can take sweaty photos in a sports bra?

OR does it make you slump even further into your chair and feel like nothing you do will even come close to the perfection you see in that post so why try…

Maybe it’s a bit of both?

Recently I’ve found myself watching lots of yoga videos. You know, the ones featuring a super fit woman in her gorgeous studio space, or an adorable couple yoga-ing together with their golden retriever pup just casually rollin’ around in the background? (Seriously, it’s pretty addicting, check it here).

In case I haven’t mentioned, by 22 years old, I was already a certified yoga teacher, teaching full-time in Boston and practicing 6-ish days a week. My body was the strongest it’s ever been. I felt confident, “had shit figured out,” all that good stuff…

By my mid twenties, though, my body had started to break down. I’d torn both hamstrings and had a partial tear in one hip. My body was totally outta whack, and I woke up every day feeling tension all over and weaker than ever.

These injuries changed the course of my yoga practice/career, so much so that I quit teaching and began practicing only gentle and restorative postures (which some days literally looks like a 20 minute savasana. Period.)

Now, you can imagine, it can be real tempting for me to spend hours scrolling through Instagram (and don’t get me wrong, sometimes I still indulge!), watching those yoga videos and getting lost in the glitz and glam of other people’s impressive postures and their equally impressive yoga-wear, feeling discouraged and nostalgic for the days when I too felt unstoppable.

But in a recent hiatus from social media, I realized somethin’…

There’s a line between admiring someone else’s work and letting it get in the way of doing your own. Social media offers up a lot of “ideal” scenarios (which is what makes it enticing) but it’s our job to stay grounded in our own reality and not miss a chance at our own growth (Insta-worthy or not).

For instance, for me, yoga videos are still fun to watch but the only way for me to be deeply inspired is to get back on my own mat. Today, my yoga practice isn’t about conquering fancy postures or pushing my body to the limit. It’s just simply a road home. It looks different than it once did, but the heart of the practice is the same. In it, through it, I find stillness, clarity and a place to fully rest. And the more I do it, the more I find.

So, let’s see what you can find …
Once again, consider the posts you get lost in.

First, ask yourself: What specifically draws you to this post? Is it something you wish for yourself? Maybe something you once had but feel you’ve lost or buried? (i.e. strength, creativity, confidence).

Next, can you catch yourself when you move from admiring and inspired territory to envious and defeated territory? 

And if you can, that’s the moment to put the phone down. And to go in search of what you’re seeking. A real life source.

Go to the farmers market.
Grab your guitar.
Pick up a paintbrush.
Write.
Dance.
Sing.

And if nothing specific calls you, just sit in silence.
And listen.
For as long as it takes.
Until you find something truly worth getting lost in.

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Summer days

We’ve got some catching up to do.

I’ve been more or less MIA this summer, but have NOT forgotten about you.

Some of my highlights (then I want to hear from you!) :

I worked a TON to lessen the sting of grad school bills
(on top of coaching, I picked up a dog walking gig and love it)

With that, did LOTS of walking (like 10 miles/day)

Went on a 3-day breath work retreat
(and learned an incredible practice I’ve added to my morning routine)

And then a 7-day meditation retreat
(and came face to face with some real uncomfortable thoughts I’m attached to)

Got in some much needed beach time
(never enough)

Rode a horse

Painted my bedroom
and hung this on the wall (LOVE it)

Had sleepovers
and picnics

Went to weddings
and learned to do a French fishtail braid

Took naps
and photos

Read books
and watched the sun go down

Lots of good stuff, but that’s never the whole picture.

While certain pieces of my life feel alive and well, are moving, growing, evolving… other pieces feel sticky, stagnant, stubborn.

Any time those “sticky” pieces get uncomfortable enough, I reach for new books and teachers, and amp up my spiritual practice.

Looking ahead to the fall/winter season, I’m excited to share new learnings on physical and emotional health plus insights on relationships and growing into a more whole, congruent being (whatever that means, right?).

Now, to be sure I’m writing what you want to read, I want to hear from you! 

Shoot me an email (jody@jodygrimm.com) and let me know:

>> What was one great moment of your summer? +

>> What’s one piece of your life that feels “sticky,” that’s holding you back from moving forward?

When I get your response I’ll send you back one of my fav smoothie recipes from the summer (ok, I’ll tell ya, it’s a Mango Lassi!).

Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

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It is here, it is here, it is here

Every day I write to-do lists. I’ve written thousands in my thirty years. 

And beyond those physical to-do lists, I’ve also got mental and emotional “to do” lists I edit all day long. These lists are a combo of simple errands, big life goals, and anything in between.

On any given day, a compilation of tasks from my to-do lists might look something like this:

– read for school
– write a blog
– get an internship
– email my client
– grocery shop
– pay bills
– make chocolate
– meditate
– get to yoga
– get inspired
– travel
– find love

All of these items, on one level or another, are of course, meant to either maintain, fix, or better certain aspects of my life.

Funny thing is, no matter how many to-do lists I write, no matter how many items I cross off, life stays generally the same. I still have good days and bad days. I still laugh and I still cry. I still seek and find, and I still lose and have to let go. I still feel loved and I still feel desperately alone. I might get an overdose of good, or an overdose of the not-so-good here or there, but in the big picture, life stays generally the same.

This started to make me wonder: 

> what exactly are we striving for with all our to-do lists?

Are we getting so caught up in “getting somewhere” or “achieving something” that we fail to realize that this, the routine, the mundane details, this nowhere near perfect-ness, this mess, is in fact, life… ?

Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, and a man whose work truly inspires me, taught that we can choose to live in rapture, in joy, in ecstasy, that it is not “out there” in some other place or person, that we don’t have to go somewhere or have something, or someone.

Rather, he would say:

“It is here. It is here. It is here.”

Lately, whenever I have a wish or desire, I ask myself:

When I get it or achieve it… then what?

In other words,

Will I be happy forever?
Will everything fall into place?
Will life be perfect then?

And the answer is always no, no, and no.

So, should I stop growing, stop stretching myself, stop evolving? Of course not. But what I could do is become more aware that life is happening here, now, before and after the to-do list. And with that, learn to lean into and appreciate life as. it. is., which will prevent me from putting life “on hold until…”

> What are you putting life on hold for? Is it a clean house? Or maybe money? Love? The perfect body or perfect job?

Think for a sec about what minor and major goals fill your to-do lists, and consider what you’re actually striving for… Is it just a clean house? Or is it the feeling of peace and calm that might bring? Is it just the money? Or is it the sense of freedom and accomplishment you think it would offer you? Is it just the perfect body? Or is it the self-confidence, the love and attention you think would come with it?

As you start to ask these questions, you might be surprised to notice that what you truly want comes only from within you. And that you have access to it today, in this moment, and always.

Tonight I invite you put away the goal setting, the to-do lists, and to simply turn inward. Use the short 10-minute meditation below to bring awareness to all that’s inside of you and to your beautiful life, the one that is happening here and now.

Instructions:

Light a few candles
Play this song

Sit or lay comfortably
Close your eyes

Notice your breath
And mentally repeat: “It is here. It is here. It is here.”

XO,
Jody

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The best technology for quieting the mind

Having trouble quieting your mind?

You might be going about it in the wrong way. For instance, here’s how it went for me…

I wanted to start a home yoga practice, so I created a “Yoga Glo” account and voila!, had access to hundreds of virtual classes, depending on how much time I had, my specific aches and pains, etc.

I wanted to learn to meditate, so I downloaded Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie app, and then “Headspace,” another meditation app considered the “gym membership for the mind.”

I wanted to get more in touch with my soul, cultivate a deeper spiritual life, so I read Danielle Laporte’s email newsletters religiously.

Any of these methods sound familiar? 

The problem was, I started to feel distracted, the way I do when a restaurant menu has too many options. My morning routine started to become full of choosing the “right class” or the “right meditation” or “damn, the internets not working,” or “ok, guess I gotta update the app” … “and in the meantime I’ll just check this one email.”

Truth is: no matter how useful or inspirational a virtual tool might be, technology in essence pulls us away from ourselves.

Over time I recognized my mind “clearing” activities were in reality producing more clutter. Building stress relieving practices via “plugging in” was backfiring because I was building from a foundation that in essence is stress producing. Does that make sense? (If you doubt the stress producing effects of technology, that’s a whole other discussion! More to come in future posts).

I began to wonder:

What made me think after taking and teaching hundreds of yoga classes, that my body didn’t have the wisdom to move without a virtual teacher?

What made me think that to clear my mind or access my soul, I needed anything more than a quiet room and a comfortable place to sit?

While I’m still a huge fan of (and still make use of) all the virtual tools I mentioned above, realizing I held within me all the technology I needed felt empowering. So? I made what was within me my go-to, my trusted guide. Slowly my morning routine started to shift. My menu of options became shorter and shorter. And clarity of mind felt more in reach.

So what does my newfound practice look like?

Below I leave you with my only three non-negotiables, allowing for quite a bit of flexibility. Take em’ or leave em’. Make your practice your own!

1.Unplug – No ifs ands or buts. Choose a time slot every day, a time you dedicate to coming home to yourself (I’d recommend at least an hour, but any amount of time you can stick to consistently will do). During this time you won’t use your phone/ computer/ Ipad. Not for music, not for guidance, not for anything. That can all be enjoyed another time. Think about it – if we can’t/ won’t unplug fully during yoga/ meditation/ prayer… then when?

2. Get on your yoga mat – A good friend and yoga teacher once told me, “Even if you ‘don’t know what to do,’ Just get on your yoga mat. You’ll end up doing something, and most likely you’ll move in exactly the way you need to move.” This doesn’t mean a yoga teacher isn’t valuable it just means you should never let the absence of a teacher hold you back from your practice. Don’t underestimate the knowledge of your body.

3. Light a candle + burn some incense – Make this time sacred. Make it different than the rest of your day. Like the moment you get in bed at night… that’s how you want it to feel. Safe. Comfortable. Inviting.

Does this simple structure work for you? If not, let us know what does in the comments below!
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Anxiety be gone, my top 3 strategies

Type “anxiety” into Google. 

You’ll find something like, “uneasiness of mind”, “emotional distress”, “fear”.

(Keep reading, I promise this will end on a positive note!)

Anxiety isn’t something I ever felt. Honestly. Sadness, yes. Anger, yes. Jealously, yes. But anxiety? I didn’t even know what the word meant until recently.

For years (since my early 20s) I practiced and taught yoga consistently. I didn’t know it at the time, but that lent itself to a life of focus and peace, even among the most uncomfortable situations.

It was why I could keep my cool in traffic jams, why I could effortlessly give of myself in social situations, why city living never stressed me out.

About a year ago, I stopped teaching and practicing regularly. Very quickly I started noticing this “uneasiness” creeping up. It confused me. The non-stop thinking and analyzing. The nervousness. The lack of focus and overwhelm. 

And when I asked a friend if she’d ever felt this before she gave me a crazy look and answered, “Uh… yea. Who hasn’t?”

It got me thinking about what we’ve come to accept as normal. And then it got me blaming (i.e. “it’s my IPhone, I gotta get rid of it”, “it’s the chaos of the city, it’s finally getting to me).

Then it got me scheming… I came up with a plan.

I’d rent a room on farmland and commute to the city. Perfect. At least the place I laid down at night and woke up in the morning would be a peaceful one. I’d leave behind the drunk college girl begging her boyfriend to open his door at 3 am and the garbage trucks barreling by my window hours later. But hold up, what about all the things I love about city living? And about my IPhone, for that matter?

Could it be possible to feel peace among the chaos? Without spending hours in the yoga room?

It became a bit of an experiment. Here’s what I found out: our ability to stay centered, to feel still within ourselves (just like our ability to maintain a healthy diet),  is dependent on how seriously we seek it.

Think about it. If we aren’t actively trying to eat well, we’ll end up filling our bodies with junk, right? It’s what’s most easily accessed and is deceptively appealing.

Same goes for our emotional state. If we aren’t actively trying to find center, stillness, to come home to ourselves (especially in the city) we’ll end up full of junk (constant noise, non stop stimulation, overload of information — deceptively appealing and deceptively comforting).

So, question is: what simple steps can we take every day to increase our likelihood of feeling still and grounded? 

Below I share my top 3 “anxiety be gone” list. Commit to ONE of them for the next week and see where it takes you.

1. Find the sun – This winter, after a week in Tulum, Mexico, I recognized how comforting it was to be on nature’s clock… waking with the sun and following it to bed. I came home to Boston and sought out the sun. Sunrise and sunset. And happened to find a view of both from the roof of my apartment. Who knew? Where will you find the sun? 

2. Turn OFF the lights + light up some candles – Naturally darkness induces a sense of calm to prepare us for sleep. I know it sounds extreme to turn off all artificial light after sunset but in just a few days you’ll notice an ease you can’t find under the bright lights (if I were you, I’d exclude computer and phone after dark as well). Try it for 3 days… (if not to find stillness, do it cuz’ candlelight is sexy).

3. Sit Still – Some might call it “meditating” which I know you’ve thought about doing… if the idea intimidates you just think of it as sitting still. In a comfortable place. With your eyes closed and these sounds. Set your timer for 15 minutes and do it every day for the next 7 days (always helpful to find a buddy who will join you – the more accountability the better to start).

Oh, and before I go! Speaking of stillness and finding center…

I’m super excited to announce a one-day Urban Retreat I’ll be co-leading with my business partner, Ashley, September 7th 2014 (save the date!) Details have yet to be release but what I can tell you is you’ll be spending this one day “time out” fully unplugged and in community with other women… moving, learning, connecting. To stay in the know, get on this list.

Got other strategies to share? 

Please share below!

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3 of my worst moves

I’ve made a lot of good moves in my life. 

Great moves, actually. Moves that worked out just how I thought they would. But that’s not what’s on my mind today.

I’m thinking, instead, of those “well, this didn’t work out exactly as planned” moves.

“Brilliant” ideas that tanked. Risks that left me heartbroken.

Because those moves, of course, the ones that made me feel like a big fat failure… frustrated, confused, and sometimes completely destroyed, also made me feel strangely alive.

Those moves, those “mistakes” made me feel… well, fire. 
They made me feel something more

Jody2013166

In that spirit, make a list of three of the “worst” moves you’ve ever made. I’ll get you started with three of mine.

1. Flying to Argentina for love

Quitting a full time job and traveling 6,000 miles from home for a man I met on a subway isn’t practical by any stretch of the imagination. And when I came back 3 months later with a heart shattered in a million pieces I wondered for a moment if maybe a bit of practicality would have done me good.

But only for a moment.

Because those 3 months, exposed to the unfamiliar, forever changed the course of my life. The language, the food, the music. The intense beauty, the passion, the loving and the loss. Each unfamiliar experience revealed an unknown layer of depth in me.

Following my heart to the beautiful mess of Buenos Aires could never have been wrong.

2. “Opening a yoga studio”

I’ll never forget the day. Sun shining as far as we could see, I biked with my friend (and potential business partner) through the dreamy South End of Boston, streets lined with brownstones and boutiques. We kept an eye out for any open space, giddy at the sight of “FOR RENT” signs, imagining each would be our spot.

“Isn’t it fun?” he shouted to me over the traffic.

“It’s like shopping for your life!” 

Wow. What a thought. I smiled, feeling such a thrill, a sense of freedom in his words.

We had every intention of making it happen. For months we brainstormed ideas. We wrote the business plan. Found the space. Met with an architect. This I could see myself doing. This life I could see myself living. Teaching yoga, building community. Yup, sounded just right.

Until it didn’t. Until one person after the next shot the idea down and local yoga politics got in the way.

Just when I thought I’d settled on a life I could be proud of I’d have to back down and everyone would know it.

Was it all on some level a waste of time? Sure. But those words my friend once shouted to me became my mantra.

Shopping for my life. Choosing to create rather than just receive what’s given.

Yea, that I could do. So I did. And a new chapter began.

3. Declining grad school

“I’ll go to grad school when I get back,” I promised my parents (and myself), deferring my offer from two different programs.

And I meant it.

But after four months in South America, spending days at markets and nights around a table full of food, wine, and endless banter, the appeal of academia slowly faded.

I didn’t want to go just to go. I wanted to feel excited about my next move, engaged in my future.

So I turned down scholarships. And had difficult conversations (despite my shaky voice and sweaty palms).

In the meantime I started to write. And cook. And create.

I started to feel expressed. Courageous. I had ignited that feeling once again, a feeling that’s now become familiar, a feeling of something more.

You with me? Know the feeling?

If you’re feeling stuck, could use a roadmap for feeling something more, join me here to be inspired, to be challenged to raise the bar. All the good stuff begins next week, 4.14.14.

And let’s get you started by sharing below…

What are three of your WORST moves?
And how might they have opened a door to something more?
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  • Praise

    Nancy A.

    "Jody has been an inspirational force in my life. Not only do I eat better, but I'm able to handle difficult areas of my life with honesty and understanding"
    2013-09-15T00:45:15+00:00
    "Jody has been an inspirational force in my life. Not only do I eat better, but I'm able to handle difficult areas of my life with honesty and understanding"

    Heather B.

    "Jody has shown me eating healthy is not a chore."
    2013-09-15T00:45:36+00:00
    "Jody has shown me eating healthy is not a chore."

    Audrey H.

    "Working with Jody not only improved my eating habits, but also created more awareness around the nourishment of my mind, body, and spirit!"
    2013-09-15T00:45:56+00:00
    "Working with Jody not only improved my eating habits, but also created more awareness around the nourishment of my mind, body, and spirit!"

    Angela S.

    "Jody has a natural glow and positive energy about her. Working with Jody has inspired me to find the things in my life that will make me glow and thrive!"
    2013-09-15T00:46:14+00:00
    "Jody has a natural glow and positive energy about her. Working with Jody has inspired me to find the things in my life that will make me glow and thrive!"

    Emily S.

    "Working with Jody has helped me take control of my health which has opened doors that used to seem impossible."
    2013-09-15T00:46:31+00:00
    "Working with Jody has helped me take control of my health which has opened doors that used to seem impossible."
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