Authentic

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“And then I learned the spiritual journey had nothing to do with being nice. It was about being real, authentic. Having boundaries. Honoring my space first, others second. And in this space of self-care being nice just happened it flowed not motivated by fear but love.” Michelle Colak
In the past, I’ve not been one for new year’s resolutions. I was good, I was content- who needs em?!
Turns out, I need them. (insert raised hand here)
I know many of us felt the weight of 2016, maybe that’s why I needed the new year and resolutions so desperately this time. During the week between christmas and new year’s eve I shut down. I was a potato on the couch- wrapped in a comforter, barely moving. But when 2017 hit I was out the door- literally.
The first day of the new year I warmed up with a run and jumped into yoga and blogilates.
At the beginning of January I had some loose resolutions that I knew would solidify over the month of January. Why is there this pressure to define our goals or resolutions in a day? Our world is moving too fast. We’re pressured to define everything by January 1st and if we don’t meet this expectation we feel like we’ve failed or that we’ve missed the opportunity.
I think it will surprise no one that I take a slower approach to resolutions and goals. I take the month of January to work out the kinks, to solidify things, to change resolutions as I grow and change. Give yourself more than one day to set up your year. 

Moving slowly is okay, you are still moving forward. Let’s take our time in this upcoming year. One step is still a step. Your inner compass is there whenever you need it. Appreciate life. Get back up when it’s messy and hard. Be brave.
After a month of experimenting and exploring, here are my resolutions or goals for 2017. (It’s okay if they change a little as I change.)
1. Strengthen my body.  I have never been one to work out. I always joked that I “get my abs from laughing,” and as a plant based vegan I already eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and goodness. But let me tell you there is a difference between “thin” and “in shape.” My body was/is not strong. It used to be! When I played soccer in high school or when I was on a hip hop dance crew (dancing makes you hella strong) but ever since then my body has been healthy but weak. I want to be strong, my body wants to be strong.
Now, workout styles are different for everyone. Personally, I need something upbeat and fun. If a workout can make me smile I’m all in. I also need it to be short. My puppers love my yoga mat and they love my attention even more so the work out has to be 30 minutes or less. The solution? Blogilates.  All you need for this workout is some floor space (a yoga mat will make it more comfortable.)
Cassey, the instructor, will kick your butt and make you feel like a rock star. Her tagline is, “Train like a beast. Look like a beauty.” She’s my ideal instructor, kind yet tough.
No matter what workout you choose make sure it’s sustainable for your lifestyle. Don’t commit to the gym three times a week if you know you can’t keep that up for a year. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Another great YouTube instructor is Adriene. If you’re into yoga check her out! I did her 30 day yoga camp and it was amazing. I still complete one of her workouts each Thursday on my “off” day.
2. Year of yes. My second resolution is something I touched on in my Year of Yes post. Last year I took intentional time to say no. No was not a word that entered my vocabulary much and I needed to reclaim my time, my space, and my energy. I feel like I now have a very healthy grasp on the “no” concept, so I’ve turned to using my slow and intentional life to say yes to things that I really want to do. Less stuff, more experiences. 
Dog park today? Yes. Hike tomorrow? Yes. Read a book my grammy recommended? Yes. Take a group of students to Utah for spring break? Yes. Go on a weekend trip to NYC with my two very best friends in this world? Hell yes. (Don’t worry, this last one will have its own blog post).
3. You do you. There was a time in my life when I was so shy and timid. Inside I was full of opinions and fire but the world told me to be quiet. To be polite and make myself small. I’m not doing that anymore.
There’s a light and a fire inside each one of us and I’m not keeping mine contained anymore. I wear the things that make me happy. I disagree when I don’t like what was said. I do not make room for people I don’t like. I show up. A very kind and wise friend recently told me that when he hears the word authentic he thinks of me. I can not think of higher praise. If I feel and think and believe in something, you will see it in my actions.
I won’t trade my authenticity for approval.
In 2017 let’s slow down. Let’s think positively, let go of past mistakes, stay away from toxic people, discover and use your talents, don’t hold back, speak up for yourself and know your worth. And through all of it be authentic and brave.  Our world needs you now more than ever
More soon,
Bonnie Rae

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