DAY 6 BONUS! #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 6 BONUS! #BeKindBodyMind

Here’s a little bonus day for you! :)

Truth is, this might be the MOST IMPORTANT piece of the self-kindness puzzle.

One that you’ll need to get reallllllly good at, because no matter how confident, kind, compassion you are with yourself you’ll need to keep practicing this one over and over and over and over.

Simply because you’re human.

FORGIVENESS.

It’s time to forgive yourself for your habitual negative self-talk.

It’s time to forgive yourself for not taking care of yourself as well as you know you can.

It’s time to forgive others for what they’ve said to you.

It’s time to forgive, heal, and welcome in kindness + compassion.

(Again).

(And then again).

(And once again).

 

Today you’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

Today's "MOVEMENT" piece is more subtle. We're paying attention to internal movements, and body movements initiated by breath. 

You’ll need:

  • 7 minutes
  • Something comfortable to sit on: a chair, yoga block, pillows, or folded blanket


 

Do this Forgiveness Meditation with me to connect, get in touch with your body + breath, and find movement within stillness.

*Want to listen to some soothing tunes throughout? Find the playlist HERE.


 

2. MINDFULNESS

TODAY:

  • Write a letter of forgiveness + love to your body.
  • You can incorporate + use the aspects we’ve addressed in the past 5 days for inspiration.
    • Habitual thoughts
    • Reframing thoughts + “Here’s what I know…”
    • Facing a challenge / Creating a boundary / Saying “No” to something that no longer serves you
    • Practicing acts of kindness
    • OWNing YOU
  • Read it out loud to yourself + share it with the group.

 

*I encourage you to do this exercise - even if it feels woo-woo or cheesy! - it’s M O N U M E N T A L.

**Yours doesn’t have to resemble anything close to mine, but in case you’d a starting point, here's a recent letter I wrote...

 

Dear body,

Thank you for carrying me through life. I’m sorry for the years I didn’t nourish you well, for the times I treated you like a disgrace to me, for not listening when you sent me clear signals. I’m sorry for speaking so negatively about you in the past.

Here’s what I know: I want to be friends. I want to be on the same team. I want to treat you like THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life, because you are. I’m grateful that my strong legs can dance and swim and skip. I’m grateful my arms help me express myself and can rub soothing oil into my skin and can hug the people I love. I’m grateful for the curves of my belly. I’m so in tune with my center, my intuition, my life force.

Here’s what I know: I’m committed to appreciating my hands and doing everything I can do to heal when my eczema flares up. I’m committed to caring for my reproductive health so that I don’t lose my period again. I’m committed to moving my body, eating well, and supporting my mental health so that I can age gracefully, be pain free, be strong + balanced, feel proud of my body, and show up confidently in my skin.    

On the days when I get hard on myself, beat myself up, or forget my commitments, I promise to reach out to my support network, remind myself to be kind + gentle, and remember that each new breath is a new moment to be in the right here, right now.

I promise to use my voice to speak up + advocate for myself. I promise to fully step up into who I AM and who I WANT to be. I promise to OWN me and let my ‘me-ness’ shine.

Endless love & kindness,

xoxo elyse

 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 10am ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at 10am? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love & body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

 

 

PS - What happens now, you ask!?

 

Tomorrow you won't receive anything new from me so you can:

1. catch up on any material you missed,

2. OR choose a movement or mindfulness assignment you want to repeat! All previous days are at www.elysesparkes.com/bkbm (use password: bekind). 

3. OR fully be present + enjoy your Memorial Day (if you're picnicking/celebrating in the US)

 

Then stay tuned... on Tuesday I have a special announcement for you!!!

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DAY 5 #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 5 #BeKindBodyMind

You’ve done it!!! Give yourself some major props + a huge back on the back.

Secret is… we’re not done quite yet.

Tomorrow I have a BONUS day in store for you - which may be the most monumental piece in this self-kindness path - so stay tuned for that!  

For now...

Today you’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. read a short story from me + practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

You’ll need:

  • 10 minutes
  • Yoga mat or towel to lay down on
  • *optional* extra folded towel or blankets


 

Do this Lengthen & Stretch Video to release and relax through your whole body.

*Want a soundtrack for this workout? Find the playlist HERE.


 

2. MINDFULNESS

I’ll be honest - I thought long + hard about using today’s video in #BeKindBodyMind.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to show you pregnant me. For a lot of reasons.

A) it’s not what my body looks like in the rest of the videos (those were filmed long before)

B) Yes, even though I know pregnancy is when you’re supposed to gain weight and it’s a HUMAN you’re growing and it’s natural and normal and NECESSARY… it’s still an adjustment to gain 30 lbs all concentrated at your belly

C) I’m very aware of the common - and not often talked about - experiences with fertility, loss, and heartbreak many people face around the subject of pregnancy and birth. I see you, I’m here for you, and I understand that it might not be for everyone right now.

However, this is my truth at the moment.

This is me OWNing ME and who I am and where I’m at right now. And so I’m showing up for you as that.

Also, I have no qualms with wearing rainbow socks and a different, clashing type of rainbow yoga pants. ;) Color. It’s my thing. If we met on the street you’d probably find me in 3 different bright color garments that don’t particularly match.

All this to say, you’ve got to OWN where you’re at and who you are.

Celebrate your weirdness (we’ve all got some, right?).

Your quirks and the stuff that might make you feel self-conscious? It’s what makes you uniquely you and the more you OWN that, the more confidence you’ll have to love yourself unapologetically. Defy traditional standards that don’t align with you, and stand proudly in your shoes - in YOUR skin.

 

TODAY:

Choose a way to EMBODY your uniqueness.

  • Put on the bold lipstick
  • Wear the outfit that’s not mainstream
  • Post a video YOU think is funny
  • Flex your muscles for someone
  • Take a selfie

Tell us in our group... how are you going to OWN where you're at and who you are today?

 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 10am ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at that time? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love & body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

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DAY 4 #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 4 #BeKindBodyMind

I’m absolutely LOVING reading your posts + seeing your pics in our private Facebook group and receiving emails from you!!!

Keep it up!

Today you’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. read a short story from me + practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

You’ll need:

  • 10 minutes
  • Yoga mat or towel to lay down on

 

Do this Obliques/Hips/Back Strength + Stretch Video to connect with your center and strengthen your core.

*Want a soundtrack for this workout? Find the playlist HERE.

 

2. MINDFULNESS

I’m 33 weeks pregnant.

If you didn’t already know, now you know, and you’ll DEFINITELY know after watching tomorrow’s movement video. Stay tuned for that. ;)

And I’ll tell you what... I NOTICE when people give up their seats for me, smile at me, hold doors open for me, let me go first, when stores let me use the bathroom when they don’t normally let people use their bathroom.

Yes, people usually have a soft spot for us preggo’s, so I’m receiving a WHOLE LOT more of this these days.

But you know what?

Even though I’m tired, my body hurts, and it feels hot as hell, when people do that for me it boosts my soul and makes me want to do it more for other people.

Butterfly effect at it’s best.

Cool part is - it's not just a feeling!

Science has proven that acts of kindness have a positive effect on our bodies + minds.

According to the Random Acts of Kindness website (which sites studies from UC Berkeley, Harvard Business School, University of British Columbia, among others…):

 

KINDNESS INCREASES

  • Oxytocin (the “love” hormone)
  • Energy
  • Happiness
  • Lifespan
  • Pleasure
  • Serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter)

 

KINDNESS DECREASES

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Blood Pressure

So let’s go spread that kindness around like it’s confetti!

 

TODAY:

1. Do a random act of kindness for someone else.

Some ideas…

  • pay for the person’s latte behind you in line,
  • send a friend flowers,
  • bake a meal for someone who’s going through a hard time,
  • donate your time/money to a cause that’s important to you,
  • be the first one to forgive,
  • SMILE at strangers,
  • hold the door open for multiple people at once,
  • send a love note,
  • do an unexpected household chore for your roommate
  • give someone a compliment

AND

2. Do an act of kindness for yourself!

 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 12pm ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at that time? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love + body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

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DAY 3 #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 3 #BeKindBodyMind

I’ll be honest with you, day #3 is usually when the shininess of a new program starts to wear off.

Knowing that, I’m going to ask you to RECOMMIT to showing up Every. Day. and for Every. Exercise. for the rest of #BeKindBodyMind.

There’s only a few days left so I know you can do it!!!

One more confession… today’s workout might be the most difficult you’ll encounter in this program. I say that to encourage you to GO FOR IT!

And so that you know you’re not alone if it feels fast paced, challenging, or extra sweaty.

It’s meant to get you past your comfort zone!

 

Today you’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. read a short story from me + practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

You’ll need:

  • 10 minutes
  • Yoga mat or towel to lay down on
  • *optional* set of weights (or soup cans, shampoo/water bottles)

 

Do this Full Body BLAST video to challenge your entire body, sweat it out, + push past the limitations you place on yourself.

*We move quickly from exercise to exercise! Don’t let this frustrate you - the more you do this video, the more familiar you’ll get with what’s coming next. Practice being KIND + GENTLE with yourself even when things get tough.

**Want a soundtrack for this workout? Find the playlist HERE.


 

2. MINDFULNESS

People who identify as female in our culture are generally conditioned to be ‘nice’, ‘gentle’, ‘kind’, be passive and smile and giggle at jokes.

I personally like doing those things!

AND

I also like being authentic about my feelings and fierce and brutally honest and strong and being proud of my muscles and being able to frown and getting angry and NOT laughing at jokes that aren’t funny.

This is a huge part of body kindness.

It's not all smiley faces, rainbows + puppy dogs.

 

It’s NOT throwing your hands up in the air and saying ‘Oh well’.

It’s NOT not wanting something better for yourself.

It’s NOT being a stomping ground or a push-over.

It’s NOT mindlessly conforming to what others think you should do/act/wear/be.

 

Body kindness requires practicing self-advocacy, having autonomy around our bodies, defining clear boundaries, speaking the sometimes uncomfortable hard truths, and getting angry if need be.


 

TODAY:

Choose one of these questions to answer + to take action on...

1. What is no longer serving you that you need to let go of right now?

--> TAKE A STEP TOWARDS LETTING IT GO TODAY.

2. To what in your life do you need to flip the middle finger?

--> GET ANGRY, EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS

3. What is something you know makes you feel bad about yourself, but you continue to do anyway? 

--> COMMIT TO STOP DOING ONE OF THOSE THINGS.

Examples of things, I’ve stopped doing…

 

Getting on the scale

Reading Fashion/Fitness magazines

Following Instagram accounts that make me feel shitty

Snacking while walking

Gossiping about other people’s bodies

 

 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 5pm ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at 5pm? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love & body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

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DAY 2 #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 2 #BeKindBodyMind

YOU ROCK!

You got over the hardest part yesterday, which is just getting started.

Now let’s keep the momentum going.

Today you’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. read a short story from me + practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

You’ll need:

  • 10 minutes
  • Yoga mat or towel to lay down on
  • A pair of dumbbells (or soup cans - like me! - water or shampoo bottles)

 

Do this Upper Body Strength + Stretch video to build confidence, strength and flexibility.

*If you’re an advanced mover, use heavier weights for these moves! Ideally, you'll feel fatigued by the final repetition. If you have a gym bench available to you, you can also do these moves while lying down on the bench.

**Want a soundtrack for this workout? Find the playlist here.
 

 

2. MINDFULNESS

What habitual thoughts about yourself did you notice from yesterday’s mindfulness assignment?

*Missed yesterday’s assignment? Read it here.

Today we’re going to build on the noticing you did yesterday and turn it into a NEW thought pattern.

 

A few years ago I felt like I was stuck… or wavering… or I didn’t even know what.

And I kept telling myself that AND saying it out loud. I was repeating it over and over and over:

“I don’t know….”

“I don’t know what I want”

“I don’t know where to go from here”

“I don’t know how to make that happen”.

I was working with a coach and we uncovered this self-defeating phrase as an instigator of a lot of indecision, low self confidence and inaction.

Because the truth was, even if I didn’t know everything, I knew something.

Every time I started saying it, she stopped me. “Ah!”, she’d say, “start that sentence again with ‘Here’s what I know...’”.

 

Say this phrase out loud:

HERE'S WHAT I KNOW.

See how much more power there is there?

 

It’s not pretending that something is true that’s not authentic and aligned for you in the moment.

It’s being more accurate, more confident in what’s here right here, right now.

  • “I don’t know…” turned to “Here’s what I know…”
  • “I’m not a natural leader” turned to “I use my voice to share + create community”
  • “I’m not tall enough to be a dancer” turned to “I follow my passion and take action towards my dreams”

 

The bonus is this - you will create new neural pathways in your brain and therefore adapt your actions when you practice this.

You will become this NEW version.

 

TODAY:

  • Choose ONE of your thoughts to reframe.
  • Makes sure it feels powerful and authentic.
  • Use it throughout the day in conversation with other people and with yourself!


 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 12pm ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at that time? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love & body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

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DAY 1 #BeKindBodyMind

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DAY 1 #BeKindBodyMind

Today we’re diving right in!

You’ll:

  1. do your movement video
  2. read a short story from me + practice your mindfulness assignment
  3. mingle with me later today on FB LIVE

 

1. MOVEMENT

You’ll need:

  • 10 minutes
  • Yoga mat or towel to lay down on

 

Do this Lower Body Strength + Stretch video to ease into movement on Day #1 and embody calm strength and flexibility in your body.

 

**Want a soundtrack for this workout? Find the playlist (that you helped create!) HERE.

 

2. MINDFULNESS

When I was 13 I went to a hiking summer camp. The leader was an ex-military guy and he was persistent about mindset, asking us about our goals/dreams/desires, and identifying our self-sabotaging tendencies.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” He asked me.

“A dancer. But I’m actually not tall enough to be a dancer, so I’m not sure what I’ll be.”  

He stopped me right in my tracks.

With a no BS attitude he said “That’s a bogus story you’re telling yourself. There’s nothing that can hold you back if you want to be a dancer.”

Something about his serious stare + 100% conviction made me question my own perception of myself.

Within the next few years I decided I did want to become a professional dancer, went to a dance conservatory, and then 7 years after that convo was dancing professionally in NYC.

I never forgot the moment he said that to me and it changed the course of my life.

How many times have you convinced yourself that you’re...

  • Too tall
  • Too short
  • Too fat
  • Too skinny
  • Too dark
  • Too light
  • Too _____.

?

OR

  • Not smart enough
  • Not fast enough
  • Not successful enough
  • Not patient enough
  • Not cool enough
  • Not pretty enough
  • Not ______ enough.

 

In order to start to increase our body kindness, we have to become aware of the habitual thoughts we’re having about ourselves throughout the day.

Guess what?

Those thoughts aren’t The Truth.

However, the more we repeat our thoughts, the more they get ingrained as BELIEFS we have about ourselves.

Then those beliefs determine our actions.   

 

TODAY:

 

  • Notice your inner dialogue, write down frequent thoughts/words/actions you see yourself repeating about yourself
  • Be curious about them. Are they true? Objectively! Can you think of a counter example?
  • What’s the root of this thought?

 



 

3. MINGLE

Meet on FB LIVE in our group at 2pm ET to share what came up for you today!

*Not available at that time? Watch the replay + leave me a comment. I respond to every one!

 

With love & body kindness, 

xoxo elyse

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Welcome + Prep!

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Welcome + Prep!

We start #BeKindBodyMind tomorrow. YAY!

Today we’re pre-gaming. :)

Each day you’ll get a movement video, a mindfulness assignment, and a short personal story from me delivered to your inbox.

 

To get ready:

1. Gather your materials.

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 10 minutes for movement each day
  • 2 minutes for a mindfulness assignment each day
  • A yoga mat or towel to lay down on
  • *optional* pair of light weights (water bottles, soup cans, or shampoo bottles will work as well)
  • your printable calendar
Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 5.24.18 PM.png

 

2. Introduce yourself to the group!

GO HERE + GET IN THE CONVERSATION!

Introduce yourself and tell us why it’s important to you to focus on body + mind kindness.

Then continue to check in with the daily Facebook Live videos so you know you’re not in this alone. You’ll get extra support + stories from me and you’ll get to connect with everyone else doing this with you.

 

3. Form your posse!

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS.

It’s not too late to get your friends to join you. You are more likely to succeed when you have a supportive community doing this along with you.

I just joined in this free 5 day #BeKindBodyMind course with workouts you can do at home in under 10min. No fancy equipment required! Want to focus on increasing body kindness with me? Let’s do it together, sign up here: bekindbodymind.elysesparkes.com

>>Click here to share on Facebook<<

 

I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow with a movement video + a mindfulness assignment to officially start day #1, YAY!

Any questions before then? Hit reply to this email or post here.

 

To pre-gaming for kindness in body + mind,

xoxo elyse

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