December 6, 2012

How to Live an Awesome Life! ~ Maria Santoferraro

Become the master or mistress of your mind.

I recently attended a sold-out yoga workshop given by Kathryn Budig, an internationally known yoga instructor, foodie, and animal lover. Kathryn is living a life I dream of: writing, teaching and practicing yoga around the globe with the perfect accessory, a major book deal tucked into the back pocket of her Lululemon yoga pants.

Kathryn unassumingly walked her petite, well-toned body into the room, perfectly accessorized with a smile and pearl mala beads, looking super-cool in a well worn vintage Journey t-shirt. With a great deal of humor and enthusiasm, she began her talk, and right away she told us her goal in life: to live an awesome life.

Holy crap, that’s my goal too!

You can imagine my delight when she clued us in on how to do just that.

Kathryn’s latest yoga workout DVD is themed around “Aiming True” in our lives. What is aiming true? It is all about making the choice to move from a place of fear to a place of love. When we embrace fear, we experience anticipation, expectation, dread and doubt. And guess what? According to Kathryn, this nasty anticipation stuff is what freaks us out. When we can let go of fear, we can move to a place of love and embrace the present moment.

When we let go of fear, we start believing in ourselves, and that is when the awesomeness begins to happen. (If Kathryn doesn’t have a theme song yet, I’m thinking “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey would do.) The cool thing about this “Aim True” concept is that you can apply it to just about any life situation, not just those on a yoga mat. Here are a few simple ways to give this Aim True stuff a try in your life:

1. Sunday night meditation.

I don’t know about you, but most Sunday nights I start getting a little knot in my stomach as I start worrying about all the responsibilities of the coming week. This Sunday night (and every night and morning, for that matter), stop for a moment and take a few deep breaths, let go of the anticipation of what is to come, let go of the fear of what might happen, and just live peacefully in that present moment. Because right here, right now, according to Kathryn, is perfect.

I asked Kathryn if she gets the knots on Sunday night, and yes, she does experience these moments. But she applies her “Aim True” philosophy, and instead of dread, Kathryn focuses on how much she loves her job, how great she feels when she has completed a workshop, and how much she knows the students enjoyed it.

“My duty is to be my best, to show up as the best version of myself. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little bubble of insecurities and fears, and we need to break out of that bubble and venture out into the world. I’m grateful for the gift of travel, but most importantly, I’m so thankful for my traveling because it makes me realize how wonderful my life already is,” Kathryn explained.

2. Make a love (pros)/fear (cons) list.

What is it that you want in life? What do you dream about doing? What is holding you back? Is it fear, self-doubt, or worry about what others think? Whatever it is, write it down and then make a column with all of the good things (what you love about it, what it will bring to your life) and then make a column and list all the things holding you back from the dream (worry that you are not good enough, fear of the unknown). Study the two columns and then make a choice.

Are you going to embrace the love or the fear?

I went through this scenario when I was planning my first beach yoga travel retreat. I was letting fear paralyze me and allowing myself to fill up with self-doubt, and then, thankfully, I had an ‘a-ha!’ moment. I told myself, “WTF Maria! Did you not listen to a word of what Kathryn said at that workshop? Are you going to let the fear keep you from your dreams, or are you going to aim true and choose a place of love?”

I shut down the fire hose of fear and self-doubt in my mind, got to work, and guess what? My first beach yoga retreat is scheduled for April in Aruba through The Travel Yogi.

So what’s it gonna be for you? One of the great things about life is that you have a choice.

Make loving and believing in yourself become a personal mantra, one you repeat to yourself each and every day. You can either stay in the fear camp, or you can come join me and Kathryn over at the love camp. Become the master or mistress of your mind, stop making excuses, start living out your dreams and enjoying a truly awesome life. I’m here to tell you that when you let go of the fear, life is way more awesome!


Maria Santoferraro, RYT, is first and foremost a student of yoga and hails from the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, Ohio. A former marketing executive with a ‘Crackberry’ addiction, she now enjoys spending her time teaching yoga on the beach, building yoga brands, and creating meditation videos for Hang Ten Meditation. Go from stressed out to blissed out on her blog The Daily Downward Dog, Twitter, and Facebook and join her next April for a week of beach yoga bliss in Aruba.


Ed. Evan Livesay

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