The Day I Realized I’d Stopped Eating (& What I’m Doing About It)

By Alicia Sparks

So, I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last two weeks.

Don’t congratulate me; I wasn’t trying.

You see, I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for the past decade and, as such, I juggle several clients and a variety of projects during any given day. Having been at it as long as I have, I’ve learned how to effectively manage my time. I know how to handle responsibility—whether it’s responsibility to my work or my overall well-being (i.e. any activities that enrich my mental, emotional, and physical life unrelated to my work).

However, I’ve taken on a new project and although I LOVE IT, I’ve let it consume most of my waking hours. I’ve become so obsessed with doing this project and doing it well that I’ve…

…forgotten to eat.

Continue reading… »



#ThrowbackThursday: Fall Foods for Good Moods!

By Alicia Sparks

Happy Fall, y’all!

It’s that time of year again! We’re not quite bundled up just yet but we’re definitely enjoying some crisper air, gorgeous leaves (especially if you live in certain parts of the east coast), and…

…delicious fall-inspired foods!

I’ve already made two pumpkin rolls this fall — how naughty of me ;)

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“I Want to Look Better Naked!”

By Alicia Sparks

You might not believe it (or, maybe you might) but one of the most common answers I get when I ask people why they exercise is…

…”I want to look better naked!”

Setting aside the fact that what “looks better naked” is subjective, as someone who firmly believes that diet and exercise can help improve so much more than just our physical appearance (such as our mental and physical lives), I always want to educate them on the other benefits of regularly working out.

So, while looking better naked is great, below are an additional five benefits of exercising.

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7 Simple Ways You Can Get Involved in Your Community

By Alicia Sparks

I spent last Saturday at a local music and arts festival – and when I say “local,” I mean LOCAL. Organizers held the venue in my city’s park, all food vendors were from “mom-and-pop shops” around town (no national chains), artists from around the area displayed their jewelry, paintings, clothing, and other merchandise, and all musicians were from within the tri-state area. I had a great time shopping, eating, and listening to great tunes with family and friends, and I’m grateful for everyone who worked so hard to put together the festival.

I’m a firm believer that getting involved in your community is beneficial for both your mind and your body. There’s a sense of connection, solidarity, and strength that comes from organizing or participating in an event within your own neck of the woods.

With that being said, below are seven ways you can get involved in your own community.

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First Thought Photo: Why Are You Looking Back?

By Alicia Sparks

Spiral Stairs

This post is part of the Your Body, Your Mind “First Thought Photo” series. The point of the series is simple: share your first thought upon seeing this photo. Of course, the rules are flexible :) Share your second, third, and fourth thoughts, too, if you want!

I love this photo; not just because I have a love of spiral staircases, but because this picture makes me think of a few things:

  1. I’ve come so far.
  2. I want to be there again.
  3. I still wish I hadn’t done/said those things.

I believe we all get to a point (or, points) in our lives when we stop and look back. The important question is: Why are we looking back? Naturally, we’re looking back at all the events that led us to this point.

Still, looking back goes a bit deeper and, subsequently, can be helpful or hazardous to our health.

Think about it: Unless we’re wishing we still lived in the past, looking back at happy times can be fun. It can remind us of all the good times for which we have to be grateful and encourage us to keep moving forward to experience more happiness.

On the other hand, unless we’re remembering to learn from our mistakes, looking back at regrets can be miserable. It can prevent us from moving forward with any significant hope and possibly even program us to believe there is nothing to look forward to, preventing us from even trying to make better times for ourselves.

Looking back is inevitable. It’s what we’re looking at — and how we’re interpreting it — that’s important.

Tell me, when was the last time you looked back? Were you cherishing memories? Taking pride in how far you’ve come? Lamenting regrets? How did looking back benefit or harm you?



Open Forum for Yoga Teachers: What Made YOU Decide to Teach Yoga?

By Alicia Sparks

Several times over the past couple of years, I’ve considered getting my RYT 200, i.e. 200 hours of yoga teacher training so I can become a Registered Yoga Teacher. During 2013, I seriously considered it, going so far as to complete the application and start browsing the books I needed to purchase.

Alas, my father began and lost his battle with cancer right before classes started and I wasn’t able to devote the time or money.

Yesterday, I received an email from my favorite yoga studio letting me know they were hosting a 200-hour yoga teacher training starting January 2015.

Naturally, my interest was piqued all over again.

Also naturally, I have my doubts.

Continue reading… »



Why Couldn’t I Have Fun by Myself?

By Alicia Sparks
Copyright: Alicia Sparks

Copyright: Alicia Sparks

I have a confession to make: I might have seriously flaked out last weekend.

Actually, I DID seriously flake out last weekend.

You see, last summer I participated in The Color Run (pictured above). It was A BLAST. I got together a big group of friends and formed a team and we had so. much. fun.

Continue reading… »



Monthly Meditation: Good Times End, But Memories Last Forever

By Alicia Sparks

MemoriesLast.jpg

Alright, so summer’s not technically over, but the kids are off to school, some leaves have already started falling, and Labor Day has come and gone.

We might as well call it a season.

Still, this image and quote reminded me that good times (like those that leave tan lines) always come to an end (just as they always begin again), but the memories they leave behind — how they affect us — always stick around.

We end relationships, lose loved ones, move on from great jobs — you get the idea — but the memories those relationships, loved ones, and jobs gave us will stay embedded within us forever.

How does this apply to you? What’s happened in your life — or even this summer — that was good, has ended, but has left its mark on your for life?

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: From Where Does the Joy Come?



Have You Been Drafting Through Life?

By Alicia Sparks

I spent last weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway watching the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race.

If you know anything about NASCAR — or any kind of racing, really — you probably know what “drafting” is.

(For those of you who don’t, drafting is when one car follows closely behind another car for aerodynamic purposes. For example, it helps block wind resistance, which brings other benefits.)

For a little while, drafting can be extremely beneficial in racing. Obviously, the drivings don’t want to draft the entire race — if they do, they’ll never make it to the front and have a shot at winning — but for a little while, it works.

Continue reading… »



POLL: Are Yoga Apps Replacing Mats in Classes?

By Alicia Sparks

Years ago, I used to call myself “doing yoga” when I’d pop in a DVD and breathe and bend when the instructor told me.

These days, I prefer practicing yoga in a class. Sure, I have enough knowledge of certain yoga poses and yoga sequences that I can (and do) practice at home, but overall I make sure to get to a class or two each week.

Continue reading… »



 
 

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Recent Comments
  • Alicia Sparks: That’s beautiful advice, Jodi. Thank you!
  • Jodi: Whether or not you ultimately teach, yoga teacher training is really for you. It’s a chance to dive deep...
  • masosiekwe: That is an easy question to answer. Most agriculture based cultures encourage dependency in their...
  • laura: I love this phrase! I am on a year+ long draftatical. (is that what you call it drafting + sabbatical?)...
  • MgS: I do yoga in my own time and space. I don’t like classes, I haven’t liked “exercise...
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