All posts by Lisa Kohn

Just breathe

Again yoga. Again a learning. A huge learning. A duh-uh learning, but huge nonetheless.

I’m not sure if the instructor said it, or if I just thought it. But all of a sudden, as I “worked through” a pose, “just breathe” popped into my mind.

Like, just breathe. Like, you don’t have to do anything other than breathe.

I didn’t have to work through, or into, a pose. I didn’t have to move to get into the perfect stance or to fix my alignment. I didn’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing the positioning of my limbs.

All I had to do was breathe. And breathe again. I know it’s quite simple, but it felt revolutionary when I realized it.

Then I realized that “just breathe” applied to the rest of my life as well, not just my yoga. I don’t have to work through, or figure out, anything. I don’t have to move to get into the perfect attitude or to fix my mindset. I don’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing…anything.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again.

I don’t think this should have been so astounding when it popped into my mind. After decades or healing and working on myself. After decades of letting go of old tapes and learning new ways. After decades of finding ways to ease and slow down and live in love and joy. You think I would have gotten this already.

And maybe I have. But somehow, today in yoga, it loomed even larger, and I got it even more.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again. And breathe again.

Just breathe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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There is hope after…

I want everyone to know that there is hope.

I remember when I felt hopeless. When things felt like too much, and I felt like too little. I remember when my brother came to stay with me one night when I didn’t want to be alone, because I had lost hope. I remember when – all those years ago – there seemed like there would never be a break from my anguish, never be a release of my traumas and terrors. I remember when – just recently – I fell back into my fears and anguish for a bit, and again it seemed like there would never be a way out.

I’m here to say, there is.

There is hope after anguish. There is hope after pain. There is hope after suffering.

There is hope after hitting a bottom. And another bottom. And another bottom.

There is hope after remembering things you wish you didn’t remember and facing things you don’t want to face. There is hope after having a week (or weeks) when you felt like you couldn’t get off the couch. Or you actually couldn’t get off the couch.

There is hope.

I know I haven’t hit the deepest depths possible, or at least I think there are people who unfortunately have had to go even deeper into despair than I ever did. But I’m here to say there is hope after deep, dark depths.

I find hope in the little joys of life. Sunshine. Smiles. Breezes. I find hope in others. Connecting. Reminiscing. Laughing. Dancing. I find hope in reminding myself of how I’ve climbed out before and of how so many people climb out of seemingly bottomless pits.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I certainly don’t believe I have anything and everything everyone else needs. I obviously don’t have experiences in all the pain and anguish, or even the deepest, darkest pain and anguish.

I just know that I’ve been graced with a way out of every bottom I’ve hit (or created) and every tragedy or challenge I’ve endured. I just know that humans have an incredible, undeniable ability to adapt and evolve and renew.

And that gives me hope. Endless hope and beautiful hope. That gives me hope that there’s hope after nearly all – if not all – of it.

So, if you need it right now, hang on until you can find hope.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Have fun with it or forget about it

I wrote a few years ago about – in my view – the importance of having fun. Of intentionally choosing to have fun.

I’m writing about it again.

In My Humble Opinion, fun is underrated. Fun is undervalued. And fun is underused.

And In My Humble Opinion, it often comes down to a matter of choice.

Someone whose opinion I value offered this in fact – “Have fun with it or forget about it.” That, I believe is a call to action. A throwing down of the gauntlet. A challenge worth taking.

It’s a drastically new approach for me for decide if something is fun or not, and then if it is to plunge into it wholeheartedly and whole-energetically, and if it’s not to walk away and forget about it. I think it goes against every ingrained grain of my psyche that lives by the “Do the work. Do the hard work. Don’t ever give up. Give it more if it’s harder. Don’t fail. Ever.” mentality.

Which is probably why it’s a great approach for me to take.

Every time I push even a little bit against my over-doer, over-achiever, over-driven being, I believe it’s a good thing. I may intentionally decide to still do, achieve, and drive, but being in the mindset and behavior by choice is freeing in and of itself.

What would your life be like if you only did something if it felt like fun? What would my life be like? What would my day be like? What would my day be like if I didn’t play by all the rules, and instead I honored my inner playfulness. If I chose the choice that seemed like it would make me laugh – or at least smile – and bring more joy and fun to my day (and to those around me).

I suppose that at some point I’ll overdo the joy, fun, play, ease, lighten up thing. But I know me. I probably still have a long way to go before I’m erring in that direction.

For today I’m going to do the things that feel like fun, and I’m going to do my best to bring fun to the things I choose to do. Or I’m going to let it go and forget about it.

It seems like a decent challenge to make of myself. It seems like a decent challenge to make of you.

Have fun with it. Or forget about it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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