Monthly Archives: April 2013

Inspiration

What inspires you?  What feeds your energy and happiness? 

For me, of course, my children, husband, family and friends inspire me.  My heart and soul are filled with love for them and gratitude for having them in my life.  I love being a wife, mother, daughter, niece and, friend to all these amazing people but that is who I am to them.  Who am I to myself?  Well, yoga shows me that.  It is where I found my deep down, shining light, source of energy, INSPIRATION!  And guess what, I’m pretty sure it also makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, niece and, friend.

inspiration_sign

This blog is where my love for all those roles and my love of yoga spill over because I am so inspired, I can’t help but share.  Here are a few of my personal inspirations so far on my journey…  More to come on each one of these!

Seacoast Power Yoga / Tara Whitney

http://seacoastpoweryoga.com / http://tara-whitney.com

Seacoast Power Yoga feels like home.  Owner Tara Whitney, nurtures it to be that way.  It is a welcoming community of people sharing their yoga practice and more importantly themselves.

 

Baron Baptiste http://www.baronbaptiste.com/about/baron-baptiste/

My yoga teacher and a global force.  He shares the powerful tools for transforming your life, tapping into your power, and sharing it.

 

Live Love Teach http://www.liveloveteach.com

Yoga teacher training that strips away the layers to leave you teaching from love, not fear.

 

Kris Carr http://kriscarr.com

Driving the point home one green juice at a time… Food is a powerful source of medicine.  Inspirational story and website jam-packed with info on becoming a healthier you.

 

Health and Wellness Junkie http://healthandwellnessjunkie.com

Mother, Wife, Occupational Therapist, marathoner, triathlete, cancer survivor, yogi, plant-based nutrition educator and much more.  Aimee is my soul sister.  Follow her and she will lead you to a more vibrant, empowered life by sharing her own journey.

 

Forks Over Knives http://www.forksoverknives.com

This movie will answer any question on the benefits of a whole food, plant based diet.

 

Garen’s Greens – He’s a garden guru!  If you happen to catch him with a free moment (rare), he can transform your backyard into a veggie-making machine!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garens-Greens-at-Riverside-Farm/100772396630815

Thank you for reading my post.

If you are like what you’ve read so far, I hope you will sign up via email on this blog and “like” my fb page.

As always, wishing you health, happiness and yoga!

Love, Carlene

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By |April 30th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Did you just hear that?

Did you just hear that HUGE sigh of relief??

My thirteen year old daughter just arrived home from nine days in Costa Rica on a school trip!  For those of you that know me, you are still picking your jaw up off the floor that she even went.  For those of you that don’t know me, lets just say she started babysitting for other kids before I felt comfortable to even leave her and her brother home with a sitter.  To say I can be an anxious, overprotective, control freak is an understatement! (although, we now qualify things with BY, Before Yoga and AY, After Yoga)  Much of my control freakiness was BY.  When she said that she wanted to go on this trip back in September, I knew in my heart, I couldn’t let my worry hold her back.  After all, we are well into the AY period!

 

I feel like what empowered her to go on this adventure is the same thing that empowered me to let her go.  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”…right??  How could I hold her back from this experience?  Did I want her to be the anxious, overprotective, control freak mom too?  We spent many hours talking about what it means to step out of what feels easy and take advantage of opportunities that are right in front of you.  We talked about how when you do this, doors open to even more exciting and fulfilling opportunities.  Are you listening, Carlene??  I was speaking to myself as much as I was speaking to my daughter.  One of the many adventurous activities on her itinerary was zip lining and cliff jumping into the water.  How funny that this was this picture that appeared on my Facebook feed the day after she left.  Someone was speaking to me.

cliff diving

My heart broke a tiny bit, leaving her that early morning in the school parking lot.  The few days leading up to the trip were filled with anticipation, excitement, some apprehension and anxiety.  We had some really powerful discussions in those days.  Having just come home from the Boston Marathon and all the sadness of those days only added to our emotions.  Her tears flowed on the way to school but it was replaced with a quiet determination by the time we arrived to meet the group.  She shook as she was trying to calm herself to get out of the car.  I watched it happen right before my eyes.  I reassured her to just feel what she was feeling in her body, question exactly what it is and just let it be.  Are you watching, Carlene??  “What are you afraid of?”, I asked her.  We agreed that what she was afraid of were just made up stories in her mind, the what ifs.  Fear, designed to hold her back, keep her playing safe and small, lies that only pretend to protect you.  That fear wasn’t real, the only thing that was real was that moment.  Getting out of the car, onto the bus, and taking each moment as it came.  You’re listening, right Carlene??  She let all that fear and emotion come up, looked right at it, felt it in her body then, it just let her go.  She didn’t try to push it down or ignore it.  She just let it all come up and it released her.  Be sure you are taking good notes, Carlene!  I had the same opportunity to practice that very same exercise on the ride home and many times this past week.

 

This past week has had a few “out of the comfort zone” moments for me.  I sent my little girl off on what I hoped to be an adventure that will empower and invigorate her.  I launched my website, first blog post, my intention to share how yoga has changed my life and hopefully to inspire yours. All of these moments had a little bit of that person jumping off the cliff in them.  I am filled with enormous gratitude for the response on my first post and the love I feel as a result of simply sharing what expands my heart.  Sometimes, that little voice in your head tells you something good.  Your voice of intuition.  Listen to it.  It may only whisper sometimes but let it be more powerful that the constant chattering of the fears.  The voice of fear is lying to you.  Here I am again, wishing I could scream this off the page…Life does begin at the end of your comfort zone!  It’s kind of fun out here.  It’s a little scary but at times but you just have to feel that feeling and jump!

 

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you Health, Happiness, and Yoga!

Love, Carlene

 

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By |April 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

That was my Warrior II…

Published in Elephant Journal May 3, 2013

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/my-warrior-ii-a-recounting-of-my-day-at-the-boston-marathon-bombings-carlene-benelli/

I was recently asked, what my favorite yoga pose was?  Easy answer, Warrior II.  “What??” that person said to me,  “Warrior II is brutal!”  Warrior II, arms stretched front to back, powerful stance, laser-gaze forward.  It’s a beautiful pose to me; but, hold it for more than 20 seconds and things start to heat up!  That little voice is your head starts talking. Shoulders tense and burn as sweat drips down your Warrior 2forehead and back.  “Just set your gaze and stay”, the teacher says.  Now, the voice in your head is really talking –  sometimes screaming.  I refer to it as my “Debbie Downer” voice but really, its just fear.  What is the reality here?  I’m just holding a yoga pose.  I can choose to focus on the discomfort and write an entire story in my head. In record time, I can ask myself how long we are going to be here, question whether or not should I just let my arms down or maybe just adjust my ponytail and take a drink of water.  Or, I can stay.  Stay in my breath, in my gaze and focus inward.  I found that place in Warrior II.   At a recent teacher training, I found the other side of the burning, sweating and shaking.  It felt so good.  It was the other side of my comfort zone. There is no story, only the present moment.  I can be in each moment.  Hold the pose for THIS moment.

This past Monday my husband ran the Boston Marathon, as he has many times before.  It’s a tradition for our family.  We run to remember our mothers and raise money for cancer research.  The kids and I wait at mile 25 for Matt to come by, cheer him on to his last mile then head to the finish line or a family meeting area.  This year was the same.  We were so happy to see him ahead of schedule at mile 25 considering a significant Achilles strain.  We quickly cheered him on and sent him on his way to relish the last mile.  Within seconds, everything changed.  Matt passed us at mile 25, I took the kids and began to walk toward the finish line then, someone next to me said, “There are bombs going off at the finish line”.  That was my Warrior II.

Reliving the fear of those hours and writing a mental story of “what if’s” is worthless.  The reality is, I had to get my two children safely through the chaos, find my husband and pray he wasn’t injured by the bombs … or worse. I just decided to walk away from the crush of people on the streets, just keep my children calm, hold their hands and get where I could find Matt.  It took us an hour to go less than a mile.  Each step, each moment, it became clear how bad it really was.   We went from sunny day, cheering on runners to helicopters, police with weapons drawn, national guard, swat vehicles, and everywhere we turned were frantic, stunned, injured people.  I had a husband to find somewhere at the finish line. We couldn’t get through to the finish and could only go back to the nearby hotel where we were supposed to meet after the finish line.   As soon as my phone started working, I had 30 texts.  “Are you ok??”,  “Is Matt ok?”, “They said there are more bombs?”  “Stay away from big crowds.”  Within moments of frantically searching the hotel for Matt, we were evacuated, still no Matt.  Back on the street, still only able to receive texts and a very few phone calls,  I was becoming more and more aware that I needed to reassure the people I love and love us that we were all ok…even before I knew it was true.  That was my Warrior II.

We practice yoga and take it out into our world.  As a yoga instructor, I want to share how powerful yoga has been in my life.  How you are on your mat, IS how you are in your life.  If I could scream this out on the page, I would! …YOU ARE STONGER THAN YOU THINK!  Practice this in your everyday life!  Don’t let your arms down to adjust your ponytail or take a drink of water!  Find your strength, set your gaze and breathe!  Take each moment and stay in the present.  The story is, there I was… in my breath, laser focus, powerful stance, one arm outstretched toward where I needed to go and one stretched back hold my children’s hands.   Calm… inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.  Through phone calls, texts and, facebook posts I learned more and more.  Hours passed and I finally reached my husband safely.  He was ok, we were ok and we walked out of the chaos together.  That was my Warrior II.

 

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By |April 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|