Off Your Mat

Bringing yoga off your mat into your life, one pose at a time.


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Stolen Car Pose: 5 Lessons Learned

I made a foolish decision.

On a frigid Friday morning, I pulled into a bustling convenience store parking lot, found a spot right in front of the double glass doors, grabbed my wallet out of my purse, left my car running and ran into the store for a tea. Less than 5 minutes later I came out of the store and found an empty spot where my car had been.getty images car thief

I felt like such a fool. My typical Friday morning turned into an absurd nightmare. Standing in the middle of a busy and bright morning scene I was horrified and overwhelmed. The store manager called the police and let me use the store office phone to make calls while I waited for the police to arrive.

It was an awful situation. Although my foolish decision does not justify the thief’s decision to steal my car, I do realize that my choice offered up the opportunity.

What was surprisingly evident to me was the amount of strangers that stepped out of the woodwork to help me. Employees of the store noticed me loitering near the manager’s office and asked if I was alright. They offered the use of their cell phones and helped me look up phone numbers I needed. They helped me get in touch with my friends and family. Random customers paused to commiserate with me and wish me luck. It reminded me there are more people out there looking to help than looking to hurt.

I came away with 5 clear lessons:

1. Never ever leave your car running unattended anywhere, regardless of the non-threatening zip code.

2. Keep a copy of important numbers in your wallet. If your phone is in your car when its stolen you are going to need them. Numbers to consider…your phone company’s customer service line, your insurance company’s number (with a copy of your insurance information!), the numbers of at least 2 people who you would want to contact in an emergency. I had some numbers in my wallet and it made the whole situation a little less stressful.

3. If your house keys are on your key ring when the car is stolen, change your house locks immediately. That’s right. If the thief has the cojones to steal your car, they might very well figure out where you live and check out what you have to take there.

4. Think about what might have been in your car that could be a potential breach of online security. Get online and change your passwords.

5. If your check book was in your car get to the bank and change your account information.

Most car thefts are crimes of opportunity. The thief does not have a clear plan and in most cases they will abandon the car within 48 hours. Which is exactly what happened in my case. In fact, my car was abandoned with all of my belongings inside of it, my purse and checkbook intact.

I’m a bit embarrassed about how thoughtless I was, walking away from my running, unlocked car. I hope sharing the story might keep someone from making the same mistake. In the end, I was pretty lucky. It was mostly a huge inconvenience and a vivid reminder of how quickly the material can vanish.

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Talking ’bout a Resolution

new year resolutionsHere are the numbers:

According to a government survey, over 30% of people give up on their resolutions before the end of January, and another 30% quit before the end of May. In fact, only 8% of people regularly succeed in keeping the promises they made as that ball dropped.

The top resolutions for 2015 are to lose weight, get organized and spend less money. Sadly, the majority of these promises are abandoned within 8 days of January 1st. This poor showing happens because people make lofty goals without the plan to execute them.

The New Year’s Resolution is not a magical wish granted by the Baby New Year Genie. Like any other goal, our resolutions take planning and effort to achieve.

Your resolution is a promise to yourself. It is just as important as a promise you would make to a friend or a family member. Here are few tips for a making a resolution that won’t get tossed out with the tree.

1) Make small specific goals instead of a big whopper.

Instead of saying “I will lose 25 pounds,” say “I will take the stairs instead of the elevator.” Or “I will walk for 40 minutes after dinner.”

Instead of saying “I will be more charitable,” say “I will participate in one coat drive and one food drive.” Or “I will contact my neighbor who does a turkey drop every year and ask her if I can participate.”

When the goals are broken down into small, less intimidating steps, they will simply become part of your to do list.

2) Set a schedule.

Work your goals into your daily calendar. They will become concrete tasks instead of an idea that can be put off for another day.

If your goal is to be more connected to your friends, note it in your calendar. Schedule time to make phone calls or write emails. Schedule an hour for lunch with a friend. These things don’t happen unless you make the time.

If you are trying to save money, set up an automatic deposit to your savings account. If you are giving up an expense, create a schedule around it.

For example: “Instead of going to Starbucks everyday, I will only go on Mondays.” Or “I will pack my own lunch Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”

3) Make it social.

Don’t isolate yourself. Your resolution is not a punishment.

If you committed to being more organized, set a date with a friend to clean out your closet. Or block out 2 hours with your kids to declutter the basement. Make it an event and treat them to something afterwards.

If fitness is your goal, make a weekly workout date with a friend. Join a class with a friend that you wouldn’t normally do alone.

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Most importantly, remember, this is your promise to yourself and it is just as important as a promise that you would make to any loved one.

Want some more resolution tips? Take a look here.