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What Makes You Feel Alive?

Thanks for the input on my yoga playlist. What I heard loud and clear is that you guys would rather hear mainstream/modern music rather than new age, “yoga-y” music. I feel the same way and am happy to cater to that! Here is what I ended up with for tomorrow’s class.

What do you think!?

Now, regarding the title of this post. We had a powerful discussion in teacher training on Sunday about the things that make us feel alive. Things you experience and feel that make you present in that very moment. These might be things that fill your heart with love, happiness and joy or things that bring sadness, a heavy dose of reality and some introspection. One thing that came up for a lot of people was overcoming a fear.

The first thing that came to my mind when the question was raised was this…

Running. Many of the moments when I have felt most alive have come during runs.

Sometimes I am so overcome with emotion when I am running that I close my eyes and just feel the ground under my feet and the wind in my face. Sometimes tears come, sometimes a big smile is plastered across my face. In that moment I always know that everything will be okay.

Another time that I feel alive is when I am near water.

I’m not sure what it is about water that is so therapeutic but it always makes me feel gratitude and pure joy.

I am able to slow down, soak up my surroundings and reflect on how lucky I am for all the amazing things in my life.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive,
and then go do that.
Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.”

– Dr. Howard Thurman

What makes you feel alive?

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Erinn March 21, 2011, 11:33 pm

    awesome playlist! I think the times where I feel the most alive are when after hiking to the top of a mountain nearby my house, I get to run and leap around on the rocks to get to the bottom. Definitely an amazing feeling. I am with you on being near water too!

  • 2
    S @ extremebalance.net/blog March 22, 2011, 12:05 am

    Yes, please on the water! And I’ll feel euphoric when the run is done, but during? Nah! But nice to imagine!

  • 3
    Becky March 22, 2011, 7:35 am

    Great playlist!

    Most of my fullest moments are attached to running, but I also feel alive when I am surrounded by nature. Whether it’s the mountains in Vermont or coastline in RI, I feel my best when I am outdoors.

  • 4
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad March 22, 2011, 8:15 am

    Running, absolutely! Sometimes I get all teary-eyed too! Other times it’s a pure endorphin high and I feel on top of the world.

  • 5
    caitlin March 22, 2011, 8:58 am

    I love to be by water also, there is just something about it! Everytime I go to church and we are worshiping I always feel so alive- I think that is what Joy really feels like.

  • 6
    Erin March 22, 2011, 9:32 am

    I felt so alive standing at Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I also feel completely alive when I’m living in the moment with my 2 year old–not thinking about housework, errands, etc. but actually playing for the sake of playing. Those moments are amazing.

    • 7
      Jen March 22, 2011, 11:24 am

      Erin – I’ve BEEN there! Brandon and I led a trip out West for the summer camp we worked at our last summer of college. We camped in the Tetons and visited Jenny Lake. It is beautiful!!!

      I can only imagine the joys of motherhood. I look forward to experiencing those feelings!!!

  • 8
    Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) March 22, 2011, 9:33 am

    LOVE this, especially that last pic of you!! 🙂 Running TOTALLY makes me feel alive- I love it SO much! It’s too easy for me to get all caught up in numbers or in my training, but when things get like that I just drop everything, leave behind my Garmin+iPod and just RUN and it’s the best feeling EVER 😀

  • 9
    kayli (Running on Sunshine) March 22, 2011, 9:38 am

    What a beautiful post, Jen! I feel the same way about running and being near the water. Have a wonderful day 🙂

  • 10
    Bess @ Bess Be Fit March 22, 2011, 9:44 am

    aw I love this post!! I’m with ya on the running and water part!!! I love the beach so much…best place in the world!

  • 11
    Jackie @ Baking Charms March 22, 2011, 9:59 am

    Love your playlist! 🙂

    I feel the same way about being near water… the beach gives me a sense of calm like nothing else

  • 12
    Emily Malone March 22, 2011, 10:28 am

    I literally live to be near water. Amazing how therapeutic something so simple can be!

  • 13
    natalie March 22, 2011, 10:40 am

    Are we twins? Seriously.

    In addition to running and being in the ocean, I’d say there are times were I look at my husband & daughter, and BAM – I’m so overcome with emotion and gratitude that I feel invincible. Cheesy!

    • 14
      Jen March 22, 2011, 11:17 am

      Totally NOT cheesy. I had the biggest smile on my face when I read that! So sweet!

  • 15
    Mary March 22, 2011, 12:53 pm

    Breathe Me is my absolute favorite yoga song ever!!!!!!!

  • 16
    Whitney March 22, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I feel alive when I’m in church and when I am running by myself. I love breathing in the fresh air and just enjoying the random thoughts that occur during the run, lol 🙂

  • 17
    Kira March 22, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I feel most alive when I’m preaching and help serve the Eucharist in church. I can only imagine that I’ll have similar feelings when I’m ordained and can actually celebrate!

    Running has also become something that really makes me feel alive because it’s so intensely physical. It’s amazing to think how every part of my body is working together in that moment.

  • 18
    Jen March 22, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Being by the water always makes me feel so alive and grateful to be alive!

  • 19
    Alaina March 22, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Great playlist! I don’t know what it is about their music, but Linkin Park always gets my adrenaline going when I exercise.

    What makes me feel alive is hiking a mountain with my husband, getting above the tree line and turning around to see the view. I feel like I’m on the top of the world when that happens. 🙂

  • 20
    Lauren March 22, 2011, 6:27 pm

    Awesome playlist! My yoga teacher always plays the song Orange Sky during savasana, and I find it so peaceful. I feel alive when I’m outside surrounded with nature, either on a run or hiking.

    • 21
      Jen March 23, 2011, 4:56 pm

      Lauren – I will check out that song! Thank you so much for the recommendation!

  • 22
    Tracy March 22, 2011, 8:46 pm

    I love this post Jen! Running definitely does that for me (which is why this year has been so hard taking a step back!) I’ve teared up before on an awesome run too!

    Also when I’m engrossed in a really really good book – makes me feel alive! And being outside on a beautiful day.


  • 23
    Tori March 23, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Love the playlist! I’m not a yoga teacher but attend classes often and when I hear a good song, I always think about doing yoga to it and think about what songs I would play IF I was a yoga instructor! I’m really in love with Brett Dennen and Ray LaMontagne right now… maybe someone to look into for your next playlist 🙂

    • 24
      Jen March 23, 2011, 4:55 pm

      I LOVE Ray LaMontagne – will definitely be playing some of this stuff in my classes. I will check out Brett Dennen too. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • 25
    Katie March 24, 2011, 3:39 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that quote! Great post 🙂

  • 26
    Louly February 21, 2012, 1:16 pm

    THIS is the post i was trying to remember Friday that I was describing my same feelings running along the Apalachicola Bay. Love this.

    • 27
      Jen February 22, 2012, 7:35 am

      i love this post too! running along the water is one of my favorite things ever.

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