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My (first) Year of YES!

Part 1


I picked up a copy of “A Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes in late fall of 2015.  The premise of the book is how one comment from her sister made her realize that she constantly said no to events that she actually wanted to say yes to.  Declining the offers was safe; it allowed her to not have to step outside of her comfort zone.  She recognized how her mind convinced her that she had to say no.  She started to notice that “I can’t go to the fabulous event at the White House, I have three kids that I need to care for,” was actually an excuse for “I’m uncomfortable putting myself out there and interacting with people that I’ve never met.”  She also found that when she stripped away all of those excuses, she actually felt like “holy crap, I’m going to the White House, THE White HOUSE!!!”  Like most fears, the more you face them, the easier it gets, which for Shonda snowballed into this big beautiful life that she started to be a participant in instead of bystander on the sidelines.  

On NYE that same year, I finished the book (I realize that you now know how glamorous my life is, reading on NYE, SO lame). That night, I laid in bed contemplating the things I had been constantly thinking about doing but had kept talking myself out of.  The first two things that came to my mind were joining the AM 365 program and doing a shoot with Mod Bettie Portraits (more on the latter in next week’s blog post, because Elise Kutt and #squadbettie is something I could talk about for days, weeks...actually probably months).

female photography lifestyle portrait mod bettie

AM yoga is my yoga studio, which is more like my second home.  It’s where I’ve shed so much sweat and a fair number of tears.  It’s where this community of the most amazing people exists.  I’m ridiculously grateful to call these people my friends, my tribe, and I love them so hard.  AM’s 365 program is a community of people that commit to practicing yoga every single day (for the record, it does not need to be for an hour every day in a studio) and they kick it off on January 1st every year.  I emailed them at 11 pm on NYE, technically an hour before the program started, and asked if it was too late to join.  They emailed me back and said not too late, you’re in.  I was elated!

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I’m currently in my third year of practicing daily and I honestly can’t picture my life without this practice of creating space for myself each day.  The mental benefits of making time to connect to your mind and your body on a consistent basis far outweighs the physical benefits.  I like that my arms look more toned but I love that through meditation and asana, I’ve become more patient with myself and others.  Some days my practice is a strong hour flow at the studio, some days it’s five minutes of stretching before bed, other days it’s sitting in meditation for 20 minutes.  In the past, I’ve tended to push myself when I would’ve benefited from rest.  I have suffered injuries in the past two and a half years, and I’m getting much better at giving myself grace and working with my body instead of against it.  Growing stronger in self-love and connecting to my intuition has allowed me to live a better life;  it’s made it easier to face my fears and say yes more. 

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If I hadn’t said yes multiple times over the last two and a half years, Wandering Roots wouldn’t exist today.  My hope for this new venture of mine is to help people realize their potential and to live their best lives.  Saying yes has changed my life...and it’s just the beginning.

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So tell me, where can saying yes improve your life?


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Trip Planning Wizard



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