Love

You Know

Hello! There is a voice inside of all of us… a knowing that we either are aware of and ignore or listen to… or it is so muffled we have a hard time believing that it exists at all.  Our lives are filled with rules.  Societal and personal, moral and random.  We have stuffed our own free will and instinct in a box and have allowed what goes on outside to lead the way for us.  We have spent so much time taking direction from outside, being told what is or isn't true.  If we were tapped into our knowing as a child we were quickly pushed out of it.  If we saw something that the grown-ups didn't see then it didn't exist.  We knew that fairies were in the back yard and for a while the adults may have humored us, but at some point we were told to grow up.  In this society growing up means ignoring what happens internally in order to fit into the external world in a way that isn't distracting, creative, disruptive, abnormal, extraordinary or outside of the box.  The idea of believing something that hasn't been proven by some guys in white coats means you are weird, or different or "woo woo."   By the way, those guys in the white coats don't know shit usually (or anymore than anyone else)… it's true.  They are usually taking direction.

How is anything understood?  How do we recognize the world?  Who says one person sees it better than another or can understand it more?  We may not see it in the same way but it doesn't mean that we don't see it, or understand it.  When we let go of a right or wrong, should or shouldn't, yes or no and allow all things to be we are better able to see.  When we let go of the hierarchy or who has the connection to the source of all, who is tapped into the universe and who isn't we find our own direct line.  When we decide that we know, we know.  When we practice trusting ourselves we take all of the life that we have as purposeful and personal.  When we stop comparing our footsteps on the path with others, we are better able to see the road signs and the flowers and the scenery along the way on our own journey.  When we stop forcing our attention and begin paying attention our voice has more of a chance to speak up and be heard.

The journey to knowing is different for everyone, however, discipline is indeed called upon in just about every case.  Discipline over your thoughts, allowing what you want to hold truth as being and being diligent about nothing else permeating, for a period of time.  When a thought that takes you away from your goal (knowing) comes up, having a way to pull yourself out of going into that thought and back into your knowing is necessary.  For example, when a thought comes up for me that isn't my truth (that I am where I am supposed to be) I begin to sing.  I don't have time to allow thoughts in that undermine my knowing.  In my quiet moments, in the moments where the only focus is on me by myself, nothing is "wrong" or out of balance.  So if I perceive things being out of balance I can quickly balance them by thinking differently.  Those thoughts and those feelings around those thoughts change what I see and experience internally and externally.

So, start with you.  Your thoughts.  Your knowing is there, waiting for you to turn the volume up and listen to it speak… teach… love.

xo

a

The Age of Attraction

What is happening? I was recently discussing sexuality, which I think isn't discussed enough, with some friends.  We were talking about vaginas and the power of owning your sexuality.  The discussion led to the fact that shame is prevalent whether we admit it or not, in relation to sex and sexual expression.  There are so many rules, roles, assumptions that it is difficult to know what we actually want.  Admitting what we like, where we are in our sexuality and what we think about it is something that is shunned aggressively.  We are, after all, a society that will fine someone for flashing a nipple (at the same time we cover our children's eyes from seeing the .00005 seconds that it was shown) but watch news footage about 26 people, many of them children, being gunned down.

Like the universe works, I perused Facebook where a friend posted an article about a 6-year-old being in love with a character from Glee.  Sexuality seemed to be in the air tonight.  The 6-year-old is a boy and the character on Glee is a boy.  The article goes on to discuss how the mother and father love their son and have no problem if he is gay or isn't.  I think that it is great that parents will love their son even if he is gay, I just look forward to the day we don't have to announce that parents will love their kids even if they are gay.

So, after reading this I then scrolled down to the comments and stopped at one that touched on several things in regards to the article.  First they were not pleased with a 6-year-old watching Glee, then with the idea that a 6-year-old was obsessed about anything especially liking someone.  Third that, even at 11, that would be too young to have attraction.  Ok, I had to breathe after reading this, and after having had the conversation about shame that had happened earlier in the evening.  I know that attraction is as natural as breathing.  If you are a part of a family you (hopefully) see love, coupledom, partnership.  Children mimic adults.  It is how they learn to talk, walk, think, behave, love.  How in the world are they too young to be attracted?  I liked boys and girls for as long as I can remember and I certainly had attractions to all manner of things before the age of 6.  I liked certain colors, foods, music, and people.  The idea that attraction has an age is a funny, funny thing.  Babies are attracted to certain colors and sounds.  We are attracted to love and repelled by hate.  When we see something that resonates with us we are drawn to it.  This is being human.  The idea that we would want to discourage this natural way in others due to them being younger than we think they should be to have the feelings that they actually are having is ridiculous (yes, I am totally judging).

As a parent you may be nervous, because of your own hangups and judgments, around the truth of your child being inherently sexual.  I mean, the damn person was made while you were having sex.  How in the hell can we not be SEXUAL.  What is the problem people???  Let's take our heads out of our asses and start discussing sex, sexuality, love, desire, attraction in a way that doesn't make it shameful, scary, wrong, or inappropriate.

Here is a story that I love to share:  My sister is a massage therapist.  Her son, Miles, used to love to be massaged and loved to give massages, and he was very good at it as well.  There is nothing better than little hands on your shoulders massaging away your worries.  So sweet.  Anyway, during a massage she was giving him he asked if she could massage his penis.  Instead of getting all weird (which I think many of us would) she told him that she wouldn't because that was his to massage.  She let him know that he could massage it in private and that no one else was allowed to until he really wanted them to.  Or some such lovely message like that (I am sure my sister would correct the verbiage).  Either way, the message was clear:  She didn't make him feel that what he asked for was wrong, bad, inappropriate.  She used that moment to let him know the boundaries of his body.

Let's stop being craycray and start empowering one another in love.  Can we do this please???

xo

a

Dreams of a Child

Hello there, When I was younger I dreamt of things like children do.  I saw myself in the home of my dreams, with the love of my life, with the career that I wanted.  At no point, as a child, did I ever decide that I was asking for too much or believe that my dreams were too grandiose.  I wanted these things and I thought about them as if they would happen.  Life was exciting when I was a child (and luckily for me it still is) and part of that excitement was dreaming, the possibility.  As I grew up and learned the 'truth' about various things in life (money being scarce (ha!) and true love being rare) my dreams changed to fit what I now knew.  I stopped thinking about owning a home as a given, I changed what I wanted in a partner and I changed my mind about my career once or twice.

Still I grew older and things changed even more.  Though I am an optimistic person and tend to dream and desire more than many more "realistic" or "pessimistic" folks, I became discouraged in various ways that I never would have as a child.  I decided that relationships had to be 'work' and that jobs had to include parts that you possibly hated because you can't get everything, right?  You had to take the good with the bad, right?  Those were the 'Facts of Life' were they not?  I mean, everywhere I looked people were compromising their dreams to live a life that didn't quite fit, but did the job.  And for those who weren't compromising or settling, they were considered immature, needing to grow up.  "You can't always get what you want" after all.  We are trained to believe that settling is just growing up.

I question these ideas of grown-ups regularly.  Why wear an ill fitted life?  Why not hold out for your dreams?  Why not work hard to realize what you always wanted.  Why settle?

When you consciously choose your life you have to face the reality that some of what is currently happening in it may not work for you anymore.  Recently I have chosen not to settle in any aspect of my life.  From the time that this decision was made things fell away.  Loss happened.  I ended relationships and began new ones.  I approached work differently and still do on a daily basis.  At the same time, things began falling into my lap.  Struggle became joy, life became love.  Things weren't so 'hard.'  The biggest thing is being honest every day with how I am where I am because I choose to be, and, if I want my life to be different than it is I can choose differently.  I am remembering what I wanted as a child and not judging it as fantasy only.  It is a goal, the foundation for reality.  When you stop compromising your dreams you have to start living your life differently.  You are responsible for making your dreams a reality.

If you knew that you could have it all, would you work for it?  Would you open yourself to it?  What if that meant closing yourself off to what you are currently doing, who you are currently with, how you presently view the world?  What would you do to live the life of your dreams?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  ~Walt Disney

xo

a

Sense of Safety

"Safety always comes from inside-not outside of-you." ~Dina Bachelor Evan Howdy,

We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to feel safe and secure.  We wear our seat belts, we read our exit row safety cards, we ask for people to make promises.  The truth is the only way to feel safe, to be safe, is to know that you are always ok.  You are always supported.  Knowing that, even when life isn't as you would desire it to be, you are exactly where you need to be, doing and experiencing exactly what you need to experience to move you to the next place, phase, level of your existence is where you may need to start shifting your viewpoint.  Your feeling of security and safety, when taken from the outside world, is always tentative.  When you find that security and safety from within it is untouchable.  You will be able to take on any sunny day or perfect storm feeling as ok as any other moment in your life.  Safety isn't something you find, it is something you remember, recognize and reignite.

Feeling a strong sense of being ok doesn't mean you feel like no harm will ever come to you.  On the contrary, you know that anything is possible in this human body and accept that no harm is coming to you right now.  If harm did show up you would deal with it then an.  Safety is being aware, conscious of the moment… knowing what you can control and knowing what you cannot, and accepting all of it.  Boundaries aren't only what you create between you and the world around you, it is also how you deal with your internal world.  How you manage your feelings, perceptions, emotions, expectations and thoughts.  When you set a boundary that only allows an understanding that you are whole and supported living the life you were meant to, life becomes quite a bit easier.  Shutting out fears around being safe will allow you to see how protected and cared for you actually are.  After all, most of the time you are taken care of, right?  You have been ok most of the time… when the thoughts we have don't support this fact we are slammed with anxiety, fear, dread.  When we forget that we are rarely in danger we live as if it were a constant threat.

When we recognize that safety comes from inside and that we can nurture it, just like we do love, joy grows, safety grows, we become much more giving to others.  Feeling safe gives us permission to be more of who we are, to heal the areas that we need healing, and it gives permission for others to do the same.  Finding that ability to create safety within ourselves means that you are no longer looking for someone or something (which will always change and let you down) to do it for you.  You aren't waiting on your White Knight to rescue you and protect you… instead you are your own savior, your own knight-in-shining armor (or sparkling amor for me).

One way to begin remembering that sense of self, safety, is to affirm it regularly.  Another step is understanding that we are not our bodies, we are so much more, and that more is always ok.

xo

a

Why Jealousy?

Holler! Jealousy, ahhh, good god, what is it good for?  Absolutely nuthin', say it again!!

Man, I have been jealous before… and every time there was good reason.  It was a loud signal to get the heck out of the relationship.  When I have felt jealous there were a lot of other things that weren't working in the relationship, and, for me, jealousy was a great way to sound the alarm.  The only issue is I learned all of these truths for myself because I stayed in the relationships until they imploded sometime later.

Jealousy is defined as an emotion that refers to negative thoughts, feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety over the anticipated loss of something that someone values… usually in reference to a human connection.  Inadequacy, anger, resentment and helplessness often accompany jealousy!! Oooh, sounds so yummy, doesn't it?  Thought this description is rather unappealing to me, I have heard many people say that jealousy is actually pretty healthy, or "I kinda like when my partner is jealous."  WTF???  Ok, I get you want to be desired, but to have someone in your life that feels anger, inadequacy, resentment?  Really?  I would have to say I would rather see what was behind door number 2 than have a jealous partner.  Maybe I will win a new car…

In my past relationships where jealousy came up the trust was destroyed in my relationship(s).  Jealously, for me, was a sign that I hadn't been nurtured in the relationship the way that I wanted to be, first by myself and then by my partner.  Jealousy destroys bonds, it doesn't preserve them, and jealousy can give rise to relationship violence (Psychology Today).  When you feel less than, when you perceive a loss, that loss is now truth.  When I was married I was jealous of everyone around my spouse.  Turns out everyone around my spouse (the few close friends that were in her life) would have preferred to be in my position.  I was later cheated on and left for one of those folks that I had felt concern around.

It has taken me some time to recognize that jealousy is information and a bit longer to recognize that the information I get may not be the information someone else will get when they have their own feelings of jealousy.  We are all different so we need to interpret our emotions individually.  For someone else jealousy could signal memories of abandonment.  For another it could be a way to self-sabotage.  Either way, jealousy isn't something that signals 'all is well' on the home-front.  What it is telling you is that something needs your attention and usually, 99.9% of the time, that something is you.

When was the last time you were jealous?  What was it surrounding?  How did you handle it (or did it handle you???)?

xo

a

It's Right, It's Wrong

Howdy!!! I recently told someone that I am never wrong.  I meant this and still do.  I also believe the same for others.  Wrong implies that there is a 'right' and that this 'right' is unshakeable, truth, reality, fact.  The only truth is that right and wrong are opinions…  and you know that opinions are like assholes… everyone has one.  So if everyone has an opinion and opinions determine right and wrong (or religion which is the same damn thing) then I would wager that right and wrong are more about control and less about love.  I believe that right and wrong exist to make insecurities less insecure.

I may do something that you don't like or appreciate.  I may do or say something that annoys or offends you.  You may decide that I am annoying or offensive.  To that I say, you forgot to put "to me" at the end of your sentence so it would read accurately, "You are offensive (or annoying) to me."  To which I would say, "ok."  I am not bothered by the opinion of others, that often, because I don't consider others' opinions my truth.  My truth lives within me and motivates me to do what I feel makes sense for the world that I live in.  We may find that vibrationally we relate to many others and then there are some that you just won't relate to, depending on where they are evolutionarily/vibrationally.  Just because it doesn't make sense to me doesn't mean that it is right or wrong universally… it may be not what works for the world I am creating daily, it may undermine my vision of joy and peace on earth, but that doesn't make it right or wrong in general.  I have not seen (or remembered) enough of what the universe has planned in order to know what the 'big picture' is.  So, I humbly move within the space I understand, and that is a place of love and acceptance that all that exists is meant to.

Once we stop the blame game, the judgement game, the less than or more than game, we may begin to play well with others.  Once we stop deciding that we know all there is to know and become curios about how another sees the world, we might begin to grow.  Once we stop creating a world where there is one side or the other we might get to see the vast array of all that there is and all that there will be.  Until then you will see things as right and wrong and so they shall be.

xo

a

Some Thoughts on Death

Hello there, I believe that death is not unnatural.  I believe that it is the most natural thing that exists, right next to life.  People die just about every second.  People are birthed at a similar rate.  I don't know how helpful it is to tell everyone that death is unnatural or that for someone to die at one age or another is not "right."  It is as if life is a promise and not a gift or experience.  It is as if we still, after all of this time, don't get how fragile this human experience is.  We have this tendency to decide that life is only valuable after being lived a certain amount of time.  That if you haven't grown up, or had your own children, a job, sex, etc. that death shouldn't touch you.  Now, let me clarify for those who may be freaking the f*ck out.  I don't believe we need to kill one another regardless of how natural death is (and the same goes for killing animals).  I just don't believe death is unnatural and I believe that we could help the healing process for all involved in losing loved ones (that would be all of us at some point) if we changed the language around it.

When we are told that death is wrong and that a mother should never lose her child we set all the mothers who will lose their children (and that is a large number of people, babies and children die all the time!) to feel a hell of a lot worse than if we let them know that, yes, death can come to your baby because your baby is a human being and once that baby exists it can cease to exist.  If we stop looking at death as this horrible, horrible thing and look at it as a part of the process of life we may not feel like we were cheated out of something that we were never promised.  We may be able to feel a little less victimized by the death and be able to actually deal with the means by which (especially when a child has been murdered).

It is so maddening to me that we don't discuss death.  It is so damaging to all who will lose their children, that we haven't had the conversations prior so that there is space to talk about it, so that after the ones who will not see their children grow up don't feel so alone in their grief.  So they can discuss their experience of death openly and get support around it.  Death isn't contagious, it is promised.  Death isn't bad, it just is.  We all will go through it.  We all will lose someone.  We have to, at some point, stop behaving as though ignoring it will make it go away.  Talk about it and sex.  The two things that we either make naughty or wrong are the things that are often used to cause the most pain.  Think about it.  When we categorize things as bad they become those things for us.  When you change the way you see things the things you see change.  It is true.  We are powerful enough to stop being victims.

Now taking someone's life is a completely different discussion.  Why, how, when, what?  All of those things need to be dialogued about as well… I will say that it cracks me up (in a not so funny way) to see everyone so up in arms (pun intended) about violence in a country that was built on violence, that uses violence to solve all issues and perpetuates it every way that it can.  If we wanted peace we wouldn't support war.  If we wanted peace we would never flip someone off and curse them out.  If we wanted peace we would be peaceful.  Period.  Start with yourself.  Start with your own heart.  Start with how you treat yourself and see how that changes the world.

xo

a

Paradigm Shift

Howdy, Aloha, Good Morning, Moods, we all have them.  Some say Gemini's have a lot of them!  Ha.  Whatever.  The truth is feelings are information.  So how do we begin to get the information that we are being given.  Feelings aren't exactly what they seem to be.  It is like looking at a painting close up.  You have to get some distance in order to really take it all in.  Perspective.  Feelings are also a code to which we have the incorrect key more often than not.  The key we have is the paradigm of victim.

The victim paradigm looks like this:

Things happen to you.

You have no say over how you feel.

People owe you.

"Should" is a word that exists

Right and Wrong are used regularly

You wonder 'why me'

You have unspoken expectations or you expect others to know what you want and to do it

You believe your happiness is the responsibility of someone else

You don't do your own work

You 'don't know what to do' on a regular basis or you say it regularly

You believe others have more control or know better than you

When you live in this paradigm you expect the government to fix the economy.  You expect others to not cut you off when driving and you feel angry when they do.  You believe that your perfect mate is out there waiting and all you have to do is look pretty (or not) and they will show up and your life will make sense.  You believe that God created all things yet many of those things are wrong.  You look at what is and say it shouldn't happen.  You believe that if only x would do y everything would be ok.  You don't know why your life turned out how it did.  You throw your hands up and wonder 'why me???'  You get angry that someone didn't do something you never explicitly asked them  to do.  You believe that you deserve something from someone and that them not doing it means that they aren't right.

Do you know anyone who lives under this paradigm?  Do you?  Sometimes?

The paradigm of the person who sees feelings as a code to the secrets of the universe lives under the paradigm of the curious one.  The curious one looks at everything from the standpoint of "what am I experiencing this for, if anything.  When you are curious you are not judging.  You are asking, you are open, you are ready for what is.  You aren't trying to push things away and you aren't judging.

The curious one paradigm looks a little like this:

You are open

You want to know why but aren't attached to any answer

You do your work, you want to learn about you

You want to learn about others

You feel that things happen for a reason

You don't expect, you wonder

You know perspective is key

You see many sides because of perspective

You relate to others, you see yourself in their place

You see things as they are, from your perspective and you wonder how they would be if you weren't you

You ask questions

You take responsibility for your feelings

The 'Curious One' looks at the world from the place of awareness.  The CO is looking for the lessons of this existence.  We aren't here to condemn, blame, fall victim to or lament over life.  We are here to learn, love and grow.  Think about a baby.  What do they need?  Love, learning and growth.  That is really all we continue to need.  When you become that CO you begin to look at people as helpers.  They give you information about you.  You learn how you feel about things, what you want or don't want, like or don't like, need or don't need.  You get a chance to look at how you relate to the world through how others relate to you.  You also get a chance to see the world from other eyes when you are curious.  You ask questions, you listen to the answers and you believe that by changing your perspective most anything could make sense to you.  As the curious one, you do not deny, you accept.

How curious are you on a regular basis?  How can you bring some curiosity to your life?  Would you want to?

xo

a

"Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience.

Anyone who abandons you is for teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet.

Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.

Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back.

Anything you hate is for teaching you unconditional love.

Anything you fear is for teaching you courage to overcome your fear.

Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe."

~Jackson Kiddard

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :)  Gratitude breeds more gratitude… isn't that awesome?   This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Tears.

Bringing Plants Back to Life.

Soft Fuzzy Blankets.

Home.

Possibility.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Life is full of surprises.  You never know what is next.  When was the last time you were surprised by someone or something???  What did that tell you about your expectations?  Without expectations we are constantly amazed and appreciative.  Lacking expectation opens the door for gratitude.  Gratitude means loving what you get and therefore getting what you love.  Be open to what is… abundance, love, each other.

xo

a      

Success!

Aloha! The rain is coming down on Maui on my last night here.  It is appropriate since I will be heading into the rain of the Pacific North West.  The cruel truth is that rain here is warm and tropical, in Seattle it is cold and brutal.  My trip has been a fantastic journey, travel and food and working out and meeting awesome people.  However, I am very excited to come home.  I miss my bed, my things, a closet, a room without spiders and geckos.  Though the gecko is a spiritual creature according to Hawaiian lore, I am ok with not sharing space as much as I do right now.  Tonight, I picked up the sheets (to check for creatures) then lifted my pillow only to find a baby gecko that wasn't in a very safe place.  I put him outside only to see another baby on the other side of the room.  It is like they are gremlins; multiplying with water after midnight.

I also miss my work.  I was in college when I decided that I wanted to become a rowing coach.  It was my sophomore year and I was participating in National Team Testing.  I was new to sports and barely called myself an athlete, but I was good and I knew that much.  I was also good at describing the rowing stroke to my teammates and I loved helping.  I, after all, was a peer counselor in High School and an RA in college.  At the time I decided to become a coach I had a rather socially challenged Head Coach that needed a lot of assisting.  I filled the role of translator when I could.  It was then that I realized coaching was an option.  I thought the thought and then put it away.  I still had to finish school.  After graduating and picking up a coaching job almost immediately I was enthralled by the Olympics.  It was 1996 and cycling was being shown quite a bit.  I knew that I needed to find another sport to do alongside rowing and cycling seemed to fit.  It looked like it was mentally and physically grueling (a requirement for me) and I liked the way it shaped the body (another requirement).  I also sent into the universe ad dream of being able to work out for a living at the same time I was helping others.  I thought I would have to become an Olympic athlete (and I worked on that) or be a professional athlete in order to do so.  Turns out I was wrong with the means by which but dead on with bringing my dream to fruition.  Working out for a living is doable and exciting and literally a dream come true.

Because I love what I do it is hard to pull myself away from it.  So taking vacation becomes a challenge.  I do need space away from the daily grind in order to gain some perspective, stay fresh and study up.  However, it is a joy to come back to what I absolutely love to do day in and day out.  The music, the people, the love.  I am lucky because I worked my ass off for years.  When I began this journey I made $5300 annually for my first collegiate coaching gig.  I got a raise the next year to $5700.  Loving what you do and doing what you love means you may have to wait for the financial reward, but it is worth it.  No amount of money would stop me from teaching/coaching and training.  I always ask myself this question:  If I were to win the lotto would I stop working.  The answer has never been 'no' when it comes to my work with motivation and health & well-being.  When you would do what you do for free you know you have struck it rich!  That is what I would call success.

What are your passions?  Are you living them?  Are you going after your dreams???  Why or why not?

xo

a

Risk, The Fertilizer For Life

Aloha! "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."  ~Anais Nin

Sometimes the very thing that you want to do is the scariest thing of all.  That is how you know it is necessary.  If you feel trepidation, if you feel like you could fall flat, if you feel like your heart could be broken it is worth doing.  If you feel like you might not get another shot, if you feel like you have something to lose, if you feel like you need a drink to get it done, you need to do it (not drink, but the thing that scares you :)  We tend toward what we know way too often.  We repeat what is comfortable every single day.  How often do you push past your limits?  How often do you jump before calculating how high, far and fast you must go?  When was the last time you did something for the first time?  When was the last time you leapt before you looked?

I am no thrill seeker.  I don't jump out of airplanes or do X-Game type things, but I will push myself beyond what is comfortable on a regular basis, yet, there are still those things that get me all jittery and nervous.  I am still shy in certain situations and afraid of what I don't want happening, happening.  I am human.  However, that feeling of not wanting to put myself out there is the information I need to put myself out there.  As a fitness instructor I spend a lot of time putting myself out there.  However, it is a comfortable spot to be in when I teach the formats that I know.  It is a rare day where I am teaching and I am not prepared.  The last time this occurred was over a year ago when I was asked to teach Kick Boxing.  Not only am I not a Kick Boxing instructor, I don't have any routines memorized.  Choreography isn't my strong suit.  So I said, "Yes."  I prepared as best I could.  I went in, taught one of the technically worst Kick Boxing classes that existed, but I had fun and I put my all into it.  After it was done I felt so relieved and pumped.  I had done it and it had scared the hell out of me.  And I survived.

"If you don't risk anything, you risk even more."  ~Erica Jong

I believe that we need to go after something that isn't a sure thing.  I believe we need to it with heart, chutzpa, and our eyes open.  I believe we can all learn how to receive so much more life if we live it instead of planning for it to be over.  We get to the end before we actually have read past the beginning.  We decide something isn't worth the risk because we are afraid of pain and joy.  We are afraid of being let down.  We are afraid of failure.  No one failed when they risked it all.  They gain so much, so very much.

"If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."  ~Jim Rohn

xo

a

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :)  Gratitude breeds more gratitude… isn't that awesome?   This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Airplanes.

The Tropics.

Internet.

Time To Reflect.

Genelle Benker.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

We don't often realize what a profound impact we can have on one another until something tragic happens.  Someone dies, leaves, hurts us in some way.  Then we see how affected we are.  What if we realized this with every person we met?  What if we understood the miracle of connection and how we all take care of one another with every breath we take for ourselves?  How would the world look if we began to appreciate everyone as divine, necessary and love?  What if we started with looking at ourselves this way.  We are divine.  We are necessary.  We are love.  I am going to keep telling you these truths until they sink in.  Love is relentless, love is forever, love is all.

xo

a      

I Want You Now

Howdy! I was recently discussing dating and relationships with a friend when I mentioned that I am transparent when I meet someone, no building myself up here.  I basically consider false advertising lying.  I think that when a woman sucks in her stomach to seem thinner or a guy says he is taller in a personals ad, they are setting themselves up to fail.  Show yourself if you want yourself to be accepted.  I have been in many relationships, some great, some awful, all ended for one reason or fifty.  Either way, I never left the relationship feeling or being told that I hadn't communicated who I was.  Often it was the opposite.  I was often dating someone who wasn't who they said they were, but who they wanted to be.  I am not one to promise tomorrow when today is all we have.  So, I expect the same in return.  That expectation has proven difficult to meet in my journey towards love and intimacy.

I have spent relationships hoping for something that wasn't, waiting for someone who might never show.  It puts everyone at a disadvantage when you are hanging your hat on the future and hoping the present will hurry up to it.  The person who is being asked to be who they aren't yet is not happy.  Who would be when they aren't actually being loved for who they are?  The person waiting is, well, waiting, for someone who may never pop into existence.  Besides, if you want a love, a true love, I believe you have to truly be you without the promises of a you that is 'better' in your mind.  Promising a you of the future to someone puts so much stress on the relationship.  It is amazing how many of us feel that it is ok to try to change someone, or try to change for someone.

In past relationships I have massaged my partner regularly, written doting love notes, bought expensive jewelry, danced and made up songs, cooked elaborate meals, pampered in numerous ways, yet, when I meet someone now, I truly wouldn't think about saying that these are all of the things that I do.  They are things that I have done, that I know I am capable of doing but what I do now is work… a lot.  I write.  I listen to a lot of music and I talk… I love conversation.  The rest is to be discovered, not sold.  If someone doesn't like the person I am without them, then I certainly am not going to try to get them to.  At this point when I meet someone, I look at their life right now and believe that they are living it the way they have chosen to and that if I don't like it I may do better to move along.

We tend to believe that we are not enough as is.  We have decided the things that we judge unattractive should be hidden.  How on earth will we have the love we want when we don't show up to receive it?  I always admit that I am an asshole, a great friend, a loyal confidante and a Gemini who has to have her freedom.  If that doesn't work for someone then it most certainly won't work for me, regardless of what a great catch that person might seem to be.  A catch, in my opinion, is someone who wants me, that I want equally and the relationship works the way we feel it needs to.  Otherwise they are just fish in the sea.

xo

a

I Want Some Things

Howdy! Tis the season to get stuff right.  Oh, I know most of you would say 'to give' but let's be honest… you want some things too.  We have this funny way of trying to be altruistic when it is a big ol' lie.  Seriously.  You weren't put here to not want something.  We want lots of things and there isn't anything wrong with it.  I mean, if you are being selfless and giving to others, who are the others and wouldn't they be trying to do the same thing if wanting things were so bad?  I believe that one of the reasons we 'get' things is because we are open to receiving them, and, if you look around, how much do you get?  I am sure you get a lot of things, which tells me that on various levels you feel deserving, you feel worth receiving.  Make the fact that you do want things something that you own instead keeping your wanting hidden in your subconscious (like a dirty secret).  When you bring it to the surface you are able to direct it a bit more, you can be more specific about getting your desires met.  Getting isn't a sin, wanting isn't a sin, asking isn't a sin.  When you want (which is all of the time in so many different ways) you are giving someone the chance to please you… and you, the altruistic one, knows how giving someone something they want or need feels.  It feels amazing.  We not only want to be loved, we desire to give it as well, in its various forms.

I believe that a life of service doesn't mean a life of struggle.  We have decided that those who want to help others shouldn't want to help themselves as well.  They should be selfless, oftentimes poor, in only a bit better spot to those they are helping.  How would anyone be an example of success by not being successful?  How is it wrong to have abundance and be of service.  Wouldn't you believe the person who has figured out how to have what they need would be able to tell you a thing or two about getting somewhere that you are not, like a place of abundance?  It is like asking someone who doesn't love themselves to love everyone else.  When you have done your work, figured out how to meet your needs or ask for help, serving is done in a much purer way.  It isn't being used to squash the very real fact that you don't feel deserving on some level; it isn't covering up a deep feeling of guilt.  In any case, that isn't really giving, in my opinion.  It is being selfish in a deep and unconscious way.

Own your wants.  Ask for what it is that makes your heart sing without judgement.  No one is served by denying who they are.  Speak your truth.  If all else fails, and you don't believe that it is ok to want, look at it like this.  The world isn't lacking in anything.  We have more people, more stuff, more food (regardless if it is getting to everyone or not, the capacity to feed is infinite), more ideas, more than ever before.  Scarcity is a lie.  When you have something it takes nothing away from me.  It is the argument of gay marriage somehow hurting heterosexual marriages.  One doesn't take away from the other.  There is enough marriage to go around and enough love to sustain the relationships that want sustenance.  My wanting stuff, experiences, my way, doesn't mean you cannot have your stuff, experiences or way.  We can all be in a place of abundance if we just wanted it, openly, without judgement.

xo

a

Be Happy Now

Hello there, How many times a day do you say no, silently, to your world, your life, to others?  How many times do you wish for something that isn't happening at the moment?  How often do you try to change what has already happened by going over it in your head and remembering it differently.  How many times do you try to get someone to be someone else, including yourself?  How do you think your world is affected when you deny, refuse, resist and consistently try to wish away what is?  Is life, your life, that unsatisfactory that wanting something other than what you have is more fun, more rewarding and overall more enjoyable?

Happiness is not something you shoot for.  Joy isn't a goal.  These are states we have always within us, totally accessible.  We spend so much time choosing to dislike what is that we never see the beauty in the moment.  We take for granted all that supports, loves and appreciates us because it isn't exactly what we want it to be or how we would like it to be.  The truth is we may never get where we want to go, we may not be around long enough.  Nothing is promised, certainly not an amount of time in this human experience, so, though planning for the future is important, being attached to it isn't.  The future has a mind of its own and it is better to bet on what is right now.

Learning to love this moment brings you to that state of being we call happiness.  Loving the moment doesn't stop you from wanting the moment to change or be something else.  It allows for you to spend less time efforting change.  When you are happy, when joy seeps from your pores the world is yours.  What you thought you had to force now flows easily in your direction.  What you thought was going to take forever and be a struggle is done with joy and realized sooner than you thought.  Most of all you forget to be miserable when you are busy being happy.  You forget to worry when you trust in the moment you are in.  When you give up resisting your life, your life stops resisting you.

Be expansive, be joyful, be love.

xo

a

Help Me

Hiya! In the past when I felt swamped or overwhelmed I would often stop reaching out, stay home, answer few calls and keep to myself.  In theory it is a good idea to cocoon myself so that I could renew myself.  However, reaching out can help make whatever I am going through smaller and more manageable.  When you let others know what is happening in your world you allow your world to shrink, not seem so daunting and you might just see a way out of the stress heap you are under.  Admitting that I needed help was hard, asking for help was harder.

As a life coach I am there for anyone and everyone that needs me to be.  I hold space for people so that they can better view their world and make the changes that they would like to make.  I help take their stress from keeping them stuck to motivating and initiating change.  I am always inspired by the amazing people who reach out and ask me to help them.  It is a HUGE deal to know that you cannot do it on your own, that you don't need to do it on your own.  Life is so much sweeter when lived with others… when you understand that we are here to learn about ourselves through our relationship with others.  When you allow help, when you give permission, you receive it faster than you can imagine.  Usually the only thing that is standing in the way between you and your ideal world is you not asking or asking for others to participate; giving permission for others to help you.

For some reason (conditioning from our society) we believe that we are here to do everything on our own.  The truth is we are dependent on one another no matter how much we would like to think we stand alone.  We need each other and always will.  You have what I need and I have what you need.  It is about sharing, assisting, helping.  Are there ways in which you could use help but you have a judgement around asking?

I ask for help now.  It is more fun to be a part of  team.  I like the fact that others are just as excited to assist me as I am to assist them.  Life is easier with help.  More fun.  Less overwhelming.  Better, overall.  Giving others the permission to assist was a big step from struggling to make it in my chosen life path and success.  Asking for help made me stronger than I ever would have been on my own.

xo

a

Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! I have been overcome with gratitude today… I am a pretty grateful person but today has been different.  I feel like everything slowed down and I was able to see the awesomeness around me.  I taught an amazing class this morning with so many beautiful souls flying to loud intense music.  Sweating on their day of thanks.  I trained a client who looked like a shining star when I walked in to begin.  She is losing weight, gaining confidence, pushing through her world to create the one she desires.  I am inspired by her dedication to herself.  I drove in my car, that I love, smooth, fast through the barely populated streets.  Past various gyms and fitness centers.  I realized how blessed we are to have so many choices of places to get gas for cars, food for our bellies, equipment to work out on, streets to drive on, sidewalks to walk along.

I am blessed for three furry animals that are in my care.  They love me without reservation which is more than I can say for myself with them.  They annoy me and I have to clean up after them and walk the little teeny itty bitty chihuahua, not how I want to spend my days… but they love me and just want to jump on my lap (all the damn time) and give me snuggles.  I am blessed to have as many vegetables and as much fruit as I can stuff into my stomach at any point during the day or night.  I stay up late which means I eat a LOT… more hours in the day to eat means more food.  I am blessed to receive Facebook messages, phone calls and text messages sending love and thanks.

I am thankful that I love TV and lack the desire to judge others for hating it :)  I enjoy my movies, TV shows and music videos.  I am blessed for my iPad with more crap on it than I can use but options are always grand.  I am blessed to be able to enjoy beauty and see it everywhere in just about everything.  I am blessed to be able to sit and listen to any song from anywhere at the push of a button.  I am blessed and grateful to love what I do everyday and to continue to get better at it.

I am thankful for forgiveness.  For forgiving others and others forgiving me.

Most of all I am thankful that I can and do share.  That I share me with you and that you receive me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

xo

a

You, All Of You

Howdy! How much do you hide in order to be loved?  What about yourself are you ashamed of and would prefer to never see the light of day?  When did you recognize this thing that you so revile was a part of you?  Do you claim it or do you try to ignore it away?  Have you ever been with anyone that has something similar to that thing you have that you try to deny?  How did they handle it?  We are very sensitive souls and we are very afraid little beings in so many ways.  We all at least one thing that we do, have done, would do, that we would prefer no one know about (maybe you have done your work and have gotten through it, but we can all relate).  There are lengths that one goes to in order to get rid of something that they are ashamed of and those lengths are never long enough, never deep enough to hide who we are and push away what we need to accept.

Love, we all want it.  We all crave it.  We all go in search of it.  Some of us have found it, others are on the hunt.  We do things specifically to get it.  Much of the time what we do lacks in authenticity and is covered in judgement.  We show others the parts of ourselves that we have decided are lovable.  We withhold the areas we would prefer to not have from the one we would like to have.  We try our damnedest to be all that we want to be instead of embracing who we actually are.  We don't share with others the parts that we think they would judge as harshly as we have.  Still, we want to be loved fully.  How is it possible for anyone to love us fully if we don't actually do the same.  You are  telling someone that you don't love yourself but you would like it if they could love you.  That is telling someone that you don't want to be yelled at and yelling at everyone else around you.  It is hypocritical.  You are not doing it, you aren't loving yourself.  You are hating on something you are or a behavior that you display and yet you want to be loved fully.  If you don't see how all of you is worthy how will anyone else?

There may be things in your life, history, behavior that you would prefer to change, this is the case for all human beings.  We are always working on progress.  Hating it won't actually make it disappear.  If you want something to change you will need to actually look at it, find out what, why, when and where.  You may find that you don't want that behavior gone or the history erased.  It actually makes up who you are and in some way has a purpose.  We are here and we are deliberate.  We are not mistakes.  When this is a reality in your world it is easier to look at all of you and allow the various parts to be acknowledged and even given space to exist in a way that allows them to show up when you want them to, not on accident.  The very thing you have been trying to hide usually bites you in the ass at some point, so you might as well make friends with it so that you can be its master instead of the other way around.

You may also want to show this to the one you would have love you.  If you aren't showing someone who you are, really, how will they have the opportunity to love who you are, really?  When you decide for someone else what they would or wouldn't like you don't give them the opportunity to decide for themselves.  You may have failed relationships (intimate or otherwise) that have more to do with your inauthenticity than anything else.  Be yourself, be brave, be fearless and you will be loved.

xo

a

Life Is What You Make It

Howdy! When people stop looking back they can move forward.  I have been guilty of looking back at past relationships, lamenting over what did or did not go well.  I have wondered if my life would have been different if I had made different choices.  I have been that guy who tried to rekindle a past relationship in case I had made a mistake.  I have spent time living in days long gone.  I know what it is like to not want the moment I am in to be when in reality this is all that is.  Because I have been here, it would seem like I would be super understanding when others dive into shoulda, woulda, coulda as well.  I am not.  I mean, I understand, but I know the damage that it causes all too well.  Tell me, would you let someone play with fire if you have been burned?  Would you not warn someone about the water being deep and the rapids fast so you could seem understanding?  I want to shine a light on the time wasted when spent on looking back, living backwards and being less than present.

I have heard so many people say so many things about wondering how things would have turned out.  I have actually been told that things would have been easier if I hadn't been born (by a loving family member).  That may have been the case, if it had been the case… but the reality is I was born and I am here.  The past doesn't change.  You can either get over it or you can live in it forever and ever and ever.  There is a way to integrate what has happened with where you are now.  There is no dishonor in not being depressed by your history, being happy in the moment and dealing with those things you have the power to change while letting everything else go.  This acceptance is truly freedom.  This freedom is a gift.  I would like to give that gift to you if you are open to receiving it.

One of the issues is that receiving the gift of accepting where you are right now and that you cannot change what has happened is you have no one to blame, no thing to blame, no past or situation to blame for your world right now.  All you have is power and responsibility.  This may seem exciting on the surface, but with power and great responsibility comes a shitload of work.  You have to take care of the now.  You have to own what you do, why you do it and know that the only constant in your world is you.  You are the only one who has put you where you are now.  It is a harsh reality.  I think that most of us would rather be depressed about the past than own our present and create our future.

Take a good hard look at your life.  Where are you placing the responsibility of your life?  Who have you allowed to be in charge.  Where do you see yourself, victim or ruler?  You do have a choice whether you choose to believe it or not.

xo

a

You First

Hello, When it comes to loving others, truly loving and being able to hold space or take care of what it is they need, the order would have to be you first.  Trying to give to someone something you deny from yourself isn't sharing love.  Trying to be what someone else wants when you don't know what you want isn't sustainable and at some point it will be too much for both or one of you.  Being there for someone requires that you know what that feels like, that you do it for yourself and/or have had someone be there for you in the ways you need them, not how they wanted to.  You are that someone…always.

Before you venture off trying to save the world, save yourself.  I am always baffled by the amount of giving people do for one another and at the same time think that giving to themselves is a sin or not the direction that they need to focus on.  Please understand, we are here to assist in the development of the whole but not by sacrificing ourselves… we are the whole.  Look at the world like a fractal, what I do to me just repeats and repeats on all levels.  And, it goes on and on and on.

Be that person that listens well with yourself.  Be the one who is always kind, with yourself.  Notice how well you treat you.  See if there is room for improvement in every aspect.  Do you like to be picked on?  Nagged?  Told that you suck?  Then why would you do it to yourself?  How would you trust someone who doesn't trust themselves?  Do you trust yourself?  Do you feel worthy of love?  Of joy?  Of happiness?  How would someone else really find that in you if you haven't found it in you?  How could you ask for something you yourself won't do?

You are the source.  You are the alpha and omega.  You are where the pain begins and where it can end.  You are where the love begins and where it can spread.  Focus on what it is that you are needing, feeling, seeing, hearing, afraid of, loving, wanting, deciding, thinking.  Make your work you.  Accept the things that you wish to change with the joy of a child.  Be curious about yourself.  You are amazing.  There was a day where your being born was the highlight.  You are enough just because you are… you exist.  Now get on with working on this existence, making it the best one you could imagine.  Share yourself and your growth so that others may shine their own light as well.  When we forget who we are chaos ensues.  When we believe that someone else holds the key we remain locked in place, rigid, unmoving.  We are the key, the lock, the sun and the moon.  When you feel yourself, whole, nothing can penetrate that.  You are much more effective when you are full of love than when you are looking for it.

See where you are taking care of or neglecting yourself.  Then look at your world.  Do you see you reflected?

xo

a