Mastery

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

Resolute

Howdy Partner, A new year is about to happen, and when a year is new everyone feels like they are too.  In celebration of that newness a lot of folks make resolutions.  The top 5 resolutions are: 1) To lose weight, 2) Getting organized, 3) Spend less, save more, 4) Enjoy life to the fullest, and 5) Staying fit and healthy.  (If you want to read 6-10 follow the link at the end of this blog)  My biggest concern is that staying fit and healthy is number 5… though spending more time with family is number 10, which I am sure has to do with the fact that resolutions come a week after Christmas and other winter holidays that push family time as the thing to do.

My second biggest concern is that while 45% of the US population makes New Year's Resolutions only 8% are successful while 24% of peeps who make resolutions never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.  Then you have age as a factor with younger folks being more successful than older (over 50) folks.  Maybe as we age we have had too many failures around resolutions/goals so it is easier to get discouraged and give up than when we are young and still have a few shreds of hope.  :)  It seems that resolutions aren't really effective when you look at all of these stats.  Is there a point then?  Shall we just stop and let it all go?

Well, not so fast.  Resolution, or goal setting has success.  It is a fact that someone without goals never reaches their goals 100% of the time.  So setting a goal gives you a chance to reach them.  Direction leads you somewhere, at least, and usually leads you in the direction you desire.  So, giving up on goal setting may not be he way to avoid failing, instead changing the goals we set or how we set them could be the answer.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something (Webster's Dictionary).  If we feel inspired we are more likely to act.  Your goals need to be inspired and inspirational… and the steps you take to reach them need to be inspired and inspirational as well.  So instead of losing weight this year, what is your inspiration?  Is it to wear certain brands, run a number of miles, do jumping jacks for a number of minutes, get your blood pressure down to a certain number, or feel good?  Maybe your inspiration is something else.  When your goals have meaning, a meaning you have thought out and delineated you may have a better chance of actually sticking to the steps necessary to reach them.  You may also do well to be honest, at least with yourself, about why you really want to reach a certain goal.  Know this:  whatever reason you have for setting a goal is valid.  Period.

When you put your heart into what you want to change, why you want to change it and what you will do to make it so… or rather, when you commit to a goal you no longer view it as something you can get out of.  You are in it.  You are dedicated.  You set up your world so that your goal is priority.  Maybe you have friends that encourage and hold you accountable, maybe you hire someone to help you reach your goals, maybe you stop making excuses.  However it is done, it is doable when you commit to it.

Good luck figuring out the direction you want your life to take in 2013.  It is yours to create, this future you dream of.  It starts with you, your vision, your motivation, your inspiration.

xo

a

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

Know Yourself

Howdy, Who actually spends time figuring out why they do what they do when they do what they do?  Why is it important to know?  Well, let's see… we are, most of us, walking around with the desire to be loved (it is more like the end all be all for everyone) and understood.  The thing about those desires is that we don't often love ourselves (which I have written about) and we most certainly don't always understand our motivations, reactions, feelings and inhibitions.  We actually spend very little time asking ourselves, "Why did I feel that?  Where are my feelings coming from?  Why did I say that?  What do I want?  Why do I want that?  Why do I need that?  Do I need that?  Do I want that?  Do I feel that? Do I care?  Do I want to need that?  Do I want to feel that?  Do I want to do that?"  It can go on and on and I feel that it is important to go on and on in the discovery of you.

If you were to ask yourself these questions regarding your every behavior a few things would come to light.  One, you don't know yourself that well and you probably should spend some time with you figuring you out.  If you don't know you, who the hell else will?  If you don't ask yourself these questions, who is running the show?  Are you purposeful in your interactions or are you willy nilly and wondering why things don't work out for you the way you would want them to?  So often we believe that because we are experiencing it we should operate from that experience being reason enough to react towards others in one way or another.  Rarely do we stop and ask if we want to go where we are going emotionally.  Too often we are reacting to something other than what is actually happening.  We spend so little time on finding out what is up with ourselves that we don't notice the blame game that we play on a regular basis.  We don't realize we put our work on others and then blame them when they don't know what we don't either.

Take a look at any situation you are currently experiencing.  Where is it stemming from?  It could be awesome it could be horrendous, just look at it and find out where the root is.  We associate.  It is what we do.  Something happens and it reminds us of something else.  If that something is pleasant all is well… if it isn't, all is hell.  I have, in a number of relationships, been told that thinking about everything that is said is exhausting.  So is running, biking, doing yoga, harvesting food, blah blah blah… it doesn't mean that you don't need to do it.  Your work is you.  Find out why, how, what about yourself.  Learn about you if you ever want someone else to.  If you don't think about what you say, why you say it and for what reason it is being said, what are you doing?  Just because you don't know the answers to the questions doesn't mean there aren't reasons for your feelings and behavior.

Knowledge is power.  Knowing yourself is a blessing, a gift, the culmination of persistent attention.  You deserve to pay attention to yourself.  You deserve to be the center of your universe.  You deserve to reign yourself in so others don't have to bear the weight of your not knowing.  No one deserves to have to figure you out.

You do you.  Thoroughly please.

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

ReConditioner

Hello there! There are many ways to look at a situation.  You can look at it from the perspective that it is happening to you.  You can look at it as if it is happening around you.  You can also look at it as happening inside you.  Even still you can look at it as if it isn't happening at all… that it is all imaginary.  I tend to look at it in all ways, going through one to the next pretty quickly.  When I am faced with a stressful (my perception) situation I feel victimized for a very short time and then quickly move to what I can control.  It is hard to stay the course when so many things seem to be thrown at you to knock you off course.

Our minds are tricky things.  Thoughts zoom by at the speed of light.  It seems to be impossible to slow them down let alone to stop them altogether.  Often we have thoughts that stem from feelings arising and we immediately believe that everything that is happening for us is true or has to be true.  We are conditioned beings, we have been taught that one thing means another, we have associations that at some point were created not inherent.  In order to free ourselves from the conditioning we have to allow the feelings and thoughts to exist (they are rather persistent) and look at them with curiosity instead of giving them our complete trust.  When you can let go of what you have always believed to be true about a feeling or a thought you can start recreating your life and undoing the conditioning that may be doing you in.

All of this is easier said than done.  There will be things that push you where you feel weakest.  You will be in the middle of a bad week and something will come along to show you just how not bad it really was in comparison.  You will find yourself in a place where you look around and recognize barely anything, where nothing makes sense, where you feel a bit lost.  You will find yourself off track.  It is hard to not panic in these situations, it is hard not to find something, someone else to hold responsible for it.  Personal responsibility isn't something you can pick and choose to have.  You either practice it or you don't.  If you can move through the series of feelings and thoughts that keep you stuck and twisting in the wind you just might see the blessing in it.  You are being given another opportunity to create the world, the life, you claim you want.

Much love,

xo

a

Now Is The Power

Hi there, In the moment that you feel lost you can be found again.  When you relinquish control of knowing, of what will, should, could happen, you find that space of what is.  In this you can find freedom that exists only when you accept each and every detail of each and every moment.  It is not something that we learn to do, we do it from birth, we actually have it taught out of us.  We get told to look back and look ahead and rarely do we get told to be where you are… sit in it and enjoy each breath.  If you do that for your family, bravo… it is a gift and a rare occurrence.

In our society the things that are imaginary take front and center.  From having holiday cards out in September to candy canes right after Halloween.  We have to prepare for our future… college funds, 401k's, etc.  We set goals based on a certain future when the two words together sound ridiculous to me… there is NOTHING certain about the future.  We create it as we go, though we keep on repeating what we know, instead of creating something new.  We are asked to tell others what we did over the weekend, last year, when we were kids.  Basically most conversation is built around things we cannot put a finger on anymore… things we can distort and things that aren't happening right now.  We focus so aggressively on the past or looking forward that we rarely see what is happening for us right now.

I used to run to audiobooks…  I was listening to Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now some years ago and trying to be ok with my situation (working at SUNY Buffalo for a verbally abusive Head Coach).  I kept having to go back to the part where he told me to just observe my thoughts.  Don't judge them, just allow them to happen without diving in and joining the noise.  I listened to it over ad over and then turned it off.  Then, I practiced.  I would run and just pay attention to each breath, each flower I saw, each step I took.  My breathing became easier.  The noise became quieter.  I became more empowered and finally left that crazy place.  When you are in your moments you can see where you are and what is happening for you.  When you are in your moments you can change them.

xo

a

What Do You Know?

Hello there, I would say that I know myself very well.  I am the expert on me… yet, I have, in the past couple of weeks learned about me in ways I didn't know I would.  So what of this knowing that I was so sure about?  Is it possible that what I believe I know is just what I have decided to tell myself or what I know about me so far?  I believe we put a little too much stock in who we know we are and what we know to be.

When we admit we have no idea we open up the possibility for learning.  I am not sure exactly when we become so rigid, but we all do.  At some point we actually believe that we KNOW something.  We think we know about others, the world, and ourselves.  Regardless of how many times we are shown something we didn't know before, at some point we begin believing that we know crap.  When we say we know, we cut off being open to what else is there.  When we say we know, we are soon shown otherwise.

Understand that everything is in flux, nothing stays the same, what we know is going to change.  We may think that it is important to have information, to master all things that we have chosen to.  There is nothing wrong with that inherently.  It is possible to master what we decide to until we are shown the deeper levels of that thing.  There are always layers to things that reveal themselves only after we are able to see fully the layer that we are on (or when we think we are done learning).  There is always more, always.

When you find yourself in a place where you are stuck on knowing change your language.  Instead of definitive responses say that you know what you like in this moment, or you know where you would like to be at this point.  Knowing, like everything else, changes.  Stay curious and enjoy the journey.

xo

a

Listen

Hello there, Pay attention to that voice, the one that isn't mean, the one that isn't abusive.  That abusive a-hole needs to be ignored, and now.  The voice that tells you to turn left instead of right, the voice that tells you to take a walk, to be still, to shut up.  That voice that is trying to get you to calm down and pay attention, most of the time (sometimes that voice will say, "RUN" and you should, knees to chest, if you get my drift).  The bottom line is, your intuition is calling and you would do well to answer the call.

When you know something right away (which is most of the time) and you talk yourself out of it… that is your 'knowing' at work.  What makes you ignore it?  Why do we second guess what we know to be true?  Much of the time we are not aware that we are ignoring our intuition.  Often we deny what we know because we don't like it.  At some point we have to let go of our idea of good and bad and see things as information.  When you judge something as one of two things you bring the other into existence.  That is, bad exists because we have deemed other things to be good.  Yep, it is our doing.  So when we know something, we usually talk ourselves into whatever we feel makes the most sense for the reality we have decided to accept, instead of purposefully create.  We have a concept of reality where there is good and bad, so everything gets filtered in that way… which means much of what is actually happening is absolutely ignored because we feel like it may not fit, or be good.  Take away the judgement and listen to the information.  Listen and feel for it.  You are being given information all of the time.

How would your world work if you acknowledged what that first gut instinct, feeling, motivation told you?  What would you learn about yourself if you paid attention to your knowing?  How would you live your life if you listened to YOU?  What would stay, what would go?  What is stopping you from listening to what you know to be true for you?  How do you begin to move toward being in sync with your voice?

The world is a miraculous, glorious place.  The world is inside of you.  You are amazing.  Remember this, each and everyday.  There is nothing you cannot accomplish when you accept that as fact.

xo

a

No Pain, No Gain

Hiya, Sore.  I am.  I am sore.  Being sore is fantastic because it highlights areas I am not currently strong in.  It tells me that I am not there yet.  Wherever there is.  The workout I did is just an example of doing something outside of my comfort zone.  I can take that experience and apply it to other parts of my world.  I can look at various ways I have stretched myself or stayed within an area that was familiar.  I can see where I am sore emotionally, intellectually, and physically and know that I am growing, changing, learning and developing.  If I find myself in a place that is comfortable and I am not challenged I know there is work that is around the corner for me to see to, when I decide.

What have you done that recently that would get you sore?  In what areas have you challenged yourself?  Have you looked at what you thought you knew, felt and wanted and reevaluated it to the point where shifts occur?  Why have you or haven't you stretched past your regular, everyday routine?  What would benefit from you doing more than you have the day before, or doing differently?

Growth takes persistence, patience and awareness.  It also takes time and consistency.  Everyday you will be faced with the opportunities to do more than what you know.  You will have to continue to get sore, to do the work.  Change isn't usually an overnight thing.  My soreness will continue if I don't make the new workout a habit.  It is up to you to grab hold of the challenge, do the work to master it, and reap the benefit.

Have fun!

xo

a

Work And Wait For It

Hello, How long have you abused you?  How long have you taken drugs, eaten like sh*t, lived a sedentary (or close to it) life, thought jacked up thoughts about yourself and everyone else, judged everything, allowed others to take advantage or taken advantage of others?  Are your firm, muscular.  Do you have quick reflexes?  Are you alert?  Do you sweat daily?  Do you have any addictions?  If you can say yes to any of the above questions you have work to do.  The work isn't temporary; it will take some time to undo what you have done so well and so consistently.

I have to remind many of my clients that it took them many years to get where they are and it will take 'some' time to get to a place that they have possibly never been or haven't been to in a long time.  In all honesty, it is amazing how quick our bodies, hearts and minds are when it comes to recovery.  A smoker can smoke for 20 years and undo a huge portion of the damage by quitting for less than a year.  Our bodies want desperately to be healthy, feel great and carry us to and fro.  As soon as we show a sign of wanting to actually care for them (our bodies), they work overtime trying to rid themselves, you, of the mess that had been compounded for years.  Think about it like a neighborhood that just keeps getting dumped on.  After years of neglect all sorts of mayhem sets in.  Critter infestations, rot, mold, mildew.  To clean up a neighborhood would take a lot more time than a week, or two.  The manpower and patience alone would be intense.  Cranes may be needed, teams of folks might volunteer to assist.  All in all it would not be an overnight fix.  It could be months before the smell of old, mildewed materials is lifted.

Our bodies are the same way.  We need to give more than two weeks, one month, 6 months to heal the damage we have done.  We have to get it out of our heads that we should feel better after a few days of ridding our daily intake of allergy causing, inflammatory substances.  You have to understand that we are a very complex system.  Our bodies cannot always get rid of the "poison" we ingest in the form of 'food, medicine and libation.  It may be a long process to get ourselves back to a point before we began the slow and methodical destruction of our bodies.  So next time you want to see immediate results from a quickie cleanse/diet/exercise routine ask yourself those same questions I asked you.  How long have you abuse you?  How long?  How long?

xo

a

Can You Hear You Now?

Good Evening :) We are all working towards becoming who we will be.  We are all discouraged at times and encouraged at others.  Sharing your journey, telling your story can be the catalyst for someone else to move forward.  Tell it, go ahead, be courageous and open.  Sharing is caring after all!  I encourage you to reply via email or through the blog post.  What is your story?

I was raised with the belief that we come back, time and time again, reincarnated.  I was also raised with the beliefs of the Yoruba tradition.  Polytheism, alters, gods with personalities, that was my reality.  It is what I remember the most if you were to ask me about religion in my life.  With that said, we were told, in every way, that we could believe what made sense to us.  I was interested in traditional religion, namely christianity, so I signed up for Sunday School one summer.  I remember ironing my clothes for school one day and burning myself pretty badly.  Honestly, that is the most I remember about going to Sunday School, that and the fact that I was bored out of my mind.  The great thing was that my mother allowed me to discover for myself what resonated with me in every aspect of my life.

Because I have a strong sense of discovering my own truth, I tend to feel comfortable with checking in with my inner self, my soul, my spirit, my guides to find the answers to the questions I seek.  I check in, daily, with myself to be sure that I am on my path, doing what I am supposed to be doing.  I never hear the voice of judgement or doubt, it is always a clear voice that urges me on.  I am very thankful for being in touch with that higher self, guides, or whomever, because I know that many people struggle to gather information about themselves.  So much confusion, so much stress, so much pain is felt because we are looking for answers outside of ourselves instead of realizing that the answers spring forth from within.  When you practice being your own savior you find that you never need saving.  This is true in terms of religion and other relationships.

Connection is key to finding the answers you seek.  When you remember that you are never disconnected from the source and that you are a part of the source, we all are, you have greater reverence for all things and people around you.  You see each moment as a gift to be opened, appreciated and moved on from.  Recognizing the impermanence of something/someone doesn't mean you don't value it, it means you recognize it.  It means you don't take it for granted.  It means you understand how profound each moment is, after all you won't get that moment back, ever.

With reincarnation as my understanding, learning is my driving force.  I take everything that happens (that I bring awareness to) as information.  It is important, for me to look at my world as the creation of my soul for my own soul's learning and development.

How do you take your moments?  When do you feel most connected?  How do you ask for help from your higher self/god/connection?

xo

a

It's All You

"Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is inaccurate.  You make yourself unhappy."  ~Wayne Dyer Howdy!

Personal responsibility.  This is one of the areas I tend to push others toward.  It is an area that isn't easy to stomach.  We spend our lives blaming others for basically everything.  Our mother, our father, our boss, our boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse.  We put the onus on everyone else before taking credit.  We do the ultimate blaming by putting things in the hands of whatever God or Goddess we believe in and basically counting ourselves out of what happens (good or bad).

What happens when you start to see things as your responsibility, your 'fault'?  When you see that you are the reason, the cause, the creator of your situation, good or bad.  Let's see… is there resistance?  Do you feel annoyed by that idea?  Are you aware of the areas you make other people 'take care' of you?  Maybe you use language like:  "you made me" or I wouldn't have if you had not blah blah blah.

We are built in so many forms with so much diversity of history.  I grew up in a household where we spoke our minds.  We were allowed to feel and express things.  I know many folks who grew up not being able to express their emotions.  If there was someone who was loud and sharing their feelings in a forceful way those who weren't used to that type of expression may react with fear, concern, worry, upset and someone who was used to that type of communication might react with understanding and a feeling of familiarity.  The person expressing themselves wouldn't be doing something different though those on the receiving end would be feeling different things about the exhibited behavior.  Is it possible that each person filters the same experience based on their own history.  Would that mean that nothing originates in the moment?  Most of our reactions to things have to do with what we know, believe, feel, have judgements around or preferences.  Is anyone to blame for how we take something if we decide to take it one way or another based on what we held on to from the past?  Who is responsible for how we are really?

Personal responsibility isn't just about feeling crappy when someone says something you don't like or feeling validated by something someone says.  It is about realizing that you are actually in charge of feeling how you would like to feel or dealing with what comes up when you are triggered.  One of my gifts is that I am a trigger.  I am a bringer of awareness and with that comes some gratitude and resentment.  Most of us have no desire to acknowledge that our ex actually didn't do anything wrong, even if they cheated, even if they broke up with us through text, even if they started dating someone right after the relationship was over.  We choose to take that behavior one way or another… and we most certainly choose to take it personally and make it about us.  That person didn't make you feel any one way or another.  What they did do was share an experience with you that allowed you to find out where there was work to be done.  When you feel triggered, angry, upset, hurt, blaming you are being given information.  You are getting a light shined on the areas where you stumble over loving unconditionally.  You are being shown the areas where you really are selfish.  When you believe things are about you, you are mistaken.  When you are left to take care of you, deal with you, own you, it can be pretty frustrating.  You may begin to look at how much you put on others and how much you let others put on you.  You might start to see the hilarity of guilt and the pain of many relationships that keep us from seeing ourselves honestly.  When you begin to own the fact that you are the reason, no one else, things change.  When you understand your power over your life, your world there is a freedom, a joy, that cannot be put into words.

Find your freedom, love your life, own your sh*t.

"Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves."  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

xo

a

"You must take personal responsibility.  You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of."  ~Jim Rohn

Your Responsibility

Sweat.  Daily.  Seriously. I know that my fitness routine (my life) is sometimes daunting and to many seemingly impossible.  I am never trying to get someone to move their body as much as I do, unless they would like to.  But, movement is what life is about.  There are all kinds of ways to get a good sweat and all you need to do is try various activities to find the one that works for you.  Self-care also includes what you use to fuel your body and your mind.  These are your tasks in this life along with whatever you decide is your work (spiritual or otherwise), however, many of us refuse to accept the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and instead make excuses as to why it doesn't or isn't happening.

One of my favorite excuses to staying stuck in stillness are not having enough time.  Enough time for what?  20 minutes?  You don't have 20 minutes?  Really?  Are you being honest?  Maybe your excuse is you don't know what to do.  Ok: Jumping Jacks, Push Ups & Sit Ups - Do 20 each, 19 each, 18 each, 17 each all the way down to 1.  Now you have something to do.  Next.  You don't like exercise?  Do you like looking and feeling good?  Sometimes you have to do things that aren't fun for your own good.  Next.  Maybe you don't think that how you think about something matters.  Ask others, pay attention, see how thoughts become reality.  If this is something you already know and you feel like having to pay attention is too much work, ok.  I think that living a life that you don't like is a lot of work.  Mastering your thoughts is hard but has a much better outlook.  It is your choice of course.

Let's face it, most excuses are not valid.  At some point you will matter.  What you use for your fuel will matter.  How you think about yourself will matter.  Whether your body moves regularly or not will matter.  Imagine waking up feeling ready to go without needing an outside stimulant.  Imagine not needing 10 hours of sleep.  Imagine having energy that allows you to dance, play, sing, enjoy your entire day.  Imagine that for yourself and really see it, visualize what that person would look like, feel like, speak like.  How would that person behave.  That person is you.  It is possible, but you first have to care about how you treat you.  How you feed you.  How you move you.

One day you will begin to stop making excuses and begin living a life you never thought was possible.  One day you will expect, from yourself, the very best and, one day, you will actually be able to give it.  It feels great to hold yourself accountable, to take charge of your life and to feel great in the process.  It really does.  We have been given this wonderful life to take care of.  We have been entrusted with our selves and most of us are abusive parents.

Get started, get going, get it done.

xo

a

Catching Feelings

Hello there! I have very strong feelings about most things.  I write every day about how I feel about one thing or another.  I enjoy feeling good, fit, strong, happy, etc.  I even enjoy feeling pissed, angry and sometimes sad.  I embrace it all, no judgements.  I work on being conscious of my feelings every step of the way.  I question them all of the time and have, at this point, learned how to interpret my feelings pretty well.  Feelings are a language that most of us have not mastered in the least.  Many of us treat our feelings as the ultimate truth whether we actually would classify them as valid, honest or would be in agreement with them if we spent some time looking at them objectively.

I teach indoor cycling, spinning is what most people call it.  My classes have been described as 'hard' and I would have to say that they are designed to be challenging.  During these classes I know that participants can sometimes become desperate.  They express emotions that resemble fear and have told me that they literally thought they were going to die.  Now, they aren't about to die, they are simply just pushed to what they feel is their max.  They feel their heart race, they feel out of breath, they feel like they don't have enough energy, strength, chutzpa, to continue.  Their feelings are not the truth.  They are fine, they do have more, they won't die (in that moment).  However, when they have these feelings it determines how they react to the work that is before them.  Many back off, some stop, others keep pushing but feel like they may not be able to for long.  We take our feelings at face value without thinking critically.  We put the judgements of right & wrong or good & bad on them, when feelings, honestly, are just information.

Feelings are great when we learn how to use them, when we are able to discern the ones that are giving information to move forward on and ones that are simply getting in the way.  Feelings can help you reach a goal or keep you from it.    Feelings can bring you to love or take you away from it.  Feelings can get you up in the morning to complete a workout or give you a reason to stay in bed.  Basically, feelings aren't to be trusted at face value.  They are, instead, to be questioned.  Ask yourself if you actually want what they are implying.  Ask yourself if you would agree with the feeling's accompanying thoughts.  Do the feelings you are having actually make sense?  Maybe you are feeling anxious because someone isn't behaving how you expected.  Does your feeling anxiety actually mean that something is wrong?  If not, what do your feelings mean?

Awareness that feelings are to be interpreted and not just taken at face value can be helpful, if you take the concept in.  Recognizing feelings as information doesn't mean you don't cry, don't get angry or sad.  On the contrary, that awareness gives you space to do what your feelings urge you to if you choose that direction to go.  Being aware of feelings as information gives you an opportunity to detach from behaviors that don't align with your highest goals/potential.  Because you are not reacting to your feelings without awareness you are able to choose your actions clearer.  You are able to make decisions that support who you want to be instead of repeating who you have been.  When you become an observer of your feelings instead of the victim, you are able to decide how your feelings can actually help lift you instead of bring you down.

"The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know."  ~Mary Stewart

xo

a

Lies & The Liars That Tell Them

"To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development.  To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's life.  It is no less than a denial of the soul."  ~Oscar Wilde Good Day!

Are you a liar?  Have you been honest every moment of your life?  Have you denied yourself love because of lies you have told?  I have lied, to others and to myself.  I have been caught in lies, gotten away with lies and squashed my light because I haven't forgiven myself for some of the lies I have told.  Because I know that I am a fantastic actor I keep myself in check.  I am aware of that liar part of me that enjoys showing up and I give her tasks that are harmless to others and helpful to me.  When you own who you are you become your greatest gift.

First and foremost when we judge we cut off knowledge; we distance ourselves from ourselves.  Second, when we judge we oppress; we put ourselves down and create a deeper hole to climb out of in order to see light.  When you lied  you had a reason.  It served you in the moment.  That part of you that is capable of lying, stretching the truth or bending reality is probably a very handy part of yourself.  Too often we run from what we are ashamed of and we lose the gift that experience has to give.  When you deny any one part of you, you deny all of you.  What you don't allow yourself to see about yourself becomes bigger until it gets the attention it needs.  You will find yourself faced with the parts of you that you try to ignore or reject either in others or by you expressing it yourself over an over again.  What your resist persists.

Owning your truth & your lies allows you to see patterns in your life a bit clearer.  It also allows you to have more compassion and to be more connected to others in general.  So many of us deny that we are capable of the very things we deem horrible, awful, terrible, sinful, shameful, etc. only to find ourselves in a situation where we are forced to go back on that judgement.  The universe gives you all you need to learn about love and acceptance which can sometimes be delivered with a punch.

Instead of looking back at some of your behavior and recoiling in horror, how about letting the judgement go.  See the action, delve into the reasoning you gave as to why you did what you did and see if that is true for you now.  Does that make sense to you now, do you want to do it again?  When you know what you can do, you can do it when you want to.  You become the master of you… you become free.

xo

a

Ooooh, I'm Tellin'!

Howdy! Have you ever felt like you were 'in trouble' with someone?  What does that feel like for you?  What age do you feel like you go to when that feeling is present.  How does your body respond physically?  I get warm and then I get pissed, because I am actually allowing myself to feel small… like a child.  I realize quickly that I am giving my power away and that my feelings are me projecting, being self-centered, and a bit dramatic.  Then I let it go.  Has anyone ever said that to you, that they feel like they are in trouble because you felt annoyance around something they did?  How does that feel for you?

We usually feel like we have done something wrong or are in trouble when we get a reaction from someone who reminds us of a previous, long past reaction.  Maybe our parents would be short with us when they were upset.  Maybe our teachers snapped when we did something wrong in their eyes.  The truth is it was never about you when you were 'in trouble' then and it most certainly isn't at this point in your life when that feeling bubbles up for you.  Taking something personally is actually one of the most self-centered behaviors we can demonstrate.  Taking something personally is making it all about you.  There is always so much more going on with someone who is showing annoyance towards you.  There are years of things that you will probably never know about and needn't concern yourself with that are bringing up annoyance for that person.  When you take offense or take something personally you are giving up your power and becoming someone who is, in many ways, powerless.  Additionally you also create a dramatic event where there may have not been one.

What happens for you when you take something personally?  Are you already feeling bruised in some way?  Are you holding onto something that you cannot communicate without there being an emotional push?  So often people don't know how they feel until it is past the point of coherent communication.  That lack of awareness can cause them to feel walked on because they haven't seen to their needs.  Ownership for where they are, someone who doesn't know how they feel, is the key to peaceful resolution.  The bottom line is no one is responsible for how anyone else feels.  Feelings are personal and are based on what is happening inside of the person having them.  You have an infinite number of ways to take something… personally is just one option.

Next time you feel like someone's 'ish is about you remind yourself that you may be fantastic but you are not the reason for anyone else's situation… and move on.

xo

a

Working Out!

Howdy! "I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing."  ~Marsha Doble

I work out several times a day.  This daily practice is a part of a dream realized.  Movement keeps me going and I appreciate it every day.  There have been times in my life where I had a hard time motivating to go to the gym.  The most recent time was after about a year of living in Seattle.  My nephew had passed away the year before and I was feeling unmotivated.  I was coaching rowing at Lake Union Crew and my wake up time was 4:30am.  I normally get up with very little effort, but during this time I was actually tempted to hit snooze again and again.  Finally, I went to a doctor who discovered that I was so low in Vitamin D that I needed a prescription to get it to a safe range.  I remember feeling soooo much better in a short time and haven't really been stuck in a rut since.

There were times, in the past, where I would walk into the gym, lift some weights, talk to some folks, lift more and leave.  I could spend 45 minutes in the gym and get 20 minutes of work in.  Seriously.  I saw this woman in a gym today doing just that.  I was working with a client in a small fitness center when a woman came in and got on the treadmill.  After about 7 minutes she got off, grabbed some water and slowly returned to the treadmill.  She started it, then stopped to play with her iPod.  She spent another 3 minutes on the treadmill then left.  All of this was done with the guise that serious effort to work out had been made.  It was a beautiful dance.

It dawned on me that she was not unusual.  She was me, in the past, and lots of folks right now.  She would say she had worked out today.  She would say that she went to the gym.  You know what, going isn't enough.  10 low impact, interrupted minutes isn't actually a workout.  I know that many fitness mags and 'experts' say that any movement is good and that is fine.  I am a proponent of actually working out, of getting your heart rate up, of sweating, of showing up instead of just being there.  We all could use a little kick in the ass when it comes to getting our workout done.  Stop making excuses and bringing distractions.  You get out of your workouts what you put into them.

If you are finding that you are lacking motivation it would be helpful to ask to get your Vitamin D checked.  It makes a huge difference if you have been living with a Vitamin D Deficiency.

"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness."  ~Edward Stanley

xo

a

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :) 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:

New York City.

Being Friends With Ex's.

Planes.

Kate Hickl.

Sarah Shattuck.  

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:

Keep on keeping on.  Grow, Be, Do.  All that you are working towards now will come to fruition, just believe.

"Patience is waiting.  Not passively waiting.  That is laziness.  But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience."  ~Anon

What are you wanting to change in your world?  Where are you looking to go?  Set the idea fast in your mind.  See it.  Breathe it.  Believe it.  You must continue to work, to sweat, to act.  Hold onto the vision of your future, work hard in the present, and all that you dream will be yours.

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

xo

a

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Aina

HiHo! Recently I had a dream that I was flying.  It was more like levitation than actual flying.  I lifted off of the ground after seeing other people do it.  It wasn't a dream that felt like I was asleep.  It was more like an experience and it felt amazing.  I was able to lift off once without much effort.  It was like a switch just flipped and I was able to push away from the earth.  The next time I tried it was harder.  I had begun to question my ability…

Isn't that funny?  I had already done it and yet I was afraid that it was a fluke and my doubt created the difficulty in realizing my ability to fly.  Have you ever  been in that situation before, questioning something you had already done?  I imagine so, otherwise we wouldn't have a saying called beginner's luck.  When we do something for the first time, there is no luck involved.  There is openness, lack of judgement, belief, possibility, and faith.  When we do it for the second time all of the previous ways of being are now strained a bit.  We begin to judge if we can repeat or actually do it if we failed the 1st time.  We aren't as open because we have a history and we are trying to do what we did instead of just doing it without pressure.  We lack faith because we have, in our past somewhere, failed to do something consistently.  Basically, we take away the things that make it possible and then decide that the only reason it happened was luck.  The first time is always the greatest because we create obstacles to repeating it.  It is no longer new and our curiosity turns to hope and expectation.  How can we hold onto the curiosity with each attempt?  How can we let go of the expectation so we can give rise to the exploration?

I believe that we have to work on how we think about EVERYTHING.  Paying close attention to the number of times we question, doubt, or simply refuse to entertain something as a possibility.  Being open isn't something that we automatically get back, there is effort involved.  When we were children, most of us were open to learning things without reservation.  We have had years and years of being told 'no' or 'you can't' or 'it won't work' by parents, friends, teachers, and the like. In turn we are where we are, with beginners luck as a truth and success as a 'hard to come by' experience.  We have a lot of unlearning to do before we are open to each moment being new again.  However, it is possible; it's possible quickly if you want it to be, and more importantly if you believe it to be.

So go on, believe that you can fly… you just might take off.

xo

a

On Your Mark

"I am too positive to be doubtful.  Too optimistic to be fearful.  And too determined to be defeated."  ~vandon Yeehaw!

I LOVE winning.  It's true.  The other truth is that everybody does!  Ok, not everyone but most.  As an instructor and coach I am not competing in the same way I do as a rower, runner, Words With Friends player.  Instead I compete to get my athletes as fit as I can get them.  To bring them to health and wellbeing in the best way for them.  I become their biggest fan, their resolve when they have none, and their answers when they are questioning.  I find fulfillment in the work that I do and for that I am grateful.

I haven't competed in a race or event that wasn't connected to supporting a client in quite some time.  So I haven't actually tapped into my own personal desire to compete for Aina in a while.  Basically I haven't had to be in that place that I put my riders, clients, athletes in and then coach them through.  I hadn't had the opportunity to compete with me for me.  Until recently when I joined The LAB - A Crossfit Gym on Eastlake.  I am not doing anything that is amazing, just small workouts of the day (WODs) when I show up… but compete I am.  Because my schedule is packed with teaching and training I don't get to the gym as much as I would like.  The two times that I have had the opportunity to compete I have had the fastest time overall completing the workout that was assigned.  Can I tell you how fantastic that feels??  It is GREAT!  Seriously.  I love competing and I love seeing the hard work that I do pay off in a way that I enjoy.  One of the many benefits of being fit is being able to swing a kettlebell until the cows come home. :)  Yep.

Now, just because I compete doesn't mean I have to win or that I get upset when I don't.  I am a coach, and a very good one, and I understand perspective.  Prior to that I was an athlete that was new to competing.   In my freshman year of college I lost a huge race as a part of a team that had, up to that point,  won everything.  I was devastated.  I sobbed for hours on the floor in my dorm room while my then boyfriend grew ever exhausted with me not getting ready for a date we had.  I felt overcome with sorrow for the work I put in only to lose by less than a second in the Championship.  It was so hard because I had never experienced that kind of loss before.  The loss of a race.  The loss as an athlete.  It was a very important experience, one that I grew tired of quickly and realized shortly after the final tears fell that I was taking things way too seriously.  It was a game.  It was FUN, right?  I needed to see how seriously I took it, how important it was/is for me.  I figured out that I didn't need to be devastated by a supposed loss.  I learned that it was during those time when most of my information was gathered to lead me to amazing future successes.  I learned that the how in dealing with anything matters more than what the anything is.  I also learned that the toughest competition is within… moving to a stronger place within yourself.  Doing more than the day before.  Pushing through no matter what.

I know people who get afraid of competing, who think it is negative because they feel that it puts others down, or leaves others out.  There is nothing wrong with loving being first in something.  It feels good.

I believe that we often don't compete because we don't want to lose not because we don't want to win.  Are you not competing because you are afraid of the work it takes to be great or because you don't think you ever could be?

xo

a

 

"I'm not in competition with anybody but myself.  My goal is to beat my last performance." ~Celine Dion