love

Love Brings Joy

Hello lovely, I am happy 99.8% of the time. I am asked how is that possible and what do I do. Well the short answer is that I do what I want. But truly it is because I take responsibility for me, how I feel, that my feelings are mine and not someone else's. I don't blame another for where I am, who I am or how I am. I realize that I have the power to view things in a way that will foster love and growth or fear and destruction. I am happy because I put so much love into me that nothing else has room to grow. I have no space for someone else to set up shop and start dismantling what I have built. Believe me, people will try; they will try to get inside of you and tell you that you are wrong, bad. It is your choice whether to let them in or to tell them to high-tail it out of town.

We are so used to feeling the need to be validated by others that we allow them to tell us that we are doing our lives all wrong. As an example: I was discussing family with a friend when she asked me how I respond to people being less than understanding when they find out that I don't speak to my mother (except in cases of emergency). I responded that I don't give people the space to judge what I do (to my face at least). The idea that someone would feel comfortable telling me that they feel I should live my life differently is comedy to me. Honestly hilarious. Part of the reason there is no room is because I am never confused about decisions I make. I recognize this as a blessing, I do. I work with my clients to gain clarity around their own lives so that they can also make clear and definitive choices, and change their minds if they choose to.

I live my truth at all times. I do not ever attempt to be someone other than who I am, fully. That person is absolutely deserving, worthy, worthwhile, amazing and divine. She is also an asshole, stubborn and selfish when she needs to be. I don't EVER feel wrong. I don't ever feel like I am not good enough. I don't ever believe someone is going to know better than I will how I feel. I never allow those stories, those lies to be a part of my universe. They are allergic to the air in my atmosphere. It is the most freeing thing that you can ever experience, being authentic. I do what I want and you can too; things will still get done, life will continue, work will be worked and tasks accomplished.

So, yes, I am happy because I wouldn't have it any other way. My joy is of the utmost importance. When I am joy I am able to give without needing to take many breaks; I don't feel used; I don't need it reciprocated because it is without expectation that I am giving. Happiness is available to every single one of us… you just have to take it.

butterflylady
butterflylady

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

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:

Sydnee. Staying Up. Sleeping In. My Guitar. Tuesdays.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week 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:

I may be chronologically 39 but in reality I am ageless. I enjoy my life and everything in it. This acceptance and ability to go with the flow keeps me bouncing around the same way I did when I was 30 years younger. I enjoy the unknown (it is like christmas morning to me) and love surprises. I look forward to playing and am never bored. Life is best lived in the moment and our moments are so abundant that it is like winning the lottery on a daily basis to me, this life. So much to see, learn and do. So many people to love and to love you back. Growing up is fantastic if you never let go of love and curiosity. The thing is, many people believe that growing up means leaving the parts of life that were fun, silly, experimental, wondrous and curious behind. I believe that aging, in part, is due to the cutting off of the vital energetic flow. We prepare for and accelerate our demise with the present day belief of what growing up is.

If you are someone who spends most of their time unimpressed with the things around them you might be suffering from "grownupitis" and there is a way out; it doesn't have to be terminal. You can find your way back to love, joy and fun no matter how far down the path to stagnation you have run. The first thing you will need to recognize is that love, joy and fun are never far from you… they are residents inside of you. You may have neglected them but they won't leave, they just need to be nurtured, watered as it were. One of the best ways to nurture love, joy and fun is to do something that you deem immature or childish… or that you may believe is for kids only, like hopscotch, swings, jump rope, trampoline, thumb wrestling, making faces, juggling, playing with putty, coloring or simply dancing around your house. Do something that takes away any sign of appropriateness away, like a whoopie cushion in a board meeting! Let go of trying to control an outcome and just do some stuff for fun. See how it feels to be free.

The second thing that can help you live your moments with reckless abandon is to own your feelings and let others own theirs too. When you release the need to control others you have more time to have fun. Seriously. When you stop trying to get everything to work out in some way or another you have more time to do the things you love. We make things so complicated and we resist the abundance of ease that actually exists. When you love something love it, when you don't, don't. We put up so many walls to love, joy, fun and wonder based on beliefs that are absolutely arbitrary. Create the reality you would like to live in and then live in it! This is your journey, your path, your universe… explore it, love it!

happiness_boy
happiness_boy

xo a

As Is, Is Perfect

Howdy, It is ok that you aren't always nice. It is ok that you are sometimes an asshole. It is ok that you don't have it all figured out. It is. Many of us have decided that in order to be ok we have to be void of anything that has been judged as negative, bad, base. We believe that we must cut out our darkness as we would a cancer. We want everyone to live in harmony and light without recognizing that harmony and light need discord and darkness to exist. The issue isn't that everything exists, it is all in how we are viewing it. Our adding condemnation to something that we already have fear, shame and regret around only adds to the strength of the darkness and our fear; it only turns the lights out more. When you recognize the place that darkness deserves and requires in order for you to see the light, you no longer have any reason to fear that the darkness or shadow controls you or will do damage. A gun isn't dangerous unless it is in the hands of a human. The darkness isn't the bad guy.

When we refuse to accept the divinity of all things, including the stuff we hate, we refute, we would like to run the opposite direction from, we are forced then to repeat the experience that we so adamantly condemned. We don't have to learn through suffering, it is simply that we refuse to learn any other way… The universe isn't conflicted, we are. The universe isn't judging you as good or bad, it is simply throwing at you information for you to use to create deeper and richer experiences of your choosing. Imagine being able to look at your experiences in your life as ways to grow closer to your's and other's divinity. What would be the purpose of denying anything that was, in actuality, a gift. It is never the thing itself that is the issue but, instead, the thoughts we have about that thing that becomes our albatross. When you leave the thing as an it, or place on it the wise experience that is its highest potential, your world shifts in miraculous ways.

Our thinking is our biggest hurdle, our wanting to fit into an idea of something we have never truly experienced. We spend our time deciding what ok and what is not or trying to manipulate the world around us to fit into our narrow ideas (based on our limited experience) of love. What we don't fully understand is that all of it is love and worry, fear, hate, etc are also part and parcel to the journey to love… albeit roundabout. It is a hard thing to grasp that you are never without, never alone, never lost; that even when you are an asshole you are divine. Even when you don't know the next move to make you are moving in the direction you are supposed to be moving. Acceptance is an unveiling of the miracle of existence… of everything.

Wake up to the magic, it can be phenomenal if you allow it to be.

chaos
chaos

xo a

Loving You

Hi! I love relationships. I know that they are the best way to learn about ourselves. I also know that they can be uber challenging which is why there is so much beauty in them (and so much to write about). The aspect of relationships that consistently come up for me in my life and in my client's lives is that of taking care of one another. There are so many things about that phrase that people love and hate. There is a level of taking care of someone that is comforting and healthy and then there is the area where it becomes unhealthy, controlling and self-serving. Most couples tend to go towards unhealthy, controlling and self-serving with the idea that they are being comforting and healthy. It is a hard truth but one that ultimately will lead to a better understanding of why we do what we do and how we can change it.

We are taught to find the one that completes us; our better half. We are led to believe that life is better with a partner, someone to call our own. We are taught that the person we marry/partner with needs to fulfill various requirements and be dutiful and see to our needs. We are taught that we should look outside of ourselves for what we truly need to nurture within us. Our love for another is just a reflection of our love for ourselves. How you are loving your partner is a direct reflection of the love you are giving yourself. When you aren't holding yourself responsible to take care of your needs and desires you will find disappointment in others attempts. When you are hoping your partner does this or that, things you aren't doing for you, they will also fail miserably to fulfill what truly is your task to see to. For example, when you want your partner to communicate with you in a way that is understanding and loving and supportive, what you are finding is that you aren't doing that for you and that information is clearly shown to you by your partner's treatment. Seriously, think about it honestly. When you begin to set boundaries, take care of you and let your partner know what does or does not work, instead of expecting things to just magically happen, you will see a noticeable shift in how you feel and how you are treated. The example you set is the example the people in your life follow. You have to demonstrate how you want to be taken care of by taking care of yourself in that way.

Additionally, there is a pressure that is lifted off of your loved ones when you recognize that they are not the source for your misery and enjoyment. When you stop blaming them for your own stuff they can breathe. When they see that you are not relying on them to be your everything they can be great for you how they are able, and will actually really want to be as well. There is a lot of resentment in relationships where partners are trying to bandage up the other's wounds and in turn neglect their own. Resentment becomes the underlying feeling, along with anger and pain. Let go of the tired and unhealthy notion that you need completion. Embrace the idea that you are all you need to be happy. Maybe then you will decide to be in relationship that honors that and supports your continued work towards who you want to be. Just because you marry someone does not mean you no longer honor and respect the never ending bond your soul made by coming into your body and creating the wonderful and divine YOU that you are.

Be your best friend, lover and partner first. Why would you ever think someone else should love you when you don't or won't?

valentine-heart-of-hearts
valentine-heart-of-hearts

xo a

Listen Up!

Hey! This is an appeal coming directly from my heart and soul, please, please, please stop putting yourself down, abusing yourself, telling yourself you don't deserve this or that, being your own worst critic.  Please stop treating yourself like you don't matter, aren't worthy and are less than.  Please stop being the perfect example for emotional and physical abuse.  Please put an end to the constant and unrelenting tirade you wage against yourself daily.  We are all exhausted from pushing back, resisting that voice, giving into that voice, allowing ourselves to be stifled; our light dimmed.  It is no wonder why we are short and irritable with one another, we don't really have the energy to be light-hearted and easy-going when we are invalidated on a regular basis in some way.

The way that we mistreat ourselves comes in a myriad of ways.  So many, in reality, that it is hard to sometimes pinpoint how it is happening.  Often the best way to find out how we are treating ourselves is how we treat or think about others.  Are you short with others; understanding; impatient?  Do you believe that your way is the only way?  Do you have rage that comes out when you are driving or other places where you feel safe from the outside world?  Do you censor your thoughts?  Are there things you would never allow yourself to entertain even in your head?  Are you curious about yourself and others so much so that you ask questions until you can no longer drill the topic down?  Are you sometimes mean or irrational?  All that you project outward you direct inward, period.  You can do nothing to someone else that isn't done to you.  When you send out ill will you receive it as well.  When you refuse to be open you close off from yourself.  When you decide that there is no more than what you can see you will be blinded to so many amazing things that are just outside of your periphery.  When you are mean to others you are being mean, so mean to yourself and projection creates an amazing distraction.  You won't be distracted for long though.  At some point you will recognize the abuse.

Additionally, the abuse also happens in the direction of holding others up to high expectations and being disappointed in them; you are doing the same thing to yourself and feel justified for the disappointment because you have a lot of shoulds in your world.  When you are disappointed in another you are letting yourself down in some way and are triggered when it happens in, what most people call, reality.  Disappointment is a great way to discover how you punish yourself.  When you are disappointed in someone or let down or feel betrayed or believe that someone is plain wrong, you will find that you are feeling strong emotions towards yourself, most of which aren't supportive of your self-worth.  I know this may sound confusing for some… I mean, what does self-worth have to do with what anyone does to you?  Well… when you understand that you are deserving of all things, when you are a miracle that is fully and completely supported in an infinite number of ways without you ever having to "earn" it, you will also notice that the only time someone isn't supportive of you is when they aren't supporting themselves.  When you recognize your own worth you understand when someone else doesn't… and you don't take it personally when they behave accordingly.  Taking offense is a sign of lack of self-worth.

worthy_73_large

I want you to think about these questions: Who deserves love?  Who deserves as much money as the universe can provide?  Should some people have less than others or more?  What makes someone deserving, in general?  Now listen, we all can agree to this:  when a child is born their very existence is enough to warrant everyone stopping to take care of them.  They are deserving, worthy and there is no question about it.  They don't need to earn love or do anything to be considered a miracle except to exist.  Well love, life and existence isn't like the stock market where you gain or lose over time.  You come into the world deserving of all, fully loved for being and you stay that way.  You are still that baby that came into existence.  Your lack of knowledge didn't matter when you were first born and it doesn't matter now.  You lack of ability didn't take away your right to deserve and nor does it now.  Just because you or  someone else decided to place a judgment on this or that doesn't make you less or more deserving than others.  Your being born is reason enough to hold yourself in hight esteem; to have reverence for.    You are worthy, you are deserving, you are love.  When you feed this truth everything else that takes away from it begins to starve.  You begin to see others for their light the more you shine yours.  

xo

a

worthy3

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.    

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:

Growing Up.

Being My Own Priority.

Rock Documentaries.

YouTube.

Coach Aina Body Camp - http://coachaina.com/body-camp/ 

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: 

I want everyone to take care of themselves, in that way I will be more than supported.  Not that I want everyone to live on an island without contact.  On the contrary, I want lots of contact.  I would simply prefer to have everyone feel whole on their own and at the same time understand the fact that separation is an illusion.  We are more connected than most of understand and our believing the illusion of separateness is the cause of most of our issues.  Our feelings of loneliness are directly related to our trying to connect to what we are not actually separate from.  It is like we are constantly trying to find our sunglasses by looking all over the house and the car when they were on our head all along.  

When we all take care of ourselves we notice that the glasses were on us the whole time.  We become aware of our connection to others through our awareness of our connection to ourselves.  It is like finally seeing for the first time or hearing or smelling or breathing.  We begin to notice that we are all a reflection or an aspect of the whole.  All uniquely separate in the illusion but in actuality just different viewpoints of life.  When we believe that we aren't connected we behave less than ideal because oneness or wholeness is what we long for.  We don't understand that we don't have to hold onto each other for dear life, stay in a shitty relationship, keep a crappy job, deal with less than yummy friends.  We believe that we need to hold on and never let go lest we be alone.  You are never alone.  You are always connected.  

If you could take time to be with you, learn and be curious about yourself; be honest about your motivations and expectations and then see how you are like me or your neighbor or the person on the corner.  Stop believing you aren't everyone else and that you couldn't relate to someone just because they aren't behaving the way you would prefer.  We are so duped that we don't understand that we are examples, inspiration and motivation for one another.  If you look out from your eyes with the idea that you are seeing yourself in various iterations you won't feel so alone; you won't buy into the trick of this human experience; you won't need to stay where it isn't serving you, do what doesn't resonate and live with such uneasiness.  

When you get the hang of truly taking care of you and begin to feel connected you will feel the love that abounds.  When you feel the love that abounds you will vibrate at a level that is magical.  You will shine, you'll glisten; your energy will take on a high gloss.  You will be full and overflowing.  Self-care is universal care and the big secret to changing everything.

My love is you. 

xo

a

L'eggo My Eggo®

Howdy! Though I am very kind, sweet, loving and generous (if I do say so myself, along with modest ;), there are some things I simply like to keep all to myself.  I share a ton through my writing, I share space and ideas, and I share my time. I love giving overall and find it fulfilling generally.  The only time I get irritated (ok,  not the only time) is when I am asked to share my food.  

I move my body a large part of the day.  I get up and either teach classes or train clients.  If I am sitting I am making mixes or writing.  Then I am up and about, getting my extra workouts in or working someone else out.  I move my body, I eat when I get hungry, I stop when I am satiated.  I don't keep up with calories, burned or eaten.  I am not worried that it is too much or that it is too fattening or any of that.  I don't put guilt or shame around my food, I eat and I enjoy and then I move on.  This is not the case for most people.  They either don't think about what they eat at all, whether it is nourishing them or not, or they think about it so much so that it becomes an albatross.  This is not the energy I want to share when it comes to food.  Food is a passion, it is funny and serious, it is life-giving or life taking, it is health, it is well-being, it is medicine, it is poison, it is energy.  Food is also very personal.

It may not be surprising then that I am not a big food sharing person.  With all the energy swirling around the personal issues regarding food, the fact that I am limited to the vegan options on a menu and that I am hungry when I go out to eat, I prefer to order my food and eat it all by myself.  I prefer you do to the same, if you are with me.  I am not interested in what someone else has ordered.  I am decisive and know what I want.  I don't want to compromise for the sake of sharing when I can order a second of what I am having and you can have it your way.  I know for some the whole point of sharing is a kind of intimacy.  I agree.  It is intimate and I don't want that intimacy with most.  :)  I also don't have a problem with everyone ordering the same thing at the table if everyone has a hankering for what I am ordering.  If I made you dinner I wouldn't make two different meals so that we would have variety.  We would eat the same meal and not worry at all about it (or try to eat of each other's plates).  So when I hear people say when they are ordering, "we can't get the same thing" I say, ummm yes we can because you aren't having mine.  So order the same thing if you want it too… especially if you are with me, because I am not offering up my meal to you, not even if you are cute or I see you naked regularly (well, maybe if I see you naked regularly you'd get a better shot).

We all have our preferences.  It is up to you to own them and voice them when necessary.  Supporting people when they figure out what works for them is a beautiful gift.  It takes work to figure out what you like, what matters to you and then courage to say it despite the judgment that will come from others.  You are the only one that can live your life, you may as well live it your way.

xo

a

Though the Eggo Waffle isn't vegan, I snatched the title for this blog from the old campaign… here is one of the commercials from way back in the day: 

http://youtu.be/Iuq8OpLUYjE

You Are Significant

Hi there, You impact the world profoundly whether you know it or not.  Just your breathing alone changes the trajectory of particles that change the way the wind blows.  Unless you have never been born to someone and never interacted with anyone, you matter.  Existence is basically synonymous with importance.  All things are important in some way to some thing.  One of the first things that we need to know as little babies, toddlers, children, young adults and grown-ups is that we matter.  We are significant.  

You are not invisible, you are not just a number, you are a living breathing miracle that is lovely and crazy and awful and sweet and obnoxious and everything under the sun.  You are capable of amazing feats of courage and of base acts of rage.  You are here to change the world and be changed by it.  You are created on purpose and you will live a purposeful life, even if you don't see it as such, and you will die, on purpose.  How you choose to create, witness and digest the world you co-create is up to you, but it never takes away the fact that it wouldn't exist in the way that it does without your existence.  Every encounter you have, every thought that you send out affects countless other people and things.  Your very thoughts permeate time and space and give rise to thoughts in others.   

We are connected no matter how alone you feel.  You affect me and I affect you.  We are small parts of an infinitely growing whole.  We have lost the big picture due to being so entrenched in the present iteration of our selves.  We can make a conscious change in how our world operates and what it creates and allows to exist.  First we must wake up.  Consciousness isn't a given, isn't something that is unrelenting.  Many choose to be unconscious even when they are given the opportunity to see.  Are you choosing to close your eyes instead of having sight?  How are you living your life?  Numbing out, choosing to believe what you do to you doesn't affect  anyone else.  Drinking, eating or ignoring your sorrows and fears away not understanding how your hurt holds us all back; not understanding that you are a part of the larger picture and that you really do matter.  

When you live your life loving yourself, truly and knowing that this is the greatest gift you can give to the universe, reverence of what is, you allow and demonstrate for others to do the same.  When you are generous with your love, which is easy to do when you have filled yourself up, you help all of us move on, move towards oneness with ourselves and each other.  You matter so much that the world would never be the same without you.  So instead of trying to figure out a way to be small, not make waves, jump around, splash, smile, love and own your significance.  We are all better for it.

xo

a

CATERS-Love-Hearts-In-Nature

Get Moving

Howdy, After my marriage ended all I could do was run.  I ran a lot.  It was during one of these runs that I had one of my first moments of enlightenment or oneness.  I lived in Collingswood, NJ at the time and had a running route that took me past the Cooper River and several other bodies of water.  It was a lovely route and a lovely town.  In the middle of my run I passed a tree that I had always loved… it was then I lost sense of myself as I know my self to be, I felt like the tree.  I was in it, around it, looking at it. all at the same time.  I remember feeling connected and elated and free.  I ran like I was on a pogo stick the rest of the way home.  

I have had similar experiences since, but always in different settings.  Usually through movement, usually around a time where I am simply relaxed and open to release.  I was in down dog one of the last times I felt like I was the earth.  I felt like I had been there forever and forever would remain.  It was fantastic.  I also finally realized how down dog could actually be a resting pose.  Up until that point it was all about effort.  I remember being excited for the understanding that there was so much more than I could ever imagine pertaining to the body and connecting with it.  We are limitless, truly.

Movement is magic.  You can overcome fear, pain, illness, resistance, worry, judgement and loss through movement.  You can be brought to a place of oneness.  Oneness is bringing the three parts of us together, connected.  Our mind, body and spirit becoming one entity made up of 3 parts, but finally being connected and working in concert.  My work is to help people move their bodies, connect with their spirit and get guidance from their soul.  We do a bang up job of ignoring just about everything except our spirit (which houses our egos, personalities, characteristics, etc. and comes into existence when the soul connects with the physical), we are somewhat clueless about our soul and we ignore our bodies completely, just look around.

We have grown so far away from our physical gifts that we tell people to not get too skinny but never warn anyone of getting too fat.  We ignore the fact that eating for eating sake is gluttony and suicide, true suicide, and we think feeling like shit all of the time is normal.  We feel tired after we refuel and keep refueling with the same stuff that slows us down.  We are becoming less connected and more miserable and sadder, and well, our health is poor, overall.  How can you be connected to soul or change the vibration of your spirit when you are exhausted, sick, and slow?  The practice of strengthening your body is as holy as worthwhile as strengthening your spirit.  When you ignore your physical you ignore an integral part of your growth and development.  When you cannot use your body to tolerate certain levels of vibration, which you can reach through various movements and activities, you stay stuck.  

This is important, I want you to hear me.  Your body is your church, it houses your soul and when it is clogged there is very little communication that comes through clearly.  You may want to call people vain for being fit or wanting to be healthy, but try it, see how it feels to have freedom of movement, to not be attached to your next meal,  and to be able to play and explore and not have the physical be a limitation but the tool for exploration.  Then tell me how you feel, or that vanity is the issue (or that magazines are pushing this or that form of beauty).  When you figure out how integral movement is, the rest follows.  Enlightenment, joy, love, etc… they are all born from the oneness of your three parts.  Ignore one and you are ignoring the whole.

If you don't already have a movement practice add it.  If you have never been truly fit, seriously in shape, go for it.  It won't take that long, I promise and you will find out so much about yourself in the process.  It is a gift, being healthy and fit, that everyone has been given, now just take the ribbon off and open the box.

movingdancer

xo

a

Imagine

Hey sweets, imagine 2

Quick answer these questions:  How would you describe yourself?  What are the most awesome things about you?  What do you bring to a situation that you enter into (take your pick on the situation)?  If you are stumbling over answering any of these questions, or would prefer not to, we have some work to do.  I am going to make a wild guess (honestly not at all wild, but you got my sarcasm I am sure) that you could answer these questions without hesitation:  What are the things you need to fix or work on about yourself?  What are your least yummy qualities?  What would you change about you if you had 3 wishes?  

It is interesting how we can find the issues with ourselves way quicker than we can find what is fantastic and amazeballs.  I have a hard time finding my areas of concern… mainly because I really enjoy all of me.  Imagine what that feels like, to enjoy who you are.  You wake up in the morning and you remember you are who you are and you smile.  You are excited because you get to be this person all day.  She is fun, funny, exuberant, energetic, healthy, active, loving and curious.  She expects the best and most days gets it.  She knows that anything is possible, that everything happens for a reason and that nothing is permanent.  She is on her way and the way is the point.  Imagine embodying that plus other delicious feelings, ideas, theories, etc.  How hard would it be to worry, fear, dread, and lament?  Pretty damn hard… and pretty damn useless.  

First, find out what your light (you are light so find out more about yours) does when it enters a room.  Does it get brighter, dimmer, is it turned off or is it shining on everything like the sun or the moon.  Discover what people enjoy about you and see if it is the same thing or things you enjoy about you.  Find out who you are when you are at your best… whatever you consider your best to be.  Spend time asking yourself questions like you are actually interested in finding out the answer.  Treat yourself like a beautiful stranger you would love to spend the rest of your life with.  Have fun with you, learning you, catering to you and your every need.  Then wake up to the you you would want to be… every day work to be all of the things you know about you that you love.  Honestly, it isn't hard, you just need to be intentional about it.  You cannot expect to get to the place where each morning you fall in love all over again with yourself if you are not willing to wake up and do whatever it is that is necessary to enjoy, cherish and appreciate all of you.  

We are very, very special and deserve to be focused on completely.  You aren't ever going to get the kind of love you can give from anyone else. Why are you withholding?  Why are you hesitant to let it pour out of you into you and out again?  We need everyone feeling special and great and loving unconditionally.  Imagine if the world had all the love we are holding onto like there was no more to go around?  Imagine if you took absolute wonderful care of you?  What would that look like, how would that feel… how free would we all be?

Imagine.

xo

a

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.    

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:

Attention.

Love.

Juice Fasts.

LC and my other fly ass FlyWheel Riders.

Skype and other video calling software.  

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:

Today is about appreciation.  What are you taking for granted?  Well, let's see.  When was the last time you were grateful for your eyes?  Your fingers?  Your computer screen and all of the people who made it possible for you to receive this message in the way that you are receiving it?  Do you appreciate the words as they are strung together and your ability to comprehend them.  Have you said thank you to the language gods and your parents and teachers that taught you how to use it?  Are you appreciating the chair you are sitting in or the floor you are standing on?  What about the clothes that are covering your body or the skin that keeps you all in?  What about your heart that keeps on beating and your smile that shows up here and there?  Are you grateful for the people who put the street lights up so we don't crash into one another on our travels?  What about the music that is made for us to dance, cycle and meditate to?  The farmers who grow our food, the drivers who deliver it to us or the cashiers that make sure the transactions go smoothly?  How about your friends and family for helping you be who you are today?  How about moments being all that there is?

One of the serious issues in the world is our lack of appreciation for the abundance of support we have.  We are always wanting more and rarely seeing that all of this is a gift.  We have the audacity to say that anyone anytime should do something for us when the truth is, us getting something from another, regardless of who it is, is a choice, a gift and an honor.  Our parents' decision to care for us, our lover's choice to be faithful, our friends decision to connect, these are not givens.  Yet, we feel like we are supposed to be treated a certain way due to the relationships we have with various people.  When you feel that something is a given, you miss the gifts in the giving.  Take time out each day to look around at what you are being gifted with on a regular basis.  Pay attention and give appreciation.  When you focus on those things they become amplified.  

Have fun seeing what is good in your world… don't forget to look in the mirror and start with you.

xo

a

Grrreat!!

Howdy! Mediocrity is something that I don't buy into.  I teach indoor cycle classes, 15+ per week.  I ride 98% of the class only stopping to either drive a point home, adjust volume or help a rider out.  I create individual playlists for each class unless it is on the same day but in a different studio.  I also don't repeat a song within a 30 day period.  I love variety and I strive for excellence and work towards perfection.  I cannot tell you how often someone tries to discourage me from making as many playlists as I do or says that I work too hard.  I have been asked if anyone cares that I make different mixes for each class.  To that I respond with "I care."  I have also been told that I am a bit extreme.  Let me address all of these comments and opinions.

I am happy.  Extremely.  I don't desire anything to really be that different in this moment.  I am doing what I know I am meant to each day and I am consistently shown appreciation for the love I pour into the work that I do.  I don't believe that perfection is unreachable and I don't care that someone thinks of me as extreme.  I am here to do what makes sense to me, not to you.  Many people have trouble committing to much of anything and believe that it is impossible to be disciplined or consistent with any one thing.  When they see someone who is dedicated to something and steadfast in their motivation to do it, there is a desire to drag them down, to bring them to the place where they are less focused, less driven, less ambitious.  Somewhere we were told that being half-assed was normal and much more acceptable than being amazing.  Somewhere we were told that it was impossible to be great at everything and so the best you could hope for was to be meh at most.  Mediocrity became the only thing we worked for and in all honesty, when anyone went for the gold, they were looked at as crazy or too ambitious.  

Well, you can be great at everything you do if you want to be.  Chew on that.  You can work your ass off for what you love and make it amazing.  You can take care of your body like it is the only one you have and you cherish it… oh wait, it is the only one you have.  Well, you can cherish it and respect what it does for you by not putting sh*t into it.  You can make your mind a playground for love instead of a container of negative thoughts and feelings.  You can see the best in others and be optimistic about the world.  You can be dedicated to what is important to you and not let anything or anyone get in the way of it.  You can actually shoot for the moon and not miss.  

When you realize it isn't about what others are thinking or saying about you that matters really and you discover it is about you, yourself and you, things change.  I care about doing my best work every time I have the opportunity to do work.  I care about my name being attached to this or that class, client or situation.  I want to be proud of what I do.  I matter more than anyone telling me that I could do less.  I don't want to be that person with that thought about the things that I love.  I never asked anyone's opinion of me or whether or not I need to change how I am living my life, so your thoughts, if you want me to live differently, can stay in your head.  If you want to send support or encouragement, then by all means do it!

If you have tried to talk someone out of being great, think about what the hell is going on for you.  If you are someone who is told you need to do less (and it isn't because you are a workaholic or neglecting your Self in some way) then set a boundary and keep on keeping on.  Keep shining, keep striving and keep being your perfect self.  

xo

a

mandala

I Was Born With It

Hey love,

I was born with certain gifts… now, after that statement I had the urge to say, "we all were."  The urge comes from the understanding that people feel like there isn't enough yummy to go around.  If I say I am great then I am in some way saying that you aren't.  If I say that I am smart you might want to assert that you are too.  We spend so much time worrying about what other people will think of us if they find out that we like ourselves.  We don't want to seem too big or bright or in love with who we are.  We actually pretend to not be as awesome just in case someone takes offense!  What the fuck???  

Ok, this is the deal, those of you who need to assert your own gifts when someone is loving on themselves, you can stop reading now and live all miserable and be an ass somewhere else.  Those who are dimming themselves STOP.  When you pretend to be something you aren't you are lying.  You are also making it hard for those of us who are working to lift the world up by example.  The first relationship you need to be committed to is the one with your own self.  You need to truly enjoy who YOU are!  Who will if you don't.  Who cares if someone calls you conceited or self-absorbed.  It is more a reflection of their lack of being able to focus on themselves instead of a commentary about you.  Besides, there are other things you could be that are actually not that yummy like unhygienic or murderous.  Those are things I would be concerned with if I was being told them by others.  

When you shine bright, when you focus on your gifts, when you love all of you things in the world shift.  You will see the light in others without trying.  You will see the abundance and others will too.  Just be steadfast and unapologetic for being who you are.  It is your birthright to be awesome!!!  I know it is mine.  I hear things like, how did you get to where you are?  How do you know what you know?  How did you become Aina?  Hard work.  Moment to moment attention to each detail.  Loving everything that I have been through as my gifts, my lessons to allow me to know me better and in that way know everyone else.  I got here by letting go of judgments and by being open to what is.  I am here because I am supposed to be.  I am great because I don't know how to be anything else.  Maybe she was born with it… yep, that is me. 

Own your life, own your love, own it and let others do the same for themselves… 

xo

a

2012-12-08 17.52.08

To Die For

Hiya, I remember when I knew that there was something that I would die for… not a person, per se… but a cause, a belief.  I remember seeing myself fighting for it, I had a future flash where I was standing in front of people who couldn't believe what I was saying, that I was telling them something that hurt their basic understanding of the world.  I didn't back down, in this vision.  I stood my ground and I communicated, as best I could, why this was such an important viewpoint… how it could and would change the world.  When I finished viewing this flash I felt like I had stepped into my ruby slippers… like I was home.  Everything changed and at the same time everything stayed the same.

When you find out what you are meant to do it can be overwhelming.  You may wonder how you will get from where you are to where you are going.  The steps may not seem obvious to you at first.  The way reveals itself over time and is nothing that needs to be obsessed about.  Finding your calling is like coming home to a place you have never been but know better than you know anything else.  When I realized what I would die for I felt less like celebrating and more like taking a deep breath and moving forward.  At the point where I accepted my fate I started to test out my new surroundings.  I began seeing myself saying things that I wouldn't have said before, putting myself in situations that were familiar but responding to them in a completely new way.  I took my ego out of the driver's seat and into the back seat.  Ego is necessary but does not need to run the show.

Knowing that there is something bigger, something more, and that you are bigger and something more, takes the fear away.  We usually feel fear when we feel small, when we feel lost.  When you take the fear away you have love; lots of it, all of it that you can stuff into your soul and your pockets until it overflows and starts to drown those around you.  When you figure out what matters more than anything, what you were meant to do and what you would be content finishing this experience of being human doing, you realize that everything was just to get you to this feeling, this knowing, this place that, in reality, is the same for everyone… You say potato I say love.  One in the same.  You will find that the only thing that makes sense to give over yourself to is going to be made up of love.

Love would be why I would die and why I will die.  Love brought this experience as Aina about and will end this Aina experience as well.  Love is what I will continue to teach to the masses, in its various aspects, and love is what we all are, where we originated from and what we will return to.  What I saw was me, letting everyone know that we are all deserving, that we are all love, that we will have to begin to head that direction in order to bring about lasting change.  I spoke up for the idea that the souls that sacrifice themselves to be hated in this world by incarnating as tyrants are just as beautiful as the ones who are the victims of the tyrants themselves.  I fought for everyone to accept what is and be open to what is given in each moment.  At some point we will learn that love, not punishment, brings about love and motivates where nothing else will.  Until then I will work tirelessly to awaken others to seeing the divine in their fellow man and, more importantly, in themselves.

image-31

xo

a

Ending and Beginning

Howdy, Relationships are so rich with so much information it is hard to know where to start when I begin writing about any aspect of them.  I mean, relationships are life after all and there is just so much life all around.  Then I remember that I say one phrase almost every day to someone, "no good relationship comes to an end."  In all honesty, it is what I want everyone to think about when they are either breaking up or in a relationship that is heading that direction.  Breaking up is painful on so many levels, but it doesn't have to be… I promise you.  Yes, you will lose what is familiar and what is comfortable.  Yes you will have to adjust to a new way of life without that relationship… but leaving something that wasn't good… well, that is awesome!  

Two people do not sit around and think how f*cking amazing their relationship is and then decide to break-up.  It isn't like anyone has said, "oh my goodness, I am just so happy and this is just so great I have to get away from it.  I cannot be in this great relationship any longer."  Umm, yeah, no.  If you are wanting out there is good reason.  At the same time, when you are wanting out and finally say so, that is a big deal.  Ending what you initially wanted to last forever (most people don't get in a relationship and look forward to the ending before anything is not working) says you have given it some thought, lots of thought, and you have decided that it isn't what you want.

I feel that people's desires need to be respected.  I have been dumped plenty of times, thank goodness.  I, at no point, imagine that someone should hang onto me because of anything other than their desire to.  When that wanes I would prefer for them to let me go.  I don't desire anyone "sticking it out" with me for the sake of my awesomeness… seriously.  I want mutual joy, love, and respect.  The issue is, for most of us, we get used to our relationships being sh*tty.  We dream of something that isn't, the future, and we ignore the messed up present.  We put all of our stock in things working out when the moment you are in it isn't.  Relationships aren't always ecstasy bringing, but you need to be happy and not hoping for change in order to truly sustain one.  

Do you want your relationship to end in a blaze of hell fire?  Well, be someone you aren't, never speak your mind, never ask the hard questions of your partner, stop having sex, stop taking care of yourself (or never start), imagine you are too good to be left, think that your partner needs you too much to let you go, put your hopes and dreams away somewhere and pretend like they don't exist.  

Do you want your relationship to survive?  Well, don't most of us… the best thing to do is to be honest with yourself and then with your partner.  Tell them the truth of who you are and what you can an cannot hold.  Be authentic and stay present.  This is all a journey and it takes twists and turns… some are fun and some are not.  They all can be learning experiences and survivable.

For anyone going through a breakup I send love and peace and strength.  This is not bad, it is necessary… you will love again.

xo

a

dripheart

It's My Life

Howdy! Recently I made a choice that was just for me.  For my life and no one else's.  I took into consideration the pros and the cons as I see them and decided to move forward with my choice.  I didn't stop to think about how others might perceive it, exactly.  I have learned over the years that living for anyone and anything besides what your soul tells you to do is going against truth.  I know that doing things just to please others will get you into trouble once you feel so oppressed that you rebel by swinging the opposite direction pretty aggressively.  One can only fake it for so long before they have to live in integrity.  So with my decision made, I went on my way.  

Sure, we affect one another.  We do, this is truth.  I may walk by you and remind you of something you needed to do because I resemble someone you work with that is expecting this thing.  I may be talking with you and relay a story about my childhood that brings up memories that were suppressed.  Now, I am not going to not be myself because you would prefer not to remember something that I remind you of.  We are all connected so what we do matters in so much as we decide to let it.  This type of influence isn't something that we were meant to try to control.  People are living their lives so that you can better see yours.  You can see your preferences, your struggles, your judgments, your areas of work.  So when I make a decision for my life, I am the one who needs to be consulted.  You and anyone else, will get out of it whatever you were meant to, that isn't up to me to worry about or try to force.  My life is an example in whatever way you decide it is for you, that is personal…

Now I am never interested in your opinion of my life if you want to tell me I am living wrong.  What you think of me, in that way, is none of my business.  If you feel that my life is not the life you would live, then don't live it.  I make every decision with a knowing that is greater than any ego driven, emotionally charged response to it.  I am certain about where I am being exactly where I am supposed to be.  My conviction to myself and my SELF is unwavering.  What is important to know is that whatever charge you get out of me living my life is for YOU and you alone.  

It takes hard work to know yourself.  It takes dedication to live with integrity.  Integrity is being true to your self, not to others opinions.  I wish for you all to find out what you really want, what you truly feel and to be and feel that.  I know that we will be able to accept that we can only do what make sense to us and not make others live our way.  Open your mind, live your life and love each other.  Let it go, let love in, and get on with living.  

So, to get back to that decision I made:  when I decide to wear my melon pants with a striped shirt and teal jacket with purple knee socks, that choice was and always is mine to make, to live with and to enjoy!  Have a GREAT Friday!!!!

xo

a

abstract-phoenix-1280x800

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.

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:

Family.

Friends.

Planes.

Weddings.

Melodie Nicole's voice (and her being, her everything).  

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:

Effort matters in everything that you do.  It matters that you care about anything you are putting your energy into.  School, work, cleaning the yard, straightening up the house you live in, cooking, caring for animals, love.  We tend to believe that things should be easy and not require a lot of work.  Well, if you put very little into something you will get very little out of it.  See how it works.  What you put in you get out.  

Relationships are all about learning and growth, whether they be in the workplace or in the bedroom.  Relationships take effort.  Even when you are perfectly matched, there will be some things you have to put forth energy to receive the blessings from.  If you were to look back over your life you would see how things that took energy to accomplish tend to be valued at a higher level than those things that did not.  When something matters, time and energy spent on it is less work and more joy.  

Have you tried to impress yourself recently?  Have you efforted in that way at all?  How have you shown you that you care, that you are invaluable to yourself?  When was the last time you poured energy into your well-being with joy, knowing that it would make you feel great?  You are with yourself every step of the way.  How have you tried to make those steps lighter, lovelier and joy filled?  What are the blessings you could receive from yourself if you put time and effort into making sure you were happy, healthy and wise?  

Take the time to nurture your most important connection.  The only connection you cannot make externally.  What is inside of you is the heart of all, the beginning and the infinite.  Your relationship with yourself will not always be easy but it will always be worth it.

xo

a

Love Revolution

Hi!!

How do we bring about change in one another?  How do we make the world a more loving and creative space?  What is the answer to the question of what or who will change the world?  The funny thing is the answer isn't far-fetched or some equation that only two people know.  Michael Jackson sang about it, most spiritual leaders speak on it.  It is simple, it is profound, it is layered, it is multi-dimensional… it, the thing that can change everything is you loving you, fully and without condition.  

The trick is that it isn't about helping others in the way we have seen it done historically; it isn't about resisting what is. It is about steadily opening yourself up to what is.  About accepting your world and seeing it, truly.  It is about learning what you filter and why… who you are and how you came to be.  It is about sharing that information with those around you and receiving others as they do the same.  When you begin to accept you let go of what should or shouldn't be.  This is where it gets big:  when you stop denying you are able to receive what the truth behind the tragedy, the horror, the struggle and the confusion is.  There is opportunity to find what you need to know everywhere around you.  Most people have been taught that certain things should not exist, though they do, so those things keep happening because no one is actually seeing these things as truths, purposeful truths.  Instead we turn away from the horror and condemn it as evil.  We see tragedy and say that this was not supposed to happen.  We hear pain and we turn away from it, saying it is wrong.  How do we learn, then, from what is happening, if we deem it a mistake and pay no mind? 

What is wrong?  What is tragedy?  What is acceptance?  How do we learn about the human spirit?  How do we discover unity?  How do most people realize they are like others?  These things, these lives that come and these lives that go, these moments that change us forever, they all have reasons.  Some are discovered immediately and others are looked at best in conjunction with other similar happenings.  Until we learn that it isn't about changing others we will constantly be forced inward to deal with you.    There is a method to the madness, seriously… and this is where the layers start to peel back.  There is a grand show being put on for your benefit.  It is like an amazingly lucid and super-duper long lucid dream.  Now it is your turn to switch it up, take control of what is happening and decide what is or is not necessary for a world full of love.

Until you accept where you are, where this world is, ain't nothing gonna change.  This work I am suggesting you do takes love.  You have to love yourself, you have to want love to be the driving force behind all things instead of the fear that moves most of us now.  It isn't rocket science, it is bigger than that.  Loving who you are, working on being the love you truly are on a moment to moment basis, is harder than anything anyone could do outside of yourself.  You will have to accept your judgments, you will have to accept your shit.  You will have to truly find compassion for all things and behave accordingly in order to change the world.  You can do it, we all can, we all will.

The revolution is love.

xo

a        

lovelife 

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.

heartsafloat

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:

Breaker.

L.C.

Tavia Kachel.

Genelle Benker.

Keli Keach.  

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:

Play.  Have fun.  Do something that is silly.  Make up a fun fantastical story.  Start a relay race with your co-workers. Try to see who can get through a checkout lane faster.  Play tag or hide and seek.  Roll down a hill.  Do some jumping jacks.  See how long you can hold your breath, cross your eyes or stand on one leg.  Try to move your ears or curl your tongue.  Stare at the stars.  Guess the number of steps to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant then walk there to see if you were right.  Make up a new name for yourself and your friends.  Eat some animal crackers.  Play hopscotch.  Sing your favorite song out loud.  Learn how to moonwalk.  Take time to check out that weird bug next time you see it.  Imagine more, there always is.  Love someone who you never thought you would.  Take time and laugh at nothing and everything.  See the yummy.  Cry and then laugh.  Play, live, love… be.

xo

a

The Way You Are

Hey there, I love my life.  Absolutely love it.  I have freedom and space and the luxury of not having anyone try to manage me.  It is a blessing.  The truth is that everyone can have that, whether or not they are in a relationship.  Too often we let our ideas of what relationship is or what the other person wants modify our behavior… until one day we feel resentful and frustrated about giving up things we were 1) never asked to give up and 2) didn't realize actually fulfilled and brought joy to us.  

Partnerships are interesting and necessary in a multitude of ways for a multitude of things.  The first is simple, we need help.  I have moved and lived in over 27 places.  95% of the time I moved myself… like couches and dressers and everything.  I would actually throw a couch on my back and carry it to the truck once I maneuvered it out of my house.  Being in a relationship can be a benefit when it comes to that type of sh*t among other things. :)  We also need to have ourselves reflected back for growth purposes.  Relationships are the only tool that help you grow.  You are perfect alone, with no one to show you who you are, how you are and where you are in comparison.  In relationship you find the areas that are triggered which give you a clear path of what needs your attention and work.  Partnerships are also fun, or can be.  Joy is an important part of a fulfilled life. 

What happens often is partnership becomes ownership.  We begin to tell the person when to go to bed.  What to wear.  How to feel: "Oh honey, don't feel that way about it.", when to do this or that… we also then imagine how our partners would feel about a, b or c situation so we avoid what we may want or otherwise be super excited about.  The above is a bit dangerous without background communication, like having a conversation about bed times and what is important for each individually.  The same holds true for clothes and living in different places… you must have the conversations about all of it before you assume you know.

What is more dangerous for our own mental and emotional health and well-being is all of the things we do because we think we should for the person or the relationship.  When your partner doesn't like the genre of TV show… you take their dislike as a demand and you stop watching.  When your partner says not to talk to them about something that is spiritual so you just abandon that side of yourself.  When you begin to think about what would be ok for your partner and, without asking, you change just in case.  This is why I am super psyched to be single, in actuality.  I have no desire to play this game again… and at the same time, I know it is a beautiful dance that must be practiced.  

"Don't go changin' to try and please me…" is more than just a song.  It is the roadmap to a happy relationship.  You have to do you, find out what you love, what you enjoy.  Own it and be its support.  Make sure you let the one you love know who the hell you are.  Make sure you allow someone to love you just the way you are, all of you.  Stop bending to please, stretching to connect, dying to be something you aren't.  Yes, relationships have compromise… but you must have a side, something of your own, to compromise… not just a blank slate saying write me into existence.  You exist, you are a spark a light and you need to shine, you need to be supported not dimmed.  Let relationship enhance instead of decrease your vitality.  Let love magnify you… make you bigger than you are alone.

Love, the ultimate creator wants you to be who you are, without reservation, without judgment or shame right now.  Not next year, not in a while.  Get on that, ok.

xo

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