work

You Gotta Get You First

Hello, I enjoy being understood therefore I work hard at understanding myself so that I can clearly communicate me to others; and, in that way, I know when they truly understand. I am the expert on me. That is how it works. You are the only one who can figure you out. You are the work that you have been tasked with. Your gateway to everyone else is through you; without digging inward you will find the outside world easy to get lost in. Without understanding your truths, reasons, excuses, motivations, fears, intentions, desires, judgments, needs, hopes and dreams you will find yourself apologizing, being angry, feeling stuck, living dangerously, feeling unsettled, discontented, frustrated, depressed and more not so yummy things. When we refuse, whether consciously or unconsciously, to ignore the work that is before us, we will be pushed in every way possible towards it. There is no way out, only through. There is no way to ignore that we are the key to our joy and our sorrow, the answer to our questions and concerns, the grantor of our hopes and dreams. No one else.

When you feel like you aren't being heard, listen. When you feel like you aren't being understood, seek to understand yourself more. When you realize that you are not getting what you want, give it to yourself. We wait for someone else to figure out what makes us tick, we do our best to get away from who we are, yet we want others to really know us. Really know yourself… when you do there will be no confusion. When you do the work to understand yourself you will discover when you are sabotaging, being hurtful, helpful or careless, loving grateful, positive, etc. You will be able to behave on purpose. When you put energy into getting to know yourself fully you will stop worrying about someone else doing that work for you. When you turn your attention inward you stop allowing people into your world who haven't done their own work. When someone hasn't come to know themselves they will never be able to truly know another. The more you see of yourself the more you are able to see of others.

My understanding myself has allowed me to absolutely connect with others in a way that is deeper than being empathetic, it is a knowing, a full and total connecting with what is happening on a deep and unconscious level. My understanding myself has allowed me to remain happy 99% of the time because I know what works, how I am feeling and why about anything that enters into my realm of existence. Understanding myself allows me to reprogram any ways of thinking that aren't serving me anymore. When we put a ton of energy into denying ourselves, focusing on others or numbing out we end up at the start of the journey, kind of like groundhog's day. Your work pays off when you do it, truly. When you do your work you can address your needs and make sure that they are met; you can pamper yourself, you can practice being disciplined and bring solid structure to your life. You can, ultimately, truly love yourself when you put the time and effort in understanding you fully. It is what we all want, right; that and unconditional love? Show everyone how it is done for you, teach us how to treat you, live as an example of what you want for you. Be that and see it becomes the world that surrounds you.

Lightbody
Lightbody

xo a

A Vow to Self

"Behind all resistance is fear. Behind all fear is a lack of faith in oneself." ~Dina Bachelor Evan The thing that I love about marriage (besides not being married at the time I am writing this) is that it is a vow, an amazingly brave vow to take. It basically says that you will do the hard work it takes to learn, grow, be vulnerable, not hide, accept, love and support someone, even when you want to run away… it is, in truth a vow to your Self to work on you through your relationship to another. Marriage is a crazy beautiful ridiculous impossible rewarding thing, even when it doesn't work out. Vows are powerful and scary, beautiful and breathtaking, magical and mysterious. They matter when you make them and they matter when you break them. The truth is, many people don't ever imagine a time, when they are getting married, that they wouldn't want to be married to the person they are with, until it happens.

My father refuses to talk about death, scares him shitless. It is going to happen, to him, to me, to everyone that is alive. Death is a promise the moment you are conceived. It is the ONLY thing you can count on from the very beginning. Well, falling out of love with someone is the promise of falling in love with someone. What if, instead of avoiding the inevitable, everyone started discussing what they planned on doing when things get tough with their significant others, how they planned on moving through the struggle? What if we recognized that growth was inevitable and a potential 30, 40, 50 years with someone would yield at least 1-5 years of rough patch territory; seriously. A few years of struggle ain't so bad in the grand scheme of things. When you are looking at eons, a couple of years is a drop in the bucket. Besides, what is the point of getting married if you aren't going to do what you can when shit is going south? That is called dating and it is awesome because you can just get the hell out of dodge when someone is annoying. The downside to dating is that you can get the hell out of dodge when someone is annoying. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not one to tell anyone to stay in something that is shitty. On the contrary, I break up with friends when I feel that the friendship is no longer serving me in a healthy way. I know that everything ends. I know that what happens is what is meant to… so it goes. I do believe, however, if you have the chance to do your work, take it, especially when you made a promise to do so.

No matter how far away you go, you will still be where you are. Leaving one thing to go to the next doesn't actually solve the issue, which is always, my loves, you. No matter how much you would prefer the other person to be wrong, fucked up, and unworthy, you only see in another what you have within yourself. The best part of commitment is commitment. You will learn to stretch and grow and do more and go farther and suck it up in ways you would never if you weren't committed. It is like being committed to a workout plan as opposed to just working out when you feel like it. The part that is hard, really really hard is that you have to face the fact that the only way to make things better in your life is to truly love, cherish and honor yourself and that your understanding of how to do that is archaic and often just plain wrong. When you realize that you have to say the hard thing, do the hard work, and look deep inside and face the dark stuff, you may want to run. Wanting to flee is often a response to not wanting to see…. not wanting to see how you gave yourself away thinking you were taking care of your partner, when you were, in actuality, giving your power away to someone who was giving their power away too. Both partners feeling powerless and thinking that they are helping the other out in whatever way they thought they were supposed to, only to get angry and blame the other for their unhappiness at a later date. Relationships can force you, when pushed to their powerful potential, to deal with your Self, in ways you would never if given the chance to just cut and run. Of course, you don't have to deal, but the blessings that come when you do are immeasurable.

Now just because you work on your things and potentially heal your wounds with your partner does not mean you will remain partnered… your work together may be over after that, this healing may be exactly why you joined in a union to begin with. It is also the case that you must have a partner who is willing and ready to work on things in order to actually heal with them. If you have a partner who has given up you may need to move on. I have been there, I was married, have been in long term relationships, I get it. Nothing lasts forever, nothing ever could. My hope is that you receive all of the gifts an experience is here to give and from that place of strength make choices from your highest most ideal space to take your next beautiful steps.

Four-Seasons-Tree
Four-Seasons-Tree

Love, love and more love.

xo a

Wait For It

loving-domestic-discipline

Hey there,

There is a moment that you break through.  There is.  It comes, it really does.  You just need to be patient.  Be patient and deliberate.  Be patient and consistent.  Be patient in your belief, your humanness.  Take your time, there is no rush, no race.  There is only the moment that you are in.  Each one is unique and magical.  Each one holds limitless possibility.  Each one moment contains the universe.  Because each moment is so big and moves so quickly it is imperative that you be still in your movement.  Instead of racing forward or trying so desperately to put yourself in reverse, breathe it in, deeply.  Take the moment as the miracle it is and watch as each moment unfolds into the next.  Watch as you unfold into the you you choose to be.  

We so often give up on what we say we want.  We stop working towards our goals, we give up on our dreams.  We punish ourselves for taking a zigzag path to our destination.  We choose to believe that we aren't worth investing in so we stay stuck.  We would rather put our time and money into someone else or into someone else's dream before we threw ourselves completely into whatever it is that we desired.  We will even begin on our path, dedicated and excited, full of hope and possibility only to make a few changes and get discouraged that we aren't moving faster.  How far do you expect to go if you give up?  How long is too long to keep at it?  If you have never reached your goal before how long do you think it will take to get there?  It will take as long as it does, but you will get there if you never give up.  

I have a goal of 1000 push-ups in a day… not at once, but in one session over a couple of hours max.  I remember when it was a struggle to do 300 push-ups (about 5 days ago) and I thought about taking a day off.  It is funny because I truly get frustrated with how many people think that they need a day off of movement.  People, you sit on your ass most of the time… you don't need a day off.  WTF!?  Seriously.  Days off are why you are all jacked up in the first place.  Maybe you won't run 20 miles every day but you can certainly sweat everyday.  Make your days off infrequent and special.  Not regular.  Seriously.  I could care less how many people have been told that their bodies need time to recover.  You have 23 hours of recovery every day.  Get your butt up and move.  Ok, rant over.  So, back to thinking about a day off… I thought it and then I was like, give me a break!  I said to myself, lovingly, SUCK IT UP!  I got on my floor and pressed out the best 300 push-ups I had done so far.  It was at that moment, like so many others I have experienced, that I recalled what it takes to succeed.  You have to do what you don't want to.  You have to go through the fire.  You may need to forgo sleep, hang out time, your favorite restaurants, habits that you thought you couldn't live without; you may need to change jobs, living environments, or let go of some people.  You may need to change every single thing if you want something absolutely amazing and new to exist for you.  

The main thing you will have to do while you work your ass off, while you dedicate yourself to the steps towards your goals, while you bring your dreams to fruition is….

Wait for it.

meditate

xo

a

Your Job Is Great

Howdy, When you do a good job on something that is good for you the thanks come in the form of improvement.  You don't actually get external praise for taking care of yourself.  I do think it is only natural to want to get some love for a job well done.  We all like positive reinforcement.  We all want love.  The thing is, at this point a job well done is a job that truly is just getting the basics done.  Most people aren't even touching the surface of going beyond what is necessary to just exist and feel great.  Feeling great is actually an accomplishment these days… and one that isn't reached very often.  We live in a world where people are sick and exhausted, unhappy and unmotivated, malnourished and obese, and believe that this is just living…  So when someone doesn't feel crappy, doesn't eat crappy, doesn't think crappy praise is sometimes desired.  I believe you need to praise yourself and move forward and not expect it from anyone else.

Your work is you.  You and only you, not even your kids.  In other words, the only person who you can be attached to an outcome with is yourself.  Your body, your mind, your heart and your soul are all yours to take care of at the very minimum.  We have gotten so far away from our selves that we think we aren't even our responsibility.  By the time we get around to recognizing that we have to take care of ourselves we are in a state of disarray.  Our bodies are hurting, our minds are slow, our emotions are stunted.  It often takes a big even to even alert us to the fact that we are gifted with this body, this heart and this mind and it may be able to take a lot of abuse but we do break at some point.  What if you didn't wait until you broke to keep everything running smoothly?  What if you didn't think it was a big deal to do the bare minimum to stay great?  Imagine that world where we are all running around feeling, looking and thinking our best.  What if breaking was a rare situation, the exception instead of the norm?  

We praise father's for not leaving.  We praise people for losing weight.  We praise people for getting good grades.  We have really low expectations it seems.  We have made doing the bare minimum as a person an exceptional feat.  At this point the ones that are doing their work steadily and succeeding are the exception and nothing to write home about.  I do believe in positive reinforcement, but with self-care, that is the by-product, end result, the point, everything.  When you take care of yourself you are taken care of.  You don't need to be told that you are awesome, doing a great job or coddled by anyone, though it is always nice, it isn't necessary or needed.  Your own self-confidence (another result of self-care) is plenty.  Your own sense of well-being is the reward for being great to you.  When you live your life as if it was the miracle it is and treated it with the utmost of care we would live in a different world.  

How can you stop taking yourself for granted and making excuses?  How can you stop comparing yourself to the broken ones around you and begin to look skyward with confidence?  How can you imagine something bigger something more for yourself and believe that not only is it a possibility but it is your destiny?  The only limits are those your mind can dream up, the only obstacle is you.  What will you do to get beyond yourself so you can fully rise to becoming your Self?

xo

a

sky-clouds-3wax

Go Get It

Hidee Ho! If you want something you will need to go after it, it is not going to come after you.  Whether it is juggling, running, eating well, finding a lover that meets your requirements, dancing, listening, writing, cooking, loving, exercising, or anything else, you will have to actually do something towards it in order to see any improvement in it.  It really is that simple.  We make things so complicated when they really are not.  I know that there may be years and years of layers of perceived failure or habits that support all that you would like to rid yourself of.  There may be a life that you live now that would have to change dramatically if you were to begin to do what your heart truly longs to do.  I know that we get so addicted to the familiar, to our misery that changing it, even to gain all the joy in the world, seems daunting and less appealing than staying put.  Truth is, you are going to need to do something at some point whether you go willingly or kicking and screaming, whether you initiate the change or the change initiates you.  Change is coming.

You will have to work, sometimes really hard at whatever it is that you have asked to have in your life.  You may need to do things that aren't fun, that scare you, that are downright challenging; and you will need to do these things repeatedly.  At some point you will have to write over what was the norm for years and years and years.  The thing is, once you begin taking steps towards what things you really want in your life, you will find the world bending to help you reach your goals.  You will find support in ways you never dreamed, when you are serious about changing your life.  What was there all along but ignored, due to lack of desire, willingness or simply being asleep will become opportunities.  You will be given choices to keep moving forward toward what you desire or to stay in the same place that you are familiar and comfortable in.  You might find that as soon as you make a choice to go after your dream or shift something to finally reach a goal an opportunity to leave things as is becomes sweeter.  This is only a test.  Testing you to either stay put or truly go after what you say you wanted.  You always have choices… you are never stuck.  Will you buy in to what you want or play it safe?

Now, when you ask for it, it will come.  I am giving you fair warning.  When you want something to happen for you it will… it is up to you to say yes to it however.  Just because you ask for the universe to bring to you something you want, you still have to show up to receive it and then take it with you and use it.  Just because you have lost a bunch of weight, gotten the job of your dreams, become a juggler with a small but fantastic circus doesn't mean that you won't have to put into it what you did before you made it to this point.  Until your new choices are just your ways of being you will have to work, focus, intend, and believe every day, every moment that it is not only possible but it just is.  Until your new habits become as normal as the life you had before you will need to put energy into them.  You will need to be purposeful and deliberate and dedicated to yourself, your goals and your dreams.  It took you a lifetime to be solidly miserable in certain ways, or unhealthy or unlearned in the things you want to know… give it a while before what you want becomes what you are.  

Let there be fear, trepidation, lack of motivation and do it anyway.  Let there be concern, worry and consternation and keep moving forward.  Let there be change and wonder around it, let there be the curiosity of the unknown.  Let there be a humbling, an understanding that everything must change.  Breathe, open your eyes and keep moving.  Your work will pay off, your life will improve, your change will come.

xo

a

metamorphosis

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:

Setting Goals.

Getting Older.

Late Night Work Outs.

Dreams.

Every Day.  

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 was recently told that I wasn't being fair for expecting someone to be unrelenting when it came to doing their work.  By "their work" I mean taking the utmost care of themselves in every way each and every day.  Well, I am not here to be fair.  Cancer isn't fair, MS isn't fair, AIDS isn't fair, mental illness isn't fair, nervous breakdowns aren't fair so how in the hell am I supposed to be fair when I am working to move people to a place where they can let go of concern around experiencing those not fair things?  When you are asking for help how does fair play a role?  When you are on the verge of falling into a deep dark chasm, how does fair play into helping you out of it when it was you who put yourself there?  At the point where you are falling, you need to be caught by any means necessary.  

I am not here to be fair.  I am here to make things happen.  If you want to get beyond where you have been then you will deal with the fact that doing something different will be challenging.  You will need to recognize that you haven't been the best at taking care of yourself in the past and you need some guidance around it.  Let your ego in on this fact so it can chill the hell out.  If your ego was of sound mind and body you wouldn't be in the situation you are in now.  It is what it is… and it isn't bad or good.  Embrace where you are so you can get moving if you desire to.  

If you have been hurting yourself for 25, 35, 50 years you have some work to do and it isn't going to be a 6 week boot camp or a 10 day juice fast, or 30 days of meditating that will do it.  You have to work, daily, on many levels.  You have to do work when no one is around, when you don't want to do it, when you are sick, tired, on vacation, with friends, or at work.  You will have to do work the rest of your life.  You will need to change your life if you would like your life to change.  

So, what does fair have to do with a damn thing?  Life isn't fair and neither am I.  I am, however, really good at getting results, so suck it up and get it done.

xo

a

You're In Charge

Hi! One of the hardest things to realize is that we have to do it ourselves.  It, everything, all of it.  Now, it doesn't mean we don't get help, on the contrary, that is one of the best things about other people existing, they can help.  But they cannot do it.  If I am thirsty you could drink all the water in the world and my thirst would not be quenched.  If I don't like myself, you could love me unconditionally and I would only be able to receive a fraction of it.  You have to do it yourself.  Really.  You cannot ask your partner to do something different so that you can feel differently.  Well, you can, but understand that you are pushing in a direction that may not go where you would like it to.  When we put the onus on someone else to make us feel happy, sad, or whatever, we give away (or try to) our power to truly find joy, contentment and everlasting love to someone else that actually cannot, no matter how hard they try, give you anything of the sort.  

When you recognize that you are the key to your happiness you have to recognize that you are also the key to your pain.  I understand why so many people choose to put that on someone else.  Working on how you treat yourself is one of the most daunting things that we are faced with.  Most people much rather look at the 'wrongs' of others instead of paying attention to whether or not they are 'wronging' themselves.  Paying attention to the details of our actions, feelings and thoughts, is not something that most people choose to do.  Being disciplined about learning the ways in which we treat ourselves well or not so well is not something that most people practice.  The most common response to life is numbing out when things are not going the way we want them to, or blaming others and abusing ourselves.  No matter how aggressive you are about not being responsible for you, you cannot get away from the truth.  No matter how many people you have duped into believing that they make you feel one way or another you will never figure your sh*t out until you take all of it back.  

The best part of it all is that you are not in charge of anyone else.  You don't have to have the weight of the world on your shoulders, just your world.  You are not the cause of reason for anyone else's anything, seriously.  That  means you will need to unload the baggage of others.  It also means you will have to find another reason for feeling useful.  So many people don't feel useful unless they are helping someone else.  I totally get that, my work is to serve.  The first person who I must serve is me.  If I am not well fed, loved and nurtured what use am I to anyone else?  Additionally, once you really dig in and do your work you find out how much nothing is ever about anyone else… and it is all about, whether you want it to be or not.  We filter everything period, there is no hope of not filtering, as long as use our senses to gather information.  When you do your work you are better able to serve because you aren't trying to save, you are just helping people along their path, not trying to get them to go down yours, or have them take on an area of your own life you have refused to manage.

Be kind to yourself and loving, always.  You deserve it.  Be appreciative of each thing, experience, person that got you here.  Take charge of what you are in charge of and let the rest go.  Know that you are the boss of you and make it so you want to go to work everyday.

xo

a

charles1

ps.  Can you guess why I picked the photo for this blog?

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