Discipline

One Foot In Front of The Other

Hello, Keep going.  I know how hard things can feel.  I know how sometimes you think that it is all for naught; that you are just going in circles.  You aren't even though it truly doesn't seem like any forward movement is happening.  Then there are times where you know you are moving forward but it just isn't at the pace you would like it to be.  You want quicker results.  You want the results to fit into your expectations, you want what you want and anything else seems like failure.  I get it but cannot support it.  We set ourselves up for failure on a regular basis and don't take responsibility for managing our own expectations around our growth, success or advancement.  When you expect to be rid of something you only just recently learned you were embodying for most of your life you are setting yourself up for disappointment; you can at least give yourself a similar amount of time to get above what you don't like as it took to make what you don't like a habit; 5 years of making something a habit takes is going to require longer than a few months to truly unlearn.

This isn't for you to become discouraged.  On the contrary, it is so you understand patience.  When you are working on learning how to live a life that is new in a large number of ways, the last area of your life to truly shift is your emotional life.  How we view the world, how we see ourselves, what we want, feel, desire, all of these things are deeply embedded in our core.  Changing how we respond to present situations so that we aren't repeating behaviors of the past is difficult and an ongoing process.  You mustn't get ahead of yourself and, at the same time, you must dream bigger and see farther than your present state of being.  In other words, you must stay rooted in the present moment but peer over it to see that there is light; faith is needed.

Anything you want to change, grow, learn will take time.  You will have to put energy into whatever it is that you would like to attain.  Giving up, deciding that it isn't happening fast enough, becoming discouraged, losing faith are the enemies of love, life and the pursuit of emotional, spiritual and physical evolution.  As you stumble, recognize that there is something that slowing down will show you.  As you feel like you are spiraling or having a setback, know that you need to gather more tools for your journey and this is an opportunity to do so.  There are no mistakes if you are consistently learning.

Keep going.  The only way out is through.

LeapOfFaith
LeapOfFaith

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:

Having Many Talents.

Being Ready.  

Home.

Social Media.

Early Mornings.

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:

Take your time.  Breathe.  Let your feelings come to the surface?  What are they?  How often do you check in with yourself?  How often do you just let things be what they are.  We are so busy racing around, doing this, doing that; in this meeting, and that event.  When do you allow time to pass while checking in with yourself and allowing feelings to move through you…?  Better yet, how often do you sit with an idea, an intention and block everything else out and let only what you will in?

What are you running away from?  What keeps you from spending time with you, thinking, feeling, getting down to what is happening under the surface and deeper.  If you never stop to find out how will you move through it, beyond it?  How will you find peace if you aren't willing to look at what is disrupting it inside of you?  Spend consistent time with yourself letting the thoughts come and observing them, not judging them and acknowledging them.  You are the first person in your life you are in relationship with.  Your feelings matter for you.  Your ideas, thoughts, desires and inclinations are important to you.  When you aren't aware of what any of those are it is difficult to truly meet your own needs, let alone have anyone else try to really support you.

You don't need to sit in that place of observation forever.  At some point during your mandatory "you" time you can put your energy into what you want to become, what you want to bring into your life.  Cutting out all of the extraneous chatter and bringing in only what you want to hear, see… what serves you and your highest good.  The practice of focusing your mind and relaxing your mind allows you to do both at will.  We are absolutely lazy when it comes to our thoughts and mental ability.  It is time to shape up mentally in the same way we shape up physically… by practicing everyday.  Anything you want to change, anything you want to create takes energy, takes you seeing it into existence.  Do the work and the work will be done.

xo

a

Choices

Hi there, You will be ok.  If you push harder, sweat more, sleep less and go farther you will survive.  We have such a distorted idea of what we are capable of.  If you want to be successful, if you want to reach a goal you are going to need to suck it up and go for it.  Wake up.  WAKE UP!!!!  When things go wrong you figure out how to manage your life around trying to get them to go right… right?  What if you controlled what you could control… like movement, thoughts and behavior.  What if you created habits that supported a lifestyle that supports life?  What if you stopped doing things that sucked energy; things that don't feed your soul, healed your body and broadened your mind?  Do you know what is possible, do you know where your limit is?

I can tell you that you don't know your limits unless you have already figured out how to fly; to just elevate like a ghost.  If you haven't gotten to that point yet you are still at the "I have no f*ing idea what my potential is" point.  And… if you do know how to fly then you understand that we are limitless.  If you decide to work at something with drive, determination, unrelenting discipline you will master it.  You are not limited by who your mom or your dad is, what your bloodline says, or what anyone else in your family has or has not done.  You are only held back by your beliefs; your believing that you are limitless limits you.  Your believing that your family history determines your future is unbelievably damaging to your journey towards flight.  If you want to be a dancer, dance.  If you want to be a writer, write.  If you want to be an amazing lover, love, communicate, practice.  Whatever you see as amazing in someone else you can be too.  Seriously.

I want to be stronger, faster, fitter.  I work at it daily.  I want to be the best DJ that I have heard of.  I work at it daily.  I want to be a proficient, consistent and relevant writer.  I write everyday.  When you want something you need to go after it.  When you see someone living a dream that you wouldn't mind living, at least your version of it, work for it.  When you want to bring something into your world or take something out, make the decision.  That is the secret.  Deciding to do something different, something more, something daring and something you never dared to do will automatically make it a possibility.

infinity-art

Sometimes you just have to make a choice.  Make one that scares you, that takes you farther than you are presently, that challenges your very idea of who you are or ever could be.  Then watch the magic happen, while you sweat your ass off going after it.

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

You Hurt You. Stop.

Hello lovely, How long would you tolerate a relationship where you were told that you weren't living up to the expectations of your partner.  What if you worked hard to make progress to attempt to appease your partner and they still found fault with you and refused to validate the work you had done thus far?  What if you told your friends what your partner said to you.  That they called you fat, lazy, unorganized, stupid and other such things?  What would they advise you to do?  If your friend came to you with this information, how would you advise them?

self_harm2

Emotional abuse is far more damaging overall than physical and most of us are guilty of perpetrating it.  Usually we have the where-with-all to keep it a secret and only do it in our safest most private places… in our own hearts and minds.  We cut ourselves down so swiftly most of us don't even recognize that it is being done but it is.  We are victims to ourselves.  No matter where we go there we are.  Looking in the mirror, eating dinner or a snack, walking to and fro, doing the work you have chosen, you are there putting yourself down when the chance arises.  We fill ourselves full of doubt, we imagine the worst.  We believe we don't deserve all the great things and when they come along we often have a hard time accepting them.  We may feel ok to have what "makes sense" for the work we have put in, but any more than that and we upper limit ourselves and create reasons for not being able to push past certain points in various areas of our lives.  

Do you need to break up with you or do you have a chance to be rehabilitated?  You would advise your friend to leave the lover who was abusive, emotionally or otherwise… so I am advising you to do something similar.  Treat that side of yourself as you would someone who is unbelievably insecure and lashes out regularly.  That part of you is like a person drowning looking for anything close to push down on in order to get above the surface.  You are going to have to be disciplined and diligent when it comes to either cutting off the nasty comments or reframing them and reprogramming the responses of your own personal bully.  When you are able to do this the world will open up in ways you never realized it would.  When you are supportive to yourself you can breathe, you are lighter.  

How would anyone fare being abused daily?  Ok, now look at your life and the areas you would like to be improved, would support help in this area?  Would some positive reinforcement be a motivating force?  I believe so.  Try it, what do you have to lose except that abusive bully that lives inside you.  Your higher self is waiting.

xo

a

There Is More

Howdy! I rowed all four years in college.  It was an amazing time and I can honestly say that so much of my philosophies on life are based on my years as a competitive rower.  I learned about myself, what is possible or at least what was possible in the moments that existed then, about others, about stress, joy and love, and about perseverance.  I had never done team sports before college so I was new to competing in a structured environment so it took me a few months to get my feet underneath me.  When I did finally get a glimmer of the possibility I became the strongest female rower (as far as erg times) on both the varsity and novice teams.  I was on top and, because I am competitive, was determined to stay there.

I had a 3.5 years left as a college rower once I reached the top so I had to figure out how to handle the new rowers coming up in order to keep my seat and status as numero uno.  I worked out over the summers, I lifted with friends, I did the extra work that I needed to stay strong.  I worked on my mental toughness, I tested and sent scores into the US Rowing Team to stay motivated.  I also found motivation with the rowers around me.  During tests the top ergers would generally sit next to one another for motivation.  I would make sure that I was always a few seconds faster than the next fastest rower.  It was easy to pace off of someone and to just do enough to stay on top.  It worked and I wasn't topped until I was gone.

Most people compare themselves with others around them to see if they are cutting the mustard.  We are a competitive society after all.  Competition isn't in and of itself and issue, it is how we compete and what meaning we give to the results that end up being problematic.  So often I hear people saying that they eat better than the people they know, they work out more, they are smarter than, more helpful, and so on and so on.  I hear people in various positions saying that they are the best this or that.  You can believe that you are the best, or that you are better or whatever but you always need to be aware of the pool you are comparing yourself against.  If you are the fittest person at your job and you live in the United States, chances are that isn't so hard to do.  Most Americans are obese (40lbs overweight), so being the healthiest is rather simple.  Falling into this line of thinking can be tricky because you stop striving for your best and just look to being the best in comparison to those around you.  Your best is then limited by who you are competing against.  

Well, I get it, I did it and it wasn't until I graduated and began training on my own that I discovered true competition and true success.  When I began training in a single sculling boat I no longer had the team to compare myself to.  I was now a small fish in an ocean and the games were just beginning.  I realized that all I could ever use as a meter to base my success on was the person I was the day before; use the scores from yesterday, three days ago, last week or last month.  I was my competition, I was my motivation.  It wasn't until I realized this that I became great.  I began to challenge what I thought was possible by digging deeper within myself, by going farther than I had the day before, by understanding that there were no limits, really.  When I stopped competing I started winning.  

Everyday I try to push myself farther in some way or another.  I take praise from others as a sign of love and admiration but I don't let it go to my head, ever.  I never believe that I am at the top of my game.  If I believed that I would stop working harder, going farther, dreaming bigger.  I refuse to stop because I am ahead… I never believe that to be the case anyway.  I am always in the middle of the pack, working to see what I couldn't see before, working to be where I never was before.  

Instead of comparing yourself to others, ask yourself if you are working hard and doing your best in the moment.  Dream BIG.  Set your sights on something you think is unattainable and then steadily attain it.  Why not?  It isn't about anyone else, it is about yourself, your potential, your exploration of who you really are and can be.  It isn't about losing or winning it is about stepping outside of the hamster wheel and feeling the real freedom of success.  Going beyond what is expected, not letting others' ideas of what can be dictate your life and what you do.  Truly live your life to it's fullest regardless of the lives being lived around you.

xo

a

Number 1

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

Say It With Meaning

Hi there, I have no regrets about anything I have said to anyone in my life.  I am very purposeful with my words, both soft and sharp.  I believe regret is like guilt, pointless.  I know that it can take a lot of energy for most people to speak on purpose.  To shut up when they have not truly thought out their words and to mean what they say when they do finally speak.  So much of our communication is thoughtless and rote.  We ask one another how we are without actually caring about the answer.  It is often just what we say as a greeting not anything we are truly meaning.  The thing about this is that words are powerful and assist in making magic happen.  When we speak without putting energy behind it or recognizing the power in the words we utter we create a world and things within it that aren't what we truly intended.  So often people say things just to fill space, to distract themselves from their own thoughts.  So much of our behavior is to numb ourselves from knowing ourselves.  It is no wonder why we don't see that we teach one another and that everything we do is an example for someone else.  

You never know what affect your words will have on someone.  You never know when someone will be listening and when what they hear will change their lives in some way.  It is impossible to know how someone will truly take your words and filter them to give them meaning.  Each person has their own set of filters, which are, in part, shaped by their experiences in this lifetime and possibly others.  How we interpret something is truly not ever about the present moment.  Our reactions to things are based on our history with similar things and, what we consider important is unique to each of us.  Because of this lack of control over when or what someone considers what you do or say important, consider everything you do or say important and possibly taken to heart.  

Every interaction with everyone and everything is an opportunity to bring about change.  How you are with others, what you say, how you say it, makes a bigger difference than you are aware.  When I was around 10 I fell in love with my french teacher, Mrs. Worthy.  I don't exactly know how my mother found out but she told me clearly that it was normal in everyone's development to like both girls and boys.  This was a relief to me because I liked boys and girls and thought it was fabulous that I now had permission to do so and still fall in the range of normal.  :)  I now know that being normal isn't all that groovy and have since adjusted my status to abnormal.  Either way, that statement that my mother made, that information about normal sexual development, helped me throughout my life as I had boyfriends, fell in love with girls and had girlfriends and knew that I didn't have to decide to only like one or the other regardless of how much pressure is on everyone else to do so.  I felt very secure in my being open to loving people first and not caring too much about gender.  At the time my mom wasn't actually thinking about me being something other than straight.  She wasn't even truly focusing that much on me during the Mrs. Worthy conversation… she just knew to not say something tome that would ostracize me or put me down.  She was careful to make sure I felt included, healthy and developmentally on track.  I am so grateful for that.

power-of-intention

 Maybe you have been that person for someone, the one that they remember helping them be ok with who they are.  Maybe you are the one that has helped someone question the validity of who they are.  We all have the power to support or judge.  We all have the power to hate or love.  Are you deliberate with what you create or are you like a drunken college student stumbling around peeing on things?  You can't choose what or how someone takes what you do or say, but you can do or say what you want, what you mean and do it with intention to help and intention to love.

xo

a

Go Get It

Holla! What are you willing to do to get what you want?  Seriously?  Are you ready to stop making excuses and actually accomplish what you want to?  So many things start with the reasons why you cannot.  What if you shifted your focus on the reasons you could do something.  What is it you want to accomplish?  What dreams do you have?  We have a million reasons why we don't do what we are truly hankering to do.  

Some of the reasons/excuses are: 

Not enough time, not enough money, not enough support, don't know where to start, too busy, not good at what you want to do, family or friends think it is stupid, too many people doing it already, desire to have a certain outcome, afraid of seeming selfish, you don't know what you want and many more.  This list is in no way a complete one.  There are many, many more excuses that I am sure you can come up with.  Regardless of the nature of the reason/excuse there are no ones that actually can hold a candle to the truth.  The truth is, of course there is no reason you cannot succeed at your dreams.  You are absolutely capable of doing whatever you set your mind to and are willing to work for.  The issue is with your excuses and your actual desire to be somewhere you aren't yet.

When you want something bad enough you won't stop to get it.  When you want your dreams as much as you want food to eat when you are starving, warmth when you are freezing, air when you cannot breathe, or love when you are desperate and lonely, you will stop at nothing make them a reality.  You won't worry about whether you got enough sleep or if someone thinks you are selfish for pursuing your dreams.  You will stop saying you don't have enough time and will use the time you used to use making excuses to get closer to realizing your dreams.  When you are done with the reasons you cannot you will only have the reasons you can…When you want something else more than what you have in this moment, you are well on your way.

I have always wanted to write consistently.  When I graduated from college I promised myself that I would write regularly.  It took me over a decade and a half to make that happen, but it happened when I was done with not having that dream be a part of my life.  It doesn't matter if I want to get sleep, I want to write more.  It doesn't matter if I am missing seeing my friends, I have a dream that needs my attention and I will give it that until it grows into what I know it can be.  Nothing and no one will get in the way of my bringing my dreams into this world.  There is no reason good enough to stop me from being happy.  No excuse valid enough for me to abandon what I truly want for myself.  My dreams are not about pleasing or making others comfortable.  It is about me doing what I want and loving it.  That is pure love, that is happiness. 

So, what did you say you wanted?

world fingers

xo

a

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

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

Story Moments

Hiya, Yep, the details matter.  The details are the difference between I kissed a girl and I kissed my best friend's girl.  The details are what make a story unique, interesting, fun and well a story.  The details give things form and structure.  The details make the whole, in reality.  What are the details you focus on?  What are the small points that you spend time fleshing out?  How much attention are you paying to how you frame your thoughts?  We all want our lives to be great but we aren't willing to put the energy into what would actually bring that greatness to us.  Though the details make us up, shape our world, create our experiences, we have a hard time being detailed when we want to change our world and have different experiences.

The details change the picture.  When you need to shift your thinking the details are the fastest most reliable ways of doing so… and the hardest.  Changing your stories is a moment to moment process that can be all-consuming, if you are doing it correctly.  You will have to be on your every thought, at first.  Taking note, finding out what you are saying to yourself to create the feeling of uneasiness that you have grown accustomed to.  You will have to "listen without prejudice" to all the voices in your head.  You will need to let go of the judgment that you have about what you hear when you become aware.  You will need to finally hear the barrage of insults that you inflict upon yourself, the limitations that you set up and the abuse that goes on in the background for ambiance.  At first there may be shock, sadness, awe… keep listening, hear the details and then look around at your world, your life.  See where you struggle, see where there is fear and pain.  The inside terrorist is way more dangerous than anything that could happen to you on the outside.  You cannot run away from yourself, you cannot hide from the attacker that lives within.

Thinking_by_almumen

You are going to have to decide what story you would like to live.  You will have to decide what words you want to hear, what feelings you want to predominantly experience.  You will have to do the hard work.  The moment to moment work.  You will have to change the details.  The best part is you can.  You can totally shift your life by shifting the ideas you hold up as truth.  You are worth the struggle, the relentless silencing of the voices you will have to do.  You can and, if you are reading this, you are ready to.  

Good luck on your journey of growth, change and opening to love.

xo

a

It's Time To Make A Change

Howdy, For over 20 years I have helped people gain control of their nutrition and weight management.  When my clients follow my protocol they get results 100% of the time… and in more ways than they thought they would.  I work on 3 levels, the mind, body and spirit… so no stone is left unturned.  If they are committed to doing the work, the work will be done.  Some of the work is standard and no surprise at all, like conscious eating… then there are the things that are surprising like the fact that some people aren't going to support your weight loss and will try to sabotage you at some point on you journey… and one of those people is sometimes you.

When you decide you want to get fit after years of being out of shape, overweight or both you will be faced with a lot of resistance.  The resistance is fear.  Fear permeates us when we are unhealthy.  Fear vibrations are lower than love vibrations.  Eating processed items, sitting for long periods of time for years on end, thinking things that aren't supportive and doing very little self-love work will cause your vibrations to register low on an energetic scale.  When your vibrations are low, you aren't motivated to make many, if any, changes.  When you do get the gumption to do something different you are up against your brain chemistry that has conditioned responses to what you have been doing, and will resist change if it was up to it; you are up against your regularly scheduled programming, so getting a new routine is daunting.  You are also afraid of judgment, so joining a gym or getting a trainer is big and scary.  Just getting to the point where you can tell people who you are working with someone or doing something is a big hurdle emotionally.  

It is no wonder, then why so many people fail at truly finding the solution to their fitness and weight loss goals.  Not to mention society and the media.  I am all for acceptance, I teach it, preach it, live it.  However, acceptance does not mean no work needed.  Acceptance is where you start to begin changing that which needs improving.  The idea that things don't need improvement is ridiculous.  People go to church to become better people (so they say), people go to therapy to become better equipped to handle their lives, people clean themselves to get clean or improve upon the moment.  Improvement is the nature of life.  We have children and want them to be better off than we were… but as soon as we discuss weight everyone is a-ok and doesn't need to do anything??  We do more damage lying about not wanting to change our bodies than we do changing our bodies.  We oppress more people by saying that it doesn't matter what you look like than we do allowing people to care openly.  Acceptance is the starting point for change… not the end point for life.  When you accept that you are where you are and you want to be where you aren't you can begin the steps needed to make it happen… including getting healthy.

healthylifestyle

So stop telling people they are big-boned.  No one is big-boned.  Yes, once you have carried excess weight for years and years your femur grows wider to compensate for the force they are under, but no one is born with abnormally big ass bones and then becomes fat.  Stop telling people not to get "too skinny."  Instead tell them that the cheese danish is poison that will end up killing them in the end.  Let them know that the cheeseburger has no nourishment.  Tell them that they look puffy and unhealthy instead of saying that they shouldn't go overboard with working out.  Encourage them to work out, this is what their body needs… this is what their soul needs, this is what will bring them to change, improvement and empowerment.

You have been given a gift, this body that sits reading this… you are the caretaker of a great vessel.  When you take excellent care of this vessel you are able to do amazing and wondrous things with it. It is your servant.  When you neglect it, you become imprisoned by the very thing that is here for you to experience the world with.  Your body becomes the master and you the slave.  Pay attention to the orders that are being shouted out to you from that vessel.  Who is in charge?  Are you afraid to stop eating something because of how it tastes or are you thinking about how you need to be fueled to bring the vibrational levels of this great vessel up?  Where is your focus?  What is your purpose?     

When you decide to make a change know that it may not always be easy, some people may not be helpful, and you may feel like you have been backsliding a little bit.  Just keep on keeping on, you will get to where you dream of eventually.  

xo

a

Surprise!!!!

Hiya, So you are going along and everything seems ok and then, WHAM, someone or something comes into your world and then everything changes.  You have feelings you've never experienced, you do things you never thought you would, you are spinning, spinning… and then you figure out some way around it, some way to either live it, leave it or make it normal.  It happens all of the time with love.  You fall in love, you go nutso feeling and doing things that you never had before, feeling like you are invincible and then, after some time it becomes your normal.  The funny thing is that we tend to forget that we don't know all of ourselves in the least.  It is a bit like goldfish memory (though that theory has been disproven, goldfish do remember things so those small tanks are torture), we actually think that we know how we would or wouldn't behave, even after surprising ourselves on a regular basis.  I mean really, at some point in your life you have done something you never thought you would and you have made it a part of your existence.

Throughout our day we talk to ourselves constantly.  There is almost always a dialogue that is going on in that head of yours.  Now, what are the voices saying?  Well, they comment on this or that and judge that and this and decide that they know.  That is one of the most important things those voices do for you, they tell you what is.  Honestly, the voices are working against you most of the time.  They cause a lot of confusion, drama, stress and fear.  They tend to tell you that something is one way or another and you tend to believe those voices.  Think about this seriously:  what have your voices told you and been right about; wrong about?  I would say that they are wrong most of the time because they like to operate on fear.  Even though the percentage of correct decisions/observations the voices make is low, we still consult those voices.  It is a partnership that doesn't seem sound.  Rarely are the voices ones of curiosity… rarely do we remind ourselves that anything could happen and after it does we might actually like it and want to continue experiencing what we once thought was unappealing, unsavory or beneath us.

What if the voices grew quieter or we didn't pay them attention or we reminded us of what was actually happening instead of what could?  What if you were open to the possibilities in life, you were aware that you didn't know what you would do in a situation you had never been in?  What if you decided right now, that you are in progress, you are in a place of discovery and will be the rest of your life?  What if you allowed yourself to be the growing and changing being that you are?  What if you helped the voices tell you what would allow you to be at ease most of the time and open otherwise?  You can, it is doable.  Now, even when you work on those voices serving you, surprises will still happen.  They won't shake your world the same way because you will be open to them, you will have known that anything can and will happen.  It isn't hard, in theory, to train those voices… it takes time, desire and unrelenting discipline.

You are going to expand.  You are going to incorporate more into your world than what is currently in it now.  You will change, you will grow.  Love will do it to you, life will do it to you, be open and enjoy. 

Growing, growing, growing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1A_uSEjTIQ - It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork :)

xo

a

Making The Habit

Hello! We are all addicted to something, some feeling, some situation, some story, some idea… all of us.  We tell ourselves stories all of the time and we fight tooth and nail to hold onto these things.  We go through serious depression and withdrawal when we are made to let go of these addictions.  Most of us, on a basic level, are addicted to things being the same.  We want things to be static in some way… we want predictability in some area of our world… we have told ourselves that without it we can't function.  When what we eat or how we care for ourselves is actually a detriment to our health, these addictions can turn deadly.  We will decide we cannot do something because of the absolute fear of change, the feeling of being out of our comfort zone and the lack of desire in the moment for anything to be different.  This is where discipline, the ability to call it up, comes in.  When you discipline your mind to be flexible, to embrace change, to have a way to handle the adjustments needed in life to keep you healthy and growing upward.

Discipline.  This is something that we all struggle with in some area of our life or another.  How do we stop doing something that we habitually do?  How do we rein in what seems to be wild and out of control; or totally controlled but just not serving us anymore?  How do we get the strength to "just do it?"  How do we move beyond our addictions or create ones that are healthy?  It seems to be the case that we need discipline to be disciplined.  Eating well, exercising, cleaning, taking vitamins, organizing, emails, work, work/life balance, etc.  All of the aspects  of our lives take some form of discipline to accomplish regularly.  

When we don't have immediate positive feedback in areas we are trying to bring discipline to in our lives we often just say f*ck it and do what we know.  It is way easier to keep things as is… because the change brings with it all sorts of growing pains.  Letting go of what we are addicted to can be seriously challenging if we decide that it will be or if we don't prepare for the resistance, from ourselves and others, that will come up around it.  Even when you are 'ready' to make a change you will be tested in ways.  You will be pushed to the point of teetering back to what you know.  

Along with the challenge of staying the course is the shame or judgment we feel if we get off track once we have made a change.  We immediately believe we are falling backward.  In reality we aren't falling backward, we are still moving forward, it is just that we haven't seen all of the angles yet, so 'revisiting' our past may be necessary to reach the next level of change.  Where the discipline comes in is in the never giving up.  Period.  Discipline is belief that even though you don't want to you, want to.  Even though you don't like it, you like it.  Even though it is impossible, it is possible.  Discipline is believing that you are limitless and that you can do something even when you don't want to.  Discipline takes root when you allow your feelings to come and go like the breeze without ever becoming the victim of them.  Discipline is you ignoring the voices and moving forward.  Discipline is you hearing the voices and not becoming a part of the conversation.  Discipline is you doing whatever it takes to remember where you want to be and head in that direction and, at the same time, understanding that it is an ebb and flow.  

Start small, or start big…either way just start to do something other than what you are doing if you need a change.  Nothing is too small or insignificant.  Where do you want to bring discipline into your world?  

xo

a