Thursday, March 29, 2012


"Right now is the best time in your life"...  It's a quote from my new favorite web series titled Dating Rules From My Future Self.  I was introduced to this series by a dear friend of mine and found myself laughing hysterically at the relate-ability of this fun-loving series for younger women navigating the path of decision making in dating.  If an iPhone app existed that was 'The Voice' of our future self 10 years down the road, what advice would 'It' text us?  Are we asking for what we really want in relationships -- romantic or otherwise?  Are we following our heart and mind in decision making?  Or are we potentially settling in life today and setting ourselves up for a future filled with restlessness and disappointment?

So here is The Challenge that I want to pose to you today... Are you living in the moment and embracing all that it has to offer?  We can so easily worry about our future and if the path we are currently traveling will take us exactly towards the hopes and dreams that we envisioned as a young children for our adult lives.  I too struggle with this, but have made some serious strides in the last year -- with many thanks to a Life Coach that is the one investment I consider to be the gift that keeps on giving -- but I digress.  The point is that I am learning to understand that there is only so much that we can control in life and the rest is an adventure meant to be embraced.   And when the road presents the inevitable 'pot holes' or unexpected turns, think of this iPhone app's advice to Lucy when she questions standing by some of the harder decisions, "Keep Calm and Carry On".

Learn from our past, live in the moment, and look towards the future with excitement.  Do it.  I dare you.


PhysicalSpring is here and, for the most part, the weather should be improving no matter what part of the country you live.  Are you outside taking in the sun, vitamin D, and the fresh air?  If not, get outside at least once a week for a walk/run/hike.  It will fill you with some fresh energy and oxygen!

PersonalI know I keep coming back to this, but it truly is so important, set aside some time for yourself this week -- maybe even just 20 minutes -- and focus your mind on the life you are living.  There are ups and down associated with life on a regular basis, but it's what we make of it that will ultimately determine our personal well being.

SpiritualIt is a challenging balance to strike -- making decisions regarding things that are within our control and managing the other aspects of life that are beyond our control.  I believe in a higher power and that a greater good is looking out for me -- in good times and in bad.  Having faith means having trust.  If you have faith then make sure you take time this week to acknowledge the trust in the greater being that comes with it.  The two must exist, hand-in-hand, within our hearts.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Spring is officially here and I decided that this past weekend would be the perfect opportunity for some 'Spring Cleaning'.  I started to mentally prepare for the process over a week in advance knowing that I had a relatively open weekend and I needed to set aside some serious time in order to thoroughly organize and cleanse.  The idea of 'Spring Cleaning' is an incredible mental shift if you really allow yourself to embrace it.  I felt a wave of excitement to uncover old things that might feel new again because they were simply mixed with the clutter of the good and bad.  Believe it or not, I actually started applying the concept of 'Spring Cleaning' and de-cluttering to my entire life and in a matter of days it felt like fresh oxygen was coming into my lungs. 

I have a tendency to lean on my regular handful of close friends and family members and not make time for the other friendships in my life that, while not as consistent, can be just as meaningful.  I was thrilled to have dinner with a girlfriend on Friday night, whom I hadn't seen in nearly 4 months, and we ended the night laughing and wondering why we didn't get together more often.  De-clutter move #1.

I then decided to change up my Saturday routine and made time to ease into the day with coffee, journaling, yoga, and then some time on the couch to just 'veg' (not something I do too often as a hyper A-type personality).  This fresh start allowed me to ease into Saturday night with a light heart and smile on my face as I had slowed the RPM's down a bit and not stressed over the little things that could be done another day.  De-clutter move #2. 

Sunday was the bigger challenge and if you aren't already inspired to perform some 'Spring Cleaning' of your own at this point then continue reading because I am about to compel you to literally get out the trash bags.  I took on the task of cleaning my closet.  I've decided that this could be considered the Recessionista's version of a shopping spree as I uncovered items that hadn't been touched in months and (gasp!) some of them still had tags attached to them.  There were trash bags of dingy hangers, faded t-shirts, and shoes with holes in them hauled out.  There were also 4 bags of 'give away' clothes to be dropped at Goodwill.  What was left behind was a color coded (don't judge) and lightly packed closet inspiring all sorts of new outfits for the week ahead. De-clutter move #3.

I encourage you to de-clutter at least one aspect of your life in the weeks ahead.  Think of it as if you are treating yourself to a facial -- only once all of the 'junk' is gone will you be able to truly glow.  Your challenge:  Make the Time!

"Instead of making up excuses for why something is impossible, it's far better to come up with reasons why it could be possible. One reason why is more powerful than all the reasons why not."
 - Jackson Kiddard

Monday, March 12, 2012


I woke up at 5:30 this morning to attend a 6 AM Hot Yoga class and mid-way through the moaning, groaning, and yawning -- the teacher commented to our class "Life, and yoga, are all about layers.  Whichever layer you are at right now is exactly where you are meant to be."  She was probably referring to not over-doing that binding pigeon move, but for me, it struck a much more profound and personal chord.  Stay with me as I dive a bit deeper into this analogy...

The yoga moves of "Runner's Lunge" and "Hurdler's Lunge" involve stepping one foot forward, bending that knee, and placing one foot back with a straight leg as if you were at the starting line of an Olympic race.  Next, lean all of your weight into that front foot with bended knee.  If you are in the 'first layer' of this stretch then you will feel strain in a number of places right away.  Once the body has acclimated to this layer of the stretch then you are ready for the next move which involves placing your arm under that front knee and engaging your bicep.  Again, if this is where you are meant to be, then your whole body will be stretching and alert.  The last layer involves placing that front knee on the same side elbow by bending your leg sideways (knee pointing to the side wall) and lifting the opposite leg behind you.  Visualize this:  your entire body is being held up by one of your forearms and your core.  'Hurdler's Lunge' is the move and it's tough.  For some, near impossible.  I am definitely still getting comfortable with layer two.  My body would collapse on me if I even tried the final move.  In fact, if I really pushed myself to go into Hurdler's Lunge without any respect for the first two layers then I could seriously injure myself.  It's all about listening to the physical reaction throughout your body and respecting 'exactly where you are at'.

In life, just as in yoga, we sometimes want to move from one chapter to the next with too much speed and a lack of respect or acknowledgement for where we are truly meant to be.   Even worse, if we try and hurdle past (pun intended) phases then we are setting ourselves up to get hurt because each chapter builds off of the last.  Stress and pressure can come from the media, from peers, or even family members.  Don't internalize it.  They aren't the ones living your life -- you are the one in charge of your own life!  Breathe life into the moments that are happening right now and the ones directly in front of you and if you are tempted to run past them then tell yourself "I am exactly where I am meant to be."


Have you been consistently active for the last two months?  Have you felt your strength and stamina improve?  Are you disappointed with the pace of your progress?  Be constant and be patient.  Your body moves at a steady pace and it is our jobs to be consistent and diligent, but also supplement it with patience.  If you do want a little extra nudge then I will repeat my advice from last week:  try doing 5 push-ups a day and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Whenever I find myself struggling to embrace the present I find myself repeating a simple prayer.  Closing your eyes, even in the middle of the day while sitting in your office, to whisper this prayer of serenity could be the key to re-centering your heart and mind.  I challenge you to give yourself that 30 second break whenever you need it!  "God grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

I decided to 'give up' Facebook for Lent because I found myself measuring my own success and place in life against the appearance of my friends and 'acquaintances' lives on Facebook.  Breathing into the present moment is so critical for me these days.  I want to appreciate every moment and realize that life is too long to have to rush through it.  The end result would simply be exhaustion and perpetual frustration. 

"But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, March 5, 2012


I recently started attending a weekly speaker series called 'The Naked Truth' and the message focuses on the role of love, sex, and beauty in our daily lives.  The intent is to include both sexes in the conversation, but last week focused specifically on the body image pressure that society and the media place on girls and women of all ages.  Within the first five minutes of the evening I could feel my eyes start to well up with tears as the speaker screened YouTube videos of young girls, ages 10-15, sitting in front of their web camera telling a sad story of how those at school tell them they are ugly and fat -- and then they ask the random universe of YouTube viewers to weigh in on the opinion of their peers.  These 60 second videos filled me with the enormity of true heartbreak.  The sadness only grew heavier when the speaker announced after the viewing that the responses to each post were numerous in count (do we have nothing better to do with our free time?!) and ranged from words of compliments and encouragement to hateful messages that surely drove these young and impressionable girls into a deeper sadness and despair than ever before. 

Coincidently, this particular discussion occurred on the Sunday of the Academy Awards.  A day when all of the women are paraded in dresses and jewels down the red carpet and the 'Fashion Police' weigh in from the moment they step out of the limos.  As I watched the broadcast, I realized that there was no commentary on the inner beauty in each of these women.  The focus was simply on the weight gain or loss, the dress shape, and the impressive ability to wear accessories that came with their own bodyguard.  Don't get me wrong, I love to look at the art form that is fashion and weigh in on it myself -- but shouldn't we start focusing on only the good and leave out the opportunity to tear each other (women) down?  To all of my females out there I have something to tell you:  We are all on the same team!  It's time to teach our children about what truly defines beauty and it is our charge to lead by example.

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
― Audrey Hepburn


I had the pleasure of seeing Denise Austin speak last week and she reminded me that when we feel too busy to fit in a regular workout the simple and most effective solution are good old fashioned push-ups.  Try fitting in 5 (yes 5!) push-ups a day.  It will transform your figure more than you could ever expect.

I have said it before and I will say it again:  "Where the mind goes, energy flows".  As we allow our thoughts to lead the way that we live our lives, it is important for us to be conscious of the criticism and expectations that we place on physical beauty.  Look for the simple beauty that is a part of your inner character and soul.  That beauty is what should shine through each of us -- each and every day.

We all have 'off' days.  The times when we have 'Nothing to wear' or 'Feel fat' or 'Having a bad hair day'.  Imagine not being in the best of sorts and having someone express a genuine compliment towards you.  It would feel pretty great, right?  Be that person -- and spread the love and confidence.  I challenge you to compliment one person a day on their inner or outer beauty for the next week.