Check out these older posts….they are worth the read!!
Check out these older posts….they are worth the read!!
I always tell my non-yogi gym friends to try yoga. They think about it. They think they “should”. They also don’t think it is for them. Then I make my pitch. Yoga is like pizza, no 2 are exactly the same. I tell them try some hot power yoga. I say it’s not the yoga you are imagining. Honestly, it is a great way to get type “a” people in the door.
I tried it out myself with no knowledge of what it was a bunch of years back while I was preparing for a race. I never have been in 100% because there are only so many hours in the day and I was running half marathons and lifting weights in between my time on the mat. So in all honesty – I don’t have a headstand in my practice or crow. Ok, I said it out loud. Whew.
HOWEVER, I have now tried pizza – I mean yoga – all over the tri state area. I have practiced Hatha, Sivananda, Kundalini, aerial yoga…you name it. I have learned a lot of new important lessons that have enhanced my practice on and off the mat. But, if I am being honest hot power yoga is a bit like a first love. I keep coming back to it because it has me in its grip. I love it.
I have shared with you about lots of places I have practiced and now I have another great find for anyone in the Bergen/Essex/Morris/Hudson county area. When I first checked out the website for Powerflow Yoga I was looking at them because I wanted to see what Hoboken had to offer yogis. Then I noticed a huge list of locations:
Wow! Here is the amazing part – it is not a chain. These studios are privately owned by the same person and members can utilize all of these locations (they have different membership packages – check out the website). You can check out the “About” section of their website to get the full story. It is a fabulous one! Score for you folks in that direction!
I checked out the Hoboken studio and have lots of awesome things to say. I spoke to the location manager ahead of visiting and felt right away this studio was inviting and a good fit for me. I look for a place that has a very clear vision of what they can offer their clients but also is knowledgeable about the rest of the yoga community. That may seem like a small detail but I think it is key. Yogis, – like runners, weight lifters, and the like can get so caught up in pushing what they are doing they forget to see that there are different ways to practice. It was so nice to chat with this lovely young woman about yoga on and off the mat.
Here are some of the things I thought were fabulous about the studio and why you may find this a good place to practice:
1 – They actually have a place for you to hang your mat! So, if Hoboken is your home studio and you don’t want to go back and forth with your mat all of the time you not only can keep it there – it will have a nice home where you can hang it up! Love this.
2 – My instructor was an awesome dude. I had a good feeling about him as he rode his bike there on a freezing cold day and I was right. He led a wonderful class. It was challenging but also interesting. For instance, he had us rising up on both sides of the mat throughout the class. So often we know what is going to happen in each sun salutation and get lazy in in our practice. Changing direction throughout the class keeps you mentally checked in – it reminds us that we do not know what is coming next.
3 – They have classes specifically aimed at athletes and beginners. I know so many people that work out a lot who would greatly benefit from moving their bodies in new ways but don’t because they don’t know yoga or think it is not for athletes. So many of us wait until our hamstrings are so tight we have no choice but to try something new.
4 – They offer lots of workshops and as they have ten locations it seems as if they have something for everyone. I love learning something new, meeting new people and being part of the yoga community. Workshops allow for all of that.
5 – The Powerflow website does a great job of explaining what to expect, bring, eat and drink to those who aren’t familiar with the practice. This makes them a great option for new yogis. Those of us that have been at it for a while forget to explain what to expect to a first timer.
Check them out: https://www.powerflow-yoga.com/about
There are a lot of packages for new members to try them out and see if it is your yoga “home”. Also, check out their workshops and events. March 18th they are having a Yogathon at Montclair State University to raise money for kids and teens in foster care. I am going to do my best to put together a team and attend myself. Yoga is about the breathe and the postures but it is also about community and giving back. Check it out – get involved!
Love and light,
I recently posted a picture of a book I purchased on my Instagram. The author is Katie Silcox and the title is “Healthy Happy Sexy”. I have not started it yet but it’s on my list. I picked it up because it is supposed to be an Ayurveda guide for the modern woman. One of my followers commented that she was almost reluctant to start a conversation but that she finds health and wellness books with the “sexy” title to be problematic for her. She wanted to know why health books aimed at women boil down to a lesson in how to be “sexy”.
I love a good conversation starter like that! I am being completely honest when I say I picked up the book because I liked what I saw on her website and figured the book was a good place to start. I have been thinking about exploring Ayurveda. That said, the title in my opinion is fairly generic, cheesy and obviously meant to hook us in. Most women want to healthy, happy and sexy. We don’t want to be sick, miserable and frumpy. So, I thought I am going to write about this!
I will use myself as the guinea pig for the start of a real conversation about sexy….
I am a 46 year old single mom. I have 12 year old twins. Oh and they are autistic. I love to run, lift weights and do yoga. I read a lot and write a blog. My dream in life is to have a big business helping people find their path to health and happiness. I am basically a size 2. I have small boobs. I like wearing heels. I love to cook. I have a weird sense of humor. I may be a bit of a nerd (not sure). I generally don’t care what people think of me. I am independent. I like spending time alone. I have been called bossy (I won’t name names here). I consider myself a feminist. I don’t care if I go out without my bra. I was on a lunch date recently with a man who was rude to a young waitress – I told him he was being an asshole. So, I guess I am outspoken (he kept asking me what was wrong…I only spoke out because he wouldn’t allow me to be polite). I have 2 online dating profiles and regularly get messages from younger men telling me they want to meet because I am “sexy”. I recently had a third date with a man who told me flat out I am sexy (I think my ex-husband and a few other men I have met along the way would have a different opinion).
Ok, so I told some truths about myself here. Is that sexy? Am I sexy? I HAVE NO IDEA! Here is what I think is a good framework for being sexy.
– You know who you are and you love yourself
– You take care of yourself and feel confident
– The way you look on the outside matches your spirit
– You don’t conform to what others think
– You “do you” so to speak
Society at any given point in time will have a standard for what is sexy and desirable. It has always been arbitrary. That is not going to change. We all like something different. How about we all be ok with that?
I think what truly makes us sexy is strength, intelligence, humor, kindness, empathy, confidence, honesty and integrity. This is how I translate that in my life:
– I work out and stay fit because the stronger I feel the more I love my body and feel confident
– I wear clothes that make me feel good about myself. My wardrobe is diverse and I don’t have one specific style. I wear what I love. Sometimes I like a heel because they make my not so long legs feel longer. Sometimes it is harem pants.
– I wear pretty bras and undies any day of the week that I need a little pick me up
– I practice self care
– I try to practice giving no f@#%%$ (not always easy)
This blog post in no way covers everything. This topic is huge. Women have come a long way in society and yet…there are still so many stumbling blocks. It is 2017 and we are still wondering about why we need to be sexy or if we are. That’s reality. In my opinion my sexiness has nothing to do with society or what any man thinks of me. It has everything to do with me embracing my womanhood. It has everything to do with honoring the sacred feminine. It has everything to do with me remembering that all life on this planet flows from women – and that is immensely powerful. That sense of beauty and power makes me feel confident and honored to be a woman. And well…in my opinion that is just damn sexy!
Let’s continue this discussion. As 2017 is upon us I am thinking about what I want to accomplish next year. I have some vague idea of it including the promotion of sisterhood in our community. I would love to see more and more women embracing their lives – eating right, moving their beautiful bodies, taking care of themselves – finding their inner goddess. I don’t know if that is sexy but I sure hope it is.
Love and light,
I lead a happy life. It wasn’t always so much this way. There was a time when my children were small and needed all my attention and I was in a bad marriage. There was a time I was overweight and full of aches and pains. At the time I was not on my to do list. I was worried about taking care of the kids, my husband, the house…you name it. But what about taking care of myself? I didn’t account for that. It’s one thing to put ourselves at the bottom of the list some days but we can not completely forget we exist.
I got in the way of my happiness. I made bad choices that did not serve my health and well being. At the time I could have read ALL the self help books and I wouldn’t have gotten it. There are so many catch phrases we hear these days – mindfulness, self care, gratitude practice, meditation, energetic healing…the list can go on and on. The problem is how do you begin when you haven’t even made yourself a priority yet? How do you begin when you are living your life like a triage nurse? How do you begin when you are in the middle of a shit storm?
Honestly, it can feel daunting. I understand that. So I decided to put together a simple beginners guide to taking better care of you!
Here are 5 ways to start a journey to happiness and peace:
1 – The shit is hitting the fan every day. You can’t even imagine meditating. Get yourself a notebook and start a gratitude practice. That’s right, be grateful for at least 5 things every day. Find the sunshine in your darkest days. Write it down every day when you open your eyes or before you close them. If you think you can’t then take a look at my blog post “3 Terrible Things I am Grateful For”. I promise you there is something and when you shift your attention things start to change.
2 – Make time for you. Some days that is easier than others. For me some days it is a yoga class, the gym, or a run. Moving my body is always great. Some days it’s a hot bath or herbal tea because that’s all I have time for. Some days it can just be sitting in peace with my morning coffee. Worst case scenario, set your alarm for 10 minutes and do absolutely nothing. I guarantee you we all have at least 10 minutes of the 24 hours in a day to gift to ourselves.
3 – Break out you journal again! Keep it simple and make a list of all of the things you want and need. Do it every damn day. It’s a reminder note to you. Writing down our hopes and dreams is powerful. It is the first step to getting what we want.
4 – Turn up the music. When in doubt I like to sing or dance. Traffic got you down – turn up. Lots of cooking to do – turn up. Need to clean – turn up. It is a game changer.
5 – Pray. Ok, praying may (or may not) seem a bit controversial. I had what I would call a “religious crisis” a few years back. I lost my faith. So many obstacles had been put in my way that I felt God or the universe had it in or me. Looking back now I see that was a really egotistical way to look at life. People all over the world are struggling. There are many without food, shelter, human rights…and yes we all have problems. So, I took my ego down and found my own brand of spirituality that works for me. I always think of the amazing Marianne Williamson as she asks,
“Where would you have me go? What would you have me do?”
That is the only prayer I need. I always ask myself how can I be a light in the world. That’s the way I pray. Find the prayer that works for you. I promise it is comforting.
The truth is happiness and sadness ARE CHOICES we make. We get dealt our cards. We play them. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself the way you would your dearest friend. It is smart. We need to fill up our own gas tank before we can ride for the people we love. That is just fact. So do something for you today. It is essential. Come on, find your happiness and peace!
Love and light,
It’s Thanksgiving week and I have a blog. It feels like it may be a law that I write about gratitude. This feels especially true since gratitude has been my rudder as I navigate the rough seas in my life.
So I decided to share with you some surprising things I am grateful for. Here we go….
3 “Terrible” Things I am Grateful for:
My divorce – I am not always happy to be alone. I truly wish I were with the love of my life (whoever that is). However, I have done a lot of work on myself this past year, especially around my life’s love relationships. I have come to terms with the fact that my adult relationships that I developed after my college boyfriend grew from a place of fear. The “original” love of my life was controlling and jealous. Everyone since then has been weak, needy and/or apathetic. My fear of being controlled led me to make not so good decisions. I now have a chance to start clean. I have a chance to meet the right man for me. A man that can be my equal. A man that can be my partner.
My Children’s Autism – When I first realized both my children were Autistic I was devastated. Everything in my life became a question mark. Our future seemed bleak and difficult. I still don’t know what it will mean for us in 10 years. HOWEVER, I now see this as a challenge instead of a life sentence. These children have taught me more about living life to the fullest than anyone on the planet. They are a complete blessing in my life and in my humble opinion a blessing in this world. They have given me the opportunity to grow and recognize the important things in life – things have nothing to do with scholarship or earning money. I am beyond grateful for them and the lessons they have imparted to me.
The sale of my home – Last year finances made it imperative that I sell my home. To say that it was heartbreaking is an understatement. I was not ready to leave that house. It sheltered us through a divorce and was the place where so much hard work was done teaching them to speak, read and write. It became a place for all of my family to gather whenever there was a holiday or a birthday. I still miss it, because it truly was home. I have lived in a lot of places but none felt like that house. The minute I saw it I felt like it was mine. HOWEVER, as I licked my wounds I decided to move in with my parents temporarily. I am still with them, much longer than I initially planned. The beautiful part of this story is that it has been a tremendous blessing to my children. We lived just the three of us for a lot of years. Now they are surrounded by love of grandparents, aunts and uncles that are in and out. They really love it here. They love it so much I am almost afraid to leave. The truth is when I ended my marriage I had a vision of a life with my children surrounded by people that loved and appreciated them for everything that they are. I finally have that. Yesterday they came home from school to a house bustling with noise and love and craziness. I can’t put a price tag on that.
Life does not always seem good but if you let the universe work through you it will give you what you need. Things are never perfect and they may never be. I do know that I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams though. It is hard and beautiful al at the same time. I love it – and that my friends is gratitude – being happy no matter what part of the sky is falling down on us.
Sending you beautiful vibes and wishes for an amazing thanksgiving!
Love and light,
I have been struggling to write this past week. I have also been trying to stay off social media. As a rule I try to do a few things in life:
– Not let negative vibes suck the life out of me
– surround myself with positive people
– I do not talk politics
The past week has made it very challenging not to get break or sucked into 2 out of 3 of those rules. Avoiding negative energy has been extremely challenging. You can not go on Facebook without seeing people you know arguing and putting up posts demeaning others points of view. As someone who chooses to bring light and love to everything I do it truly makes me sad.
Then something magical happened. Sunday morning I had a run. It was not just any run. I was able to get out there and keep up with 3 of my favorite mother runner BRF’s (best running friends). We have a group of amazing women that have always trained together. Out of that group 4 of us were able to get it together to have a beautiful Sunday run together. Prior to this I had been on my own because my knee wouldn’t let me keep up with them. Sunday I was able to get in 4.5 miles with these lovely ladies.
So, a typical Sunday run is full of talk of children, husbands, boyfriends, upcoming parties, vacations, worries, work, problems, grooming…you name it. It is better than any therapy session I have ever paid for. It is full of laughter and love. There is no room for negativity. It never even occurs to anyone to be negative within this space.
This simple Sunday morning run fueled me for the day and beyond. It reminded me women (and people in general) are at their best when we are united. I can accomplish a ton on my own but when supported by my sisters I am unstoppable.
Coincidentally, this week I finished a new book I have been reading, “Pussy – A Reclamation” by Regena Thomashauer, the founder of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. She reminds us of the importance of sisterhood in this world. She reminds us that women are the source of all life on this planet. Every single one of us is a miracle of God or the universe. We are here because a woman carried us and brought us into this world. She reminds us that when we stand together magical things happen in our lives. I leave you with this excerpt:
“She knows that no matter if she is under a burka in Afghanistan, sitting in a lounge chair at the Beverly Hills Hotel, crawling through the rubble of a recent bombing in Syria, setting her foot on a red caret in Cannes, cleaning a bathroom, or running a board meeting at a Fortune 500 company – every woman on this planet is her sister, and every woman on this planet is the Goddess.”
I share this to remind us all that no matter our differences, we are all one. We all have a common goal of a happy, healthy life. It is my choice to build that by going back to the business at hand of surrounding myself with good people and positive vibes. I pray you do the same. We can do it in a yoga class, on a run or just meeting a good friend for coffee. Connect with yourself and your world. It is still beautiful out there – beyond the computer screen!
Love and light,
As last week ended with the funeral of a cousin who passed quite suddenly and definitely too young I was reminded of that ridiculous line — “I don’t have a crystal ball”. When my son was less than two I brought him to a neurologist because I knew he was not developing typically. I was in the midst of a perfect storm in my life. I moved with two babies who were under 2, started speech therapy for one and made the appointment to see this doctor to get some real “answers” as to how bad it really was. Up until that point he had been delayed but no one used the “A” word – autism. It is actually comical how much people are afraid to use it.
So, my dad and I took my sweet baby to see this lady. Her official diagnosis was – we cannot rule out PDD at this point in time. If you are reading this and you have never been down this road, as I had not, you would be wondering what does that even mean? I paid hundreds of dollars out of pocket for that? I sat there looking for answers as I met this woman. As I asked her what this would mean, what would happen to him her matter of fact response was just that – I don’t have a crystal ball, even if your son was typical I wouldn’t know what was going to happen in his life in years to come.
So, I hated her and her response. I was a mother looking for answers. I was told to get him as much therapy as possible and hope for the best. It was disheartening to say the least. However, I look back on those words from time to time and realize they were so very true. So much of what’s around the corner is unknown.
Here is my takeaway from it this week….
– We never know if our health will last so we need to do our best to honor and care for our bodies
– Life is short and we need to live it to it’s fullest because we never know what is around the corner
– We can and must do our best for our children but we cannot control how their lives turn out
– We need to be vigilant in caring for and about the people we love and not take them for granted
Life is so unpredictable. We never know which way things are going to turn. In the last few days I have sat with this and renewed my faith in well faith and love. We live in times of great uncertainty and much hate. Stop what you are doing today and turn inwards. Stop worrying about what everyone else believes in or is doing. Take care of you and yours. A better life starts with you. I don’t have a crystal ball but I see a movement of great love on the horizon. I put my life in the hands of the universe.
Love and light,
Here are my top 3 reasons for trying this on for size!
I was not going to tell anyone this but I am thinking of going all the way to the plant side. I have been MOSTLY plant based for a number of years now. I never went all the way because well if I am out and want a burger…or well anything animal…I can without guilt. It’s a once in a while thing anyway so it never felt bad. Plus, I live by the theory of balance – eliminating something from my diet forever doesn’t feel like balance. Lastly, if I commit to something I am all in.
Lately I am having a change of heart. Truth is I took the kids to lunch on their birthday and ordered myself a burger. It was good, but I didn’t have that feeling afterwards of oh that was worth it. It was ok. In truth, my attachment to meat has lessened quite a bit over the years. This change has been a slow and natural progression. I really believe giving up meat is a process – not something you just wake up and do.
Here are my top 3 thoughts on why I am thinking of taking the next step:
1 – HEALTH MATTERS: There is scientific proof that a plant based diet lowers hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. When we up our intake of fruits and veggies our health gets better. I need to live a long and healthy life!
2 – WEIGHT MATTERS: The less meat I eat the less I think about calories. I always tell people I lost a ton of weight without weighing and measuring my food. That’s because there just isn’t enough kale out there to make me fat! Right? It simplifies life and eases digestion.
3 – SPIRITUAL MATTERS: This is NOT SCIENTIFIC. For me today this is probably the top reason I am moving in this direction. We are all connected. I have been expanding my spiritual practice. As time goes on and I imagine myself connected to all beings I share this planet with I can’t help but think of the animals too. We live in a world where animals are raised for slaughter. I never gave this too much thought before – because I did not want to. As I evolve in my life I feel more connected to this issue.
So, I have been a plant based food dabbler. I know I CAN do it. I have some commitment issues though – in more than one aspect of my life. It is for that reason I decided to discuss this publicly. It is November 1st. I will go meat free the month of November. That will include Thanksgiving…and then I will make a decision. I want to make a short term commitment during a difficult time of the year and see the results! I bring you along on this journey because I like accountability and support.
Would you like to join me? Commit to trying the veg life. It does not have to be a long term commitment. Commit to meatless Monday’s until the end of the year. Commit to a meatless week. Try it on and see how it feels. Maybe it will not be something you want long term BUT it will bring more fruits and vegetables into your life. Maybe it will just make you realize how much you enjoy them. What do you have to lose?
Love and light,
I am privileged and blessed to call some of the finest women I know friends. I have expanded my circle in the last few years to include some of the most uplifting and supportive chicks around. I did not always find this easy. Maybe with age comes wisdom. However, I would like to think we are living in a time of revolution. Maybe just maybe women are finally getting it that there are strength in numbers and when we lift ach other up life is good.
So, I propose everyone join this revolution! Make a commitment to stop accepting the following:
Women who want to compete with us…that seem to have something to prove
The need to feel as if we need to be all things to all people
Hmmmm….and how about we just operate at our OWN comfort level – not following a standard set by society?
I have always thought of myself as the sort of woman that has a lot of male friends because women do not make the best friends. I was wrong. Petty girls do not make the best friends. Real, strong, positive women make the best friends.
My tribe makes my life so much better. We are a diverse group that have each other’s backs, encourage one another, and make each other laugh. It is truly a gift. The best part is I realized this past weekend that this tribe is growing. The further down this path I go the more amazing women I meet. It is truly beautiful and has made my life so much happier than I could ever have dreamed.
I have learned that women (or people in general) who judge us are really just insecure people judging themselves. I will no longer hang around with anyone who just wants to sit and discuss other people.
No one should have to justify the way they look or what they eat. We are all adults and live with the choices we make. Body shaming each other has to stop. That includes ourselves…love your body where it is at today!
I am competitive – WITH MYSELF. I want to be better each day. I strive to grow, evolve and become stronger than the day before. I do not do that by comparing myself to others. Comparison makes me insecure and weak. We all start where we are today and work with the gifts we have. Some of the strongest and fastest women I know are also the most humble. I am grateful to see these beautiful creatures all around me.
I do not need to be part of any boys club to get ahead in this world. Our world is ever changing. I look around and notice that my tribe is growing. There are more and more of us standing up and promoting good healthy lives.
I think this should just go without saying but just be your best self. Be your best self – no apologies. Bring your gifts to this world. Support your sisters as they bring their gifts. Be part of the sisterhood. Be the solution. Support and empower. Don’t kowtow. Do not conform to what you think you should be. Just be your beautiful and bold self. Be vivacious and have the audacity to live out loud.
So – stand up for each other. Lift each other up. Don’t criticize your sisters for their appearance. If you wish you had legs like theirs just tell them so. Maybe they will share how much they wish they had your hair or even wit. Together we are unstoppable.
Vive la revolution!!
Love and light,
Age is just a number. We believe life is better with these phrases. People fall back on them when they are feeling down. Is that completely true though?
I recently turned 46. Lots of people comment on how I look much younger. It makes me feel good but at the end of the day I am 46. On top of that, my children just turned 12. They are not babies any longer. So, I am 46 and I have two 12 year olds. I am not a kid anymore.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. It’s not because I want to look younger. I think I look pretty good. It is not because I want to feel younger. I feel better at 46 than I felt at 36.
I told a friend recently that I look at young families and have a little envy of missing that time in my life. The happiest days of my entire life were when I was pregnant. It’s because life was full of possibility. I couldn’t wait to meet these people and see who they would become.
I will tell you something very personal. When I split with my ex-husband I was 39. I pictured myself meeting someone who had two children as well. We would get married and have one more child together. My two, his two and one more together to seal the deal. It seemed like the divorce would give me a clean slate so I could have a do over. That did not happen.
So now I am 46 and been on my own since 2009. Life has been more complicated than I anticipated. It has been good, bad and complicated. I needed to do a lot of healing and growing. Now, I am ready to bring a new and healthy relationship into my life. But the numbers don’t lie. I am not realistically thinking about a new baby so much these days. I am older. My kids are older. Life has a rhythm and has gotten a million times easier. And yet, when that dawned on me I felt sad. I wanted that possibility.
So, I did some soul searching. I think the thing to do is drop the old contrite sayings. Age is age. Time passes. We can’t look back with regret or get it back. The only ting we have for sure is today. Maybe what we need to do is fill each day up with so many possibilities that the sky is the limit! That is all we can do at any stage of life.
My dear friend pointed out to me that although that part of my life is behind me I really do not know what is ahead of me or around the corner. She is right. Life is full of surprises. Some of them are good. Some not so good. Each day leads us down a new path though. I have finally surrendered to the universe. I do not make plans any more. I do not try to control the outcome. I just ask for what I need and want and put my head down and do the work day to day. I now have faith that it will all come in time. Not when I say. It may not look the way I expected it to. I surrender to this and a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
You can utilize this thinking for any aspect of your life. Romance, career, adventure.
The universe has a plan. It is all good. Patience, faith and love. Just like that.
Love and Light,