ReInventing Your Life

Live & Love Your Life!


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29 years ago…

29 years ago, at the age of 29 I experienced the most perfect moment of my life. A moment that will never happen again. At that moment, my whole world shifted. It was no longer just about me. Up until that point in my life, my entire existence was about what was next for me on the horizon, how did I want to create my world – how could I fulfill my wildest dreams – be the person that I thought I was meant to be, but never quite felt I had become. My world shifted to include another human being whose very existence depended on me  – to nurture, to grow, to love, to guide, to inspire and to show me the world beyond how I defined it, to experience life through another’s oh so original vision. 29 years ago, at the age of 29, just 2 days before Mother’s Day, the very perfect gift of my daughter, Alexandra, entered my life, blessed my life – and who has continued to bless my life, every moment of every year and every Mother’s Day since.

 

 

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Once a Dancer…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, on this unseasonably warm, yet delicious Spring day, as I was teaching my Strength, Balance and Core class at the Y, my body sparked a moment in which I felt  totally integrated, the energy flowing from my heart center out to my limbs and then back again. It was the energy of release, of freedom, of playfulness – as if time was both suspended and endless. I felt connected to my students and felt their energy passing through me, swirling about the studio back to them – a gentle, give and take.  The dancer within me was sparked, and together we sparked the dancer in each other. Once a dancer, always a dancer.


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Kind of like falling in my dreams….

I read a quote this morning on FB, “Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along.”

It really hit me in a visceral way.

In terms of how I do my life, I have often hit walls, challenges, monster mountains and have practiced the theory of “gotta have a breakdown to have a breakthrough” or even would remind myself that I have to “break myself down” in order to build myself up. But I never really have allowed myself to think that it would be ok to fall apart. I never really felt I could “trust” that if I allowed myself to fall apart, that all the myriad pieces of me wouldn’t just scatter, leaving me unable to scoop them all up and patch me together (like humpty dumpty).  

But when I read this quote, what I really got was that to truly be able to build the self I wish I had been along, to be free of my behaviors that I know get in my way, and to be free of those that I am not even aware of – a total paradigm shift – I can’t let fear stop me from falling apart – the potential gift on the other side is so compelling and necessary if I am truly committed to growth.

Kind of like falling in my dreams – where I always seem to trust that I will land safely and I do.


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Getting Real on Financial Wellbeing

According to “Wellbeing: Five Essential Elements” by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, and their research they define Wellbeing as “the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our communities.”

For most of my adult life, mine has been a journey of pursuing the physical, career, social and community wellbeing, but it wasn’t truly until just a few years ago, that I began to pursue financial well-being in earnest.  Up until I got married, I was truly in touch with my financial goals. I was the independent one in my family of 7 brothers and sisters – I insisted on striking it on my own, first moving to Boston to study dance (grew up in Maryland and at that point my sibs didn’t go out of state for college), then to San Francisco…..arriving with my steamer trunk – no job, no friends, just the address of the YWCA – a respectable residence hall for young women. But within 24 hours, I obtained a waitressing job, within 3 months my own studio apartment, and within 3 years, inspired by Dale Carnegie Sales Training, Napoleon Hill/Think and Grow Rich & my dog-eared copy of “Atlas Shrugged” I talked myself into an entry level headhunting job and catapulted forward into a lucrative profession.

But something happened not too long after that. I met my now husband, Ralf on a blind date, was engaged within a week, quit my job, let my studio go, packed up and moved back to Boston and was married within 3 months. Now there was nothing really wrong with any of this – I was totally in love (still am) and excited to move forward in my life. What was wrong, was that suddenly some deeply implanted “Cinderella Complex” /product of the 50’s/60’s mindset took over – since Ralf was already successful and financially doing well – a.) Why did I need to continue in my own financial pursuit and b.) And if I did, I couldn’t out do my husband – it’s not what wives did. Now I was not aware that I had thrown away all of my goals of growing both professionally and financially, in fact it wasn’t really until the crash of 2008, when I was the one who guided and took the lead, as we began to rebuild our financial lives. It took a financial crisis for my strong, internal girl-guidance to re-emerge (and getting clarity & confirmation from the work of Barbara Stanny) and now on a very clear, steady track of financial wellbeing.(Read

So, out of this, I realized that I have a strong desire to share my story, to guide, inspire & acknowledge other women who may have lost their way (or never even started on it), so I am now presenting Women and Wealth seminars (inspired by the Team Northrup Women and Wealth).

And in addition, am announcing my “Creating Financial Freedom – 2012 Mentoring Program”, If you have a molten-hot desire to free yourself up financially so you can create the life you know you’re destined for, then I will consider your application to my mentoring program.  What has been your journey to financial wellbeing?


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Just Breathe!

The new normal of today’s world can feel stressful and out of control. I do know one of the things we can control is our breathing.

Back when I started my personal training business, I was thrilled to see it grow so rapidly, – good stress . But I also had a lot of personal stress building up in my life. With the recession of the early ’90’s, came a drop in my husband’s business, so I needed to push my business to grow to help support the family. In addition, my invalid mother-in-law moved in with us (for a year between independence and nursing home) and although we had visiting nurses and aides, I had to help with much of her day-to-day care. Then my father-in-law was hospitalized for several months and died, so I needed to be a huge support for my husband. And I had my daughter to take care of. I was trying to be all things to all people and suddenly one day as I was driving, I suddenly couldn’t feel my hand and feet, my lips felt numb and I felt like I was going to black ou. Not knowing what it was, I panicked and pulled into a police station. Later in the ER, after passing an EKG, the doctor said to me “I think you might have been hyperventilating.”  I was furious! How could he accuse me of this! What did I have to be hyperventilating over! I was in control, I was taking care of everything. And then I began to cry. I realized that I had been putting everyone else first, and risking my health to do so. It was from that day forward that I began to practice having a balanced lifestyle. To learn how to breathe, how to pace myself, how to give myself down time, to say no, to fully realize what my priorities were. It was the beginning of learning sustained serenity.


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Creating Healthy Lifestyles

 The Top 10 Ways to Cultivate Body Awareness

So I’m in the middle of a Zumba class today – student, not teacher – and I found myself and my body suddenly not in this time or place, but in many – I felt the freedom of childhood, spontaneous movement, I felt that moment in my teens, when I knew I wanted to be a dancer – I felt every muscle in my body, connecting and flowing and having tooo much fun! My body spoke and I listened. How do you tune in to listening to the wisdom of this body . To fully develop  body-wisdom, we must become aware of our bodies, something with which many of us have lost touch. 

1.      Breathe consciously and deeply from the belly.

I practice arriving 5-10 minutes early for appointments and using the time for slow conscious breathing (waiting at stop lights is another opportunity to practice deep breathing – don’t get to do that anymore since we don’t have any stop lights on the Vineyard)

2.      Stretch often, deeply, luxuriously.

Focus on how the stretching muscles feel, not on how long it will take, what you have to do next, or your plans for the day. Focus only on you, your body, at that moment. The end of the day, just before bed, is my favorite time to stretch and I sleep more deeply because of it.

3.      Think like a dancer (mindful movement)

As you go about your daily activities, think of yourself as a dancer on stage  Focus on where each part of your body is, how it is moving. As you reach for something, be conscious not only of the goal but of the physical process of reaching for it and picking it up. Be consciously IN the body.

4.      Practice yoga or a martial art.

Yoga is my favorite opportunity to practice pure mindful movement. Few activities so totally focus on the mind-body connection and on body awareness.

5.      Include your body in your decision-making processes.

Check in, see how your body is reacting. Notice how your step lightens and your head lifts when you make a decision that feels good. At another time feel your shoulders tensing, your jaw tightening, your stomach contracting. I believe in trusting my “gut”.

6.     Take notice of your body sensations.

Feeling the sand beneath my feet at the beach, the clean, coolness of fresh sheets, the ice cold bathroom tile floor on a winter morning. Being aware of your body in its environment & how you respond.

7.      Receive a full body massage.

Quite possibly the only time since you were a baby, do you have the opportunity for this level of nurturing touch.

8.     Infuse your body with energy.

Lie relaxed and breath deeply. Imagine the energy of breath entering your body as a golden ball. Gradually, with each successive breath, move that ball of energy throughout your body, taking one extremity at a time and slowly moving the energy through it and up to your torso. Move it through your entire body, head and face. Feel it energizing and smoothing the energies .

9.     Exercise regularly.

By now you know all the reasons why exercise will improve your wellness and increase your longevity. It can also help you to become more body-aware. 

1o.   Practice a Gratitude Meditation

Every day, thank your body for how it has supported you through life – promise to treat it better – to honor it – to listen to it – to nurture it.

If you’d like to get my personal support to make it happen, then check this out. I’m offering a Free “Wellbeing Warrior” Consultation (a $125 value) for FREE.

Jump Start Your Life – Creating the Body & Healthy Lifestyle You Want!(4 week TeleClass)


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“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

  Two days after New Years Day, just as I was about to rock my world with well-defined New Years resolutions, business plans, & my usual high-energy/conquer the world enthusiasm – life knocked me down with a nasty virus & strep for 2 weeks. I don’t get sick, well not that often – the last time I had even a cold was 2 years ago, so my initial reaction was denial. But when I realized that I just had to surrender, that absolutely nothing was going to be happening in my life until I felt better, I found that all that I was left with, was a quiet, peaceful eye in the storm of being ill. And in that eye, all that I could do was just be. And in just being, I realized that it was time to let go of so much push, of so much striving…..it was time to be at total peace with where I am right now…..that, yes, it is all good….that my life is perfect as is.

 

 

photo credit onceuponalife