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your 5-step guide to life after death-by-chocolate

15 Feb

[read time: 3 minutes]

It happens every year… on February 15th

Too many New Year’s Resolutions are considered ruined only 45 days after they were made… and this is just about the time when new habits are finally taking hold.

Just as you are getting used to the shift, BAM! Rose-petal romance and chocolate desserts (or some variation thereof) set you back.

The Sparkly Sunshine of January Jubilation feels like it has slipped, tarnished, and tumbled into Funky-Ass February Failure… and if that wasn’t bad enough, the dirt-cheap sale sack of red and pink foil-clad sweets doesn’t help on days 46, 47, or 48 of the year either.

How in the hell can a bit of chocolate have such a degenerative effect on our perspective of the entire rest of the year?  Don’t blame chocolate! Instead, how about you ask yourself more productive questions:

How can you get out of your own way?
How can you reconnect with your goals?
How can you rekindle the resolve you had on day one?

Here is a simple 5-step formula to get you back on track to success: Continue reading

bi-coastal movement in october

29 Sep

[read time: 1 minute]

much to my own surprise, on the tail end of my summer trip to LA, i decided to take the big plunge and relocate out West.  it is a huge step for me since i’ve been an east coast renegade for the past 10  years.

september brought me back to DC to wrap up loose ends. and in october i’ll be off again (via the road trip of a lifetime) to continue sharing my yoga and coaching goodness with my growing West Coast yoga family.

it is with both excitement and sorrow that i teach my last few yoga classes and see my last few local coaching clients in DC and turn my focus toward new beginnings in LA.

even more than the miles of beautiful beaches and the ridiculous number of granola varieties, it is fantastically refreshing to experience real living in a place i get to choose.  as i told my monday lunchtime yoga class: i love LA and LA loves me, too.

top 10 ways to re-invent yourself

25 Jul

[read time: 6 minutes]

…or… “what L.A. has taught me so far”

as many of my readers know, i moved from DC to LA for 9 weeks this summer.  sunday, july 25th marks the midpoint and i was struck by a few reflections on reinvention that i’d love to share with you.

  1. change what you eat. everything is so fresh and tastes so much better here in california, so it has been really inspiring and even sensual just choosing the fresh produce.  i recently had napa cabbage for the first time… YUM!  even if you don’t feel stimulated by lacinato kale [like me], just improve the quality of what you like to eat.  the quality your food is directly correlated to the quality of your body is directly correlated to the quality of your attitude is directly correlated to the quality of your life.
  2. bust a sweat regularly. if you’re interested in re-invention for a better self, find a physical activity you love.  whether your mental mind likes it or not, your body WANTS to work and sweat; even your hormone system is set up with a positive feedback loop directly related to sweating.    i’ve recommitted to my yoga practice and chanting.   yep, that’s right yoga students, the cat is out of the bag… as a teacher, it is super challenging to maintain a personal practice routine.  being physical increases body awareness and can enhance your somatic intelligence.
  3. break from your routine. eat or brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand.  travel a different way between your regular appointments, work, school, home or other regularly visited places.  take a class to learn something you don’t know.  read a book or magazine on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose.  mixing it up helps you shake loose old patterns that get in the way of your new self-expression.
  4. be a hedonist. the more that you do the things you enjoy, the closer you come to bliss, the more your energy resonates with happiness, and the more you are presented with opportunities that can provide a similar feeling.  get into a yummily fun groove [the author energetically asserts that yummily is a word regardless of how many times spell check brings it to my attention].
  5. get out of dodge. identity is contextual while the true self is constant regardless of context.  without a bunch of people reminding me who i was 5 years ago, things associated with my past become descriptive sentences, a narrative.  living in the moment matters and the experience of the true self is being created now.  there is an incredible liberation and excitement generated in acting from the true self everyday, all day.
  6. fiercely commit to your own personal style. i bought a cowboy hat, primarily to combat the intense LA sunshine, and i have figured out how to use it to produce interesting looks: from yoga clothes to dresses, from casual to edgy.  it is totally working for me.  because  personal presentation and adornment is a huge part of how you communicate yourself to the world, explore aspects of style and once they feel right, they may become your signature expressions.
  7. honor your inner conversation. take more time to listen to the subtler perspectives from within.  the main motivator, the loudest voice [for so many people this is the voice of the root chakra in survival or scarcity mode] takes center stage.  hold a space for your own inner wisdom to provide guidance for expression of your true self.
  8. connect in new and more truthful ways. this is your golden opportunity to get real with the people in your life.  i have had the luxury of a single point of focus during this trip: get workshops on calendars and teach yoga… well, maybe it’s a bi-focal point.  i am here to work and that has been central in my communication.  along the way, i have participated in a variety of activities and modes of engaging with people.   in order to manifest my intentions, i have had to be clear, truthful, vulnerable, and brave.  within your work, family, and social circles, play with the possibility of openness.
  9. take a break. let yourself just be.  it is best to do this without distractions like electronics or really interesting people.  although my favorite break-time spots are in natural settings, the best place for you might be something else.  the important part is to allow some unstructured time, even 15 minutes, free from agendas and the demands of being social.  when you return to shared space, do your best to represent who you truly are.
  10. prioritize self care. this should be item should be number 1 but i wanted to emphasize it by leaving the best for last.  self care is the best way to get the love, caring, and attention you desire. once you start, you’ll attract people and situations that will help you keep the love fest going.  self care will also re-charge your batteries, re-stock your generosity, and re-fresh your zest for life.

with all of these steps taken, you may find yourself with enough energy, confidence, and zeal to move forward and make a splash as the real re-invented, or re-presented true self that you have always been, even if it has been, perhaps,  a little inconvenient to express.  perhaps even more accurately, you can express the self that is too big for the little life you’ve been holding on to.  😉

wow! i think i just got the *triple nerd score* for using two words that begin with the letter “z” in two consecutive sentences!

exit stage left

13 Jul

[read time: 4 minutes]

there is something very strange and fascinating about leaving a familiar life for a completely unknown one.  earlier this year, i decided to take a huge leap of faith Continue reading

5 steps to get back in the flow

12 May

[read time: 4 minutes]

i recently rounded a HUGE bend in my entrepreneurial career. my business feels right, and i am in the flow.  this is in stark contrast to times when i felt stuck, crazy, and wanted to give up, which was not too long ago.

in the beginning, i was a reluctant yoga teacher and an accidental entrepreneur [term borrowed from one of my favorite coaches].  i hadn’t set out to do either, but the path before me unfolded and these opportunities made the most sense.

for years, i tried to imitate, emulate, and recreate what i thought was “right”. as it turned out, the efforts i made were all wrong… for me, anyway.  this made me feel yucky, angry, and frustrated; especially when people would encourage me saying that i was doing great and i should keep going.  i knew it wasn’t right but i couldn’t explain why; i just knew i wasn’t in the flow.

what helped me most was Continue reading

the problem with “playing a BIG game”

13 Apr

[read time: 2 minutes]

in the second half of 2009, i was in a really difficult place. it was right after a bumpy journey of a concerted business development effort that got wacktastically flat results.   i reflected on the money spent, *cringe* and despite my best efforts to stay positive, i was angry, frustrated, and exhausted from trying to “play BIG” as i had heard SO many times in the year prior.

these negative feelings, especially anger, are good because they let you know that you have officially co-created some bullshit.  Continue reading

come out, come out WHOever you are…

19 Mar

[read time: 3 minutes]

being “yourself” can sometimes be tricky when you feel like your SELF isn’t adequate, doesn’t have the authority, or hasn’t gotten things right in the past.  therefore, you might feel that SELF can’t possibly be trusted to run the show.

this is too bad because the SELF you’re usually working with is a lie.  now before you say, “hey!” and get offended, Continue reading