observations.

There is a beautiful connection between movement and breath. Inner thoughts occur. Worry. Faith. Doubt. Belief. Strength. Weakness. Fear. Fearlessness.

Day seven has arrived in what has already felt like a month of time here, yet has only felt like one day has gone by. There are so many vibrations going through my mind. The fear of being authentically myself on arrival and being accepted. We got delayed on our journey so we arrived a day late. Our first day started off with 4 hours of silence. First off if you know me personally you are probably thinking how on earth did you stay quiet that one. It was tough. I met 15 new people via silence. We connected just by a simple smile and movement. There was a lot of curiosity on both ends, who are these people? Will they like me? We meditated in each other’s presence, we flowed in a two hour vinyasa class and then the silence was broke and we met. I immediately felt a connection with many of these people if not all of them. That is just the beginning. 

We are all here on a different journey. We are here with a different story. We are here to find our own path. Yet we are all connected as one and we are all facing different fears. What I truly love about the practice of yoga is that it comes in all forms. It doesn’t matter the success or the struggle that you bring to the mat. What matters is that you show up and you grow from the experience. A lot of people fear yoga. I think it’s because you know you’ll have to stop and listen to yourself, you’ll have to feel movement in your body and you’ll have to listen to your mind and the chatter that exists within. I relate it to how I feel about writing. This scares the crap out of me. I was told once I need to blog because I have good stuff to say. But I constantly doubt my abilities to do it. I was also told to never go back and read it, cause I’ll over analyze, correct and not actually say what I mean. They were right…about that last part anyway.

I am finding this experience is a lot like the volcano that erupted just a short seventeen miles away from us. We expect by nature of a volcano at some point it will erupt. I came in full of expectations of what an advanced teacher training could hold, yet I was ready to dive into the unknown. The people that had to evacuate didn’t know what to expect. They knew that the eruption could be life changing, but how life changing was unknown. This training is opening several doors of thought and life changing experiences. In just seven days my mind has been filled with so many new ideas, dreams, goals and it has also allowed me to let go of a a few things that I have been hanging on to.  I have noticed things that I need to change and it feels good to acknowledge. Twenty five days left and I’m sure we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Pause in the moments of unknown. And breathe. Don’t think of what’s next. Think of what is now. – Cailee

surrender and be fearless

The last two days have been a test. I have broke down and cried several times. Over fear, over generosity, over worry, over gratefulness. Back and forth I have felt sad tears and happy tears and all of it is because I am fifteen days away from the journey of a lifetime. I need to surrender and be fearless, God has great plans for me on the road ahead.

A few months ago I toyed with the idea of going somewhere for my 500 hour training for yoga and just two weeks from now I will find myself in a quiet seaside town in east Bali. Who would have thought?

I have often looked at life as an adventure, and I have been fortunate to take many trips through out the US and I’ve visited countries that most can only dream of. I went to South Africa and Malawi in 2014. It was my first time leaving the country. I got to meet people who live a completely different life than me. It was humbling, and the first time I realized that I have a bigger purpose in life than working 9-5 at a desk.

Shortly after, in 2015 I went to Mexico. Also eye opening – but I got to live in the luxurious tourist part, but man it was different than home, and it’s so close to home. I have been back to Mexico a couple times since and each time I have been able to experience culture at a deeper level.

2016 was Germany where I got to explore European life, sports and travel by train and bus where I visited Prague, Czech Republic and Salzburg, Austria. I explored castles where I wondered how it felt to be a princess, drank beer just like the Germans (it was Oktoberfest in Munich so I had to play the part) and tasted what makes European cities so amazing.

Here we are wrapping up 2017 and I am lucky enough to continue the adventure in Bali. I know that what I am about to learn will be life changing. Something their website said that made me believe this was the right training for me, “When it’s done you’ll be a different person…not a person who’s changed, but rather a person who has a clearer, truer understanding of who they really are…a person who sees the beauty and grace inside of themselves, and know what it’s like to feel a connection with others that’s so strong it can never be broken.”

I can’t wait to bring this feeling back to my students – I am ready to keep changing lives and I’m excited to better understand myself so I can make a bigger impact in this world. It’s tough what we face everyday in this world – in the news, in our jobs, in our communities. We can make a choice how we feel in our lives, even when bad things happen around us. We can surrender, we can be fearless and we can make a choice to be our best selves.

I am going to do my best to blog at least once a week while I’m gone – maybe even twice. But for the most part I’m staying technology free which is scary and exciting all at the same time. Be sure to follow here for updates 🙂

For more information on where I’m headed and what I’m doing Click Here
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Oh hey, that’s me.

I walked into Lululemon on Grand Ave today with a hat on because I heard my pictures were up and as loud as I am and as well as I function in front of a crowd it was really weird seeing myself up on a wall of my favorite store where people I know and people I don’t know shop everyday – so I tried to be disguised. 


The awesome crew over there of course knows me and all complimented the pictures that were up. Truly the placement and the pictures chosen couldn’t be any more perfect.  It’s all so surreal. 

6 months ago I leaped to pursue my passion of helping people be their strongest and happiest selves through fitness, but also through social media. I post the things I do to show people this world isn’t all crappy, we just have to change our perception.  We can be the change, even if it’s a small part.

In 20 days I will be flying off to work on myself more through a 300 hour teacher training.  My life has had its shares of ups and downs. I’ve had heart break early, I’ve lost people close to me, and I’ve had to make big decisions on who is important to have in my life. I’ve had successes and I’ve had failures. 2017 has thrown its fair share of curve balls but as I’m reflecting and doing a lot of goal planning lately I’m realizing 2017 has been kick ass. 

What I realized today when I looked at those pictures is that my decision to make change has given me a pretty awesome platform to be my authentic self. I get to change peoples lives every single day. And this is only the beginning! 

Thank you to the crew at Lululemon Grand Ave and the kick ass people in my life that have supported me through all this change. Great things are coming and I’m excited to pursue some awesome opportunities in front of me! 

Transformation

Today kicks off the 6 week weight loss challenge at Orange Theory Fitness Woodbury! I am stoked to be the captain of Team White! I have some amazing people on my team looking to make their life even better. But not only that, there are over 200 people total between the three teams that are looking to change their lives over 6 weeks and I am super excited to keep them motivated to do that.

Since starting to coach at OTF I have made a lot of lifestyle changes. I workout more, I eat better, I sleep more and I find I am happier than I have been in a long time. I made a big leap when I came to Orange Theory, I left the corporate desk life that I spent 14 years in. I was often unhappy in my own physical body which ultimately affected my mind and how I felt about myself. I was constantly motivating people to be in shape and to eat healthier, yet I didn’t feel I was in the body to preach that.

I am now walking the walk, not just talking.

Since this time last year I am down 20 lbs! I’d be curious what my body fat to muscle comparison was a year ago because I’m sure it would have been an interesting change. The number on the scale is cool, but really when it comes down to weight loss for me it’s about how I feel when I put on my clothes. A few weeks ago I decided to try on all my jeans and found most of them fall off of me (these are jeans I still have from high school/college by the way). Most of my yoga pants are too big too (is that even possible, why yes it is). I have been working on myself everyday and I have noticed little changes, but lately the results are really showing. It has taken time and I have been putting in a TON of work, but every time I look in the mirror, every time I get dressed, every time I work out I feel that much better than I have (probably since I was 14). It has been completely worth sacrificing the junk I used to eat and not skipping my workouts. It’s a lifestyle change really and I am feeling 100 percent better because of it.

I want nothing more than to help people push through the same things I have pushed through and see the results I’ve been able to see. You can do it and once you get there it is much easier than saying tomorrow i’ll do it. Do something today, You got this!

Also, I am participating in the weight loss challenge. My goal is accountability of getting my workouts in and finally losing those stubborn areas my body holds on to 🙂

Day one….I’ll keep you updated on my progress 🙂

 

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Left: One year ago (fall 2016), Right: Last weekend (fall 2017)

 

Mirror, mirror

A few days ago I got into a bit of a heated conversation with a person I have known for years. I kept myself pretty poised through it but I’m not gonna lie it stung a bit. Not because I cared about the words he said, but because it made me realize there are a ton of people in this world that are so insecure with their own issues they choose to belittle others. 

2 months ago I quit my full time, stable, 40+ hour a week job that I was pretty good at to pursue my passion of helping people get out of their own way and find the inner spark within to be better, stronger and more confident. I myself have struggled for years with loving the body I’m in. I found most of my struggles started when I went through a marriage and divorce at 21. I was constantly putting myself down and blaming myself for things I couldn’t control. At 26 I opened my eyes and came out of that dark place. My friend got my into running and then yoga. Little did I know it was that moment that changed everything. 

I am now full time teaching people how to be free of those feelings of not being good enough and feeling confident about their bodies through fitness. So back to why I’m writing this. The “friend” I mentioned earlier asked about the new business me and my friends have started and during the conversation he mentioned that he would never go to me for fitness advice because he would only talk to people that are in shape. You can imagine how my jaw dropped. I know I am not fitness model material (at this moment 😀), but I am on an incredible journey finding my perfect body. Let me tell you, I have never felt more confident about my body than I do now. 

Why I am writing this….if you are like me and you are trying to reach certain fitness goals, do not let people knock you down! Anyone who ever tries to hate on you is just merely showing you how they see themselves in the mirror. 

My hope for him is he wakes up and realizes everyone has their battles and more importantly everyone has their successes. Shine through your success and your battles will lessen. Be you and be confident with your self. For every hater there will be hundreds that believe in you.

“Be you. Set your fear on fire.”

If you want to learn more about the business I mentioned earlier check is out on the web: http://www.grit2gold.com or Instagram: grit2gold 

First Step

“Don’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of each step you take toward reaching that goal.” – unknown

 

The way I look at it finishing 30 days on the Whole 30 is just the first step. I entered this “diet” as a lifestyle change, NOT a diet. I hate the word diet, because diets fail.

I’ve set out to feel like the strong beautiful woman I preach that others should be. To do that I’m going to be more mindful of how I consume, how I splurge and continue working towards a better, stronger self. It’s not just a physical thing. There is a huge mental piece that I definitely explored during the 30 days. Knowing that mental strength I have can push me to make this change and encourage others to join in on the fun! 

I’m addicted to snacking

Day 4 of the Whole 30 had me realizing that I am addicted to snacking. If food is in front of me I want it. I work in an office that has a never ending selection of food on the table in the lunch room. Last week included bagels (with yummy cream cheese of course), leftover Chik-Fil-A, leftover Qdoba…not just one day, but 2, M&M’s and probably more that I’m forgetting to mention. I stayed away from it all, obviously. 

Needless to say I’ve noticed my snacking addiction merely based on what surrounded me but I couldn’t have it.  If nothing else after 30 days I may be more aware of not grabbing the food just cause it’s there. Phew. 

Now I’m on day 7. A whole week has passed and I’m feeling great. I’m feeling lighter yet strong, physically and mentally. I’m also feeling very strong willed. Saturday was super tough. I picked up a bartending shift and said no to ALOT of temptations (the pepper jack cheese is my major weakness, not to mention the pizza). Luckily I made it through the night and didn’t cave. (Not even on that after work drink OR a Red Bull) 

The cool thing about Whole 30 is that I am eating food that makes me feel full, makes me crave less and has me feeling satisfied and not sluggish. 

Go to’s on week one were:

Spaghetti Squash with homemade tomato sauce.

Eggs, spinach & Italian sausage. 

LaCroix. Must Have!

Almonds.

Of course I ate a lot of salads too, it’s amazing how perspective can change with just a few tweaks to my choices. Food prep is a must, and being conscious of how I fuel my body is making a huge difference every single day. 

Off to week 2…..

Why are we running?

Last month I completed something I NEVER thought I would ever do.

A marathon.

Yep, that’s right, 26.2 miles all ran by me. Mentally tough, physically exhausting, emotionally rewarding.

But why do we run?

People do it for different reasons, health – long distance/sprints, one errand to the next, one meeting to the next, one activity to the next. You get my point. Our life is full of running.

All of these things we do are preparing us for the journey of life. The day after the marathon I met my friend for lunch and as I was walking into the restaurant, very slowly i’ll have you know, I realized I was walking in the same manner as the elderly couple walking out. Their marathon – life. I had a conversation with my mom shortly after and said “when i’m older, I don’t want to walk like I just finished a marathon”. But that’s what life is, a marathon right?

My conclusion is that all of these tests we put ourself through mentally, physically and emotionally, they are all pushing us to run through life. You can choose what is tough for you, you can choose what is exhausting and you most certainly choose what is rewarding.

Do something rewarding for yourself, make your life what you want it to be. AND do something that you never imagined you would.

My next challenge started yesterday….Whole 30. 30 days no sugar, no dairy, no grains. Stay tuned 🙂

Chillen Mein Laben

The last 10 days have been a ride. 

When you go on vacation and do all the things.

Germany. ✔️


Czech Republic. ✔️


Austria. ✔️


Hockey game.


Basketball.


Oktoberfest.


Lots of beer.


Lots of friends. 


Life is good. 

#prost

Compassion

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən
noun
  1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

This year has had me doing a lot of self evaluation. There is so much hate going on in the world that I’ve really had to think “what am I doing to make the world better”. I’ve been turning to God more and really just trying to digest how we as human beings can make the world a better place. 

I am not one to hand out money to someone panhandling, or someone homeless begging for money. I guess too many stories have broke that trust. But today I met Allen. I had just parked my car and walked over to pay the meter. There was a man sitting near the pay station that started talking to me. I said hello as I had no reason not to. He responded with “Excuse me ma’am, can I ask you a question?” I responded, “you sure can”. Allen then introduced himself and continued to ask me why there was so much hate? I simply told him, Allen I’m not sure, but I wish there wasn’t. He then told me about how a man had just came by him earlier that morning and was calling him the N word and telling him he was worthless. Allen wasn’t sure why that man was so full of hate “we all bleed red don’t we?” This truly hit a cord with me. Why is there so much hate? 

Allen ended the story saying, I just wish people weren’t like that. I apologized that he was treated that way. I told Allen if he was still there when I was done with my meeting I’d buy him lunch. He lit up, I could see true pain yet true gratefulness in his eyes. 

Allen was still there when I returned just over an hour later. I gave him $10 and told him to get some food, and promise me he wouldn’t do anything else with the money. Something told me I needed to trust him and trust he truly was in need. I’ve never seen someone look so shocked by kindness. 

I got in my car and I watched him walk to the food trucks a block away, I’ve never seen someone walk with a look of gratefulness like Allen did. I’m glad I could help him today. 

To the person who spoke poorly to Allen, I will pray for you that you will be a little kinder and realize we’re all working hard to get through this life. We don’t know what people have dealt with, I’ll never know what Allens story was or why he was there today. If we all are a little kinder and filled with more compassion the suffering and terror will stop. 

#morelovelesshate