July 4, 2012

SumMEr of ME with Renee Burke!

The beautiful Renee Burke has begun a wonderful project called the SumMEr of ME!  Every woman has different ways to honor the self that they are. SumMEr of ME means self-care and self-love!

Self-care for me is about staying active and moving my body. For many years I have struggled with moving up and down in weight. I never really liked talking about it because it was one of those things that made me feel ashamed. I would constantly tell myself I was not good enough. 

Today I don’t feel that anymore. I remember the day that my mind switched from holding such negativity about myself. I began bikram yoga class about 2 years ago. At first I was irritated because it was hot, I wasn’t that flexible, they wanted me to look at myself in the mirror, and to top it off I was surrounded by tall, THIN bodies that held each pose for as long as the instructor made us. After my first day I thought “I won’t be going back to that.” but I did. 

I could feel myself getting stronger and more flexible but most importantly I realized that the practice of yoga helped me to look into my own eyes as a way to look deep inside of myself. The mirror was there to help us focus on our form but I got used to looking at myself instead of turning away. I looked into my eyes the way I would look into the eyes of someone I love… deeply, purposefully and with admiration. For the first time after about 3 months I looked past my wider-than-most-hips and external body distractions to discover only for a few seconds the beauty of myself within.

I don’t know what happened but I began to cry. I was not sobbing but more of a cleansing. I had to lie down for a bit just to sit with the emotions that it mixed in my spirit. It was as if my spirit had snapped out of the trance of lies I had been telling myself. It was a powerful experience I will treasure forever.

I love working out with my sister, my fiancé and my friends at Hardbody Fitness here at home. My favorite personal trainer is Mark Anderson and each week he empowers so many men and women to exercise the body to become stronger on all levels. Here I am just yesterday pulling the tire. It seems crazy I know, but I love the way it makes me feel. I am really big on feelings if you haven’t noticed.

Everyday is a new beginning and I realize that I am so much more than a body but my way of honoring this beautiful body is through self-care and self-love….loving and exercising my body as often as possible. 

July 3, 2012

Women need Women

Hi everybody!  Hope you are all enjoying the summer. It’s been very relaxing on most days around here but there are those days when I am moving from morning until night. I was craving some alone time with a dear friend of mine and so on a whim one morning we decided through a text message that I should get on a plane and go visit her! I am so glad I did.

I wish I would have taken more pictures but it was such a relaxing couple of days that my brain was in a state of Zen and I did not think much of any kind of technology. The first day I arrived we watched a movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, which was fun! It had been awhile since either of us had gone to a theater so it was a treat. We ate lunch at this funky restaurant called Après Diem! The tables and glass windows were painted with different scenes that I was literally thinking about how I could come home and paint my own table! We talked a lot over a fruit and cheese plate…about art, life and love. 

As I listened to my girlfriend I realized that I could feel on very deep levels the trials and successes of many of the women that come into my life. I can feel almost immediately their sadness or joy. I have been told before that I am compassionate but I guess through a weekend with this special friend that I realized how much I really care for women who have any kind of struggle. I realized that I am always standing firmly in a place of love and I imagine them in better situations. I visualize them laughing and joyous. I have always done this inside of my mind when I hear things of difficulty and pain. I think that is my way of really helping them. Sometimes I think its crazy but I am so used to doing it that it’s pretty automatic. We talked about dreams and wishes and hopes. I believe so much that we can all live our dreams, that we are all enough as we are from where we are at this moment! I believe that my life work will have something to do with compassionate listening and planting seeds of inspiration in the spirits of women who really need to be nurtured.

I really don’t know what that will look like from a financial standpoint but I do know how it feels from an emotional one. It feels so good to hear a women say to me “I am so glad you’re here” “You have no idea how much you have helped me” “You have such insights into my heart that it so moving” I am so moved by this because there are times when I think I don’t really have so much to offer another. These conversations make me feel like I do.

An evening of wine and art really topped the mini-retreat together. Earlier in the day we organized her art studio that she recently relocated to the top level of her house. It was so much fun! Brenda has art supplies like a small Hobby Lobby or Michael’s store!! I was in an artful playground, markers, stencils and stamps oh my!!! I was surrounded by her beautiful art and it was so good.

Women need women. That is a fact. Creating these circles where we can support and love one another is how we can all reach our dreams. Love you all! xxx