Archive for ‘Faith’

March 23, 2011

THINK BIG!

In 2008, I met Petra Kolber a world-renowned fitness/health educator and trainer with the-girl-next-door warmth.

Oh, the loveliness of this woman! Radiant and regal without any pretense,  Petra has magic as an instructor and the sparkle of a celebrity. I was an instant fan.

When we met I had separated from my husband and was preparing to reenter the workforce. I remember sharing the angst and elation about restarting my life; Petra was closely attuned.

She ignited a light: magnificence lies ahead . . .  keep going.

Through Petra, I’m becoming acquainted with her beloved Michael Port,  author of Book Yourself Solid  and The Think Big Manifesto  (He’s the one to call, when you don’t want to think small)

She can’t stop herself from bubbling over about him. 

All I can say is that she has met her match. Meet the Couple Most Likely to Inspire.

I share Michael’s post from today. Truly, words inspire actions.

Actions will bring us to the magnificence that lies ahead.

 

Your Think Big  Revolution by Michael Port

 

Michael_Port_Outside

You Say You Want A Revolution … 

Your think big revolution starts today and tomorrow.

It started yesterday.

These 9 statements are your proclamation, call to action, inspiration, and catalyst.

Start your day with them.

Start your revolution.

I will stand for something.

I will identify what I stand for through a concerted process of self-questioning and exploration to discover my core, the what that is so me.

I will make public what I stand for. I will hold myself visibly accountable each day to its letter and spirit.

I will be independent

I will be comfortable with who I am right now and know that I am good enough.

I will use my innate talents and gifts to do big things in the world. I will not give up in the face of others’ fear or disbelief.

I will collaborate.

I will be a person others want to work with.

I will work with others without hidden or selfish intent to accomplish our mutual goals in the service of what each of us stands for.

I will be comfortable with discomfort.

I will not seek control.

I will make visible my purpose, make promises in its service, and take risks to fulfill my commitments.

I will make promises and fulfill them.

I will be an authentic person, one whom others can rely on.

I will make hard promises that push me to the best of my capacity.

I will not try to fulfill. I will.

I will submit to authority to be an authority.

I am here to learn.

I will deliberately seek out wise and true teachers and submit to the authority of the constraints they create in the service of our goals.

I will be in integrity.

I will be congruent in private and in public, in purpose and in action. I will act in the spirit, light, and service of what I stand for.

I will be strong.

I am a warrior.

I will train to be strong psychologically, intellectually, and physically, so that I may have the fortitude to do the big things I am capable of.

I will have fun.

I will embrace chaos and joy.

I will let go of the false notion of control and laugh at the inevitable absurdity of existence, mine above all.

I will do all of this now.

I will be now. I am now.

I will not wait for the other in the false security of excuses and procrastination.

I will do it now.

March 14, 2011

The Art of Losing Things

New carpeting was installed the day before. Much of my downstairs living space has just been painted. Everywhere I look, chaos reigns. Loads of furniture, framed pictures, mirrors, curtain rods are piled up in my kitchen and family room.  

My wheels are spinning.

I can’t find a thing.

I can’t find what I’m supposed to do next.

I often lose things: my cell phone, garage door opener,  keys,  my yoga mat, credit card, my daughters’ registration forms. But this is worse. I feel lost. And with apologies to Elizabeth Bishop, it feels a disaster.

I close my eyes and I think about my Grandma, Antionette Rivers. Her husband walked out when my Mom was two, leaving her alone to raise three children. Tony didn’t have parents to help her. She was barely given alimony (and never on time).

Bearing the stigma of divorce and being handicapped, my Grandmother went to work full-time for a bank. No matter how difficult it must have been, she kept a sparkling clean house, cooked every meal and never missed Mass on Sunday. Before bed, she ironed each outfit my Aunt, Uncle and Mom would wear the next day.

Living in a less forgiving time, she did this without the support that I have as a single Mom. Aside from periodic longing for that other adult to walk in the door at the end of a long day, I live a charmed life. I work from home; teach and take yoga and Zumba classes; have frequent help on hand from parents, friends and my daughters’ Dad.

Yet I’m backed up on laundry, bills and taxes. Dinner time rolls around and I’m tempted to order out. 

Why do I struggle to do the things that my Grandmother did so beautifully with so little?

I look deeper. My Grandma prayed.

I had this cherished ritual with my Gram. Whenever I lost something, whether it was a makeup bag, my Sony Walkman or a twenty-dollar bill, I would call her, asking which Saint I should pray to (I could never remember). It was Saint Anthony, patron saint of lost things. She would offer a prayer and tell me to let it be. I did.

Without fail or fluster, the lost item would turn up. Then I’d call her back to share the good news.

Tony, Tony, turn around

Something’s lost and can’t be found.

Never mind the messy house, the unopened mail, the litany of unfinished tasks.

I sit in stillness for five minutes.

I let it be.

And in the quiet, it comes.

I find a little faith . . .  

That I may I be like her.

Everywhere I look, chaos reigns.
February 25, 2011

Bending, Not Breaking

It’s very late and I still can’t sleep. I don’t want to be awake.

I take a deep breath, close my eyes. I open them.

It’s still there; the anguish is palpable.

I tell myself a lie: that there’s only one way to escape it.

I eat.

In those moments, food that normally nourishes, robs me of what is most sustaining: knowing myself, living truthfully, having faith. And my body, that I like to move so much, falls victim to self-sabotage.

My greatest joys have been dynamic: being pregnant, running the Boston Marathon, teaching group fitness, working for a School of Public Health, dancing … even enjoy shoveling the snow. Where does my passion, my self-care, go in the empty moments?

I begin to take notice.

Anguish; its gripping tightness reminds me of how I feel when my yoga teacher cues wheel (a backbend) for the fifth agonizing time. And then takes 10 minutes to countdown from five to one.

My mind protests: I can’t.

Yet I’ve discovered, with the slightest encouragement, I can.

I breathe, even when it feels like there isn’t a place for the air to go. I breathe and the air feels stuck. I breathe and focus my eyes and turn off my thoughts. I breathe and know that if it is too much, I can back off. I breathe … and the teacher cues to gently come out of wheel.

I always thought the answer was to dig in my heels and break this bad habit. In truth, the answer is bending. Being flexible, gentle and patient. Bringing mind and body together, one breath at a time.

All through love. Not through force. Not through fear.

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