Live Your Life Like An Athlete

August 11, 2012 by  
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I usually go to a spinning class on Saturday mornings. Today, as I was riding and sweat was dripping, I heard an inner-voice that said: “Do I really need this? Why am I doing this to myself?” To which one of my other inner voices responded: “I can do it. I’ll relax and commit. Just watch me.”

No, I’m not turning schizophrenic. I’m just aware of the inner dialogue that ensues when we are faced with challenges. When we are faced with hardship a side of us wants to give up while other parts want to keep going. It is in this tug of war that success or failure is decided. If our cheerleader voice is louder than success is the outcome.

Exercise – either extraneous like spinning or intense like Yoga – is a microcosm of life. If we are to last the whole class or training session we must learn to relax, commit and silence the negative voice. The same happens in life. If we are to succeed in our careers or an undertaking we must learn to pace ourselves and overcome the obstacles without giving up.

Athletes have to learn this from day one. They have to overcome physical difficulties and pain. They have to overcome competition. And they have to do all of that with complete commitment – mental and physical.

We have to learn to approach our dreams like athletes do their sport – with relaxation and commitment. Because for most of us getting what we want means working at it. It means applying ourselves without giving up.

I love exercise – not only for health reasons – but because it helps me understand in an innate way what my posture in life has to be if I am to get what I want.

So, pick an exercise routine that challenges you. Observe what your mind tells you. Turn off the negativity. Relax. Commit. And witness your personal achievement.



Time To Slow Down If Your Head Is Spinning

April 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

I love the post below.  I especially love it today because I have not followed my own advice and insights.  I’ve over done it.  I got stressed and I burned out.

It all hit me yesterday.  I’m an excellent multi-tasker and when I’m not watching, I pride myself of such quality.  I also – when I’m not watching – pride myself in my never ending search for perfection.  Let me qualify “I’m not watching”.  It means both of these qualities – multi-tasker and perfectionist – taken to extremes are very detrimental.  So I try to keep an eye on myself as not to get my excellent qualities to over perform.

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Go Ahead And Unplug

April 20, 2010 by  
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boy and the sky

boy and the sky

We all know more does not equal better.  So why do we all have bought into this idea that if we aren’t busy 24/7 we are unproductive?  We have to realize in all the running around, mobile phones, computers, internet, we are leaving behind ourselves, family and friends.  We are also risking losing the quality of our creativity, love and sex- which are life’s energy sources – because these feelings and inspirations need space, calm and attention to thrive.

Information and technology are a great advancement in human development but they are suppose to be in addition to our relationship to ourselves and others and not replacements.  We have become a nation of stressed out overachievers without becoming even one ounce happier.

So if you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed you have to ask yourself if it is worth it.  Can you adjust your life just a bit so you can actually draw energy and power from within?  Yes, should be the answer.  Carve out a little bit of time everyday to do what feeds you.  Is that meditation? A nice meal? A delicious cup of coffee consumed with time and attention? Is it playing with your dog or cat without thinking about the things you need to do?  Is it a glass of wine?  Whatever it is, an action (even if it is to lay down with our eyes closed) done with all of our attention have the ability to recharge us.

So go ahead and unplug.


Ten Things To Do This Weekend To Make It A Superb One

March 26, 2010 by  
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1                    –  Make one of the two days 100% work free

2                    –  Run a bath, light candles, read a book or watch a movie

3                    –  Go for a walk or a hike

4                    –  Make lunch or dinner plans with a friend and/or a partner

5                    – Take 30 minutes on Saturday or on Sunday and sit quietly.

Concentrate on your breathing and let the thoughts do their dance your head without attaching any importance to any of them.

6                    – Try smiling all weekend long no matter how you’re feeling.

7                    – Do something nice, big or small, for someone else; either a friend or a stranger.

8                    – Rent a nature DVD like Planet Earth.

9                    –  Wake up late one of the days and spend some time in bed before jumping up.

10                 –  Imagine how you want your life to be.  Make it good.


Some Days Are About Reflection

February 7, 2010 by  
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I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a long time; nothing.  I didn’t write, or work, or clean or organize.  I watched movies, played with my dogs, cooked a nice meal and saw friends at night.  But at the end of the day I had to wrestle with the idea I had wasted a day.  My mind and my heart had an argument.  My heart kept saying: “What is this thing about wasting a day?  Did you have fun?  Did you relax?  Isn’t that what it’s all supposed to be about?  My mind kept saying: “What will you have to show for today, tomorrow?”  “All that you had to do is still there waiting for you”.

We live in a world that makes us feel that unless we are producing we are wasting our time.  And simply relaxing and enjoying ourselves falls in the category of wasting time.  But how often are we burned out?  How often do we get physically and emotionally tired because we just keep going?

We all know what it feels like to be physically tired but emotionally tired can be a little bit trickier.  We might attribute our feelings to depression or frustration without ever realizing that sometimes we just need to take a break.

Creativity needs room to grow and expand and a busy mind is often cluttered.  Always going from task to task gives us the impression of being productive but in truth we are compromising quality.

Time and a relaxed mind allows us to notice and appreciate things that otherwise might go unnoticed.  Usually they are things that could feed our hearts on a daily basis and actually affect our quality of life; a smile, a conversation, a smell, an animal, the sun.

Change makes us uncomfortable but that is when the mind, having decided on the right path, tells the heart to quiet down that it is all okay.

Giving ourselves the space to reflect lets us know how we truly are feeling and what is important for us.

So that is what I’m doing these days.  I’m slowing down and teaching myself to relax.  It’s a tough undertaking but one with great rewards.


Learning To Unplug

October 7, 2009 by  
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I have been feeling a great urge to travel.  I’m thinking of distant and foreign places like, Nepal, Thailand, or Vietnam. 

I had those thoughts when my husband passed away.  I wanted to lock up the house and go someplace where no one knew me and I didn’t know anybody.  I wanted to take sometime to transition from where my life had been to what it was to become in the same way I had driven to Los Angeles from New York, rather than taking a plane, after leaving a long and sad marriage.  Sometimes taking time to transition is important. 

But I didn’t.  I plowed through my pain and threw myself into writing a book, releasing a film, and launching this website.  That was my way of coping.  Maybe it was a way for me to see I still had life, or a way to turn something sad into something beautiful, or my strong work ethics or most likely a combination of all those things.

In my fantasy of going to a far away place, I also fantasize about leaving my cell phone and computer behind and to live in the moment and not worry about things that are happening too far away for me to participate.

I have to confess that dropping out of my life, (the one in LA) even if for only two weeks, causes me a certain amount of anxiety.  I try to investigate this anxiety and I think it might come from thinking I’m going to be missing out on opportunities or a matter of wanting to be in control of everything, like things and people related to me would all go to shit without me.  How crazy is that?  Or a even scarier thought: What if the reason I am afraid of disconnecting is that I would find out that the world would continue to exist without me?  I heard the director Scott Hicks (Shine, The Boys Are Back), on NPR say that “nature is indifferent”.  What he meant was that life goes on with or without us.  If you have ever been through a tragedy in your life you come to grasp with that understanding very quickly.  You and you alone have fallen out of step with life; everything and everyone else continues to move forward.

So going back to my travel fantasy, I realize that doing the experiment of traveling alone leaving any strings attached for the time that I’m gone unattached, seems to be a difficult but necessary experience.  I say necessary because it challenges who I am and that’s a good thing.

As an aside I have to ask: what did we do before portable computers, cell phones and every other gadget out there existed? 

The Jewish religion has the Shabbat as a way to help people unplug.  Unplug from their work and anxieties by not doing any work and being forced to sit around with family and friends and talk and pray. 

I think a version of the Shabbat would be good for all of us on a weekly basis, if not for a whole day maybe for a half a day.  Imagine that; forced to unplug. As for me a version of a Shabbat would be great training for my future trip.  I’ll keep you posted.