Tag Archives: happiness

Two years ago, I taught my first barre (n9ne) class.

…and it was the best decision – and opportunity – I ever made (and had).

Every single class, every single day, I love what I do.

1901957_10152256648681170_1447480675_nIt brings me joy every single time, and there is no better feeling than to pay it forward in the form of helping women get into the best shape of their lives.

It gives me gratitude to put together a class that challenges, that inspires, that motivates.

And equally, when I have the chance to step into a class as a client myself, and get my own ‘me’ hour to focus, work, and sweat.

It touches me when a client looks for advice, suggestions, encouragement and asks me. To this day, I am always honored to help, to advise, to inspire and motivate.

And it keeps me on my toes – no pun intended, seriously hehe – to continue on my own journey, in maintaining this fit life, this balanced life, this happy life that I lead. It’s not a diet, it never has been, and never will. I have reached that happy place with food and my body, and you can’t quantify how good that feels.

It feels like I was meant to do this. Because I was. And I am. And I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.  Thank you Tanya for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and to the barre n9ne community, for being you, for your inspiration, loyalty and committment. I say it all the time, but there truly is no community like the barre n9ne community. You can’t make this happen, it’s created.

(in other news, I have a scary amount of selfies, but it was way too fun putting together this flipagram!)

February 21, 2009 – 5 years later.

I just happened to look at the date and realized that today is five years since I started blogging (how fitting, on my 500th blog on this blog, my ‘newer’ blog over the past five years).

Five years since I began a journey that I had no idea where it would take me, literally, but also here, in this little space of mine.

I had no idea how many people I would connect with, how many of those people I now consider very good ‘blends,’ – from attending their wedding in Mexico, to a summer weekend ‘upta camp,’ to visits in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Costa Mesa, Vegas, and even right here in Boston.

I had no idea what I would discover about myself as a result of blogging, in sharing my story of divorce, discovery, renewal, and love, found, yet again.

I had no idea of the connections I would make as a result of my passion for fitness, the barre (n9ne!) running, my relationship with food and my body, and being a fitness instructor.  Again, literally, and also in processing my feelings, thoughts, emotions and milestones.

Five years. 

I continue to go back to that feeling of realizing what a difference time really makes. And what a difference your life can look like as time spans on, especially as you take that life and shape it into a life you are proud of, and a life that feels fulfilled, happy and full of joy, love, and that (sometimes elusive) feeling of balance and peace.

Looking back? My first blog post on my old blog:

There, I said it. I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. Never thought I’d be saying it or living it, to be honest. I decided to start a blog as I go through this journey because though it has only been about three months since this all started, I’ve gone through some massive changes and I thought a blog would be a great way to share my experience with those going through it, but also because there really aren’t any blogs out there that talk about divorce and moving on in your life with a very positive vibe. I see plenty that are all about looking back and wishing life had never changed, or being bitter about being abandoned by their former spouse. And, to be honest, I thought I’d fall into that camp as well, but I haven’t. I’ve really taken this time to figure out what I want in my life and have learned so much already, I can’t imagine where life will take me!

Whoa. So weird to read those words and picture exactly where I was sitting when I wrote them.

And the last post on that blog, in part:

I’m proud of her ,and who she’s become. And while I am letting her go in favor of the me I am now, she has shaped me into who I am today. I’m damn proud. I don’t care if this post sounds a bit indulgent…I know it probably does, but after getting through the difficulties of divorce and all of the baggage that comes with it (poor finances, loss of a house, lack of confidence, sadness and loss), I’m not her anymore.

I’m me…renewed.

And I thank you all for joining me in my journey and allowing me to share in yours. Cheers, friends.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

And that, my friends, is exactly the sentiment I stand behind day in and day out, be proud of your past, the ups and downs, the strife, the learning, and then let go of it and move on.

Live the life you were meant to lead. 

Sometimes, you just realize.

Sometimes, the seemingly smallest things stop you dead in your tracks, and make you realize what a crazy, amazing, blessed life you have.

Something as small as this – a promotion Facebook did to celebrate their sixth birthday – creating a video of your first and biggest moments on Facebook, and I sit here in a puddle of tears, in awe, over what the last six years has brought me, and conversely, what I have made of it.

…my first moments on Facebook include my beautiful Nala and Kayla, seeing Nala as the very first picture made me cry right away, I miss her so, but equally love that this was the start of my six years. Because soon after was when I began my journey, and where my kitties became my companions, my support, my laughter, when I was sad, when I was alone, when I was learning to be myself again.

…one of my more popular posts was this one, from September 2012: “I am pretty sure I am the luckiest girl alive – with M” the day after our engagement. Even in that less than two years, and less than 4 since we met and married, that statement couldn’t be more true then, or now.

…my most popular posts were our ‘surprise‘ marriage, and becoming homeowners. Both of those have me beaming with pride, love and blessings.

It’s so funny how something as ‘trivial’ as a social media gimmick to promote Facebook’s ‘birthday’ has me sitting here in stunned silence. The last six years have been nothing short of life-changing forever. From a then 28 year old married woman who knew nothing about herself, to a divorced 29 year old starting fresh and from scratch, in quite literally every way, from home, to finances, to self, to body, to love, to today, 34 years old, married to the love of my life and in what could very well be our ‘forever’ home, and I am feeling unbelievably blessed.

e86a3f50e69e0d14be3b5948c851da5fSometimes it truly is just taking a step back and reminding yourself where you came from, where you are today, and where you can go from here. The possibilities are endless.

<3

On compromise and allowing for imperfection

In my quest to continue my journey to letting go and giving way to better balance, I have started to notice some signs that I may just be coming around.

By way of compromise.

I am the queen of anti-compromise. I am all for *other* people compromising, but when it comes to compromise myself, I fully admit I am kinda bad at it. (my sister Jess is likely nodding her head right now…stop nodding so hard, I know, I know!)

Some of these signs of compromise are smaller, some of them are bigger, but they are all signs that maybe, just maybe I am capable of compromise and letting go of the need for perfection and my ‘particular (aka type A like whoa…) ways.

For example…

My numbers fixation. I used to stress about how many workouts I did – my ‘me’ workouts compared to those I teach. Now? I have gotten into a good cadence of balancing those ‘me’ workouts with how many classes I teach in a week. If I teach more, I pare back, if I teach less or equivelant to my ‘norm,’ I go by feel. If I feel good, I’ll try and hit that fourth run of the week, if I am tired,  I may not. Or maybe I’ll – gasp – cut a run short. Something I NEVER would have done a year ago. I’d think about that number too much. Now I have not a clue how far I run usually, unless I know the route already (and I never usually look at the mileage on the treadmill, but go by length of time, if anything). To me, this is  huge progress. Smarter, not harder, ‘phase two’ – my evolving workouts just work for me, I have never felt better, I feel fit, I feel worked, but I don’t feel exhausted, *too* sore (in a bad way, just a good hurts-so-good way) or running on fumes. I feel like I’ve hit the balance I need, and the ‘happy place’ in my mind too. It’s not a constant battle anymore. Compromise does a body good.

Another way? I have eased up – somewhat – on my neat freak attitude. Just a little (‘cmon, this takes time, people, this is a deep seated one!). I actually – gasp – LEFT a dish in the sink overnight soaking and didn’t feel the urge to wash it. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about it, because I was too engrossed in watching ‘Sideways’ with M (though that movie is somewhat depressing, all of the wine humor and scenery gets me every time), with a cup of tea, curled up on the couch. *That* is much more important than a dirty dish, no? Compromise makes for a less stressy mind, and home.

I’ve also tried to slow down – continually – in my quest to enjoy more each day, and stop stealing my own joy, rushing through the mundane or day to day moments, and tried to enjoy every day, not just weekends, not just when I am with M, or my sisters, or my friends. This one also takes work and concerted effort, but I think the more I focus on it, the more aware and in tune with the ‘in-between’ moments as Jeff Goins would say, I will be. Compromise – choosing battles and calming down – has made me happier day to day.

So, I guess you could say I am feeling pretty peaceful right now, I am allowing for compromise, and imperfection, and simply, just changing my way of thinking just a little, and it’s going a long way.

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Stealing my own joy.

Lately, I’ve struggled with the little things. The nitpicks. The stuff I can’t control. The stuff I wish I could control. The things that are simply out of my control.  And the stuff that I just need to find a way to separate myself from emotionally.

Do you ever find yourself in that boat? Letting things affect you and your mood that are either simply out of your control or, more bluntly, none of your business, in a sense, yet they still nag and nag and nag at you until poof,  joy is stolen. By you.

I’ve realized I’ve stolen my own joy lately for no other reason than letting the little things get to me.

In my ongoing journey of living ‘perfectly imperfect’ – this is one area that I just must fix. It seems to rear its ugly head when life is just chugging along, all good. Life is good, work is good, b9 is good, runs/workouts are good…it’s alllll good. And it’s like I subconsciously semi self-sabotage myself to find something to bother me. But why? What’s the sense in that?

Maybe it goes back to that feeling I’ve always had, deep down. That guilt over reaching a triumphant point in my life, a life that I built from scratch less than 5 years ago, getting through divorce, and all the financial, emotional, and yes, even physical struggles that come with it, to finding the true love of my life less than two years after my divorce, and marrying him two years later. The guilt over being happy when there are so many around me that are not, that are struggling to find their path, their love of their lives, their ‘calling’ if you will.

I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I’ve earned this. I’ve worked for this. And yes, I deserve it too. I need to shed the guilt. And also shed the habit of finding things to be unhappy about. Finding them. Why? What is the sense in that? Honestly. Sometimes I shake my head at myself and want to slap myself.

I’ve been digging deeper, reading a lot of scripture, daily devotionals (especially the one I cherish from this beautiful soul!) and vent sessions with my sisters and with M. About my incessant need to let things bug me that honestly really should not. And it’s really helping. Sometimes I just need to process the root cause of things…the why behind the joy stealing.

And in writing this all out, it’s giving me the accountability I need to cut the shit. Get over the little stuff.  And when I saw this on instagram, it all came together. No more joy stealing. Leave it alone. Instead, focus on what makes me smile. And my friends, that is what I shall do.

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