start somewhere

I take pride knowing that I am someone that others seek for information and questions about self-care, spirituality, and most recently, yoga. When articles pop up that seem out of the ordinary like cat yoga, goat yoga or trap yoga, I usually get a few messages asking for my thoughts on this new trend.

What I typically say is that as long as people are moving their bodies, by all means, label the class however you feel.

Meeting people where they are and what they're attracted to seems like the best way to introduce a newbie to the benefits of a spiritual practice.

on time.

A few weeks ago the weather here in Baltimore caused delays and school closings around the area, and I had a plan to take a yoga class at a studio that’s 15 miles away from my home. Since news outlets don’t post anything related to fitness studio closures, I called to find out if classes were still on and if they had showers at their facility. This is important because I had a meeting to attend right after class and didn’t want to drive back home to change. No response, so I left a message – tweeted them with the same questions – and went about my business. As I finished up my morning meetings, the studio tweeted me back saying yes they’re open and yes they have showers. “Sweet! On my way.” As I was driving there, I got a phone call from the studio manager who was returning my message (not knowing that I had already received confirmation via twitter) and answered my questions. I told her about the twitter interaction, she was pleasantly pleased and just as surprised as I was and I told her I’d see her in 20.

Today, I got a phone call from an employee at another yoga studio (let’s call her Sara because I didn’t get her actual name) where I’ve only attended once. Sara called to let me know that tonight’s class was cancelled and that they’re calling people who’ve attended this class in the last few weeks to let them know so they don’t waste their time driving to the studio.

Grateful and surprised that these two studios actually called and followed up. Neither wasted my time, and there’s value in that.

choose to win.

What do I want to say? This is the first question I always ask myself before I even begin writing.  I read some blogs from my favorite people, listen to some music, take notes, highlight quotes from my favorite books - all in hope to get some inspiration to just start.

I get these urges when I know I have a lot I want to write, yet nothing ever comes out as clear as I’d like it to be – or at least coherent for those of you reading this.

The hardest part is always starting.  Always.

So, what do I want to say?

Life is a big beautiful mess. Everyone is going through it, and there’s no way to go around it or avoid it.

Going through emails, I came across one from Rog on choosing not to fail or choosing to win.  They both mean the same thing, but it’s how you’re perceiving and initiating your choices that make the outlook brighter, and more manageable.

Everyone fails at something in life.  It’s a guaranteed part of being human.  However, mentally preparing yourself for failure won’t get you anywhere.  Feelings of being stuck, or depressed, or unsure-of-what-to-do-next-so-you-don’t-do-anything aren’t pathways that lead to success. Changing your mentality of being capable of actually winning at whatever it is you want to achieve vs. thinking it’s absolutely impossible leads to action.

Asking for help doesn’t hurt the process either. I’ve learned over the course of the years that some of my best ideas, efforts and successes come from being in the trenches – and using my resources to help get me out.

Understanding the depths of each situation and how it makes me feel allows me to move upwards and be proactive in my decisions - in a positive fashion.  Failure is inevitable.  Reaching for the top is a choice; and it’s risky, scary and everything in between – and without a doubt, worth it.


This post is brought to you by: Shiraz (I keep it classy) Sade – Fear Dustin's Music 

digging into femininity.

I’ve been sitting on this post, for the past two months, scared to publish and share with the world. But alas, here we are. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

28 years old, looking at my bank account simultaneously laughing and crying.  Living in Brooklyn, working as a personal trainer/entrepreneur, in love with a world that sometimes doesn’t feel like it loves me back.

Lost.  High. Excited. Depressed. Anxious. Nervous. Caffeinated. So many emotions, I never knew I could handle or that these all could be felt in the span of a day. Digging into my own psyche – living solo. Being alone in a city filled with thousands of people.

No one will ever really know how I’ve felt these past seven months, nor should they, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

When all I want to be is strong and confident, when that’s my job – feeling like a failure, feeling like the world can see me broken – afraid to see anyone because of this.

When I find something attractive or exciting I go full throttle with it. Men, work, books, music, everything. There’s this attachment that I tend to get too involved with, something that taps into my soul that’s so unique and different than I ever expected, and when it turns out to be not so attracting anymore, I get crushed.  Investing fully in something you’re passionate about isn’t always a great feeling, yet I know it’s (mostly) necessary to pursue whatever it is you’re passionate about.  The ups and downs, the doubts, the push and pull of each interaction that I encounter from what I enjoy doing or being surrounded with has taken such a toll on me physically.

I cry more now.  I’m crying now while writing this post.  I’m tapping into a part of me that I’ve never seen exposed.  There were periods in my life where I couldn’t remember the last time I showed any type of emotion.  Sad movies never had an effect on me, injuries never made me cry…and I do believe it’s because I was brought up in an environment that was so male dominated.

I grew up in suburban Baltimore, with a yard, and space and a bunch of guys.  Most of the people I hold so dearly to me are guys, so by nature, I tend to be “tougher.”  I played sports, my best memories of gifts that I received involved bikes and rollerblades vs. dolls and clothing.  I always knew I was strong, physically and mentally, and I think it has to do with who I surrounded myself with.

Fast forward to present day, I’m still involved in physical activities (see: CrossFit) but I’ve never really tapped into my emotions until this year.  Understanding and knowing what I want to feel in everything I do has opened my world.  I’m forcefully pushing myself to follow my gut and my heart, and it’s allowing more of my feminine side to be exposed.  Taking moments to focus on me and understand where all of these feelings are coming from has been (annoyingly) beautiful.  In the most confusing time of my tenure in NYC, I took a vinyasa style yoga class and I literally cried through movement and felt every emotion that I tried to keep inside pour out.  So many feelings were kept inside, and tuning in to myself brought everything out. This was one of the most mind-blowing, incredible experiences I’ve ever had.

I’m learning now that strong doesn’t always refer to the physical sense.  Being strong to me means being vulnerable.  Showing emotions, expressing how you feel.  When I was telling people that I was moving to New York – the majority told me “oh, you gotta be tough” “don’t say sorry when you accidentally run into people on the street” “stand your ground.”  So I tried to do all of those things, and in some cases it made sense, but that’s not me naturally.  I’ve been thinking so much that I have to be strong and I took that as being emotionless, and 6 months later, it’s finally hitting me that this isn’t true.