A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is my intention for the week....

Each week I try to set an intention.  Initially I tried to do it daily, but I couldn't remember what the intention was by lunchtime!  Now, I choose something for the week.  I write it in my planner (yep, even with my fancy iPhone I'm still old school about the planner).  Recently I've begun writing it on the chalkboard in our kitchen on occasion.  I also use it when I meditate - because I'm the kind of person who needs something to DO while mediating.  Yeah, I know.
I got the inspiration from one of my favorite blogs by Brandi Reynolds.  After all who doesn't want to be part of a Joy Rebellion!?

What's your intention this week?  You can borrow this one, after all, I borrowed it from Brandi!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Things that were good for my soul this week....

For a lot of people this week was a vacation week, which kicked off with a Holiday.  For me it was business as usual, including long hours and several meetings.  But as I'm reflecting back on the week, I'm glad I made sure to do things that were good for the soul.....

  • Participating in our Happiness Project Book club discussion
  • Teaching six Jazzercise classes 
  • Volunteering at the Soup Kitchen
  • Baking vegan cupcakes 
  • Shopping with my mom
  • Booking a plane tix
  • Taking a yoga class
  • Having a glass of wine with a good friend after work
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Donating to Education & Hope (I'm always inspired by the wonderful Julie Coyne)
  • Writing a card to a special friend going through a rough time
  • Meditating
  • Having a pizza & movie night with my hubby- at least that's the plan for tonight!

What have you done this week that's good for YOUR soul?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Now THAT'S enthusiasm!

I couldn't help but smile when I watched this video clip. 

Check out the gusto with which this boy conducts his orchestra.

I especially love the ending.  When was the last time you approached something with such enthusiasm and total (and I mean total) involvement?  He literally throws himself into the moment.

Be inspired!  Now it's your turn.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Wants a Piece of Calico.....

Nanny and her girls in Newport News 2007

After getting up this morning to see the snow falling and making the necessary arrangements to cancel the morning classes , I brought my coffee back to bed to read and meditate before jumping into this 'snow day.'  

Nanny at her 100th Birthday Celebration (2006)
I began thinking of Nanny today, the third anniversary of her death, and the many memories, even little things, like her recitation of her favorite silly poem.  When we "played school" we would practice it all the time. When you think about it,  memorizing (especially a poem) is really a lost art.   I mean who memorizes anything these days with the internet at your fingertips and in your pocket?  

Believe it or not I can still recite almost the entire thing, and some days I can't even remember what I had for breakfast!  I even made mention of it in the piece I wrote for her funeral mass (see my original post ) 

So this morning I pulled out my very worn copy of the poem to share, written on yellow legal paper in pencil in Nanny's beautiful Catholic school penmanship.  

There are much bigger memories and momentous occasions, but sometimes it's the littlest things that stick with you.

Mattie's Wants and Wishes

I wants a piece of Calico
To make my doll a dress
I doesn't want a big piece
A yard will do I guess

I wish you'd fred my needle
and find my fimble too
I have such heaps of sewing
I don't know what to do

My Hepsie tord her apron
In tumbling down the stairs
An' Caesar lost his pantaloons
He needs a nuzzer pair

My Maude must have a bonnet
She hasn't none at all
Fred must have a jacket
His ozzer one's too small

I want to go to Grandma's 
You promised me I might
I know she'd like to see me 
I wants to go tonight

She lets me wipe the dishes
And look in Grandpa's watch
I wish I had a penny
To buy some butterscotch

I need some newer mittens
I wish you'd knit me some
My fingers alomost freezes
They leak so at the fum

I wore them out last summer
Pullin' George's sled
I wish you wouldn't laugh so
It hurts me in the head

I wish I had a cookie 
I'm hungry as can be
If you haven't got a large one
You'd better bring me free

I wish I had a piano
Won't you buy me one to keep
Oh dear I'm so tired
I wants to go to sleep


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When was the last time you....

...made a new friend?

This was a question I remember my boss asking  me many years ago.   I don't recall how the subject came up, but we were discussing how easily and often you make friends as a child, but that as an adult there seem to be fewer opportunities.  Or maybe it's just that we get settled and don't make an effort. Or we feel that we have all the friends we need. Or we're simply too old for that.

I remember thinking at the time that I didn't want to stop making new friends.  That I would always  make the effort, take the chance, or seize the opportunity.

Funny, that conversation took place probably twenty years ago, but it has always remained in the back of my mind and I think of it when I meet someone new and the relationship blossoms into a friendship.  It's even actually something I reflect on each year when I journal about the experiences of the previous year.  Inevitably I can almost always identify a new presence in my life, in fact several people come to mind as I write this.  

Last week I had the pleasure of being introduced to someone who I had been told I'd really hit it off with.  And we did.  It was one of those times when you make an inevitable and immediate connection with someone.  That's what making new friends is about.  We had a great lunch (plus yummy lavender mint tea), and really wonderful conversation.  BUT you have to make the time.  It's always easier to look at a full schedule and long to do list and decide to eliminate those things that require a little extra effort. Try it though.  It just might be worth the effort.  I know it was for me.

Old friends are good too! 

Kristen & Beth circa early 70's

Monday, February 07, 2011

Movement is a vital celebration of life.

 I love this recent post from the Daily Om. It's SO true.  When was the last time you trusted your body?  Appreciated it?  Time to get up and move!!


February 3, 2011
Poetry in Motion
Moving Our Body
Movement is a vital celebration of life. It is a way to proclaim your own existence and relish in the joy of being alive.

Our bodies love movement. When we stretch or dance, our bodies adjust, realign and start to become fluid with the rhythm of life. Our mood lifts and we feel more connected with the world around us. If you are feeling stuck, ready to release old energy, or eager to feel more alive, try moving your body. By giving your muscles a chance to do what they were created for, you may find that all areas of your body and your life benefit as well.

Many times we can be so busy that we forget moving our body is even an option. Some of us remain seated at our computer for hours every day or rush from task to task with robotic precision. When we are caught up in crossing items off our to-do lists, we tend to neglect all the opportunities there are to enjoy our bodies in the process of living. If this is true for you, begin looking for opportunities to move. You might try dancing or moving about freely as you clean your home, tend your garden or care for your children. If you are able to devote a set amount of time to self-care, practices such as yoga, dance, tai chi and walking are all great ways to keep your body in motion.

Imagine how freeing it would feel to trust your body’s movements completely, knowing it has a perfect strength and rhythm of its own. See if you can sense your bones providing graceful support, your muscles and tendons expanding and contracting in just the right measure, your lungs changing pace to fill deeply with fresh air. Movement is a vital celebration of life. It is a way to proclaim your own existence and relish in the joy of being alive. Today, and into the future, give yourself the gift of your body in motion.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

How have you been spending your snow days?

We're experiencing them at a record number and just about everyone you speak to is frustrated and complaining about the snow.

I'm doing my best to keep a positive outlook and ENJOY and embrace them. Hey, it's the weather, there's no way I can change it, so what else can I do.

 Luckily I have the option to work from home, even when my studio has to close due to the weather. On the plus side, I can get lots of work done at home. But, a snow day isn't really a snow day unless you weave in a little fun, so I've been doing a little of both this winter:

Here are some of things I've been up to the last few weeks.
  • Trying new recipes like a yummy Indian vegetarian dish, and using celery root for the first time to make a tasty soup (celery root & white bean soup)
  • Devoting time to more creative work projects and marketing ideas, such as designing the upcoming Be Your Own Valentine mini retreat. 
  • Tackling pesky work projects that never seem to get done like organizing files, cleaning out emails, reading industry publication and updating forms.
  • Trying to master some technology that still evades me.
  • Facing home projects that usually seem too overwhelming.  Just a few minutes of cleaning the basement each day and I should be done by next winter.
  • Catching up on what's in my DVR (like the Ugly Betty episodes from 2009).  No really.
  • Reading, reading, & more reading with a steamy cup of tea.

With this extra unexpected time home, I don't want to hear my self saying "I wish I had time to...." a few months from now. 

Instead take this time and make it your most productive and fun.

How about you? How are you spending your snow days?