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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spontaneity & Serendipity: Do the unexpected, get cool results

Yesterday was a bustling day.  I made my debut as a cover model followed by a fabulous fundraiser, both probably deserving of separate blog posts (forthcoming). 

This morning I woke up exhausted but filled to the brim with goodness and surrounded by tons of love.  Also a bit "hungover" - not so much from wine (although I had a bit of that), but from the adrenaline, dancing,  energy and love that had been enveloping me yesterday.

A few posts back I mentioned that on my fall wish list was the desire to add more spontaneity into my life.  So I decided to message a friend at 6:30 am this morning to see if she'd like to meet for breakfast.  Not only did I have spontaneity on the brain, I was also craving an arepa from Valencia's and in need of their high test coffee. 

Now mind you I've had what I'd term a professional acquaintance with this person for several years now,  so it's not like this is a regular occurrence.   I'm a big believer in surrounding yourself with people who bring more of the good stuff into your life.  I have a lot of respect for this woman and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Nevertheless, it is a bit out of my character to contact someone who is not a super close friend (or my mother) before sunrise and suggest an outing.   The typical conversation I'd have with myself is that she's probably too busy, has other plans, has lots of other friends to have breakfast with, and doesn't have the time.

I decided to stuff that conversation down where it belongs and just go for it.

Turns out it was a wonderfully spontaneous and serendipitous morning.  The company and conversation was exactly what I'd craved and needed, even more than the coffee.  I'd even like to think we're moving more towards the friendship phase these days. 

And the arepa was delish too. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do you see yourself in this video?


Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation and there it is....the sound of the ring tone.  Whether it's the standard Marimba or a catchy new Usher song,  it doesn't matter, this interruption takes priority.  

Now of course I'm not talking about those times when you have a sick child at home or you're waiting for the jury to return with a verdict to seal your fate.  I'm talking about the every day conversations over coffee or lunch.  

You may even answer and tell the caller "I'm busy, can I call you right back?"  (something I can never understand).

Perhaps next time, see what happens when you stay in the present.  Experiment with NOT answering (if it's something that can likely wait). 

Maybe it's time to disconnect to connect....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Putting yourself first

This concept seems to come up everyday, especially in my business.  Women are experts at putting themselves last, and some even seem to wear that as a badge of honor.  This post today by the Daily Om is right on target so I'm taking the liberty of re-posting and of course giving them credit.  Plus that will give me a little bit of extra time to take a few deep breaths and enjoy a cup of tea....ah, it's the little things!
Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself.

We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can’t take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it’s easy to keep putting self-care off—easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don’t have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That’s when we realize we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it’s just plain practical.

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others” or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe. 

October 17, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

En garde!

Our latest adventure brought Pina and I to the Farifield Fencing Academy and this time her daughter, Danielle joined us for the fun.  The event was sponsored by My Time for Me, one of my favorite organizations and our surfing excursion with MTFM was part of the original inspiration for the K & P adventures. 

John gives me some helpful tips

Here are my do's & don'ts I picked up on the fencing strip:

Don't apologize for going for it -  While there were a couple of more aggressive gals int he group, effortlessly racking up points on the electronic scoreboard, others were quick to serve up an apology with each thrust.  My guess is that among a group of men in a similar setting, the phrase "I'm sorry, are you okay?" would be heard as often as "Does this outfit make my butt look big?"  or "I think I'm having a hot flash under this mask."     

As women we are often afraid to go full out, afraid we'll be called  some choice four (or five) letter word!  Go for it and don't apologize. 

Don't be afraid to suck - Let's face it, I sucked at fencing. It didn't help that I am battling an elbow injury (let's not let my physical therapist get wind of the fencing outing).  Consequently I was in a lot of pain early on, BUT I'm not using that as an excuse.  I'm pretty sure I would have sucked no matter what.  I'm still glad I went

Do learn some new vocabulary - I'm now mildly versed in such terms as the epee, parry, foil,  and sabre.  I can only imagine the type of cocktail party where I'll be able to weave in such banter, but it never hurts to expand your mind right?

Do serve wine & cheese afterwards - It makes everything, especially some adventurous girl time, a little better, doesn't it?

A job well done ladies!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Leaving a legacy - in your own way

The world lost an icon this week.  He was a creative genius, a visionary, an inspirational innovator and an entrepreneur extraordinaire,  .  Yesterday's CNN article compared him to the likes of Thomas Edison and Leonardo DaVinici.  

When I reflect how much my own life has been impacted by his revolutionary contributions, I am astounded.  From using the iPod to play our music at Jazzercise (believe it or not I started just when we were phasing out 45 records, we sure have come a long way baby!), to how I stay in touch with friends and family scattered across the country through the ease and convenience of my iPhone, to using my iPad daily allowing me to have a mobile office to make my life as an entrepreneur possible.

He said he wanted to "put a ding in the universe."  Ding?  More like a ginormous cavity.

He created a legacy.

But legacies aren't limited to revolutionizing the world with technology or creating a global phenomenon.   Legacies are built by the small simple actions we take every day.  They are designed by how we live our life in own communities.

So while we mourn the loss of Steve Jobs and celebrate his legacy, we should ask ourselves how we are creating our own.

The mother of my very dear friend Jura, Rosemary Strimavicius, received an award this week celebrating her own legacy. She  has sewn thousands of pillows for woman in recovery from Breast Cancer surgery.   She has lost most of her sight due to an aggressive eye disease, but she sews by memory and feel and a lot of love.  According to Jura, "She stuffs more love than fluff into each pillow and finishes each one with a kiss every time!"
Granted Jobs certainly sold far more than 'thousands' of Apple products, but I bet the recipients of  Rosemary's pillows felt some pretty special love that can't be conjured up by a phone or a laptop.
Rosemary is creating her own legacy, and SHE inspires me, just as Steve jobs will always be an inspiration to me. 
What legacy are YOU creating?

Rosemary receiving the "Volunteer of the Year" award from Necessities Bag founder Maureen Lutz ~ she is receiving a Baccarat necklace from a beautiful representative from Baccarat
Now it's time to post this via BlogPress on my iPad and maybe give Jura a call later on the iPhone to say hello.:)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Look for the LOVE

Rainbow last Thurs night - the most spectacular I've ever seen

We all have those days (ok, lately it seems like it's been weeks) where there is more bad, sad and frustrating news then we feel we can handle. Both in the news and in our own backyards.

It's especially hard when difficult things happen to people we care about, and even worse when it feels like there's not a thing we can do about it.

I've heard more than a few earfuls of tough stuff going on lately.  At some point I figured enough was enough, I mean how much more can there be?  Then I arrived home Sunday night after a very long day to some very upsetting family news.  That was about the last straw.  It would have  been easy to go down the rabbit hole into despair and negativity.  I'm not saying I didn't shed some tears, because I'll be honest, I did.

But then I got to thinking.  I can dwell on this or I can LOOK FOR THE LOVE.  Even when things are dark, there's some love, somewhere.

Here's where I've found love floating around lately.....
  • A daily continuous stream of instant messaging among my two BFF's - these women are my rocks!
  • A cool surprise from my hubby last week
  • Wonderful emails from two of my China kids in my inbox Monday morning
  • A bunch of beautiful inspiring women whom I get to work out with every day
  • A much needed Mastermind meeting on Friday with my support team - PLUS it was at the beach (and followed by a glass of wine and a friend always ready to lend an ear)
  • Fun unexpected treats from my Reiki partner
  • My mom -  'nuff said. 
  • A spontaneous, and very special, family dinner 
  • A sweet note from a long time colleague
  • Glorious weather today and the chance to eat lunch and do some work outside (love the virtual office)
  • A spectacular rainbow spotted in Milford during an impromptu outing to spend time with my stepdaughter (photo above - which does not do it justice!)
I'm not saying that this love takes my mind off the tragedies people I love are enduring and the courageous battles being fought.  I just know that amidst it all I need to keep an eye out for the love.

 Where do you see the LOVE this week? 

Trust me it's there (oddly I now feel like breaking out into the Mary Tyler Moore theme song...."Love is all around...")