Light and Shadow

I
Breathe
in
the

Cold,
Damp
air

as
Darkness
surrounds.

Light
is
bouncing Off
the River
in a
kind of

Dance.

I Let
the
Darkness
Surround
my

Five
Senses

as I
Submerse
myself

in the

Restorative
Energy
of

Light

and

Shadow.

Full Moon and Refocus

Since the Arbonne area retreat in Albany I had been doing inspired action to achieve my goal, which is a big goal. However, I knew something was missing. I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I was so focused on what I needed to do to achieve the goal that at some point in the last few days I lost the reason behind the goal.

It's a bracelet given to me by Debbie Carroll Neal.

Tonight is the Capricorn full moon, which is apparently very powerful. I am looking at it, and connecting with it. I am focusing on the power of the moon, and seeing what needs to change in my life. And not just in Arbonne, but in all aspects of my life. Most importantly, I deserve to let go of the outcome. Once I let go of the outcome, the pressure was off my psyche. There is a weight off my mind tonight. I am making a mental list of things that deserve-not need- to be changed in order for my life, my destiny, and my goals to be fulfilled.  Verbiage is another one. The word Need is one of the lowest forms of expression, and carries with it a low vibration. I am switching it to Deserve.

I feel grounded again, but inspired to touch as many lives as possible. The focus and intention has returned instead of the activity being similar to unorganized chaos. Activity without intention is like paddling with half a paddle. You may get where you are going, but it’s going to take a long time. Intention is key to obtaining any goal.

Sometimes we are so focused on the goal, we lose sight of the WHY behind the Goal. In the process, I lost the inspired action, and couldn’t figure out the disconnect between the action and the goal. It became slightly overwhelming, and without me realizing it.

I have unknowingly repeated this behavior for some time now, and never made the connection of why. Everyone has the habit of getting in their own way, and I’ve gotten really good at recognizing the signs of when I am doing that. The devil however is very adaptive, and when those old ways of hindering you stop working, it gets creative.

Chasing a dream is exhausting, which is what I have been doing for months now. However, reliving, immersing yourself in it, and envisioning your dream life on a daily basis are not only necessary to achieving the dream, but it’s reinvigorating.  I am enrolling not just active affirmations, but active, present vision into my daily life. BOOM.

Weekend and Beyond

I spent the weekend paddling, hiking, and with family.  It was the quintessential perfect weekend, the only thing missing was live music.  I paddled approximately 12 miles, hiked about three miles on Sunday, and then spent the majority of Easter playing with my three year old cousin.

On Tuesday though, I was looking for a kick-your-ass workout.  Paddling and hiking are workouts, but they are different. They are generally short bursts of energy followed by lackadaisical energy depending on the conditions of the trail and/or water body.

Enter Sphericality.  I have made the determination that I will attend the 9:40 AM Pilates360 class on Tuesday because it stops me from goofing around all morning.   I love the instructor Tammy.  She is full of get your ass in gear, but in  a tough love kind of way.  She is all about form (which I am super happy about) and taking it one step further.  In anything, if you don’t push yourself past your limit that you thought possible, than you are playing small.  If you are playing small because of some fear of failure, the only person that hinders is you.  As they say, get your big girl panties on and deal with it.

dorian and I

Dorian, the owner of  Sphericality, and I after a Barre Class

After the class, I realize there’s a TRX class after that also with Tammy.  So, I also stayed for that.  It was my first doubleheader, and now I realize I have official become exercise-crazed.  As my friend says, that’s a high-class problem.  I was surprisingly not too sore the next day, just a touch in the arms.

One of my main focuses lately has been improving my balance, coordination, and getting my ankles stronger.  I have little tiny feet, high arches in my feet, and I’m not small.  All of those things lead to a need to improve the above.  My ankles have always been a weak spot.  I basically look at them wrong, and they go out.  Since I’ve been taking these classes, I’ve noticed them getting a little stronger.  I’m not sure how much my balance has improved yet, but I know that my coordination is.  It’s really satisfying to know that what I am doing in these classes not only improves my overall health, but also is having some positive unanticipated affects in the above categories.

Day 15, Gyms 14 and 15

I decided to go to the Health and Wellness Center in Clinton, NJ for a leg day since I’ve been doing a lot of arm exercises.  It is run by the local hospital the Hunterdon Medical Center, and it has two locations, one in Whitehouse Station and they opened one up in Clinton as a second location.  The Clinton one is closer to my house, so I went there.  I have been to the Whitehouse one years ago, and was even a member.  I remembered liking the gym, and the atmosphere.

The website said they were open until 5, and I got there a little later than I would have liked.  I got there at 4:25, and thought this will give me just enough time to complete my leg workout.  I was told when I got there that the exercise area closes at 4:45, and I said on the website it says 5.  She explained, we close the exercise area 15 minutes before closing.  Now, I can understand this from an employee point of view.  They want to leave, go home, and don’t want to waste time waiting for members to get off the floor, shower, and change.  However, I wish they had stated that on their website.  We both are at fault a bit.

I first noticed that everything seemed very clean, even though it was late in the day. The equipment wasin good working condition, clean, and well labeled.  I went over to the free weight section of the gym, and it’s relatively small.  It may be one of the smallest out of the traditional-style gyms I’ve been to.  The gym features more options in the cable, “Nautilus” style weight equipment found near the cardio equipment, and there it appeared you could get a circuit strength training.  There was a lot of cardio workout equipment, which is always a good thing and something to look for in a gym.

The configuration of the gym was interesting.  There was a decent amount of room in the free weight area to not feel crowded.  The rest of the equipment area seemed close together, almost too close.  When it gets crowded, I’m not sure how the well the room would flow with people moving in and around equipment.  As I stated, this is definitely the smaller of the two locations, with doctors offices on the second floor.  The Whitehouse one at least from what I remember was more spread out, had more equipment, and featured a full-sized pool.

12792114_10102877279864936_9022794348381888576_o

The second “gym” was the great outdoors in the form of a hike along the South Branch of the Raritan River in High Bridge.  The river was high, so none of my usual rock jumping was going to happen.  It was a short walk, but as anything in nature, I immediately felt a calming affect to my body.  So I got my cardio and legs in all in one day.

Day 12, Gym 11 Walking with Dad

After so many of years, months, etc of trying to figure out things.  I have figured it out.

There is such a thing as fear based versus caution.  Fear based is based on limited information, fear, and an overall scared mentality.  Caution is based on informed decision making, facts, and pros and cons list.

Having lived this life on fear based thinking and mentality, I get it.  Trust me, I get it ALL of it.   Fear is easier to handle, it’s easier to push away, it’s easier in general.  I’m scared of heights, boom, done.  I’m scared to talk to that person because I’ve been devastated before in the past when opening up to someone BOOM, done.  I’m afraid to do this thing so outside my comfort zone, what if I get ridiculed, embarrassed, and want to hide in a corner?  BOOM, activity over.  People coddle you when you make excuses, hide yourself, and hide under a rock.  They do not coddle you when you make a decision to change your life.

People commiserate over sadness, and make excuses for you.  My friend Keri, said when she broke her foot, that people would say to her, “oh it’s ok you’ve gained such and such weight, you broke your foot.  Let me help you.”  All of that is okay.  But it is so much easier to commiserate than it is to move past your own obstacles, own them, figure out a way to fix the problem, and move on.  This is why people stay where they are for years.

Own your life, your decisions, and be happy with it.  I had a talk with my dad about a few different things tonight as we were walking.  The universe conspires in weird and wonderful ways, and sometimes those ways suck hairy monkey balls.  The best thing that ever happened to me was being fired for forgetting to lock a door, literally.  I was working 60-70s a week between two jobs, and quite honestly, I didn’t see that changing.  I got a promotion at work, and literally two days later was fired.

I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do with myself.  I spent the first month vegging out on TV turning off my brain.  Then I took my first whitewater kayaking class, and started paddling.

However, for the next two out of the three jobs I had were fear based.  Fear that I would lose my job, that I wasn’t good enough, and I put in more hours than ever.  This is really no way to live life.  When my last environmental consulting job, which was the worst in terms of job security than any of the others, ended, I was actually relieved.

Fast forward to the present.  I am working retail at a job I’ve worked since  high school, which is as far from fear based as you could possible get; and I am passionately working my beloved Arbonne business.

I say that I found myself in Arbonne, and it’s true.  I have found so much more than that.  I have found my purpose for being on this planet.  If I can inspire one other tree-hugging hippie paddler, introvert, and outdoor junkie to understand that they can do whatever the hell they want in this life, than what better honor is there than that?

To inspire others to live their dreams, and make them realize that if I can do them, than why the hell not them?  Truly is there any better privilege than that?  No there isn’t.

Yet another big shift.   And I’ve only just begun.

Day 9, Gym 8. River time

So while not a gym in the traditional sense, I’m going to use it as one because it’s an all-body workout when you do it correctly, especially if you are in a whitewater canoe.  Kayaking is mostly upper body, and some legs.

This was a short run of about 4.5 miles, and it wasn’t really whitewater.  There were a couple of riffles, some waves, tiny bit of surfing, but nothing intense about it.  I still made sure to use my legs to move the boat, do my torso rotation, and paddle on both sides of the boat.  You may be asking how does canoeing have you utilizing all of those muscle groups.

An example of a bulkhead set-up.  Your legs go in the cut out holes, where you carve them out as needed to fit you.  It is not my picture.  Photo credit:  Wetnobby on Photobucket. 

Whitewater canoes are not set up as your typical canoe.  Some have saddles and/or thigh straps, but I had mine installed with a bulkhead set up.  I love it, it was worth every penny. It allows you to use your legs, thighs specifically, to get the boat where you want it to go along with your torso.  Your arms do some of the work, of course, but I know my form is off if my arms are getting tired.

There have been days where I have woken up after canoeing all day the previous day, and my legs and abs have been so sore that I was limping.  Days like that, I knew I had done it right and pushed myself.  This will not be the case tomorrow.  I did not paddle 14 miles or 6 miles of continuous whitewater, this was just a beautiful day on the river with a friend of mine.

The river is one of my places where I reset my mind.  I had not been out in a couple of weeks, and I was beginning to notice the way I was feeling because of it.  Now, my mind and body are reset to tackle the challenge and task at hand.  It’s go time.

 

Nature, my life, and grounding

I have always been attracted to nature, and have used to ground me throughout my life.  Be it the woods, water, mucking in a stream, ocean, backpacking, later paddling, you name it, I did it.  So when we literally got all of our winter in one weekend in the northeast  I busted out my snowshoes and communed with nature to settle my ADD mind.  It doesn’t matter how long I’m out in nature, my mind calms and I’m able to focus.

boat sledding II winter 2013-2014

Boat Sledding.  Yes it is as fun as it sounds.

I am currently building my future freedom every day, and sometimes that means short-term sacrifices for long-term, sustainable freedom.  It feels indescribably good to finally know where I’m going in life, and what I am going to do with it.  I’ll get to volunteer and give more than I do now, and I’m changing lives in the process.  Most importantly, my own.

I love what I’m able to do with my life now that I never thought possible, and I’m in love with the fact that I will be able to choose to work very soon because I like it not because I have to.

This is kind of a rambling entry, and I use writing to process things.  So, I apologize if this didn’t make sense, but I needed to write this today because of the various levels of emotions I am feeling today.  Writing and nature are two of my favorite outlets, and that’s what makes this blog so fun.

Music and Magic

There are very few things that touches the soul of all humans on earth like music does.

Maria Woodford at International Blues Challenge 2012 Semi-finals

Maria Woodford at International Blues Challenge 2013 Semi-finals

Music fills me with a passion and sense of self, only resembled when I am on the water.  It is a grounding force in my life, and when I can’t get on the water, I search for music and/or nature.  I have a few places of reflection and peace I turn to on a a regular basis.  The water, nature, music, and writing.  On perfect days, they all meld into one magical experience of light and wonder.