Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The 5 LB Frenzy


A love letter to self:

Dear Denise,

It's been nearly 32 years that you have thought about your weight. Food, calories, exercise. You know, the typical girl stuff. For twenty of those years you counted calories daily. Qualifying what was okay, when you overate and when you just felt like complete shit.

So here you are in your 48th year. Last year was the cosmic joke of all cosmic jokes for you. You were sick with a digestive disorder and dropped to 102 pounds on your 5'5 frame. Everyone asked what was wrong with you. You couldn't keep anything down as the bathroom became your new best friend. It was a debilitating and humbling time for you. Although as you always do, you looked at what was really going on to cause this in the first place. Bravo! You nipped it in the bud and today you weigh a muscular and healthy 112. You feel stronger than you have in a very, very long time...

So your skimpier clothes are a bit tighter. Your jeans are no longer falling off your hips. But let's celebrate! You have pretty much healed an autoimmune, digestive illness that doctors say is chronic. Well done. You are finally able to eat fruits and vegetables to your hearts delight and even peanut butter. Is it better to suffer and disappear?

You always speak about five pounds. To your clients, to your self. Why not just make it okay where you are? Deprivation is not good for the SOUL!!! Are you not tired of playing the same tape in your head? Let it go! It just has a distractive quality to it which keeps you from really focusing on what you deepest dreams and desires are. And you know what they are...Don't you think it is truly time to just let it go? Embrace you. All of it. And 112 is pretty f**kin thin anyways...

REPEAT: I am healthy. I am whole. I am full and complete just as I am. I am loved, I am GODDESS, I am divinity in action. And so it is certainly so.

With Love, Your Higher Self


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Erroneous Burger


There are different kinds of burgers. Veggie burgers, turkey burgers and of course the classic "the hamburger". Yesterday was monumental; for me anyway. I normally never eat meat. Unless I am in a severe iron deficiency mode or something deliciously unexpected suddenly appears. The last time I can recall having done so was nearly two years ago. My folks where in town and I was "guided" to take my mom to Shake Shack (mom loves her hammies) which is right around the corner from where I live. Since the meet there is grass-fed, I say why not.

In any event, that was until yesterday. It was a lovely pre-summer like evening. Seventy-nine degrees and sleeveless; people dressed in cool clothes, looking really cute, me included.:) I made my way down to the Pier at Riverside and West 70th at around 7pm to meet a friend and to catch the setting sun. I was beyond ravenous! All I ate all day was veggies and a protein bar. I needed something hot and satisfying. So I opted for the veggie burger, sans fries plus extra greens. For the last few weeks, I have been keeping vegetarian (not vegan) with a one day lapse for some shrimps for extra protein. My usually repetoire includes various fish,turkey and chicken. That's all. So the only thing that was appealing was a veggie burger. Okay, veggie burger it was. For my friend it twas a light beer and a cous cous salad.

So after placing our order, I walk back to the table with my soon to be vibrating buzzer in hand. Soon enough, it begins to vibrant and I eagerly make my way up to the counter to retrieve the food. As I was given our plates. I look down and see what appeared to be my "burger" and a side of fries, no greens. So I tell the guy at the counter and he says, "This is the order you placed. No greens." I said otherwise, obviously. So the fries were removed and color restored to my plastic plate.

Making my way back to the table, I was so looking forward to exploring what could possibly be prepared for me. I was ravenous as I stated. I ate a few bites voraciously as my friend says to me, "That looks like a hamburger?" At first I didn't even take notice since I was starving but soon enough realized that it was. I pause and say "Oh well. I guess it is. I take another pause and continue chowing down.And mind you, I sure this was not top quality meat I would consciously ever put in my body.

Perhaps it is my continued practice of yoga, and letting go of attachments that made me okay with this. Really okay. For those that know me really well, I am, have been very "particular" in my eating habits. So this is a big score for me. No guilt. It was what it was. A burger that my body, SOUL obviously was desiring on a much deeper level.So I went with its flow...

So beloved ones, whatever may be transpiring, be in the moment. Accept what is directly in front of you. Take a breath and pause if necessary. With a knowing that nothing is truly life shattering, especially the occasional greasy burger... Happy eating and whatever else comes your way unexpectedly.


Much Love, Denise


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The DIVINE Simba and Irene


Inspiration: To continue to pause and savor, the gifts inherent in each delicious moment.

It was a Monday afternoon. Yesterday was the second warmest day to date since the ridiculously cold "tundra" we found ourselves in this past Winter. I was very much looking forwards to spending hours in the park; marinating myself in the grass, allowing my heart and SOUL to receive its nourishment...

But first, a quick stop to the Upper West Side Market FAIRWAY. A place which is always full of people, a place that if you don't do your best to remain peaceful, can be utterly agitating. So I quickly went inside and picked up whatever would be essentials I thought I needed for the evening. As I decided to go on the express line (which was a tad long), I noticed a woman on crutches right before me. I am always curious when an individual is nursing a wound, so I ask her what had happened. Here is what ensued.

She had told me she did something to her ankle and was needing the crutches to maneuver. I looked her straight in the eye, not noticing her seeing eye dog and that she was blind. Her energy emanated one of openness and ease. She was just doing her thing, picking up some groceries with her beloved Simba. Later I found out her name was Irene. She had some greek yogurt in her basket and had just asked a passing by Fairway guy if it was on sale. This was very important to her at the moment. Like my yoga practice is to me. She found out it was not on sale so I offered to assist her finding the "perfect" yogurt for her that was.

The sun outside was getting brighter and brighter and normally I would feel quite agitated. But in this moment, I knew I was meant to help Irene. To be of service to her. So we went back over to the yogurt section and I read off what was on sale. She decided upon two peach Face 2% and two blueberry ones. We then walked back over to the checkout line and I patiently waited for her to pay and then put these into her knapsack. We proceeded to walk out together, me leading the way. She thanked me for taking time to assist her. She even said something to the effect of "I hope I meet you here again Denise." My heart swelling with compassion and gratitude.

As I left the market, I felt whole and complete. Something as simple as taking some time out of my day to help another brought me great joy. The paradox of this all, was that she appeared happier and more content than most people. A blind, middle-aged woman, with crutches and a seeing eye dog. A wake up call to really appreciate all of the gifts and blessings I have in my life. Although in the physical, it is far from what I would desire, my inner heart space continues to expand in miraculous and spontaneous ways.

So I lovingly invite you to make space and time to be of service to another, whenever the moment arises. No matter what is going on. And yes, my park visit was way shortened, but it was well worth it!

Enjoy your day!!!

With Love, Denise

Monday, March 24, 2014

The VOICE of Karma


Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters..even dollar bills. We sometimes are just walking about and happen to look down and see something shiny and sparkly. It has been said it is a sign of good luck, that prosperity is here or on its way. At one time or another, we have all blessed with this "divine" sign which may bring a smile to our face.

About a week or so ago, I was doing some shopping in a local food store. As I approached the checkout counter, I happened to look down and see three crisp and flowing twenty dollar bills on the floor directly in front of me. While it would have been nice to keep the windfall (literally), it was clear that it fell out of someones pocket; just the way the bills were displaced on the floor. Probably even a few seconds ago.

I paused for a moment and then knelt down to retrieve the bills. Two onlookers were quick to help me retrieve what they thought was my money. But then I heard a voice within say, "NO". And then out of nowhere I stood up and saw two women online and said,"Did you happen to drop some money on the floor?"The woman checked her pocket and she said "YES".

So I handed the bills over to her and she was most appreciative. As I was checking out on another line in close proximity, I overheard her say to her friend again, "That was so nice of her." I knew I did the right thing and was even more uplifted at her double appreciation of this.

I walked away with a sense of purpose. Knowing that I did a nice thing for someone. Yes, it would have been COOL to find sixty bucks...Perhaps if it was on the city street or park when I was moving about and spoke to me: "Yes, Denise this is for you." I would have ease fully picked it up. But no, this was not for me to grasp. Maybe it was a test. Who knows. I think I passed.:)

It was then I remembered these words from a spiritual teacher, "There is no invisible act, it is all visible to GOD (or Spirit or whatever you like to call the DIVINE)."

Think about it and have a wonderful and blessed day!
With Love, Denise

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why YOGA has me Hooked and Humble

Yoga. To some the word may summon up chanting and gurus,to others a sweaty discipline. To me it is neither. It is my sustenance, my breath, my healing. For many, many years I was guided to try this, but after popping into a class back in 1996, after a nearly hours plus workout, I was disillusioned. I stepped into a fellow personal trainer/yoga instructors power yoga class and all I wanted to do was meditate. I had no idea what meditation was. All I know was I was tired from pushing my body and I needed to chill. Little did I know there was movement, funny silly purple blocks and blankets. My ego at the time was HUGE! Little did I know indeed.

Fast forward to the year 2003. I had arrived back in NYC after living in Orange County, California for a few years. Definitely not my cup of tea. In fact, while I was there, there were clients asking me to take yoga class with them. I just raised my eyebrows like "Yeah Right"! But it was this fateful year, after breaking my pinky toe and not being able to run my six plus miles, I felt compelled. That and the fact I am been praying to slow down because I just couldn't keep training as hard and long as I was. So I actually listened to the little voice inside of me. There was a new yoga studio literally down the block from where I lived, so there was really no excuse...But then again we can always make up one.:)

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I decided to check out this new space. I looked at the schedule and realized though I was in Linda Hamilton, Terminator 2 looking shape, I should take a basics class. The only one I saw on the schedule that worked was at 3pm. I thought to myself, "What decent teacher, teaches a class at 3pm." What an ego I had.

But I went and was totally blown away!!! The class began with chanting which set the tone for Zen. Not only did it kick my ass on a physical level; my body was freaking out! I had lost so much flexibility since I never, ever stretched (you read that right) and even hated stretching clients, but knew they loved it. Here I was 37 and my body was screaming. In a good way. At the end of class came the icing. The rest. The savasana. Little did I know at that moment, that my life would be changed forever. In this lifetime anyways...

The huge gift came during savasana. The yoga actually being instructed was the Jivamukti method. It combines chanting, story, asana and a nice big rest at the end of class. If you are fortunate to be picked, the teacher comes over and rubs some really great lotion on you. So I guess today was my DAY. When he came over to me, I felt something I never, ever experienced in my lifetime...An electrical surge of energy emanating from my head straight to my feet. It was not of this world. Point being, I got the memo. It was something that had to be a part of my life. Eleven years later, it has my heart and I continue to be humbled by its teachings each time I practice.  In 2011, I formally received a Yoga Certification for my 45th birthday. It is never to late to follow your bliss.

So the inspiration and offering is to really listen to what you are guided to do. To explore. For me, it was yoga and it's healing benefits and clarity. My heart continues to open more and more and I look forward to what is to come. Listen to your heart. It knows what is best. <3

From my heart to yours.
With Love, Denise

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's A ROCKIN HORSE Kinda Year

Hello Year of the Horse. Accordingly to Chinese Astrology so to speak. Check out my monthly inspiration for more delicious details. Happy 2014! Bring it!!! With Love, Denise


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

We Are ALL Beginners

Inspiration: To continue to become humbled on a daily basis.

It was a weekday afternoon. I make my way over to the Apple Store on West 66th and Broadway. Not to buy a computer, but to take a workshop on how to use my IPhone. It has taken me to late 2013 to retire my old and loyal Blackberry and join the multitude of IPhone lovers. Mostly because I was married to its keyboard and fearful of the completely touch tone screen, Who knew it would be so freeing!

So here it is 3pm and a small group of us gather in the back of the store to learn how to manuever this thing. I have had mine for about two months now and have managed to learn a bit, but I thought starting with the basics was good. Well let's just say I was the youngest of the bunch at a ripe age of 47. There were six of us in total and the teacher was late. One woman said she was on a schedule and couldn't wait any longer. It was a good thing because the "energy" of the rest of us was open, playful and eager to learn.

So finally the teacher arrives at quarter past and we begin. Two lovely women next to me made me look like I was a pro. The questions asked (including myself) to an adept user were a bit ridiculous, and our "guide" had to show us a myriad of times the answer to the same questions. Some didn't even know what version of the IPhone they had since they upgraded their operating system online. Make any sense?

I just smiled and smiled. My eyes and heart filled with wonder and possibility...Wow I thought. Beginner. Yes. Learning through new eyes. This is what it must feel like when I tell people I teach and love yoga who have never done it. A loving and gentle reminder to me what a true beginner feels like. In the land of Apple, I am pretty much as uneducated (always a choice) as it gets. A true beginner whose eyes have been cast wide open....

Do I now know how to use the damn thing? A bit better than before and I will continue to learn and explore on a daily basis. Not just how to use my phone, but to view this beautiful world through childlike eyes and wonder. Learning. Always learning. That is how we grow.

What would you like to learn??? Pole-dancing (check), drumming (check) and the list goes on....Your turn.:)

With Love, Denise