Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Outdoor Jog in Years

Inspiration: To really tune in to what my body needs in each moment.

It is a beautiful sunny day here in NYC. The thought of being inside a gym today for exercise is not an option. I need nature; trees, sunlight, flowers. After not running outside for a couple of years (okay, once on vacation 1.5 years ago), I decided to put on my sneakers and clear my head. I could not find the stillness to sit quietly this morning so this was an equally good alternative.

Historically, the old, competitive Denise, thought running anything less than 6 miles was a waste of time. The new evolving, learning balance Denise, decided to do a much shorter jog than she would ever entertain.

Instead of going to Central Park, which to me represents my competitive days of training and running half-marathons, I decided to go to my favorite place, Riverside Park. The only obstacle (if you could call it that), is that jogging in this park is not circular, as Central Park is. Meaning, you have to turn around.

I decided, I would practice what I preach and ended up going about 2.5 miles. Probably even a bit aggressive since I have not run in years. Still in decent shape, I give myself a break, enjoy the sites and really feel my body; each step. A new awakening for me.

Historically, my attitude was all or nothing. I have prayed to surrender my compulsions and "addictions" for exercise for years. Finally, I am slowly beginning to taste the fruits of this process. Having done this,I now realize I do miss moving with the flow of the "natural" elements. It is very grounding...... May this be the beginning of a new me.:)

I invite you all to listen, really listen, to what make your heart sing. Whether it be exercise or art, go and explore. Enjoy and be happy.

Have a "wonderful" day.

With Love, Denise

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Yoga Diet

Inspiration: To continue to listen to what my physical body desires more than my ego.

Yoga. The healing benefits are numerous on both the physical and emotional levels. This is a practice I "stumbled" upon, or more importantly was guided to begin after nurturing a broken toe in my running days.

It has been over seven years since that experience and I continue to soften more and more into this wonderful practice. There are numerous styles, flows and levels. Being an extremely "physical" individual, I tend to gravitate towards those more intense classes, not realizing that what I really needed was a bit more soothing.

In my work, I "preach" balance and integration to my clients. It is now my turn to practice this. Without going into story, most recently my body and soul have been craving more gentleness. Unfortunately for me, it took a time of complete exhaustion to awaken this within.

So heading this message, for the last five days I have taken care of me. This meant not going to the gym for my adrenaline high. Really being present, in the body and mind. This brought up a lot of uncomfortable feelings I would otherwise buried through my vigorous and sometimes elongated workouts. Instead, I turned to yoga and simple walks. The yoga I participated in was slower, more breath centered and very healing.

A calmness has come over me this week. While vigorous exercise is great, we have to know how we ultimately will react on a physical level. For me, too much activity makes me tense, angry and hyper. Every person is different. Listen, learn and give yourself what you need each day.

As I am now aware how much I crave more calmness, the wish is for me to go on a complete yoga diet for a months time. Possibly this fall. This will really give me deeper insights to the way this practice is so healing: body, mind and spirit.

I invite you all to lovingly listen to what you need in each moment. Be still. Out of that stillness you will find the answer.

Have a very "peaceful" day.

With Love,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finding Stillness

Inspiration: To continue to be still, even for only a few moments.

What if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt if you spent time alone each day just being still, you world would change? The people you would encounter. The situations you would find yourself in. All extremely positive. These are just some of the gifts you will receive from a daily practice.

Carving out time, each day, preferably in the morning hours, can set the tone for our days unfoldment. When we rise to the sound of the alarm, followed by our morning beverage and then rush out the door, there is no space for possibility. Setting aside even a few brief moments and handing our day over to something "larger", can create grace in our lives.

Stillness can mean different things to different people. Personally speaking, I derive a sense of peace sitting quietly each morning, surrendering my day (and expectations) and taking deep breaths. On the days, I do not have TIME ( or did not make the time), I feel more anxious, chaotic and frazzled. It is a small price to awake just a few minutes early each day for some peace of mind.:)

Although the morning hours are ideal, any time can provide a sense of relief, ease and peace in the midst of ever going change that may surround you. Sitting quietly in nature and taking in the sights and sounds, brings us closer to our center; our center of truth. What arises may be clarity....into those areas we may currently question.

So I invite you all to lovingly embrace that sense of stillness that lies within. It is yours to access at any moment. May you all find peace and serenity.:)

Have a very "peaceful" day.

With Love, Denise

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grooving at Jones Beach

Inspiration: To continue to dance, literally and metaphorically, to the beauty that is here and now.

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending my first live concert in over three years. Music and dance are such a deep part of who I am, that has been denied for way too long. When I hear the pulsation of the electric guitar and drums, my heart and soul are one, and I am in sheer ecstasy...

In my earlier days (20's) I went quite often to live venues. At the time my favorites where the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead, courtesy of some guys I dated that turned me on to their music. This was an extremely free and raw time. Uninhibited; letting go. Not to say that some of these times I may have had a little "lift" off from some spirits, but have since then relinquished any substance or drink that takes me to a higher ground.

The first agenda was food, since you cannot bring any into the place. The choices were a burger and fries, pizza, chicken tenders, popcorn, pretzels, fried dough and carvel. Not really an opportunity to be concerned about organic eating.:) I decide on the pretzel and water. Have to admit, it was "amazing". For six buck I hope so.

So now we make our way down to our seats. My 70 year old mom and I are sitting 13Th Row Center at Jones Beach. It was a "beautiful" evening, filled with an eclectic mix of young and old. We were here to experience Steve Winwood and Santana, sharing the bill. Awesome !!! Sitting directly in front of us was legendary music honcho Clive Davis. I had a moment of acknowledgment as I looked him straight in the eyes, gave him the head nod that I knew who he was. In turn, he reciprocated with the nod.

The highlights of the evening were Steve Winwood performing onstage with Santana during their rendition of a Marvin Gaye tune. The jam Jingo (an eclectic high energy jam) was at the top of my list. You have to be a fan to understand the pulsation that goes through your body during this song.:-).

Today, I returned to work with added enthusiasm and zest; the result of my soul being touched by these magical musicians. A gentle reminder of the healing power of music. Something that is accessible to us be it live or on our ipods....May you all tune in to what makes your heart soar.

Have a very "peaceful" evening.

With Love,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Love or Fear

Inspiration: To continue to move into those not so comfortable places with strength.

Love. Fear. The only choices we have in each moment. It is obvious which one we would choose if we could, but sometimes it is the latter. Fear is a great teacher. It offers us the opportunity to step into what scares us the most. As a wonderful friend of mine says " Avoidance just keeps it going."

It is so easy for all of us to fall into repetitive patterns and situations that no longer serve us. The gift in these moments is to truly embrace what is causing the discomfort, breathe and ask for help. This help can be seen or unseen, depending on your beliefs.:)

Today, I am asking for a shift. A shift in a situation where it has been difficult for me to communicate. For the other to see me for who I am, not who they want me to be. For my feelings to be respected and honored even though they may be misunderstood. This is a great gift. I ask for the courage to speak my truth, be who I am, and not shrink down to fear.

Recreating the past does not serve anyone. This is no exception. So today, I will confront the fear, with grace and humility and a deep intention of turning it back to love.

Have a very "peaceful" day.

With Love, Denise

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kate Hudson and Waffles on " Late Night with David Letterman"

Inspiration: To continue to listen, let go and be in the moment.

The quality of our sleep is largely determined by how we feel when we go to bed. Watching the news or a show like CSI, is not the most relaxing. We may go to sleep feeling a bit agitated and uneasy. The best way to go of to never never land, is to be at peace.

For the most part, I do my best to not watch television during the work week. This helps keep me centered, grounded and more peaceful as I head of to sleep. On those evenings, I do watch, I opt for either something comedic or romantic to put me in a good mood.

Last night it was kind of late (for me). 12:15am Saturday morning. I knew turning on the tube had to be easyful. At first, my cable did not come on. I took this as a sign not to watch at all. After calling Time Warner, it was discovered that I needed to hit the cable button on the remote. So Simple.

Now the bigger question; What to watch. Well I saw "That Metal Show" was on at 1 am. But that was too late for me. Yes, I do like classic rock and some degree on softer metal. I then channeled surfed and found that Kate Hudson was on Late Night with David Letterman. I was hoping I did not miss her appearance. I caught it just in time.

Dave was making waffles on a waffle maker and serving it up on paper plates with huge chunks of butter and maple syrup. He gave Kate a plate and told her to try it. She said she had been counting calories and that if she had three bites that would total 100. So she begins to take a bite without much comment. Then upon savoring a bit more, she discovers they are really good. YUMMY I believe.

At this point, Dave comments about her appearance ( weight or something) and she says " I don't really care......I have to admit". She seemed "softer" and a bit more voluptuous. Not her very skinny, bikini body (normal, healthy, womanly). She seemed really happy and at peace. This is the most important quality we can all wish for. I felt a part of myself softening and feeling envious for her ability to enjoy this decadent display of waffles bathed in a lot of butter in front of god knows how many viewers.

Funny enough, last night I found myself in my favorite diner. When it came time to order, I asked for my usual salad thing, but then changed to a Mediterranean platter that consisted of middle-eastern food. So here I am eating exotic food in a diner....hummus, falafel, tabouli, baba ganoush and pitta, served with a "richly" delicious dipping sauce. My "SOUL" was so happy for not ordering my typical "healthy" salad. A gentle reminder to live in the moment and not to place so much rigidity over the consumption of foods we might deny our self.

So the message here is to really enjoy each moment. Live fully, breathe deeply and play.....tune in and listen. What would make you happy and peaceful, right now? :)

With Love,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anger and the Physical Body

Inspiration: To be grounded and centered in the midst of the changes around me.

The physical body. A direct indication of where we are "out of sync". It could be in our emotions or manifest in some form of injury or disease. Truth be told, my body has been a stern, but faithful teacher. Through my own experience, I am continuing to learn that our emotions have a direct effect on the way we feel.

Late last year, I had undergone robotic laproscopic surgery for some female "stuff". This was minimally invasive and the remnants were a few incisions with now minimal presence. The blessing of this type of procedure, is that you can go back to your normal physical activities in a bit over two weeks. So when it was time to get clearance, the doctor said I was good to go.

A small voice inside of me told me to "wait". But, the kind, young (less than my 44 years), handsome doctor insisted that if I did not go back, I wouldn't be in the shape I was in. Truth be told, in hindsight, he did not realize the "shape I was in" or the way (intensity) I trained. So against my inner guidance, I went back slowly for me. At about the two month mark, I began to practice yoga again. The doctor said I could do this immediately but at least I knew that sun salutations were not my friend at the time.

So fast forward a bit over 8 months and I look down at my navel: even study it closely for the first time. I notice the shape had changed slightly, from a perfect inny to a weird shape. Then I notice after exercising vigorously, it does not feel right. No pain, just not as it is supposed to be.

The investigator in me did some research and after a visit to the doctor, followed by a cat scan, it is discovered I have a slight umbilical hernia. Pissed is not the word. Raging is more like it. First thought, more surgery. I am very EASTERN in my thought process and for me to have surgery last November was big HUGE!!! After finding out a week ago I am still pissed.

Upon closer look with a teacher of mine, I discover under these emotions is really fear. Fear of what will be. Fear this will not resolve itself. Fear that there is something more to there is always a gift in what appears to be the chaos.

After teaching yoga last evening and feeling the gratitude, from myself and the students,a sense of ease and peace came over me. This morning I awoke to a less inflamed belly button, a direct mirror of my emotional body.

Anger creates inflammation in the body. It may not be visible and can show up as arthritis and such. Just remember, it is important to get to the source of what you are feeling, although it is unpleasant. Release, surrender and pray for clarity and support. You will feel lighter.... All the will arrive at the right moment. :-).

Have a very "peaceful" day.

With Love,

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Carlisle Collection/ An Over 40 Females Event

Inspiration: To expand my vision of what I desire to experience.

It is a Wednesday evening, 6pm. I am off to an Over Forty Females Event. This is a group of like-minded women who gather each month for social and networking connection. These women are from all walks of life, vocation and status. This particular gathering was held at the Carlisle Showroom in NYC.

Situated at the top of a beautiful structure just off Madison Ave (Penthouse), is a collection of extraordinarily, beautiful attire. At first glance, I become somewhat intimated, since this appears to be out of my understanding and sense of dress. Upon closer look, I surrender, without being separate from these items, and really embrace the beautiful craftsmanship; with it's fabrics and colors.

For this event, I had nothing (at least to me) that I felt appropriate to wear. I happened to find a cute little, sexy tank dress at a local shop. It's truly amazing that when you change you attire, how your "energy" shifts. Hair down, a little make-up and "real" shoes, not my typical birkenstocks and sneakers.

It was a small gathering, which gave those present the opportunity to really get to know one another on a more intimate level. The founder of Over 40 was present, along with a crew to film the event. She is also a host on a new syndicated ALL Women cable TV channel called News Butterfly.

We were all interviewed and asked about our vocation and other questions. When I was up, one question posed to me was "What would be the most important thing to tell woman?" My response was to not take life too seriously and to know that anything can change in a moment.....Something I continue to remind myself of; daily. The interviewer, another Newsbutterfly correspondent, Katie, paused, and deeply took in what I had just said. It continues to become clearer that my path of service is really to move and inspire others, beyond my current vocation of Fitness and Yoga teacher.

This evening was a reminder that if I can be it, live it; then I can become it !!Thank you to all of the wonderful woman that were present. May your world be truly blessed with abundance and possibility.:)

Have a very "peaceful" day.

With Love,