The Energy You Give Yourself.


I get it. We have all struggled with body shaming at some point thanks to what 'they' say is beautiful and ideal. In the past, I have had women on my table at the spa ask me to 'break up' their cellulite. I would politely respond with silence, while inside I am screaming at them for such a superficial and ungrateful request.

Cellulite is nothing more than adipose tissue and the appearance of it is evidence of cellular dehydration (thanks to prolonged sitting). It is there for warmth, energy, and protection. It is intelligent, vibrant and necessary. When and why did it ever become the bad guy?? There are torture devices and expensive surgeries dedicated to removing this 'unwanted' tissue, but here's what is backwards: Leaving it be does you know harm. Freezing it or vacuuming it out of you is guaranteed to cause you problems for a lifetime.

As I age, I find myself losing patience with those who stick out their bottom lip and put about not having the 'perfect body'. When I catch someone making a self- loathing body comment, I will respond with, "Well you are standing, aren't you?"

Here's the thing: This is the ONLY body you are getting, so you best take care on how you treat it and what you say to it. Want better understanding? Just go spend some time with someone living in a wheelchair from a spinal cord injury. I dare you to ask one of them what they think about cellulite. Go volunteer at a a nursing home or memory care facility for a month and let me know how many times you hear someone whine about the size of their rear end. These two examples require able bodies humans to transfer them from bed to chair to toilet to bath. They rely on and PAY MONEY for other people to bathe them, dress them, feed them, and toilet them. Their aides do for these unable people what we able bodied do without thinking.

Take a moment and remember back to a time when you threw your back out and could hardly breathe, let alone move. Were you thinking, "gee, I better call the plastic surgeon and schedule my liposuction"? No, you were wondering who to call to help you move again because you suddenly got a glimpse of what life looks like when you are unable to do basic tasks of daily living.

Tomorrow morning when you wake, take a moment to thank your heart for beating, your lungs for breathing, your eyes for seeing and your ears for hearing. Move your body around and give gratitude for the ability to move your arms and legs. Rejoice in the ability to walk, run, and hug... to make a cup of coffee all by yourself. Say THANK YOU to you.



A Case For Stability


If I were to ask you to think of a word that proceeds “Stability”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

I bet if I were to take a poll, the most popular word would most likely be “Financial”, with the next being “Mental” in a close second.

I have been thinking a lot about this word lately, mostly because in my line of work, stability is something I rarely see. When I refer to stability, I am talking about joint and muscular stability on a neurological level. 

As a massage therapist, the majority of people who come to see me have pain and they don’t know why. 

I do. They are unstable.

Why? Because our modern world has made our bodies comfortable in one position for several hours in a row. Unfortunately, the human form is meant for movement, not stationary positions. The body gets stuck, joints become unstable and pain ensues.

Sadly, I can’t massage stability back into a body, but I can teach someone how to use a resistance band, a soft body roller, and very specific body positions & movements to recreate the stability that was lost through habitual patterns.

I learned how to do this from my teacher, mentor and friend, Sue Hitzmann, creator of The MELT Method. Over the last 12 years I have taken and re-taken a training called NeuroStrength, which is the most advanced in all the MELT curriculum. It was my deepest desire to not only regain stability in my own body, but to also be able to teach it to others as expertly as I could. 

Since those trainings, I have gone on to assist Sue in more trainings I can count, and it’s a good thing because I learn something new every time. The human body is so complex. It would be great if all we had to do was hit the gym after 8 to 10 hours of sitting at a desk all day, sweat it out on some machines, throw a few weights around and magically return to ideal alignment. 

However, the human body doesn’t work that way. It takes proactive care to maintain a healthy, active and (relatively) pain free body.

The body of a career massage therapist gets beat up pretty significantly, so on top of MELT, I make the twice a week commitment to OrangeTheory Fitness. 

OrangeTheory is a great concept. It uses the HIIT model while participants wear a monitor, so they can see their heart rates and how many calories they are burning, earning “splat points’ to determine the maximum calorie burn for that workout. 

What is good about this is that it pushes participants to work hard. What is bad about it is that participants are so focused on splat points, they sacrifice stability for calorie burn. 

I personally don’t wear a monitor and I don’t care about splat points. I still push myself, but where most are racing to do 3-4 rounds of 3-4 exercises with 10-15 reps on the weight floor, I take my time, use appropriate weight, 10 reps max and darn near perfect form. 

I may not be the fastest or the strongest of the group, but I can guarantee you I am the most stable.

At 48, I feel pretty darn good and as far as my joints go, I can say with confidence that I have good stability. Of course, I am human, have a physically demanding job and as such, have pain from time to time. Yet, I have a tool… an incredible gift of a tool that Sue has taught me and continues to year after year.

Sue is sharing this gift as her new book, “MELT Performance” gets ready to launch like a rocket    out into the world at the end of this month. In it she dives deep into the concepts of neurological stability on all levels. 

You will need this book… you will need to go to one of her events or those of the other instructors all over the world. 

You may even want to take a training like me, so that you can one day be able to say with confidence at the gym, “I am the most stable body in this room”.

To buy the book, click here:

To see where Sue will be on her book tour, click here:

To begin your MELT training journey, click here:

Be Awesome In Your Body.

The Pause Between...


“When one door closes, another one opens.”

How many times have we heard that expression said to us or said it to someone we love in an attempt to cheer them from the funk of disappointment?

I do believe that statement to be true on a practical and even an energetic level. At the same time, when it is YOU who has just had a door slam in your face, the sting of rejection is painful. It is a loss and carries with it all the emotions of loss.

Of course, some doors are more profound than others. For example, losing a job suddenly is terrifying, especially if there is no rainy day fund to keep you from drowning. I should know. I have been there. I stumbled my way through that closed door for three years, frantically pulling on other doors that seemed to be locked. I countered loss with desperation, trying everything I could to make a million out of a quarter. Eventually I surrendered solopreneurship for a spa job and slowly climbed my way out of my self-defeating hole.

In the past year, new doors opened that I have been able to walk through and enjoy along with my spa job (which I love, by the way). Just recently, though, one of those doors closed.

It is not a crisis, but it is a disappointment.

The last two days my thoughts and emotions bounced from anger to relief to sadness. I didn’t fight these thoughts and emotions, though. I gave myself permission to experience them in order to move through to the next phase, whatever it might be.

Today I feel grateful. I admit, that I am still smarting a bit that something was abruptly taken from me without communication, but the stronger pull is that of gratitude.

I am grateful that particular door closed. It is as if the Universe is clearing the space for a better, more lucrative and satisfying opportunity to come my way. I feel hopeful and excited.

I am simulatneously a tad anxious and resisting the urge to fill this time between with desperate measures… I have learned that lesson from the past. Still, the pause between the doors can feel like purgatory, unsure of the next move to make and when to make it.

What I realized this morning is that this pause is actually another opportunity. Rather than viewing it as purgatory, it is instead a moment of stillness to take inventory of all the wonderfulness that is. This pause between the doors allows me the ability to really think and map out what I want in my life.

I know that I want my ‘work’ to be joyful. My vision has always been, and continues to be, one of helping others live their best lives now. The best way for me to do that is not just through action, but by example. Accepting and embracing the pause is part of me living my best life now!

No, it is not a crisis that this particular door closed. It is the opposite. It is a gift.

The doors are all closed for now, but there is peace in the stillness. May we all embrace the stillness and be grateful for the pause between.

Be Awesome In Your Body.

Boost Your Immunity and Be Awesome In Your Body!


This year’s cold flu season has proven to be one of the worst, resulting in several deaths around the country. With this news comes the great debate of ‘to flu shot or not to flu shot’. There are so many reports, numbers, statistics and stories, that it can be stressful to even know what to think about it all.

Regardless of belief and decision, there is one thing everyone can be doing, now and always, and that is to boost your immune system. The human body comes with its own defense system, which sadly gets taken for granted, ignored, medicated and abused. When this happens too often, it doesn't respond as readily as it could, resulting in illness.

I am not saying this is a cure or a magic pill against the flu or any virus for that matter. However, this body is the only one we are given in this lifetime, so it’s probably a good idea to pay it some respect. Even those who are immune suppressed due to illness, whether acquired or congenital, can give their already fragile immune systems a boost.

So, how do we start?

First, stop panicking. Fear of ‘what if’ is certainly not going to help your chances of NOT getting ill. Fear creates stress and stress lowers the immune system. Negative thinking in general affects the cells in our body. As Caroline Myss says in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, your biography becomes your biology... if you let it. I know, easier said then done when you read/watch the news or cruise social media. Well, here is an idea: Stop. Turn off the news and take a social media break for a week.

Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. That means, go to bed by 10:00p. If you are reading this and say you can’t fall asleep before midnight, it may be because you have the TV on or are on your mobile device… right? Well, now that you are on your TV/Social Media fast, you can now focus on shutting down for the night earlier than usual. If you need something to fill the technology void, try going to your local library and taking out a book (an actual one with pages) and read by a little book light.

Clean up your diet. Chances are, if you open your fridge and pantry, you are bound to find convenience meals with sugar, gluten, dairy and a multitude of preservatives. I know that eating clean can seem like a pain in the neck, but it’s really not. It’s a choice. My husband is not very good at this, so I pack his breakfast and lunch every day to avoid the chances of him buying a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich (I love them, too, but they are not terribly immune boosting). So, every morning I pack a small cooler with a hard-boiled egg, a coconut yogurt and a banana, which serves as his breakfast. Lunch is usually leftovers from whatever I made for dinner the night before or a sandwich on sourdough bread (which is good for the gut bacteria). There are loads of ideas for easy snacks and lunches that you can find online!

Make bone broth. Another pain in the ass suggestion, right? It’s really not… it’s just boiling bones with some veggies for about 24 hours. Don’t have 24 hours?? No problem. Get yourself and InstantPot and you can make it in two! Doing this will yield about 6-8 quarts of broth (depending on the size of the vessel you make it in), which you can freeze and use in all sorts of dishes, including soups and stews. The benefits of bone broth are vast, being that it is rich in minerals that support the immune system. The healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline, help to heal the gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation. I know you can just buy some from the store, but seriously, just make your own!

Use essential oils. I diffuse during the day and at night with various oils that have anti-microbial chemical properties. Also, personal inhalers are easy to make and a great way to use oils 'on the go'. They fit into pockets easily and since you are the only one who can smell them, they do not bother anyone around you! Check out this video on how to make a personal inhaler from my teacher, Andrea Butje. There are various places to get essential oils, but be sure that the ones you purchase are pure therapeutic grade, with a GCMS report that shows their chemical make up and proof of purity. I get my oils from both doTERRA and Aromatics International, both of which sell only pure therapeutic grade oils.

Wash your hands. Do I really need to explain this one?

Floss. Seriously... dental hygiene can make or break your health, not just in the immediate, but long term!

Add immune boosting supplements when you feel anything coming on. I have heard rave reviews on the incredible healing benefits of adding Colloidal Silver and Elderberry Syrup to your arsenal should you come down with symptoms. I am still learning about these two remedies, but I have friends who swear by them. To read up more, check out Dr. Axe's page on both: (Colloidal Silver: Elderberry Syrup::

Get outside! I live in Florida, so this is easy for me. If you also live in a warm climate with sunshine year round, take advantage of this incredible natural resource by taking a walk for 10-20 minutes, no sunscreen, no sunglasses. This will provide enough radiation to get up to 10,000 IU’s of the vitamin. Not only has research shown that sunlight may reduce the risk for disease, but that it also has the hidden benefit of boosting your mood & reducing depression… which, as you have already guessed, depression lowers your immunity. Check out this research paper to learn more about how responsible exposure to the sunshine vitamin may prevent disease:

Of course, if you live in a climate where you are freezing cold and don’t see the sun for about 5 months, try this happy lamp to at least keep your mood boosted!

MELT! Add MELT to your self-care regimen!! Health is found in healthy fascia, which means it is fluid, hydrated and buoyant. Daily living causes this tissue to become dehydrated, like the old dried out sponge on your sink. Not only will this make a body feel old, achey and stiff, but will also result in body wide inflammation which causes problems with sleep, digestion, hormone balance, mood and metabolism, which, if left unaddressed, can result in disease. Just 10 minutes a day of MELTing can combat ALL of that! Don’t know what MELT is or how to get started? Contact me personally or go to the MELT Method Website to learn more, get the gear and start MELTing immediately!

You can also make yummy teas that help reduce inflammation. The one I make is simple. In a mug I squeeze half a lemon (I love Meyer Lemons), a tablespoon or so of raw orange blossom honey dashed with about a teaspoon of tumeric, two droppers of ginger extract and topped with boiling water. 

I then use the remaining boiled water in a neti-pot with a saline packet to keep nasal passages clean. Of course, let the water sit to a comfortable temperature, but boiling the water removes toxins and bugs, which you really don’t want to put in your face. Many of you reading may say ‘NO WAY!’, but if you can get over the squeamishness of it and remind yourself you are indeed not drowning, the benefits are worth it.

Stay active, hydrated and well rested. Maybe ease up on the booze and supplement it with Kombucha or the yummy tea mentioned above. Cook wholesome, nutritious meals and invite friends over to enjoy them with you. Laughter is a fantastic immune booster, so if your friends aren’t funny, get new ones (just kidding). Watch funny movies and surround yourself with things, people and places that bring you joy.

Of course, there are dozens of other things that you can add or do instead of what is listed above... this is just a few of the things I do and so far, I have been spared of illness for well over a year or so now.

Although I wrote this in response to the immediate flu crisis, in truth, boosting your immunity and being good to your body is super important. I am NOT saying to leave fun out of life or never have a cheat day... Do all of those things while remembering that compound interest works in both positive and negative directions. Make positive investments in the one body you have while you are alive... Be Awesome In Your Body!



Pitch it, Ditch It, Burn it: Full Moon Power!

full moon waves and boat.jpg

You may have heard the expression 'the power of letting go’; of releasing that which no longer serves you. Reading that expression causes a giant roll of the eyes and a ‘whatever’ out of the mouth of the snarky. 

Indeed, it seems cliché, yet it is no less relevant and important.

What exactly is there to let go?

It could be anything from a closet full of clothing circa 1989 to the wedding album of a failed marriage or a grudge held deep over decades for something that now is irrelevant.

There is safety in holding on. Those things we cling to are part of us; they make up our history. If we let it go, there may be regret, a sense of loss of identity…

So, is the power of letting go good or bad?

Ah! Now THAT is the million-dollar question!

The power lies in intention.

WHY is it important to let go of that old wardrobe, that wedding album or grudge? If your intention were to release feelings of anger and bitterness so that you may experience joy, then I would say that intention is positively powerful! If you are throwing away your ex’s belongings out of anger and spite, that may come back to bite you in a negative way.

Releasing what no longer serves us allows us to sit in our truth, be authentic, and in doing so, those things that once broke our hearts or made us feel nostalgic, are now great lessons; our greatest teacher.

We cannot grow if we do not release, and if you are not growing, you are dying.

Releasing can happen anytime and anywhere because it is a choice. However, if you are the type of person who needs encouragement to release with confidence, there is no better time than on a Full Moon.

Astrologically speaking, the Moon is all about emotions, feelings, potential and intuition. When the Moon is Full the energy is strong and powerful… just go to the ocean and look at the waves! If the pull of the Full Moon can do that to a giant body of water, imagine what it can do to ours! 

Indeed, some are more sensitive to this energy than others, yet on the whole, we can all benefit from this energy to rid ourselves of the unnecessary. It is a way to clean out in order to later fill in with all that DOES serve you!

So, on this Full Moon, think about what it is that you want to get out of your life so that you may be open to receive what you desire.

Use this day to load up your car with things to donate to charity. Give blankets and pillows you don’t use to the homeless. See if someone else in the family would find joy in having your old wedding album. 

Consider having a ‘burning ceremony’ in either a fire pit or fireplace… write down those things you wish to rid yourself of on a piece of paper (bad feelings, debt, relationships, the past), then bless them and toss them into the fire. 

If you really want power, burn old journals (or old wedding photo albums) that hold all of your past angst, complaining and worry… I know that one seems terrifying, but it is amazing how light you feel after doing it. 

If that is all too much for you today, get yourself a copy of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo to learn more on the topic and get inspired to make change.

Really, just go outside, in the light of the beautiful moon… give thanks and make the choice to let go. You'll be glad you did.

Choose to Be Awesome In Your Body

I was a tiny little kid. As a matter of fact, I entered this world via emergency c-section on Thanksgiving Day 1970, weighing in just under 4lbs. Although labeled a preemie, I was fully formed and needed no incubating. My dad's nickname for me was 'Mouse', though from the photos I have seen, 'Little Rat' may have been more accurate.

Growing up, I was mercilessly teased for my size even up through High School. Many people say being the fat kid on the playground is the worst, but being the scrawny emotional one was no walk in the park, either. I learned to hate my body at a very young age.

When I was around 16, I asked my dad if I could get a membership at a gym so I could have a strong body like Cher (remember that?). He was impressed that I wanted to get strong, so he arranged for my membership at a club full of Nautilus equipment and soon I was hooked!

Much to my frustration, I did not develop strong arms like Cher, but I felt strong and was fascinated by the fitness industry. In college, I even had a few people ask me for advice on what exercises to do or machines to use.

Eventually, in my 30's living in New York City, I went to 'school' for personal training (more like a 3 day class) and eventually passed my exam to become an official ACE Certified Personal Trainer. Seeing as I had a full time job, I only trained a few clients in their homes, in central park or in my own apartment. I LOVED learning and trying the newest in fitness trends, but most of all I loved HELPING people feel better.

I was working out hard myself and along with swimming and running, I began looking pretty strong with 'sexy' definition in my arms. Despite all of this, I still had people say insensitive things such as: "Oh, you look too skinny", "Hey Amanda, eat a sandwich, will ya?", "Are you ill?", and "What, do you work out like 10 times a day??"

In truth, I knew that what was being said AT me was not true, yet I found that I would then refer to my own body as a "scrawny", which really is not an endearing description of oneself. I've gone so far as to frown at myself in the mirror thinking "ewww...I am so gross... I need to lift more."

Cut to my life now... I am 45, still lean and far from perfect. I don't workout like I used to partly because I get distracted doing other things (like writing) and also because it doesn't hold that much value for me anymore.

As I shifted my focus from being a 'fitness professional' to being a manual therapist and somatic educator, I have learned that movement is what matters, not necessarily exercise. 'No Pain, No Gain' is actually unwise and dangerous. Caring about cellulite and abdominal flab is a societal misnomer. The pressure that has been put on people, women especially, to look a certain way has gotten terribly out of hand.

We say terrible things about our body. If we said the things we said about ourselves to someone we love, they probably wouldn't love us anymore.

Why do we do that to ourselves? Our poor precious bodies that are her to support us??

I have totally been guilty of that many times over, for sure and I am not here to judge exercise or anyone who lives for it. I have just learned that for me, if I don't spin or run or CrossFit or yoga or whatever, that I am not doing harm to myself... actually I am probably doing myself a favor.

What I have found in my personal journey in my body is that self-care and self-love is my most important foundation, which is what "Be Awesome in Your Body" is all about.

Every day I choose to nourish my body, mind and spirit in the ways that bring me joy: I have a morning quiet time with my coffee and journal, I walk while listening to podcasts, I enjoy meals out, a Corona on a hot summer day and a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir during a gig wit my band, Fake ID.

I MELT my body to keep it less stiff and achy. I use essential oils to assist with my health and mood. My diet is far from perfect, but on the whole, I do my best to eat well. Occasionally, I will take a spin class, the whole time sweating, over working my adrenals, wondering to myself why I am doing a thing to my body that kinda goes against my current beliefs of what whole body wellness truly is... well, honestly, I think it's fun and I do feel satisfied after.

I am still lean, but I no longer have wash board abs. Instead, I have a little 'middle aged wine belly' and I am ok with that because I am not in my 20's or 30's anymore. As a former marathon runner, I don't run at all anymore because I don't like it and I choose not to feel bad about that.

I no longer say I am 'scrawny', I say I am 'little'.

The "I should be doing X's" in my life are now replaced with "what can I do today that will bring joy to me and those around me?"

Today, I choose to love, choose to risk and take chances, choose to inspire, choose to live joyfully and live my very best life now because one day I will be dead.

I honor and respect this body of mine, this vessel that my soul lives in. Yeah, sometimes it's a mess, but I am pretty consistent at tidying it up, because in truth, I love it and I am grateful.

This is why I choose to Be Awesome in MY Body!

Lavender Essential Oil: Soothe The Savage Beast


Recently I posted a photo of my sisters puppy, passed out on the kitchen floor after I had applied some certified pure therapeutic grade oil on his ears:

Lavender Dog

Lavender Dog

I received many likes and funny comments from this photo but also inquiries if it would help calm adults, children and help with sleep, so I thought it good to share some information on the benefits of using lavender essential oil.

Lavender essential oil has many uses that make it so well-loved in the world of aromatherapy. It is a wonderful natural remedy for a wide variety of both emotional health and physical health problems.  A useful oil for anything from skin irritations to even vertigo, lavender essential oil is helpful in relieving stress and insomnia. Just simply smelling the oil right out of the bottle can help calm the nerves.

For Stress Relief

The power of lavender essential oil in providing stress relief can also be attributed to its linalool and linalyl acetate content. These naturally occurring phytochemicals give lavender essential oil the ability to be readily integrated into our body’s processes to start acting quickly.

Along with inhaling the oil out of the bottle, you can also end a stress-filled day by taking a nice warm bath and add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your tub (well, maybe in the Fall, when it is no longer 90+ degrees and humid). If you are not one for baths or don't have a tub, you can always put some drops in a humidifier or use an essential oil diffuser... the latter of which I recommend very highly!

Another way of using this oil for stress relief is to get a massage and have your therapist use the oil through part or all of the session. As a massage therapist, this is my most used oil in session. For any client who comes to me saying they are super tense, stressed and want to relax, I open the massage by putting drops of the oil all along their spine. It is amazing to see how quickly one relaxes just from that one simple thing.

I do want to take a moment to highlight the benefits of using an essential oil diffuser in your home. Truly, you can use a diffuser through out the day with other oils, however, diffusing lavender essential oil certainly does a calming effect... for you, your loved ones and, yes, your dog.

You don't need to hire a massage therapist to apply the oil topically. Other considerations for topical application include applying it directly (neat) on pulse points and back of the neck or diluting in a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, which is important if one has sensitive skin or is applying the oil on a baby/small child. Also, applying the oil on the bottoms of the feet is super safe and effective, as the pores on the bottom of the feet are big and absorb oils quickly!

For Insomnia

A very common symptom of stress-related issues is insomnia. These are so intertwined that it can often be hard to determine if the stress causes the insomnia or if the insomnia is the cause of the stress. Therefore why not tackle both problems with the one oil?

The aroma of lavender essential oil can help regulate your blood pressure and heart rate. This will then lead you to a more relaxed state where sleep and stress relief will come easier for you.

Remember the highlight on using a diffuser in your home? Be sure to have one in the bedroom just for bedtime! Diffusing lavender at bedtime is magic and truly helps promote a restful nights sleep. In the dry winter months, it also adds moisture to the air for easier breathing... another vital component to a restful nights sleep!

Now keep in mind that lavender oil is not a cure or a religion. It won’t necessarliy stop the dog barking or make your boss a kinder person, but it will assist in quieting your mind for sleeping. Most problems are less daunting after a reasonable night’s sleep.

Added bonus? There's no lavender hangover.

Where Do I Get This Awesome Essential Oil?

The best way to get the most pure of lavender essential oils and at wholesale is through a company that provides both! The company I have found to be the most reputable is doTERRA. I personally use the oil in my private massage therapy sessions, incorporate them in my MELT classes and, of course, use them on myself!

You can contact me via email at for more information on oils and diffusers or simply go to the information page on my website to for more information, links to order and instructions.

Get your lavender essential oil! Your medicinal cupboard and nightstand should never be without it.

Plan it to win it!

I am typically not a big product person, but when I do find something I love, I tend to be a loyal customer.

One such item is the Dailygreatness Planner... Specifically the Business Planner.

I started this planner in February of this year because, well, I am a trend rebel and didn't want to be that New Year resolution maker until I was certain of the resolution. Plus, the date pages are unmarked, so I could start whenever I wanted!

What I love about this planner is that it is a colorful happy place to go to really plan not just your day, week, month, quarter and year, but also to plan your dreams. It is a wonderful journal of manifestation!

I have a routine every morning to go into my planner to plan for the day and every Sunday to plan for the week. Each week end offers pages to reflect on the previous week: what went right, what went wrong, inspirations and decisions. It even has a giant blank page to just dream. I love that!

Personally, I am one that needs to plan. Along with this, I have my iCal on my phone and desktop. Especially as an entrepreneur, planning ahead and even the far future is essential for success!

I have been snarky in the past about goal setting and planning, but no more... I am proof that putting pen to paper has tremendous power!

The Dailygreatness company has other journals beside the Business Planner!

You can plan for you, your yoga practice, your fitness motivation... anything really.

The Dailygreatness Business Planner is one of the many ways that I choose to Be Awesome in MY Body and it truly is part of a Consistent Wellness life.

Although the colors and copy may seem more female focused, I say who cares... dudes should have one, too.

Again, these journals are undated and there is no time like the present, so if you are in need/desire a planner right now, just click HERE or on any of the above images.

Lastly, if you are a shop owner or see an opportunity where buying the journals in bulk are beneficial to growing your business, there are options for that listed on the Dailygreatness website.

Happy planning and manifest away!

A Campaign of AWESOME


I was recently frustrated with the inability to properly communicate the importance of self-care.  Clearly, the term "self-care" is a rather large umbrella with many ideas underneath its canopy. 

As a MELT Master Trainer, I am an educator in a specific modality of self-care, yet it is not the only type of self-care that I teach and practice.

What I have found in the area where I live, is that most of the active residents have what I see as a self-abusive form of self-care, meaning that the "No Pain, No Gain" paradigm is still alive and well.

In my various efforts to get the CrossFit, Zumba, Spinning, Triathlete, Marathoner, Hot Yoga, Tony Horton-Insanity-Beach Body addicts into my MELT classes, the response from many is "Amanda is a great teacher, but it wasn't enough of a workout for me."

Good thing, seeing as MELT is NOT a workout at all, but rather a complimentary self-treatment technique.  What many don't see is that this add-on modality will help them perform better in whatever activity they do.

Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that I get many private massage clients coming to me with an injury and when I ask what they think caused it, say 'well, I was doing _______ workout and...' fill in the blanks with lumbar, cervical, hamstring, shoulder, foot, whatever injury.  When I suggest that we get on the roller first, I usually get a refusal because that person really just wants to lie on my table and have me do the work for them.

Fair enough. I am a manual therapist, after all. 

Yet, if only I could convince this enthusiastic population of on-the-go 30-50 somethings who are seeking optimal health that just TEN MINUTES a day of proactively treating their connective tissue can keep pain and injury at bay...I would have a booming business and Fairfield County would be in better shape.

I take responsibility for not communicating the importance of self-care.  Somehow my messaging of MELTing every day, sleeping in a dark room, drinking water consistently throughout the day, using essential oils, among other advice, has not truly been heard.  Perhaps if I used other words?

If you take the time to find a synonym for 'self-care', you will find none.  You could spend over two hours like I did playing mix-and-match with those two words and be no closer to communicating it any better.

It was at this realization that I chose to seek answers by asking the question "When you hear the term 'self-care', what is the first thing you think of?" to anyone who would care to share. 

The results were amusing and interesting, ranging from "It sounds like something I just don't want to do" to "It reminds me of a nursing home." Oddly, no one said 'kale' or 'sleep' or 'movement'.  Nothing positive.  Just unpleasant.

One of my clients shared his observation that self-care "is just so hard to do."


I beg to differ.  It is no harder than treating yourself like crap.

Self-care isn't hard. It's a decision.

"I don't get it," I said to my boyfriend. "I just want to help people feel better and teach them to be awesome in their bodies."

"That's it!," he said, pointing at me.

"What is??"

"Be awesome in your body.  That's your message of self-care."

It was a few weeks after that light bulb moment that an even greater, more important light bulb went off.

Not only is "Be Awesome in Your Body" my personal communication tool and tag line for my wellness business, it is also a campaign.

A campaign that is about to launch.

Soon, I will be sharing amazing Awesome stories of Awesome people who choose daily to Be Awesome in their Bodies. 

It is about self-care, self-love, self-acceptance. 

It's about the choices we make on a daily basis to live our best, healthiest and most joyous life.

It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, what you were born with, the family raised in, your illness, physical or mental disabilities, your sex or sexual preference.

Our right as living, breathing beings is to be happy in this one vessel we were given at birth.

Our soul is eternal, but the vessel temporary, and it is our duty to be kind to this temporary soul home.

Each day is a decision to do just that.

Be Awesome in Your Body.


Orange is the New Workout

I quit going to the gym two years ago.  

Traditional gyms, like Fitness Edge did not do it for me.  For starters, as a fitness professional for the last 10 years who is a stickler for form and stability, I can say with authority that the trainers employed there are lazy and unskilled.  Sorry if that offends anyone, but I only speak the truth of what I witness.  Seeing this incompetence around me every time I worked out made me angry, which is not the emotion I was going for when I entered the gym.

Also, DESPITE being a fitness professional, I found a way to wimp out on my workouts.  Not terribly promising for progress.

I needed a good push from a force outside myself.  

Enter my two favorites dressed in orange!

Orangetheory Fitness in Fairfield, CT and JoyRide Cycling Studio in Westport, CT both kick my hiney out of it's lazy comfort zone to such a point that at times I feel beyond the point no return (please see previous post "Not Dead Yet" to see what I am talking about).  

Both offer a great product for a premium price, which I find is worth every penny as it is giving me the results I desire while keeping me motivated for my own personal workouts in between class days.
The two are very different in method and philosophy while equal in encouraging members to believe in themselves and go higher, which for me makes it a winning combo.

At Orangetheory, heart rate monitors are at the center of this high energy circuit training workout that includes a treadmill, water rower and a weight room with free weights and TRX straps.  There is a big screen monitor in the stuido that shows a box for each participant with their heart rate, percentage of that rate, and calories burned.  The color of your square determines where you are in your exertion:  Blue iswarm up/ recovery/ not doing much, Green is a base pace, Orange is your best fat burning zone (now you see where the name of the company comes from) and Red is your all out max/potential-cardiac-arrest-if-here-too-long zone.  

No two workouts are ever the same, which is great and never makes it boring.  The instructor splits the sold out class into two groups between the treadmills and the rowing machine or weightroom, depending on the workout of the day and verbally dictates the class to both groups.  It is based on time blocks, so the instructor has many things to monitor, including the stop watch.  Although the instructor is great at encouraging participants to push a little more and get in the orange, what is fun is keeping an eye on your stats and challenging yourself.  At the end, there is a cool down stretch and the final results for everyone is displayed... a humbling moment at times and exciting when improvement is shown in the numbers.  Later, you get an email with those stats so you can personally keep track of your progress.

JoyRide is the opposite of all of that... In the center of this incredibly hard, intense, aerobic/anaerobic workout is a spiritual, yoga-like philosophy.  Cell phones and any electronic distractions are probhibited. The lights get turned down to near black and the rider is encouraged to get out of their head and into their body, leaving whatever baggage at the door for just one hour.

The instructor not only guides the class, encourges and pushes the riders, but DOES THE WHOLE RIDE WITH THEM.  While talking.  That part still blows me away.  

There is nothing to monitor except your breath, your water intake and your attitude.  If you are normally not one to perspire, you will find that you definitely need one towel if not two as you drench though the hour.

I personally want to cry or quit several times through the ride, but the energy of the instructor, the music and my fellow riders gets me back out of the saddle.  To date I cannot fully keep up, but each week I get a little stonger.  Despite my internal despair, it really is a JOY to do the class and live to ride another day!

Both workouts, in combination with my daily MELT discipline have been transforming my body, mind and focus.  One thing I have noticed that significantly has improved is my singing.  Along with having more energy through a gig, I find there is more power and range within me than I ever had. That was an unexpected and cool bonus!

Obviously these workouts are not for everyone.  My boyfriend is a great example.  I had given him an Orangetheroy membership for his birthday, thinking it would be a fun couples activity and a way for him to get in shape for upcoming soccer season. Unfortunately, he hates it. Every week he lives in a state of dread a half hour before the class all the way through to the end.  He can't stand being on a treadmill and rowing machine, and lifting weights is not interesting to him.  Give him a trail in the woods run or a soccer ball to chase and he will workout all day.  I think we will set him free come end of the month...

I will most likely pause my membership at Orangetheory and ease off JoyRide as we enter the warm spring and summer months, as I love to be outdoors.

This year though, instead of slow walks through Black Rock or drinking Coronas on the beach, I will committ to running through Black Rock and the trails of Lake Mohegan , kayaking Long Island Sound and cross training with my TRX straps tied around a tree branch.  

Thanks to the push from Orangetheory and JoyRide, I am excited and inspired to do just that.

Be sure to check out the various Orangtheory Fitness and JoyRide Cycling Studios near you and GET INSPIRED to GET MOVING out of your comfort zone!


Not Dead Yet!


I was pretty sure I was either going to pass out, vomit or die last Saturday in Rhodie Lorenz’s morning spin class at JoyRide.

My name is Amanda and I am a Fitness Professional.

A very out of shape Fitness Professional.

Recently I re-energized my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Next Monday I am starting Marie Forleo’s B-School and I need/want to be alert and strong as I go through the rigorous program. I am also 45 and have a middle-age wine belt around my waist that I would like to take off… which also means reducing my wine intake.

In the past I was a marathon runner, swimmer, personal trainer, rower and all around fitness lover. The thought of re-energizing this commitment, which had collected dust on the shelf of resistance for over two years, seemed a challenge, but one that I was confident I could conquer with grace and ease. After all, I MELT regularly and recently started once a week workout classes at Orangetheory Fitness. I was doing pretty well with those, I thought. How bad could a spin class be?

Here’s the truth: Regular lack of consistent exercise, where you elevate your heart rate, step way outside your comfort zone, challenge your endurance and strengthen your body acts a lot like compound interest, and according to Einstein, "Compound Interest is the most powerful force in the Universe."

A great concept when applied in a positive manner with money or just good habits. Not so much for a 40 – something who delighted in the pleasures of wine with lunch over a run in the park because she could.

No, left to time, the lack of regular exercise, in whatever form, will result in nothing short of decline and deterioration. The interest on the interest in my case was sizeable.

As I mentioned, I almost died on Saturday.

Ok, maybe that is a dramatic statement, but I will say that is how I felt and feelings are never wrong.

Not for a minute could I keep up with the class. I was embarrassed and felt that I had no business being in that class. During the warm up my heart rate spiked to vfib levels. Defeated within the first 5 minutes, I sat back in the saddle and loosened the resistance.

Thoughts of self-deprecation rolled through my head:

‘Surely the bikes to the left, right and back of me are mocking me'

‘Oh, please don’t see me being so LAME, Rhodie!’

‘I suck at spinning! I suck at bikes in general!’

'Slow twitch muscle fibers… that is all I am made up of.’


‘Shit… I think I may pass out…’

‘WHY did I have two margaritas and a glass of wine last night??’

Then I actually LISTENED to Rhodie.. all along she was talking (and riding… WTH??), encouraging her room of riders to great heights. Every word was full of belief, love and pride for her morning flock. One thing she said would get me through the remaining torturous half-hour of class: “Your attitude is everything. Whether out there or in here, what you think is what matters. You got this”.

Well, I didn’t really have it, but I did decide on the spot to change my attitude and my internal dialogue:

'My legs are still moving!'

'I’m not dead yet!' (and yes, said exactly like Monty Python)

'I am so grateful to be here!'

'Rhodie is AMAZING! Her energy is INFECTIOUS!'

'If everyone in here can do it, I know one day I can too!'

'No where to go but up, because any lower is death!'

Ok, the last one is not really so positive, but you get the gist.

What I love about JoyRide is their philosophy of no judgments… just empty your mind, get lost in your body and be full of JOY! The only judgment was the judgment I put on myself to feel bad for being so weak.

I made it out alive, thank goodness, and made a decision that I would be back. It may not get easier, but I will get stronger, and that is really the goal.

Since Saturday, I have MELTed… a LOT… and kicked my own ass at Orangetheory yesterday morning.

Later today I will MELT even more because tomorrow morning I am signed up for another JoyRide class.

Pray for me.


Unconditional Love of the Self

Venturing into the Pisces Full Moon and the season called Fall brings about the theme of change and healing.

I recently read on Mystic Mamma a thoughtful post on this theme of change for the month of September and how change is a choice, even when it appears that it is not.  Change is inevitable, after all, whether we like it or not, so why not make change OUR choice, right?

Choosing to heal - from childhood traumas, broken relationships, unrequited love - requires change…. CHOOSING to change.

In the last few months, I have been through quite a bit of change, which would appear to have not been my choice, yet I am aware that the desires of my heart and the intentions I had sent out to the Universe created a vibration of inevitable change.  Through this change, I have had to choose to forgive and release in order to heal.  What remains is the abundant need for unconditional love… first for myself, then for others.

What also brought this to the forethought for me was a conversation I had with a dear friend the other day.  He is going through a profound time of self-discovery mixed with a significant dose of confusion.  As I listened to him share recent discoveries, frustrations and passions, it became abundantly apparent that he also suffered from a 'Jesus Complex'.  I recognize this one all too well, as a recovering Jesus Complexer.

With the Jesus Complex, we desperately want to love and help and heal people we care about.  This seems a wonderful thing, but really, it's just co-dependency.

Falling in love with broken souls, sacrificing our own health to care for the health of others, witnessing a mate through regurgitated trauma, living in toxic environments and relationships, etc…

I have done it all.

I didn't love myself.

People who love themselves gently and ferociously without judgement are able to love others with beautiful, unconditional acceptance without losing themselves.  Mostly, because they have learned to release that which no longer serves them and acquire healthy boundary lines.

I choose to be that person.

As I listened to my friend, I found the old familiar pull of co-dependence, wanting to give him all I had to help him find his way.  Quickly, I breathed love energy into myself and then was able to see clearly… I am no good to him if I am not first good to myself.  I drew my boundary line, silently offered my prayers of love & support and moved forward.

This morning I meditated as I have faithfully done daily the last 23 days.  Today's guided meditation had the mantra "I choose love".  As I repeated this mantra through my breath, I started to really see what it was that I needed to do in order to truly love myself unconditionally.  It made me instantly feel calm, warm and even emotional.

We all have different histories, stories and needs, so what I need to do love myself is different from what anyone else needs to do.  I am certain there are some sages out there who would argue that 'doing' anything is unnecessary.

I hadn't been to the gym in weeks, choosing to walk outside instead.  My strong arms and legs became softer than I prefer, and I would frown as I looked at myself in the mirror.  Then I would stop and in my mind I would shrug my shoulders and say 'that's ok… this is where you are right now'.

During this change in season and moon phase, use the energy to purge, cleanse, release and heal… and then choose to refill your soul with pure, unconditional love for yourself.  Only then will you be ready to love others in a life changing way.

The White Room

This is where I dwell at present.

A white room.  No direction, no instruction.

I have no office to report to.  No schedule.  No rules.  Almost no money.

Yet, I am not afraid.  There is an inexplicable trust and faith that all is unfolding the way it is meat to.

Although I dreams and desires, I have no clue where I am going.  Perhaps that is part of the fun.  It is definitely the journey.

This instinctual vibe is solidified for me by Tosha Silver, author of the profoundly simplistically deep spiritual book, Outrageous Openess.

Buy this book.

Learn to surrender.  To love.  To forgive.  To trust.  To accept. To know that people, places, relationships, friendships, jobs, bosses, loves and love affairs are all here for a reason, a lesson or a karmic debt / reward.

This life is a gift and meant to be lived through the heart, not the head.

See it, dream it, journal it, pray for it, be present, take action.

Did I mention love, accept and forgive?

Finding Your Voice

I blame my cousin Ann Starr for this.

Biting my tongue while I enabled, obeyed an instruction that I didn't feel comfortable executing, not asking questions, not communicating in a relationship… lying… to myself and others… this was the familiar way I lived most of my life.

When Ann and I reconnected and grew close, I felt very safe sharing my life and feelings with her.  Through the years of sharing my shit, she would advise in phrases beginning with "Oh honey, you need to tell him/her…."; "Don't be afraid to say…."; "I think you should just tell the truth that…"; "That may be what you are telling yourself, but…" and lastly "Speak your truth, mama!"

Yes, I blame my cousin.  I blame her for encouraging me in a discipline that is honorable, Biblical and my mantra.

It is getting easier to catch myself slipping from truth. For instance, when in a voice lesson, I will self-deprecate myself with a "ugh… that sucked" and my coach Mike would reply, "That's not true.  It didn't suck at all.  We need to work on the mechanics of some phrasing, but actually it sounded pretty good."

He is an incredible coach because he saw my truth before I did.  He saw my capability and the walls I had built that disallowed connection to my voice.  Through his truth, encouragement, tough love and patience, I can vocally do things now that I never thought were possible.

Back in the land of untruth, playing politics is a skill I grew quite proficient with when working in theatre and television, but it is exhausting and one of the many reasons I left the industry.  Yet, I knew how to play the game and thus carried that skill into Corporate America and eventually small business.  Then I really grew tired of it.  I will say speaking my truth is one of the reasons why I lost my job.  I will also say NOT speaking it is why I was there or so long.

As a bodyworker and movement therapist, I have no trouble speaking the truth in my observations, assessments and in answering questions of clients.  This work is also a way for me to teach truth to these clients, as many of them are caught lying to me or themselves regarding what is going on in their body.  We can call it denial, but isn't denial just phase of untruth?

What I have learned:  The truth comes from your heart.  Open your heart, let it rule and you will find your voice.

At the tender age of 43, I feel that I can say with confidence that I have finally found my voice.

My voice now speaks clearly in response when I am asked, "What will you do with your life now?"

My voice loves to sing more than ever because my heart is no longer held with untruth.

My voice isn't afraid to say, "I love you."

My voice will never tell you what you want to hear, but will tell the truth in love (and at times extreme bluntness).

My voice will say, "I am sorry… please forgive me."

My voice declares:  "I am a practitioner of the Healing and Performing Arts."

My voice desires to educate, empower, encourage, love and inspire.

This is my life now… my vocation… my reason for being created…my way to honor God.

Open your heart.  Find your voice.  Speak your truth.

It's the only way to live.

When the Universe Answers

A year ago, I made a decision to begin setting intentions and tossing things out to the Universe.

It began after a trip to the Red Mountain Resort last July where I was assisting a MELT Strength training.  I almost backed out of the trip because things were shaky at work.  My boss was being a bully (again) and making me only as good as my last mistake.  I had a new assistant who, despite being a great study, was still wet behind the ears, and I was about to leave her to run things for the next 10 days.  My stomach was in a constant state of constriction and I really debated bowing out, but friends encouraged me to go… get away from the toxic environment.

Wiser advice could not have been given.  The trip was a path changer.  Along with a great training that I was able to contribute to, I really had a chance to take a serious look at the way I was living my life.

I had my first ever life path reading with a Shaman.  It was mystical and magical… I cried through the whole hour.  My Tarot cards were fascinating.  I think of them now and see that they really were a symbol of things to come.

My dear friend & colleague Nancy, who I also roomed with, said she kept coming in contact with messages meant for me:  an email about taking a risk with change; almost stepping on a dragon fly, the symbol of new beginnings…  She decided that this meant she was to be the messenger of God and the Universe, to tell me what I needed to hear.

I will never forget that night she spoke to me… about facing my fears, taking risks, doing what I was put on this earth to do.  My day job was safe.  It was a paycheck, but it was rotting my soul.  I needed to release this fear that was a wall to my true calling.  Once I did… Oh how I will FLY!

When I arrived home, I felt like a new woman.  Although still scared and unsure, I knew that God did have my best interests at heart and I needed to be present, listen and trust… Be proactive and step outside of my comfort zone.

So I was and I did.

As the year continued, I became more diligent in setting my intentions.  I joined a monthly New Moon Shakti Circle lead by my friend Nora who was most definitely put in my life to aid me in my metamorphasis (come to think about it, I met Nora right after I returned from Red Mountain….whoa).

My friend Allyson contacted me about her online 90-Day life and career coaching because I had popped in her head and she felt strongly that it was something for me.  I signed up and did all of the tasks, including a dream board (I used to snort at such a thing).

I journaled almost daily, writing down my dreams which consistently encompassed the theme that I wanted to be paid for being me:  A woman passionate and skilled in the Healing Arts and Performing Arts.

Advice from others was always welcome.  I said 'what the heck' and went to a highly recommended intuit… It was like three year of therapy in a single hour.

Nora did a Rekhi healing session on me, spending much time on my heart chakra.  After she told me that the hurt I was harboring was gone… she witnessed the miracle of it leaving me.  "Now you will only have opportunities come to you.  Say yes".

Which I have…

I was asked about a month ago to join a cover band as a vocalist.  I said yes and was handed a list of about thirty songs to learn in a week (uhhh….).

My former massage therapy school classmate and friend referred me to a man who was opening a home for young men continuing recovery after a 28 day program.  Today I had my first client.

A naturopathic doctor asked me to be on his team of practitioners.

I said yes to it all, believing that soon I would make enough money doing these things that I love so that I could then give my notice and go do my thing.

Cut to this past Tuesday…

I left the parking lot of my day-job office for the last time.

The week before, my boss decided he didn't want me there anymore.  It was like he told me he wanted a divorce.  I agreed to give it to him.

It was a shock for maybe a minute.  But then it made perfect sense.

The Universe answered!  Granted it was with a pink slip, but still… THIS IS WHAT I WANTED!

I allowed myself one day of mourning… I sat on my porch Thursday night, drank a bottle of wine, cried and read emails and texts full of encouraging and loving words of support from friends and family.

One week after being delivered the news and two days into my new life, I know for certain this is God's work… the power of the Universe… the help from my angels.

This began a year ago at Red Mountain the morning I emotionally took all of the things I didn't want in my life anymore, walked the labyrinth, left them in the center and walked out only with thoughts of what I wanted my life to be.

Since last week, there has not been a moment where I felt uncertain, frightened or doubtful.  I feel guided and protected by my angels and trusting of the door that has been open for me.

How even more perfect is timing:  I fly out to Red Mountain next Wednesday to assist the MELT Strength training once again.  I have my Life Path reading scheduled the day I arrive and plan to walk the labyrinth as the sun sets.

The moral of this story is clear:

When the Universe answers, say yes.


In past blog posts, I have mentioned that I named my business "Consistent Fitness" as a means to keep myself in check.  In spite of that, consistency is still a tough one for me.  I can talk myself out of going to the gym any day of the week and hit the pub with friends instead.

On Tuesday I turn 43 and will be flying to Florida to vacation with my mother for a week.  Seeing I was going to be another year closer to 50 and I would be putting my middle aged hiney in a bikini, I should get myself in some sort of bikini worthy shape.

Typically, I go the gym without a plan.  The one thing I do for sure is MELT.  I bring my own roller, mat and resistant band so that I can take myself through a nice long MELT Strength and Length Map to prepare my body for cardio and weight training.

Once I'm done MELTing, I put my things in a locker and hit the floor.... now what?  I jump around from cables to free weights to the treadmill.  It's disjointed and boring.  I figured that with ten years of a fitness professional background that I could just wing it, but the reality is that without a plan, my workouts were not what they could have been.

In the last few weeks, I have taken the time to think through and draft a workout that I now faithfullyt take with me to the gym.  I have strayed a bit from it, adding alittle bit here, changing another thing there, but the framework remains the same and the workouts are great.  I shared a couple of these workouts with friends of mine and they love them (including one's friends 53 year old mother).  

That being said, I have decided to post my workouts here on this blog so that those of you who need a little motivation and a plan can now have one.  The next post will have the workout I did a few weeks ago... it's a lovely circuit training killer.  Well, maybe not a killer, but it will get your heart pumping.  

Be sure to edit the workout based on your fitness level and / or equipment available.  If you are unsure what something is, just give it a Google search, or comment on the post.

Feed back is not just welcome, it is essential for my consistency!

The Art of Consistency?

I have just begun my third year of the annual cleanse.  It is a different one yet no less difficult.

I do these cleanses because I tend to abuse my body with the simple pleasures of life like salty snacks, alcohol, caffeine and a lazy day on the couch.  It is no so much a consistent abuse through the year but rather a collection of binging spurts that merge into a cesspool of toxic build up.  Once again I find myself bloated, lethargic and full of self-hatred.

Yet, I am a 'fitness professional' and folks look to me for fitness and nutritional advice.  Perhaps they look at my slender frame and assume me to be the picture of health.  Little do they know how unhealthy I may be at that particular moment.

This cleanse time around, I have come to a profound realization about myself.  What I noticed about my pattern is not so much that I am lazy and fall into the sin of such earthly desires as Smartfood and a good bottle of Pinot Noir.  Instead it is that I pound out of the gate, full of vigor and enthusiasm, only to run out of gas within a short period of time.  My enthusiasm wanes and before I know it, I talk myself out of whatever commitment to myself I made.  The vision is great, just the application is flawed.  Perhaps I am too enthusiastic at first?  Sort of like your eyes being bigger than your stomach?

This slow leak of excitement for my own good is not just in reference to eating right, working out regularly or not diving into a bottle of wine and four episodes of some great show on my Roku like Bridgette Jones... This pattern encompasses all of my life passions.

Take for instance this past fall when I went into New York for a four day intensive of CranioSacral II.  It was an incredible long weekend of learning, complete with intra oral and specific intuitive work.  Have I put my hands in a single persons mouth since that class?  Nope.  Not once.  And I have NO IDEA WHY.

Another fine example is my love of The MELT Method.  Assisting and working with MELT creator Sue Hitzmann has been inspiring and invigorating.  Teaching others how to self-treat their chronic pain and seeing not just their bodies, but their faces look different after a class is exhilarating.  When I MELT, I feel like a million bucks!  Do I MELT every day?  No.  Sometimes I will go (gulp) weeks without MELTing.

I also want to mention that Sue recently published the MELT Method book, went on the Dr. Oz show and now her book is on the Amazon Best Sellers list for the second day in a row... Clearly, Sue Hitzmann doesn't have a consistency problem!

Honestly, I am perplexed at my behavior.  I feel SO GOOD when I eat well, work out regularly and MELT every day.  I like what I see in the mirror when I am in my best shape.  I look strong & sexy and I feel amazing.  So why on earth wouldn't I want to continue in this pattern of greatness?  Can I blame it on my day job, please?

I named my (side) business "Consistent Fitness" years ago because I knew consistency was one of my biggest hurdles.  In bold thought, I figured if I registered a DBA to the town to my cause, I would follow suit.  Alas, my commitment to consistency is still an indelible struggle.

There must be some trick... some art to this idea of consistency, yes?  I am an artistic person!  I can relate to that!

For now, I will (promise) to stay the course with my two week cleanse from Dr. Frank Lipman.  So far it is not so bad... lots of shakes and two big healthy meals a day, plus supplements.  Not to mention Gwyneth Paltrow recommends it, so it must be perfect (insert sarcastic snort).  The hardest part with the Isagenix cleanse for me were the weekly 'cleanse' days, where I drank a nasty liquid four times a day and could only snack.  The whole cleanse was also 30 days long... I cheated every time.

Here's to a whole new me... A consistent, cheat-free me.


Intuition Confusion

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." ~ Steve Jobs

Amen, Steve!  After all, that's how I have lived my life.  Followed the feeling in my belly.  Listening to this somatic response to the cosmic energy that was to be my destiny, my adventures of life after college took me to California, Hawaii, New Zealand, Utah and New York City... all in the name of Hollywood and Broadway.  

When that was more for my belly to bear, I got a day job.  When I became mildly bored in my day job, I got certified as a personal trainer,  working with handful of clients after work and on weekends.  
I followed my instinct to start swimming & running again, turning myself in to a little athlete.  

When I could no longer stand the sounds and crowds of New York City, my belly burned to move... and so I did.  Once in Connecticut, my motivated spirit joined a rowing club, did a play, became a MELT Instructor, and went to massage therapy school. 

I dove head first into dating and love... believing in my man and trusting that my feelings were founded by the direct sound council of my inner being.

My belly pointed the way and I followed with all the enthusiasm I could... and I felt great about it.

Needless to say, I am a big believer in following ones instinct... honing in on intuition and letting it be your guide, for it truly won't let you down.

So, what I want to know is.....

Who took my intuition and may I have it back please?  

My belly... it hasn't spoken to me in months and the last time it did, I could have SWORN it told me to take Door #2, not Door #1.

It is odd to me.  This is a new and uncomfortable moment of time in my spirit.  For the first time since I can remember being aware of somatic intuition, I feel... nothing.  

You know that feeling when you are really hungry, but have no idea what you want to eat because nothing at all is appealing?

That's how I feel about everything all the time lately.  

It is unsettling, confusing and most times, depressing.

This is beyond my comprehension.  Being an open hearted optimist is my food, my fuel... how have I ended up in such dire starvation?

About a year ago, I read a book on manifesting your visions for your future.  I thought this was such a wonderful concept... to sit in silence in the morning, day dream and write down those days dreams.  Just being in present thought with those visions would allow them to come true!  The great power of the Law of Attraction!  WOW!

So I DID!  I day dreamed (which is hardly a stretch for me).  I wrote down my visions.  I believed in them and had faith that they would become manifest in my life and I would live happily ever after.  My body responded with delight and excitement.  This must be the way to go!!!

In spite of this seemingly profound work, within about six months I seemed to manifest the opposite of what I had envisioned.

What did I do wrong?  Was it not my intuition I was helping out in my visions and writings?  Surely it will be so...  

Slowly, as life plodded along without my desired expectations, I began to shut down... no longer did I sit with my morning journal and envision my future perfect life.  Soon, there were no more visions.  No one and nothing turned me on.  

If I feel nothing inside, how can I learn?  Is this emptiness, this intuitive confusion my classroom?

How can I avoid going against my better judgement when there is nothing to trust, no better judgement to even consider avoiding?  

In hindsight, I am pretty sure what I once thought was my better judgement talking was actually just a bad emotional decision.

What is WRONG with me?  I feel like I have a nasty virus that has filled me with sadness, anger and lack of desire.  

I ponder this nasty virus of mine constantly, wondering how I got it and how I may eradicate it from my soma. There are definitive moments over the last year where certain relationships within all aspects of my life were less than ideal.  Little things and not-so-little things, bit-by-bit, chipped away at my optimistic and gleefully intuitive nature.  In consistent, small doses I have been stolen from, lied to, deceived, blown off, let down, mislead and bullied.

So what?  This is life, right?  Be a duck and let it roll off my back...

I really wish I could cry it out for a good two days or so.  Just like sweating out a virus.  

Instead, I am just angry.  All the time.  I feel bad for people who piss me off.  

My life is actually really great and I am so grateful for all I have (job, home, food, clothing, health, family, friends).  What the heck is my problem?

I am confident that the tide will turn soon and all will be well....... (those are words I have just now made myself write, like a stupid positive affirmation.  It is hardly a message from within).

In an effort to move the tide along and cease this pitiful purgatory, I am forcing myself to do the very things I don't feel like doing, even though most of them are things I love...  

I have made an appointment to practice my CranialSacral work on a friend next week...

I looked into the adult program of The School of Rock because I have always wanted to sing in a rock band... 

With enormous effort, laden with bitter annoyance, I reactivated my account.

My new apartment will get some new paint colors next week.  I will get a little area rug for the living room.  I will find someone reliable to help install some needed shelving.

I will start going back to church regularly... next week.  

The mornings will begin with MELT and prayer and the gym.  My body will get stronger.  My faith will grow again.  My anger will be replaced with my joy. 

Confusion shall dissipate and clarity within my intuition shall resume.

My belly and I will be back in business again...

Pray for me. 

Moving Pains

I just moved recently to a new neighborhood.  I am very happy about this move and my new town is just wonderful and much more my style than the neighborhood I was in for the last six years.  It is much more social, right near the water and there is the best breakfast spot just a block away.  Even my commute to work is shorter!

For a moment, though, I want to set aside the full-of-happy-change-newness of it all because really, this move beat the crap out of me.  

Moving is cited as one of the most stressful things in life, just under losing a loved one, divorce or illness.  I know nothing of being married and thankfully I am healthy, so I am not one to verify such a study.  My body, however, has conducted its own study through this move and has its own story to tell.

finding the new... hardwood floors!
The decision to leave my past residence was very sudden with the selling of the apartment building to a new owner, who increased my rent considerably just two weeks before my lease was due to expire.  I immediately began looking at apartments in a more affordable neighborhood and was very blessed to find a great spot in just a few days. 

packing the old
Despite this good fortune, I had only two weeks to pack up six years of my life and schlep it to a third floor walk up in a town nearly 20 minutes north.  Knowing the lay of the new space, it was abundantly clear that the majority of my furniture would not work as it is essentially the attic of an old house with low-sloping ceilings.   The bookshelves, bureaus and bed frame would have to go.

On the one hand, this was ok with me… this was a total life change and with it came new furniture for the bedroom and dining/living area (New = IKEA = cheap and heavier than the truck it would arrive in).  On the other hand, this also meant magically getting rid of everything I could NOT bring.
old bed frame is someone else's now

Fortunately, my mom has a big basement.  The few pieces that were from her originally were stored there and I was able to give away the bookshelves, my giant TV and armoire and sell a few other things, including the bed frame.

platform beds are not so fun to make
As anyone who has moved knows, there are at least a dozen moving parts and only the very organized can keep them moving smoothly. 

Seeing as I had like a minute to move my life while still going to my job every day plus the massage gig in the evening, I made a list… a very comprehensive list that included all the services that needed to be cancelled, changed and ordered, the mailing address that had to be changed with the Post Office and every vendor I pay bills to, plus what was NOT coming with me, the measurements of the new space and that of what I was bringing with me… AND the new furniture I had to buy… the mover I had to schedule, the Craig’s List crap I had to photograph, measure and post with a description…

Oh, and I had to magically come up with three grand to pay for first last and security plus buy new furniture. 

I won’t go into the awful battle I had with the new property manager of my old place that elevated my blood pressure to unhealthy levels, but let’s just say it involved him trying to steal from my security deposit and me reporting him to the State (the check has yet to arrive and I sure hope I don’t have to go to battle again).

If this experience is just a level down on the stress-o-meter from the end of a marriage, then divorce is a level of Hell I never want to reach.  I can’t even imagine the death of a spouse... my own mother had to endure that PLUS moving from her beloved home shortly after my father's death just thirteen years ago.  No wonder she has struggled with illness and chronic pain since that time. day
...and a few later
Thankfully, I was not completely alone in this journey.  Although I am a bit independent and really didn't want to bother anyone with something as monotonous as helping me move,  there was nothing more encouraging than  the support I received from a few friends on the official day of the move: 

One unpacked my kitchen and broke down the boxes, made my bed after the IKEA dudes put the frame together and then took me to dinner as my fridge had no food....  Another helped unpack my car that was full of extraneous items from my old place and carry them up three flights of stairs...  I had another friend secure my air conditioner into the living room window on the 95-degree day that all of this was happening… Most importantly was my friend Kelly who, along with helping measure all of the walls and windows and meet me at IKEA to pick out the right furniture the week before, brought over a case of Corona as a house warming gift.

In the end, it took two full long weekends, a moving company and a dozen car-loads of crap to get everything out of my former residence and into the new.

new kitchen soon to be full of boxes
that will be lovingly unpacked for me...

Just writing this is exhausting me and making me want to cry again.  Not because it is sad or scary or terrible.  Only for the simple reason that it threw my nervous system hideously out of whack, making me a high-strung emotional wreck.

My body was in terrible pain.  I was overwhelmed and spent.  There was no room on the floor to lay down my roller to MELT and really, even that sounded like way too much work. 

from one home to another

I finally scheduled a massage at Massage Envy.  It was ok and addressed some of my tension, but that particular therapist didn’t meet all my needs.  The next week I received another one from a very unique therapist named Sabita, who combined deep tissue with lengthening, CranioSacral and Reiki to move the suppressed energy through and out my body.  Tears streamed down my face as she worked and the sense of sorrow became ever present. 

This is where good body work separates itself from a plain old routine massage.  Our tissue has memory and many truths to tell.  This move was the impetus for months worth of bodily truth to come to the surface.  My new home was much more than the physical act of picking up and relocating.  It was letting go of emotional history that occurred at a former zip code.  

former kitchen.. I was kissed here
I don’t miss the old place at all.  It was an ugly building that was not to code by about 30 years.  In spite of that, it still represented various events in my life.  I had three different relationships during that six-year period that I lived there.  Various house guests came to dine or spend the night.  I lived there during my MELT training, massage therapy schooling and the beginning of my CranioSacral study. 

With in those walls I cooked wonderful meals, watched great movies, massaged, MELTed, folded laundry, planned, packed & unpacked trips, wrapped gifts, got drunk, fell in love, made love, suffered heartbreak, dreamt, slept, wept and laughed.

You see, it’s not about the actual walls that makes the home, rather it’s the energy with in them. 

Only two weeks into this dwelling and the energy incubates.  Already stored in my mind are fresh memories of the unpacking of the kitchen, making of the bed, the Corona, the measuring, planning and buying, the endless climbing & descent only to climb again, new meeting of (kinda crazy) neighbors, the IKEA construction, my first shower, first load of laundry and first sleep…  Even now it is held deep in my somatic memory bank. 

For now, I will nest.  Eventually, when I move again, there will be another stressful, emotional reality to face and a body to nurture as it moves on from the energy with in the walls in which it once dwelled.

Somatic Reality of Love

"Love is a bodied truth, a somatic reality" 
- Stanley Keleman

There is much to be said and argued on the subject of love.  Zillions of books, songs and movies provide endless interpretations, many we can all relate to.  For this alone, it can be plainly seen how love is a truth that lives in us all.  Something we were created to embody as it is an essential part of our creation.

As a person who loves to love, I embrace this part of my creation and tend to show no hesitation in sharing my heart with anyone.  Only problem is that not everyone is necessarily wanting to receive what I freely give.  Where it would feel better to be able to just accept such refusal and carry on,  I retreat... rejected, hurt and terribly confused.  Who doesn't want love?  It is not like I offered a plate of worms or a dead rabbit.  I offered my loving, nonjudgmental, undemanding, fun-loving and accepting heart.

When I chat up this subject with friends, inevitably they all say that some people are scared of love.  Scared?? What the heck is so scary about love?  Jumping out of an airplane is scary.  Losing your child at an airport I am certain is terrifying.  Not knowing if a family member is going to live or die, that is truly frightening.  But love...  Love is what protects one during these times of fear.  Or at least it should, in my opinion.  I know that when I am scared, I am sure glad to be surrounded by people I love and who I know love me.

I am not judging, for I do realize that some peoples first experiences with love can hardly be seen as love.  Love is action that becomes personified.  The experiences of the past get projected onto future relationships, for that is what is known.  In truth, we begin to learn about love from the moment we are born.  Our Fourth Chakra, which is the Heart Chakra, develops between the ages of 4 and 7.  If we are victims of child abuse, physical or emotional, this lesson of 'love' becomes our truth.  As Anodea Judith explains so well in her book Eastern Body Western Mind, it is not that the travesties of love are from a complete absence of love, but rather an absence of healthy love.

I must admit, I feel justified at times in blaming my parents loveless marriage for my current single status, more specifically in how my how my mother chose to continue live in it.  As my mother, she was my example to follow and what I saw was a woman who rarely smiled, was not terribly affectionate and seemed to resent raising children.  Sub-conciously I think I made a note-to-self : "I don't want her life... ever".  And alas, here I am at age 41, single and child free.

There has been much work done on my part to not 'be my mother'.  I feel confident about myself and my choices, perhaps regretting a few, but forgiving myself all the same and moving forward.  Joy is a state of being that I delight to dwell and when I slip from joy, I do whatever I can to recapture it.  I want a life of love and fulfillment because I love how it makes me feel, not because it is a goal to attain.  Although I may be a bit of a failure in my mothers eyes because I am not married with children (the irony of that which is rich), I know myself to be a success because I choose to not settle for anything less than what is right for me.

I have opened my mind and my heart to God and the universe to accept whatever is meant to be, which can be difficult in the on-line dating world.  Not too long ago, I encountered what I thought might be the universe responding, only to be shut down a few months later.  Sadly, what I perceived as a willing recipient of my loving, nonjudgmental, undemanding, fun-loving and accepting heart, was not willing to receive at all.  Part of me understands that it has nothing to do with me and that we all have our stuff to deal with in our own way.  Who wants to date a head case anyway, right?  Still, I couldn't help but feel angry, lied to and confused.  After a time, it turned to just profoundly sad and still baffled as to why this wonderful gift of love wasn't just received with gratitude.

We all handle rejection and loss of love differently, yet I think it is safe to say we all reflect a similar pattern of feelings and response to those feelings.  Somatically speaking, unrequited love can infest our bodies with all sorts of toxic emotions.

Think of your most recent heartbreak, when a significant other broke up with you or shut you out, or when you ended a relationship (romantic or otherwise) that you desperately wanted to work but it was beyond repair.  How did you feel?  Probably empty, yet at the same time so heavy, as if you needed a crane to get you out of bed.  It may have been difficult to breathe, smile, eat... all you want to do is escape and numb out this dark cloud of sadness.  Maybe you disappear off the radar for a while, dive into books or TV shows, eat crap and drink too much.  You stop working out, don't care what you look like and certainly don't care what other people think.  When others try to extend love to you to encourage you and lift you up, you reject it... because giving and receiving love is what got you in this mess in the first place.  Perhaps you are not so obvious on the outside, but the inside tells a different story.

So, to prove to yourself that you are not weak, emotional loser who can't handle a love set back, you put on a strong emotional armor and continue on with life.  A smart and strategic move is to fill your calendar with very important appointments that are immovable and therefore disallow any silly extracurricular activities like a social life and dating.  Life is very structured now:  Get up, quickly shower and dress, go to work for ten hours at least, attend very important post work meetings/gym/lecture/dinner, get home at 10:00p, watch a DVR'd episode of your favorite escapist show while drinking half a bottle of wine, go to bed close to midnight, get up next morning, take Advil and repeat.

Now the weekend comes and the house is a mess, laundry needs to be done and you are running around doing all of the very important personal errands that you couldn't complete during your very busy week.  By Saturday night you are exhausted and the thought of sitting at home with a bottle of wine and a movie seems much more appealing than going to a cocktail party where people will be asking how your love life is going.

Your friends may scoff and tell you that you need to get out more, but hey!  You are a machine!  You are in control!  You don't mind being home alone on a Saturday night!  Who needs people when you have your very own trusty self, a bottle of booze and the cast of "Rescue Me" to show you just how screwed up life could REALLY be??  No one can hurt you now because you have a very strong armor that will not let anyone in ever!  So THERE...HA!!

Yet, in the moments of quiet, when you least expect it, the somatic reality speaks... our bodies ache with loneliness.  There is a visceral sense of yearning that has no specific direction.  Our minds cannot talk our bodies out of this feeling.  A one night stand or a 'friend with benefits' cannot cure this skin hunger, for the somatic reality of love is much deeper than the surface of the skin and far more profound for the mind to understand.

As a side note, the above scenario does not describe my current state and I am not at home drinking my self into oblivion over the loss of a relationship I had hoped to explore.  Although I find that loss to be a shame and really too bad, it hardly got deep enough to cripple me.  Besides, who knows... perhaps one day my flirty soul will bleed that stone.

I want to return to the quote at the beginning by Stanley Keleman: "Love is a bodied truth, a somatic reality".  The term "somatic" comes from the Greek meaning 'of the body'.  By medical definition, a somatic illness is one of the body, not of the mind.  I will say that a loss of love is indeed a somatic illness, but I will also say that it need not be a life long chronic one.  It is an acute virus that needs to run its course.  Once the virus of lost love is gone, we feel so much better and can receive again.

There are those who do not want to get well, however, and choose to let a virus turn into a chronic illness.  They have determined that love is dangerous or believe that they are not worthy of receiving it.  This chronic illness... this somatic illness... is a REAL chronic illness.  Our cells respond to vibrations of thought and feeling.  If you think I am full of crap, all one has to do is look at the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto to see that I speak the truth.  We are fluid, water filled beings and the water crystals within us respond to our mindset and emotional response.  The image at the beginning of this post is a water crystal responding to "Love and Gratitude" and it is a most beautiful image.  This is indeed where the somatic reality speaks.

Take a look around you.  Look at the people and view them with compassion.  Note how they hold themselves... what does their body position tell you?  Are they depressed and defeated?  Upright and protecting?  Light on their feet, free and accepting?  What do they say about themselves and others?  Is it constructive and encouraging or is it critical, self abusive and destructive?  Now take a look at your self and ask the same questions.

This is not to be written off as poor posture or bad manners. This is powerful, deep stuff...

I will continue to explore somatic reality more from a manual therapy view point in future writings.  For now, I want to end with this idea:

Breathe... allow yourself to be your heart and be willing to grow and learn and accept love.  It is a choice.

Love to love.