Tag Archives: intention

The guilt prison.

I’ve been lamenting this topic for awhile now – both personally and experiencing it around me, at the studio, on social media, amongst friends.

The guilt prison.

The self-imposed guilt *we* put on ourselves – whether it be to get in that workout, run faster, longer, more, push through a cold, jam in a zillion errands into an hour because you’re racing the clock to your next meeting, commitment, plans etc. or any ‘imaginary’ self-imposed deadline you put against yourself – because it’s usually either a) unrealistic, or does not *need* a set timeframe or deadline to complete. We just put that on ourselves as a deadline, which then in turns to unnecessary pressure, unnecessary stress and ultimately? The guilt prison.

Because we didn’t meet that imaginary deadline or goal or number we were trying to reach.

So we guilt ourselves, we turn to negative self talk, we beat ourselves up, or even worse, still try to find a way to meet this ‘deadline’ or (usually unrealistic or unnecessary goal), even if our heart, mind, or body isn’t really into it, but our minds take over and tell ourselves we need to do such-and-such or we are a failure.

I realize I am speaking in the proverbial ‘we’ when I am of course talking about myself, BUT I am also talking about seeing this in action just about everywhere I look, lately.

The negativity, the pressure, the anxiety – and all of it? Completely and absurdly unnecessary. Completely arbitrary. Completely self-imposed ‘deadlines.’

For what?

What do we accomplish by guilting ourselves into doing things vs. doing them out of intention and because we truly WANT to?

Absolutely nothing. 

The guilt prison is entirely draining and self-fulfilling, really, too. And partially because whatever we’ve set our minds to, is sometimes too much, or motivated by the wrong reasons, so it will naturally fail, as a result.

5e854ace1c41ff3afe31ff66716e6d77For me, it goes back to intention – my word for 2014 – and doing things out of want, not because I ‘need’ to or because I feel a need to keep up with a certain routine, but literally because I want to. This could be social plans, plans with family, a b9 class, a run,  or even food. Eat out of intention. Do out of intention. Work (out) with intention.

Strip away the guilt. Get back to basics. Let’s break free from this guilt prison. I know for one, I am entirely exhausted of it, from my own tendencies too, and my natural inclination to do more, more, more, when sometimes less and simpler is truly best. I am ready to shed this inclination fully and finally, and I hope if you struggle with this, you will work towards a guilt-FREE life, along with me.

Nailed it 2013 (and what to nail in 2014)

I loved this idea for a post that Christine wrote and thought I would do my own little take on it, partially as a look back at the year, but also reflecting on areas ‘to nail’ in 2014. Not so much goals, but moreso in the quest of my ‘perfectly imperfect’ journey.

What I’ve nailed in 2013?

Let’s see, I think I’ve done a pretty good job with these, but you’ll notice some of them show up in the ‘what to nail’ list below, and hey, that’s okay. Some of these are ongoing and reminders to me constantly.

  1. Nixing the numbers fixation. I struggled with this a LOT in 2012 and the early part of 2013. From weight, to miles, to food, to everything. I felt compelled to quantify everything, when really, who cares? Who am I competing against but myself, and even then, why is it a competition? It’s not, so cut the sh*t and just live.
  2. Learning to let go. This is a work in progress, but I do feel like I’ve made some big strides here. This really ties in to number one, above, too, because part of my numbers fixation is all about control and *not* letting go. And I am trying to apply this to all areas of my life, including my marriage, because I never want to fall into the trap of constantly nagging, complaining, nitpicking over seriously non-issues, when there is a man that loves me for me, that would do anything for me, that lets E-V-E-R-Y-thing roll off his back and yet, I sit there, uptight and nudgy half the time. That’s ridiculous and not even worth it. So I am learning. And trying to step back, breathe, and then react.
  3. Balancing the ‘me’ workouts with those I teach at barre n9ne. I think every instructor or trainer must face this at one point or another, how to balance their own ‘me’ workouts with those they teach. At first, I tried to keep my usual barre/running routine *and* my classes (which could range anywhere from 6-9 classes a week), but that quickly became a ‘HARDER, not SMARTER’ routine and I was getting nowhere. So I stopped taking classes and just taught them, and ran. And that didn’t feel quite right either, because the first time I took a class in a month, I felt AMAZING after and I realized how much I missed TAKING classes, not just teaching them. So I found my balance in taking a couple of classes a week – less if I taught more, more if I taught less, as schedule allowed – and I think it has not only made me stronger and feel more fit, it has made me a better instructor. I can weave in new combinations of moves I observe other instructors do while I take their class, I realize how certain moves stacked with others tire the body (in a good way) and think about new ideas for my own class structures, and it just lets my mind roam and feel the workout in a way that I don’t feel when I am teaching, and making sure clients are in proper form etc.
  4. Prioritizing.  This has been HUGE for me. I was feeling so rush-rush-rush and busy all.the.time until I started saying no. Until I started prioritizing and putting my time where it mattered most, not spread so thin that I barely enjoyed any of it. I am definitely keeping this one on the list for 2014 and beyond, because prioritizing is truly the simplest way to happiness.
  5. Marrying M. I file this under ‘nailed it’ because, six months ago today, I married the man I was meant to be with, and with each day that passes, I realize more I love about M, more qualities that I adore about him, and more I want to explore and learn together in our marriage. And in the literal sense, I married M in the most perfect way for us than I could have ever imagined. Quietly. Small. In a place that we love, Healdsburg. What more could we have asked for? Bliss.

What to nail in 2014…

  1. Letting go. This is one I have just started to ‘feel’ happening, the change towards letting go and not being so damn particular about things, and I am excited to see it continue to take shape in 2014. It’s been worth it to step back, to release control, especially in my marriage with M, to give that to him more, since he is so laid back and easy about life, the ‘control’ tends to shift to me, and I don’t always think that is best, because it just feeds into my type A-ness and not the good qualities of being type A. And it allows me to sit back and slow down more, when I let go, observe and BE.
  2. Not taking others’ actions so personally. This one has reared its ugly head in the last oh, six months or so, and it’s driving me crazy. There are a few instances of things that have happened in my life that I took SO damn personally and stepping back, they truly had nothing to do with me, as a friend, employee, person. Yet I allowed it to attack my psyche, to bring me down, to draw out the cattiness and some resentment. And those are  ugly qualities. No more. I draw the line here.
  3. Allowing imperfection (more). Dirty dishes, being late (oh this one drives me crazy, but once in awhile, is being say, 5 mins late, for example, the worst thing and reason to get all bent over? uhh no.), changing plans or course of action. Letting these things happen. Letting go, per #1 as above 😉
  4. Stop the comparison trap for good. I really DID nix this one almost entirely this year – tying into the numbers fixation issue I mentioned above, but once in awhile, it still comes back. And it again brings about ugly traits, jealousy, bitterness, frustration. And I am NOT that person. So I vow to rid myself of this need to compare, compare, compare. This isn’t a competition or a race. Compare to nobody, not even yourself.
  5. Slowing down. I have LOVED the slowdown challenge and getting into The In-Between, I just drink up the words and want to sear them into memory forever. There is just so much you see, learn and experience when you slow down, strip away the complications, and keep it simple. It’s truly amazing.

So, there you have it…some things I’ve nailed in 2013 and more I plan to nail in 2014, along with living with intention, of course. What I found most interesting in putting this list together, is how many of them tie together so well, and the themes that rise out of these – simplicity, balance, and embracing. I’d say that’s the only way to live, don’t you?

On permanence and living.

As we get closer and closer to moving into our new home, I start to think more and more about the permanence of buying a new home and what it signifies, in many ways.

The first time I bought a house, I was 26/27, and the thought of living in a house for 10, 20, 30 years didn’t dawn on me. It felt like a ‘starter home’ (a phrase that seems so ancient nowadays where buying a home seems to be a much bigger deal than it used to be, when prices were dirt cheap and you could buy, just to get into the market, and not wait and wait and look and look till you find a just-right home that you can grow into and stay in for a long time).

Now, fast forward 7 years and the reality is, this home will likely be ours for the long haul. Whether that’s 10, 15, 20 years, who knows, but it is a home we *can* grow into, (possibly) start a family, and dig our heels in and really live in. And that is such an incredible feeling. Yet, at the same time, it’s a little scary. In 10 years, I’ll be 43. In 15 years, I’ll be 48, In 20 years, I’ll be 53. Those numbers seem daunting. Those years seem far away, yet also fleeting. Those years also feel permanent and far away, yet thisclose, at the very same time.

I never understood what others meant when they said life goes much faster the older you get. But it is SO TRUE. Think about it. We are already into April of 2013. Wasn’t it *just* New Year’s Eve? Wasn’t it JUST summer 2012? WHERE does time go? It is fleeting.

Life is fleeting.

It is not meant to be lived in spurts. It is not meant to be lived in ‘can’t wait’ mode. It is not meant to be lived in ‘silver linings’ of the week days that sometimes drone on, while the weekends fly by. It is meant to be lived in every minute, of every day, no matter how craptastic, or how wonderful that minute, hour, day is.

Yet, I find myself constantly battling this feeling of looking forward. Can’t waiting for the many things in store for me, and for us. It’s natural to, I suppose, but at the same time, it rips me off of the hear and now. Of my mantra to just BE, this year.

So, as we move closer to our next stage in life together, in building our proverbial – and literal – home together, my vow is to really try and take in each moment, not rush, rush, rush to the next. I know I’ll falter here and there, but I think this is one of the only ways life will feel like it’s slowing down, and I am appreciating the here and now just as much as the future filled with promise, blessings and happiness.


Snowed in Friday…do something different.

Welp, we are about to get walloped with the lamest named storm ever – Nemo (seriously, who names a snow storm, I just thought hurricanes got that honor!)…a storm I think is much suited to the name storm f*cking bullshit instead (much more apt, in fact, given it completely ruined some fabulous weekend plans!)…but rather than wallow in all that I will *not* be doing this weekend, I think this storm comes at a perfect time to…

shift my focus and work on that whole ‘just be’ mantra I’ve been talking about lately.

I will read a book. Or maybe even two. And those magazines I have piled up and yet to read.

I will take my time and make meals this weekend. With M. For M. Together. Not rushing to get dinner made because I am rushing against some agenda in my brain or imaginary deadline/timeline I’ve set for myself. Oh the novelty of that in itself makes me giddy at the thought.

I will get creative with my workouts. Today I ran my longest run since starting ITBS recovery and PT – 5 miles. And I reveled in every single minute of it. (in fact, I still think I am on a run high!). But as classes tomorrow at barre n9ne studio are likely to get canceled and I have a feeling my gym may be closed, creativity is the name of the game. I shall perhaps dust off some Cathe workouts I have yet to try – TurboBarre, *maybe* even brave some tabata…and also test out some new ideas for b9 fusion, while I am at it. And no, I won’t use the weekend to work out the entire time, because I plan to also honor my body and rest, recover, relax.

I will listen to music and maybe even nothing at all. Silence. Feeds the soul sometimes, doesn’t it? Curled up under a quilt with M by my side, that’s all I really need, right?

I may even play in the snow. Why not, there may be 2-3 feet of it after all. And I have a golf course staring right at me waiting to be sled down 😉

Most of all, I won’t plan to do too much. I have some ideas on what I want this ‘forced’ unplanned weekend, but I refuse to overstuff it with too many things – cleaning closets (tempted, always love a good closet purge!), organize, clean, bake, make new b9 playlists and classses etc. etc. etc. My mind goes into overdrive thinking of what I can do to fill my time this weekend whilst snowed in (which I am honestly hoping is just tomorrow, not the entire weekend). But *why* fill it up when it can be just as enjoyed – or MORE enjoyed – by not filling it up?

If you’re in the Northeast and getting snowed in as well…I challenge you – and urge you – plan little, be intentful, do things differently. This weekend is a license to be snowed in and do something different as far as I’m concerned.

Cheers friends!


On zoning out and intention.

This weekend I was struck by how easy it is to zone out, and how rewarding it is when you put your mind (and head) in the game.

The other day, M gave me a hug and said, “hug me, really hug me.” I didn’t quite get what he meant, and he said ‘sometimes, you hug me, but you are half doing something else, like putting laundry away or something.” That really struck me. That’s zoning out. It’s not having your head in the game. And while he said it sort of in passing, it’s those moments that really strike me and I learn something. I pick up on the nuances and really take them to heart.

And this weekend? I didn’t zone out. I focused. On us. On him. On each other. We made it a special weekend (in between 6 hours of barre n9ne training over the course of Saturday and Sunday, that is. More on that in a minute…) in Boston. Chose a restaurant we’d never been to, but wanted to try, with a special menu for Valentine’s Day. Last minute, we opted to book a room at the Liberty Hotel (a very cool hotel I’ve been wanting to check out, formerly a jail. Very, very cool place!) and we just took our time that evening. For once, I didn’t feel like I was rushing through the day to get to that moment, and we literally enjoyed every moment together. We had one of those deep conversations we get into when we can really focus on each other and the time spent together. (I am also always struck by these conversations we get into…I love that we have them, and that M’s a thinker by nature…it’s sexy). We spent a couple of hours at the hotel lobby bar, and then mozied on over to the Beacon Hill Bistro and spent another couple of hours enjoying our meal, and each other.

And at the end of the night? I think I fell in love with him all over again. Or that much deeper. It was making that connection that can be sometimes lost in the everyday, or when we allow ourselves to be caught up in the hustle and bustle and not just sit and enjoy. Life doesn’t have a deadline, so why make everyday a mad dash for some phantom deadline?


I’ve also applied this same ‘zoning out’ feeling to barre n9ne and the training process. In a class, it’s sometimes easy to ‘phone it in’ or zone out once you know what move you are going into next. But as an instructor, there is no such thing as zoning out. You gotta be on, you gotta be in the game the entire 60 minutes, no matter what. So why slide into zoning out when I’m not teaching? I should always be focused and in the moment. 

At class on Saturday (which was a special ‘bring your boy to the barre’ class…and let me say, M came and really put his all into the class, I was so impressed. He was dripping with sweat after and has a newfound appreciation for these classes and also for my training for certification!), I focused. Hard. Really listened to the instructor’s words and was moving with intention with each move.

Moving with intention.

Doing with intention.


Everything we do should be done this way. No zoning out. No phoning it in. Intent. Focused. Game face. 

Love, life, everything. 

This weekend reminded me to live life with intent, and not to get so caught up in the mundane, the phantom ‘deadlines’ I create for myself. And this…<3