Tuesday, March 3, 2015

:: LIFE :: March | POWER

Well folks, here we are -- we made it to month three! And as we look back at the last two months that seemed to fly by in no time, we can see just how perfectly they've set us up for where we are today.

January was an intense month, riding in on the energetic wave of the new year and full of activation. February was a time to make improvements as we set ourselves up for having the most epic year of our lives yet. Now, March is upon us and things like Spring cleaning and taxes are on the top of our minds. These are great milestones that can be used to regain control in areas of your life that you feel may have been thrown out of whack over the last few months. Whether it's reclaiming your home through extensive purging and giving it a sparkling new look, reassessing your finances with your taxes in mind so you can plan for your future, or both, March is the perfect time to take back control and reestablish your personal power.

Which brings us to The Power Path's Monthly Forecast for March: POWER.

Once again, Lena Stevens does a tremendous job of translating the energy of the month into inspiring and actionable words. As she states right off the bat, power has many layers to be explored. So before you pump yourself up too much and go all Incredible Hulk on me, read carefully about how to observe, identify and work with the many different forms that power takes in our individual lives. It lives so much deeper than the superficial manifestations that our society typically associates with the word. The inner, spiritual element of power is where everything else eventually stems from. So before getting caught up in what you think you need to achieve your own personal power, get grounded, quiet and contemplative about who you want to be. While you're clearing your clutter and sorting out your cash monies, taking control of your possessions so that they don't possess you, remind yourself of that person you want to be and find ways to stay connected to him/her at all times. Remind yourself everyday in your quest for power so that your energy does not go to waste on efforts that do not serve the authentic you.
Watch out for the seduction of the false personality this month and make a special bid for power that puts you more in touch with the power of your own inner authenticity and right to live a life connected to spirit.
- Lena Stevens


Saturday, January 31, 2015

:: LIFE :: February | IMPROVEMENT

Hello, loves!

It's here: the February Forecast! And the theme for February is IMPROVEMENT.

Lena Stevens of The Power Path shares some beautiful and very strong messages in this month's forecast; ones that I know ring true for each and every one of us. So for those of you who might be more inclined to give me a tilted-head smile as you rush off thinking, "I've got more important things to do than read this hippie drivel," I say to you, in the words of Jackson Pollock:

“Every good painter paints what he is.”

Mural, 1943

A painting, much like life, is a missed opportunity for greatness if the painter doesn't create from a place of belief; belief in both its conception and execution. I urge you all to take a moment for yourselves to be open minded, to acknowledge, to become aware, and to exercise belief as you paint your life's image. Do you believe that your painting can be everything you dreamed it to be and that you can make the necessary improvements in order to execute? Or will you paint only what you assume can be painted at this time because you've become tripped up by impatience and martyrdom, believing that there's not time for improvement or that it is outside of your reach?

One of the main areas of IMPROVEMENT is communication with self. Take this opportunity to observe the mixed messages you give yourself about what you really want, what you are willing to do, and how you are willing to show up. This is a good month to study your fear patterns and change your beliefs. Most of us communicate way more judgment than unconditional love and acceptance to ourselves. You have the chance to change that this month and to improve the messages you give yourself so they align better with the life you wish to create.

What kind of painter will you be?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

:: LIFE :: January | ACTIVATION

First things first... HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! It's pretty amazing that 2014 -- a year that I've deemed on several occasions to be "my best and worst yet" -- has come and gone already. I will post a bit of retrospective on 2014 soon, but today I want to focus on the brilliant light that shines in front of us: 2015! Let's begin with what we can all expect out of the first month...

The Power Path was kind enough to post the January forecast early, so yesterday (on December 31st, 2014), I had the immense pleasure of reading the new forecast in advance of New Year's Eve celebrations. It really kick started my day and made me think long and hard about how I wanted to enter into the new year. Unfortunately, I've been struck down with a cold over the holidays so, physically speaking, I entered the new year on my sofa wrapped in a giant sweater, coughing after each sip of champagne (hey, I was sick and alone on New Year Eve -- I had to at least have champagne). But mentally, I was more aware of what I wanted to pursue in this new year; what I wanted to activate in my life...

That's right, the theme for January is ACTIVATION. And boy oh boy was this a good read. It was so inspiring and energetically charged that I literally found myself reading the entire forecast aloud, almost yelling with each statement of action, "...STEP INTO YOUR OWN CREATIVE POWER..." AHHHH! LET'S DO THIS, EVERYONE! Commencing countdown, engines ON!

But beyond just the pure energy that coursed through the words on the page, this month's forecast was filled with, what I like to refer to as, a "don't be a puss" attitude. Precisely so, the first paragraph gets right to it...

"This is not the month to be passive, apathetic or be waiting for someone else to solve what is not working in your life."

This is such a common affect, and one that can quickly snowball into a lifetime of negativity if you don't catch it. So the first step is to be aware. The next step is to be open. While many of Lena Stevens' words are, affectionately, like a swift kick in the ass, the rest of the forecast reads as insightful and full of guidance as you'd expect. If you're open to guidance and ready to receive all that spirit has to offer, simply follow the bullet-pointed road, as she literally breaks down how you can make the most of this month into a list of bullet points (it doesn't get much simpler than that!). As we all know, the gap between saying something and doing something can sometimes stretch much farther and deeper than we're prepared to navigate. Luckily for us, this forecast is like an already-decoded treasure map -- you just have to stay on the path.

I hope you enjoy this month's forecast as much as I do. And again, a Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2015 awaken the creative monsters within us all!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

:: LIFE :: November | THE UKNOWN

It's a new month, a new day, aaaaaaand that means we have no idea what's going to happen -- yay!

When I first jumped to The Power Path site for Lena Steven's monthly forecast, I was simultaneously met with fear and intrigue. "The Unknown?" I thought. That's can't be good... or can it? I love surprises. I mean, I hate it when people even try to guess the ending to a film. What's the point of watching it?

But at the same time, I realize that fear of the unknown is probably my biggest fear of them all. For me, that manifests itself in a fear of the ocean. If you know me, you know that this is one of my most painful dilemmas because as much as I fear the ocean, I love it more deeply than anything else on this planet. That said, my fear of the ocean comes from a place that is basically the opposite of claustrophobia -- it's a fear of the sheer vastness and abysmal nature of this being. So the reason I chose the image for today is two fold: 1) it's an image that appears to have no limit -- we literally can't see/don't know what is beyond our visibility, and 2) it's the physical representation of my own personal fear of not knowing.

So I've already emailed the forecast out to a small group of my family and friends who I know look forward to it as much (or almost) as I do. And I like to try and preface it with my own takeaways, along with some additional inspiration when appropriate. I came across a quote that worked well with this month's forecast, and today's awareness practice (my favorite app, and HIGHLY recommended) also happened to be in line, so below I've included what I sent to my friends and family this morning, bundled with  few things together to remind everyone, and myself, that November's mystery shouldn't evoke trepidation, but it should inspire us to power through...

via Instagram/agirlinthelife

The monthly forecast is here, and November is THE UNKNOWN. Sounds ominous, I know. But as a continuation from last month, an open heart and open mind approach is key to letting the universe deliver that which is your highest truth. Create your foundation, find your balance, and let our most beautiful qualities, love & faith, lead you through the darkness with an optimistic heart.

Past failures, old beliefs, and stale routines breed only fear, and will prevent you from finding opportunities. Whether in lightness or darkness, there are always stars to guide us, but first we must be awake.
The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
- Henry David Thoreau

 And if you need a little help shaking off your ways of the past, try today's awareness practice:

via Transform Your Life


Friday, October 31, 2014

:: FITNESS :: Hitting My Stride

As you may recall from my September forecast post, as homage to the month's theme, CHANGE, I announced my commitment to run my first half marathon.  This was obviously a change directed at my level of physical ability, but also at my ability to challenge myself, my ability to follow through, and my ability to overcome. It's been quite the journey, and I'm still going strong in the midst of my eighth week of training. Perhaps stronger than ever, actually. Last week, I finally hit my stride...
sunrise over Golden Gate Park
I also previously mentioned that I'm not a runner. It's never been something that my body would adapt to, which was expected since, generally speaking, running isn't really any body's best friend. So naturally, I've had a need to shut my body up and prove to myself that I can run... even if it means icing various parts of my body 4x a day. So like any goal worth accomplishing, it hasn't been easy, but I wanted to share my story in case there's anyone else out there with a goal that feels just beyond reach. If I can do this, you should literally be able to do anything.

My first hesitation with committing to this race was pure physical ability. In the past, the moment I started running, my body would begin to break down; like the chain reaction that unfolds before your eyes once you knock over that first domino... First came the shins -- shin splints up the wazoo that were so painful it was as if someone was hitting me in the tibia with a baseball bat every time my foot made contact with the treadmill. Yes, treadmill -- this was back in the day when I only worked out at a gym because I thought anything else would be too hard on my body. I now strongly prefer the outdoors.
as you can see, the view ain't bad -- from Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach
Next up were the knees. I've always had knee problems due to a combination of damage from my dancing days and, the cause behind every other ailment that I endure, my own lack of awareness. My flat feet cause me to pronate, my addiction to flip flops left me with nothing to support my feet, and my past dancing experience led to a sway back and swing in the hips when I walked, all of which I took for granted and never bothered to correct. Combined, these led to poor posture and form, which means I've more or less been using the wrong muscles when walking and, you guessed it, running. Ergo, certain muscles became over developed while others were underdeveloped, which left my knees with little to no support. Oh, and did I mention I have loose patella as well? Yeah -- basically, my knees are fooked.

After the knees, came the tight calves. Again, this issue was a result of the above -- over-working of the calves in dance and poor form when walking. One day specifically, it felt like I was on the verge of a Charlie's Horse for a full 24 hrs. I even had a run scheduled that day, and I nearly broke down into tears mid run. Seriously, that shit hurts.

Lastly, if I could manage to control, or at least grit my teeth through all of the above, the second to last domino would bring things to a halt -- endurance. Even just half-hour runs would make me feel like I would pass out if I didn't take a break. How was I going to sustain myself for 2+ hrs?? I thought this issue would surely improve by week 3 or 4. Week 5 at the latest... But it wasn't until last week -- week 7 -- that I managed to complete my entire 6.5 miles without walking. My endurance had finally caught up with the rest of me, and 3 days later I ran my entire 10.5 miles (that's more than half the distance of San Francisco, btw!) without walking. Say what?!

Now, just to be clear, I've been following training guides aplenty and getting advice from fellow runners and friends who know a thing or two about the body. From day 1 of my training I've been working on my form, stretching, icing, foam rolling, etc, etc. Had I not been doing these things, I definitely would NOT still be training because my body would literally be in a pile of rubble right now. However, I'm know I'm still not a perfect runner or a perfect example even (I could stand to drink like 10 more glasses of water per day). My calves still cease up from time to time, and my shin splints may begin to flare if I drop the ball on the ice.

So why am I going on and on about my experience?

While I'm not perfect and I don't have all of the answers, the point of my experience is that I'm still going. It's hard work for me, and some days it's really fucking hard. But the thought of what I'm accomplishing, despite all the struggles, is enough to keep me going when I could just as easily say, "Maybe this just isn't for me." It's something I can be proud to talk about, and it's a goal that I can focus on when other areas of my life feel all cattywompus. I never thought I could do, much less would want to do something so strenuous. But I've not missed a single morning run -- whether it's getting up two hours before work, or after a night of drinking for my best friend's birthday (while in the mountains at 4,000 ft elevation), I've not missed a single morning run-- scratch that, I missed two due to a devil of a blister on the arch of my foot.
and ouch...
But otherwise, my dedication to this goal has far outlasted any physical strife, and quite frankly I'm impressed with myself. And that's why I'm sharing this with you. I find the excessive icing and all the struggles frustrating, but also quite hilarious. If this is what my body is going to throw at me and I can still manage to cross that finish line next month, then what can I not do?

It's been a journey, indeed. But more than that, I've made a significant change in my life and the effects -- physically, mentally and emotionally -- will be lasting. Even when something feels totally unattainable, just take the first step... Once you get the momentum going, I promise you'll become an unstoppable force.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014


October is here, and apparently it's going to be a circus!

I woke up on the morning of the 1st, as I do every month, with the kind of excitement that children reserve for Christmas. It's a new month, and that means the monthly forecast is here! Admittedly, I'm a little obsessed with it. It's just the perfect combination of advice, inspiration, and awareness. It's always spot on, and I feel like it's speaking directly to me. Which, of course, is all the more reason for me to give heed to what Lena Stevens transcribes every month, and I hope you find it equally as useful.

So the theme for October is the THREE-LEGGED STOOL, and sounds like a bit of a doozy, but in a frighteningly good way (how apropos). It'll be an eccentric month, producing moments of complete surprise, but this also serves as a challenge to us to see how we react to these unsuspecting moments. Do you roll with the punches and readjust accordingly, or do you retreat in fear and the feeling of being totally overwhelmed? Your reaction to what this month has to bring will determine whether you stay atop your three-legged stool (even if  balancing on only 1 leg at time), or if you will topple over...

I'll let you read through and contemplate Lena's forecast on your own, but I thought some accompanying imagery would be useful and inspiring. I found some of my favorite three-legged stools & chairs. Maybe having some of these around the house will be a reminder to maintain balance throughout your life :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

:: INSPIRE :: The Ballerina Project

So, I rarely say this, but I could have done without this Friday. Work was a bit too much for me today, so I've escaped the sometimes mind-numbing doldrums of the home office for the more socialized, sun-filled setting of my local coffee shop. Also, they serve beer.

But in the midst of the continuous influx of less-than-happy emails, I took a brief break to check my personal email and came across this little gem in Well+Good's newsletter...


I grew up dancing -- ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, etc. -- and it was my life for a good 12 years, but I was never dedicated enough to make it into a career. Plus, my body kind of started breaking down on me (and never really stopped). However, it's still one of the greatest joys in life for me. Whether it's watching the Romeo & Juliet pas de deux, or just putting some great tunes on the jukebox and dancing up a sweat, the joy I feel from dance is matched by few other experiences in life. And given that my feet were never great, I get insanely inspired (and jealous) at the sight of a technically beautiful pointed foot..... like, seriously.

So when I came across these stunning images by photographer Dane Shitagi, I was immediately inspired. I've recently made feeble efforts to resume formal dance classes, which was an eye-opening experience (oy, my back!). And while I still plan to make dance a more regular part of my life, these images reminded me that, whether through dance or other means, I want to feel this inspired everyday, and that I have the means and the ability to do so. So even when work is challenging, I'm reminded of the reasons why I love my job. And even though I may feel generally lost or stuck at times, I remember all of the things that brings me joy and I figure out how to bring even the littlest sliver of those into my life. It may not be the prima ballerina dream that I envisioned when I was a little girl putting on her first tutu, but it keeps me on track and helps me find the appropriate version for my adult life.

What inspires you? How do you use that to keep you on track?