Thursday, March 19, 2009

Curves Closing

For the past six weeks or so, I've been working out at Curves to firm up, slim down, lower my BMI. There have been times when I've been unable to make the recommended three times a week because of my Friday yoga class (which my 15 month old grand son calls goga) but I'm out there trying.

I showed up yesterday to find fliers taped to the outside windows and hanging on the purple and green walls inside: ATTENTION CURVES MEMBERS ....

and so the tight economy has hit my favorite new workout spot. On April 10, Curves will close its doors. I'm sad. I'm sad for me, for the women who have formed friendships and supported each other throughout the years, and I'm sad for the owners.

A gal I spoke with yesterday, one who works there, said she feels like a family member has died. Many women have had to cancel their memberships as residents of our little town, like every other town, tighten belts and let go of things they can't afford.

But there's always a silver lining isn't there? It took me awhile to find it, but I found my own personal one, two actually...

There's another Curves way on the other side of town, so I can drive there. But what really put a smile on my face was that I didn't realize my commitment was that strong. . .I really didn't know that!(I know, its only been six we'll see)

Hopefully, I'll keep movin', shakin', sweatin', and firming up! I'm already seeing results.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Power of Power Pals

Here's the article I wrote for the California Writer's Club Tri-Valley Branch this month. Hope you enjoy it.

A couple of years ago, a few writing colleagues and myself used the Artist’s Way as a guide to help us deepen our writing practice and to live our lives as writers more fully. We did morning pages, artist dates, visited art galleries, read, got to know our inner critic, and how we sabotaged ourselves. We had our aha moments and our “I don’t agree with this” moments. Occasionally we faltered and fell, other times we accomplished our goals, and always, held each other up with support, respect, and accountability to each other. These were my Power Pals.

I’ve had the same Power Pal for a couple of years now, who holds me accountable and helps me reach my goals simply by being there. Not criticizing, not judging, not lecturing, just being there. I’m sure there are lots of ways to work with a Power Pal, but here’s one suggestion.

Make four lists:
Goals for the week
Yahoo (things you accomplished during the last week)
Boohoo (things you listed and didn’t accomplish)
Toodle-oo (items listed for three or more weeks and I still haven’t accomplished).

Email your Power Pal on Monday morning with your goals for the week. (keep a copy of the list taped to your work station so that you can see it easily and check off your accomplishments as you complete your tasks).

The following Monday, report your progress (your four lists) to your Power Pal via email. The beauty of these lists is that you can celebrate your successes (Yahoo) which is the most important, set your priority compass for the following week (goals), including the items you hoped to accomplish but didn’t (Boohoo), and finally, take a look at those things that appear week after week and remain undone (Toodle-oo). Once you identify those, you can make a decision to put the item on hold, scratch it completely, or make the commitment to do the activity that week. If you don’t, take it off the list. It is weighing you down for whatever reason.

As a coach, I can’t stress enough the power of a Power Pal.

Where do you find one of these gems? Just ask. Maybe at a CWC meeting, a critique group, a trusted friend. Remember, the effectiveness of a Power Pal comes in support not criticism, so choose wisely. Good luck reaching those goals!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do you suppose...

Some of my most thoughtful moments occur when I walk our golden retriever, Jake. This morning as we were traipsing up and town the hills, I was thinking about the economy and wondered what the silver lining in all of this might be ...

Suppose we're facing an economic crisis because...

it's time for all of us, not just a few, to get in touch with what's really important in life?

or that maybe, just maybe, we learn to measure others not by what's on the outside, but who they are on the inside?

or that it's time to conserve (and I'm not talking about coming from a place of lack) and having enough doesn't mean huge opulent excess? That frugal is in and excess out?

that economic hard times bring us to a new place of discovery within ourselves, who we were, who we are, and who we might become?

or that this challenging time gives us the opportunity to spend time and develop stronger ties with people we care about, not putting them on the back burner while we're off to pursue meaningless activities that pull us away from what matters most?

or that it's time to even out the balance of power???

I don't know.

I wish Jake could talk, my big old Buddha boy, he'd have the answers for me if only...!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rumi ~ 700 hundred years ago ...

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

This was sent to me by a friend. It's so beautiful I had to share it. Imagine if we could accept the 'house guest' in ourselves and in others, what do you suppose the world would be like?

Happy Monday

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saying Yes to Life

It seems that all I hear about these days is how we need to be pulling in our belts, tightening the reins, and hunkering down. It's understandable. But at what cost? I'm not suggesting that we all go out an splurge on expensive items, but what about saying 'yes' to the things we love. Our happiness and well-being count, too. Joy don't necessarily come in the same package they did last year, but there are plenty of ways to have joy in our lives without breaking the bank...or touching it, such as enjoying...

A sunrise and sunset,
a child at play,
a happy puppy,
a good book from the library,
a cup of steaming tea or coffee,
a conversation with a friend,
a walk in nature--or around the block,
doing something for someone else,
and maybe an occasional splurge.

Saying yes to life is all about being conscious not only of our choices, but of living in the very moment we have.

I think we've become so 'outer' oriented, spending and accumulating 'stuff,' that we forget just how resourceful we are...and how many pleasures in life are free. I thought about this the other day. In the morning I spent time with my daughter and my three grand children who live close by, in the late afternoon I drove to Oakland to spent time with my older daughter and my grandson. It didn't cost a penny. How grateful I feel for these wonderful gifts in my life.

If the dwindling stock market, investments, bank account have you down, remember that enjoying life in the moment is totally free and in fact, can have a longer lasting effect than something that costs money...and saying yes to life is a diversion from all the negative energy floating around out there!