Persevere–Just when you think you can’t, You CAN!

Everyone has a dream.  Some look to their dreams as just dreams and dreams alone.  Never thinking it could amount to anything therefore never taking the steps to possibly achieve that dream.  Others look at their dreams as goals.  They not only dream about it, they let the dream take root within themselves.  They realize that the dream goes beyond just thinking.  They start looking at the steps needed to achieve such a dream/goal.  They visualize themselves achieving that dream and finally they believe they can accomplish it.  But what happens when something or someone happens to cause you to doubt this dream.  Whether it be a setback, or someone telling you that you can’t there is one and only one word that comes to mind….. Persevere!  Perseverance definition: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.  No matter what the obstacle, no matter what others say this is when we reach down deep, we discover new strengths and set new limits.  It was May 2012  that I was faced with not just one major setback but two.  I had come off of 3 bodybuilding competitions and after months of dieting and depleting water 3 times in the matter of 5 weeks my body rebelled on me.  I gained 17 pounds of water retention in just 4 days.  I was in so much pain and discomfort from the swelling it took me into the doctor’s office which led to me getting on a very intense diuretic to try and shed the water.  While it helped some after the 10 days my body still rebelled and I needed to go on a diuretic that I could take for a longer period of time in hopes that my body would somehow normalize.  My severe edema led into my body going into a state of adrenal fatigue.  Adrenal Fatigue is when your body is unable to produce the adequate quantities of hormones leading to adrenal insufficiency.  On top of my battle with adrenal fatigue,  I was outside running one day at lunch and while in a crosswalk I was hit by a car making a right hand turn.  This accident led to a sprained ankle, multiple contusions, pulled quad and groin muscles not to mention my back was really messed up and still is to this day.  I was in the process of an offseason training through all of this.  My goal was to switch from being a bikini level competitor to a figure level competitor.  I needed to add a good amount of muscle to do this.  While the process of ‘bulking’ to begin with can lead to mental anguish in itself top it off with these two setbacks and I felt lost.  I hit a complete low.  I questioned myself daily.  I found myself is a state of depression and felt like I hit bottom.  Although I was having these thoughts and quite discouraged I still was determined to make my goal come true.  I was on crutches for about a month.  I still went to the gym and trained my upper body through it all.  I couldn’t train legs nor do cardio but I was hell bent that I was NOT going to let this stop me.  Even though I still trained as best I could I found myself still gaining weight and still flare ups of swelling.  I had reached a high in my weight that made me so uncomfortable in my own skin I started to pull away from others so I wouldn’t have to feel insecure.  It wasn’t until a weekend spent with my team that my trainer saw how much I was struggling and we decided at that time after the trip it was time to switch things up.  My cardio endurance was low considering not being able to do cardio for about 2 months.  I slowly started to get my endurance back.  Cardio was increased and training was getting easier.  I was able to lose 10 pounds in a month.  That help to build my self-confidence back and helped me to gain sight of really accomplishing this goal.  I fought hard, I was determined, and I disciplined in every possible way I needed to be.  I PERSEVERED!!!  In about 6 months I was able to add 12 pounds of lean muscle mass and lean out.  I competed in my first two figure shows on March 2013 & April 2013.  I did it!!  Just switching divisions alone is a task at hand but being able to switch divisions faced with setbacks makes my goal a VICTORY!!  If you are truly passionate about something NEVER give up! Keep fighting, Keep believing, and Keep going.  I turned my setback into a comeback and you can too.

Looking at Life through the Eyes of a Child

As I woke today, the day after Thanksgiving I found myself reflecting on the holiday and all the blessings that came my way.  When I was putting my 9 year old son,Noah, to bed he so anxiously tells me that he had his Ipod touch alarm set for 6:30 am to start his day.  I chuckled a bit and told him that he should let his body tell him when it is time to wake up as we had no place to be that early in the morning.  It didn’t really dawn on me until this morning after Oliver and I had finished our fasted cardio, which I was dreading after indulging in all the Thanksgiving day food and treats, that Noah was so excited to start a fresh day that he wanted to get up so early.  As an adult we tend to think we need valuable reasons to get out bed to start our day earlier than we would like.  We get up for our jobs, for our workouts, for our kids but most often times we rarely just get out of bed to simply enjoy the new day.  Noah had no extra special reason to want to get up that early.  He just wanted to start the day, whatever the day may bring.  I just kept thinking how awesome that my 9 year old son just reminded me that every day is a day full of new adventures and opportunities.  I love how children view not only the world but themselves.  They are not scared to be themselves, they are not scared to ask questions, to inquire more about this fascinating life to them.  They look at a tree and see adventure.  They look at a stick and find a magic wand.  What is it as we grow up that the magic tends to fade?  Why is it we start to let our own fears lead our lives?  I am on a clear journey to find inner peace so on this journey I find myself asking a lot of questions.  We respond to life with only two emotions–Love or Fear.  I have been paying closer attention to my own thoughts, actions and reactions.  Which ones are out of love and which ones are out of fear.  Then I take it a step further for those that are lead by fear and ask, What is it about this situation that is making me fearful?  Knowing why I might be fearful helps me to evaluate and look at the situation through the eyes of love.  When I can calm myself enough to allow love to flow through a weight gets lifted off of my shoulders and I can feel the presence of peace flow through me.  Looking at life through the eyes of a child is tapping into the mystery and miracles life has to offer.  You can be told time and time again that there are limitless possibilities to each day but until you believe it through faith you stop yourself from feeling it and seeing it.  We often try to only look for the big things life has to offer.  It isn’t until we look at life for all the small miracles it has to offer that we can open our hearts and minds to a world of wonder every day.  We don’t need the EXTRAordinary big things in life to feel as if we are living.  We know we are living a purposeful life because we are grateful and loving every day through everything.  So I encourage you all today to make a new start.  To look at all the wonders of the day with love in your heart and a smile on your face.  Remembering that even a sunrise, sunset, a smile of a loved one or even a smile of a stranger can be a miracle in itself.  Once we see life as a series of small gifts can we then appreciate it as God intended us to.  Life is full of limitless possibilities and we have opportunities everyday to see life through the eyes of love and not fear.  Being grateful for everything bring us only more things and even bigger things to be even more grateful for.  Peace and Blessings to you All!

Just a Little Stress Relief as the Holidays are Near



Happy Holidays!  Well to some, right? For some the holidays bring up deep seeded emotions and stress which turns this blissful time of year into a nightmare they would just rather sleep through.  This time of year is meant to bring families together in Divine Love but if you are at odds with your family, or have a loved one who has went home to God the holidays could bring sadness and pain.

So whether you are someone who loves or hates the holiday here are some simple tips to get you through your holiday with more love and peace.

  1. The first step in any healing is acknowledgement. You must acknowledge what it is you are feeling so you can accept it and heal from it.  Realize that it is OK to feel whatever it is you are feeling.  It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.  Also, realize that it is normal to feel sad around this time of year especially if you have lost a loved one.
  2. Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to others.  Get involved in some way.  There are many families in need this time of year and one of the best ways to get through feelings of sadness is to help others.  Volunteer for a cause that is deep to your heart.  Help someone else enjoy the feelings of love and hope.
  3. Give any situation Grace. With all the added pressure and stressors sometimes people don’t behave from their higher self.  This is not your place to judge or to condemn.   It is your place to offer grace to them and send them divine love and peace.  Remember that you don’t walk in their shoes.  Who knows what they might be going thru.  Even if you think you know remember the possibility that you really don’t know how they are feeling, how it is truly effecting them, and if they might already be beating themselves up enough.  See the innocence and you will bring peace to your soul.
  4. Don’t try to be something you are not. Meaning stick to your budget and remember that your budget is different than others and love yourself enough to know that you are doing what you can and that is the best that anyone can do. It isn’t about feeling bad if you are not able to buy what you would like to for someone.  You know that isn’t what Christmas is about anyway.  Do what you can but most importantly just be love.  Love is more abundant than any gift is anyway.
  5. Take time for yourself. During the holidays there are many gatherings, many To Do lists, and crowds and crowds of people.  Make sure you are taking time to nurture yourself and your soul.  You need to find time every day to have some quiet time just for you.  Whether it be in a workout, reading a book, meditating or watching a movie.  Embrace that ‘you’ time.  You deserve it.

I hope these little tips help you out.  So often we leave our soul to be last on our list to nourish and it needs to come to the front of your list.  It is a fact that when your soul is nourished you are coming from a place of higher self and everything else seems to flow better no matter what the circumstance.

“Where there is love there is life” Gandhi

And don’t forget to Believe ~

This Moment Is All There Is

How often each day do we read or post positive quotes, positive thoughts, thought provoking stories? Now, the bigger question is How often do you REALLY read them? I mean read them in a way to let it resonate with you. To let the information soak into your very soul. Then my question would be, How quickly do you forget? How quickly does the information leave your ego? The information never leaves the soul. In fact, it has been in your soul all along. The ego just took over and somehow you forgot what really does touch your soul. It could happen in an instant, or it could happen over time as the ego leads us to tell ourselves different stories.

My reflection today is living in the moment but not just living in the moment, feeling the moment, being present in the moment, tasting the moment, seeing it, listening to it. So often I find I am so busy trying to get to the next moment in my life I forget that this moment and this moment alone is just as precious as the one I am trying to get to. In fact, it is even more important as this moment will create the next and so on and so forth. We all have heard this numerous times. But, do we really hear it? Are you living it? Or do you think you are? There is a big difference in being present in a moment and thinking you are. I know I am guilty of letting my ego take over and not being present. I know I have taken situations and people for granted. My ego told stories and I believed them and therefore by that I created feelings based on those stories which in return made me miss out on some really great opportunities to create and live some meaningful moments.

It is true, we only have this moment to live once. We will never get this time back. Each moment creates the next. What do you want your moments to look like, feel like, sound like, etc.? Who in these moments do you want to appreciate, love, care for, listen to, have fun with, etc.? What can you do in this moment to create an even better moment next?

I am not telling you anything you have not already heard over and over again. What I am asking you is to let this resonate with you. Take a moment and meditate on it. Take a moment and feel it not just hear it in your head but feel it in every inch of every part of your body. You will know in that moment what it is you want to do in your next moment.

Don’t take moments for granted. Don’t take others for granted. Because the truth is to live every day as if it really was your last. Not in a way you have to do something extraordinary. I mean after all isn’t the so called ordinary life that you have, extraordinary in itself? We are all on a journey, a ride, all we can do is do our best to relish in this remarkable ride.

We are human and not perfect, we will forget and we will make mistakes but the sooner you come back to living moments this way, the easier it is to live them every day.

Now one final question. What will you do today?

Achieving Inner Peace

“ We can never attain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” Dalai Lama

What is blocking you from achieving your own inner peace?  This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself.  Without inner peace our lives are consistently chaotic.  How many of you feel that you are constantly on a roller coaster ride except this roller coaster isn’t very fun.  This roller coaster robs us of our very essence and higher self.  The more I read and study about inner peace the more I have come to find that inner peace, in fact, is simply a choice.  That’s right, we have a choice every moment, every day and in every situation to bring ourselves to a state of peacefulness.

Inner peace comes from not reacting to life but by creating life.  At first it will take some work and it will not be easy but just like anything it becomes easier the more you do it.  Trust me, I teach about inner peace and I still have days where I find myself overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, etc. I am human and I have the same human experiences and emotions just like any of you.  What brought me to teaching about this topic is because I found myself yearning more and more for my own inner peace.  Inner peace isn’t something that only saints, monks and spiritual leaders can achieve.  After all, they are just as human as you are so this is your wake-up call that you too can achieve this if you desire it enough.

We live in a very judgmental, negative society and it is easy to get sucked into all the fears associated with all of it.  I am a very sensitive person and I soak up all the emotions and feeling of those around me and I have come to find that it literally was draining me from my very own happiness.  I constantly wanted to please others, to make sure other people liked me.  I do think that it is important that we help and serve others but the key factor is that we don’t help and serve others at the expense of ourselves. It is true there is a big difference between self-care and selfishness.  Even just saying the two out loud you can feel the different energy surrounding them.

So now we have come to this.  What can you do to reach a state of inner peace and keep yourself there as much as possible?  First and for most, you must change your thoughts.  Your thoughts create your beliefs, your beliefs create your emotions and your emotions create your actions.  This doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it.  Our human ego wants nothing more than to keep us down.  Just by doing simple affirmations and positive self-talk we can change our chaotic lives into peaceful lives.  It is best to do this in steps and the first step always comes with awareness. We can’t change that in which we are not aware of so awareness is key.

Letting go of judgments and expectations is my next step.  When we come from a place of judgment that judgment is stemming from some fear that is deep within ourselves and we project it onto others.  It’s true when you find yourself judging others you can be assured that you have a certain belief based on a fear about your own insecurities.  It is true we tend to easily point out the faults in others that we posses’ ourselves.  We hate those attributes of ourselves so of course we aren’t going to like it when we see it in others.  The best thing you can do is acknowledge the thoughts but then quickly let them go.  Don’t give any power to them.  Just let them pass by.  The same holds true for expectations.  When we put too high of expectations on ourselves as well as others we are sure to be disappointed every time.  So I encourage you to figure out what it is you are expecting and why it holds so much power over you?


One of the best ways I find to quickly get to a state of inner peace is by breathing and letting go.  One of my favorite quotes is Let Go and Let God.  Let go of the attachment, surrender to what is and you will reach a state of inner peace.  Remembering that this takes practice and it doesn’t come easy so be gentle on yourself.  Be Kind. When you can consistently come from a place of love and not fear and you will find that you will not only achieve inner peace you will be sending peace out into the world and creating it.  That my friend is what you can call power.

Why Do We Fear Vulnerability?

When you think of the word Vulnerable what does it mean to you?  Does the thought of becoming vulnerable make you want to fight, kick or even scream?  Do you associate being weak with being vulnerable?  I have recently started learning more about the concept of being vulnerable.  If you want to hear some great facts on the power of vulnerability I encourage you to listen or read about Brene Brown.  She is a researcher who has spent years studying shame, guilt and vulnerability.  Her discoveries really do open up new levels of understanding on why being vulnerable is not just essential to life but crucial.

When you see someone open up themselves to you or even to a group of people we usually look at them and see tremendous courage. You often wonder how they can do that or you might think that they must be quite confident and self-assured to be able to tell others about some intimate part of themselves.  The problem is when we think about becoming vulnerable we tend to view it as being weak.  We also tend to wonder what’s in it for me or even worse what if they reject me?  The more I think of those questions the more I realize I am the one who is putting shame behind what I view as a weakness.  So in a sense I am the one rejecting myself before anyone else even has a chance to.  In fact, I am the one who has rejected myself more often than anyone else ever could.  More so than I can’t remember or even count.  Why is that we tend to already shame ourselves before anyone else has a chance to?  We think we are protecting ourselves, right?  We couldn’t be more wrong.  When we put shame or guilt on to ourselves we close ourselves off.  We put up walls.  These walls make us feel like we are safe, guarded, and protected.  What most people, including myself don’t realize are those walls are actually causing us more pain, hurt and rejection than anyone else ever could.  Those walls also prohibit us from love, happiness and joy.  So if we remove those walls by releasing all fear based feelings and see ourselves with love we can open ourselves up to a whole new world of wonder, magic, beauty, joy, inspiration, and the list goes on.

This process you are thinking is not easy to do.  True it makes us step out of a comfort zone.  But that is a comfort zone we have created ourselves and we can change ourselves.  Life isn’t about pain and heartache.  Life is about LOVE.  Once we can let go of fear and see everything through the eyes of love.  We can see compassion, empathy, understanding, kindness, forgiveness and above all love.

To become vulnerable you can come alive to your most authentic self.  Step out of the comfort zone your ego has created for you and step into a comfort zone that God has intended for you.  Choose Love over Fear.  Choose a New You.  You may find that you finally get the life you have always dreamed of.

So in ending this I encourage you all to; Be real and true to yourself, remember there are no guarantees (after all a vision of the world based on love is far more perfect than you are imagining now), Asking for help does not make you weak, Embrace negative emotions (don’t numb them allow yourself to feel them, process them and then feel the love behind them), and lastly remember that through action comes growth.

To be vulnerable is to allow yourself to be deeply seen.  It is to love with your whole heart and put yourself out there.  To feel vulnerable is to feel ALIVE and to be your most beautiful self.

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