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Here are some fun inspirational photos to add to your Pinterest Boards from one of of my favorite bloggers, The Wellness Warrior. She has MANY, many more, check them out!


So, for today, remember…



Use this day to…



And, of course…



Have an amazing weekend, friends!


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As I sit hear writing this for you, I feel like crying. I’m not even sure why. I think it is a combination of exhaustion from 5 intense, long days and all the emotions that bubbled up from it.


Most of you know that I just finished a five day retreat at the Chopra Center. The retreat name was “Synchrodestiny” and centered around the teachings in Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fullfilment of Desire. This was the last Synchrodestiny retreat after offering it for about 12 years, so the energy of the event was very strong and Deepak’s sessions were particularly intense. There are many things I took away from my five days, but one was Deepak’s incredible intelligence and other-worldiness. He has the ability to blend science with spirit seamlessly. He truly is of another realm.



There are so many things I could tell you about this retreat: give you lists, bullet point main topics, regurgitate mind blowing material. But, instead I think I’ll tell you my story…


I came to the retreat with hopes of getting clarity on what direction to go with my website:


Should I write a book?
Should I pursue an opportunity to develop inspirational products?
Should I think about speaking?
Maybe expand my “Karma Club” idea and take the experiences nationally?


SO many ideas…what should I do?????


I was tired of feeling confused and knew that if I had some direction or intuition, I could commit and take off! I’m good at “doing” things. I excel at trudging forward. I just didn’t know the direction.



So, here I was at a retreat that would help me uncover my path, and the first thing that I notice is how embarrassed I am when people ask, “What do you do?” I felt ashamed at saying, “I stay at home with my kids and have a blog” when engaging with people from across the world with incredible careers and ambitions. Like I had been wasting time.


I tucked that feeling away and keep moving forward, putting my whole heart and soul into each activity and interaction. These sessions were focused on uncovering our true desire – our destiny. So, I keep sensing and feeling around my ideas but I did’t seem to be getting anywhere. Damn. Nothing was presenting itself to me.


Then, in one of the sessions, when the leader asked us to put our hand on our heart and ask ourselves “What do you want right now?” it came to me. I want more than anything to feel totally centered and connected to my children. I want to be excited when they come home! I want to be happy to play with them! I want to look into their eyes and be totally focused on their stories and not distracted by my thoughts and texts and phone calls. I want to be so in the present moment with them that time slows down and I remember all of the details.



What!?! I came hear to find my entrepreneurial path and this is what I come up with! What is the Universe trying to tell me?


So, again, I tucked that feeling away and thought to myself, “Yes, that’s important. I’ll work on my relationship with my kids while I research products and distribution streams.”


That evening, after dinner, we all to came together to play a game called THE WISH. This game would give us clues and guidance through a system of oracle cards. To start the game we each wrote down our desire clearly and succinctly. I thought for a moment about putting, “to be centered and connected to my family” but after seeing the wishes of other players it seamed less-than. How could that possibly stack up with “I open up a substance abuse retreat center in Puerto Rico.”


So, I changed my mind and put down, “I have a company that provides inspirational products” There, now that sounds nice.


The game proceeded and I kept getting cards that I had a hard time connecting to my desire. Things like:


You can only change yourself
You are what you think
To see peace in this world we must first see peace in ourselves
Life if your mirror-it reflects back to you everything you need to learn


One of the teachers came to our table to help us make sense of these clues. She looked at mine and keep prodding and probing and questioning me. “What do you think these are trying to tell you?….What is the message as it relates to your wish?” I was exhausted, my brain was about to explode and I was on the brink of tears. I DON’T KNOW I’M TOO TIRED! I finally said exasperated.


She then said, “I’ve been doing this for some time and what I see is a bunch of cards that are telling you to turn inward and keep working on yourself. It seems like you have some work to do at home before you venture out and start something new.”


Well, I about lost it inside. It felt like a slap in the face…as if everyone had a right to their desires but I had to go back to school. I left feeling defeated and confused.


As I was laying in my bed that night it dawned on me: that was my desire! I did want, more than anything, to feel more peaceful and centered at home. And to achieve that, I DO have to work on myself more! The game WAS telling me my true wish! It wasn’t telling me I can’t do those things in the future, it was reminding me what was important right now.



I have been pushing and struggling for about a year trying to figure out what I was going “TO DO.” I have been DOING things all my life, to the point of losing the present. I am a future addict – I constantly am looking and thinking about the future and how “when I do that I’ll feel more fulfilled.” Noticing that I felt less-than around successful retreat attendees made me realize how distorted my thinking had become. I have been looking for happiness and fulfillment externally and need to find it internally before I will be ready to move to the next adventure.


In many ways, it was quite a relief. It is like I got permission to have fun. The Universe gave me a big green light to be good to myself and good to my family instead of pushing my will and making everyone miserable! I have to trust that things will open up to me in perfect timing. And I am perfectly were I need to be.

With me.

With my Family.

With you.

Thank you for always being there for me when I need to tell my story. You are a Godsend! It’s good to be back home 🙂


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In the spirit of gratitude, brought on by the many emotional things that have occurred recently, I decided to take a moment and tell Dalai Dan what I loved about him the most:


His patience
His laughter
His naturally centered emotional state
His positive outlook
His loyalty to our family
His deep love for our children
His flexibility


I could go on…he is truly a remarkable person. How many men could deal with a wife like me that airs every thought on a international platform? And not only deals with it, loves me more for it?


Seriously, friends, I am lucky.


As the one-sided conversation came to an end, and he was quietly listening to the story of his greatness, I paused and asked him,


“So, what would you say is the part of me that you appreciate the most?”


He thought for a moment (hating to be put on the spot to express his feelings. I didn’t say he was perfect) and then said,


“You will always make me something to eat. You make dinner and make me smoothies…I like not having to worry about food.”


So, there you have it. The Dalai Lina distilled down to her basic function in this family: food management.


The bottom line, ladies, is when it comes to men, don’t underestimate the power of their stomach! They are still boys wanting to be taken care of.


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My newest obsession is Downton Abby. How did I not know this show existed until 2 weeks ago? You know my preoccupation with all things English and historical…why didn’t you tell me? I’ve been watching the old episodes from Netflix, absorbing every minute like chamois. Then, hovering over the mailbox for the next disc.


I want to be Lady Mary Crawley. Ok, it kind of sucks that she can’t inherit her father’s estate because she is a girl. But she has a personal assistant and a beautiful wardrobe.



What strikes me about this show is how far women have come in 100 years. So many amazing achievements that are due to the sacrifices of women before us.


In Downton Abby, women who do things for themselves and don’t have a staff are looked down on. However, the funny thing is, I think we may have gotten ourselves in the opposite situation! Thanks to Women’s Lib, we are not only allowed to do anything we want, we are expected to be Superwomen and do it all. WITHOUT ANY HELP. I feel like it is often “looked down on” if a women has assistance.


Nanny picking the kids up from school? Hummm…
Housecleaner? Oh, how lucky for her.
A cook to help with meals? Seems indulgent if you ask me.
Personal Assistant? And she doesn’t even have a job!


Remember, ladies, women’s liberation was a movement to ensure our equal place in society. Now we CAN chose to do anything we want, just like men. But, this does’t mean we have to do it all. And it definitely doesn’t mean we have to do all it without help.


Women should support each other and our capacities. If we want to work, great. If we want to stay home, great. If we want a nanny, great.


We have not failed our feminist foremothers if we chose to raise a family and find out that it is so damn hard we need help.


Ok, now for Master Matthew Crawley…the dishes can wait 🙂


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I just want to take a time out. Push the pause button for a moment.


Breath.


So many unexpected and emotional things happened in the last 4 weeks.


The sudden and shocking death of our youthful friend and father.


The final days of of my beautiful girlfriend, who’s life was cut short by breast cancer.


The heart wrenching critical illness of a friend, mother, and pillar of the community just days after giving birth to a perfect baby boy.


A house fire in our dearest friend’s home, devastating them and displacing the family for months.



Can we please press pause so we can all take a breath?


It is a lot for this small community to take in. Draining.


It may even feel overwhelming if it were not for exceptional individuals and their compassion, selflessness, and service. I have watched this community open their arms and wrap these families in their love and protection. Stop everything to help, without a question. It has filled me with unimaginable love and admiration.


You are astonishing, Kansas City. You are our rock, St. Pauls.


I adore you and am in awe of your greatness.


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I have said many times on my blog:


I love people that


a) get over their fear
b) to follow their passion
c) which helps and inspires others


I venture to guess that most of the people reading this post are not pursuing the heart’s desire. Usually the excuses are centered around time, security, failure, and risk. But all are about FEAR. The fear of failure. The fear of the unknown.


When you let go of the fear, magic happens


I sat down to interview Darby Brender, founder of Fusion Fitness, and was struck by her passion and energy. Just like us, she had a dream. Her passion was to open her own boutique fitness studio in a time when big box fitness centers dominated the scene. For years, Darby had designed and followed her own workouts, blending high energy moves with poses from yoga and pilates. She would even hold her own “classes” for people on vacation to help scratch her passion itch. She knew the kinds of classes she wanted to take, and there was nothing out there like them.



(Yes, this is her actual body. Come on, stop looking at it and keep reading.)


Finally, in 2008, with a one-year-old daughter and still being relatively new to Kansas City, 28-year-old Darby took the plunge with friend and partner, Shandy Rooney. The two of them worked tirelessly on innovative workout routines, performing them over and over for each other until they were flawless. After finding the perfect spot in Overland Park, Kansas, the two invested their own money and opened the doors on May 5th.


Just four years later, and Fusion Fitness is THE fitness studio in Kansas City. If you see a good body walking around town, Darby probably had something to do with it. Her classes are intense, results-oriented, and FUN. As she says,

If you want to see a transformation, you have to work hard. I want my clients to see results and strive to give them the best work-outs I can. I am constantly changing the routines so the body doesn’t plateau from getting used to it. I always want to keep Fusion Fitness cutting-edge.”

Something special is going on over there, that’s for sure, because classes are packed and they studio has already had to expand twice. Business is booming and it has been virtually all by word of mouth.


That is what happens when you follow your dreams.


The Universe conspires to assist you along the way. And your passion is contagious…better than any magazine add money could by.


After taking over the business when her partner moved, she went right back into innovating. Her next dream was an exercise video. Not just another exercise video…something that has not been done before. Where you feel like you are actually in the classroom. Clients across the country wanted to be able to take her classes anywhere they went.


Darby says deciding to make the video was

One of the scariest things I have done. Much scarier than opening the studio. I really had to work through that fear and ask my supporters to help me keep on track

The project had a huge time committment and much greater financial risk. But, she followed her dream, got over the fear, and went for it.


As with any intention you put out there, if you focus on it, things start falling into place. Darby serendipitously realized a client had a film production company and would be able to produce the video, a friend hooked her up with the perfect music producer, and actual Fusion Fitness customers agreed to star in it. The results are magical.


The first 500 videos have already flown off the shelves, and you can see why…



Not only is this exercise video amazing enough to go crazy viral, I venture to guess it won’t be the last one you’ll see from Darby. She has “trainer to the stars” quality, and that, coupled with her passion, is contagious. She is truly a special spirit who wants nothing more than to help women’s health.


When you follow your heart’s desire, success is inevitable


Check out her website and blog, and if you want a reall a$$-kicking, treat yourself to her video! (disclaimer: every time I have taken her class, I can barely move for 2 days. You won’t be disappointed!)


Start following your dreams, readers! And while you are, let Fusion Fitness get you into shape!


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Death is so diverse. Even after volunteering for two years with Vitas Hospice, I am surprised to see what dying looks like. Sometimes dying looks like they could go out and play 9 holes of golf. Sometimes dying looks like my grandmother: just old and sweet. Sometimes dying looks just like dying. It is deforming, crippling and painful.


Sometimes dying feels joyous. Sometimes it is just…accepted. Often dying is ignored or feared.


Each person handles it their own, unique way. All of their past accumulated to this one point in time. All the memories, feeling and beliefs influencing the process.


No matter how many people I meet, I am often surprised at when the transition from life to death occurs. Sometimes the healthiest looking ones can be the first to go. Maybe because they are ready? And the sickest can often grip onto life so desperately that they last longer than anyone expected. YOU JUST CAN KNOW FOR SURE when it is going to happen.


I just had my college roommate die yesterday after a year-long battle with breast cancer. Only 39 years-old and leaving two young children behind. It is such a sad loss.


I knew she was at the end. But, still I was so shocked! I thought there was more time. But, I should know more than most people that you just never know what death looks like! Even if they just had a bunch of friends come visit and they looked darling in their Anthropology pants.


Dying can still look pretty.


Here’s to you, Amy! Pretty until the end 🙂


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