A beautiful image of the power of surrender, by Ron Hamad

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray!

I didn't come up with the clever headline - the most inspiring and fantastic super-hero of a woman on the planet did, right after she changed her body in order to change the world.

Please join me in congratulating the now bionic Ann Firestone into full-on fabulousness after she lost 135 pounds in nine months in order to undergo, as Ann puts it, "textbook perfect anterior hip replacement on 8/26 and climbing my apartment stairs with JUST a cane ....AWESOME."

Awesome is an understatement. I have rarely met a person so dedicated to finding her best self and boy do we love her for it.

Ann, we can't WAIT to see you back at the studio and thanks for sporting your Pendleton t-shirt to and from the hospital!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pendleton Pilates - In The News

Check it out! Pendleton Pilates is one of the studios featured in an on-line cover story article at Pilates-Pro.Com.

Read the entire story by clicking on the link, below.

And while it speaks to the difficulties of running a Pilates studio in a recession climate, I am happy to report that our terrific clients have helped us weather the storm because of their commitment to their best selves. 

So if that happens to be you, thank you! And please keep it up!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Take a break. (Or what to do when your computer is running slow and you are trying not to F- it up anymore than it already is by clicking relentlessly

. . . as it tries to process itself).

My computer makes a noise when it is preparing to be helpful to me. A crackling sort of noise which I am sure is not a good thing. And some days, I continue to click click click click on the mouse as though prodding it - "come on, come on, come on, come on!!" And it just can't deal. It is still trying to wake up and get its act together. It is trying its best to turn x's and o's into emails and word documents for me, but it hasn't even gotten out of bed and it certainly hasn't had a cup of coffee.

So .... that means I must be still and look around and consider a thing or two in my ACTUAL surroundings as opposed to my internet world of ideas, images and words. Here goes ...
  • Hmm. Maybe my brain is not working because I need to eat. Blood sugar is dropping so no matter how hard I prod my own mind to be clever and helpful and patient, it cannot. Listen to body. Hungry means something. I am going to go eat.
  • That's better. I was overprocessing, just like my computer. Hey, there are my books. There are my journals. Wonder what I wrote in Cuba?  Oh look. Some poems a friend gave me, tucked inside my Cuba book. Cool! Looks like they are Mary Oliver poems. Yay!
And, as is always the way when you let the world show itself to you, a path is revealed, even if only in a few words tucked away in an old book. Here is what I found and what I will breathe today. I will remember that in the quiet is not loneliness but everything else profound.

The Winter Of Listening

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious 
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for 
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

Friday, August 22, 2008

One love, one heart ...

Let's get together and be all right.

And here is how!

Join the lovely Brenda Ghantous and friends at Shine Yoga Studio THIS Sunday, August 24th for their bimonthly Oneness Blessing event.

Here is what this means: you get a bit of hands-on healing which feels like the energetic equivalent of drinking serenity and peace through a fire hose. Seriously. It is not one bit weird - you sit in a circle and chant a bit then wait for one of the Oneness Blessing givers to put their hands on your head for a minute or two. After a few of these blessings (if you have ever had Reiki it is sort of like that), you recline and/or sit and meditate.

And then you are done and I promise you, you will walk around for days and days without ANY crazy talk in your head.

When you go, Brenda and the gang will explain it in much more scientific, energetic terms but I can think of no better way to get your bliss on for the week.


Shine Yoga Studio 3330 Erie Ave. Cinti Ohio 45208. The program begins at 6:00 pm and lasts about 1 1/2 hours. The cost is $20. You may register by responding to this email or calling Brenda at 513 703.0148.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Could be! Who knows?

There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,

Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose.
Tony, West Side Story, Something's Coming

Uh, yeah. I am a total dork.

I was corresponding with a friend yesterday and we were reminiscing about some powerful memories from the past - back when we were in our 20s - back when there was only hope and promise and potential.

I have long been a sucker for hope. In fact, I wrote an entire play about it. My favorite book in the world is The Great Gatsby and the passage I underlined and highlighted and asterisked during my many readings of the novel describes Gatsby as follows:

"If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, it was as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of "creative temperament" -- it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again."

So I've been working on discerning between the sort of magical thinking that is keeping me stuck (or might put me in some Gatsby-esque peril) and that which is productive, creative and fertile.

How do I do it? First, I try to make sure that the things I yearn for are actionable. Can I actually do something to try to make it happen? Am I willing to make those steps?

Second, and more important, is what happens on the other end of my query. Am I getting feedback? Are my calls being returned? Does the object of my affection and attention, whether romantic or creative or professional, want to play with me? If not, I regroup and reroute. I try to be unafraid to put myself out there AND to listen to and feel whether energy is being returned or if I am calling into the void.

A more simple explanation of this method is to decide whether my hopeful notion falls into the "George Clooney can be my boyfriend!" or "I can write a novel if I just try" category. Guess which one has proven to be more productive for me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In The Flow

So about a hundred years ago in the 1980s I met the handsome Ron Hamad. We connected as friends and have stayed peripherally in touch since then. I fell in love with his photographs and have used them to create an image of strength and beauty at and on this blog.

And now he has a show opening in NY, with the gorgeous "Prayer" image above as the centerpiece of this gallery exhibition.

Want to go?? I'll see you at the opening....

Sept. 17-October 26, 2008
Opening Reception 
Wednesday, September 17, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
ROBIN RICE GALLERY - Fine Photography
325 W. 11th Street NYC 10014 Between Greenwich and Washington Sts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

True Body News

What a beautiful thing. Women and girls connecting.

And did we mention that we won an "Audience Pick of the Fringe" for our work Body Language: A Radical Truth? See/read more at

We are thrilled to announce a few True Body tidbits.


7-8:30 pm
September 30th - November 18th
Pendleton Pilates
500 Reading Road 45202
Girls/women of all ages.
Move, create, see.
Karma class - $10 donation recommended but pay what you can.


We are meeting with some True Body women in New York in September about creating a community based work in NY. Interested? Let me know at

My Mom Won't Pass It Along Without More Content

So now that I am blogging, I figure I better get to it. Create some gripping, irreverent and/or stirring, relevant content to generate some e-buzz. Or at least an e-hum.

And besides, my mom said she will send it along to her friends and peers when I get some more posts up.

So here goes.

A tip from an inspiring bag of tea. Last night I took notice of the little paper square that was attached to my Honest Tea string/bag. On it, great wisdom from Samuel Johnson.

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

So true. If we try to imagine all the obstacles, we will never get off the couch. Let's say we are considering a bold move to a new exercise class. And we are sitting looking at the schedule online. And then our brain weighs in as follows: "It might be too hard. It might be full. It might be too expensive. I don't know if I will like it. What if I like it but can't make it every week? What if people are mean to me? What if I feel stupid? What if my workout clothes don't fit? What if I have to work late?"

Wow. So many reasons not to try. Are any of them good ones? Not really.

So if you find yourself stalking wellness and change, you internet predator you, get on out there and give it a go. Commit to ONE CLASS. That's it.

Here are links to the best in Cincinnati. And if you write me, I'll try to find you the best places in your hometown. I've got people, you know.

Pilates - (seriously, don't take my word for it, ask around)
Yoga - (love these folks - And beginners, ask for Karen)
Hot Yoga - (sweat the crazy right out of you)
Dance - (Rhythm and Motion Dance Classes. You will hear more about this I assure you)
Salsa - (Salsa with Diana! Hot hot hot)
True Body - - (Weekly Classes for girls/women coming soon! Check back for more info. Starting Tuesdays at Pendleton Pilates, Downtown, Sept. 30 7-8:30 pm.)

Back to School

I am so jealous of the back-to-school kids. New outfits and new haircuts not to mention new pencils and notebooks and protractors and compasses (or whatever hi-tech devices aid in dissecting and navigating the world these days).

Bottom line? This is the time of year where you get a brand new chance to reinvent yourself. A summer to grow into an active, organized, cheerful, popular person right? That was always my hope.

This year, my son is off to study in Thailand and I am settling down to revise a play, make a musical and commit to a novel. So I am thinking about should be on our supply list, besides vaccinations and Visas and cash.

Here is my list, so far.

1. Patience.
Man, it's hard to keep it together when you are trying to get organized to spend money and/or time in another country. When I got ready to call the guy at the Thai Consulate, my son said it best: "Don't be mean, mom."

2. Breath.
Always goes along with patience so well. I am working on adding commas to my day. Rather than running through each minute so fast that one thing blurs to the next. I am working on stopping, pausing, breathing, considering. I figure the future will be now fast enough. Hello, now! Fascinating.

3. Gratitude
Seriously, how cool? My son in Thailand and me in Cincy working on plays and novels that actually stand a chance of living and breathing in the world. Not to mention Pilates and dance as my water and bread. Not to mention family and friends.

Okay. So blogging ain't so bad.

Thanks for reading/listening.