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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My List

I am particularly aware of gratitude at this time of the year. Eleven years ago on Thanksgiving Day I said the words that would change my life. "I need to stop drinking."

And since then, I am aware every single day that I do not do any of this alone.

If I am asked to be helpful to someone new in my 12-Step Program, I always recommend that they start a gratitude list and add to it every day.

Here is mine today.

I am grateful for ...

1. My sobriety.
2. My mom.
3. My dad and stepmom.
4. My son Nick Sharp (who I pray is staying safe in Bangkok).
5. All the teachers and clients at Pendleton.
6. Kristine and Rachel. And Shannon.
7. Kristine and Kay and my all the other cool girls who spend time with me in all the right places.
8. The True Body Project girls, women and now men - we are going to have a wonderful year.
9. Heather and Susan and Alena and Julie and everyone at Rhythm and Motion.
10. My friends - the ones here.
11. My friends - the ones afar.
12. My friends - the ones who are not in my life but still in my heart.
13. Lessons. Every day.
14. Sam and the Road Theatre.
15. Brooklyn Museum and the TBP women in NY.
16. Fringe Team 2009!
17. Lolita San Miguel - for the inspiration.
18. Barack Obama - for the hope.
19. Brenda and Jeanne and everyone else who helped me heal this year.
20. My faith. Whew. Never more than ever.
21. The health of my loved ones.
22. Especially Kristin.
23. My health.
24. My bathtub.
25. My books.
26. The novel in my head and the musical in my head.
27. Coffee.
28. Time.

Happy Thanksgiving!! May your own gratitude list grow and grow this year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Truth of Me . . .

This is one of the writing prompts we work with in the True Body Project. You write down "The truth of me ...." and then let the pen fly across the page, trying to keep the editor in your brain from stopping the process.

It is always interesting to see what happens when you let your body try to tell the truth faster than your brain can stop you.

I have been thinking about the truth a lot lately. Particularly, as they say in astrology, in my "financial house." I have shared with a few people the fact that my financial house needs some work around the foundation. And you know what I've been told? "Don't tell anyone!" and "That's the kiss of death for a business owner!"

But telling the truth is an important part of my wellness. So I wanted to share a few facts to put this sticky moment in time in perspective.

Here are some of the facts:

- I am a single woman supporting a son in college.

- I run a small and wonderful wellness business. We do amazing work and honestly can say we change lives. But it is a wellness business with tight margins even in the best economic times.

- I founded a non-profit. And we create and run programs for teen girls via the True Body Project despite the fact that we don't have enough money to do what we do.

- I have an entrepreneur's spirit. I work to build and fund things that take time to pay off.

These things add up to a remarkably full and spiritually enriching life. Not to mention creatively rewarding.

But at this second in time I am not financially enriched.

Is Pendleton Pilates okay? Absolutely! But it is in the exact same situation as every small business (and now larger business) in this country. We cannot borrow any money for the short or long term so we must meet our expenses out of cash flow. So we just have to work smarter and harder to make ends meet.

Will I be okay? Absolutely! I think it is an awesome time to get financially fit. I am making adjustments that should have been made a long time ago. I am making sure that I live within my means and plan for my future. I am working to have good financial health every day.

It is the same thing I learned through Pilates and through the 12-Step program. If you keep yourself honest and hard-working and truthful one day at a time, spectacular strength can come from it. And we can't even imagine the blessings that will come as the result of the diligent truth.

So I share mine with you in case you are struggling yourself.

Yes. This is a hard moment in time but if we are truthful and real and we work to shine light on the issues rather than hide in the dark in our fear, we will move into a stronger place for it.

That is the truth of me. Conserving and working for a better future. Optimistic beyond belief.

What is the truth of you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Or there is Pilates ...

Honda has spent a fortune (I'm assuming) to innovate and develop a device to assist with walking.

This is what the press release says:

"The cooperative control technology utilized for this device is a unique Honda innovation achieved through the cumulative study of human walking just as the research and development of technologies was conducted for Honda's advanced humanoid robot, ASIMO. Applying cooperative control based on the information obtained from hip angle sensors, the motors provide optimal assistance based on a command from the control CPU. With this assist, the user's stride will be lengthened compared to the user's normal stride without the device and therefore the ease of walking is achieved."

Here's what - if you don't want to have to walk around in a contraption that looks like this, consider Pilates! Seriously, it will do all the same things for you.

Don't believe me? Let me give you a Pilates for Walking (or skiing or running or other "upright" activities) session.

Call Pendleton Pilates at 513-478-3232 and let us help you feel like you've lost 5 pounds in 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Democracy is Exhausting

The day after the election I felt convinced that the world had shifted significantly. I felt certain that it meant something good. Something new. Something truthful. Something without artifice. Something that feels like breath.

And I had this thought: "I don't have to wear make-up anymore!"

I kept this bold thought of the authentic me prospering in these authentic times for all of about two minutes until I looked in my bathroom mirror.

And then I had this thought: "Well maybe just mascara."

So that's what I did to celebrate. Yes. You read it right. I went out of the house with ONLY mascara on. Radical. Brave. My civil rights and/or feminist and/or True Body sisters and brothers may want to throw me a parade.

An hour later, I was sitting in a coffee shop and met a handsome young guy who had spent weeks here working on the campaign. While we were talking the good talk of what an exciting moment it was for the entire country and the world, this is what I was thinking: "Damn it. I wish I had put on make-up."

And by the weekend, as I was making nachos in my kitchen after a hard week of trying to promote wellness and creativity while paying the bills and keeping the faith about my place in the world, I basically fell apart.

For me, falling apart means a splitting head ache and tears and a bath and bad TV and too much sleep for about a half a day. That is the good news. It doesn't take too long for hope to resurface as the only acceptable way to craft a life.

But I think what I experienced last week was the hope that hope had paid off - right that second - and that all the things that have been beyond my grasp, whether love or money, would be in my life by week's end.

So with eye-liner in hand, I got back to the business of backing up hope with hard work. And breath. Oh yeah and exercise and gratitude and service work too.

And now, a week later, I'm back. In the here and now. Still hopeful for the future but wed not to the fantasy of what is to come but the moment itself. When I romance the moment, I am both loved AND prosperous.