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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

As we approach the new year, there is one thing on everybody’s mind: GOALS. One thing I find extremely effective in setting goals that have lasting power is creating a vision board.  A vision board is a visual representation or collage of the things that you want to have, be, or do in your life. It works to activate the law of attraction which is the idea that your mode of thinking, be it positive or negative, directly affects what the universe puts out there for you. In other words, if you think negatively, your life will only result in negativity. But if you put positive mental energy into the universe, positive outcomes—getting that promotion you wanted or getting out of debt—will happen. It’s kind of like the little engine that could, “I think I can I think I can”.

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Creating vision boards is considered by many to be a vital step on the road to success. Since positive, focused thinking is the key to achieving goals, pinpointing what those goals are and having something tangible to symbolize them is an essential part of the process. Vision boards remind us what we should and should not be doing in order to achieve our goals. The images and phrases that make the board should represent the highest priorities in your life. It reinforces what you truly want in your life and helps keep you on track in living it.
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A vision board usually consists of a poster or foam board with cut-out pictures, drawings and/or writing on it of the things that you want to manifest in your life. It’s simple.

By selecting pictures and writing that charges your emotions with feelings of passion, you will begin to take action towards making those things happen.  Your personal vision board is only limited by the extent of your own creativity. Vision boards are whatever you create them to be – I’ve seen everything from simple to those that could probably sell in an art gallery. Having artistic ability is not a prerequisite for creating a functional vision board and the procedures I’ve outlined below can be used by anyone.

The general elements that a well-designed vision board should include are:

  • Visual. Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
  • Emotional. Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
  • Strategically-placed. Your vision board should be strategically placed in a location that gives you exposure to it. It’s helpful to look at it often and give your mind a reminder of your desires.
  • Personal. Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that your vision board emits. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so it can only be seen by yourself.

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Supplies Needed

    • Big piece of cardboard or poster board
    • Large selection of magazines (preferably in color)
    • scissors
    • Tape/ glue (i prefer double sided tape)
    • Printer (for images off the internet you want to include)
    • Ribbon

Ready to get crafty? Here are my Steps To Create Your Vision Board:

    1. Decide the main theme of your board. It may be based on something specific you wish to accomplish or obtain, or it may be a general idea of everything that makes you happy. (and yes you can make a vision board just specifically of the man/woman of your dreams 😉 )
    2. Find pictures that correspond with your theme, either from old magazines, photographs, or from the Internet.
    3. Print (if necessary) and cut out your pictures.
    4. Type or write some affirmations or empowering words that correspond with your theme.
    5. Glue your pictures and affirmations to your poster board and pin them to your cork board.
    6. Hang your vision board somewhere you will see it often.

Now I know what you are thinking… how can a board full of magazine cut outs REALLY get you what you want out of life?! I understand many skeptics may never get crafty with their goals and cardboard. But there’s no harm in creating something tangible to inspire you. If it does help you get that much closer to your goals, more power to you.  Just don’t forget the essential secret to success is to put forth the effort and take action to make what you want out of life happen. A compelling vision combined with focused action is the key to a positive outcome.  

What is your vision for 2013? 

Leave a comment below if you chose to create a vision board this year. Better yet, send me a photo of your vision board at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . Looking forward to sharing a bright and beautiful New Year with you. Put what you want OUT THERE. I believe this will be our best year yet! A Compelling Vision + Focused Action = Positive Outcomes and I am POSITIVE about that one 🙂

Happy New Year to you ALL!

Caroline

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Wellbeing is not about having buff biceps. Its about mental health, life satisfaction, and energy levels. It’s about learning to take excellent care of yourself – mind, body, and spirit.  It’s about self-respect, self-love, and putting yourself first so that you can live your purpose and give to others.  When you love yourself first everything in your life works. It seems simple but this concept is hard to master (Im working on it daily and getting better, but trust me I need a constant reminder!). One thing I know for sure is that if you learn how to love yourself, you will have the  keys to success.

Self-love comes in many different ways and means something different to everybody.  Here is a list of 100 ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.  This is not a checklist – only a list of suggestions. Feel free to take the ones that speak to you and ignore the rest. Start treating yourself like you would treat a small child, with the gentle kind of care that you deserve. Changing the way you treat yourself takes time and practice. Start here. Start now. Don’t waste another second.

100 Ways To Love Yourself

  1. Put a post-it on your mirror that says, “You look beautiful!” – and then accept the compliment every time you look at yourself.
  2. Buy fresh flowers every now and then. – Brighten up the place.
  3. Used colored pens for no particular reason. – Blue and black are fine, but how about orange?
  4. Take a walk without a destination. – It’s a great way to get some exercise and clear your mind.  Be mindful of what you see, hear and feel.
  5. Take a hot bath. – With bubbles.
  6. Write in a journal. – Write anything that calls you.  Ideas, experiences, dreams, frustrations – get them out of your head and down on paper.
  7. List the things that you’re grateful for. – You can’t help but feel better when you literally count your blessings.
  8. List the things that you like about yourself. – We can all list the things that we don’t like about ourselves.  Turn that around and think about your many positive qualities.
  9. Create something. – Many of us have gotten away from actually making things.  Create some artwork.  Write something.  Build something.  Make something that didn’t exist before.  It can be functional or frivolous – as long as you enjoy the process.
  10. Treat yourself. – We struggle to be disciplined, especially with money and food.  You deserve a reward, right?
  11. Smile. – It’s very difficult to feel bad when your face is happy.
  12. Squash negative thoughts. – Listen to what’s going on in your head and actively quiet the voices of pessimists and critics.  Assume the best, not the worst.
  13. Try something new. – Go out on a limb.  Learn something new.  Do that thing you’ve always wanted to try.  The more experiences you have, the richer your life will be.
  14. Get enough sleep. – Everything is hard when you’re tired.
  15. Meditate. – It takes a little practice at first, but if you find a meditation that works for you, you will be calmer and more peaceful.
  16. Drink plenty of water. – It’s basic, but it’s so good for you.
  17. Stretch. – Before you start your day, take a few minutes for a good muscle stretch.  It just plain feels good.  And, it’s fast, easy and free.
  18. Put some “me time” on your calendar. – When life gets busy, doing things for yourself is the first thing to be sacrificed.  So, actually block out time on your calendar.  Call it a ‘staff meeting’ or something so that no one intrudes on your time.
  19. Call a friend. – Think of someone who you enjoy and ring them up!
  20. Ask for help. – This can be hard.  But it’s so important to recognize when you need a sounding board, or some advice, or an extra pair of hands.
  21. Say no. – Your time is valuable.  Set boundaries to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  22. Ask for a hug. – We all need one.  So just go get one.  The person you ask probably needs one too.
  23. Delegate. – Hire someone to mow the lawn or scrub the floors.  Teach the kids to do laundry.  Give that project to a co-worker.  You do not have to do it all.
  24. Take a deep breath. – And another.  Now another.  It’s like a mini-break to reset yourself during the day.
  25. Light a candle or use a reed diffuser. – Your sense of smell creates the strongest memories.  Find scents you love and enjoy them.
  26. Claim some space for yourself. – A place where you can go to have a quiet moment to read a book, or meditate, or cry – somewhere that you can get some peace and privacy.
  27. Get out into nature. – Reconnecting with the earth is just good for your soul. Feel the breeze.  Breathe the fresh air.  So good!
  28. Buy the good ice cream. – Even on the tightest of budgets, this is important.
  29. Use lotions & soaps with scents that you love. – It’s a nice way to pamper yourself, plus you’ll smell good all day.
  30. Give a compliment. – Telling someone that they had a fantastic idea or that they look beautiful in that color creates a pleasant environment and makes two people feel good for the price of one.
  31. Listen to music. – Listen to whatever makes you happy.  Can you be grumpy while listening to Gloria Gaynor?  I think not.
  32. Play. – Something we forget as adults.  A board game, a sport, finger painting – find something frivolous and have fun!
  33. Eat foods that you love. – Low fat, low calorie, low carb – blah, blah, blah.  Food is to be enjoyed!  Put food into your body that nourishes you in every way.
  34. Be silly every now and again. – We take ourselves entirely too seriously.  Let go.  Be spontaneous and outrageous!
  35. Laugh. – Sometimes you just need a good laugh to lift your spirits.
  36. Limit screen time. – Too much time in front of computers, TV’s, video games, and blackberries (or all of the above) disconnects you from the world immediately around you and makes your brain mushy.  Make sure that you’re getting plenty of input from the non-virtual world.
  37. Be present. – Be deliberate about experiencing what’s happening right now.  It’s all about the journey – don’t miss yours!
  38. Stop worrying. – It’s going to be fine.  Because it is.
  39. Trust yourself. – You are smart, capable and talented.  Your choices are just as valid as anyone else’s.  Don’t second guess yourself.
  40. Do something that’s only for you. – Remember that hobby that you used to have time for?  Or that food that no one else in your house likes?  Reclaim it.
  41. Make sure your health is in order. – What’s more important than your health?  See your doctor regularly.  Make sure you are getting the vitamins or supplements that you need.  Advocate for yourself as you would for your child.
  42. Give to someone in need. – Donating your time or your stuff or your money to someone less fortunate makes you feel good and puts your problems into perspective.
  43. Sparkle! – Feeling schlumpy?  Get all dolled up. Wear something schmancy.  It’s a good way to find your strut.
  44. Dance. – It’s inherently joyful.  You can’t be sad if you’re dancing!
  45. Write your own rock star introduction. – Image you’re on tour with thousands of screaming fans.  How will you be introduced?  “Please welcome the brilliant, the amazing, the gorgeous….you!”
  46. Stand up for yourself. – Your needs are important.  Don’t let anyone disregard them.  Pushing back can be scary but it’s empowering too!
  47. Celebrate! (for any reason at all) – Your kid learned to tie his shoes!  Your taxes are done and filed!  The week is more than half over!  Let’s party!
  48. Find a mantra or an affirmation that lifts your spirits. – “Today is a new day.” “I know that life always supports me.” “I get everything that I want.”  Find one that works for you.
  49. Stand tall. – Your spirit can’t soar when you slouch.  You feel much more powerful when you stand up straight and look the world in the eye.
  50. Have sex. – What can I say?  It feels good.
  51. Get a massage. – Again what can I say?  It feels good.
  52. Choose optimism. – Thinking positive thoughts has a tangible impact on your day and on your life.
  53. Dream big. – You can do anything you set your mind to!
  54. Tune out the naysayers. – People criticize for many reasons, most of which have nothing to do with you.  Follow your heart – not everyone has to get it.
  55. Add color to your surroundings. – Beiges and taupes are pervasive these days.  Depressing.  Make sure that you introduce energetic colors where you work and where you live.
  56. Surround yourself with the things you love. – Photos of loved ones or mementos that bring happy memories.  You should have the stuff that you love all around you.
  57. Declutter. – You should have ONLY the stuff that you love.  Purge everything in your life, both physical and emotional that you don’t honestly need, use or love.  Everything else distracts you from your true intentions and bogs you down.
  58. Stop procrastinating. – Procrastination is a form of perfectionism.  Accept that it’s not going to be perfect and just get it over with.  Image how great it will feel to not have it hanging over your head any more!
  59. Listen to your inner voice. – Your instincts are good.  It’s important to listen to your own head and heart.
  60. Cut yourself some slack. – Arguably the most important tip on this list.  We hold ourselves to impossible standards and then beat ourselves up when we don’t meet them.  Would you be this hard on anyone else?
  61. Slow down. – When you’re living your life at top speed, you’re missing most of it.  Stop and take a breath.  Look for ways to adopt a more humane pace.
  62. Identify your passion. – What do you love?  Do you have a non-profit organization that you feel passionate about?  Are you passionate about water polo?  How about 14th century Portuguese literature?  Find something in your life that really floats your boat.
  63. Toot your own horn. – You’re awesome.  Please make sure that everyone knows it.
  64. Move your body. – Run and jump and climb a tree.  Take a tap dancing class.  Power walk.  Anything that feels good that gets your blood moving.  The only limitation:  it has to be fun.  Don’t get on a treadmill if you hate the treadmill.
  65. Invest in really good bras. – This one is gender-specific, obviously.  You feel much better about yourself when you’re hoisted up properly.  So stand tall and salute the sun ladies!
  66. Purge things that aren’t good for you. – Unhealthy foods, cigarettes, a miserable work environment, toxic people – do what you have to do to set boundaries and demand the highest quality of life.  You deserve it.  Things that don’t nourish and support you – think about how you might be rid of them.
  67. Limit your news consumption. – It’s important to be well-informed, but the non-stop feed of earthquakes and plane crashes and economic crisis and war is not good for us.  Be deliberate in finding a balance that’s best for you.  Once you’ve seen today’s news cycle, turn it off.
  68. Say yes to life. – Opportunities are everywhere.  Take a class, join a team, go bungee jumping.  When new things present themselves to you – jump at the chance.
  69. Stop hating your body. – If the women of the world took all of the time, energy and money that we spend on hating our bodies and turned it towards something productive, there would be no war, poverty or disease left on the planet.  Your body is your body.  Nobody’s looking at your physical flaws because they’re all too busy trying to hide their own.  Let’s give ourselves a break and let it go.
  70. Sing loudly. – In the shower and the car and anywhere else you like.  With reckless abandon.
  71. Be kind. – Be nice to someone else.  You will have made the world a better place.  What feels better than that?
  72. Tell someone you love them. – We often forget to say it out loud.  It matters.
  73. Take all of your vacation days. – You earned them.  Don’t give them back to your company for nothing.
  74. Play hooky. – Call in sick once in awhile when you’re not sick.  Use the day to pamper yourself (not to catch up on errands or housework).
  75. Take pride in the hard times that you have overcome. – What didn’t kill you made you stronger.  It wasn’t easy, but you did it!
  76. Let someone else be in charge for a while. – Other people can be responsible while you do something for yourself.
  77. Don’t answer the phone unless it’s someone you want to talk to right now. – Some people find it difficult not to answer a ringing phone, but it’s liberating once you learn to ignore it or even better, just turn it off.
  78. Have faith. – It’s going to work out.  The future is bright!
  79. Take a personal inventory. – Does your behavior match your true intentions?  If there’s a disconnect, you’re carrying a heavy weight.
  80. Go on a retreat. – For a couple of minutes or a couple of days, get away for a bit to re-energize.
  81. Put your finances in order. – Money problems are enormously stressful.  Paying off debt where possible, putting bills on automatic payment, and working with a financial planner if necessary can all help to ease the strain.
  82. Eliminate all expectations of perfection. – In fact, eliminate the word ‘perfect’ from your vocabulary.  If you expect yourself to be perfect, you will never stop beating yourself up.
  83. Find a good way to blow off steam. – Bottling it up indefinitely will probably end badly.
  84. Be who you are. – your authentic, true self.
  85. Spend some time alone for quiet reflection. – We spend all of our time go, go, going.  Try stopping to think about your life, your goals, and your dreams.
  86. Keep your words positive. – Happiness and complaints cannot coexist.
  87. Let light and fresh air into your house. – Sunlight is a must.  Open up those windows!
  88. Turn off your e-mail, cell phone, blackberry, fax, etc. for a while. – It’s not healthy to be accessible 24/7.
  89. Pare down your to-do list. – Feeling overwhelmed?  What’s on your list that can be delegated, avoided, or jettisoned?
  90. Avoid boredom. – Keep your brain active to keep the blues at bay.
  91. Make your home a haven. – Your home should be a place where you can take a breath and really relax.  If it isn’t, you may have some work to do.
  92. Be stingy with your time and energy. – Both are precious and should be spent on things that really matter to you.
  93. Let go. – 80% of everything is irrelevant.  Focus on the other 20.
  94. Minimize multi-tasking. – Yeah, women are supposed to be good at it, but that doesn’t make it good for us.
  95. Break your routine once in awhile. – Get out of a rut and into a groove.
  96. Take action! – If something isn’t right in your life, fix it!
  97. Plan ahead. – With a few minutes of organizing your time and to-do’s, you will be better prepared to take on the day.
  98. Pay attention to your energy. – Are you most productive first thing in the morning?  Are you sluggish after lunch?  Honor your natural cycles and plan accordingly.
  99. Spend time with people who make you happy. – Who nourishes and supports you?  Surround yourself with those people.
  100. Enjoy your kids. – It’s easy to rush through the day without really connecting with them.  Make a conscious effort to talk with them about their day.
  101. Avoid self-deprivation. – When it comes to food, it’s OK to cut back on things that aren’t good for you (sweet, sweet carbohydrates), but if you feel deprived, it’s probably not maintainable, creating a vicious circle of cheating and guilt.
  102. Forget the word “should”. – Instead of doing what you think you’re supposed to, follow your own path.
  103. Intentionally enjoy your journey. – As you go through your days, look around.  Be present with what you see, hear and feel.  You might be amazed at what you’ve been missing.

Ok so I got carried away and there you have it, 103 ways to show yourself LOVE. Changing the way you treat yourself takes time and practice, but with an earnest effort self-love can be the foundation of living a happy, healthy life. This may sound simplistic, but it is also true.  As we learn to love ourselves, as our thinking changes, as we develop self-worh and self-esteem, then we begin to allow life to bring to us all the good it has in store. May you find find ways to honor yourself today and everyday. Here’s to living and loving every moment in this beautiful life!

With Gratitude,

Caroline

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Cold temperatures, less sunshine,  and a jam packed holiday schedule of events make finding winter workout motivation extremely challenging. To give you a little extra fitness mojo, I thought it’d be helpful to give you upbeat music to sweat to.  There’s nothing more motivating than catchy tunes that make you want to move. Included below is my “Listen & Burn” Holiday Playlist for the season. Download, turn up the volume, and GET MOVIN!

Caroline’s Listen & Burn Holiday Workout Playlist 2012

You can check out some of my past playlists HERE for some suggestions that might help you workout stronger. What is your favorite  workout song for the season? Leave your top hit as a comment below, I need more music for my spotify playlists too!

Have a great week and till next time… Keep shining 🙂

Caroline

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If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain!

If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain!

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Group fitness classes offer encouragement, community, and positive energy that can keep you  motivated and help you achieve your fitness goals.  Not to mention groups are much more engaging than sweating solo and the camaraderie  from the other participants can increase the fun factor in your workouts.  But with millions of different group fitness instructor options, sometimes choosing the right class for you can be daunting. Finding the right instructor can make a huge difference in whether or not you enjoy group fitness and choose to make it  lifelong habit.

The best group fitness instructors make exercise fun and help you improve your conditioning by appropriately challenging you according to your fitness level. They also teach moves that help you get the most out of your workout and avoid injury by providing guidelines during class on how to correct your form.

But choosing the right instructor isn’t just a matter of trial and error. There are steps you can take ahead of time to ensure the instructor you choose is qualified and a good fit for your personality and fitness level. Here are my top tips to help you find your best group fitness instructor fit that will inspire and guide you to greater health and more fabulous workouts!

 

Check for Credentials

One of the first things to look for in a fitness instructor is certification from a nationally recognized certifying organization, such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). That accreditation tells you the instructor you’re working with has the knowledge to provide you with a safe and effective workout.

The club where you work out should make sure their instructors hold appropriate credentials. But if you’re not sure, you can double-check by logging on to the ACE  or ACSM website or asking the club for a current list of instructor certifications. Doing your homework will ensure you have a teacher that’s qualified to guide you in safe, effective workouts.

Get References.

Ask other participants who’ve taken a class with a particular instructor about the class format and teaching style to decide whether a certain class would be right for you. Have they enjoyed the classes? Are there any drawbacks to be aware of?  Many reviews from other regulars will give you an idea of what to expect in your first workout with that particular instructor. Yelp can also be a good place to do some research online to discover other’s experiences. 

Find a TEACHER not just a leader.

Find an instructor who is a teacher—NOT just a leader. Really qualified group fitness instructors should be cueing form and imparting some information that’s valuable for you to take out of the room with you. Listen to what they’re saying, do their words educate and inspire you? When you can get a great workout AND learn about your body in the process, you’ve found a talented teacher. Heres a clue to help you:  A teacher has good information. A leader may just exercise in front or count a lot of reps.

Find an instructor who speaks your body language.

We all learn and follow in different ways. Some need to hear articulate cues, some need to visually see an exercise, or some may even need a hands-on adjustment to feel the exercise. All instructors motivate their groups in different ways. Its important to find an instructor who “makes sense” to you. It can be highly subjective. Consider it looking for a coach. Who’s going to get you to work harder for your very best results? Chances are you’ll know when you meet him or her after a few workouts.

Just DO IT .

Taking class is the only way to know if the fitness instructor is right for you. During the class, look for an instructor who:

  • Makes the class personal by making eye contact with you and others in the room.
  • Makes you feel welcome, comfortable, and tries to learn your name.
  • Offers modifications and intensity options to meet all ability levels in the room.
  • Makes exercise fun, engaging, and positive.
  • Focuses on improving health and energy, rather than appearance or fitting in “skinny jeans”.
  • Avoids comparing participants or “barking orders” and instead provides genuine acknowledgement for personal accomplishments.
  • Always puts your workout above his or hers. Its a BIG red flag if the instructor is more concerned with getting his/her workout instead of helping you get yours.

A good instructor will do all those things and make you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally happy.  If it’s your first time, consider introducing yourself to the instructor and asking him or her to keep an eye on you, especially if you have medical issues to consider. And always try a class at least twice to see if you really like it. No instructor should be judged by just one class. Everyone has off days and it’s never the same class every time. Give each instructor three classes to see if their style matches what you are looking for. Ask questions. Give feedback. And always give everyone a chance.

Most likely when you find the right instructor for you, you’ll KNOW. A light bulb will go off in your head and you’ll think, ” OH WOW! This is the most amazing class ever! Why haven’t I taken this class before?!!?”. When you find your group fitness fit you’ll be smiling LONG after taking the class. Its a good sign when you can’t wait to go back.

The connection you make with your fitness instructor can be life altering. I am a better person because of my time sweating with Shannon Fable, Stephanie Snyder, Jay Blahnik, Erika Quest, and Buddy Machua. These teachers went above and beyond helping me with my physical strength…. they changed my life simply by being in it.

Do you have a favorite fitness instructor who has helped you grow stronger? Leave your favorites as a comment below – share your referrals and we will all get a chance to take class with top notch teachers!

Hope to see you all in class soon! Till then… keep shining 🙂

Caroline

 

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Some people spend all their lives on a boring little island called, “Someday Isle”. “Someday I’ll be happy. Someday I’ll hike in Nepal. Someday I’ll run a marathon. Someday I’ll have a great adventure”. But life is NOT a dress rehearsal. Life is HERE and NOW. Reach out and seize it, you deserve it!

 

Challenge yourself this week is to list five things you’ve been procrastinating about and plan to take at least a little bit of action towards them. A small step forward makes a difference and you’ve got nothing to lose but time. Waiting to learn how to swim? Holding back to send out your stellar resume? Trying to find a reason to ask that special person out? Just do it!. DO IT NOW!!

After all I am getting older..

 

Have a great week and hope to see you soon 🙂

Caroline

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Being alive means experiencing life at its most exciting, scary, frustrating, joyous, mindblowing, heartwrenching highs, lows, and in-betweens. This past Thursday, September 27th I celebrated twenty-seven years of life. It was the most beautiful birthday filled with friends, family, and experiences I will remember for a lifetime. I feel blessed and am incredibly grateful for all the joy in my life.

 

My mother and I celebrating my Golden Birthday September 27 2012.

For me, Birthdays are a time for reflection, celebration, and a whole lot of French macarons. Looking back on the past twenty seven years, I started thinking about the things I know to be true in life thus far. Things I know and trust even if I havent articulated them yet. Things that keep me going even when the ride gets hard. Things that I know to be true without a doubt.

I wanted to share 27 Golden Truths that I’ve learned thus far. Life is a wild ride, it’s been a great journey and Im looking forward to learning more 🙂

27 Golden Truths

1. There is much I don’t know or understand and probably never will. And thats ok.

2. I can change my life at ANY time and any age. I can even run a marathon at 100. As can you.
3. For better answers, we need to ask better questions.
4. A set of chiseld abs means nothing if you have an ugly heart.
5. Nature impacts like nothing else can. Majestic. Breathtaking. Spirtual. Healing. Destructive. Unfathomably mysterious. Watching a sunset or sunrise, running to the Golden Gate Bridge, walking by the Bay are some of the times I am most connected to the world and my soul.
6. Life is infinitely better with a daily gratitude practice. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of what they have.
7. No matter what happens I will be.okay. More than okay actually 🙂
8. Happiness is a form of courage.
9. When you feel good about yourself on the inside, youll project the same healthy energy outward. You won’t have to worry about how you look. Your body will naturally radiate health and fitness.  Wellbeing is an inside – out process.
10. If being healthy is stressing you out you’re doing it wrong.
11. That everything is better in color.

12. Vision and passion can conquer ANY obstacle. You will never know your limits till you push yourself to them. Make your determination bigger than your excuses.
13. Random acts of kindess make the world a better place and people, nicer. Everyone should do at least one a day. Smile, hug, make eye contact, drop coins in the meter. Endless ways to do good.
14. Miracles happen. I don’t know how, but the most mind blowing miracles happen on Earth every day.
15. Fear & comparison are the thieves of joy. The Darth Vader of happiness.  Inescapable.  But surmountable. Always.
16. My mind is my second most powerful ally. And worst enemy. The only thing more powerful, is my heart.
17. Its all about perspective. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. 
18. Humans are ridiculously resilient and adaptable. Survivors. Thrivers. Amazing.
19. You can only grow if you are willing to feel uncomfortable and awkward. When you try something new.

20. In the end, it’s not about the awards you got, the money you made, the things you bought. It’s about the EXPERIENCES you had. The lives you touched. The smiles you shared. How you made someone feel. Whether you followed your heart and dreams. Lived authentically.
21. A life lived true to your values is freakin’ hard and you’ll fall off and compromise more than once. But in the end, it’s having walked the path with heart that matters most.
22.  If it’s important to you you’ll find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.
23. Success is a decision, not something that happens to you.
24. If life hands you lemons – then you should go to lululemon.

25. That its your life and if you dont live it… no one else will.
26. Sometimes you need to go slow to go fast.
27. Positive thoughts attract positive results and I am positive about that.

In a world where life happens while you’re busy planning it, where things turn on a dime and nothing is ever certain except change, what do you know to be true without a doubt?

What do YOU know to be true? Please share, thank you!

Thank you for celebrating twenty seven years with me. Looking forward to whats to come on this journey!

 

With love and gratitude,

 

Caroline

 

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“Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.

Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.”

Think the above quote is a bunch of “lululemon fluff”? Think again. Believe it or not, the simple act of being “in the moment” can take your health to the next level. Learning to practice mindfulness will not only improve your wellness, it will allow you to take JOY in your life. Want to savor the journey not just the destination? Read on and learn how to cultivate mindfulness in your daily actions.

Mindfulness is the non-judgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment. The topic of mindfulness, now supported by a large body of knowledge and practice, can help you accomplish all of your goals and lead the fulfilling life of your dreams.
More often than not, we are not fully aware of and awake to where we are and what we are doing. We walk around on automatic pilot. Eating while reading, working, or worrying about past or future events, instead of tasting each bite of food. When we workout our minds are busy working out thinking about our to-do list, instead of being in tune with our body and it’s movement.
Mindfulness is a way to break free from autopilot and to enjoy the rich life you want. By simply paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, relationships, and environments, without judgment or condemnation, we wake up to the experience of what’s going on around us and within us while it’s actually happening. This frees us to experience our lives and make informed decisions about new directions, dreams, and goals.

Everyone has the ability to be fully present and practice mindfulness in their daily lives. For example, eating can provide a wonderful opportunity to become mindful. Instead of rushing through meals or snacks, doing two things at once, with hardly a thought as to what we are eating, where the food comes from, or how it will impact our bodies, minds, and spirits, we can slow down and pay attention in ways that increase enjoyment, change our relationship to food, and become more conscious to our consumption. Such mindfulness can lead not only to improved eating habits but also to fuller experiences in other areas of life. Increased mindfulness in one area leads to increased mindfulness in all areas.

One of the most popular mind-training techniques in sports now is the practice of mindfulness. Part of the attraction is its simplicity – although, admittedly, the technique can take practice. Essentially, mindfulness is the ability to rest the mind in the moment, focused on a specific object or task, and to create a relaxed but alert state of mind. From a workout point of view, this means putting the mind into the muscle, bringing a greater awareness to the physical body and the sensations within it. The theory of this technique is that in being able to step back from the inner dialogue and witness ourselves from a place of awareness, it can give us a greater perspective on our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. And in being less distracted by those things, we are able to “think less” and “do more”. We are able to get out of our minds and into our muscles in sports.

As we practice being fully present in our lives, we learn to increase mindfulness in  all of our daily experiences. We grow to pay more attention to the many dynamics of health, wellness, and life. Jon Kabat-Zinn writes:

“When, through the practice of mindfulness, we learn to listen to the body through all its sense doors, as well as to attend to the flow of our thoughts and feelings, we are beginning the process of reestablishing and strengthening connectedness within our own inner landscape. That attention nurtures a familiarity and an intimacy with our lives unfolding at the level of what we call body and what we call mind that depends and strengthens well-being and a sense of ease in our relationship to whatever is unfolding in our lives from moment to moment. We thus move from dis-ease, including outright disease, to greater ease and harmony and, as we shall see, greater health” (2005, p. 123).

Motivated to be mindful? Here are simple ways you can practice mindfulness in the daily moments of your life:

      • Take the time to prepare a delicious meal. Buy the ingredients. Focus on cooking every step the recipe. Present the finished product on your favorite dishware and host a gourmet meal solo.
      • Turn off the t.v., phone, computer and savor a meal slowly. Are you hungry? What does the food look like, smell like, taste like? How can you enhance the experience of eating?
      • Go for a walk, hike, bike ride, run outside. Where are you? What is going on around you? How does the air smell? Observe all of the interesting and beautiful things in the world around you.
      • Enjoy your favorite workout solo. Notice every movement, every drop of sweat. Imagine you are moving in slow motion, noticing every body position. When the workout becomes challenging, what do you feel happening? How is your heart rate? What does it feel like to move your muscles? Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after.
      • Put your favorite song on your itunes. Press play. Sit and just listen. What is it about? Does it bring out any emotions? Does it make you smile or sing along?
      • Focus on your breath. Your breath is a powerful and simple way to anchor yourself in the present moment. Whenever you are having a hard time staying in the now, take deep breaths, and focus on your breathing. Try something like counting to four on the inhale and four on the exhale. It allows the logical part of the brain to focus on counting. After a while you’ll find yourself centered and can just be with your breath.

I could go on, but I think you understand… there is NO end to the opportunities for mindful living! Becoming more mindful is done step-by-step. You do not have to go all-in. Simply work towards increasing the amount of time you spend in the present moment each and every day.  It just takes practice and a positive attitude to grow into a mindfulness master.

Through living with a practice of mindfulness, we are able to truly understand and appreciate its powerful effect on health, fitness, and wellness. Being present allows us to SHOW UP and LIVE our  lives. It enables us to learn, grow, and develop beyond what we might otherwise have thought possible. This week how will YOU be mindful?

Give yourself a gift and be present this week. Your heart will thank you for it 🙂

Hope to see you soon and share a mindful moment with you. Have a GREAT week, breathe deep, and celebrate every second!

Caroline

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