Self-Love; the best gift of all.

Self-Love; the best gift of all.

Valentine’s Day I grew up as the youngest of three sisters.  Every year since I can remember my father would bring each of his four girls (my Mom included) a card and a gift.  It was a loving gesture.  It always made me feel loved and special.  It developed one of my strongest love languages: giving and receiving gifts.  It fed my little girl view of waiting for my loving man to come and shower me with his love and gifts.  That belief and image stayed with me most of my life.  The Universe brought me men who showered me with gifts and that just reinforced my belief: my husband, my boyfriends after and then my grown sons. It has only been the last few years that I have been working on loving myself first and foremost.  It has been a journey of introspection and facing my demons and my shadows; both light and dark. It has been a journey of staying in integrity with my word and staying in alignment with my vision for my future. Most importantly I have learned that the best way to learn about myself is to be in relationship with another human being.  We are all mirrors of each other and the Universe brings us people in our lives to show us what we don’t see in ourselves.  I have quoted for years; “You get what you accept”.  When we say we want a loving relationship but don’t have one, we are being mirrored back our inability to love ourselves first and foremost. I feel like I have come so far to be...
Nature is our playground to face our fears.

Nature is our playground to face our fears.

I believe exercising in nature is a metaphor for life. This week I was in a ski lesson that I knew before I went would be outside my comfort level. The instructor is a kick-ass female who loves to push the envelope. Even when the envelope isn’t hers! These women were all better skiers than I was and even they were apprehensive about the route we were taking down the double black Highland Bowl. I do the Bowl every week or so but always come down one of the easier double black runs; leaving the straight down the middle for those die hard killer skiers. I mentioned at least twice that it might be better if she placed me down one level in to another group. I honestly didn’t need or want to be in the highest group. She may have been listening but she wasn’t granting my wish. Protocol for me and my friends is to take one easy groomer run to wake up and warm up our legs and then proceed to do the climb up to the Bowl with our skis on our backs. Oh, but not this instructor. Two double black diamond runs and one,  which to me, is the hardest run on the mountain. It didn’t help that one of the girls fell and slid and popped her ACL.
I was afraid of this never ending and very steep hill with a double fault line and she told us we had to ski  over the top without stopping to look over the edge and we had to make ten turns before we stopped. Thankfully she...
Gratitude-Not Just For Today.

Gratitude-Not Just For Today.

Gratitude This one single word changes our entire life. Everyone talks gratitude this time of year. It’s the holiday to be “thankful”. I think it is wonderful that there is a special reminder to take time out of our day to count our blessings. I am not discounting the impact that this day can have on our lives, those of our families and friends and the world at large. G-d knows we all need it. However, I want to talk more about having appreciation in our lives every day. Gratitude is the number one game changer for happiness and peace. It transcends fear and disappointment. It quiets the unrest and monkey mind. It creates space so faith can grow. It deflects the need to know and allows life to unfold organically. It invites us to lie down in our own green grass without looking yonder at other pastures. It helps us to step out of our gooey muck and put on our “What’s Right Glasses” and rejoice in the splendor of our lives. I recognize that wearing the “What’s Wrong Glasses” is our default way of thinking but it keeps us stuck in our stories and in our lives. It keeps us from finding the lessons and cherishing the gifts. It keeps us from rejoicing in what we do have and paying it forward to those less fortunate. Holidays are times to be among loved ones and to feel safe and cozy in the womb of our familiar. But, what about all of those who don’t have that luxury? Those who have lost their loved ones and/or lost their...
Grace, Flow and Letting Go

Grace, Flow and Letting Go

  In both skiing and life, it is all about grace, flow and letting go!  I had the honor of once again being a participant in a five day, ten hour a day, ski program entitled Magic of Skiing (aikiworks.com).  I have taken this camp 13 times. It is so much more than just skiing and we spent a few hours a day immersed in mind, body, balance exercises and discussions (off and on the mountain). What struck me more than ever this year is how much skiing is a metaphor for life. So many of the instructions from our pros about skiing also apply to our day to day lives.  The following were quotes from the camp about skiing. “Life is a series of grabs, you either dance with those grabs or you get stuck.”   We all know how this happens. Something happens and we take refuge in our story, and get stuck or we can chose to look for the gift and lesson and push forward.  We have these grabs many times a day on the mountain as well as in life. “Maximum joy, minimum struggle.” Each moment the true warrior cuts through his or her story and steps forth from their vision. They embrace the mystery, cut through their story and create a new habit.  In skiing, we learn to leave our story behind us.  Examples of our stories are:  the temperature,  our last fall, the noise of skiers too close to us, flat light, blizzard conditions, hills that are so steep, bumps or ice. “Every bump is not an obstacle but an opportunity”. The bump...
Dear Glorious Universe

Dear Glorious Universe

Today is my birthday and I want to take this moment to tell you how grateful I am to you.  I know you always have my back and certainly more times than not, I am aware of how lucky I am and what an amazing life I have. There have been so many times of great joy in my life and I have been grateful.  I have also had times of great sorrow.  I have always been aware that my life has high summits and low valleys. I never was a middle of the road kind of gal. It hasn’t always been easy to be grateful in the valleys but I finally understand that the gifts come in those times. I now understand you are leading me to these situations and people and it is for me to ask:  What is the lesson you want me to learn?”  I know to step back and look at the situation and search for the gifts and the lessons.  I am learning the lessons and I have become accustomed to saying to you: “Bring on the small lessons”! I no longer need you to knock me over the head with the big lessons because you have my attention!  (Are you thinking, finally?) I am blessed by everything that is occurring in my life.  My parents just left Aspen a week ago and I skied every day with my 90 year old father and woke up every morning to answer daily questions from my mother as she tackled her iPhone, iPad, texting and her computer.  They both amaze me! I have two spectacular...
The Art of Self Love

The Art of Self Love

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to discuss the greatest love of your life. Self-Love is a lost art. Self-love is fundamental and monumental to our well being. I use to think I loved myself because I had self-worth and self-confidence, and I believed I valued my mind and body. I came to realize, however, that self-love is very different from having a healthy respect for your own worth and abilities. I grew up with parents who instilled self-worth and confidence in me. I grew up really believing I could be anyone I wanted to be. That is a gift my parents gave to me and a gift I hope I gave to my sons. But as we grow and begin to make meaning of the world around us, our shadows and doubts about ourselves develop. We are meaning making machines, and our young minds aren’t emotionally mature enough to understand everything around us, so we give events and situations meanings about ourselves and the world around us. We come to believe that parts of ourselves are wrong, and we begin to compare ourselves to everyone around us. We hide the parts we don’t like, and we hide the qualities our parents or others told us were wrong. We learn to judge our abilities, our bodies, our minds as inferior. We compare our accomplishments to others. Little by little our innate love for ourselves diminishes. We don’t see it happening. We begin to punish ourselves and develop ways to hide those aspects we don’t want the world to see. We stop putting our needs first, and we stop...
Be The Relationship You Want To Have

Be The Relationship You Want To Have

  I think these are among the most significant words I have heard in a long time. They have so much meaning for me and come up so often in my life. Who gave me such amazing words of wisdom? It was my son Jared. Both of my sons are always giving me pearls of wisdom and ways to make my life better, happier, healthier, calmer, and most importantly more balanced. There are times in my life over the last 15 years that I feel out of sync with family and friends. I don’t always feel like my old self or that I fit in or that my relationship or life is how I want it to be. All of the work I have been doing around acceptance and surrender helps with most of this. It is a matter of keeping check with my negative talk and all the shoulds in my life. We all have them. It is all our perceptions about our lives. Our perceptions are what cause our pain. As a coach, it is so easy for me to recognize this with my clients. When it is with me, there is always a check in or self-review that is needed to bring me out of that victim mentality. There are times I see my self as the victim and I don’t think someone is treating me the way I would like to be treated. This is when those pearls of wisdom are so significant. When the victimhood sets in and the shoulds set in, it is the perfect time for me to say to myself: “Be...
Who Would You Be Without Your Story?

Who Would You Be Without Your Story?

Who would you be without your story?   Every one of us has a story. Each of us as human beings has a story about our life and ourselves that either empowers us or disempowers us. The story either shuts us down or opens us up to new possibilities. At our highest, our story exists to protect us, to help us grow and to help us function and make sense of the world around us. More often, our story developed to protect us and allow our ego to make sense of the world. However, it ends up defining us and limiting us. It dictates the course of our lives.   The beliefs we have about ourselves that lie dormant in our subconscious support our story and direct our life. Our ego holds on tight to our story. But we can choose when and if we let it go. What is the main culprit for keeping our story? Resistance. The minute we think this “shouldn’t” be happening, we are in resistance and we hold on even tighter to our story. When we see our self as the victim in our story, we are in resistance. How do we know we are in our story? Our story is the noise that is always in the background in our minds. The noise, the negative talk that we all have, is our story. The limiting beliefs and our excuses for why we can’t have what we want; is our story. When we listen to the noise, it defines our choices and limits everything we do. There is an exercise we do in a ski...

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