i haven’t written about crossfit/strength training for a few months. so, i thought i would give an update about my training! you may be asking, “what exactly are you training for?”. well, i am training to stay in shape and continue to provide my body with a healthy outlet to enhance my physical and mental growth. but, the past few months have challenged my training with chronic pain in my right neck/shoulder area and i knew there had to be some form of therapy that would help release this pain for good!
enter: neurokinetic therapy (NKT).

NKT addresses the cause of pain – dysfunctional movement patterns stored in the brain. basically, it is a combination of deep massage and muscle testing. during the process of massaging, you are able to fire the nerves and open up a pathway to receive new information from the brain. there is about a 30-60 second window where your brain will receive this new information. our brains are amazing! at the end of my first session, the low-level headache, along with sharp pains in my neck, were gone!! i let out a big sigh of relief 🙂  but, then i was told that i had to take a WHOLE week off from lifting/moving anything that would activate those nerves and muscles in the wrong way. so, this led me to become more creative with my workouts this week, since all i can do is lower body weight/movements.

here is what i came up with to add weight to my already stellar perfect squat: the kettle bell box squat!
what you need: two boxes, a belt/rope, kettle bell and weight lifting shoes (if you are serious about lifting weight and don’t own a pair, i don’t think we can be friends.) i started with the 18#/10 reps, then 26#/10 reps, and 35#/8 reps (2x) this was for part of my strength training session. (see pics below.) this lift helps improve your balance, strength and form.

hlgKB

35# kb squat. smile included with each rep.

hlgkb side

look at that 90 degree angle squat?! i keep me hands in a front squat position to help with balance.

to learn more about NKT, check out their website and this video! stay healthy and fit and always listen to your body talk! 🙂

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i am now in the fourth week of posting my “thoughts of gratitude and abundance” quotes. over the last six months, i have been studying and practicing Buddhism, mainly through the teachings of Pema Chodron. i just finished her book, “Start Where You Are” and took the follow quote from my reading:

the more you’re willing to open your heart, the more challenges come along that make you want to shut it. -Pema Chodron

namaste

well, isn’t that the truth! 🙂 i found myself struggling with having an open-heart this past week. i can not pin point a particular situation that happened except i just found than that the little voice in my head would say one thing and my heart-gut would refute it immediately! this led me to finally sitting with my thoughts and allowing my breath to bring me back to the heart-center.
our mind is an amazing tool and i am learning through research and my own observations that out heart-center (and not just our physical heart but, as i like to say, heart-gut) is what has the ability to choose. we have the opportunity to choose in every moment: we can either walk around with a closed-heart in the face of fear or we can choose to remain open no matter what the world throws our way. i understand that this is tricky and i battle with it on a daily basis. but, at the end of the day, i know that by being open and loving and offering kindness to each other, that is what will truly help us heal one another. i challenge you to go fourth today with a completely open-heart and you will see the kindness reflected back to you!
namaste.

triumph in each path.

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Growth, Nature, Tracking

“the fact that my triumph might seem trivial to anyone else did not diminish its magnitude for me.”
The Tracker: The True Story of Tom Brown, Jr.

a couple shots of tracks i discovered in the snow during my visit to ohio.

a couple shots of tracks i discovered in the snow during my visit to ohio.

i have many moments in my life where i compare myself to others and often think that what i have accomplished does not stand a chance against those who have really made a difference in this world. but. deep down, i really do know that each success, no matter how big or small, holds an enormous amount of magnitude for me. this quote jumped off the pages to me in bright, bold print and i grabbed on to it tight! whether or not you are interested in tracking, this statement can be true to us all. in the face of fear, we can accomplish great things and it all depends on how we acknowledge and caress the experience. this is what will give it strength and nurture the belief that you have the power to create anything and find triumph in each day. take this into the new year and discover the triumph that lies in all the paths of your accomplishments! wishing you all a healthy and transformational 2013!

Books on tracking and nature connection that i am currently reading:
What the Robin Knows by Jon Young
Field Guide to Animal Tracks and Scat of California by Mark Elbroch, Michael Kresky and Jonah Evans
The Art of Tracking The Origin of Science by Louis Liebenberg (you can DL the PDF for free. just search on google.)
The Way of the Scout by Tom Brown, Jr.
Awakening Spirits by Tom Brown, Jr.

this past year, i started to write articles for Breaking Muscle. i am stoked that two of my articles made it in the Top 10 Nutritional Articles for 2012! i am excited to continue with my writing and to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you. thanks for the support! 🙂

Top 10 Nutrition Articles of 2012 | Breaking Muscle.

warriorgoddess

you are a hot, sexy, delicious woman of the world whose job as a courageous warrior is to show all of your extraordinary goddess-like self and to fill up your reservoir with so much love that you can be rejected by 99 percent of the world and still feel great about yourself. -Debbie Ford, Courage
(this beautiful photo was taken by photographer Elena Ray)

we are now in the flow of change, new beginnings, relationships, experiences and transformations after passing through winter solstice 2012. i had a beautiful celebration that day that i will share later. for now, i am holding myself accountable in the second week of posting a quote that continues to inspire me. i posted this quote on my facebook page this past summer and was blow away by the attention it received! i am honored to pass on the teachings of Debbie Ford and know that i am a ripple in the positive effect that is occurring with us all. whether we acknowledge it or not, change is upon us and we are now stepping towards a more Goddess-oriented world.  i intuitively feel that this is the beginning of women stepping up and become an even stronger presence in their community, family, work place and world. one intention i am holding space for in 2013, is to tap into my warrior-goddess-self and to step into the role that i am here to fulfill: being a leader!! she has been knocking at my door the past year and now i am ready to open! 🙂

i am also excited about the unexpected Very Inspiring Blogger Award nomination i received from Naiad and the moon of!!! (i will respond to it after vacation.) over the past month, i have been getting to know other inspiring bloggers who are writing to spread positive energy and good news!! we are all the ripple in the sea and together we can do so much!

Books written by Inspiring Women:
Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence. -Debbie Ford
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. -Brene Brown
The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles. -Marianne Williamson
The Green Intention: Living in Sustainable Joy. -Sandy Moore
The Soul of Money. -Lynne Twist

try to learn to stay. learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. and work with it instead of against it. -Pema Chodron

meditation

i have been intently studying the Buddhist teachings of Pema Chodron over the last six months. coming from a Christian background of being told what is “right” and what is “wrong”, Buddhism offers an approach that is filled with unconditional love, compassion and acceptance for all sentient beings. diving into the works of Pema Chodron has opened my heart and mind to cultivating love and kindness to myself and the experiences i face each day.

the quote i chose for this week was one that i meditate on frequently. simply learning to stay in your body. stay with your thoughts. stay with your joys and your fears. stay in the present moment. i challenge you to give it a try this week. you have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain from within. namaste.

books i have read and re-read many times (and recommend) by Pema Chodron:
Taking the Leap
Start Where You Are
Comfortable with Uncertainty
Getting Unstuck

kombucha

13 bottles and counting!

after living out of my car for almost a month, my kombucha bottles started to pile up! i know i bought way more than 13 over that time period but some got tossed in the recycle bin. after noticing how many bottles i had, i asked myself: “is this a healthy addiction?” what are your thoughts on this?

now that i am settled into a semi-permanent place, i am going to be making my own kombucha very soon! to read more about the benefits of fermentation, check out the article i wrote for Breaking Muscle, “The Real Reasons Your Guts Need Fermented Foods”. another great resource is the website, Wild Fermentation.

have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂

i have a confession to make. i have not been completely honest with you, my readers. and i want to change that. one of my best friend’s called me out on this the other day. she told me that she loves to read my blog posts and enjoys that i channel my experiences into a positive outcome but, that i am not being completely honest. because, what she loves about my self-expression, is that i am not afraid to show my pain, my sadness and my frustrations through my writing. and i have not really been doing that. the past six months have been complete chaos transformed into the deepest-darkest holes and caverns. to the point where i did not want to exist. and that is my truth.

‘altered groundlessness’ is the best way i can describe my current life situation.
five months ago, i thought that having my girlfriend breakup with me on my 29th birthday was about the lowest life could take me but the universe decided to throw even more complications into the mix a few months later. all of my expectations of 2012 have completely gone out the window and i’m not even close to where i had started.
i realized i had finally hit rock bottom.

When the sweet ache of being alive, lodged between who you are and who you will be, is awakened, befriend this moment. It will guide you. Its sweetness is what holds you. Its ache is what moves you on. –Mark Nepo

woman

basically, after getting my heart broken, i made the choice to move on and everything was going great! i was doing awesome at my job, (despite the daily hysterical breakdowns in my car), my home situation was amazing and i fell in love with all my roommates, i was gaining strength and speed in the gym and i had a new appreciation for life and the challenges it gives us! but, a black cloud was quietly hanging over me. i didn’t see it coming because i was choosing to ignore it. i was having so much fun with life that i didn’t want to acknowledge that i was sick and depressed and that there was something deeper going on.
then, i realized that the icing on the cake of my life was black mold.

two months ago, it was confirmed that Stachybotrys, otherwise know as black mold, was in my home. let me tell you, this stuff is serious and it can do major damage to a person’s immune system and mental health. all of which i was experiencing first hand. after two months of being sick, i intuitively knew something else had to be going on with my body. i was experiencing many of the major toxic mold symptoms such as: fatigue, unable to concentrate, night sweats, hives, hormonal imbalance, loss of appetite, persistent cough, join pain and mental instability. it is crazy that something so small can attack your body and drain your immune system to the very core! i knew it was time to get out of that house for good. i reached out to my crossfit community and they provided a place for me to stay until i found something more permanent. i was being taken care of in terms of shelter and support but the next step was taking care of myself and healing my body, mind and heart.

consequently, over the past two months, the “altered groudlessness” of my life has been teaching me a lot. like. a LOT. to help me cope with the uncertainty of life, i decided to follow along with a 21 day meditation challenge through the Deepak Chopra Center. this challenge focused on abundance and gratefulness on one’s life. i certainly had a lot to be grateful for and these daily intentions helped to bring that to awareness and become alive in my heart! i then went one step further and created a physical place of grounding in my temporary room with an alter.

“As I let go of the need to arrange my life, the universe brings abundant good to me.”

alters allow you to have a your own sacred space wherever you roam. it is the intention you put into that space that comes alive and can bring fourth many things in you life.

alters allow you to have a your own sacred space wherever you roam. it is the intention you put into that space that comes alive and can bring fourth many things in you life.

i share my experiences not to receive pity, but in hopes that whoever is reading them will feel inspired by my rawness and expression of the challenges in my life. the level of grief that i have experienced over the past few months has been deep. dark. and intense. but, it has also been filled with a level of growth i did not expect! i have been provided for and supported and loved in so many ways that my heart overflows with the feelings of gratefulness. but, what i have learned the most is that it takes work. you have to work through the pain and heartache. and you will have set backs. and you will have gains. and just when you think you are riding smoothly, the biggest wave will crush you and send you to the bottom. this is the real test. then, when you can stand up and climb out of that pit, this is when you know that the work you have been doing internally has paid off. you truly do have the strength to live on.

you have to honor yourself. love yourself. respect yourself and be at peace with who you are and where you are in life. i know that i will feel different levels of pain and grief throughout my lifetime but with each experience, i am empowered by the challenge to work through it and love myself through it all. namaste.

empowered by the cacao. part 3.

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Cacao, Growth, Nature

you could say i am on my way to a full sleeve tattoo! i have no idea what the future will hold for my continued fascination with ink but i do love my tattoos and the part of my soul they allow me to express.

amazing colours.

i recently had an older lesbian-Jewish-New Yorker ask me: why do you have tattoos? why are you stretching you ears and have piercings all over? why do you have dreadlocks?…..
in that moment, i felt put on the spot, as i gazed out at the setting sun on the pacific ocean.
then, i responded:
i have a deep-rooted connection to my ancestors from Central/South America and Africa. the people of these tribes chose to decorate themselves with piercings and tattoos; hold ceremonies and offerings to their gods and give thanks with their expression through art, song, and dance. i don’t know how i am connected through my linage of ancestors besides that i just intuitively feel it deep inside. therefore, i just know. my tattoos, piercings and dreadlocks are also a way for me to share a part of myself with others if they desire to learn more.
these are all certainly “attention-getters”, but, instead of letting others stare in fear with question, i choose to take that fear and allow them to feel safe with their curiosity and ask questions.
then, i tell my story.

we all have a story to tell and i thank you for tapping into your curiosity and listening to mine.

below are pictures that show the additional work i had done a couple weeks ago in bringing new life to my cacao pods. as i enter a new transition in my life and being on the dawn of 2013, i felt they needed some foliage and flare with the beautiful leaf and branch work. i offer much gratitude and appreciation to my incredible tattoo artist, Micah Riot. the connection that we have is what brought our creation to life!

total connection. full circle.

i love how there are even bite marks from bugs!

In Lak’ech Ala K’in = I am you, and you are me.
In Mayan tradition, there is a greeting that many people working with Mayan wisdom know of. It is the law of In Lak’ech Ala K’in, which means I am another yourself (A modern day interpretation). It also means I am you, and you are me (A traditional Mayan interpretation). We have come to understand that this Mayan greeting is an honoring for each other. It is a statement of unity and oneness.


to check out my previous posts click for part 1 and  part 2!

alive in nature!

Posted: November 24, 2012 in Growth, Nature, Travel

in this present moment, i am so grateful for the beautiful world i live in. i just had to share some of these pictures that capture only an essence of what is seen by your eyes and felt with your heart. enjoy!

pacific coast highway 1 overlook.

pacific coast highway 1 overlook.

pacific coast highway 1. so grateful!! ❤

almost sunset. stinson beach. thanksgiving day.

sunset. stinson beach. thanksgiving day.

baltimore canyon falls. mill valley, ca.

caught in the web of illusion. baltimore canyon. mill valley, ca.

daybreak. baltimore canyon falls. mill valley, ca.

labyrinth. fairfax, ca.

balancing act.

“It seems that intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.”

-Mark Nepo (from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen)