there will be time

I find i'm always teetering between moving too fast, worrying im moving too slow, and sometimes just feeling stuck altogether. I race to an unknown finish line, fixate on what didn’t happen and then come back to the constant reminder of ‘forever moving forward’...without getting stuck in past or future, rather being present in the process.
My reminder to be present is often also to slow down, take it all in, see the sights, feel the feels, taste the taste, hear the words, speak with purpose…
Pace > race.
Ever plan what you’re going to say without even letting the person finish speaking? Not listening, just planning.
Or assume an outcome of an interaction before even walking thru the door?
Because how we do anything is how we do everything, for me at least.
My default is to hurry, over plan, over commit -- suffocate even.
Our desire to control is real.

So i come back to my reminder of the power of presence.
Why eat, or rush to fill, if you don’t slow down + taste?
Why enter into a conversation without even listening,
just planning what to say next?
Why workout if you rush each movement, and plan the next,
without feeling your body work in the now, breath by breath.
We plan a wedding before the first date on the “idea of someone,” a job before the entry interview,
or saving the outfit for the “perfect occasion.”


We are so fixated on outcome - past or future.
Back to the present, my reminder to pace > race is real.
i run slower, eat to taste, date to love, sweat to feel, talk to listen, sleep to refuel.
I am here, now.
But as much as i write this for me, i also pose the question unto you.
I'm asking you to look within at your patterns, habits, excuses and tendencies.
Because if don’t ask, you won’t know.

I see it in my class at box + flow,
People rushing into the next pose,
Or giving up before its over
Or waiting for permission to start,
Or focused on the clock for all of it to end,
We are so busy planning what is next
That we miss the best part
The juicy center. The last bite. The punch line. EVEN our intuition giving us all of the answers we seek...
Because we are so busy focusing on everything else, except the NOW,
but now is all we have.
Pace > race. Present in everything.
Mumford & Sons said it best: "There will be time."

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opinion

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When you open up, opinions come in.
Funny how that works.
I got home last night from a nonstop day of sweat, stilletos + sardines, too sauced from one mezcal negroni to bother cooking. Elated from a day well done - nothing epic but not too shabby, and looking forward to rest before repeating it all again. But luck would have it that before i shut off my toys, a text would tip toe in, takeover my restful state and result in a restless night. An opinionated text, sent with good intentions, from a texter met in passing at a dive bar in montauk over bud heavys + stale gumballs: “as a 3rd party business owner, your Insta feed is way too much. Seems like you are a TRY HARD.
you are all over the place. not to insult or be mean, just feedback.”

Shot in the heart. For a second. A Deep breath in + quick consideration of his opinion.
Funny, my instagram is my own expression, me being me. no effort at all. trying to be anything else would be much more difficult. Rather, i take boomerangs at the beach, sweaty selfies lookin like a sea monster, instastory my sweet potatoes to start my day, sneaker pics from where i stand, smoothie recipes, work drama, love lessons, life lessons + the rest of it, the hard work + the celebration, always seeking balance. I choose confidence over insecurity and share life thru my lens: nothing manufactured, curated or planned. Sometimes i question my caption - and then claw thru my insecurity: what am i worried about? If its honest, to me, then its real. And if it sounds crazy, its because im a little crazy.

I dont photoshop, autocorrect or edit. My best writing is impulsive. When i fixate on detail and ask too many opinions, my message gets clouded. So - I just post. The good. The bad. The happy. The sad. Perfection is no longer a goal. How you gonna have a goal that aint real? I’m sharing a glimmer of life as i know it, sometimes “all over the place,” - my struggle + success, how i work hard to #livyoung...thru confidence + fear, ease over resistance, to find celebration in the smallest of things. Life, as i know it, is usually all over the place -- extremes in a sense -- always aiming to meet back in the middle --- to balance, to connection, to myself. I am me. Just as you, are you. Self defined. The best people are often the ones who don’t always make the most sense.

Opinions are powerful, because they are yours. Share them. Lets discuss. and also discuss why judgement, comparison + insecurity are such an epidemic. People try so hard to please others. Ive been there. And i wont go there again. instead, i accept me as i am. actually, i celebrate me, ALL flaws included. I work hard to find balance, to be present in this moment, full well knowing that nothing will ever be as calculated as that because we are human -- complex layered creatures with emotions + needs. We are dark + light, ego + heart, connected + disconnected. life is not that linear, curated, or “all in one place.” And i am incapable of influencing people otherwise, Rather, i will stand behind my message of authenticity, of what’s under the hood, in my caption, in my story, in my heart.

Authenticity is honesty.
It begins with how you see yourself. Because perception of others,
is a reflection of self,
it always comes back to you.
Self definition is your definition.
Me? Im just tryna be me. I am as quirky as i seem. As put together - and pulled apart as i look.
Our best versions of self are not what is most aesthetic. They are what is most authentic.
And my bill of goods is as real as it gets. Messy is sexy. Lean in or opt out. Any questions?
#workhard #livyoung

 

sleep

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A beginning + an ending.
after a long day, there is Nothing I look forward to more than cold sheets + sweet dreams.
a Restful night to recharge and reset

Feet up. Head heavy. Engulfed in piles of pillows + supported, after carrying the weight of my day + its stories. My body melts down. My bed holds me up.
Finally the chance to let go
until tomorrow. And when sunrise hits, I spring out of bed.
With no expectation or anticipation.
A new day, with new adventure.

Last night i slept for 12 hours.
Birthday weekend kicked my ass. Fresh leap into the week, 4am wakeups, workouts, workings, meetings, meet ups, and then a meat up wednesday night. Bowery meat company bone in filet and mezcals (x3).  
See i know my limits + set my boundaries. But when Chef Capon is cooking, all limits become limitless. Body craved steak. I gave it the goods. Along with insisted extras like dairy, dessert + top shelf liquors.
But the bodies we liv in are machines. 
We fuel them or fill them.
But fuel for me is different than fuel for you.
With the wrong gas, the whole system reacts.

Dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten, dry aged meat, and the like...i do it. But not often.
2 drink minimum violated, sleep interrupted, a shell of a human yesterday.
I was so present in my meat up that i forgot i was meant to give blood the following morning.
Woke up, walked across manhattan bridge, sat down to give blood + passed out as usual.
But my most vivid visions come when i pass out -- so its worth it, perhaps. But the trick is remembering them when i come back to life. No dice this time.  After birthdays, booze, blood, black out… last night i needed to reset + recharge. Sleep brings me clarity + 12 hours was what the body ordered.
If efficiency is what you seek, start to listen to what you need.
sleep is my medicine.
recharged + back to balance, this morning, i rise + run.
Running is not my habit. My habit is breaking habits, eliminating excuses.
Excuses delay the inevitable, and there is no excuse not to run, except injury.
Nothing extra needed, No matter where i am in the world, i am free to run,
Except in china. which is why i dont like china. I dont feel safe, i dont feel free.

In connection with my body, I listen. I feed it steak as it wishes, move it as it requests, sleep to reset and celebrate, always, allowing wiggle room in to break self imposed rules + liv without limit. because rigidity is not the way forward. So in the spirit of fun, who’s in new york city this weekend?
Work can wait til monday. And if i email you, please reply “not today.”
There is a good chance i will resist, but you can ease me out of it.
Out of resistance, yes. Out of my bed, probably not.
Because without sleep, i am not much fun at all.

#balance is the goal. TGIF.

#workhard #livyoung

 

birthday anxiety

Anyone else get anxious about planning your birthday?
See, I’m a recovering over analyzer
recently committed to thinking less + feeling more,
out of planning + into #LIVing.
but every year as August 4 creeps up, I get anxious thinking about what I “should do”
And in years past when I haven’t planned anything, I cant help but wish I had- until i'm reminded that everything is meant to be.

Reminiscing years passed,

24 in NYC: new job. dinner by Michael White, black lace dress + nude louboutins followed by an unplanned rendezvous to meet a handsome dark haired suitor at boom boom room til sunrise. The same dark eyed suitor who arrived at my door with boozy slushies from his restaurant + a limo waiting downstairs to take me to brooklyn and take away my peter lugers virginity.

25 was complicated. I convinced myself that i found love (with the wrong man). my gut had the answers,but my heart insisted otherwise. I had no doubt we’d get married + everything wrong would become right. As such, my parents flew up to meet him for dinner at Commerce. The food filled the empty conversation, the table overflowed with enough food to stuff our faces + numb our emotions + my mom successfully stayed silent the entire meal. Everything about the evening was a failure. But the cherry on top? As soon as the prized 40 minute black truffle roast chicken arrived, i anxiously whipped my hand up + watched it fly across the room. If those walls could talk, they would have said RUN.

Fast forward a few years of failed relationships + autopilot behaviors. Too much planning. Not enough living. Focused on future + outcomes all out of my control.

At 29, i planned a party + then cancelled in favor of a @raya match cross country arrival into NYC. a blind date on my birthday, celebrating with a stranger - shows how much i valued myself. rooftop drinks at 60 Thompson + dinner at via carota with a dating app date who was the exact opposite of love at first sight. within 2 minutes of meeting, i knew id never see him again. Pro tip: don’t go on a blind date on your birthday if you have any self worth. If a birthday is at all telling of a year to come, this was certainly the start of one of the most mentally challenging years of my life. You can call it Saturn Return, or just something complicated. It was.

The summer of 30 was spent back + forth to my happy place out west, to find solace in my favorite yoga teacher, clear air, cold beer and higher altitude. Unsettled in work, in self, and in love, iI was running away from me to find myself. my mom joined me in New York for moral support + cocktails with friends at a french wine bar, dressed in camo to hide my depression. The majority of 29 to 30 had me seeking answers outward - not yet grasping that “everything you need is inside.” my internal struggle stemmed from my uncertain future. The unknown felt dim - yet my life looked so perfect. My “perfect” job was unchallenging + my “perfect” relationships all failed. I was fearless in life but fearful of judgement, commitment + destination unknown. Overnight something changed, i chose me.  after months of ruminating, i become present in my life, signed my lease and was off to the races.

31 brought freedom: 10 months into opening box + flow, finally feeling free to be me--  free enough to leave work + spend a weekend in Amagansett with my parents + exbf at the most magical Inn at Windmill Lane. Sunset dinner Duryeas filled with love, laughter + lobster, but not in love, at all. A most perfectly choreographed weekend was somewhat silent - with unsaid words + unsubstantial feelings. Perfect on paper + the most genuinely gentleman, but attraction is physical. It’s sexual. It’s chemical.
you can’t plan it, or fake it.
You gotta feel it.
I didn’t. We broke up a few weeks later.

So perhaps more planning should be had for 32.
The funny part is, in all years past, the plans, fears, feelings + failures, today I stand tall as I am + where I am. I am just living life. The journey of it. The experience of it. The fantasies, the fun + the failure.
THAT in itself is the most reason to celebrate.
What is life without love? Unsure, because i am confident in saying that i love my life.
And i will find love when it finds me.
Lets celebrate. #workhard #livyoung

in search of

 no makeup. no bullshit I’m just asking the universe for what I want: IN SEARCH OF a partner, to create change with, build + grow together, with my team. I am self funded, self made + just barely scratching the surface. not looking for “just a check” nor am I willing to sell my soul. it is about  #balance . no risk, no reward. hope to hear from you soon.

no makeup. no bullshit
I’m just asking the universe for what I want:
IN SEARCH OF a partner,
to create change with,
build + grow together, with my team.
I am self funded, self made + just barely scratching the surface. not looking for “just a check” nor am I willing to sell my soul. it is about #balance.
no risk, no reward.
hope to hear from you soon.

apparently, George Bernard Shaw once said, “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

I am among those people: a visionary, a north star, an entrepreneur.

I am also a subpar manager, like a kid in a toy store, i am often distracted from one shiny toy to the next - idea hopping, as my brain constantly creates. Visionary energy fuels me, i need an integrator to ground me + build with me.

I am looking for a partner.

I have certainly hired the wrong people + similarly dated the wrong men.
No mistakes, just lessons, and
It is time i choose right. (partner + man)

Is this you? Serious inquiries only - unless you make me laugh, in which case,
come at me bro. SEE below.

I am in search of a partner, an integrator, the glue. Preferably someone who likes to dot the i’s + cross the t’s. MUST BE detail oriented. Procedural. A practical thinker who is unemotional, grounded, pragmatic + potentially has built a business before. You must work well with visionaries + free spirits, be  entrepreneurial, a self starter...with financial acumen. You are a decisive CFO/COO type interested in scaling a startup business into new revenue streams + markets. You are unafraid to get messy - willing to listen + be heard, like creative energy but wholly focused on strategy + execution, budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting, marketing + building. 
You don’t just see the big picture, you create the road map to bring the big picture to life with myself + my team. TOGETHER, we make magic.

unconcerned if you have an interest in fitness. my vision transcends the physical. it is about struggle + celebration. food + fitness. connection + balance. workhard + LIVYOUNG.
if this is you, contact me directly to discuss via facebook, info@boxandflow.com, or DM.
if you think there is something here, please reach out.
RISK is what makes the world go round.

for basic info see the blog + http://boxandflow.com

creativity + zoodles

I have committed to create more than I consume. to continue capturing my best self thru my creative feats. A fitness concept to start — an open canvas to connect to others as I connect to myself. To force feeling, vulnerability, open up + dig in. cooking is also creating. connecting to the craft of food shared + consumed. to fuel my body instead of fill it - with creativity, with connection.

Oodles of zoodles with coconut oil, capers, crushed paper, octopus + Krispy kale. tenderly twirled to chopsticks, before messily slurping excess juice bowl to mouth + finished with fingertips wiped down the sides. creativity just tastes better. The process, the journey almost more enjoyable then the outcome. But this was pretty damn good. recipe below.

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Oodles of zoodles, coconut oil, capers, crushed paper, octopus + Krispy kale.

a good amount of zucchini noodles (i made seconds)
tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp capers, drained
1 can matiz octopus in oil
handful of curly kale
fresh cracked pepper (i use trader joes everday seasoning)

heat non stick pan to high. add coconut oil + wait until smoking. add zucchini noodles + saute. throw in capers to combine. use some of oil from octopus can to glaze zoodles. cover with lid + allow zucchini to soften. transfer to bowl when cooked thru. top with cracked pepper. add tablespoon of reserved oil back to smoking hot skillet. add kale. cover with lid. start to brown, crisp. watch carefully as it crisps. remove as it begins to brown, just before it burns. serve atop zoodles.

i tenderly twirled zoodles to chopsticks, before messily slurping excess juice - bowl to mouth + finished with fingertips wiped down the sides. creativity just tastes better. The process, the journey almost more enjoyable then the outcome. But this was pretty damn good.
#workhard #livyoung.

work hard + livyoung ( + a recipe)

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my hustle + motivation is what grounds me, keeps me centered, focused, yet free.
it is my blessing + my curse -- gives me freedom + drives me mad. asking for help is a new skill - a new area - unchartered territory. im used to just buckling up + getting shit done.

here is a snap shot of my day:

  • 530am wakeup. later than usual. nespresso. sweet potato + coconut oil, crushed pepper + sea salt. eat with hands while ferociously typing my anxious feelings about my unpcoming birthday.
  • 630am write, answer emails, sneakers on. off to yoga.
  • 7am yoga at lyons den chelsea
  • 815am race to noho + teach box + flow
  • 930am meeting at box + flow
  • 11am coffee + snacks: body wanted brazil nuts, dates, la colombe coffee + apple for crunch.
  • rush home to reconnect, re-center + recommit to my day and myself. with constant movement + mind on, i am best when im breathing, at a normal not belabored pace. (this is where the yoga comes in)
  • 1130 emails, shower, glamsquad, hair, makeup, dress (as i write this + answer emails)
  • 130pm purewow photoshooot top 100 women (reason to celebrate, no?) -- uber breaks down on the way. a good moment to reminder + slow down.
  • 330pm - 530pm meetings into
  • 630 date (gotta make time + space for love)
  • the rest is up for grabs

i am packed with plans but planning doesnt suit me. i dont own an alarm clock or a calendar. i know where i need to be, often a few moments behind + breathe thru the process. i coach myself as i coach my students to lean in with ease - grounded in confidence, committed to self. but my journey is bigger than me, which is where my team comes in. where i start to ask for help. where i make space for fresh ideas, perspectives, opinions + conversations. asking for help is a skill in itself. its starting to feel good. im beginning to understand that people want to build + grow with me, to change the world, together. your vibe attracts your tribe - and i only want high vibes.

with that, the idea of celebration comes back to mind. its no wonder that celebrating often feels like more work than work. with all this hustle i have to make time to let it all feel good, to embrace my accomplishments, my hard work, hustle + team work, in time for my birthday. to take a second, ask for help + enjoy everything i have -- that is my work. to slow down, to celebrate, to livyoung.

**drinks date offered dinner, i opted out + came home + cooked. there is something about creating, cooking, nourishing that tastes better than just consuming. so i did:
Oodles of zoodles with coconut oil, capers, crushed paper, octopus + krispy kale.
recipe, here.


#workhard #livyoung

 

 

 

liv, don't limit

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i had too many conversations this week about about limiting ourselves.
If you limit yourself, you will be limited.
If you accept less than your worth, you will receive less than your worth.
So, are you worthy?
Of love?
respect?
security?
How do you see yourself?
How you see yourself is a reflection of how you are seen. Take note.
Where do you fill up? Is it thru external approval or thru self actualization?
The energy you exude comes back to you.
to know yourself is to love yourself.

Judgment will always exist
Never let it allow you to judge yourself.
If you discount yourself, you will be discounted
If you doubt yourself, you will be doubted.  
I used to be that girl.
And looking back to when I allowed second best to define me,
I now know it was exactly what I thought of myself. 
But never again will I be that girl, who settles for less than her worth.
Choose to be your first choice. And you will be chosen first.

Its time to get honest.
we fight ourselves daily.
be willing to choose ease over resistance.
Own your shit. Just be you.
it aint easy, but its worth it.
Confidence over everything.
#workhard #livyoung
related post from March, here

 

canned fish life: a sucker for sardines

One mans trash is another mans treasure.
lets speak sardine: cheap, high in protein, no prep time, no shelf life, healthy fat, full of flavor, save the oil, make a vinaigrette! 
No thing spared! light on your wallet + on your waistline....an acquired taste, YES. But consider acquiring it.

I acquired this taste a few years ago, after anchovies perked my tin fish interest + I grew a strong love for frying my eggs in melted anchovy oil. from one canned fish to the next - sardines stole my stomach's love -- high in protein, moderate calories, manageable sodium, and cheapAF, i eat them because they taste good + of course  are good for you too.  But I also eat things that are not “good for you” - like dry aged steak, scotch + sugar. I'm all about #balance, but what I consider to be  “good for me”  is what makes me feel good. for example:
ONE mezcal negroni
burger without the bun
A reasonable handful of black licorice
A can of sardines
when you let food be fun, it takes the stress out of good vs. bad., with that said, instant gratification delays dis-ease. ie eating a basket of fries - tastes good in the moment, doesn't feel so good in the next. i stand by #moderation, balance + fun.
liv a little -- do what works for you. my startup diet started when I started my own business. Sardines are cheap. Pair them with champagne + you've got a well balanced meal :)
specifics, below.

Brands (sardines, mackerel, tuna + anchovies)

  1. Matiz Gallega - sourced in Galicia off coast of Spain. high quality, tender + delicate, more neutral flavor. start here.
  2. Bela - meaty + delicious. lower sodium. fuller flavor: tomato, chili + lemon.
  3. Ortiz - higher priced tuna, anchovies, mackerel + sardines. high quality, great branding, but prefer other brands.
  4. Andalusian Mackerel really tender, mild flavored, flaky, delicious, not "fishy."
  5. Trader Joes Brand- not the best, not the worst.
  6. Tonino Tuna  - purchase the dark blue can, in olive oil. **fairway, brooklyn fare
  7. Flott Tuna - top quality. more expensive. harder to find (try Fairway)
  8. Anchovies - Agostino Recca
  9. Ramon Pena: i found these at Suprema Provisions. they are mini, delicate, beautiful, delicious + expensive. do it.

Where to buy
Fairway
Amazon
Brooklyn Fare
Whole Foods
Dean + Deluca
Trader Joes
Despana
Suprema Provisions

How to eat:
With your hands!
Atop sweet potato
In a salad - use oil from can to marinate kale
In cauliflower rice
On top of crackers
Halved + roasted squash (acorn, spaghetti)
On top of pasta -- (tomatoes, garlic, olives -- puttanesca or parmigiano + butter or spicy tomato sauce!
Tossed with avocado chunks, cracked pepper, lemon.
**particularly chili oil
Out of the can!
Eggs with melted anchovies
Asparagus salad, sardines + lemon dijon

Suggested toppings
Maille Creamy dijon
Cracked pepper
Fresh Lemon
TJs Everything Season
TJs Chili Lime Salt
Coconut Amino acids
Any sort of acid to balance out the fatty oil from the can.
Can’t really go wrong — soft texture works well with crunch but also blends with soft foods like sweet potatoes + cauliflower rice or rice. Sardines compliment foods with mild flavors because they are so strong. Lemon + cracked pepper or TJ’s everything seasoning works wonders to add an extra kick.

Send me questions on specifics. But that certainly takes some of the "fun" out of just feeling your food - what works + what doesn't only figures itself out when you try it!

shape

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I eat burgers + beers.
I liv dont limit
And when my body limits, I listen.
I bow down + hug in.

This life is a marathon. Not a race.
And im learning everyday to embrace my shape. The vessel that carries me + allows me to move.
This shape that protects me + informs me.
As my body evolves from my 20s to my 30s. Day by day I am learning more to love every inch that is me, the imperfections that are only mine.
I am not my shape. I am my spirit, my heart, my mind, my soul.
But I choose to connect to the shape that carries me.
To celebrate my structure - that which is physically all of me.
To the feet that ground me, walk with me, run with me + pace my forever desire to race.
To the legs that never get longer no matter how often I stretch
To the structure of my spine that lifts + lengthens me.
To the shoulders that lift up + back, proud rather than insecure.
To the gut that guides me - when I allow it -  my greatest intuition.
To the ribs that protect my heart.

Seeking perfection is a dirty game of never enough.
Connecting to your shape allows room for discovery, conversation, give + take.
You are not your body. You are your heart.
But celebrate the body which is your home - fuel it with what feels good - food, work, movement, words, company and you will feel full.
Be connected enough to know when you feel disconnected:
when you are just filling empty space, filling a void, reaching for external instead of seeking within.
If your body limits — via sensitivity, injury or illness, listen.
Connection begins within.
#workhard #livyoung

the desire to give up

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lately i have this desire to give up.
everything i start, i look for the quickest way out. a run, a yoga class, a conversation, a trip, my business. this wouldn't be of issue if I wasn't me - i work hard + livyoung. struggle defines me. celebration fulfills me. but not recently. its like im looking for the emergency exit, before i even enter. time to check under the hood. to ask myself the tough questions. to check in + check up. seeking instant gratification comes easy but instant gratification delays dis- ease. im reaching out to old counsel, grabbing a beer, hitting the candy store, scrolling on dating apps, online shopping, phoning a friend. for what?
i know the answers. but im feeling disconnected. i yearn to create, to be challenged, to inspire + be inspired. my desire to change the world, to impact society, to contribute -- feels flat. but asking for advice doesn't serve me. ive done that. ive been there. and everyone is your friend, with limitless advice, and all of the reasoning --- until they send you a bill. all the bills. stacks on stacks of money owed contribute to hours of hours awake. sleepless nights + endless to-dos. but i like work. it fuels me. effort inspires me. doing does me good. so what is this desire to quit? to give up? to throw in the towel? to hideaway, watch fauda + forget my mission?
i can't. i won't. not me. i must reconfigure. re-inspire. re-committ.
i remind myself to seek within. there is no where to run. no need to hide. i need to face myself.
what i want. who i am. why im here. im on a mission to create change. thru self. from self. i must reconnect to me -- i must practice what i preach. i set out to open a studio. to teach a class with a mission in mind. my classes are full. my team is getting stronger. i finally have a foundation of like-minded humans who want to build with me. but i get bored easily. my lists just keep getting longer. i always seek more: a brand! a book, content, beer, burger, apparel line: impact. BALANCE! i need balance. and self love. i need to give what im selling. because lately im not. im not sleeping. i dont feel sexy. or satisfied. or successful. i just feel, numb. but i am unafraid of failure. there is no dream too big. there is no mountain too high.
so back to my note to self --- olivia, there is power in process, in practice, in presence in patience. rome wasn't built in a day. it takes hard w ork to livyoung. keep on keeping on. do not give up. youve got this. anything is possible - if you believe in yourself. 
and i know - because there have been many times, when i didnt belive in myself, at all.
but now i know better. everything i need is inside.
#workhard #livyoung

family first

fourth of july fireworks felt well spent on an
impromptu 36 hr rendezvous with my family in Kennebunkport for hang time, laughter + love. I flew in to shut off. sleepless nights stack up as mental lists never end. my body  craved laughter + quiet all the same. in my own way, i went in search of celebrating the freedom to just be, me —with family who accept me + who i often feel judged by-- a demon of my own that needed dealing with. So I did just that. see, i have these visionary dreams of changing the way we see ourselves, thru self acceptance + self love -- a mission i'm unsure my family understands. but I needed to make peace with knowing that they don’t have to. only I do.

i set out to Maine + set myself up for success: no email, no expectation. just full belly laughs, farm stands + fudge. No plans, just love. Success! 36 hrs of play - no work. physical or mental. total reset. I laid my face in the sun + Filled my family with delicious. I love a big kitchen away from the busy city. to tiptoe info before the sunrise + sip coffee while everyone sleeps.
cooking brings me ease. I love making my boorish brothers breakfast to tame their bottomless appetites: Piles of pancakes topped with homemade orange blueberry jam + maple syrup, Fiery red lobsters boiled + buttered + stacks upon stacks of ice cream from every stand within 10 miles of Kennebunkport, Maine.

Filled myself? Nope. But I enjoyed. Tasted and tickled my pallet. Dodged comments because I don't gorge myself like the boys + urged them to accept me as I am - even though I can’t wipe out 10 pancakes in one sitting or eat chowder, before a fried fishermans platter, washed down with a rocky road sundae. I feasted in my own right nonetheless -- on laughter + lobster. And left feeling fortunate that I went — grateful for what I have, not what I don’t.

The cherry on top is always the conversation around the table: There are no limits with the Youngs' -- no topic untouched, no person unscathed. Almost everything is innapropriate + hysterical, nonetheless. Without fail, bouts of laughter result in hazardous choking, happy crying, or falling off a chair.

we are the youngbloods. A rowdy gang of six — turned 7. (a warm welcomed sister in law) of emotion fueled firecrackers. we don’t need much - just a daily sweat for the ladies + 4x more food then fitness for the boys, a healthy amount of beer, strong air conditioning. Comfy beds, our own bathrooms and a getaway car for an easy escape. sheets must be cold + the oven always warm — full bellies full hearts + anticipation that we’re always one comment away from some sort of World War III.

Family is forever. I am fortunate that mine allows me to cook, loves to eat, never stops laughing, my mom never stops caring, my dad quietly listens while the boys rumble nonsense into nighttime. Competition fuels us but love defines us - it is the common language that brings us back to common ground -- even if it is often masked by mischief, judgement or misinterpreted otherwise. i faced the feeling that family judges. they do -- but only thru love. better together -- we are forever young.

#workhard #livyoung

distraction

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this quote came to me as i taught a fierce + focused group who woke up early Monday morning to feel —something. the same well-intentioned humans who were distracted as the class transitioned from fight to flow. life is a series of transitions with unlimited never-ending distraction, comparison + judgement.
turn off the noise.
tune into you.
#workhard #livyoung

breakfast

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ive said it before + ill say it again: i eat to enjoy. food is fuel but it should also be fun.i rise before the sun + usually run to workout or otherwise. breakfast pre workout.
smoothie upon return.
routine, yes. same same, but different everyday.

baby apple to begin: the juicy, loud crunch to start my day, makes me feel alive.
sweet potato, egg, heaping spoonful of coconut oil + cracked pepper.
mash with fork. eat with hands.
steamy nespresso + tepid water to wash it down.

fat keeps me full.
protein keeps me focused.
carbs let me run wild.
caffeine wakes my ass up.
forks are fine but feeling your food is more fun.
i suggest finishing with your hands.
eat to enjoy.
#workhard #livyoung

you are

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you are: whatever you tell yourself.
you are your harshest critic.
find one reason to be your biggest fan.
you are stronger than you think.
be strong enough to recognize that. hard work worthy of celebration. #balance
#workhard #livyoung

February 2018 Archive
It is a human dilemma: finding a balance between ego + heart. 
So here is a question I’ll pose upon you:
Are you your biggest fan?
Or your harshest critic? 

Can we, as humans, find the balance in both?

What happens when you force yourself to feel?
For me, stillness is my biggest challenge, which is why yoga is so integral in my life.
Less fight, more flow.
Slowing down is tantamount in order to listen, to others,
but more importantly to ourselves, to our intuition.
Our wants.
Our hearts.

But endless to-do lists fill my brain, with a common thru line of huge dreams and limited time.  A shaman once told me I fixate on my short legs, because they don’t allow me to run fast enough. But I refuse to get stuck, so I keep moving forward.

Late nights working followed by beer at broome street bar turns into an early morning wakeup. As I fire away emails at 445am, I come out of my trance and remind myself that the city still sleeps + I can slow down. I force myself to shut my eyes if only for another hour.
My ego interrupts and urges me to run.
Because that is what humans do to distract from feeling.  We run.

Often in stillness I am my harshest critic. My ego makes me feel guilty for wanting to take a knee, if only for one hour, Friday at 5am. Ego whispers, ‘move faster. be better. do more,’ while heart hopes for some rest. Today, ego wins + within minutes I jet out the door to box + flow away any insecurity holding me back from moving forward.

We distract ourselves from feeling because it is often easier not to.
Feeling is facing our true selves, our intuition, our hearts not our ego.

 when I shut down my ego + allow love in, I become my biggest fan. If only for a moment, void of attachment, comparison + judgment, I give myself a pat on the back for my effort and dedication.

So: ego or heart? Back to the question I pose unto you,
Are you your biggest fan?
Or your harshest critic?
Ask yourself in stillness, in silence, in solitude,
Not after you landed that hot date, or got the great promotion.
Answer yourself honestly, from your heart – not your ego.
Are you your biggest fan or your harshest critic?
Can you find the balance in both?
#workhard #livyoung