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

 

my dad the meat magician

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The Youngs are a party of six. Mom, Dad, me + three brothers. My dad was 40 when he met my mom. He was busy building a business and making money was his thing. He grew up with nothing and was laser focused on changing his existence as he got older.  On the cusp of Atlantic City, my dad spent summers working for his uncles who owned a deli counter. He saw that they sold meat + made money. Great, he would sell meat. Fast forward, my dad started a meat distribution company, manufactures, packs + distributes meat throughout the world. A one man show, he built a major facility with 45+ employees, ginormous spiral freezers, international distribution, with no formal education, no advisors, investors, just a whole lot of confidence, and even more blood sweat and tears. My dad is a meat magician — He produces millions of pounds of masterpiece to correctional facilities (+ otherwise) around the country. Not a bad business at all — there will always be prisoners.

My entrepreneurial spirit (and my love of meat) came from my dad: both Leos, lions, leaders, fire signs. Emotional, strategic, extroverted introverts who like stimulation and quiet all the same. Passion fuels us + depletes us. We feel everything. We have a shared love for food, sweat, work + our love to be loved. My dad taught me the meaning of hard work, without him realizing it. His way to parent was to let my mom do the parenting, while he worked to provide. He wakes up before the sun (if he sleeps), works + returns home after a tennis game, for a homemade dinner altogether. More quiet than engaged as we dined, he listened + detached from the day or silently planned his needs for tomorrow. Tennis is the one thing that allowed my dad to be present, to shut off from work, to let go.

Part of my hard work is to prove to my dad that I can. And for so long I sought attention from men because I didn' get the attention I needed from my dad. As soon as I was old “enough” I found an older boyfriend. I wanted to be recognized, and taken care of. I dreamed I’d live a life like my mom, the family glue: marry older, beautiful home, make dinner, make babies... but at some point I wanted to build a company too.

My challenge has always been to find balance between my moms compassion + joie de vivre and my fathers’ work ethic and intensity. I air closer to my dad and often need a reminder to be present + make time to celebrate. My dad doesn’t celebrate success. Like him, I am my harshest critic. Which begs the question - how do you measure success? That is TBD. Although with it, I hope comes contentment, happiness, joy, presence. And self acceptance.

I accept my dad for who he is. He taught me work ethic without even knowing.  It took me a while, but i've accepted that his idea of parenting was providing. And I know he accepts that I am following my dreams, much like he did- but with a different purpose. Money is certainly a driving factor, but outweighed by my desire to change the world thru connection. To allow people to be seen, just as they are. Its about self acceptance, self love, and belonging. to make us humans a little less harsh, on ourselves in the process. Its about letting go of what is holding you back to get where you want to be. Its about love + hate. fight + flow. Food + fitness. Effort + ease. it is about the freedom to feel.  Working hard + living young. Because what else is there?

Dad: I am grateful for your courage, your dedication + your protection. Thru hard work, I celebrate you everyday. I love you.

#workhard #livyoung

smoothie styles

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after I sweat, I smoothie. everyday. i look forward to it, actually. my version of a milkshake. different day, different flavor. alternate protein sources. Switch between vegan + whey. I play with different greens, herbs, spices + accoutrements. I find a way to make magic out of monotony. To make milkshakes without the milk.

my culinary school background serves me well when it comes to textures + tastes. i find simple pleasure in adding orange zest, fresh ginger or dutch processed cocoa to my base + find fun in the the subtle taste difference when using macadmia nut instead of coconut milk. There is always the consideration of how much ice is too much - or if my bag of frozen berries will bring sweet or sour to the batch. I love to watch whey protein fluff up when the vitamix pops on + how the concoction pours a marshmallow like ribbon you’d want to float in it.

after Im thru adding all the things + the @vitamix hits high. i wait with anticipation to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, and taste my creation. But first, I choose the vessel. Coconut oil jar, coffee mug or freshly drank la Colombe cup. No matter the glass, I always finish with my hands — a successful smoothie is one that ends up on the kitchen floor + leaves a little on my face. Its the simple pleasures. make magic out of monotony. make some today.

vegan protein
amazing grass peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, rich chocolate (whole foods)
sprout living drinkable oats
vega protein (chocolate, mocha, coconut almond, vanilla chai, vanilla)
sanosphere chocolate
whey protein
eboost chocolate + vanilla
primal kitchen chocolate coconut
naked whey peanut butter, chocolate

fruit + veggies
banana** always
berries
mango
spinach
kale
pineapple
frozen coconut
passion fruit
frozen peaches
avocado
riced cauliflower
canned pumpkin
sweet potato

extras
vanilla extract
almond extract
fresh mint
coffee beans
brewed coffee
fresh ginger
cinnamon
dutch processed cocoa
peanut butter powder
orange zest
lemon zest
nutmeg
matcha powder
pumpkin pie spice
coconut meat/cream
sprinkle of sea salt brings out the chocolate flavor
tumeric
powdered ginger
cacao nibs

milk
coconut milk
almond milk
cashew milk
macadamia nut milk
oat milk
coconut water

creativity in the simplest things. smoothies bring me solace.
have fun with it. surprise yourself.
favorite recipes? in search of recipes? feedback? send me a note.


 

have + have not

its not about having enough. its about making the most of what you have.
we all need a reminder, sometimes.
grace. grateful. gratitude.
My internet has been down for days. Verizon exploded in Chelsea + so it goes. No wifi.
Ive been restless. Reliant on internet to keep me company in the early hours and before I go to sleep. I woke up this morning at 5am, and paced around my apartment for an hour or two, before letting myself go back to bed. I shifted my perspective on what i don't have, and embraced what i do: quiet morning hours, no distraction, soft sheets + deep sleep. i let go.

its not about having enough. its about making the most of what you have.
Time, money, energy, freedom, love. If we choose gratitude first. If we stopped wishing we had more, would we see more clearly all that we have?

I ask you this as I ask myself. As I wonder about this past week when two notable names took their own lives. Surely possible that they were grateful in their final moments for all they have, but more probable that they felt a deep emptiness, leaving legacies + loved ones + never to be answered questions.

Life is what you make it. There are circumstances, sure. There are unforeseen complications and less than desirable outcomes, and time is precious. But what if we stopped focusing on all that we don’t and started embracing all that we do. Time is what you make it. Make the most of it.
Spend it doing things you love, with people who you love, going places that you love, when you can. And when you can’t, be where you are + lead with love. Acknowledge your foundation. Find gratitude in everything. Grow from there.

Money is poignant for me now. I started a business, with my own money. I need to grow. I'm pitching investors to invest in my dream to bring more balance to the world - selling confidence + sexy thru the messy, vulnerable unknown, thru what started as a workout but speaks to a feeling, a way of being, a way of life. asking for money is frustrating + uncomfortable. it is far more challenging than swiping right for sex. Money is hard earned, its personal, its defensible, its yours. While sex should be — or might be — its also just, not. pick your poison via tinder or bumble or hinge. Money is different.

I’m struggling to find gratitude in all that I have, as I keep my vision + dreams in check: a business built from sweat, blood + tears, rooted in love + a deep desire to make the world better. A team of committed people, and a community who is willing to learn, grow + connect to themselves. A constant reminder that without all that box + flow is today, there would be no future. Gratitude is the foundation of everything.

Energy, freedom, love.
You choose how your energy shows up. What you output and what you take in. Learn to know how you operate — what fuels you + depletes you. Find gratitude in knowing yourself. Freedom in feeling how you feel. And loving who you are, instead of worrying about all that you don’t and all you are not.

its not about having enough. its about making the most of what you have.

success in failure

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it is when we fall that we really feel.
in love, in work, in life. without risk, there is no reward. entrepreneurship isn’t easy.
It is a roller coaster with unexpected twists + turns. It is a boxing match with an unpredictable opponent.
It isn't a job, it's life, in real time - with one million variables and one North Star. My commitment to my vision + dream, is imperative. I have to stay connected to my core, whilst building a committed team, a growing community + keeping myself balanced along the way. In other words, my connection to me, my business + my life, is also deeply effected by everything around me, the emotions + behaviors of others - employees, clients, trends, competitors, potential investors, the weather! i speak about balancing ego + heart, letting love lead the way, being grounded in gratitude and choosing confidence over everything.
But at the same time, I am human.
I feel.
everything.
I think life would be easier if I didnt.
If I didnt care when others were hurting.
If I didnt have this deep desire to change the world.
But I do.
And I will.
So often we live in fear of the unknown, which prohibits us from even taking a chance, in big ways + small: texting a crush, having an uncomfortable conversation, quitting a job…
But what if we shifted our perspective to find the thrill in the potential failure. To see that there is success even when we dont “win.” The success is in just trying - in putting yourself out there, In taking a chance.
It is when we fall that we really feel.
What are you willing to feel?
For me, the answer is everything.
Even if sometimes, it hurts.
Because if you’re not willing to lose, than you’re not willing to win.
and I play to win, whilst acknowledging the possibility that failure is also an option, in big things + small.
when you open up to possibility, anything is possible.
but you don't know unless you try.
#workhard #livyoung

motivation

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teaching gives me life.
who knew?
my biggest insecurity in starting box + flow was actually teaching the class.
often it is what scares us the most that is our greatest calling: be it work, love, parenting, moving, or otherwise. that which we resist is sometimes a calling for us to lean in.

teaching motivates me.
Box + flow is my vessel to urge people to let go, to confront resistance + welcome in ease.
I learned to teach by teaching.
You learn to cook by cooking.
You learn to parent by parenting.
You learn to love by loving.
Same same but different.
We are all students, always learning.
What will you lean into to learn more from today?

i am motivated by magic, community, practice, presence + patience.
For my deep desire to bring change from within thru connection to self.
what motivates you?
Find it.
Lean in. learn. Listen. explore. Allow motivation to come from your heart.
If you listen closely, trust yourself + your intuition, you will hear your answers.
What motivates you is your calling.
allow yourself to be called. learn to listen.

#workhard #livyoung

feel

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We enter the world into open arms, literally. The universe welcomes our existence. Life is meant to be lived, to be felt, to be shared.  It is an open hug - an outstretched hand, a blank slate for us to create our experience on...if you’re open to it, if you are vulnerable. it is your human right to flourish, If you allow energy in with ease, rather than resistance, with flow instead of fight. Grounded in our being, confident in our self + open to creation, collaboration, love + evolution.
No expectation or anticipation: vulnerable to possibility + ready for anything, even if things don’t work out as planned.  It is thru failure that we learn. It is when we fall that we really feel.
As we begin a new week, this Memorial Day, we recognize those who have fallen. Entering mid spring, with new energy, + new beginnings, what are you willing to feel?
perhaps consider leaning in with ease, to #flowthruthefight.
#workhard #livyoung

magic

Magic is everywhere. Its as real as it get.
Call it the universe, luck, energy, timing - whatever you wish. It Just is.

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Magic is feeling. Connection. Energy. creation.
An openness. A manifestation.
And to feel magic - you have to be open to feel — the good + the bad.  

Those who dont believe in magic are the ones who have never experienced it.
Closed off to connection. Afraid of risk. Disconnected to community. Linear to a fault
Walk the streets looking at their feet instead of heart open to the sky, watch movies + dream about a different life, but are too afraid to make change…

But without magic, love wouldn’t exist
Businesses wouldn’t flourish
Cities wouldn’t be built
Movies wouldn’t be made
Communities wouldn’t connect
And dreams wouldn’t come true.
 
Magic is in the simple:  when all the traffic lights turn green,
when there are two open bar seats at your favorite spot,
when no one is seated in the middle seat on your red eye home from Vegas.
It is what is meant to be.
Or just luck.
It is ease. flow. Openness. receptivity. Heart.

But to know magic, to feel magic, is to understand what isn’t. It is to experience resistance, fight, unwillingness, being stuck.
When a relationship is forced.
When you start seeking outward instead of looking within.
But good magic, real magic, energy, luck, the universe, is everywhere when you are present.

And just because there is magic in a situation now, doesnt mean it will last forever.
Energy now isn’t energy always.
A feeling today doesn't mean you will feel it tomorrow.
Your dream job at 23 might be something you grow out of five years later, same as your dream relationship, or dream home. 
Magic comes + goes. Just like the weather.
But when something feels good, when something is just right, bask in that feeling now.
Soak it up as is. be present in the energy you have invited.  
Because the magic that you manifested in this moment, might not be here in the next.
So for now, what are you going to do with all this magic?

 

manifestation

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When you are present, you can manifest anything.

I woke up yesterday feeling connected - different than usual: out of my routine + Into just feeling. In the smallest of ways, I made change - breakfast smoothie instead of egg whites...I scurried to yoga by 630 + flowed, popped into a boxing class, i fought + i felt.
I took in new energy + let go of stale thoughts.
I ran into old friends + made new ones.
And skated thru the line at Trader Joes, All before 9am.

I had someone on my mind - an acquaintance who posted on FB about recently losing a relative, I wanted to give her a hug.  Bouncing thru Soho, I ran right into her.  New York city is a big place, but energy is everything. I manifested that feeling + it came to be.

Pep in my step, I took on meetings + me time. #workhard + #livyoung = #balance.

I ran to teach my 6:30pm box + flow with my new playlist in my ears so I could connect to my music before I used it for the crowd. Out of routine, I forgot to take my daily photo of the front door. It was officially my first class since opening that a student (*classpass) walked out of. Out of my control, I let it go + moved on.

With little time to spare, I ran home to get dressed for a blind date with no expectation. No plan on what I was wearing, I walked out wearing the first thing I put on, confident in my skin with less worry about what was on it. Feeling good from within.

I arrived to the restaurant steps in front of Jake Gyllenhall — my celebrity crush. Manifestation is real. Unfocused on Jake + present on my date, i stayed out past bed time -- connected to conversation, disconnected from distraction. There is little time to think when you are ‘woke,’ as they say.
Alive, present, Autopilot off. Connection on.
Present in my ability to manifest my thoughts + dreams.
Magic is manifestable.

Connection is ease, flow — not resistance.
It is a feeling.
Where do you feel connected? With whom? Doing what?
Im not asking for answers.
Im asking you to feel.

Feeling is part of the human experience.
Planning is part of the human dilemma.
What happens when you stop worrying about the future + start feeling the now?
What might you manifest then?
Try it on.

 

perspective

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Perspective is how we shift it all around, how we view one thing - differently: what we have vs what we don’t, half full vs half empty. I woke up yesterday feeling worried. I laced up my sneakers and raced out the door with heavy feet to grey skies. Earphones in, box + flow playlist 90 on + confronted with choice, I chose to shift my perspective.

I run thru New York City daily. This city brought me to life. It set my soul on fire. I run to feel the energy around me, connections + missed connections, the connected + disconnected. New York is a place where dreams are realized, created + crushed every day. The city opens up to you, if you’re open. #perspective The grey skies + my heavy feet became lighter with my choice to focus on what I have, rather than what I don't. With ease over resistance, New York City teaches me to be grateful. I have a body that moves, a heart that connects, a spirit that lifts, a mind that wanders + focuses all the same. Running thru New York is an awakening- there is filth + freedom. Sadness + hope. It is just about perspective.

We always want what we don’t have. Ego vs. Heart.
We want the chase, but not the commitment.
We want to ‘lose weight’, but fixate on the doughnut.
We wake up Monday + can’t wait for the weekend.
But what if we shifted perspective + focused on what we have instead of what we don’t?
Keep in mind that someone is always behind you who wants what is yours.
Whether that is because they really want it (heart) or because you have it (ego).

Saturday 5am wake up with purpose: workout + rinse before teaching my 10:45am class.  #ninjachic leotard + leggings on, followed by coffee + intense conversation, leaving my brain needing a pause. So I shut down my cell phone + took myself to see I Feel Pretty. I left the movie rejuvenated, confident + with no plans until a bumble match buzzed + offered to meet him + friends for a drink. Spontaneity + mezcal fuel me, even in sneakers + my spandex second skin. After a quick bargain blowout, I buzzed by. We had short banter before he excused himself + left me with his friends for 15 minutes while he chatted with others at the bar. Good people, no doubt, but I wasn’t there for them, so i dipped. Apology texts ensued, particularly one offering me to get dressed + meet him for dinner. Fancy meals + high heels are fab, but they aren’t the key to my heart —Take me to a dark bar + tell me your fears + i'll really listen. Easier said than done, but feels much better than it sounds. 

I left the date depleted + disappointed, until i shifted my perspective: I used to be a girl who would wait while a date ignored me, or legitimize the text that never arrived. Not anymore. I started to value me. In my leotard, sneakers + fresh blowout, I took the town, found fun friends, sipped cocktails + city hopped in spandex until 2am, + came home to savor canned sardines with my hands. My time, my choice. My glass is half full.

What if you were to find gratitude in what you have rather than focus on what you dont?
You can chase dreams but you can’t change others. The only thing you can control is you.
Your time, your perspective, your life. It is not about what I don’t have because reality is, I have everything I need inside. So do you.

#workhard #livyoung

 

all we have is now.

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They say if not now, then when? My answer is: I don’t know,  because all we have is now.
Planning takes me out of my present + into the future. Out of the now + into the unknown.
The future Is not something I can plan. So why try? I used to. i planned the wedding before the first date, the brand before the studio... i created every outcome possible instilling enough fear to inhibit me from moving forward, or in some cases, created too much excitement causing me to race (not pace) to the unpredictable, unrealistic “finish line.”

Ever been in a relationship when you’re planning one trip to the next, to avoid the now?
And then get to the destination + not even enjoy being there?
Ever spend your time planning the next double date, or the next event? ...to avoid each other.

Do you find yourself always looking forward to the next text?
The next great adventure.
The next best thing?

We spend so much energy planning the unknown. Planning projects the future.
But the future isn’t project-able.

Stop planning. Start LIVing.
Stop planning. Start feeling.
I say this lovingly as I spent the first 15 minutes of yoga class planning this post. Present in my planning, I snapped out of it - more breathing, less thinking ...

Me? I don't keep a calendar-- a blessing + a curse. But if you tell me where to be, I'll most likely show up, as long as I remember...Planning pushes me to overthink about later. it takes me out of the now. So, I get up, get dressed + go. I don’t give myself enough time to second guess.
I wake up + run - as far as time allows. My distance is dictated by the time.

Planning creates undue anxiety on what is out of our control. I spin myself in circles forecasting outcomes in my head. That expectation often leads to disappointment. And sometimes surprise. The “could be” is out of our hands.

While I used to overthink. Now I just feel. Feeling is my new barometer.
I wake up + feel my body. Heavy or light. My mind, ease or resistant. My aura, fight or flow. I feel energy around me in conversation. I used to date to get married. Now I date without expectation - i date to laugh, to love, to feel --no longer for the outcome, the resume -- rather the ride. Dating like business is determined by feeling. Yes i have dreams of what qualities i want my future husband to possess + dreams of what my business will become. But the plan - is quite loose. I finally saddled up to this ride called life. Less thinking, more feeling.

Because lets be real, how do you pivot when things dont go according to plan? When tragedy strikes. When misfortune hits.Life is unknown. The universe throws curveballs. Planning creates expectation. Expectation often leads to disappointment. All we have is now.
#workhard #livyoung

face yourself

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you want to take a photo of me? no thank you. selfies? hard stop. you're shocked, i know -- considering these days my whole feed is filled with photos of my face. It took me 30 years to let my photo be taken, to take a photo myself. today I take selfies, to face myself, to expose me, as I am, messy, raw, real. Face yourself to free yourself.  Your fantasies, failures, fabulous + flawed. Face yourself, as you are, strip down the facade. connect to you. let your heart shine.

These thoughts came to me as I checked into my hotel in LA. it seems like the first thing I do at a hotel is check out the mini bar situation. snack time in real time. But why? Am I hungry?  Perhaps. But truth is, I usually check in alone. My loneliness led me to fill. it always has. with food, booze, boys, — instant gratification pushes us to seek outward, for a quick fix to fill our feelings. for me, it isn't addiction - it is lubrication. lubricating to ease my loneliness thru a minibar snack, a beer, a boyfriend, - outward attention to fill me within. lubricating until I looked deeper, connected within, found greater purpose + faced myself.

i found beauty in my depth, my crazy, my individuality. in all of it: my 5am wake ups, breakfast before sunrise, running to feel free, sweat til i'm rinsed...my drive to change the world. my messy in everything- speak, sweat, eat, feel. i say what is on my mind, work til my brain buzzes, fall asleep before 8 + celebrate always. I faced myself to feel myself. To fuel myself. To fill myself. To find the balance between being my harshest critic + biggest fan. I stopped running away from me + started coming closer -- connecting to my desires, letting go of my fears + excuses. I became honest with myself about my ugly, became truthful with my heart about my needs.

are you willing to face you? to be honest about what you are filling with?
because If the answer isn’t self love, then what are you hiding from?

These days, me taking photos of me isn’t because im “prettier” or skinnier—- i was certainly younger + skinner before - emptier, detached, searching, filling. I am no longer hiding my hurt, my stories + lessons — I am sharing my heart with open arms, exposing myself, to further connect to my surroundings, because beauty from within is real. And as we face ourselves, our true beauty shows throughout.
heart exposed. head dismissed.
perfection is imperfect.
messy is sexy.


are you willing to come undone to connect to you?
face yourself to free yourself
#workhard #livyoung

connection

Do you know yourself?
Are you connected to your core? Do you know what makes you tick, what lights you up, what excites you, who excites you, who doesn’t? Are you connected? To your emotions, to your passions, to your intentions, to yourself?

Getting to know you is a never ending journey, an ever winding road, with no guide book or road map…just a lesson in presence, patience, self love + forgiveness. It is life. We are constantly evolving,  physically, mentally + spiritually - growing into ourselves.

And as we get to know ourselves better each day, we become more connected to what works + what doesnt — who works + who doesnt, what we want + what we dont.  This spans from the food we put into our body, the words we put into our heads, the people we allow in our lives, and the people we let go. It all comes back to resistance + ease. Who do you feel most at home around? Ease. What food fuels you, easily digests, instead of unsettles, where do you feel most at home?

Different than the instant gratification of the late night pizza, last minute booty call, last round of tequila shots you dont really want or the last word you had to contribute to an argument ended yesterday. Because connection is deeper, longer, stronger — a marathon, not a race. A constantly evolving forever type of feeling, rather than the hot sex with the dark eyes in the dark bar that never calls, the chocolate doughnut that tastes good in the now, or the friend that always takes + never gives. Those are distractions, not connection.

and until you connect to you, true connection to anything else is not possible. Mindfulness is a practice in presence, in patience, in feeling, not thinking. Close your eyes. Take a breath. Feel your your body, your heartbeat. Feel proud. That you are here — you’ve made it to this moment. Allow yourself to be proud. You have overcome obstacles, boundaries, let go of old, made space for new, and made it here. Feel freedom in that.
Feel the love you are capable of when you love yourself.
Heart over ego. Confidence over insecurity. Love from within.
Out of the past, forgetting the future, feeling the now. Proud to be as you are, who you are, now. Connected to your head, in your body, leading with your heart.
  Everything you need is inside.
#workhard #livyoung