ask for more

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Ask for more.
Of yourself + others.
If you don’t ask, you won’t know.


this quote brings me to the scene in Oliver, when the orphan requests more gruel … “please sir, may I have some more…” the kid wanted more food, so he asked for it! why can't everything else be that simple?

the truth is, If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
So this week, I am asking for more ease, less resistance. more presence + patience.
Less fight, more flow + ultimately balance nonetheless.

An early morning text read: Monday! “Ready to crush the week?” My response: hmm, no. less is more this week. I’m a ninja, smooth + precise, not the hulk. No crushing.” Monday motivation has me motivated to just be me — to feel what I need, to act instead of react. Slower than usual, my body yearned for stillness. In stillness, we can hear what we truly desire. It is when we busy ourselves with constant distraction that our desires get muddled, and our minds become lost.

This morning I slowly left my bed just after 7am, put on my #ninjachic uniform with precision, to transition smoothly into Monday, to flow into the week, + dance into my dreams. Connected to my body, in partnership with my mind, asking of myself + others to act with intention, generosity + awareness. Less planning + more feeling, all week.

So I ask you, what if you led this week with presence?
With a calm confidence that easily intimidates.
With fluid movement, easy transitions, more action, less reaction.
With ease rather than resistance, with strength + confidence, a healthy balance of flow + fight, the strength + grace that stimulates intrigue + curiosity because you just seem to have it all figured out. Confident + curious. Fierce + fastidious. In your flow.

With more ninja + less fighter, I'm asking myself to lead with ease,

Light on my feet.
Focused in my mind.
Open in my heart.


And with that grounded energy, your quiet confidence, centered presence, grateful spirit, smoothly transition into your week with  swagger.
Unafraid to ask for more of yourself + others.
Proactive instead of reactive,
Eye on the prize,
Go get what you came for.

karma

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I walked up to a celebration at 55 bond street last night, pep in my step, spring stilettos on, feeling proud to walk up to the doorstep of the foundation that I've been building for the past 16 months. As i approached, i noticed a late 20's well dressed man hovering over the door i take a picture of daily, quickly zipping his fly after relieving himself on the place where ive put my all: my savings, my time, blood, sweat, tears. ive given up friendships + time I cannot get back, missed birthdays + milestones, holidays + family gatherings.
ive made peace with building limitations +  noise complaints, broken heat, skepticism + criticism, all made up for by the community being built, the lives being changed, the love created in a place where I launched the beginnings of a feeling, a movement, a brand - self defined, confident, authentic, vulnerable -- was peed all over yesterday, in broad day light, while a room full of party goers celebrated to Cardi B upstairs.

Silly boy - you peed on the step of a business teaching self actualization + truth, on a door that says "everything you need is inside"  -- a platform preaching connection, honor + integrity. First shocked and then ashamed for you, I quickly followed you down bond street in my Saturday best. "Hey White hat, did you just pee all over my door?"A shameful apology + you kept on your way. Were you raised by wolves? You in your 300$ Common Project sneakers + AG Jeans. A deep breath in + i let it go. Because it was not worth my effort to try and teach this boy the difference between right vs. wrong.

Every action has a reaction. And my hope for humanity is that we start thinking before we act. Everything is energy. Be mindful of the actions you take, the decisions you make, the words you speak + where you take a leak. Albeit simple or more complicated. How you show up, shows up. What you give, you cannot get back — including the urine you left on my home, a place where i've given my whole heart.

Someone said to me recently, "you're so busy - but you make effort look like ease." The ultimate compliment, of course. Because I love what I do - it isn't work for me, it is life. i am contributing that to the world - the quiet confidence of effort + ease, struggle + success, workhard + livyoung. As such, I lead life as i preach. I play the game in favor of winning for no one else, but me, with nothing to prove except the fact that anything is possible when you believe in yourself. So the urine covered door I take a photo of, everyday, as a forever reminder that “everything you need is inside.” Holds true. We have the answers, seek within. But you, sir, with the white baseball hat + disregard of humanity, I suggest that while you’re looking within, you also keep an eye out behind. Karma is a bitch.

aiming to be better, always.

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better, always.
i wake up every day to be better than yesterday. with no expectation for tomorrow, because tomorrow is out of my reach.
i believe we have three options.
1. to be stuck in the past.
2. present in the now, or
3. fixating on the future.
Now is the only thing that is real. So, I choose to be here now, with hopes of bettering along the way. growing, evolving, progressing forward.
For me, it is the constant balance between now + later. present and planning. pacing + racing. settling in what is + seeking more. staying grounded in order to soar.

I seek to be better in all that I do. shifting my perspective daily, i put myself in others' shoes. It is small changes that contribute to big ones. Today i went left instead of right, running a different route to take me out of my routine, out of my head + away from my plan, to my daily yoga practice. today i chose slow: my precise, heavy breathing fueled movement, invoked a juicy sweat. my focus was my core, seeking inwards as i pulled my belly button to my spine + my pelvic floor locked + lifted. More connection to my center. Everything stems from there. attention to detail on + off my mat + into my life. Seeking more always: more focus, precision, intention, connection.

I connect my learning to my teaching because teaching gives me life. i teach with presence + freedom, from my heart + just enough ego to give me confidence to lead. With seven minutes left of the fight in last nights class, just nearing the finish line, 90% of my sold out room took themselves out of the game -- grabbed a sip of water, walked away from the bag, their opponent, themselves. They left their bodies + were distra cted by their heads because it is human nature to run when things get tough. But when we stop, we doubt. Choose to stay strong, be accountable, push thru the resistance -- from the fire, to the water, to the flow. small changes in class result in bigger changes in life.the hardest part is showing up. but to be better than before, you have to stay in the game, stay on the field, lean in with ease or resist the opportunity to grow.  It is these small changes that contribute to bigger changes. better than yesterday. break habits today to contribute to a better tomorrow. gloves up, ready for anything. always protect your face.

I balance my accomplishments to date + acknowledge that there is so much more to do. And for me, there always will be. It is who I am: curious, always seeking more. grateful + relentless.

We all need more of somet hing: fire or water, fight or flow, ease or resistance. Fire is passion, fight, ego, resilience, strength, confidence, power. And ease is the flow, the water, compassion, heart, sensitivity, softness. It is about finding balance, as our needs constantly change. balance between:
gratitude + determination. triumph + dreams. present + future. ego + heart.

There is always room for improvement, space to grow. Because there is no finish line.
The end is just a new beginning.
As Cardi B says:
"We gon' win
Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten
YeahI said we gon ' win
Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten.

perseverance

a Monday mantra: 
“Perseverance is a state of mind. Giving up is not an option. Let go of what doesn’t serve you, to make space for what does. There are no limits. Limits are excuses. There are no rules. Rules are made to be broken. And goals are set not to be met but to be surpassed. New York is a city where dreams are realized, created + crushed. LIV the process.” #workhard #livyoung
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find inspiration everywhere

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We all have coaches, leaders, mentors + guides: Those we seek guidance from, who push us past our self imposed limits and pave the path that allows us to dig deeper,
the path that leads you back to you. #everythingyouneedisinside
You can lead people (or be led) to the fountain, but you can’t force (or be forced) to drink. Its your choice. 

We learn by doing. by practicing. by feeling. by watching. by listening...thru challenge + triumph, thru ourselves + others. I am grateful for the teachers in my life who have invested their energy in me, thru tough love + support, and pushed me to to seek more. 

Since opening box + flow and digging deeper into the meaning of LIVYOUNG, my relationship with fitness has changed as has my relationship to life + to myself.
I act + write thru my own experience, always, life thru my lens.
When you become a teacher, your actions are no longer your own.
People turn to you for guidance, as well as judgement + comparison. 

It is hard for me to workout at box + flow, much like it is hard for Michael White to break bread  in his own restaurants. In 7.5 years working with him, i saw him eat a bowl of pasta, once - the day after returning from a 2 week stint in Asia, pasta ordered plain, with butter + fresh parmigiano…because it tasted like home. comfort. familiar. He was finally home. 

So while sweat is a continued daily commitment, I don't often do it at box + flow. I seek it elsewhere, where I can let go - outside of my space, led by teachers who push me  - to push me to be my best self. Beyond fitness, I seek advice from those mentors who have my best interests at heart but most often tell me what i DON’T want to hear + what I know to be true. 

My guides are endless. I learn from teachers + students, friends, family + foes. I learn from teaching. Before I started my business, I was afraid to teach. I never “taught” before. The first class I taught was the morning that Muhammed Ali died. A stretch, or not, I believe in signs. Coming full circle, teaching is what fuels me. It is a huge part of my path. And my fear in actually doing it was the fear of being vulnerable + being me. To become a great teacher, you have to teach.  

I am grateful for the good + the bad I’ve learned about myself, from others + thru others. And as our most authentic truest self, we are whole, made up of a collection of experiences, conversations, successes + struggles that have shaped us. Including but not limited to the people who have pushed us past our comfort zones along the way. There is no change without challenge and no inspiration without foundation.  

Find inspiration everywhere to lead you back to you. 
#workhard #livyoung

never be that girl

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I was prompted to write this after I saw myself first hand, in someone else’s body last weekend. I celebrated life + danced the night away, in a see thru dress, in a sea of people I didn’t know and left solo to leave a woman who was prowling around my date go home with him. She was ok being sloppy seconds. I know that feeling. And I made a promise long ago, that ill never be that girl again.

Guy or girl, doesn’t matter what gender. Whatever/whoever you are. Never settle for less than you are. Because how you show up, is how you are received.
Own. Your. Shit.
Just be you. 

never be that girl
who waits for the night to end
to be his last resort,
after the last call.
Never be that girl,
someones second option,
the stand in who he didn’t pay attention to all night.

Never be that girl
Who allows themselves to be knocked down,
And judged,
And questioned.

Never be that girl 

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.
Someones second choice, their next best thing.
And looking back to when I allowed second best to define me,
I now know it was exactly what I thought of myself. 

There is no light without darkness, no sweetness without struggle,
no story without history.
And we can’t escape our past.
Our past shaped our present. Our present shapes our future.

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.
Confidence over everything.

#workhard. #livyoung.

 

MONDAZE

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Change the way you think about things +
the way you think about things will change.
Its all perspective.

"Mondays are hard" is a common sentiment.
But are they? Why?
Probably just because you think they are.
But those actual hard things in your life...the ones you overcame, even though you never thought you could. THOSE were hard.
Mondays, they’re just what you make of them.
You can fight them + they’ll fight back. Or just let them flow…

I had a full weekend of work + celebration: friends, food, Red Sparrow, cooking, teaching + taking box + flow. i created a new drink with my friends at ATLA, (by simply adding bourbon to the sesame horchata agua fresca, try it, trust me), watched lots of This is Us,  and slept a combined 30 hours, yup. And as I got out of bed this morning, I was ready for a new week with new challenges, goals, big meetings + a big mission in mind. #perspective

It is up to me to create what I want of Monday.
Every breath is a new beginning +
every moment is a fresh start ... a new opportunity to shift it all around.
And even when there is resistance, i choose to #flowthruthefight, to recognize resistance, and push thru it.

So your challenge for today is to meet Monday with resistance (fight) + be resisted
OR lean in and let go (flow).
Hard or easy?
Your Monday. You choose.

#workhard #livyoung

shifting perspective

 box + flow + beer. #balance

box + flow + beer. #balance

I’m not in fitness. I'm in life. I seek balance, we all do, between work + play, everyday. And work doesn’t feel like work when you love what you do, but that doesn’t make it easy.  There is no sweet without sour + no flow without fight. Curve balls await around every corner. My dream surpasses the physical (box +flow). I want to build a community of empowerment thru balance, good + bad, food + fitness, workhard + celebrate, a lifestyle.

And as I lay the groundwork at 55 bond street, I am constantly reminded of the hard work it entails. As I crawl out of bed at 5am on Friday, I have pep in my step and TGIF on my mind, but my inbox is sprinkled with customer issues about last night: messy. hot. crowded, no hand wraps and noise complaints from the restaurant downstairs...issues are never ending.  And while I don't believe in mistakes, I do collect lessons -  more each day. When I start to get insecure in my decisions or journey, I seek out for help or someone to give me the answers. But I always come back home, to the constant reminder on box + flow’s front door “everything you need is inside.”

As a headstrong, stubborn solo female founder, I continue to move forward in my intention to change the world.  Forever seeking balance thru the grit + the soft. The work hard comes easy. The celebration is my challenge. But regardless of all that occurred in my inbox pre sunrise, I know that my team has my back, I am supported, and my dreams have legs. So I’m going to do as Missy Elliot suggests on what would seem like the start of a shitty Friday, take my perspective and “flip it and reverse it.”

Because we choose how we show up. I can take this weight with me today or see the bigger picture, the silver lining that is the start of something beautiful: a functioning business with a strong message, to bring balance, sweet + sour, hard work + livyoung with purpose, even in challenging situations.  There is no celebration without struggle. And to be honest, I think I quite like both. You?

Happy Friday. #workhard #livyoung

pace > race

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We are so focused on outcome. On the goal. On the win, that we lose site of the now, the process. The time we spend fixating on future distracts us from now. The time we spend comparing our pace to others, distracts us from the now.
But all we have is now.

I run fast. Talk fast. Love fast. Work fast. Hurt fast. Im good at fast.

For the better part of my adult life I raced to the end. I wanted to know the answer before I read the story. I wanted to plan a wedding before I went on a first date. I wanted to build a brand before I taught a class.

And when I couldn’t figure those answers out myself, I sought answers from every spiritual healer, psychic, shaman, fortune teller, life coach, + shrink that money could buy. I wanted to race thru time to my future. And in the process, I lost sight of the now.

In 31 years, boxing + yoga has been my physical outlet. And in the past 5 or so, I woke up prior and would run to warm up. Running lets me think, boxing gives me fight + yoga forces me to feel. In 31 years, I have never sprained an ankle. In the past 5 months, I sprained two.

I always want to run before I walk. To fall in love before the first date. To raise a bunch of money before I prove a concept. That changed. Pace > race. In the most physical sense, I was forced to slow down. I used to get up and run because it made me feel free. Running was not paced, but raced... Sub 6 minute miles to either run away from myself or run closer to me in the process. Day by day was different. I never ran far, I just ran to get thru, to wake up and feel alive. Heart beating, breath heavy, no pace. Just race.

but 2 ankles out and I was literally forced to slow down.
To shift my perspective.
To be in the now.
To slow down and feel.
To reconnect to my who, what, when, where + why.
To not rush the process.
To just be here.
Pace > race.
Makes sense, no?

Fastest is not always best.
We liv in real time. In real life.
Or we race thru time to get “there” faster.
But what really is the “there?”
Whatever it is, its out of our control.
So why not just be here, now. Liv free, liv full, liv bold each day.
Pace > race.
Because sometimes its just about enjoying the ride.
#workhard #livyoung

 

 

time.

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Time is a funny thing really: a finite resource, like gold.
We never have enough and therefore always want more: supply + demand.

But its not about how much we have, rather how we spend it.
Are you always busy working? Or always busy living.
Some would say I’m “always working.”
Me? I’m busy living. I do what I love + love what I do – work + play.
Your time is yours. YOU choose how to spend it. Choose wisely.

As a firm believer in “the best things in life make you sweat,” I work hard + LIVYOUNG. I put in 100% to get 100%, give time to myself, to others, and always find time to celebrate, even in the smallest of ways – a hug, a beer, a bought of voracious laughter.
It doesn’t have to be so complicated.
Yes, time is finite. But never “enough time” – becomes an easy excuse.
Its not about how much time you have, but rather how you spend it.

Design your time.
Start here:
How do you spend your time?
Who do you spend your time with? Do they fuel you or deplete you?
Where do you spend time? (home, work, at a bar…)
Why do you spend your time how you do? (money, obligation, etc.)

Then try this:
How do you WANT to spend your time?
Who do you WANT to spend your time with?
Where do you WANT to spend your time?
Why do you WANT to spend your time re: above?

Take charge of your time.
Take charge of your life.
Small changes make big differences.

Does your work fuel you or deplete you? Maybe both.
Do the people around you inspire or exhaust you?
Make time for what you want. Stop spending time doing what you don’t, because it “makes sense” or because “you should.”
If you want to be in a relationship, make time to date.
If you are in a relationship, that takes work too. Make time for your relationship.
And the longest relationship you have, is with yourself. So make time for you.

I need sleep, sweat, fuel, work + celebration each day. Yes, daily.
It is my commitment to me. And I don’t make excuses either way.
I do what makes me happy. I work hard + LIVYOUNG.

Sometimes hard work out weights living young. And I wake up feeling lonely.
And some days living young overwhelms working hard and I wake up tired or hung over from more than one beer, an over buttered burger, or belly aching laughter.
But so it goes.
This is life.
We all seek balance between work + play everyday, BALANCE in how we spend our
time + who we spend it with.

My suggestion is: start with you.
It is Your life, your story, your movie, your time.
Do what you love, love what you do, for you. 
Because once you show up for you, everything else starts to show up – work, life, love. So rather than filling up time with disconnected tasks and surface conversation, consider spending time surrounded by the who, what, when, where, + how’s of what make you happy. And give time to others not out of obligation, but because it fuels you. We get what we give.

Your time.
Your life.
Your choice.
Work hard. LIVYOUNG.

biggest fan or harshest critic?

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.

On rare occasions, 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?

i call it ninja chic

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I call it ninja chic.

I work out to get messy. messy is sexy. The “looking good” part is the cherry on top.

Ninja chic: clad in all black, without distraction or insecurity about my belly hanging over my 30$ American Apparel ripped leggings, or my boobs sticking out of my 8$ old navy tee shirt, layered atop my boys sports authority baseball tee.

Sexy is a feeling. I don’t need to “look sexy” to feel sexy. Ninjas are sexy: precise, technical, tactile + focused. I work out like a ninja. With a mission in mind, a clear head + open heart.

Rewind to my 15 year old self: less ninja + more layered long sleeves, sweating buckets in bikram yoga. Sweating thru my insecurities as they stared back at me in the mirror as I perfected my dancer pose, bending in every direction, judging myself skin deep. Thru self awareness and self love, I turned off the noise+ looked within.

While my outlook has changed, getting messy has not. I work out for me. I work out to feel. Push my limits. To fight + flow. To let go.  Success is the sweat dripping down my back, my heart pumping out of my chest, my breath still steady. You only look as good as you feel.  I feel ALIVE.

In my ninja chic, I operate with tenacity and in some ways a disguise. I show up with grit + grace, to be better than I was yesterday – not to compare or be compared, judge or be judged.  I slide into class unassuming, and move with precision + competitive edge.

Ninja chic works for me. Do what works for you.