sexy, selfie, self love.


Sexy is a feeling
confidence is a choice
do you choose you?

what do you see when you look in the mirror? judgement and/ or comparison?
or do you just see you?
love or hate
fear or opportunity
worthy or unworthy?
what do you see?
consider that how you see yourself, is likely how you see others.
how can you love another if you do not love yourself?
how can you find freedom outside if there is none within?

Sexy is a feeling
confidence is a choice
do you choose you?

it is hard work to love yourself, to livyoung.
my name is olivia,
to me hard work often comes easy
it is the living, the celebrating, the livyoung part ---
that has always been more challenging.
don’t believe it? scroll down my @instagram to anything prior to 2 years ago +
find one photo of me.
no such thing.
ironic, i know - considering i throw selfies up like i drink beer
but it wasn't until i faced myself, that i freed myself.
that i saw myself so that i could share me with the world
it wasnt until i was comfortable enough with me, to be seen, and
to embrace sexy as a confidence, a swagger,  a feeling.

we judge + compare + carry so much concern for others and what they think - or don't think,
that we lose sight of us -- our wants, needs, dreams -- who we are.
but it is a choice, to lean in, let go and be #selfdefined,
a choice we make over and over again,
to love ourselves,
to choose confidence over insecurity. Our choice.

box + flow is my way to share this feeling, this message. that thru hard work (physically, mentally, spiritually) thru resistance to find ease, we create balance and find connection within,
because It is hard work to liv young, to love yourself.

I #flowthruthefight everyday
to celebrate me. confused? come take class.
curious? come take class.
no mirrors, just you, a bag + a mat, your fight + your flow,
we sweat thru darkness to find light,
surrounded by people who want to feel, to connect, who are willing to #flowthruthefight.

be willing to face yourself, to free yourself, perhaps to forgive yourself.
it is hard work to love yourself.
but if you dont love you, who will? #workhard #livyoung

50 First Dates VI: Matchmaker Mishaps

50 First Dates Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat. Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing. Food. Sex. (and love). Fitness. Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human,  mistakes included. For me, much of this reminder has come thru love lessons - to remind me of life lessons … no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with - in food, fitness + otherwise. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Below is a manifesto of sorts. All in good fun, in the end - each has taught me more about myself. Unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others. But a leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are. Short stories below. Names have been changed. And Grudges have been dropped. And i am more than conscious that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth. Take a peek.
a much needed lighter approach than the depth of diary IV.


Most little girls dress up as fairy princesses or their favorite disney characters. Me? A modern-day bride. Hair down + walking down the aisle with honeymoon bags packed and “here comes the bride” blasting down my childhood home corridor. Only thing missing was the husband. Age 4. This procession did not just occur on halloween. It occurred often, whenever i was in the mood to get married. i would suit up, grab my hat bags and makeup kits, turn the music on loud + make sure my mom was watching and hope my dad was ready to give me away -- via phone, as he slaved away at his office. 28 years later, i’m in bed at 4am, writing about 50 first dates, matchmaker mishaps, below.

Now, love is love and
Business is business.
But let us also consider the business of love,
which is just a hair shy of the business of lust,
Lust + love are both among the oldest businesses in the world, no doubt.
But lets stick to love, matchmaking in particular where Fiddler on the Roof immediately comes to mind. Not much has changed, matchmakers are yentahs. they sell relationships + their networks, with the possibility that love might spark.
Like any broker (stock, real estate, art, love), some are good, some are not so good.
And some just get lucky. You may wonder, how it works. In my experience, women are sought after to be introduced to their paying clients, after a phone interview or too long questionnaire with personal questions and personal preferences. the men pay a service fee, upwards of $10K-50K, depending on the matchmaker -- which always felt a bit suspect, or rather, a blurring of lines between the aforementioned business of love + business of lust. two stories below.

Matchmaker Mishap 1
Age 25, Eleven Madison Park.
I have only visited the former best restaurant in the world 3 times. Once or twice at their annual kentucky derby party for juleps, jubilees + fried chicken, dinner for my 25th birthday, and a ten-course wine-pairing dinner -- on a blind date. I invited him. Risky or not, i typically do what i want and in this situation, it was no different. I had recently met a matchmaker who was young + fun, someone i’d want to be friends with, whose clients (or members rather) paid upwards of $50,000 fees to find love. If you work with a matchmaker, it should be someone you’d see yourself befriending, because they’d set you up with someone they’d likely date themselves. the hook is, they also have to do their job. And i would be held accountable to give feedback following the first introduction. My setup was Eric, age 40. Doctor or lawyer, something seemingly stable or sounding predictable enough to be my plus 1 to a ten-course wine-pairing dinner with strangers at the best restaurant in the world.

The variables were already unpredictable, so i went for conservative attire: silk dress, black patent pointy louboutins, smoky eye and surreptitious smile. Director of communications for chef michael white + the altamarea group at age 25, confident AF but sweet nonetheless, “looking” for love in all the the wrong places, which certainly didn’t include a stable blind date with a banker + a tasting menu. I was much more interested in the trouble-hunting trader catching my eye from across the room. Course after course was delivered, palm-size portions on platter-sized plates and with it all the first date getting-to-know-you conversation and another pour of french wine. Two issues of note:

  1. My drinking skill is below average at best. One glass of wine is borderline too much. Ten tasting pours could potentially result in a post-college-party type fiasco.

  2. A first date should be a casual beer at a dark bar.

Thankfully we were seated at a table of 10, a safe cushion for small talk. Dinner was fine, too much wine, for too little humor -- too many courses and too little food. Three hours in, just before dessert, and after our 8th pour of f wine, eric excused himself to the restroom. A woman i’d never met started asking questions and all too honestly, i answered that yes it was our first date and no, there wouldn’t be a second.  As Eric returned i excused myself next -- and then returned to find eric had already gotten his coat. The good samaritan next to me let eric know he was toast. No goodbye, and nearly 9 courses in, he left. My blind date was blindsided. And i was left at eleven madison park 9 of 10 courses in, toasted, terrified and with serious explaining to do tomorrow to the matchmaker i trusted, who trusted me, to behave.

Matchmaker Mishap 2

October 2015: A family friend urged me to meet her. “Everyone knows they are the best on the upper east side trust me.” More than ample reason to decline but rather i curiously cabbed myself to midtown. Enter into a too loud, too greasy Greek restaurant on a too rainy night after a too long work day, after convincing myself that the $30 cab ride + $250 entry fee was a cheap price to pay if it procured my prince charming. See, the male clients pay the 10k plus fee, but to enter your name in the race, there is an entry fee. i bypassed the host stand and took a deep breath as i headed upstairs to an empty table and strong smell of saganaki. I wore business casual as requested, and waited patiently while the host carelessly collected cash from husband hunting hopefuls. And she was dressed carelessly in sweatpants and sneakers. The dress code was specific, for everyone except her. As the women gathered around the table, she sat, stuffed herself with hummus and simultaneously began her interrogation. Women of all shapes and sizes went around the table introducing themselves and then the questions began.

  • Height? Age? Weight? Occupation?

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?

  • If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

  • Have you had any surgeries?

  • Do you plan on having any surgeries?

  • What size are your breasts? Are they real?

She was just getting warmed up. Photos. Men like photos. You need better photos.

I thought i was going to be sick. I paid this women to degrade me, to degrade us. I spent hard earned money and time on a sweatpant clad she hating saganaki eater. Furious, i got up from a table of gold digging desperates on the hunt for deep pockets and went downstairs. The manager stopped me as I scurried out and asked if all was ok. I explained that there was a woman upstairs degrading women, collecting money to belittle, disguising herself as a helper but rather just inflicting harm. I gave him my business card and left, with $250 less cash, a little less pride, but a hell of a sense of what integrity doesn’t look like. He texted me the next day to tell me he will no longer host her husband hunting hummus gatherings and i emailed her asking for a refund, rather verbatim: “i work hard from my money and while i respect what you do, i am not a gold digger and this program does not fit in my moral compass. I assume you don’t refund but i’d hope you might reconsider.” i have yet to hear back and the smell of saganaki still makes me sick.

sunday self love

A sunday type of love. Of self.
In my class yesterday i kept repeating this:
“Choose you --
Or wait to be chosen.”
We spend our lives waiting for the right time
The perfect opportunity
to send the text
Or start the project,
switch the habit
Or book the trip
My question is:
What are we waiting for?
When is the right time,
If all we have is now.
Isn’t now the only time,
To choose you?
To do what feels right,
make the first move,
Or take the big risk?
Not to plan the future,
But to open up to opportunity
And let the universe take it from there.
What if you choose you?
#workhard #livyoung




i am full of emotions. and my eyes are filled with tears. happy + sad. empty + full. i feel like im being cut open + fear ive chosen the wrong choice, to knock down + tear thru. Growth or destruction? construction or destruction? such a difference in definition between two words, but just a matter of perspective. I know my fear is natural, fear of the unknown, fear of growth + that which is out of my control. so ill wipe my eyes + trust myself because if I don't trust me, who will?

Within these sweat laden walls are love + hope, fight + flow. Dreams turned into reality, energy exchanged, connection created, community built. And the reality that anything is possible, even in 1500 feet on the 2nd floor of bond street. And as the walls come down and the space opens up, my heart does too, with new possibility, a bigger team, and all the challenge that comes with it.
and as my wallet shrinks, my dreams grow, so if you wanna buy me a beer, im in. lets drink to dreams becoming to reality. ease > resistance. #workhard #livyoung

to be seen


Really though, we just want to be seen.
To be acknowledged, regarded, appreciated, loved. Life is all about connection - connecting to ourselves so that we better connect to others without the distraction, the judgement, the affirmation, comparison. To be seen as we are. The more I teach, speak, write, share, liv -- the more i connect. I spread my truth not just to be heard, but to hear myself. And maybe you can relate, or better, learn from my experiences. We all have stories. I share because I’m seeking connection. Thru introspection. Thru me.

People take my class and i do my best to remember their names, because i want to be remembered. I connect thru instagram DM’s, random eye contact on the street, even acknowledging cat calls with a smile. We revisit the same neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops + corner stores — for connection, the coffee becomes secondary. But Connection is a two-way street. I connect because i seek connection.
I see because I want to be seen.
We all do, no?

I dated a guy who slid into my DM’s but didnt follow me, or show any interest in what i share with the world. Sounds petty, perhaps, but im putting myself out there, to let people in. His failure to acknowledge me made me feel less than, or rather, I gave him that power. Truth is, i don’t need anyone to validate my mission if i believe in it myself. and to be honest, i dont follow him either.

I share to connect. And as i put myself out there now more than ever thru my blog, photos, teaching, etc, i do so not for affirmation that i am good enough, but for affirmation that my message is heard: The message that balance is a never-ending journey, a journey that begins within, because we have everything we need inside. that life is messy, but messy is sexy - raw + real. So let's embrace all of it, thru all sides of us, dark + light, fight + flow, resistance + ease, because we are enough, as we are - all done up + all undone.

For better or worse, Social media serves that, as a tool. We want the follow, the likes. the friend accept. So, I use it to share my story. But it is a tool that can be used or abused, and i’m just learning what works for me, thru sharing vs. oversharing. But all that surface shit doesn’t define us or make us whole.  it’s easy to look great in photos, and to like great photos, but how do we connect in real time? We don’t. We are shy. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of judgement. Fixated on comparison.

My mission is to change that. Not because i have found the light. Or the answer. But because i am on the same mission, to be self-defined. But to see others, we must first see ourselves. Drop the comparison, the judgement, the not good enough, the better than.
So are you willing to look within to see what you’re hiding from?
To connect within? To see + be seen?
It always starts with you.

#workhard #livyoung