These are the Important Questions

Well, it took a full week, but we are all getting into the 21 day meditation challenge now, here at our home.  This morning Roxy made it to savasana and even stayed in position for quite a while after Mitch and I were done and out of the room.  This is a real reminder for all of us…routine and repetition go a VERY long way towards forming new habits!

https://chuckieb123.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/negative-and-positive.jpgI have gotten a few great tidbits out of this meditation challenge.   The one I will be focusing on today, and tonight in 7pm class, is the concept of positive and negative input.  In short, Chopra says that our days are filled with a lot of negative input (stress from work, finances, family, injury, illness, world news, just to name a few)  This input wreaks havoc on our physical, mental and spiritual health!  The only way to combat it is with POSITIVE input.  This is found in the things that bring us joy!  Many of us have to go out and find and make that positive input happen.  Whether it’s holding a baby, bonding with nature, a great workout, playing an instrument, painting a picture, watching a sunset (and I could go on and on) there is MUCH positive input for all of us IF we take the time to seek it out.

For the past few weeks, we have been repeating 4 important questions during yoga class.

Who am I? 

What do I want? 

What is my purpose

and most importantly,

What makes me happy?

Letting images, thoughts and words come freely after asking those questions, helps us answer them HONESTLY.   Learning what makes us happy allows us to fill our free time with POSITIVE input, hence counterbalancing all the negative input.

Chopra also suggests at the end of the day we ask ourselves what was the BEST part of our day, helping us to focus even more, and end the day, on the good stuff!

Whether you are at home, at work, coming to class tonight, participating in the meditation challenge or not–try giving some quiet time to these important questions and I promise you will not only learn more about who you are at your core, but also bring more joy into your life, which will make you healthier!

THIS, is just one of  the quiet ways in which meditation enriches our lives and improves our health and well-being.  Always, but especially during these crazy times in our world, we need that more than ever!

NAMASTE

 

Love, Sweet Love

Who is doing the meditation challenge?  I am interested in feedback.

Mitch and I are on schedule with it.  The first day was ok.  Yesterday, the second day, didn’t do much for me and the mantra was WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too hard to remember, making mediation more of a challenge than a time to relax.  Ironically, Roxy cat is having a hard time settling in this time, too.  Not sure if it’s the background music or that it just takes days of repetition.  She usually LOVES meditation time and almost always ends up in a true savasana pose, but not yet this time around.

All that hat said, we are happy to be back to taking the time to just SIT each morning, and today was so much better.  If you haven’t joined in yet, you can still get it from the beginning.  If you scroll back a few days you can find the link on here, or just google 21 day meditation challenge.  Just like there is no such thing as a bad day at the beach, there are no bad meditations.  I look forward to watching these 3 weeks unfold and come together.

In keeping with my trying to have new experiences every day (such a hard challenge but so far so good) I held not one but 2 little babies yesterday, Sienna and Kale, each just a few months old.  They were both delicious and holding them was very joyful!  I am sure way back when the boys were young there were days when I held more than one, but that is a lifetime ago, so this counts as new!

After the terrible tragedy in Brussels yesterday, I found it quite ironic that just by coincidence, today, I put in a cd to cool down to at the gym and hit the button and the song was What the World Needs Now–(is love sweet love)  NO, not just for SOME but for EVERYONE….Certainly I feel this is very true.  All my healing energy goes out to all those that are suffering physically or lost loved ones in this senseless bombing.   While we all agree these extremists are incredibly dangerous and need to be stopped, I am not sure anyone short of Superman has the power.  Personally, I refuse to be terrified.  If I am, haven’t they won?

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Instead I will continue to work on living each day to it’s fullest.  Hoping wherever you are, you are doing the same.  Much love…….

 

 

 

Next Stop…(Hopefully not) The Twilight Zone

Being a HUGE fan of The Twilight Zone, I have seen all of them countless times.  I hope where my brother is, he somehow knows he instilled this love, which started out as a way to terrorize his MUCH younger sister.  It is said that “art imitates life and life imitates art,” and bizarre as some episodes are, I always feel this is true.

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Many episodes, which were all written well over 50 years ago, are as timely now as ever, some even more so.  Consider the episode where the earth is continuing to get hotter each year.  Was there any talk of climate change circa 1960?  I particularly loved one where the news anchor woman wanting to stay young looking, bought into a water system that would reverse her aging looks…only problem was, there was no way to keep up with the rising cost of looking young and once she stopped drinking from “the fountain of youth,” the aging process sped up in overdrive.  Whenever people try to sell me products that will make me look more youthful, my mind immediately goes to this episode, which is one of my favorites.

Serling always ended the show with the same tag line about how these things can happen only in Twilight Zone.  There was only ONE episode which ended quite differently.  It was the episode called Death’s Head Revisited, and it was about the ghosts that linger in the concentration camp of Dachau.  This was an amazing episode and I highly recommend if you are going to watch JUST ONE episode of this show, this is the one.  The episode concludes with this question:

“Dachau. Why does it still stand? Why do we keep it standing?”

Serling replies with this closing text:

“There is an answer to the doctor’s question. All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God’s Earth.”

Personally, I am very frightened by the amount of hate floating around in our world and our own country right now.  Hatred and discrimination NEVER fix hatred and discrimination.  I have NO question that Hitler felt very justified in singling out people that he hated/feared.  Lots of people followed his lead, because I am sure he was quite believable…and he was, after all, a leader!

People have walked around for almost 60 years wondering how this could ever happen.  That answer lies in the answer above.

We must be very, very careful what we wish for and who we chose to follow, or have lead us.

Me, I will ALWAYS chose peace and chose to follow leaders that best reflect that choice.  While I am saddened by today’s news of the attack in Brussels, this or any attack by sick extremists will NOT force me to be hateful or to discriminate against a particular race or religion.

I will NOT be a gravedigger.

Thanks for “listening.”  Wishing YOU  peace today and every day.

Regular schedule at the gym tonight.  See you there.  Or back here.

 

Lions and Tigers and Cows, Oh My!

This being Vegan (Feast) Thursday, it seemed appropriate to address the issue of Cecil the lion.  NEVER wanting to be one to offend, I tend to stay pretty quiet about my choice to thrive on a plant-based diet and refrain from purchasing animal products.  After all, the more time spent in meditation, the more clear I feel about NOT being a judge and jury of anyone else.

It would be a lie to say, though, that it is not frustrating to read and hear and see all the outrage over the killing of this most magnificent king of the jungle.  For most of us, it is beyond our comprehension to kill a lion.  Same goes for a cat, or a dog.  All day long we post pictures of animals and converse about how much we love them.

No.  I am not the judge, but who of any of us is?  Who decides which animals are pets, which are for farms, which are for zoos, which are for hunting, which are for hanging on a wall, which are for food, which are for shoes and purses and furniture?

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Many will point out to me that is all about culture.  In some cultures it’s ok to eat cows, while in others, it’s about the worst thing you can do!  Certainly as Americans we frown upon anyone that would eat dog meat, or horse meat, but when you step aside from “culture” what really IS the difference????

No.  I never set out to offend.  This morning’s meditation was about how when we are our TRUE selves, we are our WHOLE selves.   Then, while taking a very quick scroll through Facebook, I saw this:

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So my deepest apologies you find anything offensive about this post.  So many things that end up on the internet are offensive and often hurtful, when that is probably never the intention of the person posting.

Many discussion have been had about all the emotions involved with this thing we call Facebook.  Many studies have been done by researchers (some by Facebook manipulating our feed!) and one thing that has been found is that the emotion most associated with reading Facebook is ENVY.  (The more vacation pics and pics of things people have acquired,  the less worthy others feel. These photos, however, are just a snapshot in time.  We often have NO idea what else is going on in these people’s lives.  No one ever posts when they are getting calls from collection agencies or their kids just got in trouble, etc.) Another study revealed that the more positive posts we see, the more we are likely to post positive things as well.  The opposite also held true.

Being human, I admit to have had my fair share of  walking away from Facebook, frustrated, annoyed or hurt.  Recently, I have made the connection and have decided less time on Facebook is a good thing for me.  That’s just me.

My blog will continue to get posted to Facebook and I strongly encourage you to hide my posts or scroll past them quickly if you find them offensive.  My aim is ALWAYS more peaceandfitness!

Please consider your food choices, today and every day.  What is good for the animals, is also what is best for our health and the planet.

Please also feel free to leave any comments on either of these 2 topics.  Let’s get people talking and hopefully moving towards a more peaceful planet.

Above All Else…Be True to YOU

Through lots of meditation and help from a friend, I have found myself saying “shut-up, Bonni,” (to myself) A LOT!   Mostly because when talking stops, listening happens.  Not so much listening to others, but listening to the calm that lives inside of me.  Inside of EACH of us.  Also, because my opinions are just that…opinions…and MINE.

In my fitness world…in all the world…so many are suffering because they don’t feel they are good enough.  When we dig deep, the only person we really have to be good enough for, is ourselves.   My career has not been as much about helping people LOOK good, as it has been about helping people FEEL good.  Sometimes the two are connected, often they are not!

Feeling at peace in our own skin is perhaps the single most important aspect of our lives, for without this, we can never be truly, completely, happy.  For me, feeling the best about myself comes from getting in daily workouts and nourishing my body on a plant-based diet.  It also comes from helping others feel good about their bodies, minds and souls — both at work and at play.

It’s always bothered me when people feel they have a right to judge how other people find their happiness.  Having a clan of tattooed young people in my life, who I love to pieces, it has bothered me through the years to hear anyone say anything remotely negative about any of them.  They are not asking anyone else to put pictures on their bodies.  They are just expressing themselves in a way that is making them happy and not hurting anyone else in the process.  These, by the way, happen to be some of the most compassionate, motivated, talented, go-getting human beings any of us could ever meet!

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Nothing brings this judgement thing home more than people who are, today, bashing Caitlyn(Bruce) Jenner, after her picture came out on the upcoming cover of Vanity Fair.  If it doesn’t effect your life in any way, than why would you care?  If it DOES effect your life, my guess is that is for the positive!  She is speaking for masses of people that do not have her money/fame/stardom or ability to “come out of the closet” with something that people have been dealing with FOREVER.  I guess, I was lucky to have been exposed to transgenderness (is that a word?) at a very young age (Carole W. didn’t Pop employee a transgender, at the beauty parlor way back when? Cyd??)

Perhaps this is a good time to look in the mirror and reflect on what makes YOU happy…then focus on bringing more of that into your own life.  Let’s focus less on what other people do to find their happiness and more on what we can do to find our own!

This is exactly what we will be focusing on this evening on the mat at 7.

I hope, wherever you are, you will remember to take time to tune into YOU and ask yourself what truly makes YOU happy.  I bet Bruce asked himself this question a bazillion times before he made his decision…

and if you are reading this, Lori Bregman I loved what you wrote about this on Facebook, yesterday!

 

 

 

Who Am I (to Judge) ?

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/35/44/0b/35440b74afdc9a7e74b3e7124dad1ab2.jpgIn the Seven Spiritual Laws of  Success by Deepak Chopra, the first is the Law of Pure Potentiality.  He suggests that one way to access our pure potentiality is by practicing NON-JUDGEMENT.  He goes on to say that “Judgement is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad.  When you are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing, you create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue.”

This really struck a chord with me (and I believe most of us, if we stopped to pay attention to ourselves, would agree we spend a lot of time in judgement…not just of others, but of ourselves as well) so I am working hard on step 3 of putting the law into action, which says “Today, I shall judge nothing that occurs.”   I will remind myself often and be aware of the times that I am about to make a judgement.

I challenge you to become aware of how often you find yourself making judgements.  Awareness, I have come to understand, is the first step towards improvement.  Goes for just about EVERY aspect of life…..Let me know what you become aware of as you set this challenge in motion.

It Was (Is) the Third of September…………

Yesterday, I posted the “no complaining for 24 hours” challenge and took it myself.  It was easy and felt so good, I am doing it again today.  My bestie since birth, Carole, commented on how easy it was for her because her mom, Judy, taught her complaining didn’t get you anywhere.  Great lesson, but plenty of people have great teachers, yet never put into practice what has been shared with them.  I have to also add, —and I probably should have asked Carole first but I am taking the liberty here—that when Carole was being treated with chemo for breast cancer some years ago, she told me how she wouldn’t complain to her friends about it because NO ONE wants to spend time with complainers, and she wanted to continue to hang out with her friends.  So simple, but so huge!   Carole may or may not realize this, but that line–that concept–impacted me and made sooooooooooo much sense.  Most everyone in the world wants to be with people who are upbeat and spread light.   Can we always be that person?  I don’t think so but we can surely always do our best.  Thanks, Carole, for the lesson and for your constant light.

I see there is a formal announcement on Facebook of the Swanson Award winner.  Apparently Grace overcame some pretty serious health challenges and has found that by coming regularly to SilverSneakers classes, her health and her life have improved tremendously.  Congratulations to her.  In all fairness, Charlotte is pretty much the picture of health, so….once again, she’s a winner.  Ok, she did outlive not one, but 2 husbands (and has been sworn off men by her children who say she kills them).  I was a little concerned when she wasn’t in class today, but found out that she opted for the casino, instead.  Gotta love her.  Talk about a shining light.

Mitch and I completed the 21-day meditation challenge, which came with 2 bonus days.  I plan on continuing to spend at least 10 minutes “sitting” each morning before the day unfolds, which seems to be the best time for me.  Besides all the positive effects meditation is scientifically proven to have on the mind and body, it really gives one a chance to BE PRESENT.  This means that though thoughts of the past and the future will go through the mind, returning to the present (which is the goal) is happening, at least in intervals.  Somehow, being present allows us to let the past go  a little more easily and worry less about the future.  I heard a quote recently (on Criminal Minds…yes, I am obsessed) by David Rossi–it was something about how our scars tell us where we have been, but don’t determine where we are going.  I loved it, because each and every day we have the ability to move beyond our past and create a new present.  Today really is the first day of the rest of our lives…

And speaking of today…it is the 3rd of September…which really just wants to make me sing aloud…thank you Temptations!

Finally, I found this little gem on Facebook today.  It reminds me of what I said to Nicole and Kyle in their wedding toast, about depositing more into the wedding box than you withdraw.  Marriages, friendships, all relationships require a lot of give and take.  I was thinking about it and thinking the only exception is parent/child, because it’s expected parents give a hell of a lot.  But then I thought, there comes a time when your kids start giving back.  Maybe it’s with accomplishments that make parents proud or maybe it’s bringing home the perfect addition to the family. (Thanks, boys)  Maybe it’s the care we give to our ailing or elderly parents.  Whatever it is, we must always remember that we cannot expect from others what we are not willing to give ourselves because that would make life a one way street and we all know that is not the case!

Hoping Derek, Jolene and our west coast “family” are having a spectacular time in Hawaii.  Can’t wait to see and hear all!   Enjoy it all.

I will be subbing for Ellen tomorrow and Friday at 10 and teaching my regularly scheduled classes as well.  See you there…or right here!  Thanks for stopping in and make it a happy hump day!