Plugged in yet Still Unplugged………

While I have been a bit unplugged from social media, we have been back in town since last Wednesday and I have been back on my regular work schedule since Thursday.  So yes, I will be at the gym for all my regularly scheduled classes this week and for as far as I can see!  It is definitely Ellen’s turn to take vacation next (though that is not until May).

Whenever I am on vacation or spending real quality time with friends/family, I try to unplug from almost all technology.  My photos suffer from this choice, but everything else benefits.  I have noticed that people seem to look at at their “devices,” and then often are annoyed.  Whether it’s an email from work, a voicemail that could wait, or a post on Facebook, our “device” often alters our mood, even if just for the moment.

So if I have missed your birthday/anniversary or a special Facebook holiday–(as if Hallmark holidays weren’t enough!) I apologize and send you lots of love and good wishes!

One thing I have not detached from is the 21 day meditation challenge.  While I am a couple of days behind, I have managed to stay on it and today my centering thought was “I find myself in a world created by love.”  I am not sure exactly what has happened in our world to cause some to think ANYTHING is more important than love.  I do know love begins in our own hearts.  The quote shared on the meditation site is timely—

“This world is in deep trouble, but it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.”  RUMI

 

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So as you go through your day, and I do understand that we have become dependent on our “devices,” notice how you feel or what you see in others after they check their messages, or catch up on social media.  Awareness is EVERYTHING.  Whatever doesn’t serve you—let it go!  And above all else, remember that love IS the answer!

I admit to being conflicted about the importance of un-plugging, yet still opting to blog.  So please read or don’t read……whatever makes YOU happier!  Namaste

 

Remembering Lori….Today and EVERY Day!

https://sp.yimg.com/xj/th?id=OIP.Mc5480f114dff7ca5ab39ef56e9d690f8o0&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300Today marks 4 weeks since the sudden passing of our niece, Lori.  We were asked, at her service,  to “remember Lori.”  Every day, in her honor and memory, I try to fill in my “dash” with a little more than I might have before this tragic loss which was a HUGE reminder that there are no guarantees in life, and I remember Lori.  We often say “tomorrow is another day,” but I don’t say it anymore.  I am sure Lori expected to wake up on Saturday morning and have a regular weekend with her family and friends.  In life, we really do only have NOW.

So for now, I am off to class.  Then I will be taking some time off to be with Mitch, Derek and Jolene.  YAY!  Tomorrow there will be NO 9:30 class.  Monday Ellen will be holding up the fort, subbing at 8:30 and 11:30.  Tuesday night both classes are cancelled.  Wednesday Ellen will be pinch hitting again at 8:30 and 11:30.  I will be back on schedule Thursday, Friday and Saturday so on.

Thank you all so much for your support.  I am so lucky to have the most amazing people in my life and I am grateful for that every single day.

Enjoy your day.  Make it special.

How Do You Live Your Dash?

We are back from our extremely emotional trip to NY.  Flying up for the funeral of our 43 year old niece, Lori, was definitely the hardest trip we ever made.  Thanks to my big sister and brother-in-law for taking fantastic care of us in every way.

We learned a lot about life on this trip.  Lori was a big ball of love and in return, was loved by everyone.  There was no way of telling how many people showed up to honor her and pay their respects to her family, because there were people everywhere you turned.  The stories were all the same.  Her thoughtfulness and willingness to extend herself to anyone that needed a hand, was the constant thread in each story shared.   One woman told us the story about how she had come from Japan about 10 years ago and her son, who spoke very little English, was in pre-school with the twins.  The woman who had no met friends yet, was diagnosed with cancer.  Lori stepped right up offering to transport her son and do whatever she could to help the woman with her son.  The woman came to the funeral to let her family know that Lori made her a better person.  Everyone who’s life was touched by Lori expressed that same sentiment.

Lori lived her life.  She made each day count.  She worked hard at home and at work.  She volunteered at school, at baseball and at Girl Scouts.  She took care of her dad (my brother) when he was living in her and her family’s home and dying of pancreatic cancer.   She was a great wife, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend.  She loved her animals,  Candy Crush, going to the movies on Friday nights, playing pool, watching the fights.  She loved the Rock.  I wish she had gotten to meet him.  She loved her huge extended family but nothing held a torch to the love she had for her twins, who she tried very hard to have and worked so hard to help them become the beautiful young adults they are today.

At the funeral, a poem that many of us have heard before was recited.  It’s worth repeating.  http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/cd/fe/b5/cdfeb5c89a7b18e50ebf5994577d4cb7.jpg

My niece only lived 43 years, but her dash was extraordinary.

Thank you so much to everyone who was so kind, generous and loving these past 10 days.   Your kind words, hugs, texts, messages, donations, help with the house and work…all mean so much to me and our family.

We did a lot in NYC in honor of Lori and the dash.  We walked everywhere in that amazing city and saw things we never saw before.  Today, it is back to work and continuing to work the dash.

I hope you will read that poem and work on your own dash.

A very happy birthday to Jolene, Jolene who we love to pieces and who definitely knows how to live each day to it’s fullest.   Keep living the dash, Jolene and enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

We Are Family

Yesterday was by far, one of the most emotional days ever.  After finding out about the ridiculously premature passing of our niece, we became part of the “walking around in a state of shock,” gang.   Knowing exercise is always better for EVERY part of us, I went and taught at 9:30.  As I said to my sister, after over 30 years of teaching fitness, I have become extremely skilled at leaving my personal “stuff” at the door when I enter a fitness facility, knowing that if it’s important, it will be right there where I left it, on the way out, and the feeling of accomplishment mixed with the endorphins, really does help, even on the worst of days.  Needless to say, my “stuff” was right where I left it.

Mitch and I had decided a couple of weeks ago, that we wanted to attend the rally for Bob Levinson, yesterday in Coral Springs, so we decided to stick with that plan instead of walking around feeling helpless.  If you are reading this and you aren’t sure who Bob Levinson is, PLEASE do a google search, click the link above, or look for his page on Facebook.  He is the longest American to be held in captivity–9 years– (believed to have been held in Iran).  He happens to have lived and raised his family of 7 children, right here in my town, Coral Springs.  While my emotional state was already so fragile, listening to each of his children speak was absolutely heart wrenching, and tears were uncontrollable for the entire afternoon. Each speaking about all the moments that have been so important, that they have missed sharing with their dad.  Each of us in attendance was asked to keep talking about Bob as part of their @whataboutBob campaign, so here I am…talking again.  Please pass it on, for there is no doubt about what the power of caring people AND the social media can accomplish!

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This message hit home when I looked at Facebook this morning.  I saw that a couple of pages were started by some of my niece’s friends.  There is one page called a food train which allows people to either pick a day they want to bring food to my nephew and the twins, or donate money for food to be brought in.  The second page is a GOFUND me page which a friend of the family started less than 24 hours ago.  Last time I checked it was well over 23,o00 dollars!!!   I always knew how much Lori was loved but this is just amazing and my heart is so touched by all the hands coming together to hold her family up at this most difficult time.  Reading the comments, it is so clear that EVERYONE who came in contact with her, was taken by how big her heart was.   Additionally, my nephew is a police officer, and I know his fellow officers and co-workers will continue to have his and his family’s back.  For all of this, I am so grateful.

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Sarah, Lori and Dave…

I am taking things one day at a time, so I am still here in Florida.  I WILL be teaching and training tomorrow on my regular schedule.  Things will remain on schedule until you hear otherwise.  If you are a gym student, please continue to check this site regularly.  As I said yesterday, Ellen will be here for 8:30am or 11:30 SilverSneakers, IF I am not.

Thanks to all of you for all your love, kindness, generosity and support.  Your family, my family, the Levinson family–We are really all very much the same and very much connected.  Much love………..

 

 

Give Me Fuel Give Me Fire…………

It’s been too long since I have posted.  Today, inspired by the breeze and how it impacted my morning run (jog) –I decided to update the site, discard spam, check on comments and ramble random thoughts, so here’s the random thoughts and tidbits.

http://images.clipartpanda.com/people-running-away-clipart-man_running_2.gifLots of things effect our output when working out.  The cooler weather, breeze, frustration after waiting too long for a service worker and maybe even going on an empty (water of course, and coffee–of course) stomach, I had a faster, easy and more enjoyable run than usual.  IF YOU ARE HAPPY, SAD, EXCITED, MAD, FRUSTRATED, ANXIOUS, HEARTBROKEN  (and all the rest) use your energy positively and invest it in your workout.  It ALWAYS (and all ways) pays off!  A good workout will do wonders for your mental and physical well being.  That is why NIKE says…”just do it!”

It also helps to go in with a “cleaner” body.  Since all I had was a little red wine last night before dinner, I am sure my body was sharper than say, Sunday morning, when I ran after a couple of Saturday night cocktails.  I still pushed out 4 miles that morning, but much more slowly and with much more effort.  Cause and effect.

Speaking of alcohol, I found it quite interesting that it’s been all over the news that studies show when we drink when we are pregnant, it’s poses significant risk to our offspring.  Only interesting in that this is definitely not news.  It’s been 30ish years since my pregnancies and studies clearly showed this, then.  I guess what’s newsworthy is that the studies reveal the same risks now as they did then…and the take-away is that there is NO SUCH THING as moderate drinking when we are bringing another person into the world.  Sacrifice for our children begins even before they are born, but boy(s) is it worth it!

Once again, I am carrying the two petitions (solar energy and medical marijuana) with me almost everywhere.  I am not allowing them to get in the way of any workout time, so make sure to see me before or after class if you are a student who has wanted to sign them and hasn’t yet.  If seems like most of my students have signed them and interestingly they have been even most anxious to sign the medical marijuana petitions.  Many of my students are over 65 and the personal stories they have been sharing with me regarding this issue are spectacular!  My students DEFINITELY teach me more than I could ever teach them.  Remember these signatures are just to get these issues on our next ballot so we can vote on them.

I won’t be driving my car to the gym tonight so if you are reading this and coming to class, (tomorrow, too)  please don’t look in the parking lot and think I am not there!   7pm class will continue to put the emphasis on the principles of Pilates.  We have covered breathing and concentration.  Tonight we will move into centering.   We will continue this series for a few more weeks, always working yoga in, just like Joseph himself did.

Studies area also confirming that the more time we sit, the less years we live!  So on that note, I am getting up from my desk.  You may want to do the same.  A five minute break is productive and healthy! Repeat hourly.

Remember, treat your body like the temple it most certainly is.  When we love and respect ourselves, it is only natural that we treat others in the same manner.

What fuels your workouts and your committment?  Please let us know.

 

 

 

 

Because EXERCISING is Everything.

Ok.  I really dropped the ball on blogging.  Summer makes me just want to SWIM!  I am grateful to live in a place where even in October, I am still hitting the pool and getting in some laps.  There is NOTHING like the water to get in some non-impact movement.  (We all need impact, but I get enough of that!)

There also have been some other projects, non-fitness related, that I have been working on.  Currently, it’s gathering petition signatures on 2 different Constitutional Amendment Petition forms.

The first is to limit the barriers on solar energy and the second is on MEDICAL marijuana.  These are only petitions and it will be up to us to all go out and vote (yay or nay) on these on election day.

It is not my job to sell you on either, either way.  Just gathering the signatures from those that would like to see us be able to exercise our right to vote on them.

I will be lots of places with these forms over the next weeks and months.  They will be with me at the gym, so I will try to make sure I have some extra time before and/or after classes whenever possible.

So on that note, I am off to get ready to get to the gym a little early.  I will try to update you on where you may be able to find me in Tamarac/Coral Springs over the next few weeks to make your signature count.

Thanks and remember whether you are exercising your Constitutional rights or your BODY ….exercise is EVERYTHING!

 

Want More?

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=JN.DYLjts1rReWLr8k4w3pm5g&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300So last week I didn’t want to be specific about “the project,” we were working on at the gym.  Now that we made our presentation, I can be.

Thelma is an 89 year old woman who has been in my classes for as long as I have been teaching fitness (almost 35 years).  She has been a constant inspiration for all of us at the gym.

In the 90s, when I was taking my Pilates training, she presented me with an original manual, from Joseph himself, which she got while taking classes with him in Manhattan.  (How cool is THAT?)  She has showered people she cares about with gifts and trinkets from the tapestry of her life.  When about 50 something of us from the gym organized to raise money for the City of Hope in their annual 5K walk, logically, most walked.  Not Thelma.  She jogged along with a very small group of us and never stopped till she made it thru the finish line.  She embraced kickboxing in her 70s and 80s and always put well over 100% into EVERY class she participated in.  Even these days when she is feeling like she needs to move more slowly, she often forgets and after a few minutes of being energized, she is right there not just keeping up, but often kicking up the moves!

With money a little tight these days, she wasn’t sure if she would renew her gym membership.  She did, but all of her classmates, along with another instructor, decided to reimburse her so she would know how important it is to have her in our class.   Within minutes of my just suggesting the idea, people were literally throwing money at me…because, like I said last week, my gym people are the most caring, loving, generous, embracing people you could imagine.

Because people were so generous, we were able to not only reimburse her, but inside the beautiful card Rita made for her, we were also able to add a gift card for some groceries.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen so effortlessly and so quickly!  My hope is she will be able to inspire us for many years to come.

There are so many lessons I learned from this.  So often people feel like they aren’t really in a financial position to help others.  Sometimes, just a few dollars can make a huge difference.  I also noticed that once one person approached me with money, a trail of people joined in.  Sometimes we have to be that person that makes the first move.

I have no question that Thelma was greatly touched by this gift.  More so, I have no question that when people give of themselves (it doesn’t have to be money) the feeling they feel is bigger than one the recipient feels.

As we enter into the long holiday weekend, enjoy your time off  with friends, family, or whatever it is you chose to do.  Remember you can make your weekend even happier by giving something of yourself to some else.  A donation in the form of time, money, blood are all huge.  While there is no longer a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, there is still, unfortunately, Muscular Dystrophy.  Maybe there will even be fireman out on the streets collecting money in boots, old school style.  You can make a difference.   Maybe it’s as simple as letting someone else have the parking spot, or get in line in front of you.  Maybe even simpler, like holding a door or offering up a smile.

As our country seems to get more and more divided, let’s all do what we can to feed the human connection.  Speaking of which, my heart is so full this morning as I know our kids will be connecting, spending the weekend together, having a Disney adventure out in California.  Enjoy it all, Derek, Jolene, Kyle, Nicole and Heather!  Much love………..

Love is Lovely….Let it Flow

https://femmyblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/flow-of-love.jpgIf I have said it once, I have said it a billion or more times, people that workout and take care of themselves are some of the very kindest, most caring people in the universe.  Thank you to all my 8:30 in the morning students who responded so quickly and effortlessly to my suggestion yesterday at the end of class.  I don’t want to say too much until our “project” is completed, but you ladies came thru like nothing I have ever seen!  Within minutes I had people approaching me from all angles.

Your participation is going to mean the world to one person, but also to me, because my heart was truly warmed by your generosity and trust!  Hit me up personally if you are wondering what this is all about.

Love really is like currency.  It flows.  You have to put love out there in order to get love back.  This was the message of Tuesday night’s yoga/Pilates class and 25 hours later, I was able to witness just how true that is!

Later in the day, I had a long conversation with a loved one, about fitness, health, nutrition, school, money and happiness (the kinds that come from external sources, and true happiness which comes from within).  Money can buy a lot of awesome stuff as well as peace of mind and security.  It really CANNOT buy happiness and it CANNOT buy love.

Want to feel more internal happiness and self-love?  Remember to start giving of yourself.  Giving really is a selfish act, because what we give away comes back in abundance.

I am humbled by, and grateful to ALL my students.  A better family, I could not ask for!  Much love to all….

 

When Stress Rears it’s Ugly Head

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=JN.qRavVDJ15zG5Wj%2bx3au5BQ&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300Happy Friday!  Thanks to everyone who reached out to check in on me after I left the gym early Wednesday morning and did not come back for my next class.

Without going into a great deal of detail, I will simply share that stress can take it’s toll in physical ways that many of us can’t believe can really happen.  Thankfully, the stress was pretty much self-created and after a day of rest I felt much better.  The only reason I am sharing this is because we all need to listen to the triggers in our bodies because ultimately, they help us make decisions.  We also need to realize that stress and anxiety don’t manifest their symptoms in the same ways in each of us and sometimes we run to doctors who find all sorts of things wrong with us, but none of them are really the problem at all. (I am pretty sure most western doctors would NOT agree that a fever can come from stress)  So tune into YOUR body and YOUR symptoms so you can recognize a pattern of symptoms when they occur in YOUR life.  We are each so unique!

For those that asked, yes, I will be at class today with bells on.  Thanks to Ellen for pinch-hitting on Wednesday.

Wishing you all a very happy and above all else stress free weekend.  Much love………….

Another Brick in the Wall….

Here in Broward County it’s back to work for the teachers.  Wishing you all a productive, safe and good year ahead.  Our kids may LONG be out of school, but every year I am remain thankful to all of you that start each year enthusiastic and ready to take on the challenge that is educating our youth.  We all know it takes a village and you are all a paramount part of that village.

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