Dreamer

Because aren’t we all just characters

in the same big story,

finding our way

towards our happy ending?

And if today isn’t what you imagined

there’s always tomorrow,

or the next chapter.

If your dreams are as tall

as the buildings you admire.

And the edge of your imagination

soars along mountaintops.

You’ll never know limits,

you can have anything you desire.

So live in today boldly,

see yourself in all your dreams.

There’s infinite things waiting

to captivate and inspire

and only you can create the ending.

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So yes, blog selfies are a bit silly. But this year is all about confidence and now is one of those times where I truly feel beautiful, inside and out. Life is full of so much passion and hope. I wish to always feel just as inspired as I do in this very moment. Inner peace changes everything.
Here’s to the good days. They help to overcome the bad ones.

~Namaste

The Good Stuff

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Sometimes you need to slow down and appreciate just how far you have come.

That’s exactly what I made time for this morning. Sitting at a french cafe in the heart of Chelsea, I reflected on the past few weeks. There is definite evidence of progress. I have been participating in and enjoying Bikram yoga for close to three months now. My friend and I signed up for a 5k Summer series in Prospect Park. Every other Wednesday throughout the summer we will run a 5k. Ran one so far and although it was rough getting back into it, I felt proud to be doing something I love again. Running always makes me feel so strong. I made a commitment to cut sugar out of my diet and successfully went a whole three weeks without a drop of it. During that time I also consumed no alcohol and while I did have a few beers after my detox was over in honor of celebration, I have decided to quit drinking almost indefinitely. I don’t feel that need to escape that I once did which alcohol used to provide me and mostly just feels like I am poisoning my body whenever I do drink. I always feel worse. I only want to participate in activities that are beneficial to my body; I want to be good to myself. I established a personal doctor again and have been in for a few visits, it has been years since I’ve paid any attention to those important details of my life. This morning I was informed that I lost 12 pounds and drastically improved my blood pressure since my previous visit. I can only continue to work hard at boosting my health. Because all that matters to me is that I am healthy; physically, mentally and spiritually.

Aside from the focus on my health and wellness, I also recently received a raise after I obtained my New York City Health Academy certification in Food Safety. It feels good to be able to buy a few more groceries and not work so hard to pay the bills. I’m also looking forward to being able to travel a bit more often, so long as I can afford it.

I’m close to a month away from a trip home. I cannot wait to see my loved ones, have some fun and laughter and recharge my spirit.

I believe that life is mostly about timing. Sometimes things happen at all the wrong moments. But then again, sometimes it all works out. I feel strongly that there are amazing things about to happen in my future. I’m not waiting around or anything. My everyday adventures are more than I could ask for. I have the best friends, most supportive and loving family, an open mind, a big heart and the desire to always experience new things constantly and learn as much as I can. I believe the universe is taking good care of me as well as all of the hard work I have been doing.

Oh and it has officially been one year since I moved back to New York. I am still so in love with this amazingly versatile city.
I am a very lucky and grateful woman.

Long-Legged

I guess we can call this a rough draft.  I am sure to re-visit this at a later date but for now I just need to get it out.  Because I feel very strongly on the topic.

I wish to discuss some things very important to me.  Body image and respect.

First off, body image, especially in today’s society.  Let me first say that I am pleased with the direction that the everyday depiction of a real woman’s body is headed these days.  I see more and more full-figured woman in the media, advertisements, tv-shows, etc than ever before.  But I believe there is still a real problem with society’s expectations of what size we should be or how we should look.

I believe much more emphasis should be put on the health aspect instead of “weight” and “size”.  I’ve battled with my “weight” for a large portion of my life.  Now that I have spent the last  5 years or so learning what it means to be “healthy”, I wish someone had introduced me to this lifestyle sooner.  Instead of drinking slim-fast at age 9 (which is just fucking horrible now that I look back on it) or basically starving myself and taking very dangerous diet pills at age 21, I could have just learned how to eat real, whole, healthy foods and just be good to my body.

These days I am so proud of my body and I have no problems saying that.  I embrace every little imperfection and make an effort to appreciate my whole self with every glance in the mirror.  Maybe it’s wisdom that’s come with aging, maybe it’s so many empowering conversations I’ve had with my close female friends, or perhaps it’s all those times I spent changing in locker rooms finally realizing that no one is perfect and we all have our faults.  I don’t know exactly but I am thankful for everything I’ve learned about myself.

Here is the problem.  Now that we are approaching warmer temperatures, everyday clothing choices are no doubt more revealing.  Especially when you’ve previously been bundled up with 3 or 4 layers.  In all neighborhoods that I’ve resided in since my move to NYC, there seems to always be those men.  The ones who stand around in groups just waiting for a girl in a skirt, dress, shorts, whatever to pass by.  Then the filthy, disgusting, inappropriate,  grotesque and degrading comments begin.  It could be anything from a statement, a whistle, a look, a kiss noise or beyond.  Either way, it’s uncomfortable and unwanted.  This happens every year and at times it actually makes me question what clothing I choose to wear for the day.  I think if I were in any other city I would be quicker to speak up and express my dislike of this.  But to be on the safe side, I usually do everything I can to modify my path so that I do not have to come in direct contact with these men.  This is difficult in a city where I rely on walking and public transit for all my travels.

I do not deserve to be treated in this way nor does any other woman.  The lack of respect makes me sick and I wish I knew how to change it.  Just because I am tall, have long legs and decide to wear shorts for the day, doesn’t give some creepy guy the right to say derogatory things to me.

So I vow to wear whatever I want to this summer.  Without worrying about what disrespectful comment I might receive.  Because it is my body and my freedom to be me.  I will never again let someone else make me feel bad about that.

Ready to Start

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So I guess I’ve been extra tough on myself lately. All these new journeys I’ve taken on and I’m determined to make something happen; to move forward in my self-improvement. There are those things that remain beyond my control and that is difficult for me to accept at times. So, in a way, these new endeavors represent the parts of me that are strong, able and willing. I’m not competing with anyone nor do I have anything to prove. I’m doing it all for me.

Bikram yoga has proven to be the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself. It brings everything out of me. Every hidden feeling, every unhealthy thought, every single emotion. It’s not uncommon for me to be in tears at some point during class. This is the most important outlet in my life right now. There are so many things that I feel I cannot discuss with anyone else around me but within these 90 minutes I am free to feel it all. And it always feels better afterwards.

My body is going through many adjustments. The flexibility happens slowly and I’m still in a lot of pain much of the time. But I can feel how much strength I’m gaining. In addition to yoga, I’m working at changing my diet once again. I’ve decided to re-introduce eggs here and there and I just began a 21-day sugar detox.

I feel so small sometimes. It helps to have a grasp on my own wants and needs. I’m empowered by the control I finally feel I have in my life.

In Our Nature

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Today I felt the sun. The warmth was familiar yet something I have been missing for the last six months. It feels as if Spring has finally arrived and I’m thankful to be rid of the aching cold in my bones. It is beautiful around here this time of year and I’ve been spending much of my time outside wandering about and snapping pictures of it all.
As I lay basking in the glorious weather atop my roof I began wondering what the rest of this year has in store for me. Clearly it will be whatever I make of it. Only I can decide because I am in charge of my own world. Still, part of me always holds on to that bit of hope that something unexpectedly wonderful is about to happen.

I could use a surprise.

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The Invitation

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The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (a Native American Elder)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments

Keep Going

Reminders for this upcoming week:

If it hurts, that means it is working.

Nothing really worth it ever comes easy.

My body is capable of anything.

I am as strong as I decide to be.

My body can run many more miles after my mind wants to give up.

The process is progress.

I’m back in the fitness game full strength. My whole entire body is in pain but it’s always worth it.

Wicked Games

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With the twinkle of both Freedom towers visible just outside my third-story apartment window, I feel things inside of me burning. My insides are on fire yet again. I guess when all is lost sometimes that is when you have the most to be thankful for. Feeling everything completely is the best thing for me. Letting it all consume me in every which way. It’s important that I face it. I embrace this newfound realism. The dreamer in me needs a rest sometimes. Everything will not end in rainbows and roses. I will not get all the things that I want. But every broken dream will teach me more about myself.

 

It’s those games we play. We tell each other we want what we have when really, we want something else. We settle for things because we run out of steam to keep up the chase. Life is exhausting. Especially among all the wicked. Are things ever as they seem?

Those lights are calling to me, always singing me to sleep.

At least I have my city.