Marriage: a demonstration of bringing the inside into view

Why get married? Because we are more, together than we are side-by-side.  I married my deepest love a couple of months ago.  I pondered why for months before we decided.  And I came to this:  Togetherness is deeper than tandem.

Let me back up it hasn’t been as cheery a journey as my Facebook suggests (No one wants to photo document struggle.)  I began dating Andy after a year in Divorce Court and a couple of failed relationships that couldn’t withstand the difficult time I was in.

When I attempted to back out of things with Andy in the beginning, sighting all my failures in relationships and entropic life he said, “You know what I do for a living right?  I develop design and deploy nuclear weapons, you don’t scare me.”

His clarity and commitment was grounding for me and over the years no matter the challenges in his life or mine, he gets me; he matches my directness, ideals and passion for experiences so together we create amazing moments, spaces and feelings together.   I didn’t have to get married for any practical reason, but as I pondered it all I realized, I truly believe in uniting what I feel so deeply on the inside with what I show the world on the outside.   I believe that your heart can be worn on your sleeve safely and that beliefs can live from soul through to skin.

In Pilates we teach strength to both the being muscles and the doing muscles.  And they are more effective together than they are side by side in supporting the body.  What if our being values and our doing values supported each other in a similar way? What if our inner way of being (what we believe, dream, or sense,) supported our daily action all the time?

Most of my frustrating times with anything, weight loss, parenting, jobs or relationships I’ve found my inside (believing, dreaming, sensing) wasn’t married to my outside (doing, working, thinking, behaving)

From the inside out and to have and to hold, love …. I do!

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“Suffering is the swiftest steed to redemption.” – Medieval common-phrase

The sad truth is pain avoidance is a bigger motivator than pleasure seeking. So, work with that. If you want to change your body, your health, style, your whatever…. How painful can your imagination make, the idea of being stuck in this situation here f-o-r-e-v-e-r (Can you hear the deep echoing voice?) Sit with that suffering and then redeem yourself!

When I work with a person with cancer, they work hard, they’re all in.   Doing homework isn’t a coaxing thing for a guy with prostate cancer looking toward wearing diapers the rest of his life. He’ll do 20 min of homework not once, but twice a day! The woman getting a flatter tummy before her class reunion isn’t nearly as committed. Why?  The suffering is less.   The humiliation with adult diaper leaking has incredible social pain and being a little chubby at middle age is not only accommodated in our society but also expected.

Find your suffering and you’ll find the courage to develop the self-discipline to Fill Your Cup.

Deeeeep Core

The most of my work in my home studio is core related. I teach Pilates principles on Pilates equipment but what I get most inspired by (that most teachers gloss over) is Pelvic Floor. That’s why Steve found me when his Doctor said do pelvic floor work and that’s why we made this YouTube Channel for guys who were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

Pelvic Floor vs. Core

The truth is EVERYONE needs to know their pelvic floor, how to control, strengthen and differentiate those muscles. Why? To avoid incontinence in old age and keep all your parts high and tight, for longer better deeper orgasms, and for the foundation of your spinal and abdominal muscles. It takes some courage and imagination but go for it. Learn your body inside out!

Castration, Friendship and Karma – How will you live the rest of your life and who will you serve in doing so?

Below is a heart moving tribute from a client who endured a complete prostatectomy on this week, last year. Steve reminds us our service in the world creates substance and significance. In the next few posts I will review his year as his mind-body coach.

In one week I get castrated – I have never been so terrified in my life

This is the worst thing a man can go through personally and it has shown me the good and the bad in me – and unfortunately there is more bad and selfishness than good that I’ve identified. I have found such strength in my close friend and personal trainer Julie W. Poplawski – every coach needs a coach says my friend and mentor Mikel Harry – she is the strongest (mentally and physically) woman I know other than my Mother, and for the record her teachings and philosophy about life brings me a sense of calm I’ve never found before, and what is so interesting and beautiful is that everything that she has said or done for me is something I have done or said for others in my life – a reason to live a life for others has never been so clearer.

How will you live the rest of your life and who will you serve in doing so? – Steve Cooper

On the edge of your life, your core emerges. Now or Never, Ready or not… you drop your polite training, your public image and then the essence of what you believe is right there. We worked the core of Steve, Literally. Pelvic Floor and we worked the soul of Steve. What is worth fighting the disease for, breaking the medical communities predictions for, what is really worth living wholly for?

Quitting: a choice

Quitting is a choice.

People without conviction choose it.

Why have you started toward this goal and does it really matter to you? Most people I’ve met who miss their goals get distracted, lose interest and make excuses. If you get past your immediate feelings, and you decide the goal you had matters to you then it’s worth growing up for.

Put your childish ADD, instant gratification excuses aside and develop your tenacity. You are worth it! Unless this goal really doesn’t matter and then deliberately change directions. I’ve yet to meet a weight loss client who says. “The 15 lbs I wanted to lose I’ve decided to keep them and wear them with pride.” But, maybe one day?

Choose wisely. Fill Your Cup.

Simmer

Life isn’t a multiple choice test, your first instinct isn’t always your best guess.

I’m learning to let things simmer. If you have been in my cycle class you’ve heard me say just because I feel something and can articulate it doesn’t make it truth. Feeling something and articulating it in my mind or even farther out to my voice doesn’t make that thought my truth, or a truth some one else should adopt. If you notice your current thought doesn’t match your goal can you divest from that thought for a moment or a season and see where your dream will take you?

That’s somewhat esoteric, I know so, here are some examples from my daily life.

Thought A: “I’m too tired to work out today, I should get extra rest since rest prevents wrinkles I may be better off…” But your goal was to work out 5 days a week and this is a day you can. Get up and give it a shot some exercise is better than no exercise.

Thought B: “It’s hot in this room, I really didn’t want to work out this hard today, and I’m done.” Why did you come to class in the first place, to burn off some steam or weight or…?

Thought C: “I don’t want a step-father for my kids, I won’t get married again until they’re grown up.” But your goal is deep connection and love. There are many options if you can open your imagination and re-write your own rules of the game.

Fear is easier than faith. Faith takes time to simmer, but faith is worth so much more, so Fill Your Cup.

Recipe for this Bison Meat Stew, a whole clove of Garlic minced 2 small yellow onions, one yellow pepper, 3 Tablespoons of frozen mashed potatoes left from Thanksgiving, one small yam, one small parsnip, 2 handfuls of mushrooms, 3 cubes beef bullion, a shake of tarragon, 3X a pinch of truffle salt, water and time to simmer. *Note simmer is a low intensity choice on your stovetop.

Bison Stew

Bison Stew

Integrity in the Cup – for Yule

Behave in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Make choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” – Barbara De Angelis

If you say, even only to yourself, “I want to be thin” and you value your own words, you’ll make the choice to put down the beer, the wine, the snacks, the heavy meals because those behaviors are not aligned with your personal values. Living in alignment with yourself alleviates stress and difficulty with in your own heart. If you believe the only way to be healthy is to eat kale and cod – then eat that way. I’m not a doctor, I don’t know if that’s the healthiest choice but I do know this – if you believe it and live that way, the process strengthens your personal integrity and will feel good in your body and mind.

A this Time of year for Eons people have burned a Yule Log attaching the things that no longer serve them. What is in your life but outside of your belief? Burn it off. Let it go. This year live in integrity and align your beliefs and behavior and Fill Your Cup.

Book Signing this weekend in Park City, UT

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”   – JOSEPH CAMPBEL.

It takes a courageous type of soul to talk about weight management before Thanksgiving, when the weather is cold and all you really want is a mocha and a muffin.  But you’ll feel and look better when the sweater eventually comes off if you come explore appetite and life balance with me this Sunday at Atticus at 10 am, I’ll be there with my honey latte, no one will judge your order, so sip what you like.   I can’t wait to meet you.  Love,  Julie

“Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.”- Epicurus

To explain portion control, I’ve used the New York City closet analogy a lot. Maybe because most of my clients are women, but most people, male or female seem to understand.

When you have a small closet you only keep the clothes that fit really well.  I’ve had big closets and small closets but I’ve always had items I enjoyed in them.  Even if the closet is very small you have what you cherish. Even in lean years with small closets, I still get out of the house pretty often wearing my favorite things, looking pretty stylish and happy. (Ironically, I may not be troubled by sorting through less ideal choices.)

So with your smaller portion take the time to notice what you really enjoy – what makes your heart swell and your eyes twinkle.  If you only allow yourself to consume the cup of your two hands amount of food (your small closet) what do you pick?

If your lunch doesn’t have the heart swelling affect, maybe wait until a strong craving for what you really enjoy comes to you.  Enjoy your abundance – Fill Your Cup!

Fill Your Cup in a relationship

How much is enough?  Is your appetite for relating bigger than it needs to be?  

The more I’ve taught and practiced moderation the more I’ve learned about my own emotional cup.  When I’m a little tired or anxious, I crave more attention from my relationship, and that doesn’t always fit in his schedule (or mine.) 

What if I could feed my own cravings with self care?  Not medicating with food or alcohol but with a long walk, cooking or a yoga class.  What 10 things make you feel fulfilled?

Happiness in a couple isn’t much different than weight loss.  Fill a smaller cup than you initially want and savor what’s in it.  Cherish the moments together and cherish the hunger for more.  Endure the separation with thoughtful attention to what feels good and what you crave.  Desire is good it means he (or she) still makes you hot, you don’t have to satiated that feeling the moment, or even day that you notice it.  Like hunger, let it ride feel it fully and then plan and fill your cup with the best moments you can imagine!

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