Where to BE…

Many of my students have asked this week about the 2 hammocks in the tree in front of the Fill Your Cup Studio in Phoenix.  I can’t find the ones I bought but if I were buying one today this is the one I would choose.  hammock swing

It is available at Urbanoutfitters.com, and called the Marrakech Swing.   A soft easy rocking motion is where all of my children, my husband, his children and I all feel at peace.  In the home we have in Park City and the home we have in Phoenix there are several places to rock or swing.   Since the many of my posts encourage a balance between being and doing I thought you may like a recommended BE-ing space.

Swing softly, enjoy filling your cup with a special moment with yourself.

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!

wedding kissWEDDING CROPPED KISSwedding pic lil sqintywedding big hug

“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.


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.

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!


A recipe that’s tangy, tart, crunchy and cleansing!


After a kid weekend full of pepperoni, fries and bar-b-que, even though I generally keep portions cup size I’m ready to lighten the cup and cleanse my intestines.  This is one of my go to remedies.

Slice a small head or (half of a large head) of red cabbage into strips and then dice into bite size pieces

Add a chopped up bunch (I used the whole bunch from the market) of parsley,

Add ¾ cups (half of the 9 oz box) golden raisins.

Stir all 3 primary ingredients in a bowl (I like the pyrex ones with a lid) nearly cover with apple cider vinegar a cup or so, add 4 tablespoons of agave and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and stir.  Add salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge for several hours  Stir again before serving.

Fill Your Cup.

Classic Black Dress

Most fund-raisers and award functions in Southern California and Arizona where I’ve lived have cocktail attire black tie suggested as a dress code any more.  In my experience only rarely, is formal black tie really required.  It’s always lovely to see your man in a tux but hemlines are flexible.


Once upon a time in 1992 I was browsing in the Sacks Fifth Ave, in Pasadena after my shift at California Pizza Kitchen.  I was barely a woman at 20 years old and I fell in love with a classic black gown. It was the most beautiful fabric but started at a 4 digit price.  That price had been slashed with red pen into an amount that I made in a month’s time.  Since I was young and passionate I bought it!  I had a sorority winter formal upcoming and it was lovely.  It was the first gown I’d bought with my own money.  It elegantly presented the classic feminine physique so I have kept it all these years.

When Andy invited me to a southern black tie party for the National Space Club’s 25th Anniversary dinner, I pulled out my beautiful black gown.  I decided it needed and update so a quick nip and tuck in alterations with Danese Creations, Scylvia a woman who has more style in her pinkie than all the women on my block. (and I live in a stylish neighborhood!)  I wore my classic black dress, this week (22 years later) with delight.  I had to lighten my cup for 3 weeks before the party but wearing my college dress was fair compensation for giving up snacks and full meals.

Julie & Rocket