The Constancy of Change

It’s getting really empty in here! I’m down to one fork, one plate and one cup. All traces of “me” are being erased and packed away in cardboard boxes and big black plastic bags. It feels really strange. It’s not my home anymore. I’m basically camping in my RV – The Gypsy Love Bus for one more week until the buyers come pick her up.

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month. I have such a heavy feeling in my heart that I can’t shake. I am getting ready to move – again. This time I will be moving to Southern California to be with my boyfriend while he works in a two-year contract position. I’ve moved before. In fact, I’ve moved a lot! My whole life has been one move after another. You’d think I’d be used to it by now – even enjoy it – and sometimes I do. But not this time. I’m trying really hard to find the positive in this next chapter but I just keep feeling sad and a little angry.

I don’t know what is wrong with me! I love sunshine. I will have a pool to swim in every day if I want. I think I even found a place to work and a Massage Therapy school to attend……So why do I feel like this move is such a CHORE? Why do I hang my head and think, “I can do this, I can endure it”?

I visited southern California last week and while I was there I called my daughter to try to explain to her how I was feeling. “I feel lonely here. I want to live closer to you. I miss my friends. I’m not sure I’ll fit in down here, I miss my community….etc.” And she responded by saying, “Let me get this straight, it’s warm and sunny, your wonderful boyfriend is taking care of you, and you’re sitting at the pool? Boy, MOM, that sounds awful!” Her sarcasm made me laugh as I realized the absolute absurdity of my complaints.

Even though I know she is right, my heart is still heavy…..I’m working on looking at the positive. I pack up another box and put it into storage. I prepare to say goodbye to my co-workers, friends and family. I hike in the woods often to remind myself of how lovely and green it is in the Pacific North West AND I remind myself that the winter here is gray and cloudy and awful!

I keep trying to look at it as though I’m off on another adventure. That I LOVE having adventures and exploring new places. There will be new parks to hike, places to explore and new friends!

So, wish me luck in my next adventure! Please send love and light and uplifting thoughts. I need them. I’m having a hard time with this one. Hugs Y’all.


Reveille Yoga – Riverside CA

Reveille – The bugle call first thing in the morning to wake you. The “get up and get your day started right now” push that we all need each morning to energize, awaken and motivate us to get a move on! Reveille Yoga in downtown Riverside, California is where I found my wake up call last week.

As Jenny Montenegro walked into the room I wondered if she is from somewhere tropical – somewhere like Belize or Portugal. Her skin is golden brown, she has long dark hair and when she smiles the light reaches up into her brown eyes. Jenny is an artist. On the mat and off. She has an MFA in Studio Art & Design from UC/San Bernardino. And that flair, that artist’s style is evident in her yoga practice as well.

She started us off with a short, gentle meditation and then moved us smoothly into a challenging flow that incorporated Suria Namaskar B – or Sun Salutation B. As Jenny guided us in her soft, gentle voice I found myself challenged and sweating more than usual!

I tried to chalk it up to the California weather – It Is HOTTER there. And then I tried to tell myself that Jenny is much younger than I…..but the truth is probably closer to the fact that I don’t practice enough on my own. The ladies to either side of me seemed to be just fine! Sure I teach a full load of classes (9 per week right now) but practicing on my mat – on my own is not something I push myself to do enough. Is it ever enough?

As we came to the end of practice Jenny said it was time for inversions. I mentally kicked myself for requesting Sirsasana at the beginning of class when she asked if anyone had a pose they wanted to include. I was tired, but being the brave, badass, sometimes crazy yogi than I am, I pulled it off. Two Shaky, rocking, weak headstands – Hooray!

Reveille is a lovely studio located in the historic down town core of Riverside. It is just steps away from the historic and amazing Mission Inn.  It’s a great area to walk and check out the local shops. Wear shorts and flip flops because It’s warm and drop in to a class with Jenny! I promise you’ll get your wake up call!

TRX – Train with Kyle in Anacortes, WA!

“Come on! You got this! Keep going! You’re half way there! Be strong, finish strong! Good news is that you have only 2 sets left!” These words keep rolling through my head as I rolled my way out of bed this morning after trying a couple of TRX classes with Kyle Ciminski! One of the perks of working at Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center in Anacortes, WA is that I can try out any of the classes and TRX was a revelation!

TRX stands for Total Resistance eXercise. A TRX is a black and yellow strap than hangs from an anchor point. It has hand and foot holds at the end of each strap and can be adjusted for length. The really cool thing about TRX is that it can be used anywhere! You can anchor it to the ceiling, a wall, hang it from a door or go outdoors and attach it to a tree branch or playground equipment – anything that will hold your weight!

28933_4916622505816_619852359_nMy friend, Vicki Otto from True to Form In Marysville, WA actually introduced me to TRX a few years ago. We put together a one year reunion of all the folks who had done Yoga Teacher Training together. Vicki graciously offered to host and gave us a great TRX demo class! Here she is showing us how to use the TRX to assist with handstand!



Vicki and her partner Kyle also took their TRX equipment with them on a trip to Sleeping Lady Resort and got their exercise done in the snow!







And just recently Vicki posted this photo showing how she uses her TRX to help find balance in Ardha Chandrasana – or Half Moon pose.


As a yoga and fitness instructor I love trying out new ways to work my body. I’m currently teaching 9 classes per week so I get a lot of exercise but TRX has worked me in a whole new way! I am feeling parts of my body tighten like never before and I’m feeling stronger and more buff! LOL!


(A student doing bicep curls. This TRX is anchored to the wall and we are told to keep our eyes on the anchor point!)

The most intense exercises were for the core. We set the straps at their longest length and then laid down on our stomach on a mat with our feet at the wall. We then placed our feet in the foot loop and flexed back through our heels. When Kyle said GO – we lifted up to an elbow plank and began bending our knees in to our chest. It was really hard – even for only 30 seconds! The next exercise was the same except we lifted our hips toward the ceiling and kept our legs straight – this is called a pike! Holy ABS Batman!!!! The third exercise was to bring both knees over to the right elbow, back to straight and then over to the left elbow. I chose to modify this one by only doing one knee at a time and keeping the other leg straight.

While we work, Kyle roams around the room checking each person for good form, he encourages all of us and gives us little tips to make each movement more effective. As a personal trainer I really appreciate that because I am used to being in front and telling others what to do. It’s nice to have someone else kick my butt for a change! And when you know he’s watching it makes you want to work harder!!!!


(A student doing a fly. This move works the arms, shoulders, back, chest and core!)

I’ve taken two classes so far and I can already feel my body reacting to TRX. My core is slimmer and feels stronger. I can feel my arms and shoulders in a whole new way and I want to go back for more! I might even have to get a TRX of my own! If you’d like to try out a TRX class with Kyle, you can reach him here:

Kyle also does individual personal training which can be adapted to any body type, age or physical limitation. The goal is to be healthy and fit for as long as possible so we can enjoy this wonderful life we’ve been given. Don’t be afraid to try new things! You just might like it! Now I just need to get him on a yoga mat – so I can kick his butt for a change! Not that it’s a competition or anything………





Radical Body Love

I’m really tired of not loving my body. I’m tired of that voice in my head that says I’m not thin enough, or tall enough and that I’m getting old. I’m tired of being worried about the texture and color of my hair. And I’m tired of being hungry in an effort to fit into a certain size. AND I’m tired of wasting so much time thinking about it over and over and over! When will I ever be happy with my body? Why can’t it be enough already? Why can’t I love myself just the way I am?

Let’s be really honest here. This is not just about weight. Having extra weight on our body is an area that a lot of people focus on.  But I know women who are small and thin and yet they wish they had larger breasts. Women with curly hair who want straight hair. MEN who want to have more muscle definition or more hair! So NOT being happy with our body is an issue that most of us deal with!

How much time and energy and MONEY could we save if we just loved our body? How many businesses would go out of business if we were happy? We certainly wouldn’t be supporting the anti-wrinkle cream companies, hair dye manufacturers, or most of the clothing companies out there!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I want to lie around all day, get really heavy, eat whatever I want (OK I do want to eat whatever I want) but I’m not saying I want to be unhealthy. I’ve been there and done that and the negative self talk almost killed me. Depression swept me under fast and hard and I almost didn’t make it out. Luckily, I found yoga, lost 40 pounds and am healthy and happier than ever…….BUT that stupid voice is still there saying “It’s not enough, You’re not skinny enough, Who’s going to want to follow you in a yoga or fitness class?” It really pisses me off that voice.

So what am I gonna do about it? How do I make that voice shut up? How do I love myself fully – just as I am. I want to stop putting so much emphasis on my weight. I’ve already pitched my scale. I’m still in the same size jeans….It’s just THE VOICE.  And the only way I know to battle THE VOICE is to call it a liar every damn time. To replace that script with positive loving words.

When I hear negativity I plan to say to myself, “You are soft and curvy. You are more than your weight, You are so sparkly that people are drawn to you! You are caring and kind and loving. Your body is strong and fit and you are healthy. I’m going to repear over and over and over that I AM ENOUGH” Because there is WAY more to life than worrying about weight.

My favorite quote lately is by J.K. Rowling: “Is fat really the worst thing a person can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil or cruel? Not to me.” I totally agree. And now the work begins to be kind to myself!

Since I know I’m not alone in this I put out a call for photos from my friends that make them feel brave. Photos that make them feel LOVE for their body. So here are a few of the brave people in my life. And let me just say most of these people have either lost weight, work towards being healthier every day of their lives – mentally and physically and each one of them is beautiful to me!


Kassandra Burnham – runner and camel rider!


Richelle Morgan– Owner of Yoga Dicha Studio in Tulum, Mexico and Mexi-pup Savior!


William Billy Knox, Ganesh Warrior and Yoga DUDE.


Carla Bigelow (and her husband). Carla runs Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center, teaches multiple group classes & swimming lessons,  is a Red Cross Emergency Responder, mother to 6 kids and all around amazing woman!


Heather Roderick – Warrior Goddess


Angela Strand – Mom, Wife and Author of Northwest Healthy Mama


Michael DiMeo – YMCA Yoga Instructor, Shiner of Love & Light!


Jillian Dees at 37 weeks pregnant!


Jamie Lucas Smith – Being more active and Loving herself at 40!!!!!


Leslie Kiger  – Body Transformer!


And finally…..ME. Working on loving myself just as I am.