Pray.

prayer

I do not consider myself a religious person even though I was raised in the Lutheran church (and school) during my formative years and into adulthood. I now tend to concentrate less on doctrine and rules and more on simply love, kindness and direct communication with God. I use the term God because it’s the strongest word out there (in my opinion) for spirit and universal power. I struggle with prayer because I don’t want to communicate with God in a pleading or asking kind of way. I simply want the guidance. I want to feel the answers are coming, I want to know I’m okay right where I am, and believe that everything I need will come to me at the perfect time. My prayers tend to be more along the lines of “Hey God…can we chat for a bit?” To be honest with you though, when there are challenges in front of me, I do tend to ask for change or strength to get through them. I think that’s probably okay as long as I’m not also asking for cars and jewelry. And I don’t because I’m not that shallow.

I had something come into my life recently that blindsided me completely. I swear to you I would have bet on the life of my children that nothing like this could happen. That is how certain I was! But then it happened and the situation completely derailed me for an entire day. I was faced with self-doubt, feeling insignificant, feeling worn out, unnecessary and yesterday’s news. Which then lead to, “Why should I even bother anymore?”

Rather than dwell in my pity party, I immersed myself in videos that I’ve been meaning to watch but didn’t make the time for. One of those videos was a message from SARK (whom I would just love to sit with sometime and eat cookies together) and the other was from Marie Forleo and her interview with Marianne Williamson. I’ve never read anything from Marianne before, but I know many who have read and enjoyed her books immensely. The interview was from her book called “The Law of Divine Compensation”. While I’m not here to discuss the interview, what I did want to share was the prayer at the end. The entire reason I started this blog post with where I am in the prayer arena is the purpose for this post……to share this prayer.

The event that blindsided me had to do with my work, so when I heard this prayer, I knew it was communication from the Divine that I needed to hear. Because it was so powerful I listened and transcribed the prayer to refer back to. It’s a lesson for me in allowing and determining the attitude I will take when things don’t go the way I want them to. Will I give up? Will I quit? Will I take it in stride and try again, or try something else? Can I allow something outside of myself to perhaps show me another way? Can I really believe something better is coming? I think for the next few days I will use this prayer to open myself up to whatever spirit is trying to show me. It won’t be easy or pleasant because I like to be in control…..and maybe that in itself is the lesson. I don’t know. But my heart, mind and hands are open to wherever I’m supposed to be led. Now if it could just happen before the end of business day that would be great.

The prayer went like this…….

Dear God,

For all of us who are joined here we place in your hands our burdens and our questions and our responsibilities. We place in your hands our debts and we place in your hands our assets. We place in your hands our fears about money and work and we place in your hands our visions and our prayers and our hopes for money and work. In this and in all things, Dear God, we pray to be lifted to the highest level of divine order. May we be who you would have us be that we might do what you would have us do. May our work in the world, Dear God, be more than just a job.  May it be a calling as each of us now surrender ourselves and ask that we be used by you, that whatever we do, it be a conduit for the love that uplifts all things. May the brilliance and the genius that is your spirit within us move through us in collaboration with the genius moving through everyone else to create the most beautiful world.  And so it is together we say….Amen.”

Amen. Now on with the duty of living, trusting and faith that all is well. And we may as well pray to a funky little beat while we’re at it.

Kim

Gossip is Damaging to Everyone

operatorgame

I won’t go into details about the prompting of this post. But suffice it to say, one thing happened with one person a long time ago, and from there the story took on a life of its own. I believe there are perceptions about me that are so off base it makes my head spin. I can handle the criticism because I know my own heart, I am aware of my mistakes and I’ve learned lessons as a result of my choices. But when the stories and gossip begins to hurt people I love because they associate with me then it becomes hurtful. So as a reminder to myself, and hopefully to others who read this, perhaps if we have questions about something we can make an effort to go to the source for clarification, instead of continuing to take a fairy-tale of a story or misunderstanding and perpetuating it into something larger than life. It’s one more step towards kindness.

Let’s begin…..

Remember the game of operator you played as a child?
In the game of operator kids sit in a circle and repeat what was just said until it gets to the last player in the circle, who then says what was heard, out loud. It goes a little something like this:
In the last inning of the championship game, before taking the mound, All-Star pitcher Gail leans over to her catcher-friend Charlotte and says, “I’m going to put out the greatest pitch and win this game for us today.” They use this line as the original message to pass around to all the other children.
  • Kid 1 hears – I’m going to put a great pitch and win this game for us today.
  • Kid 2 hears – I’m going to put out a great pitch and win a game of trust play.
  • Kid 3 hears- I’m going out for a pitch and win a drum someday.
  • Kid 4 hears—Imma is going out with a rich bum today.
  • Kid 5 hears – Imma goes out to a rich mansion and does a drug bust with Kid n’ Play.
  • Kid 6, the final child in the circle, hears and says to the rest of the children – I’m going to take out that bitch and not trust her everyday.
Gail steps in and repeats her original quote. “I said…I’m going to put out the greatest pitch and win this game for us today.”
Be cautious and mindful of what you see and hear.  Things are not always as they seem or appear.

Finding Joy in a Cookie

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One fantastic cookie!

I love what I do for a living. It may not be much of a living in terms of dollars, but the fullness of my life is very rich due to the the people I meet and circumstances I often find myself in. As many of you know I am a dance-fitness instructor of both Zumba® and U-Jam®. Between the two formats, my schedule contains eight classes each week…and let me remind you that I’m no spring chicken! My current chosen field allows me to incorporate my dance background and the on and off again personal training I’ve done with coaches since I was 15 years old. Honestly, I love the movement, the challenge of choreography, the music, the people who come to my classes and the slightly crazy schedule I keep each week to incorporate all of it and more (“more” meaning my other interests and responsibilities BESIDES fitness).

But I have to tell you, I’m exhausted most of the time.

Much of my weekly calendar is spent making sure my classes stay fun, fresh and entertaining to the people that pay above and beyond their gym memberships to take them. Much thought and energy goes into being the best I can possibly be so people leave my classes feeling joyful and physically worked out. Listening to music, creating routines and counting out beats in my head is a non-stop focus of mine. Oh and naps….naps are a daily essential to ensuring I can perform at my best.

So let me tell you something…..when the weekend rolls around, I typically do not even want to hear the words Zumba or U-Jam. While I LOVE AND ADORE what I do, it’s not a lifestyle, it’s a job and a passion that requires boundaries. I’m always working on taking the time to slow down, get back to the basic and simple pleasures of life and just BE. Not an easy task for a “do-er” like me.

Which brings me to my main point. It’s important to keep my options and interests open, flowing and simple! Pinterest is another one of my passions. I get so much pleasure out of sitting with my Ipad and pinning things of interest – meals, desserts, knitting/crochet projects, card-making or just really silly pictures for a good laugh. Last week I found a cookie recipe that literally consumed my thoughts for days. I finally sent my husband to the store to pick up the butter and chocolate chips I needed to bake. And on this wonderful soccer-free, Zumba-free, U-Jam-free Saturday morning, I found my zen in baking one of the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I found my joy in a cookie.

And now, I invite you to print or bookmark this recipe and, if it calls you to do so, make the batch of cookies and share the joy with the people you love. My one piece of advice is this….double the recipe because one small batch isn’t enough.

Cheers to the simple pleasures! Enjoy!
XOXO

Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag.

catoutofbagI hope you’re sitting down. I’ve been withholding a secret from you for months. And now it’s time to let you in on it.

My husband’s current job is moving to Portland, Oregon. [deep breath]

He told me about this several months ago. My reaction, of course, was how can I possibly move to Oregon? Here in California I have family, friends, students, history, roots, an abundance of contacts and resources. How can I leave all of that? So I did what any good Gemini would do. I refused to believe it. And that was that.

There was just one problem. My husband didn’t refuse to believe it. He was completely serious. He knew it was our reality. Where the job is, is where we also need to be. The “plan” consisted of the hubs moving up to Portland in February. My two girls and I would stay through June so my oldest could graduate high school. After that, the packing, the goodbyes and the road trip to a new life begins! You have no idea of the sadness I have felt. Every lunch I had with friends was one step closer to my last lunch.  Every Zumba class I taught got me one step closer to my last class. This past Christmas was my last California Christmas with the entire family in one place. It was all so gut-wrenching. Over the last few months I literally have experienced all the stages of grief.

  • Denial & Isolation (hell no I’m not moving!!)
  • Anger (Oh did I experience anger! How the #%&^*$ can this POSSIBLY be happening dammit?)
  • Bargaining (what if I do this, or do that? Maybe I can find a job and stay here with the kids and do things myself.)
  • Depression (a deep, intense sadness that was difficult to control and hide)….and finally….
  • Acceptance. Accepting the fact that the job is in Portland, a new life awaits us in Portland, and that is that. I’m not going to break up our family because of this, so I must go and do what I must do. Start all over again at age 47. *sigh* Okay. I can do this.

At 7:00 a.m. this morning, January 3, 2013, my husband called to let me know his boss wants him in Portland mid-month for a week to work in the office. This would be a good time for me and our youngest daughter to also go out there and begin our home search, look around the area, find a high school…you know….the things a family needs to do before making a 1,000 mile relocation to another state. Boy did this day arrive quickly.

So….with all of that being said, scroll back up and remember I started this post out with the words “My husband’s current job.”

As of about 11:30 this morning, he was offered (and accepted) a NEW position……right here in Irvine, California. He is scheduled to begin January 22, 2013. We are officially NOT moving to Portland, Oregon. :)

B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

And never-give-up-hope for what you really, really want. :)

XOXO

Kim

Whoa! Where Did This Muffin Top Come From?

muffin-top-t-shirtCan I be honest with you? I took the last few weeks of 2012 off to refresh my mind, body and spirit. The last few months have been a bit emotional and draining for reasons I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say, I needed a break or I was going to explode. I went into a “no Zumba Zone”…I didn’t listen to music, work on choregraphy or even THINK about Zumba. I didn’t work on any U-Jam either as much as I need to get a class together and find a place to teach!!!! Really what I did was work on several knitting orders, hang around with my friends, kids and husband, handle the necessary holiday activities….and…oh yeah….EAT!!! I ate and drank like it was going out of style.

And now I can feel it and see it. Yep. There’s more of me now.

I don’t have huge regrets because my time off was exactly what was needed. I spent valuable and precious time visiting with friends and family, enjoyed copious amounts of relaxing, and basically living this life of mine at a slower pace. So while I enjoyed the food and drinks (Coke, wine, champagne, more Coke, more wine), now all I want to do is drink water and eat carrot sticks. If I see one more piece of pumpkin anything or dark chocolate I’m going to go off on someone. ;)

So…here’s some more honesty. As much as I dance and move each week, getting up off my butt is even difficult for me sometimes. So I started today with my ACE capsules for the boost I need to get started, a Zumba class with my Golden Girls and tonight I resume my normal teaching schedule. I’ve also committed to attending a meeting for Arbonne’s “30 Days to Fit” so I can learn more about the program and pass it along to anyone who may be interested as well. If you would like to join me for this meeting on Thursday night (1/3/13), please let me know and we can head down to Irvine together. The flyer can be found at the bottom of this post.

We’re human dear readers. We work, work, work, which means we need to rest, rest, rest for balance. Eating and indulging is fun, but it also has it’s consequences. So I invite you to not beat yourself up and just get back up on the horse to health. Life is all about stops and starts, and a new year is always a great reason to make some different choices. If your choices didn’t work for you in 2012, chances are they aren’t going to work in 2013 either. So make different ones! Take a different approach or action. We don’t have to do it all at once, but perhaps one small step at a time to get us toward the goals we have set for ourselves. You do know the definition of insanity right? “DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT.” Want different results? Do something different. And folks, this applies to your health, your mind, your relationships, your spiritual life, your money and everything else.

Okay. So that’s it. I fell off the horse, I ate a lot of hay while I was down, and now I’m getting back on. Want to grab your saddle and join me? It’s so much easier to get things done when we involve friends.

From me to you, I wish you superb health, happiness and choices that bring you joy…in 2013 and beyond.
xoxo

Kim

30daystofitmeeting

Being Brave, Bold & Capable

My first job at 16 years old was as an aerobics instructor for a small studio in my hometown where I taught aerobic dance to mostly women much older than me. I also sold Mary Kay Cosmetics part time. Me and my 1967 blue Volkswagen bug drove all over L.A. County and beyond teaching women to take care of their skin. Fast forward (ahem!) a few years and today I am teaching Zumba® Fitness classes to women of all ages, and have just signed up to be a consultant for Arbonne.

But here’s the truth. I hate sales. I don’t want to be “that person” who bugs people, asks for their business, or even worse, when they see me coming they turn away. The thought of that horrifies me! A friend of mine told me recently she thought I’d make a great consultant, and after listening to the integrity of the business, I decided this was a business I wanted to align with. It felt like the perfect marriage between my fitness career and my never-ending desire to make a difference for people.

After several nights of restless sleep, a week later I changed my mind, telling my friend I was sending back my new consultant kit because I just couldn’t do it. More nights of tossing and turning – did I make the right decision? Should I try it? No, I’ll fail miserably so just let it go. No one will like me or help me or ever want to talk to me again. (<——By the way this is referred to as the ugly drunk money on your shoulder who thinks you’re worthless at everything!) After yet another week passed, a treasured friend of mine told me that, had I continued on as a consultant, she would have purchased from me. What??!! Simultaneously I heard from two other women who SWEAR by Arbonne and suddenly I started thinking differently. It was sort of the kick in the butt I needed to go ahead and give this opportunity….well…an opportunity to thrive. So I’m keeping my kit and giving this thing a try. After all, we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take, right?

There comes a point when we get tired of not being able to make the decisions we want to make. Whether it’s financial, mental, or some other reason, at some point the need to change becomes less painful and scary than living with the status quo.  I’m at the point where I need to bust out of my own self-imposed chains and take charge of my life.

I’m nervous. I’m completely used to promoting other women and their businesses and absolutely get a kick out of helping them. It’s an entirely different story when I am the one that needs the help. Part of this journey will be overcoming that innate sense of “not being good enough” to be helped by others. And yet, because I even feel this way, it’s a journey I absolutely need to make.

I’m ready. Now who wants a facial? :)

xoxo

Kim

The Ebb and Flow of Joy

Image

ebb and flow

A decline and increase, constant fluctuations. For example, He was fascinated by the ebb and flow of the Church’s influence over the centuries . This expression alludes to the inward and outward movement of ocean tides. (courtesy of Dictionary.com)

* * * * *

Life is tricky isn’t it? One day you are experiencing bouts of serious joy, excitement and a love of life. Next day…something or someone can alter your mood by a word, an action, or a post on Facebook. Staying in the flow of joy takes practice. Knowing all is well takes faith. Believing in yourself is a lifelong lesson of acceptance and self-love. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to have a melt down and throw a temper tantrum, don’t you?

We must experience sadness, hurt and feelings otherwise labeled as “negative” in order to better appreciate the positives when they occur. If life was always a cheery happy bowl of cherries we wouldn’t even recognize the happiness anymore. More of the same is not necessarily a good thing. I get all of  that. So why is it so difficult, when we’re going through those challenging bouts of self-doubt, hurt, anger and more, to find the “good feeling” place?
Today I am experiencing the feeling of someone ripping off the scab of a wound that I thought was healed. Why do I allow that to happen? Do I still need to practice forgiveness? Honor my own personal achievements? Focus on what I DO have and not what I DON’T have? Okay, okay I know! The answer is D…All of the above.
Tell me, how do you handle the ebb and flow of emotion? I am interested in others’ practices in case there is something I haven’t thought of. After what occurred today, I took action. I got out of myself and reached out to other people to acknowledge them. I took action on a dream I have by getting in touch with some people who just may be able to help me make it come true. And I accepted a random compliment from someone I know and decided to hold it close to my heart.
Today’s Note From the Universe was a grand one. Insert YOUR name in the blanks as you read the note below. For the rest of today I will flow with my ebb, focus on the goodness that surrounds me, play a game with my child, and have faitth that “everything will turn out grand”…and do my best to keep smiling.
xoxo
Kim
Read on…..
While a child attending kindergarten _______, cannot fully comprehend all the priceless reasons they are there – to socialize, make friends, grow, and prepare for ever higher realms of awareness – by that age they can, nevertheless, sense and grasp that their wise and doting parents have kept their very best interests in mind, and that is enough. Because with this awareness, they can at least stop trying to figure everything out and simply start enjoying their hand painting, alphabet lessons, and cat-naps. Knowing that even if they break a crayon or some lad pulls a chair out from under them, they’re still exactly where they should be, everything is going to turn out just grand, and everyone back home is as proud as can be. And oh my goodness, _________, we are so proud of you. Do I “over-dote”?  The Universe
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