Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. I don't very often do sponsored content for my blog. But, because this is a concern for many of my clients, and in my family, I felt it fit. So, here is a graphic from the American Recall Center with some pretty scary facts about osteoporosis. 

 Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Facts.

Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Facts.

Osteoporosis is a big concern for many of my clients. In fact, some of them came to Pilates on their doctor's recommendation. And, I'm happy to report, many have found increased bone density because of Pilates. Weight bearing exercise, with resistance like springs, is a great, safe way to address osteoporosis. 

Perhaps most importantly, Pilates is a great way to help PREVENT osteoporosis or bad consequences of the disease. Pilates works to develop even and balanced muscles throughout the body, both protecting your bones and bettering your posture to decrease chances of falling.

For a great article on Pilates and Osteoporosis, that really describes how Pilates benefits your bones, check out this interview with Rebekah Rotstein

Super-Berry Super-Protein Pancakes (Paleo!)

  • 1 packet of Berry Harvest Vegan Protein Powder (Isagenix)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup almond meal (left over from making almond milk)
  • ¼ cup almond milk or water
  • 20 blueberries

Blend the banana, egg, almond meal, and milk in the blender or mixer until a smooth batter

Fold in the blueberries.

Pour coconut oil in the middle of the skillet.

Turn on stovetop to medium heat

Pour in batter.

Cook until brown and flip. Cook until brown.

Makes about 6 pancakes. 

Rock Your Bikini Body!

While being featured in SHAPE as an expert trainer is still something I’m very proud of, I’m very disappointed in their editorial team for how they handled this amazing story. 


Eating healthy and working out isn't about losing weight. It's about being healthy. Losing weight isn't even about losing weight. It's about being healthy and treating your body well. 

One of the things I’m most passionate about is women embracing and loving their bodies. Appreciating their bodies for all the things they are capable of. Running. Carrying 5 bags of groceries. Carrying a child. Touching your toes. Hanging upside down on a pole. Lifting weights. 

So here is my body, about 60 days ago, at the beginning of the IsaBody Challenge. Can’t wait to see my changes by the end of this month! 

 Me, about 60 days ago. 

Me, about 60 days ago. 

Feel free to post your bikini pics in the comments, or make a post of your own in support of Brooke and in celebration of all of us, and our bodies. Today, I celebrate my ability to dance, to move, What are you celebrating?  

It's Another Giveaway!

 Awesome inspirational jewelry from Momentum. 

Awesome inspirational jewelry from Momentum. 

Most of you know, I'm not really a jewelry person. I wear my shooting star necklace (thanks Sarah J. Gafgen!) every day, to remind me of my big dreams, and that someone believes in me. That's about it. I wear earrings so infrequently my holes have grown shut. I wear rings when I go out. I rarely wear bracelets, because they usually slosh around on my tiny wrist. 

But, for the past 2 weeks, I have be rocking the wrap bracelet from Momentum. And I've gotten tons of comments on it! 

Things to Love:

  1. Because it's a fabric wrap, I can loop it around my wrist as many times as it takes. 
  2. It stays put- which means it isn't getting in my way when I teach Pilates, when I'm on the pole, or even in aerial, when I might have the swing wrapped around my wrist for a bound grip. 
  3. The saying "inspire & empower" is perfect for me and CABARRET, and I love seeing it all day every day, reminding me why I really do what I do. 

And because I love it so much, and Momentum is so generous, we're going to give one away! Contest ends on 5/16, so enter now!

 What would you choose?

What would you choose?

Here are your choices for sayings and color! One of the ways to earn an entry is to post your design in the comments, so leave one below! Good luck!

The End of Back Pain- A Book Review

Remember book reports? I loved them. Because I loved reading, it didn't really seem too much like homework. And now, I get to do book reports for you!

I was asked to review an advanced copy of The End of Back Pain by Patrick A. Roth, MD because of my affiliation with Girls Gone Sporty. The book is now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. 

I was excited to read this book, because, as a Pilates instructor, I have seen exercise do great things for people who experience back pain. One of my students in Philadelphia, when I was just starting, included a women with herniated discs. When she came to me, she couldn't even bend over to tie her shoes. Through her work with me, she was able to not only tie her shoes, but return to hiking, and accomplish a complete Intermediate Reformer, with spine-heavy exercise like Short Spine Massage and The Semi-Circle. It was absolutely incredible to watch, and as a new instructor, was so inspiring, and proof that the Pilates method worked!

Currently, one of my students is a woman in her 60s with spinal stenosis and fibromyalgia who finds great relief and increased mobility in her work with me. Another is a former professional wrestler with multiple spine and joint issues. His Pilates work is the only thing that helps to mobilize and relieve pain in his neck. 

So, I think I was understandably surprised to read on page 6 that Pilates would not be the best course of action for someone with back pain, as it only works the front of the body. Um, what?  Clearly, Dr. Roth has never had a classical Pilates private session with a certified instructor. Dr. Roth, if you are ever in South Florida, please call me! You can have one with me! I'd love to introduce you to the magic that is real Pilates.

This error is likely not Dr. Roth's fault. There are so many "Pilates" methods out there, and what many think of as Pilates is the mat work, done in a class in a gym with an instructor who got certified in a weekend. Not the in depth, personal work on equipment as well as the mat, tailored to individual needs and goals, with an instructor who has spent over 1000 hours studying and practicing and has taken 6 exams, both written and practical, to prove her capabilities.

Dr. Roth describes his workout, The Hidden Core Workout, as a way to "build all of your muscles to form an internal brace around your entire core- front, sides, and back." Perhaps Dr. Roth would be surprised to learn that Mr. Pilates described the PowerHouse in much the same way, he defined it as the muscles that run from shoulders to hips/buttocks, on both the front AND back of the body.  Actually, Dr. Roth, if you are reading this, I recommend you check out Joseph Pilates' Return to Life Through Contrology, or his second book, Your Health. He was a man quite ahead of his time!

The Hidden Core Workout is a series of exercises for someone with back pain to do at home, to both strengthen and stretch (another Pilates concept!) the spine and the muscles around it. As an exercise professional, of course I recommend that people do these with a trainer or instructor, to make sure they are maintaining their form, and engaging the proper muscles. Dr. Roth believes that these exercises are safe enough to do at home, without supervision. And he may be totally correct. But, I know how easy it is to cheat in our workouts. Or even to be earnestly trying, and not quite get it right. 

Despite our disagreement on Pilates, I fully agree with the premise of this book. Exercise is a great option for sufferers of back pain and must be considered as viable as physical therapy, pain killers and therapy. But many people shy away from it for fear of more pain. 

Dr. Roth does a great job of breaking down scientific concepts and medical theories into understandable examples. I definitely have a better understanding of the spine, and several common back issues because of reading his book. I'm certain this will help my Pilates teaching immensely. 

My two favorite lines in the book line up with Pilates exactly: 

The key to back health, however, is to focus on muscles that can't be seen in the mirror. (This does not necessarily imply that we must devote ourselves only to the mere development of any particular pet set of muscles, but rather more rationally to the uniform development of our bodies as a whole....- Joseph Pilates, A Return to Life Through Contrology)

I'm going to engage not only your body, but also your intellect. (Logically, man should develop his physical condition simultaneously with the development of his mind. Neither should be sacrificed at the expense of the other, otherwise the all-important balance of body and mind is not attainable. It is this very lack of harmony between man's physical and mental health that is primarily responsible for man's unfortunate physical and mental condition today.- Joseph Pilates, Your Health)

Dr. Roth makes it clear that a big part of alleviating pain comes from being an active and engaged participant in your course of treatment- whether that means exercise, therapy, pills or surgery. Dr. Roth provides clear, non-scary descriptions of conditions, as well as questions to ask your doctor along the way. He encourages patients to use their minds and their intuitions. After all, they are the only ones in their bodies!

I definitely learned a great deal from this book, and will be keeping it on hand. After I get it back from the chiropractor friend I lent it to!

Stay Tuned...

I know that I haven't written a lot lately, at least here. But trust me, I have soooooo much to say!

I'm currently going through a business coaching course that is resulting in some rebranding and new ideas, for both myself and for CABARRET! It's exciting and terrifying. The new vision I have for me, the business and all of you, thrills me! But it is definitely taking some work right now. All of my creative energy is currently being poured into creating and re-creating my business. Meaning, I'm not writing a lot for the blog at the moment. So, please stay with me, because these things are going to be awesome! 

And in March, there is going to be a video series for the blog, and some new workout videos for CABARRET!

Until then, check out the current CABARRET video library! There are some great workout ones in there. And, I've updated the class schedule page, because there have been a few changes.

See you soon! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

No real post from me this week. Mainly because a LOT of stuff has been happening over here, and I need some time to process it all before I share it. But I'm going to have some great stuff coming out in the next couple of weeks!

Until then, check out the guest posts I had up this week!

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Where Did She Go? - for Rebelle Society! I'm so psyched to be a guest blogger for them, because I love this site! Here's my take on love and relationships. A well-timed read for the holiday. 

Your Complete Beginner's Guide to Pilates Equipment- for Girls Gone Sporty. This is a great post, complete with pics and a video to help calm any fears you may have about walking into a torture chamber-looking Pilates studio! 

The Importance Of Authenticity In The New Paradigm

Today's post is a guest post from the intuitive, amazing Leanne Chapman. I love her message in this post, and it fits with our recent theme of "get real"! Be sure to check out her bio at the bottom of the post, and connect with her.

The face of business is changing, particularly with the huge growth in online businesses in recent years. While many existing businesses have spent the last decade utilising the internet to help get their products and services in front of more people, there are now many businesses that operate solely online. This heightens the need for authenticity because you may never meet your individual clients face to face.

In the old paradigm of business, the approach was to find a gap in the market and fill it. However the new paradigm puts the focus on your unique gifts and talents which arise out of the essence of who you are as an individual. You might offer something that has never been available before, or your offerings might be similar to what others are offering, but either way nobody provides them in quite the same way you do. New paradigm products and services develop from your passions, the things that make you come alive, and as such they are one of a kind.

Usually they are something that comes naturally to you, either because it's something you love to do and therefore you've become exceptional at it, such as making art or teaching a particular skill. Or it could be a life challenge that you have personal experience with and now want to guide others through, such as losing weight or taking your career in a new direction.

Authenticity is particularly important in this arena. Your clients will naturally gravitate to you because what you offer resonates deeply with them. Whereas previously the emphasis was on going out and finding new clients, it is now your authentic spirit which draws them to you and lets them know you offer the right service for them.

Of course you will still need to market your offerings, but it won't be a matter of trying to convince people to buy your products and services. In fact, you might even turn some clients away, because in order to maintain integrity you understand that some people are not your ideal clients and therefore not a good fit for your business. You accept that they will be better off elsewhere.

In this business model, you create from the heart and your tribe is drawn to the results of this. You no longer need to think too hard about what to say when connecting with potential clients, because connections arise organically out of who you are. If we are being authentic in all areas of our lives, our products will flow from this and the 'know, like, trust' factor will grow quickly with the right clients.

Rather than looking for ways to make money in an unfamiliar industry, new paradigm business owners create their careers from the inside out, making money doing what they love. Engaging clients on a deeper level is a simple process of becoming more of yourself. In this way, authenticity comes naturally, although it may require us to be more vulnerable than before because of the need to look within and share who we truly are.

However when we take the risk and share of ourselves in this way, we aren't constantly seeking new clients because our ideal clients are able to develop a deep connection with us. This is an exciting time for business owners as we learn to express ourselves from the heart and watch our outer world fall into alignment. What are your unique gifts? There is a whole world out there waiting for them!

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Bio: Leanne Chapman is a mentor for spiritual treasure-seekers who want to reclaim lost parts of themselves from the shadows. Leanne founded Claim Your Treasure to show people how to create soul-directed lives based on deep authentic connections with themselves and others. She offers a ten module program to help you Reclaim Your Truth, along with Sacred Stories and Treasure Maps to guide your path. Leanne is an art therapist, Soul Art® guide and writer and she believes that art, creativity and nature are all valuable elements in the healing process. 

Connect with Leanne:

Website: http://claimyourtreasure.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/claimyourtreasure

2014, FTW.


This was an exercise from Alexandra Franzen. No resolutions. Only intention. So, here are my intentions for 2014. Sharing this with you is accountability for me, and hopefully inspirational for you. Please leave a comment with you 2014 FTW Intentions!

In 2014, I am building my empire. Wellness and fitness are physical, mental and emotional. I have products and services that support goals in all of these areas. I am ready to be known for this work, to be available to my clients, and to find new clients. 

This building — my body of work — will include a few very helpful offerings for the world, including:

  • Group coaching sessions- Embrace Your Power- The coaching sessions empower women to work on their goals, by embracing the power within, that they've been denying and shutting down. Such amazing break-throughs come from this work.
  • Isagenix nutritional cleansing products and coaching- Isagenix works. The high integrity of the ingredients and the company makes me proud to be a part of this organization. 
  • A book- I need to do this. Stay tuned!

In order to build what I want to build, I’ll need to release / remove a few things from my world, including:

  • Wasted time- Oh, I can procrastinate. I mean, I never procrastinate with nothing, like just watching TV or playing on Facebook. Oh, no. I procrastinate by "working". Writing Facebook posts, scheduling tweets, researching other businesses. While these are likely things that do need to be done, they usually are an excuse for why I am NOT doing what I need to being doing at that moment. 
  • Fear of rejection/annoying others- This is what makes selling difficult for me. I don't want to bother anyone. I want to be nice. I want to be liked. But, guess what? They are not rejecting me, just the product/service. And, if they do say no, or are bothered, then they are not my client. Learning who says "No" will help me learn who will say "Yes".  
  • Fear of success and failure- Change is scary. Whether it's good or bad. It means we cannot stay as we are, where we are. I'm afraid of both the good and the bad changes. But, I must embrace that it means I'm growing, learning and moving. 

 Because what I really want to be known for is teaching women to find and embrace the power within them. To be confident in their bodies, voices and businesses. 

When things start to feel overwhelming, I will keep it simple by reminding myself that my job is simply to show others their power. 

And by this time next year, I will be SO proud to have completed ONE big thing, which is writing a book. 

And THAT is my plan for 2014.

Living Life


If you are friends with me on Facebook or in real life, you know that my grandfather passed away last Thursday. While he was older, he certainly wasn't old, sick or frail. It was really quite shocking for me and my family. 

I'm actually writing this while on the plane back to Pittsburgh for his funeral. And I have some time to reflect- on his life and my life. 

Poppy wasn't a super emotional, or touchy-feely man. He worked in manufacturing his whole life. He did some hunting and fishing. He loved football and beer. He was a man, for sure. 

But he was always THERE. My sister and I were discussing our memories of our grandfather. While we don't have any specific memories of things we did with him, we remember him always being there. Our sports games, music concerts, dance recitals, graduations, Poppy was there. There was never a doubt in our minds that he was proud of us, that he supported us, that he wanted to be a presence in our lives. 

As I think about this, I realize I'm guilty of not always being there. Or, being physically there, but not emotionally. I can get so caught up in my own issues and career, that I miss life. Those important moments. I've had many holidays away from my family. I've been home for a visit, and wished I was back in my own home. 

Going forward, I'm going to be better at being there. At getting home, and staying present. At visiting and calling the people that I love. I wish it hadn't taken such a hard lesson to drive it home. But, I've learned it. 

Poppy taught me the lesson of showing up, of being there. Of reminding the people you love that you love them- by investing your time and presence in them, not just saying it. 

LIfe is unexpected and fragile. So hold your people close and tell them, AND SHOW them, that you love them. Do the things that bring you joy, with the people that bring you joy. This is a beautiful life.  

Let's Get Real.

For a few weeks now I've been encouraged, by both people in my life and the webinars and podcasts I listen to, to GET REAL. To really tell my story. To be honest. To let the not so pretty, or the downright ugly, parts show. 

This is difficult. But, because I alway like to err on the side of vulnerability, I've decided to follow the Universe's signs and get real. So, here are some very real things about me. 


1. 2013 was the toughest year ever. Emotionally and business-wise, I have never experienced so many challenges and obstacles. Between losing what I thought was going to be my dream job, living in a new place, starting a business with very little capital, not getting paid on a regular basis, creating new friendships and relationships, it has been a draining year. I'm very excited for 2014 to bring some forward momentum. 

2. I feel like a fraud. Every day. I fear that the "fraud police", as Neil Gaiman calls them, will show up at my door to ask me just who I think I am to be teaching/coaching/creating/running a business. And I will have no answer. 

3. I don't always feel as positive as I look. I was talking about all the different places I teach, and the ones I've added for the New Year, to a Pilates student the other day. She was surprised. She said from the peace and positivity I constantly radiate, she never would have guessed that I was always hustling, from one place to the next. To me, that was a huge compliment. But honestly, I don't always feel that peace.

Despite the fact that these 3 things are very true in my life, I choose not to dwell on them. I choose to "act as if" I am in control, at peace and moving forward. This is not just blind ignorance of my life. It's a choice to remain positive and keep going, even when things are difficult and draining. It's a belief in myself, my ideas, my passions that cannot be shaken by the problems I face. 

No matter what 2013 looked like for you, try to "act as if" 2014 is YOUR year in your life, just for a moment, today. Let peace and empowerment fill you. And that moment will become an hour, become a day, a week, a month, a year, a life.  Prepare internally. Then, we'll make it happen. 

Why I Need to Get Out of Your Own Way and Sell Already!


Not only am I putting Isagenix products in my body every day, but I'm selling them as well. I'm really writing this post for myself, because I'm having a hard time with the idea of "selling". I know I need to, and I do it, but each time, it scares the crap out of me. So, as I share my story and try to illuminate my own hang-ups for myself, I hope you find some information and inspiration you can use!

I should be used to selling. I used to sell insurance. I consider every time I talk about my CABARRET classes, Pilates lessons, or Public Persona coaching services, I'm selling. Isagenix products are absolutely a natural (ha-ha, pun) fit with the rest of the things I sell. But why, every time I have a conversation about any of my businesses, but especially Isagenix, that involves selling or closing the deal, do I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack?! Here are some things I need to remember:

  1. When you are in love, you want to tell everyone. In this case, I happen to be love with Isagenix. I love how it makes me feel. I love who it helps me be. And isn't that the best kind of love? The kind that inspires you to be better? To be committed?
  2. Selling is sharing. Sometimes I get freaked out by the idea of sales. Okay, lots of times. Sales is a dirty word. But, if you have good products or services, ones that really work, ones that you believe in, you are not selling. You are sharing, you're just talking about it. And we all talk, talking is easy. Like recommending a great restaurant, or spa. I know Isagenix has great FOOD (yes, it's really actually food. Not synthetic, not chemical. Plants. Lots of plants.) that nourishes my entire body from the inside out. Why wouldn't I refer others to it?
  3.  You get what you pay for. Ramen noodles are cheap. Organic and local food, or a nutritional system that gets delivered right to your door, can be a little less so. I get that. Believe me, when I look at my credit card statement and see the amount of money that goes to Whole Foods every month (well, not anymore! ;) But more on that later.), I have a heart attack. But, I need to sell it like I sell Pilates lessons-- Think of what you're now NOT paying for. You're not paying for trips to the doctor. You're not paying for meds. You're not paying for $4 Starbucks because you couldn't sleep or you don't have enough energy to finish out your day. Eating well and healthy isn't a bill you have to pay, it's an investment you make- in yourself and your relationships, so you are always at your peak. You're paying for your health somewhere. So, it may as well benefit you!

These are important lessons for me, and any entrepreneur. You are always selling yourself. Make sure it is motivated by love, for the product and the client, and has tangible benefits. Then, selling is easy. 

PS- Why don't I freak out about my Whole Foods bill anymore? Because Isagenix pays us, weekly,  on a Visa debit card. Which is all I use to pay for my groceries. My healthy food pays for more healthy food! When was the last time you said that at the grocery store?

PPS- Another prompt from Alexandra Franzen.

Reflections on the New Year

We're into the Holiday Season! I can't believe it's December already. How many of you feel that way, too? How does time passing always seem to surprise us? These thoughts caused me to pause and reflect. And December is certainly a great time for some perspective. 

2013 was a fairly terrible year for me. While I had the opportunity to begin 2 businesses that I feel are really my purpose, it's been a tough year. I'm really looking forward to 2014! While I know I'm not just going to wake up on January 1 with everything better/fixed/perfect, there is something refreshing about that new start. 

Why do we wait for January 1 to make or appreciate this new beginning? I know I'm guilty of it. But each day is a new day. Each day is an opportunity to take an action that will bring you closer to your goal. Each morning gives you a chance to say "Today, I'm going to be my best self." 

I think part of the reason we wait for January 1 is, it gives us time to prepare. The problem is, if you have a goal, and you wait to take action on it, that procrastination becomes habit with your goal. When you know you have a goal, start working towards it! You don't need to wait for a calendar or a time. Take steps forward immediately. Don't make procrastination part of your routine. Make action your default setting. 

Waiting for the New Year also gives us momentum and energy from others. It's easier to be encouraged to make a change and work towards it when the intentions and energies of those around you are also focused on change. We encourage and motivate each other. If you like the change energy that surrounds the New Year, try to create that energy in your life daily. Surround yourself with people who are working towards their goals. Be with people who encourage you and motivate you daily. Surround yourself with positive, goal-oriented energy every day of the year!

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and let the time just pass us by. And then we get here, to the holidays and December, and wonder where the year went. I don't want to live another year like that. 

I want to appreciate the moments, really LIVING in them. I want to take action every day that brings me closer to my goals. I want each day to be the start of a new year and a chance to become better.  

The 80/20 Rule of Fitness

Yesterday I posted this pic on Facebook. I love it. "You can't outrun your fork."80/20 Rule

This is just a reminder that fitness is 80% nutrition, and only 20% exercise. As a professional exercise instructor, both Pilates and barre, this is a tough stat for me. And yet, here it is. 
I was never one who worried a lot about "nutrition". I'm naturally rather thin, so I don't have to count calories. I alway ate pretty healthy- lots of veggies, very little red meat, small portions. But, I still didn't have the body I wanted. I felt like, with all the work I do, at least 1 daily work out, my body should really reflect it more. I wanted to LOOK as strong as I knew I was. I wanted to look fit, not just thin!
It wasn't until I changed my diet that I got the physical changes that I wanted. (And this is coming from someone who ate on the healthy side! Imagine what kind of changes you would make if you switched from unhealthy to healthy!) Once I added more protein, paid attention to the ingredients in my food (eliminating chemicals, hormones, etc.), and started cleansing, my body changed. I can see the results of my workouts. I got the most out my exercise routine when I optimized my fuel. 
Plus, I feel better. Even if you, like me, are naturally thin, if you fuel your body with junk, because you don't have to worry about the calories, your insides are suffering. While your outer body may not reflect your Ramen noodles and Oreos, your blood, organs and immune system are not operating at their peak capacity.
You can't outrun your fork. Your nutrition choices are showing up in your body- maybe the outside, maybe the inside. Maybe your energy levels, or that mental haze so many people operate in. I want to challenge you to change your diet- eat cleanly, eat the right balance of carbs/proteins/fruits and veggies, try a cleans, read ingredients. Don't try to outrun your fork. Fill your fork with the right stuff. 
For further reading- check out this article on the difference between grass-fed beef and conventionally cultivated meat and this article on the difference between good and bad carbs. 


Super-Packed Protein Pancakes

 Super-Packed Protein Pancakes

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Blend in blender until smooth. Go longer than you think you need to, because the oatmeal is gritty. 

Grease griddle with coconut oil. Pour pancake batter out and cook until brown, then flip.

Makes 10-12 small pancakes.  The pic is not that great, but that has to do more with my pancake flipping abilities than anything else. 

Side Note: I and CABARRET have been nominated for WEGO Health Awards. I've been nominated for a Health Activist Award and CABARRET has been nominated for Rookie of the Year. If you are so inclined, please click the links and endorse us! Thank you!

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Left College

Today, I will sit on a panel for a local university about life in the real world. We'll cover networking, social media, volunteerism, etc. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to say to these kids. 

College is great for getting your mind ready. Now, it's time to ACT!My message is going to center on leveraging your life experiences into a money-making venture- even if it is not at all what you thought it would be. It has become quite clear to me in the past few months that this is really my niche and area of expertise. I have learned to take what I love, and do well, and make money with it. So many people want this! To wake up every morning and day what they love! How lucky am I?!
These are the things I want the students to leave knowing:
  • Your major is not a guarantee- This is my big point. YOU MIGHT NOT DO WHAT YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO DO! Maybe that's good news for you, maybe not. You've got to make money. You've got to pay your bills. And if you can find a way to do that doing something you love (which may or may not be what you majored in), your life is going to be more full, more happy, more exciting, than if you do what you think you should/have to. But, just because you majored in music does not mean you will be a professional musician. You will still use many of those skills- rhythm and flow, working in an ensemble, following a director- but not in the same way. Many students, and definitely myself when I was a student, imagine that the real world will be an extension of college, spending your days immersed in the technical know-how of a field. But college really is only theory. Life is experience. There's a lot more going on in life than just that thing that you're doing. There's paperwork, relationships with employers/co-workers that can make your work life a joy or a drain, clients/customers that make you wonder if doing what you do is worth it if you have to put up with THAT and the ones that strengthen your belief. And through these experiences and lessons, you are going to learn what work fulfills you, what you do well, what you would rather never do again. And, if you are creative, you can begin to arrange your life to do the things you love, get rid of most of the things you don't, and make a living
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7 Quotes to Inspire You to Just Keep Going.

I've had a really rough year. I mean, there's been some good things, but really, I'm looking forward to 2014. Some days, it's tough to maintain the positivity and joy that usually flows from me. On those days, I find these to be helpful.  The first 5 of these images are from Pinterest.com and will click through to the original post. 

Over-thinking is so easy. But it does nothing but feed the fear cycle. When your brain starts to go 100mph, stop. Breathe. And ask, "What's next?" That's it. Do the next thing. 

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Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

I've been experimenting with making more things at home, especially things that, when store-bought, are nothing more than chemicals. (Stay tuned for shampoo, detergent and dish soap!) Last week a friend posted on Facebook about the carageenen in a number of products, including my preferred brand of almond milk. Carageenen, while a "natural" ingredient has been tied to inflamation and bleeding of the stomach in humans and even cancer in animals! And, as I was looking at the label, I realized there was lots of other things besides almonds in my almond milk. Which seems unnecessary. So, I looked up a few recipes online, and made my own. 

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How to be a Grown-up, Even if You Don’t Think You’re “Ready.”

I spent last weekend back in Philly. I taught and spent a lot of time with my friends. 2 of them got married. I came back to Florida, and a friend here just had a baby. I'm at that age. My friends are becoming domesticated. About 6 years ago I tried that, and failed miserably. But, I learned some real lessons from it. 

My 31st Birthday. I'm truly a grown-up.

This weekend, a good friend and I had a serious conversation about having a "real job" (versus the artistic jobs like theatre and dance). I tried that too. I didn't fail, I actually did pretty well. But it sucked my soul. I was angry and bitter, pretty much all the time. So, I made a change. And I've learned some lessons through that as well. 
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Enlightened Eating

Your Mind/Body Connection Starts Here!Dr. Alejandro Junger, the creator of The Clean Program, recently spoke at the Eating Psychology Conference. He mentioned that all of the major world religions call for fasting, particularly on days of reflection and forgiveness. He talked about how toxicity of one part (food and nutrition) leads to toxicity of other parts (emotions) and therefore, cleanse of one part would lead to cleanse of the others.
After cleansing now for a few months, hearing this connection between physical toxicity release and spiritual/emotional release was a life-changing lightbulb moment. 

Enlightenment really has 2 meanings- seeing the light and being lighter (and this can be physical and mental). Suddenly, the religious connection to fasting made sense! It wasn't about denying yourself. It was about cleansing yourself, so you are in a purer state, both mentally and physically to see the light! As Dr. Junger says, "Enlightenment requires not only a certain mental state, but a certain physical state."

Growing up in a more charismatic, evangelical church, I never fasted, and we weren't really encouraged too. We didn't even put much focus on Lent, for restriction or reflection. In college, I became an Anglican, and Lent was a serious holiday, one of the only times we go to a priest for confession. It was a time of reflection, but I still didn't fast.                                                                                                                                                                    
After hearing Dr. Junger, I started taking notice of how I felt on my cleanse days emotionally. And what I found was this: My mood was positive all during the day. My mind was sharp. I was actually more in tune with my body during the day. And on the day following, I enjoyed the taste of my food and drink more.  
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