Thursday, May 24, 2012

The "underwater seer"

This video seriously made my week.  Last night I discovered that Ellen does a series with kids on her show who bring in their inventions.  Just priceless and reminds me why I love kids (and Ellen).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A great text from a gal pal

Last night my friend Maria stopped by my place to say hi "for just a bit."  We chatted for hours and soon realized it was 11:30 PM and way past our bed time. Oops!

Tonight I texted Maria to tell her how much fun I had last night.  She responded with the sweetest text message:

"I simply love you.  Love our chats.  It had been too long.  I'm so proud of us.  We have come such a long way in so many ways and I think the support we have for each other got us through some big challenges.  Hugs!"

I love the idea that in a friendship, your support for one another enables you to grow individually.  Thank you for being you, Maria!  I am so proud of us too! :)

The cutest little hibernator ever

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The power of cucumber water

I discovered cucumber water when I went to a resort in Mexico with my family years ago.  They had it at the fitness center where I worked out each morning, and I was hooked instantly.   I love cucumber water because it's my way of pretending that I'm at a spa :).  It's also so refreshing and cleansing.

Tonight I'm drinking cucumber water because I've been feeling bloated and sluggish for the past few days (with my skin looking a bit off).  I decided that hydration + good sleep + sunscreen might be the best method for getting back to normal.

While it could just be mental, I'd like to believe that cucumber water has added benefits.  I browsed online to research the possible benefits of cucumber water and came across an article on that had a few insights.


Read the article here:

Revisiting some fitness motivation

Today I re-watched this yoga video that I had posted here months ago.  Once again, I was blown away by the beauty of this woman's body and her movements.  In the video description, it states: "Equinox's Briohny Smyth shows there's no limit to what the artfully honed yoga body can do."

I love the concept of thinking that we really have the ability to achieve what we want as it relates to our health and fitness goals.  The possibilities are rather endless!  Knowing this gives me a sense of motivation and courage to chase after my goals.

San Fran sunset

This photo was taken by my friend Britta.  I'm sharing because it's obviously stunning and also for the sake of adding to the recent sunset collection on my Blog...

"This picture was taken right on the border of Oregon and Northern California. My friend Kelsey and I made a whirlwind trip from Seattle down to San Fran and that was a pic I snapped along the way using the lovely Instagram feature on my iphone."

Sunset beauty

Lately I have come across the most beautiful photos of sunsets in WA.  I asked my friends Karin and Katie if I could share two of their pictures here!


"This photo was taken at the Seattle Golf Club during the Junior League of Seattle's May Celebration."

"I took this photo at Hood Canal around 8:30 PM.  We were having family fun time at our cabin for mother's day/birthdays. It's a tradition to go watch the sunset from the boat. Usually not so early in the season though!"

Bliss on Ebey's Landing

Yesterday I went to Whidbey Island with my friend Celeste and her girlfriends.  Celeste had purchased a brunch auction item at a fundraiser last year, and was so generous to treat us to a special day.

We took the ferry, went to a farmer's market, went to downtown Langley and headed to brunch.  We sat outside on a deck overlooking the water while sipping on mimosas and eating great food (rough life).  After brunch we went to Ebey's Landing, one of the most beautiful outdoor destinations in Washington that I have ever seen.  

I felt so fortunate to spend part of my day outside of the city doing something for myself that made me so happy.  Being intentional about my time and doing what I truly want to do is not always my strong point.  Yesterday as I was driving back to the ferry I thought "why in the world didn't I plan to stay here all day?" In short, I will be going back to Whidbey this Summer.  Thank you, Celeste!

 shabby view during brunch :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Random thoughts about life (by Noelle Smithhart)

Meet my friend, Noelle!  I first met Noelle through my work and then (in small world Seattle fashion) connected with her through other friend channels.  The thing I like the most about Noelle is that she is REAL.  She is honest, insightful, authentic, intelligent, passionate, and caring.  Noelle is very devoted to the community she lives in and spends a lot of her time volunteering, networking, and helping others.  
Today I came across the most awesome status update by Noelle.  I asked her if I could share her words with all of you.  As you know, this Blog is about the concept of wellness, which I believe is NOT just one (or three) things.  In order to track all of the wellness elements I address on Showing Up for Yourself, I use blog labels (or "topics").  These labels show how multifaceted wellness is, and it provides a way for each reader to find something that resonates.  As I looked at Noelle's post, I was able to find EIGHT wellness labels - Proof that Noelle rocks!

Here it is:
Some random thoughts: Life is beautifully complicated. Drama is unnecessary. Almond milk makes delicious foam and the perfect tea latte. I was recently reminded to cry. I was recently given permission to be angry. These are powerful things. I don't anger easily. I love my Mom so much it makes me cry. I'm smitten by my baby niece and could never see too many adorable pics of her or hear too many anecdotes from Carter and Lisanna.  I also love them - so much.  Bradford and I get along so well because we laugh at each other's fart jokes. And because of a zillion other little things. I'm obsessed with planning our trip to Thailand this fall with Buttercup and Elizabeth Diana.   I love my neighborhood. I'm excited for Seattle Works Day.  I always find that it doesn't matter what other tricks I do - hard boiled eggs peel best if the eggs are a little older. Music is therapy.  I've recently had a poem accepted into a festival and it makes me blush. 2012 has been rough this far. My thumbnail is almost grown out again. I miss my Dad. I love leaving my window open this time of year. I adore wearing my Chaco's. I'm anticipating a lot of things. I'm learning to meditate. I'm craving routine. I'm craving adventure.
My favorite thing about Noelle's post was that she was "recently reminded to cry" and "given permission to be angry."  Earlier this year I hit a bit of a rough patch.  I became obsessed with trying to "fix" things and couldn't handle NOT being "okay."  I tried to convince myself that I shouldn't be angry or sad (as if it's never okay to feel those things?!!).  It was only until I gained acceptance of myself in the present, embraced feeling (frankly, shitty), and took a closer look at the meaning of happiness that I got out of my slump.
Thank you, Noelle, for being REAL.

Harvard baseball vs SMU Women's Rowing dance off

This morning The Today Show featured a dance off between two college sports teams who had posted youtube videos dancing to "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Harvard Men's Baseball started the trend by posting this video:

Then the SMU Women's Rowing team responded:

I loved watching these videos!  I think they are so much fun and were a definite pick me up this morning :).   Note - there's an obvious reason why the Harvard baseball team's video went viral...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The meaning of GREAT friends

This weekend I went to Staunton, Virginia for the wedding of my good friends, Seth and Anna.  It was truly a special, fun event and yes, I'll be blogging about the weekend soon.  In the meantime, I wanted to share a little story that I call "The meaning of GREAT friends."

Around 11:00 PM while I was at the reception on Saturday, I got a call from my dog sitter letting me know that Lucy had ran away from her and was roaming the streets of my neighborhood.  Of course, I was really worried when I heard this news but I knew I needed to stay calm and encourage my dog sitter to find her and support her in the best way I could.

As a result of this lost dog episode, I ended up learning what GREAT FRIENDSHIP is all about.  I call my friend Celeste who was at a bar in Queen Anne (having a perfectly nice evening) and she says "oh my gosh! I am leaving now to go search your neighborhood and the dog park."  I call my friend Candace who leaves her home (just a mile south of mine) to go walk the neighborhood.  My friend Shawna says "Roger. I'm leaving the house now!" and goes driving around my neighborhood for an hour looking for Lucy.   My dog sitter had three friends (along with her mom) search the neighborhood.  Keep in mind, this all happened on a Saturday night on the most gorgeous day in Seattle when everyone had plans to do great things that did not involve searching for a lost, neurotic rescue dog.

While I'm at the wedding, I eventually told a few friends about my situation so they knew why I seemed so off - they couldn't have been more compassionate.  My friends Ricardo, Nicole, Terrence, and Anna (the bride!) stop everything to give me a hug and tell me how sorry they are.  My friend LaRoy says "if you need to go back to the hotel I will walk you there to make sure you get in safe" (and he did just that - what a gentleman).

The next morning, my friend Maria goes to search the neighborhood during her morning walk.  My neighbor, Colleen, texts me to say "I just heard what happened.  I'm leaving the house now with my dog and dog treats and will search for her as long as you need."  My friend Shawna says "today I'll drive to the local Shelter right when they open and report a lost dog."  Celeste tells me that she's searching the neighborhood AGAIN.   That was when I had tears in my eyes as I was anxiously drinking my morning coffee.  All I could think of is "wow, the world is FULL of good people.  I am so lucky."  I can't describe how helpless and sad I felt, sitting in my hotel room in the middle of small town Virginia with a lost dog at home.  I could do nothing to control the situation, and my friends became the source of support that I (physically) was unable to be.

Around 1:00 PM on Sunday, I head back to D.C. with my friend Terrence, who drove me over 3 hours back to my relative's home before heading to the station to take a 5.5 hour bus ride back to New York.  Terrence patiently listened to me (and made me laugh a LOT) while I received countless texts and phone calls from friends.  As we were about 30 minutes from our destination, I got a text from my dog sitter saying that she had checked with an Emergency Vet Clinic and thought they had a match...

AND THEY DID.  Oh are ONE piece of WORK.  Grrrr.

I can't tell you how relieved I was, but I knew that good karma (and the support of so many amazing friends) was on my side. On my 5 hour plane ride home, one thing crossed my mind a hundreds times: I am beyond blessed to have so many incredible friends in my life.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tulips in Central Park

 Photo taken by Meg Haley

I came across a picture today on Facebook by my college friend. Meg (also a blogger) that truly brightened my Friday :).

Meg wrote: "It's a picture of pink tulips in central park. I was walking with my mom dad and brother - we were all in the city to celebrate my moms 60th birthday. We were trying to decide where to go next and I spotted this beautiful burst of color - I had to photograph it and send it to my wife who was not able to be with the family but who loves tulips. It was a tiny moment of beauty that pulled everyone out of the rushing to 'what's next'..."

Thank you, Meg!  I love the idea of not rushing to do "what's next" and instead, being present in the moment. 

Raise your words

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” -Rumi 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A lesson on kindness and patience


Today my friend Emily shared a story with me on Facebook that was so touching, I couldn't help but share here.  It provides a reminder of how important it is to be kind and patient with others as much as possible, as we never know what others might be going through.

"A sweet lesson on patience"

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy to be Sassy!

No, I'm not making a pitch for a sassy personality - I'm celebrating my success in attending workout classes!  Last year I got an online deal for classes to Sassy Fit, a fun (all female) workout studio next to my work.  I knew it would be a good workout solution for after my gym membership expired in March, and that if I could go to exercise classes (literally) across the street from my office, I would have no excuse not to go

Well, thankfully it worked!  I've been going to Sassy Fit about two times per week since late April and I have really loved it.  My first class was a VERY rude awakening - I hadn't pushed my body (strength and endurance wise) in a long time and was horribly sore for DAYS.  I first thought "what am I getting myself into?" but after pushing myself through a few more classes I got right back on track and am (now) feeling great.

I am really happy that I'm getting strength exercises back into my weekly workout routine.  I really believe that cardio AND strength is essential to a healthy body and a toned physique.  Going to all women group classes with nice and fun instructors has also been a mood booster.  Everyone comes to Sassy Fit just as they are and gives their best.  It's a really positive environment to be in and a great way to end my day after work.

The other really neat finding has been that my Pilates workouts (at Pilates on 10th) have complemented my Sassy Fit workouts really well.  I've been practicing Pilates for a few months and have become very aware of how important it is to be mindful of your form (and core) as you work through strength exercises.  During Sassy Fit classes, it's rewarding to see my form and posture improve as I work through the mat exercises.

The last couple months have been a good reminder of how important it is to use a holistic approach in exercise.  I know that when I'm combining cardio, strength, and flexibility into my weekly workout routine that I am a happier, healthier, and more toned person!  The pay off is great.

What are ways you combine strength, flexibility and cardio into your workout routine?  What is your favorite workout combination?