Cheers to 30 Years: DETOX TIME!

Linds just turned 31 this past weekend and wanted to do a 30 days DETOX. So Arbonne was nice enough to sponsor us for this 30 day challenge.

If you’re thinking about getting a little healthier like us in your 30’s or really at ANY age -Congratulations! As you know, making the decision is the first step! Those that have done this program LOVE it! Going down a jean size is awesome and that will definitely happen when you do this program; but mainly the health and confidence that is gained is what makes us want to try this 30 day detox! So who is with us?????

This Arbonne 30 day detox is designed for:
People who want to optimize their health and lose weight in a healthy way.
Athletes who want to increase performance, strength, energy, and muscle definition.
People who want to uncover food sensitivities.
People experiencing fatigue, foggy thinking, poor sleep, poor digestion, excess weight.

What it is:
A 30-day whole foods clean eating program.
A system to equip people with the tools & knowledge to implement life-long health.
A rest for the liver and kidneys to maximize function.
An elimination program to help to uncover food sensitivities.
A weight loss jumpstart.

What it’s not:
A deprivation diet
A fast
A liquid diet

We can’t wait to help you press the “easy button” on a new healthy lifestyle which starts with the 30 Day challenge!

To order your FIT KIT today HERE at 40% off PLUS a free “Greens “Balance” AND FREE shipping this month from our friend Zoe Kinnee…the genius who gave us these amazing products to try out!

Instructions to apply discount:
1. http://www.zoekinnee.arbonne.com
2. Click “Shop Now” at top of page.
3. Enter your information as a Preferred Client ($20.00 to join) and continue to get your discount all year.
4. Shop “Special Offers” tab at the top for the Healthy Living and beyond ASVP Kit.
5. Enter FREE product in the “Shopping Cart” by typing “Greens Balance”
6. Check out & Pay
7. Contact Zoe to be added to her private group with complimentary recipes, shopping guides and accountability. zoekinnee@gmail.com

IF WE CAN DO IT…YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Cheers to your health : )

***Remember to follow us on social media at:

@lindsey_tuer and @aliciamblanco

XOXO

 

 

COUPLED: Reality TV and My 10 MUST-HAVES in a Man

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Everyone should have a “list” for what they are looking for in a partner right?? So here’s mine.

What I’m looking for in a man:

  • Christian with a strong relationship with God because LOVE IS 1 Corinthians 13:4 & I desire a Christ-centered relationship. (Patient, KIND, keeps no record of wrong doing, etc)
  • Unique sense of humor – I NEED to laugh! I’m a big kid and love laughing at myself, at my man, and with my man. Laughter really is the best medicine!!
  • Athletic/tall build – I’m 5’8” and I love wearing heels and want to still feel small next to him.
  • Amazing family/family oriented – when you date me you date my family. And when I date, I get attached to family rather quickly since I myself am so family oriented. I love big families with kids everywhere! The bigger the better.
  • Foooooiiiine… but yet doesn’t know how attractive he is. AKA HUMBLE.
  • Intelligence is sexy. So is generosity.
  • Must love and want kids. I’m not opposed a man who already has kids BUT I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to give that gift to my husband one day – our first child, together… that whole experience is something I dream about. I want to be a mommy!
  • Speaking of kids… MUST. LOVE. DOGS too!!!!!!!! Especially my dog, Romeo. Or it’s BUH-BYE papi.
  • Affirms and encourages me in my field of work without being jealous. (The right amount of jealousy is cute though.) *Words of affirmation is key* as it’s one of my love languages.
  • P.D.A is a must –I want a man who cant help but to have his hands all over me and is super affectionate no matter who is looking!!! My other love language is physical touch.
  • Protective – will defend me to no end. I want that “ride or die, Bonnie & Clyde, it’s you and me against the world” type of love. I’m just looking for a best friend, at the end of the day – that’s the best kind of relationship to have.

So lets talk about this whole COUPLED thing. It’s a new dating show on FOX and I am honored to say I am part of season 1! Shooting started in February and ended in March. Its been a week since the premiere and tomorrow is episode two. This is so exciting!! It’s a Mark Burnett Production so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity because Mark Burnett is known for being Christian, and none of his shows are salacious, malicious or defaming in any way. (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor)

As for me, I’ve always been in serious relationships (pretty much back to back) and never really just plain dated. After over a year of being single I knew it was time for me to get out there again and start to date. So why not do it on national television? And why not in the Caribbean?

Obviously I can’t share details or give too much away, but be sure to tune in every Tuesday night @9pm on Fox to see if I checked off “my list” and found me a man or not 😉

Be sure to follow along on social media @aliciamblanco throughout the season for behind the scenes pics from the season.

Besitos!

REPOSTED: THIS VICTORIA’S SECRET MODEL IS DOING A 180 FROM HER DAYS AS AN ANGEL

by: ALISON FELLER via http://www.wellandgood.com

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As a Victoria’s Secret model, Erin Heatherton was one of the wing-adorned “angels” stalking runways in lingerie and flashing her pearly whites on billboards, buses, and beyond in the name of the brand. But now she admits life with Victoria’s Secret wasn’t always as chill and Swarovski-studded as it may have seemed—she faced serious body image struggles during her time with the bra-and-panty brand, Time reports.

“My last two Victoria’s Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight,” she tells Time. “I look back like, ‘Really?’” Heatherton, who walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show from 2008 to 2013, left the brand three years ago when, in spite of working hard, eating healthy, and exercising twice a day, she says her body “just wouldn’t do it.”

I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me,” she says. “And I got to a point where one night I got home from a workout and I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat.” After walking away from the runway, Heatherton came to a startling realization: “I realized I couldn’t go out into the world—parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me—and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this,” she says.

Via Heather’s Instagram:

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The breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life has allowed me to become the truest version of myself. In my moment of “failure,” I stood in the face of adversity. I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfill the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I found the strength to love myself. I stood in my power. I thought of one of my favorite quotes, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men’s character, give him power” – Abraham Lincoln. I look back on that moment now, and I embrace it. This feeling I once perceived as “failure” was, in truth, a powerful awakening for me to stand behind my purpose in life. I stepped away from hiding behind a fabricated version of myself. I no longer put actions behind my fears and insecurities. I made a choice to redirect my energy to be a catalyst for change. To create a channel for women to become the truest versions of themselves, along with me. (Stay tuned for more…) In the end, if you aren’t being true to yourself, then what the fuck is the point. #rebelwacause #empowerment #womensempowerment#empoweredbyyou

Now, the always-athletic supermodel (she played on her high school’s varsity basketball team, according to the Sun Times), is using her platform to spread awareness in hopes of helping other women. “I’m willing to sacrifice my pride, in a sense, and my privacy because I know that if I don’t speak about it, I could be withholding information that would really help women,” she says. “It hurts too much to keep it in, and that’s why I’m not keeping it in now.”

Instagram Isn’t Real

by: Alicia M. Blanco

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You are beautiful.

…without a filter.

Which leads me to this:

I LOVE me some instagram… it’s honestly my social media of choice. I love looking at pictures and posting pictures…

but it isn’t real! Not all the time.

Stop scrolling through it and comparing yourself to someone’s best version of themselves. You can bet they are ALSO going through some tough stuff, just like you. No one ACTUALLY posts the sucky stuff that’s actually going on.

It’s always a “booked it!” (after not booking five jobs before that one) and “selfie!” (which probably took over 70+ attempts before getting the right angle AND editing it with the right filter) and “on vacation, again!” (its like, where did they get the income to afford to go there, and there, with them, and those people, so often, and I’m over here trying to pay rent?)

I read an awesome blog just a few weeks ago called “What I Instagrammed vs What Was REALLY Happening” and it was soooo HILARIOUS and TRUE. So here it is. READ IT!! So damn good. Applause! I am so obsessed with great blogs. When I see a good one, I can’t help but to repost it. I just want to share the love and keep the wave going.

Imagine a world with no filters… just 100% honesty, transparency, realness.

Something tells me the statistics in depression would decrease if people didn’t have so much comparison throughout their days.

“Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes stuff to everyone else’s highlight reel.”

ESPY’s Highlight – Caitlyn Jenner

by: Alicia M. Blanco

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I wrote an article a while ago about Bruce Jenner- and I got a wave of responses to it. Everything from people who absolutely support and respect the transition, and others who are completely bothered and disgusted by it.

Whether or not you agree with what’s happening here, I think its important to acknowledge that the world we live in today is so much more diverse than its ever been before. I’m actually pretty excited to be living during such a unique time period as this.

Last night at the ESPYs, Caitlyn Jenner was presented with the Arthur Ashe award for COURAGE. Her acceptance speech obviously made me super emotional and I wanted to defend her today as I’m seeing a lot of people posting about how undeserving she is of such a prestigious award.

To me, courage comes in all different forms. From our military and armed forces who bravely defend our country day in and day out, to the kid at school who bravely defends his classmate being bullied – courage can be seen in many different ways.

Personally, I find Caitlyn’s story to be incredibly courageous and her award, completely deserved.

Imagine living your life with a miserable state of mind, just like Bruce was doing. Bruce hid behind a façade of masculinity and athleticism in order to distract him from his inner most thoughts – that he was actually a she. Imagine spending over six decades with a secret such as this and then, under a magnifying glass, making the very brave decision to open up to the entire WORLD about it.

Taking on an entirely new identity while the world watches, criticizes, ridicules, judges, and follows your every step has to be traumatic. And it takes major courage to do it anyway. My friend Terri said it perfectly today. She told me:

“every advance we ever make in this country starts with one person standing up and willing to take a beating from the public to shine a light on their cause—racism, women’s rights, gay rights and now transgenderism…”

Spot on, Terri.

It starts with one.

One person to stand up for what they believe in; Or one person to open up about their stories. Being relatable, approachable and vulnerable is courageous – Its being human in the most authentic form and not pretending everything is so damn perfect all of the time.

Caitlyn is doing it for the benefit of her own inner happiness and also for the countless others living today who struggle with gender identity.

Don’t tell me that’s not courageous.

(And I can’t even hate on her look last night either. Versace! HELLO! WERK, honey.)

My wish is that we can all live in a more accepting world. Why is it that when something good happens, (someone winning an award, for example) there has to be soooooo many people to instantly criticize it and find the problems with it instead? It’s almost depressing to open up my social media and see all the hate. It hasn’t even been 24 hours, people! I just want this to be a world where everyone can just be themselves and not feel sorry about it.

With that being said, I also want this to be a world where we can all respect each others varying opinions. What a boring world this would be if we all were on the same exact page about everything. So I’m not over here suggesting we all suppress our opinions on what’s going on in society, but rather, I am encouraging more love and kindness. That’s it. The old rule is “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” But I would like to change that because I realize we shouldn’t subscribe to saying nothing at all. It’s just HOW YOU SAY IT that can make an impact…

I think we are here in this world to help each other out. And if you can’t help someone, just please, don’t hurt them.

My OPINIONS on DONALD TRUMP & MISS USA

by: Alicia M. Blanco

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I waited to write this post until after the preliminary competition of the Miss USA pageant last night, because I wanted to gage the energy of the ladies after all that has transpired since Donald Trump shared his opinions on Mexicans and illegal immigration.

In case you didn’t know, allow me to update you

In what I believe to be an aptly timed and choreographed publicity stunt, Donald Trump made his remarks on illegal immigration and Mexicans very clear when he said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” 

Like a ripple effect, these comments resulted in a massive wave of sponsors ending their business relationship with Trump, and therefore dramatically impacting the Miss USA pageant as we know and love it. Univision, NBC, and Macy’s are just a few of the very first who cut ties. Since then, the pageant lost both of its hosts, correspondents, entertainers, networks, along with several judges and pageant sponsors as well. (Mind you, this is all happening as the girls are arriving in Baton Rouge for registration where they’ve been for the last two weeks leading up to the pageant.)

Meanwhile, Trump is boldly standing by his radical opinions of Mexicans in his attempt to take a seat in the Oval Office. Just a few days ago he even called his reigning Miss Universe (who happens to be Latina) a “hypocrite” for being offended by what he said but yet still wanting to keep her crown anyway.

LET ME BE CLEAR WITH YOU ON MY STANCE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: of course there is a problem in the system. Anything illegal is a problem that I do not condone! This BEAUTIFUL country I am proud to live in is made up of immigrants who came here legally. That’s what makes it beautiful – it’s a melting pot of diversity. Its just the ILLEGAL immigration that I am fully aware is problematic to the well-being of this great country. Further, it is also my opinion that it’s the perception of illegal immigration that truly is the problem here – because often times (not ALL the time) the majority of immigrants do not just “hop” a border and start making a mess of things, but instead have overextended their VISA’s. But those stories don’t make the headlines, do they? It’s the bad guys who do, not the ones contributing to the growth or prosperity to our beloved country. Not the hardworking mom working minimal wage or the kid trying to get a descent education here, or the hardworking dad laboring over jobs no one else wants just so that he can send money back home to his wife and children, but it’s the guy committing crimes that we will see on the nightly news. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE NEWS IS FOR.

But equally, if not more-so problematic (in my opinion) is racism, racial profiling, stereotyping and hate.

To GENERALIZE that all Mexicans (specifically) who are coming into this country are rapists and drug dealers, is just wrong- And it’s going to piss a lot of people off too.

What if I said all men who styled their hair like Donald Trump were racists? That would be such a terrible generalization. Besides, ain’t NOBODY trying to style their hair like that on purpose besides Trump. But that’s neither here nor there.

All this to say:

To the girls competing this weekend: I want you to know that at first I felt REALLY bad for you all. I will never forget how amazing I felt back when I competed in 2009.  We were treated like celebrities from the moment we arrived to Vegas, in every way.  I was honored to have my family and friends there watching it all happen. And for my family and friends who couldn’t be there, I loved knowing they could be at home watching the telecast nationally, live on NBC. So when NBC pulled the plug and announced they wouldn’t be affiliated with Trump anymore (as well as several other sponsors you sadly won’t get to experience as the rest of us in the Miss USA formers club have) I was devastated for you girls. But now, I realize you all are actually so completely blessed with this opportunity to be in the class of 2015!

WHY?

Here’s one reason why: because it will be the most memorable year since 2009 when Carrie and I had terrible answers when we were in the top 5 together!! (I still owe Carrie dinner for her answer on gay marriage…otherwise I would’ve been the most talked about ‘beauty pageant fail’ that year for not answering my question about universal healthcare AND throwing words around like ‘integrity’ and ‘conviction’ like fricken glitter in an attempt to save my ass.) So yeah, as I was saying, this simply is the most memorable year since then! So, OWN IT. Own it with integrity and conviction ladies!! (see… I knew I would get to use those two together again! Drops the mic…)

Another reason why you’re blessed to be in the class of 2015?

Your UNIQUE year at Miss USA gave the world an opportunity to rally together and start the #SaveTheSash campaign demanding a network to pick up the telecast and air it anyway. We are witnesses to how the world can seriously accomplish some pretty amazing things if we can just come together in unity, love and with purpose. In record time, pageant fans around the world came together and illustrated the power of social media – and the power of pageants altogether. All it took was one person’s brilliant idea to start this project and it grew and grew!! Shout out to Travis Stanton and Jason Smith…and really everyone else who helped save the sash by calling, tweeting, writing, signing and throwing a tantrum like Toddlers and Tiaras.  IT TOTALLY WORKED. Thank you Reelz for picking it up and airing the telecast, for reals. (See what I did there?) 

I am mainly impressed by the resilience and fortitude I’ve seen since the first bomb dropped. If last night at prelims was any indication of how you’re all handling everything, then I am incredibly inspired. Standing on that stage is an honor to be able to showcase your confident beauty, hard work ethic, perseverance, and most of all DIVERSITY. 

No two women are exactly alike up there (which is AWESOME, and sort of the point isn’t it…?) Every girl is different and beautiful in her own unique way. For 6 of the contestants who are Latina this year, they have such a unique opportunity to negate and shut down Trumps hurtful comments and prove just how powerful and accomplished the Latino community is. So, thanks Mr. Trump for giving us an even BIGGER stage this year. Click here to read about how this years LATINA contestants are handling everything and why they aren’t backing out of the competition.

People ask me if I would back out if I was competing this year and my answer is HAAYYYYLLLL to the NO! I would absolutely still move forward with even MORE pride.

To the ladies competing, keep it up! I am proud of each and every single one of you for remaining so beautiful on the inside out amidst so much madness surrounding you. You have the unique opportunity to prove that your INNER beauty needs to be on POINT during all of this too… because you really can’t fake resilience and happiness under so much pressure. If you can, you should get into politics.

And to Donald, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from you it’s that everyone is entitled to their own opinions in this life. For that, I encourage you to respect the opinions others have that you’ve gone completely mad, especially some of your ex-business partners who stand by their opinions that ending their business relationships with you is the best thing to do, you know, for business. You’re a business man after all, so you of all people should understand. No one likes being fired, but you’ve made a career out of firing people on national TV.  Now, the shoe is on the other foot… so go ahead and take a walk in it.

God bless America.  Bendiciones a Mexico. God bless anyone who has ever been a victim to racism or hate.  And, seriously, God bless your silly hair stylist.

Click here to watch my interview from channel 12.

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I just can’t help but wonder if the Trumpster thought I was plotting to rape him right there in his office or start up a drug war amongst all the girls while I was at Miss USA. Or, at the very least, if he pondered who it was in my family tree who must’ve come here illegally.

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Acne Helped Me To FEEL

By: Carolina Guzman

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In 2014, my life had an interesting turn of events. My whole life I had clear and smooth skin. I would often get so many compliments by friends and even perfect strangers about the clarity of my skin. But out of nowhere, I started to break out. Not just a pimple or two, but all over my face. Nothing seemed to work to clear it up. My confidence that I had built up over the years started to deteriorate at a rapid speed. I became depressed. I didn’t  want to leave the house. I remember one day walking into the gym, and as I changed in the locker room, I broke down into tears and called my father to pick me up. I felt ugly. I felt like everyone was staring at me.

I spent many nights at home, completely alone, which awarded me with a lot of time to think. And it was in those lonely nights that I actually came to a few conclusions about life. External beauty fades. Have you ever noticed how some books are all torn up from the outside, but the story inside remains the same? Or how about a vehicle that may have some scratches or dents, but the engine still makes it run just as it did when it was brand new? Don’t let those scratches, dents, or blemishes on the outside make you feel like you can’t achieve your dreams or make a difference in the world. If you do, you’re submittng that physical looks are more important than those dreams and goals you have from within.

I pushed myself during those 10 months while I battled with acne. It wasn’t easy! I cried my eyes out one day as I got ready for an event. But when I got there, I forgot all about my acne and blemishes. I had great conversations with so many wonderful people. So many of them called me “beautiful”… and I know they were not just talking about my external beauty. “ You have a heart that will take you far.”  Such a great compliment. This is the kind of stuff that wakes you up and makes you feel human. You feel relatable. You just FEEL. God puts us through trials for a reason. I’ll admit that prior to my battle with acne, I had moments where I was a bit shallow. Momenta of stagnancy and a sense of taking so much for granted.  I’m not perfect and I know this happens to many of us. But because of this chapter in my life, I have learned to appreciate everyone and everything around me. I pay more attention to the inner beauty of a person than the way they look. Every one is beautiful and unique in their own way. Never hate anything about your self. What you dislike about you, someone may be falling in love with. Take the flaws you have with you, while you take on this world and make a difference. God makes no mistakes. If your heart is beautiful, so are you.

The Tragedy That Saved My Life

by: Tiphany Adams

Imagine yourself growing up in the countryside of Northern California with every kind of farm animal possible, engaging in activities that emphasized more on union with family and the outdoors than exterior beauty.  But by the time I was 8 years old, my parents divorced & my father began raising my sister and I outside of our countryside comfort zone. Around the time I hit middle school I started to struggle with self-esteem issues especially because of a birth mark on my neck. I began to get painfully teased & ridiculed based on my appearance.  I begged to have it removed for every birthday & Christmas. I would hide myself in sweats & turtle necks even in 100 degree heat. I even went as far to try to scrap it off. I planned how to hide it on the day I would get asked to prom or the day I would eventually get engaged.

Major trauma had occurred around that time period that stripped me of every ounce of self-esteem I had left. It lead me down a destructive path and eventually I ended up with more emotional pain then I knew what to do with.

I began praying and asking for guidance and even chose to get myself baptized at the age of 15. But by the time I entered into my senior year of high school I had already attended 5 different schools while dealing with so many issues. I felt lost without anyone to turn to. My mother had gotten herself wrapped up into her own addictions during this time as well. It was a mess.

And then there was the moment that changed my life forever.

I was in the backseat of a car with a sober driver that was struck head on by a drunk driver causing a collision of 130 mph–all were pronounced dead on the scene. I remember asking God to please let me live through this… and He did. They air lifted me to the hospital with a 5% chance of survival & I was induced into a coma for 3 weeks. When I awoke I knew I was alive for a purpose & had a divine mission to fulfill. The tragedy left 3 lives taken because of one persons decision to drink & drive, but the blessing is that I am here to relay a message of truth.

The first day I got into my wheelchair was emotional- words could not begin to depict what I felt. When I looked in the mirror for the first time seeing the big medal wheels, I cried in disbelief as I felt tingling throughout my legs as if they were asleep…and would never wake up. And that’s when clarity came…I remembered back to the time when I wouldn’t wear my hair up in a ponytail because of a birth mark…and here I was now. How would I get over the reflection I see staring back at me? How will society treat me? Then I came to the realization that it all begins with self acceptance & self-love & I began a beautiful journey of self discovery.

From that day forward I continued to embrace myself with love, support,  & prayer.

Had this tragedy never happened, it is likely that I would’ve remained dead inside. So in a way, this tragedy saved my life and made me see the world differently.

What it comes down to is we all have obstacles & tragedies that can change our situations but when we remove the superficial and connect to every living being on a soul to soul level we know we are all here on this earthly place for a divine reason… to give love & receive love. I share my story with you in hopes to gift you with love & acceptance for where you are right in this very moment.

Embrace your life! Focus on your inner beauty now and always.

Yoga & Mental Health

by: Jackie Roberts

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First off I feel a little self indulgent writing this! Especially since self study (or as we call it in yoga swadhyay) is all about being more present in the moment letting go of past and future dialogue to be in the here and now! But I feel like I have come or am rather coming through something that is worth expressing or sharing. Maybe by telling the story of me I can help another. Maybe I’ll even help my self!

I am an addict! What I am an addict of really has no consequence other than to color the story line which of course I will divulge, but it is important to know that we addicts are all pre-disposed to the same flaw. We can’t let go! We hold on to whatever whomever we are experiencing. We want more and we fear when the more runs out. This clinging and fear  is a lack of self love. The “I’m ok right now in this moment” voice of self soothing that my kin all lack.  Who knows when we loose it. There are theories on personality archetypes or experiences as in nature vs. nurture but no one really knows. I choose food.  I was 88 lbs when I got help over 15 years ago. And it has been an extremely messy up and down battle. Finally I float somewhere in the middle. Knowing my tendencies and making choices to not deprive nor abuse anything. Now whether it’s drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, pills, self mutilation, or even love it really all falls under the same umbrella of two inner dialogues. I am not enough or I don’t deserve to take up space.

I had an eating disorder for more time than I desire to admit. Today the choice to be healthy is not dependent on my pants size but rather conscious decisions I will myself to make that now make up a healthy ego. I have found a purpose or my dharma in life we call our purusha(truth). My truth is I  a teacher. I’m not perfect. And I can teach that that’s ok. In fact my perceived imperfections have served my students and give me a connection and approachability.

The choice to eat a healthy balanced diet that involves foods that are good for my constitution and avoid emotional triggers. An exercise routine that is void of excess and leans towards an intuition of exactly what I need in the moment. Yoga taught me to find my inner voice and always trust it. I start each day with a simple five minute mediation to check in.

The most enjoyable question I get from fellow gym goers as I enter my health club is “what are you working on today.” My answer always remains the same. “I don’t know… Whatever my body needs.”

This simple philosophy is how I live and do everything in my life. Through trial and immense error I have come to realize that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Addiction as much as recovery is about changing the negative habits. These habits include a recording we have in our heads that we don’t deserve to take up space. For women we are taught to negate this voice. It’s still shocking to me when I hear a woman I perceive as strong and capable say “what should I do.” “Well,” I ask… “What do you need.” This is where yoga not asana(this mere physical practice or western yoga) comes into play.

There is nothing more difficult in life than the not knowing. We are ruled so heavily by our minds and the thirst for knowledge how do we let go? You can train endless hours for a marathon to prepare the physical bodies stamina and endurance, you can study countless hours for an exam, and you can pre heat an oven for a perfect cheesecake, but how do you begin a quest for equanimity of the heart? We begin to know that it takes a life time of trial and error to discover…we know nothing at all.  And when it comes to the human condition; fear, love, grief, regret, joy, lust, and longing we all have a metaphorical blindfold on. So why ask how? How can we just be. Meditation is said to help accept the unanswered questions and allows a beingness, but until that moment when the bomb of uncertainty goes off how do we surrender?

I find myself still going to that place of gripping tight instead of letting go. I am knew to meditation and yoga. And by new I mean about 10 years. I am certain it will take one or two lifetimes for me to fully embrace it and even begin to understand being in the moment.  I know it has made a significant difference on who I am both inside and out. That my internal temperature runs cooler now that I sit and just breathe into the nothingness  of the present moment.  I practice non attachment but still I feel detaching completely out of the sights.

Love for me is the most challenging of all attachments. It is the reason I have choose a sobriety so to speak from relationships since my last ended in divorce. I have limited my physical encounters as well and made loving intimate  friendships more my focus. But as I venture back out there I realize I am a hopeless romantic. I have tried many a times to maintain a practice of letting go in my relationships but in the end maintaining detachment when it is appropriate to let go is like a weapon of mass destruction.  It blows to bits any semblance of balance or inner harmony. I begin to fight and struggle to hold on to something that was never in my possession.

So I guess the question is…how do we let go of expectation and allow beginnings and endings to simply flow through our being. This is advanced yoga.   We can not control life or circumstance but merely remain neutral to its out come. Having gratitude for the mere sake of gratitude itself. Because it feels good. Yoga is a practice.  And we, no matter how we feel must practice anyway

Yoga is not designer 120 dollar pants on a 90 dollar mat in the trendiest studio with the hipist teacher with quasi famous patrons while drinking a green juice…yoga is just not that fancy or glamorous when it’s real…

It is the painstaking intimate dedicated study of the mind, the body, and their relationship to each other which affects the spirit. It is the study of the space inside or the lack there of metaphorically speaking and literally.

It is the stillness and movement of breathe and the pause in between. It is a deep connectedness to everything you are and what you observe. It is beyond the physical or external yet completely tied to the flesh, the skin, the bones, organs, and connective tissue.  It is our relationship to everything and everyone in our life.  It is our addictions, aversions, and how we define ourselves through those habits.  Yoga is acceptance. Yoga is this moment. Yoga is being present with what is. It is the frequency and the music of your heart beat. Everything that occupies matter vibrates at its own unique beat. Yoga is the harmony and symphony of that beat.  This is my story. My song, This is my yoga. Yoga is now…atta yoga anusasanam.

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@jonescrow photography

An Open Letter to Britt McHenry

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I’ve allowed myself to cool off a bit before writing this one. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a little insight. ESPN reporter Britt McHenry was caught on camera berating a towing company clerk. At one point she was even fully aware that she was on camera when she continued to belittle the clerk saying things like, “maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me here too, huh?” and “that’s why I have a degree and you don’t.” She went on and on degrading the clerk’s appearance, intelligence and dug so deep it made the woman seek such vengeance to expose the video. (Two wrongs don’t make a right, but this isn’t about the clerk’s part in this. I’ll address that later.)

For now, McHenry has since been suspended from ESPN for one week, and apologized soon after stating, “In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.”

So here’s an open letter to Britt Britt from my friend Jackie whose Facebook status about this issue hit right on the head of the matter…

Dear Miss McHenry,

My name is Jackie Tinsley. You don’t know who I am. I’m not on TV, but I do have all of my teeth and a Bachelor’s Degree so I’m hoping those credentials satisfy you enough to continue reading this.  Saw your video, along with the rest of the country and you know what’s coming. I will admit you’re gorgeous. You’re clearly a beauty queen or something. But after seeing the way you treated a stranger in her place of work, I was reminded that physical beauty is in no way associated with the beauty within a person’s heart.  We all have our bad days where we want to completely lose it at times, but it’s how we handle ourselves in those exact moments that speaks volumes about our character, integrity and overall inner beauty. I truly hope your younger viewers who may have looked up to you as a role model can clearly decipher between inner and outer beauty; having a pretty face or the perfect body is just a bonus to one’s own inner beauty; being a good person and knowing how to conduct yourself in moments of adversity is what matters most. Thank you for so clearly illustrating that point.

Sincerely,

Jackie Tinsley

Jackie’s thoughts really resonate with me, (and probably with millions of other women and men).  Look, no one, including myself, is sitting here pretending to never have had a meltdown. We have all said or done things that we are NOT proud of, and luckily for us it wasn’t all caught on camera. We all try to ‘choose the highroad’…but yeah, sometimes we do let our emotions get the best of us.

Surely there are always two sides to every story and it is indeed possible that the clerk herself was being difficult and inappropriate. But it doesn’t make it any better or worse to verbally attack someone by body slamming (haven’t we seen enough of this amongst women by now?) or poke fun at their level of education. You don’t know their story. Your words can hurt more than you think. And as someone in the public eye, you have a responsibility to use your status to be a leader. Scratch that, we ALL have a responsibility to be leaders. To have courage and be kind even when we don’t always feel like it – that’s a boss right there.

Regardless of the fact that McHenry twitter-apologizes for her actions, she never TRULY says sorry to the woman directly. She’s sorry she was caught on camera and embarrassed publicly, but not sorry for her actions or how she made the clerk feel. Kindness is a virtue. The kind and classy thing to do would be to apologize directly rather than publicly.

Likewise, the kind and classy thing to do now is to forgive you. So I want you to know that I forgive you. On behalf of “women on TV” everywhere, I forgive you for that statement.

And on that note, it’s all the more bothersome how you pulled out the whole “I’m on TV” thing anyway. Oh Britt, it’s not thaaat cool and probably not the best time to point that out either. It definitely doesn’t make you any better of a person. What a person does professionally does not factor in to the quality of their heart.

This instance made me look at beautiful women who appear to have it all…dream jobs, physical beauty, amazing experiences… it means NOTHING without a beautiful heart to back it up. No expensive college education or fancy car or amount of money in the world can mean more than a beautiful heart. How we love and serve others is what makes a person beautiful.

The Wave is all about starting something big. All it takes is one small idea, or concept or even a person to cause a wave of change in the world. As I am most certain you are familiar, Britt, in an arena, all it takes is one person to start the wave and before you know it, the entire room is participating. I hope the same thing happens here. I hope this experience propels you forward and you find yourself genuinely promoting inner beauty and spreading kindness onto perfect strangers, because you never truly know what others are battling. Oh, the power of words.

Practice kindness now. Change your thoughts and verbiage. “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:18

Would you like your darkest moments to be captured on video forever? If not, rethink your words now before anyone has the chance to press record.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3