All posts by ritz9025@gmail.com

Clearing

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Clearing (by Martha Postlewaite)
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.

Searching for the Rubik’s Cube solution

I have personally never solved a Rubik’s cube toy. As a child, we had them around the house. I always managed to get a few of the sides completed, but became very disoriented when I had to disassemble those sides to continue solving the puzzle. I admit, I have not touched a Rubik’s cube in well over 20 years.

A few facts about the Rubik’s cube (thank you Wikipedia):

  • invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik
  • Widely considered the world’s best-selling toy
  • There are 43 quintillion possible positions (43 + 18 zeros)
  • If you take the pieces apart and reassemble it, there are 519 quintillion possibilities!

Thinking about the Rubik’s cube, it has a definite and finite number of pieces, 54. Yet from that small number you are able to create almost unimaginable possibilities. And in those possible moves, there are an overwhelming amounts of moves that are incorrect. However, if you were handed a scrambled Rubik’s cube and directed to solve it, you would have everything you needed in those 54 tiles at your fingertips. Again, you have all the tools you need. Despite the crazy number of possibilities, the high likelihood that you will make errors, and the difficulty involved – you can solve the Rubik’s cube. It may take time, practice, and lots of patience. But you can do it.

A good friend and I have spent many conversations over the last few years talking about life, but always with a similar theme. Throughout the different topics (family, children, spirituality,health, careers), we both seem to be pulled toward finding the best solution or purpose for our endeavors.

I’ve begun to realize I have reached a point in my life where I no longer need to look for the next addition, accomplishment, or acquaintance. Within my life, much like the 54 tiles on a Rubik’s cube, I have all the tools I need to succeed. In my 38 years so far, I have put many of the sides together. But I have not yet managed to place all the tiles in such an order that they create a harmonious pattern and appeal. However, I have all the tools I need.

Think about all the different components of your life, I don’t even think I could list 54 individual parts. But, just as in the Rubik’s cube, there are so many potential combinations. And when you finally hit on the perfect placement, everything is suddenly aligned!

I am going to continue to work toward my goals, turning, flipping, constantly re-evaluating. But I find comfort in the idea that I have built the structure and foundation. And with patience and perseverance, I will be able to see all the pieces fall into place.

Or maybe I just order myself a Rubik’s Cube and call it a day!

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Only Cook with Good Wine

Julia Child was an amazing cook, and I remember watching her show as a child. It was fascinating for so many reasons. First of all, Julia herself. She was an enigma to a young girl. She had a marbled voice that rolled over your ears as you listened to her. And she usually had guests on the show with her who were obviously deterring to her expertise and experience in the kitchen. And she found such joy in the process of cooking and creating good food. And she is the first person I ever heard say to only cook with good wine.

Another lesson I learned somewhat later in life is to look for the synchronicity in life. I was a junior in high school, having just moved to New Mexico from Michigan after my parents divorce. I was failing English at the public high school (after being an A student in the Honors Program at the catholic high school I had just left). So yeah, I was handling it pretty well. My teacher was not particularly fond of me, and I don’t blame her. But she gave a lecture on the concept of Synchronicity, and against all odds, I was in class that day and paying attention. The idea of meaningful coincidences struck a chord with me. Granted, at that point I was selfishly motivated and only attracted further negativity to myself. But the idea still took root and has grown.

With this blog, I have begun to experience moments of synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences, in greater frequency. One of my favorite bloggers, Kris Carr, shared a series of videos that were available from Hay House. Through those links, I came upon a video series by Dr Wayne Dyer. Total disclosure, these videos that I found are advertising essentially to join an online course. I have no intention of taking the online course at this point in my life. If you are interested in watching the preview videos or finding out more about his course, click here.  However, I have watched the first four clips that he has filmed sharing some of these ideas. I was so enthralled, I quickly paused the videos and got a notebook and pen to take notes. That is NOT my norm, usually I am clicking between three screens, listening to audio in the background as I search through the local Facebook news!

He spoke about many ideas, but was focused on the phrase “I Am”, and how that can be used to manifest the positive and desired changes you want in your life. And inversely, how it can propagate the negative and self-defeating behaviors that we all develop. At one point, he shared this quote,

“Don’t put anything in your imagination that you don’t want to manifest in your life.”

Hey Julia!! It’s the same idea! Don’t cook with crappy wine, your food will taste like crap. And don’t let negative thoughts and ideas gain a foothold in your mind, your life will be a manifestation of your thoughts and emotions. This was a personal “Aha!” moment for me.

He also shared that as he has progressed through this philosophy, and has continued to open his awareness to the “Light” as he calls it, he has reached a burning desire for radical well-being. Radical Well-Being. Think about that. What does that mean for you? What would you imagine if you thought of your life in a state of Radical Well-Being. What is holding you back from making the changes to get there?

 

Hello October 15th, I no longer fear you…

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October 15. It snuck up on me this year, I am so busy with my two daughters and their busy schedules. What a wonderful blessing. But, I’m so glad that today is gaining strength and awareness.  October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I remember a point, about 9 years ago, before I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I feared the calendar. At that point in our fertility journey the calendar seemed to be riddled with landmines of horrible and sad days. Anniversaries of getting pregnant, first ultrasounds, hearing the baby’s first heartbeat! And then the subsequent appointments and losses. We went through three pregnancies with miscarriages. Each achingly sweet pregnancy let me know what unconditional love truly felt like. And each heartbreaking loss took me to the depths of sorrow, where not even my husband could comfort me.

I didn’t know then that so many women had gone through their own journey, and had faced the same sweet love that you find at the beginning of a pregnancy, and dealt with a subsequent unique loss. At the time, I was desperate. In my desperation I looked for answers from doctors about why this was happening to me. But what I really wanted was to have my children in my arms, and not in my memory and marked as losses on a calendar.

Fast forward 9 years, and I now understand how frequent miscarriages and infant loss are among women. And I understand that dr’s simply do not have the answers that a desperate mother-to-be desires. But I do firmly believe that through support and awareness, we can ease the terrible heartache that a pregnancy loss can create.

Tonight I will light my candles, and I will remember all of the babies that mothers were never able to hold in their arms. Your courage will be celebrated, and your babies memories will be cherished.

Much love and strength

The Wrath of Grapes and Squash

Last night was difficult. Like, somebody didn’t put away the grapes and spaghetti squash and they think the kitchen is clean?!, kind of difficult. Cabinets were slammed, words were exchanged, a bowl full of spaghetti squash was thrown out, and all parties housekeeping habits were called into question. Difficult.

What? You aren’t sympathizing and sending supporting notes and messages? Of course not! Those are ridiculous, miniscule, and petty problems. A perfect example of 1st world, upper class, white people problems.

Or is it?

I bet there was a cavewoman thousands of years ago who came home after being up all day, fighting saber tooth tigers, clubbing dinner to death herself, rubbing sticks together to cook it up, and found the cave not put back together the way she wanted it. (Old bones do NOT go on the highest ledge in the cave?!) And guess what, I bet she lost it. She took those bones and threw them out of the cave without even thinking! Of course she had bigger issues. It was almost dusk, and if she made too much noise, the predators might hear her. And the little cave children were almost asleep, and she needed to save what was left of the fire to keep them warm until morning. All kinds of bigger problems that should have helped her put the situation into perspective. But somedays, it’s too much. **I do not claim to be an expert on actual cavewoman, nor their daily habits.**

I had the modern experience of that last night. It was truly difficult. Despite the silliness of the problems, it developed into a full confrontation with my husband. And opinions were expressed, feelings were hurt by both sides. As a couple, we have gradually learned that “Never go to bed angry” doesn’t work for us. Time is helpful for us to calm down, reflect on the situation, and (hopefully) come to some resolution.

In my hazy morning-after attempts to move towards a resolution, I’m mostly sad. No longer angry in the moment of finding food left out, and no longer energized by sparring for the best comeback. Just sad that I let such small things take so much energy and happiness out of my day. And that in doing so, took energy and happiness out of my husband’s day.

So today I have opened my heart and mind to the universe and looked for guidance. Amazingly enough, it has come! I pulled a Crazy Sexy Love note this morning, and it was “Be Present”. (Did I tell you guys these notes are awesome or what??)

Later today, going through my email, I read an essay that had been sitting ignored in my inbox for almost a week. I almost deleted it, but fortunately I took a few minutes and read it through.

Understanding Others, by The Minimalists

So the next time you reach a fork in the road, remember T.A.R.A.: Tolerate, Accept, Respect, and Appreciate. If you travel this path frequently, yourrelationships will flourish, and you’ll experience a richness of experience that wasn’t possible without a deep understanding of the people in your life. Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Did I neglect to mention that my husband had paid bills, vacuumed the entire house, and got the girls ready for bed before I got home? Oh yeah, he did. But instead of noticing and appreciating his support and contributions to our household, I zero’d in on two ridiculous items and picked a fight. Our relationship is worth so much to me, but I lost perspective. If I had used T.A.R.A, I would have tolerated that nobody else thought the grapes and squash needed to be put away. I would have accepted that my husband chose to be helpful with different tasks. That would have led to respecting my partner’s commitment to coming home and contributing to our household after working a long day himself. Finally, I would have appreciated how fortunate our family is that we can all contribute in different ways, and that I came home to a warm house, and loving partner, and such abundance that there was leftover food on the counter.

 

Here is to tomorrow, may we all be so fortunate to find the grapes and squash not put away.

 

May your wandering always lead you home,

Rita

 

 

 

The Ten-Year Nap


The Ten-Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer

I was very excited about this at first, I thought it was about how to take a ten year nap (the dream of mother’s accross the world). I quickly learned that was not the case, but I’m amazed by the insights the author has into the minds of moms. And that my same fears and insecurities are shared by a former lawyer living in New York City.

Stay tuned for a full review!

Cat got your tongue?!

Hmmm…. After months, actually years, of daydreaming of having a blog. I find myself without anything to say. What?! Anybody who knows me personally can attest to my prolific number of opinions! And I may be called a “zealot” by my husband on certain occasions. However, I now find myself questioning every topic that I consider for a post. Too materialistic, too personal, too emotional, too topical.

I am faced with putting my thoughts and feelings into print and find myself judging them as not worthy. Uh-oh. That doesn’t sit well with my opinions and being a bold and courageous role model for my daughters. It doesn’t fit into the realm of personal growth advice that I offer to my clients. Stand up and behind yourself!

So, I have some writing practice that I need to focus on. I need to write an uncensored, non-scripted post once a week. And in the process, find my written voice. I hope and expect to be proud of the end result, but I am dreading the process.

Case in point: I put “Write a Post” on my to-do list on Sunday. It is Friday. And this is the best I’ve got. Like I said, an area for growth! But right now, I get to cross that item off my list!! **Happy Dance**

What is something that you find difficult to do but still want to accomplish? How do you motivate yourself and create accountability?

 

The end of “just”

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I recently read an article (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/former-google-and-apple-exec-calls-on-women-to-stop-saying-just-at-work-10364885.html) which highlighted a female Apple exec urging her employees to stop using the word “just” in emails. I immediately thought it was a good idea. I realized that I tend to start emails with “I just…”.
I’m a strong female role model. I know not to apologize without a reason. I coach many of the younger athletes I work with to not constantly apologize. But I didn’t realize  how I’d seamlessly replaced the “I’m sorry’s”, with the “just’s”

It was a ‘permission’ word, in a way — a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking ‘Can I get something I need from you?’

Ellen Petry Leanse (Apple Exec)

Since reading this article I’ve had to delete many intro sentences to more emails than I care to admit. I don’t even work in a professional environment anymore, but I still found myself downgrading my own value and worth with a single word. Instead of lurking outside an office door hoping not to intrude, we need to use our voices to deliver our message with clear, strong words. I have committed to no longer undermining my own authority in conversations and interactions. I am also going to encourage those around me to do the same.

And I wonder if there won’t be an unexpected side effect from this transition to more positive words. Perhaps when we truly should offer an apology, or seek permission, it will be more authentic. The receiver will be more receptive and our communication will improve.

Have you found certain words or phrases that you rely on instead of using your authentic voice? What tools have you found useful to regain your voice? And has it improved your channels of communication?

Ripping the band-aid off

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As a mom, I know the most effective way to get a band-aid off is to rip it off. Fast, hard, without any hesitation. The more you hesitate, the more it will hurt. I’ve tried many times to convince my children that this is true. So today, I am taking my own advice, I am ripping off the band-aid and actually starting the blog I have so many times discussed. It’s not all done, it’s not really ready. I don’t have the format totally (or even partially) figured out.

As many years as I’ve thought of doing this, and I’m still nervous. Thank you for coming here and reading my blog!

To share a little bit about myself… I am a mother to two girls. I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor part time. I live in beautiful Michigan in a small town. My goal is to offer  a safe space to share, discuss, debate and encourage one another as we make our way through our daily lives. I do not claim to be an expert on anything, I will not try to sell you a “program” to fix anything. I am hoping to expand and nurture my tribe that I live in and continue to grow as a person.

Some of the guidelines I will use regarding this blog…

  1. I make the rules. Yep, this is my space. I invite you to please join me, share, and disagree. However, I have the right to withhold personal information. I will act to protect the personal information of myself and any readers and commenters. (Can you tell I just took a HIPAA course!)
  2. I am not an expert. Truly, not a thing. So anything I say is subject to review, and may not apply to you. But I am going to share as honestly as I can what I know at this moment in my own journey. You can digest it for yourself, and use it however you like.
  3. There will be irony and sarcasm, in droves. They are my safety blanket, and I’m not giving them up. But I will try to cut through my own walls and barriers to share real. meaningful thoughts and questions with you.

Sitting down and writing this blog is the first step in a journey I have been hoping to take for quite some time. I feel like we are all wandering through our lives, struggling to find reasons, balance, and purpose. (I often find myself simply wandering down the grocery store aisle hoping to find inspiration for dinner) And whenever I am fortunate enough to have those wonderful conversations with friends in my life that leave me renewed and invigorated, I realize we are all wandering down those same grocery aisles.

What’s for dinner?                                                                                              

Is the generic brand really any different than the store brand pasta?                                          

Should we push more after school activities or give our kids more free time?

If a kid falls and no adult sees it, does the kid still cry?? 

So please join me, share your own stories, and let us wander together!