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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Badass Hug

Heart shaped fruit salad, another
great mid-western show of love.
Thanks for the family love!
Every time I return to my birth place, Gurnee, Illinois, I'm struck by the power of a good hug. Most of the hugs I encounter in my daily life are limp, "nice to see you" hugs. Hands gently flutter on each others backs, shoulder to shoulder, making sure no lines of inappropriate body contact are crossed. I'm not saying I want to press my body up against everyone I know, but I would like to give a shout-out to a truly great hug. Here's what a badass, love-giving, soul-enlightening hug feels like.  If you like me enough to read my blog, I like you enough to give you one of these hugs.  Hope our hearts can touch in the future.

A great hug starts in the eyes. You see the person, they see you, and you share an eye smile.  Your smile has taken over so much of your face that it is insisting on also creasing the skin around your eyes into smiles.  The momentum of this connection pulls you toward one another.  Sometimes hands are reaching and open, sometimes they are pressed against the body as you wiggle with excitement.  You simultaneously pull into each other.  Your eyes close.  There is stillness as your hearts press into each other.  You are still smiling and holding each other tight.  You release and each look into each others eyes.  With a hug like this love exchange is palpable.

Thanks to all my family and great friends who have hugged the love into me over the years.  A good tight, unwavering, mid-western hug can keep me glowing for days. Let's save a weeny, flutter hugs for business and blow-offs. Next time I see you, dear friend, I hope we can hug with full-out love and eye smiles.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Staycation Solution

Your to do list is reading like a novel.  Instead of being in the best shape of your life you have Budweiser bloat.  People are being dicks.  You need to get away!  Unfortunately, your next vacation isn’t for months.  How do you keep from randomly crying in the supermarket or abruptly quitting your job?  It is time for a STAYCATION.  Don’t go anywhere.  Just sit your cute fanny down in your own home and get your pamper on.  Since this doesn’t require a spa, let alone a plane ticket, this is a great way to save money while saving your sanity.
Today, I needed a staycation. I’ve been experiencing a rare feeling in my life, stress.  My life is designed for my enjoyment.  This means I minimize tasks like work and house keeping, and emphasize outdoor adventures and playtime.  Work has been stressful lately because this is the busiest time of year.  Customers and coworkers all seem to have caught a case of the Angry Augusts.  I could use two weeks in a Thai spa, but that isn’t in the budget or schedule right now so I settled for a at home SPACATION. 
Badass women need to have a supply of beauty products.  I will not be told otherwise and turn my life over to a make-up free existence. If you are a badass in the office, you need to combat stress lines and stale air.  If your badassing has you skiing down mountains you need to undo the stress of natural elements such as snow, sun, and near death adventures.

What I believe every woman should own for an emergency spacation. 
            -Deep hair conditioner
            -Body scrub
            -Face exfoliate
            -Moisturizing face mask
            -Bath salts
Here is a look into my SPACATION.  Let the two-hour bath begin.             

First, I dry brushed.  This is supposed to help stimulate the lymph nods and reduce cellulite.  This is one of those things I always want to do but never seem to remember.  It feels amazing to accomplish something I so often regret not doing.   

2nd I showered and did a hair mask as my conditioner.  While letting the mask soak, I shaved.   

3rd I exfoliated my body with a salt scrub from my trip to Israel.  Usually, I make my own with almond oil and Sugar in the Raw.  Cheap and easy.

4th Bath time.  I fill the tub, dry my face on a towel I keep nearby and exfoliate my face with a scrub.  Rinse.  Dry face.  Apply mud mask.  Allow to dry, about two minutes.  Rinse.  Dry.  Apply moisturizing face mask and keep on for the duration of the bath.

5th Time for some straight chilling.  I like to keep the fan on in the bathroom to create white noise.  Relax.  Stretch your neck.  Lift a leg and stretch.   A neck and scalp massage will help to unwind. This is a nice time to read, but an even better time to meditate and clear your mind. 

When the time feels right I leave the bath.  I moisturize my face first because it usually feels dry.  Next, every day I do a full body moisturizing.  This is a great day to pluck.  A perfect eyebrow makes for a groomed face. 

Bust out the hair dryer and product.  Usually I air-dry my hair, but on spacation, it’s time to full on beauty routine. 

After hair comes make-up.  This is also the day to go above and beyond.  I like to switch up my eye make-up.  Try a new look.  This is the day to test the cat-eye or use a new lip-gloss I got as a gift. 

Anything I’ve been saving for a special day is busted out.  This is a holiday.  This is staycation, baby!

Here what I look like post spacation as opposed to my everyday adventure life.

Adventure isn't alway pretty.  

Post Spacation

            When life is making you crazy what is your go to sanity solution?  How do you counter the stresses of being a badass in your own life?  I want to hear from you all and then steal your secrets. 

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bikini Season Preparation Meditation

Here we are, in the height of bikini season and I have once again been struck down by body fear.  This weekend I'm going to be on a boat with many hot babes and many cameras to document the situation.  And while I feel this phrase should be struck from the English language and only beauty should be focused on and celebrated, I have to admit, I feel fat.  Ok.  I said it.

Now, I can't drastically change my body in a day and a half but I can change my mind and feelings.  This is a meditation I did with a group of girls at the beginning of the summer.  If you can, gather a posse and have one person read aloud as you all sit quietly, listening and focusing.  More likely, you will need to read this to your self while breathing steadily and letting the words shift your brain synapses.  Before settling in to meditate, it is always nice to do some light stretching.  This helps calm the body and I personally believe puts you in a good head space for positive change.  Look at you!  You are a person who stretches.  You are the best.  Get my point?  Breath in slowly and as you exhale repeat the lines of meditation to yourself.

Bikini Season Preparation Meditation

Breath in and feel your body.  Bring your breath into every part of your body.
Consciously send love to every part of your body with your breath.

Breath in, allowing the breath to fill your legs, sending gratitude through your body for every action your body enables you to take.

Breath in, accept the beauty of your body.  It may not be what your mind thinks it should be, but it is incredibly beautiful.  A wonder.

Take this moment to make a promise to your body.

Breath in.  Body, I will treat you with love and respect.  I will enjoy feeding you.  I will enjoy living in you.  I will enjoy playing in you.

Breath in,  I enjoy taking care of my beautiful and powerful body.

Breath in, I will spend time in the sun enjoying the feel of warm rays on my body.

Breath in, I will enjoy the feel of the wind on my skin.

Breath in, I promise to look for the beauty of my body.

Breath in, I promise to appreciate my body.

Now, go about your day but if you find yourself searching for visible cellulite on yourself or others while soaking up the summer sun, readjust.  What is beautiful?  What feels good?  Keep adjusting your mind and eventually, your mind with be re-adjusted to beauty.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Badass and Clint Eastwood Cool: It's a Mind Thing

The older I get, the more I realize nothing comes naturally.  The only natural is gravity. Aka: downward spiral.  You know all those skinny bitches and obscenely successful 26-year-olds?  Chances are they are working their tails off.  It's not a metabolism or luck.  It's controlled eating and a butt load of hard work.  Trust me.  I've gotten close enough to these people to ask them these really awkward questions.  

That being said, I'd like to talk about crazy bitches.  Crazy Bitch is a disease that affects every woman I know.  It seems to be chronic, although, the side effects vary with monthly cycle, stress, and many variable factors.  I am the craziest bitch I know, and I'm sure of  this because I am inside my own mind.  If I had full access to your mind, I might think you won the gold for crazy.  I'm not super skinny or obscenely successful but I've come the the logical conclusion that peace of mind and stability take the same kind of work that must be applied to bodies and careers.  When left unattended the mind with go to pot, just like a body fed candy on the couch.

What is the solution to a flabby, negative mind?  Meditation, positive affirmations, and prayer.  These are the same as cardio, weights, and healthy eating for the body.  Just like anything that is good for you, you have to find a way to make it fun.  You can only torture yourself for so long.  You can get addicted to fun forever.  I'm addicted to biking, skiing, hiking, and Quinoa.  Why not get addicted to a clear mind and positive thoughts?

From now on, this blog is not just about adventures of the body, but also about the taming the mind.  The classic badass is not only a superhero of actions, but a clam, straight-shooter.  Let the adventure continue!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Breaking to Build: I tore my ACL

I've always wanted this to be an inspirational blog. My favorite thing, moment, theme, whatever, is when something previously thought impossible is done. Maybe it's a homely girl discovering under that ugly over-sized sweater and glasses she is actually a hot girl, with killer confidence. Maybe it's Amelia Earhart. Maybe it's a baby's first steps. Maybe it's just laughing after a long time of not remembering how. Maybe it's becoming a badass. I love hearing about it, seeing it, being it, so that's why I started this blog. To encourage those moments in myself and others.

Whatever that elusive feeling is you get watching Forest Gump. That inspiration that puts a swing in your step and courage in your hear, that is what I've always wanted to be able to give people. I think you are all so so beautiful. Even those of you who kind of bug me. Especially those of you I can barely stand. I'm impressed with all of you. All of the blogs, the accomplishments, the relationships, the travel, the families, the big choices that you've made. I want you to be able to feel good about the steps you are taking.

I've torn my ACL skiing. I find out tomorrow if I need surgery. Even if I don't, healing is going to be a time and labor intensive process. I feel bad. I feel scared. I feel confused. Usually this triumvirate of feelings can only be cured by putting on heals and trying to dance like Beyonce. I haven't asked my doctor yet, but I'm guessing heels are off limits. My ability to shake it is also impaired. What the hell am I going to do now? How am I supposed to be happy?

My new year resolution is to be an unsinkably happy person. If I was struggling to maintain steady happiness while skiing every day, I think I might be in big trouble with this wobbly leg. The way I see it, I have two choices.

1. Under the guise of trying to shoot my lame leg off, I could shoot my head off.
2. Put on a black, fringed, spaghetti strap shirt and shake what I've got left.

I'm wearing a fringed shirt as we speak folks. This badass is taking it to the next level. I'm gonna have to master my mind. I don't just want to heal, I want to have fun doing it. My mind just wants to cry, pout, talk about how much this sucks, and be mean to people who are having a good time. NO WAY MIND. I'm gonna die happy, and if that happens to be tomorrow, I better make sure I'm happy now. This ACL process can't be just about getting through it. This healing has to be about keeping my good time going. I'd be honored if you all let me bounce these efforts off of you.

Thanks for being with me on this. I need all the support I can get now that I don't have a functioning right knee. And thanks for showing me how awesome you all are every day. It inspires me.