lifestyle

Feminist as F#ck

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When I was 13 I had an article published in our county newspaper about equal rights for women in the military. I didn’t realize it then but I was already a feminist.  Let me be clear here and say that at 13, I had no idea what a feminist was.  I was purely witnessing and hearing about imbalanced treatment and it was making me see red.  And even at the age of 13, I needed to express that the only way I knew how, by writing a public article in the hopes of changing even just one person’s thought on equal rights.

Flash forward to 2011, someone said to me “oh god, are you one of those feminists?”. I didn’t know how to respond because I’ve never thought of myself in that way.  I’ve never had to put a label on the way I felt.  Was I a Feminist?  Heck. Yes. However back then, being a Feminist had a negative tone surrounding it, even though it was just a few short years ago.  Celebrities, Public Figures and Influencers were holding strong to the “I’m not a feminist” line, and as such so were the people.  I responded to him by saying something along the lines of “yes, of course I am!” and he then said nothing and abruptly walked away.  Buh Bye.

Jump to current day and you have Beyoncé singing in front of a jumbo screen with the words “Feminist” on it. And not so secretly, my heart skips a beat.  I’m quickly seeing Feminism become trendy.  From new books on being a feminist, to t-shirts, to fashionable websites, to celebrities all declaring “Yes, I am a Feminist”.  Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes, I can do masculine things as a woman.  Yes, I should be treated and paid equal.

A Feminist doesn’t look a certain way, we don’t hate every man that ever walked the earth, and we don’t think we are better than anyone else. We believe in equality, we believe in protection against rape, assault and harassment, we believe in your daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, girlfriend and wife.

Yes, I’m Feminist as F#ck and you should be too.

 

Bookworm? Check out these books:

Feminist Fight Club

We Should All Be Feminists

We Were Feminists Once

Living My Life

 

 

lifestyle

Face Your Fears Like a Kid

fullsizerenderLike many of you are familiar with, this week was the start of a new school year. I was lucky enough to be able to get my 6 year old niece ready for her first day of 2nd grade.  Like all new beginnings, she was nervous.

She normally isn’t the nervous type; she’ll walk up to any kid and ask to play, she’ll dance ballet and tap in front of a hundred people and she’ll even tell adults to face their fears and congratulate them when they do. So it was weird to see her nervous about starting school.

Secretly, I was watching her and learning from her. I noticed these three main steps and even used them this week when I was faced with a situation that I was extremely nervous about.

Step One: Zone Out.  She knew the bus came at 8:00, so for the downtime we had in the morning she didn’t want to talk to me or do anything except zone out.  She watched tv and kept her mind off of what she was nervous about.

Step Two: Tell your peers you are nervous.  We walked to the bus stop and shortly after saying hi to the friends she knew, she giggled and told them she was nervous.  I’m pretty sure they all sighed with relief knowing that they were all nervous and in it together.

Step Three: Go for it. When the bus came, she didn’t even say goodbye to me, she just ran right up to the opened doors.  No delaying the inevitable, she just went for it and didn’t look back (until of course I called her name to take her picture).

She taught me that sometimes we need to take things back to nature. Back to when we were a kid and did things the way we felt like they needed to be done and not the way society has taught us.

Get back to your inner child and do what feels natural to you.

Lifestyle

lifestyle

8 Ways to Live the Simple Life

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  1. Go somewhere and don’t tell anyone. Ever. We live in a society where we take pictures of our food, every experience we have and post it instantly online. I’m guilty! But when was the last time you experienced something truly for and by yourself? Put the phone in your glove compartment, drive somewhere adventurous, get curious and explore. And don’t tell the world about it. I want to live my life; not record it.” Jackie Onassis
  2. Limit tv. Read, play with your children/nieces/nephews, paint, make an elaborate meal, learn, explore. Find something else to do besides the tv.
  3. Speaking of reading. Hide your kindle and get the real deal paper and ink. Let the pages fold, rip and crease, grab a pen and make notes in the blank spaces, let it live and let it be raw. That is what reading is all about.
  4. Respect boredom. Everyone is always so dang busy and declares it like it’s a badge of honor. Busy is a trap. Busy is not honorable. Busy means you lack knowing what is and is not important. Clear your calendar for a day and do nothing. Get bored. Get really, bored. And see what comes up. I bet, almost without a doubt, it will spark creativity and inspiration like you’ve never experienced before.
  5. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is so 2015. If you’re working on something, turn everything else off and just do that one thing for 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
  6. Stop buying plastic. Fo’ real. And if you walk by trash outside, pick it up. Be kind to the world.
  7. Look up at the stars as often as you can. It will put everything right into perspective.
  8. In all ways possible, choose outdoors.
yoga

A Quick Morning Flow

The weather in NJ has been gorgeous these past few days and I am so ready for a summer of sunshine, sand and sea!  There is something so invigorating about warm mornings that makes you want to get up, get going and leap into your day.  To help your mornings even more, here is a quick standing flow that is perfect to do as soon as you wake up.

Begin with 1-3 rounds of:

Sun Salutation A

Sun Salutation B

From Down Dog or Mountain Pose:

Warrior 2

Triangle

Wide Leg Forward Fold

Pyramid

 

Lifting, yoga

5 Kettlebell Exercises to Improve Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is all about balance. Everything you do on the right side, you also do on the left side. Every peak pose has a counterbalance pose, like shoulderstand to fish. It’s an equally designed flow to make you stable and whole.

However, I often find that yoga practitioners have too much lower body flexibility and not enough lower body strength. If you have open hips and a lot of flexibility it’s so easy to sink into a pose like extended side angle and just hang out there like it’s no big deal. But that’s not yoga in its truest form. There is no activation there.

When we can start to add strength into our movements, we can start to activate and engage different muscles in our bodies and find that perfect balance of strength and flexibility. In extended side angle we can begin by pressing into our heels to activate our quads and hamstrings, this will take some pressure out of the hip and bring the line of energy up rather than down. When we start to activate muscles and focus on the line of energy you’re creating, the practice as a whole completely shifts into something truly amazing. I always say, it’s one thing to just show up to your mat, put your body in the positions and just hang out, sure you’ll get some benefit to that. But it’s a whole other world of a practice when you begin to let the poses work for you by using alignment and engaging muscles.

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Enter kettlebells, my new found love. KB’s are extremely versatile and I highly suggest you go and purchase one for your house. You can find one at any sporting goods store and I’ve even seen them at TJMaxx. And as much as I love going to the gym, I’m still pretty lazy. I like each one of my exercises to work multiple muscles at a time, not just one. KB’s are amazing for whole body training.

Here are 5 kettlebell exercises to improve your yoga practice from standing poses, to arm balances to funky variations of all sorts:

  • KB Walking Lunges – Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves
    If you have one KB, hold it right in front of your chest. If you have two KB’s hold one in each hand alongside of you. For an added ab bonus, hold different weighted KB’s in each hand.
  • KB Swings – Hamstrings, Glutes, Shoulders, Calves, Lower Back
    I prefer to hold the KB with both hands however this link shows it with one hand.
  • KB Russian Twists – Abs, Lower back
  • KB Goblet Squats – Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders
  • KB Figure 8’s – Abs, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders

Give them a try and have fun!