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Posts Tagged ‘career

Howdy! What’s up?

So it seems like I’ve been working my way through Mama Pea’s reciPea list recently, trying to find new uses for nutritional yeast (it’s good’n’good for you!). I found another yummy one last night, and I’ll be making another batch to share over the weekend!

This one is Pizza Quinoa Casserole. The base starts simply with quinoa cooked with veggie broth. Then, it gets mixed with a luscious, tomatoey, rich sauce containing my precious nutritional yeast and a few other seasonings. Bake it, top with whatever pizza toppings you prefer (keep it vegan or use real cheese), and… in less than an hour, you’re good to go! Cheesy, high protein, nutritious… best yet, really tasty!

Here’s the recipe, straight from her website:

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

I’m spending this weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) in downtown Seattle at Balanced Body’s Pilates on Tour! While I’m doing this to earn continuing education units to keep my certification current, I’m excited to deepen my understanding to use Pilates in a rehab setting.

Or am I a complete dork for being excited about a professional conference? (I’m sure someone out there is, right?)

Hi, Friends.

I’m typically not much of a Wednesday poster, but inspiration struck (duck and cover!) and I totally felt the need to get this out to you.

While driving yesterday, I realized how much time I’d lost this past week wallowing over this freak vocal cord nerve injury. And before that, I’d probably done the same over the hip surgery that didn’t go well (in 2010) and had to be redone, plus some.

But why waste time crying over things out of our control? None of us are getting any younger.

It’s fine to feel sorry for ourselves, true. And I’ve found that sometimes, the current path just seems so unbearable that I just can’t find focus and have to chill out. But either to ourselves or others, it just becomes the broken record after a while. And just like a broken record, it continues on the same useless pathway. At some point, we have to pack up and move on as best we can.

Which is what I have done and have continued to do. And you know what? This approach has shown me opportunities I never would’ve imagined, if I’d been left to continue along my same road.

OK, so the Leprechaun of Ideas doesn’t jump onto your shoulder at 2pm every afternoon. (I wish! But then, we’d all be rich.) This takes some brainpower. But think of it this way: you’re developing awesome critical thinking skills!

Case In Point 1: prior to my first hip surgery (April 2010), I was running a fitness business with two corporate clients and a few private clients as well as teaching fitness classes for 4-5 gyms. I wanted to expand my business, but I didn’t have time to think about how to do that, or to do it at all… despite being married to an MBA in marketing. Surgery #1 led to complications and Surgery #2. After the requisite feeling sorry for myself, I got going and put my brain to work. I talked to other instructors. I did some marketing (and learned what does and doesn’t work in this area and field). I hired more contractors. I expanded my business to include other types of classes. I even tried a second business (which… didn’t work, but it was a great learning experience!). I now proudly call myself a small business owner!

When I was getting ready to teach again (that is, working for others), I almost didn’t want to let previous employers know I was available. I preferred having the time to strategize for myself! (Though, gotta say that I do like the steady income stream that I get from bigger companies.)

Case In Point 2: My current struggle. Just when I literally got my feet under me to teach again (and also got a college class to teach in the fall), I have a timeline of potentially three months until I can talk again. This hit me from out of nowhere–I didn’t anticipate this sort of limitation when I was dreaming up projects to take me into the end of the year and going forward.

But life has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it? And again… we can’t stand still while it blows past us. To me, that just isn’t living!

So, during the next few (loooonnngggg) months, other than non-work-related stuff such as improving my piano playing and cleaning up the jungle that is my backyard, I’ve come up with four work-related projects that don’t require speaking:

1. Getting my body back to the strength that it was before Hip Surgery #1 (which was the best shape of my life other than torn hip cartilage)

2. Make a new trifold brochure for my business, now that I offer Zumba classes, which may get me more corporate business (and plan a guerrilla marketing attack for the beginning of the year!!!)

3. Keep going on the….. (book) that I write in spurts. Since I’m oh-so-experienced in rehab (plus 500-hour Pilates certified), I’ve been working on a… document, in laymans’ terms, to help people recover from injury using Pilates-based exercise. I need to redouble efforts.

4. Lower priority, but script videos. I intend to create a YouTube channel of short videos that, once again, use Pilates-based exercise to help people reduce pain in various parts of their body. Big goal of mine in life is to help the world feel better without pharmaceuticals! (Ironic, given my masters’ degree in pharmaceutical chemistry…)

See? It takes a little bit of the gerbil running in that mental wheel, but you can come up with some fruitful projects that will get you toward your life/career goals, despite current limitations. (Try to make your projects meaningful, rather than, say, learning Swahili. Unless you are absolutely taken by the Swahili language, and by all means, go for it!)

Maybe by the end of allllll of this… I won’t need or want to go back to working for the man at all. Now, wouldn’t that be a hoot? Having had illnesses and injuries that supposedly take me out of work for a combined few years, but during that time, I end up generating a successful income stream. That would be amazing, and it’s my goal.

I encourage all of you to share this with anyone who’s going through a rough time in life! Any rough patch can be turned around… and can lead you into more exciting territory!!

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!

I’m finding myself grouping these writing challenges together, so I don’t bombard you with two posts in a day… unless bombardment’s your style…

Which means you get bombarded with two writing challenge prompts at once. Again, if you’re just joining, this is part of the Trust30 Writing Challenge, 30 days worth of writing prompts inspiring us to trust ourselves and dig deeper.

Anyway, the past two days:

(tuesday 7 june) There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years? (Author: Corbett Barr)

The first part for me is pretty simple–in fact, I can come up with a bunch of answers. Primarily, I never knew that my little hobby, teaching a few fitness classes, would become entrepreneurial and change my life the way it has! It’s been great! So, I would tell myself to be persistent in the fitness and Pilates field, despite all of my higher education, and not to feel ashamed of working in a field that requires a lot less education despite my 8 1/2 years of school. I feel that I’m providing much more of a service to the world doing what I am, now.

(Oh, and if only we’d known all of the ills of trans fats and HFCS. I’ve found it so much easier to control my weight when I’ve seriously cut back those items, as well as processed foods. If I could only go back and tell myself to cook more and let loose experimenting in the kitchen…)

The hard part is what to tell the “five years from now” me. I’ve felt fairly stagnant the past year, and I hope not to have to use the same “hang in there, good things are yet to come” mantra I’ve been repeating over and over again. I’ve recently broken a few business barriers, so I hope to say… “2011 was a great year for the business, when we expanded from that tiny little thing to several corporate clients, but don’t slack off–remember the mental toughness you gained that year.”

Now, on to today’s prompt:

(wed 8 june) The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now. (Author: Mary Jaksch)

What am I most scared to do? There are a lot of things we’re all scared to do. For me, one of them is performing songs I’ve written in public. I used to do this every few months at a variety of events, with little fear. I used to readily perform for friends. But something happened over the past few years, and I am now fearful of solo public performance. I understand part of the reason (negative politics in a band where I played and sang a while back) but my response is so strong.

This past weekend, friends were over and asked me to perform (piano/vocal). I went ahead with it, despite recent allergy issues. I wasn’t at my best, by far, but I did it, and they were appreciative friends. Maybe this small performance took me a step in the right direction… I can only hope!

How far have you come in the past five years? I never would’ve expected to do what I’m doing now, and it’s wonderful! Share your story!

Spring is here! Time to spring-clean not only our houses but maybe our diets, our future plans… never fear, I’ve found some great posts from fellow bloggers to help you out with such deep thoughts! (Some of ’em date back a few months, but they’re still highly relevant.)

How many times have you heard that you should “follow your passion” in life? As Ash Ambirge says in this piece, you not only need the passion, but the courage to take the steps to follow through. This is one of many wonderfully sassy, straight-ahead posts on her blog–read it!

Feeling a mid-day (or late-day, or anytime of the day) energy slump? Amber at Epicself has this three-minute energy and posture boosting sequence. Did I say it only took 3 minutes? Why, yes I did. Try it!

Chris at Zen to Fitness lists some practical suggestions here that will get our bodies moving better and keep us that way. The take-home message? Functional fitness. (Don’t get discouraged by long lists, either: start off gently. Even 10 minutes, 3 times a week, is great if you’ve never exercised before!)

Here’s a thought-provoking discussion from Vlad on The Change Blog on Reducing the Mediocrity of Life. I’ll admit that when someone asks how I am, I’m not always at the ready with an “Awesome!”–many times, I’m feeling more a “could be worse”. Is this you? Read Vlad’s post!

Have a magnificent first week of spring, and catch you in a few days!

Happy Pi Day! (For those not science geeks like I am, it’s 3/14, or 3.14… at least on this side of the pond.)

And now, onto a topic that’s more career-related for me. (Hey, if your career isn’t in shape, you can’t be happy or mentally fit!)

I get a great thrill out of cooking for others (hence, the pre-Pi Day Party yesterday, and frequent dinner parties) and have been strongly considering informal catering work–with my initial clients being those recovering from surgeries and medical issues, who can’t cook for themselves. (I know some rehab people who claim their patients would love this service… I hope they would pay for it, given the opportunity?)

I’ve looked at some catering and personal chef websites, and it seems that all of them are professionally trained to some degree, whether it’s a full two-year course at the Culinary Academy of America, or several two-week courses at a variety of renowned schools. At this juncture, I really can’t afford to travel around to all of these schools, much less take the classes.

So, if any of you guys in blog-reading-land were to hire someone who cooked food in a commercial kitchen and delivered to you, how much does credential and pedigree matter? In other words, I’m trying to figure out how much training I should bother to get. There is a local cooking school offering general classes, but I can’t imagine I’d get the level of detail as I would from Le Cordon Bleu.

I’m considering return on investment… in this case, spending the money might not pick up many new kitchen techniques, but having “school” after my name might win me a few more clients.

I’d love to hear anyone’s opinions (either way!!) on this!


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