You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘trust30

OK… I’m getting toward the end of this writing challenge, and some of the prompts are feeling repetitive. I guess that’s good, since that means I’ve given thought to many of the deeper issues they’re probing? (Dealing with many health issues will do that to you.)

Here’s the prompt from yesterday:

(tuesday 14 june) Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow. (Author: Colin Wright)

I feel like I’ve already answered this before… I must say, throughout the past year recovering from my medical mishaps, I’ve truly discovered mortality. It’s funny, throughout childhood, college, and my 20’s, I always felt “not old enough”, as though I could while away the days without a worry in sight. Then, one day, something changed: I felt as though I was chasing time and had to make every minute count. There was no transition between the two phases. I’m not saying that I feel “old” by any means, just that I very much appreciate the life that I have.

And I’ve mentioned the “one thing” I want to do in a previous post, so I’ll leave it at that.

Now, for today:

(wed 15 june) When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future. (Author: Bridget Pilloud)

I’ve had several of these, actually, and these experiences are gratifying, exciting, terrifying, refreshing… this is why I seek them out. They are moments of true self-discovery, and ways in which we truly live.

One of my first “self-blossoming” moments (other than acting/musical performance in high school and college) was my first experience as a college professor. Ten years ago, I was a full-time, tenure track faculty member at a community college, in charge of all organic chemistry classes and labs–that’s a lot for a 27-year-old! I was flattered to be given all the responsibility, I was terrified to have the responsibility (as well as a group of students learning solely from me), yet at the same time I was excited to wield the chalk in my own hand and lead the class using my favorite teaching techniques. It was a job where, some days, I was just a few pages ahead of the students–but that was part of the thrill.

I try to be a thrill-seeker in life… moment by moment. It makes us feel alive. (I’d love to hear other people’s thrill-seeking moments!!!)

Right. Two more writing prompts to respond to…

(No excuses other than caught up in work and hosting two groups of people for dinner this weekend… boy, were they tasty! 😀 😀 I think as the prompts get more challenging for me, I try to avoid writing… well, DUH!)

On a more crazy note: Saturday was our car’s 35th birthday. We sang to it. Yes, we’re those people who don’t care what others think.

(sunday 12 june) I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week? (Author: Ashley Ambirge)

Hm. I’ve already overcome a big work-related hurdle and knew I could do that. Maybe a perceptibly smaller hurdle–which is huge in my mind–would be to just let go of feeling self-conscious during band rehearsal, because I’ll probably play much better solos. It seems small, but it’s huge, in my mind.

Onward… (and do read Ash’s site, The Middle Finger Project!)

(monday 13 june) When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them. (Author: Jonathan Fields)

(dude… Jonathan, you’re as wordy as I am!) You know, I really don’t know how to answer this right now, but I think the serendipitous side paths can be good. Often they lead us astray, but I try to deliberately lose focus now and then to get an “outside opinion”.

This happens a lot when I’m writing music: I’ll have a concept for song lyrics, and then I’ll start writing rhyming verse. I get carried away, and before I know it–two choruses later, the initial point is lost. I get frustrated, and I walk away.

I really ought to take a step back sometime, and see if my life resembles my songwriting…. (I don’t think so, but I don’t have an objective view)

Back to Getting Fit tomorrow! (and a writing prompt too)

Urgh. Not only am I a day behind on writing prompts, but I slacked on my Recipe Friday promise to you! It’s all for good reasons, I tell you: I’m still dealing with the aftermath of business growth, and I’m working through some offers to teach Pilates at a few locations, not to mention hosting a few friends a few times for dinner this weekend (hey, the house stays clean-ish)… So, I owe you two posts today!

Again, two writing prompts in one. First is from Friday:

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours? (Author: Fabian Kruse)

Ah, I think I take the opposite of this post to an extreme. I have such a nonconformist, “adult goth” mindset that I really want to be unique, almost to the point of making myself obsolete and/or working myself to the bone. For instance, when I write music, I’m constantly trying to think of “brand new chord structures” (yeah, right, what hasn’t been done before?). More practically, in terms of business development, I sometimes find myself thinking of really “unique” business angles in the fitness industry–those niches that haven’t been used before. Then I remind myself that maybe there’s a reason that people haven’t pursued these niches, or that maybe people have tried and failed at these niches (no market). There’s a reason that people around the world at M&M’s, drink Coke, etc etc. Rather than try something in the same sector but totally left-field different, why not create something just marginally different?

Just saying that in some cases, imitation can be good, and I need to convince myself of that.

(What was I saying about brevity a few days ago?)

(saturday 11 june) These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:

Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?

Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?

Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?

Now Do. The Thing. You Fear. (Author: Lachlan Cotter)

You know, I’ve met a lot of fearful people recently, moreso that I used to. I think we’ve become a nation of wimps. I like to think of myself as a relative risktaker: I have enough safety nets in place for myself, I have relatively little debt, so why not go ahead with it?

I think I’ve been holding back from public performance of my piano/vocal songs, but I even did that for a few friends last week. (What was the risk? They weren’t going to go all over Seattle telling the city how terrible I am.) Not performing at coffeehouses has been more a logistical issue of finally getting around to repairing my amp (taking it to a store), but right when I realized that I needed to do so, I got caught in the throes of expanding my business–which always comes first.

So, I’ll perform for more friends before the end of the year, definitely. It wasn’t that hard.

In terms of other fearful things: I’ve done some cold-calling to market my business (but need to get around to making a trifold), I’ve quit careers that weren’t right for me…

Probably the scariest thing right now is parting with money (since income is low) to do fun things (like travel) while my health is OK. I’ve had enough health problems to scare me out of procrastination, yet whenever I look at airfares to anywhere, I put aside the laptop. I’m too scared to commit to forking over thousands of dollars, knowing the several months I’d be semi-working and waiting to replenish the stash (hopefully). I keep pretending that the explorer that I am has just as much fun sitting in my living room each day, looking at other peoples’ pictures. Sigh.

I write a LOT. My goal is brevity, today.

Anyway, here goes with today’s prompt:

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)

While I have several ideas, foremost in my mind is–go out there and be willing to take risks, and to be YOURSELF. Stand out from the pack every now and then (or more frequently, if that’s your style)… live life with no regrets.

How’s that for short’n’sweet (but a powerful thought)?

Go out and live life your way! I’ll have a tasty recipe for Recipe Friday tomorrow!

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!

Hidey Ho!

(happy birthday, blog!)

OK, back to the writing challenge again. I’ll tackle today’s, first. The prompt is lengthy, and it talks about the kinds of risks we might take if we stopped thinking rationally for just a moment…

(monday 6 june) Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for? (Author: Matt Cheuvront)

Ah, yes. I am a scientist, through and through. Despite my artsy tendencies, I heavily rely on logic and rational behavior, often without realizing it. This prompt was written for ME.

After thinking about this a while, one of the things that’s been on a life-long (eh, partial life-long) to-do list is living overseas again. In 2008, we spent a summer in Copenhagen. I won’t cite that as the best place to live by any means, but it was a fantastic experience, and it really gave me itchy feet to do it again. I’m kind of keen on a Berlin suburb (less expensive, and I liked the modernity of the city, though it might be young) but I don’t know…

What’s holding me back? Foremost, finances. Being injured and out of work for over a year hasn’t been good. At some point, since life is short, you have to just take a leap. We have the advantage of having met a grad student who works in real estate between Berlin and Munich, and when we last chatted at the end of last year, he’d be happy to help us find a place to stay.

I guess my first tangible step is plotting a daily budget, and figuring if someone could watch the house here (and/or rent it out)? I’m also trying desperately to find some teaching work for fall quarter…

Now that I’ve answered today’s prompt, I’ll go for yesterday’s! 🙂

(sunday 5 june) Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral? (Author: Jonathan Mead)

Hm. I was just telling Bruce today about how everything in my life is about preparing in some way for travel or exploration (and, in some ways, my recent business expansion is a sort of “exploration”). Getting stronger and rehabbing from surgery means that I’d be ready to travel again. Every time I read an old book and sell it at the used bookstore puts 25 cents toward my travel fund. Each meal I prepare from items already in the pantry saves money that could otherwise be used traveling. There is a common theme, part of it being “preparing” for living, as Jonathan recommends against.

But in my case, I need to make an argument for preparation. If you are usually active but suddenly unable to walk (like I was for a few months), how can you enjoy traveling to the same degree? Wouldn’t it be fine to postpone for a month or two?

I guess not if you only have a week to live.

So, if I only had a week to live, I’d see as much of the world as I could in whatever condition I was, and drag along the people I love, assuming they could stand each other.

I find myself filing email at least once a week, clearing off my desktop for 15-20 minutes or so. But–this sounds cheesy–it’s almost Zen-therapeutic. I don’t really think of the email. It’s modern-day meditative. So while others would call it “wasted time”, it helps me clear my space and my head. (So… why don’t I just go outside and take a walk instead? You know… that’s a really good question! 😉 )

OK, readers–I’m curious how you’d answer these questions! Get your thinking caps on!

Ack! Give me my dunce cap. I posted my yummy salad yesterday, but didn’t post anything regarding the writing challenge. Mea culpa. I’ve been in the middle of last-minute interviewing and hiring a new contractor for the business who starts teaching on Monday, and I got a surprise (which is super-secret for now!) while I was out auditioning contractors… Anyway, hiring done as of yesterday! (Paperwork still to be worked out…)

Excuses, excuses. Yesterday’s writing prompt reads:

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it. (Author: Jenny Blake)

Obviously to be finished tomorrow….. or, whenever is the end of my 48-hour-period, since I haven’t yet come up with a thought. Maybe business expansion and moving into different business-to-business markets? I need to sleep on this one. (I keep thinking like an entrepreneurial geek. My true colors are shining through…. !!!)

Or, daring to dig deeper… fear of risk-taking. More on that later.

Anyway, before the dinner guest shows up, onto today’s writing prompt, which is a timely one:

If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there? (Author: Chris Guillebeau)

Ah, Chris. (Great guy, btw, if you ever get to meet him! Glad I did.) The past few days, I’ve been struggling with the idea of traveling before the end of summer, as I may have some fall work that can’t be interrupted. After all of my health problems over the past few years, I’ve been reminded that anything can happen, no matter how much we take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, I’m also reminded that everyone travels over the summer, and that’s no good for someone who’s been very underemployed the past 14 months. I hope I can work something out…

This doesn’t answer the question… I’ve seen 49 states, I’ve seen a lot of major cities in Europe, and I can’t say I have ONE spot I need to go. I’ve always told people that I’ll travel anywhere, as long as it’s interesting and safe. I don’t have a single “I won’t go there” country. Yet I have a strong pull to live in Germany, for whatever reason… I’ve really liked my visits there.

I guess I’m pleading the 5th. 😉

OK, all, dinner guest scheduled to arrive in two minutes! I made it in under the nose! (A few Indian recipes tonight! They may come up in a future post…)

Hey, folks!

First, an update on me: I’ve had two physical therapy sessions post-hip surgery (surgery date: 28 Feb) and I’ve made incredible improvement! I’m doing one leg balancing, a bit of one-legged squatting, walking lunges–all sorts of stuff that I couldn’t dream of doing two weeks ago! I’m thrilled! (This will definitely help my weight loss goal!)

Today’s Trust30 writing prompt–if you’re unfamilar with the Trust30 writing challenge, check it out here–deals with personal beliefs. The prompt itself reads:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (posted by Buster Benson)

A tough one for me! I think that as far as my beliefs go, there is at least one person close to me who shares my thoughts on everything. So, my response is a bit convoluted.

I am a biodiesel user–we own two diesel cars, and whenever we are near a biodiesel station, we fill up. Most people who use biodiesel do so because they really want to save the planet. For me, that’s a secondary reason… Many of the local (Seattle-area) biodiesel brewers use waste vegetable oil, and this really appeals to me: the idea of reusing someone else’s trash just makes sense. So I primarily use biodiesel because it’s a great use for what would otherwise be trash–I so appreciate this! (Not that I don’t care about the environment, but the logistics/reuse side really appeals to me, and I think this is what sets me aside from others…)
Come back tomorrow–I’ll have a great salad recipe!


Today’s writing prompt is short, yet I’ve still given it a lot of thought. It reads:

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day. (posted by Liz Dansico)

Our perception of the world is highly skewed by our immediate environment.

Today, Bruce and I took a tour of a local recycling/waste management facility, along with some current UW business school students. Bruce is an alumnus of the program, two years out. We were chatting with one of the current students who had recently moved to the area from Silicon Valley, comparing Seattle with the Bay Area (my home area), and she talked about the much higher level of entrepreneurship and drive here. Not that I have any desire to return to my homeland, but the only time I noticed significant entrepreneurial spirit here is when B was in business school–surrounded by like-minded people. Perhaps I move in the wrong circles for business motivation? Thus, my quote of the day.

(This beat out the much less intriguing “reducing waste is good” and “today is Brian’s birthday”.)

Twenty-eight more days in the #trust30 writing challenge! And there will be a recipe Friday this week! I have a good one… 🙂

Hey everybody! I’m back and refreshed from the three-day weekend… a birthday party, time at the neighbors’ cabin, lots of food! Hope you had good times!

Today, I learned about a writing challenge launched by The Domino Project, a publishing site. The inspiration comes from celebrating Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 208th birthday–someone who urged others to trust their instincts rather than follow the path of the majority. This challenge, called Trust30 (you can follow the #Trust30 hashtag on twitter) consists of 30 days of writing prompts, all inviting original thinking.

Of course, I was intrigued, and I’m thrilled to have found it on the first day, so I don’t have to catch up! So, lucky readers, I’ll be writing my Trust30 pieces here every day for the next month (interspersed with fitness content).

Here is the prompt for Day One:

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

So now, you can read my barely-edited copy below… here’s my story of the day.

In the past eighteen months, I have had two brushes with serious illness and/or immobility. I dealt with the two very differently, in spite of similar consequences.

January 2010 was when I realized that for months (6? 8?) my car had been slowly leaking exhaust–and therefore carbon monoxide–into the passenger compartment. I made the discovery on a Friday night of a three-day weekend, and therefore wouldn’t be able to visit the doctor until Tuesday. I pored over the internet to make sure I would survive the weekend, as the last few days of driving, the hose had completely disintegrated (and dumped all of the exhaust onto me). But I remember thinking that “if it was my time to go, so be it”, that I’d lived a good life. Totally nihilistic. Giving up.

Obviously I survived. Moving on to summer of that same year (2010), trying to recover from that April’s hip surgery, which had lots of issues (I ended up recently having a second surgery). Despite spending several months sitting around at home not knowing if I’d ever be able to walk normally again, or ever be able to work again, I fought it. Right when I was able, I started working out. I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to come back. I wanted to flip the bird at whatever life handed to me, and tell it that I could conquer whatever challenge it handed my way–despite all the bad news the second opinion doctors were giving to me. (I have strong prospects for a full recovery now, by the way.)

So, I ask you: when faced with a difficult life situation (health or otherwise), which version of me are you going to be? I sure hope that you’re going to be the second me. In my work, my #1 goal has always been to inspire… and I hope I’ve done that with my “final” story.

I have two minutes left out of the 15–long enough to give my husband a hug and kiss.
Please join me in this challenge! Again, you can read about it here and find the prompt of the day. I’d love to read what everyone else has to say!

I'd love to connect with you! Find me on Facebook, follow me on twitter, or sign up for email updates below!

Join 19 other followers

Top Rated

Brooke is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to