"When the student is ready, the teacher appears."
Why did I choose the name Body and Bliss? What does it mean to me?
Your body is AMAZING; it’s stronger than you know. How do I know that? Because I didn’t start getting strong until I was 50. FIFTY! You may also be unaware of just how capable and amazing your body is.
The bliss? That’s life, teaching me what I’m here to learn and share, to help others. The strength I uncovered physically is a mirror for what I’ve discovered about my emotional strength too. You have to understand pain to understand bliss, and I’ve felt both.
Keeping my weight down wasn’t my issue. I was always petite but heard 1000x growing up how I was ‘too skinny’. So I became embarrassed about how my body looked. I hated showing my arms; I hid them under tops that covered them because my elbows were the widest part of my arms. I was small but I was NOT strong. I was scrawny.
I started ballet at age 3 and continued to dance until I was I my teens, so I liked being physically active.
The first time I picked up weights, I was 19 and they were probably 2 or 3 lbs in one of those all-pink-ladies-only-gyms. And I felt badass (now my wine glass at the end of the day probably weighs more than that!).
In my mid-30’s I tried a Pilates class. And the tiny, strong, adorable instructor demonstrated a chaturanga and I LAUGHED. Like as if ANYONE can do that - elbows back, belly tight, don’t smack your face on the floor on the way down?! Yeah, RIGHT! I remember even looking around the room for support - like “hey are you ALL seeing how bananas that is, what she is suggesting we do??!” Except they were all doing it - while I was aghast.
Then I had a trainer who became a really good friend and I followed her from one gym to another and got a bit stronger and a little more aware about this world of fitness. She suggested I give yoga a try.
I took a yoga class or two. Which I hated.
Didn’t get it, didn’t want to get it. I took a meditation class with two friends. 10 minutes into it, two of us bailed and were in the bar ordering martinis and laughing about what a bizarre experience THAT was.
Then the pain appeared; over a short period of six weeks, three life events that had me feeling like my life was spun out of control. I felt best when I went to yoga, so I kept going back as often as I could. I then decided I also wanted to teach so I could share the magic. I fully immersed myself in in yoga and meditation and felt like I had finally found ‘my thing’.
Just before my 50th birthday I took a deep dive into strength training with the help of another great trainer and also into myself. Doing the hard things, working harder than I ever had, asking tougher questions of myself than I ever had. And not accepting half-ass results or answers from myself.
I finally woke up. The best way I can describe it is that for the first time in my life, I finally felt ALIVE. When my muscles hurt from working out? I FELT.
When I admitted to myself I had been a numb participant in my marriage for the last few years and ended it? ALIVE. It was hard, all the honest emotions and pain and unraveling. But ALIVE. FEELING SOMETHING, finally.
Sometimes the things that make me feel alive are fits of laughter after too many drinks with my friends; or working out so hard that it hurts to walk the next day; or becoming so passionate about world health and healing and pain that I literally bite my lips until they bleed because I really care that much and get that upset and emotional. Even confronting a friend or lover about issues where I used to hide from them so there wouldn’t be an argument. To feel passionate, excited, or even angry - is to feel ALIVE.
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been now, emotionally and physically. This is 52. Stronger than ever, more concerned about humanity than ever, more aware than ever, more alive than ever. I wish the same for all of you. We CAN do hard things, we just have to be willing. It’s in you, just like it was in me all along.