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Monday, December 23, 2013

What Is Your 2014 Challenge?

It's the kind of night that feels still.  It is 9:30PM.  There is a haunting lone train whistle in the night but at the same time feels like the song, all is calm all is bright.  People that write songs are amazing.  People who write are amazing.  I think writing must be like singing, drawing, all of the arts you either have a talent for it or you don't.  Then again I have read and believe from personal experience that as Woody Allen says, there is a story in your head you want to tell and only 60 percent of it comes out.

I also heard someone say the other day that when she was chosen to go to an Artist's Retreat Colony for a year to write a book she had started as soon ss she got there the book she was going to write disappeared or turned to crap in her head so she called her agent and was told...."write it anyway".  She said that was the greatest advice because if you keep tearing up and starting over you end up with nothing.  Better to go with awful and stick with it then mine it for gold and as she said she ended up with a book she had written.  It was not the book she wanted to write but it was a book and now she is writing another.

That is what ballet class feels like.  Always missing the mark.  Yes I feel progress but it is far short of what I think I could do would do will do next time.  Only once in a great while do I leave ballet class with a sense of accomplishment.  9 time out or 10 I leave not feeling depressed just a feeling of thinking I could or should be doing so much better.  Of course now I an not able to dance at all and I think it is going on 3 months.  My hip is healing each day so we shall see if I get to return to the barre in 2014.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will walk the river early in the morning and again in the afternoon alone and the same on Christmas Day.  This alone time will recharge my batteries to prepare for my family and trip to Las Vegas for New Years Eve.  Me who is way out of my comfort zone around people celebrating the incoming New Year in Vegas baby will be a trip.  This coming year my horoscope tells me the Cosmos has scheduled me to instigate some major creative activity in 2014.  Instigating is not my strong point.  But I AM UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!!!!  I hope.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Best Gifts EVER!!!!!!

Here we go....a few days before Chritmas....wheee.  Feel like I am on the upside of a roller coaster.  A total surprise I get to see my daughter and grand children for Christmas.....and a trip to Las Vegas for New Years Eve.  My life just turned into a whirlwind with one phone call.  Me who stays home alone for the Holidays is really going to be taking a risk.....going out of my comfort zone for sure... to ring in the New Year 2014.

Yes I feel like I am already on the joy train and want to savor each moment.  This moment NOW just being with the experience and not trying to shape it or form it into anything other than what it is.....PURE JOY!!!

Maybe I am being re-born.....shedding some skin and coming out of my cocoon free.  where my normal habits and ways of doing things are being shaken up and my rigid discipline and strict ballet class mentality is taking a huge vacation. Maybe what I had planned for myself with 5 ballet classes a week with no excuses and sticking to the program no matter what has slowly turned into the opposite with no ballet classes.   If I just stay out of the way and let things evolve I will be happy and LOVE w surrounds us in many ways.

I know what I did with my hip.  Forced myself to class, tried to make adjustments and tried to ignore the pain.  The healing process feels slow because I am not ignoring it.  My mind focuses on it 24/7.  Now is the time to allow change to happen and observe the beauty when I stay out of the way.  Beauty Is when you are not.  When only the energy and the perfume and the essence is the focus.

Tis the Season...this is where I live and what it looks like right now.  The beauty of Mt. Hood is my gift everyday. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Want To Be Like Kathy

 Today I was more relaxed when aware my thoughts went to exercise. This  more peaceful place led me to my walk when I arrived home and follow through on my stretches.  One of the ways to stay motivated is to ingrain and remember the feeling of how it feels when keeping commitments and following through on healthy choices.  I am savoring this feeling.

A message from one of my best friends in my Inbox at work this morning.  To follow our inner guidance, take risks, have the clarity to choose which risks to take...and follow the hero's path into the new year 2014.  I am all about it!!!!

On my walk tonight it came to me that I may never find another exercise class to replace ballet class and that is okay.  My exercise can always be a long walk and stretches that I enjoy instead of forcing myself to go to a gym or a yoga class that I am not in tune with just because it is an exercise class.  I do not NEED a class I can be my own class and my own teacher.  This opens me to learning what is NEW??  My Inner Guidance needs a clear playing field so old ideas, old rules, old wants needs to be left alone.  When I hear...."you have need to...." all can be listened to and then left alone. 

Looking forward to comic relief tonight with a Kathy Griffin special.   I want a friend like her or want to be funny like her.  I took an Improv class once hoping I could learn to be funny and it was NOT FUN.  I was terrible at improv.  When I watch Kathy she makes it look so easy to find the funny in everything and I love her expressions.  Then I think.....hey I can do that.  YEAH RIGHT!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Life With No Goal

What if I give up on everything my heart is not in?  Ballet class is a discipline and you just show up.  No excuses.  The training is strict and the mind needs to be sharp.  When I cannot go to class my mind turns to mush.  I want to keep some kind of activity going and have no idea what to do.

I am cold.  Physically and mentally so I need to stop writing nonsense.  There is nothing to report.  All is blank.  I know how much pain people are suffering and do not see how they get the courage to go through it.  I don't know anything.  Living in that place of not knowing feels deadening but also liberating.

I'm cold, hungry and tired.  Tonight with no exercise feels like I am losing a battle to stay healthy.  What am I going to do about it?  Eat a good dinner and smile, and just keep at it.  Stay focused on what is in front of me even when I feel like I am losing ground.  Can I let go of all goals and live my life from a place of not knowing anything?  Not having a goal feels so scary.  How can I live without one?
  Twenty five years of dance and I may be moving on.....or not.  I don't know.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Falling And Getting Up Again and Again

  Freezing cold after work today so no walk no stretches no exercise for this athlete.  Maybe I am in transition to a different endeavor.  Too many expectations when I label myself an athlete so I will let that go.  I am my own personal trainer and coach.  Who has ever heard being too cold an excuse for not exercising when one has a cozy apartment with a carpet to stretch out on?.

Martha Graham said, "we are all athletes in training.  Whatever you spend MOST of your time doing is your athletic endeavor."   Currently my endeavor is putting one foot in front of the other and that means doing a lot of what feels like absolutely nothing.
Monday night 5PM normally I would be heading to ballet class.  Is there a normal?  What do I mean by normal?  When my routine gets changed I feel I am not normal.  WHAT???Who wants to live their life in a routine anyway?  I would be the last to raise my hand and yet when I cannot accomplish what I plan to do I feel like something is wrong and I need to fix it NOW!  Life is so much more complicated so through all my lessons what have I learned?  My response to change wavers back and forth between feeling angry and sad with sprinkles of relaxing and smiling knowing this too shall pass.

Derrick Rose an NBA athlete has not spoken for 17 days.  One year he was the youngest player to be voted "MVP".   Last year he had to take the whole season off to heal a torn knee.  He just came back this year to play again only a few games then tore his other knee and is out for the rest of this year.  He is 24 years old.  His mother told him "inspiration comes in times of adversity".  He shrugged his shoulders.
 When I read this story today my heart went out to him. My prayer is he will find a way to heal and the courage that will take may help others along the way.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting Old Is So Easy

Sunday walk on the river and stretches for my exercise.  My hip is along way from ballet class.  I repeated automatically today over and over....I need an exercise PROGRAM.  Why are they so hard to find??  I was driving by the Naturopathic College and thought WHY do they not have physical fitness classes?  Soooo maddening.  Maybe if I get angry enough I will give up on exercise all together.  I have been known to go to extremes and I am feeling so much like that right now.

I swear there is not one subject I am interested in taking.  Nothing interests me in the slightest.  Oh a free workshop on how to write?  Could care less.  Open enrollment at any Health Club in town after Christmas.  NOT INTERESTED.  Free yoga classes starting tomorrow in my neighborhood.  I don't care!!!!!!

Getting old is about not leariing and not inspired to learn.  Hey Me....I am getting old!!!!!

 Downton Abbey is on TV tonight.  I did not get on that train when everyone else did.  I have only watched bits and pieces but I adore BRITISH TV.   British everything really.  It does seem to be the most refined drama on TV and I normally do not have time to watch.  But tonight...I have all the time in the world to become a vegetable and just watch other people live their lives even if it is made for TV.  Tonight is called a marathon of the past 3 episodes to lead up to the premier of the new shows in January.   SERIOUSLY???  This is going to be my life? 
 Next I will be purchasing their line of jewelry at Macy's!!!!!!!!  Please help me.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mind Games And Exercise

A walk along the river this morning at 11AM then yoga stretches.  My hip feeling on the mend until....tonight.  An afternoon of shopping stressed my hip area and now feel like I may never be able to go to ballet class again or any exercise class.

Looked up classes at PCC tonight and they offer not one class I would have access to either because  time of day or location.  It is just nutso.  Mind games are incessant.  So what if I can never take another dance class?  My mother had so many different interests.  I wonder why I do not.  I could name a million things I have no interest in learning how to do and only one that I want to learn and that is as good as over with for me.  ONWARD!!!

Writing my thoughts down does not FEEL like it is helping a thing.  Remind myself this is NOT an exercise about RESULTS it is about looking for patterns.

"You can't wait for inspiration you have to go after it with a club" ,,,Jack London

Claire Willi started dancing at the age of 75.  Today at age 96 she is more lean and agile than most people half her age.  I cut this article our of Dance Magazine a zillion years ago and hung it on my wall for inspiration.  You can't get better than AWESOME!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Are You Doing Somethng?

When I signed up for Financial Aide to attend college I had no idea I would go so far in debt.  It just didn't matter to me.  Money was not an object.  I was a single parent and qualified for every loan available in the 80's and I had no worries about paying it back.  My focus was on getting a BA and having fun learning.

Today not knowing where my life is heading an email at work this morning  to sign up for a "Yoga Therapy Training Program".  I printed out the application. The Course Fees were $3,000.00. If my heart was in it and I wanted to head in this direction I would fill out the application and not look back.  The impetus is not there.  I have taken yoga classes from this studio  and the teachers did not grab me like Joan did.  Maybe I am much wiser now and no teacher would be able to make such an impression upon me.

I want a training program.  I want to train for something that is all encompassing.  I wanted a job like that .  I wanted my employment to be not only my livelihood but my reason for living.  Where everyday I would be the one percent of the population whose career is their passion.  That was my plan.  I was able to let that go over the years and be happy in my work.  Okay so not everyone can support themselves with their passion.  Dance class was my savior.  Something to challenge me.  In order to get to class it became my lifestyle.  I had to focus on my nutrition and keep myself prepared just to get to class each day

With each passing day my hip hurting and no ballet class I become more of a vegetable.  Today after work I get groceries then ask my neighbor to fix my computer then wirte this blog as I watch Kobe have to watch his passion change radically.

 Reading an article in Runners World said when she STOPPED eating, breathing, training and focusing on running running started to become more enjoyable again.  WHAT???

Okay, like the memoirs I am reading of a thirty something that is a fashion writer in London and had money and access to fly all over the world going to every kind of art event and had all the clothes she wanted, the perfect apartment and social life but it was not enough.  When her boyfriend left her she wanted a new life in rural France and now there she is wishing she was back in London.  HELLO!!

There is this awareness within myself that we are all connected and the experiences we have are not unlike each other   What once was is not anymore.  Letting go and not trying to fix it is the worst because we are conditioned to try and make it better.  When all the training all the conditioning fails us...  What to do?  Is it in the NOT DOING that leads us to a new place???

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Heading Down The Runway Of Life

Every intention to walk after work and started raining.  So what?  It was not windy only cold.  Doing minimal exercises in my front room is like pretending to keep my muscles in shape but not even close to what ballet class requires.  What to do?  Keep questioning everything.

Tonight my inspiration will be watching another episode of Project Runway Stars.  Having to be creative under pressure AND on National TV?  Could I?  I don't think so.   I am in awe when I watch artists create no matter what their craft.

 Self-Help books say pay attention to who and what you admire because that is the direction you are heading.  REALLY???  I have to see it first.  Right now I see a dark and rainy winter night,  traffic heading in every direction,  me sitting at my computer having no idea where I am heading.
  When I least expect it the design will come to me and I will win the challenge.....or at least have fun watching those that do.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Teachers Stay With Us Forever

Being a student for the past 25 years or more graduating from college, studying dance, yoga, Artist's Way, attending various workshops plus teaching various yoga classes and workshops for 20 years my journey has been mostly in a classroom of some kind.  Now I am in the humongous classroom called LIFE 101 and it is soooo much harder.  No teacher, no assignments, no combinations to learn, no set exercises or papers to write or reports to give or presentations to design and implement I feel LOST.

"Pain is the greatest teacher" she said.   She asked us to sit down against the wall after class and announced she had breast cancer.   I heard she had been a dancer since the age of three.  She came to Marylhurst to teach dance after being in a severe car accident where she was told she would never walk again.  In the hospital she asked for a radio and began moving her little finger to the music....the only thing she could move at the time.  Three years later she was teaching my class.  She had a double mastectomy yet died a year later.  She was in her forties.    She is the one who was my role model,  inspired me to dance and to become a yoga teacher.

I've heard if you have even one great teacher in your life you are fortunate and I have had many.  I had no idea I even wanted to take a dance class for my degree until my adviser suggested it.  I hated the class so much because I felt so self-conscious and like the worst one in the class.  Going across the floor one at a time freaked me out.  But I got an A, did not have to read a book or make a report and adored Joan so I signed up again.  That was the beginning of non stop dance classes of all kinds  to today moving what I can move.
 Joan Harmony, my mentor, my teacher, my inspiration, my catalyst to be more than I could dream.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Inspiration On The Street And On My Bulletin Board

Home from work at 3PM went directly for my walk.  I have to put myself on automatic pilot.  The minute my mind gets going I start with ...its too cold, I do not have to do anything I don't feel like, I do not like walking in winter so wait until it gets a little warmer blah blah wind so had to go for it.  Wind is hard for me to ignore.

Aware it is helpful to my psyche to notice every person walking, or jogging on my drive home from work. They give me inspiration and I tell myself see....they can do it so can you.  For months now my left hip hurts from over stressing in ballet class.  Then for many weeks my right foot started hurting out of nowhere.  Not enough to stop me from walking only annoying.  I changed shoes immediately thinking that was the problem but weeks went by and still hurt.

Almost home from my walk today I realize my foot does not hurt.  Just as I have no idea how it came about weeks ago I have no idea when it went away.  But it is pain free now.  I love when that happens.  

Ohhh my body did not feel like stretching tonight after my walk so I did very few.  I have been  flexible all of my life.  Given the name Gumby in ballet class and always asked to demonstrate the splits as my body naturally went there no problem until a few years ago.  I stopped stretching on a regular bases when I stopped teaching yoga and I also had read for my body type to gain strength I needed to focus on less stretch and more strengthening exercises.  Well what little I gained in strength I have lost big time in flexibility and where my muscles were extremely loose they now feel stiff and  tight.   I put this picture on my bulletin board many years ago for inspiration.   I need it now.
 Despite a knee injury Maryetta Evans, 85 wow 'em with a split during the show's grand finale'

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thought Processes At 29 degrees

Whine whine whine....its too cold to exercise.  Too cold to walk, too cold in my apartment to not be wrapped in a blanket, hey girl, this is the time you need to force yourself to go to a gym and workout or find a yoga class.  But I did call around to find a class of some kind the past few weeks it just did not happen.  I cannot find one.   Reality is tonight it is only 5pm and I sit here at my computer holding my head in both hands with eyes closed so tired I can barely feel myself breathing...

Woke up this morning and wrote:  It does not matter what we believe what matter is if we love.

Do we make our own choices or is life pre-destined?  It just doesn't  matter.  Not going for my walk after work, not doing any exercise at all I find myself brain dead.  Kobe talked today about being an athlete coming back from an injury like cutting down a tree one has to keep chopping and keep chopping, stay at it and stay focused internally on what you have to do.  Nutrition is major and stretches.

What is lost nothing, feeling the air entering my nostrils and leaving....fingers wrapped around a cup of hot Vitamin C water, gratitude... aware of gratitude...mind is overwhelmed with blessings too numerous to mention.  Being in a state of gratitude is pure grace.  Do I bring that on myself or is it given to me as a gift?

                                          Leave it alone.....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

An Exercise Fanatic

Twenty degrees in Portland town today but sunshine and no wind.  After not walking due to cold temps for several days except for shopping at The Mall (totally does not count for exercise) I knew I had to put on my knit tights, plus leggings, cami, thermal tee, hoodie, plus jacket, wool hat and go walk the river.  After seeing runners  earlier in the morning, and bicyclists all decked out like Lance Armstrong I knew I had to get my own training in gear.

Met R. and J. for coffee.  R asked me why I decided to go to my companies holiday party and if it was because of the documentary we saw last week called "Finding Joe" about the teachings of Joseph Campbell and others.  It was mentioned as an artist to do at least one thing every 7 days that takes you out of your comfort zone.  That would be socializing for me.  It is so uncomfortable for me to try and make conversation in groups of people.

I told her I think it must be because every ballet class was so challenging for me and uncomfortable that without it now I feel a need to find other things to do that take me out of complacency.  Who knows where my journey is going.  I just want to keep opening to what is new each day.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Do We Make Our Own Choices...

...or are we driven?  Do you remember when sequins were everywhere on everything?  I am not afraid of sequins I just don't like to wear them when they are trending.  So now when I want them they are gone.  Victoria Secret has a sequin Bomber jacket that is blinding.  Not finding anything else sequin at the Mall except old lady sweaters I thought I would give it a go.  It was so heavy I did not take it off the hanger.  I cannot stand thick heavy clothes.  I like to feel free in my clothes and in my LIFE.

Standing in the kitchen of my new apartment after leaving my second marriage my father asks, "What do you want?"  "To be free"..  "What does that mean?"  "I don't know it's just a feeling I want."  "You need to start using your head"  He hardly ever told me what to do.

Keeping a journal of my daily thoughts is a way to become aware of personal thought patterns NOT to change them or judge them ONLY to be aware of them and LEAVE THEM ALONE.
He's BAAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!!  Unlike any other.  He is the Art of Basketball.  What does it FEEL like to change your game???

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who Am I

Sooo cold today no walk and no stretches at home my body. mind, spirit is craving ballet class.  Hip still hurting but read my horoscope today and that could be changing in two weeks.  Yay!!!

Health begins in the kitchen and I am liking my new diet.  It is called The Harley Diet and I guess Kim Kardashian used it so why is he not calling it the KK diet to sell billions of copies?     Fruit in the morning, starches an hour later and greens with protein for lunch and dinner.   For the first time in awhile I feel energized and did not measure my inches but after only a few weeks I do have a  flat stomach.  Yay!!!

Watching Project Runway last night wrote down "As an artist work on finding who you are".   "Who Am I" was one of my favorite classes at Marylhurst College.  I really thought there was an answer to that question.  25 years later..I wonder what that would feel like?    I have no idea Who I Am.  Kobe the athlete I most admire says, "You have to see it first".  And tonight I wrote down, "Yay for slow decisions and painful processes", expressed by another artist.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Face Of The Day

What could be causing red dots popping out on my face the past few weeks?  Tonight a few are now turning into large red welts.  Sweet.  I have not put any moisturizers or lotions or serums or foundation of any kind on my face because studying the principles of the yoga philosophy it is important to breathe.  Yes and the recommended way is through the nostrils not your mouth.  Also through your skin.  So I decided no lotions or oils slathered on my skin including sunscreens of any kind would be best for me.

Since focusing on 4 ballet classes a week and working full time I found watching YouTube tutorials my choice of relaxation.  I love to learn and watching all the makeup gurus was interesting, fun, and relaxing.  Little did I know it was starting to affect my life.  I started experimenting a few weeks ago with making my own Vit C serum, using a new cleanser, and putting one pump of Roc moisturizer on my face every morning.  Sweet.  Now I have red spots and welts on my face.

First elimination was the Vit C because I told myself I used too much and just not using it for a few days the spots would go.  A few days later decided I should stop the cleanser and moisturizer and start over.  It has been three days now of no product and my face still is not right. I had no idea I had sensitive skin until I wanted to improve upon it. 

Here is my granddaughter Ms. Lauren right after getting her braces removed last week.  She is thrilled.
Here she is with a self portrait she took on her phone.  These pictures are so precious to me because living so far away and only being able to visit once a year is something many of us have to make the best of and be thankful we at least have ways to communicate.  They live in Arkansas and she just now sent me a text they have lost power due to ice so they are all cuddled in bed.  Tonight in Oregon I am cold enough.
Last night I found the sweetest book.  It is so delightful.  I have only read the first chapter and it is so well written and FUNNY.  Oh if only I could write like her.  I wonder if I could learn?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


This is too crazy.  I am remembering how to post a blog on this cold December 2013 at 9:30PM.  No idea what settings mean what and bummer.  No one taught me how to post or make my blog I did it all myself about a year ago and now not posting for about 6 months it feels like I have never done this before.

 It is slowly coming back to me but I get it.  I need to either put some time and effort into blogging or lose the ability to do it at all.  Well it all makes sense.  Since I have not been able to put time and effort into ballet class in the past month I am feeling the need to put effort into something creative and this is as close as I can get.  

Having to get a new router and install myself and then have everything look different including YouTube and Firefox page and Microsoft 2010 screen I cannot get rid of I need help.  This is not all the way back to where I started blogging saying I had no idea what I was doing so I do have some muscle memory for this just like in ballet when I return it feels like starting over but the muscles respond slowly.  Barbarina......are you going to keep blogging or WWWWWHHHHAAAATTTT???

I am too private a person to make this my new journal.  A journal is supposed to be free flowing writing my feelings as they come and at least that would keep me in the training mode of writing each day and I know that is what it takes is effort just to show up and write.  But for me that means showing up to make improvements and study and learn and do my best and a journal is not an art form it is just putting words down on paper.  Blogging needs to mean something....or does it.  What if my blog is just random writings each evening about whatever comes to me and leave it at that.  No one will read it and it will be a different kind of blog.  I am all about being different even if it is wrong so yes, I will just go for it.  Every night just post my random thoughts for the day and of course a photo that relates to my thoughts and see where this path takes me.  My journey in writing freestyle. 

Tonight is the first night of my freestyle blogging and maybe I will be brave enough not to censor my thoughts.  It is now 10PM and cold outside but clear enough to see the lights of the Christmas tree lit on the roof of Johns Landing.  The night feels calm.  Normal traffic.  Staring out my picture window is a blessing.  Life is always moving.  People are always going somewhere.  Even me when it does not feel like it.  I have been struggling with letting go of my passion to study ballet because of an injury that may or may not heal.  It has taken me a week of being aware that my life is more than one passion and I am grateful number one. 

How can I get to grateful when this injury is keeping me from my passion?  Wow!!  There is so much more for me to discover.  Goodnight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Going Where The Spirit Takes YOu

A doctor once told her she would not be able to dance as her body aged.  She never went to that doctor again and refused to listen because the only thing she ever wanted to do was dance.  This is a tale about the human spirit.  When you are born an artist you have to be free to create.  This book is excellent for anyone who feels they coulda', shouda', woulda' if only...

Marta is a dancer, performer, choreographer, composer, painter, and sewed all her costumes for her one woman show.  Her father asked her, "Is there anything else useless that you could do?"  He never understood why she clung to her artistic talents thinking it was a waste of her time.  Her mother was a needy person that was a constant drain on Marta's energy.  Her husband ends up hating her and her art and ends up leaving her. leaves her.
One of many paintings  she did that cover the  walls and ceiling of her Opera House where she performs.

Marta did find a certain amount of  acclaim with all of her talents.  A documentary about  her was up for an Oscar that I want to see.    From what I can tell she is still creating and teaching today. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Take Two Ibprofen Every Four Hours And Smile

Is it broken?  How do I know?  Is it swollen?  I don't even know.  It just hurts like crazy and I cannot put a shoe on.  Over the years I have had so many dance injuries and the remedy is always the  Oh please no, I have only used it a very few times and it is the thought of icing that is too painful  so I have taken two Ibprofen and wonder how I am going to hobble to work tomorrow?

It happened so fast.  Getting ready to fly out the door to ballet class tonight suddenly I stub my baby toe and OOOwwwwEE it hurts.  But just shake it off and it will be fine so I put on my leotard and tights and thought I should try seeing how my toe was going to feel in my soft shoes.  Oh no, I cannot even get my foot in the shoe and I knew what that meant.  No ballet class tonight.  Now four hours later wondering how long this little event is going to keep me away from my passion???

UUUGHH...I'm now relegated to watching The Dukes Of Melrose for the first time on Bravo and  The Million Dollar Listing New York  At least I feel like I learn a few things about fashion and the real estate industry.  Unlike the insane shows on The Learning Channel (TLC). long am I going to be sidelined this time?  I will have to key into training my Mind that I have been taking notes about.  I always journal about things for years before I actually feel like I get around to applying it to my life.  I'm also reading some new books one of which is "I'm Over All That..."by Shirley MacLaine.  I wish I was over ballet training because for every time I have to take off because of a virus, a vacation. an injury, the effort it takes to begin again feels like starting at the bottom of Mt. Everest.
 I know my mountain feels so trivial compared to what others are having to climb.  Where we are headed no one knows and with each event that FEELS like a set back is a learning experience.  AARRRGH!!!  I wish I could choose my own learning experiences.  Much more fun learning pirouettes.  If you have any experience with training your mind I would love to hear them. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

When The Body Has Its Reasons

Hello, it's me.  I feel like another lifetime has come upon me in a way.  Last month I felt a strange  tiredness for no reason and had no symptoms.  Then I went on vacation for Spring Break and caught a virus that has taken me weeks to feel back to normal, my normal, that is, working full time and taking 5 ballet classes a week.  "Setbacks are opportunities to learn" I wrote in my journal.  So what's new?

I have had time to reflect and realized while sick I wondered if my body would want to be pushed again ever?  Since I am my own art and science project putting together a program that works for me is forever trial and error.  I use food as medicine and attempt some form of exercise each day and it is not easy.  So what am I trying to prove?  I don't have anything.  And I have no reason to do what I am doing.  I just put one foot in front of the other and find consistency is a needed friend when it comes to dance.  Working toward a "body/mind/spirit" excellence as we age I find is more and more of a mystery than one to be solved.  "Excellence is an art won by training and habit" I wrote in my journal.

The sacrifice is enormous when pursuing excellence.  I could not be the Kobe who admits his mission to win championships takes a great toll.  Siting in ice baths after each game instead of going home to his family plus getting to the gym 4 hours early just to prepare mentally and physically for the game. At age 34 and 17 years of professional basketball and seriously changing his eating habits is not enough to keep up the intensity much longer he admits.   But he is a work of ART to watch perform.

 When I look out my window I see inspiration surrounding me.  A row of bright pink cherry blossom trees line my sidewalk to remind me that change is always in process.  There is a "running man" that I see in my neighborhood that runs rain, shine, hail, or scorching sun in soft sandals, shorts, tee, and head scarf.  He looks like he is training for those long distance runs that take place in the dessert where the temps drop to below zero at night and up over the hundreds in the sun.  WHO does that?  I would love to hear his story.  But how do you stop a running man to ask him why he runs all the time?

"Practice means to perform, in the face of all obstacles some act of vision, of faith, of desire.  Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired" quoted Martha Graham.  I have had enough counseling and psyche classes to know striving for "perfection" is not healthy.  There is something deeper going on.   I have no name for my "program" yet and being my own project I bounce back and forth from dire seriousness for about 5 minutes... to excuses... to much doubt... and questions questions always questions.????   I do not even have a specific goal I can name other than to "get stronger" in order to have more fun dancing.  I have no idea at this time what it is going to take but I do have my foods that I am experimenting with for energy.   Do you have something you practice?  Do you feel driven in any way?  Is there a running man in you?  Does your body have its reasons?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Make Each Moment An Occasion

Okay....I'm in love again.  This time with two men I found on Advanced Style.  Yes I use the term "in love" loosely and it is my nature to like to exaggerate so it is just my way of describing how excited I get when I find men that I am attracted to.  The men I admire are always from afar.  I have not been successful in relationships as I have been told my expectations are way too high when it comes to the male species.  Also when in college I took a highly interesting class called "Family Dynamics" and I remember one premise is when growing up female without brothers it is harder to relate to men except in a romantic way.  Also I have heard if one wants to learn how to have a relationship with a man begin with getting a dog.  I love dogs but only when they are not my own.  I cuddle with my best friends dog when I visit and then I walk away....with no desire to have one of my own. 

I never know exactly what it is that sets a man apart from the rest.  Kobe Bryant is my athletic crush.  Why?  There are hundreds of NBA players so what is it about him that makes me have to watch every game he plays?  Who knows why he fascinates me in a way that the others do not.  Over the years I have had very few men that capture my attention but now I have two new ones.  If you want to put a little more ART in your life check out these two men.
Derrill Osborn
I have no interest in watches.  And pocket watches not even close.  Well, Mr. Derrill Osborn made me hang on every word describing his love for pocket watches.  He is a retired American fashion executive.  His voice captured my attention and left me wanting to hear more more more....I am not sure if he is the one that said..."Make each moment an occasion" but that is my motto.  People ask me why I don't celebrate holidays?  I say, "I celebrate everyday."
Wanny Di Filippo
Wanny is from Florence, Italy and Daniel Riera  has made a mini film about him that is rich rich rich.  Wanny has a depth to him that not every man has just because he gets older.  Age has nothing to do with becoming more interesting.  In fact it can be the opposite.  If only maturity equaled interesting. Once in awhile I hear something I write down in my journal and I did from him.  "Being not appearing to be is what matters" ...  Where can I meet men like this?

Now for today's marketing gimmick at the Mall.  I walked into the Body Shop for the first time.  I found a perfume oil I was thinking about that cost $16.00 for a very small bottle.  The clerk asked me if I played the promotion game?  I told her I was not interested in promotions.  She asked me if I wanted to walk to the front of the store and play the game anyway?  Being curious I agreed.  You take a ball and let it drop through a maze and it lands on one of four different options.  The one mine landed on was $20.00 off a $40.00 purchase.  What I wanted only cost $16.00 but a larger bottle cost $24.00. She said I could get 2 of the larger bottles and it would only cost me $28.00.  Get it?  I went in and was going to purchase a bottle of perfume for $16.00.  After playing the game I supposedly would think WOW I get way more perfume for only $28.00.  I told her I was going to wait and left.  Is this the same as Super Size me? 

Am I the only one who does not like promotions?  Is there a way to shop that I need to learn?  Do you have any shopping secrets to share?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lessons Learned Posting Pics

Tuesday and all of my work projects are complete.  I have this day off and knew I would have to force myself to experiment taking photos if I were ever going to again.   After taking 51 photos of a variety of different outfits a few months ago that disappeared into the Cloud.....I have been loathe to begin again.  I do not see how the girls do it.  It looked like so much many things look to me......only to discover it's just plain hard work and takes time, patience, and practice like most everything valuable in life.  I am not one who takes pictures of anything.  When I am out and about or even on vacation the last thing on my mind is a camera and picture taking.  But I sure admire those who do.  When my son took me to Paris I came home with only about 12 photos and I treasure those dearly.  Then when I started my blog I thought taking photos of my outfits would be fun because I think I dress a little differently than the norm  but WHOA!  An outfit that I would normally create I discovered in a photo can look just plain wrong!!!   I realize now the only reason I like to take photos of my outfits is to discover WHAT NOT TO least in a photo.  In my real life a Victorian style short black velveteen jacket I bought a hundred years ago at The Gap (before they went all androgynous) with a flare pleat in the back is one of my favorite looks.  But on camera the cut looks just weird.   When I go to the Mall now I have to ask myself  "Is this editorial?"   It is fun in the aspect of my loving to always keep learning new things yet I forget within that desire is great frustration and effort.  I think I leave all of that on the dance floor and hardly have any room left for my adventure into photo taking..
 I would not wear this out in public with the flower and the hat but at least it looks kind of editorial?
Ho-hum....I tried to create some interest with the belt being different than the shoes but it's a yawn.  I know we are our own worst critics but I don't want to have to add a hat or dark glasses to make an outfit look interesting.  Now what?
Less is more...maybe a flower on this jacket would have worked but still nothing creative here.
A different pose does not work either.  My new 4 inch red swede heels from Cathy Jean's are surprisingly wearable...meaning I can wear them walking around on carpets quite comfortably.  But where do I go where there is solid carpeting?  I will wear them to work tomorrow and see.

What have I learned today?  I know if one takes any new activity and devote at least one hour a day to it one can improve.  My goal is to take one photo a day when I get home from work of my outfit.  When I have time I will study the photos I have collected and see what I could do to create more interesting looks.   I am open to all suggestions that come my way.  Please share all of your helpful hints as I am eager to learn. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rants And Raves

Sunday eve watching the fashion statements on the Grammy's with Taylor Swift my favorite so far.  My life feels very staid and disciplined compared to the party all the time group on TV but I am
 feeling great with an E-ticket to paradise spending time with my children I hardly ever get to see.   First stop Ft. Smith, Arkansas to connect with my daughter and two grandchildren, on to Waterloo, Iowa to see my two sons, then all together on to spend Spring Break in  Chicago. We are all looking forward because our time together is precious and FUN. 

In the mean time I feel disciplined and boring.  Can one be disciplined and not boring???  Kobe Bryant known for being  the "most disciplined"  admits he gives up a lot for his sport.  At least he has zillions of dollars and rings to show for it where my discipline only gets me performing at what feels like below average.  Yet when asked by friends and family "what are you doing today" my answer is always, "ballet class".  Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  The only energy I have left after working all day and class is sitting in front of the TV.   I refuse to watch any dramas with crying and dying or crime shows with violence but I will watch Fashion Police with all the trash talk.

Joan said, "Style is like herpes, you either have it or you don't."  I like her because she is who she is.  I know all the plastic surgery but her personality is authentic.  Two celebrities who are the epitimy of fake and phoniness are Beyonce and Lebron James.  They both run around doing interviews saying how "humble " they are.  Guess what?  If you have to TELL me you are then you are NOT!!  They have so much AFFECTATION they are laughable as a caricature of themselves.  Lebron has to be on steroids.  Does the NBA even check for that?  And who could be shocked Beyonce would lipsinc?
I come back to Kobe.  He has said, "Chances are you don't like me but even better chance that I don't care".  .

Question, why is it shoes tried on in the shoe store feel fine.  Then when purchased and tried on at home they feel like a completely different shoe???  Or does that just happen to me?  Here are my latest purchase.  Yes, stay off of my red swede shoes.
I wanted to style them with jeans rolled up and cuffed, a white top tucked in with a belt, and a black blazer.  Yes with insoles they felt doable but now?  I don't think I can even wear them to work SITTING at my computer all day.  They were 70 percent off and not returnable.  This is another good reason why I am not good around sales.   I am going to make them work or... if anyone wants them I would donate to a good home.  

My last rant is....I do not like the songs presented at the Grammy's.  Watch & Go is a promo at CBS.....only 30 minutes into it and I am gone.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Are You A Marketers Dream?

Shopping at the Lloyd Center Mall last Saturday afternoon I was looking for some comfy 3 to 4 inch heel pumps to wear with my jeans.  I tried on some ballet flats just to prove to myself that they feel like pieces of cardboard on my feet and make my whole self feel flat and sloppy.  I think it is true the more one wears heels the more the body adapts and they become even more comfortable than flats of any kind even flat soled boots.  I have the best luck finding shoes on sale at Marshall's.   The clothing items there have no appeal for me and  even the shoe selections seem to be going downhill but hey isn't everything?

It used to be products that came along were better than the ones before it.  "New and Improved" labels meant something.  Today changes are simply merchandising gimmicks rather than improving the product.  They count on us being greedy with the classic cry "buy more save more".  It is actually comical walking the mall and seeing the signs outside Lucky store saying "50 percent off everything in the store" then further down the way Express has their sign "70 percent off all inventory".  When walking in the stores the clerks approach with a verbal assault starting with "have you heard about our buy one get two free with the third item half off  and if you have a coupon or our store card every item after that is 70 percent off blah blah blah" and I want to turn and say..." I only purchase items in stores that do not offer coupons and or sales."   But I stop myself with enough decorum so the clerk will not think me just  a "crazy old lady".

If we the people accept these changes yet not buy into them it would be interesting to see where the marketing geniuses head next.  If you want to hear the very latest marketing techniques in full force turn on HSN and QVC.  They are the masters at how to move merchandise.  The hot button words,,, "buy now, hurry, don't miss out, selling out fast, already thousands sold, free shipping and easy pay goes away at midnight"   They know people buy more when it is billed as a special holiday, anniversary, birthday, etc. so everyday they present some kind of celebration going on.  We know callers ONLY get to voice their opinion if it is positive so I liked to go online and look at customer reviews on certain items to see what the negative reviews were saying.  Guess what?  They have eliminated that feature now.  When I asked QVC why only a few customer reviews are available now because I counted on those to determine if I wanted to take a chance on an item they emailed back to say that feature has been discontinued for now.  

I know false advertising is nothing new it just seems more prevalent now with all of the access we have to the media.  I wish stores would STOP putting all of their dollars into how to market their products and more into making the product one that we would all want to purchase because of the quality.  Which brings me to shoes.
 The January Vogue article on shoes for Spring states that shoes are returning to thin soles.  Did you ever try the platforms?  I have one pair and they are very comfortable but I have tried on many others over the past few years and they looked clunky on me, impossible to walk in and did not see many others wearing them either except in photo shoots.  This article says....platforms are out for one big reason... they make you look fat or bottom heavy.  No wonder I did not like them.  I did like this pair of  Bandolino's that are a pretty pinky nude, slip on and off as easy as flats, thin soled, and hopefully do not create blisters when I wear them shopping this weekend to find some splashy colorful print jeans for Spring.   I've never tried any on but am curious.   Maybe I am a marketers dream after all.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Power Of Unconditional Love

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood but I am no Mr. Rogers today.  I sit here from my second story apartment on this beautiful sunshiny day watching the world jog bye with my cold taking a turn for the worse.  I am mad, sad, and yes, plain bad attitude.
I do have some thoughts on the Lance Armstrong case and received a package in the mail yesterday from that was a successful online purchase after vowing never to order anything ever online again.

The question yesterday and probably today all over the news channels by friends, relatives, co-workers, team members, those who had spent years writing books about Lance and many others who at least one should have been able to see this coming but no......everyone kept asking, "Why now?"  What could possibly be his reason for confession after all these years?   My question is why were none of his followers able to figure it out???

I'm not sure when I started lying.  I do think it was full blown by High School   I lied about everything to most name, where I lived, forged my mothers name. cheated on tests, and remember waking up each morning sorting through all the lies and keeping straight who I had told what lies to and had quite a chess game going on in my head.  The closest I came to getting caught was being called to the Principals office with a forged note but my mother did not want me to get in trouble so she told them it was her signage.  I am not sure when I stopped but I do know my lying came from low self esteem so maybe maturity stepped in,  a desire for growth and change?   I was never fed by money and fame to keep the lies alive which may have been harder to stop.

How did no one see this coming?
Your children are yours to feed.  You already have the power to feed them truths or feed them lies.  You do not have to earn that right it is just God given   I forgot he had children.  Yes I went along with the chatter about his drive for fortune and fame, his ruthless desire for power and leadership, his need to control everything and everyone around him.  But for one thing,  when an innocent child comes to you with unconditional love all controls and power are off the table.  There is no where to go.  The bike hits the wall.  Unconditional love is a free gift that just cannot turn your back on have to receive it and be responsible for it.  How did no one see it would be his children would bring him to his need to come clean.   He had to encourage his own children to fight for something that was a lie and he could not take that step.   So the choice is always made when there is no choice.

Now I need a new perspective and some inspiration from one of my favorite authors who captures in one sentence all of my feelings on this day.
                  "In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch enemy sorrow, one can remain alive
                    if unafraid of change, curious, and happy in small ways."
The package that arrived on my doorstep yesterday was a treat because it actually lived up to its promise.  I have been experimenting with many different brands of eyeshadows over the past few months none to my likeing.   I finally decided to take a chance on a pallette from Balm called....
"Nude-tude".  The quality and texture of the product is the best I have found and I created a new smokey eye look today.  Now all I need to get is a better attitude!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Turn A Sick Day Into A Game

Self-diagnosis I may have strep.  My throat has never been this sore since after surgery when I had my tonsils out at age twenty-eight.  Must be running fevers because I cannot bear to step away from my heater for more than a minute.  I do not want to swallow but of course the remedy is to drink hot water and juices all day so what do I do when I don't like to face my day?  Divert my attention to other peoples problems.  Like the news event of the day celebrities Lance/Oprah a shining example of the term Egomaniacs.
 I know what craving attention is about because I like it too.  One can only identify in others what one knows or denies in oneself.  Psychology 101.

A sick day allows me to remunerate on things.  Such as growing up I did not get along with my mother at all and thought it was because we were polar opposites.  Now the years have brought me a whole different perspective.  I am identifying more and more areas of my life in likeness to the way she lived her life bringing to light she had many positive and negative traits just like me.  One is in the area of "intuition".  She would often say, "I knew that person was not right" and we would all roll our eyes when it was stated after the fact.

When I posted my opinion about the LA scandal awhile back I questioned if I should blog about it but quickly realized I do not write for the NY Times so basically no one was going to read or care about my opinion anyway it is always just for me and so I published it. Now many months later my intuition was right in that post at that time.  Today I may be wrong but my intuition tells me....Oprah has fallen into the trap of being a PP (Power Pleaser) for so long now she is numb to it.  I have seen her over the years go from a hard news reporter interviewer to a Gospel according to Oprah one.  If she thinks you have some power behind you she will promote you as the next Dr. Oz and/or Phil etc.

My intuition today tells me she has lost her skills to do a hard interview.  Now that I hear she is struggling with her fame she took on the the King Betrayer of all time.  Communications 101 when doing a hard interview you have the person come to you on your turf and your environment and no one else allowed except of course a trusty lawyer.  Evidently Armstrong has told so many lies over the years he needed ten trusty lawyers in the room with him and made Oprah come to him on his turf.   Is she this desperate for attention?  Then she told the news media she was surprised she did not have to ask Lance her prepared questions because he already had all the answers.  REALLY!!!!?????

What other traits did I come up with today that are like my mother that I now see in me?  Her inclination to pre-judge others, her desire to manage on her own and do her own thing, her commitment to health and fitness, her decision to wear trousers most every day because it fit her lifestyle, never changed her hairstyle, and in later years kept a smile on her face and a positive attitude.

Now I am going to turn on the TV news cast and see how the L/O interview came off and see if my intuition was right this time.  That Oprah got scammed.  I will be joining the zillions of others who will be giving their opinion until I will get to turn to the Lakers game and later Project Runway.  Maybe we really are all more alike than not????

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Get Fit Now

Watching the Miss America contest, why?  It boggles my mind the choices I make.  My commitment to health and fitness has boomeranged on me so I don't know who I am right now.  With every intention to focus this year on ballet training taking six classes a week I have only made it to 2 classes.   Not sure what is going on with me physically with watery eyes and overall feeling of fatigue the most I have been able to do is get to work and some chores.  Just the thought of ballet class was overwhelming my body/mind/spirit.  What is wrong with my commitment making?  If I just take one day at a time I tend to do better than making proclamations.
I have one visual of myself going to class faithfully, relentlessly, advancing or at least making some improvements in my exercise of choice.  But the actual me is lying on the floor, head down, wondering if I am sick, coming down with the flu, have allergies, or just my body fighting off all the germs that have attacked me from my co-workers?

 Not being in class every evening gives me too much time to question if I even want balance in my life because all I want to do is ballet classes non stop.  I also think about how much I want to keep learning how to live in the present moment, and how bored I am with my hair.  I want to practice writing as well and one blog I like is The Writing Life Too.  The most recent post has the best definition of pursuing balance in life activities.  "For me it means that whatever I'm doing I'm not fretting that I should be doing something else.  So that I can be present in the moment."
I cannot rely on what worked for me in the past.  Teaching myself to be in the present moment and make my choices from that place takes vigilance because I am such a creature of habit and expect my body to perform a certain way.  My confidence gets shaken when faced with what feels like weakness.   It is so much easier to think about my hair.  On Miss America it was stated "a woman's hair holds her identity".  No wonder I'm wanting to change my hairstyle.

Am I the lone ranger when it comes to making a commitment to one thing and have it feel like it turns into something else entirely???