Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rebirth!

It seems that all of the indicators of a fresh start are reflected in this week's holidays of Passover and Easter. Even the astrologers are reminding us of the transformational energies of the eclipses, which are forcing us to release and let go of what we no longer need, and are opening us up to the change that is inevitable—this imminent Spring forward.

What strikes me are the undeniable changes that we encounter in the seasons. We cling to Summer as we are watching the leaves on the trees change colors. The beauty of the crimsons and yellows that indicate leaves falling, leaving only bare branches... Fall becomes the icy internal Winter that cannot last forever, even when it feels like it will. Spring awaits, and every year, like a surprise, new life sprouts up and Spring bursts us open. Yet these changes occur in cycles over and over again. On some level we have endless change, and yet on another, this change is predictable. We know from experience that change is nothing to fear. And in the death of one aspect arises the birth of another.

I will try to remember this as the things I cling to fall away and I will allow space for the new to arise and evolve me. Always a rebirth. Ever a new me. It seems that I forget in cycles as well. Having only memory and the DNA that holds my experiences in place within me to remind me that all is well and that all is meant to be exactly as it is, while it is happening. Each time, I forget and try to hold on to the last season of my life as if that was the final act.

This week I will ask for the strength to allow freedom to flow. To float me down the stream in surrender and to trust nature as it is with it's great plan that both protects me and has me traveling down the inevitability of time and cycles. That I too, like the emerging bud, will bloom and fall. Again and again.

Try Rabbit Pose in honor of Spring.


Rabbit Pose

Begin in Child’s Pose. Rest your head on the floor, your torso on your thighs, your arms down by your side. Press your forehead on your knees and reach to hold on to the base of your feet. Inhale. On the exhale, slowly lift your hips, keeping your forehead close to your knees and the crown of your head on the floor. Avoid putting too much pressure on your head and neck. Contract your abs and hold the pose for two to three breaths. Slowly roll back up. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beginnings

Dear Friends: Welcome!

Hello out there. Anyone else get this sense that something new is brewing? I can feel the excitement within. I know that something is on the horizon, and I am at the starting gate here, but not knowing exactly what action to take.

Anything that I have ever created began as this seedling. An idea in the back of my mind, but prior to that, a feeling deep in my heart....but before that...it almost seems like a premonition...a memory of the future. So, this is kind of what I have been feeling lately. How about you? Something feels familiar, and yet I know it has never happened. What IS it? How can I unearth this new me?

My answer to this call must be non-verbal, yet named. Non-linear, yet directed. It may be an idea or a dream, but must be crystal clear in an instant.

I have taken to creating short term goals and rituals that express the feeling it gives me.

VISION BOARD. Yes. My Springtime go-to. I have decided to create an entire vision board declaring my commitment to... Commitment! To union, marriage, partnership. I don't know how to do it. Never have known. This may be better than knowing, as I may have beginners luck! (I'm counting on it.)

CREATING SHORT VIDEOS. Yes. I am shooting some Summer Shape-up videos for E! and I am even creating a how-to spinning video, because that's where I started, and that's where my vision was able to get funneled. Pop Sugar is on the roster too. Excited to unite with them again to give you a blast.

THREE-DAY WORKSHOP. Yes. Love Your Body Into Shape With Intention at the Omega Institute in June. And I am working on creating the workshop I will bring to NYC this Summer. Stay tuned. One thing I know: We will create a vision board, and do a summer shape-up!

MOVING MEDITATION. Yes. Walking. Observing. Talking out loud to the universe. Asking for what I want. Calibrating the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

FLOWER ESSENCES. Yes. I have been defining what I want and what I like. Who I am. Where I draw boundaries. Saying yes and no. But mostly yes.

PLAYING. Yes. Who says life has to be hard work. I am noticing more and more where I am having fun. The best place to manifest from is a place of heart opening playfulness. Let it be easy. The Game Of You is an awesome new game created by one of my friends. Check it out and get easy insight and answers.

INNER CHILD WORK. Yes. A dialogue with the "little" me, in the form of a letter turned into a dream. A feeling of resolution and peace. A knowing that everything turns out okay in the end.

But this is the beginning...

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Ways Of Loving!

It's time to change! Yes, I have loved the best and most that I possibly can with the tools that I have been given. It has come to my attention that I have still held some shame in my subconscious. As one of my friends says: SHAME Should Have Already Mastered Everything!

This process of unfolding and uncovering my true nature is a beautiful one. The longer I am here on Earth, the more of me I unearth. That small voice within is growing in strength, and I am beginning to hear the call of that creative little creature that I truly am. My own inner child is magical, alive, bright, hopeful, and ready to try anything. She wants to be creative. She wants to play. She wants to participate. She wants to love and be loved. She wants to sing loud and become a part of this symphony. She wants to join you! One of my primary lessons that I learned (first when I was an actor, then as in instructor, and now as a writer) is that when I allow myself to be completely and freely myself, with abandon, that you reveal more of yourself to me. So let's make a pact today. Let's play. Let's be completely aligned with our true selves and find where we meet. From this place, let's invent something new. Let's organize ourselves in ways that have yet to be explored. Let's be free and open and trust that we are exactly in the right place at exactly the right time. There is no more that we need to master in order to prepare for this moment. There is no other who has what I have or what you have. Each of us is properly positioned and ready to get set and go! When I trust this process and myself more, I trust you, and then I allow. And this is the new way of loving. You be you and me be me. Self-acceptance is the key to my loving. In fact, the only part of me that needs to change is the way I see myself—the way I love myself!

Take a moment to write yourself a love letter today. Get a picture of your little self and look that being straight in the eye and pour all of your love out. And I will do the same!

Hi little one,

Look at that fire in your eyes. I see that spark. I match it with my love! I see that wisdom, wit, and charm. I even see a bit of a little rascal in you, and I celebrate that. Let's spend the entire week together and do only what we please. I hold you in the highest regard and honor your needs and wishes. I hold you in my heart, mind, body and spirit all week long, and with each action I take this week, I put you first. You are the most important in the world to me, and I cherish you with all my heart.

LOVE, Big Mandy

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Forward!

Springtime is the best time of year to set your intentions. Timing and going with the flow can help to make manifestation a lot easier, for nature reflects back our very own spirit. You are just like a wild flower! (See above photo of myself at the Sidda Flower Essence booth at Expo West holding wildflower bombs. These seedlings are colorful like me and you.) Once we have done our self-discovery and ruminated in the Winter, we Spring forward into action. Ask yourself: What are some of the actions you can take towards your goals? Consider your body, health and well being, your emotions and relationships, as well as faithful practices like meditation or prayer. Create a list and commit to one action step for each goal per day.

One of my favorite ways to plant seeds is with my vision board. Section off different areas to represent all aspects of your life, and create the life you want. The eyes love to drink in these images, evoking an emotional response in the heart which will motivate physical actions. Before you know it, you will be manifesting your intentions effortlessly!


HOW TO MAKE A VISION BOARD:


You can make your vision board on a piece of poster board and hang it somewhere inspirational.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:
- Poster board
- Magazines
- Photos
- Colored markers
- Yellow highlighter
- Glue stick
- Personal photos
- Glitter, sequins, or anything else you can think of!


Begin by outlining the entire poster board in yellow with your highlighter. Yellow is the color associated with the third chakra at the center of the body. Imagine a spinning wheel of energy behind your belly button. It directly connects you with your willpower, desire, and identity. Marking your board with this colored marker declares to the universe: This is what I want!

Tear out or cut out all the images that you love and that speak to you. I like to include lots of pictures from nature and the cosmos. Travel magazines, National Geographic, and magazines with lots of pictures work very well. Arrange your collage in any way you like.

Please join me at the end of Spring for my Love Your Body Into Shape With Intention workshop at The Omega Institute in NYC. We will recreate ourselves together with vision boards, yoga and other tools!

Monday, March 17, 2014

JOY IS POWERFUL

Quite simply, what brings you joy? Joy is a pretty good indicator that you are hitting your stride on the right path. Notice the feelings that arise as you move easily through your day. Pain is also something to pay attention to. This is an indicator that something needs to be shifted. So become more curious about your pain as well. When you feel this feeling, simply observe and accept it. Do nothing but feel the feeling. My tendency is to put the focus on the cause of the pain (usually another person), however, that victim mentality is no longer the work for me. I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of my patterns and getting tired of being in pain, wanting things to be different than they are and wishing they would (or magically that the other person would change). I have been in the thick of it, and it is a dead end for me. More and more, I realize that I create this feeling all on my own, not wanting to take responsibility and make a shift within. I am looking to become more whole within myself. More self-contained and connected with spirit. That feeling of bliss, the feeling of the 'yes', of moving towards the joy, is an indicator that we are moving towards spirit and is quite fulfilling, for we cannot simply curb our addiction to painful feelings; we must replace them with something positive.

As you move through the world this week, pay special attention to what helps to make you feel good. Make your list of favorite things. Each day, practice something on this list.

For me:
  1. An entirely free ME day
  2. Watching a sunset 
  3. Chatting with a friend over a tea
  4. The elements: being outside (riding with the top down is included here)
  5. Kissing
  6. Moving my body vigorously
  7. Handwriting in my journal 
  8. Coffee
  9. The ocean
  10. Helping someone and expecting nothing in return

Monday, March 10, 2014

Go Within

There's that very quiet voice within you that knows everything. You already have all of the answers within you, and all that you need to do is follow along. That mystery we live in is precious, and deep and quiet. The knowing is so subtle. It's easy to ride over it. To say "I know!" without feeling it. I habitually ride over my sensitivity with tastes, words, and sounds. Over-stimulation of the nervous system can be quieted by sitting in preparation, for what is coming is already like a swell. Like a wave in the back of the mind. There will always be another wave. My job is stillness. To sense the subtly within.

Ways to go within today:

1. Sit with a straight spine. With palms facing each other, place your fingertips together and leave a tiny space, less than an inch. Feel your energy. Try to pull the hand away from each other slowly, with fingertips still facing and notice if you can still feel the energy flow.

2. Lie on your back. Place the soles of the feet together, and fan your knees to open. In Goddess Pose, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest. As you breathe, notice the ebb and flow. Expansion and contraction.

3. In a reclining position, place your right hand on your chest, and the left hand over your right hand. Touch the pads of the thumbs to one another, and allow the circuitry to realign you with your heart. Notice if you can feel your pulse.

Remind yourself, every so often to take a deep long breath, with the specific intention of clearing yourself of all outside energies. Exhale hard out of your mouth with a "SHHH" sound. Release any tension or energies that you have gathered and get reconnected with your own pulse.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bubbie Sonia

I wanted to dedicate this week's blog to my ninety year old grandma, Bubbie Sonia. Bubbie was born in Russia, and her father left her mother. I think she only got to see her father twice in her adult life. It is rumored that she was banned from her stepmother's house after she took a pair of scissors and cut up her entire wardrobe. (Don't cross Bubbie... There was a girl who had eyes for her boyfriend, and she went out in the middle of the night and dug up her garden.)

In her teens, the war broke out. Bubbie was working in the coal mines when she met Sasha, my grandfather. He rode up on a white horse. They ran from the Holocaust together. Their first child, my uncle, was born in a cabin in Siberia that my grandfather built with his own hands. Bubbie then had my mother in Germany, and they headed to America seeking safety from the displaced persons camp where they lived.

Bubbie had various jobs in America. She worked at a dry cleaners and at bakeries. She sang duets with my grandfather and loved to make jokes. Bubbie always loves to laugh. (And joke about people too...she's a bit devilish.) She was a young grandma. At age 44, I was her first grandchild. She was my favorite. She showered me with endless love and limitless gifts. My wish was her command. Everything was better when Bubbie was around.

In later years, she survived her husband, and she's still smiling. She has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She's a poker player, she loves the Lakers, and she's the sharpest one in the room. If you see her at a party, sit next to her. She's the life. As my favorite grandparent, it's a shock she's the last one standing. After colon cancer, at age 50, diabetes, being overweight, and really not a stitch of self-care in her life, I can safely say, that ATTITUDE is everything.

Happy Birthday Bubbie! You are the best. XO, Mandy.