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Just a Reminder…

Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

Are you an artist?  I think you are but you may not know it.  We think it has to look a certain way.  I am an artist.  For many years though, I never saw myself as an artist.  As I sit here observing my surroundings and the people in my midst, I know without a doubt, we are all artists.

I remember when I met my singer/songwriter friend Chantal Kreviazuk for the first time, I didn’t know what she did in the world,  I asked her,  “what do you do”?  She replied, “I AM AN ARTIST”.

I liked the way that sounded and it really stood out to me.  Still, I didn’t know what kind of artist.  Being an artist is a broad category and it can look any way we see it.

For her, she doesn’t have to think about being an artist, she just IS.  She was a…

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Your Body–Built To Move!

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As I’ve been recovering from straining some ligaments in my foot, I haven’t been exercising very much at all.  My yoga practice is not happening because that involves lots of foot work.  I haven’t been huffing and puffing up the hiking trails and the biking I’ve done is pretty tame.  I’ve just really wanted to heal completely so I thought I’d give my body some serious time off.pacific palisades hike

While it has been good for healing my foot, the rest of me is really feeling a difference.  

I actually feel as if I’m aging–my muscles are tighter and achier than ever.

This goes along with a trend I see as a massage therapist.  Most of the people who complain about chronic pain are those who have NOT been exercising.

Today, I got on my mountain bike and could feel my legs burning.

They were gasping for more Oxygen! One of the ratings of an athlete’s ability to utilize oxygen is the VO2max test. When you are fit and efficient, it is high. This means your body has the ability to utilize MORE oxygen. This is so key.

When you keep the capillaries and veins pumping and working and exchanging healthy oxygenated blood on a regular basis, you create a smooth running system–more pathways.

Our bodies are BUILT TO MOVE and when they don’t, they get  dry and stiff and uninspired because there is no good stuff rushing through them!

Without the activities that increase the oxygen, we feel stiff, achey, irritable, and less than youthful.  In the same way, the synovial fluid in our joints needs to be stimulated to stay lubricated and flexible.

Currently my mom is in a nursing home, getting some therapy to get her body moving again. Several months ago when her back and knees hurt too much, she just started lying in her bed all day. She could only sit for 10 minutes at a time. Her back hurt just to sit and her legs hurt along with it.

After assessing her current condition, she is now being told she has the muscle tone of a newborn baby!

She has a long way to go to get to feeling good again.

Let this example urge you forth into your life with a desire to move your body.

Keep it moving and enjoy it moving and it will continue to serve you as long as you live and love it fully!

We need to use our bodies in a way that challenges them.  When we just walk through life with no vigorous movement, our bodies feel the lack of life and vitality. Your body deserves to move.

Simply, oxygen is life and a lack of it is a gasping for breath!

Oh–and the good news is my foot has healed completely and I am back to moving my body with vigor!

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can–don’t be afraid of it or what other people think about it, it is the greatest instrument you will ever own!

Childless By Choice

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I am a woman and I am childless by choice.

No, this is not something I need to discuss and wonder about, it’s a decision I made many years ago.

Many years ago, though, everyone seemed to want to challenge that decision.  Talk about pressure, there was extreme pressure every turn I took. If we could all just allow one another to be who they are and honor their own preferences and decisions, the flow of life would be as it should be–full of ease.

Many people made immediate conclusions about me as a person.

Two of the most common conclusions were that I was too selfish or that I didn’t want to go through labor because I would lose my body.  I sometimes wish it were only that simple a decision.

I was once on a date and after telling the guy I was childless by choice, he became outwardly mean and angry toward me, calling me selfish and cold hearted. Clearly, he did not take the time to know who I am, he simply made a judgement.

In an opposite interaction, I was giving a woman a massage. We did not know each other, she had been given a gift certificate so I suppose she felt an ease in being open with me. As we discussed the whole child or no child issue, she said, “if I could choose now whether to have them or not, I would choose to not have children”. She had 3 boys and she was not enjoying the ride. I was sad for her but so impressed in her ability to be honest about such a touchy subject.

I tell everyone, if I were to choose to have a child it would be to witness the miracle taking place in my body.  It is simply awesome! 

To think that a man and a woman can create a child that grows inside a woman’s body for 9 months–that is just mind-blowing.   But when going through the process of deciding, this is not enough of a reason to have a child.  So much more will be required after the awesome, miraculous 9 months and subsequent birth.

In the same way that this is no reason to have a child, some have made the comment, “but who will take care of you when you are old”?  Wow, really?  Would that be a reason to have a child–to have someone to take care of me when I’m old?

The easiest way to explain it:  I never really had the gene that some women have while growing up, the gene that has them fantasizing about being a mom and having a family.

Maybe it had something to do with me being the youngest child and not having anyone to take care of.  I know my sister who is 2 years older than me is a fabulous mom to her 2 daughters and she was pretty fabulous as my older sister too.  She was accustomed to caring for me a lot!

I just never wanted kids bad enough to even think about having them.   I watched many women go through the process of hormone therapy, in vitro fertilization, and thinking about getting  a surrogate.  I just couldn’t even fathom going through that to have a child.

The thing we all need to realize,  in every area of life, is that we are all different.

As much as I haven’t had any desire to have children, I can understand that one could have such a huge desire to have them and how doing whatever it takes would be in order.  I get that.

The whole motherhood thing always looked like too much for me.  I never felt “fit” to be a mom.  Not fit, but fit.  It just seemed overwhelming, daunting.  I have a hard enough time taking care of me let alone a helpless child.

And the feelings.  I have a huge sense of empathy and I can’t bare the thought of having to go through the pain of childhood.  I remember when my niece was about 14.  She had been on the soccer team for a couple of years and she had just returned from try outs.  She didn’t make the team!

She was in so much pain and I felt it. 

It hurt me to watch her and feel her pain.  I can’t imagine having to go through all that pain with a child of my own let alone my sweet niece!

I had many women try to convince me that I HAD to have kids.  One of my friends had just had her first baby and was clearly elated; she saw my husband and I in a restaurant and came over and said “you have to do this, you have to have kids”.

I understand their joy and their desire for me, but this was just a bit inappropriate especially knowing that I had made this decision years ago. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “you’d be such a good mom”.  Perhaps I would, but I don’t want to be.  No person, man or woman, who doesn’t want kids, should have them.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love kids, I do.  I have always blended in with kids and their friends, I relate well to them and their energy.

I guess what I’m going on and on about is to make the point that we are all different and not everyone is cut out to be one thing or another.

If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it–that’s a rule I live by.

There is nothing worse than saying yes to someone or something and then when the time comes to do it, you wish you wouldn’t have said yes.  “When in doubt, don’t” is something that really resonated with me regarding having children.  What if I went ahead and said yes and then later regretted.

Honestly, I am in awe of my mom and all moms!

The love and sacrifice that they give their lives to for us just boggles the mind!

To me, the most powerful being on the planet is a mom!

Having a child is not something to take lightly.

It’s not committing to an event or an appointment, it’s committing to a lifetime appointment!

I am childless by choice and while I have unending respect for every mom that ever lived, I am so glad I took the time to choose!