I AM THAT!


Today I rode my bike on the road. Most people are full of fear for me when I tell them I’m riding my bike… “be careful out there, watch your back” is the usual response.    That was the warning a friend gave to me yesterday so I chose to ride my mountain bike instead—not as many cars.mountains & me

Honestly, as much as I don’t want to admit it, those fears sometimes rub off on me.  Today, though, I missed Pacific Coast Highway.  I wanted to feel and smell the ocean air and see the coast in my face!  I rode from my house in Brentwood down Sunset Blvd to PCH and on into Malibu.  Tears fill my eyes as I write this, that’s how much I love this place!

As I rode through Pacific Palisades on my way back to Brentwood, I was on a stretch of Sunset Blvd that I had been on hundreds of times before.  I lived in this town for 15 years so I was quite comfortable on it.  Even though there were cars all around me–cars parked on the street, cars coming up behind me, cars turning into driveways, and cars coming out of driveways, I was one with the flow.

For just a brief flicker—not even a moment—I thought about all the cars and the possibility of danger.  What overtook me from that flicker of fear was the feeling…I AM THIS ROAD. I AM.

It’s hard to put into words, but all possibility of  fear was stripped from me.  I had such a confidence, a knowing, that I was safe because I WAS the road.  I was simply part of the flow of the Universal Law of Life in and around me.  I was safe and secure because I Am that.  I’ve heard it said before, when you master something you become it.  Fear will almost always rob us of our strength, I chose to trust and know that all is well and everything is working out for me.

The Locked Gate


 

I came to a 10ft. locked gate at the end of my 2 hour mountain bike ride. 
This is a gate that is usually open.

Imagine my angst after climbing and descending trails to get to the end of my ride only to find NO WAY OUT!

I gave it a go!
I gave it a go!

The gate was all the way across up into the field with barbed wire on top.  At first glance, it looked impossible to pass.  However, who I am is not someone who gives up quickly.  I noticed there was a section of the fence where the barbed wire had been twisted down.

Also, I could force the gate open about a foot or more with my foot.  So, I chose to give it a go. 
I removed my front wheel, cranked open the gap in the gate with my foot while I shoved my bike through.  Of course the pedals got hooked up in the links and became lodged at a certain point.  I figured if I climbed to the other side of the fence I could pull the bike through instead of the pushing I had been doing.
I climbed the 10 foot fence and there was a moment or two at the top (when I started thinking too much) that I froze with a bit with fear.
taraonpaseo 
Let’s face it, whenever we sit “on the fence” it is kind of uncomfortable.  I was aware of the fear and decided to “keep moving forward.”    I jumped to the ground and made it over the fence, then I dealt with the rest of my bike.  I cleared the pedals and then of course there were the handle bars which needed to be turned and maneuvered through the gate gap.  In the process of yanking it through, I ripped the computer off!
It was  frustrating and time consuming but I finally got my bike through the gap.  The moral of my story is that
LIFE can sometimes be The Locked Gate! 
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 CliffsideBirdview
Are you going to let obstacles that look impossible stop you from what you want and where you want to go or are you going to FIND A WAY through those obstacles?  I simply DECIDED I was going to get to the other side of that gate…I wasn’t going to turn back and go where I’d already been (the past). 
BackboneBuldge
Sure, it was a bit of a stressful experience.  It also took some sweat effort and required me to get a little dirty and feel a little frustrated.  Once back on my bike, I flew down the hill back to my home which was my starting point of the day.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment and mastery.
 
That’s how I feel in life.
I won’t let people and their negative attitudes or actions stop me from where I want to go.  I keep moving forward, pushing through any fear that wants to stop me, and I find ways to get to the other side of The Locked Gates in Life!!!

A Magical Age–25!!!


A bazaar string of meetings has been happening lately: almost everyone I meet is 25! 

It is really pretty crazy, especially considering I’m over 40!  It all started almost a year ago when I separated from my, then-husband.  It seemed like every guy I met was 25!  I wasn’t going out of my way to meet them:  I was just meeting them everywhere.  It was really starting to be a joke because as soon as I would find out their age, I would laugh out loud because they always told me 25!

After a while, I just took it like something I should expect: everyone is 25!

I remember standing on the corner waiting to cross the street.  I was in my head and thinking about all the 25 year olds I was meeting.  What was it about the age of 25?  It occurred to me then that I was 25 just before I met my husband.  I continued on with my day and later as I talked with a friend on the phone, I shared with her this most recent phenomenon.

She said, “Tara, how old were you when you met Sean”?  I told her I was 25.

She said, “You’re about the seventh person I’ve met who, when they split from their long-time relationship, begin meeting men that are the same age as they were before they got together with their husbands.” 

I was amazed that she had repeated what was in my mind earlier that day.  There was something really strange going on here.

It was as if my energy had gone back to the same vibrational energy as when I was 25!

For a while it seemed like it was only the male 25 year olds…you know the guys with the healthy sex drive.  Soon, though, my female energy started to emerge.  I was no longer just meeting 25 year old men; I was now meeting 25 year old men AND women.

I began meeting women who were 25 plus or minus one year.  One of the women really stands out for me.  I was at a friend’s  “clothes swap.”  As I entered, Brigitte was leaving.  Our introduction was very brief.  All I knew is that she had some amazing energy and she was having a wine event at the restaurant her parents owned on the upcoming Wednesday night.

I knew I wanted to attend that event, not because of the event, but because of her.

It was her energy that drew me in and I was going to be there. 

All of us were invited, but on that Wednesday night, I was the only person from the “clothes swap” that attended.  I found myself surrounded by her and her four friends.  I sat in amazement among these five women all about the age of 25!  Not only were they the magical age, they were all these amazingly creative women.

They had all the qualities I had been dreaming about having.  They had all attended “performing arts” high schools and just thought so freely…way different than me growing up.  I grew up in a traditional public school system where all the teachers did all the same formal routine.  There was no sense of creativity.

It was just so amazing to be sitting amongst them, because for years I had longed to express my creativity.  I always yearned to write; yet never seemed to find the confidence to get my writing out there.  I always wanted to collaborate and write songs (I write lyrics) yet had no feeling of mastery since I had never had any schooling.  For me, in my mind, I believed you had to take classes and certifications in order to be considered an expert.  What business did I have pursuing song writing?  They changed that thought and have been urging forth my creativity ever since.

Just being in their presence was so inspiring.

Their creativity and their willingness to express it was such an inspiration to me.

Brigitte and her friends were really the first bit of encouragement I received in the world of collaboration and sharing creativity.  It’s just so cool to know that being creative doesn’t have to involve comparisons or judgments.   I am still friends with Brigitte, the woman I met that day at the clothes swap.  We are now collaborating on an amazing project!

It’s now almost a year later and I am still meeting people who are the magical age of 25.  The other night, just for fun, I took the Facebook “real age quiz”.  As I was answering the questions, I was also answering texts from a young man (age 25 …of course!)  He is one of the few that ask my age.  I responded… “Age is only a number and numbers are limiting”.  As the texts continued back and forth, I received my final result from the “real age quiz”… 25!

I guess I am living life from that vibration.

I like the way Bob Doyle describes The Law of Attraction in his Wealth Beyond Reason program, “The universe is all energy and all energy vibrates…energy that is vibrating at a particular frequency will attract other energy that is in resonance with it.” 

Story after story just continues and, honestly, my friends that hear about my daily escapades are in a bit of disbelief at the unending stream of my 25-year-old meetings.

This morning, Michael Bernard Beckwith of The Agape Spiritual Center said, “you are an eternal Broadcast.”  That made a lot of sense to me regarding the magical age.  There is something definitely magical about being 25 for me.  If your chronological age is 25 (or whatever your unique magical age is), embrace it, enjoy it and don’t be surprised if the age comes back and haunts you someday in the future!

The Life You Envisioned?


Is your life everything you envisioned it to be?  This is a question someone asked me the other day.  My guess is he was looking at my life and wondering how I could possibly be happy.

I admit, I am a woman and I do think too much, but I was left feeling a little defensive and it made me really look at my life and wonder.

The answer was quite clear today as I rode my bike along the 25  mile stretch of bike path from Pacific Palisades to Palos Verdes.

I am living something I envisioned for many years.  Since the age of 10, I have wanted to live in Southern California.  I grew up in Michigan and did not entirely enjoy the weather or the lifestyle.

I never seemed to fit in.

The winter weather was harsh and the summers were way too short.  I spent most of my adult years hanging out in fruit markets or the couple of health food stores that existed then.   In the summertime, I tried to ride my bike as much as possible.  I rode to work and on my days off I rode along Edward Hines Drive…a long, lovely stretch of highway with parks all along.

The fact is, I love to play, move my body and be outside.  I have envisioned the life I’m living for many years and I AM living it now!

In college (while still in Michigan), there was a cafeteria that pumped music inside.  Everyday, I stopped into the DJ and requested my one and only song.

All he had to do is see my face to know it was time to play, “California Dreamin”.  I was 18 years old and the dream was strong.

Colleges and Universities kept me in Michigan.  If I wasn’t in college, it was a job or a boyfriend that seemed to tie me to that state.  I started to wonder if I would ever make it out of Michigan?

I taught Aerobic Fitness classes and at the end of every class I played some relaxation music and had my students (and myself) lie on their backs and visualize a place they wanted to be.

I had a couple of favorite songs I used for this segment of class but the best was “Summer” by War.  Interestingly, years later I identified one of the lyrics that I had never really heard clearly before… “from Atlantic City to out in Malibu or anywhere between I’m telling you when you feel those balmy breezes on your face, Summertime is the best time anyplace”. 

I had heard the part about the balmy breezes, but  Malibu didn’t come clear to me until many years later.

When my husband and I sold everything we owned and drove someone’s car out (the day after we received our Masters Degree), the first place we lived was Malibu!

The lyrics in the song brought me to Malibu…what are the chances of that?  We moved without having a car, a job, or a place to live.  We wound up in a most magical place that is still home to me.

We carved out a life for ourselves that went right along with what we envisioned.  We were active, working out in the gym and enjoying the nature abounding all around us…hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

We lived in Malibu  on a private horse ranch.

One of my biggest dreams as a girl was to learn to ride and spend loads of time with horses. That happened for me as well. 

My landlord took me to riding clinics and taught me everything I could want to know about horses.  I bonded with a special horse and felt an intense amount of love and sensitivity.

Another long time dream–I met one of my bodybuilding heroes at the gym I work at.  For years, while still living in Michigan, I devoured every magazine article I could find about her–I adored her.  Then, one day, she was being introduced to me at The Malibu Gym–my workplace!

Today, I looked to my right and the waves were crashing, then I looked to my left and was awestruck by the snow capped mountains in the distance.

In my visualizations at the end of those aerobic classes,  I always saw myself living in a place with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other.  I was vibrant and healthy and happy.

A good many years have passed–things have changed and my former husband and I have gone in different directions.  For the last 6 years, I live on my own–sort of.  This is probably why the question was asked from the man who asked.

Ron is a visitor of Will who lives in the guesthouse on the property that I have my office.  I live in the main house with a woman.  I have my own bedroom/bathroom and entrance.

My office, however, is out beyond the pool across from Will’s guesthouse.  Will’s visitor sees me “wandering about” as he calls it (he’s Australian).  My office beyond the pool is a 1 room building lodged up against the mountainside.  There isn’t a bathroom so I need to walk up the stairs to the main house if I need to use the bathroom.

I guess, to the onlooker, this doesn’t look all that glamorous and one would think that a woman my age would be established and living alone in a place where there were bathrooms to use without hiking all over the property.

I can only surmise that his interpretation of my life is that I am not happy with where things are.

Oh, I’m sure I could have more and be more and thrive more, but I embrace where I am. Almost all I envisioned came true for me.

In my eyes I have everything I need and there’s always something we could complain about.  And yes, I am envisioning new desires…I certainly haven’t stopped envisioning my life.

There are new orders I have placed with the Universe and until they arrive, I will be happy with my life NOW.

But, to answer the question, “is your life everything you envisioned it to be”?  Yes, indeed it is.  It is richer and warmer and more wonderful than I envisioned it.  So many dreams have come true…
My life is everything I envisioned and more.  Experiences, relationships, and places are the wonder all around me.

I live in bliss on a daily basis. 

From your perspective or Ron’s perspective it may not look that great, but this is my life,  I am happy,  I am fulfilled and I am so glad I know that this is the life I have envisioned and the life I AM envisioning is coming into existence as I write!!!

Be Open


One of my favorite affirmations these days is, “I AM OPEN TO EVERYTHING AND ATTACHED TO NOTHING.”

When I live with this intention, some of the most amazing things happen.

Last weekend, a series of events occurred that reinforce my belief in staying tapped in, tuned in, and turned on to the positive flow of energy all around us.

I had the opportunity to attend my high school reunion.  At first, I didn’t think I was going to go.

All the names of the people who RSVP’d were people that I didn’t hang out with in high school. They were all the jocks and I knew them but I didn’t have a strong bond with them. Then,  I thought I should put my name on the RSVP list so that I might attract some of the people I did hang out with.

When I arrived at the reunion, I studied the list of people who were inside the room already and not one of them stood out as someone I wanted to reconnect with.

This was not a good attitude and I decided to change it immediately.

I decided to go in and find out about people instead of go in and feel like I had no connection.  That is exactly what I did. I love finding out about people in general and I went into my interview mode. I loved it.

I had so much fun and started to feel a connection brewing.

Then, I noticed NOBODY was dancing. I grabbed a couple of women (who I did not know) and began dancing. We managed to recruit a guy out there with us who recruited another guy.

By the end of the night, as the song “Last Dance” by Donna Summer played (1978), almost everyone in the room was out there on the floor. I was glowing with joy.

Even though I didn’t really know these people in high school, I knew them now and created a connection out on that floor.

Later in the evening as I talked to one of the guys who had organized the event, I found out that his mother still kept in touch with his brothers widow. My very best friend from the age of 3 married his brother (his brother has since passed on). I haven’t spoken to her in a VERY long time. At the age of 16, she got caught up in a downward spiral of drugs and sex and I don’t know what else. We ended our friendship. We had been friends from the age of 3 until 16.

The long and the short of all of this is…I believe the reason I went to that reunion was not to dance the night away with a bunch of people I didn’t really know, but it was to get the number of my childhood soul mate. We were so close, we were so connected, we knew everything about each other and vowed to always be friends so it was extra devastating to have that end.  I always felt a deep empty space in my heart where Annette once lived.

I called my friend the next night (Johnnies mom gave me her phone number).

She has been clean and sober for 12 years now.

We exchanged our small talk and then really started to share ourselves with each other. We had so much in common, we were both on a clear spiritual path and we both cared about our health and well being.  It’s as if our life path’s reconnected at the perfect place.

She told me she had had a dream about me a few weeks earlier. She woke up from the dream feeling really good. Clear.

I asked her where she worked and when she told me the name of the restaurant–wow,  my mom and I had been in there about a month ago. It was a little out of the ordinary since it wasn’t a place near where we live.

Then, she told me her first memory of me. The crazy thing is, I had been thinking about that incident–wondering if it really happened. Annette has an extraordinary long term memory and she confirmed it.

We were 3 and 4 years old, throwing rocks to each other and she threw a rock at me and I have the scar to prove it on my forehead. I was never sure if that was how I got the scar….she confirmed that the memory was very vivid in her mind.

The 13 years we were friends growing up felt like a lifetime and the over 25 years we haven’t spoken didn’t even feel as long as the time we spent living life to the fullest in our childhood. We are friends again and we will always be friends now. My Thanksgiving couldn’t have been more perfect.

The moral of the story is…be OPEN TO EVERYTHING AND ATTACHED TO NOTHING. I wasn’t going to let the fact that I knew no one at my high school reunion stop me from attending. Had I been attached to the outcome of the reunion (a friend of mine thought I might meet the next love of my life), I would not have been open to the events that followed.

Imagine what I would have missed had I not gotten interested in others–I would have never found out about my long lost friend from her brother-in-law, Johnnie!

I have the first friend I’ve ever known in my life back in my life.annetteandtarayellowflowers

I AM AMAZED AT HOW THE UNIVERSE LINES THINGS UP FOR ME. I AM GRATEFUL! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Gotta Love Smaller Guys


I have been in the “body business” for a very long time. I am at a place where I am looking back and seeing clearly where I’ve been and absolutely love where I’m at now.

I once struggled against my body and always seemed to want it to be different than it was–that sounds familiar doesn’t it?

We always want something different than what we have. People are always asking me how to gain muscle mass, how to get rid of the roll around their abdominal area, how to get more muscle tone, etc. Unfortunately, when we focus on what is wrong with our bodies, we keep getting what’s wrong….the Law of Attraction works on our body as well.

There are many technical answers to all those questions and I usually give them the strategies to make their dreams come true, but I always turn it back to embracing where they are and giving most of their thoughts to what they want to see and not on what’s “wrong” with them. Most of us are way too focused on what’s wrong when we should be turning away from what we are not wanting to see and seeing what we do want. Easier said than done, I know, but it really is pretty simple.

A young man in my Weight Training class asked me how to gain muscle mass. He is a smaller guy surrounded by lots of bigger guys. I can understand his desire to be bigger but what I really want him to embrace is who he IS NOW!

He is ADORABLE! Because he’s small and comparing himself to all the bigger guys out there, he’s holding himself apart from who he really is.

The more guys I meet that are of a smaller stature, the more I prefer their energy. Some people call it the “little guy complex”, but I abolutely love their energy.

They have a BOLD CONFIDENCE that is so magnetic to me. They carry themselves with such a strength and posture! They are more of who they are because they have to be!

I was married to a big, tall man (6’3″) for many years. It seems like his stature made him a little lazy in the confidence department…a little lazy in the way he carried himself.   I mean no disrespect  toward him–I just see a parallel in this area.  He didn’t have to be a bundle of energy, he has never been in a fight because people just saw the big tall body and didn’t challenge him in any way.

One of the smaller guys I know has a big temper and is always having to prove and protect himself…he gets in a few too many fights. That’s something he could tame a bit I’m sure, but who he is underneath is magnetic and full of charisma.

I just believe it is because he has had to urge forth more of the juice of who he is out of him.

Oh, I know I’m rambling a bit, but I really want to make this point. Smaller guys, just be who you are. Yes, it’s okay if you try to gain some muscle mass but know that you aren’t going to be one of those big tall hunky guys.

YOU ARE ALREADY so amazing because of what is inside you!

Let the energy inside you guide you to BE the person you are and don’t let the muscles you long to build be something that holds you apart from that energy.

The long and the short of it (no pun intended) is EMBRACE who and where you are now. If you knew who you are now, you wouldn’t be struggling so hard to GET something or somewhere else. JUST BE YOU! Enjoy the process of reaching for all you desire but embrace and love who you are now….I know I DO!

Everything Is A Process!(Time in the Saddle)


To be on the other side of a huge challenge FEELS GREAT!  Whatever the challenge you are taking on, just know that it will be a process…everything in life is a process.  Some things happen really fast and some take a significant amount of time.  For me, the key has been to enjoy the process and not resist it.

Be willing to be bad at something before you can be good at it!

After 18 years of mountain biking, I can say I went through quite a process.  I kept moving forward and when I ride these days, I am usually in a state of mastery and empowerment. These are a few of the comments I heard today while climbing up the steep fireroad on my bike:  “I’m impressed”,  “Wow, I give you credit”,  “That looks way harder than hiking up the hill”…

Yes, they are right, MOUNTAIN BIKING IS HARD!  I remember the first person I saw on a mountain bike.  I was out hiking on Bulldog Trail in Malibu State Park…I thought the guy was absolutely INSANE.  I said to Sean (my husband at the time),

“what kind of person would WANT to do that?”

Not long after that, we became the kind of people who WANTED to do that.  The first ride we ever took was on borrowed bikes.  We put forth the effort and drove up the coast to Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon).  We started riding and the bike Sean was riding got a flat.  We didn’t know how to change a flat, so we drove back down the coast to the bike shop and had them fix it (40 minute drive round trip).  Once back on the trail, the tire flatted AGAIN!  We drove back again and the mechanic found the original source of the problem…we drove back up the coast and finally rode the bikes on the trail.

Obviously, on that first ride we were tested and we met the challenge of the test. 

In those early days, riding some of the steepest hardest trails in Malibu, I can vividly remember both of us throwing our bikes down, sweating profusely and swearing!  It was hard!  There was something about that “hard” that was appealing and it just kept drawing us out into it.

We kept at it, kept training and learning all the trails in our backyard.  After a year, we decided we wanted to RACE.  We did The California Mountain Bike Challenge…a series of 7 races throughout California.  Sean did great and loved the competition.  I did okay (3rd overall) but hated the competition.

We both crashed a lot in those early days and we have a myriad of scars to prove it! 

As much as we crashed, we just kept getting back on the bike and riding.  I remember asking one of my competitors (I always passed her up the hills and she always flew by me down the hills), “how do you stay on your bike, I just keep crashing”?  She said, Tara, your bike likes speed–you just have to let go and let it ride.”

Then she said something that rings in my head regularly… “it’s just time in the saddle.”

At the time, I hated hearing that because that meant that I had to put the time in —  I couldn’t just get there!  I had to go through the challenges and the struggles and the fears of riding and crashing and winning and losing.

I must say that was one of those defining moments in life….”time in the saddle”.  I later found out she’d had 6 years of experience–she was sandbagging it racing in the beginner category. I was a true beginner and just had to face the fact that I had to get some time in the saddle.

Well, I have put 25 years in the saddle now.

After that first year of racing, I decided I just wanted to ride for the JOY of it!

I kept taking on challenges though.  There were a few trails that I always avoided because they were really technical and I just didn’t want to deal with crashing.  I decided to talk a new mantra…”my strength is the place where fear once lived”.

“I am capable, I am competent, I am worthy.”  Those are the words I would speak silently inside my mind while I forced myself to take on that trail.

I can say now, today, that I have MASTERED MOUNTAIN BIKING!   Well maybe not to the degree and difficulty some would ride at, but for my own journey and satisfaction.  Discipline, sticktuitiveness, and consistency is what brought me to this place I now sit.  Knowing that all of it is a process and it’s just time in the saddle makes it all worthwhile.

So many aspects of riding has evolved for me — I can now change a flat…anywhere, anytime.

I took the time to learn how to change a flat instead of waiting for some guy to cross my path and fix it for me!  

That, alone, was a major challenge.  A couple of the guys were just so insistent that they change my flat.  I had to be really forceful and firm, “I learned how to change flats and now I have to practice.  PLEASE, let me change my own flat”!!!

In time, I was  in the position (my girlfriend and I) to stop and change the flat of two guys on the other side of the road.

They were new to the cycling world and I changed his tire.  Ahh, the vision is still fresh in my mind– that felt great and I have evolved.  It has been a process and the lesson for me is…if you really want to get somewhere, you have to put your time in.  We can’t just expect to be there, we have to earn it and pave the way for ourselves.

Unfortunately, for many people, quitting is the preferred option.  It is just easier to quit than to keep moving forward.  Knowing what I know today… “A Winner Never Quits and a Quitter Never Wins.”  Go take something on and if you expect to win, you will.  Even if it does take time, stay in the game, ENJOY THE PROCESS and you too will be on the other side of This Challenge!

The Hike of Your Life


The hike of your life…

If you’ve ever gone on a long, hot, arduous hike, you know how closely it relates to life.   Sometimes it’s really high and challenging and other times it is low, boring and mundane. Life is a lot like a hike!EagleRock

One hike stands out in my mind. I was leading a hike for the residents of a drug and alcohol treatment facility. 

The residents are adjusting to a lot so, naturally, they aren’t always pleasant and cooperative.

One woman on the hike was almost always complaining.  She only wanted to go on hikes that started with a steep up hill. Anything that didn’t start hard wasn’t enough for her, she wanted to work hard and enjoyment was not part of the plan for her.

This hike was such a lesson for all involved.  We started out and the trail was muddy.  It had just rained for a week and the mud was cakey and clay like. 

As we walked, our shoes gathered enough mud after 10 steps to feel like we were wearing platform shoes!

It was not pleasant and we were kicking and flinging the mud off every minute.  We made the best of it and laughed every time we flung the mud off.  Karri was not happy, she was swearing loudly and wanted to turn back.

I’ve been on that trail enough to know that the dirt was going to change.  Not only was the mud thick and caking all over our shoes, but we were going DOWN hill!  That did not make Karri happy since she likes to work hard right out of the gates.

I urged the group forward, letting them know to hang in there…the trail would change as we got down into the canyon. 

Karri continued bitching and complaining, “where’s the hill–this mud is ridiculous, I’m going back to the car.”  “No, I promise you, this dirt is going to change and the mud will not be sticking to our shoes,”  I said, determined to keep her on course.

“Where’s the fucking hill,” she screamed.  I assured her the hill was coming.  As we got down into the canyon, the dirt did change and having no mud stick to our shoes was a relief.  Unfortunately, it didn’t make Karri happy because it was a flat valley with no hill in sight.  The moaning continued, “where is the fucking hill?”

Finally, we came to the trailhead that lead up and out of the canyon. 

Off she went, this was what she needed.  She explained that she always had incredible epiphanies when she climbed the hills. 

She was happy and the swearing stopped.

As the group continued climbing, Karri had already reached the peak and ran back down the hill to turn around again to get more of a workout.  Once at the top, we had some rolling hills that led to our descent back into the canyon. 

Unfortunately, the descent got really steep and once again, the swearing began. 

The steep descent is not pleasant, I agree, because you have to hold yourself back a bit and it’s hard! BackboneBuldge

It was just way too steep and she was pissed.  Her loud swearing echoed throughout the canyon and the whole group had to endure the negative energy even though they were enjoying themselves immensely. 

Finally, that stage subsided and we were ready to climb out of the canyon back to the car.   Karri and I talked about the hike.  I asked her to look at it like life. 

Sometimes life gets sticky and clingy and it’s hard to shake it off.  If we just keep moving forward, though, we get through the mucky stuff of life and find the calm again.

Then, sometimes life can feel a little boring and mundane, much like the valley we climbed down into.  If we keep moving forward and try to make the best of it, this too will pass and life will get exciting again.

Alas, the thrill of the hill arrives.  We feel energy, passion, and exhilaration! Life is exciting and we feel alive.  Ideas flood into our mind and we are inspired to take on anything that comes our way.  Life is good and we are living it fully.

Of course, it can’t always be such a high and we must expect times that aren’t so triumphant. 

Life can roll along giving us slight thrills mixed with rest…all is well.

When life moves down hill too fast, it’s too much…it’s uncomfortable. 

Again, we need to keep moving forward, otherwise we’d have to turn around and go all the way back through all the challenges we just endured.

That hike was such a mirror of life for all of us.  Karri really saw it.  She got it.  She shared what she got with the group therapy session that night and it was the highlight of her 30 day stay.

The key to life and hiking the trails is to enjoy wherever you are on your trail. 

Know you will make it to your destination, you just need to go through it to get to it…might as well make the best of it!

Define The Moment


DEFINE THE MOMENT

I saw those bold words on a T-shirt as I was passing 2 guys riding my mountain bike.  I had been in my head about life, love,  and friends and that phrase just hit me hard at that moment.

I decided to DEFINE THE MOMENT.

There I was on a Sunday morning riding my mountain bike on an amazing Southern California Fireroad Trail.  I had just passed 2 young guys on their bikes and that is something for a woman over 40.  I was FEELING quite fulfilled.

I started riding 20 years ago and it was hard–I mean, really challenging. 

I kept riding.  I crashed many times, got bloodied up and scarred in many places.  I kept riding.  I had fears and overcame them.  I created mantras and incantations to get me through my fearful sections on the trail.  I kept riding.  At the very heart of all my riding and challenges was pure joy.

I was tapping something deep inside of me that I knew would continue to serve me.

There were stretches of time that I couldn’t ride because of rain or mud slides or fires, but always found a way to get back on the bike and renew my fitness I had developed.  I learned to keep moving forward from wherever I was.

Yesterday, I was consumed with thoughts of my life– “Why am I all alone today”,  “why hasn’t he invited me out for the day”,   For me, a formerly married woman for 20years, that is a cluttered mind I never thought I’d have to live in again.  Most people just stay married because they don’t want to deal with all the insecurities and the not knowing where they stand in relationships.

Here I was, though, feeling like a 17 year old…wondering how I measured up.

BUT, because I did DEFINE THE MOMENT,  I became so grateful that I had invested the time in me for all those years.  I had developed a skill that would pay me back one hundredfold and, sure enough, it did on this particular day.

Instead of being stuck in my head and waiting for someone to fill me up and create a space for a void I was feeling, I filled myself up.

I got on my bike and I was able to express my strength and independence in an empowering way.  I was proof to myself that I am amazing and I am worthy just the way I am.  Hey, if they like me, great and if they don’t, great.  I am happy.  I like me and that’s really what matters most.

My ability to express myself physically brings me so much joy and ease.

Yes, it was hard all those years of developing the skills, but now it is pure joy just being out on my bike. taraonpaseo

I will continue to feed my spirit by developing hobbies and activities that honor ME.  I know, that when I FEEL GOOD, more good will come my way.  I am happy that I took the time to Define The Moment!

3 Questions Shamanic Healers Ask


We were on our way to the Hollywood Bowl.   While picking up a friend, I broke into  song.   I was singing it with heart.   My friend said,
“that is one of the questions Shamanic Healers ask their patients…when is the last time you sang?”
 
Cool, I was doing something right.
Then,  driving in traffic with lots of time to talk, I told them about my dancing experience on Saturday night.   It had been a long time since I’d been out in the dancing scene.
I loved it because everyone was just out on the floor dancing with everyone else.   All the guys were out there with their friends instead of standing around watching all the girls on the floor dancing.
It was such a blast.   I had so much fun…a ton of fun!IMG_0116
After I finished telling them, Susan said,
“you know, Tara,  that is the second question that Shamanic Healers ask,  “when was the last time you danced?”
Well, hey now, I was doing 2 things right.

As we sat in that Hollywood wonder of the Hollywood Bowl eating our appetizers and drinking our Sangria, I told them a story that Donald Trump had told us at our National Training Event.HollywoodBowlBeauty

He explained that he always throws the biggest, best events and invites the greatest entertainers to come…Elton John, Celine Dion, etc.   The best of the best.

He had been in a lounge one night and caught a lounge act that just blew him away. They were so talented.   So talented that he asked them to be his frontliner for his next big charity event.   They were taken aback by his offer, but as he told them, you guys are amazingly talented.   I want you there!   They agreed.

By the time the night of the event rolled around, Donald got a call from one of the guys, “George was in an accident and I am sick, we won’t be coming.”

Somehow,  though, Donald knew it was their fear coming up with excuses.

The moral of the story is this:

It takes more than talent to be a success.   You have to be willing to step into an uncomfortable world.   You have to be willing to step into fear and get past it, not withdraw and shrink back away from it.   You can have all the talent in the world and it won’t be enough to make you successful.   These two guys will always be a lounge act because they don’t have the extra guts to get them beyond their comfort zone.

After I told the story, Susan said,

“you know, Tara, that is the 3rd question the Shamanic Healers ask, when is the last time you told a story.”  

I guess I am healthy and living fully.

All within the last few hours, I  talked about singing with heart, dancing with gusto, and had an inspiring story to share.     Yes, I am healthy.  I am  alive!


Love Your Body


After several years of not giving massages, I am now back in the business of massage therapy.  The overwhelming feeling I get when I meet someone who truly knows how to RECEIVE can only be described as blissful.

I know how it feels to receive massage.   I know how wonderful it is to be touched and to feel the muscle soreness being coaxed away.  There is, ultimately, the feeling of self love.  I see it when my clients roll onto their backs.  Their faces are aglow with love and, truly, it is love for themselves.  I guess I am just so impressed that they are there on the table treating their bodies for the sake of enjoyment.

I’ve been in the health & fitness industry over 35 years and I’ve seen a lot.  Sometimes it may look like someone is taking care of themselves by exercising and eating right, but in reality they are beating themselves up.  They aren’t out taking the walk or the bike ride because they enjoy it and it revives them, they are doing it because they ate too many cookies and feel guilt.

What I want to say in this forum is…Love Your Body–enjoy your body and use it every way you can.  Treat yourself to a massage and treat yourself to a walk because you enjoy it not because you feel you “have to.”   Anything you “have” to do is sucking the life out of you.

One of the women I massaged was moaning with pleasure with almost every stroke of my hand.  She wasn’t afraid to express how great it felt and I certainly didn’t judge her for being so vocal—I am impressed because she knows how to RECEIVE and enjoy it!  What a joy it was to witness such pleasure.

The people who care for their bodies and their spirits will be rewarded with a life that flows with ease.  People who feel they  “don’t deserve”,  “have to”, or “can’t afford” will be riding the wave that the masses ride.  Don’t let anyone affect your feeling of worthiness…if they tell you the economy is sinking, that doesn’t mean your economy needs to sink.  Don’t even let the voice inside your head tell you your body doesn’t deserve.  Spend more time talking to yourself instead of listening to that voice.

Think about it…your body has gotten you through everything in your life thus far.  It serves you like nothing else in your life serves you.  It gets you through it all!  Take care of you in whatever way you can.  Choose to feel good because you deserve it.  There isn’t one person reading this that doesn’t deserve–not one!  Take the time to love yourself and you too will reap the rewards of bliss.

Are You A Rock?


Many people seem to be opting out of the game of dating. It seems the pain and heartache they’ve experienced in the past has stopped them from looking for more love. They hear about all the dramas associated with dating and proclaim, “I am just not interested in going through all of that anymore, I’ll just be happy here with my cats!”

One can understand their apprehension. It is easier to stay home, read, listen to music, and play on Facebook. As Nancy affirms, “it is much easier to deal with what I want to do then to compromise and do what someone else might want to do–and deal with all the drama that goes with it.”

Nancy hasn’t been intimate with a man in 5 years! It’s true, she has been working on herself so that she is fit to date (she was a drug & alcohol addict). So, it’s easy to understand…she’s cleaning up her act so she attracts the right kind of guy!

Jennifer broke up with her boyfriend 2 years ago. He was her first love, she was with him for 5 years and she just hasn’t been willing to open herself up again. Yes, the pain of losing love is huge but to cut herself off from all the love that surrounds her is such a shame. If you haven’t heard the song from Simon & Garfunkel, “I AM A ROCK”, you should listen to it and hear the lyrics. Here are a few of them…

“I am a rock, I am an island…
and a rock feels no pain and an island never cries”

Yeah, it’s true, you can avoid the pain and avoid the crying but in doing that you also avoid the pleasure of sharing yourself with another person. There is something so amazing about finding someone you have some chemistry with and just being who you are and letting the chemistry go to a warm, fun place!

Tina recently ended a long marriage. It had gotten to a stale, boring place—“I never thought I would have a hot & heavy kissing session with anyone ever again”, she said, “well, that just isn’t the case anymore, I opened myself up and met someone”. While there was drama,  indeed,  the joy of FEELING the warmth and thrill of another person again–when she thought it would never happen again–was worth the drama over and over again.

Then, what if they change their mind and decide they don’t want to share that intimacy with you anymore? Well hell, at least you know you took a chance and put yourself out there. So what if it doesn’t turn into the love of your life, at least you had an opportunity to share space with someone who you felt a connection with.
Somehow, the sound of being a rock just doesn’t sound very appealing. Here’s more from the song…

“I have my books and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor, hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me”

It doesn’t matter what age you are, the nineteen year old woman or the widowed 75 year old–Don just got married again at 75! You can Love and be Loved. So what if you take some tumbles and fall on your face, at least you experienced the thrill of being close with another human being!

“I’ve built walls, a fortress deep and mighty,
that none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship;
friendship causes pain,
it’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain”

 

We learn something from every person that walks into our lives. We don’t always know what that is at the time, but it always reveals itself. Some people are in our lives for a very short time and others remain in our lives for years and years. Everyone has a place.

Here are some powerful affirmations for the day…

I AM OPEN. I AM ALL THAT IS. I SPEAK OF LOVE. I AM A WELL OF LOVE.   What sounds better, being a rock that feels no pain or a vibrant vessel of light that FEELS?

Yoga–My Friday Night Friend!


It was Friday night.

I was walking alone through the Third Street Promenade, an area in Santa Monica where people hang out, go to restaurants, stores, and enjoy being out in the air with friends.

There I was, alone.  But with my yoga mat under my arm, it felt good to know I had somewhere to go.

Fresh out of a long term relationship, I had a limited number of friends and I was feeling  a strong sense of lonliness.  In one moment, I felt alone with nothing to do and no one to do it with, yet in the next moment I felt complete.

The fact that I was going to Yoga was such a comfort to me…for the first time, I thought of Yoga as my friend.

Yoga isn’t just something you do, it is a tangible effect that comes forth out of something one is committed to.

Yoga is literally a gift I’ve given myself—the cultivation of my yoga practice has given me something I can count on in times where I need to nurture ME.

Just like any other relationship, practicing Yoga hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

There have been frustrating and challenging times as well as euphoric and fulfilling times.

I could have given up on it a while ago and looked around for some other challenge to take on, but I stayed with it and just keep riding its waves of pleasure and pain.

Just like a friendship, Yoga is a practice and a process.

Anyone who has practiced yoga knows that it is a journey that takes courage and grace to navigate.

I had a friend on Friday night.  Yoga was the friend that showed up for me.  I am so thankful I have taken the last 21 years to invest in me—something I could count on being there when I need it most. 

I had a friend to hang out with on Friday night and that friend was me–on my mat!

Sweet & Simple: A Story About The Law of Attraction!


This is a sweet story about The Law of Attraction.

We think it all has to be so hard, but when you understand that the Law of Attraction is on your side, it really is so simple.

Jessica is a new college graduate. She moved from Michigan to New York City for an internship position with a well known magazine. Unfortunately, they aren’t paying her so she is not making money.

She finds herself wanting many things but knows she can’t afford most of the things she desires. Recently, she felt like she needed a plant in the apartment–something to liven up the place.

She went online and started looking at Orchids.

Jessica has always had an eye for beauty.

Of course, an orchid is probably the most beautiful and the most expensive plant, but that is what she was truly drawn to. She studied all the different varieties and really admired the beauty of them all.

She spent lots of time imagining how it would warm her apartment in a most beautiful way.

She finished her search with a strong wanting–just not knowing HOW she would get an orchid.   She had no feelings of NEED or GOTTA HAVE, just a sweet appreciation of the beauty it could bestow.

The next day at her internship job, she looked next to the garbage can and noticed that someone had placed an orchid (the stems were bare–no longer flowering) next to the garbage can.

She asked her boss, “do you think someone is throwing that out, can I take it”? Her boss replied, “if it is still there by the end of the day, you can have it”.

Jessica was so excited! The end of the day came and the dried up orchid was still there.

She took home an orchid within one day of her searching, desiring,  and longing for one!

The thing about The Law of Attraction is–it won’t always look exactly the way you think it should.  Jessica got her orchid, without the beauty of the flowers, but she got what she wanted and it only took one day!  And, we all know that those flowers will appear again with time!

The key to “letting it happen” is wanting without needing.

She didn’t put up walls of resistance regarding the wanting of it. She simply wanted so strongly and then let go of the strong wanting. She didn’t get so tormented over wanting it and not knowing how she could get it.

She shot her rocket of desire out into the world and it shot right back to her just like a boomerang! Ahh, ya gotta love The Law of Attraction!!!

Hello world!


I live in an incredible place.  I appreciate everything in my day.  I focus on what I have and what I can do and I turn away from what is wrong with the world.  If I chose to focus on what is wrong, I’m thinking there wouldn’t be a whole lot of time left to appreciate!

Today started with a hike up in the hills above my house.  Spectacular views abound all around.  My friend and I got to spend time together sharing our lives and sharing the morning.  I am so grateful!

Breakfast topped off the morning and now my first blog.  It’s about time!  Watch out world, the road is long with many a winding turn that leads us to…who knows where!