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Thought for today...
"If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world,
then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of
your own self-transformation."

- Lao Tzu

Nice try Krissim Klaw, but I am onto your spies!
Yesterday, as we were going into work, we found this little friend pretending to be part of the landscaping near the office door and only discovered him/her when we opened the door and it tried to get into the office!

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Well played Krissim Klaw - I know this must be one of your legion of spies sent to see if we happen to be working on a mantis item. In all the years I've worked for Gaia, or even lived here in San Jose, I have not seen one mantis and now, all of a sudden, you repeatedly request a mantis item and we have mantises trying to get into HQ?!? Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that we're onto you and your roving band of ninja mantises. Still it was a good effort, and almost succeeded. Also, you should know that I put your minion out of harms' way in some shady, dewy leaves that provide good camouflage.

It's been 9 years today... thank you! <3
So, today is a really special day for me. 9 years ago today I was invited to become a moderator for Gaia and asked to help out this community in that capacity. 7 years ago today, I started my job as an Admin for this most amazing community and company.

If you would have tried to tell me 7 years ago about just how phenomenal a journey this would turn out to be, I probably wouldn't have believed you! I never could have imagined the absolute depths of humanity, creativity and compassion I have seen in members of this community.

I know sometimes we don't agree on this or that, and I know I am not perfect, but I always love that you care enough to tell me how you feel. And I am honored to all of you who have talked to me, and shared with me your dreams, hopes, goals, and successes. In short, who have shared your lives with me. It has been my great pleasure to get to know so many of you, and watch the many brilliant and wondrous ways your lives have unfolded.

So I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all, friends both past and present, and new friends yet to meet, for being such an amazing group. Thanks for the many laughs, discussions, heated debates, arguments, joys, ideas, support, inspirations, and fun. Basically, for being very much like a family - a big, brilliant, organically-grown, fabulously diverse and quirky family of whom I have grown rather fond. emotion_hug emotion_bigheart

My favorite weights to lift are these...
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I am exhausted, so I am taking the weekend off.
You know I love you all, but this week has drained me. I am going to be taking the weekend off and going to the beach. Time to decompress and step away for a few days to rejuvenate. The ocean always makes me feel better! 3nodding

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend too! biggrin

And sometimes you land it
I've spent 6 months working on this lift - the Snatch. Most frustrating lift I know. But today I managed to land it - super stoked! It's not perfect, but I did it, and I'll get better.

Weight lifting is such a good practice for life in a way - you have dedicate yourself to the process, make mistakes, learn from your failures, and keep chipping away at it until you get it. Success won't come overnight, it can be immensely frustrating, and you'll fall on your face more times than you can count, but if you don't give up, eventually you'll find success.


Some days all you can do is focus on the positive...
You know, it's been one of THOSE weeks - the kind where almost everything seems to go awry. One of those weeks where no matter what you do or say, things just don't go as planned. We all have these weeks from time to time. Between the issues with prize packages I am STILL trying to mail to some members to various things people have said about me to pulling a muscle in my leg and the fact my hairdresser used the wrong color dye on my hair, gah!- it all adds up to one of THOSE weeks. It is weeks like these, however, that often offer us the best life lessons and a chance to find authentic harmony.

In moments like these, what I like to do is shift my attitude and focus on all the positive things that have happened this week. By choosing to focus on all the things I am grateful for, it dis-empowers all the negative thoughts, and helps me recenter on what is important.

This week, I am grateful for:
* the fact my pulled muscle is only temporary and not torn. It'll be fine!
* to have such a great support system of friends to listen to me
* a coach that challenges me to be better every day
* a rabbit that, although surly, makes me smile
* a roof over my head, food to eat, and the ability to move
* living close enough to the ocean to be able to go dip my toes in it
* an awesome community of Gaians who are so clever, talented, articulate, funny, and compassionate that I get to help and connect with

When I reflect on what is positive, it reminds me of just how good things are in my world. If you are feeling a bit off, or negative, try looking for the positive in your world. I'm sure you'll find lots to be grateful for, and in doing so, you'll be able to align your energy with what truly matters and realize all the beauty that surrounds you on a daily basis. 3nodding

New PR day on the front squat
Today I managed to do 5 reps at 125 pounds on my front squat - wheee! That is just non-stop squats. While my 1 rep max is higher, I've never been able to do 5 in a row at this weight before. Super stoked!

I remember when I was so out of shape I couldn't lift 10 lb dumbbells. The lesson is never give up. Sometimes progress will be slow, but perseverance pays off!

All of you, keep on doing amazing! biggrin

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I read a great quote today:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
- Neale Donald Walsch

And it is so true. There have been many times in my life when I have chosen, however consciously or unconsciously, the path of remaining comfortable and in doing so, have failed to fully feel or be alive.

These days, I tend to live outside my comfort zone particularly when it comes to my training. I am often uncomfortable and awkward, especially when I workout in front of super-fit people. I am still fighting the good fight against these last 35 pounds, and it can be intimidating to try a new move in front of people who are 15 years younger than me, and who are amazingly fit and have been for years.

Since I am a beginner, I fail often. This is the learning process - to learn, one must accept failure. I run into walls, drop weights on my head, trip over my own feet and fall over on my face as I learn these lifts. And you know what? It's all good. At least I step up to the plate and try. I don't let the feeling of social embarrassment or discomfort stop me from working my body and trying to be my best. And each time I ignore the embarrassment or discomfort, and push myself past my comfort zone, the easier my training gets and the more alive I feel.

I guess what I am trying to say is never let your perceived fear of what others might think keep you down. Keep on trying your best. Know that we all fail, and it can be embarrassing, but getting out of one's comfort zone is a good thing. Challenge your comfort levels and chip away at them. One day, you'll step back and realize just how far you've expanded your personal boundaries and abilities.

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