We don’t have to have all of the answers, we just have to ask the right questions. I am guilty of living in a space of indecision from time to time. But, I think if we keep leaning in the direction we want to go, things start to become more clear, & we eventually arrive. Ask yourself the hard stuff. Am I as happy as I could be? Am I where I want to be? ...whatever’s right for you to ask. Take some time to be with yourself, the answers will come. xxVB
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel...
Being vulnerable is terrifying. It’s like going to sleep at night, while leaving your front door wide open & just hoping for the best. Sounds crazy? Who on earth would do that? ...I have to remind myself DAILY that safeguarding myself from the elements won’t bring me anywhere beautiful. I don’t want to live or love safely. We have to know what love isn’t, in order to appreciate it when it walks through our door. And we have to know failure & defeat, so that we can truly celebrate our successes. I get that sometimes we would rather curl up in our shell & close the door tightly, I have that urge often. However, still practicing an open door policy...& it isn’t easy! xxVB
I have read that in relationships, especially in marriages, that the secret to success is to wake up everyday & choose that person. You have to choose them through it all. You have to choose them when things get hard, you have to choose them when you don't agree with them, you have to choose them when they age & you have to choose them if they fall ill. You have to wake up & make a choice every single day to be with that person. I cannot claim to know a lot about marriage, I have not yet walked in those shoes. However, over the past few months between being newly single & living in a new city I have given relationships A LOT of thought. I have thought about the characteristics I am looking for, I have thought about the things that mean the most to me, I have thought about all of the red flags I saw early on in previous relationships & ignored. I have made promises to myself not to continue on in situations that don't serve me. I have spoken with friends who are in similar circumstances and found a trend in people claiming "we stayed together about a year longer than we should of." I have been there, I have overstayed when I knew I shouldn't have.
It got me thinking about all of the wasted time we spend. Surly there is always something to learn but what if we listened to ourselves earlier on, what if we paid attention to what didn't feel quite right & what if we then did something about those feelings?
Life is a continual process of trial & error. We will never have all the answers or have it all figured out. In the meantime whether we are in a relationship with someone or not, what I have come to understand is that our longest committed relationship is actually with ourselves. The relationship we have with the person looking back at us in the mirror is of the utmost importance. We have to wake up everyday & also choose ourselves.
This realization showed me that all of the over analyzing I've done & how critical I have been of potential partners is what landed me and kept me in unhappy relationships in the past. We have to feel whole on our own in order to make it work with anyone else. Choosing yourself & whoever is lucky enough to stand beside you, in harmony.
Meaning we choose to love & accept ourselves as we are. We aren't too hard on ourselves when we miss a work-out, forget things or hit the snooze button on the alarm one too many times. We just try harder the next day. It's my belief that when we forget to choose ourselves everyday we eventually wake up one morning in a life that we don't want & we have no earthly clue how in the hell we got there.
The good news is, it's never too late to make a change. You can begin to choose yourself & the people & the circumstances that create a better version of you anytime you want. Then get ready to watch the love that you give to yourself come back to you tenfold.
I cannot believe it has been five whole years since WEHO opened its doors. What has happened in those five years. What has been accomplished in those five years. What, I, on a personal note have become in those five years, is unfathomable to me. I was hired to work on the front desk & wear the yellow shirt. I had no idea then that the part time job I had acquired would shape me into the woman I am today. That this role would quite literally guide me through so many of the growing pains that came along with a chosen life in the City of Dreams. But I wasn't on that ride alone. SoulCycle, a company, a brand & a community that so many of us love & believe in was also taking a leap of faith. A concept that began in New York City was spreading it's wings for the first time in a unforgivable place where you more often than not have only one chance to prove yourself & one chance only. You capitalize on the moment or you watch it set sail like so many other dreams. It's a rare place where you set your passion on fire without inhibitions & it ignites & spreads like wildfire or slowly fades into the abyss.
It's that kind of passion, direction & purpose that we ride for everyday. The kind of tunnel vision & focus in what we believe in & why we keep coming back that is the foundation of this company. I thank Julie & Elizabeth for their dare to dream, for jumping off of the ledge & trusting that the net would be big enough to catch their fall. I thank them because I would not be who I am today with out them & their courage to succeed & create.
The only logical place to go from here is to the instructors who built West Hollywood. The special group of humans who are the backbone of that studio. The people who were there when no one else was. There are people who have found great success on the West Coast & I commend all of them, but the reason why they found success was because of the fearless humans who paved the way. Pixie Acia, Angela Davis, Gina Heekin, Roarke Walker, MB, Kym Perfetto, Ben Bruker, Claire...forgive me if I'm forgetting anyone, but these people jumped in head first with a brand that was unproven in their market. There were days when I am sure they felt like they had made a mistake, days when they questioned their choice, but they pressed on. I remember when Angela Davis, the literal Queen herself, asked why we still had a 6:00 AM class because no one came, & perhaps we should start at 7:00 AM. Said the woman who now has a long waitlist in every class that she teaches. And, don't get me started on the Goddess, Angel, Unicorn of a human that I think Pixie is. ...The point is, these special people believed in what they were on board to create & most importantly believed in themselves above all else, and without them we would not have the sweaty sanctuary that we do. To all of you I am forever grateful.
To the front desk staff, especially Molly Schreiber, Sarah Schmitz and Jillian Davis: To you, I owe the most respect. In the last five years, I have been many different versions of myself. I didn't always see the world in the light that I do now & I truly became who I am today through all of the ups & downs that I faced while that front desk remained my constant. While the three of you remained a constant. Thank you for putting up with my growth spurts & being there through every failure, success & heartbreak.
To the riders who became friends & to the riders who became family: Thank you for taking a chance on someone new & sticking with us throughout the years. At all ends of the spectrum we do our best to be there for you all, but what you bring to the table with your positive lights & existence is payment ten times over. Thank you.
Somewhere along that journey I saw myself in a different light & chose to pursue becoming an instructor. It wasn't something that I ever foresaw for myself. However when I stepped into that role, nothing in my life has ever felt more right. Grateful, is truly the only word that applies. To the managers, front desk staff, cleaning staff, riders & other instructors who supported me & taught me everything I know, if this studio didn't exist, I'm not sure I would have found my calling. I have tried my best, but there aren't words to describe how thankful I really am. Until we meet again, WEHO.
Things in life don’t always go right or wrong. I think they also go up, down, backwards, forwards and sometimes just plain upside down. At this point I think it’s safe to say that things rarely end up the way we expect them to & we should probably start to place more stock in finding ourselves in uncharted territories than anywhere else. With all of that being said, one of the most popular phrases to provide someone with a dose of solace in a moment of weakness or extreme unexpected change is “everything happens for a reason” or “trust the process.” We hear these lines so often that they have become triggers in our brains to basically figure out how to buck up & get over whatever we are facing.
These words strung together have found a commonplace in our world & become a part of our existence. They sort of feel like blanket statements that no longer carry real value or depth, rather, the temporary bandaid for the circumstance you are coming to grips with. However, the truth of the matter is that those words are a matter of truth. I have lost loved ones unexpectedly, way beyond their time & at a place in my life when I was too young to properly be able to process my feelings. I have centered my world & my purpose around a job that after 6 devoted years, was fired from. I’ve moved across the country & left a life that I created for myself, by myself to be closer to family & embark on building my dream life with the person I thought I would spend my forever with only to find out that, that person wasn’t really ready to love me the way I know I need & want to be loved. I’ve seen all of these things among other difficult to deal with situations happen to people I love & care about & also to complete strangers. Across the board, the reality is always the same. Something. Better. Always. Awaits.
I wouldn't have learned so much about gratitude or see the world through the eyes that I do if I hadn't lost my 19 year old aunt when I was in third grade. I wouldn't have stepped into my real calling in life or found SoulCycle if I weren't fired from my previous job. I am still processing that final example, the wound is still quite fresh, but I know the reason will present itself at the right time and it will make sense to me. I guess what I am trying to say & what I have learned is...it’s those in-between moments where we have an opportunity to capitalize on the real magic. The moments when we feel like we are at our absolute lowest points, when our backs are up against a wall, that we are presented the option to rise again, taller & stronger than before. To wake up everyday in pursuit of finding out why life handed you this circumstance & what lesson is at stake to be cultivated.
We create our realities each & everyday. So, challenge yourself to gain a new perspective when life hands you an unfortunate fate & see what you just might be able to turn it into.
Change is inevitable, growth is optional. I think there is a lesson to be learned in every season of our lives & I know that currently, this is mine. Let's just say the term roll with the punches certainly has been coming to mind more often than not as of late. I know we've all been there.
We make choices everyday & our choices combined with our habits, are what become us. So, it's pretty important to be mindful of what we choose each day. I chose to move across the country, to a brand new city filled with brand new people and brand new experiences. I have a vision for my life & all that I want it to include & somehow I felt like Los Angeles no longer possessed the right set of challenges that I craved. Was it terrifying to move everything & essentially start over? Hell yes, & it's something that will most likely continue to challenge me for many more months to come but it's part of the process.
I think most people work really hard to find a job, then to make a certain amount of money & finally obtain a relationship that they are comfortable with. Comfortable is key, right? When you find yourself able to pay your bills, live on your own & have someone to cuddle & watch movies with on a Friday night we should all be insanely happy, right? In my opinion, wrong on both counts.
We cannot grow if we remain in a state of comfortable. We should never be content when we reach the top of a mountain. When we bust our asses to get to a certain place, you have to stop for a split moment, take in the view then start at the bottom & work your way up once more. Then we do it over & over & over again. Because living in a constant state of comfortable will not afford you the change that you seek.
The words I come back to are: "Los Angeles no longer possessed the right set of challenges that I craved." Finding the right set of challenges is everything. It's the key to living a more fulfilled life & getting more out of it than we even thought possible. Hit the reset button if you need to & find out if you're living in a space that's comfortable or a space that challenges you to be & do more. Autopilot was a setting created for airplanes, not for human beings.
Running isn't my most favorite activity. Actually, I can think of about a hundred different things I would rather be doing, like organizing my sock drawer for instance. But there are times when no other workout will suffice other than the time tested sneaker to pavement, heel toe express. One of those times happens to be when you're driving across the US of A & make a stop at the Grand Canyon. Which is where I recently found myself.
You can search the internet for articles about running & what people recommend to stay motivated. You'll find a series of paragraphs about listening to your favorite music or wearing workout clothes that you feel great in, etc. However, sometimes it all just ends up becoming too much foreplay and what you really need, is to get like Nike & just do it.
Forget all the fluff, leave your iphone & your ipod at home, head out your front door & just take in the views. Especially if that's something that you aren't used to & the action alone will put you a little bit outside of your comfort zone. It's not that I don't run, I do, but it's almost never a pastime I partake in without my favorite gangster rap flowing through my headphones.
So, without further adieu, what this post is really about is trying to master one of the most difficult tasks we all face. Being present in the moment & getting lost in our luck. Life takes over, to-do lists get in the way more often than not & we tend to forget to hit the pause button & take it all in. As I ran a few miles on the trail around the Southern rim on the canyon, sans music, sans distractions, I connected with the beauty of my surroundings and how lucky I am despite the challenges I face, just to breath in the crisp cool air and have both of my feet touch the ground. I get that it isn't often you're at the Grand Canyon but I guarantee there is cause to be grateful in more ways than one right outside of your home. Take time for you & find yourself inhaling all that you may have been taking for granted and exhale whatever has been weighing you down.
We make excuses for ourselves all day long. It's in our nature. "I don't have time to go to the gym" "I don't have time to go to the grocery store" the list goes on & on. In my everyday life I am certainly victim of it too, but what I have found out while driving cross country certainly applies to day to day habits as well. YA GOTTA WANT IT. So instead of talking myself out of working out, I have learned to talk myself into it.
I've had no shortage of excuses either, trust me! I actually filmed video content for this post, but I have spent the last few days (which is embarrassing) trying to figure out how to get those videos off of my new camera & onto my phone/computer! & being somewhat of a perfectionist, it delayed my first post, but things don't always work out according to plan, so I let go of that excuse. A pic will just have to do for now! GeekSquad where you at?!
Below is the workout I created using the limited space I had in my Hotel room in Vegas. Full disclosure, they had a gym, I went down there but no sooner from the moment I walked in, I turned right back around & left. If you think you're the only person who gets intimidated by strangers in an unfamiliar place, think again. (establishing a relationship of keepin' it 100 with you)
- High Knees
- Mountain Climbers
- Lunges on both legs
- Plank Walk Extension
- Side Plank Hip Drop (Both Sides)
- Lunges on both legs
- Tricep Dips
Complete each move for 30 seconds. If you need to rest in between, no more than 10 seconds! I prefer to move from each exercise with no break if possible to keep my heart rate up! Complete the entire circuit 3-5 times, resting for 2/3 minutes in between each cycle.
We are a product of our choices. The domino affect is a real thing. Wake up & do something for yourself & watch how that one positive choice continues to affect all of the choices you make that day. Then try it again the following day & again the next. Our habits become us but we have the power to change our habits anytime we want to, Ya Just Gotta Want It.
I actually never thought that I would leave LA. A departure that is happening in t minus 5 days. (yikes) So to say that life is crazy right now is most certainly an understatment. Trying to plan a cross country move, packing up what I have accumulated in the past 5 years, saying goodbye to all of my closest friends and co-workers that I see almost everyday, all while still working full time...is a lot. I am going to post a break down of what it cost to ship my things, including myself on this journey so anyone else who plans to embark on a similar trip will have a reference! (I'm road tripping with my Dad!)
Also, I will be posting the different work outs I do along the way, outlining how to stay in shape on da open road, what songs will keep ya going & what snacks are the best choice! EEEEKKK it's all too real! Stay tuned!