Thursday, December 21, 2017

Time to Reinvent Myself: Honor The Body

Around 1979 (as a young teenager) my journey in teaching group exercise began and continues today. From teaching high-impact, ZEN mat fusion classes, to customized programs, my passion was to always help others reach their fitness goals. Along with my twin-sister, daughter, and awesome team’s hard work, over 10,000 clients joined us on this long Fitness Motivators’ journey. We are humbly honored that clients trusted us to motivate and teach them fitness.

Throughout the years, we consistently lectured women to love their bodies, their natural curves and not to push themselves to the extreme because society expects us all to look a certain way. Today, this needs to be reiterate more than ever!  We were never told what happens to a woman’s body when you constantly jump, run, or kickbox. I thought I was invincible. We all think we are invincible when we are young.  It is imperative to honor your body now.

As we grow older, we need to embrace change. 


Our body changes that we cannot avoid. Our lifestyle choices may speed or slow down the process. Unfortunately, my love for exercising was thrown an unexpected curve this past Spring. I fell one morning as I was running. Since I had periodic pain in my hip for several months prior to the fall, I thought I had better get a MRI. The MRI revealed two labrum tears and hip joint osteoarthritis. To avoid a hip replacement, I was told to never kickbox or run again. No more pounding, plyometric exercises again.  

My life changed. Depression quickly emerged and I had no clue how I would be able to teach a quality class again, a lifelong passion. I did not allow myself to stay depressed for very long. It is up to me to live, or allow this injury to live my life. Mind over matter. 

I persevered and accomplished this goal.

Shortly after the MRI, my daughter told me that her studio was offering their first 200-Hrs Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program. This was something that I always wanted to add to my list of credentials and an item on my bucket list. I signed up instantly.

YTT was definitely out of my comfort zone. This time I was a student instead of the leader. The commute was far each week and I questioned myself a few times if this was even worth it. Mainly because I felt invisible and after all, I am an established fitness professional so why was I putting myself through this additional hard work and stress in between my crazy schedule? It tested me often to not take anything personally (from The Four Agreements book that a dear friend invited me to read). Nevertheless, after 14 weeks I finished! I am now a registered yoga teacher!  



It was time to reinvent myself.

The YTT journey was not at all, what I expected. I was hoping to learn more about yoga poses and adjustments. Instead, I learned more about my new, intended journey and myself. Yoga introduced a new way to respond to daily challenges and events. It opened my mind to see my mat as a personal space to grow spiritually and physically. That combined with others on their mats, we are all the same.  Yoga is a journey inward. We all experience solitary periods in each practice.

I still teach my classes, but with modifications (as our team preached to thousands throughout the years!). As for my yoga journey, I plan to teach yoga by bringing each participant’s full potential and true-self to be visible, and use yoga as a tool to get there.  

It is time to appreciate what we have and to take the best care of it now.  

Our bodies. Our souls. The connection is so strong, together we can accomplish anything.  

Honor your body.

The Awesome Fitness Motivators Team

New Class Coming Soon . . . 

GENTLE YOGA
Gentle Yoga is appropriate for students who enjoy and desire a slower paced yoga practice. This program will provide detailed instruction that will allow the student to gain strength and flexibility at their own pace, with safety and alignment as the main focus. Perfect for those newer to yoga, yet challenging enough for yogis.  Guided by the breath and our own powerful intention, we unite mind, body and spirit, infusing our whole being with life-giving energy.
Essential oil used, with a lot of hands-on assists and great vibes!
Bring Yoga Mat
Teacher: Donna Lim-Truss, RYT 200



Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Brother, Anthony William Lim

Tony loved to dance and enjoy his life!

On December 9, 2016, we lost our dear brother Tony, to cancer. A brilliant mind. A true loss to our family. Our brother that we relied on for computer troubleshooting or IT questions. But wait, maybe not a loss to the entire family. Our brother’s loss was a huge gain to his wife, Danli. Let me explain. 

Our brother’s wife gained over 1.2 million dollars from Tony’s death. Not bad for a young woman who worked in the rice paddy fields in China. A woman who was so desperate to leave her country that she married a man that she did not even know. Yes, an arranged marriage by our own father. Our father, who her family would eventually steal over $300,000 from a crooked business deal (but that is for another story). From the beginning, there were red flags. We tried to warn Tony. But he wanted so badly to be accepted by our father. A father who never deserved acceptance or acknowledgement. A father who did not attend his own son’s funeral. Cold? Yes. But what did we expect? After all, our father was ruthless and money-hungry, as we quickly discovered our sister-in-law, Danli would have the same traits. 

UPDATE 12.22.2017: During this past summer, our father's wife informed Debbie and I that our brother's wife never told our father that Tony died. Who by the way, never allowed us to talk to our father because she said he was too ill. To this date, we still wonder if our father is alive, or not. I am almost tempted to have the law authorities check in on him. But they have an illegal immigrant living with them, so I do not want to cause trouble. (Oh, did I ever mention in a post that years ago my father wanted me to sign off on at least three illegal immigrants for $10K cash each? He said they would disappear at the airport and I would never have to worry! This is for another story!!)

We were also told that our brother's wife put Tony's remains at the crematorium in April 2017. What kind of person does not tell his sisters? I cannot believe we have so much meanness and hatred around us! 


While I supported my brother throughout his entire treatment, made end-of life decisions as Durable Power of Attorney, facilitated funeral arrangements, and guided Danli through properly executing financial arrangements as requested by my brother, there was never any objections made by her as me being his Personal Representative. I executed my brother’s estate in the precise manner as instructed by him. Not only did I adequately performed my appointed duties as Personal Representative, I honored my brother’s final wishes.

I only had 2.5 weeks left for my brother’s Probate to close (coincidentally, the date that I finished this blog!). Danli could not wait for this time-period to collect the probate funds and retained her best friend’s husband to remove me as Personal Representative (they filed a petition not even two months of Tony's death and after she received the life insurance). It was hurtful for all the lies that she said about me. It was truly unbelievable. I did not even have time to grieve for my brother.  Because of the unnecessary stress and since the hearing date was after the probate closing date, I decided to remove myself as Personal Representative instead of continuing the fight. I have absolutely no doubt that I would have won the court hearing because I believe good and honesty supersedes evil and lies. Nevertheless, I fulfilled my duties and honored Tony's wishes - the main objective all along.

I thought about writing more about Danli and her horrible, lying attorney. I also thought about writing how my brother never loved his wife, but had an obligation to their son. I have so much to share about my brother’s family and how they treated me at the end. However, these last few weeks helped me to reflect on what really matters and to find peace. In fact, I did not even think about the probate catastrophe until my sister reminded me to finish this. I said I would write my story. They are not worth anymore of my time or thought. 

Lesson learned - get everything in order so my family does not have to go through what I did. I hope whoever reads this, does the same. 

Life goes on and we each must make the best of it. Each day is a gift. 

Chemo Treatment

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Heal and Declog From the Past


Below are instructions on how to heal and declog from the past. I took these notes from the Developing Intuitive Abilities workshop, with presenter Patricia King-Davies (at the Canyon Ranch in Lenox MA)
The Lim Twins, Little Innocent Girls

RELEASE THE PAST

  1. Purchase (or pick from your garden) your favorite flowers (preferably scented) and a new candle.
  2. Write down all things that you want to let go of since childhood. Do not write down actual names, just your own feelings, emotions, sorrows, and disappointments.
  3. Once you are done with the list, take it outside for a witness ceremony. Invite ancestors, angels, and/or loved ones. Create sacred bodylines to not invite party crashers (those who brought you pain, etc.)
  4. Release your past as you burn the list.
  5. Light the new candle and put beside the tub.
  6. Prepare a bath and add at least two full water bottles of Epsom Salt (non-iodine) to create a strong solution. Add 10 drops of lavender and tea tree oil. 
  7. Soak in the tub for 15 minutes to release the energy, declogging yourself from the past.
  8. Stand up to shower as normal and put on your favorite pajamas. 

NEXT STEP: CELEBRATE LIFE

  1. After your bath ritual, find a comfortable spot to write and continue to burn your new candle to enhance warmth and comfort.
  2. Create a New Life form, Wish List (e.g., ideal life and/or relationship). This is where life can be really beautiful by our own design.
  3. Once you are done with your Wish List, hide it and DO NOT talk about it with anyone.
  4. Invite ancestors, angels, and/or loved ones to help with the list.
  5. Watch for things to come into your life.
  6. Keep eyes wide open.
  7. When you do, be grateful and celebrate!
  8. Always look around for the next miracle to open up! Creation. Celebration.
Good luck! Let me know how you did!



Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Inspiration Award from Canyon Ranch Experience

And so it goes “. . . Who inspires you? I am willing to bet that you can think of someone. Perhaps that person has made a selfless sacrifice, motivated others, overcome adversity, or made a difference in the community. . . how about showing them how much they have done so by nominating them for an Inspiration Award? . . . there’s not just one winner in this contest either. There are 70.“  

I was nominated by my beautiful twin-sister, and because of her nomination, a recipient of this generous award! 

I was told by the Canyon Ranch that they are not going to do anything with the nominations that people submitted. So if you are interested in reading mine, please click here and go to the bottom of the page.



Power of Intuition Week

I decided to redeem my award during the Power of Intuition event week at the Lenox MA location, solo. If you are contemplating on going to the Canyon Ranch or scheduled to go for your first time, I hope the following review will help you in your planning! 
In preparation for my stay, I downloaded the This Week at Canyon Ranch guide as soon as it was posted (they will give you a copy when you check in, but I am a planner!).  In order to make the best of your stay and for me - to gain as much knowledge as possible, my thought was to read all of the lectures, classes, etc. descriptions that are offered and schedule each day. I did not have to stick to my schedule, but it was extremely helpful once I got there to keep my focus. (I know, this was a vacation, but I needed to make this a learning experience too!)
When I arrived, I could not believe that I was there as a guest, let alone winning this opportunity! I usually worked and/or planned special events or corporate off-sites! This was definitely a treat!  

Canyon Ranch Fitness Classes

I had 3.5 days to attend as many fitness classes as possible. As most of the readers know, I have an extensive background in the fitness industry (over 35 years) as a fitness presenter, Trainer, and Director. So, I automatically watch for safety, cueing, transition, etc. when attending a class. I am happy to say that most of the instructors were friendly, had a professional appearance, and knowledgeable. I was impressed with how they were in harmony with each other and stayed on schedule. However, I would like to have seen more cueing on safety, variations for different levels (and smiles), especially since several of the attendees were obviously new to a class setting. I appreciated the instructors who taught facing the students. These days, more instructors are teaching away from the students that results in not paying attention to alignment, etc. But that pet-peeve was in a different blog! :-) 
Each Workout Room Was Impressive!
Classes that I attended: Boxers Workout, ZEN-GA Flow, Fit Walk, Muscle Conditioning, Long & Lean Barre, Zumba, Sun Salutations, Lo-Impact Aerobics, Chi Energy, Mid-Morning Stretch, Power of Breath, YIN Yoga, and West African Drumming.
On my last day, I gave the Outdoors Manager our Z-Box Fitness DVD in hopes that they will consider offering Z-Box to their guests. I was told by a few of the guests and instructors that they have not changed their fitness programs in several years. So Z-Box would be a nice addition!

Canyon Ranch Complimentary Lectures

  • Biofeedback for Health & Well-Being
    Dr. Jeff Rossman provided information on an innovative approach to stress and health enhancement with Heart Rhythm Biofeedback. This is definitely something that I will continue to research and possibly offer our clients at Proactive Wellness Center in the near future!
  • Stress, Healing & Spiritual Awakening
    Sarah Vulgamore is an awesome presenter and worth going to if you have the opportunity! This lecture taught us how our spiritual journey can help us to the next step in transforming our lives. A few take-aways: how you feel is how you think – how you think is usually from habit. Remove the obstacles . . . a handout would have been appreciated in this lecture!
  • How to Make This Year Your Best Year
    Oh man! Another awesome presenter, Jerry Posner! I love the little cards he gave to us, and I plan to do his “15 for 2015 – Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year” practice. You can find helpful information on Jerry's blog.
  • The Yin Within
    I never realized that the Yin Yang symbol actually means something. Regina Serkin did a nice job explaining the Chinese character for Yin that literally means, “Shady side of the hill” and how our bodies are affected if we are not balanced.
  • The Heart of Healing Energy
    A healing energy practitioner provided a guided meditation and hands-on healing. This seemed similar to Reiki. It was a little confusing at first; most of the participants felt warmth in their bodies with the hands-on practice. 
  • Developing Intuitive Abilities
    This was the top lecture that I wanted to attend during my stay. Patricia King-Davies did a wonderful job in teaching us how to develop and cultivate our inherent intuitive abilities. I knew my intuitive abilities was pretty strong and it was confirmed during a telepathic exercise Patricia did. I was the only one in the room who knew what she was thinking! Patricia gave us a wonderful take-away on how to de-clog ourselves from the past that I plan to do soon! A handout would have been appreciated in this lecture.
  • Tarot Card Demonstration
    I was curious and decided to attend for fun. I volunteered to have a short reading and she was way off. I am not a typical guest that would attend a resort such as the Canyon Ranch and her reading was going off of that. Again, it was for fun and not taken seriously.
  • Beauty Secrets
    Jamie did a makeover on me and it turned out nice. She talked about the brands that they offer at the Canyon Ranch salon. 

Spa Services
  • Anti-Aging Treatment
    What a treat this was! Renee was excellent! I felt like I was in heaven! If you are at all modest, this may not be your service of choice. I am very modest and did not know this going in. But, I just dealt with my body being exposed to enjoy the treatment!
  • Ashiatsu Massage
    Oh my gosh! You MUST try this massage if you like deep pressure! As soon as the presenter of the Heart of Healing Energy Lecture (I forgot her name, darn it!) told us that she was a massage therapist, I knew she would be my therapist that evening! This was my first Ashiatsu massage and I am hooked! I felt like jello and was totally relaxed afterwards!
  • Shiatsu Massage
    If you like a pressure point massage, this one is it for you! Ben’s breathing technique was steady and relaxing during the duration of my massage. I felt like a pincushion and did my best to put up with the poking, as he found every little sore spot on my body!  Still a great, first-time experience!
  • Anti-Aging Facial
    During my research of the Canyon Ranch, I read a nice review on LaToya. So, I decided she would be my Esthetician and glad that she was! LaToya educated me on my skin's condition and took the time to recommend a variety of products. Okay, I know she makes a commission on the products, but she did give me options for a woman on a budget!

Creative Arts Studio Classes

Silk Scarf That I Made
If you can attend a craft class, do it! The instructor, Elizabeth Kick was fun and encouraging!
  • Sunset Silk Scarves
    I really enjoyed this class and look forward to wearing my scarf! In fact, I plan to make more with the help of the instructions that was given to us.
  • Bead Well: Fun Key Fobs
    In the Spa Complex they have a display with the crafts you can make during your stay. I was disappointed that the cool beads they had displayed was not offered in the class.
  • The Mandala Experience
    Oh my! The idea I had in my head was nothing of what I actually drew! I guess I am not as artistic as my twin sister! She is extremely talented!!! It was fun though learning about the mandala history.

A Few Things To Note


Spirit Trail

During your stay, be sure to walk the beautiful Labyrinth – it is a peaceful, meditative experience and the ideal way to begin or end an active day at the Ranch. I found peace within during my walk. A tranquil experience.


Food

You will have access to all the food you need during your stay! The portions are perfect, healthy and delicious! I absolutely enjoyed all of the meals and snacks

Complimentary Body Composition Assessment
I was pleasantly surprised that my Percent Body Fat is still at the Performance Level of 18%. I really needed this boost! 

Summary


I am extremely grateful to my twin sister who nominated me and to Canyon Ranch for having me! 
I feel very lucky to be healthy and fit. We all need to embrace our bodies regardless of what size we are or how old we are. Attending the fitness classes helped me see how fit I actually am, so all the hard work paid off! Of course, my body is changing and it does get depressing seeing everything go south and my muscle tone disappearing, especially when my life is fitness. However, at almost 54 years old, it is time to let go of the poor body image and appreciate the present - the moment right now. Canyon Ranch helped me in many ways and I hope that if you stay there, you will get the same positive experience! It would be another dream come true to one day return, but this time with my twin-sister and daughter!

The Landscape is Absolutely Beautiful!

All Sweaty After A Few Classes!
Room 101. Upon Check-In, You Will Get A T-Shirt, Water Bottle, and Logo Tote Bag




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Did I Do It?

So last year I created a Bucket List for 2014. Now it is time to see if I honored it, or not!
  1. Find a Job I Love: Being self-employed full-time, or a job that I am both passionately curious about and talented at.
    I opened another business and loving it! My twin sister, her husband and I opened Proactive Wellness Center and I am also teaching more classes. It is difficult at times generating the income I was once used to. However, the feeling of being my own boss and not dealing with difficult managers (that unfortunately, I had to deal with) is totally empowering! 
  2. Release the Past: Not dwell on the demons of the past, but let it go and live my life.
    I am living my life to the best of my abilities. The demons are not winning! I am living in the present and releasing the past. After all, you cannot move forward until you let go of the negativity, the past.
  3. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner: Something fun that I always wanted to do!
    I looked several times and could not find a place! Any ideas?
  4. Attend Two Fitness Workshops and YTT: Always to stay current on my fitness skills!
    Done. I am now certified at Tabata and PIYO. PIYO is surprisingly similar to my Z.E.N. program and honestly, I have no interest in teaching Tabata because it is not at all what I expected. Maybe because I love Z-Box (and Combat) too much! Still need to do YTT.
  5. Visit a Senior Home: Let the forgotten seniors know that they still matter.
    I visited a senior center that my niece works at. Plus, now that we have our own wellness center, we are offering exercise classes for free to seniors. 
  6. Reach My Idea Weight: Even us fitness professionals’ needs a little push once is a while!
    I still weigh the same as I did when I wrote this bucket list. My weight fluctuate a few pounds and I learned to deal with it. I accept my body and weight. I learned to respect and love my body, and will accept the new flaws as I get older.
  7. Learn to Swim: I have an in-ground swimming pool, it is about time I enjoy it!
    I tried, but still need a lot of work!
  8. Live in a State of Gratitude: Focus every moment in a state of appreciation and deep gratitude.
    I am so very grateful for my health, especially seeing what my brother is going through with his cancer. I thank God every day for my healthy body and for allowing me to help others attain their fitness goals. This morning I woke up and thought of how much I love my bed and how comfy it is. I had to hug my pillows and down comforter as I smiled. At that moment I remembered as a child when I slept in a bed with the stains and smell of dog feces and urine on my bedding, at 16 when I slept in a sleeping bag on a floor in an empty flat that my twin sister and I rented because we were forced to live on our own by the State, and sometimes in a car when I had nowhere to live. I learn to appreciate the little things, the simple moments, the present.  My life is definitely in a state of gratitude. God is good!
  9. Quality Time with Family and Friends: Schedule dates with family and friends.
    Most definitely! I had nice visits with my family and friends. This Bucket Item also helped me remove toxic relationships, one being a good friend of over 35 years. Life is too precious to be around people who are negative, one-sided, prejudice, self-center . . . I think you got the picture!

  10. Fitness Resort Trip: This is a biggy, but something I wanted to do since the Red Mountain Spa trip with my daughter! (Does anyone know a place where I can exchange teaching classes for accommodations?)
    Although I did not go on my trip in 2014 - I WILL be going in 2015! AH YEA!!! I recently won the Canyon Ranch Inspiration Awards! My twin sister nominated me and I am one of the winners!!!

Below is what I won . . .
  • 4-night inclusive stay at the Sponsor’s Tucson, Arizona or Lenox, Massachusetts property, to include deluxe accommodations; three nutritious gourmet meals daily; full use of all spa and resort facilities; complimentary fitness classes, sports activities, wellness presentations and cooking demonstrations
  • round-trip transfers from/to Tucson International Airport, or round-trip airport or train station transfers from/to Albany, NY or Hartford, CT
  • $670 service allowance to be used towards for-fee spa, sports and integrative wellness services during the complimentary stay
  • $300 complimentary gift card that may be used in connection with travel expenses

This is what Debbie Wrote . . .
The Lim Twins' story of survival - many would call torture - led us to concentrate on helping other people. Our story offers encouragement and motivation. Born to Asian immigrants and raised in the heart of Detroit, Michigan, we were products of a very strict and, to say the least, a complicated upbringing. We lived in various children homes, were on our own at 15, and at times, homeless. Our lives were a struggle - often unbearable - but our determination and belief that anything is possible, was unusually strong – especially Donna.

Throughout her life, Donna had a unique quality of helping others and a genuinely caring heart. It is surprising how Donna kept so positive even when she would be beaten so badly from our step-father where she could not move, endless brainwashing of how “fat, stupid, ugly, etc.” we were, to having a gun held to her head twice, not being truly happy, and struggling with the demons in her head. Most people would have turned to drugs or alcohol, but Donna persevered and was determine to not allow things that were out of her control to dictate her life. She did not want to be a statistic, but a woman to make a positive impact in people’s lives.

Donna started Fitness Motivators in 1989.  Although her competitors said it would not work - Donna was the first to design an aerobics and weight training combination exercise program in her area. She did not like the idea of women exercising so hard to the point of getting sick. Donna’s passion in helping others spread to offering fitness classes in several communities and corporations - raising the bar on what a quality fitness program should be, and touching the lives of over 10,000 clients and fitness professionals, with the help of her daughter, the Fitness Motivators Team, and me.  Donna continues to make fitness classes affordable to everyone, and a place where people of all fitness levels can go. She even help women who are in hardship! Now our competitors copy our programs and even copy everything from the website Donna developed and designed. However, just like Donna said, “. . . the level of expertise cannot be copied!”

Regardless of where we came from, Donna continues to keep a positive attitude, even when these last few years remains to be a struggle. (I sometimes ask when will we ever get a break!?!) Her position was eliminated from her pharmaceutical job of over 11 years not only once, but twice (after her company relocated her to Missouri for two years and sold her home in Michigan of 22 years). She moved four times, had three horrible jobs since she moved back to Michigan, we lost our mother, and now our brother was just diagnosed with stage four cancer.

My twin-sister Donna is not only an inspiration to me, but also our clients and our entire family. For example, during our recent 25 Year Fitness Motivators Anniversary event, an instructor she took under her wings when she first started the company thanked Donna for being an influence in her life and wrote a short story about it in the Chicken Soup for the Soul From Lemons to Lemonade, page 212.

Donna is an amazing woman and always talks about one day going to the Canyon Ranch. When I saw your ad for nominations, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity for Donna to finally get her wish and for your readers to know Donna – truly a beautiful, loving woman! She is truly an inspiration of what kindness looks like!Thank you for reading my post! Until next time, stay safe and healthy!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Living In The Moment Bucket List 2014

Are you living your best life or just repeating your daily routine? Did you live your full potential each day in 2013? Are you being the best possible version of YOU?

During the end of each year, most of us reflect back and decide to set a New Year’s resolution on something that we may have neglected, or was too busy/non-motivating to accomplish. A New Year, A New Me. Unfortunately, most New Year’s resolution fails within the first week and only 8% will actually stick to them.

I never made a New Year’s resolution. What I did do was set goals throughout my life. One of the most important goal was to create an original fitness program.

An owner of a fitness company that I worked for told me that my idea would not succeed when I asked her to consider adding it to her program. That was 25 years ago when I started Fitness Motivators. Back in the 80s, classes consisted of high-impact aerobics where participants exercised at their maximum heart rate and I witnessed countless times of them getting sick, injured, and/or eventually giving up. Unfortunately, High impact aerobics are surfacing back today in the fitness industry, but camouflaged under different labels with the same outcome but some worse than that of the 80s. (This article actually explains is nicely of some programs I am speaking of.) I created an interval-training program (unheard of back then) where participants worked at their own pace, challenged themselves when ready, and always left feeling energized and motivated. Since the launch of Fitness Motivators in 1989, we created several successful fitness programs (e.g., Z-BoxFitness) with over 10,000 participants. My goal was to help others reach their fitness goals. A goal that was accomplished repeatedly, with the help of the Fitness Motivators Team.

So, what can I do now to live an inspired life full of adventure and excitement as a life-long learner? What about you?

For me, this is my opportunity to explore my dreams, set my mindset, to start now in defining my purpose. In writing today’s post, this will make me accountable; make my short Bucket List, a reality.

The following link is to a form that I created just for you - so you too, can start now and be accountable (there is a line on the top of the form to put your name!). The form only requires 10 bucket-items so you will not be overwhelmed and stressed in achieving each item, but to have fun in the process of living in the moment!

I look forward to doing this together with you! Remember to share your progress with me as I will share mine, too!

Donna's 2014 Bucket List
  1. Find a Job I Love: Being self-employed full-time, or a job that I am both passionately curious about and talented at.
  2. Release the Past: Not dwell on the demons of the past, but let it go and live my life.
  3. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner: Something fun that I always wanted to do!
  4. Attend Two Fitness Workshops and YTT: Always to stay current on my fitness skills!
  5. Visit a Senior Home: Let the forgotten seniors know that they still matter.
  6. Reach My Idea Weight: Even us fitness professionals’ needs a little push once is a while!
  7. Learn to Swim: I have an in-ground swimming pool, it is about time I enjoy it!
  8. Live in a State of Gratitude: Focus every moment in a state of appreciation and deep gratitude.
  9. Quality Time with Family and Friends: Schedule dates with family and friends.
  10. Fitness Resort Trip: This is a biggy, but something I wanted to do since the Red Mountain Spa trip with my daughter! (Does anyone know a place where I can exchange teaching classes for accommodations?)



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Finding Happiness

Our house on Chapel Street in Brightmoor was directly
behind the maple tree (now a vacant lot)
Memories flowed in my head after I read one of Tyler Perry's messageI Used To Be Afraid To Open My Kitchen Cabinets. I remembered being afraid to open any drawers in the house in fear of surprising the baby mice nestling in their nests. We had to pound on the walls because the sound of the mice inside the walls kept us up all night as we laid in beds with smelly stains of urine and feces from our mom’s untrained four dogs, in our one-bedroom Detroit HUD home that housed six people. The memories of blocking our faces with our arms as we walked by our step-father in fear of being hit, was a normal reaction that finally ended when he died November 1979. However, the pain continues even today as we try to live life as normal adults and hide what is really happening inside our heads. As we look at little girls playing and laughing, we cannot imagine calling them (on a daily basis) whores, cocksuckers, ugly, fat, stupid, and other horrible things. I wonder how life would have turned out if our mother had chosen us and not him. I ask myself why did our parents keep us locked up in a bedroom with a bucket to pee in, with the window nailed shut so we could not open it.       

Before our mother passed away last August, I continuously discouraged my siblings from talking to her about our past. I did not think anything would ever be resolved from it, nor did I think it would even matter at this point. Unfortunately, protecting my aging mother prevented my siblings' closure that they desperately needed to heal. That I too, desperately needed. Now it is too late and we must try to make sense of the madness and move forward.

Today, as I try to move forward, I am finding it more difficult to deal with people who are disrespectful or mean toward me. This includes professionally and personally. For example, I work for a woman who tries to find fault in everything that I do and does not even appreciate what I have to offer her. She actually asked me if "it was a culture difference, had I ever been around black people before?" or, "are you always so nervous or is that just part of your nature?" Little does she know anything about me, or even care to. People fear her. They told me that she strives in chaos and they constantly work around her mood. I am not afraid of her and already talked to her five times about respect. Although I disapprove the way she treats me (her last employee took a demotion just to get away from her), I feel sad that such a beautiful, smart woman finds it necessary to be this way and little does she know how people really feel about her. I started to doubt myself (as others did before me) and now that I had a moment to step outside of the constant fire, I know it is just another a bad situation and it is not me. Because, the 100% positive feedback from all of my past managers trumps her no-patience behavior and rude comments. 


So where does finding happiness fits in?  It is obviously not in my current work situation, nor is it with a close friend's recent decision that (little does she know) ultimately offended me. It is knowing that finding happiness changes as we get older. Growing up in a tortured environment gives little room to find happiness. We utilized our time in the bedroom to use our imagination, especially when we discovered the door to the attic in our closet. Our secret little play-land, escape from reality. As a child, I dreamed of being an actress, a race car driver, living in New York City with my twin sister in a loft. I had many dreams and yet no directions on how to get there. College was not in our vocabulary. Heck, nothing but surviving day-to-day was our only hope back then. I feel blessed that the four of us managed to barely escape being another statistic in the City.      

I started Fitness Motivators almost 25 years ago, to help as many women as possible with their fitness goals. I guess you can say this is where I find my happiness. Knowing that I can make a difference in someone else's life. I work hard in making each class that I teach entertaining and fun. Sometimes I think of teaching as an alternative to my earlier dream of being an actress. Seeing the results in so many clients make all the hard work and efforts worthwhile.


Today, I no longer worry about proving myself to anyone. I have no desire to climb the corporate ladder. I appreciate things differently. Having a 23.5" waist is no longer an obsession. Being healthy in this stage of my life is what is important. My family is priority and making sure each day is fulfilled in doing things that I want to do, not what I am forced to do or being unhappy. Life is now simplified.

I know this blog is long and I appreciate you reading it. Until next time, be happy and know that the way we think changes, as we get older. I will be 52 in two days and will continue to get rid of the demons in my head and live in the moment. 

Namaste. 

Donna