Squeeze The Day

When Life gives you lemons... make a wreath and lemonade of course too! 

Sometimes the lemons that roll our way are the very things that wake us up and strengthen us! Go get'm today, SQUEEZE THE DAY!

Strength Necklace by The Giving Keys, one of my favorite INSPIRATIONAL companies founded by my beautiful friend, Caitlin Crosby.  Check them out!

To Malibu With Gratitude

A Sunday morning drive down PCH, sipping on a smoothie with some mood music and my man-squeeze next to me is a great way to start the day...

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Something about the ocean-side drive always deeply connects me to my sense of gratitude. The quick breeze almost takes my hipster hat. Erik and I share a laugh that's worthy of the windows remaining down. There's a whisper in the air that breathes, it's going to be a great Sunday. I love this feeling– are you with me?

The Malibu Yoga Shala is our destination, a private event hosted by the gracious Leah Marsh and Ed Freedman. We stroll into a beautiful space with the excitement of meeting new people and claim a spot as yoga mats are being rolled out. A stunning beach-front flow accompanied by live acoustic music is such a gorgeous way to bring people together... I'm inspired and honored to be here. Glimpsing into the kitchen, I can see a small crew hard at work preparing an array of fresh foods and the sweetest chocolate lab is brushing by with a tennis ball in-mouth, ready to play. There are hugs and handshakes with some friendly faces I know and introductions with those whom are new. I'm in my element of bliss and soaking up the experience of participating as a guest before I get to guide this radical tribe. 

The smell of the salty air, sounds of waves crashing and the light strumming of a guitar is grounding and I feel alive. My rhythmic ujjayi breath is a graceful ballroom-waltz dancing in and out... in and out... in and out. I'm relishing in the last bit of shade as the sun beams its' rays onto half of my face. I am present, I am grateful, I am happy. 

For seventy-five minutes Kat McGee has us gently flowing, threading in the word simplicity and I sink deeper into letting go and release my worried demeanor about getting everything done on my to-do list.  Jenna Maranga's angelic voice flutters like a beautiful butterfly over my movements.It's calming to practice being present & the art of acceptance. The time spend on my mat and meditating gives me the freedom to enjoy the process.  As we lay in Savasana and I surrender letting thanks wash over my sun-kissed, dewy body I cherish the calm, quiet connection to the earth supporting me– Namaste. 

We are invited to stick around and enjoy breakfast prepared by the talented Chef Oren. The presentation is something a food blogger would go nuts over. YUM! Everything is delicious... my pallet is satisfied with flavorful & clean local ingredients that he's passionate about serving. This was such a special addition to the already wonderful morning we were having. 

Photo by Me

Photo by Me

Photo: Chef Oren - Lavender Dragon fruit Chia pudding

Photo: Chef Oren -Lavender Dragon fruit Chia pudding

Photo: Chef Oren -  Mini healthy tostadas w/ Brown quinoa, spinach, Chili's, black beans, fire roasted tomato salsa and hard-boiled egg

Photo: Chef Oren -Mini healthy tostadas w/ Brown quinoa, spinach, Chili's, black beans, fire roasted tomato salsa and hard-boiled egg

Photo: Chef Oren -  Acai coconut bowl

Photo: Chef Oren -Acai coconut bowl

Of course we couldn't leave with out getting our toes in the sand and me asking my talented guy, Erik Almas to snap some beach yoga photos. The beautiful connection nature triggers spiritually for me is a reminder, I'm the most comfortable outdoors and surrounded by it. Beyond getting a great shot, it feels nice to have the sea splashing up on me as I try to find balance on a rock. 

Special Thanks to  Body Language Sports Wear  for my summer floral leggings and  LuLu Lemon  for my favorite black bra top.

Special Thanks to Body Language Sports Wear for my summer floral leggings and LuLu Lemon for my favorite black bra top.

We mingled for a bit and as I thanked Leah and Ed for their loving, generosity and hospitality, I realized how special this is and what a privilege it will be to flow with these yogi's as I lead this private event on Aug. 7th.  Another bucket list will be checked off and it will be something new for my 31 day class pass challenge I'm doing this month with my friends, Jake Ferree and Namastamy. I've been wanting to teach a flow accompanied with live music; our featured musician is Peter Chung.  I spoke with Peter and he mentioned he's always wanted to play live with a yoga flow... SYNCHRONICITY is so grand! A special thanks to Chris Pan founder of MyIntent for connecting me to this group of wonderful humans. Stay tuned for a follow up blog with more on the Aug. 7th Malibu Yoga Shala Event. 

Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.
— Mark Twain

Thank you for popping by! Can I inspire you to try some new things for the rest of August with me and include #InspirationalAddict in your hashtag when you photograph it? XOXO

Strawberry Moon

Happy Summer Solstice 2016 everyone! What are you going to do with out extra daylight today?

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

As our Sun comes to a standstill at the Tropic of Cancer today can we join the Sun in this transformation of stillness and change? It's the longest day of the year and most daylight before the days begin to get shorter again. For the first time in decades we will have a full moon and summer solstice on the same day so get ready for our 'Strawberry Moon.' May you feel kissed by the Sun today and embrace all the light and transformation the changing of seasons can bring to us. 

 

Unknown artists  Pinterest

Unknown artists Pinterest

Happy National Best Friends Day

It's hard to keep up with all the Celebrated Best Day's erupting over social media anymore... but National Best Friends Day deserves a shout out! Take a moment, stroll down memory lane and think of the best friends you've had growing up and the special humans that are in your life today. Did you ever share a best friends necklace? I always felt I needed more halves, you? I wanted to wear it with more than just one friend, I still feel that today.

We all share something universal in this notion of having friends. A person or persons you share your up's and down's with and your funny and embarrassing moments.  It's that phone call you pick up, the ears that listen, the voice with sound advice you trust, honor and respect and wrap your heartfelt love and support into. Did you know that having friendships is essential to living a balanced, healthy life? So pick up the phone and say "thank you" to that best friend or friends that you surround yourself with. 

Friends are like Angels who lift you up when your wings have forgotten how to fly
— Pinterest

From so many different chapters of my life, I have the fondest memories I cherish with some wonderful humans and even my pets throughout childhood that nurtured a relationship in what I consider to be a best friend. Thank you, every last one of you! 

What does having a best friend mean to you? Honor those in your life with a little extra love, even if it's just done in spirit! 

Check out The Giving Keys for a beautiful, new best friends collection. Do they make them for multiple best friends I ask???

Happy Memorial Day

Expand your heart and send out love and gratitude as we honor all of our leading men and women who have fought for our country and lost their lives in battle. We celebrate your bravery, courage and for the unwavering support you've given the U.S.. May our love and prayers give healing to the victims family's. 

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In case you didn't know....

"Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War.

Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.

The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. When Memorial Day became a federal holiday, it was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. Since many companies close for the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is three days long for most people. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season that lasts until the first Monday in September, which is Labor Day." For more about Memorial Day and other Public Holidays see PublicHolidays.US

I'm so happy to see how yoga and meditation has become a healing practice for many of our veterans needing forms of rehabilitation and support. If you have any interest in volunteering your services or donating, check out a few companies doing tremendous work below and click the link for more information on how you can get involved. 

Give Back Yoga Foundation

What are your Memorial Day plans? BBQ, travel, relax, family, friends... whatever you decide, enjoy your long weekend and be safe! Thanks again, as always for stopping by Inspirational Addict. 

My Unforgettable Night With Our Beloved Prince

Prince lovers everywhere are saddened by the news that we've lost another iconic artist way too soon. I've been a fan since my youth. Often lip syncing and twirling around my bed room and forcing even my shy friends to perform and make up choreography to his music at every slumber party.  Multiple dance and tumbling routines of mine over the years were performed to some of his greatest hits. I don't often make any fuss about meeting amazing people but this was Prince, The Prince, and my moment was inspiring to say the least.  Never in a million years did I think one day I would shake this legendary performers hand or melt with disbelief and a throbbing heart as he captivated my presence.  Shall I go on?

 
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I wish I had photos but all I have is a fond memory implanted in my mind and heart which so far has been one of my most memorable nights since I moved to LA in 2000.  My girlfriend, Sarah and I got asked by Prince's private-party chef if we were available to pass champagne at his LA home for an intimate gathering. This was one of the last free-lance bartending jobs I had and boy, I can say I closed down that chapter of my life with bang! I think it was a no-brainer, YES, for us since we both were fans.  It sounded pretty lovely to be paid a substantial fee to simply greet guests and offer some bubbly as they mingled about hoping we may get to see Prince perform at some point, right? We were told no pictures and to not have too much interaction. Let's face it, you tell yourself to play it cool but that's pretty hard when you see someone like Prince glide into a room with a mysterious essence... you catch yourself trying not to stare and watch his every move like a stalker, suddenly the feeling of pop-rocks candy is exploding in your gut and you can't help but wish that for a moment he might just come say hello. A pretty natural feeling I presume?

And so he did. Not right away but eventually as the evening progressed, I caught eyes with him. Met with a smile, I asked if I could get him anything. He was kind and soft spoken. It was just lovely and enough as far as I was concerned. 

No more than 30-40 guests had casually arrived and filled the upstairs, amongst them was none other than the late, Whitney Houston, which too was mesmerizing.  As cocktail time and conversations started to wind down, the guests migrated downstairs where the band was set up to perform. Sarah and I sort of lingered with wonderment and curiosity of what we may be missing down there as we cleaned and tidied things up.  We saw more of Prince strolling about various wings of the house so we knew the band was still jamming without him.  We eventually were guided down briefly to offer some champagne refills. The downstairs hallway was like a museum with a collection of pieces like his motorcycle, amazing guitars and the purple rain velvet outfit... pretty cool to see.  The quaint space accommodated the small crowd nicely and all seemed to be enjoying the band playing and getting their dance moves on even though,  there was no Prince.

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It's now passing 2AM and we catch the band pack up and head out to valet.  And then something happens. The band comes back in and we are asked, along with any other staff that is there to head downstairs. There is less than 10 guests still hanging about that I can see. And there he is, less than 5ft in front of Sarah and I.  Dripped in a small pool of light, guitar in hand, eyes closed, the electric riffs began and for the next hour we were dancing like it was 1999, our doves were crying, we went crazy, we felt delirious, Sarah and I practically kissed, we melted wanting to be his lover and nothing compared to the purple rain we felt pouring over us 7 times and then some. YOU FEEL ME?

Whether or not Prince intended to perform his greatest hits for those who waited and held out to the wee hours or for his staff who delicately curated a perfect night, I for one was inspired by this random act of what seemed so kind and dear for just us. This will forever be a memory I cherish with my soul sister Sarah Sluder. This experience made me take a moment to pause and acknowledge that every terrible bartending job I did along the way may have just lead me to this unforgettable night with our beloved Prince.  R.I.P.

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The coffee shop I'm sitting in today is playing the songs of this talented soul that inspired so many of us. It feels nice as I wrap this up. May we all take a moment and relish in a song that gave you a memory of some kind and share it with our youth and let his legacy carry with the world for years to come. Let me know what it is, what's the one your most likely to belt in the shower? I love hearing from you guys!

Click this link for the New York Times announcement article published yesterday morning. 

Do you know Prince Ea?

Hello open hearted, motivated people. If you haven't seen any of the works of this inspiring individual, let me introduce you to Prince Ea

I was moved to tears last night as I was wrapping up my day and saw this post at the top of my feed on Face Book. Inspired by his passion, his humble approach to share motivation and encourage us all as individuals to trust we have so much power with-in, I want to share it here as well. May it lift you up and make you smile and understand that none of us are alone in the rollercoaster of life. I love his messages. I'm grateful for people like him spreading light and love and compassion that we can all relate to.

Follow Prince Ea on Face Book - Parents I think he's good one for the teens?

If it moves you the way it did me, let me hear about it, comment or share! All thoughts are always welcome. I thank my brother for initially introducing me to the works of this awesome human who's also representing St. Louis, Missouri... my home sweet home. 

 

BE WHO YOU ARE

‘The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are’
— Joseph Campbell

What do you like about yourself? We spend a lot of time these days scrolling and hitting that like button for others, how about pausing for a moment and giving yourself some props?

I dare you to find a quiet moment today and tell yourself some things you are proud of about being you. Build on these things, let more light into being your amazing self! Be kind, be compassionate, be grateful. Smile about it all.

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Once you do this for yourself, ask a loved one; your significant other or perhaps your children what they like about themselves? Listen. Take an opportunity to pay this forward and spread some light. We often squirm at first, "what do I like about myself?" Before you know it you are exercising positivity, indulging in some self love and communicating, which is key in any relationship! 

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If you want to exercise writing them down and putting them out there to share with me, I'D LOVE IT! Be brave and confident and put them in the comments below! 

Happy MLK Day

Happy MLK Day gang! I was scrolling through Pinterest  last night to read some of the many great quotes from our beloved Martin Luther King Jr. and felt inspired to read a little more.

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Thank you to President Reagan for pushing through the hesitations and early objections about making MLK's birthday a national holiday and creating this day in memory of the extraordinary things Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. did for the world.  It's an opportunity for our youth to learn about how they too can grow to be strong individuals with a voice, live bravely, be leaders and experience freely from their hearts.  I believe when we strive to work from this place, our spirits soar and wonderful things develop. 

I bow with gratitude to all people who so eloquently use words and create great phrases which give us strength and empower us and we draw motivation from.  This is part of my practice as a yoga instructor and it's my hope that through teaching, I too can impact anyone who may take away something that resonates or feels good to them as I guide a practice. 

Be grateful for the leaders that help shift and grow our views of the world and may it inspire you to have an open heart and be a leader as well!

I stumbled upon a great article What to know about Martin Luther King Day at TIME.Com by Tessa Berenson @tcberenson - Check it out, it's a quick, informative read/ view.  If it inspires you, share it out loud with your family or friends.  We encourage ourselves by encouraging others.  If you have anything you want to share about MLK or your favorite quote please share it!

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