And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

Meditation Monday #55 – Valuable Reprogramming

I decided to go back to reading Gates today. It’s been on my “to do list” for quite some time, but always seems to be pushed to the side for other Monday activities. Today I did the Day 90 reading about Svadhyaya and asked myself the question:

What are my own limiting beliefs?

My husband is always saying that I have a problem with “men”. I don’t believe it to be true. I work with male students, colleagues, have two sons, and used to be almost exclusively friends with “men”. I see most “men” not as “men”, but as people just as I see “women” as people. It’s only upon interacting with people do I then make judgements about who/how they are.

How very anti-yoga of me to make judgements?! But, also, how completely yoga of me to admit that, to be truthful, honest, and self-aware.

I have written a few posts about judgement (prejudice) and self-study (svadhyaya). I think that learning where we fall short is important for growth in our lives. However, Gates mentions the way that we’re programmed to think based on what we’re told by tv, newspaper, or (now) social media. He writes:

The world is not safe, you are not safe, you need X-Y-or-Z to be safe. Your life is not enough, you are not enough, you need X-Y-or-Z to be enough. p.120

In the past few years we’ve been bombarded with ways in which people (mostly men and some women) are acting in ways that we (as a society) no longer feel comfortable with. I have always stood by these values that people should be treated equally and with kindness and compassion. I don’t always succeed at this, but I keep trying.

Last week a woman came up to me in a parking lot at the beach. She told me that she was homeless and asked if I could help her out because she hadn’t eaten all day. I told her, honestly that I didn’t have any cash. She asked if I would go to McDonald’s across the street and buy her a burger. I told her no, that I couldn’t do that either. This too was the truth. I had my children with me, we were out of time on our parking meter and they were tired and wet from having been at the beach. We had somewhere else to be soon. And my summer money is tightly budgeted as I don’t often work over the summer. But ….those are all justifications. Part of the truth was that I had watched several news reports in our area about people who were pretending to be homeless! People who went on camera (with their faces blurred and their voices altered) and admitted that they sat on a corner for a few hours each day to make money instead of going to a job. They also went to food pantries and other handouts and were letting others pay for their rent and food and utility expenses by pretending to be homeless. So, my instinct in this situation was not to give her the money.

This all made me wonder:

How much of the media influence makes me weary of being open, trusting, and sharing with people?

How much of our culture is making me seem like I have a problem with men when I speak up for equality?

How are my judgements limiting me and am I in need of some valuable reprogramming?

Drink As You Pour

Drink as you pour ~ Ma Jaya

Yesterday I finally finished going through the Inclusivity Training with Chelsea Jackson Roberts. Throughout the experience she repeatedly quoted her mentor, Ma Jaya, as saying “Drink as you pour” as a reminder that we must give to ourselves as we give to others.

I had considered writing this post as a Meditation Monday post, but I’m currently in the middle of another How to Meditate series and didn’t want to interrupt that flow. But it’s important to consider this statement both as a meditation topic and also as a guiding principle of life. Think about it…..how can I give to others and also nourish myself? I’ve written before about selfless acts (remember Phoebe?) and also self-care and the need for both in life, not just a “yoga life”.

First, let’s talk course review. I liked the online course and it gave me a lot of great ideas for things to do with my own classes and material for a course I was working on for NETA. However, the format of the course was not completely to my liking. I prefer in person training and the ability to ask questions/get feedback along the way. I have been told that I will get feedback on all of my “assignments/reflections”, but I have finished the course and only once received feedback. I think they had too many people signed up. Also, there were LIVE Q&A sessions that you could attend online. I started the course late and they were Wednesday evenings during our regular dinner time, so it wasn’t possible for me to “attend”. I watched them all later as they appeared throughout the course. It didn’t feel much like Q&A to me and I don’t think I gained much from that perspective.

The thing I probably enjoyed the most was the personal journey attained through reflection and homework assignments. I also REALLY liked learning a few of the breathing exercises and used the Yoga Nidra exercise to help me fall asleep while in my hotel room in Asheville. It’s something I will use as I travel more often as I had really wonderful sleep afterward.

In reflecting throughout the course I found that the material I choose to read (see an upcoming Fave Reads Friday post) are often reflective of my own journey through this world and understanding my own power, privilege, and prejudice. I still firmly believe that I have little prejudice except for against people who are strongly prejudice or who are just outright mean.

For example, I got someone kicked out of the Chevelle concert this past weekend. Why? Because she was a bully. She was harassing two younger concert goers…intentionally…because they wouldn’t move and let her to the front. They had been there since 630pm when the doors opened and rightfully gained their front row status. They stayed, the entire time, without once going to the bathroom or for refreshments. My hubby and I kept trading off and holding our spaces that we also attained at 630pm so that we (because we’re old) could go and get water and use the facilities. She arrived up front during Chevelle’s performance, over 3 hours later. She physically hit and kicked them, slammed her body into them, and yelled verbal obscenities into their ears. Others around us laughed it off to an extent, uncomfortably, as the fact that we’re at a concert and you get banged around. But, I had had enough.

This is not what I considered “concert behavior” and I tattled on the woman. I’m not afraid to say that I did this and she knew it was me, but she didn’t come after me. She went deeper after the two under 21’s. She was clearly in her 40’s or older, she was a larger woman, and she used her weight to throw around her intoxicated and irate body at people who had done nothing wrong.

Eventually, etiquette won out and the kind security officer I complained to had her ejected….to the applause of the people around us. The concert went on and was much more enjoyable for me at that point. The two next to us thanked my husband (not me) when they left. I wasn’t hurt by this; I felt good about standing up for someone else. I am privileged in some ways and disadvantaged in others in my life, but I don’t often stand by when others are being singled out.

My reflections in this course helped me to come to the conclusion that I could do more in standing up for the mistreatment of others. I am considering my options in pursuing this.

Have you considered your power, privilege and prejudice?

How do you drink as you pour?

What courses have you taken lately that have taught you something more about yourself?

TOLT #19 – Drop the Commentary; Not the Cookies?

I originally had this post ready to go for yesterday’s Think Out Loud Thursday, but after the documentary I saw the other night, I’ve had a small change of heart over the tone of this post. So, I pulled it and spent the day thinking about what I really wanted to say. This is a re-write of my original post. I also changed the exclamation point at the top to a question mark to reflect my change in opinion…..so, here we go:

I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately about external negativity. Here’s what I have to say to all of it:

This is my rant for today’s

Everyone around you at this moment is experiencing a different point in their life, but all the lives around you are happening at once.  So, who are you to judge anyone at all?  I’ve been thinking a lot about this question myself. It started a few weeks ago when I was in Statesville. There were two women in my workshop who each had teenage sons. In that same weekend one woman was sending her son to the prom while another was sending hers to a funeral of a friend who’d been killed in an auto accident involving drinking. Life is so fragile and yet, we treat each other so ruthlessly at times.

There are times to celebrate and times to mourn, but is there every really a time to out right hurt another person? These kids are growing up in a society that is overloaded with social media. My own kids will be far more exposed to the pressures of cyber bullying than I ever was. It scares me to think about what kids do with cell phones and all of the privileges they are allotted these days. It also scares me to think about how many more parents think that they are involved in their kids’ lives only to find out that they’re not.

There are kids whose parents want to be their best friend and kids whose parents want to give them everything so that they’ll never feel without. In my opinion, my kids will be just fine without a cell phone until they can drive and they don’t have tablets or every toy under the sun. They have more than I had when I was growing up, but I also believe that they should work for something in their life. It has made me appreciate what I have to work for it; my education, my car, my life in general. I even had to work at having kids.

When I read the Amy Poehler book a few weeks ago she made a great statement in it: Good for her; not for me. I wonder what the world would be like if we stopped mom judging? I wonder what it would be like if we stopped food policing? Or fat shaming or thin shaming or woman/man bashing? What if we didn’t care if someone was of this religion or that? What if it didn’t matter if you were straight or gay or transgender or any combination of the above? What if we could only see in one color and it was a beautiful blue? I wonder what the world would be like if we were forced to post comments with our names and addresses and contact info up there for the world to see? I wonder how you would respond to others if you had to go back to doing it face to face instead of through email or text?

I didn’t have a fairy tale childhood. I don’t expect that my children will escape the bad in anyway. But, as adults, as bloggers, as commenters, as people in our society in general….are we setting a good example? If you excuse your kid’s behavior when it is bad you are letting them know that it’s okay to treat someone poorly and that they should expect the same in return. If you judge others you should expect to be judged yourself. There are some of us that share some “privileges” as has been noted in some of the discussion I’ve read of recent. I am one of them. I am white, somewhat thin, and middle class. I have a good education, am in a heterosexual relationship and have two children who do not have any mental or physical disabilities. We are healthy and we live in a country with many rights.

But these privileges are not something that I take for granted. I have the kind of heart that wishes the best for almost everyone. I say almost because I am human and I know that I too have judged. The other day I went back to my meditations book before I went to sleep. I read a passage that spoke to me and then I dreamed about my grandfather. He was half Greek and half Native American. His family grew up around the midwest, but mostly in Chicago. His family was poor and not welcomed in any community because they were a form of mixed race according to those around them. He had major prejudices throughout his life, but he was a kind man who wouldn’t speak ill of anyone to their face without good reason. I loved him every day that I knew him and have missed him every day since. I know he would be proud of me for who I am.

The passage said something to the effect of looking inward to our negative thoughts (toward ourselves and others), our bad habits, our preconceived notions that may not always be true, and then taking them off as we would old clothes. Boxing them up and shipping them off. In my yoga class on Thursday morning I asked my participants to do the same. At the end of class we took the negative thing we’d been holding on to and lifted it off us like an old shirt. We inhaled the fresh new air as that heaviness was pulled off and we exhaled as we tossed it aside. We were relieved of that pain that was holding us back; that unfavorable outlook on life.

I want so much to live a life where I will not police others on their choices. I want so much to live a life where I feel connected to those around us. I want so much to raise my children in that sort of emotionally and environmentally healthy world so that they too can be promoters of the good life. I want to look at everything and say: Good for you; not for me. I want also to continue to preach moderation in life and walk the path of yoga. However, there are some ways in which I feel cheated in life. I feel cheated from the ability to protect my children when others around me think that the way they live and work is okay even if it harms another.

I saw this documentary the other night and it was one of many true statements that I make often in workshop about the sad state of the place in which I live. We lie to our citizens at the expense of their health and the gains of the economy. This is the only type of food policing for which I can get behind and I am totally okay with judging the food industry on it’s lies and poor judgement!

 The full documentary is available on Netflix if you’re a subscriber. It just reinforced things that I already know and made me mad. I am now looking for a way to let go of this anger, but wonder……
Is there ever a time you think it’s okay to judge?
Here are some links to posts that inspired this one and Thank You Always to Amanda for hosting!

Take a Deep Breath and Eat The Cookie: Reflections on Privilege (Guest Post) 

The Binge Eating Diaries: Dear Food Police

Reading Comments: The Truths In Trolls

Challenging the food police

TOLT #17 – Who Am I?

Am I the only one who has had that dream where Robin Williams is your real dad and you just realized that and he’s hugging you and telling you that everything will be okay and you’re introducing him to his grandsons at an indoor trampoline park?

Yeah, that was me Tuesday night and for some reason I was extremely comforted….until the moment that my 4 year old walked into my bedroom at 6am Wednesday morning and announced that he had thrown up in his bedroom. Yuck! So, I spent yesterday low key with him and deciding what to write about for this week’s:

Last week Michelle over at Rubber Shoes in Hell wrote this really interesting post entitled Who Do You Think You Are? Then, at last week’s Think Out Loud Thursday Link Up I came across Megan’s post at Skinny Fitalicious: Who’s Megan? Get To Know Me Better! This started me thinking…. When I go through the link up posts I tend to read the bios of the authors because, as a fitness professional, I care about what other info is being posted out there and who is posting it. My blog is posted on Blogger and I only have so many characters to post my bio and I don’t know if anyone actually reads it or not. It’s not all encompassing. I also did an extended post at one point to answer some questions nominated to me by Stef S. at It’s a Long Story (you can read mine here and here). I have tried off and on throughout the last year to share more about who I am and what I do and why I’m here. Today, though, I thought I’d give you some random questions and their answers and ask you to do the same in return.

Pick your favorite question from below to respond to in the comments section.

1. Where did you grow up?
I’m originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is not famous for much, but it is the only other city in the WHOLE WORLD (besides Paris, France) to have it’s city government building on an island. Oh, and during the great floods of 2008 my hometown made the cover of the NY Times. Since that time I have addresses in Ames, Iowa; Travis AFB, CA; Vacaville, CA; Fairfield, CA; Ludlow, VT; San Angelo, TX; Colorado Springs, CO; Elon, NC; Burlington, NC; Greenville, NC; and currently Wilmington, NC.

2. What is your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this a few times….prejudice. I just don’t get it, but then again, that makes me prejudice against the ignorant.

3. Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
Not that I recall, but I really wanted to take one near my grandparents’ farm. It’s for Dingleberry Road. That just strikes me as hilarious!

4. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?
At one point I wanted to be a nurse like my mom. Then a teacher like my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Child. Then, the first woman in the NBA. Pretty much since that time (7th grade) I have focused on something sport, health, or fitness related. Never did I expect to be a stay at home mom….even when I tried to be during my first marriage. Also, until about 4 years ago I never thought I’d want my PhD. Now I want it so bad that it hurts when I think about not pursuing it for quite some time to come.

Once I took an aptitude test that told me that I should be either a lawyer or a high ranking military officer….hm? For those of you who know me personally, what do you think about those results?

5. When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
Oh, pretty much any time I’m teaching I run into a moment where I say the wrong thing. Other than that, it’s pretty hard to embarrass me in my every day life. I don’t even know what the last mortifying thing I did was it’s been so long.

Oh, maybe the Welcome to Moe’s thing…but that was a year ago.

6. Have you ever peed in the woods?
Tons of times! I would love nothing more than to go backpacking again. I miss that part of my life right now. And I live with three boys, so there is a lot of outdoor peeing going on in this house…even when the house is within steps of the urinating person.

7. Do you speak any other languages?
I took about 4.5 years of French between high school and college. I can listen well enough and read it well enough to guess what’s being said, but have a hard time remembering how to say much myself. I can say “I love you” in Greek and wish that I spoke more Greek. That’s on my to-do list for when the kids get bigger.

8. If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s a hard one….I’m going to have to say Mt. Dew just because it’s the only thing I’ve ever found to stop a migraine in its tracks for me. I wish I could choose something healthier like a smoothie or red wine (I love both), but….yep….Mt. Dew. And if I had my choice, it’d be the Throwback version with the real sugar.

9. What size is your bed?
King…because my husband can’t be touched while he sleeps and the two boys end up in our bed at least once a week. That means that the three of us are sequestered to one side of the bed and King is about the only size we can fit in without touching my husband and/or falling out. I don’t know what we’ll do as the boys get bigger?!

10. Have you ever had or would you ever have plastic surgery?
I have not yet had plastic surgery and I’m kind of up in the air about whether I would or not. I wanted breast reduction surgery a long time ago in my last marriage, but since I had kids and breast fed them, my feelings have somewhat changed. I also watched a documentary once about a personal trainer who had liposuction to keep up appearances and that’s just not me. However, if there were a real reason to have it (say my face was ripped off), I’m all for it. I am also a proponent of getting rid of excess skin that causes health problems when someone loses weight. The choice has to be right and the decision made with good intentions and the understanding that plastic surgery doesn’t change who you are nor magically get rid of all of your problems.

Okay, there it is, ten more random things about me. Thanks Amanda for hosting!

What have you done with your Easter candy?

Mine is still sitting on the counter…

 

TOLT #13 – Gone for 5 Days!

Have you missed me yet? I’ve been living in a fantasy world for the last 5 days…engulfed in a book that was due to the library today. I’ve devoted extra time to reading it while watching my kids play outside in 70 and 80 degree weather! I’m talking about Gone Girl and I’m not even sure what to say now that I’m finished. So, instead, here are my random thoughts for this week and we’ll be back to our regular routine.

1. Perhaps it was the book I was reading or maybe too much crime tv throughout my life; but, have you ever noticed that we are programmed to assume the worst when you see stray clothing in the woods?

Not sure this qualifies as clothing any longer…

2. Why do leather seats have a warming function for winter, but no cooling function for when it’s scorching hot in summer? Has no one thought about this yet? Has no one in the car world ever had to peel their flesh from the car seat or throw a towel down before they could enter their car?!

Not even sure what to think here. Can this be safe?!

3. Where do all the song lyrics in your brain get stored? Why do I still know the lyrics to Livin’ La Vida Loca? Captain Scott once told me that our brains have infinite storage….he lost the name of his first girlfriend by memorizing different missiles and wasn’t sure which one was more important to remember.

Get out of my brain Ricky Martin!

4. The bikes at the Philadelphia airport were gone this week! I’m not sure where they went, but now I’m disappointed that even the airlines don’t think that people need to exercise! Look people, we (fitness professionals) are not asking that much of you really…..but give me back the bikes!

5. I’m feeling like some of my mental challenges this year are not enough. I’d like to start re-studying for the ACSM exam and take and pass it within the next year (by St. Patty’s 2016). That’s a SMART goal.

6. Remember when I was trying to figure out about prejudices? Yeah, I’ve figured it out….I’m prejudice against people who are uninformed, but since that really leads to prejudice, I have a hard time figuring out how to be patient with those people and it makes me dislike them even further. It’s a viscous cycle. Can’t we all just get along?!

On that note (and because now I really want to watch Robin Hood) farewell until tomorrow!

Thanks Amanda for hosting!

What’s been on your mind lately?

Meditation Monday#12: More Aparigraha

Welcome back to the afternoon edition this week. I’m finally back to finding more time for reading and meditating and continuing with my study in Gates’ book. And that brought me back right at the moment of Day 50 and the start of Aparigraha again. I wrote about this tenet of yoga last month in regards to non-hoarding of an ideal of who you once were, but no longer may be.

Today I was thinking about how I really needed to get back to meditation for two reasons. The first is that the breath work has helped me before in my athletic endeavors and I’m finding some difficulty in my running with controlling my breath. In order to meet my goal for this year of feeling stronger, I need to get stronger in my breath as well. I do this mostly during my meditation time. Secondly, I was watching Brain Games last night on Netflix and they said something to the effect that people who meditate have better control over their brains and rewiring of it and making new connections. I really would like to feel more connected overall, so I want to make sure I’m finding the time to meditate.

So, meditating on the idea of letting go can sometimes be too vague. Aparigraha asks us to let go of so many things including hate and judgement of others and ourselves. It’s about not wasting your time and energy on unhealthy attachments when you could spend that effort on making things around you better. Gates discusses a very personal struggle he has with the women’s lib movement….he describes it as an “irrational fear” (p.67). This was a post I read over at the Bloggess today (I know I’m behind on all of the blogs) that melded with the idea of letting go.
And I thought that was very pertinent to some of the discussions I’ve been having here and on other blogs I like to read.

So, currently I’m trying to think of what long held prejudices I have that I need to let go of. I am not perfect, so this will be what I will spending my effort trying to discover about myself.

What prejudices do you have; irrational or otherwise?
What would your life look like if you let go of them?

Judgement Day

I was gone again last weekend and spent some serious time away from activity the last four days to just give myself time to breathe and think and allow life to happen. And in that time I continued with my meditations and a few thoughts occurred to me regarding one of the idea of letting go. One of the things that I teach in my yoga classes is the idea of letting go of judgement. This is a very hard thing to do for anyone and I find that, while I can let go of judgement of myself (for the most part), I am still judging others.

A few weeks back I was out with my husband and saw a woman whom I used to consider a friend in what seems like a lifetime ago. I am not sure if she also saw me or recognized me, but either way, we both pretended that we didn’t see the other person and continued about our night. After seeing her I commented to my husband, rather judgmentally on my part, about how the other woman seemed to be in less fit shape than when we were friends. I noted, again not my finest moment, about how if I were single and childless that I would take all of that spare time to workout and keep myself in great shape by doing all of my favorite things. How I missed the times when I could spend hours at the gym, pool, etc and, although I love my children, am really looking forward to the days when I can put forth a little more effort into my physical health by exercising like I used to without children attached to me in some way.

Then, I promptly thought (to myself) who am I to judge her? There are many a day when the weather is fine and I still choose not to go for a run even though I am perfectly capable of doing so. There are many a day when I listen to my body and say yes to a large bowl of ice cream when I haven’t exercised (because I don’t believe that food should be a reward and it’s okay to treat yourself if it’s what you’re really craving and it has no emotional component to the desire other than you would enjoy the taste of some really good ice cream).

There has been a lot of discussion lately about feminism and women v women prejudice (see a list of blog posts at the bottom that I have enjoyed reading on related topics) and in some ways I am seeing that no matter what I am doing to help make myself a better person, it won’t really do much if I can’t see others as inherently good people by whatever my measure is as well. So, how do I measure if I am a good person?

Well, I’m no Mary Poppins, but I do try to give most people the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind. Gates mentioned in the Day 13 reading (I did last week sometime) that instead of getting angry at himself over getting angry, that he would instead look to the light and stop judging himself for being human. So, when I catch myself judging myself or others, I will not beat myself up over it, I will instead stop, find something positive to focus on (the light), and let the negative fall away. You can’t change all of your errors. You are, in fact, human and by nature error ridden. You can only be the best you that you can be and keep trying.

Meghan Trainor’s #1 Hit “All About That Bass” – Body Positivity or Misogyny? – Green Mountain at Fox Run

An Interview With Chiara Mazzucco, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Indie Chicks – Green Mountain at Fox Run

Women Who are Ambivalent about Women Against Women Against Feminism – the Bloggess

A Transgender Man Made Me Love My Vagina – Indie Chicks

The Mean Girl Experience – We Don’t Chew Glass