I woke up 3 nights ago in the middle of the night to a memory of Alice, a dear client/friend that has been gone for 12 years now. She lives forever in my heart. She was such an amazing lady and I am so grateful to her daughter in law, one of my dearest friends and her son for the gift of hiring me to work with her. She was a force to be reckoned with and I am so honored to have shared so many special years of her life. The below is a true story.
Every time I hear the chimes on my phone, I see your face. They rang everyday at the same time and was your reminder to take your medication. Towards the end when life became such a struggle, I would turn to you and say “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? You would smile and say “I’m getting there” and you didn’t even believe in God!
You were so winded but day after day we walked and you made good improvements but with COPD, it became a losing battle. As we climbed the hill, you were slower and we had to stop more often to rest. Watching your decline was hard and I so wanted to let you off the hook, but onward we trudged. The chimes would go off and I would say “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? and we would chuckle. As the stairs got too much and the hill too steep to climb, we would just walk on flat land. The chimes would ring and I would say “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? This time you would answer “Jesus, Joseph and Mary, yes”. But still we walked. Our walks turned into circles in the house and you commanded me to sit.
I’ll never forget bringing Ram Dass’s book, “Still Here” and reading it to you and your beautiful face full of lines and expression and childlike wonder, would light up. Sometimes we would walk a little and as time progressed it went from sitting with you to lying in your bed and reading Ram Dass’s book, and we would talk about death and dying and what it all meant. When the chimes would ring I would say “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? You would say “Hell yes, but keep reading”. Sometimes I was able to say “well it’s not time yet and I’m going to get fired if we don’t get up and one of your kids sees me lying in bed with you”. We would laugh and cackle like school girls getting away with something. You asked me to order that book for you and you read it everyday when you were by yourself. I was so impressed because here you were at 86 opening to new ways of thinking which you would have never entertained in your lifetime before.
We took our sessions to the bed but I was still able to drag you out to move a little most days. One day the chimes went off and I said my usual “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? and you said “I’m so ready” and I too knew the days were drawing close. I tried to help you up but so wanted to just let you stay in bed because it took all of your effort to get up, but I knew if you were around longer, you needed to be strong for your daily activities, so I helped you up. You sat at the edge of the bed, looked me in the eyes and said “thank you for everything, I could never have done it without you. You were here for my every need”. The room stood still, tears ran down my face, my heart burst open with happiness and sadness all at once.
When I left that day, I wanted to bake you a cheesecake; The same one you gave me the recipe for and baked for me, but I was too busy that day, so I bought one instead and brought it with me the next day when I arrived. You had stopped eating now because it was too much effort. I told you to stick out your tongue and close your eyes and I put a drop of cheesecake on your tongue because it was your favorite. I actually lied and said I baked it for you and you shook your head and puckered up your face and said “no, this isn’t my cheesecake”. We laughed but I felt so bad because I wanted to give you something sweet that you had given me in your last days but it seemed my presence of just laying with you, reading and stroking your head softly was the sweetness you actually needed. I knew the end was near and I planned to spend the night with you and sleep in your bed but with 4 kids and a full client load to see, I fell asleep at home and never made it.
In the morning when I returned, I came into the house and I heard your phone ringing and you were in bed. I said, “It’s God calling are you ready to go”? But you didn’t answer; you had already gone.
I layed with you one last time and held you while I sobbed.
And now when I hear the chimes I set on my phone everyday, I think of you and the memories we shared. I’m not ready to go yet but you’re the first one I want to see when God calls me.
(my dear friend, Alices Daughter in law actually called me in the morning to let me know she had made her transition and then I went over for my final closure). I am forever grateful for that call.
If you don’t know Ram Dass, he was formerly known as Richard Alpert and was a Harvard Professor and psychologist who explored LSD and other hallucinogens Timothy Leary, a colleague. He traveled off to India and studied with Neem Karoli Baba (Hindi: नीम करौली बाबा) or Neeb Karori Baba (Hindi: नीब करौरी बाबा) (c. 1900 – 11 September 1973), known to his followers as Maharaj ji, was his Hindu guru and a devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman.
Ram Dass, also known as Baba Ram Dass, an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, and author. He was given his name by his Guru. His best known book, “Be Here Now”, has been described as “seminal”, and helped popularize Eastern spirituality and yoga with the baby boomer generation in the West. Wikipedia
Be Here Now was one of the first books I remember reading on my spiritual path which one of the first of it’s kind and quite profound. Still Here came after his stroke which is a story about dealing with loss of function and the challenge of now needing others to help him in the way he helped others. He also discovered his core root was still the same through his stroke and lived in grace.
Thanks for visiting today. Remember you are stronger than you know, blessed beyond measure and more sacred with every passing day. Life is a short journey, make everyday count as you never know when you will take your last breath. Reach out and touch someone.
Please remember to like (if you do of course), comment and or share if inclined.
I know it’s the love week but before we can let love in, we have to make space inside to receive it. I have been having more and more profound experiences of letting go and wanted to share my insights with you. This is longer than a lot of my posts to give you forewarning so feel free to skim and take what suits you; but if letting go is an issue for you, read on until the end.
“When you walk away from something or someone, you walk towards yourself”
“Letting to go is easier said than done I see the imprints of my nails dug into my hands As I say the words; Let Go Give it up, release it, surrender, move on Any of those words have the same response on my nervous system”.
Ever notice as soon as you say the words let go, you dig in a little more and even your toenails curl under. Shoulders tighten jaw clenches, muscles move into spasm. Or maybe you say the words “I’ve let go” but deep down you know you’ve done nothing of the sort. So why bother to try to let go at all? The real question is how do you do it truly, instead of just uttering the words.
It’s a lot like saying “don’t think of the elephant in the room”. What’s the first thing you think of? The elephant, of course and we all know this to be true.
So, how do you actually do it?
There are so many self help books written on the subject and they’re all really good. It takes lots of practice and practice makes perfect as we know. But friends, I’ll be the first to tell you; it ain’t easy and if it was, there wouldn’t be so many books on the subject.
Here’s the list you’ll always see in books to conquer letting go:
Visualize yourself letting go in your minds eye and releasing it up in a balloon out to sea etc
Meditate by taking some deep breaths and stay in the present moment focusing on a candle or a mantra.
Say your affirmations over and over in your mind
Burn what you want to let go of
Throw rocks in a pond
Do Yoga or exercise
Write in your journal
Listen to music it changes your brain
Go to therapy or see a life coach to find the underlying cause
Go on vacation
Move: Ever notice, wherever you go, there you are? There’s even a book on this.
Color or draw or splatter paint.
Accept yourself right where you are and let go of self loathing.
Take a few minutes to add to the list so you can make it your own.
Pick 1 or 2 of these and start practicing one of these modalities every day for 5 minutes and do it 2 or 3 times if you can. Do this for a month and see this issue resolved. Of course it truly depends on the incident in your life that you are trying to let go of. There are obviously some that have a much greater pull on your heartstrings.
2. The other thing is to just accept that you aren’t there yet! We know Rome wasn’t built in a day but we are so impatient.
Be gentle with yourself while you practice this new skill of letting go. Start letting go of little things first and say “as I let go, I free up space to be more of who I am now. I am safe, secure and happy”. Write that somewhere where you can see it everyday and make it your mantra.
I promise you the more you practice the better you get, until you can walk away from the drama and upset of others you no longer need or want in your life. This is so freeing and a breath of fresh air. We do our best to be loving and kind but we can’t please everyone. Remember, people are processing their own internal issues and most often it has nothing to do with you. We are each mirrors for one another to reflect back what internal work we need to do on ourselves. People often can’t see the part they play and it’s easier to place blame and become victims, rather than take responsibility for our own shortcomings..
“When you walk towards yourself you might feel afraid. Heart racing, temperature elevating, clammy palms or hands, throat gripping and that’s ok. A part of you wants to flee, but can you just be with yourself like a mother holds her baby in a colic fit with no judgement; just love? Love will set you free”.
Notice the sensations and just be with them and take a deep breath. Become a silent observer of your mind, body, spirit and actions and hold yourself lovingly and kindly. It will pass but you have to face and accept your feelings as they are in the moment. That is when true acceptance and change takes place. It will become second nature at some point but it starts with a simple shift of thought and action.
Start now, practice and celebrate your small wins.
Many of you know the heartache I’ve been going through with seeing our geriatric dog Harry, through his final days. Some of you might be thinking, “Gosh, we’re so tired of hearing about it, why doesn’t she put him down already”. Or others might be feeling the same thing about something in your life, so you empathize with what I’m going through. We only see through our own lens cap and know our own suffering.
We had an emergency scare the other night when his legs involuntarily started flailing everywhere and we thought he might be having a seizure and started panicking. I called all of our vets including our emergency vet with no luck. We were beside ourselves and I suddenly remembered someone in the family’s ex husband was a vet. In our desperation I picked up the phone and called his daughter to get his number. In seconds I got a text from her mother saying “this made all of us uncomfortable; next time call me”. I apologized profusely and explained we were reaching out because we were desperately trying to help Harry in case we had to put him down. As you most likely know in Covid, they won’t let you go in with your pet and we couldn’t imagine not being with Harry during his last breath. Her next text was “You made my daughter very uncomfortable, plenty of vets in the area” (her daughter is an adult mind you). My first reaction was anger and I quickly let it go. Emergencies do that for us and in a split second I moved on to Harry’s needs. I gave him some CBD and that did the trick and he slept soundly through the night.
I dropped the anger instantaneously and only felt sad that she was still hanging on to such upset. There was no question of me walking towards this drama and I simply didn’t respond back and walked away in love and kindness. It was over for me and there was no pull to clear it up etc. I could just walk away and take care of me and Harry and know I had the highest intentions for my dog with no malintent to her family.
In the old days, I may have tried to go back and clean up a mess that wasn’t mine to begin with, which could have made more entanglement and after all I did apologize. If you are an empath, or you had to get approval from your parents so they would finally see you, you tend to think everything is your fault. We know when we hold anger and resentment, we only hurt ourselves and moving forward without casting stones is always the right answer and I felt good about that.
“And when love sets you free, you can truly let go and you feel it in your bones, your psyche, your tissues and your spirit. Something more beautiful will enter your life. It always does. Let Go and Feel the Love”.
Congratulate yourself for honoring your truth without creating more drama and upset that was never yours to begin with. There is something very powerful in sharing your truth in love and letting go. We never know how the other person processes things, nor is it our job to “fix others”. By caring for our needs deeply we give everyone around us a chance to resolve their own issues and heal whatever it is that they need to heal when and if they are ready.
As for Harry, I found out the next day that the vet will let 2 of us go with him to say farewell when the unfortunate day comes to send him to the rainbow bridge, but he’s not ready yet..this moment anyway.
Keep walking towards yourself in freedom and love!
“When you walk away from something or someone, you walk towards yourself”. When you walk towards yourself you might feel afraid. Heart racing, temperature elevating, clammy palms or hands, throat gripping and that’s ok. A part of you wants to flee, but can you just be with yourself like a mother holds her baby in a colic fit with no judgement; just love? Love will set you free. And when love sets you free, you can truly let go and you feel it in your bones, your psyche, your tissues and your spirit. Something more beautiful will enter your life. It always does, let go and feel the love”.
Thanks so much for visiting today and reading. I do hope there was some useful information for you while you are getting ready to do some housecleaning so you can let go and let love in. You deserve it! Please remember to like (if you do of course), comment and or share.
Feel the love that you are and let your heart shine. If not now when?
Welcome to Move it Monday on February 1rst! Time to open your hearts, and do something kind for yours! Show me the love and get your heart pumping and your nutrition in check and YES…. that means chocolate! A day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine in my book….. (sorry but it has to be dark for the antioxidants benefit). Did I just hear you say “I hate dark chocolate”? I did from some of you I know and I’m just going to say, “you’ll get used to it and your heart will thank you, trust me”.
Last year at this time, most of us were cruising along with love in the air getting ready to celebrate Cupids arrival, beckoning us to romance and love with no thought of the dreaded C. Yes, it was so sweet B.C.
Before Covid we were simple and free Love was in the air, candy kisses and shopping sprees Dinner reservations, a romp in the sack with our beloved A blind date, roses with anticipation and hope Pop the champane, give lots of hugs and kisses Masks and distance wasn’t even a thought Nor did we know It would even be a thing
11 months later it’s more than a thing and the reality of it brings heartache and sadness to so many. We are so ready to abandon ship and get out and kick up our heels, but not so fast.
I know you’re at your computer, on a deadline, checking your comments, writing in deep train of thought but I want to invite you to Stand UP and join me for a quick mini movement break. Come on I promise it will take 3 1/2 minute of your time. PROMISE!!! COME ON PLEASE…. PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP.
Last month we talked about building up to 30 minutes of cardiovascular workout and some strength work out. How many of you are doing it? Have you started? If so BRAVO!!! If not, why? Seriously, I want to know. For many of you, you’re young and it’s not even a thought and you’re busy with studies etc. For those of you who are older, there’s a thought of “why bother”? I’m here to tell you it matters.
Covid is a real thing and for those who have gotten it, you know. For those of you who haven’t that’s awesome. Building a healthy immune system is your best antidote for keeping your body healthy and perhaps keeping symtoms lower. If you have gotten Covid, it’s really important to keep immune function strong and there are a few ways to do that. See this list below.
Strong Immune Fuction:
Exercise: Regular exercise at a moderate degree have reduced markers of low-grade inflammation, more robust immune responses to vaccines, enhanced immunosurveillance, and a reduced risk of illness. There is controversy over overduing exercise for people that have been exposed. General guidlines are to listen to your body.
Nutrition: Boost your immune system by eating lots of vegetables, fruits (think all the colors of the rainbow) and whole grains and proteins including nuts, yogurt, milk (unless you have allergies etc). It’s always best to get your vitamins in foods and making sure you have adequate levels of A, C, D, E, and Zinc. All of these are all helpful for your immune system. I personally am taking a homeopathic once a week and another once a month as well. Avoid processed foods, cakes, cookies, animal fat, etc.
Hydrate: Stay hydrated with water, herbal tea, fruit smoothies, broth, seltzer, electrolyte drinks. Avoid alcohol and coffee which are dehydrating.
Stress: Stress taxes our immune system so the more you can find ways to soothe yourself the better which also helps elevate your mood. Play music, read, stretch, sing, knit, walk, dance, breathe. All of this helps our parasympathetic nervous system stay calm.
Sleep: There is a lot of talk of sleep disturbances during the pandemic which can be exasperated by people working in bed, oversleeping, anxiety, etc. It’s critical to get enough sleep and most experts concur that 8 hours is about the right amount of hours to get a day. Our brain can rest and we can work out issues through dreams, anxiety and depression is reduced and setting yourself up by turning devices and lights out, avoiding alcohol and stimulants such as caffine. Don’t nap all day or you will have a harder time at night. If you still lay tossing and turning after 20 minutes get up and pour some tea and read come back to bed.
Meditation, Deep Breathing and Yoga: Brain waves change when you do these 3 things. More oxygen is received through the cells and brain and your systems and organs take a mental vacation. You can add affirmations and positive self talk to reframe and change your mind set.
There are still many unknow factors of the risk on the heart and covid in general. Refer to your doctor of course to determine the best course of action. Listen to your body and rest when resuming activity with clearance. Refer to the chart below and refer website below for a plethura of information regarding exercise.
Happy Moving on Monday! Get up out of your chair at least every hour and remember to get moving and eat your dark chocolate!
7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
1. Very Nutritious 2. Powerful Source of Antioxidants 3. May Improve Blood Flow and Lower Blood Pressure 4.Raises HDL and Protects LDL From Oxidation 5. May Reduce Heart Disease Risk 6. May Protect Your Skin From the Sun 7. Could Improve Brain Function
Have a great Monday and thanks so much for reading, liking (if you do of course), commenting and or sharing if inclined. I do hope you found it helpful. Stay fit, keep moving and Eat healthy.
Ok, I just had to say that once, because when I hear y’all say it, I love it and I feel young and hip. I always think “oh YAY, I may not be that young but I’m a leap year baby, which means I only have a birthday every 4 years, which makes me 16 and young at heart. If you do the math, don’t tell me, I like to live in a delusionary world. hahahahaha😜🤣
This would usually fall under a Fun Fri-Yay but I have a special surprise collaboration this Friday with one of your favorite bloggers and mine so be there or be square!!!
You may remember the bike debacle at Christmas. I sure do… lol. We celebrated with my son’s girlfriend, Kristal the week before and she was soooo excited when he surprised her with the bike. They went on a ride and she fell off because she didn’t have the right shoes that locked in. Thankfully she was ok! Here they are celebrating below. Isn’t she adorable?!!!! She’s as nice as she is pretty.
The next week we celebrated secret Santa where we pick names and buy a gift for whoever’s name you picked. Half the fun is trying to decide who has you.
The joke was on me. Why was I the only one that couldn’t see? They pulled the wool over my eyes. So much for being healthy wealthy and wise. Healthy I am, wealthy in spirit, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, Thank you sonny boy “Gary”!
So Kristal was in on it the whole time when she pretended to be surprised the week before Xmas when he gave it to her, and then gave it to me on Christmas Day. So sweet of him! Scott, from the inspiredchief was right when he said: “Great Post Cindy. Maybe it will be a gift from Santa. Did you make the nice list this year”. Are you Santa or an elf Scott? I’m giving you my list next year. Apparently, I did make the nice list! 😅
Woo hoo! Now I actually have to ride it. 😜 Truth is, I would never go on a bike these days if it wasn’t for a chance to be with him.
Check out these new fun fitness dice my daughter game me.
Roll the dice and let the fitness begin. Another fun way to get your workout in.
So, I’m the trainer, the rest of my fam are jocks… yes all 5 of them. 😜 I’m not going to risk getting injured by putting myself at risk doing all of the things they do cuz it’s my livelyhood, so I play safe. That’s my excuse anyway. The truth is, they are so darn good at everything and I pale at their athletic ability, so I hide behind the “It’s my livleyhood story even though it’s smart to do so. The truth is, I’m really competive and I don’t want to loose. 🤣 It would wound my ego deeply. Lol. .
But I’m a good sport and my son will hike to appease me, but doesn’t love it so I agreed to play or beat to the tune of my own drummer as I ran the course, and and fumbled around playing disk golf with them.
Hunter had the best time… now if only I could teach him play frisbee. Here’s a couple of holes of a 15 hole Frisbe golf course.
Stay Tuned for Heaven Meets Hell on Fri-Yay Funday. This is a personal invitation and I’m really excited to share it with you. He’s (that’s the only hint I’ll give) one of my favorite blogger and yours aside from us of course!!!
Have a great day and wonderful Thursday and can’t wait to see you then!
See you on Friday! Everyone who comes will have a direct line to Santa nee year…lol!
Thanks so much for visiting today; liking (if you do of course), commenting and or sharing.
It’s Move It Monday so let’s do this. I’ve got a few tips here for you and then I want to share the Interview that Yvette from Priorhouseinvited me to do in December. Thank you again Yvette. She has a wonderful site so please do visit her.
I know a lot of you started out gangbusters with a plan on January 4th. Take note, I didn’t say January 1st because I’ve been in the industry too long to know that ain’t gonna happen unless you have exercise in place already. If you are one of the few that started, kuddos to you! We all know the best time to start is NOW but if you are like most people I know, you really won’t start until February and workout equipment becomes a coat rack soon enough. Don’t let that happen to you!
Start Today January 11th with some easy steps. The junk outta be almost gone and if it isn’t freeze it if you trust yourself not to go digging in after it or THROW IT OUT!!!!
If you need your why (we all need one~ soul search). Your why has to be deeper and truly imortant to you, to keep you motivated.
Here are 5 reasons you need to get to it:
1. WEIGHT CONTROL: Helps to lose fat and build muscle
2. KEEPS YOU HEALTHY: boosts your immune function
3. ENERGY: boosts serotonin levels and oxygen flow
5. LONG-TERM HEALTH: Lowers cholesterol, heart function etc.
Here’s your beginning workout for the year.
Ready or Not: Here we go!
This is easy peasy so you’ll have NO EXCUSES not to Move It!
Get your workout shoes on, dust them off an walk to the mailbox and back. Go a little further 3- 4 days a week and gradually work towards daily walks. Work your way up to 30 minutes in the next couple of weeks. Too cold to walk outside? Jog or walk in place, go up and down the stairs, turn on a video, go to one of my Youtubes or anyone elses for that matter and start with 10 min and build up from there.
Ready to take it to the next level?
Follow the workout Bombay Ficus put out last week that is great and requires No Equipment. It’s AWESOME and I’m going to use it next week when I start back to teaching. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Today I want to share the Priorhouse Interview with blogger Cindy Georgakas.
How did this interview come about? I met Cindy when she was featured on Kally’sMiddle Me and was inspired by her positive energy. The other thing that stood out was how she has been in the health and fitness area since the 1980s. This level of expertise and understanding of the human body is impressive. She also brings joy to the blogosphere.
My favorite post from Cindy’s blog (so far) is “I’ve got your back” with some excellent tips for spine/posture health, sitting tips, and helpful stretches.
Cindy, Thanks so much for saying yes to an interview. Can you tell us some of your history and what you do?
Thank you so much for inviting me, Yvette. It is my pleasure to be here.
I am a Fitness and Life Coach, Personal Trainer, Group Ex Teacher teaching Yoga and bootcamp, Craniosacral and Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, and a Music-as-Medicine Facilitator. I also have a team of therapists and teachers that generally work with me, but due to Covid, we are on hold with that piece of our practice.
Whew…. You might be asking, “How does one person do all of those things?”
The short answer is that when you have been doing this work for as long as I have, diverse pathways continue to emerge and you trust and then go where you are called. I’ve been in the field for 35+ years (that makes me sound a little younger, lol), and I have been regularly practicing right here in Woodside, California (40 miles south of San Francisco) where I was born.
My blog, Uniquely Fit, was born out of my passion for fitness with the premise that every person is unique, different, and each individual’s needs must be honored. Life is meant to be shared and I hope that my blog posts provide some pearls of wisdom and Aha! moments that give meaning to your day; perhaps a chuckle, something to ponder, growth, light, insight, and joy.
Cindy, An interesting thing I took away from your interview on Middle Me was how you started your coaching and health/fitness practice around the same time as Jane Fonda. This stood out to me because the first aerobics class I ever did was with a Jane Fonda cassette tape in 1987 – which started with something like – “You want to have your running shoes on because you won’t want to stop and put them on during the session.” – and lines like, “Get those knees up there.” – haha – So reading that parallel life connection with Jane Fonda was cool. How does your career parallel to her stuff and anything else you want to expound on with this – ?
Interesting question, Yvette – and first, that is such a fun Jane Fonda memory!
I wasn’t an activist or actor like Jane Fonda, but I did perform in a dance comedy group in San Francisco in my 20’s for a few years before opening my studio. As a Recreational Therapist who struggled with my weight, I saw this as a tremendous opportunity to open when Jane Fonda opened hers. I shared her love of fitness and dance and staying in shape, which is what we had in common. Her studio was in S.F. and I opened mine about 20 minutes south of the city in San Mateo, Ca. Fitness studios were popping up all over our area at the time. Classes were one hour consisting of a warm up, waist work, arms, aerobics, gloor, abdominals, legs, hips, thighs and buttocks ending with a stretch cool down. We used those same lines, “knees up”, ”reach”, “higher”, “squeeze.” We also had a lot of “whoo hoos” and cheering to keep everyone motivated while using mostly body weight and dance moves. Those were fun days and I employed the BEST instructors.
Cindy, do you have any tips for the readers on balancing work and family life?
Take good care of yourself first and foremost, which is easier said than done.
Remember you are not Superwoman or Superman. You are human and you need time for yourself as well.
Make a schedule and stick to it and plan in time for the unexpected, much the same way as having a money fund for an unexpected event.
Create a support network as it takes a village to stay strong and fortified. My mom and step dad were AMAZING parts of my support system! Before I decided to get pregnant again, I would ask my mom, “Are you ready for another grandbaby?” Without her, I would NEVER have had more children. Now my mothers asks, “When is someone going to get married and have kids so I can be a Great Grandma?” Also, I was fortunate to have a career that allowed me to adapt my hours to my kids’ schedule and I had an incredibly supportive husband; he was as hands on as I was while raising our kids.
Those are great tips and what spoke to me was the reminder that we are not Superwoman or Superman. In today’s culture, we tend to put so many demands on our schedule – busy-busy, go-do – and many forget to rest and decompress. Cindy, can you share wisdom from a life lesson?
I had owned a fitness studio for two years and we started out gang busters in 1981 when we opened. We built it out with beautiful wood floating floors, with electrifying graphics in red and purple, and we had the very best team of teachers – who I trained along with a consultant I hired.
Our location was marginal and I say that to emphasize, Location is EVERYTHING. If you haven’t heard the famous saying, it is “Location, Location, Location” and in the brick and mortar business world it is everything. I wanted to be in Burlingame, just 10 minutes away, which was perfect but I couldn’t get building permits etc.
I was young and naive and had a great following, but we started out with six classes a day, which was way too much with overhead costs. I ended up giving a lot of free classes and one thing I learned is that people need to value what you give them.
Cindy, I know what you mean about “not valuing” free things. Sometimes free means “disregard.” For example, we once heard about a community center that had people tossing free, entire hamburgers and full drinks into the trash. Rather than giving those items away for free, they started to charge a quarter for hamburgers and drinks, and there was less waste.
Yes. When something is free, people usually do not value it. Also, at that time, I had my first baby and my commitment and time constraints started shifting. As instructors didn’t show up, I had to get certified in more and more classes to assure the show would go on, which was stressful. We were in the red and struggling. The writing was on the wall but this was my first baby, so it was tough to let it go. Finally, we decided to sell the business, which was heartbreaking – but the business was unsustainable. It turned out that the new owners ran an illegitimate massage parlor, which we had no idea about until they were paddy-wagoned out a year later.
At the time, the whole thing was devastating but it turned out to be the best thing ever and the increase of income was insurmountable. Traveling to people’s homes and them coming to me, was much more lucrative without the overhead of a storefront business.
As the 2020 year is winding down and some folks might be thinking about health goals for the coming year -do you have health and wellness tips to offer?
I would say:
Don’t wait for 2021 to start, DO IT NOW.
Take small steps to build habits and instill more long lasting health benefits.
Do some kind of activity daily for a min 30 min. Aim for an hour but if you can’t do that, do 10 minute increments. Cardiovascular activity is important for your heart health. Think walk, run, bike, dance etc.
Do some kind of strength training either with your own body weight or small or medium to large weights 2-3 days a week, and do stretching everyday if possible.
Meditate or do some breathework daily. I love Yoga and Tai Chi because they are moving meditation. I also like to do a daily sitting practice of about 15 minutes to train myself to do nothing, which is no easy feat.
Music and chanting are also wonderful gifts for the soul.
And where on your blog should they go for more information if they wanted to connect with you?
I blog monthly about fitness on my blog site and add videos.
Thank you so much for your time here at Priorhouse blog.
Thank you, again, Yvette, for inviting me to be featured on your invaluable site.
As a Health and Wellness Professional, I am inspired daily by my clients and friends who continue to inspire me to be my best self! One of my favorite parts of blogging is sharing thoughts openly and candidly in support.
To all readers, Remember that “Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal” so do not put off what you want most for what you want now.
My top takeaway was Cindy’s call to action.
Her reminder to NOT put off what you want most and the advice to not wait for 2021 to start is something to consider. Start some new habits “maybe this week” and don’t wait until “after the holidays.”
Start something today.
End 2020 with some Zest.
Sometimes our health and wellness needs have to be addressed right now – no matter what the season. Maybe pick one thing from the list of suggestions and get moving – like do some breathe work – try meditating – or start following Cindy’s blog for some ideas – and especially be sure to check out her “Fri-Yay… Funday!!!”
And this short YouTube wvideo will give you some ideas for giving your body a lift right now – 15 minutes of an investment in you:
Okay- Any notes for Cindy regarding what she shared?
Any photos from the post stand out to you?
Any plans for your health and wellness goals for 2020 – maybe something to start this week??
Or any tips you have for ways we can end 2020 with some zest?
Thanks so much for visiting today and please remember to like (if you do of course), comment and or share. So much appreciation!
Your body like your mind is your temple. Moving allows it to come to life freeing restrictions, creating new neural paths in the center of your brain, heart and belly. Feel the wind beneath your wings and Sweat drip down your face, as you get stronger everyday!– Cindy
I know a lot of you have umpteen reasons why you can’t get yourself to workout either because of time limitations, it doesn’t seem necessary, or inertia sets in making it difficult to put it into action. Some of you suffer from injuries or pain, depression etc. so I get how difficult it can be, really I do, but can I tell you a secret?
You Can’t Afford NOT to Work Out!
It’s vital to your health. There are so many forms of working out so you can be as creative as you can imagine and make it your own.
Still need a reason?
I will send my bodyguard over to “snap” you into shape if I have to. LOL
One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting until they have time for a full hour workout and then doing nothing because they don’t think minutes count.
Well, guess what? They do!!! Minutes count and making them part of your daily routine and sneaking them in adds up and makes a difference.
If you have an hour by all means, do it…. Walk, bike, do yoga, lift weights, dance etc. But if you don’t; put the music on for 10 min and dance or go for a quick walk, when you get off the couch, do some squats or stretch, do a few core exercises, etc. Do that 3 times through the day and you have 30 min. under your belt. 6 x’s 60 min.
WOW… Right?!!!! Never again tell me you don’t have time.
It’s vital for your General health; moving toxins and getting the blood flowing, it lowers blood pressure, moves lymph, reduces insulin levels thus helping with diabetes.
It gets your cardiovascular system going which is good for your heart, lowers your pulse rate so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. You lose weight and burn more calories keeping your BMI and waist circumference to an optimal level.
It Elevates your mood: Serotonin is released which is the hormone that aids in brain function and feeling good which wards off depression and anxiety and hey, we all need that especially right now.
It is good for memory and Alzheimer’s: A head Dr. From Stanford Hospital did a talk and he referenced the 4 most important things to help stave off Alzheimer’s.
The 4 most Important things to help Alzheimer’s are:
4. A healthy Diet and optimal weight
Yes, more beneficial than crossword puzzles and music which are of course good too.
5. It strengthens your bones and is good for Bone Density
6. Your skin looks healthier.
Don’t Have a Gym?
Well, most of us don’t but you do have a body which is heavier than any weight you can lift so
Keep it Simple Stupid.
What you need for your You’re home Gym:
Shoes: that’s all you need for walking
A mat: for exercises and stretching
Free weights: if you want them
Besides which it’s Covid free and I don’t know about you but I’m not heading anywhere near a gym except my own right now.
People think because I’m in the business, it’s easy to do but the truth is, it isn’t and I don’t always love it but I have reaped the benefits of all of the above so I prioritize it in my life and just do it like Nike tells us. I hate advertising but I do love that saying they coined so well. I also know variety is important to the body and brain so I mix things up. If you want your body to change you have to mix it up.
Moderate-Intensity Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.
Vigorous-Intensity Aerobic activity. Get at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week.
An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic training.
Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week that work on all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
I like to break this down into weekly segments of 30 min a day but you can do whatever suits your schedule best.
To be considered vigorous, an activity should meet or exceed a level of 6 to 7, which is considered hard on the RPE scale. This includes jogging, biking, or swimming. The RPE is the rate of perceived exertion that you personally determine similar to the pain scale. Each of us have our own personal level we must listen to.
The Break Down:
Break this down to 5 times a week of 30 min walks. Or whatever distribution of time that suits your schedule best.
Strength Training for 2-3 days or 5 days with splits. If you are limited on time this is a great way to divide your training.
If you are short on time and it works better for you to split your routine into several short workouts throughout the day, do it! Any exercise is better than none! Don’t worry that you won’t burn as many calories or get good results.
Stretching is vital to do in some form or another. Yoga is my go to.
Circuit train which gets your cardio in as well as your strength and cuts your workout time down considerably: 30 min is equal to a
Examples of this are:
CrossFit – Designed to improve your overall physical abilities, including your endurance, strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, balance, and more. Combines many forms of exercise, high intensity.
Circuit stations training – Circuits are made up of exercise for a determined period of time, followed directly by rest or active recovery.
Tabata – a timed interval method that alternates between 20-second intervals performed at maximum effort and 10-second stages of rest, repeated eight times for the ultimate exhaustive four-minute workout.
H.I.I.T. – As you can tell from the name, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is challenging. It takes your cardio workout to another level, as you push your pace out of your comfort zone. You can use HIIT with any type of cardio workout, whether it’s running, using a stair climbing machine, rowing, or jumping rope.
My Personal Workout Schedule:
I walk an hour about 4 days a week and 1 time a week an hour and a half
Yoga for 30 min 3-4 days a week and an hour 1 time a week Circuit train 2 times a week.
Strength Training: 2 times a week
Daily Meditation: 15- 20 minutes
Tai Chi and Qigong 3-4 days a week 20 min.
My Favorite Workout
My favorite workout is integrating a warm up of about 5 minutes, mixing in Yoga and Strength with light weights and ending with a meditation. This way I integrate everything that is needed in a work out in the most efficient use of my time.
Here is a 40 minute sample workout that you can and should try out yourself.
Remember to stretch and drink plenty of water.
JUST DO IT and please let me know how it goes.
Stay Fit, Have Fun, Be the Light and Be Strong!
You’ve Got This!
Thanks for Reading and please remember to like (if you do of course), comment and or share. I truly appreciate your precious time and support.
I am so honored that Kally from MiddleMe invited me to interview on her blog. Kally comes from a corporate background, and is a online entrepreneur. She does a mirage of various projects and assisting start-ups and is a writer and a recruiter, coaching freelancers.
I hope you enjoy the interview……
One of the reasons that MiddleMe is such an awesome platform is due to the interaction we get from the diverse audience all over the world. I love that I have readers from Singapore to India all the way to the United Kingdom and United States. From retirees dishing out precious wisdom to essential staff sharing their stories with us.
Today, we have the Founder of Uniquely Fit, Cindy Georgakas with more than 35 years of health and wellness experiences, serving others with a passionate goal in mind – to help other people to find inner peace and healthy living, come and share her thoughts and experiences with us.
Hi Cindy, over in MiddleMe, we are all about having passion in what we do and helping others. We are honored to have you today to talk about your work and passion. Please introduce yourself and Uniquely Fit.
Thank you so much, Kally, for inviting me to interview with you. I follow your site regularly and find it very informative with such heartfelt passionate messages for humanity.
I was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in Daly City and I kept migrating south for warmer weather after college. I live in an incredible rural community in Woodside, Ca. about 40 minutes south of S.F. with just over 6,000 people with beautiful mountains to hike and beaches to visit which I love and keep me fit. I’m happily married with 4 children, 4 furry family members, 2 horses on our property and 5 ageing parents who are local.
Uniquely Fit was born out of my passion for fitness with the premise that every person is unique and different and each individual’s needs must be honored. The business has expanded and grown over the years offering more services and now with Covid reinventing itself yet again, with Zoom One on One sessions, group classes, outdoor sessions and I’m more active on blogging.
I modelled my studio after Jane Fonda’s aerobic studio she opened in 1982 in S.F. and I opened mine in San Mateo California within weeks of her opening hers when I was 26 years old. It was such an exciting time in my life building from the ground up and training staff.
At the time we had low and high impact, aerobic classes, with small free weights.
I also taught pre and postnatal exercise, birth coaching and baby massage with one massage therapist on staff. We had 15 instructors and 20 classes a week.
We have now expanded into having 4 massage therapists, yoga classes, No Guts No Glory (boot camp), personal training, Life Coaching, Craniosacral Therapy and we have a Nutritional Consultant on staff.
What made me want to set up Uniquely Fit? What is your mission behind Uniquely Fit?
With a major in Recreational Therapy, I started in convalescent hospitals where I felt I had very little actual control in helping people. I would go to work and come back in the morning to someone I worked with the day before, in my office (dead… yes you heard it right). Somehow they got put in my office as a holding spot.
After a few times of that, it was too heartbreaking for me because I grew to love each person I worked with. I decided to move into the wellness side of health and worked and managed different health facilities and taught workshops. After a few years, I decided to go off on my own and “do it my way”.
My mission is for each person to find their passion in their lives through movement, finding exactly what feeds them physically, emotionally and spiritually. I also struggled with my weight and one time went from 115 to 160 lbs in 6 months so I had a lot to teach with that experience.
How do you feel when you have successfully helped others?
I feel awesome! There is so much fulfilment when someone I work with reaches their objective because I know how much they have put into it to get there. It also motivates me to keep walking my talk because you can only help people if you truly live the process. My clients become my biggest inspiration!
What does inner peace mean to you?
It means accepting myself for who I am and relaxing into the present moment and connecting to the Spirit, God, Buddha within or whatever it is for you, where all is well.
Can everyone find inner peace in the end?
Peace is a state of mind and it is much easier when our basic needs of security are met but it is achievable and attainable in every moment if we can stop and quiet our mind, and allow it to fill our souls. It is NOT always easy but nothing worth having is. It takes patience, practice and practice, you must.
I try to help people achieve one goal a week with very small increments and when they master that add another. Meditation, breathing, music, journaling, walking, Yoga, Qigong are all modalities that help foster inner peace.
I have noticed that you have many skills like Occupational and Recreational Therapy among many others. What pushes you to pick up new skills and improve yourself?
I found out early on that O.T. was very tedious and the repetitiveness of the work wasn’t full filling so I moved forward into what was more satisfying to me.
As long as we are alive we are growing. There are times that my clients call me into new things out of the blue. I never would have taught a spin class or started massage if one of my clients didn’t “twist my arm”. Of course, they always make it an offer I can’t refuse. If there is a client that is struggling, I continue to access what is needed and will take other classes or certifications to find the best modalities to help them.
That is how I started doing Craniosacral Therapy and Music as Medicine. Other times, it is just a calling and I trust it and go with it. It has never steered me wrong. Other times I refer out.
What kind of challenges excite you?
There is usually an instinct or aha when I know it is something I want to pursue and usually there is a bit of fear when I think of it. My mind says, “oh forget about it” and I so wish it would go away but when it doesn’t, I have learned to trust it. This reminds me recently of taking the mules down the Grand Canyon.
First of all, I’m scared of heights so what part of me was crazy enough to want to do that I asked. I DON’T, I answered and I remind myself it’s ok to change my mind. But it kept persisting so I researched it a lot and I was so hoping I would change my mind but it wouldn’t go away and one thing I’ve learned is I have to follow that voice. I took me and my fear and gave it over to the donkey. It turned out to be exhilarating and so beautiful and I would have missed a lot by foot. I have a sign in my office that says If your Dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
I’ve just started writing a book and it’s the same calling here and I keep thinking just forget about it while I continue typing.
What does being passionate mean to you?
It means having a purpose that I am excited to work on that brings me joy, exhilaration and meaning and sharing that with the world.
Do you think it is important to have passion for your job? Why?
I do because it doesn’t feel like work then. It feels like an extension of your mission and purpose in life. I love what I do but with that said after 6 -8 clients in a day, it is still something I need a break from.
The gift of a little more time right now is that I can explore other things I love as well. I see clients from as young as teenagers to 100. My soon to be 90-year-old client does a 5-minute plank, and is working on Zoom on an architectural project at the Historical Museum of Art in San Mateo. He still drives to come to see me and if this isn’t passion, I don’t know what is.
What advice would you give to someone who says they can’t find passion in their work?
I would say perhaps it’s time to look at what really would feed them in their job. Reinventing yourself is really important in life and it’s NEVER too late to start over. Sometimes it’s not the job that is the problem but the way they hold it. That is when I would do a one on one session with them to discover their passions.
You do offer Life Coaching as a part of your services. Can you please elaborate on what is life coaching?
I do and it is one of the highlights of my career. I was trained by the best in 1979 by Cherie Carter Scott, Mother of Life Coaching from Motivational Management Services. She recently produced a movie called “The Workshop” which can be seen on Netflix.
Have you ever had a question that keeps rattling around in your head and you never can get resolution on it? That is the perfect time to get a session. It can be as little or big as you can imagine. It could be deciding on how to let go of anger, moving, finding a new career path etc.
I was trained to use a Socratic approach and ask questions so people can access their own answers. The answers are always inside and it is my job to ask the right questions so someone can access them.
What is the difference between a life coach, a counsellor and a psychiatrist?
The difference is we have a very specific set of guideline in a life coaching session which can be broken down like this:
Objective: What do you want from this session?
Desire and willingness to get clear on it.
Exploring Feelings and fears.
Releasing what is in the way of getting what you want.
Making a plan of action.
Checking in to keep you on track.
Counselors have a good listening ear and usually offer much more evaluation and input.
A psychiatrist can dispense medicine and is usually much less available for exploration and implementation. They are great with finding imbalances in the system and prescribing medication when needed and often work with a psychopharmacist, who is a specialist in choosing medications.
All modalities can work independently or in conjunction with each other.
How is your business surviving during this pandemic? What changes did you make to accommodate the safety regulations?
It’s doing well with some gaps and it is slowly returning to more in-person visits with 6 ft distance and masks etc.
We take everyone’s temperature before starting with a handheld device to the forehead, sanitize everyone, have long wait times in between clients and different outdoor spaces to work in. We have sanitizing products, gloves and wipes available and hand washing is a must. Everything is left outside 2 days and then brought in and is wiped down. I am doing one on one sessions on Zoom as well.
People are adapting to the new normal and finding ways to soothe their bodies without actual touch but with substitutes such as foam rollers, balls etc as I direct them. Life Coaching as you can imagine is really needed right now with the constant changes and fear rightfully and that is being instilled. This gives them their power back.
Any tips for small businesses to survive during this time?
Be consistent and keep the ball going. Never before have I been so grateful to have so many platforms available to do my work and to shift into. I continue to put out my monthly newsletter and I suggest you keep as many systems in place as possible so you don’t fall behind and are ready to go as things shift; BECAUSE THEY WILL!
After my 2nd child, I brought my business home and ran pre and postnatal classes and baby massage out of my house and decided to semi-retire. Not long after that my husband’s business came to a crashing halt with the stock market crash and close. In one month I picked up the pieces and built my business back up to being booked with a waiting list and built a staff and made lemonade out of lemons. That was 25 years ago, and if I can do it, so can you. This is the silver lining when change hits you in the face. It’s the getting up that matters, not the falling down. That is life.
So, try things on for size, when doors close, remember windows will open. There are 9 NO’s to every Yes, so be resilient, don’t give up and don’t take it personally. Remember what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Once again, thank you for taking time in sharing your experiences and tips with us.
You are so welcome Kally. It was lots of fun and my pleasure and I do hope it has been useful for your readers.
Please feel free to reach out if I missed anything and Stay Strong and keep the faith everyone.
Hi there, thanks for making your way over. Here is how you can begin to restart 2015:
The first step in your journey requires you to
1. Write this year’s script:
Set aside a time where you can dedicate your full attention. This initial step is critical and powerful. When you proclaim what you want, it allows you to remain focused on what is key for you.
PROCLAIM WHAT YOU WANT:
-I want to lose 20 pounds,
-See a trainer
ASK YOUR WHY:
Why is this important to you? ? How will it change your life or enhance your life?
Is it in line with your life purpose?
2. Determine three goals that are key:
Setting a top three priority list this year allows you to fully delve deeply. If you overwhelm yourself too early, these will all be on your list next year. According to research, it takes 21 days of consistent action to build new healthy habits. Focus on each goal gradually, and build yourself further down the list.
4. Hire a life coach
A life coach holds you accountable, hone’s in on what is the most important why in your life and allows you to explore feelings. Having an individual who is on your side to face obstacles and make a plans changes your entire perspective by pushing you to remain consistent..
5. Pick deadline dates
Deadline dates encourage you to act with urgency. Without dates you end up aimless and unaccountable. They need to be attainable, and realistic times so that you can experience a win. Every time you meet your commitment, you begin building trust and self confidence in your abilities. This creates a, “Yes I can attitude!” which is paramount in attaining success.
6. The process of letting go:
We have a tendency to hold onto the past, and continue old patterns of thinking that perpetuate negative feelings into our present. Our minds hold onto pain, and we repeat the same tired old script in our present. In order to embrace the new year, you must learn to Forgive and Release the past. Unless you do this, you will never get what you truly want in life because you won’t feel worthy.
Letting go is much easier said than done. It requires a simple desire along with the discipline to see it through. However, have faith in your abilities
Fan your Wins:
In order to keep mastering things you want, you must be grateful and give thanks so more will come your way. To attract morepositivity and growth, you must understand like breeds like. Remember how Fire grows. If w e fan it, it ignites can move from a tiny flame into a roaring blaze. Similarly, if you fan your spirit with positivity and gratitude, your spirit expands.
Ideas for letting go:
Write it down and burn it
Imagine it leaving in a balloon into thin air
Bury it all the way to China
Come to the present moment and Breathe
Looking forward to hearing from you,