Good Reads

Here's a fresh take on what can be a debilitating force. Photo by Becca Matimba on Unsplash By Cindy Yantis "Focused attention yields the best results." - Melinda Hughes Melinda is my personal trainer and the owner of The Strength Shoppe, a high-intensity training (HIT) facility in Pasadena, California. And, this quote, from their website, exemplifies what most I've learned from training with her. HIT is a slow burn, really intense, focused workout where with each weightlifting exercise you exhaust an isolated muscle or group of muscles to a slow count of ten. It's also called Super Slow, Slow Cadence, Power of 10, or Resistance Training. It takes such focused concentration to get through a set of the slow ten. The tendency is to put all of your body behind trying to lift the weight. That's when Melinda says to direct your brain to focus on the specific body part... Read more →

How to allow fear to work for you instead of against you. Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash I think about fear a lot. I mean, at times we all do, right? Lately it's been a very loud companion as I dig deeper into writing my memoir. No matter the situation, whenever it shows up I run the gamut in my relationship with fear. I see it, dread it, fight it, am pissed off at it, run from it, cry with it and am utterly fascinated by it for the never-ending lessons and conversations that derive from it. Recently I listened to Linda Sivertsen's Beautiful Writers Podcast when she and guest co-host, Martha Beck interviewed author Glennon Doyle. They were discussing Glennon's extremely raw bestselling memoir, LOVE WARRIOR, which is sitting next in my Kindle queue. I'm an admirer of all three women and their work. This was a great... Read more →

There have been some renovations at my home recently and I was awakened early Saturday morning by the vibration of some power tools in the backyard. The foundation was literally humming and it quickly shifted my energy, making me want to get up and get something accomplished. It got me thinking about the impact of vibration on energy, thoughts and consciousness, particularly after the past couple tumultuous weeks. I noticed how ill I felt after days of reading divisive, combative and hateful posts on social media as well watching the increase of frightening actions based on hate and fear. You can feel the divisiveness in your mind, body and spirit. It’s splintering. So much so that I took a break from all media for a few days. After I posted this, I started thinking more about the power of raising our thoughts to raise the world. A few nights later... Read more →

I recently sat down to meditate and, in order to clear my head before I started, I decided to respond to one Facebook message so it would be off my mind and I could focus on my meditation. Two hours later... I went down the rabbit hole. It's a common theme for me, rabbit holing. This time, for me, Facebook led to Pinterest which led to links of articles about Shonda Rhimes saying yes and the latest polls in Nevada, to a couple of fashion blogs and then offline to send a few unrelated texts, save some photos which sparked ideas for future stories, blogs, scenes, characters and ghostwriting projects. All of this in one adventure down my rabbit hole. So, not all bad. The problem is I can get so enamored with each of those it can keep me from the designated task at hand. So, what is it,... Read more →

Who Am I? This is one of the big questions I pose every morning as part of my meditation and journaling ritual. Some days the question is the only thing I write down and the only query on which I meditate. It’s a lot to contemplate. Or not. This week as I asked the question, my pen poised over the page, nothing came. It’s not that my mind was blank, it’s that my mind was racing, as happens most days when I start to meditate or gather my thoughts. Can you relate? Mind chatter is non-stop. If it’s not about our to-do list, it’s about a conversation we had or want to have. If it’s not about the email we need to answer, it’s about how we’re judging ourselves. About everything. If it’s not about the ache in our back or knee or shoulder, it’s about the movie we watched... Read more →

It could be rather cliche that I would post an article about freedom on Independence Day. But, what can I say? The holiday got me thinking about all of the various connotations of freedom and independence. Yes, the holiday is about the literal freedom and independence of a nation and its people. But, there's so much delicious metaphor and meaning surrounding the notion of being free and independent. To truly set yourself free from all that shackles you so as to live in a individual state of freedom, it starts in the mind. It's the only environment over which we have total control. Once you allow yourself to clean out your mind environment, you'll feel free in many new and expansive ways. What currently binds you into a certain way of thinking? It usually comes down to habitual thought patterns. Dr. Martha Beck says habitual thoughts are "like ruts in... Read more →

"It's Finally Leap Year!" That's what I imagine people born on February 29th say when a leap year comes around and they get to celebrate their true birthday. Well, it's not technically a leap year, the next one is 2012. But, this is the phrase that came to mind as I set my theme for 2011. I don't like New Year's resolutions. I prefer setting a slate of clear goals and giving myself an overall theme for the year. Goals are great because they give you milestones to put into your life GPS for the year. But, the theme. The theme is your undercurrent, your throughline, your foundation or your touchstone for the annual journey. It's the platform on which you place your goals and it's the glue that keeps them in place as you forge your path. And, they give an overall meaning and purpose to your plan. One... Read more →

“You’re changing that boy’s life.” “No, he’s changing mine.” from a scene in the film, “THE BLIND SIDE” I recently watched the movie again (and again), and was once again entranced not only by the transformational journey of football great Michael Oher, but equally by the how helping him also changed the lives of his adoptive family, Sean and Leanne Tuohy and their two kids. And, while the film focused primarily on Michael’s story and Leanne’s crusade to give him a leg up on life, on closer examination much of the real-life story began with Sean Tuohy’s personal vision to help poor Memphis kids when they needed it. And, although they went the whole ten yards with Michael Oher, he was not the first, nor the last who received an outstretched hand from Sean Tuohy. It got me thinking once again about how having a clear vision brings so much... Read more →

By Sarah Shaw So I have been thinking about fearlessness all week since sending my 26 month old twins off to daycare/preschool this week and how they just love it and seem to be thriving - total fearlessness. Deepak Chopra says there are no coincidences so I take that to heart! Everything happens for a reason – which leads me to this story. A friend of a friend called last summer and asked if we’d be open to housing and feeding a 17-year-old French girl named Marion, in exchange for some babysitting for two weeks. She wanted to experience America and work on her English – which I must say is quite impressive for an 11th grader. Her father has given me strict instructions to ONLY speak to her in English – I speak fluent French. Anyhow, Marion arrived, tired after a long flight, but cheerful and adorable all the... Read more →