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Day 30 – Lessons Learned

I have been alive for 30 years.

30 years of memories, 30 years of lessons learned, 30 years of ups and downs, 30 years of growing up.

When I started this blog I had this idea of how it would go – that it would be easy to write and tons of fun.  In the end it was hard work – I had to really look at my shit and confront the things that were no longer serving me.  It has been a tremendous growth process – one I am grateful to have been able to share.

Yesterday was an awesome day.  I turned 30 with some of the most important people in my life (the rest of you were missed!!) and I got to think about all that I have learned in this process.

So here it is:
30 things I have learned in my 30 years on this earth…

  1. Everything is a choice – happiness or suffering, we get to choose.  Figure out what makes you happy, then do more of it. Day 25 – happy
  2. There are only 2 guarantees in life: change and death.  Change takes time and death comes quicker than you think. Get busy living your life, don’t wait for someone else to live it for you, for the right time, the right place etc.  The only right, is right now. Go for it! Start now, do it NOW.  Day 1 – the beginning
  3. At the end of the day I regret the things I did not do, more than the things I did poorly.
  4. Anything worth having requires effort.  Day 14 – the start
  5. Life is 10% what happens, 90% what you make of it… if something is making you miserable, stop doing it.  If you can’t, change your attitude.
  6. All people are assholes. All people are inherently good.  Life is paradox.
  7. There are 3 sides to every story – yours, the other persons and the truth.  When you point your finger out into the world, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you – look within.
  8. Dogs can teach us everything we need to know: stop and smell the roses, be kind, cuddle, when your happy shake your entire body to let others know… it will make them smile, don’t take anything for granted and take pleasure in the little things.  Patrick says:  Life is not about winning, it’s about having fun.
  9. Be grateful for what you have. You’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have you’ll never have enough.  Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have. Day 3 – abundance
  10. normal is relative and my relatives aren’t normal.  Be weird with your family, enjoy them. Family is important. Never forget that. Day 4 – it’s all relative
  11. Where thoughts go energy flows. Day 20 – make a wish  Talk about the things you’re working on, act as if, and it will come!  Day 24 – excited  Self doubt paves the way to a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Tell yourself you can, then prove yourself right!  Day 18 – stretch   What you feed grows.  Grow something awesome!
  12. It is easy to focus on the have nots and the have tos and forget about the already been done and already haves.  Make a list of all that you have accomplished, all that you already have and it will change your whole perspective. Day 6 – list
  13. It is OK to have a bad day.  Day 7 – bad day
  14. Passion ignites the flame that inspires the actions that makes dreams become reality.  Passion is what brings meaning and purpose into our lives, especially if that passion involves giving back, helping others and making a difference.  Trust the process.  Day 15
  15. Keep an open mind, and learn new ideas. Then teach these ideas to others. Learning and teaching are linked in a perfect cycle, in which information comes to you when you need it. How? Stay Honest, Open and Willing. Day 8 – Golden
  16. No expectations = no disappointment.  Delink from the outcome and enjoy the ride!   Day 10 – poison vs. nectar
  17. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.  It will never all be finished.  There will always be more to do.  I don’t have it all figured out.  I can’t do everything.  But I can do anything.  Day 11 – don’t sweat
  18. Life can seem like a big slick boulder – no idea where to go, how to get up, how to move forward.  In those moments: ask for help, take the risk and make shit happen  Day 12 – jtree
  19. Detroit is the greatest city in the world – if you haven’t been you need to go. Day 17 – The D
  20. Yoga, in the end is much more than a workout – it is a stretch beyond the physical.  Through the practice of yoga I have learned a lot about who I am, and who I am not.  It has taught me about acceptance, integrity, truth, balance and most importantly how to get comfy in my discomfort. Yoga is life and life is yoga.  Day 18 – stretch
  21. Give more, take less, be of service. Day 19 – ode to gramps
  22. possibility is up to me – the only place where things are impossible lies in my own head.  Out there, in the world, lies infinite possibility.  Day 22 – possibility
  23. when we set aside all the craziness we’re left only with the people in our lives. Day 23- friends
  24. This world can seem really big, really lonely and really pointless sometimes… when that happens think about what you’re grateful for. Your frown will turn upside down.  Remember: I am right where I need to be. I am ENOUGH! Day 26 – grateful
  25. Music makes everything better. Without music, life would be a mistake. – Friedrich Nietzche  Day 27 – my life in music
  26. What you possess, possesses you.  When you look back, you won’t remember the stuff you bought, you’ll remember the times you spent surrounded by good people, the things you did for others and the time spent with family.  Make time to make memories.  Spending all of your waking hours working to pay for that new bag/car/shoes you want…not worth it. Day 28 – The Money Post
  27. Make every day a celebration Day 29 – celebrate
  28. Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.  If you’re struggling – talk about it.  Let’s get real people.
  29. Everyone has an opinion.  Listen to your own truth, follow your instincts, free yourself of judgment so that you may be yourself – everyone else is taken. Day 2 – free to be & Day 9 – real
  30. Afraid? Ask yourself: “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” if you can live with whatever the answer is – go for it! Choose to face EVERYTHING and meet it with a roar – nothing to be scared of, we got this shit! – Day 21 – fear

Here’s to a decade of awesome! Progress, not perfection… One Down Dog at at time!

Day 29 – celebrate

Tomorrow (or today, depending on time zone) is the big day – the last day of this blog.  The 30th day in the series.  The 30th birthday.  Tomorrow will be a big celebration.

At the end of the day though, every day is a big day – an opportunity to celebrate. If we can approach our lives with an attitude of fun – celebrating all that we are, all that we have and all that we may be – we will attract more of that into our lives.

Celebrate what you want to see more of in your life and bring it closer to you!

Easier said than done, I know.

Just for today, what can you do to celebrate?

  • Treat yourself to something nice
  • Call a friend you haven’t heard from in a while
  • Let go of one negative thought that is no longer serving you
  • Read a book that makes you smile
  • Do one nice thing for somebody else
  • Give yourself a hug
  • Give your loved ones a hug
  • Write yourself, or someone else a love note
  • Fly a kite
  • Bake yourself a cake
  • Go get some balloons and confetti throw yourself a party
  • Write a list of all you have accomplished
  • Celebrate the successes – there are so many happening at all times that we take for granted
  • Identify one good thing about a not so good situation
  • Do what makes you happy

What makes you happy?  What is one small thing you can do today to celebrate your life?  Add to the list in the comments below.  Then go out and do it!

Celebrate you, celebrate life and make the world a better place One Down Dog, one smile, one hug at a time!

The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating. 
― Jarod Kintz

If we are ever going to enjoy life, now is the time to do it – not tomorrow, or next year.  The future will never come, there is only the present.  Make it your most wonderful day.

Day 28 – Money Post

Oprah on Money

Does this sound familiar to you?

“I thought that by <insert age here> life would look a certain way, I thought things would be easy and fun all day everyday, I thought I would have a <insert $ amount here> in my bank account and a super awesome life.”

I used to think this way. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself and felt things were supposed to be something they were not, and therefore I was a failure.  I no longer feel that way.  I have learned to live from a place of abundance, rather than a place of scarcity.  It has not been easy.  It is not easy.

Growing up I never really got money – I just knew I wanted/needed lots of it.  My mom tells a story of a time when I was very young – I wanted something and was not able to get it.  “I don’t have enough money” she said to me.  My response… “go to the wall and get some more.”  I had no idea how that whole thing worked and truth is I still don’t have it all figured out.  My parents tried their best to teach me about money – allowances, lectures, bank accounts etc.  I just didn’t get it.  They seemed to have a lot of it and I wanted a lot of things… so I did whatever I could to make that happen.

In the back of my mind I always imagined that I would graduate college, start an awesome career and have it all just like they did.  I didn’t get how hard they worked for it, how good they were with budgeting, how it was a lot of work and a lot less play.  I just didn’t get it.  In the moment it didn’t matter how much I spent, how much debt I accrued etc. because that day would come and all would be right with the world.   Yea…it didn’t work out that way.

There are some things I wish someone would have told me…maybe they did and I was just not listening, I don’t know.  But hopefully someone else can hear it and not have to go through the same plight I did.

So here are some lessons learned:

  • Money does not come easily – you have to work for it and that work often sucks at the beginning.  Once you get past that part, things get easier and maybe even fun…but you have to stick with it through the “I hate this shit” moments.
  • A salary does not come in a lump sum that you can spend at one time and then somehow continue to have money to pay your bills.  It is spread throughout a WHOLE year.  That’s why they call it a yearly salary.  What sounds like a lot, in reality is NOT.  It will go quickly and you better know where it’s going before it’s gone.  Also, a huge chunk of it will never hit your bank account – there are taxes on that shit!
  • Years from now people won’t remember you by what you wore/had, they will remember how you made them feel.  Make them feel good, and you will feel good.  Don’t rely on external sources for that – it will never last.
  • If you can move in with your parents to save money, do it. A lifetime of freedom with money in your bank account is worth more than a couple of years living with friends having fun.
  • When you look back, you won’t remember the stuff you bought, you’ll remember the times you spent surrounded by good people, the things you did for others and the time spent with family.  Make time to make memories.  Spending all of your waking hours working to pay for that new bag/car/shoes you want…not worth it.
  • Life is full of everlasting bills – there’s rent, car, insurance, phone, electric, gas (you get the idea) all of that money needs to exist every month on a certain date or you will go into debt which is a vicious cycle.  Just because you paid your bills this month doesn’t mean you should reward yourself with a whole new wardrobe – if you can’t afford it don’t buy it.
  • Credit cards are not monopoly money.  If you buy things with them, that is real money.  You will owe that money back and then some.  There is interest on that.  Duh, how do you think credit card companies stay in business?
  • If you use all of your cash to pay your credit card bill – you now have no cash.  How are you going to pay for that sandwich?  Oh, with your credit card?  Yea that’s a great idea.  Debt forever.
  • If you find yourself in debt – sit down with someone you trust, bust out a calculator do some math and set up a plan.  Then stick to it.  There will always be things that come up so make sure you set money aside for those crappy moments when you get a flat, your phone falls in the toilet etc..
  • Your rent + your bills = your monthly expenses add those up + an extra $100 for incidentals that is the minimum you can make a month if you are willing to starve/not have a life.  Oh wait you want to eat? Picky, picky.  Triple that amount (rent + bills + $100) x 3 = total income – that’s what you need to bring in each month to survive.
  • As Bill Clinton said – it is simple arithmetic.  1+1 = 2.  Not $2,000.  Live within your means and your means will live up to your needs.
  • Sick of surviving, want to start living? Either make more, or spend less.  The choice is always up to you.
  • Money doesn’t make us miserable – we make ourselves miserable by how we relate with it.
  • If we focus on what we don’t have we get more don’t.  If we focus on what we do have, and we aren’t afraid to live it and share it, then we get more of it.
  • Scarcity or abundance is always up to us.
  • If you’re struggling – talk about it.  Everyone is so tight lipped about money like it’s some secret.  It isn’t a secret.  It is sustenance.  If you aren’t sustaining you need some help, I know I do.  Let’s get real people.

Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have. – Oprah Winfrey

Day 27 – my life in music

Without music, life would be a mistake. – Friedrich Nietzche
The only truth is music – Jack Kerouac
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. – Plato
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. ― Albert Einstein
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ― Victor Hugo
Music is what feelings sound like.  – Author Unknown
Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. – Jimi Hendrix
I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.  – Billy Joel
I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water. – Ray Charles
Music can change the world because it can change people – Bono
Music is my religion – Jimi Hendrix

My life has been full of music.  Growing up there was always music playing, my parents sang to me, I was surrounded by good tunes and I was always dancing.   I started dance class at age 2 and danced consistently and competitively until age 16.  As soon as my parents would allow it I was going to concerts every weekend.   Against my parents wishes I went to those crazy underground all night parties – yep I was once a raver.  One of my favorite parts of being a yoga teacher is making the playlist for class – anyone that’s taken my class can attest to the fact that they are excellent playlists 🙂 My iTunes contains over 13,000 songs and that doesn’t include all of the cds I still have lying around.  I have truly lived with a soundtrack to my life.  I hear a song and it takes me back to a different time – the good, the not so good, the really awful – my memories are embedded in sound.  I couldn’t imagine my life without music. It would suck.

This blog would not be complete without a post dedicated to the one thing that has consistently gotten me through the shit and made the great even greater.  Question is – how on earth am I going to come up with only 30 top songs?  I tried, but it wasn’t possible.  So I got creative.  I got it down to 114.  My birthday is 11.21.82 – add it up and you get 114.  So here are 114 of my favs.  Each song is full of memories and makes me smile.  If I could have I would have made this list my top 300 – but that would take too long.  So without further ado –


1. Drowning (Dave’s Drum & Space Remix) – Moonshine Mixed, Vol. 2

2. Ace of Base – The Sign – Happy Nation – U.S. Version

3. Alanis Morissette – Perfect – Jagged Little Pill

4. Both Hands – Ani DiFranco

5. Atmosphere -Sunshine – Sad Clown Bad Summer Number 9 – EP

6. Intro – Bad Boy Bill – Bangin’ The Box Vol. 3

7. Beastie Boys – Intergalactic – Hello Nasty

8. Beck – Loser – Mellow Gold

9. Bjork – It’s Oh So Quiet – Post

10. Black Star – Definition – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star

11. Blackalicious – Alphabet Aerobics (The Cut Chemist 2 1/2 Minute Workout) – A2G EP

12. Blackstreet – No Diggity – Another Level

13. No Rain – Blind Melon

14. Bone Thugs – Ecstasy – BTNHRESURRECTION

15. Bran Van 3000 – Drinking In L.A. – Glee

16. Bush – Everything Zen – Sixteen Stone

17.Calvin Harris – Feel So Close (Radio Edit) – Feel So Close – EP

18. Cat Stevens – Moonshadow – Teaser and the Firecat

19. Common – The Light – Like Water for Chocolate

20. The Cranberries – Zombie – No Need to Argue

21. De La Soul – Me, Myself and I – 3 Feet High and Rising

22. Death Cab for Cutie – Such Great Heights – Give Up

23. Dee Lite – Groove Is In the Heart – The Very Best of Deee-Lite

24. Deftones – Mascara – Around the Fur

25. DJ Assault – A.U.X. Mind – Straight Up Detroit Shit Vol. 2

26. September – Earth, Wind & Fire: Greatest Hits

27. Eminem – Brain Damage – The Slim Shady LP

28. Free Your Mind – The Very Best of en Vogue

29. Eric Prydz – Call On Me (Radio Edit) – Call On Me – EP

30. Fedde Le Grande – Put Your Hands Up for Detroit (Club Mix) – Put Your Hands Up for Detroit

31. Fiona Apple – Slow Like Honey – Tidal

32. Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song – The Score

33. Gang Starr – Work – Moment of Truth

34. Garbage – Stupid Girl

35. Genesis – Invisible Touch – Invisible Touch

36. Geto Boys – Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta – The Best of the Geto Boys

37. Goldfinger – Here In Your Bedroom

38. Green Day – Longview – Dookie

39. House of Pain – Jump Around

40. Huey Lewis & The News – Hip To Be Square – Fore!

41. Inner City – Good Life – Paradise

42. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation – Rhythm Nation 1814

43. Jewel – Pieces of You – Pieces of You

44. John Mayer – Daughters – Heavier Things

45. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – Greatest Hits 1 & 2

46. Jurasic 5 – Action Satisfaction – J 5 (Deluxe Edition)

47. Kanye West – Homecoming – Graduation

48. Khia – My Neck, My Back – Nasty Confessions

49. Korn – Blind

50. Kurupt – I Call Shots (feat. Roscoe) – Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha (Bonus Track Version)

51. Lamb – Fly – Fear of Fours

52. Lauryn Hill- Everything Is Everything – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

53. Len – Steal My Sunshine (Single Version) – You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush

54. Less Than Jake – Dopeman – Losing Streak

55. Live – Lightning Crashes – Throwing Copper

56. LL Cool J – Going Back to Cali – Walking with a Panther

57. Luscious Jackson – Naked Eye – Naked Eye

58.  Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby

59. Madonna – Little Star – Ray of Light

60. Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People – Antichrist Superstar

61. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing – Number 1’s: Marvin Gaye

62. Matisyahu – One Day – Light (Bonus Track Version)

63. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You – So Tonight That I Might See

64. MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This – Greatest Hits

65. Michael Jackson – Thriller – Thriller

66. Mike + The Mechanics – The Living Years – Living Years

67. Morcheeba – Tapeloop

68. Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty – Black On Both Sides

69. Mustard Plug – Miss Michigan – Evildoers Beware!

70. Nas – The World Is Yours – Illmatic

71. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn – Left of the Middle

72. Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.

73. New Kids On The Block – Step By Step – Step by Step

74. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nevermind

75. No Doubt – Just a Girl – Tragic Kingdom

76. NoFX – Linoleum – Punk In Drublic

77. Notorious B.I.G. – Notorious B.I.G. (feat. Lil’ Kim & Puff Daddy) – Born Again

78. Oasis – Wonderwall – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory

79. Operation Ivy – Sound System

80. Outkast – Rosa Parks – Aquemini

81. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart – Collections: Bonnie Tyler

82. Paula Abdul – Straight Up – Forever Your Girl

83. Pharcyde – Hey You – Labcabincalifornia

84. Pink Floyd – Brain Damage – The Dark Side of the Moon

85. Where Is My Mind? – Surfer Rosa

86. Portishead – Only You – Roseland, NYC Live

87. The Postal Service – Nothing Better – Give Up

88. Prince – 7 – The Hits / The B-Sides

89. R.E.M. – Bad Day – In Time – The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003

90. Radiohead – Optimistic – Kid A

91. Rancid – Roots Radical – …And Out Come the Wolves

92. The Roots – Act Too (The Love of My Life) – Things Fall Apart

93. Save Ferris – The World Is New – It Means Everything

94. Sia – Breathe Me – Colour the Small One

95. Sir Mix A Lot – Baby Got Back – Mack Daddy

96. Telegraph (Skolars) – Should’ve Stayed Home Tonight

97. Slum Village – Closer – Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit)

98. Smashing Pumpkins – Landslide – Pisces Iscariot

99. Soundgarden – Fell On Black Days – Superunknown

100. Four to the Floor (Thin White Duke Mix) – Star Sailor

101. Stone Temple Pilots – Vasoline – Thank You

102. Sublime – Saw Red (feat. Gwen Stefani) – Robbin’ the Hood

103. Suicide Machines – New Girl – Destruction By Definition

104. Talib Kweli – Get By – Quality

105. Telepopmusik – Breathe – Genetic World

106. TLC – Creep – CrazySexyCool

107. A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation – Midnight Marauders

108. Tricky – Makes Me Wanna Die – Pre-Millennium Tension

109. Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby – To the Extreme

110. Violent Femmes – Add It Up – Permanent Record: The Very Best of the Violent Femmes

111. Warren G ft. Nate Dogg – Regulate – Regulate…G Funk Era

112. Weezer – My Name Is Jonas – Weezer

113. Wu Tang – Gravel Pit – Legend of the Wu-Tang: Wu-Tang Clan’s Greatest Hits

114. 2Pac – Changes – 2Pac: Greatest Hits

congrats! You made it to the end:) Enjoy the tunes!

Day 26 – grateful

Today was a busy day.  Started it off with a yoga class led by the lovely Denise Woods, followed by an awesome meeting to discuss Grow Your Soul plans for our upcoming yoga and paddle boarding retreat coming to Lake Arrowhead in 2013 – stay tuned!  After excellent brain storming and goal setting, leaving me feeling inspired and excited, I headed off to get a pedicure before picking up the dapper Patrick Bateman from the groomers.  Headed home in the rain, and then it was off to a spin class that kicked my ass (literally) at Cycle House LA to support the LA chapter of I Am That Girl.  More inspiration.  From there it was a rush to get home and get cute before heading off to dinner – the first of many birthday celebrations.

Because I will be in the mitten on my actual birthday (get ready Detroit!), my hubby planned an LA gathering for me (so sweet 🙂 ).  It was wonderful – great times with great friends and tons of excellent food courtesy of Sage Vegan Bistro in Echo Park.  I LOVE that place – it is the absolute BEST!  While we were there I had one of those – “wow, this is my life and I love it!” moments.  Surrounded by awesome people, having great conversation, reminiscing on old times – it felt …good.

This world can seem really big and really lonely and really pointless sometimes.  I remember moving to LA and feeling like a tiny fish in a huge ocean of wackiness. Now – 4 years later, I go out and run into people I know, have an awesome circle of friends and have created a life for myself here.  Holy shit – I have a life here.  Weird.  And it’s not by accident.

I had to work my butt off to get to this place and I’m glad I did. Tonight as I sit here after a super packed day, I feel grateful.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner I decided what better time to write about 30 things I’m grateful for?  And so, in no particular order… here they are:

  1. family
  2. being able to spend time with my grandpa this summer
  3. husband – I’m married to my high school sweetheart. What could be better?
  4. Patrick Bateman – the sweetest little man in the world
  5. friends – see the post here
  6. love/connection – makes each day worth living
  7. to live in LA – warm weather, hiking, ocean
  8. to call MI home. I <3 the D
  9. pedicures and all forms of pampering
  10. camp WEAAFU – wakeboarding and eating Achatz 4 berry pie on the deck
  11. travel
  12. music – the soundtrack to my life.  grateful to hear a song and be taken back to that time.
  13. car – mobility
  14. yoga and everything it’s taught me about myself and the world
  15. being able to do what I love – help others and support myself doing it
  16. our cute little bungalow that is slowly turning into a home
  17. the journey we have been on since coming to LA – made us both strong as individuals and as a couple
  18.  mountains
  19. bed – clean sheets, comfy pillow
  20. YS – for teaching me a lot of lessons
  21. adventure – rock climbing, camp, kayaking, surfing, sky diving, snowboarding etc.
  22. the courage to start this blog
  23. integrity
  24. Yoga Blend – community, kindness and knowledge
  25. the bad girl days – learned so much about myself through that process
  26. to have so many inspiring people in my life
  27. my students – they are my greatest teacher
  28. the support of my family, friends and the universe in making my dreams become a reality – living a passion-filled life… One Down Dog at a time
  29. having the strength, support and dedication to keep pushing through the tough stuff
  30. 30 years of life and many more to come – bring it on 🙂


what are you grateful for? Share at last one thing in the comments below: