All posts filed under: Inspiration & Feelgoodness

Be Motivated, Get Inspired, Feel Gooood!!

There’s Still Time to Get Your Ritual On and Ten Extraordinary Observations for January!

We are off to a rocking start for this year’s wondrous project, “Extraordinary40!” In case you missed it, check out my post Beginning the Year With a Powerful Ritual. In a nut shell, the fabulous women of Project:Women and I are celebrating my year of turning 40 with monthly challenges geared towards “best-everness” and you are invited to join in the fun! January’s challenge was to complete your own super sacred ritual acknowledging and thanking 2015 and welcoming 2016 with enthusiasm and bravery! It’s not too late to perform this ritual and rock your gratitude! As promised, here are my answers to the sensory questions for 2015 as compared to how I wanted 2015 to be way back on New Year’s Eve of 2014! I’m so looking forward to next year when you, too, are able to compare your answers. What we might want and what we actually get can be surprising, funny, maybe disappointing, and often powerful. What did I want 2015 to smell like? The Ocean. But what did it actually smell like? PIZZA! (Okay.) …

2016: One Beautiful Mess

  I am writing this after a walk and an online yoga session with my teacher, Annie Carpenter. My mind is still and my body at rest. The constant barrage of thoughts and worries have subsided and settled like little flakes at the bottom of a snow globe. On January 1, I was asked to think of one word to focus on for 2016. Of course, my immediate thought was “what’s a word that would cause some sort of improvement?” There must be a word to make me better, right? That’s what New Years Resolutions are all about! But, the inner experiences I have been through this month have urged me to see this concept of intention and focus through a different spiritual lense. I continue to wrestle with perfectionism. God bless. Sometimes I think this is my most important life lesson!  This week it was brought to light in a variety of ways…when I put sink dish soap in the dishwasher and bubbles exploded everywhere, when I lost out on a job, and when a …

Beginning the New Year with a Powerful Ritual

Do you love champagne? I do! Do you love to dance and party? Me, too, in my own adorable introverted way! Do you love to kiss cute people (or one very special cute person) at midnight? Yes, so do I! I love New Year’s Eve and I love our social traditions and rituals but I’ve created one of my own that I’ve been performing for most of the last decade and I’ve got to warn you, it’s pretty powerful. Before I share my step by step ritual with you so that you, too, can perform it, I want to tell you something personal about me. Come closer. Closer. Good. I’M TURNING FORTY IN 2016!!! What the heck does that have to do with powerful New Year’s rituals? Good question. I’ve been honing and shaping this ever-evolving ritual since the age of thirty-two when I basically hit zero and found myself starting completely over and now here I am on the cusp of a new year AND a new decade. Be it twenty, thirty, forty or …

5 Simple Steps to Create a Sacred Space in your home

This month, we celebrate the work we do as women! Some of us are mothers, some artists, some corporate executives, and the list goes on. Regardless of what we do, we all share the need for “me time” and quiet moments to recharge our bodies, minds, and spirits. Creating a sacred space for yoga, meditation, art, or simple quiet time can do wonders for our overall well being and light the spark of inspiration when we are depleted. Having our own little corner filled  with beauty or even an entire room or outdoor space provides us with spiritual nourishment and weaves a sense of sacred ritual into our lives. Here are five steps to create a space which invites you to slow down, breathe, and recharge. * 1. Choose your special spot. It can be a small corner of your home, an entire room, or even an outdoor space or garden. See if you can choose a place that you will pass by frequently during your daily routine, so it’s beauty and energy can remind …

Courage to Start

  Ever since I did my first triathlon at age 13, I said that “someday” before I turned 30, I would do a full Ironman triathlon. Someday was July 26. I traveled to one of my favorite places in the world, Vancouver, British Columbia and competed in the Ironman Canada. Over 15 years ago I committed to making my personal challenge, and over nine months ago I joined Team In Training, to give birth to my dream. An Ironman is a triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run, a daunting task.  It takes months of training, focus, and determination. Throughout this journey I have met incredible people, reconnected with old friends, raised money for a cause I believe in, and pushed myself and my teammates to achieve our dreams. During the training season, we each swam over 175 miles (1/2 the distance from here to San Francisco), rode our bikes 2,221 miles (that will get you from LA to Chicago) and ran over 662 miles, for a grand total of over …

Out of the Mind and into the Heart: Your Self-Care Toolkit

I don’t know about you, but I wish I could control things. The amount of time I have spent obsessing about the future and worrying about the people I love can be embarrassing. I admit this because I am in the life-long process of becoming more gentle with myself and my experience. No matter what our current circumstances are, we all share the existential dilemma of having to deal with the “great unknown” on a daily basis. We try to mold it, shape it, control it, wish it away, ignore it, etc, but we are usually left with the foggy notion that we missed something. How do we shift back into our bodies, fully experiencing the beauty of the present? Because I have struggled with anxiety, insomnia, and perfectionism in my life, I believe I have been led to practice and share yoga and invite other women to come along for the journey out of the chitta vritti (fluctuations of the mind) and into the freshness of the present moment and the space of the heart. …

Fathers Share Their Thoughts and Advice

This past Father’s Day, we asked a question on our social media:  “What do you love about being a dad, and what advice would you give to a new father?” Here are the wonderful responses from our community of men…   What do I love about being a dad? Seeing your children discover the world with innocent eyes. The pure joy, kindness and humor they exhibit never cease to amaze me. It’s not all fun and games though. It is an adjustment. It is a complete change of life…once you are a dad, you will never again come first. You’ll get frustrated like never before. They’ll break your heart. But they’ll also inspire you, give you love that you never thought you’d experience, laughter like you’ve never had before, and give your life a new meaning!  – Joel Tesch   What I love most about being a dad is the unconditional love I receive everyday. My son Cooper Grant D’Ambrosio fills my life with laughter and love everyday and on occasion he adds to my gray …

Keeping the Soul in Yoga

I recently came across a post on Facebook which read, “The best yogis of Instagram.” This contest was decided upon by a well-known women’s fashion magazine and featured a variety of teachers, many of whom were wearing bikinis and had little to no body fat. Most pictures this magazine chose to feature were filtered images of thin, barely clad 20 and 30-something women doing handstands in remote exotic locations. Look, I get it. I LOVE yoga. I TEACH yoga. Yoga makes you feel vibrant and alive! I follow several of these established teachers and they have a lot of really wonderful things to say and they are good teachers. But, I’m disturbed by how yoga is beginning to be perceived by our culture. Since when did being a yogi equal being a fashion model? I took a class the other day, and the teacher literally said, “maybe one day if you keep practicing, you’ll be able to do the pose as gracefully as me.” WTF? Are we selling unattainable perfectionism now? It seems like it. …

It Can Wait

I am drinking coffee and writing on this Sunday morning. I have a turquoise, soft cover Moleskine journal that I love and a ball point pen that writes just right. It’s a beautiful, sunny, January day. My phone is downstairs.  In the time it has taken me to write these four and a half lines, I’ve had the urge/impulse/itch to check/use/scratch(?) my phone four times. #1- I wanted to use the timer for what was initially going to be a timed writing exercise [No Tracy, you can use the clock]. #2 – What’s today’s date? It’s right there on my phone’s home screen [Uh Tracy, use your brain].  #3 – I wanted to check the weather app to include the actual temperature when describing this lovely day [It’s January, Tracy…It’s cold]. #4 – I wonder if I’ve heard back from my friend Jamie. Hmm. I could do a Lumosity “workout.” And see what’s up on Twitter. I love Twitter.  [No, no, noooo! IT CAN WAIT! IT CAN ALLLL WAIT. Write your damn journal entry] Jeez, …

Masks We Wear, and Letting Go of Fear.

Hiding behind a mask.  It feels acutely relevant to me right now… Perhaps that’s why the art of Judith Henry grabbed onto me as it did.  I found her the other day (via my 1stdibs.com newsletter, of all earthly places) and instantly got a warm feeling from her work.  Mostly from her, but also from her artistic expression through these masks.  And looking at her creations made me feel this thing that’s been hiding beneath… I’m struggling with something.  Wrestling with this intangible concept of what it means to share oneself.  To reveal, strip nude, expose thyself.  How to find the balance between creative exposure and outright over-sharing.  But I’m not even there yet.. I’m stuck, penned in by the gate of Privacy and Self-defence, holding tight to my deeply-rooted trait of “keeping to myself”. What am I doing. I think it’s time to break down some walls. Many years ago, when I was in my early 20’s and figuring myself out, my dad said something to me that was heavy, profound: “People are like …

Julianne Moore quote

I finally got to peek at my new Bazaar magazine tonight, a delight I haven’t enjoyed in a while.  Fashion magazines (mainly Bazaar and W) are my guilty pleasure, and I don’t indulge in them as often as I used to.  Which makes those times ever more precious… the quiet, still moments, after baby is tucked away in bed, to just sip a cup of warm tea and be taken away into another land. The latest issue features a brief piece on the great Julianne Moore, who is just such a fun, talented, cool woman (listen to her interview with Alec Baldwin on his radio show Here’s The Thing– it’s great). This little part, from the end of the Bazaar interview, really grabbed on to me. “…Women are fabulous.  I like our camaraderie, our similarities, how we collaborate.  When my daughter was born, I looked at her in the bassinet and I said, ‘You’re one of us.’… I’m going to cry if I think about it too much.  I had this little girl and was like, ‘Yup.  You’re one …

Karl Lagerfeld’s Feminist Fashionistas

What a fantastic scene… The spring 2015 runway show by Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel was brought to a close with a rambunctious, glorious gang of models as feminists in mock protest. Yes, it was only a show.  A high-end fashion show for the elite brand of Chanel.  But come on… it was genius and so much fun!!  And honestly even though it was all done in the name of fashion, it also had a powerful effect.  It brought the current conversation of women’s equality to the fore within the domain of fashion, where typically the focus is on hemlines and it-bags.  And that’s worth something. From the Chanel News website, this was said of the show: “…these Chanel women are free-spirited and daring; they progress far beyond mere social norms; they are independent, modern, and active, in the very image of Gabrielle Chanel. …they walk the streets of major cities with long, confident strides.” I dig it.   Photo credits: Top image Getty Images via Bazaar; next image via pop sugar; next image via Bazaar; Bottom image by …

A Note.

I wrote this note to myself on January 1 of this year, before I realized I’d be doing this blog.  Can’t tell you how amazing (and scary and overwhelming, etc.) it feels to be doing it.  Putting yourself “out there” in any way (even with a tiny little blog!) is nerve-racking… but man it’s good for the soul.