Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week 19: My First Commercial

This post is going to be kind of like my "First Youtube Video" post. A camera crew came into my office to film a commercial for Yelp. It was part of a package they offered us and my brother (again) wanted me to do it. I felt the same way about it that I felt about making Youtube videos, but this one was even more out of my comfort zone because I've never done a commercial before and that's not my kind of thing. With the Youtube videos I'm at least giving information that helps people. I kept hoping the camera guy would get stuck in traffic and have to re-schedule! But nope. He showed up on time and I had to sit there and talk about myself and my law firm on camera. I lived. I haven't watched it. Just like I haven't watched any of my Youtube videos. It was all early in the morning so I couldn't even get my hair done or anything like that! But I got through it and it's done. :-) Maybe by the end of this year I'll finally be comfortable being on a screen and will feel comfortable posting these videos. But for now, I'm just glad it's done.

Week 18: First Time Watching Fela and First "Activation of the Creative Order" Experience

For Week 18 I FINALLY got to see Fela!

I missed it when it was on Broadway and missed it during it's first round in LA, but I caught it this time! It was only here for a few days, so I had to re-arrange some stuff to go but it was worth it. It was a beautiful show filled with amazing dance, music, and politics. :-D

For that same weekend I had signed up for a Dr. Robert McDonald workshop on a process called"The Activation of the Creative Order." I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I've been working with Dr. McDonald for a couple of years now and I think he's wonderful. He practices a healing method called The Destination Method, which he developed and uses a lot of Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques. He's a master when it comes to the brain and thoughts. This workshop in particular was 3 days longs and I had never seen the process before and didn't know much about it.

It turned out to be a process to activate creation/manifestation. And it incorporated a process which helped you integrate the part of you that wants what you desire to manifest and the part of you that does not want it, because according to Dr. McDonald, if there was no part of you that didn't want it, you would have it. Additionally, it involved a process for developing faith and certainty that your manifestation is. That was pretty cool. I'm sure I can't get into it but it involves seeing the future scene from the future of the future. It was pretty cool. I will report back results. :-D That was Week 18.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weeks 13-17: A Recap of Prayer Class, Salt Therapy, Work Outs, and Cleanses

I'm behind a few weeks... I've been doing my fun firsts, but haven't been able to sit down to keep track of my Firsts in a minute. It's been a crazy month so I'll just re-cap the last few weeks in one entry before I fall further behind and forget what I did. My dog of almost 12 years transitioned and I was sad and I didn't feel like doing anything. Not even posting a blog entry. I'm better now, but that was a challenging situation. Anyhow, here goes my quick re-cap.

Week 13: My First Prayer Class

Ahhh! Synchronicities happened and I received guidance to take a Prayer class at Agape. It came through meditation (after the blatant synchronicities) and I'm not one to ignore guidance, so I signed up for the class kicking and screaming. #1 it was a multi-week class and signing up for a multi-week prayer class commitment didn't sound like something I wanted to do because #2 I don't like praying in front of groups or guiding prayer. And I heard the still, small voice say, "And that's exactly why you're going to do it." Signing up for it was definitely out of my comfort zone.

It was a lot better than I expected. We covered the steps of a prayer treatment, one per week and it was more about praying through activity and as an expanded state of awareness than leading prayers in front of class. We did, however, have a prayer partner each week of the class (changed partners weekly) and during each day of the week we had to call our partner at agreed upon times and pray. I did okay. The first steps of spiritual prayer treatment is recognizing God in things around you/everywhere and recognizing/acknowledging your Oneness with God, so the class served to help me focus seeing God in everyone and in feeling my Unity with God. That was good. And I'm more comfortable praying in front of others now. Most of the prayers focused on just being grateful.

Week 14: Crossfit

The particular location I tried wasn't for me. I don't doubt that there are great Crossfit studios out there, but I didn't like the vibe at the one I bought a Groupon for. And the boot camp I tried last month felt better to me, so I went back to the prior bootcamp instead. I'd definitely be up for trying Crossfit at a different location because I hear each one is different.

Week 15: Salt Therapy

I love salt water baths. They're my simple solution (from Pranic Healing) for just about everything, so when I saw that "salt therapy" existed I was immediately interested. Salt is such a great healer and absorber of negative energy. So I went on down to the salt therapy location to try it out.

This is what the room looked like:
You got to sit in there for 45 minutes. Chillin:
Not only is it a salt room with salt on the walls and floor, but when they turn the room on salt starts coming out of this hole in wall:
It was definitely something new and relaxing. I didn't have a stuffy nose or cold or any respiratory issues (it's popular for healing those things), but the owner still gave me a box of tissues when I went in the room and to my surprise I did need them. Apparently when you breathe in the salt it cleanses your nose and respiratory system and you end up needing tissues. Coolness.

Week 16: Drinkbar Juicery's 3 Day Raw Juice Cleanse

I've done juice cleanses before, but not this one:

My brother and his girlfriend were going to do it off of a Groupon and I decided to join them. It was a bit experimental because we had never heard of the juice shop and they don't list any of the juice ingredients on the website so we weren't sure what we were getting into.

It was pretty good. The notable thing to mention is that I shed "emotional eater" as one of my stories/labels. I was on the cleanse the entire time my dog was sick and when she transitioned. I had been one of those people who eats when stressed out, but I somehow managed to remain on the cleanse during the very stressful situation.  Every time I left the emergency animal hospital I FELT like eating a pizza with 2 sides of In n Out fries followed by a hot fudge sundae, but instead I just drank my green juices. I was very amazed by my behavior and discipline considering the situation. And it was a pretty strong cleanse, complete with strong green juice and apple vinegar cider. It was also my first time juicing with apple vinegar cider. I didn't cheat at all and I lost 5 lbs in 3 days.

Week 17: 30 Day Squat Challenge

A.K.A. This:

I actually started a little over 23 days ago, but I'll count it on this week since it's almost over, I've seen great results, and I need something for this week. A friend was doing this challenge on FB and posting pictures of her backside throughout the challenge. When I saw the kinds of results she was getting, I decided to try it too.

I wasn't expecting big results because I already do squats. But apparently I'd never done them this consistently and with this pattern. The above works. Within 15 days I had a new backside! The results are quick and the exercise easy! My butt has a cool new "pop" to it. I took a 4 day break in there when my dog transitioned, but I picked up again a couple of days ago and just finished Day 23. I DEFINITELY recommend this to everyone.
Okay, now I'm caught up. :-)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Week 12- My First Pilates Reformer Experience

For Week 12 I decided to try something I've been wanting to try for over 10 years- a pilates reformer machine! So this is what I was doing all week:

And playing with things that look like this:

I've tried mat pilates on and off since I was about 17-18 years old but I had never tried the reformer or any equipment. I remember when I was in high school I used to be on my elliptical machine watching E! and VH1 celebrity shows that showed celebrities working out on pilates reformers at pilates reformer gyms..... And I'd been wanting to try it since way back then.

So Week 12 I found a pilates gym, joined, and bought a personal training package (you have to do personal training before you're allowed to join the group classes). I felt so rich and prosperous every morning I got up to meet up with my private trainer at my pilates reformer gym!

And the results were awesome! The work out isn't too hard. I mean it's hard on your abs and core when you're deep into doing something that hurts, but you don't feel exhausted afterward.

It gave me great results as far as abs. The bootcamp I did during Week 10 strengthened my body overall, but a week of pilates reformer privates gave my abs the extra kick of definition I wanted. I should have done before and afters, but I forgot. Here's after just 3 private sessions:
(I didn't add a filter- my phone did that on its own!)
You can see the ab definition a little better in this one:

Catching ab definition on a cell phone camera is a little tricky, but I think you can see my new pilates reformer abs in these.
I really like the results and have 2 more personal training sessions this week. I'm going to keep the pilates reformer in my work out schedule by taking at least one group class a week at the pilates gym. You still need to get your cardio in at some point because Pilates doesn't really give you that and I do prefer heavier weight for my lower body, so I'm going to use the reformer just once a week to add definition to my abs and keep them flat. I've also kept the Kundalini Yoga practice I started in Week....8ish or so and am kind of addicted to it at this point. I'm making my Saturday work appointments come in at noon tomorrow just so I can go to my Kundalini Yoga class in the morning. LOL, these fun firsts are making my work out schedule overflow! I might be doing double work outs every day by September in order to fit in all my new loves. :-)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week 11- My First Texas Experience/First Mechanical Bullride and Country Dancehall

For this week's Fun First I went to Texas for the first time and enjoyed Texas culture (and cowboy hats)! It took awhile to realize I'd technically never gone to Texas before because I feel like I've had so many meals at Texas airports, but I had never been outside the airport before. I had a WONDERFUL time!

I went because one of my good friend's from law school was getting married in San Antonio and it was sooooo good to be reunited with my "1L year of law school study group" friends. It's almost like a hazing experience type of bond. Not only did we survive those Harvard Law finals, but we're still a vibrant group:

So after the rehearsal dinner (which was at a TexMex restaurant), we went to a country dancehall (picutred above), or "ho down" as one of my friends called it. I think this was a new experience for all of us. This must have been the Costco of country dancehall spots. It even had a rodeo inside of it. And performing bands:
We're a pretty fun group so we were all in for learning/trying to learn country dancing. On the shuttle to the place I asked if someone was going to teach us how to do it and another one of my girlfriend's answered that she thought it was the kind of dance that came naturally. Nope! The western two-step is FANCY! Me looking super confused on the dance floor:
Being confused didn't stop us from being all in the mix:
While enjoying all this fun a mechanical bull in the corner caught my attention. I was wearing a dress and was told if I fell, which was inevitable, everyone might see my underwear. And on top of that I didn't know where that bull had been so I should have a protective layer. This did not stop me. I was determined to have my first mechanical bullriding experience. I ran around and found someone who sold me a pair of shorts. Extra long shorts at that because there were no other ones. I threw on my shorts and got ready for my bullride:

To give perspective, this is how much bigger than me it was:
You already know how this ended:

Ha!!! Super fun times!!! I liked Texas!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 10- My First Boot Camp Experience

For Week 10 I committed to a 5am Boot Camp called "Fit Body Boot Camp." I committed to it BEFORE this week and have been doing it, but decided I'd count it as my new fun first on the week that I finished so that I could have already had the full experience.

This was VERY new for me in multiple ways. I've maybe dropped into a "boot camp themed" class at a dance studio or gym before, but I've never done an actual boot camp program. I'm not great at things like push ups or people yelling at me.... On top of that I'm NOT a morning work out person. I appear to be a morning person because I tend to wake up with a smile on my face, BUT my body doesn't fully function in the morning. I know this because I have repeatedly tried to run in the mornings (and by mornings I mean even 10 am or even noon) and I can't even run a full mile at that time. It's crazy.

So when I read that this boot camp was special because it has some sort of special formula that puts your body into some state where it continues to burn fat for many hours afterward, I decided I'd commit to going to the morning sessions (they did have afternoon sessions, but I wanted the full getting up and working out while it's still dark outside experience) AND that I would commit to going every day. 6 days a week because they're closed on Sundays. This was a big commitment and I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to do with it.

And now that it's over, I am SOOOOOOO incredibly proud of myself. I did not miss one morning. My work life ended up getting pretty hectic because of an immigration reform that took place during this time and so I was working longer hours and no matter how exhausted I was, I got up every morning. One night I had to stay up until 1 am and so I decided I'd have to just skip boot camp in the morning or I would be too tired at work to do my job right, so I didn't set my alarm clock. I woke up at 2 am and stared at my clock. Then I woke up at 3am and stared at my clock. I realized I couldn't sleep because I was worried about letting myself down by breaking my commitment to myself. So at 3am I set my alarm clock and got up right when it went off and headed to boot camp. I impressed myself.

The boot camp itself was pretty cool. It goes by SUPER fast. It's a special formula where you only have to work out for 30 minutes a day.... On top of that it's mainly intense 20-30 second sprints and then you rest for 10 seconds and there are usually 5-6 stations. It moves so fast that you can't believe the work out is over when it's over. Because of this, I loved the work out and now the cardio machine at the gym feels really boring. I never once got bored at boot camp or had the opportunity to even glance at the clock. It would always be over before I even knew it.

That's not to say I wouldn't be praying certain seconds would go fast like the last 10 seconds of drumming at a ropes station (this is the one I disliked most because my arms would fatigue and I couldn't make waves in the ropes like I was supposed to once I fatigued) or when doing kettlebell burpees, but the exercises were usually over before I knew it.

During the first week I was so sore I it hurt to even sit. By the second week the soreness was gone. I didn't lose weight because I gained a lot of muscle, but I definitely toned up and lost inches in my arms and waist (*disclaimer- I couldn't get myself to trust that a 30 minute work out was enough, so I did 30 minutes of cardio after boot camp every morning). I also felt very energized during the day though I would pass out around 9pm every night. I also feel a lot stronger. And I LOVED LOVED LOVED the discipline of waking up early and getting my day started all early. I didn't know I liked discipline so much. But I love the freedom it actually provides and  I loved the feeling of pushing myself and keeping my commitment to myself and my body.

As part of this Fun Firsts experiments, I'm trying different work outs that I haven't tried before. So now I'm supposed to try another fun work out, but after I experiment some more, I may come back to this boot camp. I honestly did enjoy the work out. It's just I wish they had a 7am boot camp so that I could still have a social life if I continued doing the boot camp! I COULD go to the evening one, but then I wouldn't get the "after-burn" effect for hours..... We'll see! Maybe I'll like Crossfit more.

So for anyone who wants info on the boot camp, here is there website:

And a few of the blurbs from their site:
"The secret to the massive fat loss results that our clients are getting is due to the After Burn™ effect that our workouts produce. After Burn™ is the state of increased metabolic output (elevated metabolism) for up to 28 hours that takes place after a really good workout. But not all "good" workouts are the same; many, in fact, deliver little fat burning results at all...

We do things a lot differently here at Fit Body Boot Camp, which is why you'll burn twice the calories during your workout with us, AND you'll continue to burn even more calories up to 28 hours after your last workout session....

At Fit Body Boot Camp each and every workout combines elements of High Intensity Interval Training, Exercise Stacking™ as well as Active Rest periods making sure to give you the best possible workouts and most calories burned in every session....
In fact, the average Fit Body Boot Camp workout burns 600 - 1000 calories in under an hour - that's twice the calories burned over any other workouts program out there."
Sounds great, right?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week 9- My First Zumbathon and Kundalini Yoga Experience

While I've been really good about keeping up with my weekly fun firsts, I fell a few days behind in doing a blog entry for this week. Work has been BUSY. Which is of course a blessing.

So for Week 9 I have like 1.5 fun firsts. For my Week 9 Fun First I signed up for a Party in Pink Zumbathon to benefit the Susan Komen Foundation. I'd never done one before and it sounded like a lot of fun. And it was. I particularly loved the idea of working out and tithing at the same time. It felt like multi-tasking when I'm not much a multi-tasker (and by "not much" I mean "not at all").

BUT when you read "Zumbathon" don't you assume it means lots of hours of Zumba? Well, it turned out to only be TWO hours of Zumba. So even though it was fun, it felt like really I'd just taken two back to back Zumba classes instead of trying something new... :-(

I didn't want to cheat myself out of this week's fun first, SO when someone put a flyer for a new yoga studio on my car and the new yoga studio had Kundalini, I decided to do that as my fun first for the week.

It was kind of funny because I'd been waiting since 2009 to find a good Master to study Kundalini Yoga under. In 2009 I got hit with a little Kundalini Syndrome (at that time I used to meditate for hours and it accidentally happened during one of those meditations) and I did NOT want that to happen again. My muscles would get all sore from meditation and it would limit my meditation at the time. I had been told (and read) that it was important to study under a Master in order to avoid Kundalini Syndrome. So I'd been waiting. But apparently this flyer was good enough to make me say, "Oh perfect. I'll try Kundalini today at a place I've never even heard of before."

I guess that's what doing this 52 Fun Firsts Experiment does to you. You just become much more open, easy-going, and down to try new things. And makes you much more trusting.

So I walked into the studio and really liked the energy in it. The class was awesome. It started off with chanting mantras and fire breathing and doing a specific Kriya (a Kriya is a sequence of poses, kind of like a recipe, for a specific goal). That day the Kriya was to release any unknown causes of disease in ourselves. I was sooooooo relaxed after that class.

I got a little nervous at first because the teacher (who also owns the studio) was reading the instructions for the Kriyas out of a book as she guided us. Being that I had been waiting for a Master to study under, my eyes got a little wide at first and fears of ending up with Kundalini Syndrome rose up. But I remembered that people sometimes get the same wide-eyed look on their faces when they have a very specific illness and I bust out my Advanced Pranic Healing book too look up the specific protocol for that illness (I can't remember the exact steps for EVERY issue in the world! And if it's serious I don't want to mess up!). I've been a Pranic Healer for about 5 years now and the sessions go very well. I could do it without the book, but it's easier to just look and make sure I follow everything with precision. So I relaxed and trusted.

It was a good call because I felt so good after that class that I decided to go ahead and sign up for a package and I've already gone back since my first class. I leave feeling very relaxed and gooooood after the class. Anything that involves fire breathing tends to have that effect on me, even though while I'm doing it I'm thinking, "When is this going to be over??" and might feel like I'm about to pass out. The relief I feel afterward and the energy surge is always worth it.

The teacher/owner is awesome and she's trying to build a beautiful community around the studio with things like healing and meditation, which I really appreciate. Also, when I first walked in the she said, "You look so familiar. Where do I know you from?" I shrugged, but I've gotten deja vu twice in class, so it feels like it's exactly where I'm supposed to be. I'm glad I finally decided to start practicing Kundalini Yoga.