Monday, August 9, 2010

Where Does Happiness Come From?

I read a NYT story this weekend on the source of happiness and an overall movement toward simplification, which got me thinking about where happiness comes from for me personally.

The past few months have been an interesting time of reflection on this question. I've made a lot of changes, and with that I've been able to see what is truly important. I've asked myself- if my material world fell apart, what would I be left with?

Thankfully, I have the greatest answer anyone could ask for. My family is strong, loving and supportive. I have amazing friends who I spend countless hours laughing with. My health is good and I have the drive to maintain a strong commitment to fitness, nutrition and general wellness. I've been blessed with the courage to take on hard things and know where to find my strength to get through it, even though it's not easy.

So many times I think we lose appreciation for what's truly important. I know I have. It's not that we aren't grateful for these things, but perhaps we aren't extracting the full joy and happiness that they offer.

Yes, shoes can bring some happiness- I have a whole closet to prove it. But the interesting question is- if the shoes were gone, what would be left?

NYT Article-

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Besides Unicorns, Exercise is the Most Magical Thing I Know

This past February, I reignited my commitment to fitness. I've always had some form of exercise in my life, but the level of commitment has been spotty based on the demands of my work. And many of us know how it goes when you fall out of a routine... maybe I'll go tomorrow...

Well, tomorrow arrived. A friend of mine talked me into going to a bootcamp studio she and her husband own. I was completely intimidated by the idea, but decided to make the leap anyway.

I'll be honest- it was rough. I thought I was going to throw up. My heart was about to leap out of my chest. I gave up a million times and felt frustrated by the depletion of my fitness level.

But... I also felt super good after it was done and had fun, so I decided to go back.

The role this has played in my life has been nothing short of magical. I'll start with the vanity piece- for the first time in my life I am getting definition to my tummy, a battle I thought I would never win over the super pooch! I am pretty sure if I keep at it, Justin Timberlake will be calling me for one of his videos after hearing about my abs of steel! ;-)

Jokes aside, I will be honest I'm proud of the results I've seen with my body. It's nice to finally fit into the skinny clothes again after a painfully long stretch.

BUT.... more importantly, I have come to a new level of appreciation for the mental benefits of exercise. I have made a lot of recent changes in my life that have intensified the stress level. Having something to balance it out is critical.

I quickly realized that after each class the magic had worked on my brain- the worries of the day melted away, I was smiling and with other people who were smiling, high fiving and bonding over the shared torture (I mean experience! :) ).

While fitting into smaller clothes is nice, having an outlet that creates joy, confidence, community and melts of the stress we accumulate is INVALUABLE.

If you've fallen off the wagon, believe me, it's worth the short term struggle to get back on.

If you're interested in bootcamp, visit

My JT video should be out someday soon too ;-) (a girl can dream!)