Present Moment – How do I get there

“What we truly have is this moment… and this … and this. We spend most of our lives forgetting this truth, repudiating it, fleeing it, over looking it. And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to never really connect with the present moment and find fulfillment there because we are continually hoping to become happy in the future. And the future never arrives.” – Sam Harris

Many of us are aware of the concept of mindfulness and connecting with the present moment but many are at a loss on how to do this.
Here are some tools that I use:

1. Connect with your breath – feel the inhale, the exhale and the pause in between each breath. Let every thing else but this focus float away for a moment.
2. Pay attention to what you hear around you – pause for a moment and take in what sounds are going on around you. What do you hear? What did you not notice before?
3. Be aware of all the chatter in your head and let it go – Ask your self what all is going on inside of you right now? Bring attention to all that mental chatter. Can you let it go for just a few minutes and be with what ever is in front of you? I like to picture my thoughts like clouds floating by a high mountain and just let them float by.
4. Engage all your senses. Look around – what all is happening right here? Seeing, hearing, smelling, what is vibrant? Can you try and see it like you are seeing it for the first time with fresh eyes?
5. What is the vibe going on with other people? If you are in a room/place with others, stop and think about what is going on for them? What are you observing in their faces and bodies?

I use a combination of all of these tools. Like anything, the more you practice with them the better you get!!

Why do we want to be in the present moment?
Being right here and right now is all that we truly have. The past is a memory and the future is just a thought. Being present brings clarity, increases positivity and calmness. Most of the benefit happens just from releasing all the stories we have in our minds and being right here. It is the stories that stress us out and take us away from what is right in front of us. Don’t miss out on the moment right in front of you. It is what makes up our entire lives.



If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.  

How You Know You are Going to Have an OK Day

1. You woke up in bed. This means that you probably have a house, some where decently warm to sleep and a comfortable place to lay down. Cool. So many people in this world are missing at least one of those things. Yay Bed!!

2. You stood up and did your morning routine – stretched, went to the potty, got dressed, etc. Awesome. That means that you body is working reasonably well to accomplish the most basic of tasks. Yay Body!

3. You took a deep breath. Your lungs are in pretty good working order. Breathing rocks! Yay Breathing!

4. You read the morning paper or checked email or facebook. You can read. Literacy is a skill not every one has. Yay reading!

5. You heard your alarm clock. Its not always the nicest sound but you would miss it if you couldn’t hear it. Yay hearing!!

6. You have family members, friends or co-workers who care about you and are happy to see you. Yay relationships!!

7. You ate breakfast. You have access to food. You can savor and enjoy the various flavors of the meal. Yay food!

8. You probably made coffee, tea or had water which means you have access to clean water. Yay Water!

9. You can go outside. This means you can enjoy the sun, the wind, the beauty of the sky and the trees – or what ever environment you are surrounded by. Yay Sunshine!!

10. Do you live in the United States? Then more than likely you had access to education, you can make choices about what you want to do with and in your life, your basic rights to speech and civil liberties are protected, you can vote for the leadership of the US government. Yay freedoms and rights!

See today is going to ROCK!!

“Realize that reality, as it is, is amazing. Look around, and see things as they are, and appreciate the beauty of it all, as messy as it might be. Be grateful you can experience it. That includes everyone around you, as they are. That includes you, as you are.” – Leo from Zen Habits



If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.  

What are you wanting for 2013?

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell

So many “make the best of 2013” articles coming out. Admittedly, I love new year and the feel of a fresh start – its like ONE BIG MONDAY MORNING!! 🙂
The reality is that any day is a good day to start new habits.

I am trying something new this year. I do normally make resolutions and month by month plans and I am letting all of that go.

As a matter of fact the two words – ok, three words – I am using to guide my decisions and actions this year are: Letting go and Connection.

Letting go – ZenHabits really helped bring this into focus for me. I am want let go of expectations, of not being present in the moment, of thougthat that make me miserable, of thinking I am not good enough, of extra stuff (possessions) and of planning. I am going to go where the passion and fun takes me! WOOP!

Connection – This year I am focusing on connecting with people and connecting with this moment (and this one… and this one…) and letting that be enough.

What have you been holding onto in 2012? What can you let go of it in 2013?
Clutter? Relationships that don’t serve you? The same old resolutions that you never hit and then feel bad about yourself? Self-doubt or self-hatred? The stupid scale? Expectations of yourself and others that no longer serve you? Share with me what you want to let go of this year!

You can do it. Be amazing – today and every day!! Life is too short not to be!!



If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.  

My Lesson for 2012

I get excited at the end of every year. I love love love looking back over the previous year at all of the lessons, events and people. It is always way more than I counted on…even having lived through it.. and a meaningful time.

2012 was a huge year for growth for me. I joined up with Jill Coleman and her Best of You coaching group. I was a bit of a wreck about it. I was going to have to stay check in and present to a coach and a group of women for A WHOLE YEAR?!?! I am not sure I am capable of that. (Turns out, I was!!) But it was the involvement with Jill and that coaching group that helped me with my biggest lesson this year (and perhaps my whole life.)

Lesson #1 from 2012: I am not my physique. (My self worth is not dependent on my body fat percentage or if I have six pack abs or not.)

Some of you may be thinking ‘uh, yeah’ but this was a huge deal for me to REALLY get. I have spent so much time chasing a low body fat percentage. I have declared year after year “the year of the abs” and was sure each time that I would get it. It was so important to me. It consumed me, taking much of time. As much time I spent eating healthy and being in the gym, I spent even more time beating the crap out of myself for not having it.

I truly believed that I was not ok as a person unless I could get to 15%-18% body fat.

If I wasn’t there than I was less than enough. I was scared that my husband would eventually leave me over it and my friends would think I wasn’t good enough to be friends with if I wasn’t that. I realize that doesn’t sound logical but since when are all those stories we have in our heads logical?! I think I felt that if I could just have the six pack, some thing would change and I would finally be happy or satisfied with myself. The reality of that though is that I would still be me, just at a lower body fat percentage or with visible abs. I would still just. be. me.

I declared that I was giving it up. No longer chasing abs or low body fat. It terrified me. I some how assumed that if I was not doing that than my only other option was to be crazily over weight and never leave the couch. I found myself trying to justify my decision to my friends and family (I am not sure they were looking for any reasoning, again it was just the stories in my head). I did have a very tearful conversation with my husband about this. (I am tearing up just thinking about it) where I asked him if I was ok if I give up chasing that goal. He stopped me (we were walking), looked deeply at me and said I love you for exactly who you are right now, not because you keep working towards a six pack. And he hugged me. I felt a huge weight lifted from me.

I am happier now. I spend less (almost none!) time beating myself up for not being looking a certain way. I go to the gym because I simply love lifting weights. Lifting heavy is bliss for me. I eat nourishing meals made from whole food because I really like do to that, it makes me feel good and fuels me for my life. Honestly, the outcome for me is the same. My weight has gone up a little and has gone down a little. I still get to the gym and I still eat well. But the motivation and mindset are completely different. To be free from that heavy burden is something I can practically physically feel on a daily basis. I may decide that some day I want to hit a certain body fat percentage but it will be because I am choosing to for the challenge or to meet a goal. Not because I am less than the way I am now.

If nothing else from 2012, I am deeply grateful to have learned that lesson and internalize it in such a way that it changed my daily outlook and inspired me to share with others and really even create this website.

Why do I want to help you learn this lesson?
1. Beating yourself up is wasted time in life. Time is precious and not to be wasted
2. It frees you up to be doing what you really love and enjoy
3. Knowing you are ok exactly as you are right now is freeing beyond measure
4. Positive motivation works so much more effectively than moving from a negative space.


If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.  

Welcome to Zen Barbell

Hi! Welcome to Zen Barbell.

Why the name Zen Barbell?
Zen = mindfulness, reflection, simplicity, self-knowledge, loving what is
Barbell = Strength, healthy body, challenges, happiness

Once I came up with it I loved it. It represents to me the balance of being here in the present moment and lifting heavy weights, which I pretty much feel are the keys to a happy life. 🙂 Well it is at least big pieces of the foundation.

I created this site to share my passions in the hopes to make myself and others better.
– I am passionate about helping people connect to what is good in life, connecting people with information, to ideas and with other people who can help them grow and give them support.
– I am passionate about being a cheerleader for others, for believing in you when you feel no one else does or you can’t believe in yourself.
– I am passionate about getting the most out of this life, to love and experience as many of the moments as you can.

Time is precious. Actually its bigger than that life is precious. Every moment of it. I want to help people learn to not waste a minute of it. Wasted time to me looks like spending time berating yourself for not being perfect, for living too much in the past or looking too much in the future and thinking you will be happy “when”. Now is what we have. I believe that using this valuable time wisely, lovingly all starts with taking care of yourself – through the language you use with yourself, to the food you put in your body, to honoring your body with movement and challenges that keep it strong and healthy and by living here… in this moment right now.

Those are the kinds of things you can expect to learn and share about on this site.

If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.