Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"What You Do Today Can Improve All Your Tomorrows.”

Time and again I have purchased books on self development that have sparked my interest. I have devoured the pages quickly and felt, 'this time I will change my life, this time I will do whatever I need to have the life I have always imagined.' However within a few weeks, days, even hours after the book has been lost in the magazine bin, used as a new sketch pad for my 2 year old or simply sucked into that vortex that swallows one sock in the laundry room, never to be seen again, I have fallen off the proverbial wagon. Old patterns emerge that I vowed to change, everything from my weight, finances (I still think the debit card should know my balance and not let me overdraw) or gaining the courage to completely change my life in order to truly live my dreams.

Does this sound familiar?

What I have learned simply from my running regimen is that change no matter how small or big, real change requires commitment and I realized I could not do it by reading a book or by myself. I needed a coach to root me on every Sunday morning to push me a little farther, help me go a little faster or to let me know that it is ok to not beat my personal best every time. Yes, sometimes our cheering section needs to remind us to let up on ourselves and apply the emotional breaks and sometimes he needs to tell you to kick it into high gear. I often wondered while running with my mentor how I would capture that inspiration when he wasn’t by my side.

We all need our own personal cheering section, don’t we? If you agree, read on. Read on because the Great Life Subscription is just such a solution.

Imagine for a moment a person, a coach in your life, who on a consistent basis is leading you in the direction of your dreams. Encouraging you to take hold of every moment of your life and make it count, who reminds you that your life matters and that deep inside of you is the potential to do, to achieve anything. Sound too good to be true? Ralph Marston created The Great Life Subscription specifically for iAmplify and more specifically for you.

Ralph Marston became known as the Daily Motivator by the tens-of-thousands who have been helped each year by his words, his guidance and inspiration. Each week of the year he will guide you with the steps and motivation to live the life you have always imagined.

I have started week one and feel as if I have known Marston for a lifetime, he is that kind, caring, inspirational and non-judgmental voice inside all of us that so often takes a backseat to all the negative thoughts and distractions in our brain stopping us from living our best life. His weekly downloads are literally a dose of unconditional love. All you have to do is download to your laptop or your ipod and he will remind you that all you need is one moment, all you need to do is take one step towards a new life, that "you can always, at any time become the person you are supposed to be."

"People from all over the world, in all walks of life, have a sincere interest in living lives of meaning, caring, dedication and fulfillment. I am extremely grateful that the technology of the Internet affords me the opportunity to share my work with so many people." -Ralph Marston. I am grateful for Mr. Marston and hope you will join me in this invitation to take small steps to big change. The Great Life is just a download away. Let me know what steps you are taking to achieve a Great Life by commenting on this page.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes I recite to my two children:

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way”. -Dr. Seuss

In this column I will seek out the most inspiring and life transforming content and products to share with you from some of the world's top experts in everything from fitness & health to self growth to conquering your fear of flying. We at iAmplify want you to live your best life. Turn up the volume and amplify your true self to the world. And remember that on-demand audio & video content reduces your carbon footprint. Go virtual. Go green! Download at http://www.iamplify.com/ today!

Ali M

Friday, October 16, 2009

What Does Your Inner Voice Say To You At 6 AM?

What does your inner voice say to you at 6 am?
Listen closely. It could change your life.

I saw the sign for the 5K run on my gym wall just as I was leaving, feeling like I had spent another hour in my comfort zone walking on the treadmill to no results. Yes, my body was 2 years from my last pregnancy. Yes, I looked as if I should be toting around a newborn in an infant car seat!!! Yes, the usual voices chimed in my head of – ‘you are not a runner, you’ll look ridiculous’. For some reason, unbeknownst to me at the time, I grabbed the application and signed up.


I had recently started listening to the Self- Esteem downloads from medical intuitive and healer Caroline Myss on my ipod while walking at the beach -- standing in line at the bank -- before bed. Like a great book you can’t put down I didn’t want to stop listening to her deeply touching seminars on empowering the self. Just like our bodies, we need to work on our self-esteem. Caroline believes it is the spiritual core of everything we do in life.

Having Caroline's healing voice all to oneself is like having private therapy sessions whenever you need them without the hefty price tag.

The night before the race I was winding down from an incredibly hard day with two very cute but needy toddlers -- never ending housework (I swear more dishes magically appear as I finish the pile that is in the sink) -- preparing meals for the family -- driving to swim class and playdates and more playdates -- playing therapist to my mother -- playing nurse to sniffles and boo boo's…

I realized I had not had a single moment to myself. Does this sound familiar to you?

I spotted my race number under a pile of clothes in need of folding and immediately thought ‘There is no way I am getting up at 6 am to run a race’. I put my ear phones on and fell back into my pillow and Caroline Myss was speaking of “high voltage intuitive hits” and how they lead us out of our comfort zone and into the unknown as we deeply listen to our inner selves. I remembered that tiny voice in my head that made me grab the race application and sign up, an ‘intuitive hit’…

I woke up at 6 AM sharp and Caroline's voice was in my head, ‘you can do the unknown, survive the unknown. Your self-esteem is the manifestation of your spirit in action, in life’!!!

The starting gun sounded and something inside of me said just put one foot in front of the other and no matter what, no matter how slow you are, if you have to walk, get to that finish line. I did get there and I got there 10 more races this summer. Yes, I have run my first half marathon. Yes, I lost all of my baby weight without looking at a scale and while doing something that I loved. Yes, I found out that I am a runner. Yes, yes, yes. I did not walk; I ran into the unknown and found my true self.

I look forward to how Caroline’s work can help me unlock other areas of my life and improve my self-esteem.

In this column I will seek out the most inspiring and life transforming content and products to share with you from some of the world's top experts in everything from fitness & health to self growth to conquering your fear of flying. We at iAmplify want you to live your best life. Turn up the volume and amplify your true self to the world.

What are you waiting for? Let me know your ‘high voltage intuitive hit’ stories on this page.

We believe in you!

Ali M.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breaking Habitual Patterns

Each Sunday night or Monday morning, I find that I make promises to myself about the week ahead. This week, I'll only eat salads for lunch or I'll exercise every morning or I won't have a single drink until Thursday night. Most of the time, I make it through Monday with my promises intact. Tuesdays are iffy - if I'm on a roll and feel strong about my convictions, I can usually make it through a Tuesday. Wednesdays are harder. If I haven't already blown it, my willpower usually starts weakening by Wednesday. I've been so good, I tell myself. It's been a rough week, I deserve it. I'm bored, I'm tired, I'm cranky... oh the ways we justify our behavior. And once I allow myself one indulgence, all my promises to myself go out the window. I find myself bargaining: the "If I drink a glass of wine today, I won't have one tomorrow" kind of thing. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal and it's easier for me to indulge in bad habits than embrace good ones. So I frequently feel like I'm stuck in a bickering match between the devil and the angel that take up residence in my mind.

In Getting Unstuck: Breaking your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality, Pema Chodron talks about how to break habitual patterns and live in the present moment. She compares the habitual pattern to something akin to the symptoms of a rash. A rash makes us want to itch, but itching only provides temporary relief and can actually make the rash worse in the long run. For instance, we experience an emotional hook or an urge which then leads to a chain reaction of thoughts which intensifies the feeling and then we try to move away from this feeling with the habitual pattern. We are constantly distracting ourselves, but this distraction can actually make our lives worse rather than better.

How can we break this cycle? The trick is to stay with the feeling or urge without reacting to it. She gives 4 steps to the process of breaking our habitual patterns:

  1. Recognize the initial emotional hook or urge

  2. Refrain from strengthening the urge (refrain from following the thoughts and the habitual pattern that results from the urge)

  3. Relax into the underlying feeling

  4. Resolve to repeat this pattern again and again

How do you get unstuck? We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Expanding our Consciousness

Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought things could not possibly get any worse and then they did? I had one of those moments just last week. I know that I've mentioned my upcoming wedding a few times in my posts, but I'm not sure if I mentioned that I decided to have a destination wedding. Well, guess which country I chose to have as the destination? Mexico.

Poor Mexico. They've had a rotten year. First the Mexican drug war made national headlines. That was bad enough, and the coverage stressed me out a little, but this stress was manageable because I knew that the violence was mainly affecting border towns. My wedding was going to be in tourist Mecca, right near Cancun. I felt it was unlikely that the Mexican government would let one of its main tourist hotspots turn into a dangerous place to visit.

Then the swine flu made national news. People were suddenly dying from this strange flu, and visitors who got the flu were spreading it in their home countries, upon their return from Mexico. This became the headline of every news story for days; the possibility of a pandemic was even discussed. I couldn't believe it. Now, I was getting seriously worried. I tried to remain calm, telling myself that it was still early, that this would probably blow over in another few weeks. I talked to the resort, where our wedding is booked, and they reassured me the flu was mainly in Mexico City. I took a deep breath and figured that if this was the worst that could happen, it was good that it was happening now and not nearer to my wedding date.

That's when the earthquake hit Acapulco. I just looked up into the sky and half laughed, "Really? Are you serious?" I was beginning to think that I was being punished for some unseen thing that I had done in this life or some past life.

Sometimes life does seem that way doesn't it? It's easy to get caught up in the "why me" state of mind. This happens especially when we think at the micro level -- when we are deep in our own universe, we don't see past our personal and limited consciousness of the world. In truth, this series of disasters wasn't happening to just me. It was affecting thousands of people, not to mention many who were faring a lot worse than me. Some were dying, while I was perfectly fine (besides being stressed). Only after I had taken a step back was I able to take in the bigger picture and put these events into perspective.

Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about this idea of expanding our consciousness. When I last wrote about his audio program, Bringing Stillness into Everyday Life, I mentioned that I would be writing much more about his work. I have to keep coming back to him, because there is just so much to what he is trying to communicate. I have listened to his programs again and again and have still not absorbed everything. His work is as profound as it is simplistic. It's hard for the mind to wrap itself around what he suggests, because our ego clings desperately to what is familiar. We naturally rebel, finding it too easy to continue living and suffering in our own micro universe. Yet what would it mean to start living this new consciousness? If we were truly connected to everything, what other things would we have to change about our lives?

Do you have an experience you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prepare your Mind to get in Shape

I've been thinking a lot about the challenges of getting in shape and the reasons why we sometimes lack the motivation to see our goals through to completion. And I think it has a lot to do with our state of mind. It's hard to find motivation to work out if we feel negative about our bodies, but it's hard to improve our body image if we feel unsatisfied with how our bodies look. I always find it much easier to motivate myself to keep going once I start to see some results. But seeing results usually takes time. So how do we keep our motivation to work out and diet until this tipping point? Well, this is where "mind fitness" comes in. It's very important to include some kind of mind motivation into your workout program. This could be in the form of guided meditations, positive affirmations or hypnosis.

I also find doing a meditative movement exercise really helps my state of mind. Try Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Flow Yoga, also referred to as Vinyasa Yoga. Or check out one of my favorite workout series, developed by fitness expert Patricia Moreno, called intenSati. intenSati combines the best of group fitness with the elements of yoga and life coaching to create a new workout that is exactly right for our times, combining both physical and spiritual disciplines to create excellent results.

How do you keep your mind fit? We'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tips to get You Bikini Ready

So, I've been unofficially gearing us up for bikini season . . . not to mention gearing MYSELF up for my upcoming wedding! I've talked about eating well and making your workouts fun. And don't forget the Instinctive Weight Loss Hypnosis audio I mentioned a few weeks back. Like many things in my life, I sort of fell off track with listening to the self hypnosis audio programs regularly. It's hard to find a block of time to dedicate to this. But I have lost 7 pounds since starting this journey and I do owe partial credit to this program. From this day forward, I am going to re-dedicate myself to reserving a block of time to listening to these downloads. I've also been looking into joining a bootcamp fitness class to really jump start my toning and strengthening goals. But I've found that these types of programs can be really expensive and I wish they would come to my house!

So instead of investing some of my wedding budget in a bootcamp class, I've decided that all I need is a workout buddy. Someone to motivate me and push me when I'm not feeling in the zone! I found these bootcamp workout downloads that I can try with a partner. The great thing about downloads is that they are portable. So the sky is the limit as to where we can work out. We could go to the park and work out there if we wanted to. I can download the workout to my laptop and we can watch it there or I can hook up my computer to my TV and get the big screen effect. I can also download to my iPhone if I don't feel like lugging my computer around. It is the ultimate convenience!

Tips to help you get bikini ready:

  • Get a fitness partner: Fitness partners can help motivate you and also hold you accountable.

  • Create weekly goals: Be specific and try to choose goals that you know you can accomplish

  • Reward yourself: Once you reach a goal, give yourself a small reward. Preferably not in the form of food. This can be a simple reward like treating yourself to a candlelit bath or downloading a favorite song. You can give yourself bigger rewards for bigger goals accomplished

  • Try to give up one indulgence: If you know you have one particular weakness that you can't help but overeat, try to take it out of your meals all together. Allow yourself one cheat day a week where you eat that item, but don't overindulge!

  • Eliminate high fructose corn syrup and highly processed foods from your diet: Try to eat whole grains, and fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Your body can more easily digest natural foods.
  • Don't under eat and try to divide your meals into 4 or 5 meals a day. I've taken to saving some of my lunch and eating the rest of it 3-4 hours later. This really works!

Do you have any tips to get bikini ready? We'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How You Can Get Marisa Tomei's Great Body as Seen in "The Wrestler"

A couple of weeks ago my friend invited me to join her for a three hour hula hoop class. At first, I was mortified. I am kind of a hopeless case when it comes to coordination. I mean, I can barely do the hula hoop exercise on my Wii Fit! I could just picture myself looking like a pathetic dork in front of a class of people who were gyrating geniuses. But at the same time, I thought it might get me out of my exercise rut. Even though bikini season is right around the corner and I'm getting married in September, I've been finding it really hard to stick to my routine. Maybe if I learned something fun, I would actually WANT to exercise. Plus, I heard that hula hooping was how Marisa Tomei got that killer body for "The Wrestler".

So I went to the class and now I'm hooked! I mean, it was challenging and a little frustrating because I just couldn't get some of the tricks that they taught us. But at least I learned to keep the hula hoop up for more than five seconds! I even bought a hula hoop from the instructor so I could practice on my own. The trick is to get a large hula hoop if you are an adult. The smaller hula hoops are for children or for more skilled hula hoopers. I've been practicing most mornings and I'm really getting the basics down pretty well. It's really enjoyable to put in a CD and just hula hoop to the music. It's almost meditative and it is so much more fun than my normal routine!

When I told a coworker what I had been up to, she reminded me that we had a couple of hula hoop videos in our library. I was so excited because I wasn't sure when they were going to be offering another class! I just downloaded the Hoopnotica: Hoopdance Basics. This video teaches you how to keep the hoop spinning on your waist, hips, above your head and also how to take the hoop on and off your body in a beautiful spiral. Once I master these moves, I'm going to download the advanced video Hoopnotica: Hoopdance Workout. This video teaches hooping on your upper body, hooping on your thighs, additional corkscrews and angles. Plus it includes a 20 minute work out.

If you are getting bored with your workout routine, I really recommend that you try hula hooping or some of our other dance oriented workouts like Latin Groove, Bollywood Dance Workout and Brazilian Body

How do you keep your workouts fun? We would like to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.