Upcoming Workshop

Next month I’ll be giving a workshop with Marsha Smith, LCSW at Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery.

I’m so excited present my method to use a journal to build self-esteem and self-confidence, and to hear Marsha present her method of dream interpretation! We’re going to have fun while getting empowered to get in touch with our creativity.

You can find more information and buy tickets through Eventbrite here.

A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate
A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate

I Did Walk 500 Miles

The 12th week of the 2015 Women Out Walking program just ended and the final walk is this Sunday at the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate.

I had so much fun participating this year, and it inspired me to get out and walk on some cold, gloomy days. In the past 12 weeks I walked over 500 miles, and my step record for a single day was 30,137.

It was great to lead a walk for the public. My favorite part of this was being part of such a great community activity. I definitely plan to do it again in 2016, and I hope more of you will join me.

Logging my steps and seeing how much activity I actually did in a day was what gave me the courage to take a leap and add weights and running back into my routine. Seeing those number proved to me that I wasn’t the frail person I had been treating myself as.

It just goes to show what can happen when you try something new. Thanks, W.O.W!

Think Community

The first yoga class I ever took was a free community class held by Patricia Hyland on Sunday evenings. It was an amazing introduction to yoga; Patricia was so warm and welcoming, plus it was free! I have also gone to some amazing community meditation classes and events.

One of the aspects of yoga and meditation that resonates most strongly with me is the idea of community and generosity that so many studios and individuals embrace. In spite of needing to make a living*, there are so many options out there for people with limited means to still get the benefits of attending these types of classes and workshops.

Once again, our friend the Internet makes it easier than ever to find local resources. Just use the search engine of your choice and search for “free (yoga/meditation) your city” and give a couple classes a try. Here’s a website listing free and donation yoga classes for Chicago.


*It was such a good day when I realized that I had enough money to start paying for classes again. I get more out of them because I am paying in time and money now, so I am even more present. Plus, it feels great to make a financial contribution toward someone else living their dream.

 

Make it Social

One of the biggest pleasures of doing Women Out Walking so far has been the social aspect. Even when I’m alone, it’s so much more fun to walk knowing that I’m participating in something larger.

How can you make some of your exercise into a group activity? Local women can still sign up for W.OW.* For my other readers, there are many ways you can make fitness a social experience.

The simplest way is to start a walking group of your own. Recruit some friends and set up a time to walk together (the more frequent, the better!). You could start a private Facebook group to arrange walks and encourage each other in between. If you’re looking to meet new people, why not set something up on  Meetup?

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could ask your city’s Health and Human Services department to explore doing something like W.O.W. where you are. It’ll take organization, time, and probably some luck, but you have very little to lose.

Fun is such a key component of wellness. We often tend to overlook how important it is to achieving our goals. How likely are you really to stick with an activity if you’re bored or unhappy? If you make it fun you’ll be more likely to stick with it, and I think you’ll be happier overall.


* Speaking of W.O.W. I am leading a group walk this Sunday, May 3rd. We’re meeting in front of Heartwood Center at 9:30 am to carpool over to the North Branch trail where we will walk for approximately 60 minutes. Please come join me if you can! (Note that this event will be canceled if it rains.)

 

Curt’s Cafe South

By the time this post goes live, I should be in Michigan with my family (and hopefully snuggling with my favorite dog). I wanted to use this week to talk about another local business that is dear to my heart.

When I was a teenager, I had a really hard time. Without going into details, it meant a lot to me when adults told me that they believed in me. Curt’s Café South provides training and encouragement to local at-risk teen mothers, while providing healthy and delicious food for our neighborhood.

The first year is challenging for any new business, and Curt’s Café South could use all our support right now. Please consider coming to this free concert and having some nice dinner while you’re at it. The young women who work at Curt’s are so kind and enthusiastic, let’s give them all the support we can!

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