12 Seconds to Calm with Lisa Byrne

Imagine being able to stop that incessant chatter in your head in like, 12 seconds. I’m serious.

Ok, that’s the hook- keep reading and I’ll share with you how I learned to do it. 

So, I have some of the most incredible women as facebook friends. Once upon a time ago, only women I knew in real life were my facebook friends. They were pretty incredible, but there were like, 3 of them. Total. Then I started meeting women in the babyloss community, and I can’t really find the words to describe them. They are the strongest, most big hearted, honest, creative and inspiring women I’d ever had the honor to meet. And then, through B-school and a host of other places,  I started meeting women who want to change the world. Entrepreneurial women who think out of the box, move mountains, start businesses and inspire others’ to live their best lives. Honestly, it’s no wonder I have such a hard time hauling my ass of facebook when all of this amazing energy is just on the other side of my “login” button.

Lisa Grace Byrne of Well Grounded Life.com is one of the incredible women I’ve met along the way, and I’m so grateful that I did. On my “about” page I share how I don’t really know what I’m doing, on this journey to Muchness, but I’m learning things all along the way, and sharing what I learn, and Lisa is one of those who teaches.

Her newest offering is a book called, Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life

I sat down with Lisa and she shared why that incessant chatter and vibrating energy is actually a stress response to life, and how to shift from stress to calm.

Grab a cup of tea and watch- it’s totally worth it.

MuchnessSeekers!! Lisa has a special offer but it ends in TWO days so get it NOW!!

Order your copy of Replenish BY SEPTEMBER 6 to get access to her bonus video class, 7 Days to Calm. That’s 7 days of videos helping you find the calm in you so you can enjoy life more, here and NOW. 

**After you purchase the book forward your email receipt to bonus (at) wellgroundedlife (dot) com to receive the sign up information for the video class. **

Would love to hear from you! Try this exercise and let me know what you think! I found it totally worked. I was also shocked at how hard to is to concentrate for only 8 seconds! That is so pathetic. 

Guest Post: Dr. Phil Dembo!

It’s been a week and I’ve been hiding under a rock. While all the other bloggers in the nation have popped up in the last week to share their thoughts on Sandy Hook, I’ve basically curled up into a little ball and haven’t said a word. I think that part of me thinks that I just have nothing to add that hasn’t  been said… but I know that’s silly. I guess, in order to really, truly acknowledge it on my blog I have to ‘go there’ – in my mind, in my heart, I have to go there… and I’m just not ready.

But I do want to acknowledge it here, as it should be acknowledged everywhere so those children and teachers are never forgotten and so I am sharing Dr. Dembo’s personal story about this topic…

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IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY

Posted December 16th, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School started the day like every other elementary school in America.

In this country, parents and their children wake up each day with their morning rituals.

Parents can be heard from house to house making sure that their kids brush their teeth, make their beds, eat a little breakfast, and have their backpacks ready to go.

All over this great land of ours, parents and kids kiss goodbye as parents go off to work and kids head to class.  The furthest thing from anybody’s mind is that this could be the last time they actually get to kiss their child goodbye.

But, for 20 families from Sandy Hook Elementary in suburban Connecticut, that is exactly what happened today!

 

Unbelievable! Unthinkable! Unimaginable! Unspeakable!

But, excruciatingly true!!

 

The 20 year old son of a woman who worked at the school walked into the building and killed his mother, 20 children, and many other adults before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.

The story for me seems to pale in comparison (if that’s possible) to the immense magnitude of grief for everyone involved…every student, every sibling, every friend, every neighbor, every coworker, and of course, every parent…And to every other parent who has lost their own child, like my beautiful wife Linda!

Six years ago, May 7, 2007, I stood and watched as they buried my 13 year old step son into the ground.

Unbelievable! Unthinkable!  Unimaginable! Unspeakable!

But, excruciatingly true!

He died unexpectedly of a surgery gone wrong.  Watching his mother, my wife, bury her son is a moment of horror that never leaves me.  Holding her close through her night terrors during the nights that followed never truly ends.

My wife lost her son.

We lost a child.

And it never ends, it never goes away.

Ours is the story of one family’s child and the possible risks associated with any type of medical procedure of this sort.

You don’t expect it but, unfortunately, these things do happen.

 

But, going to school??

Going to school is supposed to be the safest place other than ones family home.

Going to school is where you go to learn, to be with your friends, and to spend the day until you come home and say hello to your parents again.

Going to school is NOT where you go to die.

Life isn’t supposed to end in tragedy.

Life is supposed to end when we are finished with it.

Perhaps the 20 year old shooter was finished with his life, but these children were not.

They were just beginning to live.

There will be no end to the magnitude of this grief.

There will be no making sense of this horrible waste.

There will only be the night terrors for these parents, these families, and for all of us who understand this moment for what it is…..

…Life ending before anyone was ready for it.

 

Never getting to say goodbye never leaves you.

It’s just not supposed to be this way.

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Dr. Dembo’s book The Real Purpose of Parenting: The Book You Wish Your Parents Read is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, and in Barnes and Noble bookstores. You can visit his blog here. 

 

Guest Post: Dr. Phil Dembo!

So, many of you probably remember my radio conversations with Dr. Phil Dembo, Auther of The Real Purpose of Parenting. Well, I was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest blog for us… and I love his topic choice! :)

FINDING OUR MUCHNESS…HOW DID WE LOSE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

If you are reading this blog entry, you already know the beautiful and amazing energy Tova is generating with her “Finding my Muchness” challenge.

We all, at some point in our lives, must face the fact that the circumstances that unfold before each of us can be painful, daunting and completely exhausting.

That, I’m afraid, is just life!

It is also equally important to note that the circumstances may unfold with positivity, opportunity and joy.  Yet, without our muchness, that too can feel overwhelming.

You see, it is not the circumstances that present themselves that force us to lose our way from the “muchness” inside.

And it is not the way we handle those circumstances that dictate how much “muchness” is available to us.

Each baby is born “universal,” where their experience equals their identity.

A newborn feels their total “muchness,” their total greatness, without ever really thinking about its existence.

Why, because their muchness IS their experience.

A baby feels hungry and cries.  A baby is fed and coos.

There is no low self-worth, no feelings of inadequacy, and no preoccupation with the circumstance as a way to create their identity.

The human condition IS our muchness!

It is through the years of “comparative analysis” of what “ought to be” with “what is” that we begin to lose the feeling of our greatness and replace it with the learned script of who we are supposed to be.

It is the learned judgment of self as it relates to others that force us to lose our way.

Judgment of self, judgment of others, and judgment of our circumstance based on a contrived standard society (others) have created for us teaches each baby to relinquish their muchness and replace it with performance.

We are born universal.  We are born with our “muchness.”

We must learn to stop the comparison, the judgment, and feel the moment we are in to find our way back…back to where we began…completely in the moment of our greatness.

Thank God for people like Tova Gold, who show us ways to find our way out of judgment and into the moment of who we are.

Muchness Chat with Joni Lowe!

I recently had a great opportunity to meet a really inspiring woman named Joni Lowe. Joni teaches dance and body movement classes and what I LOVE about her approach to teaching is that her whole purpose is to help women connect with their bodies, appreciate the vessel that they were given to travel this planet, and learn to love it through dance and physical self-expression. At first, I wondered if I, who hasn’t really danced since shaking it on a podium at a dark and strobe light filled night club-circa 1995, and feels incredible clumsy and self-concious at the gym (which I never go to) would have anything in common with a woman who teaches self-love and signs her emails “Shake, pop, shimmy, -Joni” or “Hip rollin’ all day, -Joni”

But then, we got to chatting. Joni is so super fun and down-to-earth! I decided to record a bit of our conversation and share it with you because I think her story is like, the very essence of Finding Your Muchness- in a totally extreme way!

Before I introduce you to her, I want to let you know that I got so inspired by Joni’s story and personality that I invited her to NJ! I’d been wanting to organize a Girls night out that combined an awesome, fun activity with some Muchy inspiration and Joni’s classes were clearly a perfect fit! Click on through to check out our Muchness BELLY DANCING event!! It’s gonna be a BLAST and I hope you (Yes, YOU) can make it to this EPIC event! haha :-)

So now. without further ado, Meet Joni!!

Awesome, right? Head on over to Jonilowe.com to learn more about her and some of the classes she gives. As you heard, one of the unique things she does is one-on-one private Molton Motion sessions. I took a session with her and it was really amazing. Just really connected me to my concious being and stretched me mentally and physically in ways that I seriously needed.

Here’s a snapshot of our session together:

Like My Shirt? Yes, It Does say IN TOUCH WITH THE MUCH. Want one? GO GET IT!! :)

FEATURED GUEST POST: Amanda Rose Walsh

I first met Amanda via her websiteAmanda Rose Wellness. I was struck by how sweet & sincere she seemed, yet also seriously badass. The woman teaches boxing AND yoga! From our first interactions I knew I wanted to have her guest blog and introduce her to the Muchness Community. She gets it. She taps into her Muchness every day by working her body, connecting to it’s strength, and help others do the same! I was awed by her, and that was before I read her guest post below which made me bawl. I love how it she beautifully illustrates how she tapped into her own Muchness despite her grief and sadness. Please welcome Amanda in the comments and I hope her post touches you as it did me.   xox, Tova

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How losing my Dad helped me find my Muchness. 

I haven’t written since my dad passed away.  Although I’m a chick who loves pouring her heart out on paper, his death extinguished my passion. I was afraid of what might come out, what feelings would arise if I attempted to put the experience into words. So I avoided it, focused my energy on other interests and allowed that part of me to slowly diminish. But now, over a year later, I found myself ready to go deep, to reflect and uncover how losing my dad helped become a better woman, how ironically through death, a well of my own Muchness has been discovered.

When I was 10 years old, my father had a heart attack. Before that day, our family was not conscious of diet. We ate healthfully, always veggies and salads at dinner, but we did enjoy our share of fried foods, desserts and other indulgences. For such a young age, I remember the entire experience so vividly and frightening, especially seeing him in the hospital and sensing the nervousness of my mother. This was a time before heart disease was as popular and deadly as it is today but thankfully, it did force change into our home. Chicken became baked, bread became limited, desserts only on special occasions….well, most of the time.

Unfortunately, these small changes didn’t do enough to help my dad. He was a chronic worker, leaving our home as early as 6am and not returning until 7pm. He sat at his desk with little to no movement, aside from walking from his office to car and back again. Being an entrepreneur and business owner, he had extremely high levels of stress. He also took no interest in physical activity. I remember for years my family and I trying to convince my dad to take better care of his health, pleading, crying, struggling with little to no avail. Because he worked so much, his main enjoyment in life was food. My dad LOVED going out for dinner, savoring a few glasses of wine with the breadbasket, a large serving of pasta or meat, and of course more wine and/or a decadent dessert. It was hard to argue his point; he did work hard and had no other vices, aside from going to church every morning.

 

For the last two years of his life, my father’s health took a serious decline. It was obvious from an outsider’s perspective that he was sick. He spoke little, his color a grayish-yellow, his spark for life fading. Any physical movement was extremely difficult. He could not lift or even play with his grandchildren. He was unable to walk a block without getting winded or feeling discomfort and weak. It was painful and sad to watch such a young man in his late 50s appear to be that on a 90 year old.

I became more aggressive in my attempts to intervene. As a personal trainer and yoga instructor, I help people like him for a living. I have had tremendous success with my clients in weight loss, lifestyle change and modifications and improvements in health and wellbeing. I couldn’t understand why I was unable to help my own father. I tried everything. I offered free personal training. I took him to an Ayurvedic specialist, I wrote letters and cards. I sent him a reusable water bottle to encourage better hydration. I called him weekly to check in. And in a final attempt, I had a heart to heart begging him to change. I voiced my desire for him to walk him down the aisle on my wedding day, to one day see my children and for them to know the great man that he was. I cried hysterically, sobbing in sadness, frustration and pain because I just wanted to dad to be healthy and live.  “Do it for me, Dad. Do it for your wife. Your grandchildren. Love yourself enough to change.” I think I got to him, I saw it in his eyes, but whether or not that was enough to inspire change remained to be seen.

That honest, open talk with my father was a major turning point in my life. I felt relieved that everything I wanted to ever say to him, I did. No holding back. I voiced my fears, concerns and hopes. I put myself out there, more vulnerable than I had ever been. And after leaving him that day, I knew that no matter what, I would have no regrets.

He did change a little but sadly, it was too late. Years of damage and lack of self-care mounted an attack that my father was too weak to fight. He continued to decline rapidly, so much so that a month later when I saw him, I remember thinking that he looked as though he was dying. And while I never wanted to believe that, a few weeks later, he did. Even though I sensed it, my hope overrode any possibility that it might happen. It still felt sudden, shocking and wrong. I was too young to lose my father. I wasn’t married yet, he hasn’t seen me as a mother, he wont see my big life dreams realized. It won’t be there to hug me when my business becomes wildly successful, when I win awards for spreading goodness to others, when I become the woman that I am meant to become.

I felt like a failure. How could I have helped my father more? What did I do wrong? How can my profession be targeted at helping people live healthier lives focused on diet and exercise yet I couldn’t even reach my own father? I wanted to quit, to hole up in a ball under my covers and never seek light again. It felt like a blur, time stopped, a raging nightmare. I wondered if Iwould ever know happiness again for the grief was raw, real, tender. Overwhelming, palpable, I-feel-like-I-might-die kind of pain. For someone who is usually so full of Muchness, I didn’t feel like much at all.

But in my rubble of loss, in the midst of what my life was before such a devastating loss, I reflected on my father, his life and the manner in which he lived.  Deep down, I didn’t want to close my heart. I didn’t want to live in a downward spiral of depression, loneliness and longing. I knew my dad wouldn’t want me to either. He would have wanted me to choose life, to be brave enough to keep my heart open.

And so I did. I sough out to find my Muchness again in things, people, and experiences that made me feel happy, grateful and fully alive. I leaned on family and friends and their astounding love reminded me of the extraordinary man my father was and how lucky I was to be his daughter, one of his greatest legacies. I listened to stories of the impact he had on others. I allowed my heart to be swelled from all the people who expressed their love and respect for him. I began to see and know my father in a deeper way and felt so very proud. My fiancé was a pillar of support, stepping up to fulfill a larger role as the male presence in my life. I allowed myself to be cared for, to be loved and held while I cried, processed, hurt. To be vulnerable; to be seen as my heart crumbled. I didn’t know Muchness could be found in honest expression of feeling but it reminded me that I am alive; I am experiencing what it means to be truly human.

Muchness also came when I took on a greater responsibility of caring for my mother. She and my dad were best friends, business partners, and a great example of a happy marriage. She was more devastated than anyone for she was the one that cared for him, took him to doctors visits, prepared his meals and medications, watched him slowly deteriorate as life as she knew it changed instantly. She grieved his loss, the loss of the life they shared and the loss of the life they will never have….retiring together, enjoying grandchildren, reaping the rewards of a lifetime of hard work. I suddenly become the adult and she, the child. She needed love, comfort and care. I found Muchness in learning how to support her, to be strong enough to lessen her burden and to be leaned on without myself crumbling. I found my Muchness in an inner strength I didn’t know I had, for it was never needed before and laid dormant somewhere deep in my being.

I also rediscovered parts of my Muchness by doing what I love, and that is helping others be healthy. I went back to work with a renewed sense of purpose and focus. I was going to continue my mission of being a positive role model of health and nutrition. I wasn’t going to let my father’s death deter me; rather, I used it as inspiration to become a better teacher, a better trainer, a better human being. I felt a larger responsibility to others and because of this my, Muchness started to blossom even more. I had a mission and a message with a renewed faith in myself and in my path.  What a gift death can bring!

But probably the single most beneficial way I found my Muchness again was through my yoga practice. My mat was a place of solace, nonjudgmental grieving, processing, playing and healing. I was able to physically move the pain through my system, to feel where it was stuck and work to lessen the emotional toll my father’s death took on my body. Pain heals through movement and I was able to shed and work through the energy of loss. For weeks, I couldn’t shut my eyes in savasana, the final pose in yoga called corpse pose. It reminded me too much of seeing my dad lay still in a coffin. Instead I would stare up at the ceiling and wonder where in this universe my dad was, warm tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to the heaviness of my breathing.  But soon, through sweating and shedding, through the magic of yoga and how it makes me feel, empowered, loved, strong, I began to feel even more whole, even more thankful because I now understand the fragility of life. Stay present, be thankful, live in a state of love.

The more I find my Muchness, the better I feel. I am earning my wounds and learning from them for my Muchness is found within them. My father’s passing abounded me with gifts and lessons, for now I know that Muchness can change and wane, lessen and thrive but no matter what, I know how to find the spark and ignite inner happiness again and again.  That is certainly the most treasured gift I have ever received and the best way for my to carry my father’s light and honor his spirit.


Amanda’s love of fitness began as a young teenager and has been her full-time passion and career ever since. Amanda has received numerous certifications and a Masters in Exercise Physiology to become a fitness instructor, yoga teacher and prenatal instructor, spending the last 12 years working for the fitness industry. Her workouts are creative, interactive, fun and inspiring as she teaches not only physical fitness but mental and spiritual health as well. Trying many forms of exercise over the years, Amanda discovered a passion for boxing. She trained diligently and competed in twelve amateur fights and won the 2008 Golden Gloves Championship. Then, a trip to India changed Amanda’s perspective and ignited a curiosity in yoga. She found herself a year later on a remote beach in Thailand immersed in a teacher training program. The transition from boxing to yoga has allowed Amanda to apply the same principles of discipline, commitment and focus from the boxing ring to the yoga mat. When Amanda isn’t running in Central Park, biking through the streets of Manhattan, or shopping in local farmer’s markets, she acts as a positive force in the world, empowering women and sharing her passion for health and wellness with others. She is an avid world traveler, passionate vegetarian, aspiring best-selling author and modern city chick with hippie roots!
Learn more here: Amanda Rose Wellness.