The Power of Fractures

Last post I was in a yucky mucky mood.  I have to acknowledge how grateful I am that I don’t go to that place very often.  However, hanging out occasionally in the yucky muck definitely ups my gratitude factor for the “Glass FULL” moments.  Yay for gratitude and yay for optimism 🙂

I found out a couple of days ago that I have another broken bone.  When I broke the first one back in 2012, I was in SO. MUCH. FEAR. I was actually in more fear than I was pain.  I could barely function in my fear paralysis.  In hindsight, I think I made good decisions in a timely manner, but I continue to have a keen appreciation for how life changes in a heartbeat – one minute you think your life is going one way and ONE SECOND LATER it’s going a completely different direction.  One of the many, many gifts of the first bone break is how much better of a dog trainer I became to manage my 2 year old, frenzied Boxer/Bull Mastiff mix, especially since his exuberance was the partial cause of the fracture.

This time the fear was very little.  The initial pain was LOUD enough that it occurred to me I might have broken a bone.  But the pain receded so much each day, I trusted that my body was healing.  One month after the original injury I still limp and have sharp, jabbing pain.  This is a clear and direct communication to get more information – so I did.  Of the breaks that can occur in the feet, this is a good one, just a little bit of the proximal tip of the fifth metatarsal.  A nice tight boot and the bone is likely to find its way back to complete healing. Yay.  Even so, the direction I thought my life was going still has a lane change.  I feel grateful there is no paralyzing fear.  I feel grateful for the outpouring of support I have already received and I look forward to the many gifts this fracture will bring into my life.

big love and fractured gift filled hugs, j

Yucky Mucky

One of my early posts was all googlyboogly about telling the truth, like it was No. Big. Deal.  In Nia we talk of the 5 levels of truth telling…

Truth –

To myself about myself

To myself about another

To another about myself

To that other about another

To everyone about anything


Today’s truth to another about myself is difficult for me to share.  I am feeling depressed, unmotivated and like nothing will ever change.  Even as I write these feelings, I feel absurdly self absorbed and immediately want to say all my gratitudes in machinegun fashion.  But no matter what I’ve done this morning – dance breaks (the one/two punch of music AND movement), connections with others, walk in nature, hydration, inspirational readings, play with the dogs – I still feel stuck, depressed and like why in the world should I even attempt to write anything for you today.

So I decided to write about exactly where I am – feeling totally f**ked.

I don’t do well with physical injury.  Or cold.  Or sugar.  Or inactivity.  And I’ve had a longer than normal and “other” induced exposure to all of the above (well, the sugar was self induced, truth be told).  And by writing the truth to you, I feel a slight obligation to take action to see if I can move out of this emotional muck.  Which only makes me start crying – poor me, guilt that I can’t walk the dogs properly, guilt about the mac and cheese when I can’t burn it off with my regular form of exercise, guilt that I can’t be a happy role model in this moment or just fake it ‘til I make it… blah, blah, blah – boring infinitum pity party.

I was slightly inspired by one of last week’s – Animator for Pixar, Bernard Haux talks to Leo Babauta about 8 habits of creatives.  One of them is tenacity – he talks about a friend who drew a picture everyday for three years.  Tenacity, perseverance, practice – whatever you want to call it – that’s what helps us become expert.  Haux shared “Looney Toons legendary animator Chuck Jones’ assertion that you have to draw 100,000 bad drawings before you have a good drawing.”

Ok, so another week in a row I’ve put words in space.

Thank you for your patience while I deliver a less than stellar post on my journey of tenacity and truth.  I’d love to read about how you flex your tenacity muscles especially when you find yourself off your peak.

murky love and stagnant hugs,

The Desire Map

Super sexy badass Canadian, Danielle LaPorte has been on the periphery of my radar for a while.  With all the email, self-discovery, gotta get better, gotta have new ideas melee that happens in my world, I’ve resisted signing up for any of her stuff and trusted that my intimates that are signed up will send me what calls to them.

Un. til. now.

I downloaded a freebie excerpt from her book The Desire Map earlier this year – I thought the concept was groundbreaking.  LaPorte’s Desire Map is a whole new (to me anyway) concept in “goal setting.”  I heard her say something this morning (:50 mark) – “the journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.”   Well, of course!

The plot of Desire Mapping is to set goals based on how you want to feel, more than on how much you want to have/be/do.  Then make decisions, every day, moment to moment, that align you with what LaPorte calls your “Core Desired Feelings.”

This makes SO much sense to me (even though I haven’t read the book).  She claims what we are really chasing is the feelings we want, not the stuff we want.  While I haven’t been practicing this consciously, I think it’s a concisely mapped description of how I’d prefer to be living my life.  For example:  I hurt my foot at Wai‘anapanapa State Park last week and it is still very tender.  Last night I was interested in a holiday party a friend throws every year.  About an hour before the party, I realized that I really wanted to continue to help my foot feel better and sent my regrets.   While this seems like a physical feeling (which i normally label sensation), I also felt calmer and proud of myself for having my own back on my personal self care.  I trusted my gut, I chose healing as a priority and my foot feels even better this morning.

For the first time in years I’m actually quite excited to play with wants/resolutions/goals/intention.  LaPorte calls them Goals with Soul – maybe my word for 2014 will be “feel.”

I’d love to read about your experience with how you get what you want from your life. 🙂  Please share in the comments or feel free to email mail me directly.

big hugs and heart felt love,

Mastery – Simplicity

I read a piece of a post from a Pilates teacher that I follow and admire.  She said something to the effect of “if you can’t explain in three short sentences or less, you don’t really know what you’re talking about.” This was so intriguing to me – a MASSIVE talker – that I stopped reading that moment and began to contemplate how I instruct, how I answer questions and how much can I respond fully in three sentences or less.  I haven’t reread the post in case I misunderstood her meaning – I’m enjoying the intrigue too much.

I process verbally (though I learn through multiple modalities – primarily reading, watching, practicing).  As early as first or second grade I was getting conduct letters that I talked too much in school.  Every job (until I got into the people business) was the same, performance reviews stating I was distracting other workers by chatting (and that I got all of my work done ahead of schedule… I can’t help it if I over achieve in order to socialize).

If you do a session with me, many times before I make a correction I’ll be asking you to make some small adjustments.  Pilates is already a thousand things happening at once, then I want you to have the most benefit, so I’ll ask you for even more.

Can I express my expertise in three sentences or less?  Her example was about the Pilates “Hundred.”  If anyone asks me why we pump the arms, I might give an answer specific to why that person has come for sessions.  I will also likely ramble, repeating some phrases until I express, verbally, the most succinct yet fully formed answer.  Her answer was this:  The rapid, big movement of the arms challenges your ability to stabilize your torso and outstretched legs and revs up your cardio-vascular system.  You can read the whole post here.  Simple, elegant, efficient and right on.

I look forward to evolving.

Big hugs and three short sentences of love,

Travel Anxiety

We are traveling this week to Maui, Hawaii.  It’s the first time for me and it feels exotic – I have to keep reminding myself that we will still be in the US.  On the other hand, it also makes me slightly sick to my stomach.  Everyone who knows we are going keeps asking “are you excited?” or saying how jealous they are.  But honestly, traveling makes me anxious.

In the spirit of transparency anticipating a trip makes me anxious.  Doesn’t matter what kind of travel it is (family, work or pleasure), just the thought of leaving my home overnight seems to amp up my anxiety meter.  Doesn’t matter that I’ve had remarkable experiences sleeping over somewhere else for a weekend or a year, I always have moments of “I’d rather stay home.”

What the heck is that about?

Besides the obvious answer (the unknown), “sleep overs” also seem like a lot of work – figuring out the dogs, the mail, the substitute teachers for my classes, rearranging clients (when possible), making reservations, choosing the “right” excursions and so on and so forth ad nauseum.

I have way less anxiety if someone else is making most of the decisions and I can simply be the great travel companion – because once we are underway, I’m ALL. OVER. IT.

Once I fill the gas tank, stow my carry on, hit the gangway – THAT’s when I start to get excited.  But the prep needed to make it to the transport is ALWAYS filled with some level of anxiety – even when I’ve made a trip hundreds of times.

The good news is – somehow I get through the anxiety.  This week my coping mechanisms have been overindulging in leftover Holiday fare, playing a few too many computer games and listening to Jack Reacher novels on CD almost non-stop.  Oh, and making a list and checking things off (like this post).  🙂  Once I start checking things off – I feel better, more capable, less stressed.  Then the door of excitement has a chance to open.

I’d love to read about your lead up to travel – are you excited beyond measure? Do you have slight anxiety?  Are you the person so laid back that maybe you almost miss your flight? Or so busy you can’t even think, you just go go go?  Please share 😀


Big love and anxiety-free hugs, j


This week I simply wanted to share a video I first experienced on Facebook – I bookmarked the original Youtube location and I go back and watch it whenever I need or want movement inspiration.  I may have even posted here before. 🙂!

If you don’t have time to watch all six and a half minutes – Ido sums it all up at 5:40.

Big hugs and “move”ment love,  j

Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit

The more you eat, the more you – errrrrrr, well – live a healthy and long life 🙂

I’ve known about the benefits of eating beans for a while and I actually love beans – unlike the Renegotiation (aka boyfriend).  I’d gotten off the bean track, however, until I began reading Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body.  He encourages beans at every meal and is pretty “in your face” and uncompromising about it.

I decided I wanted to know more about this little legume and asked my dear friend Lisa Acocella, DC, if she would answer a few questions for me.  To learn more about Dr. Lisa, as her chiropractic, nutrition and blood chemistry clients call her, visit her site,

Joy@DancePlayHeal:  Hi Dr. Lisa – thanks so much for taking time to chat with me today.  You are, by far, my favorite guru when it comes to nutrition.

Dr. Lisa: It’s my pleasure and I will always make time to talk with you.

J@DPH:  What IS the magic of beans?

DL:  Beans are a superfood all by themselves and their benefits increase further when when eaten in conjunction with the other components of G-BOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds).

J@DPH: What exactly makes beans a superfood?

DL:  Beans are the healthiest carbohydrate source available and an excellent source of protein. Beans contain three types of fiber: soluble, insoluble and (newly discovered) resistant starch. Their exceptional nutritional profile makes them the best food source for stabilizing blood sugar, burning fat, and balancing hormones; and it also helps restore digestive health (gut health) so you get the best absorption of the vitamins and minerals from all the other foods you eat.

J@DPH: Wow! That’s amazing.  What is a resistant starch? I haven’t heard that before.

DL:  Here’s an example, you can eat a serving of beans, 1 cup – about 250 calories, and you feel completely satisfied, however your body only metabolizes 125 calories.  Twice the calories, half the price 🙂

J@DPH: What about all that gas?

DL:  When you eat beans and experience gas, it means your digestive tract is lacking in beneficial, healthy flora. Most guts aren’t in optimal health and consequently aren’t ready to process beans or a lot of plant food at one time.  So, to enjoy beans without gas, incorporate them into your diet gradually; in the beginning, less is more. By incorporating beans into your diet slowly, you will allow your gut to grow the internal flora it needs to enjoy beans and plant food without discomfort. Start by eating one tablespoon of beans per day and, as you get more comfortable, build up to ½ a cup or 1 cup of beans daily to enjoy their benefits fully.

J@DPH: Should I take Beano until that happens?

DL:  No, actually, while Beano or other digestive enzymes might help in the moment, they prevent the development of your digestive tract’s own ability to digest beans.

J@DPH:  The Renegotiation just hates beans – the taste and the texture – what can others do who feel the same way?

DL:  Lentils are a great alternative and in the same legume family.

J@DPH:  Ah, yes, he hates those too.

DL:  Ok well, there’s new science that shows if you try a food 16 times, you will begin to like it.  So, that tablespoon of beans a day we talked about??? That’s a great start.  Plus it’s cumulative.  If you can’t bring yourself to eat beans every day, go for once a week for 16 weeks.  Also, try different varieties – it’s better for you and you might find a couple of types you love.

J@DPH:  This is awesome, Dr. Lisa, thank you.  I learned so many things today.  Any final thoughts about beans?

DL:  Yes, when I say beans, I am speaking of beans, lentils and peas, which are all in the same legume family.  Also, people often want to know what are the most nutritious beans to eat. The answer is black beans are the most nutritious, then red kidney beans, then red lentils. Think of color. The stronger the color of a bean, the more nutritious it is. Additionally, if anyone wants to learn even more about beans, they can go to

So, there you have the magical (musical) truth about beans – please share some of your favorite recipes [or funny bean stories] in the comments below.  If you have more questions for Dr. Lisa, please feel free to email her at

big love and beany hugs,

Self Help or Self Discovery?

Some people who know me think I am hard on myself.  That maybe I spend too much time looking outside of me to change parts of my behavior or personality.  They may be right, but my bottom line is I just really want to be the best I can be.  During those times when I am super lazy about it, I have been hard on myself. 

This “be all you can be” stuff started after I had been living in Atlanta a couple of years.

In 1990 I had just landed my dream job as a YMCA Physical Director in charge of the “Aerobics” department.  I knew I was “home” at the Y, but I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and had fear and doubt about most aspects of the job.  In less than a month, my increasingly alcoholic father admitted himself to an inpatient rehab/recovery program.  I was incredibly embarrassed,  humiliated and pissed beyond measure that I had to ask for family leave to go and be present for my dad’s family days.   I almost didn’t go – but in those days I was still a “good girl.” 

My journey of “Self Help” (aka be all you can be) was off and running.  Family therapy, individual therapy, AA, Al-Anon, CODA, OA and a gajillion books on how to manage my work and personal life now that my dad was actually present and interested as well as being in a job I was almost completely unqualified for.  For a few years I blamed my dad for a lot of crap that was happening in my world.  But the gift of his recovery (beyond the obvious bonus that he hasn’t had a drink since then) is I learned there were places and people I could turn to that could help me heal.  Before then, I was slogging it through feeling completely alone.  Ironically, I was pretty oblivious to much of the healing that I needed to do.  For example – every single person at our first Family day kept telling me how mad I was at my dad while I kept adamantly insisting I wasn’t mad in the least.  And I didn’t think I was mad, really… good girls don’t get mad.  HA – in (20 years of) retrospect, I. Was. Livid.

About three years later I learned that there were people who put their personal wisdom on tape so others could hear it. [Yes it was still “tape” way back then.] It was called Personal Development and, to me – at the time, it was REMARKABLY different from “self help.” It felt like a fresh spring breeze of hope after all the drudge work I had been doing in “self help.”  Jim Rohn was my first – The Art of Exceptional Living.  Let me tell you, his perspective shifted my thinking incredibly.  I can still hear his voice in my head saying “Don’t set a goal to make a million dollars for the money, set a goal to make a million dollars for what meeting the goal will make of you.”  Mr. Rohn’s words changed my life in those 5 seconds – mmmmmm, set a goal for what it will make of me.  Until The Art of Exceptional Living I didn’t have conscious knowledge about the art or science of goal setting.

Between “self help” and now “personal development” I was a growing fool. 

Around 2000, I made a decision that I wouldn’t pay anyone else to help me figure out myself – no therapy or workshops, no books or (by now) CDs.  After 10 years of practice I figured I could heal me on my own.  Occasionally, I still felt less than and like an alien on the planet, but I was tired of paying other people for what felt like ZERO change.  Of course, I didn’t understand The Ascension Spiral yet.

In the last 10 years or so, I’ve had access to the internet and its explosion of (what seems like) everybody’s next great idea/product/class to help or fix me.  And I have learned much – including how to build this website you are currently on and how to publish a blog post to it.

Recently a girl friend sent me a post about how all this self help reinforces the idea that we are broken.  For a moment I identified.  Then I got pissed.  I knew, really knew in my heart for the first time, that I wasn’t broken.  AND I realized that I value and love getting to know myself better.  I also thrive in relationship with people who value getting to know themselves better.  I really enjoy hanging out, chatting, and soulution strategizing.

The words “self help,” while maybe still accurate, don’t feel like a fit anymore.  The words that fit are “self discovery” and I LOVE my path of self discovery.  It is interesting, emotional, surprising, heart breaking, breathtaking, terrifying, satisfying, frustrating, fun, crappy, ecstatic and always new.  It’s taken me until now, age 50, to applaud, value, relax and trust that I can continue my path of self discovery for the excitement of discovery rather than to fix me.  I’m not broken, I never was.

I actually hope this journey continues as long as I draw a breath.

I’m always curious about other people’s story.  Won’t you share a bit of yours in the comments below – would LOVE to read about you.

big love and hugs of greater self discovery,


Free to Be Me

Day 2 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge is write a post about this:

If you woke up tomorrow and were free to do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do and who would you be?

This is a tricky question for me and I’m not completely clear how this will end up correlating to yesterday’s post about why I started a blog in the first place and why I am blogging in this century. 😉

Tricky since I have the ability to do just that – do anything I want with my life – every single day I wake up.  Actually we all do, but I really have freedom from a day in day out “jay” “oh” “be” (j-o-b).  And many days I take it for granted.  And some of those days when I recognize I’m taking for granted, I also start beating myself up about the taking for granted AND that I’m not doing exactly whatever it is I want to do with my life and moving forward on just exactly who it is I want to be.


What’s cool, though, is that THIS is exactly part of the journey, this not doing it perfectly, maybe not knowing what to do.  My friend Susan McCulley wrote about it when she talked about the in between time.

What I feel most grateful about is that I had begun [again] revisiting and exploring exactly this question [who do i want to be when i grow up] before I started the 30 Day Blog Challenge.  Yay for synchronicity!

The short answer is – if I could wake up tomorrow and be whomever it is I always wanted to be, I would be:  singer Tina Turner, social media guru Jesus of Nazareth, server extraordinaire Mother Theresa, Jim Carrey just for the freak & fun of it and me. 🙂  So tomorrow morning I best get busy practicing my National Anthem for when the Houston Rockets ask me to open a game, practicing my unconditional love and forgiveness in preparation for the crap things that happen in the world, call the Harris County public library for their next literacy training and NAM for their next domestic abuse hotline training, practicing my stand up (comedy) with friends, family and Turk (my dog) and embracing and accepting all of me and all of my dreams – past, present and future.

What about you?  If you could wake up to a different start tomorrow what would it be (and how could you get going on it in the morning)?  If you need a little support or some ideas on how to begin feel free to start up a chat in the comments below or you can email me directly.

Big hugs and tremendous love,


A Matter of Consistency

Anything in our life that we are good at took us some time and perseverance to become adept.  So, why oh why, do we forget it when we are learning or trying out something new?  Maybe you don’t forget, but I certainly do.

I’ve had a website for almost as long as I’ve owned a computer, around 15-17 years (not the same one, but only the third, actually).  And as long as I have had a website I have longed to be able to update it on a regular basis.  Long before the word “blogging” made its appearance on the scene, I was keen to be communicating to “others” via my website.

It took me until last Christmas (2012) to finally launch a website that I could control the content on whenever I chose.  Since then I have been very challenged to “blog” regularly.

You might already know this, but new habits are actually easier to create, easier than old habits are to break, stop or change.  For example, it is much easier to begin eating dark leafy greens than it is to stop eating ice cream (if you’d like to know how, email me and I’ll give you some tasty ideas – yum).  As you begin to feel the benefits of eating dark leafy greens, you might notice one day that you have stopped eating ice cream – or at least stopped eating as much as you used to.

It’s true in other areas as well, so one of the challenges I am taking up is a 30 day blog challenge.  Two reasons, to create my long desired habit of regular communication via my website and to create an experience where I actually follow through on something, anything – the first thing.  I am happy for you to hold me accountable, in fact I’d really appreciate it, could be I’m desperate for it. 😉

Here’s the first day’s challenge:

TODAY’s challenge: Write a post on why you started your blog, who you wanted to reach, what you wanted it to be all about. Then state why you joined this blog challenge and what you want to get out of it.

I suppose I could simply write:

Why: to communicate to the Nia participants who had been taking classes with me, to provide health info to anyone who came across my website and Nia info for participants and potential participants in the Cypress, TX, area.

Who: Nia participants, the loved ones of Nia participants who wanted to understand Nia better, and anyone else who stumbled upon the website.

What: Ideas, tips, challenges and victories of living the highest, whole-est, funnest life possible and how Nia had helped me more than anything else up to that point – sometime in 1999.

As I am composing this post, I’m realizing that I have been attempting to “blog” from that same place – uhhh – except that it is 2013, tyvm (thankyouverymuch), and I have different perspectives now.

AND – This go ’round, I’ve been attempting to “blog” without answering any part of “Today’s Challenge.”  I think somewhere inside my crazy head, I feel like if I state out loud ANY reason why I started (or wanted) to “blog,” I’ll be squashed creatively by topics limited to my self-imposed reason – uh oh – real crazy stuff now.  End result NO consistent “blogging.”

Dang it!

For the record – I am starting a blog (today)[think rebirth] to share my experience with the tools of:






Truth telling

and any other tool I learn (or remember)

With intention to heal the world.

Ummm –  heal those within my sphere of influence????

In reality –  heal myself and help others find their own tools for self healing – in the funnest, connectedest (is that a word?), most loving and ease-filled way possible.

I haven’t read ahead to day two of the blog challenge, so I don’t know what’s in store [and I HATE not knowing].  But I do know I would love to be of service.  Please, if you have any questions, stories or comments, let’s chat about it in the comments below.

big love and adventurous hugs,