It’s a New Dawn It’s a New Day

Hey girl, put those PEARLS on!

It is a new dawn. It is a new day.  Here comes the sun. A renewal of thought. A renewal of the arts. A renewal of collaboration. A renewal of LOVE.

No, I don’t believe one man has all the answers. THAT IS THE POINT.

There never should have been a time when people were under the false belief that one man (other than Jesus) has “all the answers.”

Never should any man ever proclaim that he did. It is up to US. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Let’s bring a new day of love and appreciation for all of God’s children.

Amen

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is the transcript from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” Speech, borrowed from https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.

We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. **We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”** We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Listen Up, New Mom!

(circa 2010)

Listen Up, New Moms and Mums!

I have very few pictures of myself in this era. I remember being very uncomfortable in who I was. I tried to hide behind black clothes and shades.

Now I look at other women who have had babies and marvel at their strength. But I couldn’t see ME as strong at that time.

My warped image of strong was that I would have babies and my body would instantly rubber band back to look and feel exactly as it did before the long process of pregnancy and childbirth.

And when it didn’t, I went into a shame spiral.
I got angry at myself and my body.
I got confused about who I really was and what I was really doing.

IF YOU ARE A MOTHER, YOU HAVE PRODUCED AND SUSTAINED LIFE.

Top that! Seriously! Take a moment and marvel at the miracle you are. YOU. Appreciate that body that performed that miracle with you!!!

I really think it ALL starts there. THEN we start to move into the next phase.
Bless you, mama! Love your SELF.

Amen

The Four Pillars of CarrieFit

This is the way I have always run my business, and to those who know me or have worked with me would say that these four pillars are very much how I naturally do business.

As my business grows and continues to develop through teaching and community building, I want to make sure I have stated this, because I/We will always return to these four pillars in how to do business.

Love:

Love is not woo-woo or romantic. It is operating from the premise that we are all connected and that there should only be winners, and no losers, in how we work together.

Love indicates:

  • joy
  • peace
  • faith
  • kindness
  • ahimsa

Integrity:

I/We shall have integrity in our words and actions. In other words, we do what we say and say what we will really do, clearly. We stick to our words and to what is important ethically.

Integrity indicates:

  • ethics
  • honesty
  • clarity

Service

I/we establish a service-based business. In that, we agree that serving others is what we do.

Service indicates:

  • listening
  • caring
  • going the extra mile

Equality

I cannot separate what I do from the belief that we are created equal. Though some people would consider this “politics,” I consider this “truth” AND being a child of God.

I /we have the deep held set of beliefs that we are all created equal and have equal rights to love, integrity and service in life and business.

Equality includes:

  • being anti-racist
  • supporting movements for civil rights
  • supporting other businesses that promote equality
  • speaking against anti-equality on any level

Thank you for supporting CarrieFit.

Resistance Micro and Macro

Stay with me here…. this might help you with more than your fitness.

Fitness people and people who train for sport know this principle.
How to get stronger:
>Resistance :pushing or pulling against something heavy or difficult
> Breakdown: the muscle fails, loses strength, and the fibers literally break down.
> Rest: the muscles worked have to have time to rest and recover
> and THEN you get STRENGTH.

Why I’m bringing this up today:
I’ve been witnessing this metaphor in the microcosm and macrocosm. I’ve been talking about it with clients when they are stuck. I’m seeing it in our minds, hearts, spirits, and society.

Within YOU: are you struggling and pushing against something? Do you feel compelled to a certain path? And the more you push, the more tired you get? And you start to think: Oh, I guess this isn’t for me.

Ask yourself: did I allow the space for the breakdown? This is tough stuff. This means you are allowing yourself to feel the way you feel. Allowing yourself to acknowledge the resistance, and possibly pain.

Allowing space for the breakdown is REALLY hard. Acknowledge that.

And then, did you allow time to rest? Did you take time and space for yourself? For self care? For just BEING, not DOING?

Because if you did, you’ll find the STRENGTH on the other side of that.

OK, friends. I’m going to go there. Strap yourself in.
This is what we’re facing in the United States and many countries in turmoil around the world.

I think the fact that we are entering a new era is no longer a theory.

Looking at what we have been through and where we are going, we can no longer deny that change is happening… a big shift. I can go biblical on you, but I won’t here. I’ll say that this era of change is likely to be kin to The Renaissance… only with more freedom for more people to have voices.

When we start to rise and acknowledge a shift within ourselves and our cultures, the resistance against that will rise. Meaning: the old systems and structures are the resistance, and it’s way too comfortable staying in the old paradigm, so people within those structures will rise to new heights to be the toughest resistance we have seen in hundreds of years.

So, my people of strong faith and resilience, we have to continue to rise to meet the resistance for the change we feel is necessary.

THAT BEING SAID, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to BREAK us DOWN. We will require rest and recovery. We will need to lean on each other for this. We will need to love and support a sister or brother while they need a break. Think of the geese as they fly. The one in the front will be doing most of the pushing and pulling against resistance. When he needs a break, he falls into the back to float on the wing strength of his brother or sister, who floats to the front.

Do you see this? Do you feel this? We will have to be the geese and allow for the feelings, the breakdowns, and the rest. WE WILL COME BACK STRONGER. And we will keep coming back and coming back and coming back. Change is happening. We’re the catalyst for change. It’s going to be uncomfortable.

Stay in it WHILE taking care of your personal breakdowns and rest. Come back stronger.

Namaste

Living with Crazy

On my journey to find space for love for every living being, I meditated yesterday and today on compassion and understanding.

When I was a teacher, I occasionally taught students living in a house with crazy.
I would wonder why the child showed erratic behavior, said weird things that children don’t normally say, or was suddenly angry or violent.
And then I would meet the parent or guardian.

Like it or not, we absorb our environment. When the environment becomes fear-based, the people in it live in fear. And fear then shows itself as anger, violence, hatred, rage, and… well…. crazy speak.

I’m trying really hard today. I’m sure you can relate. To find in my heart forgiveness to people who have spent 4+ years in an environment of crazy, and are reacting to a combination of perhaps an existing environmental issue and lit on fire by a crazed cult leader.
I’m not saying “that’s ok.”
I’m saying if we just try to forget them, if we use the principles we have used in the past, like “just cover them up,” or “make them afraid to speak up,” then we are also adding to the problem and not uncovering the underlying issues.

Can you help? Can you spend a few minutes in quiet meditation or prayer and ask the universe for guidance? Ask for a peaceful return to love?
We have serious work to do that can’t be done coming from a space of fear (which may be showing itself with emotions such as hatred and disconnection).
I’m just as hurt as you. I’m not ignoring the pain, but I’m going to try my best to use it for compassion.

Freedom From Flattery and Criticism

IMG_2451

Which sticks more, flattery or criticism?

Have you had a moment where you can release yourself from both?
Wow that’s hard, right?
Because we want to define ourselves by flattery… and we default to define ourselves by criticism.
But neither are true.

I got my first job in fitness (when I was 19) because I “look good in that leotard.”
I was equally flattered and appalled…. as well as pressured. To keep that image. In fitness, a lot of times, we feel like an image.

Over the years, I’ve been picked apart by various fitness entities, public and private, and I latched on to that too.
“Not toned enough”
“Not ripped enough”
“Too skinny”
“Not the right body type.”
And when I was injured?! Oh don’t get me started.

I know my sisters AND brothers in the industry have gotten their own peanut gallery criticisms, too, based on their genetics and basic body makeup.
Letting go of all of that feels like dropping the bar at the end of the workout. Done. Drop it. Walk away.

The other side of that coin is flattery. I’m very uncomfortable being flattered. My brain argues with flattery. “No you’re NOT,” and “don’t let them down now!”
Pressure!
So I have walked away from people who have been over-complimentary or when I feel they become too reliant on me.
Where does the balance come in?
Well… it comes in knowing WHO I really am. Critics don’t know. Flatterers are seeing what they want to see.

I am that I am. I am whole. I am free. I am the totality.
And I’m uncovering more every day. Free from what others think or say. Just being. A little more every day.
I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to just be the guide now. I write, speak, and teach from a place of guidance, not showmanship. It feels way better and less full or pressure than feeling like I’m supposed to be some kind of focus. The work is the focus. I’m the guide.

And I’m guided BY something far greater. That is freedom.
Would love to hear your stories of freedom from criticism and flattery. How are you doing with that?

Clear for Takeoff

Are you waiting for permission to take off?

Permission granted!

Many of us waited through the end of 2020 to start something new… just the prospect of a new year after a very trying one made us look forward to a new year and a fresh start.

So, what will it be for you?

  • new fitness plan
  • new eating plan
  • new healing plan
  • new mindfulness plan
  • new personal development plan

I love all of it, and I do think there is a shift happening in a lot of us that makes us really want to clear out the cobwebs and get to work on better life and health.

I look forward to seeing what you’re doing!

Shoulder and Diastasis Recti

Shoulder? Really?

Yes. Believe it or not, I find in many people that a link to their Diastasis Recti Recovery has to do with shoulder flexibility.

The shoulder alignment can mess up rib and spinal alignment, especially if it is rolled forward and tightly wound with the pectoralis (chest muscles).

Here’s some help with shoulder flexibility:

Shoulder flexibility, like everything else we do together, is a practice and a process. So, give it some time and be consistent in the flexibility practice. Once you can align your shoulders with your ribs, you should be able to see a marked shift in your alignment AND more space for a better, fuller breath.

Holidays at CarrieFit

The Harper Christmas Tree is not one people would drive by to see, but it’s our little happy tree, filled with memory ornaments and silly knick-knacks.

What’s going on this season at CarrieFit:

Don’t forget to take care of yourself this holiday season. We’ll be starting the New Year with a group going through the Diastasis Recti Recovery System together OR a group working on better eating. Which is better for you?