Jan 08

Lovers Gonna Love

By Joy Perugini | Self-Care

sunset in heart handsYes, yes … “haters gonna hate” … but you know what? As much as those haters hate, those lovers gonna love! Can I tell you the biggest secret weapon I’ve got in my arsenal? The one that makes people refer to me over and over again as a “superwoman”? The one responsible for the overabundance of energy that I exude on a daily basis that has been described as palpable? The one that keeps me going (and smiling) through 12-16 hour days 6 days per week owning and operating two businesses? The one that makes me spread light and happiness just about everywhere I go, literally living up to the name given to me at birth? Yup, it’s love. Love of myself, love of others, and love and appreciation for life. It’s now, you know… life … it’s happening right now. Are you living it? Are you loving it?

Brace yourself, cuz I’m about to get up in your face … I’m about to call you out … so if you can’t stand the heat, get out of my kitchen and off of this blog. If you are not loving life at the moment, it’s because you are choosing to not love it. YOU are the only one standing in your way, so stop blaming everything and everyone else around you. YOUR choices have brought you to where you are. It’s not your parents fault, or your sister’s fault, or that you have a shitty job or boss, or that your partner forgot your anniversary, or that you’re broke, or out of shape. You have chosen these things and you continue to choose to react to them. You have made choices, thought thoughts, and taken the actions that have painted your life the way it currently is. Now, the good news … once you take ownership of this, things will literally begin to transform before your eyes. I promise. Life will love you back in more ways than you could ever imagine if you will only nurture it with your love first.

How can I be so sure of this? How can I PROMISE you that if you begin to show more love and appreciation for even the job (or body, financial state, or whatever ) you have, but may loathe right now, you will become a happier and more fulfilled person? Because I’ve been there. Because I pretty much hated everything about my life (and it wasn’t all that long ago) and I turned it all around.

I’ve owned a boutique fitness studio for almost nine years, and as recently as just four years ago, I almost closed it. I hated it. I hated the hours it took, I hated feeling alone and unsupported, and I hated that I had invested so much time and money into it and that it still wasn’t paying me a paycheck. I was told that because my business wasn’t making money, it was worthless. I was told that because I wasn’t making money, I was worthless. And even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I had helped so many people throughout the years live longer, healthier, better quality lives, I still let those horrible words sink in. And they stuck. For a very long time.

You would think that with all of the hours I was working (and working out), I would have been in great shape, but the truth is, at that point in time I was at the heaviest I had ever been. A solid 30 pounds over my norm. Now that might not sound like much, but I only stand 5’4” tall, so it was a good amount of weight on a small frame (especially considering that I literally workout for a living and have been an athlete my entire life). Long story short, I was miserable. I was pissy. And I was a beast to be around. I was in a dark, dark place, and then it got worse. I experienced a very big, very unfortunate life event that knocked me off my feet and into my bed hiding under the covers for two straight weeks. And when I came out from my cocoon, what I saw astounded me. My business was still standing and fully operational. My instructors and trainers stepped up to cover the 20+ classes I taught per week (all while refusing payment, mind you). The office staff handled the numerous tasks that I only do myself and didn’t think they would even know how to handle, and warm, fuzzy energy flowed from my clients in the form of kind words, gifts, and actions. And there it was. Love. The love that had eluded me for a while, but the love that as sure as the sun will rise, returned to me tenfold. I poured my love (along with a good amount of blood, sweat, and tears) into that business for five years before I started to turn on it, and that love had finally come home to roost. Sometimes it takes a while, so don’t let it discourage you. It can take some time to “undo” established thought patterns, especially those based in fear. But rest assured, they will be undone.

Today, I come to you from a place of love. I love myself more than anyone else in the world. I have to … who could ever love me better than me? And no, that doesn’t make me egotistical. It’s time for you to love yourself too. To love every piece of “you” unconditionally … the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Every curve, every inch, every perceived imperfection (perceived, because I assure you, you are perfectly you)! No one can be a better “you” than you … YOU have a life to rock … now get out of your own way and ROCK IT!

Not sure how to start loving you? I always like starting from the inside out. Click here to see what I mean.

Jan 03

Make. Me. STOP!

By Joy Perugini | Self-Care

Red traffic lightSlooow down. The message keeps hitting me in the head like a stone thrown by a bratty six year old on the playground. I rush around, running like a chicken with its head cutoff, trying to be everything to everyone, and then it happens. The “powers that be” (i.e., God, Buddha, Allah, The Universe … whatever term floats your boat) throw me a curve ball and MAKE. ME. STOP! Be it a bodily injury, common cold, or just an achy head or back, The Universe (the term I favor) sweeps the rug right out from under me and I screech to a halt.

It forces me to stop rushing, stop obsessing, stop trying so hard, and just be! Be present, be happy, be me. Every day, all day. Just be ME. Because, dammit, I am enough. In fact, I am more than enough.

Imperfections and all, I am exactly where I am meant to be in my life right now … and so are you. And it’s about time we honor that in ourselves. Show ourselves all of the love and appreciation we deserve. Make peace with where we are right now. Not where we were yesterday, or where we will be tomorrow, but where we are at present.

So I challenge you with this: give to yourself first. Yes, you heard me right. Stop giving OF yourself for just a few moments each day, and give TO yourself. Practicing self-care is one of the most important things we can do for our own well-being, if not THE most important thing. It can be as simple as eating clean and training mean (or maybe training “not so mean”), or going a step further and investing in a massage, facial or some other therapeutic treatment. And don’t even start with the excuses that you don’t have enough time … we’ve all got the same amount of hours in a day, sweetheart. You can’t tell me that out of the one-hundred and sixty-eight hours you have in a week, you don’t have time to take one measly hour out for yourself. Trust me, I KNOW busy and I KNOW excuses (I’m well versed in both) and neither will get you anywhere you want to be.

Taking time out to care for yourself will make you a better “you” to everyone else in your life. You’ll be a better friend, co-worker, son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father, husband, wife (you get the gist). It’s something I preach to my clients on a regular basis, but truth be known, it’s not something I easily do for myself. To practice what I preach, and truly slow myself down, is something I struggle with daily. But I do it. Why? Because if I don’t The Universe will make me. And if you ignore those “powers that be” for too long, they will slow you down in a way that you may not quickly, nor easily recover from. And quite honestly, that scares the crap out of me. I know that I don’t do it enough (I’m a work in progress), but when I start to feel even the least bit rundown, or even the hint of a cold coming on, I slam on the breaks and immediately do something for myself, even if it’s as simple as going to bed early or taking a bath. And you can do it too. No excuses. No “maybe later” bullshit. Just be kind to “you” for a few minutes. Maybe it means taking a moment in the day to sit quietly and take a few slow, mindful breaths. We all have time for that. It doesn’t have to be a project. In fact, eventually it’s sure to become quite natural … something we’ll begin to crave and do on auto-pilot (I’ll let you know when I get there). In the meantime, it may take a little effort (maybe some self-coercing), but I have faith … we got this!

Need a little help slowing down? Click here to take a short relaxation break … I promise it will be worth your time, and did I mention it’s free???