TIRED OF BEING ALONE

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When I met James for our first assessment session a few weeks back, in the same private fitness studio in downtown Manhattan where we’d be meeting today, he said to me, “I want to look like you.” I remember hoping he meant look fit and healthy, not ripped and starving while wearing high heels, as I was in my online competition pictures. James had found me through my website, where I’d posted these images.

He needed to lose about twenty pounds. Taking care of his health seemed to be a priority for him. However, he mentioned he had just broken up with his girlfriend, and that his main goal was to get in shape before joining a dating website.

I was meeting him for our fifth session.

“How are you feeling, James?”

“I am very well,” he replied, but there was a sad look in his eyes that told a truth his words wouldn’t. His heart was broken.

“Let’s get started.” I gave him some warm-up exercises. James was an easygoing, friendly person, and I instantly felt comfortable talking with him about matters of the heart. So I asked him, “What is the meaning of life to you?”

“What a big question for a Monday morning,” he said, trying to concentrate on his plank hold. After a moment, he added, “I think the meaning of life is to be happy.”

“What makes you happy?” I asked, curious.

“I’d like to have my girlfriend back,” he said, looking at the floor.

“So your girlfriend gives meaning to your life?” I ventured, trying to express my doubt.

He was quiet for a moment. We moved on to the squat rack. Eventually, he said, “Well, for that, she needs to understand me better and love me for who I am.” He looked at himself in the mirror and squeezed his belly.

“What do you mean by that?”

“I mean, that way she would complete me and I would be happy. I like having someone to share my life with. The special moments, you know? Someone to travel with, talk to, sleep with, go out for dinner with, and maybe have a child with. A partner. This is who I am. I’m used to being with someone. It’s tough being alone.”

James’s last sentence didn’t make sense to me. “In my opinion,” I told him, “knowing who you really are requires being alone. Being with other people because we are used to it is only another way to escape from knowing ourselves.”

How ironic it was that I needed to hear that, too!

By the time I’d finished sharing my thoughts, James had squatted for ten minutes. He’d burned quite a lot of calories, and had his hand on his chin in the Thinker’s pose. I left our session hopeful, wondering if he’d understood what I’d said, and pondering it in my own thoughts as well.

Before our meeting the week after, he sent me his picture. He was standing in front of the mirror and showing his belly. The message read: Look, Valeria! I have lost three pounds already and my belly is looking smaller. You are amazing! I am going to sign up for a dating website today—I am tired of being alone! I will see you later.

*** Passage from the Fit for Joy Book.

Much Love!

Valeria Teles

HER SADNESS WAS MY SADNESS

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I met my first client of the day at seven in the morning.

Angela was a thirty-five-year-old married woman living in Manhattan. I reached her building thirty minutes early, and waited for her for another ten. When she arrived in the lobby to greet me, I remember wondering why she’d hired me. She was petite, young, and in great shape.

We walked to the gym, which was empty. She turned on the air conditioning and the lights. Our session began and we went through the initial protocol, a dynamic warm-up.

She looked down the entire time. I asked her unimportant questions to break the silence, but her answers were brief, accompanied by a shy smile. I felt my presence was enough for her. Throughout the workout, Angela only spoke a few words, moved in a slow, controlled way, and never looked straight at me. I felt like I was at a funeral and I didn’t know who the dead person was. I acted awkward, trying to cheer her up or at least alleviate the silence. I pretended I was participating in a comfortable and normal situation between two people.

When the workout ended, we planned our weekly schedule and said goodbye to each other under the same gloomy cloud. This was a client whom the best exercise and diet in the world would never help to feel joyful. It was never about fitness for Angela. She was looking for a friend.

I left her building feeling very down. I couldn’t pretend to be her warm friend while also being a trainer. Her sadness was my sadness.

There was no time to be unhappy, though. My next client was James, and he needed me downtown at ten. I crossed the street and entered the subway station.  

 

*** Passage from the Fit for Joy book. 

Much Love!

Valeria Teles

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! A RE-CREATION OF OUR DREAMS

WISHING YOU JOY, PROSPERITY, AND PEACE FOR 2018! 

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If we can walk, we can dance,

If we can dance, we can laugh,

And when we laugh, life becomes a RE-creation of our dreams! 

Here is one of my favorite timeless poems. It inspires willpower, kindness, faith, self-love and beyond.

IF...

If you can keep your head when all about you   

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By RUDYARD KIPLING

Warm wishes,

Valeria 

BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU FEEL INSIDE

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Children sleeping
Snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling
Likes bells in the distance

We were dreamers
Not so long ago
But one by one
We all had to grow up

When it seems the magic slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas Day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate

Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

Trains move quickly
To their journey's end
Destinations
Are where we begin again

Ships go sailing
Far across the sea
Trusting starlight
To get where they need to be

If you just believe
If you just believe
If you just believe

Just believe
Just believe...

May the heart guide our next steps!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 

Valeria 

 

Source:  Song "Believe by Josh Groban"

 

EAT LESS, THANK MORE.

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We know that the best way to lose weight is to eat less, especially of foods that are high in calories. Sugar is a well-known adversary of weight loss. But before depriving ourselves of healthy fats and sweets, it’s wise to try to understand the real reasons we eat more than necessary. I believe that the mechanisms of wishful thinking and fear are subconsciously operating in our minds when it comes to our eating patterns. Food can become an addiction, often stemming from emotional triggers when we wish our lives to be different. Steven Pressfield, the famous writer once wrote: “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.”

The way I see it, having the courage to realize the unlived life within is essential to our physical and psychological health. A simple practice of courage is to trust this moment for what is. Feeling grateful for what we have can empower us to follow our hearts, thus making each moment fulfilled and joyful. The happier we are within, the less preoccupied with food we become.

The perfection of this moment embraces us with unconditional love for our spiritual wealth, for who we truly are  – there is nothing lacking. 

KIND HEARTS...STRONG BODIES...PEACEFUL MINDS.... Fit for joy! 

Much, much love! 

Valeria 

LUCID LOVE

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The moment we choose to recognize our experiences in the world as lessons of love, life turns into a lucid dream. This recognition can come from the depths of our hearts or from spiritual awareness through the senseless suffering caused by our minds. Either way, the main difference between a nightmare and a lucid dream is a shift of perception grounded in love. In the dream of life, there are many mountains to climb every day, and they might crumble, the dust might blur our vision, the fear might replace our hope, but if we have faith and recognize our own essence, WE will never fall again. 

Much Love!

Valeria 

TURN EXERCISE INTO A SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY

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It's important to be aware that fitness can set in as a dangerous addiction, even when we practice our deepest spiritual understanding on daily basis. I caught myself overtraining after spending days in meditation. We can never underestimate our habitual tendencies. Although spiritual knowledge, coupled with the guidance of our own hearts, can prevent exercise from becoming an unhealthy practice, it is my belief that we still need to surround ourselves with those who are on the path of “true health” to create the environment that will allow us to practice our virtues consistently.

Since everyone is unique, finding the most enjoyable way you can unite body and mind can turn any exercise session into a spiritual activity —simple solution: bring the heart into it everything you do! 

 

Much Love!

Valeria 

THE SPIRIT OF GRATITUDE

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Thanksgiving celebrates the spirit of gratitude.

It's an acknowledgment of love.

Appreciation of truth.

The gracefulness of life.

Recognition of "God."

Responsiveness to peace within.

Thankfulness for the divine GIFTS we share in our HEARTS.

 

May this time of the year reminds us all of what really matters in life!

 

Much Love,

Valeria 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW WE LOVE MUSIC...

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...Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on..."  - “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

Did you know that the songs we listen to are interconnected with our personalities?

For example, the genres that Explorers favor more than other Roles – namely, electronica (68%), hip-hop (49%), pop (74%), and reggae (35%) – may most frequently match the Explorer mood: energetic and in the moment. Whether it is a fast-driving techno beat or a reggae groove, Explorers may look for music that is more textural than intellectual, evoking an immediate, visceral response.

Here is a summary break it down from recent studies:

Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease

Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease

Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease

Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing

Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle

Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing

Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease

Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle

Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle

Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing

Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease

Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease.  ... READ MORE...

Much Love! 

Valeria

Source: blog bufferapp and 16personalities.

SELF-ESTEEM & KINDNESS

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It has been said, which I believe, there is a strong evidence that the higher the level of our self-esteem, the more likely we will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.

And so, let's be aware of some basic mistakes that can make us age faster: 

  1. Not getting enough sleep

  2. Avoiding (healthy) fats

  3. Eating too many processed foods

  4. Not consuming enough bone broth

  5. Failing to minimize stress

  6. Not exercising

  7. Using the wrong beauty products

  8. You have too much sugar in your diet

  9. Not consuming enough biotin

  10. Not taking a probiotic .... read more...

Much Love!

Valeria

 

Source: Healthy Holistic Living 

 

THE HEART RULES  -  THE END

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We, people who listen to the voice of own hearts, don't listen to people who despise us — who envy us — who don’t believe in our life’s purpose — we don’t listen to those who tell us what to do — what to think or what to feel. Those who try to make us small, deceive us, treat us with disrespect, use us as modern slave. We don’t give ourselves to these people with unnatural,  synthetic hearts. We are precious! We are the stars on Earth. We are people who have the love of humanity in our being. We don't hate. Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural.
We, people who trust in the heart, know that the Kingdom of “God” is within — in everyone. We are true to ourselves. We have the power to create a free and loving environment.  The power to create happiness! We have the power to make this life a compassionate and marvelous adventure.
Then, in the name of our heart’s aspiration, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us come together for a new world, a decent world that will give everyone a chance to work, that will give youth the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, people with synthetic hearts have risen to power, but they lie. They don’t and didn’t fulfill their promise; they never will. These people are selfish, they free themselves, but they enslave others. Let’s come together to fulfill that promise. Let us come together to replace greed, hate and intolerance with generosity, love, and justice. Let us come together for a world of kindness, a world where science, development, ideas and opportunities will lead to everyone’s happiness.
We, people who are confident in the truth of our hearts, are the hope we seek.

Much Love!

Valeria

"One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a better friend than any possession." – Sophocles

 

** Credit: The Heart Rules content was paraphrased and inspired by The Final Speech of the Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin

THE HEART RULES  -  PART TWO

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TV, social media and the radio have brought us closer together, however, the very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in our hearts, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now that the voice of the heart can reach millions throughout the world — millions still can’t hear the message — with persistence, they comply with a system that makes them torture and imprison their souls. To those who can hear me, I say — do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed — the bitterness of those who fear the way of human magnificence and honor, will pass. Nothing is permanent. Life is constantly changing and renewing itself because it trusts our hearts.

Those who still choose to act with hate and greed will die, but so long as we live, the heart will never give up on us – it will give the gift loving here on Earth and beyond. Love never dies.

Much Love!

Valeria

 

"The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." -Aesop

 

** Credit: The Heart Rules content was paraphrased and inspired by The Final Speech of the Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin

THE HEART RULES  -  PART ONE

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I don't want to control anyone. That's not my business. I’d like to help everyone, if possible, Americans, Indians, the kind, the unkind, black, white, children. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that when we listen to their hearts. We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone. Mother Earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be JOYFUL AND BEAUTIFUL, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned people’s souls, has blinded the world with hate, has made most forget they have a beating heart that cries for love. We have developed technology, but we have shut ourselves in. Business opportunities that give wealth and abundance, have left us in a poverty state of dissatisfaction, wanting more and more. There is meaningful purposes. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than technology and opportunities to make money we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent, untrusting and all will be lost.

It’s paramount that we try to revive these precious and valuable qualities in our daily lives.

Much love!

Valeria 

 

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

 

** Credit: The Heart Rules content was paraphrased and inspired by The Final Speech of the Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin

GOLDEN RULES FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN

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Following the golden rules for healthy living lowers the risk of developing dementia by more than a third.

Regular physical exercise, eating a Mediterranean diet, not smoking, and drinking alcohol in moderation were all found to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

In addition, decreasing stress, preventing and treating diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity was also found to reduce the risk.

But while heavy drinking was linked to dementia, drinking moderate levels of alcohol was found to be beneficial.

The changes that we need to make to keep our brains healthy are already proven to be good for the heart and overall health, so it’s common sense for us all to try to build them into our lives.

At an individual level we need to look after our brains - sharpen those chess skills, read more, meditate, practice deep listening, ditch sugar, add antioxidants rich foods to your diet and sleep well. - Read more... 

Much love! 

Valeria

 

Source: The Telegraph 

 

 

 

LET IT BE JOYFUL

If we can learn how to create space for action without losing touch with the joy in our hearts, we can live with serenity.  We become stressed, anxious, and depressed because we have limited our minds to act and react according to our psychological, emotional and physical aspects only. 

Think of it this way; when we are in our hearts, living a kind and positive life, we can be overloaded with thoughts and physical activities, and our peaceful state won’t change as long as we are not identified with our "must do" actions, and likes and dislikes, but rather open beings that embrace it all. What is amazing is that we can live in that space, starting at this moment, by recognizing we are joyful and serene beings having a human life!

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

OUR OWN CREATED PRISON

Given how exercise, diet, and even therapy can become traps for a painful emotional reality, it’s crucial for us be aware of the fundamental causes of our suffering. Think of how we can consciously or unconsciously believe we are not good enough or not worthy of happiness. We then begin to work hard in pursuit of this worth. As a result, anything external that gives us the illusion we deserve happiness for our effort will also become our own created prison. This cycle of sustaining habits out of fear makes exercise and diet or whatever our external source of happiness is into negative forces, thus compounding the root problem as we live for our bodies and for conditioned emotional stability through abusive mechanisms. This can cause disharmony within the heart, a state of mind where true happiness cannot exist.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

ESCAPISM & FITNESS HABITS

The links between a painful past and fitness became clear to me after a period of major inner turbulence. I knew that most compulsive behaviors had their roots in traumatic experiences, but I never connected my obsession with fitness with lingering inner pain from the past. I believed I was a strong person who had overcome pain because I had a fit and healthy body to prove it, as well as a life that seemed to be driven and built by authentic and exciting experiences. However, the truth was that my fitness habits, to a great extent, were escapism.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

PAST: "LESSONS OF LOVE"

Bringing back our traumatic past experiences is one way to understand the pattern of our limited view of life, especially a spiritual one. When we learn to reinterpret hurtful past events as “lessons of love” in the sense of recognizing that everything that happens to us is an effect of a cause we have created ourselves. It took the Buddha’s teachings of karma for me to understand my own life and mind. However, it’s my belief that we don’t have to be Buddhists to see how painful past events can turn our present lives into a nightmare when we view them as purely negative.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.

DIET OF THE HEART

Many of us experience the feeling of compassion when preparing or eating animal flesh, and some even reject meat at childhood. This is not an accident. We all live in different spiritual realities and levels. What is interesting is that those of us who have had profound spiritual experiences often don’t trust them to be real. I believe this is because we are too immersed and attached to our physical reality. We are basically in denial of the interconnectedness of our reality.

The way I see it, food cravings (though certainly not all of them) are directly connected to anxiety and fear. This may be because the mind has associated happiness with pleasure, and since pleasure and pain are closely related, suffering becomes a tasty experience. The body, on the other hand, craves food and sex for self-preservation and perpetuation, not pleasure. It’s interesting to notice that only the heart is rooted in love and kindness. It has no cravings that can cause us suffering. The heart cares for our being as a whole, and also for others, thus happily and healthily embracing everything as a big family.

Much love! 

Valeria  

To be healthy is to be loving.