life

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—brought about through the senseless suffering caused by our minds. Either way, the main difference between a nightmare and a lucid dream is a shift of our 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, fear might replace our hope, but if we have faith and recognize our own essence, WE will never fall again. 

Much Love!

Valeria 

CALLING FOR FITNESS AND SPIRITUALITY

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My six o’clock client was not a regular. A fellow female trainer had had to leave due to an emergency, and asked me to take her client that day. I filled in for her as a substitute trainer.

Steve was a fifty-seven-year-old businessman who seemed to be under a great deal of stress. I could tell this just by being around him for a few seconds. He gave me a serious, almost intimidating impression, and breathed heavily. We were introduced in a hurry by the other trainer as she ran out the door.

Steve looked at me with an expression of quiet impatience. He was in good shape and looked strong. His chest area was well developed, leading me to think he must have been lifting heavy weights for years. I could tell he was very proud of his chest.

Before I could ask him about his training routine, he gave me the workout for that day. His program had only four exercises: barbell bench press (155 lbs — 12 reps), incline chest press (50 lb dumbbells — 12 reps), floor push-ups (20 reps), and incline dumbbell flies (20 lbs — 12 reps). If you understand something about muscle-group training, you will notice that Steve’s workout had only chest exercises.

I looked at his program and said enthusiastically, “Great! Let’s do it!”

I set up the barbell and began the first workout on the list. I was ready to spot him if he needed it, standing close to the bench behind his head. As he ended each rep, I cheered him on by saying things like, “Great job, Steve. You’ve got it! Nice work! Keep the energy! You can do it! Wonderful! You are doing it right! Don’t give up! One more left! Nicely done!”

In truth, I was talking to myself. I needed to hear my own enthusiastic words, given the day I’d had. I noticed something unusual when I took a glanced quickly at Steve’s face to make sure he was okay. He was looking at me and smiling as he lifted the heavy weight. He’d finished lifting without saying a word, but he smiled. I didn’t exactly understand the reason for his happiness, but I was glad his serious and stress-filled expression was gone.

 

Considering he was a new client, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to begin a conversation about my early insights into fitness and kindness. Nonetheless, I asked him trivial questions, which he didn’t answer. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy interacting with others when I’m with them. I like separating things: There is a time to be fully alone, and a time to be fully with others. In a trainer/client relationship, there are moments to focus on the exercise, moving and breathing properly, and also moments when we can talk.

 

Steve’s behavior was making me feel incredibly awkward. Concerned but trying to stay cool, I followed him around with my cheerful chatter. His behavior didn’t change. The studio was quiet; there were only a few people working out with their trainers. No one seemed to notice how uncomfortable I was around Steve.

Once again in my life, I felt stuck. I didn’t want to stay there, but I couldn’t leave. I tried to stay calm and do my job well.

We went through the workouts. In the end, Steve was sweating, still with a smile on his face. Before we said goodbye, he asked for my name again, then mentioned that he liked my training style. He also inquired if I could train him from that day on. I politely explained to him that my schedule couldn’t fit another client.

In truth, if my heart had not begun to guide me toward fitness and spirituality, I would have accepted his offer. 

Much love!

Valeria Teles

 LIFE OR BODY TRANSFORMATION?

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Diana was next. We met at five in the evening.

She came in ten minutes early and hustled past me on her way to the locker room, saying, “It’s been another busy day. Give me the hardest, most beast-mode circuit you’ve got, Valeria.”

My energy was very low at this point. I really didn’t want to train another client, especially a high-energy person like Diana. She was thirty-four years old and exercised every day in the morning before she went to work. Her jogging sessions lasted an hour. She usually met me in the late afternoons for her weight training.

Today was an upper-body session. While she lay under a sixty-five-pound loaded barbell, doing twelve reps of military presses, I asked her, “What is the most important thing in life to you, Diana?”

She was so focused on her reps that I wasn’t sure she’d heard me. As usual, she was having a serious conversation with the barbell. We didn’t tend to talk much. Her workout mood had always been to get the job done as well as possible and then leave the studio.

A few seconds later, she put the bar back on the rack. The next exercise was ab work, and she knew it. We had the circuits programmed in advance. She moved briskly to the yoga mat on the floor to do a set of twenty reverse crunches.

Her breathing was heavy. The circuit was intense. She was never happy with anything light or easy. I was still waiting for an answer to my question as I kept track of the number of reps, but I didn’t ask it again.

On the floor, while doing a quick stretch—bending her knees close to her chest while keeping her legs together—she said, “The most important thing to me is to keep moving forward through the days. When I wake up in the morning, I have a to-do list in my mind. I just go through it naturally. It’s a clear, focused, and precise daily plan I accomplish by the end of the day.” She finished her answer by the assisted pull-up bar, after fifteen reps.

Diana had been moving fast for the last thirty minutes. She performed all her exercises with the same focus and precision as she checked off her to-do list.

“Do you like your job?” I asked.

She was so focused on her spider plank ab work that her favorite movie star would have gone unnoticed had they walked by us. Sitting on the mat, wiping her face, she said that she got her job done, made great money, and was proud of herself. She worked out hard in one of the best fitness clubs in New York, and could afford my high personal training fees. She laughed and added that she ate out all the time, traveled, went out with friends for drinks; serious relationships and love were too complicated to give attention to.

You know that feeling when there’s nothing you can say to someone because they’re too busy listening to their own thoughts? That’s how I felt.

After we finished the workout, I reflected on how Diana’s life was not that different from her to-do list. It was programmed. She’d been in a cycle of living according to rehearsed habits, and her life had turned into a running race with no finish line or winners, an existence driven by nonstop actions. There was no space left to even think about love.

Diana followed the exercise program and ate clean while training with me. She achieved the fit and athletic look she wanted in three months. Her body composition transformed, but I wish her life had, too.

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 felt 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.  

 

Much Love!

Valeria Teles

 

 

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!

Much love!

Valeria 

 

Source:  Song "Believe” by Josh Groban

 

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 remind 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 breakdown 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, introverted, 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 are 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.

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 a 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 security. By promising 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 unity.

Even now — although 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 feel tortured and imprisons 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 of 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

Gratitude and Your Health

It’s that time of year when many people begin thinking about everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life.

In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits:

1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or you send a quick thank-you note to that co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.

2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health.  They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

3. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.

5. Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.

6. Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

7. Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.  A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11.  Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – fosters resilience.

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve.  Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! :)

Source: Forbes Magazine