My Never-ending Story

Here’s a fun fact: I love learning. I love learning about new ideas, stories, people, recipes, practices, routines, places, and myself…. This life is full of wonder and I hope and pray that I will keep my eyes and my mind open to all that I have yet to learn.

I thoroughly enjoy being a student! I want to learn and to be challenged and to grow. I become angsty and frustrated when I perceive a short window of my time spent learning, trying, and having new experiences.

As educators, we strive to instill a passion of life-long learning in our students. Well, to my teachers, my parents, my coaches, my peers, THANK YOU. Throughout my life, you have ignited a fire within! A fire which becomes restless with the status quo; a woman that constantly wants to try and learn and fail or succeed, but TRY.

Recently, I have been incredibly active in trying new things: fitness classes, holistic healing practices, eating habits. That fire that yearns to learn more about my health: physically, emotionally, and socially.

I have been trying all of these new things out of fear that I will become jaded by the same routine. I am curious about the world around me with the seemingly never-ending sights, sounds, scents and ways that this life can shape the body.

All this said, my next few posts are going to be reflections on learning experiences. I encourage you to join me! Try out fitness class that you’ve been itching to take. Make an appointment for that massage. Or, even better, let’s visit a boutique studio and take a class together! New restaurant in town? Let’s go! Suggestions or recommendations? I’m game.

As the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life” and my goal is to write my narrative with messages of positivity, physical challenges, and a mentality to never stop trying, growing, and learning.

Who’s ready to expand upon their never-ending story?




You say you wanna ‘resolution’

HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s 2016! Time for change, time to start anew, time to set goals…and achieve them!

You don’t want to be the person that a) doesn’t set a resolution or goal for yourself or b) set a super tough resolution that you end up breaking 4 days into the new year [hence the reason I’m writing this post on January 4th]

What I learned growing up, in school, in athletics, in sport psychology, in teaching and in coaching is to set SMART goals for yourself.

S – specific – what exactly are you trying to achieve?

A more toned physique? A fatter savings fund? A stronger relationship with loved ones? A greater spiritual connection?  A mindful, present, and positive journey? All of the above?

Set specific resolutions in the areas of your life that you want strengthened and improved.

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M – meaningful – why is this goal important to you?

When you attach emotion to your resolutions and goals, they become a “passionate want, thereby creating a much higher likelihood of achieving your meaningful goal” (Tabaka, 2013).

Write out your resolution or create a vision board for your goals. The more passionate you are about your goals, the more driven you will be to achieve them.

A – action oriented – what are the steps that you’re going to take to reach this goal?

Write it down! Start a gratitude journal to stay present, positive, and thankful. Keep a fitness log or calendar of your physical achievements each day and feel the pull to keep consistent with your resolution. Don’t break the chain!

Pack a fitness bag to bring to work. Meal prep. Set alarms on your phone to get you off the couch and into class, mass, off your HEY NOW.

R – realistic – how do you know that you can achieve this goal?

Is your resolution a reasonable one? If your resolution is a specific number in weight loss, is it an unhealthy amount of weight to try and lose in 1 year? Have you consulted your doctor about this goal?

Did you set a goal to to travel more, but your finances or vacation days are limited?

Is your goal to organize your life, but you live in a large home with years of saved memories and paraphernalia?

Set smaller goals that work up to your ultimate resolution and you will be successful!

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T – timely – when do you want to achieve this goal?

Are your resolutions meant to be completed daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? Calendars, logs, and journals can help keep you on track to reach your goals.

Some ideas for fun, attainable, heart-warming resolutions:

Buzzfeed’s Achievable Resolutions in 2016

Good luck, be SMART, and enjoy every moment of 2016!

Wishing you much success,

Ariana xo

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

As the sun shines in my apartment on this beautiful (almost) winter’s day, I am reminded of so much light, positivity, and happiness that I am blessed with in this life. More so than that, the sun reminds me to SHINE.

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We were so lucky last night to have a holiday get-together with friends old and new and truly catch up on the exciting and sometimes frightening unknown of THE FUTURE…dun dun dun.

There was a common theme of existential uncertainty in all of our conversations: “life is good for right now, but….”, “I’m not sure if this is what I want to be doing forever, but….”, “How did this whole adult-hood thing happen? What’s next….”

If you’ve been reading my posts, you may also notice a common theme, I LOVE to give advice.  I truly believe in the positive, I truly believe in trusting a Greater Plan, and I will always try to advise the silver lining and find the positive in any situation.

I had a moment of clarity while I was listening to my friends’ existential internal conflicts and while I was finding a way of spinning to the positive last night. If you read this far, here comes my unsolicited advice!

We all have this light. Like the children’s song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” It is our personal light; the positive side of our personality. Our sense of humor, our courage, our strengths, our compassion, our empathy, our love.

Sometimes, our light gets covered up. Sometimes there are circumstances or events or words exchanged or [insert what upsets you here] that shovels a scoop of dirt and darkness over our light. With conscious thought, we can quickly sweep away the dirt and darkness and continue sharing our light.

But sometimes, the circumstances are too constant, too overwhelming, too heavy to quickly sweep away. We let the darkness, dirt, toxicity sit there and become our new norm. We become detached from our light and we feel like a piece of us is missing. We feel like we have lost the warmth of our soul.

When this happens, we can do two things: one) we can accept the darkness and let this new norm consume us and live knowing “something isn’t quite right, but I can learn to be okay with how it is now.”

Or two) start the intense, mindful, conscious process of shoveling away the darkness.

“Hide it under a bushel. NO! I’m gonna let it shine.”

How does one start this intense, mindful, conscious process of removing the dirt, you ask?

  • Trust in your family, friends, faith! Talk it out, cry it out. Your family and true friends will love you unconditionally. You may even experience comfort in knowing that you are not the only one feeling this way and you can work on shining your light together!
  • Practice self-care! Even if it’s taking a few minutes each day to listen to music or sit in silence.
  • Keep a journal that focuses on Gratitude. Gratitude is a CHOICE. Be mindful, be conscious, be appreciative and watch that dirt disappear and your light shine through!
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  • Be open to change. If something is not making you feel like your true self, have the courage to lean on your loved ones and “take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway” (thanks, Kelly Clarkson!)
  • Practice patience. When weeks, months, years have passed with your light being hidden, it will take weeks, months, years of conscious work and heavy shoveling to chip away the layers of dirt, toxicity, and darkness.

You are unique. You are beautiful. You are enough. YOU ARE RADIANT. Let your light shine bright. Be a beacon of hope and an anchor of love.

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Brightly yours,

Ariana xo